Rainy Day Game's Board Game Review of Amun Re:
Amun Re in Summary
Knizia rolls out his latest big box game in Amun Re - a nice, robust game that will have serious gamers sit up and take notice. You're trying to control the Nile River valley. Players bid on land, hire farmers to create wealth, and erect pyramids to gain glory.
Amun Re is a challenge, and we love to break it out when we want to bring it up a notch from Settlers. The most interesting part of the game for us is the biding mechanism, which requires careful a cafeful look at the benefits of each secotr and the benefits it imparts for your strategy. Because the bidding mecanism will force you into some hard decisions, you have to watch your opponents' bidding choices and habits.
Amun Re will take you a little more than an hour to play, and we often make a night of it with three or four games. It's stood up well to repeated plays and we highly recommend Amun Re to anyone who wants to get into some serious Eurogame fun.
Amun Re Gameplay
The Amun Re board game has a long game turn with lots of interesting mechanics. Without re-writing the rule book, we'll give you a sense of the action.
The board is split in two by the Nile river, and divided into 15 sectors. Each player will gain control of one sector per turn by bidding for the one he'd like to get. BUT, these sectors all have different characteristics and some are more attractive than others for your strategy. So the bidding can get intense.
Once you've gotten your land, you can buy power cards, farmers to work your land, or bulding stones to erect pyramids. (Pyramids are the main way you score points, but your gold and temples also count.)
And finally, players offer sacrifices to the god Amun Re. You do this by offering gold. The players who offer the most gold are rewarded by Amun Re with extra building stones, farmers or cards. And the more gold on the altar of Amun Re, the more he smiles on the Nile River valley. Your farmers will produce more income depending on Amun Re's good graces.
You go through this process 3 times, and then score points for your pyramids and temples. Then all the sectors of the valey are cleared except for the pyramids. The Old Kingdom has passed, and the New Kingdom is dawning. You start again by acquiring new territory. 3 more turns and a final scoring round finish the game and the one who has the most victory points wins!
Who should buy Amun Re?
The Amun Re board game might not be a good introduction to board games. If you're a novice or you're trying to draw some novices into a gaming life, we think you're better off with Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne.
But once you've got a bit of experience under your belt, Amun Re is the kind of game you should be getting into. It takes all the best qualities of the Eurogames genre and ups the stakes to give you a serious gaming challenge. Are you up for it?
The Manufacturer's Board Game Review of Amun Re:
The latest strategy game from Reiner Knizia is set in ancient Egypt. This game is for players who loved his previous strategy games and have been waiting for another great strategy game from the good doctor. Players try to outdo each other in building pyr amids and growing crops, but must watch out for floods and droughts along the Nile.
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Darryl's Board Game Review of Amun Re:
The Amun Re board game has been a great addition to my games closet and I recommend it to everyone. This is some deep stuff, kind of reminds me of the power of Tigris and Euphrates more than some of Knizia's more recent, lighter games.
Amun Re has lots of chances to manipulate the system into giving you points. But my number one tip to players is to consider how long you'll be holding those territories. Remember, the board gets cleared after the third turn. So that territory you pick up in turn three will only benefit you once. It might be better to go for a quick bonus of building blocks or gold rather than trying t invest in a territory with lots of agriculture.
Similarly, in the first rounds you may want to get a lot of farmers so that you can benefit from several rounds of sacrifices to the god Amun Re.
This is just one example of the many subtle considerations you have to take into account while playing Amun Re. I guarantee that as you and your crew get better at it, many more will come to you. Amun Re is a board game for people who like to get absorbed in their games and play them until they've unlocked all their treasures. With Amun Re, that will take a long time.