Players are Egyptian nobles at the time of the pharaohs, preparing for their death and burial in the Valley of the Kings. In the Egyptian religion, when you die you can take it with you.
Egyptians, therefore, stocked their tombs with food, canopic jars (for storing their organs), weapons, works of art, and jewelry. They hired architects, engineers, and masons to build their tombs.
These artifacts and individuals are shown on the cards of the game. You earn victory points for the cards that you store in your tomb, and the player with the most victory points wins.
You can play with any of the versions of Valley of the Kings (base game, Afterlife, or Last Rites) or you may mix cards from different versions for more variety.
- 294 artifact cards
- 6 unique cards
- 6 Tomb tiles
- 6 Reference cards
- 10 Pharaoh cards
- 20 Randomizer cards
- 39 Card dividers
- 350 Tarot-sized sleeves
- 1 Starting player token
- 1 Player's Guide
The premium edition of Valley of the Kings includes all three previously released versions:
- Valley of the Kings (also referred to as the base game)
- Valley of the Kings: Afterlife
- Valley of the Kings: Last Rites
It also includes many extras that enhance play, such as pharaoh cards, additional unique cards, and deluxe components.
Object of the Game
Fill your tomb with the most valuable items.
These cards represent the various statues, weapons, artisans, etc. players try to accumulate during the game.
A Card Title: The name of the card. B Gold Value & Card Type: The gold value is used for buying other cards. The scarab in the upper left hand corner also identifies the card type (jade scarab for set cards, and a crystal scarab for starter and unique cards). C Cost: The gold cost of the card. Additionally, each type of card set (starter, Weapons, etc). can be easily recognized by it's gem color. The gem's shape indicates which version the cards are from (base game, Afterlife, or Last Rites). D Set Name & Color: Each type of card (starter, Weapons, etc). has its own color so that color sets can be easily recognized. Starter and unique cards have a number in parentheses indicating the number of victory points the card is worth. The color of the gem in the upper right can also be used to identify the set. E Action: The action on the card can be executed instead of using the card for its gold value. F Historical Text: This text features a story or historical information regarding the subject of the card. G Set Icon & Quantity: Each set is represented by a different icon. For color sets, the number of different cards in the set is overlaid on the icon. H Level: Levels are used to sort cards into stacks during setup.
Select the card set
Select the set of cards to use from one of the three versions of the game
A. For variety, you may choose to mix cards from more than one version. Refer to the player's guide for suggested setups.
Furthermore, you may choose to use the starter cards from the base game or from Last Rites. If you have more than 4 players or choose to use the pharaoh cards, please refer to the player's guide.
Set Up Players
Each player takes a tomb tile
Band a reference card Cand places them in front of their play area.
Set Up Starter Cards
Take all of the level I cards, using either the base game starter cards or the starter cards from Last Rites. Give each player either:
- 4 Shabti
- 3 Urns
- 2 Boxes of Food
- 1 Offering Table
- OR -
- 4 Menials
- 3 Embalmers
- 2 Kites
- 1 Medjay
When playing with fewer than six players, return any remaining starter cards to the box as they will not be used during this game.
Set Up Draw Decks
Each player shuffles their 10 starter cards and places them face down to form their own draw deck
D. Then each player draws 5 cards from their draw deck to form their hand of cards.
Set Up Stock
Take all of the level III cards and shuffle them in a face down stack
E. Then shuffle all of the level II cards and place them face down on top of the stack of level III cards. This combined stack forms the stock.
Set Up Pyramid
Draw 6 cards from the stock and place them face up starting at the top and moving downward, left to right, to form a pyramid
Set Up Boneyard
Draw 1 card from the stock and place it face up next to the stock to form the boneyard
Determine Starting Player
Select a starting player at random. Give that player the starting player token. Players are now ready to begin the game!
The starting player takes the first turn of the game, then play continues clockwise around the table. Players continue taking turns until the end of the game.
Taking a Turn
During your turn you must follow these four steps in order:
Each card in your hand can be played for only one of these purposes:
- Buy a card from the base of the pyramid.
- Execute the action listed on the card.
- Entomb the card (only one card per turn).
You may buy cards, execute actions, and entomb a card in any order you wish during your turn.
If you are playing with pharaoh cards, you may execute your pharaoh ability once during your turn.
When you have played all the cards you chose to play, discard all of your cards in play and all cards remaining in your hand. Cards may be discarded in any order you wish. All cards go face up to the top of your personal discard pile - not the boneyard.
If you have made no changes whatsoever to the pyramid during your turn, you must sacrifice any card in the pyramid by putting the selected card on top of the boneyard.
