SOG Game Highlight: Iliad



One of the great card games we have at SOG is Iliad, a card game from Asmodee. First published in 2006, Iliad has become a classic and a favoured multi-player card game.

In Iliad, which is based on the ancient Greek epic poem of the same name, each player is besieging Troy with the aim of winning sieges to take over Troy (or Helen, we will come to that later) Each player is deal a hand of ten army cards at the start. These army cards consists of hoplite, archers, chariots and various war-machines. Players take turns playing cards and the player with the highest army value at the end of the siege, wins the siege.

Starting from the winner and highest army value of each army on the table, the spoils of wars are distributed, with the winner having first pick, followed by he second place, etc. The spoils consist of victory points cards with one negatve victory points card going to the lowest ranked player that siege. Furthermore victory points cards are divided into city and ship cards; those having the most points of victory cards of city gets the favour of Athena worth two victory points. Likewise, ships gains the favour of Poisedon worth two victory points as well. These points are not permanent but are given to whoever has the most cities and ships cards at the moment. Last but not least the winner of the last siege always gets Agamemnon which grants one victory point.

Most cards range from one point to 3 points, but here is one card that is worth five points, and it is aptly named, Helen.

Simple enough, and the brilliance of Iliad comes in when you realise sieges are costly affairs, even when you win. Each new siege you are only give three new army cards to your hand. Players must decide if the stakes are worth getting into that siege and whether they have enough troops to stay in the siege. The psychological element of when to hold and when to fold is important here.

One very fun and even more strategic way to play is to form teams to play Iliad. The player sitting opposite you is your partner and the combined victory points total wins the game. The partner play adds an additional dimension to the game-play without changing any mechanic, except for scoring.

If you like a well designed card game with tight gameplay and cool mechanics, do give Iliad a try at the next SOG.




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