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Merging on Greatness: Ankh: Gods of Egypt Review

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08 Dec 2021 00:00 #328589 by Jackwraith
Most designers come into their games with a vision. It's...

Deep thought, compelling features, and endless variety embody an excellent end to the "mythic trilogy."

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08 Dec 2021 11:00 #328590 by Gary Sax

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08 Dec 2021 11:30 #328592 by Jackwraith
Thanks! I was wondering if it went on a bit too long, as I ended up including a lot more technical detail than Charlie's, which was more about the feel of the game, instead of specific aspects. I'm never quite sure these days about whether to hit specific points that can often be discovered just by reading the rules, but those are often points that I think people might miss just from the info overload of reading a rulebook, so I still feel like there's utility in including them. It's treading a fine line between a "How to play" description and "What it feels like to play".

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08 Dec 2021 11:43 #328593 by Gary Sax
fwiw, I think the audience here is interested in how this differs mechanically from your run of the mill troops on a map game so the technical stuff was important.

I feel like the merge mechanic is an enormous troll of every "THESE ARE MY PIECES" uber control gamer type and I love it.
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08 Dec 2021 11:48 - 08 Dec 2021 11:50 #328594 by charlest
Great review!

I think this is a very difficult game to write about. Excellent job.

I'm also glad you dig it, as our tastes are pretty close generally and I wasn't sure how yours would shake out here.
Last edit: 08 Dec 2021 11:50 by charlest.
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08 Dec 2021 12:33 #328595 by Jackwraith
Thanks! I was pretty sure I would like it, as I'm just generally a fan of Eric's work and, as you say, our tastes are pretty close. But it surprised me in that there's so much more to explore here than seems to be the case with Blood Rage and Rising Sun. I still feel like I might like the latter a bit more, but it's hard to say, given just how much more there is to be found with the variety of scenarios, etc. Plus, the little nuances that arrive with each Guardian are really fascinating. In a lot of ways, the demands to keep playing to experience those little nuances seem like Ankh would've been better a decade ago when the market and the demands on playing time (i.e. so many games to play in so little time) would've been much less. I'm trying to get one group I have that meets every Monday to agree to just do Ankh for a few weeks in a row and see what comes out of it.
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09 Dec 2021 00:03 #328617 by Andi Lennon
Nice review! I slept on this one after being not hugely enamored of Blood Rage and being scared off by the number of expansions and add-ons during the KS. However I played vanilla retail 'Rising Sun' for the first time last night and really enjoyed it (and mannn is it a looker). It was much more engaging than I had anticipated and after reading such glowing reviews of Ankh by yourself and Charlie I'm wondering if I should just pull the trigger on a core box. Bells and whistles be damned.
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09 Dec 2021 10:02 #328624 by Jackwraith
Thanks! I think it's worth it (obvsly.) And it's definitely something you can build in stages, if you really enjoy the base set. The expansions mostly just build on what's already there (more gods, more guardians) but there's already so much game in the core box with the different scenarios available and the guardians already present that there's enough to keep you occupied for a while.

All three games in the trilogy were designed with visual appeal in mind. Lang stated at some point that one of his first design principles is producing something that's visually appealing. I think Rising Sun carried that principle much further than Blood Rage did, but Ankh keeps pace with Rising Sun in that respect.
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