General Information:
Manufacturer : Amigo
Author : Klaus-Jürgen Wrede
Number of Players : 2-4 (3-4 ideal)
Age : 10 years plus
Time : about 45 mins.
Year: 2004


Deutsche Spielerezension

Game Components:
1 gameboard - 127 game pieces - 53 Pompeji cards - 7 cards "Omen" - 1 card "A.D. 79" - 1 volcano - 1 cloth bag - 45 lava tiles - 1 rulebook

It is 79 A.D.:The infamous volcano Vesuvius at Pompeji is just on the brink of breaking out. Unlike the real citizens of Pompeji the players have got one advantage: They know what is going to happen and should place their playing pieces using that knowledge. The game's aim is to rescue as many of his/her own citizens as possible.

Before the game each player chooses a colour. Dependent on the number of players taking part only certain colours may be chosen. So the number of playing pieces each player gets is dependent on the number of players as well. 2 players: use red and black (each player gets 36 pieces); 3 players: use red, black, yellow (each player gets 30 pieces); 4 players: use all colours (each player gets 25 pieces). After each player got his/her pieces take the Pompeji cards and shuffle them. Make 7 piles of 4 cards each. Then shuffle the Omen-cards into the remaining Pompeji cards, put the A.D. 79-card on top and place the pile next to the 7 piles. Take two of the seven piles and put them on the top. Now each player chooses one of the 7 piles. These cards are his/her hand-cards. Dependent on the number of players 1-3 piles will not be needed. Put them back into the box. Finally put the volcano on the gameboard. The player on the left of the dealer is the first player.

In "Pompeji" there are two game phases: The first phase before the volcano erupts and the second one after the eruption.

Phase I: Before the eruption
When it is his/her turn a player plays a card from his/her hand. All cards show a number and a colour. A player may now take one of his/her playing pieces and put it in the appropriate building. If there are already any other pieces in the building the player is allowed to put an additional playing piece - for each other playing piece of any colour already in the building - into any house of the same colour or into a neutral building (beige). No more playing pieces might be put into a building when all the spaces in the building have been occupied. After having played a card a player draws one card from the pile.

Sometimes a player will draw an Omen-card. If that happens he/she is allowed to take any playing piece from the gameboard and put it into the volcano. He/she then immediately draws a replacement card.

After the A.D. 79-card has been drawn for the first time shuffle it into the last 15 cards of the draw pile.

When a player draws the A.D. 79-card for the second time, the volcano erupts. Now each player can discard all his/her remaining hand cards because they can not be used any longer. The player on the left side of the player who drew the A.D. 79-card now takes the cloth bag and draws one of the lava tiles. On each lava tile is a certain symbol. The same symbols can be found on the gameboard. The lava tile must be placed in a square adjacent to another square containing the same symbol. That might be the symbol printed on the gameboard or another lava tile with the same symbol.

If the lava tile is being placed onto a square which contains any houses and/or citizens (playing pieces), the house is being destroyed and the citizens get killed. Put the killed citizens into the volcano. The same applies if any squares with playing pieces get encircled by lava tiles.

Before the game continues 6 lava tiles have to be placed onto the gameboard. The player on the left of the last player to place a lava tile is the starting player for phase 2.

Phase 2: After the eruption
If it is his/her turn a player gets the cloth bag and draws one lava tile. He/She then puts it onto the board - according to the rules described above. After doing so he/she then is allowed to move up to two of his/her own playing pieces. Movement is dependent on the number of playing pieces in the city square the playing piece is actually in: If there are 4 playing pieces in the square a player may now move his/her playing piece up to 4 squares. Changing the direction is allowed but playing pieces can not be moved diagonally or back and forth. A playing piece may never cross a lava tile. The aim of each playing piece is a gate. When a player moves his/her playing piece across such a gate his/her playing piece is considered as safe - so rescued.

The game ends when the last lava tile has been drawn. That player may move his/her playing pieces for a last time. If there are no playing pieces left in the town or if all gates have been made impassable by lava tiles, the game ends before all the tiles have been drawn. The player who was able to rescue most of his/her citizens wins the game. If there is a tie the player with fewer playing pieces in the volcano wins.

(Troudi 03.08.05)

Further Information:
- Homepage of Amigo
- English rules for "Pompeji"

You want to make the play more difficult? No problem: In phase 2 just forbid all the playing pieces to change direction more than once. Try it!

Troudi says 9 out of 10 points:
"Pompeji" just is a great game: Actually I am really astonished that it hasn't got any awards (that is Deutscher Spielepreis or Spiel des Jahres) so far but maybe the theme is a bit too - well indecent. Any way: The game is really easy to understand and can be explained within a few minutes. The game contains tactical elements because you should try - in phase 1 - to place your playing pieces in a good starting order for phase 2. In phase 2 players have to decide where to place the lava tiles and should try to find out what pieces should be moved in order to save as much own citizens as possible. Most important the game really is fun: You'll feel better once you thrown one of your opponent's citizens into the volcano and you'll get angry when that happens to you more than once. The game is not a language-specific game and you can easily download the rules (see the link). I really do recommend this game. It is suitable for all types of game interest and really is a interesting and very entertaining. Buy it or at least try it! The game costs about 22 Euros or 40 US-Dollars.

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