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Author Topic: Qvadriga - Roman Chariot Racer Simulator  (Read 1257 times)
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shon
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« on: March 10, 2014, 04:20:54 AM »

Saw this game mentioned on another forum and watched a couple of youtube videos and decided to spend the $20 and glad that I did.

The game is played from a top-down perspective and you can play it turn based or real time, I'm playing it turn based now and it's pretty awesome.  A "turn" is a ten second chunk of racing and then it presents you with some choices.  Do you whip your horses which makes you go faster but could injure the horses, do you try and whip your opponent or his horses when he is beside you or try to crash into him. There are other choices as well and it makes for an interesting game.  If you push your horses too fast around a corner you could damage your chariot or it could fall off so you are dragging behind it and you can try to finish the race or run off the track which you must time correctly of you will get ran over, which happened to me on my first race, so long Ash.  

The goal of the game is to become a globally renowned racer which takes you around the known world of that time and compete against other AI racers.  There are about 45 different circuses to race around and some have you racing against 3 or up to 7 other racers.  The game does have an economy so you can purchase riders with varying skills, better horses and chariots, and also gambling, so it has some depth outside of the races.  The game is built in the Unity engine and the game isn't a graphical powerhouse but it looks clean the the UI is easy to understand.  If you are looking for a neat strategy quasi action game then you should give this a shot.  There is a demo that you can try or watch a couple of the youtube videos to give you an idea of the gameplay.  This would be ideal for the iPad so hopefully that version is in the works.  




    
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 04:40:35 AM »

Aww, I was hoping this was along the lines of Circus Maximus on the original Xbox.  Glad you're enjoying it, though! 
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jztemple2
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 05:27:40 AM »

Linky link to the product page, which has the link to the demo.
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 05:48:37 AM »

I gave the demo a try; it's a fun little game. Maybe even not so little. Very cleverly done.

You can get the manual when you download the demo; there's also a quick start guide available from the game's forum; download link.
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 07:22:41 AM »

Quote from: jztemple2 on March 10, 2014, 05:48:37 AM

I gave the demo a try; it's a fun little game. Maybe even not so little. Very cleverly done.

You can get the manual when you download the demo; there's also a quick start guide available from the game's forum; download link.

Thanks for reminding me. I want this game. Except I currently don't have a PC set up.
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 03:45:24 AM »

Picked this up and have been playing around with single races in dynamic mode. I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing, but it's fun. I seem to be winning more often than I think I should, but maybe that's because it's not in the campaign. I'll give that a try next.
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 04:07:09 AM »

The demo seemed very fun, but super hard.  Temple must be a better driver than me, I'm usually finishing low in standings.  (and one time I crossed line on my face holding the reins)
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 04:21:03 AM »

I tend to be conservative, not whipping, crashing or lacerating. Turns out while that's fine in the demo, it's not going to get you wins in the campaign. To get on the top step of the podium, you've got to race nasty ninja. I'll try posting some screen shots, but there's no built in tool and my Snapper screen grab program just returns black images.
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shon
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 04:36:53 AM »

I started the campaign and it's tough just to finish a race.  You really need to know the strengths of your horses, chariot, and rider and use that info on how to race.  Out of 5 races I've fallen off my chariot on all but 2 of them luckily I was able to escape without being trampled.  The races vary in size and the 8 chariot races are crazy.
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jztemple2
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 05:07:19 AM »

I was just in a race with sixteen chariots, starting in two rows. Oh, and it had been shortened to only two laps. And I was starting in the second row icon_confused. I finished back in the order, with my Auriga injured, my chariot damaged, one horse dead and the other three injured. On the plus side, I did manage to whip an opposing Auriga to dead eek.

A game like this really succeeds or fails based on the AI. And so far, the AI looks pretty good. It's not invincible, but it is smart. I do not know if different opposing Auriga have different tendencies other than what might be expected from their attributes.

If this game could be upgraded with multiplayer, it would be awesome.
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jztemple2
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2014, 06:05:12 PM »

Won my first race of the campaign, at Aquileia. It wasn't an easy one; for instance, the start. We aren't all going to fit in there:


And it got pretty nasty:


Ultimately I was in third and the two guys ahead of me rammed each other and then crashed going over debris. It's an ugly win, but still a win. Look at the dead leaders!
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2014, 09:41:32 PM »

Hey, I like this.

Thought I could drag my rider across the finish line to place well, but couldnt avoid the busted up chariot. Dead.
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jztemple2
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2014, 03:03:13 AM »

You think you're having a bad day?
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2014, 05:07:24 AM »

It certainly doesn't hurt when, at the start of a race, old crashed chariots left over from the previous race block part of the track...

...except for your lane:
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2014, 06:19:12 PM »

The following question was posted over on the Matrix Qvadriga forum, with the developer giving the following answer:
Quote
Q. Does using Avoid, Stability or the Attacks orders decrease your potential speed? I was wondering if there was a trade off- for instance using the Avoid Attack order but at the cost of speed.

A. No they don't reduce speed, current speed will always be maintained unless you brake, collide with another team, suffer an injury to the horse team or other team brakes you due to a laceration attack.
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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2014, 06:21:00 PM »

I wish we could get a simple thumbs up system of some sort for the forums.  I don't know if this game's for me unless it gets a big price drop, but I'm getting a kick out of these AARs.
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« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2014, 06:32:28 PM »

Games coming out on Matrix usually don't get any early price drops, so you'll just have to envy us for awhile icon_biggrin

Just FYI, over on the Matrix forums the developer said, in response to someone pointing out an issue with mythic Auriga status, that it was a bug that will be fixed in a patch that should be released soon. Having not gotten there myself, I don't know what they are referring to, but it's good news that the developer is getting a patch out relatively quickly.
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« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2014, 04:43:49 PM »

New patch has been released:

Quote
Hello Everyone,

Available through your updater or through our FTP is the Qvadriga 1.10 Update. Below is a list of changes.

v1.10 March 11, 2014
NEW FEATURES
- Every team's upgrades are shown when the status info is activated.
- Leaders' names are faction-coloured.
PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT
- All debug traces removed avoiding disk usage while racing.

BUGS FIXED
- A non faction-leader auriga could win the epic campaign after winning the third race in the Circus Maximus.
- Injured player-owned aurigas that become leaders now show "injured" status at the local leader chart.
- Normalized acceleration levels for light chariots.
- Campaign race events cease their effect after leaving the campaign.
- Solved balancing bug that could give rival leaders less upgrades during a race.
- Prevented being able to get heal services without enought money after a purchase.
GRAPHICAL GLITCHES SOLVED
- Control/escape orders were not properly positioned if player crashes at the first three seconds of the turn while playing in dynamic mode.
- If auriga manages to escape, textures could be incorrectly drawn at the first turn after ending the race while playing in dynamic mode.
- Crowd restored to some empty spots in the stands at Camulodunum
- Prevented danger line getting too dark at the highest levels.

TYPOS
- Car-Quadriga references renamed to just "chariot" avoiding confusion.
- Text cuts prevented at the results screen
- A number of misspelled words corrected
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« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2014, 06:31:09 PM »

One problem noted with new patch:
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oooops yes, the light grey/dark grey horse stats are swapped

No word on fix yet, just FYI.
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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2014, 09:03:05 PM »

Rock, Paper, Shotgun review of the game.

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Qvadriga is a fine game and a strong proof of Turnopia’s approach. Built on easily understood mechanics, the game involves a dissection of a complex activity and then reconstruction as a process of distinct phases and actions. A few decisions and interlocked mechanics become a convincing recreation.
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2014, 12:54:40 PM »

Ok, I couldn't resist.  Bought the game last night on a whim.  Newbie question onslaught to commence.

