Gameday First Play – Archaeology: The New Expedition
“It’s interesting to see that people had so much clutter even thousands of years ago. The only way to get rid of it all was to bury it, and then some archaeologist went and dug it all up.”
~ Karl Pilkington, An Idiot Abroad
You are an archaeologist working the dig sites of the Egyptian desert. Search for the right pieces to complete torn parchments, broken pots, and other priceless artefacts. Explore an ancient pyramid in the hope of uncovering a huge stash of treasure! Trade shrewdly at the local marketplace to increase the value of your collection. Sell your treasures to the museum at just the right time for maximum profit.
But beware, the desert also has its dangers! A devastating sandstorm can throw your expedition into disarray, and cunning thieves lurk around the dig site ready to steal your prize discovery!
You’re playing this role of an Archaeologist through cards and pushing your luck somewhat.
A number of cards are laid out to start the Marketplace and also a Monument stands in play surrounded by piles of cards… There are several Monuments in the game, each activated in the same way but they operate differently from each other and you only use one.
A turn sees you start each time by digging for treasure… or drawing the top card of the deck… If it’s a treasure it goes in your hand and that might be the entire turn for you…
If it’s a Thief card you discard it and randomly draw a card from another players hand.
If it’s a Sandstorm, in turn order players have a chance to avoid it’s effect by discarding their ‘once per game’ use tent to protect themselves. Otherwise, in turn order player discard half their hand of treasures into the Market.
If you draw a Sandstorm you draw again until you draw a Thief or Treasure… You always get something!
There are other things you can do after you have dug for treasure…
You can trade cards in your hand with cards in the market, spend map cards to activate the monument and gain cards or lay out sets of cards to score points.
Sets, once placed, can’t be added to or stolen from so as your cards are safe from Sandstorms and Thieves… Is the set worth as much as it could be?
This is the main part of the game as the player who made the most money from sets wins… But do you hold onto 4 of a kind hoping for a 5th? What is a sandstorm comes, do you have cards to discard? Should you use your tent?
Every turn is tense until you finally use your tent, or the allotted number of Sandstorm cards runs out them you either submit or relax…
It’s a fun quick playing game that has the downside of needing different deck setups for each player count from 2 to 5, then this deck needs SERIOUS shuffling…
But, cheap, small, fun, I like it.