Wayfarers of the South Tigris

Set off as brave explorers, cartographers and astronomers.

I received a lovely care package of Garphill Games a while back and I’ve been working my way through them, but I must admit I left this very icon-heavy Euro-style game until last because I found it a little bit intimidating. But I needn’t have worried. We’re in the safe hands of Garphill Games here and like all good games of this type the complexity recedes very quickly into the background, and you’re left with an interesting and thinky exercise in juggling the many, many options available to you to score as many of those all-important victory points as possible by game end.

The game is set during the Muslim empire called the Abbasid Caliphate, in about 820 AD, and you play explorers, cartographers and astronomers setting out to learn about the world. I was immediately struck by this fascinating and different theme, with its wonderful emphasis on learning and science rather than conflict. Sure, this isn’t an incredibly thematic game, but the theme does sit comfortably there in the background as you build an attractive tableaux of land, sea, and space cards around your player mat, collecting icon tags and building your resources in order to give you the actions you need. Ultimately you’re progressing along a journalling track that represents your record of the information you’ve been gathering on your travels, and this gives the game a satisfying sense of progression, along with, of course, lots more of those interesting decision points.

I’m not usually a fan of Euro games, with their efficiency engines, victory point calculations, multiplayer solitaire vibe and end-game maths, but Wayfarers of the South Tigris manages to include all these typical style identifiers and wrap it up in a – to me – much more compelling and enjoyable package. So it goes without saying if this type of game is your thing, you’re absolutely going to love this one.

For much more detail, check out my Wayfarers of the South Tigris review!

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Update Log

Date Version Changelog
May 2024 1 Original release

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