A struggle for power set in the world of ancient Egypt, Scarab Lords is a strategic card game for two players from the mind of Reiner Knizia. Sadly out of print today, it’s worth tracking down a copy or the companion game Minotaur Lords.
|Scarab Lords||Fantasy Flight Games||Card Game|
In The Box
Simple but quality components include three distinct decks of cards, plastic pyramid markers that represent power, and cardboard scarab markers to place on cards that become cursed. You’ll track progress in Scarab Lords using a thin cardboard strip that fits together like two puzzle pieces. The game would still be entirely playable without the board, so if you find a used copy where the board is missing or in poor condition, don’t let that stop you.
How It Plays
The introduction and popularity of collectible card games created a huge market for imitators, but it also inspired non-collectible games that incorporated the best elements of CCG gameplay. The basic idea in Scarab Lords is to play strong cards from your deck against an opponent to gain control of two regions in Egypt. You’ll need to gain supremacy in each region’s military, religious, and economic centers by playing cards with those attributes, all the while keeping your opponent at bay. There are two unique decks that make up the basic game, plus a third that can be mixed in to more closely duplicate the deck-building dynamic of a CCG. The game allows for a variety of strategic approaches, with powerful god cards that can quickly shift the balance of power.
There isn’t as much variety here as you’d find with a CCG, but between the third deck and the Minotaur Lords expansion you’ll be surprised at the amount of strategic depth.
Supremacy can change at any time and you never know what your opponent is going to do. You have to figure out which resources you want to control first.
Image credit flickr / brookscl