How To Play: Thebes – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Mastering How To Play Thebes involves a clever blend of strategic excavation planning, optimal use of each week, savvy location choices, and a touch of luck. This guide combines these elements, infused with personal play experiences, ensuring beginners not only grasp the game's nuances but also step towards victory.

Embarking on a journey into the ancient world of archaeology has never been as thrilling as it is in ‘Thebes.’ Whether you’ve just stumbled upon this gem or are looking to dig deeper into its gameplay, you’ve come to the right place. This guide provides a succinct yet comprehensive outline of the game rules and unveils the best strategies to not only play but to emerge victorious. Delve into the excavation with ease and strategy at your fingertips.


What’s in the box

  • 1 game board
  • 4 archaeologist figures
  • 4 time markers
  • 1 year marker
  • 191 knowledge cards
  • 18 general knowledge cards
  • 93 specific knowledge cards
  • 72 treasure tokens
  • 15 congress cards
  • 5 summary cards
  • 1 Zeppelin
  • 1 rulebook

How To Play Thebes: Rules Summary

Embark on an archaeological adventure in ‘Thebes!’ It’s all about digging for treasures in ancient lands. But remember, only skillful planning and strategy lead to victory. Here’s your guide to getting started with charging into the ancient world.


  1. Place the game board at the center of the table.
  2. Distribute excavation permits, assistants, and special cards among players.
  3. Set up the time track and place each player’s token at the start.
  4. Shuffle and place the treasure tokens at their respective dig sites.


  1. Players take turns performing one action per turn, such as traveling to dig sites, digging for treasure, or acquiring knowledge cards.
  2. Time management is crucial; each action costs time, and players must plan their moves according to their time tokens.
  3. The key is to accumulate knowledge about dig sites, which increases the efficiency of your digs.
  4. Travel wisely between cities and dig sites to optimize your actions and time spent.


  1. The game ends after 3 years (rounds); players then calculate their scores based on treasures collected and exhibitions attended.
  2. Extra points are awarded for knowledge gained throughout the game.
  3. The player with the highest score after final calculations is the winner.

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. Some treasures are worth more than others; focus on obtaining rare treasures for higher scores.
  2. Utilize your assistants and special cards strategically to gain an advantage over opponents.
  3. Bear in mind specific conditions can influence the outcome of digs and can be affected by the level of knowledge possessed about a dig site.

Equipped with these rules, you’re ready to delve into the mystery that is ‘Thebes.’ Whether it’s your first array into plan-based competitive gaming or you’re an immaculate strategist, remembering to wisely manage your time, prioritize your digs, and utilize your knowledge will gleam the path toward victory. Live the life of an explorer, and may the best archaeologist win!

Best Thebes Strategies

Unearth Hidden Treasures: Strategies for Maximizing Excavation Efficiency in Thebes

Plan Your Excavations Carefully

To win in Thebes, you must be strategic about when and where you excavate. Transition into the game’s early phases by spreading your resources across multiple sites to gather a diverse collection of artifacts.

Optimize Your Time Management

  1. Track your time meticulously; every action counts.
  2. Prioritize digs in locations where you’ve already gathered substantial knowledge.

Utilize Your Knowledge Cards Wisely

Accumulating and wisely using knowledge cards is crucial for success. These cards enhance your efficiency, leading to more fruitful excavations. Incorporate them into your strategy to significantly increase the artifacts you unearth.

Mastering the Sands of Time: Winning Strategies for Thebes

Strategize Your Weeks Wisely

Firstly, always evaluate the time cost versus the potential gain. Subsequent to choosing a location, decide whether the possible findings worth the weeks spent. Remember, time rushes by in Thebes.

  1. Assess each action’s time cost before committing.
  2. Prioritize actions that offer the highest rewards for the lowest time cost.

Optimize Your Expeditions

Furthermore, timing your excavations strategically can amplify your success. Initiate digs when you possess adequate knowledge points to maximize your findings.

  1. Wait for the optimal moment to excavate, saving time for gathering resources beforehand.
  2. Use knowledge gathered to inform the timing of your digs for better results.

Limit Unnecessary Movement

Last but not least, minimize travel between locations. Each move consumes precious weeks, so plan a route that frequently overlaps pursuing objectives in close proximity.

  1. Strategically select routes that minimize time lost to movement.
  2. Combine tasks in nearby locations to save time.

The Art of Conquering The Arcane: Choosing Locations Strategically in Thebes

Mastering location selection can drastically elevate your gameplay, transforming you into a formidable contender. Key strategies entail careful planning and reconsideration.

Assessing the Dig Sites

  1. Survey the potential rewards. Prioritize sites offering the artifacts most beneficial for your current strategy.
  2. Analyze competitors’ positions. Select sites less frequented to increase your chances of unearthing valuable items without competition.

Utilizing the Market

  1. Visit the market to obtain tools enhancing your efficiency at specific locations. Equip accordingly before heading to dig sites.
  2. Trade wisely. Evaluate what your opponents need and try to secure those items first, creating a resource scarcity for them.

Optimizing Time Spent

  1. Minimize travel time between locations. Choose adjacent dig sites and markets to conserve weeks for excavation.
  2. Plan your route early in the game. Estimating the time required to move between your strategic points can save you invaluable time later on.

## Mastering the Sands of Time
In wrapping up this guide on ‘How to Play Thebes’, remember that the journey through the mysterious world of archaeology is paved with strategic decisions, patience, and a bit of luck from the draw. Throughout our play sessions, embracing the spirit of adventure and utilizing time efficiently led us to uncover treasures and unearth ancient relics that can make any player feel like a true archaeologist. So gather your friends, set out on your excavation, and may the most skilled and knowledgeable explorer win. Remember, in the game of Thebes, it’s not just about being first to dig, but being wise about where and when to exert your efforts. Venture into the unknown with excitement and let the history of Thebes unravel before you. But most importantly, have fun!

Want to know what we think of Thebes? Read our detailed review of Thebes here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.