Experienced board players have known since the successes of World War II games such as Axis and Allies or Memoire'44 that true historical events can not only be combined with board games, they are also perfect as an exciting background story. The creative minds at Phalanx Games publish parlor games at regular intervals that deal with hard facts from the bloody epochs of the past centuries. The card game is currently running Germania Magna - Border in Flames as a project on Kickstarter. We took a closer look at the demo version of the card game and tell you about it in our review Germania Magna, which is why not only history fans should keep an eye on this title.  

Card games with Romans and Teutons

Phalanx Games are known to be real experts when it comes to building the rules of a parlor game around a historical framework. Phalanx Games has been going its own way since 2013 - with a new logo and regular trips to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. There we also have the new title Germania Magna - Border in Flames discovered and promptly received a demo version of the game from Phalanx Games. The project has been very successful on Kickstarter so far: as of today, 276 fans have signaled their support and amassed a total of £ 5.832. The financing target was almost half and there are still five days left in which the 6.000 mark will certainly still be cracked.

Before we get into the details of Germania Magna - Border in Flames come, let's venture into the past (around 9 AD). When Germania Magna one referred to the part of the Germanic settlement area that was occupied by the Romans. Directly connected with this is the legendary Varus Battle, which went down as one of the devastating defeats in the history of the Roman Empire. It was the Cheruscan prince Arminius who defeated three Roman legions with his master under the command of the general Publius Quinctilius Varus and thus changed the political situation in this settlement area forever. Anyone who should be in the city of Detmold accidentally or intentionally, can admire the Hermannsdenkmal there, which shows the Cheruscan prince Arminius.

Typical Phalanx Games: History and Gaming We will spare you further historical details at this point. It should have become clear, however, that the historical setting is perfect as a background for an exciting card game that deals with tactics and hand card management.

Typical Phalanx Games: history and gaming

The publication of Germania Magna - Border in Flames is planned for November 2016. Anyone who invests the minimum pledge of £ 15 on Kickstarter can pick up the card game personally at the Phalanx Games stand (2-C110) at Spiel'16 in Essen. This saves you the shipping costs if you are a guest at the world's largest trade fair for board and card games anyway. For your investment you will receive a fully packed game box with 131 playing cards, 4 auxiliary cards, 4 player boards, 2 dice and lots of tokens. The core element are the 93 tribal cards, which allow you to implement numerous tactical actions on the gaming table. Where there are many tribal cards, the conclusion is that you slip into the role of the Teutons. And you actually embody in the card game Germania Magna - Border in Flames a Germanic warlord who is supposed to tear down the borders of the Roman Empire.

Since each of the 2 to 4 players takes on the role of a Germanic tribal prince, it is not only a question of crossing the Roman border wall, but also of carrying out most of the looting of the campaign in order to become a Germanic war legend. Germania Magna - Border in Flames is a semi-cooperative military card game in which tactical decisions and clever card management decide between victory and defeat. In addition to the common goal of defeating the Romans, all players follow their own goals. You can form alliances and throw those covenants back on their feet when the time is right. Fraud and betrayal are essential strategic elements on your path to becoming a war chief.  

Use your cards wisely to shake the disciplined Roman war troops. Anyone who has ever played a living card game like Star Wars - Das Kartenspiel or a trading card game like Magic - The Gathering will find their way around Germania Magna - Border in Flames straight away. While you send standard troops without special skills into the bloody battles, you support the troops of various military strategies. With the help of renegades, you can search your tribal deck for a suitable card to add to your hand of cards. Or you can strengthen your troops by using fortifications that grant bonuses to cards on display. Through the skillful interweaving of standard cards and ability cards, you develop your own military strategy in the course of the game in order to conquer the Roman positions and thus gain victory points. The game ends when six Roman provinces are in the discard pile and have thus been successfully captured. 

Make preparations for war

Long before the first battle is fought, it is up to you to prepare for the card game war. Each player receives one of the four player boards with the appropriate marker and five tribal cards plus five golden loot coins. Then a Roman province is revealed and the troops described on it are placed. 

Each round consists of a total of four phases: preparation, supply, deployment and combat. In the first phase, each player draws a leader card. In addition, 1 to 2 province cards including Roman troops are laid out. In the second phase, each player chooses between 4 loot coins or 2 tribal cards or 2 loot coins and one tribal card. Then all players in turn place tribal cards until everyone has passed. It comes at Germania Magna on a clever hand card management, because you always have to keep an eye on the costs of the cards (loot symbols) - whether a strategy has been successful often only becomes apparent during the course of the game. In the combat phase, the battles within the individual provinces are counted. Successful battles grant you additional loot and fame points on your player boards. Fortifications and defeated units are removed, and captured province cards are placed on the province discard pile. At the end of the round, all leader cards are shuffled back into the leader deck. Due to the victory conditions of six conquered provinces, you usually also play six game rounds.

Images for Germania Magna


Number of players: 2 to 4 players
Age: from 14 years
Playing time: 45 to 60 minutes
Difficulty: medium
Long-term motivation: medium

Publisher: Phalanx Games
Year of publication: 2016 
Cost: 20 Euro


With Germania Magna - Border in Flames A tactical but catchy strategy card game awaits you, which shines with a comprehensible set of rules and a successful look. The illustrations of the cards are handsome and perfectly capture the atmosphere of Roman sandal films. Fans of historical games have already had the titles of Phalanx Games on their screens for a long time. Germania Magna - Border in Flames into a comparatively cheap game that will captivate you for many hours at the card game table.

In particular, the constantly changing balance of power ensures a dynamic that should not be underestimated, which ensures a good dose of tension. Germanic alliances were fragile and shaped by the selfish goals of the individual tribal chiefs - this fact must also be skillfully exploited in this card game by Phalanx Games. Phalanx Games will have its own booth at SPIEL'16, so that you Germania Magna can be tested extensively in Essen.