How To Play Egizia Shifting Sands

Egizia Shifting Sands Board Game Overview
Copyright © 2020 Matt Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.

Step-by-step instructions on how to play Egizia Shifting Sands board game. This unique worker placement game pushes you towards marvelous civilization building against an interest “down the river” choosing mechanic. These great actions and restrictions are all driven by the well thought out Ancient Egyptian theme. There is plenty of setup and many steps to it, but all well worth the time learning how to get there. This is our definitive guide to how to play Egizia Shifting Sands.

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The air wavers in the afternoon heat as the sun beats down on the smooth waters of the Nile. The Pharaoh has sent down an edict to you, his best builders. He requires monuments, not just one, but five glorious monuments in his name so that he will be remembered throughout all of time. The builder whose work most pleases him shall be given riches, fame, and honor beyond all imagining. So gather your resources, organize your crews, and adorn the banks of the Nile with marble and gold.

Egizia Shifting Sands is played over five rounds. In each round, the players will place ships along the Nile to increase the strength of their construction crews, add new fields or quarries, obtain Nile and sphinx cards, and build sections of the colonnade, obelisk, pyramid, and statues. The goal is to score the most points. Players score points during the game by building the monuments, and at the end of the game for sphinx cards and statue bonuses.


Time Needed: Approximately 90 minutes.

This is a step by step guide for how to play Egizia Shifting Sands the unique worker placement and civilization building board game. Additional notions and special rules can be found below the list. These will be referenced for your convenience.

1. SETUP | Put Out Game Board
To kick off how to play Egizia Shifting Sands set up, put the large gameboard in the center of all players. This is two-sided, one for a 2 player game and one for a 3 – 4 player game.

2. SETUP | Separate Out Nile Cards
The cards that have either “1/2”, “3/4” or “5” on the back are the Nile cards that will go along the river each turn. The number correlates to which round you use them in. Separate these into the three different stacks, shuffle each and put them next to the game board face down.

3. SETUP | Ready Nile Tiles
The perfect circle disks with a variety of symbols on them are the Nile tiles. Each round, except the first, these will be added to the circular spots along the river. Some are for two players, take those out if playing a 3 – 4 player game. Shuffle up and set to the side.

4. SETUP | Purple Reminder Tokens
Put the large purple reminder tokens to the side of the board.

5. SETUP | Put Out Statue Cards
Take the 9 statue cards and separate them into two piles, the “A”s and the “B”s. There are 3 spots on the board for these that match the card backs. Put a random “A” card in the first spot, a “B” in the second spot, and then a random “A” or “B” from the remaining cards in the third. The remaining 6 cards go back in the box.

6. SETUP | Put Out Irrigation Ring
The large blue ring is the irrigation ring. This goes above one of the three landscape circles at the bottom right corner of the board. Start it out over the center circle. This will eventually move throughout the game to signal what resources are scored for that round.

7. SETUP | Give Out Tableau and Crew Tokens
Each player gets their own player board which tracks their crew strength, shows how much stone you have and a has reference chart of steps of the round. Each player also gets one of each type of worker. You can tell by color, there is a yellow, green, blue and purple. The purple is the leader and is placed in the “2” position. The others are the basic crew and placed in the “1” position.

8. SETUP | Player Color Selection and Related Markers
Each player chooses a color and takes all the brick and ship tokens of that color. Each player also gets a “starter” mine and field card which are unique double-sided cards. The “starter” side should be face up.

9. SETUP | Setup Building Zones
Along the river there are three main building zones. These are shown by a little inlet dock and three rectangular spaces under it. You should always have spaces equal to one less than the number of players. If you have 4 people, leave it. If you have 3 or 2 players, add 1 or 2 bricks respectively to each port to block off the unusable spaces. Use an inactive color brick.

10. SETUP | Randomly Deal Player Sequence Tiles
Take the tokens with large 1 – 4 numbers on them equal to the number of players. randomly deal these out to decide a key order metric for throughout the game. “1” gets advantages and disadvantages at different times which is why it is not just about deciding a start order. Each player puts a brick token on the score track “0” space, in order from right to left the lowest to highest number. The furthest right is considered to be in the “lead” position.

