Kickstart This! #16: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects

Designers: Bruno Cathala (7 Wonders Duel, Abyss, Cleopatra and the Society of Architects, Conan, Cyclades, Dice Town, Five Tribes, Jamaica, Kanagawa, Kingdomino, The Little Price: Make Me a Planet, Mission: Red Planet, Mission: Red Planet 2nd Edition, Mr. Jack, Mr. Jack in New York, Mr. Jack Pocket, Queendomino, Raptor, Shadows Over Camelot, Yamaha), Ludovic Maublanc (Ca$h ‘n Gun$, Ca$h ‘n Gun$ 2nd Edition, Cleopatra and the Society of Architects, Conan, Cyclades, Dice Town, Mr. Jack, Mr. Jack in New York, Mr. Jack Pocket, Terror in Meeple City)

Artist: Miguel Coimbra (7 Wonders, 7 Wonders Duel, BattleLore, Cyclades, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, Hyperborea, Imhotep, The Others, Outlive, Small World, Small World Underground, Tiny Epic Quest, Tiny Epic Zombies, When I Dream, Zombicide)

Publisher: Mojito Studios

Genre/Mechanisms: area enclosure, auction/bidding, hand management, push your luck, set collection, tile placement

Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Cleopatra and the Society of Architects: Deluxe Edition is already fully-funded.  In fact, pledges currently total almost 6.5x the initial funding goal.

Player Count: 2-4

Solo Mode: no

Complexity: medium-light

Risk: medium-high

What It’s About: Players strive to become the wealthiest of Cleopatra’s architects by constructing the most magnificent and valuable parts of her palace; trading in materials of dubious origin may help them build faster, but cut too many corners and they may find themselves being deprived of their riches or even offered as a sacrifice to the Cleopatra’s crocodile in honor of Sobek, the crocodile-god. This new Deluxe Edition features a redesigned, 3D palace and 2 expansions, also compatible with the first edition.

How It Works:  On their turn, players choose to either visit the Market or visit the Quarry. If they visit the Market they take all the cards from one Market column, discarding down to 10 cards afterwards, or exceeding the 10-card hand limit and taking an Amulet of Corruption as a penalty. If the player visits the Quarry, they play Resource and Artisan cards that match or exceed the cost of a construction piece, and build that piece into the Pyramid, earning Treasure Scarabs in the process. As different types of Pyramid pieces are completed in the construction, Cleopatra walks closer to it. If she reaches the 5th space, the game ends. Players are allowed to distribute some of their Amulets of Corruption for each Sanctuary they’ve claimed. Then the player with the least number of Amulets remaining discards them all, and other players discard a matching amount. From there, any player with 8 or more Amulets of Corruption are fed to Cleopatra’s crocodile. Players with fewer numbers of Amulets discard a specific number of Treasure Scarabs according to the end-game Scarab chart. Once completed, the player with the most remaining Scarabs is the winner.

Comparisons: There are many city-builders out there, from Suburbia to Founders of Gloomhaven to Lisboa. What makes this one different and special, specifically to this Deluxe edition, is the table presence of the three-dimensional pyramid and the tactile element to gameplay, combined with just how much this version can be blinged out with the fully-painted upgrade.

What Should I Pledge?:
$25 Expansions Set: just the expansions, The Cult of Sobek and The Whims of Cleopatra.
$69 Retail Set: the new Deluxe Edition, retail version.
$89 Retail Set Plus: the new Deluxe Edition, retail version, with the expansions The Cult of Sobek and The Whims of Cleopatra.
$99 Premium Set: the premium version of the new Deluxe Edition. The premiums version includes: a bigger, Premium Box and Box Sleeve; 90 metal Amulets of Corruption (to replace the cardboard tokens); a plastic top for the palace, held on by magnets (to replace ); plastic colored Pyramids with removable tops to store the Amulets of Corruption (to replace ); 3D Treasure Scarabs (to replace the cardboard tokens); 5mm resin Mosaic tiles (to replace the cardboard tokens); and the inclusion of a blue velvet bag for the Scarabs and a red velvet bag for the Amulets.
$119 Premium Set Plus: the premium version of the new Deluxe Edition, with the expansions The Cult of Sobek and The Whims of Cleopatra, plus 10 “Mojito Coins” that can redeemed on Mojito Studio’s next project.

$6 26 magnets to hold the premium version together
$4 112 Premium Sleeves, 56x87mm
$40 a fully painted version of the Palace
$13 The Wisdom of Bastet expansion (this is already included in both the retail and premium versions)
$12 original, signed artwork by Miguel Coimbra

KS Exclusives:
The new Wisdom of Bastet expansion, the Premium Box, the Sobek Marker in The Cult of Sobek expansion, the magnets, the fully painted Palace option, and the Miguel Coimbra art are all Kickstarter exclusives and will not be available at retail.

All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $119 for the Premium Set Plus, $10 for the magnets and sleeves, $40 if you’re going the extra mile for the painted Palace, and $12 in shipping for a grand total of $181. Without the painted Palace you’re looking at $141.

Cleopatra and the Society of Architects: Deluxe Edition completes its Kickstarter on Monday, May 27th and tentatively ships in March 2020.

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