We went to the new PD LRP fest game Odyssey this weekend. Although we didn't stay for Saturday evening as we had wedding planning to do we did get a good feel for the game. Instead of Maelstrom's Play-by-(e)mail game of Civ Odyssey is very much rooted in the events of the weekend. The generals get to plan their stratagems, assign limited resources (Warbands) to defending and taking lands decided by battles in the Arena. Going as a grunt it was nice to have the certainty of 2 battles a day where the results were meaningful to the game. The battles tended to be of the order of 10-30 people per side depending on the forces at the disposition of the commander. This neatly solves the large scale balancing act the Gathering had to do to ensure the mass battles weren't too skewed. There was plenty of name calling and taunting going on (our response to "All the way to Rome" was "in chains!"). The atmosphere was very much of competing nations unlikely to "degenerate" into a nice civilised political consensus. It was fun :-)
I didn't get much of a feel for the other roles although the priests were by far the most visible playing a part in the preamble to each battle. They also had the unenviable job of keeping the capricious and cruel Gods in check.
I didn't get a chance to do one of the many linear adventures but heard generally good things about them. Certainly the game provides a great change of pace to the relative civilisation of the Maelstrom setting (which I still enjoy BTW). I shall be trying to persuade some of my more sword jockeying friends to join us next year when we hopefully return for the whole event.