What is a Kemet? A popular ancient name for Egypt was "Kemet," which means the "black land “.
It is hot. You are in the city awaiting your orders.
A foul creature is beside you, increasing the odds of victory. You can see the enemy in the distance. Will your God leave you here to guard the city's pyramids? Maybe teleport you across the land to one of the distant temples? Make you march to the nearest city and take control?
The Battle Starts…
Will your God’s power tiles save the day or the creature help claim victory? Each victory gives your God a fame point. At night, the temple is a safe haven, or is it? To control the land, your God needs the most fame points. Being sacrificed is an honour and will help your God win. Death is not the end; you may rise and fight another day.
Kemet: Blood and Sand is a 2 to 5 player game, where you are a God. Taking control of your armies of followers and become the most famous God in ancient Egypt.
Matagot is well known for the original Kemet. Takenoko is an excellent game and Murano: Light Masters is worth mentioning. Yucatan has recently been funded on Kickstarter. It appears to be the same style of gameplay as the Kemet games with an Aztec theme.
The Miniatures Are Gorgeous
The first thing you notice is the miniatures. The creatures are outstanding, beautifully designed and detailed. I wish I had the time and the patience to paint them.
Each God’s troops are represented by a different warrior character and colour. The colour coding of the miniatures to your God player board is a good idea. It is easier to locate the troops on the mainboard. This is better than using the same colour/style pieces with different coloured bases.
There Is More...
Each pyramid comes in 3 pieces with a coloured gem on top. This represents the power tile groups available to that player. The power tiles are solid with the same iconography. A clear representation of its use within the game. The inclusion of the trays is a nice touch and helps with the setup.
The scarab beetle, temple and battle fame tokens are nicely designed. A tray is included to store these tokens. The cards are either smaller or bigger than standard and the icons are simply designed.
And What About The Boards?
The areas on the mainboard are clearly defined and look okay. The temple and city areas are easily identifiable. Any iconography on the board clearly shows your reward or option when controlled.
The God player boards are dual layered with beautiful artwork. The icons are simple and easily recognisable for the action you can perform. The board pieces are nicely designed and solid.
Finally, the Sandstorm boards. They cover cities not available based on player count.
The cities available on the mainboard are determined by the number of players. For 2 to 3 players, only use the area on the east side of the Nile. Sandstorms cover the uninhabitable cities.
The divine intervention cards (except the diversion cards) are shuffled. The turn order track board and supply of various tokens are placed around the mainboard. Certain fame tokens are placed in some temples.
Randomly select the sets of power tiles. 5 players use all sets and 2 players sets will be reduced by removing duplicates. The players could pick the sets to influence the type of game that is played.
The ruby power tiles are geared towards troop battles and their movement. Sapphire is about recruiting troops and defence. The diamond set is for prayer points, divine intervention cards and pyramids. Finally, onyx is a mixture and variation of the other power tile sets. Locate the creatures, divine fame point tokens and special battle cards. Place them with their power tile.
I Am A God, What Do I Need?
A God will need their player board and matching-coloured pieces. The actions tokens and prayer markers are placed on their board. Find an empty city and place your statue token at the entrance. Defend your city with 10 troops and keep your 8 battle cards close to you, they will be needed soon.
Partial build pyramids are placed in 2 districts of your city. The pyramid tops must match the power tiles used in the game. Any pyramid on the board must have a coloured top, the tip pointing down. So, choose wisely.
Randomly chose a player order and place your order turn marker on your turn number on that board. Take 2 divine interventions and level 1 power tile from the set matching the colour on your pyramids. The player aid booklet has all power tiles and divine intervention cards information.
Fight For Fame Begins
“Need more troops?” Recruit them, but it will cost 1 prayer point. Place your action token on the warrior space. The leg icon allows you to order your troops to venture into the land and/or teleport them to an area with an obelisk. They must be located at a pyramid when teleporting. Don’t forget about the ports on the Nile.
“I like the look of that power tile.” Put your token on the ‘Buy A Power Tile’ space. You can buy a power tile up to the level of that coloured to Pyramid but it will cost you.
“But my pyramid is not big enough.” The pyramid icon will help, allowing to increase a pyramid level(s) but more Prayer points are spent.
“I am running out of prayer points.” Move your token to the prayer symbols and gain 2 prayer points. Divine intervention cards and power tiles with a day symbol are benefits for that phase in the game.
One action is taken each turn by the players, but there are restrictions. You must take a least 1 action on each of the 3 levels during the day phase.
How Can I Be A Famous God With So Few Points?
Attacking your opponents and winning will increase your fame. Being in control of temples and your opponent’s pyramids can boost it as well. Some of your fame is temporary, protect it. The power tiles or sacrificing troops will help.
Let the battles begin. Planning is essential. Ensure your chances of winning increases with divine cards, power tiles and creatures. Selecting a battle card is not easy but giving up a second card is a downer giving less choice in the next battle. Even worse you could win but lose all your troops and the area you want to control.
At Night Your Troops Can Rest…
During the night, the temples are a safe haven and could gain you fame. The price to pay is sacrificing your troops. Gain prayer points, divine cards and resurrecting troops to aid you the next day but there is always a cost. Spend your veteran tokens wisely or you will lose them.
Before the morning, reset your action tokens and determining who goes first. Going first is a bonus but it means you are not as popular as the other Gods.
Is It Worth My Time Playing God?
Wow, this game is amazing but not perfect. I am not a fan of games where the basis is attacking each other, but this is so well done. The battles are streamlined and not difficult to pick up. Planning is the key.
Making sure you have the right power tiles and gaining the good divine cards will give you an advantage. Your opponents may be better at preparation. more thought is needed to work out the best places to control. Maybe reducing your opponent’s troops or taking over one of their pyramids.
The miniatures are beautifully designed and the whole production is outstanding. The rulebook needs work and there were times when learning, it wasn’t easy to find an answer to the question. I found the board bland. This may be deliberate so that the miniatures stand out on it. Why do you only use half the board in a 2 or 3 player game? I want to play on the whole board every game.
It might sound picky. Certain power tiles give you mercenaries and there are 2 choices. They look the same except for the weapons which are either a spear or a sword. Most of the time they are on the board with the coloured trooped they are assigned.
I can highly recommend this game and I can’t put into words how much I love playing this game. The game will move at a good pace. The players will be watching their opponent’s moves. Planning ahead and hoping they are not attacked by the active player.