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Cyclades Board Game: A Game Steeped in Greek Mythology

By Andrew Burgon /
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October 3, 2014


Cyclades Board Game

The Cyclades Board Game Has You Bidding for the Favor of the Gods, Summoning Mythological Creatures and Waging War!

Cyclades Board Game Overview

The board game Cyclades is steeped in Greek mythology. Win the favor of the gods Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Ares and Apollo by bidding lavishly for their aid. Summon mythological creatures like Cyclops, Pegasus, the Griffon or even the terror of the seas itself, the Kraken! It’s an all out war between the great cities of Sparta, Athens, Corinth, Thebes and Argos. You’ll be increasing your wealth. Building ports, forts, temples and universities. Waging war on land and sea. The first player to build two metropolises is the winner.

How to Play Cyclades

Game Setup

The board has two sides. Which side you use is determined by the number of players. The five player game naturally has the widest map with the most islands.

Each player starts off with two troops and two fleets and places them on the map according to the guide. They will be in control of two prosperity markers (cornucopia) which will generate 2 gold coins per round for the player. These can be found either on an island or a sea commerce space.

The Philosopher cards and Priest cards are then placed on the place indicated on the main board.

Players are given 5 gold pieces to start the game with. These are placed behind a colorful screen and kept secret. The troops and fleets yet to be built are placed in front of the screen.

The Mythological Creature cards are placed face down in the top right hand corner of the accompanying board.

Each player gives someone their offering tokens which are then randomly placed on the game turn section of the board directly below the mythological creatures.

The 4 god tiles are placed to the left of the board.

The building tiles, the Metropolis tiles, the two special dice, the prosperity markers and the gold coins are set aside.

To War! The Game Begins.

A cycle has five steps:

Mythological Creatures Cyclades
Cyclades Mythological Creatures 2

1. Mythological Creatures

The first card from the mythological creatures deck is revealed and placed in the first open slot which indicates that it’s cost is 4 gold. At the end of each cycle the revealed cards are moved to the right and a new card is revealed. The cost of the creatures ranges from 2 – 4 gold pieces and can be reduced by 1 gold for every temple you have. No matter how many temples you have though you must always pay one gold.

2. Distributing the Gods

In a five player game, all 4 god tiles are taken, shuffled and placed under the mythological creatures section.

3. Revenue

It’s time to collect revenue. For each prosperity marker on the board that you control you receive one gold coin.

4. Offerings

In playing order, each player takes his or her offering token and places it above a god indicating how much the offering is. Usually this is between 1 – 10 GP though more can be offered.

If another player has chosen the god you want you can outbid him or her. Then that player must find a different god to make an offering to.

Apollo is the only god whose favor you don’t need to bid for.

5. Performing Actions

Players take turns to perform their actions. The first thing a player does is pay the amount he or she offered to the god.

The player can perform the actions specific to that god and summon mythological creatures in any order he or she deems fit.

Below are the benefits each god bestows on a player.

Cyclades Poseidon


* Player is given a free fleet.
Extra fleets can be purchased.
* The second fleet costs 1 GP
* The third one 2 GP
* The fourth one 3 GP
Fleets must be built on a sea space around your island.

* Players may build a port which gives them a defensive bonus during seafaring battles on spaces adjacent to their island.

* For 1 GP players may move fleets currently on the same sea space and move them a maximum of 3 spaces.

If a fleet enters an enemy fleets space movement ends and a naval battle begins.

Cyclades Ares


* Ares grants the player a free troop.
Extra troops can be purchased.
* The second troop costs 2 GP.
* The third one costs 3 GP.
* The fourth one costs 4 GP.
Troops must be placed on islands controlled by the player.
* Players may build a fortress which gives them a defensive bonus to troops present on their island.
* For 1 GP, a player may movie some or all of his or her troops from one isle to another island provided their is a ship connecting them.

If a player lands on an island with enemy troops they fight right away. If there are no troops on the island the player may claim it even if it is owned by another player.

If you wish to send all of your troops to another island then you must leave a territory marker on the uninhabited island you own.

Players are not allowed to attack the only remaining island of another player. There is an exception though. If attacking it would result in you winning the game then you may go ahead and do so.

Cyclades Zeus


* Zeus grants you a free priest.
* Another priest may be purchased for 4 GP.
Priests allow you to reduce the offering cost by 1 GP each time you have a turn. No matter how many priests you have you must always pay at least one GP.

* Players may build a temple on an island they control. These temples allow you to summon a mythological creature for 1 GP less than the stated price. You must, however, always pay a minumum of 1 GP for a mythological creature.

* For 1 GP, the player can discard an available mythological creature card and replace it with the first card of the draw pile. You may want to do this to get rid of a dangerous creature card or find one that would be advantageous to you.

Cyclades Athena


* Athena offers a free Philosopher.
* Another Philosopher may be purchased for 4 GP.
Obtaining four Philosophers allow you to build a metropolis. The Philosopher cards are then discarded.
* Players may build a university. It grants you no special ability but it is needed to build a metropolis.

Cyclades Apollio


* A player receives 1 GP if he owns more than one island and 4 GP if he has only one island.

* The first player to choose Apollo will receive a prosperity marker.

The four structures at the top from left to right are port, temple, university and fort. The bottom tile is a metropolis.

The four structures at the top from left to right are port, temple, university and fort. The bottom tile is a metropolis.

How Battles are Waged in Cyclades

Combat is fairly simple

Land Battles

Role a die (0-3) and add the number of troops you have as well as adding 1 if the island the battle is taking place on has a fort.

Naval Battles

Role a die (0-3) and add the number of fleets you have as well as adding 1 if the naval battle is taking place adjacent to your island where a port is present.

The player who gets the lowest result removes a troop/fleet from the battle and places in his reserves. If the result is a tie, both players loose a troop/fleet.

After the first round of battle, if the defending player wishes to retreat to another one of his islands he or she may do so provided their is a fleet linking the two islands. If the defending player stands defiant then the attacking player may retreat if he or she wishes.

6. End of Round

If no one has built two metropolises by the end of a cycle a new one begins. The last offering token on the board now takes first place on the game turn track. The second last offering token on the second place track and so on.


The Cyclades board game is a fun game that’s interesting and pleasing to the eyes. Some amazing things can happen in the game. Pegasus flying a troop of soldiers to an island on the other side of the board to clench a surprise victory. The Kraken suddenly appearing and wreaking havoc on your enemies fleets. This is game I highly recommend.
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