The game Pantheon transports player back into ancient times. In those times there were several important peoples, the Gaul, the Germans, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Carthaginians, the Iberians and the Romans. All these peoples believed in and worshipped different gods. To pay homage to the gods the most diversified monuments were built to express the belief in the gods.

Before we can start the game we must do some preparations: The most important are the 40 loot tiles, which can be acquired in the game, are placed into the black bag. The God cards are shuffled and stacked next to the board. The cards for the 8 peoples are also shuffled and stacked next to the board. The Sacrifice tiles are separated by sort and each sort is separated into stacks of 1/2 and 3/4 tiles.

The seven money cards of values between 2 and 5 are sorted by value and stacked in ascending order, 2 on top, 5 at the bottom, and set next to the board. Each player receives a marker for the victory point’s scale, and all feet and columns in his color; 4 feet and 3 columns you take into your personal stock. Finally, each player draws five cards from the draw pile, a randomly drawn bonus tile and a rules summary.

In our tests of this game we have found that that an extensive explanation of all the rules does not really facilitate game play. To get the game across and to enable players to have you should reduce the rules to a minimum. This mostly due to the fact that the rules are not very clearly structured and that the lots of examples used to explain the rules within the rules do not really help to understand the game better. Thus we now give the minimum explanation, the other elements, especially the abilities of the gods, can be explained during the game when appropriate, this game is best approached on the principle of “learning by doing”.

This approach is very important to make sure that all players will have fun with the game, because in many of our games players were more displeased with the game than pleased and that of course does not exactly do good for a game or the players, especially as it results in players refusing to pick up the game again, and this should not happen to Pantheon, because it is not a bad game at all.

Aim of the game is to accrue most victory points at the end of the game. To give you ample opportunity to garner victory points the game comprises six rounds, aka six epochs. Within those epochs three distinct phases are played: First, you prepare the board for the epoch, then all players play the Turn Phase, and then the end of the epoch is administrated. These three phases are meant to relate to the development of the ancient peoples from rise to downfall of their empire.

Phase 1 and Phase 3 of an epoch are just implemented once, the preparation of the current people at the start of the epoch and the administration of the results at the end of the epoch. The game features 8 different peoples, and as only a total of six epochs, each featuring one people, is played, two peoples do not come into play in each game; the peoples used are randomly selected.

To prepare an epoch the starting player chooses the people by turning up the top card from the peoples stack. The marker of this people is placed on the epoch track and then you place five randomly drawn loot tiles on the spots on the board that are marked with the insignia of the current people. Each people has a distinct characteristic which influences both the epoch and the flow of the game, this characteristic is now implemented. The temple marker is placed on the big insignia of the people and then you turn up God tiles and place them on the board, always one more than there are players participating. These preparations are identical for each round = epoch, the only feature that has any influence on the game at that point is the characteristic of the people which is activated for the turn phase.

In the turn phase a player can choose between for different actions in each of his turns. He can move, he can shop, he can acquire a god tile or he can draw three cards from the face-down draw pile. You decide on one of those four actions and implement it, than it is the turn of the next player. If you choose “movement”, you take the big foot marker which gives you an extra step and then you play movement cards from your hand, each of those cards gives you two steps. Then you “move” the total of all steps from cards and big foot. For each of those steps you place one of your own feet or your columns on the board. Both feet and columns must come from your personal stock and you must start your move at the temple. The feet form a path that can lead to one of the loot tiles laid out for round or they can bring you to a column hex, you can only place a column on one of those spots so marked. If you reach a loot tile, you can take and immediately implement it; if you reach a column spot you can place a column which earns you victory points at the end of the game. The more columns you have placed the more victory points you get, therefore you should try to get as many of them on the board as you can. If there is already a foot or a column on a spot, you can place one more column or foot at the outmost on this hex, at additional cost.

When you have finished moving, you discard the movement cards you used, but this does not end the movement turn. When the active player has chosen movement, all other players may move in turn too, after he has finished his move, which is not an action for them but is included in the active players turn. If you cannot move or do not want to move, you draw a card from the pile. This ends the turn of the active player and his neighbor becomes active player.

To go shopping you must spend money cards from your hand, you can do one or more buys in one turn. You can buy sacrifice tiles, but are only allowed to buy one of each kind in all of the game. The price you pay for a tile is noted in the bottom corner. The number in the top corner is the level of the tile, you can buy tiles of any level but the higher the level the higher is the cost. Another option when buying is to upgrade a sacrifice tile you already own instead of buying a new one. The costs for upgrading are equal to the difference of costs for the new level minus costs for the previous level. For instance, the cost for level 1 is 1 money unit; the costs for level 3 are 6 money units, so – not surprisingly – you pay 5 money units to upgrade a tile of level 1 to level 3. Also you can and – at certain points in the game you must – buy feet and columns from your general stock to transfer them to your personal stock, the price for 1 column or 1 foot is 1 money unit. As an alternative you are allowed to buy directly from your general stock for placement, the cost for this is the price for placement, but here in money units, 1 unit for placement on an empty hex, 2 for an occupied one, plus the cost of one for the transfer from general to, in this case virtual, personal stock. So you act as in the movement turn but instead movement cards you use money, you fellow players have no opportunity to move! Regardless which buying option you use, you should pay the exact amount as there is no change paid out.

The acquisition of God tiles is a separate action; you can only buy a god that is on display in the current epoch. You pay for a god with sacrifices and can use sacrifice tiles or sacrifice cards. Each god is marked with several number stating how many and what kind of sacrifices this god wants. If he is marked with 4 and 1, the sacrifices must add up to value 4 in one kind of sacrifice tile/cards and to 1 in another kind, that is, you must use another kind of sacrifice for each number stated on the tile. The sacrifice cards are discarded, the tiles you keep. Gods earn you advantages for use during the game and also victory points.

If you have not enough cards, you may choose to draw three cards either from the open display or the draw pile as a 4th choice of action. The turn phase of a round ends when the last loot tile of the people has been picked up or when the last God tile has been bought. The active player at this point can finish his turn; he receives 3 victory points and hands the temple marker to his neighbor who will be the next starting player.

Then the decline of the people happens, the end of the epoch. For this you remove all feet of the board, hence “Feet off the table”! The columns remain in place. Eventually remaining gods, half gods or loot tiles are taken out of the game. Then the next epoch is started with the preparation phase.

After epochs = rounds 3 and 6 a scoring happens. In these scorings you earn victory points for your columns on the board, depending on the number of columns you could place. After the 2nd such scoring the game ends and you win with most victory points.

The game has an attractive albeit rather often-used topic that, in my opinion, has been excellently implemented. A very interesting aspect is the movement mechanism that automatically allows movement to all other players, too. This considerably advances the game. The only single problem the game has is its rules, which are rather confusing and you are always in danger to overlook something. The examples are really not helpful, because in reality they are not necessary, you can understand the game easily without them.

Pantheon is a pure strategy game that – after a bit of practice – can very well be played by families. A bit of a disadvantage in the game is the lack of direct interaction between players. If you like, you can call the consecutive movement after an active player’s movement interaction, but only if you want to move to a hex already occupied by another player or if due to this movement a loot tiles that you had your eyes on is snatched away by another player.

All in all a good game and a beautiful game, the rules should not detain you from trying it – it is definitely worth a try and several plays!


Isabella Schranz


Players: 2-4

Age: 10+

Time: 90+

Designer: Michael Tummelhofer

Artist: Franz Vohwinkel

Price: ca. 40 Euro

Publisher: Hans im Glück 2011

Web: www.hans-im-glueck.de

Genre: Placement and acquisition game

Users: With friends

Version: de

Rules: cz de en fr nl pl

In-game text: yes



Clearly structured sequences of play * works best when explained to you * unusual rules needing a lot of effort


Compares to :

First game in this combination of mechanisms


Other editions:

At Rio Grande, Mindok, Filosofia, 999 Games, Bard


My rating: 4


Isabella Schranz:

If you have worked through the rules, Pantheon is a beautiful resources management game, albeit with little interaction


Chance: 2

Tactic: 2

Strategy: 0

Creativity: 0

Knowledge (yellow): 0

Memory: 0

Communication: 0

Interaction: 1

Dexterity: 0

Action: 0