Cyclades Board Game

Cyclades board game is a mix between ancient Greece mythology and modern board gaming. It features players controlling islands and buildings on their properties to produce resources that can be used in different ways for victory points or just pure fun.

Players: 2-5

Game Time: 60-90min

Complexity: Low

Age: 13+

Release Year: 2009

The Cyclades game board is a double-sided entity that scales depending on player count. On one side, players get miniatures in the form of army units and ships with which they can wage war against each other and build their own empire; when playing this mode, it’s important to control more islands. The game ends when one side has been defeated or all sides have stalemated; whoever controls more land wins.

What is the Game About?

In the Cyclades board game, players will seek the favor of Ares, Poseidon, Zeus, and Athena to earn gold coins. Poseidon grants you free ships, so that’s good. You can also buy more if needed with gold coins or building ports on your captured islands; they vary in size but have enough space for one ship at least (unless it’s huge).

Ares gives you soldiers who will fight on our behalf against other players’ forces when you need them too; just make sure to build up a leading chain of ships before engaging enemy units, and you can construct a fortress as well.

Zeus provides you with a priest who offers huge discounts for bidding. Zeus also gives the player an attractive temple that comes at no extra cost and provides some exciting benefits such as discounted buys on mythological creatures or even specific ones like cyclopes.

The most interesting feature, though? That would be Athena’s card; it grants philosophers, among other things, including universities which are perfect if your goal is building up academia.

Each player has to build two metropolises, the first person to build their second Metropolis wins. But watch out, because that’s not all. Players can also trade four philosophers and convert them into a metropolis.

Are you going to do all the hard work yourself? Or use your wily nautical ways and conquer someone else’s Metropolis and claim it for your own? Hard work or clever tactics? The answer is yours to decide as you strive for victory in this naval battle.

Components

It is not every day that a game can be both beautifully designed and easy to play. The Cyclades manages this feat with its five factions, each containing its own distinct player screen. It also involves its own troops and fleets.

The board itself captures all the beauty of the Aegean while remaining small enough for any tabletop.

The cards are not only exquisite artwork but also bring the monsters from Greek mythology to life with their own wonderfully detailed miniatures versions that are as scary looking up close and personal as they would be if you were watching them play out across a battlefield or through your window while sleeping at night.

The four types of building tiles in this game are just so charming and intricate. The Metropolis city-style combines aspects from many types perfectly, making them out. Maybe it sounds a bit nerdy to get excited over, but seeing how much work goes into designing all those little pieces, deserves mentioning.

You don’t see many games anymore where they put such attention to detail into their design, especially when these details have an impact on gameplay too.

The small touches in the Cyclades board game make it feel more like an experience than just another night of playing video games. These small but beautifully detailed models are just what you need for your next game session. They’re easy to put together and have great art on the board itself, making it simple and fun. Also, the package of the Cyclades board game comes with a rulebook, which makes it easy to learn. 

Game Setup

The Cyclades board game does not require too much time to set up. In this game, players will be able to get items off their color which they place in front of their screens for everyone to see. And they can also have 5 GP and hide them behind the screens.

Put the game boards, Troops, and Fleets according to the number of gamers ( The rulebook on pages 7 and 8 showed how to do this correctly), where there are numbers that match the number of gamers at the bottom of every board.

Then, Start shuffling the Mythological Creature cards and put them, face downward, in a pile in a suitable area. Put the 5 figurines close to the discard pile. After that, Put the Priest cards and the Philosopher cards on the board in the area made for them.

Every gamer will take just one of his offering tokens. Players will shuffle these tokens and place them at random on the 1st area of the game turn (the 2nd offering token is only used for two-player games).

And leave the 4 tiles of Ares, Poseidon, Zeus, and Athena next to the game board.

The building tiles, the two special dice, the prosperity markers, the Metropolis tiles, and the GP, which have not been given out, are placed aside while you do not use them in the game.

Game Play

The game consists of a series of cycles during which players will first gather their revenue in GP by production for islands and seafaring commerce.

Next, you choose one of the four (Ares, Poseidon, Zeus, and Athena) to make an offering to get a favor out of it, depending on the one you choose. remember, each one of them has a free action, while others can only be used by sacrificing more of one’s precious GP

In this game of strategy, you’re trying to be the wealthiest gamer by owning two Metropolises at the end of the cycle to win the game. It’s not an easy task as there can only ever be one winner.

