Ankh’or Board Game Review

With analog games, we tend to have better experience with tactile experience. Unlike video games, we get to touch some components, the cards, the boards or dice and other things.

Nowadays, modern hobby tabletop games tend to offer better quality of these experience from their production value. For example, the cards are not just cheap paper but printed in linen finish.

If they use cardboard, it can be even double or triple layer boards. Even if the publisher didn’t offer those things, the players or fans of the game can look for upgrades from 3rd party company.

In this next game, Ankh’or, by Space Cowboys, they offered poker chips as one of the components. Some say that their previous game, Splendor, were very well received mostly because of this component.

So, what is this Ankh’or game? How do we play it? Can we play the game solo?

Those are probably just a few questions that came to mind after hearing about the game. Well, in this article, I’m going to share with you my Ankh’or Review based on my experience on playing the game and what I can find from the internet.

Hope this helps. Is Ankh’or going to be the best board game out there?

Click or tab on any sections from the table of contents to jump right to that part. Use the red arrow button on the bottom right corner of the screen to head back to the top.

Overview

Game’s Title: Ankh’or
Genre: Drafting, Resource Management, Set Collection, Tile Laying, Pattern Building, Competitive, Fan Made Solo Variant
Designer: Frank Critin, Grégoire Largey, Sébastien Pauchon
Artist: Gaél Lannurien
Publisher: Space Cowboys
Number of Players: 2 – 4
Playtime: 30 minutes
Official Website: Ankh’or (spacecowboys.fr)

Release Year: 2019
Price: $25

Content:
1 Rulebook
15 Price Markers
1 Price Board
12 Bonus Tokens
36 Poker Chip Tokens
55 Tiles
1 Metal Coin

About Ankh’or Board Game

The title of the game comes from the word Ankh. It is a well known symbol from Ancient Egypt that is considered as symbol of life.

Sadly, there is no further explanation how they take this word to Ankh’or, as the title of the game. Other than the game is set in Ancient Egypt, the game is mostly just an abstract game.

The back of the box actually says AMASS RESOURCES AND BUILD YOUR TRADE EMPIRE IN ANCIENT EGYPT.

Some people say, it is because the publisher has another well known game called Splendor. One of the reason that the game is well received is because the use of poker chips as the components which is also applied in Ankh’or.

In this game, players will have to manage some resources in the form of those poker chips. There are 6 different type of tokens, each with its own icon and color.

Five of them are considered the main resources and 1 of them is the Ankh token with brown color. The five resources are textile (red), fish (blue), wood (black), bone (white)and plants (green).

Each turn, player can take 3 of these and with a limit of 5 resources and 2 Ankh tokens at a time. Then, on their next turn, they can spend these tokens to buy a octagon shaped tile from the general market.

The market may require a set of 2 or 3 resources. They can also spend the Ankh token to manipulate the market hoping that they can get the tile that they want.

Players then have to place the tile that they just bought in their tableau so that the tile with the same color or some icons are adjacent to each other. There are 5 different colors and the icons can depict some animal, a person or just an environment.

Some of the tiles can give the player immediate points, one additional action and there are others that allows the player to store additional poker chip.

Players can also place the tile on top of 4 adjacent tiles. By doing so, they can spend 1 less token from the market.

When a player places their 13th tile, they trigger the end of the game. Which is why players also need to play efficiently.

Any discount and additional action they can get from the tile really can help. However, only the player who has the most points win.

So, while managing the resources efficiently and manipulate the market, players also have to solve the  spatial puzzle to win the game. At the end of the game, our tableau might resemble a shape of pyramid with all of those tiles stacking on top of each other.

Components

The game comes in a small box. It is the same size as the new edition of Jaipur, another well known game from the same designer and publisher.

The size is 13 x 18 x 3.9 cm. If we look at the plastic that wraps the game, there is a sign that says limited edition with metal coins included.

So far, this is the only edition that the game comes. The metal coin is nice but not important to the gameplay.

Inside the box, the publisher also include a folded leaflet that tell us their other games. We can always check their website here.

Like Jaipur, Ankh’or has a great blue plastic insert. Each component has a dedicated slot to fit in. My only complaint would be the slot for Price Markers.

If the lid does not completely cover the base box, placing the box standing will definitely scatter all of the markers. I don’t think we need it but an elastic band can definitely help.

The art by Gaél Lannurien is very beautiful. I wish we can see more of the female characters from the box in the gameplay.

They use the linen finish for the box. The back of the box actually give enough information of how the game will look like.

The game also comes with a gorgeous looking blue insert. Each components will have a dedicated slot, almost shaped exactly for each component.

I think the left side of the insert, the one next to the tiles  is a bit too thin. We probably don’t want to take the insert out without any tiles in it. It is very easy to be torn.

Rulebook

The digital file of the English rulebook can be found on the publisher page, here. We can also find the French version but on a separate page.

Apparently, the publisher didn’t upload any file on the forum. Based on the list of published versions of the game, they published the game in several other languages like Italian, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Hungarian and Dutch.

The game itself is language independent. Here is the table of content.

Cover (page 1). The cover of the rulebook has the same art as the box.

Contents and Setup (page 2). This has an illustration of how to setup the game. There is an important note regarding the PRICE MARKERS that we should avoid having triplicates for the same market spot.

Also, the illustration depicts a wrong number of price makers. Each color should have only 3 instead of 4 as depicted.

Game Turn (page 3 – 4). This explains all of the actions we can take during our turn in general, either taking tokens or buying and then placing the tile.

This is where we find the limit of those poker chip tokens. It is not a hard limit.

Some people may find it unclear that we can only have 5 resources tokens + 2 Ankh tokens. So we can have at most 7 tokens with those limitations.

Special Cases (page 4). This explains 2 things regarding placing the tile. One is how we can place the tile on top of other tiles and two is how we can earn the BONUS TOKENS.

Additional Actions (page 5 – 6). This explains further about how to use the Ankh Token as additional actions. There are a lot of notes from this one as it can be complicated as it allows us to move the tile.

End of the Game (page 6). The first 13th tile triggers the end of the game. We then need to complete the current round so that all players get the same number of turns to finish the game.

Scoring and Victory (page 6 – 7). This gives some illustrated example of how we count the score. The victory section has a tie breaker from the fewest tile, and fewest token.

The Other Tiles (page 7). This part explains further about the 3 special tiles, the Warehouse, the Scribe, and Desert Tile. The designer shared an additional detail regarding the Warehouse tile in this thread.

Credits (page 8). Here we can find out more about the 3 designers and the artist. The page also has a contact info, in case there are missing components from the box. Considering that they are part of Asmodee, I’m not sure though.

Overall, the rulebook explains the rule very well. However, some small details are even missing in this simple game. It’s not going to change the game significantly but some can affect the strategy.

Price Board

The next biggest component of Ankh’or is probably the folded PRICE BOARD. It is like a strip that resembles a scroll. Sadly, the designer didn’t share where they got this inspiration.

This 23.5 cm x 5.1 cm board has 6 sections with about 2 mm thick. On each section there are 2 or 3 punch out holes.

In these holes, we will be placing the PRICE MARKERS. Those markers will tell us the cost to purchase a tile in the corresponding section.

The 3 left most sections will have 2 holes and the other 3 have 3. During setup, price markets are placed randomly so each game will be different. One of setup variables for this game.

The rule suggests that we should avoid having three of the same markers in a single section. Otherwise, a section can have 2 of the same type or differently.

It is possible that the one type of resources will occupy all the cheaper locations with nothing in the more expensive slots or vice versa.

With the way the price market is set, each player can already start to plan their overall strategy. We may not know which tiles will be placed on which cost but the cost itself will not change.

While drafting for the resources, we may take for the cheapest but it is possible that the cheapest is a part of the more expensive ones. That is one way to play more efficiently

In this game, we will be placing tiles right below each section of this board , starting from the left most. So, the tile on the left most section is cheaper than the right most.

There will be a mechanism in this game that will slide these tiles to a cheaper spot than previously.

In order to do that, players have to spend their Ankh token. By doing so, they can move the tiles that they want on the more expensive side, hopefully to the cheaper one.

Or, just slide them so the required cost is a different one. But that is if we have the Ankh. If not, we don’t have any choice but to purchase while the tile is in the expensive section.

We can wait, however, the other player can take it first before we do. Even worse, they can manipulate the market and slide them to a position that we don’t have any resources to pay for.

So, with the way the market works, the game offers enough player interaction. Players can be very mean to each other with hate drafting or just denying them without giving any benefit to themselves.

In the insert, the Price Board has a specific slot on top of other smaller components in the right part of the insert. The part that depicts a wood has to stay at the top because it is wider than the other side.

I think this board also keep the smaller components to stay in their slot. Without the board, even moving the box will scatter mostly the Price Markers.

Price Markers

These are the 15 disc that depict the resources. We can find these tokens in the middle section below the Price Board of the insert. At the bottom of the insert, we can find the game’s main symbol.

As mentioned before, we will be placing each of these disc into the Price Board holes to setup the cost of the market. Each of 5 resources will have 3 markers.

The diameter is about 1.5 cm and with the same thickness as the board. They can definitely replace the 15 punchboard parts that come with the price board.

However, I kind of wish that instead of a hole, the Price Board is a double layer board. That way, if somehow we have to move the board, those markers will stay on their spots.

As it is, if we have to move, we need to slide the board alongside those markers. There is also no in-game mechanism that will change the position of these markers. They will stay there for the rest of the game.

The insert itself is big enough to store all 15 markers and 15 punchboards. We don’t need to keep those punchboard. If we store them together, it is a bit annoying to find the markers between those punchboards.

The front side of the markers have a distinct colors but the other side is the same plain color as the punchboards. Especially the marker for the Bone because the color will be too close.

We need all 15 of these to play the game. Maybe if we lose one, it’s doesn’t really matter. But if we lose 2 or more, it will be harder to play the game.

I guess, we can use those punchboards as replacement after we draw or put a sticker to represent the resources.

Overall, the game itself will only take a small table space to be played. However, these small markers make me hesitant to consider this for travelling.

It is very easy to lose them so that playing in public area is not really recommended. I think they can make them a bit bigger reducing the art part from the Price Board.

They can also use a long rectangular shape instead of this circular shape. I get it that the circular shape is more consistent with other component as they are now.

Bonus Tokens

These are the 12 tokens with a 2 dimensional pyramid shape and a number 3 on it. The number represents the extra victory points we get for having the Bonus tokens.

From the insert, they are divided into 2 separate slots, one is above and the other is below the slot for Price Markers. The slots themselves actually have the exact shape of those pyramids.

These cardboard tokens are all identical with numbers and art for both sides. The shape itself doesn’t really matter other than aesthetics and just following the settings.

If we lose any of these, we can always replace them with any game pieces just as a reminder. But if we use our own pieces, we probably cannot fit that piece to the insert as it can only fit an exact shape.

In the game, we can get these tokens during the game, not in the scoring phase. The way it works is that everytime we can make a group of 5 adjacent tiles with either the same animal icons or the same color, we can get one of these Bonus Tokens.

So, these are like in game objectives that we can fulfill by doing a set collection game. We will also score those tiles again at the end of the game, individually.

The end game scoring will require just at least a collection of 2 tiles, so we can have more sets. These Bonus Tokens encourage players to focus on the same colors or animals and score with just smaller number of sets.

In this game, there are 3 types of animals, Jackal, Beetle and Falcon and there are 5 colors. It is possible that a single animal tile can complete 2 groups of 5 tiles. Maybe one is for the animal and the other for the color.

In that case, we will get 2 Bonus Tokens and score 6 points immediately.

Having a group of 5 tiles with the same color or animal and make them adjacent is not that easy. The game will end after one player place the 13th tile.

So, most of the time, we can only get like 1 or 2 of the Bonus tokens. We can probably get a third if we are very lucky.

That means, if we mostly play with just 2 players, we probably only use half of these tokens and keep the other half always in the insert.

I suspect that with more players, it will be even harder to do so. One player can focus on 2 or 3 colors but maybe with 1 or 2 animals.

Considering that the variety of tiles doesn’t change with more players, each player will be competing to collect the same types. Even if 2 players don’t chase the same colors, they may have to compete for at least one animal.

By paying attention to what the other players are going for, it can help us predict what they are going for next and how likely we can win the same type of tiles.

These bonuses are not just for the first player who manage to complete the set. It is not a race but players still have to be aware with when the end game will be triggered.

At the same time, there is no guarantee that the tile we need will appear. Even if it will, players still have to make sure that they have the resources to buy those tiles.

Because of this, the game will have different experience for different player count.

Poker Chip Tokens

These are the components that the game and maybe the publisher is known for. I have to admit that the poker chip is one of the reason I buy this game.

Some people say that using poker chips as game pieces increase the experience of the game. They give a better tactile feeling with the weight, the sound that these pieces can make compared to just standard cardboard.

Also, it will last longer against moisture from our hand than any cardboard pieces. Sure, this shouldn’t be the main reason we buy any analog games. There is no point on having deluxe component but we don’t like the gameplay.

Ankh’or comes with 36 poker chip tokens that represents the 5 type of resources and the Ankh tokens. Each type will have 6 of these tokens with its own color and art.

However, depending on the player count, we may not use them all. We can even see them from the insert. The insert for these tokens have 3 parts.

For the first part, a longer one at the bottom is the minimum tokens that we will be using for game with 2 players. We will be using 4 of each type.

Then for every additional player, we can take 1 additional token of each type from the second or third part of the insert. So, if we play mostly with 2 players, we will not touch the tokens in the second or third part.

The diameter of the chip is about 2.9 cm and the thickness is about 0.3 cm. Because of the weight, I thought the thickness should be more than 0.1 cm difference than the cardboard pieces.

