Kemet is a board game that I have not yet played during my monthly Game Night with friends. It is high on the list though! My boyfriend and I have played it several times and we are eager to introduce it to the others soon, when we are off to a cottage in Zandvoort to play board games for an entire weekend.
Kemet is from the same publishers as Cyclades, which is set in ancient Greece. Although I have never played that game, Kemet is usually considered the more combat-driven of the two. The setting is ancient Egypt and 'Kemet' refers to 'keh-met' [km.t], which was the name the Egyptians gave to their land. It translates as 'black land', which according to most Egyptologists describes the fertile soil at the flooded banks of the river Nile, although nowadays this is debated by others who claim it to be a referance to people with dark skin.
'K.mt' or Kemet in hieroglyphic writing
Kemet is not a historical game however, like Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, but a fantasy version of ancient Egypt that reminds me somewhat of the Stargate series. One can use pyramids and obelisks to teleport ones armies and use impressive creatures such as a gigantic royal scarab or a powerful mummy - in the shape of beautifully executed minis - as extra support. The aim of the game is to gain the most victory points by controlling temples, conquering pyramids and especially by winning fights!
The fast action and frequent battles is what makes this game exciting and lots of fun. There's never a dull moment! The power tiles that can be bought by prayer points, earned by frequently praying to the gods to keep them at peace, are of three different categories and are aimed at different strategies (defensive, aggressive or resource based). Pretty much all of them are attractive to obtain, which makes choosing a luxury problem.
It is wise to plan ahead your strategy early in the game, since these power tiles reach their maximum effect when combined effectively. The use of battle cards reminded me of the house cards from the Game of Thrones board game. Both add a bidding aspect to the game, which adds bluff and even more excitement.
A great extra of this game is the two-sided board for different player combinations, which makes the game very versatile. This is another reason why I cannot wait to intrudoce the game to our friends!
Sometime in 2014, the expansion Kemet: Ta-Seti is due ('Ta-Seti' referring to ancient Nubia).