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Introducing Roll Through the Ages

Does the name of the designer Matt Leacock sound familiar? That's because this is the guy who designed the popular cooperative game Pandemic. Does the name of the game Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age sound familiar? That's because it refers to the popular civ game Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. So what do you get when you put the two together? Do you get a cooperative civilization game? No, you get Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age, a civilization game with dice!



In a BGN interview, designer Matt Leacock had this to say about the inspiration for the game: "I started playing Civilization when I was a teenager with my dad and uncle. Despite the fact that there were only three of us, our games tended to take most of the day – but those were days that I still treasure. The game was magical for me. These days, with my family and job, it’s hard to justify taking more than a couple of hours out of my schedule to play any single game. With Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age, I’d hoped to come up with a game that captured the magic of this type of game, but could be played in an ultra-compressed time frame."



Can it work? Does it work? The good news is that yes it does! And if you want to know what Roll Through the Ages looks like, what you get, and how to play, then you've come to the right place, because that's exactly what this pictorial overview is about.

Roll Through the Ages is actually part of a new series of five bookshelf style games by Gryphon Games, three of which are Knizia games, and four of which are auction games.



Roll Through the Ages is the odd man out: it's not a Knizia, and it's not an auction game. And yet this dice-rolling civ game is perhaps the most interesting of the bunch! Let's go find out more!



Box and components

So what exactly do you get with the game? Well the colours on the box remind us of some of the artwork in Through the Ages:



And the back of the box tells us what to expect from the game:



The artwork on the back of the box isn't entirely accurate - the icons on the dice are actually a dull brown, rather than a clear black. But the overview of the game is right on:
"Build a thriving civilization - in under an hour! Collect goods, assign workers to build cities and erect monuments, advance your civilization through cultural and scientific developments, but don't forget to harvest enough food to feed your growing population. Grab those dice and Roll Through the Ages! in this fast-paced, addictive and strategic game."

Can it be true? Can a dice game possibly give a civilization feel, or even scratch that civilization itch even slightly? Well that depends what we get inside the box and how it all fits together!

The box sure feels heavy, considering its size! When we open the lid, we quickly discover the first thing that contributes to the weight: a 100 page score pad! Once we pull that out, we discover the other reason for the weight: wood! Lots of wood! Don't euro-gamers love wooden bits? Will if you do, you'll love what you see here - here's our first glimpse of the shrinkwrapped wooden goodness inside the box:



Here's the complete list of components:
● 4 Pegboard
● 24 Pegs (4 in each of six different colours)
● 7 Dice
● 1 Pad of Score Sheets
● 2 Reference Sheets
● 1 Rule Book



Please join me as we take a tour of everything we get with the game!

Rule book

The rules are the same length as most of the other rule-sets in the Gryphon Games series. It's one sheet of thin card, folded in half:



Basically you only need to absorb four sides of information like that pictured above. It's arranged with clear headings and bold print, and doesn't take long to read or digest.

Components: Pegboard and pegs

Let's begin with the heart of our civilization - the pegboard:



There's four of these, since the game supports up to four players. And I like the quality - it's made of solid wood, and it feels good. It's drilled with peg holes that will be used as tracks to record our resources and our food. Each track is marked with different coloured paint, and appropriate icons. So what do the different tracks on the peg-board represent? Well at the bottom is the Food track. Then moving up from there, we have tracks for five different Goods, in order from bottom to top:
● Wood
● Stone
● Pottery
● Cloth
● Spearheads
The names aren't terribly important for the game, but folks who like thematic games like I do will enjoy being able to refer to them as actual items rather than abstract resources like "blue goods" or "brown goods"!

And where there are peg holes, there must also be pegs, and here they are, in six different colours:



There's 24 of them altogether:



No doubt there will be some protests about the colours, and that some of them aren't that easy to distinguish. But in actual fact they're easier to tell apart than what appears from these pictures. And here's the good news: since the pegs stay on your pegboard the entire game and are just used to track your food and goods, quite frankly it doesn't even matter if you are colour blind and get the pegs wrong! What's more, it just wouldn't seem right seeing bright red, green, pink or orange there, because it would make the game feel cheap and in my view would detract somewhat from the theme. I happen to like the earthy colour tones of the pegs - I think they are appropriate for the game given the earthy civilization theme, and look great on the peg board:



Components: Score pad

Along with our peg board, the next important thing for keeping track of what goes on in our civilization is the score sheet. The game comes with a pad of 100 scoresheets, which are double-sided so you can use them twice.



Each player will need one score sheet. The right hand side has a summary of some basic concepts and functions as a mini-reference sheet of sorts. The left hand side lists the basic elements of our civilization: Cities, Developments, Monuments, and Disasters. As the game progresses, you will put checkmarks in the square boxes to indicate Developments you have purchased or Monuments you are constructing, and you will circle Cities and Monuments you have built. At the end of the game each player tallies up their score at the bottom of the page to determine the winner.

Components: Dice

The game comes with seven solid wooden dice:



They're big and they're solid! In fact, they are considerably bigger than regular dice, as this size comparison demonstrates:



The dice are the driving force behind the game, because on your turn you will roll and re-roll a certain number of dice (corresponding to how many cities you own). That's how we roll through the ages folks! The rolling mechanic is somewhat similar to Yahtzee, in that you roll the dice, and re-roll the ones you don't like. But don't worry, this isn't anything like Yahtzee!

Each of the seven dice are identical, and the six sides of each die have the following different icons:



The icons are heat-stamped, not painted, so they shouldn't fade. Some folks have found them a little light in colour, so if you're as brave as Gerald Rüscher, you can try colouring them black with a fine-tip permanent marker for better readability. Just don't blame me if you end up with black ink on your hands after rolling them, or if you ruin your dice with black smudges in the process! I haven't had any issues reading the icons and don't mind the brown colours, but if you do want to try this, here's what the result might look like:



But what do the icons mean? The food icons produce Food, the pottery icon produces Goods (not just pottery by the way!), the people icon produces Workers, the coin icon produces Coins (i.e. money), and the skull icon results in Disasters (depending on how many are rolled). Here's a summary:



Components: Reference Cards

There's also two great double-sided Reference Cards. The one side lists the Dice results and Disaster results:



The other side lists all the Developments along with their cost and benefits:



Once you've played the game a couple of times, you won't even need these, because the same information is available in condensed form on each player's score sheet.

Basic Concepts: The building blocks of your civilization

The basic building blocks of your civilization are on your peg board and on your score sheet.



Overall goal: Points

POINTS:

The aim of the game is to get as many points as possible. So how do you get points? By building Monuments and Developments (for which you earn points), and avoiding Disasters (for which you lose points).



Long-term goals: Cities, Monuments, and Developments

CITIES:

You get to roll one die for each City you own, so the more Cities you have, the more you will produce.



Cities are built with Workers.

MONUMENTS:

You earn points for each Monument you complete.



Monuments are built with Workers. If you're like me and would rather call these Monuments by names to make the game more thematic, you can use the names suggested by the designer, i.e.
● 3 workers: Ziggurat (or Step Pyramid)
● 5 workers: Stonehenge (or Stone Circle)
● 7 workers: Temple (or Parthenon)
● 9 workers: Obelisk
● 11 workers: Hanging Gardens
● 13 workers: Great Wall
● 15 workers: Pyramid

DEVELOPMENTS:

You earn points and make your civilization more efficient by buying Developments. Effectively this is the game's technology tree:



Developments are paid for with Goods and Coins.

Short-term goals: Workers, Goods, and Coins

WORKERS:

Workers (produced by dice rolled with the Worker icon) are needed to build Cities and Monuments



GOODS and COINS:

Goods (are produced by dice rolled with the Goods icon) and Coins (produced by dice rolled with the Coins icon) are needed to buy Developments. Coins are worth 7 each, and cannot be stored, so they must be used immediately that turn. The value of Goods depends on what good it is, and how many you own, and these can be stored from turn to turn. From top to bottom, the goods are: Wood, Stone, Pottery, Cloth, and Spearheads.



FOOD:

Food (produced by dice rolled with the Food icon) is needed to feed your Cities every turn. Food can also be stored from turn to turn.



Immediate goals: Dice

DICE:

To get the Workers needed for building Cities & Monuments, the Goods and Coins needed for purchasing Developments, and Food needed for feeding Cities, dice are used and rolled each turn.



Dice results in themselves are never bad, but what you will need will depend on the current state of your civilization.

DISASTERS:

Dice with the Skull icon may not be re-rolled, and multiple dice with the Skull icon will result in Disasters:



But even this can be turned to your benefit! Rolling three Skulls will inflict Pestilence on your opponents, and this can be a fun way of escaping Drought (two Skulls) - as the Masked Man can attest from experience!



Game-play: Set-up

Now that you understand the basic concepts underlying your civilization, you've already mastered the important things needed to play, and it's easy going from here!

Each player gets a scoresheet and pen, and a peg board with pegs (Goods start on 0, Food starts on 3):



All players begin with three Cities, i.e. three dice. In 2 and 3 player games, certain Monuments are crossed off and are not used.

Game-play: Flow of play

The game-play goes in rounds, with each player taking turns to roll an amount of dice equal to their cities, and develop their civilization, according to the following Order of Play:



Let's look at each phase a little more closely:

1. Producing
● You roll dice, one for each City you have. You may re-roll as many dice as you like (except dice with a Skull icon), but must keep all the dice after your third roll
● For each Goods icon, move a Good 1 position to the right on the respective tracks, starting with Wood and moving up to Spearheads (i.e. for three Goods icons, you'd add 1 Wood, 1 Stone, 1 Pottery)
● For each Food icon, move your food peg 1 position to the right on the Food track

2. Feeding
● For each City, move your food peg 1 position to the left on the Food track.
● For each unfed City, add 1 to your Disasters for Famine
● For 2 or more skulls, add more to your Disasters as required

3. Building
● For each Worker icon, check off a box in a City or Monument; checking off the last box completes the building
● Players that are the first to build a Monument get its larger value, players that complete a Monument later get is smaller value

4. Developing
● One Development may be bought per turn, by spending Coins (worth 7 for each Coin icon) and Goods. Income from Coins does not carry over to the next turn, and all of a type of Good must be spent when used towards the cost of a Development.

5. Discarding
● Only 6 Goods total may be kept from one turn to the next, so excess Goods above 6 must be discarded at the end of a turn

Game-play: End of game

The game end is triggered when either of the following happens:
● a player completes his fifth Development
● each Monument has been built at least once by any of the players
When this happens, the round is concluded so that everyone has had the same number of turns, and then scores are calculated.

Here's an example of scoring in a two player game, where I triggered the game end by building my fifth Development, and my opponent (the starting player) suffered many disasters as a result of Pestilence and Famine:



Once you have a sense of how the game works, game-play is very straight-forward, and play moves quite quickly - most games will only take 20-30 minutes.

Game-play: Solitaire games

One of the great things about Roll Through the Ages is that it is playable solitaire. In fact, this is an excellent way to learn the game. The solitaire rules have the following changes:
● End the game after 10 rounds, and try to get the highest score possible
● Pestilence affects you (since there is no opponent); and Religion prevents the Revolt disaster
● Dice with the Skull icons may be re-rolled like any other dice

Does the solitaire variant work? In one respect the solitaire variant has an advantage over a regular game, because in triggering the end of a regular game after only 5 Developments sometimes feels the game ends too quickly. At least with a solitaire game you can sometimes purchase and use 7 or 8 Developments, and have fun trying to get full use out of your Developments! The disadvantage is that a solitaire game lacks the interaction and tension of elements in a multi-player game, such as events like Pestilence, competition for Monuments, and the uncertainty about when the game end will be triggered; moreover. Moreover, a solitaire game could grow old as you develop and repeat your own optimal "system" for maximizing points. But it does play quickly enough, and is also a good way to learn the game. If you're looking to create a high score, consult the list of solitaire scores posted by others here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/374875

