Trismegistus: First thoughts

Premium User

I received this one for my recent birthday and played it three times.  First off, the rules are a bit gargled and unclear and there are printing mistakes on the board that lead me to think the game was thrown together a little too fast or on a deadline with less quality control than was needed.  That being said...

This is a challenging game.  Your opening choices will determine a lot of your success throughout the game and there are several rules that are easy to miss and require keeping up with throughout the game.  Your goal is to attain the most victory points via completed experiments, completed philosopher's stone, and completed publications.  

Gameplay consists of attaining an unrefined elements (Lead, Copper, Tin, Mercury, Iron) and refining those elements through transmutation via drafted dice of three different colors.  The dice colors determine WHAT transmutations you can do and the die face determines WHICH essences and experiments you can attain with that die.  

At the beginning of the game you start with four different raw materials and three essences.  Using essence will raise your token on the appropriate mastery track board (certain mastery levels are required for more complex experiments).  

There are three rounds during which you will use three dice each round and subtracting from their potency to either attain materials, essences, artifacts, experiments, or to transmute one material into another.  One other players turns, you can use a limited number of reaction tokens to do one of four reactions based on the active players die color and die face.

There are a few other variables to the game but your goal will be to generally complete as much as you can with the limited number of die and reactions you have at your disposal throughout the game.  I managed to get somewhere close to 60 points the last game I played completing two publications (that was hard!) and only 4 experiments on my philosophers stone.  

All in all I think I liked that game and look forward to playing it with others more.  I think once the rules are nailed down by all players it will be more fun.  Not as smooth as other games I've played but not bad either:

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Owner16 months ago

I'm also curious about how forgiving this game is when it comes to points. As in, is one bad round or a mistake pretty detrimental to your end score? I guess another way I'm thinking about it is, is this a game where you'd see experienced players winning pretty much all the time? or does it give room for inexperienced players to make some cool things happen too even if it's their first game?

Premium User16 months ago

After only three plays I'd say the win probably goes to the more experienced player and having fairly equal players would be necessary for a balanced game.  That's my first impression and I think I need more play throughs to know for sure. 

16 months ago

Definitely rewards preparation and planning

Owner16 months ago

This game really caught my eye when Trent and I were trying to think of which games to talk about around Essen. The board looked like a lot of info to take in but it sure looked interesting/challenging. How long does a game usually take?

Premium User16 months ago

It probably depends on the players.  The box says 90-120 minutes but I think that's on the long side.  I think an hour could be done reasonably once everyone has the rules down.  It's one of those games where one player can get brain stuck on a turn and hold the rest of the folks up.  As an example, my wife and I can play Wingspan in about 20-30 minutes.  I played with a friend the other day who took 10 minutes to take a lay eggs action...that game took like an hour and a half!  The board does have a lot going on but once you have the rules down its fairly smooth.  Just looks messy and the rulebook is a little addled.

Owner16 months ago

Wow, those numbers...

10 minutes to lay an egg does sound painful to wait on hahaha

Also, 20-30 minutes to finish a game of Wingspan sounds amazingly fast! I'd imagine 45 min would be the fastest I can imagine it going with my wife (then again, we've never tried 2p game before).

Premium User16 months ago

Yes, we can play pretty fast with just two players.  we like playing with 4-5 though because the pick power birds become quite a bit more effective at that point.

Supporter16 months ago

Does it play solo?

Premium User16 months ago

Yes! There is a solo mode.  I haven't tried that yet as my wife was getting tired of my games being out and I put it away before the ire reached level 10. 

Supporter16 months ago

Ire Level 10 is bad. 

Supporter16 months ago

It does, but I haven't heard solo reports yet. 

Premium User16 months ago

#Trismegistus: The Ultimate Formula

Never heard of it before but it sounds interesting!