Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Pantelis Bouboulis
Sotiris Tsantilas


No. of Players:
1 - 5



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Axia is a land with a great past, but at the moment it is in a deep crisis: political crooked, economical a disaster and social shattered. How can an industrialist survive in this situation? Well, I know that some of you will think: by exploiting the underclass. But is this really sustainable? Believe it or not: there are a lot of industrialists who think further than just for a year. Especially family companies are deeply interested that their company will still exist in decades.

And this only will work, if the country goes well. And so, in Crisis every player takes the roll of an industrialist who on the one side wants to make the best of the country, while on the same time want to make his or her company as profitable as possible. A round of the game follows a strict order of more than 16 steps: firstly, a new event is drawn for the round. However, events depend on the current status of Axia. The more unstable the country becomes the greater are the consequences of an event. That's the first hint, that a company only will work well if the state is in a good condition.

What follows after the event are the next bad news for the companies. Interest on borrowings are becoming due. During the game each company can raise several credits, but of course you have to pay for it in every round. And after that annoying payment, the core of the game takes place: the planning phase. In this phase the players send their managers to the various action spaces on the main board. 14 of such spaces are available, many of them limited in space for the managers. Four managers are given to each player as set-up, another one will be obtained if an industrialist possesses a specific number of factories with manager symbols (see below).


The planning phase is the most important phase for winning the game. In this phase you often have to decide between two options, and you must choose wisely, because once your fellow players place their managers to spaces you want to go, they might be no longer available. It's too long to explain all that 14 spaces in detail, but let us have a closer look at the most important ones. These are the factories, the workers and the market places.

Factories are necessary to produce goods, and by sending your mangers to the factories on the board, you are able to buy those factories. After the purchase you take the factory and place it in you personal player area. But to produce goods with your factories you still need workers. So, employing those workers is another important action to take for your managers. And then you still have to send your managers to the production space, otherwise your workers will be left out in the cold.


If you are lucky, your factory will produce the goods. But, most factories also need electricity and resources. Either you have a power plant as a factory yourself, or you must buy those energy from the energy market, another important place to send your managers. And then there are the spaces for import (for buying resources you don't produce but that you need for your productions) and the export (for selling your final products). Imports and exports are not only important for your own business, they also influence the trade surplus of Alexia, our beloved country. And so, at the end of each round, a new trade surplus for Alexia is calculated that is dependent from your and your fellow players' actions. If the country, after this, goes bankrupt, the game is lost for every players. Yes! Believe it or not! Even in a crooked country you must be (or better play) co-operative, otherwise everyone will be tumbled into the abyss.


I must confess that Crisis was only accepted sceptical by my gaming group. “Oh, an economy game. So many options to send our managers. Why can I not produce without employing those silly employers?” Those were the question I was confronted with. To qualify this statement I have to explain that my gaming group mostly loves fantasy games. Crisis isn't fantasy, it is bloody reality. I would think that the similarities to Greece aren't accidental. LUDICREATIONS is a Finnish company, but a lot of the guys behind the publisher are of Greek origin.

Fantasy or not, after playing the game, me and my gaming group were convinced that Crisis is a great game. Yes, it is the economic (stupid), but it is still no complex game. It is mainly a worker placement game with a strong (and realistic) thematic. I played the game with various player numbers. All numbers played well, I even liked the solo game. You can always adjust the difficulty level – that influences the conditions when the country will collapse and all players will loose, so the game can be adjusted to the players' experiences. Maybe the event cards could be a little bit more rich in variety. But to my mind, the rest of the game is really worth to convince your fellow players to play with you, even it is economic. My gaming group absolutely liked the game in the end....

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Copyright © 2019 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany