Ahau: Rulers of Yucatán

Created by Apeiron Games

Ahau: Rulers of Yucatán is an innovative Euro-Ameri hybrid board game for 1 to 5 players, combining classic elements of worker placement and resource management, simple combat, and an innovative new system for dual-engine building. Experience the challenges of leadership deep in the jungles of the ancient Yucatán Peninsula. Build and secure your legacy as a Maya ruler by expanding your lands, acquiring resources, and making the proper offerings to the ancient gods. Will your pyramid temple tell the tale of a great ruler? 👑

Latest Updates from Our Project:

November Update
12 days ago – Wed, Nov 23, 2022 at 03:36:40 AM

Future Rulers, 

We are very excited to share with you the following updates: 

- We submitted all artwork in October to Hero Time, our selected manufacturer announced in our last update. All artwork was approved, and we paid 50% of the manufacturing cost, as usual in the industry. (Remaining 50 % is due when the boxes are ready for shipping.) The factory-grade prototype is ready and is on its way to us (probably arriving in a week or so), and once it gets here, we'll gather a large team to triple-check everything. We will also share photos here so that you can see what you will be getting. After this, the manufacturing of the game can finally start! 

- Translations of all language-dependent materials (the two rulebooks and the summary card) into German, French, Spanish, and Hungarian is complete. We used professional translators and proofreaders in all languages, but as the saying goes, nothing is better for a rulebook than a hundred eyeballs. So if you are a native speaker of any of these languages and would like to help us by proofreading the rulebook(s), please sign up using this simple form. Proofreaders will be credited in the rulebook. 

- The rulebook for the expansion is also ready and has been finalized in pdf form. 

- To finalize the fulfillment details, we are also waiting for the prototype. A team member from our partner, Other Stuff Games is dedicated to dealing with all fulfillment-related matters, and we are ensuring to get you the best deal on the market. 

October Update
about 2 months ago – Tue, Oct 18, 2022 at 04:28:01 AM

Future Rulers, 

A few quick updates on our progress: 

- We are continuing the process of final artwork approval with our selected manufacturer (Hero Time), and it is now up to the graphic design teams on both sides to ensure that the material is ready to go into print. We are double- and triple-checking each component of the game. 

- We decided to go with cardboard for the 3D pyramids, instead of a foam based material. Foam was an option, because it is lighter, and somewhat easier to assemble, but cardboard overall looks better and is sturdier.  Hope you will be satisfied with our decision. 

- We decided to give you a 2mm high density box instead of the standard 1.5 mm thickness, to ensure extra protection for everything inside the box. (As a reminder, since the end of the Kickstarter campaign, we also "unlocked" a plastic insert (instead of the standard inlay) designed by Matt Healey, and an extra player board for the solo game.) 

- The rulebook has been finalized into pdf form, and you can download it from the BGG page of the game here:

Shout out to Chris Spath, our editor and Tony Mastrengeli who did a great job in putting it all into its final form. We ended up with 24 pages to make sure there is enough space for the various language editions. 

- The booklet on the historical background of the game has been finished also in pdf form, and will be soon available for download. It will be 12 pages long, A4 sized, containing information on the cities, buildings, roles, resources, and gods of the game, complemented with illustrations from the game, written and double-checked by our team of cultural consultants. 

- Backerkit closed on 30 September. We are about to charge the cards for the Backerkit backers, so make sure you entered your card details correctly. (Delivery and VAT will be charged later, closer to shipping.)

- The rulebook expansion will be put into final pdf form this week. 

- Translation of the rulebook into various languages is ongoing. 

- Ahau made its debut at Essen, and there was quite a high interest for the game. Many thanks to Grand Gamers Guild and Marc Specter for providing us with a table. We also met some of our backers, including people from Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand. Note that the photo below shows an earlier version of the game. You can look up the current version in Tabletop Simulator. 

Ahau at Essen (former prototype)

September Update + Eclipse Summary
3 months ago – Tue, Sep 13, 2022 at 12:44:07 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read.

GenCon News, Development Finished & Gearing Up For Manufacturing!
4 months ago – Wed, Jul 27, 2022 at 11:45:14 PM

Ahau at Gen Con

If you'd like to see the latest prototype in action, check out Grand Gamers Guild at booth #2310, run by Nick Sima and Marc Specter.  We're excited to share that all game sessions have completely sold out! If you'd like to get a game in, check in with them at the booth to see if there are any last-minute openings. 

