Shadows of Porta Nigra

Finally Porta Nigra hit the table. That’s another one off the pile of shame. Which is getting smaller and smaller.

So how did this bit of shocking news happen?

It all started with an innocent Facebook post enquiring what games members of the Fenland Gamers group were playing this weekend. I’d got nothing planned, except continue making inserts to organise Zombicide. So I was curious if others were enjoying life, the universe, etc. 

Not long after posting this probing question I received an invite from Jonathan to play some games at a long time Fenland Gamers haunt.

This was the first time either of us had played the game, so we were learning from the rule book (once again – yep we tend to break that gamer rule about not doing this).

It took a turn or three to get the hang of what’s what within the game. But it was a quick game to pick up.

I liked the use of the players deck to control the duration of a round. That was neat. 

Having the player choose two or three actions depending on the card from the available ones on it, with a mechanism to take extra actions, was really neat. 

Despite the limited choice you still have to make some tough decisions, the first being which action card to play from a hand of two. Then which actions and the order of them. 

You are having to manage your resources, aiming for majorities in each building area, whilst trying to score as many points for your building. 

Jonathan managed to get a bonus card that gave him 30 points at the final scoring. Which put huge pressure on me to try and negate that. That pressure only increased when that bonus got power up’d to over 50 points. It’s only in the third and final round was I able to cut that damaging point surge to twenty odd points with my own 30 points surge.

I loved the end of round scoring where you counted up number of building blocks used to build your buildings so far to split between money and points. I went for a fifty fifty split each time. 

This is not a low scoring game I beat Jonathan by 2 points, 254 to 252. Which was much much closer than both of us thought it would be.

When the light was just right we got some awesome shadows on the board from our buildings. Plus I have an excuse to use a photo of me that is really all about the shadows taken by Jonathan.


Porta Nigra is a lovely game that looks attractive when you are playing it. I love that 3D element of it. 

We will definitely play this again. The problem is when now?

A great afternoon of gaming, thank you Jonathan for the invite.

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