On both sides of each chips, we can see the depicted resources or the Ankh symbol. It’s like they put a sticker on the chip manually. We can see that some of them has different orientation on both sides.

The illustrated art is the same as for the Price Marker but with the extra glossy finish. It makes the art has some depth to the depicted object rather than flat.

In this game, on our turn, we can take 3 of these tokens or spend them to buy tiles.  We also have a limit of just 5 resources tokens plus 2 Ankh tokens.

With the limit of 5 resources, that means we can have one of each resources at the same time. However, it doesn’t mean we cannot have multiple tokens of the same resource.

Depending on how the Price markers are set, it is possible to just focus on certain types.

The limit of 5 is also not a hard limit. We can take more and just return the excess at the end of the turn. So, it is like we can trade the existing.

While the rule doesn’t say but I suspect we should consider this tokens as limited supply. That means, if a player takes all of resources from one type, the other may not have it.

So, this is not a game where we can keep generating and hoarding resources. It is a tight resource management game. I admit that sometimes  it can feel very boring just taking and returning these tokens right no the very next turn.

The idea is to play efficiently and find a way how to reduce the cost so the next tile will be cheaper. That way we can keep some tokens in our storage and reduce the number of turns just for taking these tokens.

It is not necessarily a bad thing but it takes the joy of playing with those poker chips a bit. Sure, we can keep and play all 7 of them in hand but not for stacking a lot of chips.

I don’t know for sure but maybe the poker chip is the reason for the color of resources.

Ankh Tokens

We can collect these Ankh Tokens just like we collect the other resources. However, the way we use them is different. We cannot spend the Ankh to buy the tiles.

We can spend the token as additional action to the basic action during each turn. This can be done before or after the basic action and we can spend two Ankh tokens in a row or in the same turn.

However, there is an exception. We cannot spend the Ankh token on the same turn we take them. It is still possible to spend 2 Ankh tokens and as the basic action, take Ankh Tokens.

The 2 main uses of Ankh Token are either MANIPULATE THE MARKET or MANIPULATE OUR TABLEAU. For each token, we can only choose one but we can spend 2 and do the same or one of each.

Manipulate the market is mostly refresh the market and fill them back with more tiles. So, in this game, we don’t immediately refill the market after any player purchase a tile. Actually, the market doesn’t refill by itself even if all tiles are bought.

We let them empty until one player will spend the Ankh Token for this purpose. It can be when no tile left or it can be when the market is full.

For that purpose, we slide the existing tile to the leftmost available spot without changing the order and fill the empty one from the next left most space.

For 2 player game only, we also need to remove 1 tile from the left most available tiles in the market before we slide the remaining tiles. That is not going to happen in 3 or 4 player mode.

For those two, we simply just slide the tile if there is an available space to its left and refill. That means, if the market is full, they cannot spend the Ankh for this purpose.

In the 2 player mode, if we spend the Ankh when the market is full, it seems wasteful. However, this still can affect the accessibility for both players.

Maybe just by moving one spot, the cost for that tile change and suddenly the active player can afford that tile. At the same time, this is an effective one to deny the opponent to access some tiles.

I assume that whichever resources tokens that the player has is an open information. We can also at least look on their tableau and figure out which tile they are going for.

With those 2 information, this tactic can work effectively.

I can also see that buying the last tile from the Market is a better move than just use the Ankh ourselves. While we can be the first to choose from the new market but if we fail to purchase them, we are opening the chance to other players.

So, if we just purchase it, the next player have to spend their Ankh Token or if they don’t have one, they have to use their turn just to take the Ankh.

There was also a discussion that this can lead to endless trading resources. Sadly, none of the designer has answered this question.

For the 2nd use, we can MANIPULATE OUR TABLEAU by spending the Ankh.

So, in this game, after we purchase a tile and place the tile into our tableau, we are not allowed to move that tile for the rest of the game. It is possible that based on the next tile that came out, we probably need to change our strategy that can affect the placement.

That is how we can move those tiles. We can move the tile on the base level or the tile on the upper level.

For the base level tiles, the restriction is that the tile cannot be supporting another tile. Then we can move them and keep them on the base to another space adjacent to one or more base tiles.

Moving a tile might affect the grouping. This can lead to either gaining or losing BONUS TOKEN.

We can also move a tile on the upper level as long as it stays on the same level. However, to move the upper tile, it has to be supported by 4 tiles at the new location.

Also, we can ignore the color restriction. So, in this game, if we want to put a tile on the upper level, the requirement is that the tile has to share at least the color with the 4 tiles supporting it.

When we place a tile on top, it has to be place in the middle of 4 tiles in 2 x 2 grid. So it can create a pyramid shape.

When we place them first on the upper level, we still need to follow the restriction. But when we move it with the Ankh Token, we can ignore that rule.

Understanding these details might seem minor but when the opportunity comes, it can win us the game. We still get an additional action because of the Ankh.

That is why to always have an Ankh Token can give us a lot of flexibility in this game. The Ankh is what makes the game very interactive.

There was a discussion about the possibility of splitting a tableau using an Ankh, not about splitting a group. The rule doesn’t say specifically about this and the designer hasn’t made any official reply.

Technically, based solely on what’s written, it is allowed. However, I’m not sure if that is a good way to play the game.

Tiles

So we finally get to the main component of Ankh’or, the octagon tiles. The overall square size is about 4.1 x 4.1 cm with 0.2 cm thickness.

At the front side, each tile has a color and the resource icon associated with that color, and an illustration. There is no text other that those with a number 2 on it that represent 2 Victory Points.

While the color is the same as 5 colors of the resources but the color of the tiles doesn’t dictate the required resources to purchase them. The cost is determined by the Price markers on the Price Board.

The back of the tile display the color and again the icon associated with that color.

In every game of Ankh’or, we will be using all of these 55 tiles. We will shuffle them or randomly put them into 2 facedown stacks.

When we are allowed to refill the market, we can choose only one of these stacks. The icon at the back of the tile will inform us the color so at least we can take advantage of that.

We still don’t know what is in front of them and what the next tile below it. While it give more info to consider while drafting but it’s not always helpful.

Each color will have the same set of 11 tiles. There will be 2 identical tiles for each of 3 animals, 2 tiles for 2 VP, then one of each Warehouse tile, Scribe tile and Desert tile.

The animals will have the same illustrations regardless of the color. All of the Desert tiles also have the same art.

Then the rest of the tiles will have a different art for each. Even the two 2VP are not identical for the same color.

The Warehouse is slightly different for each color but we probably almost miss it.

The insert also have a slot with the exact octagon shape so we can place these tiles almost standing. We have to tilt them a bit when we close the box with the lid.

Tile Placement

The way we place the tile is that it has to be placed orthogonally adjacent to the existing tile. With the exception, of course, for the first tile.

In order to gain VP at the end, the tile must be placed to another tile with the same color. Or, if it has an animal icon, it has to be next to the same animal regardless of the color.

During the game, if we manage to make a group of 5 adjacent tiles that share the same color or the same animal icon, we get 1 Bonus Token. Adjacent here also means the tile on the upper level.

So, the tile with Animal Icons can score for 2 groups at the end and for the Bonus token.

While the art has a clear orientation, it doesn’t really matter how we place them in our tableau. It can be upside down or rotated.

We can also place them on the upper level or above the existing tile. The first requirement is that the tile on the upper level has to be supported by 4 tiles on the lower level. So, once we have a 2 x 2 tiles, we can put the 5th on top of them.

However, there is a second requirement. The color of the upper tile has to match with one of the tile below it. So, if we have 2 x 2 grid as the base with all red color, we can only place another red tile on top of that grid.

Which is why, we might want to diversify as well, Maybe just have a grid with 2 or 3 color so we can be more flexible.

Also, by placing the tile on the upper level, we get a discount of 1 less resource token of our choice. So if the price board says that the cost is 2 token, we can purchase them with just 1.

This is another way to play more efficiently. Always try to go for the upper level.

Since the 13th tile will trigger the end game, the most efficient placement would be when placing a 3 x 3 as the base and a 2 x2 on the top.

I can see that we can still place the 14th one at the third level. That is only if we place a Scribe tile as the 13th and manage to purchase the 14th one.

Of course, this depends on what tiles that we can purchase and the set collection of either color or animal we want to pursue. Being more efficient by paying less is a good thing but at the end, triggering the end game doesn’t mean winning the game.

Maybe we can score more by placing not in that pyramid form.

Based on my experience, new players tend to spread their tiles into a long form, trying to line the tiles based on the color.

Most of the time we can only try to focus on just 2 or 3 colors. That is because of 13 tiles limit and a group of 5 tiles for the Bonus Token.

So, we can try to complete the 2 colors and have the third one at least with 2 tiles adjacent to each other.

When placing a tile on the upper level, the octagon shape actually allows us to still see the tile below it. The hole created by the corners even become a diamond frame for the base tile. But we do need to place them neatly.

The only problem is probably the Jackal and Falcon as the orientation of the art is not really at the center. But we still can easily tell what they are.

Warehouse Tiles

The Warehouse tiles is the first of OTHER TILES mentioned on page 7 of the rulebook. On the background, we can see a building with a tent, that I think represents a shop or storage.

At the bottom right corner, we can see the illustration of resources that correspond with the color. Those resources is the only different thing for each color.

Weirdly enough, the black one does have a wood but this time the color of the wood is not black like the rest of the component.

On the foreground of the tile we can also see an opaque circle. This will remind us that we can store a Resource token that match with the color.

So, after we place the tile to our tableau, we will then take the token from the supply and put the token on top of this tile. This will extend the limit of 5 resources we can have at a time.

We can purchase the next tile using the resource token from the Warehouse. Later, if the warehouse is empty and we have more than 5 resources, we can store one on the Warehouse tile.

I assume the next time we store a token on an empty Warehouse, we can only store the resources of the corresponding color.

The tile itself is worth 1 VP at the end if it is connected to another tile with the same color. This extra resources means we are paying less for the next purchase.

However, these Warehouse tiles will be useless if the tile has to support another tile on the upper level. We can no longer place the token on the tile.

Either just spend it immediately or wait and place the Warehouse tiles on upper level. The latter is not really going to be very practical as this is a very short game.

The rule doesn’t say this but the designer pointed out some details regarding the warehouse. If we have to put another tile on top of it while the token is still there, we can move the token to our main storage.

So, we don’t necessarily lose it. However, we still have a limit of 5 resources at a time, so we still need to return the excess.

Desert Tiles

Desert tiles are those that depict a desert environment as the art. Regardless of the color, all of the desert tiles have identical art.

There is no special effect from these tiles. However, each tile still has a color and that can contribute to the scoring at the end or the bonus tokens.

They may seem pretty useless but there are times when that is the only tile with the color we need. It is still worth 1 point at the end and if we manage to complete a group of 5 with this, we still can get 3 points.

Scribe Tiles

These are the tiles that depict a person or a Scribe, one for each color. A scribe is a person who copies some document before a printer was invented. As we can see from the art the Scribe is bringing one or more scrolls.

I don’t know why but all 5 of them are male. While the art is great with all of the details but there is no thematic meaning to the gameplay.

All of them have the same special effects. By purchasing these tiles and place them to our tableau, we are allowed to get one more action.

That means, we can immediately take 3 tokens or purchase another tile. The tile itself is only worth 1 VP if we can place them adjacent to another tile with the same color.

We have to resolve the bonus action immediately. It’s not something we can keep it first and do the action later.

That one extra turn means a lot in a game where the score margin is relatively very small. This is the only way to get a 14th tile to our tableau, not that it’s going to make us win the game.

If not for that, we can get one more tile with animal or the color that we already have for 1 extra point. It is also possible to allow us to complete one or maybe two groups of 5 and get 6 points from bonus tokens.

If we can get a 2VP tile, that 2 VP is just the minimum. Still, all of that depends on the situation and what is available left in the market.

At the very least, we can just take 3 tokens for 1 VP. If that happens mid game, that still gives us a bit of efficiency.

It also depends on the color. The Scribe tile that will come out may have a color that we don’t actually collect. So, the tile can be a bit of distraction.

However, our opponent may disagree and that Scribe tile can be very beneficial for them. Either we take them ourselves or we have to spend the Ankh, hopefully to remove them from the market in 2 player mode.

For higher player count, we can only take it to prevent other players from taking it. We still need to observe the situation. We may just let it go if for the second action the opponent cannot do any good.

Another thing to consider when these tiles come out towards the end of the game is, can we actually buy and place the next tile on the upper level? Because if we can, maybe we have enough leftover tokens to get us 1 extra VP.

So, overall, this is probably the most interesting element of the game. Anytime any of the Scribe come out, we need to observe any potential use of the additional action. Even if it doesn’t help us, we may still consider how it can help our opponents.

2 VP Tiles

These are the tiles with a big number 2 at the foreground. The number means we can get immediate 2 VP just by purchasing and placing the tile to our tableau.

In general, to get any point from any tile, we need at least to have 2 adjacent tiles that either share the same color or the same animal icon. That is not the case with these 2 VP tiles.

This tile will give us point on its own and the color can be a bonus if we can make a group based on color. So, the potential is much bigger than just 2 VP.

There was a discussion on the forum regarding these tiles. It seems that these tiles are a bit too powerful.

One of the easy suggested fix is that in order to gain the 2 VP, the tile has to be adjacent to the color. Sadly, none of the designer has replied to it.

For me, I don’t know if they are too powerful, but really don’t mind to use the rule as it is. It’s not that we will always have the chance to purchase the tile.

I don’t think that if a player manage to always go for these tiles, they will always win the game. It does give more things to consider though, makes the game more interesting.

On the background, we can see more illustration that actually explains further about each of related resources.

So, based on what the art tells us, the plant resources or greenery was taken from the Oasis. The bone or white resources is actually the elephant’s ivory and we can see an elephants on the white tiles.

I think the red one or the textiles indicates that the color is taken from the color of flowers. The black one or wood is a bit different. These tiles only show us how they use the wood to construct buildings.

Lastly for the blue or fish, the tile depicts some fishing activities with boats. I assume that none of these are representation of the actual situation of ancient Egypt.

The art is very good though. I don’t know why but the blue tiles seem to have a shadow. Maybe it’s an error on the printing or the graphic design.

Animal Tiles

We finally get to the last type of tiles in Ankh’or, the Animal Tiles. Maybe they are the main one actually.

There are 3 Animals in this game, Jackal, Beetle and falcon. Each color will have 2 tiles for each animal. Regardless of the color, the arts are identical. All of them depict a golden statue of that animal.

The reason why the Animal tiles should be considered as the main way to score is because they add another way to score the bonus tokens.

With the other type of tiles, we can score a bonus token just based on their color. The animals, however, they can score both the color and a group of the same animals.

Each individual animal tile will also score 1 VP at the end of the game as long as they are adjacent to one more tile that share either the same color or the same animal.

Because of that, the Animals give us a flexibility. We can either score from the Animal itself or the color or both.

Since we can still only have 13 tiles, and the restriction for a group of five from the Bonus Tokens, I think collecting 2 animals is probably the best.

On the other hand, there is a chance that there will be a conflict when trying to match the group between colors and animals. We ended up have to separate one of them to keep the other one.

In that case, we probably still have a chance to connect the separated tiles with tiles on the upper level. The Ankh token can still help move them later. We just need to make sure that we still have enough turns to take the Ankh and spend them.

The different animals themselves doesn’t really have different affects. We still score the same way just different group.

Metal Coin

This is just a bonus component from the Space Cowboys as the publisher. There is no gameplay use for this coin.

We can also collect more coins from their other games in the same series. So far, there are 3 other games aside from Ankh’or: Jaipur, Botanik and Tea for Two. Each of them will have the publisher logo on one side and the game’s logo on the other.

In the 2 player only games, we can use the coin to determine the first player. We can still use that in Ankh’or if we play with just 2 players.

The diameter of the coin is 3.5 cm with 0.3 cm thickness. For Ankh’or, the color of the coin is Silver similar to Botanik while Jaipur and Tea for 2 use Bronze and Copper color.

There is no dedicated slot in the insert. We can place them in the same slot as the tile.

That is it with all of the components that we get from Ankh’or. We can now learn how to play the game.

How to Play

Ankh’or is a competitive game for 2 to 4 players. The gameplay is almost the same in any player count with the slight exception for the 2 players.

One main difference is just the number of resources tokens or the poker chips that we will use for each player count. We will be using all of the other components with any number of players.

The box says that the playtime is about 30 minutes. I think that is for full player counts.

Officially, there is no solo variant. It seems there is a fan made solo variant by using a deck of AI cards.. We can find them here.

The next video is a tutorial for how to play Ankh’or by the publisher with the 2 designers.

Setup

First. We place the PRICE BOARD in the middle of the table. The rule suggests that the spot with 2 holes should be placed on the left side.

Second. We sort the RESOURCES TOKENS or the poker chips by type to create a general supply. Depending on the number of players, we will not be using all 36 tokens.

2 players: 24 tokens, 4 tokens for each type.
3 players: 30 tokens, 5 tokens for each type.
4 players: 36 tokens, 6 tokens for each type.

Third. We shuffle all 55 TILES and create two facedown piles. Then, we place these near the Price Board. The rule suggests that this should be placed on the right side of the Price Board.

Fourth. We shuffle all 15 PRICE MARKERS and place them randomly to each spots of the Price Board. Each type of resource will only have 3 markers.

As special note, we should avoid having triplicates or 3 resources of the same type for any tile spot.

Fifth. Choose one of the 2 Draw Piles, and reveal 6 TILES. We place them under the Price Board starting from the left most spot (with 2 Price Markers) to the right.

Sixth. Place all of the 12 BONUS TOKENS in the middle of the table as part of the general supply.

Seventh. Randomly choose the STARTING PLAYER.

That is it with the setup. Now, we are ready to play Ankh’or.

Gameplay

The game of Ankh’or will be played over several rounds until the end game is triggered. In each round, players will have one turn.

On their turn, player will perform one of two main actions, starting from the chosen Starting Player followed by the next player in clockwise order. The turn order will not change.

Once the end game has been triggered, we finish the round and proceed to scoring.

The two Main Actions are either TAKE TOKENS or BUY A TILE. Then, there are SPECIAL ADDITIONAL ACTION by spending Ankh Tokens.

Main Actions

Take Tokens means that the player can take 3 tokens from the general supply. We can take any combination of tokens. It can be all different, all the same or 2 and one. There is a limit, though.

At the end of the turn, any player can only have 5 resources tokens plus 2 Ankh Tokens. So, this is not a hard limit and players just need to return the excess to the general supply.

We can have several or all 5 resource tokens of the same type if we want.

Remember that these tokens are considered as limited supply. If one type runs out, we need to take the others.

Buy a Tile means we take 1 tile below the PRICE BOARD and pay the cost by returning the resource tokens to the supply. After buying a tile, we immediately need to place that tile onto our tableau.

To place a new tile, the tile must be placed orthogonally adjacent to the existing tile. With the exception, of course, for the first tile.

After we have placed the tile, in general, we can no longer move it, unless we spend the Ankh Tokens. See the Special Additional Action below.

Later in the game, we can also place the tile on the UPPER LEVEL or above the existing tiles. But there are additional rules to do so.

First, we can only place a tile on top of 4 adjacent tiles. That means we first need to have a 2 x 2 grid on the base and then we can place one on top in the middle of those 4 tiles.

Second, we can only place a tile on the upper level if the color matches with at least one of the base tiles. The icons doesn’t really matter.

Third, if we can and choose to place a new tile on the upper level. the cost is 1 fewer resources than the indicated from the price boards. We can choose which of the resources as the discount.

That means, if the cost is 2 resources, we just need to pay one of them.

Additional Actions

During our turn, before or after taking one of the 2 MAIN ACTION, we can also spend the ANKH tokens that we have to gain ADDITIONAL ACTIONS.

For each Ankh Tokens, we can do 1 action of either REFRESH THE MARKET or MOVE THE TILES. We can only choose one for each Ankh Token.

Also, during a turn, we are allowed to spend two Ankh Tokens. This can be done separately or both of them before or both of them after the main action.

NOTE: We cannot spend the Ankh Token on the same turn we take it. That means, if the main action is to take the Ankh Token, we can only spend that one on the next turn.

For the Refresh the Market or Refresh the Tiles action there are several steps that we need tor resolve.

First. Only in 2 player mode, we remove the leftmost available tile from the row and put them to a discard pile. We should ignore this step in  a 3 or 4 player game.

Second. We slide all of the remaining available tiles to the leftmost available space or the cheaper spots, if any.

Third. We choose one of the 2 draw piles. We will only draw from the chosen pile for this action.

Fourth. Draw new tiles from the chosen pile and refill the empty space under Price board starting from the leftmost available space until there are 6 tiles under the board.

If we manage to deplete the chosen pile, we can continue drawing from the other one.

For the second additional action, we can MOVE A TILE of our tableau for each Ankh Token spent. This can be applied to a BASE TILE OR THE UPPER TILE.

For the Base Tile, we can only move a tile that is not supporting another tile. We cannot move a base tile to the upper level tile only to another base level.

The new location should follow the regular placement rule that it has to be adjacent to another tile.

For the upper level or higher level tile, we can simply move it to another space also on the upper level. We cannot move it to the base one.

For this, we can ignore the color requirement rule when placing a new tile on top. That means, on the new location, the tile on top doesn’t need to match the color with any of the 4 supporting tiles below it.

However, there are consequences for moving a tile.  We can lose or gain a BONUS TOKEN if we break or create a group of five.

Gain Bonus Tokens

We can gain a BONUS TOKEN if after placing a tile, we manage to form a group of 5 or more adjacent tiles with either the same color or the same animal icons. Adjacent here includes the tiles on the upper level.

It is possible to form two groups with just a tile, one for the Animal and one for the color. If we can do that, we simply take a BONUS TOKEN from the supply.

This will give us 3 Victory Points at the end of the game if we still have it. However, there is a way we can lose it.

As mentioned above, if we move a tile by spending the Ankh Token and that breaks the group to less than 5 adjacent tiles, we have to return the Bonus Token.

End of the Game

The end game is triggered after a player places their 13th tile. After that we should complete the round so each player played the same number of turns.

Then we can proceed to Scoring.

Scoring

Each player will count their score from several aspects.

First. The immediate score from the BONUS TOKENS and the 2VP TILES.

Second. We count each animal tile that belongs to a group of at least 2 adjacent animal tile of the same animal type. Each tile in that group is worth 1 VP. A single animal is worth nothing.

That means, we need to check 3 animals. Remember that a group includes a tile on the top. They might be separated on the base but can be connected on the higher level.

Third. We count each colored tile that belongs to a group of 2 or more adjacent tiles of the same color. Each tile in that group is worth 1 VP.

That means we can score from all of 5 colors. It is also possible that a single color to form a separate group.

Same as animal, a group includes a tile on the top. They might be separated on the base but can be connected on the higher level.

Fourth. We score 1 VP for every 3 leftover tokens that we have, regardless of the type.

Based on all 4 aspects, the player with the most points wins.

In case of a tile, the player with the fewest tiles wins. If there is still a tie, the player with the fewest tokens wins. Then, if the tie persists, it’s a tie.

That is it with how to play Ankh’or.

My Experience & Thoughts

So, let’s say we play the game perfectly and manage to get 13 tiles in a pyramid form with 9 tiles at the base, and 4 tiles on the upper level. For, the color, we can at least complete 2 groups of 5 and that gives us 6 points from the bonus tokens and 10 points per tile at the end.

Assuming we can collect the remaining 3 with the same color, we get 3 additional points. From just the color, we can get 19 points.

Then, let’s assume we can also get two groups of animals in whatever configuration. That will give us another 2 Bonus tokens or 6 points and 10 points at the end. So, the total is now 35 points.

We still have 3 icons. If the are all animals of the same group or blend in with the other groupings, we can score 3 more points. However, if those 3 are all 2 VP tiles, we can get 6 points. With that, the total can be about 41 points.

Next, let’s talk about the efficiency. Let’s assume that we only buy a tile with a cost of 2 tokens. With 9 tiles, at the bottom, we need 18 tokens and 4 above, we need additional 4.

That means, we need a total of 22 tokens and that is just for the resources, excluding the Ankh Tokens. We will need about 8 turns just to take tokens and 13 turns to buy and place them or a total of 21 turns.

41 points, 21 turns, 22 tokens. Again, this still hasn’t count for turns to collect Ankh Tokens.

Based on that, each tile is worth less than 2 VP. Those 2 VP Tiles is indeed worth more than going for other type of tiles.

Going for the Animals or Colors is a bit pushing our luck. We don’t really know whether enough tiles will come out. Sure, it is also not a guarantee that we will find those 2 VP but it is an immediate result.

The problem with animal or color is that as spatial puzzle, while succeeding on one group, we may deny ourselves to complete the other group. In fact, maybe the animal is a bit forcing us to collect more colors while focusing on color can give us different tiles.

On the other hand, those 2 VP tiles can worth more if we place them adjacent to tiles with the same color.

I don’t think that the 2 VP needs to be fixed but I think all players should be aware of that. By knowing so, all players will be more competitive to go for it.

They also need to pay attention to their opponents. Maybe those 2 VP tile came out late and the color really doesn’t fit for the opponent and we can just let go.

We definitely don’t want them to get two 2VP tiles, especially that match the color that they are collecting.

That score is also more likely to happen with 2 players. It is more difficult to do set collection with more players. We can expect the score is lower with more players and the 2VP become more valuable.

As for the shape of how we place the tiles, I’m not sure if there are better alternatives compared to the pyramid shape. If the pyramid shape is the best form, and the players aware of that, most of the time, we can plan ahead with that shape in mind., the 9 + 4.

That is also saying that with more plays, the strategy will be the same overall.

Because of that, using the Ankh Tokens for moving tiles is very rare because we already know where to put the tiles. Even more so for moving tiles on the upper level. I always forgot that we can do that but if the opportunity comes, it can be handy.

I mostly only spend the Ankh for manipulating the market. Just making sure that we can buy from the cheaper spot is already efficient. In the 2 player game, we can mostly just focus on the 3 cheapest spaces.

We can easily predict that even if we cannot go for the leftmost tiles, we can still aim for the other two. Having an Ankh which allows us to remove the left most available tokens is a must.

If we cannot get the tile that we want, we might as well just let it get removed, preventing the other players to take it. It can be mean but it is not that difficult to pay attention of how likely our opponent will do that to us.

This is not going to happen with 3 or 4 players. They don’t allow us to remove the tile.

The market can be very static. I think it can also be problematic as players keep stalling just trading tokens and wait for the other players to spend their Ankh Tokens.

As far as I know, this is a valid move and the designers have not addressed the issue. The market will not refill automatically and there is no rule to force players to spend their Ankh.

It’s like the camel in Jaipur. We don’t want to be the first to refresh the market unless we know that our opponent cannot take any of them. But in Jaipur we have no choice. And here, the limit is not about the tile we can take.

Actually, in Jaipur, we have to make sure we have rooms in hand. While in Ankh’or, we need to make sure we have enough tokens to purchase tiles, especially the Ankh that can give us a lot of flexibility.

