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$88.25

Pax Pamir 2ndEdition PLUS the metal coins add-on!!

Yes please! 😁🎉

Let me provide you with a glance into the way my mind works…

When I first started thinking about how to compose this awesome game’s product description, a flurry of ideas came racing to the surface of my consciousness. The first and foremost was that this game puts my brain in the same space as Phil Eklund’s Pax Renaissance.

Pax Pamir is very well designed, the mechanics are elegant, the material is historically accurate, there is a bibliography (smile)… and, when you approach the rules for the first time, you do so as though you were approaching an exceptionally hungry mountain lion in the middle of winter to get an awesome close-up picture with your new Nikon SLR.

Very slowly and very carefully… and all the while thinking, “What the heck am I doing?!?!”  🐆📸🤫

Now, once you get through digesting the rules (which are actually not all that complex in the end analysis… they just have a certain weight to them), the game play flows beautifully and there’s all sorts of tension’y goodness and player interaction built into the immersive theme! I say again, WIN!

[Please note that these two games are each SOLID in their own right! I am in no way implying that this game is Pax Renaissance reborn or that it duplicates/replicates anything specific from that game. Rather, I think that the player headspace has some similar overtones; for this fan, anyway. I mean, after all… they are both Pax games. That’s a thing, right? 😅🤔]

This game is GOR-GEOUS! Wahhhhhh!! Full component-obsessed-gamer levitation in effect!

This second edition is really quite elegant. It isn’t just that the components are upgraded material. This game is a high-quality production from start to finish. The card artwork, the artistic etching detail on the composite cubes, the period-accurate cloth playmat… all of these have been crafted with care and each piece is wonderful in its own right. When brought together, the components do an amazing job of pulling you into the theme.

Maybe it’s just me (smile), but somehow all of these little details fuse together in a way that makes me sit back, smile, and think, “this is niiiiicccceeeeee…” 👏😊🎉

From the moment you remove the box top you will likely feel the same.

This entire production is a wonderfully high-quality experience. Yes! The box itself is well crafted and features some gorgeous artwork actually inside the box top and bottom. Yes… INSIDE the box top and bottom! Gorgeous!

The engraved, resin coalition blocks are works of art in their own right! Ditto for the ruler tokens and the favored suit marker! The metal coins are well-crafted and weighty. All told… this is a sweet, deluxe experience from start to finish (even if the game isn’t titled as a deluxe version). Period. Paragraph.

 Game Play – Pax for life!

In true Pax spirit, this game might feel intimidating to some. The re-do of the rules is well done and certainly goes a long way in making this game more accessible. Typically I have found that the first 3… or maybe 5… or possibly 10 turns (haha) in a Pax game, I am scratching my head thinking, “Does everyone else understand what’s going on in this game? Am I the only person without a well-defined strategy? How does the conflict table work again?!?!?!”

Oh wait… that’s another Pax Renaissance reference… Hahahaha…

But in this game, I was feeling mighty comfortable after only a couple of turns. Mind you, I’m not saying I had a winning strategy or that I was ready for a Pax Pamir tournament. But, there was certainly a good deal less head scratching. Still, there’s playing the game and then there’s really getting into the depth of the game… and the latter takes a number of plays for sure!

Tableau building… with a cool twist!

Once you’ve got the draw deck, the market and the map set out, players chose their starting loyalties and we’re off to the races. The primary mechanism of the game is tableau building. Throughout the game you will obtain cards from the market, add them to your hand, and then in subsequent actions you will play them out into your “court” on the table in front of you. An interesting twist to this tableau building (in my opinion), is the interconnectedness of each players’ tableau.

Picture 4 people sitting around the game board; each with a tableau of 4 or 5 cards in front of them. During the game players can employ spies and place them onto cards in another players tableau. From a game mechanic standpoint, this means that any time the player wishes to use that card they must pay a bribe (set at a predetermined amount) to the player whose spy is resting on that card. So where’s the twist, Drew? Please focus! 👆

Well, spies can move from card to card… and when they do so they must move around the interconnected tableau.  So, say you want to shift from spying on a card in the tableau of the player to your right. Your target is now the player on your left. If you don’t bring a new spy out, you’ll have to march the existing spy around the tableau to get to your new destination! Sweet! 🍰

Obviously, this means that once you place a card in your tableau it cannot be moved… otherwise you could rig the travel distances of those pesky spies 😉 “I’m just going to slide this card to the far left of my tableau… nothing to see here…” 🤥

Let’s hope the stars align…

During your turn you can have as many cards as you’d like in your tableau (and in your hand), however at the end of your turn you must discard down to a predetermined size. This size – not surprisingly – is predetermined by your game play! Purple and blue stars present on some of the cards in your court (uh, the tableau) will set the bar.

Three plus the number of purple stars determines your court size and 2 plus the number of blue stars drives your hand size. I can feel some of that solid gaming tension returning just talking about this mechanism!  <pauses write up for quick call to therapist>

Two actions is all you need.

