Author: Martin Wallace

Publisher: Kosmos 2002

Awards: none



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Tyros is one of the games of Kosmos series "Spiele für Viele" (games for many). For its rich equipment it comes with a surprisingly small box, so hopefully the time with the very large boxes gradually will come to an end. Apart from the board, the game contains over 150 game pieces, 60 cards and 40 plastic ships. At first sight one has to admit that the purchaser of the game gets a lot of material for his money. The rules however are quite short, so I was very anxious how all the different game pieces, cards and ships are involved in the game.


The background is set in the antique during the time of the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians established their empire mainly by maritime trade and were a mighty sea folk.

In the game the players take control over one Phoenician trader family and explore the coasts of the Mediterranean sea. At the beginning each player gets his 10 town cards, 10 ships, 10 trading cards and four landscape cards. There are 32 different landscape cards showing the squares on the board. The players then put two of their ships in the town Tyros. The next step is the foundation of four neutral empires by drawing four landscape cards and marking these landscapes with four different coloured stones.

At the beginning of each round the neutral empires are expanded. For this purpose the players play one or two (depending on the number of players) of their landscape cards which border to a landscape of one of the empires and place a new stone in the colour of the empire on this landscape square.

After this the players clockwise make an action. This continues until no player can or wants to do another action. There are five different actions possible. The first is to draw with one of the own ships. This is done by discarding as many trading cards as the ship moves. But to make it more difficult the colour of these trading card have to be the same as the colour of the empire where the journey ends. So it is not possible to travel to a landscape square which belongs to no empire.

The next possible action is to build a new town. In each landscape there is only room for one town. So one has to be faster than the opponents. For a town the player must have one or two of his ships in the landscape, there must not be a ship of another player (a maximum of two ships in a landscape is allowed) and he has to discard five or four (if he has two ships in this landscape) trading cards with the colour of the empire that belongs to the landscape.

The third action is to build a new ship. This can be done in one of the own towns. It costs one trading card (as usual in the colour of the empire). At the beginning it is also allowed to build ships in the neutral town Tyros until Tyros is conquered.

With the last two actions the players can exchange some of their trading cards either with the bank or with the opponents.

The round ends when nobody can do another action. The players then draw new trading cards and a new round is started. This process continues as long as there are landscape cards to be placed. After this the game ends.

At the end the players get points for every town and for every ship in a landscape with no town nor a ship of an opponent. The bigger the empire to which the landscape of the town or the ship belongs the more points the player gets. And then there are also some special points for special tasks. Of course the player with the most points wins the game.

Let us sum up. Tyros is a nice game with quite easy to learn rules. Nevertheless there is a lot of tactics in the game. I would say it can be played as a family game as good as an enjoying tactic game. Maybe for the last it is a little bit pity that it is quite difficult to say if you have more points than your opponents during the game, but it surely makes a lot of fun. And with the relatively low prize it is a very good alternative to similar games.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany