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Anybody played Pax Pamir (2nd Ed)?

I read this review and it really interested me in the game, mainly for thematic reasons. I like the idea of playing a game like this that isn’t designed to play as the colonists

… but I’m not sure I could get this to the table more than once. I don’t have anybody in my regular groups who I’ve been able to tempt into learning any of the COIN-type games with me, and I like the idea of discussing the politics afterwards with somebody like-minded. The guys I know who like historical games tend to be a lot more “patriotic” than I am.

Is it possibly a game that might tempt players into trying something a little more complex, or should I just leave this as an unfulfilled dream?

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I can’t speak much for the dynamics of your own table, but I can confirm this is a dramatically simpler game than the designer’s other major hit Root (heavily based on COIN games). At its core, it’s a simple tableau builder with a political theme and a closed economy, but the real challenge will lie in the deeply interconnected individual working parts.

Essentially: check with your expected audience. Pax isn’t a cheap game, nor is it a game that will resonate with everyone (its popularity is baffling to me, I blame the mainstream success of Root, which is also baffling), but it’s an excellent game and well worth exploring, especially if you have a few other interested players willing to give it a proper try across multiple sessions (first game will be a bewildering journey of ineffectual play).

There are quite a few mentions of Pax Pamir 2 on the forums already, if you care to search for them.

I like it. I’ve played only two games face to face, because babies, but I’ve also moderated a play-by-forum game, played 3 play-by-email games (one ongoing), and about a dozen single-player games. I liked it enough to design a Vassal module for it (an ongoing process).

It’s way simpler and faster than COIN games, or other Pax games.


Thanks for the replies

@VictorViper I think you may have persuaded me not to get it, as I don’t think I’ll have the opportunity to get people to play it more than once. The place I live is very small and I have two play options - groups I set up myself with friends, who’d be put off by the first ineffectual play, and then a gaming meet-up where people prefer to always get new games to the table. Also that group wouldn’t share my interest in the political aspects of it. I have a tendency to buy games that I’ll never get to play!

@Benkyo thanks - I’ll search for those, I’m new to posting here and I think I may have misunderstood the search function. I am yet to enjoy PBF or solo play but that your experience does sound encouraging

To be fair, a significant chunk of the posts are from me =P

The search functionality of these forums is pretty good. Not like some forums where you have to rely on Google. I would have provided the links myself if I weren’t posting from a phone, but this link covers all of it:


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I definitely enjoyed the PBF games that @Benkyo has run, and his Vassal module is definitely worth a look, even if just to marvel at all the effort that must have gone into it!


NPI had a fantastic review as well that had me interested, but I doubt anyone in my regular play group would be interested, and at that price I don’t think it’d be worth to pick up just to have on hand.

I photographed the game for Wehrlegig so have a copy but I honestly think I’ll really struggle to ever get my friends to play it. This for me will be another game that I’ll have to try playing at my local board game cafe or at expos.It’s a shame because it is absolutely gorgeous so I’d love to play it for that reason alone!

There’s a frustrating amount of thinky games that I own that just never hit the table and this has joined them. I consider them aspiration games that we’ll one day get to as a group.

If you’re curious, there’s a Polygon review (featuring my photos)


Lovely photos. I don’t want to derail the thread by asking how you get such good photographs of games but if you discuss it in another thread please link me

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Thanks everybody. I’m glad I’m not the only one who covets games they’ll never realistically play. :slight_smile:

Great photos, but misleading review!

I understand the review is pitched at a general audience, but asserting that the game is (primarily) for historical simulation afficionados is far from accurate. The description also makes the game sound much more like a simulation than it is, which is misleading.


I agree, I definitely didn’t get a “historical simulation” feel from it at all, although I admittedly don’t know much about 19th century Afghanistan…

Yeah, I mean the closed economy and the temporary shifting alliances between coalitions get the feel just right and are based on historical research, as are all the cards and art, but it is still a fast, highly abstracted game.

The only sort of game I’ve encountered that aspires to historical simulation are wargames, and it isn’t a wargame in that sense.

I just read the Meeple Mountain review, and I like it much more, although the photos aren’t nearly as good =)

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Without going into too much detail all I can really say is practice and a lot of minor adjustments to get things right. Most of my own photos are just an idea that occurred to me immediately, refined.

One important thing that I can’t stress enough is good lighting. Whether it’s daylight or your own set up the amount of light entering your camera/phone makes a huge different into how much detail and colour they will capture.

Are they single images shot from a distance or multiple images focus stacked? It’s never occurred to me to try and photograph my games but I’m always intrigued when I see something done well that always looks really bad when I’ve tried it. I photograph buildings, I’m not so hot on detail.

I do think this one is unusually pretty, but your shots look great

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Depends on the game, sometimes I image stack, sometimes it really doesn’t need it and something like F11 will do the trick. There are some fantastic board game photographers who just have one focal point and everything else blurry but I prefer to give as much visual information as possible without overloading the eyes. No one likes their eyes overflowing with components.

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