Imhotep Builder of Egypt Board Game
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- By Phil Walker-Harding, designer of Sushi Go, Small World, Archaeology the Card Game and Cacao
- 2016 Spiel Des Jahres Nominee
- A strategy game for 2-4 players
- Recommended for ages 10+
- 40 minute estimated play time
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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From the manufacturer
About KOSMOS Games
KOSMOS games build social skills, stimulate logical and strategic thinking, promote visual-spatial and math skills, cultivate physical coordination and manual dexterity, encourage family time, and inspire fair-mindedness, confidence, and honorable attitudes. German engineered and beautifully made, these games become enduring family favorites and game night classics. For all these reasons, Kosmos games have earned worldwide acclaim.
Builder of Egypt
Players take on the role of ancient Egyptian architects. Over six rounds, they try to transport stone blocks to end up in the most valuable positions at five construction sites, while thwarting their opponents' efforts to do the same. To win the game and be named the greatest architect, you must get your blocks to the right place places, in the right order, at the right time.
- For ages 10 and up
- 2-4 players
- Play Time: 40 minutes
- A 2016 Spiel des Jahres nominee (German for 'Game of the Year')
About the Author
Since childhood, Phil Walker-Harding has loved playing and inventing board games. He particularly likes games that bring together people of different ages and personality types. Phil is also interested in theology, classic Hollywood films, and the myths of ancient Egypt. He lives with his wife Meredith in Sydney, Australia.
What's in the Box?
- 120 Wooden blocks (called 'stones'; 30 in each of the 4 game colors: black, white, brown, and gray)
- 5 Site boards (Market, Pyramids, Temple, Burial Chamber, Obelisks), all double-sided with different placement rules to add variety to the game play
- 1 Scoring track board
- 8 Ship tokens
- 4 Supply sled tokens (1 in each of the 4 game colors: black, white, brown, and gray)
- 21 Round cards
- 34 Market cards
The Site Boards
There are five site boards included in the game: the Market, Pyramids, Temple, Burial Chamber, and Obelisks. Players work to get stones of their color on the most advantageous positions on each site board. Each site has different scoring mechanisms and the boards are double-sided: players start with the 'A' side, and can move on to the 'B' side once they're familiar with the game. The 'B' side offers advanced block placement instructions as well as some fun variety from game to game! A scoring track helps to keep track of players' scores as the game advances.
The Round Cards and Market Cards
A new round card is flipped over at the beginning of every round. These cards tell you which four ships are being used in that round. The market cards offer players the chance to earn extra points or perform additional actions during his or her turn. There are spots for four market cards on the market board and they are discarded and replaced at the beginning of each round.
The full-color illustrated manual provides detailed instructions for game play and includes examples of potential scenarios. Also included are descriptions of the scoring mechanisms used for each site board (both 'A' and 'B' sides!), as well as variants to add an extra level of difficulty to the game.
In this game of action selection and block placement, strategic skills are key! During each turn you must weigh your options: is it more important to get your own stones into place, or to thwart your opponents' plans? Imhotep is a great choice for kids, families, and adults alike! It's popular among many a seasoned gamer, but it's also a great 'gateway game' to introduce newer players to the world of modern board games.
On your turn, you choose an action...
Action 1: Get New Stones
On your turn, you can take up to three stones of your color from the quarry and add it to your supply sled token. But remember: your supply sled token only has room for a maximum of 5 stones at any one time!
Action 2: Place a Stone
If you choose this action during your turn, you can take one stone from your supply sled and place it on an empty space on one of the ships being used in the round.
Action 3: Sail a Ship
As long as a ship is loaded with the minimum number of stones required for it to sail, you can sail that ship to an open dock at one of the five sites. Once the ship is docked, stones are unloaded from front to back. Beware of your fellow architects! Anyone can sail a ship even if there are no stones of his or her color on it, potentially ruining your plans for victory!
Action 4: Play a Blue Market Card
There are 4 types of market cards in Imhotep--some earn you points immediately, some at the end of the game. The blue market cards allow you to perform an additional action during your turn, e.g. place a stone on a ship and sail it to a site right away.
Imhotep. The legendary architect of the Egyptian monuments. His awe-inspiring structures and brutal tactics earned him divine status among ancient Egyptians. Can you match his ruthless determination to build the most revered monuments? To do this, you will need to transport stone blocks on ships from your quarry to different construction sites. But you alone do not choose where the ships go. Your opponents have monumental plans of their own and want to prevent your success. A fierce competition for the precious stone resources plays out. Only with the right strategy and a little luck can you succeed. In Imhotep, the players take on the roles of ancient Egyptian architects. Over six rounds, they try to transport their stone blocks to end up in the most valuable positions at five construction sites: pyramid, obelisk, chamber tomb, temple, and market. But a player can only choose one of three actions in a turn: excavate a new stone block from the quarry, load a block onto a ship, or move a ship to a construction site. From there, the massive stone blocks must be unloaded in order from bow to stern and placed on the sites in preset sequences. Depending on where the blocks end up, players earn different point values either immediately or at the end of the game. In each turn, you must weigh your options for getting your own stones into place and thwarting your opponents' placement plans. You must get your blocks to the right places, in the right order, at the right time to be the greatest architect.
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||2.8 x 11.6 x 11.6 in||7.9 x 2 x 7.9 in||11.75 x 11.75 x 3 in||10.5 x 2 x 10.5 in||7.5 x 10.8 x 2.7 in||2.75 x 11.75 x 11.75 in|
|Item Weight||3.5 lbs||1 lb||2.8 lbs||1 lb||2.6 lbs||2.95 lbs|
Top customer reviews
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The rest of my remarks are addressed to those who consider themselves experienced euro gamers. This is a worker-placement game with an interest mechanic for doing the placement (sailing the ships, but your opponent if free to sail any ship -- even ones that have your blocks on them). This is almost a pure game theorist's delight; there's a lot of: if I do this, then he'll do that, but if I don't, then he'll do that OTHER thing, and then... The only significant randomness in the game is the bonus cards, but they are dealt face up into a shared pool at the beginning of the round, so from that point on, it's just game theory. There is also randomness arising from changing which ships appear in each round, but I don't believe that affects play significantly.
However, I think that replayability is somewhat limited, so that's why I'm giving 4 stars instead of 5. The game intends for the reversible sides of the building sites to add replayability, but they don't really change the overall strategy that much. I've played it with my kids (12 and 15) 3 or 4 times, and I can tell that if it weren't such a quick game -- we can play it in under 30 minutes -- there'd probably be little enthusiasm for playing it much more. But it makes a good "quickie" game when we don't have time for something more involved.
Summary: For non-gamers, this is a great gateway to "euro" style games. For hard-core gamers: buy it as a filler game, but don't expect to base a game night around this one.
This one is a real home run!