Below is the fifth in a series of articles from Mark McLaughlin showcasing the ten civilizations in Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea. The first four articles can be found here, here, here, and here. Enjoy!
From their coastal cities in the Levant, the plucky sailors and canny merchants of Phoenicia explored the Mediterranean and established trading colonies which grew to become major cities, most of which are still important seaports to this day. The Phoenicians also brought with them the oldest known alphabet – a means of writing up bills of lading and passing on knowledge that was far superior and far easier to use and read than the cuneiform stylings of Mesopotamia or the pictographs of ancient Egypt.
In Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea, the Phoenician penchant for maritime exploration and expansion is represented twice over: First, they are one of only two Civilizations that can enter the Deep Sea Areas of the Eastern and Central Mediterranean. These offer the Phoenicians a watery highway to the west, one they can extend with the addition of a bonus Tile (which must be placed at Sea) each Growth Phase. That can aid them making use of their second nautical boon, the ability to garner Victory Points simply for being in Sea Areas.
Finally, in acknowledgment of their role in spreading the alphabet, the Phoenician player can turn in a Card during each Card Phase, draw two from the deck, and keep the one preferred.