ReviewsTabletop Games

Amun-Re Review

Will history remember you as the greatest pharaoh of all time!

As the leader of a royal Egyptian family, you must compete against the others to ensure history remembers you as the greatest pharaoh of all time! Amun-Re is played over the course of 2 ages, called the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom. Each age consists of 3 identical rounds of play (sub-divided into 4 phases). Scoring is done at the end of each age. Finish the game with the most victory points to win.

  1. Lay the game board face-up in the centre of the table.
  2. Form a supply of Stones, Pyramids, and Double Pyramids in the Quarry.
  3. Form a supply of Farmer tokens.
  4. Form the Gold Reserve by sorting the Gold cards by value, placing the resulting stacks face-up beside the game board.
  5. Place the Offering tiles face-up beside the game board.
  6. Deal 1 Architect Favour card to each player, then shuffle the remaining Favour cards (with statue backs) together. Place this Favour deck beside the game board.
  7. Build the Province deck (with pyramid backs) based on the number of players. The Province deck should include 3 Province cards per player. With 5 players, all Province cards will be used. Return any unused Province cards to the game box–they will not be used in this game.
  8. Each player selects a colour, then collects the 3 Scribe pawns of that colour. Return the components of any unused colours to the game box.
  9. Place a Victory Point marker of each player’s colour beside the game board’s score track, and return any unused markers to the game box.
  10. Deal a combined value of 20 Gold to each player, using Gold cards of the following denominations: 
  11. Deal 1 Theft card to each player, and return any unused Theft cards to the game box.
  12. Randomly determine a Start Player, and give that player the Start Player token.

Each round takes place over 4 phases, in order:

  1. THE AUCTION PHASE – Where Province cards are dealt to the game board, and players bid against one another to acquire these Provinces.
  2. THE MARKET PHASE – Where players may purchase items and cards from the market, and place Stones and Farmer tokens on the game board.
  3. THE OFFERING PHASE – Where players may sacrifice Gold to Amun-Re.
  4. THE HARVEST PHASE – Where players collect income from their Provinces and Farmer tokens.

After all players are finished with the Harvest Phase, the round ends, and a new round begins.

  • If this was the third round of an age, the Province deck will be empty. When this occurs, the age ends, and Intermediate Scoring occurs.
  • After Intermediate Scoring, if that was the end of the second age (New Kingdom), then proceed to Final Scoring and the game’s end!

Tasty Minstrel Games has taken one of my favourite Reiner Knizia games and given it a face lift. Amun-Re was originally released in 2003 and was one of the games that got me back into loving board games. In classic Tasty Minstrel Games fashion, they have taken an older tired looking game, tighten the rules slightly, given the art a much need facelift & improved the components. TMG is one of my favourite publishers when it comes to components, as whether it is there own game or they are re-releasing an old game, their components are always of the highest quality.

So I played this game with 2 groups of friends, one group had never played it and the other was the group I first played the original Amun-Re with. I thought having the perspective of both first timers and people who have played the original is a must when you are reviewing a game that is a remake /revamp.

My friends that played this game before loved it; but that is no surprise as 2 of them own the original. But what this loved was the care and skill that was given to revitalise an old favourite. The upgraded are, the meeples, pyramids and other components. One of the guys was scared when I told him I was bringing Amun-Re over, as he has such fond memories from the game and didn’t want anyone to do a “Movie Job” (referencing all the remakes that have gone horrible wrong) on one of his favourites. Funnily enough, he was the person singing TMG praises after finishing just the first age. The first timer also really enjoyed the game, though they didn’t have the nostalgic feel the other group played and it took a little while longer to get into the game and really start to enjoy it.

As I played with both groups over one epic day, Fans during the day and the new players at night. I have never really noticed this before playing this game, but the time it takes a fan of the game vs the new players to get excited and how very different the time frame was and how it was shown in such different ways. The Fans were a bit stand offish at first and then by the end of the first round, as the realisation of their old favourite being back on the table refreshed and flashier than they remember it.  Where the new players played asked questions and by the end of the first age, you could see they fully understood it. The smiles and high fives came out; they were relaxing into it. By the end, both groups agreed, Tasty Minstrel Games has made / recreated a great game.

Amun-Re has always been one of my favourite, the game play is what I have come to expect from the good doctor and for anyone that knows me or have read some of my previous reviews, know I love History especially Egypt.  But TMG has taken the art and components of this and made it something special. They have kept my two favourite elements from the original, the 3D pyramids and the money cards. Don’t ask my why I loves the money cards so much, I just liked the art and style of them. They had this beautiful old world antique feel to them that really hit the spot for me.

TMG has given all the art a facelift but handled it with such care. They have added detail improved the box and board art; made it look realistic and bring it in line with what we have come to expect from modern boardgames. The whole time keeping it feel original, they didn’t change the overall design they just updated it with the upmost respect for the original. This is one of many reasons why I’m a fan of TMG, their eye for detail and their ability to use a light touch to make the most impact possible is one of the best in the business.

If you haven’t played the good Doctors, Reiner Knizia, you need to. It is honestly in my top 10 list of games I’ve played. So, if you want a copy of Amun-Re, you can pick one up from your Friendly Local game Store or from Amazon US 

 

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Derek 'Dez' Maggs

Board Game & Tech Reviewer / Podcast Host of Rapid Reviews on the Boomer Radio Network / Assistant Producer of Creaytors Series on YouTube / Coffee & Hug Addict

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