Clearly I won’t get into all the nuances of the game here. I mean, the game has a bibliography, people! Does anyone want to see a 12-page product listing? 🤓

Suffice it to say that there’s rank and privilege, loyalty and influence, ruling of regions and movement of armies. All driven by your court, the event cards, and the interconnectedness of your card play and your actions on the cloth map.

The core actions of the game involve acquiring and using cards; aptly named “purchase” and “play.” Cards in the market are paid for by placing the payment on all cards to the left of the one you would like to purchase. Additionally, during each cleanup phase (which happens after EACH players turn), market cards are discarded from the left side of the market and replaced with those from one space over; with new cards added to the righthand market spaces.

When a player purchases a card they receive whatever rupees are sitting on that card. I love this sort of mechanism as it keeps the money flowing around the table. There’s really no compelling reason to horde rupees in this game (as you need them to purchase cards). What’s more, you will likely receive a few rupees back when you do purchase a card, so you’re generally not sitting there completely broke for multiple turns.

Plus, the leftmost cards in the market are free anyway… so fear not my young Afghan leaders.. all will be well.

When playing  card from your hand into your court, you simple declare the cards abilities and region and add it to the left or right edge of your tableau. IF you are the ruler of this region (or if it is unruled) you play the card for free. If not, you pay the ruler of that region a bribe equal to the number of tribes they have in that region. I should note that all bribes can be waived completely or partially by the would-be recipient. But, I mean… who wouldn’t want a bribe?  <insert sinister laugh here>

Cards in your court offer additional action possibilities, and some even have bonus actions that don’t take up one of your two action slots per turn. Whew!

Sudden death or slow boil…

Throughout the game there are 4 dominance checks. These are triggered when a player purchases the card from the market or during the cleanup phase if a player doesn’t purchase the card. If a dominance card comes into the market on the your turn, it’s happening. Period. 😉

This check involves comparing the number of blocks (armies and roads) each coalition has on the board. If there is a clear majority, points are distributed based on coalition map presence. If no coalition has a clear majority (details in the rules), points are distributed based on each player’s influence.

A game of Pax Pamir can end in one of two ways. The more congenial manner involves the game running until the last Dominance check and comparing all players’ influence to determine the winner! This goes to the player with the highest influence… uh, of course… 😏

If however, any one player leads all other players by at least 4 victory points during ANY dominance check, the game immediately ends, and that player is declared winner! Brutal! [not for the winner I suppose.. but still… haha]

Parting words

This is a SOLID, SOLID game! The components are fantastic… in fact, the entire experience is fantastic from the moment you open the box until the moment you get crushed by your opponents!  Uh, I mean.. until you emerge victorious! 😟

All kidding aside; this is a fantastic game that combines elegant mechanics with an immersive theme…. If you enjoy either of these attributes (smile), you may want to consider adding this wonderful production to your collection.

Clearly I will be adding Cole Wehrle to my list of designers titled, “I LOVE these people!” 🤓💕

 

Ages: 13+
Players: 1 – 5
Play Time: 45 – 120 minutes
Designer Cole Wehrle
Artist: Cole Wehrle
Publisher: Wehrlegig Games
SKU: Wehrlegig Games 001
MSRP:
Running at $105 – $110 (zoinks!) on eBay
at the time of this listing (AUG 2019)
Our Price: $88.25
Link to BGG: Pax Pamir Second Edition

 

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Description

Pax Pamir Second Edition is HERE!!!  And this bundle includes the METAL COINS!  Bam!  💥😁

In Pax Pamir 2nd Edition, players assume the role of nineteenth century Afghan leaders attempting to forge a new state after the collapse of the Durrani Empire. Western histories often call this period “The Great Game” because of the role played by the Europeans who attempted to use central Asia as a theater for their own rivalries. In this game, those empires are viewed strictly from the perspective of the Afghans who sought to manipulate the interloping ferengi (foreigners) for their own purposes.

In terms of game play, Pax Pamir is a pretty straightforward tableau builder. Players spend most of their turns purchasing cards from a central market, then playing those cards in front of them in a single row called a court. Playing cards adds units to the game’s map and grants access to additional actions that can be taken to disrupt other players and influence the course of the game. That last point is worth emphasizing. Though everyone is building their own row of cards, the game offers many ways for players to interfere with each other directly and indirectly.

To survive, players will organize into coalitions. Throughout the game, the dominance of the different coalitions will be evaluated by the players when a special card, called a “Dominance Check”, is resolved. If a single coalition has a commanding lead during one of these checks, those players loyal to that coalition will receive victory points based on their influence in their coalition. However, if Afghanistan remains fragmented during one of these checks, players instead will receive victory points based on their personal power base.

After each Dominance Check, victory is checked and the game will be partially reset, offering players a fresh attempt to realize their ambitions. The game ends when a single player is able to achieve a lead of four or more victory points or after the fourth and final Dominance Check is resolved.

—description from the publisher

Additional information
Weight 5.6 lbs
Dimensions 11.5 × 9 × 2.5 in
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