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Amun Re - Review
(Originally published in BoardGame-Reviews.com)

Amun Re was published in 2003 and was designed by the prolific game designer, Reiner Knizia.

The heart of this game is a unique auction mechanism that puts players in an exciting state of tension!

Amun Re:

* Designed by: Reiner Knizia
* Published by: Rio Grande Games
* Number of players: 3-5
* Playing time: 90 minutes
* Player ages: 12+

The components for the Rio Grande Games version are of high quality. They are functional and serve their purpose.

A Quick Overview

Each player in this board game is a pharaoh attempting to build the most pyramids.

In order to achieve this, players must acquire provinces and farms, buy building stones and finally build pyramids.

The game is comprised of 6 turns of 5 phases.

The first 3 turns are for the Old Kingdom and the next 3 turns are for the New Kingdom.

At the beginning of each turn is an auction where players acquire provinces. On the second auction, players make a sacrifice to Amun Re for gifts.

Players score points depending on how bountiful provinces are. Use your actions, gold and sacrifices cleverly to establish your presence and win!

Now the game begins..

Game Play

The game is divided into 6 turns of 5 phases each. The phases are a sequential order of game play.

First, provinces are selected for auction. This is an open auction where players know the values and bids of other players.

Auctions are done using the following scale for bidding values: 1-3-6-10-15-etc.

Once a province has been won, players then proceed, in the following order, to:

* buy power cards
* buy farmers
* buy building stones

Cost for items follow the same value scale as for the auction. For example, to buy two power cards, a player spends 1 for the first power card and 3 for the second power card for a total of 4.

Next, players make a sacrifice to Amun Re for gifts. Instead of making a sacrifice, players can choose to steal from the temple.

The player who has made the largest sacrifice is given a choice of 3 gifts from Amun Re. The second highest sacrifice is given 2 gifts and the third highest sacrifice is given 1 gift.

Gifts are chosen from farmers, power cards and building stones.

Finally, players then receive income from their farmers or from their traders.

After three turns/three provinces, there is a scoring phase after which all the farmers on the board are removed. Only the pyramids and building stones are left.

Now it is time for the New Kingdom! The New Kingdom turns are similar to the first three turns above.

The twist being that some provinces are more valuable than others due to the existence of pyramids and building stones.

Summary

Amun-Re is a fine example of a board game that uses auction mechanisms to drive game play.

Play is tense, especially during the New Kingdom era where auctions are more heated! As well, there are Power Cards which give players exciting bonuses during the game.

The careful use and play of the Power Cards can determine initial and final strategies.

The game at a glance is pretty simple but repeated plays will reveal nuances. Experienced players will know the relative values of provinces and whether or not to bid on a particular province.

Happy gaming!
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