Pax Renaissance

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Rating Summary (16 Total)



[EDIT] Perhaps more than any game in recent memory, Pax Renaissance has grown on me with subsequent playings and (crucially) minor improvements in my teaching it. The strategic horizons of the game improve dramatically with a solid emphasis and internalization of the victory conditions. When you do that, and are able to look at the display of available cards as your toolbox for accomplishment tangible goals, the game opens up its strategic and thematic depth. All that said, there's still a lot of dubious theming going on in the game (bankers saving the world through capital), and a lot of dodgy and borderline racist nonsense in the rulebook. The latter can be ignored more easily than the former. Original impressions follow: It's basically Innovation with better theming and some chromey, unnecessary stuff added on. Some of the chrome is cool, but honestly it's less thematic than it should be--you're not getting a sense of the Renaissance, really. The game is almost exclusively tactical. I'd happily play again, but honestly I don't see what the fuss is all about.


A rating of 8 after three plays. I normally feel as though I can evaluate a game after 3 plays, but I think this will take more. -- I think this is a fantastic game from Sierra Madre that oozes theme like few other games I've played. Every game has a story and the characters in that story are vibrant and significant, which is a feat given the vastness of time and cultural relevance that each card has. The strategic choices can be very opaque, but that helps give the game room to grow over successive plays. While the box says that it can support up to 4 players, 4 is really far too many for the systems available. It turns the game to a decision victory via Patron Prestige (the end-game tie breaker) and greatly lowers the chance of a Comet-based victory. The game ranks to me as a 7/10 at 2-player, 6/10 at 4-player, and 9/10 at 3 player. A rating of 8 on BGG then suffices.


The best Pax game. It takes the innovations that Pamir developed off of Porfiriana, and still plays great across all player counts. Despite Phil Eklund's attempt to inject this game with his off-putting Randian philosophical views, in execution (and hilariously so) the game acts as a criticism of Eklund's own philosophical bend. Pax Renaissance feels much more like what a Game of Thrones game would be if the players were competing to be the Iron Bank than what the the game posits itself to be (which, in a nutshell, is "Capitalism enabled the Renaissance"). In that way, this game is kind of the interactive model of why "authorial intent" is often irrelevant in art and media. I think it works out great. There's something about Machiavellian global political manipulation that I find deeply satisfying.


(10/17) 9. My first Eklund, I think. And I love it. Such a deep game for such a small box of cards and set of components. I also ABSOLUTELY love the amount of history crammed on every card. I'd just as happily spent the time just reading them. Loved the theme, loved the game play and the how dense with options the multi-use cards are as well as the economy to buy them. Fantastic. My #9 favorite game of all time.