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Queen Games 60461 "Thebes Multilingual" Game
|Price:||£31.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Delivery Details|
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- 2-4 players
- recommended age: 8+
- 60 min playing time
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Thebes is a game of competitive archeology. Players are archaeologists who must travel around Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East to acquire knowledge about five ancient civilizations -- the Greeks, the Cretans, the Egyptians, the Palestinians, and the Mesopotamians -- and then must use this knowledge to excavate historical sites in the areas of these civilizations. Through the course of the game, expositions are revealed, and an archaeologist who has treasures from the requisite civilizations may claim the prize (this is a change from the first edition's handling of exhibitions). The archaeologist who learns the most about the civilizations, claims the greatest-valued artifacts, and collects the most exhibitions will win out over his or her colleagues. The key element to the game is that it is played out over a period of two (or three) years, and each action a player performs takes a certain amount of time -- traveling is a week between cities, gathering knowledge takes time for the level of the knowledge, and actually digging at a cultural site takes time to yield a certain number of artifact tiles. The game uses a novel mechanism to keep track of this. There is a track of 52 spaces around the outside of the board. Each time a player moves and takes an action, he or she moves their player token forward in time. Players take turns based on being the one who is furthest back in "time". So, a player can go to an excavation site and spend 10 weeks digging for artifacts, but that will also mean that the other players will likely be taking several actions in the interim while that player waits for the "time" to catch up. In addition, the artifact tiles for each civilization are drawn from a bag that also contains dirt. When a player excavates a site, that player pulls tiles from the bag, but some may only be worthless dirt instead of valuable treasure. That dirt is then returned to the bag, making the first draw more likely to provide useful tiles.
CHOKING HAZARD, not appropriate for children under the age of 3See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
The rules are presented (with a summary sheet) in all languages featured on the box but can be a little confusing- it is much easier to have one person to understand the rules and re-digest to everyone as the game is much simplier than the rules lead on.
THe gameplay involves moving from place to place gathering research and "digging" for artifacts; the problem is all actions and movement require time and the game lasts for a maximum 3 years. So with plenty of research to collect and 5 places to excavate (or which you will want to dig at each several times to get all 15 treasures mixed with the 16 debris) and each excavation taking up to 12 weeks, can be challenging to decide when to dig and how long for without wasting too much time.
Very enjoyable game, all my friends had doubts when i told them what it was about but not one person has regretted playing it yet
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
If you want to find a treasures you seek you are going to have to spend the necessary time excavating.
"But is there any treasure left? My competitors have already picked over those ruins..."
The legends say some significant treasures were buried there that haven't been unearthed.
"But I feel my chances are as good as, as good as... as drawing coins out of a cloth bag and most of them will be blank! I'd rather spend time hob-knobbing with senators..."
If the shoe fits...
In this game you can hop around between a couple of grand cities in Europe during 1900 for a few years. What are you doing in those cities? recruiting helpers, gathering rumors, and studying books about ancient ruins in the Mediterranean and North Africa. That's all board-game-theme-speak for set-collecting. It costs time in weeks to travel and each card you pick up at one has a cost in weeks. The cooler to card, the longer it takes to get it.
While most of your collecting is to build your count of books of a certain color, you can also visit the senate meeting in each city. The more of those you attend the more points you get at the end.
For those who would rather be in the dirt, you can take your books to the old country. Each set of ruins has it's own cl+-oth bag that has cardboard coins that are either blank or have pictures of treasures on the each with varying point values. The first to get to each site is sure to get at least one treasure, but after that it's a matter of luck. Each player has a spiffy dial that reminds me of Ralphy's Little Orphan Annie Decoder ring only it's much larger and made of sturdy cardboard. It may be meant to be like the medallion that got scorched into the hand of that evil nazi in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Anyway, you turn the dial for the number of the books you've got and then it tells you have many disks you get to draw from the cloth bag, depending on how many weeks you choose the stay for the expedition.
