Garphill Games' Ezra and Nehemiah
Image credit: Garphill Games

A new history-inspired tabletop blockbuster is on the cards by Garphill Games and designers S J Macdonald and Shem Phillips, the duo behind Wayfarers of the South Tigris, Paladins of the West Kingdom, and a number of excellent board games in the same family. The new game, Ezra and Nehemiah, finds inspiration in ancient Jerusalem, with the historic theme always present when Phillips and Macdonald are involved. 

Rebuild Jerusalem and Restore It To Its Glory 

The game touches on the reign of Cyrus the Great, and his first year as king of Persia. He sets out to build a temple for the God of heaven in Jerusalem. By issuing a decree, the king orders his subjects to aid the builders. Decades later, the temple lies in ruins, with Nehemiah, asking Artaxerxes, another prominent ruler, to restore the temple to its former glory.

This pretty much sets the game’s objective. 1-4 players will try to rebuild the city walls and gates, along with the temple. You will also teach the Torah to return exiles and develop land, travel to settlements outside the city walls, and make sure that the fire is ablaze day and night. 

There will also be the historic figures of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah who will give people their divine inspiration. Players will put their cards, workers, and resources to good use to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. Players will play for three weeks – rounds – with six days dedicated to rebuilding the temple and the seventh, the Sabbath, dedicated to rest, reflecting on the work from the previous work and more. 

The game has been approached for a heavily historical point and is beautifully illustrated by Sam Phillips, bringing yet another worthwhile addition to the sprawling collection of games that Garphill has been putting out in recent years. Ezra and Nehemiah should play in 90-120 minutes and is suitable for players aged 13+. 

Phillips and Garphill Games also announced a new game, Shipwrights of the North Sea Redux a new Explorers of the North Sea Collector’s Box. 

Stoyan entered the hobby over seven years ago and his collection has been growing at a pace his spouse has described as “concerning.” Willing to push the boundaries of the connubial bliss to its extremes, Stoyan is here to bring you the latest updates and developments from the world of board games.