Maarten D. de Jong
Since I had a bit of spare time, I rummaged around in the TricTrac archives and loacted the links to the descriptions of the extensions. They can be found here:
Caylus Magna Carta
BGG's database mentions a sixth game---Mykerinos---for which an expansion will be present, but this appears to be an error, unless there have been announcements elsewhere of which I have no knowledge. What follows are rough translations of the text describing them.
This expansion will be called 'The Palace', that of Nebuchadnezzar, which sees the introduction of a new personality, the courtesan. She allows the players to act differently at various crucial points in the course of the game---first player, order of the procession, for example. More precisely, recruting a courtesan brings in 1 VP, and advances the player one space in the palace. In Phase I, beginning with the second turn, every player who is present in the palace is [obliged?] to chose (in the order from most to least advanced in the palace) between *) becoming first player (if noone choses this ability, the first player is passed on in the usual way); *) performing the procession (if noone choses this ability, it is the last player in the player order as usual); *) winning a noble (meaning a 'joker' recruitment for the next turn); and *) winning a courtesan. With 4 players, there are two courtesans present in the deck of cards, and it is always possible to hire one for two coins.
According to Cyril Demaegd this expansion changes the dynamics of the game completely. These elements were present in the game during its conception, but were removed at a later stage to make Amyitis less complex. 'The Palace' therefore integrates seamlessly with the base game without changing its nature.
[I'm not sure how the 'winning a courtesan' functions---it implies a sort-of positive feedback mechanism.]
Caylus Magna Carta
With about 50 cards and a gameboard, the game of William Attia has the biggest expansion in the box at its disposal. The cards allow for the introduction of all the materials necessary to include a fifth player, but also new buildings (neutral, prestige and residential) or reworked ones to function with the royal favours.
The heart of the expansion is located on the gameboard which aids in representing the royal favours---favours different from those of Caylus which are much simpler than those of the big brother. To profit from a favour, one has to go to a building which offers one, like the Tournament (which exists as a neutral building as well as a residential one for every player), or scattered between the prestige buildings like the Statue (which offers a favour when it is erected, but gives its owner 1 VP less).
The player who benefits from a favour has three possibilies: take a resource, advance on a VP track, of profit from permanent effects. There are two types of effect which aid in overall progress: *) not placing a worker to receive one coin, which can be transformed into paying one coin to gain 1 VP; or *) having a credit of 2 to move the provost which can be transformed into 'receiving all of the resources' by placing oneself on a card. [See the images on TricTrac.]
The possibilities are significantly extended.
The game of Sébastien Pauchon sees itself enriched by the smallest expansion of the set---only four cards. 'At which point we didn't have to include it in the box', notes Cyril Demeagd. 'This is more of a bonus, and we will put it up for download on our website as well for those who only have Metropolys.'
These four cards are new objectives based on the colours. To gain 9 points, one needs to obtain a group of three colours pictured on the card in one and the same neighbourhood. It is possible to mix these new objectives with those from either the family or the expert game---for example, necessitating the control of three different coloured areas which all surround a lake.
'These cards create an intermediate level between the family and the expert game', elaborates Mr. Ystari. They were developed by Thomas Cauet after a suggestion by Dominique Bodin.
Consisting of 12 cards, this expansion brings two new personalities, two events, and one [large project]. [I do not have this game and therefore am not familiar with the terminology.]
The gladiator gains a player prestige but doubles as a green marker at times of crisis. The philosopher, on the other hand, associates himself with another personality, doubling the effect of the latter. The earthquake and military defeat are grouped with (and controlled by) the Vestal Virgins and the legionnaires. In case of a failure, they are the same who will be [returned / turned over]. The large project is the forum, and it gives the player donating the largest amount of votes a marker of each category.
Last but not least, Ystari has added a card to distinguish clearly who is first player.
The SdJ finalist of 2007 also underwent a small facelift. In outward appearance, almonst nothing changes---no new bord or new element. One has to dig a little to realise that it is the set of 18 cards which has been replaced very quietly.
The expansion therefore also consists of 18 cards. But this time all the cards are unique. The nine doubles have been replaced by nine new ones, five of which are shown in the image [see TricTrac]. Two from the base game have been slightly altered: instead of three coins one can now take four, and instead of a maximum of 10 VP obtainable by turning in coins there is now a maximum of 12.
For the cards shown here---the element of surprise applies to the others---you can, from left to right, *) obtain VP as a function of your prensence in the four neighbourhoods; *) withdraw a cube from a soukh to obtain 2 VP; *) obtain 2 VP per card in your hands; *) change the value of one die for that of another present in the Tower; and *) obtain a card played or discarded by another player.
Also, to profit more from the cards a player now draws two cards and keeps one whenever he wants a card. This change does not apply to the Caravanserai: there the player will always draw one single card.
There are thus 18 different cards in the game. 'The nine new ones do not change the dynamics of the game', explains Cyril Demaegd, 'on the contrary, they make the drawing of cards more interesting. The last player usually had little choice. Now taking a card is more powerful because of the two card draw. In addition, it gives the game more flexibility and more means to grab VP.' To the point where the boss of Ystari will no longer exchange one barrel of expansions against two barrels of base sets!
The development of this expansion has been realised by Thomas Cauet who based himself on ideas from Sébastien Pauchon, [certain solutions of versions of the game prior to its publication]. [???---that's what the text seems to say...].
Wow, I'm really looking forward to this , I'm a big fan of all Ystari games.
Thanks for posting!