Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tartars and Martyrs (1978)

Tartars and Martyrs (1978)


4 out of 10 with 7 ratings
Board Game Rank: Not Ranked
War Game Rank: Not Ranked


An experimental, skeletal Microgame published in issue 20 of the Space Gamer, this game might have been expanded into a full microgame in the future based on reader input. In it, five European religious martyrs attempt to convert five Tartars before being killed. Martyrs cannot fight, but converted Tartars can. Vitality of units and success of "attacks" are determined by die rolls.

  • Designer: Art Canfil
  • Publisher: Metagaming
  • Year Published: 1978
  • Number of Players: 2 - 2
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 10
  • Playing Time: 15
  • Subdomain: Wargames
  • Category: Medieval, Wargame
  • Mechanic: Dice Rolling, Hex-and-Counter
  • Family: Magazine: Space Gamer
  • Alternate Names: Tartars and Martyrs


Unpunched; still in the magazine.

5 out of 10
A friend of mine bought a copy of Space Gamer just to get this little gamette. It's a brutal little game that is very, very difficult to win as the Martyrs. In a half-dozen plays, I don't think any of our group managed to do so. Still, it was great fun, but I can't remember if it was the fast-moving game and easy mechanics or the company that made it so great.

3 out of 10
Skeletal is right -- there's almost no "there" there!

4 out of 10
What an odd little game. It is actually playable, although even after playing a game I'm not sure why anyone would want to. This is one of those "framework" games that might become interesting if you tacked on some fun details. There are lots of other games that match that description that are more fun to begin with, and better games to begin with, so I come back to my original observation: Playable, but why would anyone want to? Oh yes, one important note: if you do want to play this game, make your own counters that are smaller or reduce the size of the counters in the magazine. As printed, the counters are too large to fit in the map hexes. Obviously not many people have noticed or complained about that problem!

Metagaming microgame.
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