Lost Ruins of Arnak is a board game designed by Elwen and Mín and published by Czech Games Edition in 2020. It combines elements of deck-building and worker placement, set in a mysterious jungle island filled with ancient ruins and artifacts.
In the game, players take on the roles of explorers who have arrived on the island of Arnak to uncover its secrets and treasures. They must navigate the dense jungle, excavate ancient sites, and discover powerful artifacts while managing resources and overcoming various challenges.
Here are some key features and mechanics of the game:
- Deck-building: Each player starts with a basic deck of cards representing their team’s resources. Throughout the game, they can acquire new cards from a common marketplace by spending resources. These cards can provide additional actions, resources, and abilities, enhancing the player’s strategy and efficiency.
- Worker placement: Players use their explorer tokens to take actions on the main board. They can send explorers to various locations on the island, such as excavation sites and temples. Each location offers different benefits, such as gaining resources, uncovering artifacts.
- Research Track (Tech Tree): Players can also advance thier research track. These require resources to advance which will give them additional resources including a research assistant to use during the game. The higher you are on the research track, the more points you will get during end game scoring.
- Resource management: Players must carefully manage their resources, including compasses, gold, artifacts, and research materials. These resources are needed to perform actions, purchase cards, and advance in the game. Efficient resource management is crucial for success.
- Excavation and research: The heart of the game lies in excavating ancient sites. Players must allocate their explorers to dig for artifacts, revealing new tiles that may hold valuable rewards or dangerous challenges. Researching technologies and advancing on the research track unlocks powerful abilities and victory points.
- Threat and combat: As players explore deeper into the jungle, they encounter dangerous creatures and obstacles. Combat cards and resources are used to overcome these threats, which can provide valuable rewards or penalties if unsuccessful.
- Victory points and game end: The game is played over a series of rounds, and players earn victory points by excavating artifacts, discovering new sites, researching technologies, and fulfilling expedition goals. The game ends when a certain number of expedition cards are depleted, and the player with the most victory points is declared the winner.
The Lost Ruins of Arnak received critical acclaim for its engaging gameplay, combination of different mechanics, and high-quality components. It offers a rich thematic experience of exploration and discovery in a beautifully illustrated jungle setting.
From our experience, LROA is a balanced game. The oppurnities for points can come from various sources and end game scoring between players are usually never far of from each other.
The expansion comes with more items, artifacts, assistants, idols, guardians, and expedition sites. It comes with a new research track (overlay on the original track) which has more option with 4 tracks. You get more content variety with this expansion but what takes the cake away are the leaders!
- Captain: He has three archaeologists to use.
- Falconer: Pet falcon that can go fetch you items or use expedition sites.
- Baroness: Earns free money each round and can take item cards she buys directly into her hand.
- Professor: He like artifacts and has special income he can use each round to buy and play artifact cards. Also has his own private reserve of artifact cards to buy.
- Explorer: Uses only one archaeologist, but makes use of food tokens to leave exisiting site to move to a new site.
- Mystic: Focuses on fear. Has many ways to gain and use fear cards, which can be used to power rituals to defeat guardians and other benefits.
The game changes with the leaders adding more personality to your play. The abilities you gain are unique to you which makes you smile when you execute them. But when its the opponent’s turn, you can’t help feeling disgusted by thier moves. Its slightly harder to keep track what resources your opponents are aiming. This makes for a lot more …” Damn it … i wanted that” moments. Once you’ve included the Leaders Expansion inside… it is there to stay.
THE MISSING EXPEDITION
This is an upcoming expansion as of this writing in 2023. Follow a trail to learn the fate of Professor Kutil and other missing explorers in Lost Ruins of Arnak: The Missing Expedition. In this expansion, you can test the strategies offered by two new leaders, explore new paths to knowledge on two new research tracks, and build your expedition team with new artifacts, items, and assistants.
This expansion can simply be added to the Lost Ruins of Arnak base game, or it can be discovered as part of a solo or two-player co-operative campaign that consists of six chapters, each with a different set of rules, goals, and achievements. This expansion requires the Lost Ruins of Arnak base game and is fully compatible with the Expedition Leaders expansion. Not much else is known for the moment except to enjoy the trailer below.