Special mention should be made of the author's solitaire high score challenge. In Matt Leacock's own words:
mleacock wrote:
Here's a puzzle that may be of interest:
Play the solitaire game rules as included in the game, but instead of rolling the dice, choose the side you want for each die.
Post the best score you think is possible in the standard 10-turn game. - Matt

Try it, it's a fun challenge! I managed to post a score of 93 points, and look forward to seeing this challenged by others. I've described in detail how I achieved this score, along with accompanying pictures, here:
Pictorial Illustration of Game-play: A sample game for the Solitaire High Score Challenge
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/379765



If you're new to the game, reading that pictorial illustration of game-play will also help you give a sense of how the game works.

Game-play: Variants

Trading variant

The rules also describe a Trading Game variant, which I have not yet tried personally. On your turn, after feeding cities but before building cities/monuments, you may trade goods and food with other players, in any combination both players agree to. I'm not yet tired of the basic game, but this seems like a fun idea worth experimenting with, although it could lengthen the game time. On the other hand, it could also have the potential to add a satisfying and new level of interaction and strategy for more serious gamers. I gather that the original form of the game included these trading rules, but this became an optional rule to make the game more accessible and easier to learn. I look forward to reading about experiences that others have with this variant.

Official variant

Edit (October 8, 2009): It hasn't received a huge amount of attention, but Matt Leacock has released a free print-and-play variant for RTtA, called Roll Through the Ages: The Late Bronze Age. Basically it answers requests for a longer play time and more interactivity. The changes aren't that dramatic, and I'd be inclined to call it the equivalent of a "patch" that upgrades the original game from Version 1.0 to Version 1.1. I've posted a detailed overview of the official variant here:

The official variant for RTtA: our favourite civilization dice game gets upgraded to Version 1.1
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/450175

The changes introduced in the official variant are:
● Game ends with 7 instead of 5 developments
● Four new developments (Preservation, Smithing, Shipping, Commerce)
● Adjustments to the cost and point value of five other developments
● Adjustments to the cost for monuments, which are all in play (even in 2-3 player games)
● Trading is standard

An example of some of the changes:



I highly recommend adopting some of the changes implemented by the official variant. Check my review for more details.

Civilization theme

The game that inspired Roll Through the Ages: Civilization

Although Roll Through the Ages has an apparent relation to Through the Ages by virtue of the name, there is no real connection between the two games, aside from the fact that they are both from the same publisher. The real inspiration for Roll Through the Ages is legendary Civilization (1980) by Francis Tresham.



Here's what designer Matt Leacock had to say about this in a BGN interview:

BGN: In your opinion, what’s the essence of Civilization, and how does Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age recreate this experience (if that was your intent)?

Leacock: To be clear, the challenge was to create a dice game with a civilization-building theme – not try to boil down a specific game. That said, Civilization is an old favorite and you can see its influence on the final design. For me, the fun in these games comes from the storytelling aspects. You get to watch your people multiply and become more powerful. You trade horrible calamities with others (and try to mitigate the ones that come your way). But primarily, you accumulate wealth, trade, and try to find ways to leverage your capital and differentiate your people from those of the other players in the most advantageous way.

Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age captures this experience, albeit in a shorter time frame. Players create new cities but need to ensure they feed their population. They can risk disasters in order to accumulate greater wealth. And most importantly, players can pursue different strategic avenues based on the advancements or monuments they invest in over the course of the game. While those are all similarities, the major difference is the absence of a board, which has been abstracted away through the use of dice. Although dice are inherently random, no single side of the die represents a bad roll. The challenge this introduces is knowing when to stop rolling, when you have the right combination of dice for your situation.




What civilization elements does it have?

