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You play as the leader of an civilization in fertile Mesopotamia (which means "between two rivers.") By laying tiles of different types, you will shape the landscape of this ancient region, fight wars, suppress or lead revolts, and watch cities rise and fall, all while attempting to gain influence in 4 key areas. At the end of the game the winner is the person with the highest influence in their lowest category.

Each player is represented by a specific shape goat/urn/bow/lion) and not a color.

Areas of Influence
Color Tile Leader Leader Ability Tile Counts
Black Settlement King Scores unclaimed influence on tile lays 30
Green Market Trader Collects treasures 30
Red Temple Priest 57
Blue Farm Farmer 36
Yellow Catastrophe

You have one leader in each sphere of influence (red bow, green bow, etc) and influence (points) will flow through them.


You will get 2 actions on each turn, and there are 3 possible actions.

  • Place a tile - Take a tile from your hand and place it anywhere on the board.
  • Position a leader - Place a leader from your hand, move a leader on the board, or take a leader back to your hand from the board.
  • Discard - Discard any number of tiles from your hand and redraw that many.

After your two actions you redraw to 6 and the next player goes.


Influence is hidden during the game.

Your score at the end of the game, is your lowest color of influence, after allocating treasures (wild points).

Game End

The game ends when only 2 treasures remain on the board, or the draw pile runs out (remaining tiles are tracked as progress at the top left).


A kingdom is a region of tiles and leaders that are adjacent (common edges, not diagonal) to each other. A kingdom may contain leaders of different players as long as they are different colors.

Tile Placement

Tiles can be placed anywhere on the map with the following restrictions.

  • No tiles except for blue may be placed on rivers
  • Blue tiles can only be placed on rivers
  • No tile may be placed on top of a leader
  • Only catastrophes can be placed on other tiles

When a tile is placed in a kingdom, the leader of the matching color in that kingdom scores a point of the tile's color. If there is no leader of that color, but there is a king (black leader), then the king (black leader) scores a point of the tile's color.

If a tile is placed such that it joins two kingdom, a war is started and no placement point will be scored (even if there are no opposing leaders).

If a tile is placed such that a 2x2 square of like colored tiles now exists, a monument of a matching color may be built.

Leader Positioning

A leader may be positioned from your hand to the board, from the board to another spot on the board, or returned from the board to your hand with the following restrictions.

  • A leader must be placed on an empty space
  • A leader must always be adjacent (common edges, not diagonal) to a temple (red tile)
  • A leader may not be placed to join kingdoms
  • A leader cannot be placed on a river

Placing a leader does not award any points. However, a player may not score any points without having at least one leader on the board.

If a leader is placed in a kingdom containing a similar colored leader, then a revolt occurs.


A revolt occurs when a player places a leader in a kingdom that already contains a leader of that color.

The newly placed leader is the attacking leader and the opposing leader is the defender.

To resolve the revolt strength needs to be determined.

  • First count the number of temples (red tiles) adjacent to each leader, that is their board strength.
  • Then the attacking player may play temples (red tiles) from their hand as additional support.
  • After seeing the attacking leader's support the defender may likewise play temples (red tiles) from their hand as support.

The winner is the leader with the greater total strength (board strength + support), defender always wins ties.

The losing leader is returned to their owners hand, and the winner scores one red. All support tiles played from hands are discarded.


A war occurs when a player places a tile that joins two kingdoms. All leaders that have a like-colored leader in the joined kingdom are in conflict.

Wars are resolved through the following steps.

  • Determine the leader

The active player may select any color of leaders to resolve first.

  • Determine the attacker/defender

If the active player selects a color for which they have a leader, they will be the attacker, otherwise the next player in turn order with a participating leader is the attacker.

  • Count board strength for attacker and defender

In a war a leader's board strength is the number of like-colored tiles in their kingdom.

  • Play support from hands

Starting with the attacker, play tiles from hand matching the attacking/defending leader color as support.

  • Determine winner and remove tiles

The winning leader is the leader with greater total strength (board strength + support), defender always wins ties.

The loser withdraws their leader and all supporting tiles from the board. This may break apart the kingdom. The winner scores one influence of the defending leaders color plus one for each tile removed.

If the war involved priests (red leaders), then no temples (red tiles) supporting another leader or containing treasures are removed.

If there are still leaders in conflict continue to the next war, with the original player picking the next color.


Whenever a player places the fourth tile in a 2x2 square of the same color, a monument may be built on the spot. The tiles are flipped over and a monument is placed on them. The monument has 2 colors, and one of those colors must match the flipped tiles. Monuments do not have a color of their own for purposes of supporting leaders or counting as board strength.

Monuments regularly provide influence. Every monument awards 1 influence to the active player at the end of the turn for each of their like-colored leaders in the monument's kingdom.


Treasures are wild points. At the start of the game all 10 temples on the board start with a treasure on them. After placing a tile and resolving any wars if a kingdom contains 2 treasures and a green leader, the leader's owner picks up one of the treasures. Some of the starting temples have an extra border around them, those treasures must be taken first if there is an option.

Catastrophe Tiles

Each player starts the game with 2 catastrophe tiles. These cannot be discarded, and are the only tiles that may be played on top of other tiles. They destroy the tile under them and cannot be part of kingdoms.

Game Board - Advanced Board

Different map with 14 treasures compared to 10 treasures on Standard map.

War Support - English Variant

During a conflict (war or revolt) both the attacker and defender are only able to contribute tiles if the total would exceed the strength of the other. This variant prevents players from using conflicts as a way to simply dump tiles from their hand.

Advanced Games Rules - Civilization Buildings

There are four civilization buildings: Palace (black), Market Hall (green), Library (red), Granary (blue).

When a player places a tile so that there are three or more in a row (horizontal or vertical) they may place the same color building on any of those tiles.

If the building is already on the board, a player may move it to another row if it is longer than the one it is currently on.

Tiles that have a building cannot be destroyed by war, revolt, or catastrophe. They can be flipped to create a monument which takes the building off the board.

Civilization buildings must be placed prior to building a monument or wonder.

Placing a tile into a kingdom that contains a building gives the leader there two cubes instead of one (blue leader receives two blue cubes instead of one, etc.).

Monuments - Wonder Variant

The wonder is a special, single, five-tile monument in a cross-like shape (four orthogonal tiles connected to a center tile). A player may build this wonder when they place a tile that results in a cross-like shape of a single color. All rules for monuments apply.

At the end of a turn in which a player has a King connected to the wonder, they may receive a cube of any color they choose.

Scoring - Open Scoring

Influence is not hidden during the game.