With an immersive theme, this title was designed by Carmen G. Jiménez and utilizes the most modern mechanics to give us a first class gaming experience.
Jerusalem, spring of the year 33. A crowd gathers at the gates of the city to welcome Jesus of Nazareth, about to celebrate the Passover with his Apostles andfollowers. With a revolutionary message, he has garnered supporters everywhere, as well as suspicious looks from religious authorities. Soon the Last Supper will be celebrated, and the fate of one of the most influential figures in history will be sealed.
In Ierusalem Anno Domini, players represent one of the communities of Jesus of Nazareth’s followers who, visiting Jerusalem from neighboring towns and villages, head to the site of the Last Supper with the intention of getting as close as possible to where Jesus and his Apostles will sit. Throughout the game the players manage resources, do favors, and accumulate parables.
The objective of the game is to score points based on your followers: the closer they are to the Apostles and to Jesus himself, the more victory points you will have at the end of the game. Except, of course, the followers who are close to Judas, who will do quite the opposite and subtract points. Any parable tiles or the offering tokens gathered throughout the game will also add points.
The main board of Ierusalem Anno Domini is divided into several different areas. On the left hand side of the board are different locations: the market, the desert, the mountain, the lake, and the temple. In the market we can get cards which improve our hand and allow us to do more actions. In the desert, the mountain, and the lake our followers can bring us stones, bread and fish. In the temple, you can use the denarii to visit any location.
In the center of the board we see the dining room where the Last Supper is celebrated. Jesus is in the middle and the Apostles will sit around him, but at the beginning of the game they wait in a side room. Throughout the game, the players will arrange the 12 Apostles and their own followers to try to score as many victory points as possible. Players also receive benefits that correspond to places where they put followers. Under the dining room, is the Favor marker with Year 33 cards, the most powerful cards in the game. At the bottom, there are 7 parables, which can be obtained throughout the game, and score additional points in the final phase. Lastly, on the right hand side, there is the Sanhedrin marker, which unlocks rewards as you advance, and marks the end of the game when you reach the last square.
In addition to the main board, in Ierusalem Anno Domini, players also have a personal board where they play cards from their hand, accumulate parables, and manage resources and followers. It’s vital to manage thewarehouse well, which you see on the right side of the board, since different resources, followers’ pawns, and the offering tokens share the same space.
A game of Ierusalem Anno Domini is divided into several turns where players alternate a set of actions. The first action they take is to play a card from their hand, which they place on one of the three spaces on their personal board. The card is then resolved in two steps: carrying out the action of the location shown on the card, and resolving the follower actions shown at the bottomof the card. Among the available actions, players will be able to hear parables, go tothe Supper, change location, do a favor, and get denarii, among others.
As the game progresses and players get better cards, possibilities grow. After playing a card, players are able to activate an optional action called “Visit an Apostle,” if the sequence of cards on their personal board coincides with the sequence required inthe Last Supperspace. This action allows us to be able to place the 12 Apostles around Jesus, and receive precious thanks, which translates to victory points. Lastly, players can buy a card in the market (or Mahane) and replenish their hand for the next turn.
As turns go by, the patience of the Sanhedrin runs out. This is symbolized by a token that reaches the end of the marker on the right side of the main board. When this happens, the endgame is triggered. At this point, the final scoring phase is resolved and the winner is determined.
Ierusalem Anno Domini adapts some rules for two-player games, which guarantees a great gaming experience. It also has a challenging solo mode where the player faces Barabbas.
An immersive experience
The game has an expressive appearance that combines the realistic style of
Enrique Corominas from Valladolid, Spain and Nigerian L.A. Draws, with medieval Romanesque inspired iconography by David Esbrí that give it a great personality. Along with some of the most innovative mechanics in modern board games, Ierusalem Anno Domini is a challenge within reach for more experienced players, but also as a suitable option for all audiences.
Devir is internationally recognized for the innovative nature of the themes presented in its games (Mozart's Requiem in Lacrimosa, for example). Basing a board game around the Last Supper is considered by critics a truly audacious choice.
Ierusalem Anno Domini is the debut work of Carmen G. Jiménez, a graduate in Theology from the Faculty of Granada, Spain. Her relationship with modern board games dates back to 2015, when she joined the Huelva, Spain association “Mentes Hexagonadas” and discovered an exciting new world. After long games of The Pillars of the Earth, 7 Wonders, Mombasa, Grand Austria Hotel or Trajan, she started thinking about the idea of creating a game focused on the life of Jesus and the story of the Last Supper. "I wanted to tell his story in a different way than the way he is usually known," she explains. After having played a lot of games, she started thinking about different mechanics. She decided that she should incorporate cards and avoid dice, and was clear that it had to be a big box game. During the pandemic she gave shape to the idea and after multiple tests and adjustments, she presented the game in a prototype contest at the Meeple Factory Fair in Granada, Spain and won first prize. Thanks to that momentum, a month later she presented the prototype at the DAU Festival in Barcelona, Spain where it caught the attention of Devir's editor, David Esbrí. The rest, of course, is history.