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Age of Mythology: The Boardgame
 
 
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Age of Mythology: The Boardgame


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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Advanced Strategy Game Nominee, 2005

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 120 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Glenn Drover

Publisher(s): Eagle Games

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Product Description

Age of Mythology, the tremendously popular real-time strategy game from Ensemble Studios and Microsoft, gets the Eagle Games treatment!

Age of Mythology: the Board game takes the popular computer game and enhances it by including three hundred miniatures in thirty-eight sculpts. With literally piles of different mythological creatures and warriors, players create huge armies to conquer their neighbors. The game is not simply all about combat, as players must build up cities with a variety of buildings and resources that they produce each turn. Players must make raids against each other, attempting to destroy buildings, capture territories, and steal victory points. All of this combines with the stunning components to make a balanced, interesting game for two to four players.

The ultimate real-time strategy game jumps off the screen and onto your tabletop! A game of epic proportions...

  • 38 Unique Sculptures
  • 300 Stunning Miniatures
  • 3 Cultures (Greek, Egyptian, Norse)
  • 150 Wooden Resource Cubes
  • Easy to Learn Game System
  • Deep, Flexible Strategies

In Age of Mythology, you will:

  • Explore the world, claiming production sites (farms, gold mines, lumber camps & temples)
  • Gather resources
  • Build structures that give you advantages in production or battle
  • Recruit armies of mortal warriors, mythic creatures and heroes
  • Face off against other cultures in epic battles

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Advanced Strategy Game Nominee, 2005

Product Information

Contents:

  • 1 rules manual
  • 6 player boards
  • 6 plastic runners of pieces
  • 150 wooden cubes
  • 3 decks of cards
  • 4 victory cards
  • 1 sheet of building and terrain tiles
  • 8 dice
  • 1 reference card

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 3.6 in 14 reviews

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by Amund Bisgaard
Looks good, plays well, despite some problems.
March 17, 2011

This game started off as a favourite of mine, but it does have a couple of weaknesses that need mending in order for it to reach the top.

1) An original game, with a high war aspect
Although comparisons to other games exist, I think it's fair to look upon this game as something of its own. There is both resource gathering and building involved, but the game differs a lot from Puerto Rico (that has almost no element of conflict) and Settlers of Catan (where luck often makes or breaks your resource strategies), mostly when it comes to the war element. The scoring system forces players to fight over the same turfs, instead of building an island empire regardless of your neighbours' strategies.

The ability to launch attack on your enemies gives the game a bit of pulse. You can start off building units that work well against "Mortals" (the type of units that players have from the start), forcing enemies to respond with possible countermeasures to such a threat. The ability to choose what area to attack (buildings, resources, land) gives you more options than just choosing whom to attack. You can capitalize on gaining a lot of territory early on, or destroy enemy buildings in order to keep them down (a tactic that is probably better in a two-player game).

The nerve that is achieved by the constant threat of attacks makes this game very different from Settlers (where the only threat is a hyped "robber") or Puerto Rico (where there are no threats but competition). This does make the game more competitive and much less "peaceful" or "cosy". Also, there is no element of co-operation in this game, with the possible exception of more players ganging up on the leader. AoM is not a game for timid players, as these are likely to be trampled upon.

2) Pretty good theme/components
The mythical theme seems very nice, and is well supported by the components. Painting the miniatures makes them even more appealing, but given their relatively small size, this is not a task for beginners.

The cards are well designed as well, with illustrations matching their respective cultures. However, the difference between races is not that huge. They have different access to resources, but apart from that, they play almost exactly the same. The decks of cards and military units seem different, but are not very typical of their races. More could have been done to give each race its unique feel. To a large extent, each race has the same units, with only a few exceptions and variations in appearance.

A true downside is the fact that a four-player game forces two players to share a race. A fourth race should have been included; it would also provide more to choose from for a game of fewer players. In a four-player game there would even be one player that you could never attack, as you can only target players immediately next to you. So if your worst rival is sitting across the table, all you can do about it is punish those who fail to bring him down.

3) A rich building aspect
The colorful cubes look great, and represent their respective resources well. The menu of things to build is very large, especially when taking into account the various military units. Which buildings to go for first (or which to build at all) is often an open questions, with several strategies available).

4) A time-consuming battle system
The rich selection of military units seems interesting. However, this does much to complicate the game. With so many options, calculating which units to use can become a time-consuming process. Especially as you need to look at the enemy's stats in order to be able to make intelligent choices, and there is a shortage of the material that displays these stats.

Also, as has been noted by others, the ability to outwit your opponent in picking the right units is often irrelevant, as luck often plays too big a role. I have many times had a large dice advantage, only to have my expensive model wiped out by a lucky roll. Also, fighting one model against one takes a lot of time. The players not involved in a battle can only wait for those active to decide what to do. Not always that fun.

5) Some cards spoil the game
The luck factor steps in when it comes to the cards as well. Some cards are much more powerful than others. Knowing what cards exist is also a factor. For example, building the largest building possible is very risky. It costs two of each resource, and invites any player to destroy it solely by playing the right card. So much for building defences. If this card does appear, this large building is wasted. If you're lucky enough to have it not appear, having this building can generate you victory points. Again; a possible strategy is rendered risky due to an over-powered card. Strategy loses to luck.

Some people have suggested adjustments to improve this game, and they have probably done well in doing so. I believe that using some of them could address several of the problems mentioned. But this is really the job of the playtesters. More testing and a bit more effort in development could have made this a 5-star game for me.

This game gave me a good experience, but I don't think I'll ever play it again using the standard rules. There are too many things that need mending for that, and too many other games that don't have these problems.

 
 
 
 
 
Very good mix of war and building, but may be improved
December 17, 2003

The really positive points about this game are:

- unique way of betting on what is important to win. This makes each end of game different.

- combination of attack and building all based on management of resources.

Surely there are bad points that can be corrected:

- attacks with 'n' dice are slow and luck prone. We now play just two dice each side, summing up to the the side's power (original number of dice to be thrown).

- preparation for attack/defense is too slow. Changed: now one goes to battle with all the armies one has.

- tie on buiding makes two sides loose. Spliting the victory points makes much more sense.

All this made the game even better and provided us countless hours of fun.

 
 
 
 
 
What is it anyway?
December 02, 2003

Played the game twice. First was a 2 player game, second was a 3 player game. I just don't care for the scoring mechanism first off. Games can be close, but it seems to fall into a 'It's possible to win IF everything goes my way...' trap. I found myself having a chance to win, but remote at best. There was no way to get a good mix of scoring chances if you get attacked and lose too much. It is easy to pick on a weaker opponent, and they just stay weak, or get weaker.

Luck of the random cards adds another problem I have with the game. Luck in a game is OK, but this leans a bit too much in the luck department. Definitely luck driven with the dice-fest combat system, which seems almost like a rocks-paper-scissors method. We all commented on this and were not too keen on it.

No doubt the bits are superb, and there are nice aspects of building up production, resources and cities, but no real flavor in doing so. Indeed, buliding some things, like walls and towers for protection are rendered usless by the opponenet building a seige engine, which cancels both towers and walls!

Lastly, it is far too long for what type of game it is. I found myself in both games wanting to just get it over with, no matter the results. If you have people who ponder moves, or analyze a lot, don't expect a game to last less than 3 hours.

In a strange way, I think the game tried to be several things- a combat game, a resouces-building game, a bit of mythology, but doen't succeed in any to make it a fun, interesting game.

All in all, I can only say the game looks great, but plays fair. Not real sure if I would want to play again just to see if I am overlooking some aspect that would make it a better game.

I was tempted to give it three stars, but feel for what it presented to me as a game, two is really the rating I think it deserves.


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