Tigris & Euphrates

Now £48.85
 
Earn 4885 Victory Points
PayPal Later
Pay in 3 interest-free payments on eligible purchases. Learn more
Success! We will let you know when this product is available again.
Your email address has been unsubscribed!
Your email address has been unsubscribed!
Notify me when this product is available to purchase!
This email address is already subscribed to this product!
Create a dynasty at the dawn of human civilization in Tigris & Euphrates, Reiner Knizia’s award-winning tile placement game. Two to four players lead neighboring civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia. As they build, they must compete for land while striving to balance commerce, agriculture, housing, and religion.This new edition maintains the game’s original mechanics…
Read More
Category Tags , , , , SKU ZEG-FFGKN25 Availability Out of stock
Share
Share this

Awards

Dice Tower
Golden Pear

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Conflict is brutal.
  • Highly interactive.
  • Tense and challenging gameplay.

Might Not Like

  • Abstract design can feel dry.
  • Conflict is brutal.
Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

Related Products

Description

Create a dynasty at the dawn of human civilization in Tigris & Euphrates, Reiner Knizia's award-winning tile placement game. Two to four players lead neighboring civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia. As they build, they must compete for land while striving to balance commerce, agriculture, housing, and religion.

This new edition maintains the game's original mechanics while giving it an updated look based on the art of ancient Sumer and Babylon.

A double-sided game board and all components needed for the basic game and advanced variations are included.

Considered by many to be Reiner Knizia’s masterpiece, what is it that makes Tigris and Euphrates deserving of this accolade? I’ll come back to this question later.

Tigris and Euphrates - The Game

Tigris and Euphrates is a four player game, though scales well to three player and is an ok two player game, about the rise and decline of ancient kingdoms. Players are given four different leaders, farming, trading, religion and government, each of which has associated tiles, and a hand of face down tiles which is replenished each turn.

Points can be scored through a variety of actions for each of the four categories, farming, trading, etc, but only if the leader is correctly placed.  Through placing tiles on the game board civilisations grow, usually netting points along the way.

Conflict arises in two possibly ways, one is when a tile is placed connecting two civilisations, leading to war (external conflict). When this happens only one leader of each category will remain in the connected civilisation, the others being temporarily removed from play along with some tiles.

The second way is when two leaders of the same category are placed in the same civilisation, leading to a revolt (Internal conflict). When internal conflict happens, again at the end of the conflict only one leader of a particular category will remain on the board.

In either conflict both involved players can add specific tiles to increase the chance of success, each tile adding one to the attack or defence total. The higher result always wins, with the defender winning on ties.

Use those tiles carefully, they are needed on the board for points and they are needed in your hand for war and revolt, they cannot do both.

There are other refinements, tiles can under certain conditions be replaced with monuments, these are point generators, but doing this reduces the number of tiles of a specific colour in that civilisation. This leaves the civilisation more vulnerable to war and as a potentially far more interesting target for revolt. Place those monuments with care or your opponents will take them from you.

At the end of Tigris and Euphrates, the winner is the player with the highest number of points in their weakest category. This encourages players not to over specialise and to always be wary of game developments.

The second way is when two leaders of the same category are placed in the same civilisation, leading to a revolt (Internal conflict). When internal conflict happens, again at the end of the conflict only one leader of a particular category will remain on the board.

In either conflict both involved players can add specific tiles to increase the chance of success, each tile adding one to the attack or defence total. The higher result always wins, with the defender winning on ties.

Use those tiles carefully, they are needed on the board for points and they are needed in your hand for war and revolt, they cannot do both.

There are other refinements, tiles can under certain conditions be replaced with monuments, these are point generators, but doing this reduces the number of tiles of a specific colour in that civilisation. This leaves the civilisation more vulnerable to war and as a potentially far more interesting target for revolt. Place those monuments with care or your opponents will take them from you.

At the end of Tigris and Euphrates, the winner is the player with the highest number of points in their weakest category. This encourages players not to over specialise and to always be wary of game developments.

