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Imhotep: A New Dynasty Review

Quick Look:

Designer: Phil Walker-Harding
Artists: Miguel Coimbra, Martin Hoffmann, Michaela Kienle, Claus Stephan
Publisher: KOSMOS
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2-4
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 50 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com


Getting the Game:

Imhotep: A New Dynasty is an expansion to the very popular Imhotep. In Imhotep, each player becomes a builder in Egypt who is trying to become the best known architect. Over six rounds, you move wooden stones to five different monuments to hopefully master the placement of each stone on each monument. You will be procuring new stones, loading the stones on the boat, moving the boat to the monument, or playing an action card to give you a special power. As all players are trying to compete to get their stones in the same monuments, players will thwart your plans so they can become Egypt's best builder. Imhotep: A New Dynasty is a much needed expansion to the base game. It adds 5 new locations that can swap out other previous existing locations and every time you play you can choose a different combination of locations. Along with the new locations, there are 14 new market cards, 7 god cards (letting players predict progress of different buildings and being rewarded if correct or punished if incorrect at the end of the game), 4 chariots, and 56 tiles added to the base game.

Playing the Game:
The new expansion explains how well you did with the base game and now you are worthy to lead newer, more ambitious building projects. There are new tools available to help you, and even the Egyptian gods are paying attention to you and your achievements and are ready to reward you if you predict your building plans with accuracy.

The previous locations included the Market, Pyramid, Temple, Burial Chamber, and Obelisk, all with two different sides. This expansion keeps the same names, but adds side C and side D to each location. So now before each game you will decide which side of the board to use mixing them between side A through side D. (You don't need them all to match each side, just randomly place different sides for each of the 5 locations).

One main rule change for the game is that you will no longer place the red used market cards on the discard pile. You will hold onto them as there is a new card called "Amun" prophecies of the gods card that will need that information when played. Also, in a 2 player game, you can take a second color of stones that have been unused and treat the 2 colors as if they were one single color.

The Market:
Side C/Luxury Market--Each player will start with 2 coin tokens when playing on this side. When a stone is delivered here, the owner will immediately take a market card. Whenever you like, you may pay a coin token and take 2 neighboring market cards at one time.

Side D/Black Market--When setting up, you will place 3 cards face down on the bottom two spaces, and 1 card face up on the top two spaces. When your stone is delivered here, you can either choose the top face-up card, or pick up the stack of the 3 face down-cards, look at them, and select one to keep, returning the other 2.

The Pyramid:
Side C/Scaffold--When setting up, randomly select 4 of the 5 scaffold tokens and return the other to the box. Place these tokens face-down on the draw pile and flip over the top one. When a stone is delivered here it will be placed from left to right and you will score what the space indicates. This could be points, more stones from the quarry, and/or drawing a market card from the draw pile. Once the four spots are complete, whoever has the most stones will score an extra 3 points. It will then be moved to the top where the next completed token will be placed on top of that one making a scaffold. If the scaffold gets completed, each additional stone will score an extra point each.

Side D/Corridor--You will take the yellow Imhotep meeple and place it on the top left space of the corridor. When delivering a stone here, it will be placed on the next free space after the Imhotep meeple in a clockwise direction. If the Corridor is completed, each stone will score an extra point each.

The Temple:
Side C/Temple of Ra--Very similar to Side A, except at the end of each round, there are different bonuses for each stone that can visibly be seen from above. In one place you will either score 2 points or take 4 stones from the quarry. In the other place you will draw the top 3 market cards from the draw pile and keep one.

Side D/Arena--Each player will start with a chariot meeple of your color. When delivering a stone, you will place it on the next free stone space. You will then move your chariot the number of spaces indicated on the space you placed your stone. If the chariot lands on another chariot, you will move it forward to the next free space (hint, you can come from behind and do very well if you plan correctly). At the end of each round, the chariot in the lead will score 2 points, with second place getting 1 point. At the end of the game you will earn the number of points indicated on the space where your chariot is located.

