KEMET: Jacques Bariot & Guillaume Montiage
KEMET. At first glance this looks like another large map-board game on which players move plastic miniatures and battle each other for territory. If that is your first thought then you are correct, for it is indeed such a game. The game is played over days and nights. The daytime is when the Actions and battles occur. The night time is for planning the next day’s Actions.
Set in Egypt along the Nile River in the days of the Pharaohs the second first thing you will notice is the size of the regions the players are in conflict over. The board is double-sided for 5 and 3 players or 4 and 2 players. Each player has a Home City with 3 suburbs and there are (mostly) 3 empty regions between each player’s city.
Each turn the first player then the second etc perform one Action, then they start again, continuing like this until 5 Actions per player have been performed. As each Action is chosen it is marked off on the players personal board. The possible Actions are designated on this board as spaces on a pyramid and there are rules so that Actions from various levels of the pyramid must be taken, immediately auctioned after selection.
Players win by scoring a predetermined number of Victory Points and there are two kinds of VPs in KEMET, Temporary and Permanent. Ways of getting temp VPs are to occupy regions with Temples and defend pyramids (represented by large D4s), whereas Perm VPs are gained by winning battles, sacrificing units and controlling temples.
Combat is forced because this is more of a combat strategy game than a tactical strategy game. Players move their troops into occupied regions and then use the number of units plus cards plus other possible modifiers (Creatures - beautifully detailed mini’s -Divine Intervention - Divine Intervention cards can also be used for Movement) until a winner of the battle is found. Winning doesn’t always, rarely in fact, mean decimating the opponent’s forces; it’s possible to win a battle with no casualties for either side.
Personally I enjoy most of these big board multi miniatures games, but I prefer them to be one on one rather than multi player. KEMET is for 2-5 players and like most of these games going first or last is usually an advantage. In an attempt to balance this the player with the least VPs goes first each round.
KEMET is intriguing and has major differences that make it more challenging than most similar games