|Publisher||White Dog Games|
|Suggested Age||10 and up|
Nubia is a solitaire game where you rule a Black African civilization of three Christian kingdoms in the Nile Valley: Nobadia, Makuria, and Alodia. Your culture is an heir to the glories of Ancient Egypt and the legendary Kingdom of Kush, but long gone are the days when you were conquering and ruling Egypt. In the game, it is A.D. 1172 and Nubia is under siege! For 400 years, you will battle to defend civilization against the fierce pagans of the Funj, and a jihad of marauding land-hungry Arabs. Deploy your famous archers, build fortified monasteries, send the Crown Prince into battle, and marry off your daughters in a desperate effort to stem the tide.
This fast-play, fun, and educational solitaire game uses a system created by Darin Leviloff. “Mek” markers on five converging paths represent hostile Arab and pagan armies that surround your kingdoms. The paths all meet in Soba, your fabulously wealthy capital at the juncture of the Blue and White Nile rivers, where the danger of a “Collapse” exists if any of those armies makes it that far. In addition, three tracks representing medieval Nubian society (Nobility, Kingship, and the Army) greatly impact the overall situation. A card draw determines which paths and tracks move against you this turn, while the cards teach you about the history of ancient and medieval Nubia. The number of “Efforts” which you can use to move them back in your favor (if the Effort die roll succeeds) depends on the personal talents of your current Uru (king) and his chief advisor, the Metropolitan Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Managing Efforts is key to the game, and you never have as many as you want. You can obtain more by selling off land and using your bishops for political gain instead of their natural religious calling: a short term strategy that can cost you victory points in the end. Each risky gambit is aimed at averting a system-wide social collapse, which can end the game suddenly. Your success (or failure) in holding off the five hostile armies helps determine how many noble families are still on your side when a Collapse approaches, so the better you play the game, the less chance the Collapse gets off the ground.
As the game draws to a close, the Portuguese are searching Africa for the fabled Christian “Kingdom of Prester John.” Those legends may refer to you! Can you hold medieval Nubia together long enough to make contact with them and win the game?
—description from the publisher
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