11. SETUP | Lap Scoring Markers
There are a few different tokens that have 50 or 100 on them. These are to indicate if a player has lapped the score track. Set these next to your initial start position to be used later.

12. SETUP | Setup Grain and Stone Market Tracks
Each player puts one of their color bricks at the bottom space of the Stone and Grain market tracks. These are in the top right corner of the board and are used to give you advantages in these areas throughout the game. Your brick is a marker that you will move as it is triggered.

13. SETUP | Players Mark Starting Stone
On each player’s personal tableau card players mark with one of their brick tokens how much stone they start with. Each player gets 1 + the number on their sequence token. So whoever goes first gets a total of 2 while whoever goest fourth gets a total of 5.

14. SETUP | Put Out Sphinx Cards
The final step of how to play Egizia Shifting Sands is to shuffle together the last of the reaming cards, the Sphinx cards. Randomize these and put the stack face down on the matching space at the bottom middle of the board. Deal 2 to each player. Each player then chooses one to keep and gives the other back. This is a secret mission.

15. GAMEPLAY | Phase 1 | River Setup Phase | Nile Cards
Draw cards from the Nile deck depending on the round it is. For the first round you will draw from the “1/2” deck for example. You are putting out 10 cards and they are random from that particular Nile deck, no other operations to worry about.

16. GAMEPLAY | Phase 1 | River Setup Phase | Nile Tiles
Similar to how the right side of the river is filled with Nile cards each round, the left side of the river is filled with the circular mile tiles. The difference here is that these are always the same, they will just end up in a different place each round. The other difference is you do not do this in the first round.

17. GAMEPLAY | Phase 2 | Placement | Choose Space
This is where the meat and potatoes of the how to play Egizia Shifting Sands experience, the placement of your workers. Based on your sequence number, players go in order placing one of their ships on an eligible space. The eligible spaces are one of the cards, tiles or 3x building spaces. Each spot can only have one ship.

18. GAMEPLAY | Phase 2 | Placement | Down River Rule
What makes this game unique to other worker placements is that you can only move down river, so you can never place a ship above a spot that a previous ship of yours took this round.

19. GAMEPLAY | Phase 2 | Placement | How Cards & Tiles Trigger
Cards can be fields of quarries which then go in front of you with your starter cards and with produce resources for you each turn. These will be green, yellow or red. You can get quarries, which follow the same rules except for stone and with no color. Some can be both. If not those, they will have an “immediate” which happens right away, a “permanent” which stays with you for the game, and “any time” which can be used once whenever. All tiles trigger immediately.

20. GAMEPLAY | Phase 2 | Placement | Building Spaces
As long as there is an empty space available at a building space, a ship can claim it. A ship can go there if there are no spaces, but then they are on standby which means they may or may not get to build depending on what other players there do. Nothing further happens during this phase.

21. GAMEPLAY | Symbols and Victory Points
Most actions will involve an up or down arrow, as well as, a symbol. All the symbols are listed in the reference materials but it is basically going to involve moving your crew, your market tracks, the irrigation ring placement or your victory points. The victory point symbol is a number in a black circle with a ring around it. When you get these, move your brick that many spaces up on the score track around the edge.

22. GAMEPLAY | Phase 2 | Placement | Passing
Players continue in sequence order, placing ships one by one. At some point a player will be unable to play a ship or just will not want to so they can pass. Players continue until everyone passes. Then you move to the next phase.

23. GAMEPLAY | Phase 3 | Mining
Add together all the values on your quarry cards (maybe its 2 + 3 + 1 = 6 for example). You then move your brick token that many spaces up on the stone track indicating a gain of that much. You max out at 25 at one time.

24. GAMEPLAY | Phase 4 | Feeding phase
Going in turn order, players need to feed their workers. Take a look at which of the three circles the blue irrigation ring is over. Only the colors in the active circle will produce. Look at the fields you have of that color or colors and add up all those numbers. Take that number and compare it to the total strength of your workers. This is determined by adding up the four spaces each token is in. If the grain is higher than strength, you feed, all is well and you can move on. If you do not have enough, you figure out the difference and based on where you are in the grain market you lose victory points.

25. GAMEPLAY | Phase 5 | Building Phase
This is the other big part of how to play Egizia Shifting Sands you should be paying attention to because it is how you will ultimately win. If you put a ship in one of the three building spots (or multiple), you participate. Each of these ports corresponds to a specific Wonder or Wonders you can work on. If multiple ships are in a port, the one closest to the Nile goes first. If they do not build, they move out, everyone there moves one step closer and the standby ship we discussed earlier will get to make a move that turn.

26. GAMEPLAY | Spending Stone on Building
All the numbers shown on the different monuments are cost in stone. You can spend as much or as little stone as you want in a turn but you do need worker strength to move it. To move any quantity of stone (say you want to build 3 levels of a monument for 4 total stone) you can use one worker at a time to do it. You take their strength and they an move that amount of stone (or less). When a worker is used you flip them over. The only difference is the purple token, the leader. That token works with one other worker of your choice and they add their strength together to move that much stone.

27. GAMEPLAY | Phase 5 | Building Phase | Spot 1 | Obelisk
To build this you add bricks in ascending order, starting from the very bottom. You pay the cost of the bottom-most open spot and you cannot hop over any open spaces. Each spot covered moves up the grain or stone market track spots in the beginning and both towards the end. You can buy multiple and gain victory points equal to the bricks spent. To do this you need to spend stone equal to the number shown.

28. GAMEPLAY | Phase 5 | Building Phase | Spot 1 | Colonnade
With this, you are building along the columns from left to right. There are seven spots from left to right in your particular color, you fill these in one at a time. The cost for each space is shown at the bottom of that particular column and you get a bonus when you get to the 3rd and 5th spots. You get points equal to the number of stone spent.

29. GAMEPLAY | Phase 5 | Building Phase | Spot 2 | The Statues
Each of the 3x statues have three levels. You can work on these in any combination of order but you always have to work on the bottommost level first before going any higher. The cost is shown in the space and you cannot add more than one of your bricks to a statue in any one round. You do not get points for spending stone here, instead, you get points at the end of the game. This is the highest level achieved in building and the highest level you achieved the condition on that card. To get the top space points on one for example, you would need to build three times and also have maybe 4 spaces build on an obelisk (instead of 3 for the second spot and 2 for the bottom spot).

30. GAMEPLAY | Phase 5 | Building Phase | Spot 2 | Pyramids
Each space here has its cost. These are filled in from left to right with each space holding only one brick. You start on the bottom row and can go higher once two supporting bricks below that one are filled in. When a full row is completed, pause to score. Whichever player has more bricks in that role is the sole getter of points. They get points equal to how many bricks they had in a row. In a tie, the player in the far right spot wins.

31. GAMEPLAY | Phase 5 | Building Phase | Spot 3 | Sphinx
This space is about getting more of these secret goal cards. Depending on the space you are in (for example “max 5”), you can pay up to this amount in stone. Whatever you spend you draw that many sphinx cards. Keep one and put the rest on the bottom of the deck. These will have different win conditions that will give you victory points if a condition is met.

32. GAMEPLAY | Phase 6 | Clean Up Phase | Bonus Points
Cooperation bonus points are scored here which are bonuses based on what you did. These go in order of score from highest to lowest. If you built in 2 of the 3 zones you get +2 points and if you built in 3 of the 3 zones you get +3 points.

33. GAMEPLAY | Phase 6 | Clean Up Phase | Clear The NIle
Get rid of all the Nile Cards and Nile Tokens. Then give each player back all of their ships. Players flip up any used crew or used reminder tokens to be used again.

34. GAMEPLAY | Phase 6 | Clean Up Phase | Change Sequence
Whoever is in last place at this point in score now gets the “1” sequence card. The second to last gets the “2” card and so on. If two players share the same space the player to the left (whoever got their second) is considered behind.

