Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Author: Reiner Knizia

Publisher: Hans im Glück 2003



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

In the line of El Grande and all the other fine and simple games comes a new tactical game from Hans im Glück. Reiner Knizia -who else - chose old Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs as the background story. Each player represents one of up to five rival dynasties who try to get as much power as possible to build Amun-Re big and many pyramids and thus to impress him. As a matter of fact the dynasty with the most influence at the end of the game wins it.

Amun-Re comes along with well-designed gaming material. There are over 120 cards, 55 plastic blocks, 60 paper markers, one overview card for each player and two markers for the start player and the Amun-Re temple. The game is played on a board which is divided in 15 provinces. At the beginning each player gets his two own player blocks, three province markers, gold cards with a value of 20 and one special "-3" gold card and the overview card - which seems to become a standard in this type of games.

The game is divided into two parts, the old and the new kingdom. Each part consists of three rounds. The rounds are divided in five phases with a final scoring at the end of each kingdom. The rounds always begin with the drawing of as many province cards as there are players. These provinces are acquired at the second phase - each player acquires exactly one. This is done by a very interesting method. On each province there is a beat table with nine increasing beat values (values of 0,1,3,6,10,15,21,28,36). The start player begins to place his beat stone on any value of one province. The next player then can place his beat stone either on a different province or he has to choose a higher value on the same province. This goes on until each player has made a choice. Then every player starting with the start player who has been outbid has to put his beat stone on another province with the same rules. At the end there must be only one beat stone on a province, so each player gets one. With progressing game you can get some influence cards to force another player to put his beat stone at least two spacers higher on the beat table or to give you the ability to place the stone on the same province if you have been outbid.

During the next phase the players can buy pawns, building stones and influence cards. The number is limited by the symbols on the provinces, so there are more or less valuable provinces. With the building stones you can erect the pyramids, so whenever there are three building stones in the same province, these stones are exchanged for a pyramid.

In the fourth phase the players collect for a offering for Amun-Re. Each player chooses an amount of money (here you can also play the -3) and the total is the offering. This influences the money you get for one pawn in the fifth phase as well as the number of victory points you get for a pyramid in the scoring phases.

During scoring points are earned for each pyramid, for pyramid which are in a complete line, for provinces with most pyramids on either side of the Nil, for pyramids in special provinces and for special tasks which are described in the power cards. At the end of the second half there are additional points for the gold.

Amun-Re is a nice new game from Hans im Glück. Next to the well-balanced design the game surprises with an interesting method of acquisition of the provinces. This really is the highlight of the game and together with some influence cards can bring quite a lot of tactics in the game. Nevertheless the game is not very complex and can easily been played in a about 90 minutes. For me there are too less strategic elements in the game, but if you are looking for a family game or something to play with friends, who are not exactly what you call a freak, you should at least have a look on Amun-Re.

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany