Mykerinos

Mykerinos – Review

Mykerinos is an area control game designed by Nicolas Oury in 2006 and is currently published by Rio Grande Games.

Mykerinos:

Designed by: Nicolas Oury
Published by: Rio Grande Games
Number of players: 2-4
Playing time: 45 min
Player ages: 10+

A Quick Overview

Each player is an archaeologist in Egypt working on behalf of several patrons. Over the course of four “seasons” each archaeologist investigates several parcels of land and extracts the bounty of the ancient civilization.

Each parcel of land is sponsored by a specific patron and the player with the most influence in a parcel receives a reward. These patrons also wish to unearth the treasures of the pharaohs and put them on display in a museum.

The museum has wings for each of the 5 patrons and, at the end of the game, a great exhibition is held. The archaeologist/player with the most artifacts in the museum and who has the greatest influence among the patrons wins.

Game Play

On a player’s turn, he has a choice among four possible actions:

  • Start a new excavation
  • Extend an excavation
  • Pass
  • Appeal to a patron (after season 1)

By choosing to start an excavation, the player can send a single worker into a particular parcel of land. Extending an excavation allows the player extends the excavation by up to two workers.

If, in a previous round, the player has successfully won a parcel, it is possible to obtain a favour of the patrons. Each of the five patrons provide a particular advantage to the player.

Once players have all passed in succession, game play then moves into the resolution of land parcels. In the first three seasons, there are 4 parcels of land; six parcels in season four.

The winner of the parcel is the one with the most workers. The winner can choose to either exhibit in the museum or take the respective patron card (to be used during the game and for points at the end).

Depending on the winner’s choice, there may be some benefits for the second and third place majorities in each of the parcels.

After the end of the fourth season, the winner is the one with the most victory points.

Observations

When this game first came out in 2006, I thought it was a great little game. It is tense and plays in about 45 minutes.

It is an area majority/area influence game and these are the mechanisms that I enjoy a lot. However, since 2006, there have been quite a number of games that were more satisfactory.

A few players have argued that Sir Brown is overpowered and that getting a few Sir Brown patron cards early in the game is a very strong advantage.

That shouldn’t put you off from ensuring that you have a viable strategy in museum placement as this is how the majority of points are scored.

Another point to note is that it doesn’t hurt to be in 3rd place when parcel resolution takes place. In a few cases, being in third place will net you some patron cards to be used later on in the game.

I would recommend this game if you are looking for a game that plays quickly and provides some tense decisions.

Happy gaming.