I love to roll large numbers of dice at the same time. I get a maniacal look on my face and I start laughing as I roll ten dice together. Jeff knows this and last year for Christmas he bought me Favor of the Pharaoh, a dice game. This hits both my love of rolling large numbers of dice AND my desire to play strategy games.
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What is Favor of the Pharaoh?
Favor of the Pharaoh* is a variation on a deck building game, rather like Dominion, only instead of buying new cards to add to your deck, you are buying new dice and ways to reroll your dice. Think if Yahtzee and Dominion got married and had a child. And yes I am fully aware of how weird that sounds.
Your ultimate goal is to get the best roll on the final hand with the most matching numbers.
How to play Favor of the Pharaoh
To set up the game you pick different tiles that can be bought. The tiles are laid out in a roughly rectangular shape with a number of tiles available for purchase gradually decreasing until you get to the Pharaoh’s Queen, which only has one tile (and that tile can make or break the game for you).
On your turn, you roll dice, and look at your results and decide to lock dice that you like (this is where it’s like Yahtzee). Each time you roll the dice you have to lock at least one die, you can lock more, but at least one.
Your first turn you have three dice. Those three dice can be used to buy any of the lower cost tiles. For instance, you could buy the “all dice are odd” tile, or the “all dice add up to at least 7” tile. Each of these tiles will give you a different result.
Some give you more dice. Yea! You can roll for new things. Some give you specialty dice, YEA you can be more targeted in what you’re rolling for or can earn extra rerolls, the choice goes on and on.
Some tiles give you extra dice if you lock a certain result on the dice (pair, odd numbers, etc). Some let you add a dice on a certain face (add a 1).
By the end of the game, you can be rolling ten dice or more. It’s awesome.
The game ends when someone buys the Pharaoh’s Queen. It enters the final round. Everyone gets one last roll and your goal is to get the highest number of matching dice that are also higher than the person who went before you.
Final call on Favor of the Pharaoh
It’s a nice balance between randomness (rolling dice) and strategy with deciding what dice to lock and all of that. I really enjoy it, as a matter of fact, I think I’ll pull it out later today.