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  • Queen Games Thebes
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Queen Games Thebes


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  • For 2 to 4 players
  • Playtime of 60 to 90 minutes
  • Competitive archeological theme
  • It is a board game
  • Clever time and turn system
3 new from $94.95 1 collectible from $54.99


Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 4.1 x 12.2 inches ; 3.4 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000UH7SVW
  • Item model number: 84RGG
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 10 years and up
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,056 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From the Manufacturer

In this game, the players travel back to the end of the 19th century to take on the roles of the famous archaeologists who discovered so much in so short a time. The names Schliemann, Evans, Carter, and Koldeway are still famous today. Like those they seek to emulate, the players seek to discover those antique treasures and places which have been buried in the sands for thousands of years. Each player takes the role of an archaeologist. They first travel across Europe to find useful knowledge of different archaeological areas and then they excavate at places they expect to find treasures. The players score points for discoveries at these locations. Also, the players can acquire articles to assist them in excavation and travel, and will visit exhibitions to present their finds.

Product Description

Thebes is a game of competitive archeology. Players are archaeologists who must travel around Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East to acquire knowledge about five ancient civilizations -- the Greeks, the Cretans, the Egyptians, the Palestinians, and the Mesopotamians -- and then must use this knowledge to excavate historical sites in the areas of these civilizations. Through the course of the game, expositions are revealed, and an archaeologist who has treasures from the requisite civilizations may claim the prize. The archaeologist who learns the most about the civilizations, claims the greatest-valued artifacts, and collects the most exhibitions will win out over his or her colleagues.

The key element to the game is that it is played out over a period of two (or three) years, and each action a player performs takes a certain amount of time -- traveling is a week between cities, gathering knowledge takes time for the level of the knowledge, and actually digging at a cultural site takes time to yield a certain number of artifact tiles. The game uses a novel mechanism to keep track of this. There is a track of 52 spaces around the outside of the board. Each time a player moves and takes an action, he or she moves their player token forward in time. Players take turns based on being the one who is furthest back in "time." So, a player can go to an excavation site and spend 10 weeks digging for artifacts, but that will also mean that the other players will likely be taking several actions in the interim while that player waits for the "time" to catch up.

In addition, the artifact tiles for each civilization are drawn from a bag that also contains dirt. When a player excavates a site, that player pulls tiles from the bag, but some may only be worthless dirt instead of valuable treasure. That dirt is then returned to the bag, making the first draw more likely to provide useful tiles.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Overall, this game is a lot of fun.
Provence
The game play is easy and relies on just enough skill, planning and luck to make it a blast, much as Archaeology itself.
Matthew T. Nelson
Total non-gamers would find this a bit confusing to start, but it's not too tough.
thedunk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Provence on March 1, 2010
First of all I want to say that this is a really fun game. It is one of those rare games that has a theme that is not pasted on a mechanism. Playing this game feels like you are running around the libraries of Europe hunting down information. Digging into the many game bags hoping for a great find also feels like treasure hunting.

The game is also very educational since it is based on real geographical locations. It also takes place between 1901 and 1903 with cards supporting that era - you find cars, zeppelins, old books and participate in conferences as well as organize exhibits. The artwork is lovely. The fact that there is an educational sheet describing the finds supports the educational element of this game.

The components are very durable. I can't see breaking or ripping any of them. You have to be careful not to lose and pieces though.

Overall, this game is a lot of fun. It is more of a family game than a deep strategy game because there is a certain amount of luck involved in the treasure hunting. It is possible to dig in the bag and just find sand. However, the odds can be managed by acquiring the right amount of knowledge in Europe's libraries.

In the end, I would recommend this game to everyone. I would say though that the game takes about 2 hours to play. It is meant to be played at a leisurely pace. Great atmosphere, great conversation and a fun afternoon of being Indiana Jones.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Renbutsu TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 6, 2013
Thebes aka Jenseits von Theben is a board game in which players are digging for treasures. Players travel around the board, digging for treasures (kind of like Indiana Jones), players get to put these treasures on display to gather points, and the treasures themselves have various point values. The mechanic in which players is unique in that you can actually have back to back multiple moves in the game. Depending on what you choose to do on your turn, such as how long to dig (the longer you dig, the more treasures you may receive), where to travel to (the further distance, the longer the time needed), your movement pawn moves ahead along the perimeter of the board. The player whose pawn is further behind, gets their turn, so if I'm way behind, I can have several shorter moves before I catch up to the other players ahead.

There's a lot of luck in the game but that's the theme of the game. A player will "dig" for treasure, this treasure is along with other blanks are in a bag. You pick out your hopeful treasure from the bag without looking. How many you get to pick out is determined by having the correct cards in your hand AND selecting how long you want to stay at that location for a "dig". We also chant "dirt" "dirt" "dirt" when another player is digging. The treasures picked out, you get to keep, the "blanks" or "dirt" as we call them, get mixed back in the bag. The way we play is we put keep out a blank every time a dig occurs, this helps give better odds for the next player.

The game is a lot of fun, chanting "dirt", picking how long to dig/how many treasures to pick out, location to travel to, cards to collect, etc. If you don't like luck based games, you won't like this, but if you don't mind, it's a light hearted game with some luck.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By thedunk on October 18, 2013
As a gamer with lots of games, what I like about this is that it's different than so many of my turn-based, or worker-placement type games.

You hang out in Europe collecting knowledge or other helps, then head down to one of 5 dig sites. There's just something fun about sticking your hand into the bag, looking for a "six" or some other big point artifact, while your opponent is hoping you pull up nothing but sand. (Worst ever - my son had 10 pulls, and got all 10 sands - yikes!)

Another factor that is unique is the standard score track on the border of the board is actually a time track, with each player moving his or her marker ahead for the number of weeks it took to travel, get a card, or go digging. The player furthest behind on the track goes next, so sometimes you can string 2 or 3 moves together.

There is definitely strategy involved, but enough luck that different players have the chance to win.

It's not as strategic as a lot of other games, but it's really fun. Total non-gamers would find this a bit confusing to start, but it's not too tough.

And it's one that can be played a few times in a row. One review mentioned it taking 2 hours. I'm not sure how that's possible. Even with new players, it's an hour or so. (Note: I haven't tried it with 4 yet...that may take longer.)

Unique, fun, well-themed (not just a theme randomly attached to a gaming mechanism)...worth the addition to the game closet.

(If this review was helpful, please let me know. If not, feel free to leave a comment...I want my reviews to be helpful with making you take forever to read them. Thanks!)
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I did not like Thebes my first time playing it, and have little desire to play it again. Even my friends, who own it, say it's a game they only enjoyed their first few times out of the box--it got old fast and now they want to sell it. The artwork is bland, though the boards 'n' bits are durable with cute Indian Jones meeples and cloth bags for each of the five dig sites. Although the first part of the game is all strategy getting the knowledge you need to get the most treasures from the digs, when you actually go there, it becomes a ridiculous luck-fest as you try to blind-draw variable value treasure tokens from a cloth bag that is also loaded with zero-point sand tokens. You could literally draw nothing but sand and waste a ton of time for nothing. Not much fun there!

I can't recommend this game and have no idea how it got such great reviews. The game drags on and on and there were many turns where none of us could do anything except inch the game toward completion by moving one space and doing nothing, hoping the cards would change by the time our next turn rolled around. To be fair, I didn't hate Thebes, but neither can I recommend it. There's just something fundamentally wrong with the game's mechanics.
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