Archaeology: The New Expedition

Archaeology: The New Expedition – Rules, Instructions & Strategy Guide


Archaeology: The New Expedition is a card game that takes you on an adventure to dig up ancient artifacts and sell them to museums for the highest profit. It’s a game with elements of of risk, strategy, and a fair bit of luck. I would say that’s a sticking point for some players – the luck – since your success in the game does heavily depend on it. The game was designed by Phil Walker-Harding and is a re-implementation of the original Archaeology: The Card Game. Since its release, it has gained popularity among board game enthusiasts and I find it worth playing for its simple gameplay.

The game is set up with a deck of cards representing various artifacts ranging from pottery shards to monumental maps. Players take on the role of archaeologists who must collect and trade these artifacts to create valuable collections that can be sold. However, the journey is not easy, as sandstorms and thieves can disrupt your plans. The game ends when the main deck runs out, and the player with the most points wins.

Archaeology: The New Expedition has a rich history in the board game community. It’s known for its easy-to-learn rules and quick playtime, making it a great choice for both new and experienced players. The game has also been praised for its artwork and components, which add to the overall thematic experience.

Quick Tip for Archaeology: The New Expedition

Always keep an eye on your opponents’ collections and be ready to adapt your strategy if a sandstorm hits!

Rules for playing Archaeology: The New Expedition

The rules of Archaeology: The New Expedition are straightforward. Each player starts with a hand of cards and, on their turn, must draw a card from the deck. They can then choose to trade at the marketplace, sell cards to the museum, or hold onto their cards for a better opportunity. The marketplace is a central pool of cards that players can trade with, using a set of value tokens.

One of the key aspects of the game is the sandstorm mechanic. When a sandstorm card is drawn, players must discard half of their hand, rounded down, to the marketplace. This can drastically change the game’s landscape, as it can disrupt well-planned strategies and collections.

Thieves are another element to watch out for. These cards allow players to steal from their opponents, adding another layer of interaction and strategy to the game.

The game continues until the main deck is depleted. Players then tally their points based on the sets of artifacts they’ve sold to the museum and any leftover treasure. The player with the most points is declared the winner.

Equipment and Setup for Archaeology: The New Expedition

To play Archaeology: The New Expedition, you’ll need the game box, which includes a deck of artifact cards, some special cards like thieves and sandstorms, and value tokens for trading. The game also comes with a marketplace mat and a museum mat to organize the play area.

Setting up the game is easy. Shuffle the artifact cards and deal a starting hand to each player. Place the marketplace mat in the center and reveal a number of cards based on the number of players. The museum mat is placed nearby with the value tokens. Once the setup is complete, you’re ready to start your archaeological adventure!

How to Play Archaeology: The New Expedition and Game Mechanics

  1. Draw a card from the deck.
  2. Trade with the marketplace using value tokens.
  3. Sell sets of artifacts to the museum for points.
  4. End your turn and pass to the next player.

The game mechanics are simple but offer depth in strategy. Players must decide when to trade, when to sell, and when to hold onto their cards. Timing is crucial, as holding too many cards can be risky if a sandstorm hits.

How to Win at Archaeology: The New Expedition

To win at Archaeology: The New Expedition, you need to collect valuable sets of artifacts and sell them at the right time. Pay attention to what others are collecting and be strategic about when you trade and sell. It’s also important to manage your hand size to minimize losses from sandstorms and thieves.

Beginners should focus on learning the values of different artifacts and how to create sets. Intermediate players can start to anticipate sandstorms and use thieves to their advantage. Advanced players will develop strategies around bluffing and hand management to outwit their opponents.

Best Strategies for playing Archaeology: The New Expedition game

One of the best strategies is to be flexible and adapt to the changing game state. Keep an eye on the marketplace and be ready to change your plans if new opportunities arise. It’s also wise to hold onto a few low-value cards to mitigate the impact of sandstorms.

Another tactic is to use thieves strategically. Stealing a key card from an opponent can not only benefit you but also disrupt their strategy. However, be cautious, as this can make you a target for retaliation.

Finally, timing your sales is crucial. Selling too early can give away your strategy, but waiting too long can risk losing your collection to a sandstorm or thief. Watch the deck and try to sell when you think a sandstorm might be coming.


In a good scenario, you might have a large collection of high-value artifacts ready to sell. In this case, consider selling before a sandstorm hits to secure your points.

In a bad scenario, you might be hit by a sandstorm with a full hand. Try to rebuild by trading in the marketplace and be more cautious with your hand size in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Archaeology: The New Expedition game

Q: How many cards can I trade at the marketplace?
A: You can trade as many cards as you want, as long as you have the value tokens to do so.

Q: Can I sell partial sets to the museum?
A: Yes, but complete sets are worth more points.

Q: What happens if I draw a thief card?
A: You can choose to steal a card from another player’s hand.

Q: How do I protect my hand from sandstorms?
A: Keep your hand size small, especially if you think a sandstorm might be coming soon.

Q: Can I bluff in this game?
A: Yes, you can bluff by holding onto cards or pretending to be interested in certain artifacts to mislead your opponents.

Archaeology: The New Expedition Review [Video]