Does Roll Through the Ages succeed in doing this? It certainly very different from any other dice game I've played, with the closest perhaps being Reiner Knizia's Decathlon. But probably all that these two games have in common is a strong theme and that they are nothing like Yahtzee! Certainly Roll Through the Ages shares very little with Yahtzee, aside from a similar re-roll mechanic. But in Yahtzee the aim is to try to score optimum points in 13 mostly separate categories, whereas in Roll Through the Ages the aim is to optimize a system of inter-related categories. Make no mistake, this is not Yahtzee with a thin civilization theme! It's rather a genuine civilization game - admittedly in simplified form, and implemented with dice - and it can involve some very tense and almost brain-burning choices! In Yahtzee, the decision to be made is: which category shall I go for this turn, and how can I re-roll to optimize my dice for that category? In Roll Through the Ages the decision to be made is: how can I micro-manage essential aspects of my civilization (e.g. feeding Cities) to avoid Disasters, and at the same time how can I re-roll to optimize my system, so that the benefit I receive will maximize benefits obtained in previous turns, and open the way to new benefits in future turns? For example, if I get the Masonry technology, that will enable me to get extra Workers and make Monuments faster (so I'll want to roll Worker icons); on the other hand if I get Coinage that will enable me to buy Developments faster (so I'll want to roll Coin icons). These are different paths, and will require different choices in the rest of the game. And isn't this kind of system really the essence of a civilization type game?

In fact, I think there are two key elements here that are typical of a civilization game:

1. Technology. The first key element is the rudimentary tech tree described above. In that respect, perhaps the difference between Yahtzee and Roll Through the Ages can be clearly be illustrated in this way: in Yahtzee, if you could determine the dice rolls instead of roll randomly, it would be very easy to choose the values needed to get the highest scores in each category in 13 turns, and the game would be boring and devoid of decisions. In Roll Through the Ages, it's not quite so simple, since you need to make choices where the dice results of one turn will affect future turns. As the solitaire high score challenge makes clear, even if you could decide the results of the dice, there would still be interesting and difficult decisions to make, and different paths to choose from in trying to build a system that would optimize your points. In that regard the theme is not thin, but real, and intricately linked to the mechanics of the game.

2. Randomness. The second key element typical of a civilization game is the randomness. We expect random events in a civilization type game, and they force you to be flexible with your strategies. Not only do results obtained on one turn benefit future turns (and you want to optimize these advantages), but while doing this you must deal with the changing fortunes of the dice. In that respect the randomness of dice rolling also suits the theme well, and what strategy you choose often will depend on what you roll.

So is Roll Through the Ages a genuine civilization game? I think Mr. Leacock has succeeded in his stated ambition, given that he's working within the limiting constraints of a quick filler dice game. There are arguably many other elements of a typical civilization game that aren't here, and admittedly, it certainly doesn't have the depth of a game like Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. But it also doesn't take as long to play, and being able to offer a civilization feel in a 20-30 minute game session is no small achievement. As a fan of civilization games, I'm genuinely enthused about Roll Through the Ages for precisely this reason.



What do I think?

In short: I like it. That having been said, there are some outstanding questions I have, and things you should consider or be aware of:

Civilization theme: Don't get this game if you're looking for a deep civilization experience, packed with everything you'd ever want in a civ game. Remember, this is intended to be a 20-30 minute game, and so it wouldn't be fair to judge it harshly for failing to live up to the standard of heavier games like Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. It's only a quick dice game folks! It should be judged as a filler type game, and in that regard I believe it deserves high marks for innovation and game-play, and does have a genuine civ theme, with a tech tree, micromanagement, and multiple paths to victory.

Components: Not everyone is going to be wild about the components. I happen to like them, and I've even grown to appreciate the heat-stamped over-sized wooden dice, which somehow evoke a raw sense of the primitive that is oddly appropriate to a game themed in the bronze age of early civilization. The game might come with a more hefty price tag than your average filler, but at least you get some original, cool looking and heavy duty wooden components for your money!

Replay value: I wonder how many optimal paths the game really has. I couldn't help but wonder in my attempt at the solitaire challenge if there is one single path or winning tech tree formula that is optimal, making other paths less desirable and less strategic to choose unless forced otherwise by the dice. While this does seem to have implications for the replay value of the solitaire game, time will tell whether this is indeed the case for multi-player games as well, and whether this will affect the long-term replayability of the game. On the other hand, it has to be admitted that the fickleness of the dice as well as the interaction resulting from the choices of other players (e.g. are they constantly trying to get Pestilence, forcing you to get Medicine as a preventative measure? Or are they competing with you to be the first to get maximum points for a certain Monument?) does force you to choose different strategies every game.

Game length: I'm not the first to suggest that the regular game seems over too quickly. The end of the game is triggered by a player having five Developments, which usually happens all too soon. It could be argued that this makes choices tougher, because you cannot possibly do everything you want to (just like in Agricola!), but on the other hand it does make the game feel somewhat short and sometimes even less than satisfying. But there are ways around this minor quibble: one's appetite for more could be quenched by playing again immediately, or by increasing the number of Developments allowed to 6 for a three-player game, and 7 for a two-player game. For more suggestions about this, see the discussion here: Over too quick ?

Interaction: The interaction isn't huge, and some will wish there was more interaction. I found that the amount of interaction resulting from Disasters like Pestilence, and the competition for Monuments (although the criticism that turn order gives an unfair advantage to starting players could have merit) is just the right amount of interaction that I like in a dice game. For those looking for more interaction, I say: try the Trading variant.

Scalability: The game works well with 3-4, and is very good with 2 players as well. It probably won't have much replay when playing solitaire, but rather than see this as a weakness, I'd regard it as a strength that solitaire play is even an option, and many will get hours of amusement simply from trying to beat their high score in the solitaire version.

The above points are not really criticisms as such - they are merely things prospective purchasers need to be aware of. In the final analysis, there's no doubt that this game is going to get a big thumbs up from me. As a filler, it has much to commend it!



What do others think?

Roll Through the Ages is still hot off the press, but there are a number of helpful comments that give some initial impressions about the game. The bulk of these are very favorable, and even most critics concede that they enjoyed Roll Through the Ages more than games like Yahtzee or Catan the Dice Game. Here's a sample of some representative comments that particularly capture some of the appealing elements of the game:
"This game succeeds in cleverly mixing dice rolling with the civilization-building theme. This game has everything a civ-lite game needs: workers, resources, cities, disasters while the dice add the neccessary but not too large random factory." - Gerald Rüscher
"Civ lite? Like it a lot. Very portable - quick, little bit of interaction and push your luck." - Paul Lister
"Surprisingly entertaining. There's some strategy to it, but it remains very light." - Jorge Montero
"Yes, it really is Civ: The Dice Game. Lots of options. Can be quite a brainburner for a light game." - johnweldy
"An intriguing game. Fun, light, plenty of decisions and a real feel of accomplishing something as the game progresses." - David Fair
"Above average filler, though it has nothing to do with the card based civ game. May enjoy it more with the endgame trigger variant that extends the length another turn or two." - Matthew M. Monin
"Matt Leacock has done it again; created a game which takes a unique and interesting look at an established genre. This game is simply fun and interesting." - dominojones
"For a small game I thought the production was quite good. The pegboards were a great concept for keeping track of food and goods." - John Squires


Most complaints about the game seem to come down to concerns about interaction or the cost of the game, so the general consensus about the game-play seems to be very positive - and with good reason!

Recommendation

A filler that's a civ game with dice? As long as you're not expecting a sumo wrestler the size of Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, and judge the game on its own merits as a dice-rolling filler game, Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age has to be commended for offering a genuinely civilization experience packed into 30 minutes. There's a basic tech tree, there's interesting choices, there's tension, and there's a high fun factor. A big thumbs up!



Edit: Added information about official variant.

