Wolfgang Kramer

Parker 2007




G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Origo is a new game of the series "Autorenspiele" from Parker. It is a tactical family game with some elements of luck, and the author Wolfgang Kramer compares the game with the strong Wild Life that was published some years ago and the old Captain Future (published in the beginning of the 80s). And in fact, Origo has some comparable elements, but it still can be considered as an independent game.


The game box is filled with the board and a lot of cards and other tiles. It is the the of the Invasion of the Barbarians, and up to five players expand their tribes in Europe in the year 412. The board shows a rough map of Europe and is divided into a 10x10 grid. The aim of the game is to expand as fast as possible to get as many victory points as possible. Victory points are given for the foundation of one of the 12 countries on the map, for the building of clans, the building of a mighty naval force and the growth of the tribe.

In each round the players have four different actions. First of all they have the possibility to expand their tribes on the board by playing up to 2 cards. The cards either show a row or a column of the board, a specific country, a ship or a population - thus prescribing the player the space where he can place one of his tribe figures, provided there is a matching free space on the board.


The next possible action is to attack an other player. This action is not allowed until a country is completed (there may not be any free spaces left of this country), respectively the sea spaces of this specific sea have fully been occupied. As with a normal placement action, an attack requires the playing of an adequate card which would mean the placement of a tribe figure on a space occupied by a figure of an other player. The strength of the attack (and the defence) is determined by counting all adjacent fields of the attacked field that are occupied by the same tribe figures as the attacker (or defender). To this sum a value of 2 is added for each card the attacker (defender) can play to boost his strength (of course this card must fit to the attacked space as well). The player with the highest strength wins the struggle and occupies the attacked space.

There is also a way to move troops on the board without playing a card. For this action a player simply moves one of his tribe figures to an adjacent, free space on the map. Friendly occupied fields may be leapfrogged, so that complex moves and far reaching moves become possible.

Finally a player may opt to move in his turn all of his tribe figures on the sea by one space. It is also allowed to land sea units by this way. Scoring takes place in each round in which a new country was founded, i.e. when the last space of a country has been occupied. First of all, the player who set the last figure on this country gets victory points. Afterwards, a clan scoring takes place: the player with the highest sum of figures within the country and connected to each other gets victory points. After this, there is a scoring for strong naval forces (i.e. the biggest lot of tribe figures on sea spaces). Finally, each country is scored, and here the Players with the highest numbers of tribe figures in a land get the most point for this scoring.


The design of the game box might lead you to expect some kind of fantasy game. But that is not true. Origo is a tactical game with some elements of luck (drawing of the cards). The game is not very complex, so the strategic choices are limited to a few different types of actions. It is quite easy to learn, especially since the rules are very good to understand and there is an example for each action you can do. Even children should learn the game mechanism quite easily. The rules of the game are elaborate and well balanced. That makes Origo a quite good family game which may have some attractiveness for adult gaming rounds as well. The duration of the game varies between 60 to 90 minutes, depending on how much thinking you want to spend in your turns. Compared to Wild Life, the game is not that complex, but nonetheless it is a nice and interesting game that will surely find its fans.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2007 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany