Klicka för svenska      Das Zepter von Zandavor (German)

Distributor: Lookout Games (German publisher)
Special site for the game with a German forum
Z-man Games (English edition 2006 called "The Scepter of Zavandor")
Category: Strategy game
Players: 2-6 (best with 3-5)
Play time: 30 minutes per player (+add 30 minutes according to my experience)
Ages: 10+
Content: -
Game target: -
Rules: Rules in English
Player aid and summary in English
(Word document)
Frequently Asked Questions in English
Strategy: -
Comments: My edition is from 2004. The designer is Jens Drögemüller.
The game mechanic is based upon the old TimJim game Outpost.


Extract from Belgoludique report 2005-02-04 Then I joined a tournament of my favourite game of the year: Das Zepter con Zavandor. It was arranged by Laurent, who is a passionate player of this game and it’s predecessor Outpost. I played with Alice, Nicolas, Boulou and Thomas and it was the latter who won. I also got to know that I had misinterpreted the rule how phase 3 should be played. Actually it has to be played with all 3 part phases (in any order without splitting a part), before the next player may play. This prolongs the game slightly, but is more logical and probably gives a better chance to catch the leader. The game took 3½ hour, which really made me convinced that it should be played with 3-4 players. Rate 9 of 10.
Extract from Belgoludique report 2005-02-06

10:20 pm we started a player game of Das Zepter von Zavandor, which shouldn’t be too late with only 4 players. Dimitri was the only newbie in the game, although he won with 70 points and Nathalie ended with 58 points, Ludovic with 56 points and myself last with 41 points. The result was more or less due to the fact that the game took 3:25 (an hour too long for a 4-player game) and Dimitri spent more time thinking than all of us other together. Ludovic closed his eyes now and then and at one auction we thought he said pass, but a few minutes later, when it was to late to back out, we realised that he had just grunted in the sleep. I and Nathalie did some actions in parallel with Dimitri, whenever we knew this couldn’t interfere in the outcome of his play to speed up the game a bit. This was the worst one I played during the days, but it made me discover more of its depth.

Extract from Belgoludique report 2005-02-08 Afterwards it was time for another game of Das Zepter von Zavandor, which this time only took 2:35, which seems to be normal for a 4-player game. Thierry won with 71, just before myself who had 66 (my best result ever), Alice ended with 55 and the newbie Jean-Philippe only got 43. I followed a diamond strategy plus one ruby card this time, but never got a chance to buy a sentinel, on the other hand I bought most of the last high-value artefacts and finished at least 4 knowledge tracks. My big mistake was probably, that I should had consolidated my energy during a single round and at least bought one sentinel in the end. Both  Thierry and myself started with “Artefact” and “9 sages” tracks, although I continued with the “Gems” and followed with the “Accumulation” track. I also nearly finished the “Fire”, but probably I should have avoided this one and save the money for the Unicorn sentinel (diamond points), should probably had given the win to myself. Thierry had plenty of emeralds, including cards and followed the strategy to save energy every second time, which apparently paid off. Alice, who started with “Fire”, had a feeling of never catching up, but in the final last rounds had rubies, but it was to late to get the really huge income. This is really an intriguing game, where you discover you tricks every time. Next time I’m interested to test the possibility to early go for “Gems” and then as soon as possible for rubies, but “Fire” doesn’t seems to be a good starting track, a you need to have a high knowledge in “gems”, to make it pay off early. Of course the random start of knowledge gives you different views how consider your strategy.
Extract from Varberg convention report 2005-02-19 I ended the evening with my new favourite game Das Zepter von Zavandor. Magnus J had played it twice before and Stefan once, but Bo was a beginner. Stefan probably got the most difficult starting knowledge: "Fire", as it's difficult to play without "Gems" and then you rather prefer to start with this knowledge. He also felt far after the other of us when he reached 15 VP, so he then quit the game. The game developed well for everyone else and I succeeded an intentional strategy to keep just behind the leaders, which made the artifacts cheaper and I got one of the charismatic masks, which seems to often be important, as it gives a reduction of 20 on the sentinels. The game was extremely close. 3 of us ended on 51 VP and Bo became the last one on 48 VP. I could have won, if I hadn't made a "psychological jump" on a sentinel bid in the last round. I started with 120, followed by 121, 122, 123 and I got it at 130. I could have gotten it for 127 according to Magnus. After a few transactions in my turn, I could have won with 52 VP, if I had had ONE more energy, which shows that the game can be very tight! Bo said that he could have won it with a slightly different play in the next last round. Actually, I will now increase rating to 10 of 10, only compared by Puerto Rico, which only is slightly better due to a shorter playing time and that it's easier for beginners to start. The game lasted 2:55.



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