If multiple players reach this goal in the same cycle, then the richest one, whoever has the most GP, will win the game. The base game here is simple: win the battles and get as many as gold coins from conquered cities that will build your empire; it’ll help fund new buildings or upgrades for existing ones- whatever best suits your needs.

Game Turn

1-Mythological Creatures

Along with every cycle, a lot of Mythological Creatures will wander the isles of the Cyclades. When a new cycle begins, the first thing to think of is updating the track of the Mythological Creature to have three visible Creatures, one in every space. The GP under every space showed the price to be paid to use this Creature during the action phase.

It is Proceed like this, Discard any creature that was not used during the last round. Then, move all other cards to the right and fill empty spaces with new ones by drawing them at random until there are no more. Once all the draws are gone, mix up your discards and make a new draw pile.

The first cycle begins with drawing a Mythological Creature and placing it face-up in the left-hand space (4 GP). If it is not used during the second cycle, move it one square to the right; then, put your newly drawn card onto that empty spot. If it was used, place the two first Creatures from the draw pile on the 4 GP and 3 GP spaces. You can repeat these steps as many times until all eight spaces have been filled or used up.

2– Revenues

Each gamer will get gold pieces (GP) which depend on the prosperity of the city isles and the seafaring commerce. You will get one GP for every prosperity marker under your control.

The prosperity markers are present on a lot of isles; it is printed on the board, then present on the board as markers due to Apollo, as seen on page 6, and also in certain sea spaces, it is printed on arrows that indicate the present ships are trading with other nations. Players must hide The GP behind their screens.

3-Offerings

By sacrificing part of the player’s riches, they will be able to gain support and power. To do this, first choose which one you want the assistance from ( Ares, Poseidon, Zeus, and Athena), then the player must place an offering marker on one space corresponding with which one he has chosen.

If the offer goes over 10, then add one of the territory markers on the 10+ space, and the offering marker then will indicate any remaining number beyond 10. For instance, to bid 13, a player put the territory marker on 10+ and the offering marker on 3.

But If you ask for assistance from Ares as an example, and you find that it has already been chosen before, in this case, The player with the highest offering bids, his favor is granted. And the other player has to bid on another one.

Every round, any player may place their offering marker on Apollo’s space without spending anything. As only he does not require offerings, it is possible for multiple players to choose him in the same cycle of play.

The first player to choose Apollo placed his token on the 1 space, and so did the second. The next two players followed suit until everyone had chosen an offering spot for themselves; then, it was time.

Every player will pay the number of GP he offered, taking into account any possible reductions due to Priest cards.

4– Performing Actions

Each player that won a bid can take the turn order to perform their request action one by one. But those actions can vary depending on whether you bid on Ares, Poseidon, Zeus, Athena, which, or Apollo.

Those actions include: Call upon one or more Mythological Creatures (all except for Apollo), Build (all except Apollo), Special action (all except Athena and Apollo), Recruit (all except Apollo), Increase revenue (Apollo)

You can see that only Apollo is different. The offering marker is then placed on the last free space of the turn track. It’s up to the second player to perform his actions.

5-End Of The Round

Once everyone has played and replaced their offering marker on the turn track, we’re done with this round. If one or more players own 2 Metropolises in total, then that means this wargame ends. Otherwise, it’s onwards to another cycle starting now with you all again.

End of the Game

The Cyclades board game will end when in one cycle, one player has 2 Metropolises cities. That player with the most area control will win the game. In case more than one player owns two Metropolises at the end of the cycle, then the player with the most GP remaining behind his screen will be the winner.

The Metropolises

There is a space on each island designed for Metropolis (square with red dots). A gamer can create a Metropolis in two methods:

1-Economic Development

The player who has all 4 types of buildings (Port, Temple, Fortress, and University), even if they are spread over many different islands, must immediately discard them and replace them with a Metropolis token.

This can be placed in an empty space on one of his islands. If a player cannot find enough space in his city to place Metropolises, then he must sacrifice one or more buildings.

2-Intellectual Development

When a player has four philosophers, they must be discarded to earn the metropolis token. The players can put the Metropolis in an empty space on one of their islands. If the only space available is occupied by buildings, then it’s necessary to destroy them in order for Metropolises.

However, If the player owns only one island on which he already has Metropolis, his 4 Philosophers will simply be discarded, and then the new one will replace the old.

