Cool Mini or Not (CMON for short) is back with a brand new game from designer Eric Lang titled Ankh: Gods of Egypt, and we're here to give you a preview of the game as well as give you a sneak peek at some exclusive art before the game hits Kickstarter. Ankh hits Kickstarter later today and we recently had the chance to get some time with the game on Tabletop Simulator with Lang and several other players, so here's the 411 on what you can expect from the game. That said, don't forget to check out the gorgeous full-color illustrations of Anubis and the lethal beast that is Apep from artist Adrian Smith, which can be found starting on the next slide.
Ankh: Gods of Egypt puts you in the massive shoes of towering Gods, and each one wants to be the most revered. That means players will need to utilize your specific Gods' powers to not only gain followers who worship you but also amass an army of monsters and soldiers to gain and in some cases take territories from your rival Gods. You'll also be carving out brand new areas for your growing kingdom, and later in the game, you might even find yourself merging with another God altogether, but we'll get to that in a minute.
This is a competitive game right from the outset, but not in the usual ways. You are out for your own interests first and foremost, attempting to grow your own following and move up the devotion track, but every action you take can also either hinder or set up one of your opponents, so you will always need to be thinking a few steps ahead, something I, unfortunately, did not learn right away, so learn from my mistakes folks!
Players have four actions to choose from on their turn, and they can take two of those on any given turn. The choices are to Move, Summon Figures, Gain Followers, and Unlock Ankh Powers, and each one will further your goals in a different way. Moving is pretty self-explanatory, though is still quite important to set you up to either block someone else's path or take an Obelisk or Temple for yourself. Summoning nets you additional forces on the board, giving you more options to play with
Gaining followers will net you more followers, paving the way for more Devotion in several ways. Last but certainly not least is Ankh powers, which are split into three different categories, and you'll only have access to a few of the powers from each category. These are the same for every player, but since your playstyles will vary, more often than not you'll find yourself using different ones from your opponents, and even if you do use the same ones you might be using it to benefit you in a different way.
This will also change depending on which God you choose, and there are five to choose from. The core set includes Amun, Anubis, Isis, Osiris, and Ra, and each God has their own unique power set. Take Anubis, for instance, who gains strength when a rival loses one of their forces, which is incredibly handy. You'll take these innate abilities into account when choosing which Ankh powers to obtain, though as you'll soon learn, a large portion of the game' strategy comes in actually choosing your actions.
That's because every time you choose an action you move that part of the Action Tracker up as well. There is a space for each type of Action on the Action Tracker, and when you've reached a certain number of spaces you will trigger an Event. These Events will do a variety of things, including letting you take a Monument, start a Battle, or give you the chance to split a part of the board into a new area. The thing is only the person who actually hit the last spot on the Action Tracker will gain this, so the question is do you take the Event for yourself or wait and do something else so that the next person has to take it? You might end up in a situation like we did where almost ever section was primed for an event, kicking off a domino event on the following set of turns, and that's part of the fun and strategy of it all.
You also have the ability to bring monsters into the mix to fight on your behalf, like the Cat Mummy or Apep, but not everyone will have the chance to wield a particular monster. There are a limited number in supply for every game, so while it might be better for your longtime goals to wait on bringing monsters into the mix, you have to remember that if you wait too long, you might just miss out completely.
Now, all of this is in an effort to move up the Devotion Track, but at a certain point the game will eliminate the last person on the Track. That doesn't mean that player's game is over just yet though, as at that point the person in last place will merge with the God that is in front of them. This isn't just a cosmetic thing though, as you will give each other a guide to your powers and you will now have two separate turns to move your now combined God. This changes the battlefield considerably, and both players are now working in tandem to win the game against the other two still singular Gods, though because you were behind you still have some work to do to overcome the odds. Still, this gives the two last-place players a whole new lease on life, and makes winning the game actually achievable, giving this type of mechanic a whole new spin.
Granted, this is just a small summary of what the game holds for players, and despite coming in third (yeah I know) Ankh was still incredibly fun to play and learn, and most players should have a handle on its mechanics after just a few turns.
You can hit the next slide to check out the gorgeous miniatures and art from the game and make sure to check out CMON's Kickstarter page if you want to nab yourself a copy. Let me know what you think of the game in the comments, and as always feel free to hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things tabletop!