Forbidden Desert takes things up a notch from the simpler game play found in Forbidden Island. After each player has chosen a character to play (each with their own unique powers), the next thing to do is setup the game’s module board in a 5×5 grid with a empty space in the center.
In Tash-Kalar, each player takes on the role of a summoner trying to win fame in the Arena of Legends. Each summoner will represent one of 3 different factions (The Empire, The Highlands, or The Sylvan) and will be summoning their faction’s creatures to compete in the arena.
The nice thing about Relic Runners is that the more complicated mechanic of the game, relic runs, doesn’t even come into play for the first part of the game. This means you don’t have to explain that mechanic until people have a good grasp of the basics of the game after a few rounds of play.
The game board is composed of nine, twelve or sixteen tiles, depending on the number of players. Players sail their ships through the landscape created for this game, landing on islands to plan and build settlements, which then supply resources and allow the player to earn victory points.