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Rating: 6.9 Good
Players: 2-4 players
Playing time: 120-180 minutes

Created by: Jeroen Doumen, Joris Wiersinga, Moedt Ontwerpers

Published by: Splotter Spellen


"These fields no longer yield grain the way they used to", complains the farmer. "We should settle new lands before our food runs out. Why don't we start farming olives, like our neighbors?".

The cart-driver nods: "Ever since them city folks started worshipping San Giorgio I have to travel further and further to new building sites. I'm on my way now to the new inn they built.

I'll change horses there and deliver this load", he gestures towards the pile of wood in the cart with his head "to the sea beyond. Gonna start some fisheries there. It is said we'll conquer those olive-farmers before long. But their land is even more polluted than ours".

The farmer nods his head in reply. As the cart starts moving again, he returns to the field to harvest the last bushels of grain, growing between the stumps of what used to be a lush forest -- three turns ago.

Antiquity is a strategy game for 2-4 players. It is set in an environment loosely modeled on Italy in the late Middle Ages. Players choose their own victory condition: they can focus on population growth, trade, conquest, or city building by choosing their patron saint.

Each strategy requires a completely different style of play. Or you can choose to adore Santa Maria, the most powerful saint of all -- but you'll be expected to build a civilization twice as impressive as any other player.

While your economy is constantly improving, with more and more advanced cities bringing new options each turn, the land around your cities is slowly being depleted, forcing you to travel further and further to gather your raw materials -- until finally, there is no more land left to farm. Let's hope one of you has won the game before that time!

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International Gamers Awards - General Strategy; Multi-player Nominee 2005

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The game contains the following:

  • 22 wooden cubes, 4 cities and 16 inns in each of the players' colors
  • 4 sets of buildings. Most buildings occur 4 times, except for the Storage (16), Fountain (16), Cart Shop (16) and Fishery (12)
  • 4 player aids
  • 12 (small) city maps
  • one famine level board
  • one famine level marker (a plain wooden cube)
  • 16 map tiles
  • 16 exploration counters
  • hexagonal grass markers
  • pollution counters
  • 48 goods counters of each of the 10 types (grain, olives, wine, sheep, fish, dye, pearls, gold, stones and wood)
  • Rulebook

Game Elements

There are a number of concepts that are useful to introduce before starting the rules proper: …

As this is a highly complicated game, we strongly advise you to take a couple of trial rounds in order to learn the basics before playing a full game. In our experience, the game can be finished in 2 hours. However, many starting players may take considerably longer.

The game is quite unforgiving: famine and pollution will pile up if your economy doesn't grow fast enough, which can lead to a slow and painful death.

In order to make the game more easy to master, we would suggest that you skip the Famine and Pollution phases in your first couple of games. This will make the game much easier (although still competitive) and allow players to acquaint themselves with the mechanics and intricacies of the different buildings and strategies. …

Antiquity is a game that adapts itself very well to solitaire plays: They permit you to to familiarize with the game system for the first time, to find out about the options you get with the different saints, and to learn to resist to play it without learning it first, and finally they lighten the burden of the temporary absence of an opponent.

A good way to train against oneself is to lay out only two tiles adjacent to each other and to begin, hoping to win before the game system overwhelms you by famine, pollution or lack of resources. …

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