Byzantio / Nekken (Video Review)
Byzantio is a game of medieval intrigue in the east in which players take the role of the heads of the main Byzantine dynasties, and scheme to choose the successor to the imperial throne.
In the 11th century A.D. the empire is torn between four factions, two of them provincial, military aristocracies (the houses of Comnenid and Phocas) and two of them urban, secular aristocracies (the houses of the Dukes and Angels). It is 1025, and the emperor Basileios II has ascended into the heavens without providing for an heir. In Constantinople, representatives from the most important aristocratic families vie for their favored to inherit the Emperor’s ring and throne.
It is a futile and petty dispute as each family is not about to surrender the throne to any of the others, but they ultimately decide that the winner will be the one who’s supported by most of the wealthiest cities of the empire. Every ambitious successor raises the banner of his dynasty and begins the struggle to win over the cities that will secure him the throne.
Each family secretly chooses seven imperial cities that they will seek to control through the actions available to them: Commandment, Diplomacy, Exile, Trade, Garrison, Espionage, and Corruption. May the rightful heir arise!
Nekken is a fantasy-themed implementation of this game using the exact same materials as Byzantio and with a map on the reverse side of the game board, giving a different game experience and essentially two games in one.
Four tribes have been living in peace for over 3000 years despite the ancient hatred of each other. United in the capital city Nekken, they slowly forgot their fear of the large volcano that looms over the metropolis – until the volcano erupted. Forced to abandon their homes, the tribes spread throughout the continent, facing danger in many forms while trying to establish new colonies. Their ancient hated has also been awakened and now they must struggle to survive. However, they still need each other, a new cold war emerges in the shadow of the searing heat of the volcano.
In Nekken, each player takes the role of a leader of their tribe and tries to be the one who will prevail and become the ruler of this new society. The goal is to achieve prestige through the establishment of new and glorious cities, using actions to move their leader on the map, exploring, establishing cities, betraying friends to achieve their objective. Hopefully no other ruler intends on settling in the same place!