There are legends (read: cards) that tell how many pointer coins are in each bag. But be warned, each person who draws from the bag puts the blanks back in, so it becomes less likely that you'll draw out the remaining counters on subsequent visits. Usually more than four visits to a location dries it up.
The turn order is interesting in this game, depending on who has spent the least time in the game, get to have a turn. kind of like Patchwork.
In addition to finding treasure, you can show them off at exhibitions. These are periodic and temporary opportunities to show of combinations of treasures found from various ruins. This gives another avenue to score points, adding to the multiple paths to victory.
Once the number of years have passed, you count up who has the most books of each color, granting more points and see who wins.
No player has a distinct advantage over the other, each can be rewarded with luck or smacked by it when treasure hunting. But as there are so many other ways to score points, this luck factor is mitigated. Making it fun to jaunt down to the old countries and see what comes of it.
There are only four cards showing things that can be had in the European cities, sometimes the selection isn't great or people take what you want before your turn. But it's also a race to see who gets the best pickings at each of the sites. Is it worth the time to get the books that count as any color? Should I go down now even though I don't have the optimum amount of books? Should I visit another site or two while I'm down here? What will they do while I'm buried in my excavation?
Turns are short and while your choices feel important you can only make one per turn. I haven't noticed much analysis paralysis while playing this game.
I love the theme, love the multiple paths to victory, love that the game is easy to learn/teach. It's a game I'm delighted to have in my collection.
My kids, ranging from 6 to 10, really like the game and have called for it often.
The game drips with theme and uses a unique time-based turn mechanism. Thebes takes place over a three year period (1901-1903) and each turn represents a single week. Each player can take a single action his/her turn. However, each action will cost that player a certain number of weeks to preform. For each week 'spent', the player moves his player marker forward along the game's calendar/turn counter that many weeks.
So, if "player 1" spends "8 weeks" to do a certain action, he/she would move 8 spaces forward on the calendar. The key is the player who is LAST on the calendar actually get to go first! So, player 2 now has 8 weeks worth of actions he/she could do before "catching up" (or surpassing) to player 1 on the calendar. If player 2 does 9 weeks worth of actions, then player 1 is now last on the calendar and becomes the first player! This can go around and around and really make planning turns fun and interesting, especially with 3-4 players. It sounds weird and counter-intuitive, but it works!
The central point of the game is to spend actions (weeks) travelling around Europe gathering cards that give you special knowledge and/or special abilities that will allow you a CHANCE (note: CHANCE) to have a successful archaeological expedition in one of five expedition zones on the game board: Egypt, Crete, Greece, Mesopotamia and the Holy Land. Once you think you have enough knowledge in one or more areas of the ancient world, you can go on an expedition to find priceless artifacts that are worth victory points at the end of the game!
Now, here is the part of Thebes where the theme shines as bright as the sun.....and will drive other players MAD with frustration. Archaeological expeditions in Thebes consist of RANDOMLY pulling tiles out of a bag and hoping to find riches! Yes, the game is INCREDIBLEY RANDOM! Some players find this completely realistic and fitting perfectly with the theme of the game; others will want to flip the table in anger! Because the bags are mostly filled with BLANK tiles! Yes, you can go into an expedition, loaded for bare, and find NOTHING! Hence why the game loses a star in the ratings.
Now, Thebes allows some mediation on the randomness. Your knowledge cards will have a number on them that gives you your 'knowledge level" of a particular archaeological region, to which you can spend weeks (actions) digging at that particular sight. Your knowledge level, plus the number of weeks you spend digging, are added together using a dial provided by the game called a 'time wheel" which tells you how many tiles you can pull from the bag. Spend more weeks digging, the number of tiles you can pull increases! However, you can draw blanks-literally! I have played games were players have repeatedly pulled 8-9 tiles from the expedition bags and come up empty.....MULTIPLE times!
Some players loves this mechanism.....other loath it. Thebes is a great game, but a very, very....very RANDOM game. If you hate randomness, avoid this game. Otherwise, enjoy! I do....usually. :P