The pyramid will then crumble as normal. Regardless of whether or not you changed the pyramid, replace cards removed from the pyramid with cards from the stock. Draw cards one at a time and fill the empty spaces in the pyramid, starting from the base up.
Draw New Hand
Draw a new hand of 5 cards. If at any time you are required to draw a card and your draw deck is empty, shuffle your discard pile to form a new deck.
After you have completed each step, the next player clockwise around the table takes their turn.
Whenever a card is removed from the pyramid (unless the card is removed from the top row), the pyramid immediately crumbles. A card from a row above crumbles down to fill the space left by the card that was removed.
Usually, only the one card diagonally above the empty space is available to crumble down, but if the empty space is in the center of the base, either of two cards may crumble down. In this instance, you may choose which of the two cards fills the space.
When a card crumbles down, it may also leave an empty space that needs to be filled by the card at the top of the pyramid, causing another card to crumble down.
The bottom middle card of the pyramid (Middle Sarcophagus) is removed, causing the pyramid to immediately crumble.
Either of the cards in the center row may crumble down to fill the space. The player chooses to fill the space with the Statue of Bastet.
The Heart Scarab Amulet in the top row then crumbles down to fill the empty space that the Statue of Bastet left.
Cards are bought one at a time from the base of the pyramid. You may only buy cards from among the 3 cards in the base of the pyramid: cards in the middle and top row cannot be bought until they crumble down to the base of the pyramid.
You may buy any number of cards during your turn that you can afford.
To buy a card you must follow these three steps in order:
Play cards with sufficient gold value to pay the card's cost. You may play multiple cards and add their gold values together to buy a single card. If you overpay, no change is given and the extra gold is immediately lost.
Remove the purchased card from the pyramid and place it on top of your discard pile.
The pyramid crumbles to fill in the empty space in the base.
When a card is played for its gold value, you cannot use its action. Do not discard the cards you used for gold. They remain on the table as part of your cards in play until the end of your turn.
Jay chooses to buy the Statue of Bastet which has a cost of 4.
He lays out an Tyet Amulet with a gold value of 2 and a Book of the Netherworld with a gold value of 3.
This provides a total gold value of 5 which is sufficient to buy the Statue of Bastet. Note that the 1 extra gold value is lost and does not count towards an additional purchase.
Place your card face up on the table and carry out its action. If a card has more than one part to its action, you must complete all parts. Furthermore, you must execute the parts in order, completing one part before you move on to the next.
If one of the parts cannot be executed (for example, because a required card is not available), you may not execute the action. Exception: When "may" occurs in the text of an action, you are not required to perform that part of the action.
When a card is played for its action, you cannot use its gold value.
You must complete all the action parts on a card before doing anything else.
Unless otherwise noted, the effects of actions end at the conclusion of your turn.
You may execute any number of actions during your turn. The cards you play as actions are not discarded until the end of the turn.
After concluding the action, the card remains on the table as part of your cards in play until the end of the turn.
Once per turn you may put a card from your hand into your tomb. Some actions allow you to put additional cards into your tomb. When a card is entombed, you cannot use its gold value or action.
The cards put in your tomb are public knowledge. Lay out your tomb as shown in the example image below so that all players know what cards you have. Remember that only the cards in your tomb will score at the end of the game!
End of the Game
The game continues until all of the following conditions have been met:
- No cards are left in the stock.
- No cards are left in the pyramid.
- All players have taken the same number of turns.
After the game ends, each player counts their victory points (VP). Only the cards in your tomb count; the cards in your hand, deck, and discard pile are worthless.
There are three types of cards: starter cards (gray cards such as Urns and Menials), uniques (purple cards such as Astrologer, Mummified Cat, and Calcite Cup), and sets (cards in various color sets, such as Sarcophagi in red, Weapons in green, and Builders in blue).
Scoring of starter cards and uniques is easy - just add up the victory points listed on the cards.
For color sets, determine how many different cards in each set you have (duplicate cards are worthless) and square the result (multiply the result by itself). For example, if you have 6 different kinds of tomb Art, you score 6x6 = 36 points. Add up all your points.
The player with the most points wins. In case of ties, the player with the fewest cards in their tomb wins. Further ties result in a shared victory.
Jay has the following cards in his tomb: 3 Menials (1 VP each), a Carpenter, 2 Priests of Thoth, and a Priest of Sobek.
Jay scores 3 points for his 3 Menials (1+1+1 = 3), 1 point for his Carpenter (1x1 = 1), and 4 points for his 2 different Priests (2x2 = 4).
His total is 8 points. Note that the extra Priest of Thoth is worthless.