Game design by Cyril Demaegd – Illustrations by Arnaud Demaegd – Layout by Cyril Demaegd
Translation by Arnaud Demaegd & Patrick Korner – FAQ & forum :
We would like to thank the entire team for their valuable help. Special thanks to William for his incisive advice, Thomas for his legendary obstinacy, and
his infornal cube stacking, Thibaut and Manu for the endless testing and the final touches which made a difference, Manu for his enthusiasm and Elvire
for letting him play! Thanks to all the others (Dim and Anne-Cath, Adrien, Dom, Fabien, Thomas, Raphi, Nath and Renaud, Seb and Malcolm…), I haven’t
forgotten you – without you the game couldn’t possibly have seen the light of day!
Finally, Cyril and Arnaud would especially like to dedicate the fruits of their labors to Arthur!
● 1 Babylon board and 1 Mesopotamia board
● 20 Garden tiles
● approximately 135 cubes in 5 colors: blue, red, black, white, and gray (neutral cubes)
● 4 score markers in 4 colors: blue, red, black, and white
● 35 resource tokens of 5 different types: Barley, Dates, Salt, Palm, and Wine
● 14 camel tokens
● 30 silver coins (Talents)
● 56 cards (18 Craft cards, 4 Plant cards, 31 Court cards, 2 Amyitis cards, and 1 First player card)
● this booklet
Once upon a time…
Goal of the game
590BC. Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, marries
the magnificent Amyitis, daughter of the King of Media.
But the beauty pines for the lush vegetation of her land,
so Nebuchadnezzar calls for splendid hanging gardens to
be built for her. The Babylonians are now getting ready to
take up this tremendous challenge – one which will leave an
indelible mark on the land for centuries to come… The players are noble Babylonians in quest of prestige. Over
the course of the game, they strive to raise their status by
building gardens, the irrigation networks needed to support
the gardens, by trading, and by recruiting. At the end of the
game, the player with the most prestige is the winner.
These symbols indicate the quality of a plant (1, 2, or 3).
Round symbols represent a token. Shown here : a resource (any kind), a camel, and a talent.
Framed symbols indicate a Court card. Shown here : a Caravaneer and a Banker.
This symbol indicates a Court card chosen by a player Shown here : a Banker, a
Caravaneer, the Palace, or a Gardener.
Hint : before your first game, read the game principles (next pages).
NB: In 3-player games, put the Craft and Court cards with ‘4 players’ symbols back into the box. In 2-player games, put the
Craft and Court cards with ‘3 players’ and ‘4 players’ symbols back into the box. These cards will not be used in the game.
Other adjustments concerning the number of players will be explained in the corresponding parts of the rules.
● Place the boards on the table as shown on the next page. Place a camel token on the ‘Babylon’ square of the Mesopotamia
board. Place the Amyitis card corresponding to the number of players next to the game boards.
● Arrange the talents, camels, neutral cubes, and resources by type and place them as general supplies near the board. ● Place the Plant card with a quality 2 figure on each side on the city of Khorsabad (either side up). Place the other three
Plant cards are placed randomly on the cities of Eshnunna, Ur and Mari with the quality 1 side face up (see page 3).
● Shuffle Craft cards and place them in a face down pile next to the game board. Sort Court cards according to type and
place them face up next to the game board. Take one resource token of each type (except Wine) from the general supply
and place one of these tokens randomly on each level ‘2’ Caravaneer.
● Sort the Garden tiles according to quality. Place the quality 3 tile with value ‘10’ on the fourth (topmost) floor of the
Gardens. Place three quality 3 tiles randomly on the third floor. Place five quality 2 tiles randomly on the second floor. Place
seven quality 1 tiles randomly on the first floor. Return all remaining tiles to the box; they will not be used.
● 2 players : do not use the three squares marked with a * on the following page). Place no tiles on these squares.
● Each player chooses a color and takes all cubes of the corresponding color, 4 talents,1 camel, and 1 level ‘0’ Caravaneer
card, placing them all in his play area (the space before him on the table). The players put their markers on square 0 of the
scoring track. The players decide who is going to start. That player takes the First player card. Babylon board
NB: Leave squares marked with a * empty (no Garden tiles) in 2-player games.
