Date: 6th August 2004
Game played: Maya ( Abacus ) BGG Id: 8126

With three of us this week, I decided to try this game from Essen last year that we had so far overlooked. This is a game about pyramid building and is played over three rounds, each of which has the following four phases. Firstly, you acquire stone blocks from the quarries; you then transport them to the pyramid site; you add the blocks to the pyramids being constructed; and finally players are rewarded for their contribution to the building of the pyramids. Each player has an identical set of cards for use in the first two phases. These are laid face down at the quarries or retained for transportation. Cards laid at the quarries are evaluated, with the players laying the highest and second-highest valued cards receiving blocks from the quarry. The more cards laid at the quarry the more blocks you are likely to acquire. However, you need to retain enough valued cards to transport the blocks won, otherwise any surplus over what you can transport is lost. Players then in turn add all the transported blocks to the pyramids one at a time, with the lowest level of all pyramids needing to be completed before blocks are added to the next level. Players then receive victory points depending on how much they have contributed to each level of each pyramid, but any player receiving VPs loses a block from each level through "erosion". After three rounds, whoever has accumulated the most points wins.

This was quite an interesting game which we all enjoyed. It is very reminiscent of bits of other games but the bits fit together nicely. The erosion mechanic at the end of each round helps a bit to rein in the leaders and, although I had a terrible first round, I still felt I might have got back into it. I didn't and was cursing my early inattention when Mark K was able to complete a level of one pyramid I thought was safely mine, by simultaneously playing both a double move and an add a block to a pyramid special action. Mark G concentrated on particular pyramids and pushed Mark K all the way in scoring the first two rounds, but Mark K did enough to extend his lead in the final round and claim the win.

Mark K
Mark G

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