It is hard to win the game if we always just get token and buy immediately so we don’t have any spare. Moreover, if we are always the one to spend the Ankh to reset the market, essentially, we are helping our opponents.

I get it that this is just a lightweight fast game. It’s very rare that players will take the game to that seriously.

In 3 or 4 player mode, the interaction and tactic is a bit different because of that Ankh token. We cannot just target specific tile and the current cost, but we also need to be prepared if the tile is moved just one space.

It can be more. Maybe even the focus is shifted towards the more expensive slot. Especially if the same combination of cost can be spent for the cheaper one.

I can see that if we play with 4 players, the market will change a lot and we probably cannot play strategically. At least for the tile, not the placement. It’s not rare to end up just buying what is available. Always waiting for just the specific tile may not be very efficient.

The Warehouse tile can become an interesting feature if the tile come out early. In that case, we will have more time to hoard some resources first. Otherwise, it is just a one time thing, especially in 2 player mode.

It also depends on how the Price Markers are set. If the color is concentrated on the more expensive slots, that we will less likely to buy from, getting warehouse for that color is useless.

I kind of wish there is a tile that let us take 4 tokens even if just one time. That will be a great combination for the warehouse.

Overall, the presentation and production is great but it is a filler game. While the overall strategy of tile placement is the same from game to game but the spatial puzzle is still there.

Taking the tokens and immediately pay them to buy tiles can be boring at first. This will change a bit when we finally can put tiles on upper level. I kind of wish some extra efficiency can happen early in the game.

Some say that this is similar to Splendor. I haven’t played that one but I think that is only partially true. At least Ankh’or doesn’t come with unnecessary big box.

The game can support 4 players but it doesn’t mean it is as good as with 2 players. I get it that there is a potential there but it is weird since the publisher include this in their 2 player series.

Fan Made Solo Variant

As mentioned before, there is a fan made solo variant for Ankh’or that we can find on BGG. It was originally came in French, posted by Christian Bergeron (username: argonne). I don’t know if he is the author.

We can find the original files here. The same account then also posted the English version here.

This solo variant will be using an AI deck. The author actually offered 20 cards that we can print and play with.

Each card will tell us whether the bot will take tokens, buy a tile or spend an Ankh. If they take tokens, the card will also tell us which 3 tokens to take.

Similar goes to buying a tile. It will tell us from which spot they will buy a tile from.

So, the card gives us some set of actions with different priority. If the AI cannot resolve the first priority, then the AI will take the secondary action.

In this case, taking tokens is very straight forward. However, when the card tells the AI to buy a tile, the AI needs to have the corresponding resources. So, if the AI don’t have that resources, the action for taking tokens becomes active.

Then the action related to spend Ankh token is also very straight forward. A card will say either active or not.

The use of Ankh Token is just to manipulate the market as in the 2 player mode. Remove the left most, slide the rest and refill. I assume the AI needs to have the Ankh in order to resolve that bottom action.

For the Tile Placement, the AI will only do set collection based on the color. So, the AI take the tile and everytime the AI gets 5 of the same color, they also gain the Bonus Token.

For the scoring, they count the color as like for the human player with 1 VP per tile as if the tiles are all adjacent. They also score from the leftover tokens and any number from 2VP tiles and Bonus Tokens.

The game ends after 13th tiles, similar to the regular mode.

Based on that rules, we still have a lot to consider while playing against the AI, almost similar to the 2 player game. We need to pay attention to their tokens and how likely they can buy a tile from specific spots.

The AI may not care about extra action from Scribe or extra tokens from Warehouse or even the Animal. But the 2VP tiles still matter a lot.

We can also try to prevent them from gaining the 5th tile of any color so they don’t get those Bonus Token.

It may not replicate how actual human player completely but at least we can play the game alone using this deck.

My Modified Version

Based on the idea for solo variant above, I would like to offer a modified version that doesn’t use that deck of cards. Instead, we can use a d6 dice.

This is just changing how the AI do action slightly. For how the AI do set collection, they are the same as the variant above. They only do set of colors and able to gain bonus tokens.

The way it works is, on the AI’s turn, the AI will try to buy any tile that the AI can afford starting from the left most spot.

If the AI cannot afford any tile, then we roll a dice and the rolled number will tell us which combination of tokens to take based on the price markers of the spot.

Number 1 is the left most spot and 6 is the right most spot. For the spot with just 2 tokens, the third one is an Ankh Token.

In this variant, the AI’s tokens are also limited to just 5 resources in any combination and 2 Ankh Tokens. There is a chance that the AI already have almost 5 resources but they still need to take tokens.

In that case, the AI will instead take Ankh Tokens. If the AI still cannot take any tokens because the AI is already full, trade their 5 resources tokens to match the cost of the two left most spots.

The idea is so that the AI can afford a tile on their next turn. Also, when the AI is at full resources, that is when the AI spend the Ankh Token.

The Ankh Token by the AI will only manipulate the market as in the 2 player mode. So, at the start of the game, it may seem like the AI is not doing much other than taking tokens.

However, when the AI is full with resources, it is also possible that they will buy tiles more often.

As for the scoring, the AI will score 2 VP per tile they have collected. They also count 1 additional VP per Animal, the 2 VP tile and bonus tokens.

Based on this scoring system, from my experience, the AI will not need that as many tiles as the human players. I think it can be adjusted very easily. If we think the AI is too easy, then we just count each of their tile with 2.5 VP or 3 VP.

Again, this is just an idea from me, an amateur designer. I’m not saying it works perfectly. It’s just me trying to exercise the idea.

Hopefully somebody else can give it a try and improve it or even create their own variant. Please don’t hesitate to share with me via the comment section below and I will give it a try.

Conclusion

Ankh’or is the second game in the 2 player games series by Space Cowboys as the publisher. However, it is possible to play up to 4 players.

In this game, we will be collecting tokens in the shape of poker chips as our resources. There are 5 main resources and an Ankh token in this game and each turn we can only take 3 with a limit of 5 resources and 2 Ankh tokens.

On our next turn, we can spend the tokens to buy 1 tile from up to 6 available tiles in the market.

The market will have 6 slots and each slot will display the cost which can be 2 tokens or 3 tokens. Every game, we will have a different set of price for each slot by placing Price Markers randomly.

While we can always buy from the more expensive tiles and the main element of this game is to manipulate the market so we can buy them cheaper. We do that by using the Ankh Token.

In 2 player mode, the Ankh will remove one of tile on the left most space and refill the market until the market will have 6 tiles again. So, that is one of the unique thing in Ankh’or that the market doesn’t refill automatically after we buy it.

Because of that players will have to prepare themselves by having enough resources and spend the Ankh to reset the market at the right time. We want to be the first one to buy from the fresh market while preventing the other player to take advantage.

It’s like their previous game, Jaipur. But instead of we want to have empty hand of card, we need to make sure we have enough resources.

After we purchase the tile, we need to place it into our tableau. This is a tableau building, tile placement game. The restriction is that we need to place the tile adjacent to the existing one, except of course, for the first tile.