Player supply
Game Principles
Babylon board: this board represents the hanging gardens of Babylon. The gardens are divided into sixteen squares that
will be planted with gardens (A) and areas that must be irrigated (B1). The gardens are on four (V-shaped) floors. The
highest floors offer more prestige, but are also harder to irrigate (B2) and must be planted with plants of higher quality
(C). The board also features fields (D) that enable the players to produce resources by recruiting peasants, three temples
dedicated to Ishtar (E1), Marduk (E2), and Tammouz (E3) that yield bonuses to the most zealous priests, a ‘Pass’ square
(F) and a score track (G) to keep track of the players’ prestige during the game.
Mesopotamia: this board represents Mesopotamia and the cities which trade with Babylon. By paying camels, the players
move the Caravan (H) clockwise from one city to the next. Upon arriving in a city, they spend their resources to acquire
upgrades (I) or plants (J) for the gardens. High quality plants (K) are more expensive, but they grant players access to the
top floors of the gardens, where the most prestige may be earned!
Recruitment: during the game, players will recruit characters to assist them. They spend talents to hire peasants (L) who
harvest the fields, priests (M) who pray in the temples, engineers (N) who irrigate the gardens, and merchants (O) who
supply camels.
Player supply: a player’s supply consists of the set of cubes of his chosen color. Cubes can be used to irrigate, harvest the
fields, and place priests in the temples. As the game progresses, players accumulate camels, resources, and talents.
Finally, each player may own (if he chooses to acquire them) three types of Court cards representing the player’s level in
several domains:
The Banker (P): indicates the player’s income at the start of the turn.
The Caravaneer (Q): indicates the player’s bonus when moving the Caravan and the number of resource tokens he is
allowed to keep at the end of each round.
NB: all the players start the game with a level ‘0’ Caravaneer card, but without any Banker or Palace cards.
The Palace (R): represents the impressiveness of the player’s palace (by earning him prestige).
During the game, the players can progress in each domain by acquiring cards with higher values (S). They may also hire
Gardeners (T) to improve the quality of their plants. However, Court cards are in limited supply, meaning that not all players
will be able to acquire the same advantages!
Playing the Game
Game turn
The game is divided into rounds.
Each round is divided into three phases:
I) Setup
II) Players’ actions
III) End of the round
I - Setup
1) Crafts
The first player takes all of the Craft cards, shuffles them,
and lays them out in groups of three, face up, according to
the number of players:
● 2 players : 2 groups of three cards,
● 3 players : 3 groups of three cards,
● 4 players : 4 groups of three cards.
He sets any remaining cards aside temporarily as they will
not be used during this round.
Crafts: in a 3-player game, form 3 groups of three cards.
2) Income
Each player takes talents from the general supply (and
possibly scores prestige points) corresponding to the
number(s) shown on his Banker card. A player with no
Banker card gets no income.
II - Players’ actions
Each player, in clockwise order, may perform an action on
his turn. The players continue taking turns and performing
actions until everyone has passed.
Income: a player who has this Banker in his supply gets 2 talents
and 2 prestige points in the income phase.
Possible actions
A) Pass
B) Recruit
C) Move the Caravan
A - Pass
The player places a cube on the ‘Pass’ square, and may
not choose to perform another action this round. From now
on, each time it is his turn to perform an action (that is,
each time it is his turn and at least one other player has not
passed yet), the player takes one talent from the supply.
Pass: White, Black, Blue, and Red play in this order. White
and Black have already passed. Blue recruits. Red passes and
places a cube in the passing area. White, and then Black, each
take a talent from the supply. Blue passes. Phase II ends. Red
receives no talent.
B - Recruit
The player selects one of the Craft cards in one of the card
groups, and pays (the general supply) talents equal to the
number of cards in that group which have already been
turned face down:
● the player chooses the first card in a group for no cost,
● the player chooses the second card in a group for 1 talent,
● the player chooses the third card in a group for 2 talents.
The player then flips the chosen card upside-down (so
that the ‘Talent’ face is now face up) and carries out the
corresponding action.
Recruit: If a player wants to recruit the remaining priest (the
purple card) in the second group, he must pay 2 talents. The
peasant (the yellow card) in the third group will cost 1 talent.
