Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review - Heir to the Pharaoh (2016) - Eagle-Gryphon Games

 If you have children you have disliked them at some point i'm sure.
Not so much that you would change your will and give everything to your pet right? maybe? Well that is the premise of the game Heir To The Pharaoh by Eagle-Gryphon Games. Bast and Anubis duke it out Gato y Perro for control of Egypt.

*A Review copy of the game was provided.

Ancient Egypt is going to the dogs — or maybe to the cats? Displeased by his children, the Pharaoh favors his pets instead. He has decided to alter the lines of succession and will bequeath his entire kingdom either to the feline goddess Bast or to the canine god Anubis, but which one?

In Heir to the the Pharaoh you and your opponent play as Bast and Anubis, each one vying for the Pharaoh's affection — and for his throne! Impress the Pharaoh by digging your mighty paws into the sand. Build majestic Shrines, Sun Temples and Obelisks! Use Animal Magic to unleash the power of the gods, who will help you win the favor of the Pharaoh!

In more detail, the game combines intense card play with a spacious and colorfully illustrated gameboard. It mingles multiple mechanisms, including civilization-building (with tile placement and network building), bidding, set collection, area control, and hand management (with players required to exchange all used cards with their opponent at the end of each round). Seven separate player abilities re-combine each round, depending on the favor of the gods earned that round by each player. For example, earning the favor of the god Ra lets you add a Player Disc to the current Sun for area control around the edges of the board. Ptah allows you to claim the current Monument Card for set collection scoring. Seshat lets you place the current Monument Standee on the board to add to the network of Monuments in play. Geb and Nut let you claim and rotate this Monument Standee and aim it at other Monuments to score points. The Pharaoh lets you secretly contribute cards to the construction of the Pyramid, awarding the greater contributor many points at the end of the game.

Over a series of eight rounds, players work to build a Pyramid and a series of smaller monuments to impress the Pharaoh. By performing actions unique to each god, players build monuments and align them to point at other monuments, gaining influence over the Pharaoh as they do so. Once the Pyramid is completed, the player with the most points is declared the Heir to the Pharaoh and wins the game.

Before i even start the play i have to say that the box is great! There is so much space, there is a built in tray that has a cover that goes over the yop of it. I know your here to read about the gameplay but this is one of the greatest inserts i have ever seen.

Ok to the game. I chose Bast and Ty chose Anubis.We went back and forth the first few rounds trying to figure out what each other were planning to do. Tyler was accumulating a bunch of the animal cards (which give you special powers during the bid) and focusing on Rah (which gives an end game bonus for the amount of consecutive RAH spaces you have) while i was into the set collection aspect of the game (you gain victory points based on the number of  each building card you have. The more of one kind, the higher the victory points). We each had a piece of the pyramid but in round 6 he was able to claim the third piece of the pyramid. I felt that i needed to save my high cards to give to the Pharaoh to secure that i built the last piece and secured those victory points. It cost me most of the next two round with Ty playing animal card after animal card (he love to play the card that made the low card the victor rather than the high card) but i was able to get one full set together of cards and i hope that was enough. He looked at the scoring track before calculating the end game bonuses and he said "I think you won." I told him he was going to get a heavy RAH bonus so lets see what happens. After the RAH bonus he only trailed me by two but after finishing end game scoring I was able to win just barely 47-45
"Stealth of the cat was my favorite card. Probably because it secured my win." 

"Anubis rolls over is my favorite card."
"The production value of this game is high.I am really impressed with the box, the art and the tray. The things that sets this game apart for me is the bid mechanic. After the bidding phase is done the cards you have bid with go to your opponent. This makes the game for me. You really have to calculate what cards you are willing to give up for certain items. Is it too soon to play your ten? will your opponent play his ten? Bluffing, misdirection and depth easily make this one of the best 2 player games i have played."

"This game is a little long for me.I like the ability to have additional bidding cards (11&12) added into the game. I also like that one card has a super ability every round (Favor of the gods)."

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