Anno 1452

A board game from Piatnik, Austria These comments copyright 2000 by Steffan O'Sullivan
This page last updated February 3, 2002

I haven't yet played this game enough to review it, sorry. But I have played it enough to know I won't be happy with the rules as they are written. I think the game has potential, but it definitely needs tweaking.

The two problem we had with the game are:

  1. Not enough actions to justify all the fiddling and counting you do each Evaluation Round.
  2. The King issue: it's too easy to remain King once you become King. While being King occasionally is a good balance mechanism, being King all the time is not.
So far I have two potential fixes, but I haven't played them enough to know if I'll stick with them:
  1. Remove the event cards in the deck having to do with lengthening the round. Always play three rounds every epoch, unless one of the event cards comes up that potentially shortens the round: roll for each round as listed on the card in those cases. Otherwise, never roll for round end - always play three round each epoch.
  2. You may not be King two epochs in a row. If you qualify to be King the epoch immediately after you have been King, there is an Interregnum instead. Thus if you want to try the strategy of remaining the player with the fewest Estates in order to prevent others from becoming the King, you can still do this - but you'll only be King every other turn instead of every turn.
I really think the game is just a hair's breadth away from being an excellent game, and these two fixes should take care of it.

Oh - this is a game I refuse to play with German cards - there are simply way too many of them. You can find my MS-Word .doc to print out the cards in English at BoardgameGeek

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