Pax Pamir (2014)

Players: 1 - 5
Playing time: 120 minutes

Data from BoardGameGeek
With the fall of Napoleonic France, the British Empire’s global power stood nearly unchecked. British merchant ships could be found in every corner of the globe, from the Cape of Good Hope to the markets of Hong Kong. India stood at the center of its imperial network. The very lay-lines of empire ran through its ports, tying the Far East with European markets and allowing the British virtual control of the vast wealth of the subcontinent. But the “crown jewel “of the empire was far from secure.

Across the steppes of Asia, the Russian Empire advanced at a rate even exceeding the American pioneers. Soon the world’s largest nation would span across the deep forests of Siberia and touch the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The Russian expansion loomed like a storm cloud over British holdings in India, casting a longer shadow each year. On the frontier, surveyors crossed paths with intrepid industrialists and government agents, all seeking to manipulate the byzantine political landscape of central Asia. There, in the shadow of the Pamir Mountains, the stage was set for a game that would decide the limits of global power in the 19th century and the present day.

In Pax Pamir players take the role of local Tribal leaders in the area around modern Afghanistan and attempt to navigate the currents of colonial power in order to secure their own dominance in the region. Throughout the game, opportunities for regional supremacy will emerge and, if an Empire is able to achieve supremacy, the player with the most influence in that Empire will be the winner.

Pax Pamir is a follow up game in the tradition of Phil Eklund’s Pax Porfiriana. As such it borrows many mechanisms from its parent game, but offers a completely new challenge that accounts for the vast scope of its topic. It is a game of tense alliances and fragile negotiations, where the movement of one operative on the edge of empire can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Phillip McCaughey

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