QUO VADIS - Reviewed by Mike

Category/Format: Abstract/Board

Reiner Knizia game whose theme is based upon getting senators promoted via a series of committees to the senate and collecting laurel leaves along the way. The player who has the most laurel leaves at the end of the game is declared the winner, providing that he has at least one representative in the senate.

The board depicts a series of committee rooms with pathways between them, ultimately leading to the senate. Committee rooms consist of either 1,3 or 5 places. Between most of these pathways is a laurel token, ranging in value from 2 to 5.

Players move their senators around these committee rooms attempting to get a majority in that committee which will then enable them to be promoted to the next committee above. If they suceed in doing this they take the laurel leaf token that is on the pathway between the two committees and place it FACE DOWN in front of them, keeping their score secret. A new laurel token is taken from the pile of unused tokens to replace it.

Sometimes the number of senators in a committee may be equal. The active player can then negotiate with the other player to vote for him to move up, offering some reward. If the offer is accepted that player receives not only the reward but also a laurel token value 1, FOR EACH SENATOR that votes. It may be advantageous to do this as with the active player moving out of a committee room the second player can move another senator in, thereby creating a majority of his own. It may transpire however that other players have a turn before this can happen, so the option has to be considered carefully.

In their turn players have 3 options :

1) introduce a new senator at one of the committees on the bottom row(if any vacancies exist).

2) move a senator from one committee room to another and pick up the laurel token(if he has a majority or the votes to do so from the other players). There are some special laurel tokens worth 2, which also contain a symbol of Caesar. The capture of these tokens enable the player to move Caesar(see 3 below) in addition to the move he has just made.

3) move the Caesar token. Caesar(of which there is only one) has special powers, as you would expect. If he is placed above a committee room there is no longer a requirement to have a majority to move up to another committee, it is permitted automatically. The down side of this however is that Caesar covers the laurel leaf token that links the two committees so there is no gain in laurel leaves to be made from making the move. Moving Caesar can be used to thwart someone else's attempt to gain say 5 laurels when they have a majority, a good delaying tactic and one that could be used as part of the negotiating process( e.g. "I won't move Caesar if you promise to support my promotion from this committee".

Play moves quickly round the table and the end is reached within 30-40 minutes so it's a good closer which doesn't task the brain too much, more your skill at negotiating with others.

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