Mythotopia is reminiscent of the old Avalon Hill games of the 1980s and 1990s but with much better production values.
The theme is that of medieval fantasy kingdoms trying to gain dominance in a world similar to England in the dark ages. It feels more historical than fantastical. The board game map is divided into 40 provinces like the game Risk. Players need victory points to win, which they gather by reaching goals stated on victory point cards.
The ability to take actions in the game is managed by a player’s customized deck of cards collected by drafting additional cards and expanding into additional provinces. To attack a province, a player must possess the card from a neighboring province.
To begin the game each player is dealt a certain number of province cards at random from among a total of 40 that represent the player’s starting provinces. Leftover cards are considered neutral nations, and players gain power and points by claiming more province cards either by attacking neutral nations or the nations of other players.
A player's hand of action cards consists of a mix of province cards and the same set of five starting cards. Each turn five cards are drawn. There are also 16 different improvement cards available for drafting drawn from a deck of 27. They grant special powers.
To win, each player must accumulate victory points. At the start of the game, a set of victory point cards are on display with cardboard tokens on them. A goal is stated on the card, and when it is reached, a player may take one of the victory point counters on the card. When the counters on four victory cards are gone, the game ends. Some cards are fixed each game and others are drawn randomly so things are different each game. For example, victory points can be earned by building cities, roads and castles, defeating dragons and collecting rune stones to name a few.
A player's turn consists of choosing two actions among a list of nine. A player can purchase armies or ships; place armies or ships on the board; draft improvement cards; remove cards from a personal deck; place cards in reserve; use a card for a specific purpose; or attack a neighboring province.
This game is solid and fun to play. There are multiple strategies to follow and careful planning is important. It takes a little time to get things rolling at first, but the victory points start to roll in quickly and the game ends.
Playing time is about two hours and the game accommodates two to four players.