Author: Thomas Fackler

Publisher: DaimlerChrysler 2000
(Kulturprojekt Mercedes-Benz)

Awards: none



The game Troy by Thomas Fackler is definately one of the outstanding new games of this yearīs SPIEL. Not only that the game itself has an interesting background and rules, but also the story of its creation is quite unusual.

For years now the DaimlerChrysler Corporation had been sponsoring the archaeological digging at ancient Troy, and now they finally wanted this fact to become a bit more public. They thought on how they could best reach some publicity, and in the end they came up with the idea that a game might be most suitable for this purpose. Thus, they hired Thomas Fackler (who so far has been an author of some quite eclusive games), and they set him to the task about designing a game before this backfround.

The game Thomas Fackler came up with is definately a striking piece of work. Based on the fact that the ruins at ancient Troy do not just date back to one period, but that they are in fact ruins from seven different periods which can be found layer over layer, the game is centered on excarvating finds from these different layers. At the beginning of the game, a big stockpile of terrain pieces is formed. This is done in a fairly random way, although - like in reality - the oldest pieces come into the lowest level, whereas the newer ones come into the levels above it. In his turn, a player basically can decide whether he wants to do some excarvating (taking terrain pieces from the dig) or whether he wants to investigate what he has found (taking pieces into his expedition tent). These investigated and researched pieces can be published by the player and thus placed onto a layout board for pieces of the corresponding period. When publishing pieces, the researcher will get fame, depending on how many adjactent pieces he was able to publish. If he publishes more from this period than all players so far have, he can make a major publication and will get additional fame points, whereas in all other cases he will just do a minor publication. If one researcher should reach the same fame level as another, the other researcher will lose his rank to the newcomer, thus moving back a level.

Despite its easy rules, the game for me seems to be one of the best items which were released. First off, already the background against which this game has been released should be praised, and furthermore the game itself seems to be a quite good simulation of real archaeological digging. In fact, thatīs not only my view, but it has been confirmed by the real researchers at ancient Troy who greeted this game with quite high praise. Luckily for US-customers, I found out that Funagain games was able to secure a few copies of the game, and thus it will be available also to US customers.

As said above, the game was sponsored by the DaimlerChrysler Corporation as part of a cultural project. Also in connection with the excarvation of Troy was the exhibition Troia - Traum und Wirklichkeit, which was on display in Stuttgart (17.3.2001-17.6.2001), Braunschweig (14.7.2001-14.10.2001) and Bonn (16.11.2001-17.2.2002).

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany