Epoch 1, Turn 4 (E1/T-4)
E1/T-4 Card Draw
The Sea Peoples draw four cards, but that gives them seven total cards, one more than the six maximum allowed in their hand. They discard Pirates.
Hittites draw four cards which give them six.
Egypt draws a meager three cards and gets two Talents of Tribute from its surviving Client States. I choose not to turn any Talent in for an additional card. One Talent draws one card. As with the preceding turns, it seems my Talents are better used to offset competition inflicted Tile losses. No Must Play Cards appear.
E1/T-4 Growth Phase
Sea Peoples get six Tiles: sending four to the Nile Delta and two to Sinai.
The Hittites, once again, send their four Tiles against Al Mina.
Egypt gets five Tiles: two to the Nile Delta, one to Sinai, one to the Egyptian Sea, and one to the Libyan Sea. It would appear to the invaders that Egypt has some naval type cards and is trying to push the Sea Peoples away from the Nile Delta coast.
E1/T-4 Card Play
The Sea Peoples play Great Person – Poet. This allows them to remove one Tile from Sinai, Nile Delta and Egypt and replace each with one Red Tile in Sinai and Egypt. They already have the four maximum in the Nile Delta.
Hittites play Heroic Saga, which will boost their Tile growth or earn one Talent & one VP over the next two turns.
Egypt plays Trade Fleet, which as we rhetorically suspected, allows them to put an additional Purple Tile in the Egyptian Sea, the Libyan Sea and the Gulf of Sidra.
The Sea Peoples play Land Improvement, which allows adding one Red Tile to Egypt and Kush, apparently in hopes of making further inroads in the Nile valley and gutting Egyptian resistance.
Play returns to The Hittites who unleash Earthquake and remove a Blue Tile from Phoenicia and a Black Tile from Palmyra (which has been there since the beginning of the game).
Egypt finds a Treasure Hoard, a card which gives it a VP and two Tiles in Egypt.
The Sea Peoples play the Great Person: Law Giver card, which allows them to place a Red Tile each in Kush, Egypt and Libya plus draw two cards: one may be kept and the other placed upon the discard pile. They draw two innocuous cards, neither of which are worth mentioning. One is kept and the other discarded.
The Hittites decide to hold a chariot race with the Hippodrome card. Each Civilization draws a card in turn order, the highest I.D. number card wins and that card is kept by the winning Civilization. However, the Hittites, drawing second, pick a Must Play card called the Sea People Invade (again this is not the Civilization Sea People, but are another evil variety of Black Tile Barbarians.
The Hittites, with fewest VPs, control the placement of this Barbarian invasion. They place four Black Tiles in the “launch site” of the Egyptian Sea and then four Black Tiles each in adjacent Nile Delta, Libya, and Sinai. Libya already had Black Tiles within it, so only enough are added to get the total Black Tile count to four.
The Egyptians pull the third card in the Hippodrome Chariot Race and WIN. It is the highest I.D. numbered card! They get to keep the Pontifex negate card, but it is drawn too late to stop the now underway Sea Peoples invasion.
Egypt plays the Blockade card and puts it on the Egypt Land Area to prevent others from using cards, Talents, and/or place any Tiles in that Land Area.
The Sea Peoples erect a Sacrificial Altar, a card for converting Tiles into Talents, and remove their own Red Tiles: three from Sinai and one from Libya in exchange for two Talents added to their treasury. All three players then pass ending the phase.
E1/T-4 Competition Phase
White Tiles are placed as follows for simplicity: Sea Peoples place one in Gulf of Egypt and one in Gulf of Libya. Hittites, as usual, put their White Tile on Al Mina. Egypt uses the Grand Temple one more time and eliminates one Black Tile while placing a Purple and White Tile in Kush.
The Fourth (and final) Battle of Al Mina
We start again at Al Mina. Neither side has competition cards. The two Blue Tiles die leaving three green Hittite Tiles. Al Mina finally falls granting four VPs to The triumphant Hittites who also get two Talents of loot: one for the Treasure city’s Gold Tile and another for simply sacking a Civilization’s city.
The Battles of Sinai and The Nile Delta
In the Sinai, just to get it out of the way, one Black Tile dies and all others are eliminated, leaving three Black Tiles.
In the Nile Delta there is a swirling three-way war among the Egyptians (Purple), the Sea Peoples (Red) and the Barbarian Sea People invasion (Black). The Sea Peoples (Red) play Metal Forge: Armor which allows them to scatter White Tiles, one each, to five different battles. One goes here in the Nile Delta and one Tile in Kush, but there are no other battles for The Sea Peoples to use them in.
The Nile Delta competition has the end result of that treasure city falling to the Sea People (Red) which kills off the Egyptians and invading Black Tiles. Score four VPs for the Sea Peoples and award two Talents to their treasury.
The Battle of Egypt
We move next up the Nile (or South if you will) to Egypt. In that battle, Egypt wins by expending a Talent in lieu of losing a Tile, leaving it with three Purple Tiles and the Gold hoard Tile intact.
The Battle of Kush
Further south is the battle of Kush, which falls to the Sea Peoples with two card placed Red Tiles left and 4 more VPs and two more Talents. The lesson here is that not all victories are won with Tiles placed during a turn’s growth phase. With no Purple Tile remaining in Kush, I can no longer use The Grand Temple Wonder card’s benefit. Oh my poor Egypt!
Egyptian Sea and Libyan Sea Naval Battles
In the battle of the Egyptian Sea the Sea People win by expending Talents instead of Tile losses. Two red Tiles are left. In the battle of the Libyan Sea the Sea Peoples prevail with two red Tiles left.
E1/T-2 Victory Point Tabulation & Determine Epoch II/Turn One Play Sequence
Hittites have four cities for 4VP plus 4VP for Al Mina’s capture for a running total of 15VP.
The Sea Peoples have four cities, 1VP for Sea Area control, and four for Kush and four for seizing The Nile Delta for 13 VP this turn and a running score of 28.
Egypt earns one VP for a city, one for the sole Wonder in whose Land it has a Purple Tile, one for its sole remaining Client State city treasure Tile in Phoenicia, and one for playing the Treasure Horde card: this totals 4VP for this turn and a running total of 22VP.
The Epoch ends and additional victory points go to Egypt: 1 for most Wonders plus a bonus VP for Phoenicia’s Gold treasure tile. The Hittites get 1VP for having the most cities. There were no sea dominations nor did any Civilization have sufficient Talents remaining to convert into VP (at a rate of 3 Talents for 1VP).
This God King of Egypt solitaire game’s running score is now: Hittites 16, Egypt 23, and Sea Peoples 29. Since both invaders scores are combined and divided by two (retain fractions), I’m eking out a win by a half VP were the game to end now.
When turn four is played, the end of an Epoch is a given. The Assyrians appear on the north edge as Barbarians, so three BLACK Tiles are placed on EVERY Land Area bordering upon the north edge.
Debasement of Currency is the automatic End of Epoch Event.
Epoch 2, Turn 1 (E2/T-1)
E2/T-1 Card Deal
This End of Epoch Event means that cards dealt out will be two to Sea Peoples and Egyptians and three to the Hittites (now in their swan song). When the Assyrians/Persians commence play with Epoch 3, they’ll continue using Green Tiles, and get a minimum of six Tiles for each growth phase. Green loses no VPs, etc. from what the Hittites accomplished. They take over the Hittites’ home ability but their home base is now Carchemesh and Hamath. So they must fight to have three Green Tiles in each of those before expanding.
However, for Epoch 2 the Hittites continue as the game’s second invader. Play order will be Hittites, Sea Peoples, Egypt
Oh, I forgot: since this is the start of Epoch 2, I gain one additional card for each surviving Client State treasure city, alas, that is only Phoenicia. My card hand is therefore a total of three cards.
E2/T-1 Growth Phase
The Hittites get their minimum of four Tiles plus they get two Tiles from the Heroic Saga card: a total of six. One Red Tile must go on Hamath to bring it up to three Tiles. One each goes on Carchemesh, Al Mina, Troy and Galicia as well as the other Anatolian Land Areas with newly arrived Assyrian Black invader Tiles. The Assyrians, at this point, are the enemy of all they confront: The Hittites included.
THE SEA PEOPLES
The Sea Peoples get 7 Tiles: 4 invade Egypt, one to Kush, one to Gulf of Sidra, and one in the Red Sea.
Egypt gets four Tiles: one in Phoenicia, one in Egypt and two to Kush.
Calling the Game
But why go on with this AAR narrative? It became pretty clear Egypt was not going to survive as Epoch II opened. That demise occurred as the game ended with my automatic defeat with no Egyptian or Client State Tiles remaining on the map board.
This happened at the end of E2/T-2. I will not bore you with the details, but the Sea People won in terms of VPs topping out at 32. The Hittites took Phoenicia and ended with 29: so it was a close competition between the two invaders. Egypt managed to scrape up 20 VPs (I suffered cards inflicting VP penalties).
Since the two invaders add their scores together and divide that total by 2 (retain fractions); they won with 30.5VP versus my 20VP, not that this VP score mattered: for even were I ahead with VP, Egypt was finished due to the automatic game loss caused by it not having any Tiles upon the map.
By way of a postmortem: The Egyptians had the misfortune of facing major Saharan Raiders and Sea People (Black Tile) invasions. Furthermore, the cards could have been more to my favor, but that’s the luck element in the dice-less game of ACIS and players should accept this element of fate, just as their historical counterparts had to endure, once the contest begins.
As to my Civilization in this game of The God King of Egypt; when their client cities were gone and the Nile Valley’s three Land Areas decimated, Egypt had too little resources to keep the game competitive. Ah well, there’s always a next time, eh?
Welcome to the nasty world of ACIS: Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea. It was fun though!
Game Developer Post Script: This piece, which you hopefully enjoyed reading to the point of exploring additional material within GMT’s and other sites regarding this ever so cool game was a team effort.
I had the privilege of editing Chris’ draft, which includes contributions from Mark (the text boxes). Our ace European lead play tester, Vez Arponin, contributed the photos which accompany this piece.
Next up is a Solitaire Game AAR of Chris playing the Greeks vs. Persians Scenario. Can Chris’ plucky Greeks defeat the Asiatic hordes of Imperial might led by Darius and then Xerxes? Stay tuned!