Components and Expansions

The components are of a reasonable quality, which can vary from version to version, but are solid and thematic. Whist the game is highly thematic, a civilisation builder in the ancient world, it is also an abstract strategy game using aspects of area control, hand management and tile placement.

There are two hard copy versions around, but they are essentially the same. The Mayfair version has some wood components, in the later Fantasy Flight version these are plastic. Like many other games there is also an electronic version, great perhaps for travelling, but nothing really beats hard copy and putting a game on a table.

There was one expansion, Ziggurat, and this is now included in both the above mentioned versions.

Playing the game

Tigris and Euphrates is one of those games which is easy to pick up, the rules are fairly simple and the rule book is well laid out. This said it is also deeply challenging and tactical, be warned, conflict, whether war or revolt, conflict can be brutal. There is a learning curve, to my mind not that steep, but it is a game which rewards practice.

Whilst low on random factors, the only random part being the tile draw at the end of each turn, no two games are ever going to be the same and if by any chance you need more variety, the game comes with a reversible and more challenging board, the above mentioned Ziggurat expansion, along with rules and components for an advanced game.

Play is fast, take two actions then draw new tiles, so there is little downtime and the pace keeps things moving along really nicely.

All said it is an extremely competitive game where players will be looking for any opportunity to create advantageous conflict and will be attempting to bluff with what tiles they may hold in their hands. There is a high degree of interaction between players and between their components on the board, wars between civilisations can at times involve all players.

Civilisations will rise, fall and rise again across the game board as play continues.  They will grow or fragment due to war, and revolts will happen as players target desirable positions. The board is a constantly changing flux of threats and opportunities. It is never going to be possible to defend all your resources, so players are forced to make decisions at every stage, often hard ones, and to look towards counter moves at a later turn. It is all about taking those opportunities, as said, it can be very cutthroat, but this is what makes the game.

Whilst low on random factors, the only random part being the tile draw at the end of each turn, no two games are ever going to be the same and if by any chance you need more variety, the game comes with a reversible and more challenging board, the above mentioned Ziggurat expansion, along with rules and components for an advanced game.

Play is fast, take two actions then draw new tiles, so there is little downtime and the pace keeps things moving along really nicely.

All said it is an extremely competitive game where players will be looking for any opportunity to create advantageous conflict and will be attempting to bluff with what tiles they may hold in their hands. There is a high degree of interaction between players and between their components on the board, wars between civilisations can at times involve all players.

Civilisations will rise, fall and rise again across the game board as play continues.  They will grow or fragment due to war, and revolts will happen as players target desirable positions. The board is a constantly changing flux of threats and opportunities. It is never going to be possible to defend all your resources, so players are forced to make decisions at every stage, often hard ones, and to look towards counter moves at a later turn. It is all about taking those opportunities, as said, it can be very cutthroat, but this is what makes the game.

Final Thoughts

So, does Tigris and Euphrates live up to the accolade of being Reiner Knizia’s masterpiece? Well for a start if you don’t like highly competitive games this will not be for you, and equally there is an abstract element that may not be to the taste of everyone. This said it pretty much ticks every box in terms of game design:

  • Rule book – Good, illustrated and with play examples.
  • Original and thematic mechanics – Yes.
  • Easy to pick up – Yes.
  • Challenging to master – Yes.
  • Interactive and immersive – Yes.
  • Fast paced – Yes.
  • Replay-ability – Extremely high.
  • Component quality – Good.
  • Tense – Yes.
  • Decision paralysis – Low.
  • Opportunity and engagement – The leader is likely to fluctuate through the game and winner unlikely to emerge until very close to the end point.

Tigris and Euphrates is brilliant from start to finish, the board tells a tale of civilisations as they rise, fall and rise again. It is challenging, fast paced, interactive and most importantly great fun.

Some may give the final accolade to Ra, or Medici, or maybe even Through the Desert, all of which are fantastic in their own way. Me? I’m going to remain a purist and say yes, It is deserving. It is in my collection and it is not a game I am going to part with.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Conflict is brutal.
  • Highly interactive.
  • Tense and challenging gameplay.

Might not like

  • Abstract design can feel dry.
  • Conflict is brutal.