Episode 194: Excavation Earth

Click here for the direct download link for this week’s episode

1) The Pegs discuss their recent game plays including Khora: Rise of an Empire, Rivet Heads, Santorini: New York and many more;

2) All the Pegs review Excavation Earth; and

3) Look back at Caylus.

Show Notes

00:01:11 – Trivia: The Real Indiana Jones


00:08:59Robb on The Geek Allstars

00:10:01Jeremy on Mita Pelataan?

00:11:30 – Robb correction Magic: The Gathering plagiarism

00:13:05 – Golden Geek Nominations

00:15:25 – Pegheads on Discord

00:20:07 – Jeremy’s Surreal Vaccination Experience

00:23:25Dorfromantik on Steam


00:30:15Rivet Heads  * (2021) – New Mill Industries; Designer: Tony Miller; Art: Daniel Newman;

00:40:30Khôra: Rise of an Empire (2021) – IELLO; Designer: Head Quarter Simulation Game Club; Art: David ChapouletJocelyn ‘Joc’ Millet;

00:49:40 – And now a word from our sponsor

00:50:31Santorini: New York  (2020) – Roxley; Designer: Gord!; Art: Lina CossetteDavid Forest;

01:02:20The Key: Sabotage at Lucky Llama Land  * (2020) – HABA; Designer: Thomas Sing; Art: Timo Grubing;


01:11:02Boardgameatlas Reviews

01:15:10 – Daybreak by Matt Riddle

01:20:10Libertalia by Stonemaier?

01:22:53 – Lost Ruins of Arnak and Beyond the Sun on BoardGameArena


01:26:497 Wonders Mystery

01:28:50 – And now a word from our sponsors Grand Gamers Guild

Review: Excavation Earth

01:30:07 – Rules Breakdown

Excavation Earth is a set-collection, hand management game designed by Gordon Calleja, Dávid Turczi, and Wai Yee, with art by Philipp Kruse and published in 2021 by Mighty Boards.  In Excavation Earth, you will play one of a number of alien races exploring a long-since abandoned Earth, collecting artifacts and trading them on a galactic market, taking advantage of supply and demand dynamics to get the best possible profit.

Most actions in Excavation Earth are handled via card play.  At the beginning of the game each player is dealt 6 cards.  During later turns, players will choose their cards via a draft.  Actions available to a player will depend on what color and/or icon is on the card they play.  For example, in many cases collecting artifact tokens from the board will require the player to use a card of the same color as the artifacts they want to collect.  On the other hand, influencing buyers in the market will require playing a card whose icon matches the market they are trying to manipulate.  Other actions simply require playing a card, regardless of the color or icon.  In this way, a single card may be used for multiple purposes.

Over the course of three rounds, players will be moving around a board, collecting artifact tokens of various colors and storing them in their limited cargo holds, interacting with the regular and black markets, sending workers to a command ship to take various special actions, and ultimately attempting to sell the artifacts they have collection to the intergalactic market.

This transaction is the heart of the game.  The main game board displays 6 markets, each of which will initially be randomly seeded with alien meeples – called buyers – of various colors, each color matching one of the artifact types in the game.  Actions players take will allow them to manipulate the number and type of buyers at each market.  Overall market demand is measured through a popularity board – essentially, whichever buyer type (or meeple color) has the most meeples on the board is the most popular buyer and will pay the most when sold to.  Less popular buyers will still buy artifacts, but for fewer credits.  When a player sells, they may sell up to three artifacts to up to three market spaces on the board, each of which must have at least one buyer of a color matching the artifact, AND at least one trader worker of the player making the trade, here indicated by a cube of the player’s color being in the market.  The player will then earn a number of credits based on the popularity of the buyer, the total number of buyer meeples in that color across all markets sold to, and additional bonuses if two or three markets are used in the transaction.

There are other implications of making a sale, but suffice it to say this is the heart of the game, and players will largely be working to set up potentially big sales – or ruining other players’ big sales by tanking a buyer’s popularity.

The game plays out over three rounds, at the end of which is an interim scoring phase based on majorities in some board areas.  At the end of the game, final scores are tallied, which include all money players have collected over the course of the game, as well as a final set collection bonus based on sets of artifacts players have collected over the course of the game.  The alien with the most money wins the game.

01:33:11 – Review

01:58:00 – Ratings

02:14:26 – And now a word from our sponsors


02:16:17CaylusYstari Games; Designer: William Attia; Art: Cyril DemaegdArnaud DemaegdMike Doyle (I);

Check out our original review for Caylus during Episode 169.

Gameplay Photos

* Disclosure: These titles were received free of charge by the publishers or distributors. If you are interested in submitting a title for review, please read our Review Policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *