Sobek - General game info
Sobek
2-4 players, 30-40 minutes, 8 years and older
AuthorBruno Cathala
IllustratorMathieu Beaulieu
Published byGameWorks Sàrl
Online since 2012-01-27
Developed byCarsten (soccerking)
Henrike (KleinesK)
Adrian Kügel (ak15)
Boardgamegeek67185
Yucata.de owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
Sobek - Rules
Sobek - Rules
Sobek

Introduction and aim of the game

The construction of the temple dedicated to Sobek is in full swing. A whole economy has set up next to the construction site: there’s a new market, and the feluccas sailing up and down the Nile are constantly bringing goods of all sorts. Competition between merchants is naturally fierce and some are prepared to become corrupt beyond reason in order to amass glory and riches. Mainly the riches, in fact...
You too are part of the local merchants’ guild and are prepared to do whatever it takes to beat your rivals...
You have 3 rounds in which to acquire more money than your rivals, but try not to become too corrupt!

Variants

Two variants of the game are offered: the first variant uses the original rules, i.e., the hand cards of the other players are always kept hidden, and it is also unknown, how many cards and which cards the other players have under their corruption tiles. The second variant was developed for asynchronous plays and displays all information which you would get if you remember everything in an offline play. Unfortunately this does not give the real feeling for the original game, therefore it is recommended to play according to the original rules if you have the opportunity to play a quick fast game without break.

Additional rule:

  • If after the scoring of a round several players have the least total number of points, one of them will be selected at random for choosing the starting player of the next round.

The following rule changes apply for the second variant:

  • All open cards which were taken will also be displayed open.
  • If hidden cards are drawn or deposited in the corruption pile, an algorithm is used which tries to identify the hidden card based on the card back. Sometimes it is not possible to deduct the card which was drawn or deposited in the corruption pile, therefore the display of the hand cards or the corruption cards of another player may sometimes contain more cards than there are actually there. In this case all cards with the same back as the one which was drawn or deposited in the corruption pile will be displayed faded to show that not all of these cards are still there.
  • The display of the draw deck also shows cards which a player has drawn using the character card Queen Sobek-Neferou. Moreover in the game with two players the 9 cards which are removed at the beginning of the game will be shown, too. Only the display of the hidden character cards will always show the actual number of character cards which are still in the draw deck.

Game components

1 gameboard
gameboard
4 scoring markers scoring markers scoring markers scoring markers scoring markers
12 event tokens event tokens event tokens event tokens event tokens event tokens event tokens event tokens event tokens event tokens
4 corruption tiles corruption tiles corruption tiles corruption tiles corruption tiles

54 goods cards
6 x
Ivory
Ivory
7 x
Ebony
Ebony
7 x
Marble
Marble
9 x
Cattle
Cattle
10 x
Fish
Fish
10 x
Wheat
Wheat
5 x
Amulets
Amulets
45 x
Beige back
Beige back
9 x
Green back
Green back

9 character cards
Queen Sobek Neferou
Queen Sobek Neferou
High Priest
High Priest
High Priestess
High Priestess
Vizir
Vizir
Scribe
Scribe
Scribe
Scribe
Thief
Thief
Courtisan
Courtisan
Merchant
Merchant
Orange backOrange back

The goods cards

There are two types of card for each good: those with a trade value (shown as scarabs), and those without. Cards without a trade value have as many spikes on their border as the number of scarabs on the cards of the same type with a trade value. On each goods card there is an icon in the upper corners which depicts the type of good.
goods
without trade value
3 x
Ivory
3 x
Ebony
4 x
Marble
4 x
Cattle
5 x
Fish
5 x
Wheat
5 x
Amulets
goods
with trade value
3 x
Ivory
4 x
Ebony
3 x
Marble
5 x
Cattle
5 x
Fish
5 x
Wheat
Amulets are used as jokers,
which is why they have all the goods icons on them:
Ivory, Ebony, Marble, Fish, Cattle and Wheat.

The character cards

Each character card also belongs to a goods type. In addition to the colour of the card’s border, this is also shown by the appropriate icon. Each character has a special power whose effects are explained in detail at the end of this rules. The power is shown in the papyrus at the bottom of the card. During a round, a character card can be played either as a goods card or as the character using their special power, but never both. A character has no trade value.

Setup

1.Place the gameboard in the middle of the table.

2. score marker score marker score marker score marker Players choose a colour and take the corresponding marker, placing it on the zero space of the scoring track...

3. corruption tile corruption tile corruption tile corruption tile ..as well as the corruption tile with the same colour seal, which is placed in front of them.

4. cards with green back Shuffle the cards with a green back and deal 2 to each player. These form the starting hand. The remainder of the green cards are not used in the current round and can be returned to the box.

5. cards with a beige back cards with a orange back Shuffle the goods and character cards together face down and put them next to the scoring track as a deck. NB: With 2 players, remove the first 9 cards from the deck. These 9 cards are not used in the current round and can be returned to the box.

6. Fill the 9 spaces along the Nile (the quays), always following these 3 rules:

  1. start with the space next to the temple (the rightmost space);
  2. goods cards (BEIGE back) are placed face up;
  3. character cards (ORANGE back) are always placed face down.
Example:
gameboard
Wheat Fish Wheat Marble CharacterCharacter CharacterCharacter Fish CharacterCharacter Marble

7. event tokens event tokens event tokens event tokens event tokens Shuffle the 12 event tokens face down. Choose 5 of them at random and place them in a pile next to the board. The remaining tokens are not used in the current round and can be returned to the box.

8. Randomly decide who will start the first round. You are now ready to start playing.

Game turn

On your turn, you must choose one (and only one) of the 3 actions shown below. After which, your turn ends and it is now the player on your left’s turn to choose one of the 3 actions, and then the next, etc. The 3 different actions possible are:

  • Take a card or
  • Play a character or
  • Play a set

Take a card

  • When you take a card, you must choose one of the 4 available cards and add it to your hand.

  • By available, we mean one of the first 4 starting with the card nearest to the “0” space.

Example:
gameboard
Wheat
1
Marble
2
Character
3
Character
4
Fish Character Marble
These are the four available cards
  • NB: the choice is more restricted when there are fewer than 4 cards.

Corruption

  • Taking the first available card has no consequences since the order of arrival of the feluccas is respected. However, taking one of the other cards comes with a price... corruption!

  • The corruption rule is simple: all the cards that you skip end up under your corruption tile.

Example:You decide to take the character card (3).
Since you are skipping the wheat (1) and the marble (2),
you must put the latter two face down under your corruption tile.
  • The corruption rule applies regardless of the type of card taken (goods or character).

Play a character card

  • Play one (and only one) character. To do this, play it face up on the discard pile (next to the deck) and apply the power shown on its papyrus.

  • All the character powers are explained in detail at the end of the rules.

Play a set

  • A set is a group of goods cards of the same type.

  • To play a set, you must place at least 3 goods cards face up in front of you. (You can, of course, play more.)

A few notes:

  • Amulets can be used as goods cards of any type.

  • Each character, being associated with a goods type, can therefore be included in a set of that same goods type.
    Note, though, that when a character is played as part of a set, its power is ignored!

  • it is possible to add cards to a set that has already been played (in order to earn more points during scoring), but the same rule still applies: you must add a minimum of 3 new cards, and it must be of the same goods type.

Event tokens

As long as at least 1 of the 5 tokens hasn’t yet been played, playing a set immediately triggers an event.

  • When you play a set, take all the remaining tokens, choose one, and immediately apply its effect. The token is then discarded.

  • In order to prevent another player from taking advantage of a token, you may choose a token whose effect cannot be applied or which has no effect on you. In that case, you simply discard it.

  • Attention: it is not allowed to disregard the effect of a token, for example the flood token (which lets you take another turn) has always to be executed if you choose that token!

  • All the tokens are explained on the last page of the rules.

Goods deliveries

  • When a player takes the last of the cards along the Nile, he must prepare a new set of cards for the following player: he draws 9 cards from the top of the deck and places them according to the set-up rules.

  • During a round, therefore, there will be 6 deliveries of goods and characters (5 in a 2-player game).

End of the round

  • As soon as a player takes the last card of the last delivery, the round immediately ends.

  • Players with sets of 3 or more cards in their hand can play them, but they must be played horizontally (they score fewer points). NB: during this phase, cards cannot be added to existing sets on the table.

  • Attention, any cards that are still in your hand and that cannot be played are added to your corruption pile.

  • The round is now scored.

Scoring

  • Each set of cards is scored separately. Each set scores points as follows: Number of scarabs times the number of cards

  • Each scarab scores only one point for horizontal sets, they are not multiplied by the number of cards.

  • The sum of the points is your score for the round, which is added to the scoring track.

Corruption penalty

  • Now it’s time to settle debts: each player adds up the number of cards under his corruption tile.

  • The player who has the most cards is going to lose some points:

  • For every 10 points scored during this round, he moves back along the scoring track to the next symbol of the same type that his marker just ended up on.

Example:

You’re playing Blue. You had 38 points before this round’s scoring and you have the most corruption cards. Your sets earned you 23 points and so your score is now 61. Since you have scored 2 “lots” of 10 (the rest is ignored), you move back 2 Ankh symbols and end up with 52 points. Your excess of corruption has cost you 9 points out of the 23 earned in the round. Not to be repeated too often!

New round

The new round uses all the cards (including those under the corruption tiles) and tokens.

  • Setup is exactly the same as at the beginning of the game.

  • Once the round is set up, the player with the lowest score decides who will be the starting player. He can choose himself if he wishes.

End of the game

  • The game ends after the 3rd round is scored. The player with the most points wins.

  • In the event of a tie, the players concerned share the victory.

  • A game finishes early if any player has more than 100 points at the end of the 2nd round (after taking into account the corruption penalty).

Notes and reminders

  • If there is a tie for the corruption, count up the number of scarabs on the corruption cards. The player with the most is considered to be the most corrupt. If it is still tied, all the players concerned are corrupt.

  • It is perfectly permissible to play a character whose power has no effect at the time in order, for example, to have one fewer cards at the end of the round or to skip a turn without having to take a card because there’s nothing interesting currently available.

  • Don’t forget that a character can be used either for its effect or as part of a set, but not both!

  • When a player takes the last card of the last delivery, the round ends immediately. It’s often a good way of pulling the rug out from under the feet of your opponents if they have got rather a lot of cards in their hand that could end up under their corruption pile.

  • If a player has more than 100 points, use the 0 space as 100 and so on (1=101, 2=102, etc...)

  • A player may look at the cards under his corruption tile at any time.

The characters

Queen Sobek NeferouQueen
Sobek Neferou
Draw 3 cardsIf Queen Sobek is played during a round, the last goods delivery will only contain 6 cards.
High Priest High PriestessHigh Priest
High Priestess
discard all cards of one goods type from your corruption pile. Characters of the corresponding type can be discarded, but not amulets.
VizirVizir add a card of your choice to your hand from an opponent’s corruption pile. You may look through the pile to make your choice.
Scribe ScribeScribe
2 x
your opponents reduce their hands to 6 cards. The excess cards are added to their corruption pile.
ThiefThief steal a card from the hand of a player of your choice. The card is taken randomly but with the backs displayed so that the colours can be seen.
CourtisanCourtisan add 1 or 2 cards from your hand to a set that has already been played.The added cards must be from the same type as the set.
MerchantMerchant add any card to your hand out of all those remaining without taking corruption or discarding ignored cards.

Event tokens

Guild Guild Guild GuildGuild move your scoring marker on to the next space with the same symbol AND move an opponent’s scoring marker back similarly. It is not allowed to choose a player whose scoring marker would have to be moved below the 0 points field, as no player can have a negative amount of points.
Flood FloodFlood immediately take another turn.
Curse CurseCurse to be “offered” to an opponent. It counts as 2 additional cards when calculating corruption at the end of the round. The token is therefore not discarded after being played but is kept with your opponent’s corruption pile until the end of the round.
Prosperity ProsperityProsperity add this token to a set of wheat, fish or cattle cards already in front of you.
The value of the set is increased by 2 scarabs. If you add the prosperity token to a set consisting of only amulets, you can only extend this set later using fish, cattle or wheat cards.
EmbalmingEmbalmingadd all the cards in your corruption pile to your hand.
DeceitDeceit reveal the number of cards in your corruption pile and score that many points.
Then replace the cards under your tile.
 
 
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