For the next Essen fair, in October 2009, we will sell an expansion box for 5 games of the ystari line: Amyitis, Caylus Magna Carta, Metropolys, Sylla and Yspahan. This box will cost less than 20 € and should replete many fans who want some kind of renewal. If you don’t go to Essen, don’t worry because the box will hit the shelves later. There will be 3 kinds of expansions, one big (for Caylus Magna Carta), 2 medium and 2 small for Metropolys and Yspahan (respectively a few objectives and a few cards).
Caveant Consules: Sylla will feature 2 new characters, 2 new events and one new great work: the forum, which provides a res publica token of each color to the player with the most votes and a token choice for the second player. When you give the votes to the Plebeians, you get 2 points for each set of 3 votes.
The gladiator provides one point in phase IV; its peculiarity is that it counts as a leisure token (green) in case of crisis. As for the philosopher, it combines with another character in order to double its power (2 coins for a merchant, 2 votes for a senator, etc.).
The earthquake is countered by the vestal virgins and its effect is to turn them over. The defeat is countered by the legionaries and its consequence is logically to turn them over.
Royal favor: Caylus Magna Carta will now support up to 5 players and will add a few new buildings (including prestige buildings) which can grant some royal favors. A small board will allow you those favors and gain some resources, victory points or permanent powers. For instance, you may sacrifice a worker for a whole round in exchange for a denier or a resource.
Nebuchadnezzar’s palace: Amyitis will be embellished with a palace and a new craft to get in: the courtier. Depending on your investment in the palace, you may become the first player, do the procession, recruit any character, or get a courtier.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (near present-day Al Hillah in Iraq, formerly Babylon) are considered one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. They were built by Nebuchadnezzar II around 600 BC. He is reported to have constructed the gardens to please his wife, Amytis of Media, who longed for the trees and fragrant plants of her homeland. Amytis was the daughter or granddaughter of the Median king Cyaxares and married to Nebuchadrezzar II to formalize the alliance between the Babylonian and Median dynasties.
The gardens were destroyed by several earthquakes after the 2nd century BC. The lush Hanging Gardens are extensively documented by Greek historians such as Strabo and Diodorus Siculus. Through the ages, the location may have been confused with gardens that existed at Nineveh, since tablets from there clearly show gardens. Writings on these tablets describe the possible use of something similar to an Archimedes’ screw as a process of raising the water to the required height.
The Greek Historian Strabo:
“Babylon, too, lies in a plain; and the circuit of its wall is three hundred and eighty-five stadia. The thickness of its wall is thirty-two feet; the height thereof between the towers is fifty cubits; that of the towers is sixty cubits; and the passage on top of the wall is such that four-horse chariots can easily pass one another; and it is on this account that this and the hanging garden are called one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The garden is quadrangular in shape, and each side is four plethra in length. It consists of arched vaults, which are situated, one after another, on checkered, cube-like foundations. The checkered foundations, which are hollowed out, are covered so deep with earth that they admit of the largest of trees, having been constructed of baked brick and asphalt — the foundations themselves and the vaults and the arches. The ascent to the uppermost terrace-roofs is made by a stairway; and alongside these stairs there were screws, through which the water was continually conducted up into the garden from the Euphrates by those appointed for this purpose. For the river, a stadium in width, flows through the middle of the city; and the garden is on the bank of the river.”
The Greek Historian Diodorus:
“The Garden was 100 feet (30 m) long by 100 feet (30 m) feet wide and built up in tiers so that it resembled a theatre. Vaults had been constructed under the ascending terraces which carried the entire weight of the planted garden; the uppermost vault, which was seventy-five feet high, was the highest part of the garden, which, at this point, was on the same level as the city walls. The roofs of the vaults which supported the garden were constructed of stone beams some sixteen feet long, and over these were laid first a layer of reeds set in thick tar, then two courses of baked brick bonded by cement, and finally a covering of lead to prevent the moisture in the soil penetrating the roof. On top of this roof enough topsoil was heaped to allow the biggest trees to take root. The earth was leveled off and thickly planted with every kind of tree. And since the galleries projected one beyond the other, where they were sunlit, they contained conduits for the water which was raised by pumps in great abundance from the river, though no one outside could see it being done.”
Source : wikipedia