Ahau - SOLD OUT at Gen Con

 If you are already making preparations for Essen, we can assure you that we'll be there with a fresh new copy of Ahau (perhaps even with a factory-grade preproduction copy!), also hosted by Grand Gamers Guild. 

Development Finished

We have been busy with playtesting and fine-tuning the game, and proud to say that Ahau is finally nearing the end of its development cycle. We've appreciated all of your patience while we took a few extra weeks to ensure that you'll receive the best gameplay experience possible. 

Shout out to Pedro Latro & crew, David Digby, Bernardo Rippe, Board Game Café Budapest, and the many many playtesters who participated in our sessions and helped to make the game better with their feedback!

Ahau - testing of the prototype in June

Here are a couple of changes we'd like to highlight: 

- The temple scoring has been moderated: the temples (and the god scoring tiles) give less Fame overall (victory points) making the game much tighter, and therefore more exciting for everyone. 

- If you lose a conflict, you would not only need to relocate into an adjacent region, but you cannot place any worker next to the region you were kicked out from. This enhances the original vision that players are essentially fighting for worker zones. 

- We finally found the best powers for all the gods in the game. Balancing the god powers was definitely the hardest part, but also the most enjoyable and important part of the process. Here is a brief summary:

Ahau - God Powers Summary

- The building tile offer has also been tweaked a bit: we introduced a river mechanic whereby the leftmost building tile will always be discounted, but you can gain Fame for buying buildings upstream of the river. At the round's end, the leftmost tile will get discarded (to create some even more turn order angst), all tiles slide to left and any empty slots are filled up. Here is a screenshot from Tabletop Simulator: 

Ahau - Building Tile Offer

- The rewards of the B side of the player board have been changed considerably to make playing it almost a completely different experience. For instance, using the B side, you can grab your role card earlier, but you'll be able to advance on the Might track more frequently by constructing buildings. 

- The war track has been renamed as might track and made longer with various rewards. There are also more ways to climb it. 

- We removed a spot from the calendar on the 4-5 player side of the game board to make the game a tad shorter at those player counts. 

- We added even more types of buildings and new building illustrations to the mix, to give a wider variety of options and represent the most important architectural structures of the Classic Period. 

- We added 5 extra building tiles for the 5-player game that will be copies of existing tiles. The total building tile count thus will be 25. 

- Even more tweaking of the Eclipse expansion. The extra set of role cards and event cards increase the replay value and interaction during the game even more. For instance, the Sajal role card lets you claim resources /tiles from other players in exchange for letting them place their workers next to your ruler. (The Sajal is a subsidiary noble who serves an Ajaw (king) at a large dynastic city.)

Ahau - Sajal

- The expansion will include 3 different sets of special pyramid tiles, one showing an arrow will duplicate a god in your pyramid temple to where it is pointing, the second type can be discarded as a resource, and the third one will give 4 Fame when built in. Due to the rarity and great value of these tiles, there will be even more competition for regions containing them. 

Ahau - Special Pyramid Tiles

- Ahau Junior has been aptly renamed Ahau Family, as we figured that the game still needs an adult to run it, but with the simplifications made, it can be an enjoyable experience for those too who prefer lighter games. 

- We are still running multiplayer and solo tests, but right now we need more volunteers to test the solo version. If you are up for the challenge to beat King Pakal the Great on ever-increasing difficulty levels, join our discord server here!

Aesthetic changes/updates

- The rulebook of the main game has been finalised and edited by Chris Spath. You can check the draft here.  This will be now transferred to the Indesign file by our graphic design team, and we'll have a great-looking pdf version again soon. 

- You can check out the expansion rulebook here (also finalised) and its BGG page by clicking here.

- We have made arrangements to translate the rulebooks and the player aids into Spanish, German, French, and Hungarian.

- The booklet has been finalised by our team of consultants led by David Anderson and Josh Schnell. You can view the draft here.  This will be also turned into a pdf. 

- We improved the 3D pyramids a bit to make them easier to assemble and view: the god faces will be painted on the sides and the god scoring tiles will be placed on the top of the pyramid. (Previously the god faces would have been a separate component placed on top.) 

