Cyclades is a game seeped in and around ancient Greek mythology, by design duo Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc. Cyclades sees players controlling – and constructing buildings on – a Greek archipelago.
The double-sided board scales the island chain depending on player count. Players get miniatures in the form of army units and ships. When on the board, they denote area majority/influence. If you control islands that determines your income, which is vital. There’s an auction in each round of Cyclades, where the players try to outbid each other to gain favour from the gods! At the end of the bidding, each player will have a favour from one god.
Poseidon grants the player a free ship and allows you to buy more ships, move ships, and to build ports on islands you control. (Islands vary in size; you can only build if there’s space on the island.) Ares grants you a free soldier and buy more soldiers. You can use soldiers to attack other islands, if you’ve got a chain of ships leading to an island you wish to fight. You can also build a fortress. Zeus gives you a priest, who provides huge discounts for the bidding. Zeus also provides a temple, which provides a discount off buying mythological creatures. Some of these beasties have their own fantastic model, such as the cyclops, or the kraken. Athena, meanwhile, grants a philosopher card, and a university.
If you can trade in one of each building type (or four philosophers), you can convert them into a metropolis. Providing, that is, you control an island with the capacity to house such a city! The first person to build their second metropolis wins Cyclades. But look out! Are you going to do all the hard work, yourself? Or use your wily nautical ways and conquer someone else’s metropolis and claim it for your own?
Player Count: 2-5 Players
Time: 60-90 minutes