Author: Ralf Burkert

Publisher: Queen Games 2001

Awards: none



When I first opened Die Magier von Pangea and examined it's playing pieces, I was unexpectedly reminded of Kings & Things* by Pegasus Spiele. Not only is the artwork of Elena Obermüller quite similar to the drawing style of Doris Matthäus, but also the figures of the different tribes available in the game bore a strong resemblance of the playing pieces in Kings & Things*. All in all, I was really positively surprised to have a quite cute looking game in front of me.

In Die Magier von Pangea, each of the 2 to 4 players takes up the role of a Sorcerer who is trying to collect 5 magical Amulets. However, these cannot be taken by war, but the only possibility to get them is by trading with the tribes of the other Sorcerers.

The world of Pangea consists of 5 different types of terrain: Grassland, Desert, Woods, Swamps and Mountains. 3 areas of each type of terrain are placed onto the gameboard at the beginning of the game, leaving ample space for Oceans between many of the terrains. Each terrain can be used to produce one of the 5 Amulets, and furthermore each terrain has a number printed on it, specifying the maximum number of units the terrain can support before it becomes overcrowded.

Each of the players chooses one terrain to place his home-citadel there, and from there he will start sending people from his tribe on the quest for the Amulets. Basically, each Sorcerer's tribe has different skills in harvesting the different terrains, and generally each tribe has units which can harvest up to 3 different types of terrain (f.e. the Blue Sorcerer has units which can harvest Grasslands, Deserts and Woods).

A players turn is separated into 6 phases which must be performed in a specific order. The turn is started with the lifting of a curse which the player may have placed his previous turn. Next, and most essential, comes the Magic phase. In this phase the Sorcerer may chose to perform different magical actions, the number of which is determined by the number of Amulets the player already possesses. So, the player can chose to:

  • create a randomly drawn unit at his Citadel
  • Move a terrain one space onto a free Ocean space. Such a move may be even off the map, since the map is considered to form a globe so that the terrain then is placed at the opposite side of the map.
  • create a random unit of a neutral tribe (all unused tribes are added to the game as neutral tribes, thus always having 5 tribes on the map).
  • move a unit of a neutral tribe one space

Following the Magic phase, a player may now move any or all of his units. Movement may be horizontally or vertically, and - like terrains - units can also be moved off the board and thus reappear on the opposite side. Whenever a unit is moved into a terrain where it can produce, it is flipped face up to symbolise that it has started harvesting that terrain. However, this is not allowed if a terrain is overcrowded. If that happens, no unit is allowed to produce there.

In the next phase, the players are allowed to acquire Amulets. To do so, they must have an unit on a terrain which contains an unit from another tribe which is able to produce there. The price for the amulet depends on the current number of amulets the player possesses: the more he already has, the more goods he has to pay. The player whose tribe sells the amulet always gains 1 good, disregarding how many goods the other player has paid to acquire that amulet. The amulet is placed with the unit which acquired it, and this unit can be moved just like other units.

Next, players generate their income by counting how many of their units are currently harvesting. For each unit which is flipped to its harvesting-side (i.e. units which are in terrains in which they can produced, provided the terrains are not overcrowded and the unit does not carry an amulet), the player gains 1 good.

Finally, a player ends his turn by placing a ban. This counter is placed onto a terrain or a ocean-space, and until that player's next this area may not be changed by any terrain-movement.

The game is won once a player has fulfilled one of the different victory conditions:

  • 5 different amulets in citadel (1st class victory)
  • 4 different amulets in citadel plus 10 goods (2nd class victory)
  • 3 different amulets in citadel plus 20 goods (3rd class victory)
Once a player reaches a victory condition, the current turn is finished and then the game is over. The game then is won by the player who has reached the highest victory condition. If there is more than one player, the player with most goods wins.

Despite its fantasy background which may cause doubts with some players, Die Magier von Pangea is a strategy boardgame of highest quality. The players are offered a surprising arsenal of strategic choices during the game, and the luck factor is kept quite low. Although some of the elements used in this game bear a slight resemblance to other games, this game offers a new and quite unique set of rules which offers a lot of long-time attraction. The possibility of a 2-player-game, very good graphical design and an average game duration increase the value of this game, making it one of the best Queen Games products which I have seen in years.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany