Flow of History (Eric Booth)
The Flow of History
Published by: Tasty Minstrel Games
Designed by: Jessi Li
Art and Graphic Design: Adam P. Mciver
“The Flow of History” is a civilization building, bidding, set collection game where you will be investing in or sniping cards to put into your civilization while fending off or attacking other civilizations for precious resources. Or you can harvest your fields to gain those precious resources. Or you can activate a card in your civilization to gain some kind benefit. You will be acquiring leaders and wonders to gain ongoing benefits to make your civilization more productive. OK, so that is the game in a nice little nut shell.
So how does this all work? Hell if I know. Wait that's not right. I do know or I wouldn't be doing this review/overview thing. There are 5 actions you can take during your turn of which you can do one at a time on your turn. This is followed up with a quick clean up step. The actions you can take are:
Invest. This is where you will be placing your pawn on a card with an amount of resources hoping it is enough to complete the card on a future turn. You can only invest in one card at a time.
Complete. This is the action where you well, complete the card you've invested in earlier in the game if it's not been sniped out from under you. If you complete a card you will get an investor bonus depending on what icons the card is looking for when you put it in your display.
Snipe. This allows you to sneak in and take control of a card that was previously Invested in by another player. This sounds way worse than it is as it's fairly hard to do and the initial investor has the potential to receive a nice amount of resources from the card being pulled out from under them.
Activate. This action allows you to activate, duh, one of your cards in your display for some kind of cool benefit.
Harvest. With this action you will be collecting resources based on how many Harvest icons you have in your display. If you time this just right you can get yourself a nice haul.
So what do I think of “The Flow of History”? I have to say I really like it. There is some take that with the attack actions on some of the cards. But these are really hard to pull off. And the “Snipe” action sounds like a real jerk move but, like I said earlier, the original investor can potentially earn a nice amount of resources from getting sniped. Plus you can use the “Invest” action to claim a card you know another player really needs or wants and force them to really consider sniping the card from you. I've had some play sessions where this little combo has turned into some fun heated “back and forth” among players. The game seems like it should be a filler game but there is a lot of decisions to be made making it feel like a much bigger game. And the time to play, in my opinion, puts it out of that “Filler” category. “The Flow of History” has the perfect footprint for game nights at the local brewery or crowded FLGS.
There is one quibble I have with the game and that is with how the resources move in out of the “Supply” and the “Reserve”. It takes a bit to get your head around it but once you do it starts to flow pretty easily. It's just a tad bit fiddly.
Now on to components. Card stock is top notch. The player pieces are kinda weird as they are just a colored pillar in the player colors. I'm pretty sure I'm going to replace these with some cool meeples. The tokens used for the resources are almost too small but as you have to use them for the “Invest” action by placing them on the cards they are probably the right size for this. So components get an A- from me.
OK. I've gone on long enough. I give “The Flow of History” two card investing, card sniping, card completing thumbs up.