Thursday, December 31, 2020
Friday, November 6, 2020
The people of ancient Egypt originally worshipped numerous gods, each one ruling over a different aspect of the people’s daily life or the afterlife. As their society changed, so did the people’s worship, assigning new realms to gods and even sometimes melding two gods together. The gods have noticed this and know that if things keep going as they are, there will eventually only be one god that rules over the Egyptian’s lives. Each wants it to be them, to be supremely worshipped not above all others, but to the exclusion of all others! One god will rule eternally. The rest will fade into legend. In Ankh: Gods of Egypt, players take on the role of these warring gods. In this article, we take a look at the game itself, and delve a bit into its mechanics.
The game begins with players choosing which god they want to represent. Each one has its own unique power based on those that the god is said to have possessed in Egyptian lore (read more about it here). After that, players decide on a scenario that they will play. While the ultimate goal of the game is the same (being the last god standing), the different scenarios provide different board set ups and other unique features to make each game of Ankh a little different from one-another. Players will also choose different Guardians that they will be able to recruit throughout the game. These Guardians are taken from Egyptian myth and will become powerful allies during the game for those who gain their allegiance – or powerful enemies. The game is ready to begin.
During a player’s turn, they will perform up to two actions on the Action Board. Players are free to pick which Actions they want to do, but, after performing a first Action, their second must be chosen from an Action listed further down the Action Board. They also cannot choose the same Action twice. Planning ahead is important when it comes to picking one’s Actions. Let’s take a quick look at what each of the Actions are.
Move Figures: The player may move each of their figures on the board up to three spaces. Figures can move through other figures, as well as over water and other obstacles, but must land in an empty space.
Summon Figure: The player summons one of the figures from their available pool into an empty space on the board. That space must be adjacent to one of their other figures or adjacent to a Monument that they control.
Gain Followers: The number of followers gained is equal to the number of Monuments, both under their control and neutral, that they have any figure next to in the same region.
Unlock Ankh Power: A player unlocks a new power to their god by sacrificing followers. The number of followers that needs to be sacrificed depends on the level of the power they wish to unlock. It is also by unlocking new Ankh powers that the god may be able to recruit new Guardians to their side.
As players go through their turns performing Actions, they move standees along the Action Board showing which Actions they have done. When enough Actions of a certain type have been completed, an Event is triggered. There are different Events, such as altering the landscape of the board by adding new camel caravans to it, or taking control of a Monument, or even direct, outright combat for domination in the different regions of the board. Planning one’s action carefully to try to anticipate which Event will happen when, in order to be prepared for it, is central.
The fight for Devotion will go on. Guardians and Warriors will be summoned, Monuments will be claimed, followers will be conquered. But Devotion is what truly wins the game, and Devotion is tricky. After the third Conflict event, in a 3+ player game, the two gods with the lowest amount of Devotion merge into one. Their power is consolidated, retaining the Monuments, Guardians, and Followers of the higher of the merging gods. From then on out, the newly created merged god acts on both players’ turns, having access to both of their unique powers at the same time and sharing the same resources. During battles, both players decide together on their strategies.
This derives from aspects of Egyptian history. The practice of combining different deities into the identity of a single one became more and more common with the passage of time, the most famous example being Amun-Ra.
After the fourth Conflict, as the game nears its end, any gods whose Devotion is too low is removed from the game. They have simply been forgotten. If that leaves only one god left, they are the winner. If there are no gods left, then everyone loses as Egypt becomes an entirely secular society. If multiple gods are still left, play continues until the last event, when the god with the most Devotion wins. A god can also be victorious if at any point they reach the top of the Devotion track.
Ankh: Gods of Egypt is a cutthroat type of game. Unlike Blood Rage and Rising Sun, it is possible for players to be eliminated towards the end of the game. Players must work hard to make sure that they’re not one of them. In the end, one god will rule over all of Egypt. Stay tuned for more about this amazing game.
