Travel back in time and become a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Farm the land and build pyramids. But beware, the second epoch is coming, when many things will change. Will you position yourself well for the new regime, or will you get swept away in the waters of the Nile?
Amun Re is a “Euro” style game, and one of the first Euro games I ever played. As such, I suppose it holds a special place in my heart (and on my game shelf). I haven’t played it in a while, but when I pulled out the box to review the rules, I was filled with a sense of nostalgia. I’ll have to play this again sometime soon.
As with most (if not all) euro style games, the object is to finish the game with the most victory points. The board is divided up into 15 different properties or “provinces.” Each province has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, some give free gold, some give access to power cards, and some have space for farmers.
At the start of the game, a number of property bidding cards are dealt onto their respective spaces on the board. Then, a bidding round begins where players end up with one property each. The bidding rules are interesting, though I won’t go into them here.
Once players each have a property, a buying round begins where players can buy pyramids and farmers for their properties, and power cards for their hands.
Then, the players try to raise the level of the Nile river by sacrificing money. This is an interesting phase, as some players (the ones who own property on the banks of the Nile) have an incentive to raise the level, while some players (those inland who own camels) have an incentive to keep the level low. Sacrifices are made in secret, and revealed all at once, so there’s an element of reading the other players, and trying to figure out what they want to do.
Then, bidding starts again on three new properties. Here’s the cool thing: once every player has three properties each, and the buying, building, and river raising phases are done for that third round, there is a scoring round, and then EVERYthing but the pyramids are removed from the board, and a new epoch begins. Because pyramids are worth victory points, properties that have pyramids on them are suddenly more desirable in this second phase of the game. Bidding on provinces that have multiple pyramids is delicate: on the one hand, you have built in victory points for the end of the game. On the other hand, if you pay too much, you won’t have money left over for building MORE pyramids.
One of the things I really like about this game is the “partial reset” halfway through the game. Some elements are left on the board, changing the landscape of property “value” and desirability, while ownerships and farmers are swept off in a fresh start for everyone. Medici has a similar element (which I also like), but the reset in Amun Re is cleaner and more pronounced.
Amun Re is a great strategy game where there is very little random element. The theme is fun, and the play is varied. I will also mention that there aren’t too many little pieces in the game, as is the case with some eurostyle games. And, as is the case with eurostyle games, the production values are very high, and the graphics of the board are immersive. Amun Re is a very fun strategy game for your next game night.
- Game: Amun Re
- Players: 2-5
- Play Time: Approx 1 hour
- Type: Strategy (eurostyle)