Building Better Board games Together

Unpub Preview: Pharao’h Builders

One of our upcoming events is Protospiel-Milwaukee (and Mid-West Unpub.) This is not an event I will be able to attend, and it is being managed by James Mathes of Minion Games. Games coming to Protospiel-Milwaukee register through a different entity, and by doing so don’t get a page here on This is our first time with this type of partnership and we’re testing these policies out. One way we can support the games and designers coming to this event is through these previews. So, today we continue our series of previews of games coming to Protospiel- Milwaukee.

Espen Klausen Ph.D.  returns to us today with a game still different from the other two we’ve already previewed (Battlesheep and Pater Familias: The Rise of a Roman Family.) Pharao’h Builders is a 3-dimensional tile/block placement game. One can assume that it’s set in Egypt. While that may not be the most unique setting for a game, it is a fairly popular one that holds it’s luster for players and designers the world over.

Let’s let Espen talk to us about his latest creation…

What was your inspiration for Pharao’h Builders? – Having designed “Pater Familias: Rise of a Roman Family,” I wanted to stay with ancient civilizations. Once Egypt was decided on, the building of a pyramid came naturally. I also already had the idea to create a 3-dimentional block placement game. I like dynamics where a player has to be careful with their placements, so as to not give other players too good of an opportunity. I also know the delight my daughter and I have in building things together, and designed this game with that experience in mind.

What is your favorite part of Pharao’h Builders?  I like the strategy involved in when and where to place your blocks, with an eye toward not giving too good of an opportunity for your opponents.

To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about Pharao’h Builders? Although playing competitively against each other, they nevertheless like seeing their joint efforts resulting in the pyramid coming together.

What has been the most challenging part of designing Pharao’h Builders?  The most challenging part has been finding the ideal ratios of how many of the different blocks to have in the game.

What advice would you give to players attempting Pharao’h Builders for the first time?  This game has many layers of possible strategy. You don’t need to try to master all levels at once. You can play it as simply as you want to (think Carcassonne or Settlers of Catan in that regard).

People who like___________ will like Pharao’h Builders. Why?  Torres and Tigris and Euphrates – the dynamic of being careful about what opportunities to cash in on, because it may give the opponents even better opportunities.

What do you hope to accomplish at Protospiel-Milwaukee (and Mid-West Unpub)? – Re-check last simplifying rule-tweaks as well as the ratio between the different blocks. Hoping for a confirmation that the game is ready for, or almost ready for, submission.

So, block off some time and build up your enjoyment with Pharao’h Builders at Protospiel- Milwaukee!


Other Protospiel- Milwaukee games that we have previewed:

Arsenal by Keith Matejka

Author: Darrell Louder

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