Pax Pamir is a ruthless game. During yesterday’s game, my friend often commented on his bad situation and how losing his cards was terrible. I coached him to a win by reminding him of unfamiliar options. One such option was to switch loyalties to the same faction to which I was loyal and subvert my attempt to put that faction ahead at the end of the game.

“In Pax Pamir, players assume the role of nineteenth-century Afghan leaders attempting to forge a new state after the collapse of the Durrani Empire. Western histories often call this period “The Great Game” because of the role played by the Europeans who attempted to use central Asia as a theater for their rivalries. In this game, those empires are viewed strictly from the perspective of the Afghans who sought to manipulate the interloping ferenghi (foreigners) for their own purposes.” – BGG

In the game, you can change your loyalty from one faction to another. When you place an army, it will be for the faction that holds your loyalty. This allows you to manipulate the map in ways not possible in other games. It’s even possible to make one faction so dominant that anyone not loyal to that faction can’t score points during a check for dominance during the game. It’s quite a deep and complicated strategy game. For a while in the game, we had different loyalties. But as soon as one faction was too strong, we would switch loyalties to manipulate things in our favor. It was a lot of fun.