Playing Flaming Pyramids

An Overview

45-Second Set Up:

Turn all tiles facedown, mix them up and divide them evenly between the players. In games with an even number of players, any leftover tiles go in the starting row. Players stack their supply of tiles into a draw pile and draw up a starting hand of five tiles.

Taking a Turn

The youngest player begins. Each turn a player must add one of their tiles to the pyramid. Normally, their tile must go on top of two others, but if no space like that is available, they are allowed to add it on either side of the base row. If a prior player caused mayhem, it is possible there may be more than one legal place to place a tile.

Some mayhem has happened on a previous turn and there are two spots (outlined in green) where the active player can place their tile.

After placing their tile and resolving any subsequent mayhem, the player should replenish their hand back to five tiles (unless the draw pile is empty) and play passes to the left.

The Building Regulations

These govern tile placement but do not apply to the bottom row, where any tile can be placed. Otherwise, when a tile is placed on top of two others, it must match at least one of them in colour or number. Furthermore, its weight (number) must be less than or equal to the sum of the two it will rest upon. If the tile does not meet these conditions, a collapse ensues. The two lower tiles crumble away and go under the player’s draw pile, while the tile they were placing falls to the left or right, player’s choice.

A legal placement, just. The Blue 60’s colour matches the Blue 20 below and its weight is equal to the sum of the two below.

Incendiary Tiles

There are also four tiles in the game which can cause fires, the Coals (Green and Yellow of weight 1) and the Blowtorches (Red and Blue of weight 7). Always check first if one has been legally placed according to the Building Regulations, then consider if it is in proximity to flammable tiles. The Coals can set straw on fire; the Blowtorches can ignite both straw and wood, with the burnt tiles going under the instigating player’s draw pile and the Incendiary causing the fire being removed from the game.

The Coals are a legal placement because they are a colour match to the 10 Green. They ignite the straw tile, which goes under the active player’s draw pile, while they are removed from the game. The wood tile is unaffected and remains where it is.


An explosion can occur when two Incendiary tiles are legally placed adjacent to each other. When this happens, all tiles adjacent to either Incendiary tile go under the instigating player’s draw pile and the Incendiary tiles are removed from the game.

Winning the Game

As soon as a player places their last tile without causing mayhem that would add more tiles to their draw pile, they have won the game.

If players are playing several games, keep score by giving that player a zero while their opponents get a score corresponding to the number of tiles left in their hand and draw piles. The player with the lowest overall score after a set number of rounds will be the winner.

More Information:

Full rules and a Print and Play with placeholder art are available via the BoardGameGeek website.

Click the photo to read and download rules in German (Spielregeln):