January 15, 2008

Hamburgum - A Great Family Friendly Strategy Eurogame for the Winter

Don't let the funny burger-esque name or the happy-go-lucky German cover art fool you - this game has staying power.

Hamburgum [Funagain] builds a Eurogame cathedral & city builder around the Rondel turn order system, made famous by the war-themed strategy titles of Antike and Imperial.

It goes a little something like this: On your turn you have to chose of one of three free actions before your turn marker. Picking an action progresses you around the Rondel circle to that spot, thus opening up three different actions for your next turn, and making the action you just chose the furthest from being picked again.
And so you go, marching your pawn around a circle as you plan your moves and scheme your way through the game.

The game bridges many sets of players; Hamburgum has no dice - with the Rondel system a player's turn is in their own hands - which means that strategy gamers will be able to plot their moves and react to situations keeping their destiny in their own hands. But there are few rules, and the theme is light, so the game works well in those more relaxing Eurogame settings where strategy and social entertainment shake hands without diluting themselves individually.

Instead of building armies or enabling war machines like in other rondel mechanic games of Antike and Imperial, you're building a civilized Hamburg through the construction of churches, the production of beer in your breweries, cloth from your .. clotheries, and sugar from your sugaries. You get the idea.

Producing sugary smacks and Becks is great but everything revolved around the construction of churches those days (and seeming so in Eurogames these days, too) and on one space of the Rondel you can contribute to the construction of churches of Hamburg (or London if you flip the board over). Once built, a player cements their influence on the city from their church, using it as a focal point for growing businesses outward on the streets nearby. The winner is the player with the most victory points earned through their chartable donations towards church construction, the strength of their established businesses, and the goods sold via the town's harbor.

Would you like to know more? Checkout this great BoardGameGeek User Review. Here are the official details:

"Hamburg in the 17th century! Mighty walls protect the city against the devastations of the Thirty Years War. Thanks to Protestant religious refugees, Hamburg has become the biggest and most prosperous city of Germany. From far away the skyline shows the steeples of huge churches and the masts of mighty trade ships displaying the citizens' pride and prosperity.

The players guide families of Hamburg in the pursuit of wealth and prestige. They produce beer, sugar and cloth and sell these goods with their ships overseas. They compete over the best sites for their buildings and the best berths for their ships in the harbor. But ultimately they vie for the most prestigious church donations, because neither gold nor goods, but only prestige decides the game.

Hamburgum is a strategy game for 2 – 5 players without any luck of cards or dice. The actions are selected according to simple rules on a rondel. The reverse of the big double-sided game board offers another city, Londinium, a different strategic challenge."

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at January 15, 2008 11:28 AM

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