Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Adventurers Pyramid of Horus: Fantasy Flight Games

Before I get too far into this review, I wish to express a little bit about myself. First off, this is my first review, so please give me feedback on how you feel I did. I am an avid board gamer with a wonderful spouse who too loves to play. It's a match made in heaven for us geeks! I have 2 kiddos under that age of 10 who are my future gaming partners. I am what you might call an "casual gamer" or "family gamer".

Anyways, on to the review.

Here are your new Adventurers!


See that picture of Edgar Rice? Yea, that's Leia Rice's dad from the original Temple of Chac. I would imagine she stayed a virgin for a loooooong time.

From left to right and what ability they possess.

Jose' Ardila - Pick lock (same as original) - My personal favorite!
David Gore - Shoot - Knock a mummy down and run past for no damage.
Delroy Cartier - Stamina (same as original)
Maki Watanabe - Reflexes - Dodge a cobra or scorpion bite/sting.
Abdel Wahab - Linguistics - See contents of sarcophagus without using acion.
Chantal Sarti - Dodge - If a rock falls on her square, she can move to adjacent square and take no damage.
Edgar Rice - Swimming - If bitten by alligator, he takes no damage.
Rasputin - Clairvoyance - Can look at the bottom of a falling rock and see if he wants to place it or choose another.





When I first saw that The Adventurers was coming out with a sequel, I was excited, but also curious on how they could change things to keep it interesting. Was there going to be enough there to warrant someone, who already owns the first version, to want to go out and purchase this one?

Well, that will ultimately be up to you to decide. What I am going to do here is give you an understanding on how the game works and what things are different from the original version.

Game Play
If you already know how to basically play the game, just scroll down to the next bolded subtopic.

I'm hoping that you already know the basics of how this game works given that there is already a plethora of reviews on the original version. However, if you don't I will give a brief description on how you play.

At the beginning of the game, one person will be give 5 dice. They will roll the dice and depending on the results everyone will gain actions. Actions are determined by how much weight your character is caring. Weight is determined by how many cards that represent treasures, damage, or tools your character has in possession. You may carry up to three cards before you must increase you weight load. Each die result can potentially give you one action a piece. Here is how weight load and actions look on the card.

0-3 cards - you must roll higher than 2 for an action.
4-6 cards - you must roll higher than 3 for an action.
7-9 cards - you must roll higher than 4 for an action.
10-12 cards - you must roll higher than 5 for an action.
You can't exceed 12 cards.

Once actions are determined, each player will be given an opportunity to either move their character (costs 1 action per square), search the ground where they stand for treasure or tools (costs 1 action for each time you search), or open a sarcophagus (opening a sarcophagus is one action, taking the treasure inside is an additional action).

The game boils down to this, you are trying to gain as much treasure as you can and get back to the exit before one of two things happen. You take too many hits and die, or the exit is sealed and you become trapped inside. Once the exit is sealed or everybody escapes, the game ends and everyone counts up their loot to see who is the victor!


Game Play Differences

A turn will consist of these following actions. Roll for actions, perform actions, roll for mummy movement, choose a rock and place it on the board that has the corresponding number, pass the 5 colored dice to your left, rinse and repeat.

Here is what the board looks like:

Off center, sorry!


You will enter at the steps where you can search amongst the rocks for minor treasures or possibly some items as such:


Anti-venom - Heals 1 venomous damage
Satchel - Let's you place 2 other cards (idols excluded) into it so the weight off all 3 items is still 1.
Udjat (eyeball card) - Let's you look at the bottom of a falling rock and decide if you want to place it or choose another.
Med-Kit - Heals falling rock damage or alligator bites.
Crowbar - Let's you open a sarcophagus for zero action points.

Each of these items will add 1 to your weight, but can be very useful as you delve deeper into the tomb.

There's several things that can make you take damage when either you search and draw them from the deck, or if mummies land on the same spot where you character is standing.



Mummy damage card - Nothing can heal this wound, so it's best to stay clear of them.
Alligator bite - You will receive this while searching around in the water for treasure. This can be removed with med-kit.
Falling rock damage - This occurs when rocks fall on your head at the end of the turn. I will explain how this happens later.
Scorpions sting - You will receive this while searching the sand that surrounds the water. This can be healed with anti-venom.
Cobra bite - You will receive this while searching the rocky entrance. This can be healed with anti-venom.