You can also earn a Metropolis by conquering an island where there’s already one. It is a super building with all of the powers; it will give the powers of all other buildings, making them powerful enough to match any opponent.

Our Opinion About The Cyclades Board Game

The Cyclades is a beautiful game with rich colors, and detailed sculpts. Every boat and soldier has its own unique design; there are five monsters that are designed with awesome plastic miniatures.

The art throughout this product provides an amazing amount of eye candy for gamers who enjoy looking at things rather than playing them. In fact, everyone will find something he loves when he opens a copy of Cyclades.

Thinking about how much effort went into making such incredible beauty accessible through gameplay will make your head hurt, but you know what? That doesn’t matter when we have something this sweet around here.

Given that this is a game about warriors fighting on an island, you might expect it to be quite boring. And yet somehow, despite its setting and the fact there’s no real danger (well, unless someone swings at your face with their sword),

The Cyclades manages to keep the player engaged as he goes through each round. The bidding cycles can get tiresome, but they do offer some strategy that helps diversify things from simply being defense or attack all day long.

If you are not above some face-stabbing in video games, then you can give the Cyclades a chance. It is so much fun playing games.

Finally, Cyclades has a high replayability score as it all depends on good bidding and excellent strategy that can change from game to game; you will always have something new every time you play it. So you can gather 2-5 of your friends or family members and have a great family night game. With 60-90 playing time, you will have lots of fun.

How To Know That The Cyclades Is The Best Board Game For You?

Here are 9 Things You Should Know about the Cyclades:

1– The Cyclades is a once-around auction

The more you auction, the better your chances of winning. You can even get special powers that will allow for special actions at every turn. For example, if someone wants their ships to be able to move from island to island, they need Poseidon’s favor.

But you can only bid once. If your offer is too high and someone else outbids you, then it’s game over for that particular one; they’re gone forever. This may seem frustrating at first, but there is a chance to bid for another one. So do not lose your hope just yet. A player who wants good luck must spend a little more than others.

2– It is not a fighting/battle heavy game like Kemet; it depends more on strategy

Ares is the one who can move your troops across ship bridges to other islands and attack opponents and the most expensive one in the game as well. But he’s only available for three to four battles per player before substituting with another from a random list, making him hard to come by even if you’re able. So it is all about how you use those 3-to 4 times.

3– The game may not even be decided by a fight.

The Cyclades game offers three ways to own a metropolis. First, you can conquer someone else, the second option being that of building your own with four unique buildings: fortress, port (to use Ships), temple, and university. In addition, there are also philosopher cards that offer a path to achieving victory. Offering a lot of paths to victories makes it possible for people to win without controlling Ares.

4– Battles are decided by a combination of strength and dice rolls.

Dice rolling is always an exciting part of any card game, but it can be worse when you’re gambling with your life. The only way to get around this problem is by attacking with superior numbers, but again, warriors are hard to come by.

5– The mythological creature cards are ruthless.

The game is always changing. New cards are revealed every turn; some have minimal effects, while others can change the course of the battle for good or bad. One such powerful monster was Pegasus, who lets you break one rule of using Ares to attack and instead may drop your army from one spot to another.

And the Chimera card copies any card in the discard pile. With these intriguing additions available at any given moment, it’s hard not to find yourself excited over what might come next.

6– You have to be always prepared for anything.

Winning is all about the cards. A player can go from having no metropolis to winning in one turn if they have a decent-sized army, 3 philosophers, and get Pegasus as well! If you’re up for situations where victory comes out of nowhere, then try this game; you will enjoy it for sure.

7– The game involves a high amount of planning and unpredictability

You will see how the Kraken creatures can change things suddenly. It’s funny how you never know what is coming next and always need a plan so that your character can be prepared for anything. This type of game has a lot of excitement.

8– The game has interesting balancing mechanisms.

There’s a delicate balance in this game. Players who go early on one round have to bid later into the next, meaning they’ll likely pay more for their desired favors; So this means that someone could take all of your hard-earned gold if you’re not careful.

9– This game shines with 4-5 players

The more players, the better. The board game Cyclades shines with 4-5 numbers of players as It needs bigger groups, just for the variety. However, 2 – 3 is still fun, but the four cards ( Ares, Poseidon, Zeus, and Athena) are shuffled and rotated in each round, so you may go two consecutive matches without being able to bid on your desired favor depending on the shuffle and rotation unless the player gets lucky enough. But if you look at it on the bright side, the game forces you to adapt your strategy based on available choices.