The Great Zimbabwe - Who is interested?

@benkyo and I are interested on a game of the Great Zimbabwe. Async as usual. The implementation in is pretty good after playing with friends, so we’ll be using that. In comparison to Antiquity and FCM, this one is relatively lighter and relatively more forgiving - this is still a Splotter, so it still has bite.

Rules are over here: BoardGameGeek


  • To win: you need to accumulate points. Each player has their own VR (victory requirement). This increases as they take more perks and bonuses.
  • Phase 1 of the game is turn order bidding. TGZ is different in its bidding where every bid is an instant payment. Say, I bid 5 cattle. I immediately pay 5. Ben will bid 6, same story. And in my turn to bid, if I bid 7, I will pay again by paying 7 cattle - 12 cattle in total.
  • Phase 1 payments will be shared equally throughout the community, as to demonstrate one’s power. So, if I paid 12 and Ben paid 6 (18 total), those will be equally distributed among ALL players. Distribution order will be based on the highest VR to lowest. On a 5 player game with 18 cattle, we get 3 cattle each equally, and the remaining 3 will go to the 3 players with the highest VR.
  • Phase 2 is the action phase. There are 3 actions
  1. Take a god or specialist (not both). You can only have 1 god in a game. You can only take 1 specialist in a round. You can only do this action once per round.
  2. Use your specialists
  3. EITHER place a craftsman / build a new monument / upgrade your existing monuments
  • Taking a god, technology and specialists increases your VR
  • You cannot go above 40 VR - this means you cannot take a god/specialist if it makes you go above 40
  • Buying tech allows you to build certain craftsmen. Only players with X tech can build X craftsmen.
  • Craftsmen is how you can upgrade your monuments. M1 to M2 will need just one type of craft. M3 will need 2 different types, etc.
  • You can upgrade as many of your own monuments, if possible.
  • Craftsmen need to be within 3 spaces from their resources and also within 3 spaces to monuments. Diagonal movement is legal.
  • Lakes are considered ONE space. Travelling via water is easier than travelling via land.
  • The logistics chain goes like this: resource >> craftsman >> monument.
  • Once a secondary craftsman is built, the above chain is illegal (but only for that type). The new chain MUST be like this: resource >> primary craftsman >> secondary craftsman >> monument. The other types still follows the above.
  • Resources can only be used once. Once used, they are exhausted for that round. Turn order is crucial here.
  • Any craftsmen must be paid every time their services are used by any player.
  • The price of their service is set by the player who built it: prices are: 1, 2, or 3 cattle. The player can increase the price BUT not decrease it.
  • The player who built them gets all the money paid to them at the end of the round.
  • Phase 3 is end of the round income, which is your highest monument. E.g. I have an M1, and an M3. I get 3 cattle.
  • Phase 4 is VR check. See if anyone is equal or higher. Ties is who overshoots their VR. 2nd tiebreaker is the higher score in total. 3rd tiebreaker is turn order.

Monument scoring:

I believe that is the basics.


I have a bit too much on my plate at the moment, but I hope to catch a future game!

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My views could be coloured by my dyspraxia and this being a very spatial game but…

More forgiving is a term I’d quibble with. While the game is faster to play it isn’t lighter either I don’t think. The decision space is still driven by your opponents and board positioning/layout. You still have to fight tooth and nail for everything. The turn order auction is brutal. Each turn there’s no let up. More than any other Splotter this game is one where a mistake can instantly hand victory to an opponent.

Liking that sort of thing I’ve played close to 20 games. More than any other Splotter I own. It is though my least favourite. There’s one card that seems to make it easier for whoever gets it and my afore mentioned learning difficulty really making it a chore for me to see what others round the table pick up much more easily. I can’t translate the important elements of spacing in to abstracts like I can in other games.

It is still a really good game and I would highly recommend anyone get involved in this. I’m swamped currently other wise I would. I just wanted people to be aware of what they’re getting in to. If you enjoy a ruthless, heavy game from a light ruleset jump in with both feet

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I’m up for being demolished by my own poor decisions :grin:


I would love to give this one a try, but I don’t think I’ll get through the rules until Monday. If you want to start sooner than that, please just go ahead and start without me. I’ll just get in on the next one.

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I’ve not played this before but I’d be interested if there’s a there’s a space for me.

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I’ll start this with 4 players: me, @Benkyo , @Whistle_Pig , @Name1ess

@mr.ister @pillbox I’ll ask you guys again on the next game :+1:

Make sure you register on boardgamecore and I’l setup a game when I get the time this UK afternoon


Good luck guys.

Too much on my plate for this time, but give me a shout if it happens again

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@Whistle_Pig @Name1ess
The game on is SUSD Game 1 PRIVATE. See ya there


I’ve joined! :slightly_smiling_face:

Finished our game of The Great Zimbabwe. It felt quick. We had like 7 rounds. Maybe it’s just me.

Learnt some lessons, and misunderstood some rules. But it was a good game. Cheers, guys!


Im gonna be busy in the weekends. So feel free to start a new game without me.