In the middle barrier on the track, I get that the yellow doohickeys on the left are showing the lap counts, but do the doohickeys on the rightmost edge mean anything?  I'm currently seeing a column of 5 circles, with the middle three lit in yellow.
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2014, 01:41:38 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 18, 2014, 12:54:40 PM

In the middle barrier on the track, I get that the yellow doohickeys on the left are showing the lap counts, but do the doohickeys on the rightmost edge mean anything?  I'm currently seeing a column of 5 circles, with the middle three lit in yellow.

They just record when the chariots round that corner. You'll notice the three yellow circles in the middle become smaller one by one as the laps go by.

The yellow doohickeys on the left are dolphins, by the way.
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2014, 01:57:42 PM »

Quote from: jztemple2 on March 18, 2014, 01:41:38 PM

The yellow doohickeys on the left are dolphins, by the way.

Of course they are.  And the strange circular green squiggle my daughter drew is most definitely a kitty, just as she said.  icon_wink

This game is fantastic, by the way.  Thanks to all who contributed to the forum effect.  I don't know how it happens, but there's an incredible amount of roleplaying that naturally comes out of this.  It feels straight out of Gladiator, with Proximo having his rag-tag team making a local name of himself with hopes of eventually making it big.  "I don't care if you're injured, you get in there and you finish that race without crashing or so help me I'll sell you at the next town!"
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2014, 08:55:10 PM »

Some FYI for folks. I posted a question regarding horse speed versus the length of their health bars over on the Matrix forum and was a bit surprised at the answer from the developer Turnopia, as quoted below:
Quote
From the manual:

       Horse bar lenght[sic] is a measure of current speed.

OK, this seems simple enough, longer bar, faster horse. However, it seems to me that the max speed of the quadriga is limited to the slowest horse. Have other folks found this to be true?

Quote
Thanks for reporting the typo, I have to correct this in the ingame manual, it should say:

"The sum of horse bar's lengths is a measure of current speed".

All four bars lengths (less if horses are killed) are summed up to calculate current maximum speed
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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2014, 08:58:02 PM »

Historically, why would the best horse be the innermost one?  Shouldn't it be the outer one since he has to travel farther in the turns?  Wikipedia and the rest of the internet are falling disappointingly short in the quadriga knowledge department.
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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2014, 09:09:59 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 18, 2014, 08:58:02 PM

Historically, why would the best horse be the innermost one?  Shouldn't it be the outer one since he has to travel farther in the turns?  Wikipedia and the rest of the internet are falling disappointingly short in the quadriga knowledge department.

It seems logical to me if you consider that the inner horse has to sort of tug the other three into the turn. Being individual beasts, one of more of them might not want to change direction, so the inner horse has to pull them, via the harnesses, into the turn. It would also make sense that the innermost one would also be the most responsive of the four.
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« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2014, 09:42:39 PM »

You want to know what a really bad wheel on a chariot looks like? It looks like this:


And it drives like this:
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« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2014, 10:06:59 PM »

Ok, I've done over eighty races, but this is the first time I've seen this. I'm actually lapping these two guys as I do the final turn before the ultimate run down the back straight. And yes, I've sure I was in the lead the whole time:




Now what makes this interesting (OK, interesting to me Roll Eyes) is that as you can see, Jeriah's horses are beaten all to crap, while Joash's horses are fine. As I passed them, Joash was beating on Jerish's horses. Now what I think happened is that Joash has been stuck there because he's been beating on Jeriah so much that Jerish's horses are all used up. Certainly it isn't from Jeriah pushing his horses that much since I've got a lap on him as we enter the last turn before the finish straight. Which means that it is apparently possible for an AI auriga to get so focused on beating up an opponent that he lets the race go by him just so he can beat on this one poor guy.

Or maybe I'm crazy  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2014, 01:24:24 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on March 18, 2014, 01:57:42 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on March 18, 2014, 01:41:38 PM

The yellow doohickeys on the left are dolphins, by the way.

