The Great Game was a period of rapid-fire political and diplomatic confrontations during the 19th century between Russia and the British Empire in Central and South Asia, but mainly Afghanistan. Britain had a vested interest in protecting its assets and ensuring that Russia would not expand to absorb other countries on the Asian mainland. Russians were motivated to have a port on the Indian Ocean to remain competitive with the British. The native Afghans wanted to have sovereignty over their country.
Which side will you assist?
Cole Wehrle’s Pax Pamir 2nd Edition takes place in Afghanistan
during this period of upheaval and conflict. Looking to make a few
dollars and advance up the political ladder, you will play as an
Afghan Tribe. Cards are representing the various political and
diplomatic figures active at the time. The ornate, pastel-colored
blocks serve as either armies or roads. By manipulating these
resources, you are trying to score the most points and become
the most powerful tribe in Afghanistan.
Outside of its theme, Pax Pamir is brain-teasing, unforgiving, and
beautiful! Each player will choose one of three possible factions.
Each turn, you will either purchase a card or play a card. With
each card, players will be pushing and pulling the levers on the
political landscape of Afghanistan. During “Dominance Checks,”
players will see which faction is dominant. If you are the most influential member of the dominant faction, you will get the most
points. So, the name of the game is to back-stab your friends and
wage battles to make sure you are the one directing the tides of
All of this secrecy and intrigue takes place on top of a gorgeous
cloth playing board with linen-coated cards. This game is a visual
treat with its pastel blocks and period-authentic art. Every time it
hits the table, I can’t resist taking a photo or two. Each game, players will only use 40-60 of the 100 cards supplied, meaning tons of re-playability! I will warn that titles in the Pax series tend to be
brain-burners. Avoid if you are prone to analysis-paralysis! If you
are looking for a complex game filled with alliances and betrayals,
look no further than Pax Pamir.