One of the characteristics in Ankh: Gods of Egypt that sets it apart from its predecessors in the legendary saga – Blood Rage and Rising Sun – is the high level of asymmetry in the game. The presence, or absence of, a god in a particular game highly changes the texture of the experience and the strategy that needs to be applied. This happens because players represent the gods themselves and their powers. Let’s take a deeper look into which gods are included in the core box and how their powers are represented in the game.
First, we have Anubis, God of Tombs, Embalming, and the Underworld. Dying was a central part of the Egyptian mythology, if the elaborate mummies, pyramids and funerary rites can serve as any indication. Great efforts were made to ensure the well-being of souls after death. So, in the context of the game, Anubis’ power relies on trapping other Gods’ dead Warriors in his underworld. Each trapped Warrior makes him more powerful. The only way to get the warrior back is to pay Anubis with Followers which can make him more powerful in different ways. It’s a tough negotiation, and something for players to keep in mind when engaging in battle not only with Anubis, but with any god.
Then we have Ra, the mighty Sun God, a Creator God, giver of life. His power in the game is very different from Anubis’. When summoning a figure to the board, be it a warrior or a guardian, he can choose to assign it one of the sun tokens. By making the figure radiant, Ra gains more Devotion when winning conflicts with it. If not kept in check, this ability can make Ra players win very quickly, as the game ends when a God hits the top of the Devotion track.
Osiris and Isis were both brother and sister and husband and wife. Together, they were protagonists of one of the most well-known Egyptian myths. Osiris was a primeval pharaoh, murdered by his brother Set, who usurped the throne. Osiris’ body was then dismembered and scattered across Egypt. But Isis retrieved the pieces, restoring his body and bringing him briefly back to life. Osiris became the first mummy and continues to live in the mysterious Kingdom of the Dead.
The betrayal of Osiris by his brother is represented in a very interesting way. When Osiris loses a battle, he can open an underworld portal in the region which enemies cannot enter but allows him to summon additional allies. So, when battling in Ankh, losing could be advantageous to Osiris’ player as he can come back stronger later. That’s something his opponents must keep in mind.
Isis is the best at protecting her allies in the game. Her figures that are adjacent to enemy figures are protected and cannot be killed. So enemy players would do well to keep their distance from those protected by this goddess!
Finally, we have Amun, a mysterious and many faced god who assumed many roles during the different Egyptian eras. First, he was God of the Wind and patron deity of Thebes, a city in the South of Egypt. Later, he became the national Sun deity and King of the Gods, bringing Egypt into a period of virtual monotheism. His mysterious nature is represented in the game by him having a more flexible power. When battling, Amun can play two cards instead of one, and resolve both, adding together extra bonuses. Battles against Amun are unpredictable and can be very hard to win.
That covers all the gods present in the core box of Ankh: Gods of Egypt. In an era where Egypt is going from polytheism to monotheism, the gods will fight to be the last one standing. Some will rise, some will fall… and some will merge together. Who will they be?
Sunday, October 25, 2020
The children of the Great Desert are outstanding architects. But their strength lies in their power as warriors and conquerors. Living a life of creation and conquest, the Sphynx diligently prepare for their glorious afterlife. They must live in glory and heroic deeds if they are to be assured a place amongst their god-kings. The Sphynx stand solid like their huge buildings, they seek to rid the world of all evil. When they are tested by the sick corruption of other races, they know the Great Sphinx will come to them and revel in glorious victory
Sunday, June 14, 2020
In this cinematic animation video, we explore some of the major Landmarks, architecture, art buildings and landscapes of ancient Egypt! We also take a look at daily life and what the people of Ancient Egypt got up to.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Our game boards were originally designed to be used with Heroquest. That's why you'll notice we don't mark the doors or add furniture - you can put these wherever you want them, using you favourite system (paper or 3D). This will mean the board can be different every time you use it. You can download our free door pack here:
Heroic Maps boards are flexible enough to be used with many game systems.
Mix and Match with other Heroic Maps!
The artwork is done by the talented Daniel Mitchell and shows off not only some of the historical units that are going to be in the game but of course some of the mythological figures too. That Ureaus looks amazing. A fire breathing Cobra, how can it get better than that?