Of course they are.  And the strange circular green squiggle my daughter drew is most definitely a kitty, just as she said.  icon_wink

I recall this from my long ago watching of the movie "Ben Hur" - they would tip each golden dolphin over one by one as the official lap counter. No idea what the other doohickeys are, though.  icon_wink

OK, downloaded the demo and in the How to Play section they note the dolphins on one end of the spina and "three golden eggs which drop when the leader ends the main stretch: they count half laps" are at the other end along with the "team banners reflecting current positions". In case anyone was actually wondering.
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« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2014, 04:24:31 AM »

Nicopolis... tiny track, nasty turns, and crappy janitorial services:


Approaching the first corner of the first lap. There are, count them, four busted up chariots sitting on the track. And there's now a fifth one, as one of my opponents crashed over another old wreck (off screen to the left).


Later in the race. One auriga dead, two more body surfing behind their rigs. My win is in the bag!
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« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2014, 06:10:29 AM »

Thanks for the updates, I am fascinated by this game and an enjoy the screenshots and posts. Question about lanes and corners: Are you stuck in your lane in a corner? You can't take the apex in the corner like you would driving a car? It looks a bit strange in the screen shots that the chariots seem stuck in a lane around corners, or is that not the case?
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« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2014, 01:30:48 PM »

Quote from: Lee on March 21, 2014, 06:10:29 AM

Thanks for the updates, I am fascinated by this game and an enjoy the screenshots and posts. Question about lanes and corners: Are you stuck in your lane in a corner? You can't take the apex in the corner like you would driving a car? It looks a bit strange in the screen shots that the chariots seem stuck in a lane around corners, or is that not the case?



You can't take path 2, no.  You generally have to stick to your lane.  There are a lot of gameplay reasons for this, but I wouldn't be shocked if there turned out to be some historical basis as well.

You can change lanes in a turn, but since the turn based style locks your desired path in for the next 100 feet or so, you usually only get one opportunity in a turn for ordering a lane change, and you don't get to choose where that opportunity occurs.  This means you generally need to set things up for the lane you want beforehand.

And the lane you choose is really important.  If you're going too fast on an inner lane, you have a high chance of damaging your cart or a horse, or even completely flipping and destroying your cart.  If you're lucky, the excessive speed will just make you shift into a lane further out.  You can slow down your cart, and sometimes going slow on the inside track can work for getting you to pass someone, but then you have to worry about accelerating on the straightaway, which probably means whipping your horses, which means injuring them and reducing their top speed.  Lots of tradeoffs.

So if you want to keep up your speed, you want to take a turn in a lane further out, but not too far out because the longer outer paths take significantly longer to traverse.  There's a sweet spot in the middle, so of course all the chariots are fighting over that sweet spot in the middle.  This also means there's a good chance of finding dead horses or flipped carts in the sweet spot--yet more obstacles to make navigating the turn tricksy.

Oh yeah, there's also a command you can give that tries to keep your cart more stable so it can handle high speed turns better.  That's all well and good, but if you're using that command it means you're not giving a command to change lanes (to dodge obstacles), to attack an enemy cart, or to defend against enemy carts.  Tradeoffs aplenty.
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« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2014, 06:41:17 PM »

There was a posting over on the Matrix Games Qvadriga forum, An article on the life of Gaius Appuleius Diocles, the best-documented charioteer of the Roman Empire.

Direct Link to download PDF article (only four pages).
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« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2014, 07:30:11 PM »

Here's another thing I like about the game... it's unpredictability. The image below is from Constantinople, about three-quarters through the first lap. All but the lead chariot are bunched up, but that first place quadriga has a decent lead. And take a good look at the tracks of that lead chariot. He stayed on the inside lane, what I like to refer to as "lane one", counting lanes from inside to outside. And he was there all the way from the start of the race. I've done dozens of races on these big tracks, and I don't remember hardly a handful where someone stuck to that inside lane the whole way and made it work so successfully. Very cool.



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« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2014, 07:44:32 PM »

Sadly, things did not work out for our early leader who ran on the inside lane. On the next corner he again ran inside but slid out one lane, while the second place auriga caught up:


Then, as you can see at the far right of the image below, the second place auriga started to lacerate the first place guy, who died, leaving a red splotch... and a lesson: Sic transit gloria mundi

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« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2014, 09:49:50 PM »

I just thought it was coincidental, but it appears to me that when someone is stunned and has stars circling their head, there are also birds chirping, just like in the old cartoons  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2014, 09:16:41 PM »

I'm posting the following tips I picked up from the Matrix Games Qvadriga forum, where the developer Daniel was answers some questions posted by myself and others:

Quote
- Q. Does using Avoid, Stability or the Attacks orders decrease your potential speed? I was wondering if there was a trade off- for instance using the Avoid Attack order but at the cost of speed.

A. No they don't reduce speed, current speed will always be maintained unless you brake, collide with another team, suffer an injury to the horse team or other team brakes you due to a laceration attack.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
- Q After making a lacerating attack I was unable to whip my horses or make anymore attacks. I think I saw a red X appear over my driver for a second. Whip loss? or something else.

A. Opponent grabbed your whip. This usually happens if you try to lacerate an opponent with higher skill than you, even if you have the same skill level there is also a small chance of this happening. Watch tunic's brightness!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. It seems to me that the max speed of the quadriga is limited to the slowest horse. Have other folks found this to be true?

A. I have to correct this in the ingame manual, it should say: "The sum of horse bar's lengths is a measure of current speed".

All four bars lengths (less if horses are killed) are summed up to calculate current maximum speed

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Why am I not getting certain upgrades?

A. It depends on your chosen faction. If you are playing a faction with no starting chariot upgrades (like the Russata) it will be almost impossible to find a full developed chariot.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. I had previous asked about the relationship between the length of the horse bars and the max speed and Daniel the developer replied that it was the sum of the length of the horses' bars that reflected the max speed. After some more races I have another question; does the color have any affect on the speed? I'm thinking no, it just reflects the decrease in endurance, but I'll throw the question out here just to see peoples' opinions.

A. The color is representing the percentage of the bar that you have lost by damage, for example if you lost half, the bar will have an orange tone, becoming more reddish as damage increases

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2014, 10:00:31 PM »

Yeah, I won my first campaign!


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« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2014, 03:26:51 AM »

Just to let folks know, Qvadriga has been updated to version 1.20

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Available through your updater or through our FTP is the new Qvadriga 1.20 Update.

Change History:

v1.20 April 7th, 2014


    NEW FEATURES

        Key controls to handle scroll (WASD) and zoom (QE).
        In game volume controls at the main menu.
        Option to play at windowed mode at the main menu.
        Final race rankings displayed at the bottom of the end race screen, with leaders color, injury info and victories' count. Displayed if player team crossed the end line only.

    IA IMPROVEMENTS

        The racing teams perform more aggressively if its front is blocked while staying at the outer lane.

    GRAPHICAL GLITCHES

        Upgrades for the light/dark grey horse teams correctly switched.
        Fixed some missed public from the stands at a few circuses.
        Price info and some other city screens alignments fixed for high resolution settings.

    INTERFACE CHANGES

        Reduced size to orders showed when the turn starts.
        Leaders' victories are shown as tool-tips during race.
        Use of space within names avoided.

    BUGS FIXED

        When a player's leader dies is immediately substituted by other leader, that could be another player’s charioteer if has the greater victory count.
        A player’s charioteer could immediately gain the leader status after traveling to a city where its local leader's victories count is below him.
        "Sabotaged gate" and "aid at carceres" events removed from oval tracks.
        Three horse teams are not allowed to race, team must be completed first.
        Appearance of repeated names prevented.
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True, but when the snarky comment is served on a platter, you don't wait for the napkin. - Bullwinkle
Tokek
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« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2014, 04:33:16 AM »

If you're on the fence about buying this game, like I was, there's currently an easter sale going on until April 21st. You can get $10 off any game in the

Slitherine store with the coupon code: SL-HAPPYEASTER!
or the Matrix Games store: MX-HAPPYEASTER!

Qvadriga is $9.99 with that coupon code.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2014, 06:59:35 AM by Tokek » Logged
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