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mb The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596

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Brian Cherry
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Wow. All I can say is wow. You sure put a lot of time into that review. I think thats the best I've seen.

thanks.
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Todd Warnken
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Harrison
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I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested.
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Really good review. This will go on my buy list. One minor issue for me; the tech tree is more of a tech garden since there are no prerequisites for any of the techs.
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Diego Mascheroni
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the1jugg wrote:
Wow. All I can say is wow. You sure put a lot of time into that review. I think thats the best I've seen.

thanks.


Ditto, incredible review, keep them coming.
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Wot!
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...i WILL own it all!!!
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Mundane wrote:
Really good review. This will go on my buy list. One minor issue for me; the tech tree is more of a tech garden since there are no prerequisites for any of the techs.

... and the monuments do little other than give end-game points (except for the wall which does have an in-game benefit)
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Gene Mabilangan
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Great review. Much appreciated. Will get it for sure.
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Gary Libby
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Bloody hell dude, but that was quite a review! Bravo!
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Gerald Rüscher
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Essen 2012 - yay!
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dwrigley wrote:
Mundane wrote:
One minor issue for me; the tech tree is more of a tech garden since there are no prerequisites for any of the techs.

... and the monuments do little other than give end-game points (except for the wall which does have an in-game benefit)
All together chant:

It's Civ lite, Civ lite, Civ LITE LITE LITE!


Thank you laugh
J.
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Tim Royal
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Wow, that was a great overview, thanks for taking the time to do it.

I have a question:

5. Discarding
● Only 6 Goods total may be kept from one turn to the next, so excess Goods above 6 must be discarded at the end of a turn


I'm obviously missing something here, but I don't quite understand this. So at the end of the turn, my good count can only be 6. Does that mean that to get 60 points in goods to buy some of the bigger technologies, I have to obtain 54 goods in a single turn?


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Ender Wiggins
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Auzette wrote:
I have a question:

5. Discarding: Only 6 Goods total may be kept from one turn to the next, so excess Goods above 6 must be discarded at the end of a turn

I'm obviously missing something here, but I don't quite understand this. So at the end of the turn, my good count can only be 6. Does that mean that to get 60 points in goods to buy some of the bigger technologies, I have to obtain 54 goods in a single turn?

It's easiest to explain with an example - let's say that you ended one turn with five goods, and got another six on your next turn, so that your pegboard looks like this:



The number of goods is different than their value. Here we have 3 Stone (second row from bottom), but the value of these 3 Stone is 12 if you were to spend it towards buying a Technology. So at this point you actually have 11 goods, but they are worth a total of 50, which means you could spend it all to buy a bigger technology like Architecture (@ 50).

When buying the bigger technologies, you'll usually pay part of the cost in Coins, and in fact it's easier to buy bigger technologies with Coins than it is with goods alone. Coins are worth 7 each, which increases to 12 each if you get the Coinage technology. If you have the full number of Cities (i.e. 7 dice), have the Coinage technology, and roll several Coins, you can buy the bigger technologies quite easily, especially if you pay part of the cost in goods as well.

To return to the example pictured above: if you were to end your turn at this point without doing anything (a bad idea, you'd want to spend at least some of it on Technology!), you would have to discard 5 of the 11 goods. If you discarded the Wood and Stone (bottom two rows), you would be left with 6 goods: 1 Spearhead, 2 Cloth, 3 Pottery - these are worth a total of 35 which would carry over to the next turn. One other tip: getting the Caravans technology allows you to keep as many goods as you want from turn to turn.

I hope this helps answer your question!
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Tim Royal
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{light bulb clicks on!} THANK YOU! That was exactly the explanation I needed. Now it makes sense.
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Железный комиссар
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samclemens53 wrote:
This isn't going to retail for more than $8 or $9 I hope. Looks very thin.


