I wasn’t sure what to do about the latest Res Arcana expansion, Perlae Imperii. Then I saw it in the local game store and decided – why not! We haven’t played Res Arcana all that much lately, but I suppose the expansion is just the thing to get us back to artefacts, mages and monuments.
We started yesterday with a four-game session with the latest expansion. We ended up splitting the wins 2–2; there was one tie-breaker victory for me, which was somewhat unusual.
We used the new Places of Power in every game to get a good feel for them, and fortunately, the new artefacts, mages and monuments appeared in the games without any extra effort to involve them. Of course, the pearls and the new rules that stretch the game to 13 VP made a noticeable difference.
All in all, we’re happy. This is at the same time an expansion that just adds more of the same and something that shakes up things. The pearls are an exciting twist: they’re a super resource, worth 1 VP in itself, and you can also convert them to other resources like cards. It’s not a bad strategy to just collect lots of pearls, but of course, that’s not an easy thing to do.
This does seem like a second expansion. The base game is OK, Lux et Tenebrae improves it nicely, and when you’re more experienced, this expansion gives even more options to consider. Expert players will want this expansion, but if you only play rarely, this is not necessary. On the other hand, the rules load is not severe, so you can just toss in the expansion, and the game doesn’t still become too convoluted to explain to new players, especially if they’re experienced board gamers.