35. GAMEPLAY | Repeat This A Total of 5 Times
The game is played over 5 rounds. You will go through a series of all these mentioned phases a total of 5 times. Go through this

36. SCORING | Most in Pyramid
Whoever has the most bricks in the Pyramid gets a bonus of +5 points. If it is a tie, all winners get the +5 points.

37. SCORING | Nile Card End Of Game
Check any Nile cards for “end of game” effects listed. These will deduct or add victory points to your total.

38. SCORING | Sphinx Card Fulfillment
Check to see if you have fulfilled any of your secret Sphinx cards objectives. Score any points for successes now.

39. SCORING | Score Statues
As previously mentioned, the Statue monument only scores once at the end of the game. That time is now, add up points for each level you successfully achieved on each statue.

40. SCORING | Stone Market Bonus
If a player reached the 4th or 5th space on the stone market track, they collect 1 victory point for every 2 stone they have remaining.

41. WINNING | High Score Wins
Whoever has the highest point total after all of the scoring wins. In the case of a tie, the player with the highest sequence card number wins.



These are your four construction crews. When one of these icons is accompanied by an upward arrow of the same color, increase the crew one strength by moving it one space to the right on your player mat. When there is a red downgrade arrow, decrease that crew by one strength to the left on your player tableau. No crew may ever go below 1 strength.

During the Feeding phase, fields produce the number of grain shown. Grain can also be produced by certain Anytime cards. One grain feeds on strength of a crew. Grain cannot be saved or stored between rounds.

During the Mining phase, quarries produce stone. Stone can also be produced by the stone market, Nile tiles and certain Nile cards. When you produce stone, increase the marker on the stone reserve on your player tableau by the amount produced.

A brick refers to the wooden brick pieces you place on monuments. No matter how many stones the space cost to build, the end result is one brick.

The symbol on the left refers to the grain market, and the symbol on the right refers to the stone market. When accompaanied by white, upwards arrows, move your marker that number of spaces up in the corresponding market. If tyou are at the top of that market, gain the bonus for that space and do not move your marker.

Score victory points equal to the number marked on this symbol. Whenever you move your score marker to the same space as another player, place your marker behind theirs. You are considered to have fewer points for the purposes of cooperation bonuses and turn order.

Refers to all of your crew. When accompanied by a white, upward arrow, you can increase any of your four crews by one strength by moving it one space to the right on your player tableau. When there is a red, downward arrow, decrease any of your four crews by one strength by moving it one space to the left on your player tableau

When accompanied by a white, upwards arrow, you may move the irrigation ring in the bottom right corner of the board one space up or down. The position of the irrigation ring informs which colorr fields will produce in the Feeding phase.

This Nile tile icon is activated during the Building phase. Choose one of the prospective ships you placed during the Placement phase and turn it into a building ship without replacing the building ship currently there. You build last at this location. You do not have to already have placed a prospective ship when you claim this space.


  • 32x Ships in 4 different colors
  • 96x Bricks in 4 different colors
  • 4x Colonnade Reminder Tokens
  • 4x Player Tableaus
  • 11x Nile Tokens
  • 16x Crew Tokens in 4 Colors
  • 1x Irrigation Ring
  • 9x Statue Cards
  • 35x Sphinx Cards
  • 4x Scoreboard Lap Tokens in 4 Colors
  • 4x Player Sequence Tiles
  • 56x Nile Cards (22x 1/2, 22x 3/4, 12x 5)
  • 8x Starter Cards
  • 5x Purple Bonus Tiles
  • 5x Gold Bonus Tiles
  • 1x Double-Sided Game Board
  • 1x Instruction Booklet


We hope you can now say you know how to play Egizia Shifting Sands. This worker placement title is relatively new to the scene but is quickly gaining steam and notoriety. The unique down the river mechanic both limits and opens up many new possibilities in selection that you just don’t see in many other titles. A great mix of many things. There is a lot to it, and set up time is not short, but it is all worth it for a solid title like this. This has been our step-by-step guide for how to play Pandemic.

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