1) Peasant
The player adds one cubes from his supply to one of the
two fields and takes a resource token from the general
supply of the type corresponding to the space he placed the
cube on. The player adds the token to his supply.
Available fields:
The fields have two rows that are filled from left to right. The
only spaces available for the player to place a peasant
on are the leftmost empty ones. The cubes remain in a
row until the row is full.
Full row:
When all spaces in a row are full, the player with the most
cubes in the row receives a Gardener card, as long as
one is left in the supply. If players are tied, no one gains the
card. In any case, the row is emptied and each player’s
cubes are returned to his supply.
Wine :
In this game, Wine is a wild resource. A wine token can
replace any other resource (except for camels and talents).
2) Priest
The player adds one cube from his supply to a temple.
Available spaces:
Each temple has a row divided into four spaces that is
filled from left to right. Whenever a player adds a cube to
a temple, he places it on the leftmost space and shifts any
cubes already in the temple one space to the right. If a row is
full when a shift occurs, then the rightmost cube is expelled
from the temple and its owner gets it back (it goes back into
that player’s supply).
The temples will yield bonuses to players with majorities
during phase III (see below).
3) Engineer
The player places one of the cubes from his supply onto
one of the available irrigation areas in the garden and
scores 2 prestige points. This area is now irrigated; from
now on, placing another cube onto it is not allowed.
Peasant: during his turn, Blue recruits a peasant. Blue chooses
to add a cube to the bottom row and takes a Wine token from
the supply. The row is full. Red, having a majority of cubes in
the row, takes a ‘Gardener’ card from the supply, adding it to his
own supply. The players empty the bottom row.
Had Blue chosen the top row, he would have taken a Barley
token without emptying the row.
Priest: during his turn, Black recruits a priest and chooses to
assign him to the Ishtar temple. Black places a cube onto the
leftmost space of that temple and pushes all of the cubes which
were already there one space to the right. He expels the red
cube which was in the rightmost space and returns it to its
Irrigation areas:
Irrigation areas are indicated by little blue wave symbols between two Garden tiles. On the higher floors, there are
two wave symbols next to one another. They represent two
distinct areas.
Available areas:
The gardens are diamond-shaped. Two sides of that diamond
are adjacent to the river (the blue line on the board). In order
to place a cube onto an irrigation area, a player must be
able to trace an unbroken line of irrigated areas, leading
from the area in question back to the river. The path may
be composed in whole or in part by irrigated areas belonging
to other players.
NB: non-irrigated areas along the edge of the river are
always available.
Engineer: during his turn, White recruits an engineer. He can
place the cube on any of the areas marked by a white X. These
areas lead to the river either directly (green line) or by following
an unbroken line of irrigated areas (yellow line). White scores 2
prestige points. Areas marked with a red X cannot be irrigated
for now, since they cannot reach the river.
4) Merchant
The player takes a camel token from the general supply
and adds it to his personal supply.
Merchant: during his turn, Red recruits a merchant. Red takes
a camel from the general supply and adds it to his personal
C - Move the Caravan
The Caravan moves in the clockwise direction. The player
may move it by paying 1 camel per space he moves.
Additionally, the player may have an extra movement bonus,
depending on his Caravaneer level:
● Level ‘0’ (+0): the player moves the Caravan a number of
spaces equal to the number of camels he pays.
● Level ‘1’ (+2): the player may move the Caravan up
to 2 spaces more than the number of camels he pays.
● Level ‘2’ (+4): the player may move the Caravan up
to 4 spaces more than the number of camels he pays.
Whenever a player chooses to move the Caravan, he must
move it at least 1 space (the Caravan may not remain on
the same space). Additionally, he must pay at least 1 camel
to move the Caravan, regardless of his Caravaneer level.
The player must perform an action on the space where the
Caravan ended its movement. Thus, the player may only
move the Caravan if he can carry out at least one of the
actions associated with the space he moved to.
a) Selling in Babylon
The player sells resource tokens (of one or several types) to
the supply to earn prestige points and place free irrigation
(no additional points are scored for this irrigation). Placing
the irrigation is mandatory. Players may not sell resource
tokens in any cities other than Babylon.
Example: it is Red’s turn. The player (who owns a level ‘1’
Caravaneer card) moves the Caravan. He pays one camel
and may move the Caravan 1, 2 or 3 spaces in the clockwise
1 resource ► 3 prestige points plus one free irrigation
2 resources ► 6 prestige points plus one free irrigation
b) Buying Court cards
The player buys a Court card of a type shown on the space
where the Caravan’s move ended. To do so, the player
pays one token to the supply of the resource type asked
for by the city in which the Caravan is located and then
chooses one of the two types of Court cards available in that
● If the player doesn’t own any Court cards of the chosen
type yet, then he takes the corresponding level ‘1’ card.
● If the player already owns 1 or more Court cards of the
chosen type, he takes the card that is one level higher than
the highest card of the corresponding type he already owns;
he covers any previous cards of that type by the new one.
Only the new card remains in effect.
NB: when a player buys a level ‘2’ Caravaneer card, he takes
the resource token on it and adds it to his personal supply.
When a player buys a Palace card, he immediately scores
the prestige points indicated on it.
Example: Red moves the Caravan into the city of Uruk. The
player pays a Date (orange) token and may choose either a
Caravaneer or Banker Court card. Since Red does not own a
Banker yet, he may choose either a level ‘1’ Banker card or
the level ‘2’ Caravaneer card. Red chooses the latter option
and covers his level ‘1’ Caravaneer card with the level ‘2’ card,
adding the Palm token to his personal supply.
Had the level ‘1’ Banker card been unavailable, Red would have
been forced to take the level ‘2’ Caravaneer card. Red would
then not be allowed to choose a Banker card for the rest of the
Once the supply of a particular Court card is exhausted,
that card type is unavailable for the rest of the game. Any
players who have not yet progressed to that card’s level
will be unable to do so (or progress to higher levels) for
the rest of the game.
c) Buying plants
The player buys the plant shown on the space where the
Caravan’s move ended. To do so, the player pays one
token to the supply of the resource type asked for by the city
where the Caravan is located, plus one token of the resource
type shown on the plant card (if any). Then, the plant is
immediately planted in the garden (see ‘Planting’, below).
The Plant card is then turned over.
Example: White moves the Caravan into the city of Mari. The
player pays a Barley and a Palm token to the supply and plants
a plant (see next page). Then, he turns the Plant card over.
The gardens have sixteen squares on four floors. The players
‘plant’ the cards they bought on the Mesopotamia board on
these squares,. The act of ‘planting’ consists of choosing
and removing a Garden tile (the Plant card remains on the
Mesopotamia board).
To be allowed to plant, the player must satisfy several
To choose a square, at least one of its sides must be fully
irrigated. This means that for squares whose sides feature
two irrigation areas, both areas on at least one side must be
filled for the square to be fully irrigated.
NB: the plants on the lowest floor of the gardens are not
considered to be irrigated by the river
Plant quality:
To choose a square, the quality of the plant to be planted
must at least equal the level of the floor. For instance,
placing a quality ‘1’ plant on the third floor is not allowed.
However, placing a quality ‘2’ plant on the first floor is
NB: as there are no quality ‘4’ plants, planting on the fourth
floor of the gardens only requires a quality of ‘3’ .
The player may use Gardener cards to improve the quality
of the plants he plants. Each discarded Gardener improves
the quality of a plant by 1. For example, a player may use
one Gardener card to place a quality ‘2’ plant on the third
floor. Return Gardener cards used in this way to the supply.
NB: a player may use two Gardener cards to place a quality
‘1’ plant on the third or fourth floor.
Example (cont’d): White plants a quality ‘2’ plant. The plant can
be planted on any of the squares marked with an A; to plant
on B (third floor), the player would have to discard a Gardener
card to meet the quality requirement. Planting on C (not fully
irrigated) or on D (previously planted) is not allowed.
The player selects a legal square (i.e. one which meets
all of the requirements listed above), takes the Garden tile
on it and immediately earns any prestige points and other
bonuses indicated on the tile. From now on, no other plant
may be planted on this square.
Irrigation bonus:
Once the Garden tile has been removed, the player counts
the irrigation cubes around the newly-planted square. The
player with the most cubes scores prestige points equal
to the quality of the plant which has just been planted
(indicated by the number of symbols on the Plant card). In
the case of a tie, no player scores.
