One of the characteristics in Ankh: Gods of Egypt that sets it apart from its predecessors in the legendary saga – Blood Rage and Rising Sun – is the high level of asymmetry in the game. The presence, or absence of, a god in a particular game highly changes the texture of the experience and the strategy that needs to be applied. This happens because players represent the gods themselves and their powers. Let’s take a deeper look into which gods are included in the core box and how their powers are represented in the game.
First, we have Anubis, God of Tombs, Embalming, and the Underworld. Dying was a central part of the Egyptian mythology, if the elaborate mummies, pyramids and funerary rites can serve as any indication. Great efforts were made to ensure the well-being of souls after death. So, in the context of the game, Anubis’ power relies on trapping other Gods’ dead Warriors in his underworld. Each trapped Warrior makes him more powerful. The only way to get the warrior back is to pay Anubis with Followers which can make him more powerful in different ways. It’s a tough negotiation, and something for players to keep in mind when engaging in battle not only with Anubis, but with any god.
Then we have Ra, the mighty Sun God, a Creator God, giver of life. His power in the game is very different from Anubis’. When summoning a figure to the board, be it a warrior or a guardian, he can choose to assign it one of the sun tokens. By making the figure radiant, Ra gains more Devotion when winning conflicts with it. If not kept in check, this ability can make Ra players win very quickly, as the game ends when a God hits the top of the Devotion track.
Osiris and Isis were both brother and sister and husband and wife. Together, they were protagonists of one of the most well-known Egyptian myths. Osiris was a primeval pharaoh, murdered by his brother Set, who usurped the throne. Osiris’ body was then dismembered and scattered across Egypt. But Isis retrieved the pieces, restoring his body and bringing him briefly back to life. Osiris became the first mummy and continues to live in the mysterious Kingdom of the Dead.
The betrayal of Osiris by his brother is represented in a very interesting way. When Osiris loses a battle, he can open an underworld portal in the region which enemies cannot enter but allows him to summon additional allies. So, when battling in Ankh, losing could be advantageous to Osiris’ player as he can come back stronger later. That’s something his opponents must keep in mind.
Isis is the best at protecting her allies in the game. Her figures that are adjacent to enemy figures are protected and cannot be killed. So enemy players would do well to keep their distance from those protected by this goddess!
Finally, we have Amun, a mysterious and many faced god who assumed many roles during the different Egyptian eras. First, he was God of the Wind and patron deity of Thebes, a city in the South of Egypt. Later, he became the national Sun deity and King of the Gods, bringing Egypt into a period of virtual monotheism. His mysterious nature is represented in the game by him having a more flexible power. When battling, Amun can play two cards instead of one, and resolve both, adding together extra bonuses. Battles against Amun are unpredictable and can be very hard to win.
That covers all the gods present in the core box of Ankh: Gods of Egypt. In an era where Egypt is going from polytheism to monotheism, the gods will fight to be the last one standing. Some will rise, some will fall… and some will merge together. Who will they be?
Ankh: Gods of Egypt is coming soon to Kickstarter. Click here to be notified when the campaign starts.