The Burial Chamber:
Side C/Burial Mound--Stones that are delivered here will be scored at the end of the game. You will place your stone on the space on the lowest level, or you will place it on top centered on 2 neighboring stones. You will be trying to keep your color of stones connected by touching them from one level to the next. A pyramid-shaped tomb will gradually occur. At the end of the game you will take the number of stones connected in your color and multiply it by how many levels you connected, with a maximum of 4 points per stone allowed.

Side D/Tomb--Place the 24 tomb tokens face-down, mixed up next to the board. At the beginning of the round, 4 tokens are revealed and placed on the spaces to the left of the entrance. When a stone is delivered here you will select one of the tokens and place your stone on the matching number. At the end of the game you will get points for connecting your stones with each other, similar to Side A. If you don't place any stones on the tomb, you will lose 4 points.

The Obelisk:
Side C/The Great Obelisk--Each player will take the Obelisk card of their color and 15 obelisk tokens are placed next to the board. When a stone is delivered here it will be placed on the next free space on the path and you will take the depicted obelisk token and place it on your card. You are trying to construct an obelisk with as many rows as possible. At the end of the game, you get 2 points per completed row. Depending on player count, there are bonus points for the player who completes the most rows. It is important to know that you can turn or rotate these pieces, but you cannot leave them sticking out or leave gaps; if a piece doesn't fit then it is discarded and is like a wasted stone.

Side D/Alley--When a stone is delivered here, you will choose which obelisk to start working on. Each has a different height, and you won't be able to change until you finished the obelisk you started. At the end of the game, fully constructed obelisks will give the indicated number of points, unfinished obelisks will give one point per stone.

Prophecies of the gods--This is an optional mechanic used in the game. Shuffle the 7 cards and randomly pick 3 to be used in the game. Each player will take 2 scarab tokens in their color. Twice during the game, each player can make a prophecy they they will fulfill at the end of the game. When you do this during the first or second rounds, you will place it on the indicated space. The sooner you prophecy during the game, the higher the bonus points will be. Also, if your prophecy doesn't become true, you will accrue negative points as indicated. You can only place one scarab token during rounds 1-2, one during rounds 3-4, and one in rounds 5-6.  So you can't play both your token on spaces for round 1-2. Unused scarab tokens are worthless at the end of the game.

Artwork and Components:
The artwork matches the art from the base game and the components match as well. I enjoy the added chariot meeples as they help make that location look like a fun race. The cards are the same size as the base game, but again I'd rather have standard size cards for both the base game and this to make more room for some of the indicated actions on the cards. For example, when building the great obelisk, I think a bigger card would help make the tokens a little bigger which would make it look nicer.

The Good:
The expansion helps add more variety so players don't get bored with the same game over and over again, which would be my biggest complaint with the base game. Some of the new sides on the locations have also enhanced play with more strategic play, an increase in the use of market cards, and extra bonuses. I especially really like the Black Market, the Tomb, and the Corridor.

The Bad:
The expansion adds variety to play, but doesn't really change any of the other mechanics. I would have liked to have seen something like an added color of stone that would give you more bonus points, or an added set collection for going to different monuments. The expansion is much needed, but the only thing it really does is add variety.

Final Thoughts:
Again, this expansion is much needed and helps add variety to the game. The new boards all work well and don't have any flaws with them, but I would like to see something new added to the game to make it a little more complex. I think after playing the game so many times, you will decide which side of each monument you like the most and will play the same game again and again just with your favorite sides. When many of these sides are not used, it feels like a lot of the cardboard is left out of play. I know this adds to variety, but it just feels like you are only playing with half the game. Besides that I have found what my favorite sides are for each location and I feel like it still is strategic enough to enjoy over and over again. The game does a very good job of giving you many options and many ways to score points, but makes it hard to do them all with the number of stones and rounds you have to work with.

Check out Imhotep: A New Dynasty on:


Brody Sheard - Outreach Manager

Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up. He continues with his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games. Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.

See Brody's reviews HERE.
Imhotep: A New Dynasty Review Imhotep: A New Dynasty Review Reviewed by Brody on December 19, 2018 Rating: 5

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