$30. Unfortunately, distributed by FRED, and non-discountable. I'd pay 20 for it at an online vendor if that were an option. For now it's a ways back in the queue.
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Richard Mesaric
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Just to see if I got the rules right.
The pegboard arrangement you showed is not possible if it's to show the pegs' position after the first two moves. Because then the setup should be 3 wood, 2 stone, 2 pottery, 2 cloth and 2 spearheads, as you have to move upwards when producing.
Did I get this correctly?

Ultra-brilliant review, by the way
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Michael Basil
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JohnRayJr wrote:
samclemens53 wrote:
This isn't going to retail for more than $8 or $9 I hope. Looks very thin.


$30. Unfortunately, distributed by FRED, and non-discountable. I'd pay 20 for it at an online vendor if that were an option. For now it's a ways back in the queue.


I own the game and have to agree that the game is worth $20.
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myles
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I just bought this at my FLGS, and I have to say while I like the game, I have component issues. One of my boards has a big epoxy blotch on it, and is not drilled out. The other boards are rather sloppily drilled, apparently by hand only, with no jig or drill press to keep the holes in line. Also my pegs are quite wobbily. While I was excited by the idea of wood components (fits theme well), only the dice did not disappoint. I wish they'd exercised some quality control. Hopefully FRED will help fix this for me, but I don't like wasting my time chasing customer support.
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Michael Basil
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Great_Mazinga wrote:
I just bought this at my FLGS, and I have to say while I like the game, I have component issues. One of my boards has a big epoxy blotch on it, and is not drilled out. The other boards are rather sloppily drilled, apparently by hand only, with no jig or drill press to keep the holes in line. Also my pegs are quite wobbily. While I was excited by the idea of wood components (fits theme well), only the dice did not disappoint. I wish they'd exercised some quality control. Hopefully FRED will help fix this for me, but I don't like wasting my time chasing customer support.


This thread goes into some of the problems that I have had.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/382078
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Cameron McKenzie
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Düsterwäldler wrote:
Just to see if I got the rules right.
The pegboard arrangement you showed is not possible if it's to show the pegs' position after the first two moves. Because then the setup should be 3 wood, 2 stone, 2 pottery, 2 cloth and 2 spearheads, as you have to move upwards when producing.
Did I get this correctly?

Ultra-brilliant review, by the way


You always move upwards when producing, but when it comes to spending them, you can choose any type you want (and spend all of that type). With this in mind, the arrangement he showed certainly is possible.

He said the turn was ended with 5 goods. He didn't say that they were all produced that turn, or that none were spent

Suppose he produced three goods in the first turn, leaving (0-0-1-1-1).
Then he produced four goods in the next turn, and spent the wood, leaving (0-1-2-2-0).
Then he produced six goods, giving him (1-2-3-3-2).

Edit: had to fix an error in my example

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Alexandre Rivaben
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Perfect. The best (and most complete) review I've ever read in bgg.

Congrats!
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Allen Vailliencourt
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sold! Wow, amazing review. I've been wondering about this game having never played Civ or Through the Ages. This just sold me.

Thanks for a fantabolous pic review.

It's now on my wish list
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James Bentley
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I was unsure about this game. This review helped me decide to get it, and I've not regretted it at all. This is one excellent game.

I introduced it to some friends over the weekend and they loved it.

Take the plunge!
 
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Mark V
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Thank you so much for this excellent review. (I can't watch Tom's video review here at work). Fantastic production with the still images. I've heard good buzz about this game and feel like I have a real good idea of what it's like.

Mark
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Mark crane
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samclemens53 wrote:
This isn't going to retail for more than $8 or $9 I hope. Looks very thin.


It's FRED distribution!

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Adam vanLangenberg
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I live in Australia so can only imagine what a solid wooden game would cost...

(fantastic review by the way)
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Erik Navander
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nice review! but I´m not sure you played the solitaire version correct scoring 93 points. Looks like you bought 8 developments. Rules for solitaire play says: "Use the normal rules above, with the following changes:" Says nothing about developments so can you buy more than 5?
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Gene Warren
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Solitaire games are normally played for 10 rounds.
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