Fight for Olympus: An Epic Battle!
Unbelievable tales of legend filled with debauchery, treachery, and heroism make the stories of the Greek gods fascinating to anyone who enjoys a good adventure. From the snakes of Medusa to the rippling muscles of Hercules, to the near invincibility of Achilles, every hero and villain captures our imagination with their epic tales of adventure, victory, and heartbreak.
With virtually countless characters to draw from, it’s a small wonder we don’t see more games in this setting. Fight for Olympus, released last year by MayFair Games and Lookout Games, puts the Greek roster to good use. One of the gods has died and you are fighting to ascend Mount Olympus and assume their recently vacated post. But will Fight for Olympus yield a mountaintop experience?
Fight for Olympus is a board/card game for two players that usually lasts between 20 and 30 minutes.
The central focus of Fight for Olympus is a narrow board with six slots on each side; three orange, two green, and one red. The orange slots represent Mount Olympus, the green, Delphi, and the red, Troy.
Each player begins with a hand of six cards. These cards are heroes, soldiers, or equipment. Each has one (or many) colors associated with it. To play cards into these slots you must pay a cost, shown on the left side of the card with colored rectangles. These rectangles correspond with the color of your cards. To play a card, you must discard other cards from your hand to match the colors of the rectangles on the card you want to play. Mayfair has also added symbols to these colors for the colorblind.
Each turn consists of the active player playing cards, attacking, and then drawing two cards.
When playing a card, you play it into one of the six slots on your side of the board. You must play equipment cards on character cards already in play.
The slots matter. Unblocked attacks in the Mount Olympus area net a victory point which is measured on a seesaw balance track. Attack without being blocked in Delphi to gain a colored token that can be used to help pay the cost to play a future card. Unblocked attacks in Troy will allow you to draw an additional card.
Finally, you draw two cards from a shared deck and your turn ends.
Because your opponent is trying to do the same things you are, there will be many times your attacks could be blocked by a character your opponent has played in their corresponding slot on the other side of the board. In these cases, your character deals damage equal to their attack power to the opponent’s character. You can defeat a character by dealing enough damage to meet or exceed its defense value. Once this happens, move the defeated character to the discard pile. Only the attacking character deals damage during an attack, and damage remains on the characters after each turn.
Heroes and heroines also have special abilities that may be powerful enough to change the tide of battle.
There are two ways to win in Fight for Olympus, and three ways to lose. If you push the victory point seesaw to seven points in your favor, you win. You can also win by beginning your turn with all six of your board slots filled with characters. However, if at any time there are no more cards to draw, you both lose.
I absolutely love Fight for Olympus. This game does an excellent job scratching the itch for a more complicated game like Magic: The Gathering or Ascension, but doesn’t require anywhere near the time commitment games like that do. It’s also mechanically a great game to play with children, depending on your comfort level with the subject matter. Reading is definitely a necessity, but Fight for Olympus excellently distills some of the more complicated mechanics of deck builders and LCGs and CCGs into a much more consumable format. My eight-year-old understood the game after one play through. It only took a few turns to teach most game-friendly adults.
Fight for Olympus is gorgeously illustrated by Javier González Cava. The colors fill every portrait and each image is a pleasure to look at. The game layout is straightforward and simple, with no extra features to lend confusion.
Fight for Olympus is not a particularly deep game, and for that I can understand why some people might think it not engaging enough, but it has its place as an excellent filler game, or an approachable game to present more complicated gaming mechanics to a younger or less experienced gamer. If you or your child find yourselves studying Greek mythology, definitely keep an eye out for Fight for Olympus. At just around $20-$25, it can’t be beat. Get your own copy today.
Mayfair Games provided The Family Gamers with a copy of Fight for Olympus for review.
Fight for Olympus
Age Range: 8+
Playtime: 20-30 minutes