Always a sucker for strange new board games, we of course bit. Our collection grows apace and this felt like a good addition. The Mahabharata smelled faintly of Indian spices and had clearly been made by hand by someone who felt the epic had not gotten the treatment in the public eye that it deserved. When we got home, we opened it up immediately to have a look at its contents.
|Coins, cards, and the board|
Most of the squares belong to Pandava or Kaurava warriors, who's support you can get by landing on them. Once you have a Pandava or Kaurava, you're locked into fighting for that side; landing on a warrior of the opposite persuasion leads to a battle using the dice.
There are two side-paths from the main board which allow you to capture yourself an astra or the conch (or flag) you need for victory. The first is the path of Pursuit to find the weapon, which takes one into the center of the board to search for the sacred weapon. You can fail here, and be bounced back to the main board. The second is the path of Exile, which cannot end until you have fought and either won or been defeated by one of the challenges there. Upon winning, you receive the conch, and upon failing you must wait and continue your path of Exile.
|The Astra, more of the board|
|On the left is the path of Exile|
We wound up being very close at the end, save that Jocelyn had acquired one of the astra early and thus she completed the requirements of the game first. Afterwards, we discovered a handy reference sheet that does list the squares in order.
The game can take a little long, as you aren't guaranteed to get the astra or the conch on the first try and you can make a circuit of the board without getting a chance to go into Exile or on the Pursuit. However, I would (and intend to) play it again! The little booklet contains the epic of the Mahabharata as well as instructions on how to order more copies of the game from the fellow who made it. Definitely a strange, but interesting find.
|Jocelyn cutting out cards|
|Jocelyn realizing I'm taking pictures|
|Jocelyn realizing these are going online|