Euphrates & Tigris: Contest of Kings

Euphrates & Tigris: Contest of Kings

From: Rio Grande Games

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

Euphrates & Tigris: Contest of Kings is a new Card Game from Rio Grande Games.

Euphrates & Tigris: Contest of Kings is a card game version of the board game, Euphrates & Tigris. I had not played the board game, so I came at this with an unbiased mind. This game, like many of Rio Grande Games is a fairly abstract strategy card game.

From the website :

“ The fruitful region between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers has long been an area of conflict. ”

Game setup is fairly easy. You separate out the specialty cards – Treasures, Ships and Catastrophes, and then layout the starting playing area of 8 Treasure cards. Each player has four color-coded leaders, which also correspond to the four color types of cards. They are black for Kings/Population, blue for Farmer/Agriculture, green for Trader/Market, and red for Priests/Temples. The Treasure cards are like temple cards but with a golden dragon head in the corner, and they make the starting place for each kingdom. A kingdom is a set of cards

Each player takes their turn by choosing 2 of 3 options for actions – play a civilization card, move a leader or play a catastrophe card (which you can do only once per game). The game is a series of turns where the player builds Kingdoms from the Treasure cards by placing civilization cards vertically down the playing area (up to 8 cards) or horizontally connecting two Treasure cards. You place leaders on the cards to help you gain victory points. You gain points as you place the colored cards where the matching leaders are. However, you must have a second card in your hand to gain that victory point. There are several ways to gain more points including gaining ships and connecting treasure cards (thus connecting kingdoms). There are also special abilities that some of the leaders provide to gain more points.

Abstract games like these commonly are simple races to see how many points you can get in the limited amount of time. However, this does have the head-to-head confrontational aspect of it through conflicts as well as the catastrophe cards. Conflicts occur when leaders of the same color end up in the same kingdom either through movement (internal conflicts) or joining of kingdoms (external conflicts). Both are resolved by playing a certain number and type of cards and the results can be fairly devastating (the price of war).

I played the two player version of the game, which takes out 30 of the civilization cards. It ran rather smoothly as the first several rounds were simply victory point grabs. As the kingdoms grew, the more chance for conflict came up and the strategy of card play became more critical. Playing four of the same type in a row gains you a ship, but there are a limited number of ship cards (3). So you have to watch where your opponents could gain one while at the same time try yourself to gain one. Once those are gained and you have the leaders in the right place, your victory points can blossom considerably. I can see this game being very fast paced and even cut-throat at times with more than two players.

In conclusion, this game itself is very entertaining and has strong replaybility value as most card games do. My wife noticed several editing problems with the rulebook, but that is the only real problem we found. The cards are small and not bulky. The art is well done and clear. It is a good game for a good price. I would highly recommend it.

For more details on Rio Grande Games and their new Card Game “Euphrates & Tigris: Contest of Kings” check them out at their website, and at all of your local game stores.

Euphrates & Tigris: Contest of Kings

From: Rio Grande Games

Type of Game: Card Game

Game Design by: Reiner Knizia

Developed by: Reiner Knizia

Number of Pages: 8 page foldout rulebook

Game Components Included: 193 cards, 16 wooden leader chips, 4 catastrophe cards, 3 ship cards

Retail Price: $ 19.95 (US)

Number of Players: 2-4

Player Ages: 12+

Play Time: 45 minutes


Reviewed by: Ron McClung