NB: Gardener cards used by the player do not affect the
irrigation bonus. The bonus is dependent on the base quality
of the plant.
Automatic irrigation:
Once the Garden tile has been removed, the player checks
to see if the newly-planted square is adjacent to one or
more previously-planted plants. If so, he uses neutral (gray)
cubes to irrigate any unoccupied irrigation areas between
the plants.
NB: expanding the irrigation network (by recruiting an
engineer or by selling resources in Babylon) outwards from
a neutral cube is allowed.
Example (cont’d): White chooses to plant on the square above.
The player takes the tile, places it in his play area, scores 4
prestige points and takes 2 talents from the general supply.
Black wins the irrigation bonus, since he has the most cubes
around the newly-planted square. Black scores 2 prestige
Example (cont’d): the tile White removes is adjacent to another
previously-planted plant. He places a neutral cube between the
two plants.
III - End of the turn
This phase begins once all players have passed in phase II.
The following actions are carried out in order:
1) Procession
The player to the right of the first player takes one of the
cubes from his personal supply and adds it to the temple of
his choice (following the usual rules for priest placement).
Then, the player adds one neutral cube to each of the
other two temples (again following the usual rules for priest
2) Temples
Each player counts how many cubes he has in each temple.
Players with the majority in a temple are rewarded.
NB: do not count neutral cubes when determining majorities.
Additionally, if a player is alone in a temple, he only receives
the reward for the first place – there is no second place
reward in this case.
● Ishtar: the first place player takes either 1 camel or 1 talent
from the supply. The second place player takes whichever
item was not taken by the first place player.
● Marduk: the first place player takes 2 prestige points. The
second place player takes 1 prestige point.
● Tammouz: The first place player adds a cube to one of the
two fields and takes the corresponding resource token from
the supply (following the usual rules for peasant placement).
The second place player may exchange one of his resource
tokens with one from the general supply. He may not
choosing a Wine (purple) token.
NB: if the action of the first player fills one of the rows, the
Gardener card is distributed and the row emptied as usual.
Draws in the temples: if players are tied for the majority in a
temple, the tied player with the rightmost cube wins the tie.
● 2 players : The player with the majority receives the reward
for first place. There is no second place reward.
3) Supply
All players adjust their resource token supply according to
their Caravaneer level:
● Level ‘0’ & ‘1’: Players may keep a maximum of 2 resource
● Level ‘2’: Players may keep a maximum of 4 resource
Players follow turn order when choosing which resource
tokens to discard. Excess tokens are returned to the general
supply. Players may keep unlimited quantities of camels and
4) First player
The start player passes the First player card to the player to
his left.
Procession: during this round, Black went last. He chooses
to add a cube to Marduk’s temple (in the center), and adds a
neutral (grey) cube to each of the other two temples.
Temples: the temples are scored..
In the temple of Ishtar (on the left), Blue and Red are tied
with one cube each, but Red’s cube is further to the right and,
therefore, wins the draw. Red chooses to take a camel from the
general supply; Blue takes a talent.
In the temple of Marduk (in the center), Black has two cubes.
White has only one cube and takes second place. Black scores
2 prestige points; White scores 1 prestige point.
In the temple of Tammouz (on the right), White, Red and Black
have one cube each. However, Black’s is furthest to the right,
followed by Red. Black adds a cube to a field and receives the
corresponding resource token; Red may then exchange one of
his resource tokens with one from the general supply (except
Wine). White receives nothing this turn.
End of the Game
● 2 players: as soon as there are 3 or fewer Garden tiles left, the game ends at the end of the round.
● 3 & 4 players: as soon as there are 4 or fewer Garden tiles left, the game ends at the end of the round.
Amyitis’ favor is granted depending on the number of Garden tiles the players own:
● 2 players :
● 3 players : 5 or 6 tiles ► 5 points
4 or 5 tiles ► 5 points
7 or more tiles ► 10 points
6 or more tiles ► 10 points
NB: these bonuses are shown on the Amyitis cards.
● 4 players :
3 or 4 tiles ► 5 points
5 or more tiles ► 10 points
Finally, each player scores 1 prestige point for each resource token remaining in his supply (camels and talents
are worth nothing).
The player with the most prestige points wins the game. In the event of a tie, all tied players for the most win.
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