Our goal is to create a set collection where only adjacent tiles that shares either the same color or the same animal icons will score. That gives the game a unique spatial puzzle.

The end game will be triggered once a player places their 13th tiles. This will be a very tight game to play competitively. To win the game, we need to figure out how to be more efficient so we can take less number of action just to take the resources to buy those tiles.

One way to play more efficiently is to place the tile on the upper level because it will give us a discount of 1 less resource token. So, it is not just a plain 2D spatial puzzle but a 3D one.

Even the adjacency also works with the upper level tiles. So, at the base, the tile might be separated but they can be connected from the top.

The Ankh Token can also be spent to move the tiles. Depending on the random order of how the tiles will come out and our opponent’s progress, there will be times when we have to change plan and try to collect other things. That is how having the Ankh is always helpful.

Some of the tiles also have special power that we can activate one time, immediately. There are tiles that allows us to take 1 more action or tiles that let us store extra tokens and there are tiles that give us immediate 2 VP points.

During the game if we manage to collect a group of 5 tiles that share the same color or animal icons, we also get Bonus Tokens that give us 3 points. This is in addition to points we get per tile if we have a group of at least 2 tiles that share the same color and/or animals.

While the game have enough set up variables with the price markers and order of tiles, I do feel like the game has limited replay value. The spatial puzzle is still there but I don’t see better alternative than always going for the pyramid shape.

I do feel that the game is close enough to Jaipur but not as good probably because they try to accommodate more players.  Ankh’or does a better job with the tactile feel and table presents with the production value.

We can watch our tableau grow slowly. It is a game in small box that we can take anywhere but probably not to play in public place. There are some small components that we can easily lose.

Like other filler games, it is nice to play once in a while.

More Similar Games

If we enjoy Ankh’or and are looking for other games that share some similarities, there are a lot more games like this out there. We can also their other games in this series by the same publisher like Tea for 2 or Botanik.

All those 3 are just for 2 players. Jaipur is already very well known as one of the favorite game for a couple while the other is still relatively new.

At this point, I have only played Jaipur. Maybe I will eventually write a review for that one. So, stay tuned.

In the mean time, here are games that I have played and written a review for. These games are not similar as a whole but they do share some similar element that I do enjoy from Ankh’or.

I think the most interesting element of Ankh’or is the spatial puzzle of where should we place tiles adjacent to each other in order to create set collection. For the 3D aspect, I have only played Miyabi, no review for that yet.

However, if we are just looking for similar games but in plain level spatial puzzle we can try card games like Circle the Wagons. This game uses cards with icons in a 2 x 2 grid that we need to place in the tableau while overlap some part of the existing card.

We can rotate the card so that the same icons are next to each other just like in Ankh’or. The difference is that in this game, the card is considered meld with the existing one so which card on the top doesn’t really matter.

Café is another one but with 2 x 3 grid but combined with a deeper resource management element that makes it more of an engine building game. Placing the icons adjacent is not enough. We also need to activate them to generate resources and spend those resources for other set collection.

Another game with spatial puzzle element that I have tried is Walking in Burano. Here, there is a different but as engaging card drafting mechanism that can manipulate the market and affect the other players.

Once we have taken the card, we have to place them in our 3 x 5 grid while trying to put 3 of the same color in one column to recreate the city of Burano. Each card will also have smaller icons that can be scored differently based on the character in the game we try to impress.

For those who don’t mind with roll and write genre, The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game also have some spatial puzzle element. It is also a set collection game with a bit of resource management. Like Ankh’or, we need to figure out how to get that one extra action.

The next interesting element from Ankh’or is probably the objective or contract by doing set collection. More specifically, we need to make a group of 5 to gain those Bonus Token.

This in game bonuses will give us the feeling of doing a baby steps or just short term goals. It gives a sense of accomplishment and very rewarding.

Other games that gives this feeling that I have played is The Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game. Everytime we can make a set of 3, especially if we can do it early or the first one to do it, we can get a lot of reward.

Quests of Valeria can also offer this experience if we don’t mind with a totally different theme or settings. If we can complete a quest as the objective, we can get the bonus to help us complete the next one.

Seastead is another board game with smaller objectives that we can complete during the game. This is a 2 player only game and in my opinion has better player interaction than Ankh’or. Our opponent can actually get a benefit from our accomplishment.

To a smaller degree, other games with similar experience are Tybor the Builder and Mint Works. Both of them are more of filler or micro game, actually close to Ankh’or.

For bigger games, we can also get that experience from Architects of the West Kingdom. In this game, constructing buildings or Cathedral are the objective that we can complete during the game. There is also a bit of market manipulation from the Apprentice element.

The Big Book of Madness is another one but with fantasy theme. This is a cooperative deck building game where we need to collect a number of elements in order to defeat the curse.

So, the curse is like the objective. If we can beat them, we will get immediate bonus that can help us further in the game.

Maybe one last interesting element of Ankh’or is the Market Manipulation. Mostly, we will do it so it can help us purchase some tiles that we need. On the other hand, this can also affect other players.

I already mentioned Quests of Valeria and Architects of the West Kingdom. Like in Ankh’or, in both games, the one we have not purchased may get cheaper later or discarded.

I think Mandala may offer the same feel. The difference is that this is just between 2 players and instead of waiting for things to get cheaper, we actually can increase the value of the cards in the middle.

I agree that Ankh’or also have some resource management element with the limit of tokens that we can have at a time. Some games that I have mentioned will use hand of cards with a limit and they can give the same experience.

Other games that I haven’t mentioned with limited resources are Peloponnes Card Game and Finished! for solo game.

Some may enjoy the experience of tableau building in Ankh’or. We can watch how our tableau grow and create some table presents.

For this, I already mentioned Walking in Burano, Tybor the Builder, Café and Circle the Wagons. The one that I have not mentioned are Villages of Valeria, Imperial Settlers, Oh My Goods! and Fleet.

Again, these are just game that I have played up to this point. There are still many other games that I haven’t tried and may offer any of these experience.

I may add more games on my website here. Check out the latest list of games from this article.

Final Words

That is all I can share with you about Ankh’or, a board game. I guess this can be considered as a filler game, especially if we play with just 2.

I probably have missed something that I should have discussed regarding the game. Please don’t hesitate to point that out and share what you know related to this game and I will update this article.

I keep saying that these tabletop games can be a good way to spend some time without looking at the screen of our gadget.  If we do have someone close, that we can play with, there are other games where we can play cooperatively or competitively but with more player interaction.

The game can be very fast or like a filler type or it can take hours to play. Some games can also be played in solitaire mode and they are still more engaging than other entertainment activity.

So, what is your experience on playing this game? If you know other games similar or even better than this, please do share via the comment section below. I would love to learn and play that game, assuming I can get a copy.

This article is just my notes about what I can find from the internet. Hopefully this can help anybody who reads it.

Thanks for reading.

 

Mark M.

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