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Description from the publisher:

Politeia takes the players back to the Persian Wars. Faced with the threat of a Persian invasion, the players must cooperate to defend their civilization. However, the competition for wealth and resources is fierce, as simulated by an inventive action mechanism, and just like the Ancient Greeks, the players are likely to turn their weapons against each other instead.

The different player actions add talents from the stock to the hand and turn those talents into citizens on the board, engaging in peaceful trading or aggressive warfare. Once a player run out of stock, the player with the most citizens left on the board wins.

The game board consists of tiles representing city-states, colonies and diplomatic positions. The player markers represent either talents or citizens and control of the board is determined by area majority.

The players take turns to select actions from a common mancala style action board. They pick up the action markers in one action space and drop them one by one in the spaces of the actions they wish to take, paying a cost equal to the number of action markers already in there.

The actions can broadly be divided into four groups:

1) Acquire talents, either directly through taxes and levies or indirectly through import of resources that can later be exchanged for talents.
2) Invest talents in buildings, providing action benefits, or diplomacy, providing war benefits.
3) Turn talents into citizens, either to consolidate existing city-states or to expand to new city-states.
4) Use citizens to attack other players or defend against the Persians.

The more citizens a player gets to the board, the more talents he or she may generate but the greater the risk if the Persians invade.

The unique action mechanism allows the player to optimize action combinations while at the same time blocking other players' actions by making them more expensive. This opens up several strategic paths, spanning from slow engine building to sudden seizures of area majorities. All game elements have a historical background, making Politeia a game of traditional Euro mechanisms linked by a strong theme.

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