Catan – Ancient Egypt
The Catan-Collector’s Edition- Ancient Egypt™ transports settlers on a journey through time to the realm of the pharaohs.
About the game
There are three different scenarios included: the base game, allowing you to play the game you know and love in an Egyptian setting; “Help from the Gods” which introduces the Egyptian gods to the game; and “The Great Pyramid” which tasks players with building a wonder of the world in addition to their normal settlement and expansion.
The Base Game in an Egyptian Setting
The base game in Catan: Ancient Egypt features the classic Catan gameplay you know and love in a fantastically realized historical setting. In the base game, you’re settling not a randomly created island, but a randomly created landscape of ancient Egypt. You begin the game with two settlements and two oxcarts, which take the place of roads. As you play the game you’ll build oxcarts, found new settlements and upgrade settlements to cities, which have a distinctly Egyptian flavor. The resources in the game are brick, grain, papyrus, cattle and stone and you can trade with your fellow players to get a missing resource.
The oversized development cards in the game feature fantastic Egyptian-themed illustrations and the victory point development cards are dedicated to the cultural and architectural achievements of the ancient Egyptians, achievements that surprise and astound us today. Instead of knights the deck contains mercenary cards and the first player to get three mercenaries in play is granted the Largest Mercenary Army card for two victory points. Likewise, the first player to connect a route of five oxcarts is granted the Longest Trade Route card for two victory points.
Help from the Gods
In “Help from the Gods” players will be introduced to ten Egyptian deities such as Amun, Horus and Isis. When these gods grant their favor to a particular settler, they can achieve fantastic results which opens up new strategies not normally available in the base game. Amun, for example, allows a player to exchange one resource with the supply at a 2:1 rate. Ptha on the other hand, makes it easier to build an oxcart while Isis protects players from losing resources when a 7 is rolled. You can only have the favor of one god at a time and once that god has granted its favor twice, you must trade it back and take a different card. Knowing when to call on the gods is the key to victory in this scenario.
The Great Pyramid
Finally there is the “Great Pyramids” scenario, which lets players walk in the footsteps of history as they struggle to balance their normal settlement with the construction of the first Wonder of the World: The Great Pyramid!
The first new challenge presented in this scenario is the mighty Nile River. Players must build boats to connect their trade networks across the Nile but even more important, access to the river allows players to contribute to the building of the Great Pyramid.
Contributing to the pyramid is vital because every time you contribute a block to the mighty structure, you will enjoy the Vizier’s Favor for a brief time. The Vizier’s Favor allows you to trade any one resource to the supple for a resource of your choice once per turn. Even better, when a 7 is rolled, the robber only steals resources if you have more than 9 in hand. However, the Vizier is fickle and as soon as another player contributes a block to the Great Pyramid, the Vizier grants him favor instead.
Sadly, players must also contend with Pharaoh’s wrath. The player who has contributed the fewest blocks to the Great Pyramid receives the Pharaoh’s Curse, which reduces their victory points by 1, while all other players receive Pharaoh’s Blessing, which is worth an additional victory point.
The Great Pyramid scenario ends in one of two ways: when a player reaches 11 victory points or when the pyramid is finished. You see, every time a 7 is rolled, in addition to the usual effects, Pharaoh adds a block to the pyramid. So this scenario could end much faster than normal, forcing players to fight for the lead at all times!
In addition to the game pieces described above, Catan-Collector’s Edition- Ancient Egypt also contains an almanac giving players a brief account of the historical events depicted in the game, from 3000 BC till Ptolemaic times. This almanac is lavishly illustrated by Michael Menzel.
The game concept of "The Great Pyramid" is similar to the game concept of "Cheops," a historic scenario published in German in the late 90s of the past century. A major criticism of "Cheops" had been that it didn't allow a variable set-up of the game map. In response to this criticism, "The Great Pyramid" offers a variable set-up.