Ahau - 3D temples viewed from the front side of the board - Tabletop Simulator
Ahau - 3D temples viewed from the other side of the board - in Tabletop Simulator

- The player board has also been finalised: now we have a weapon track to count and store your weapons, which will also be a good visual reminder of what your right-hand card does (since the weapons and the right-hand card add up the military strength for conflicts). Each ruler and their glyphs have been placed on the left side of the board, also as a visual reminder that your ruler goes to the region indicated by the left-hand card you played this round. 

Ahau - updated player board

Based on your overwhelming feedback here on Kickstarter and elsewhere, here are all the custom shapes for the wooden components of the game: 

Even More Goodies

We are happy to announce that we'll upgrade the custom inlay to a custom insert to ensure even safer and neater storing of all of the components. 

We are also considering adding an AI board for all of your solo gamers out there. One side of the AI board will be harder to beat, and if we account for the already existing three difficulty levels, this means the solo game mode will have essentially six difficulty levels (on top of the 6 different AI personalities), for even more solo gaming goodness.

Backerkit Closing Date

We plan to close Backerkit in mid-September 2022. We will make an announcement in August about the foreseeable shipment fees to ensure that everyone can prepare in advance. 

Gearing up for Manufacturing

Considering all of the above, everything seems to fall in place to gear up for manufacturing. We are in active talks with manufacturers and will make our selection in August and let you know. We'll also announce our fulfillment partner in August. All of our partners will be professional companies with a proven track record to make sure to provide you with the best quality possible. 

Art Complete, Ahau at Origins & Gencon, and Ahau Junior update
6 months ago – Thu, Jun 02, 2022 at 04:17:10 AM

Future Rulers, 

As we are heading into the summer, we have a couple of exciting updates to share on how the project is progressing. 

1.  Art Is Complete

All art assets for the game (including both the base game and expansion) are complete. Feast your eyes upon the new building illustrations made by Dávid Szabó!

Ahau - new building illustrations

Each and every piece of art has been double-checked by our team of cultural consultants, including David S. Anderson, Josh Schnell, and Walter Paz Joj. That means that the illustrations you can see in the game truthfully represent both the magnificence and reality of the Classic Period of the Maya, and very little was left to the imagination. 

The graphic design team will complete the circle by putting all the art in its proper places, and we'll import everything into Tabletop Simulator, so you can play the game with the gorgeous new art. Not only that, but we'll get a few more prototypes printed for blind playtesting and demoing at various conventions. This leads us to our next point...

2.  Try Ahau at Origins or Gencon

You heard that right, Ahau will be demoed at the biggest board gaming conventions within the US, courtesy of Marc Specter from Grand Gamers Guild and his GMs. 

- Origins Games Fair will happen in Ohio between 8-12 June.

- Gencon will go down between 4-7 August. 

We'll post more details about the location once they are revealed to us. 

3. Playtesting and Fine-Tuning

... is ongoing with various groups and individuals, and this will continue over the summer. Things are shaping up nicely, and we are putting on the finishing touches. In case you would like to get involved in this process and be credited in the rulebook for your efforts, please apply here

The rulebook has been handed off to Chris Spath from the UK for final editing. Chris worked on, among others, the revised rulebook of Batman: Gotham City Chronicles, Tokyo Metro, Mini Express, and Railroad Revolution. This work will be finished over the course of next week, and we'll update the pdf rulebook soon after that. You can view the text-only rulebook here and make your comments directly there or message us privately if you'd like. 

The first playtest of Ahau Junior went phenomenally well, with 2 kids aged 8 (boy) and 9 (girl). Both really liked the game, and could easily understand the rules. 

Ahau Junior test ongoing

A summary of the main differences vs the main game:

- No role cards, no building tiles, no discarding to boost god summoning, and some minor changes to god powers.

- The personal scoring variant is used and the god scoring tiles are assigned to specific gods harmonising with their power, rather than randomly distributing them.

- Bonus wild tiles giving 5 Fame when built-in are placed into regions instead of the building tiles and claimed similarly.

Otherwise, the game has the same ruleset!

We consider using the "Junior" version as a tutorial mode for people learning the game. 

4. Next Stretch Goal

Since the Backerkit store opened a few weeks ago, we surpassed 100,000 $ in sales! If we keep up this rate, we'll be able to unlock our next stretch goal, so stay tuned. 


Do you have any questions about our progress? Let us know in the comments below.