Scarab Lords is a 2 player card game by Knizia. This is, with it sister Minotaur Lords, the most played game at home with my partner.
The Spanish edition of this game game consist of 2 decks of 30 cards (the two houses which fight against each other), another deck of 24 cards (which are used in the advanced game), a board, six wooden pyramids and some scarab tokens. The cards (American standard size) have some nice art and a good quality also the board and the tokens.
In Scarab Lords, you represent one of the two families which fight for the control of Hekemut (a kind of Egyptian fantasy place) by getting supremacy in a majority of sectors of the two regions of Hekemut (the lower and that upper) or by exhausting your opponent resources.
The board is divided in two regions (upper and lower Hekemut) each one with 3 columns (politic, religious and militar)with the cards, a player has to control two columns in each region at the beginning of his or her turn to win the game. The other way to win is to start your turn with the opponent's deck exhausted (one of the decks is strongly oriented to this)
To do that, the cards are used. The majority of the cards have a number (power), a phase (0,1,2 or s) and one or some icons about what column you can use it in
In each turn you can play as mucha phase 0 cards as you want, one phase 1, one fase 2 and as much of phase s as you want.
By using your cards in each column, you add the power of each card (and the special text if there are one). In the phase s of your turn, you have to check in which columns you have more power. This ones becomes the ones you control. If at the begining of your turn, you control at least 2 in each region you win.
Each column you control, gives you a special power:
-Economic- you can draw a card (there is no draw phase in this game so..)
-Religious- you can curse a card from this region. That consist of putting a scarab token on a card, this card is ignored. A player can use the phase action of that card to uncurse it
-Militar- your opponent has to discard one card from the draw deck (perfect to win by depleting your opponent deck)
There are different kinds of cards (minion, leaders, gods, etc.) But this is the basic flow of the game
As I said in the beginning of the review, we both love this game. When you start to play it, you see few options to play, I can only play a card in this phase and only in these columns. But the more you play, the more you realize how important is to play THIS or THAT card in THIS or THAT column. It's impossible to play all you want in each turn so the decisions are very thoughtful.
So for us a great game, we are now playing it with the decks of Minotaur Lords.
Ops. I have forgot to write about the advanced rules. With them, the game consists in 3 duels. After the first, every player discards from 0 to 5 cards from their deck, put them in the advanced deck and, starting by the loser of the previous round, take the same number cards from it. When this second duel finish, if there is a tiempo of wins, the players do the same and start a new duel. The one who wins 2 duels, wins the match.
This gives the game a bit of deck construction which I personally love too much
How do you compare Scarab Lords and Minotaur Lords?
I love them both. For me tahey are really game but sold apart (like blue moon decks) The minotaur decks are a bit easier to play (most of their minion cards can be played in various columns unlike the scarab Lords ones which most of them can only be played in one kind of column).
Is important in Minotaur to be aware of the errata about the Horde Cards but away from this, a great game (you can play a minotaur deck against a scarab deck without problem)
I know this game has not too much love here but I strongly recommend them both