Treasures:

There's a few ways other than searching rocks, water, or sand to gain treasure.

Open a sarcophagus and remove treasures or take 1 of the 5 idols that are in each of the corners.

To open a sarcophagus you must be standing in the space that is located directly in front of them and use an action to open it (flipping card over) and another action to take the treasure. The treasures values are numbers 1-5 for the ones located at the left and right side of the board and 4-4-5-5 for the 4 located at the far end of the board. Each of these treasures will have a symbol of the god that they represent located in the corner of the card. There are a total of 5 different gods that can be collected and depending on how many different ones you manage to collect, you gain bonus points when scoring.

+1 for treasure/idol of 1 god
+3 for treasure/idol of 2 different gods
+6 for treasure/idol of 3 different gods
+10 for treasure/idol of 4 different gods
+15 for treasure/idols of 5 different gods

If you look at the board you will see where each of the god symbols are and which cards can be drawn to gain them.

Horus god cards - yellow - can only be taken from sarcophagus at the far end of the board (hardest to get) or idol can be removed by picking lock.
Thoth and Anubis god cards - white and black - can only be taken from the sarcophagus located at left and right of the board or idols can be removed by picking locks.
Hededet god cards - red - can be found in the sand or idol can be taken from the right side of the board.
Sobek god cards - green - can be found in the water or idol can be taken from the left side of the board.

The 5 idols that are located in the corners and you must be standing directly in front of them to try and pick the lock.



They are worth a bit of treasure, however they come with a risk.

Horus - 10 value
Anubis and Thoth - 8 value
Hededet and Sobek - 6 value

Each of the idols represent a color of a certain die.



Once you obtain one of these idols, you never get an action from that colored die for the rest of the game. You are cursed my man! So you go from a potential 5 actions to only 4 once you obtain just 1 idol. If you gain 2 idols you will only have the potential of 3 actions and so on........

How do mummies work?



Mummies patrol the corridors that are directly in front of the sarcophagus. They will move at the end of everyone's turn by rolling the dice and moving them 1 space for every die that results in a 4 or higher. Each of the 3 mummies will move until they hit a wall, turn around, and continue their movement accordingly. If you ever share a space with a mummy or if a mummy's movement ever comes into contact with you at all, you receive a damage card that adds to your weight. Mummies can't be destroyed!

Rocks!

Probably the single best part of the game. Once everybody's actions have been completed and the mummies moved, you will draw a random rock that will make a spot on the board inaccessible for the rest of the game. If one is to fall on the spot you are currently occupying, then you take a falling rock damage card and move to an adjacent open square (NO YOU DON'T IMMEDIATELY DIE). Rocks never fall where mummies walk.

I keep the rocks in the box lid for easy convenience.


Here's what the bottom looks like so you know where to place.



Here's what the board looks like after several rounds!



As you can see, your time is limited. Grab and dash! Get trapped inside and you are toast.

Some people think this gives you such a small amount of time and you never really get a chance to get into the game before the entrance is sealed. I have now played this game around 20x's and have yet to ever experience this. All of our games have been exciting right down to the end and only a small handful of times has anybody ever been locked inside at the end of the game.


Other thoughts:

I like what FF did with this version. If you ever played the original, I know you hate those small bases as much as I do! Well, FF took note and corrected it by not only giving them wider bases, but adding one other special element that I thought was brilliant!


These bad boys snap right on and off. LOVE IT!

The other thing they did is include 4 extra double sided stat cards. No more using another flipped over character to try to keep track anymore. You still have the stats on the opposite sides of your character cards, but this is a nice touch.




Final conclusion:

As you might already know, I own this game and the original. I bought this version at Gen Con after one play. Why? Because I saw the potential and the differences between the two. Sure, they share the same mechanics, but it's the overall game play that keeps these both separate and fun in their own unique way. Fantasy Flight did a wonderful job on the components with nice sculpts, cards, board, and rocks. I would give this version a big thumbs up! It makes me wonder what next adventure awaits our heroes!

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