Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
List Price: $34.95
Your Price: $23.99
(Worth 2,399 Funagain Points!)
from 4 customer reviews
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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 addictive and strategic new game from Matt Leacock, the designer of the incredibly popular Pandemic. Roll Through the Ages plays in 30-45 minutes. The game is for 1-4 players, ages 8 and up.
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Apr 15, 2009
In this episode, I briefly talk through the new Gryphon Games lineup and then focus on Roll Through the Ages.Watch the video!
Roll Through the Ages is a brilliant and innovative design for a dice game with a strong civilization theme. Can a dice game really give a civilization feel, or even scratch that civilization itch slightly? In this case the answer is a resounding yes!
The game comes with an assortment of quality components well packed into a compact and portable box. They include: 4 Pegboard; 24 Pegs (4 in each of six different colours); 7 Dice; 1 Pad of Score Sheets; 2 Reference Sheets; and 1 Rule Book. The pegboard includes tracks for managing different goods: Wood, Stone, Pottery, Cloth, and Spearheads. There's also a Food track at the bottom, which you'll use to keep track of food production - you'll need this to feed your Cities. Speaking of cities - these are represented in the game by large wooden dice, which are heat stamped with icons representing food, workers, resources, coins, and disasters.
You roll the dice Yahtzee style to determine what you can do on your turn. After re-rolling your dice, you'll use your score sheet to write down how many goods or food you've produced, technologies you've invented, monuments you've built, or disasters that have happened. You can use workers to build more cities or point-scoring monuments, you can use coins and resources to develop new technologies (e.g. getting the Agriculture technology costs 15 coins, but gets you extra food each time you roll the food icon, and 3 points at the end of the game), and you use food to feed your people. At the end of the game, points are earned from technologies and monuments, while disasters that have occurred during the course of the game will cause points to be subtracted from your score.
Is it possible to make a civilization game with dice? As long as you're not expecting a sumo wrestler the size of Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (the board game that obviously inspired the name of this dice game), 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. It first made an appearance as part of the Gryphon Games Bookshelf series, and has been a big hit. For me, the innovative game-play and civ-theme makes this one of my favourite games in the series. A big thumbs up!
I played this game last weekend and absolutely loved it. It is a well- thought-out and laid-out game. Everything is literally at your fingertips and you don't have a problem learning it in about five to ten minutes. It involves building a civilization with dice - wonderful!. There are some areas in the game that need to be tweaked a little in my opinion, though. For example the game can end if one player buys five developments. I thought this made the game end too quick. I also thought this made the strategy go to buying developments as quick as you can because you would usually would win because of this. Maybe if this rule was taken out and have it that the game ended only when all players have built all the monuments collectively the game would be a little longer and the strategy might change. Overall I liked the game and think it is probably the best dice game I have ever played (certainly better than Zombie Dice).
For the simplicity that a Dice game needs to be playable in a short time (that's why we play dice games, right?) this game does an amazing and subtle job of capturing the rise and fall of civilizations.
Here's one of my favorite mechanics -- the relationship between trade and calamities/disease. If you just get a "trade" result then you only get one amphora symbol (so not much trade), but if you get a SKULL result, then you get TWO amphoras (lots of trade). One SKULL by itself is actually harmless, but then two is kind of a bad result. It's great subtlety that the more trade you do with other peoples, the more you're vulnerable to famine/invasion/etc! And even more fun is the guns/germs/steel reference of... if you manage to get EXACTLY THREE skulls, you spread disease to your opponents rather than yourself!
Meanwhile you're trying to get enough food to feed all your cities (one city equals one die roll per turn), and deciding whether to allocate your workers to more cities (expanded economy) or wonders of the world (more victory points right now). And there's a wonder race in the sense that the first person who builds each wonder scores double.
And finally all your trading goes towards buying technologies which of course slightly change the rules just for you.
I love this game, and play it with both hardcore gamers and my wife & kids.
Roll Through the Ages is a dice game, so if you are opposed to such games, stop reading now. I enjoy dice games occasionally, but they’re not my favorites. This particular game has quite a bit to offer though, and I think it will see a great deal of play at home with my family as well as with my local gaming group.
The game was designed by Matt Leacock, who some may recognize as the designer of Pandemic. One of the first things you notice about Roll Through the Ages is that the publisher, Gryphon Games, used a huge amount of wood. I swear the box might as well be solid wood. The dice are wood. The scoreboards are wood with holes for wooden pegs.
The goal of the game is to be the first to build up your civilization by developing your infrastructure with new technologies while you create monuments to your glory. Your possibilities for each die are:
Skulls aren’t good, they just come with a couple of goods so you don’t feel so bad. You can re-roll any die or group of dice up to two times, but you may not re-roll skulls.
The number of dice rolled is determined by the number of cities you control. You build more cities by accumulating people, then you roll more dice. However, the more cities you control, the more you have to feed the people in the cities, so you have to keep rolling for food as well, or your people starve! Money allows you to buy developments which protect you from the effects of skulls or give you bonuses on rolls. Accumulating goods allow you to sell them for more money. Skulls are generally bad, and will create problems for your civilization, like plagues, invasions, and other disasters. Skulls may also affect your opponents civilizations.
A game typically takes about half an hour, and you get enough chunks of wood to play with up to four players. Roll Through the Ages is a great game and may just scratch a little bit of your Civilization itch. It may seem a like a lot to pay for a dice game, but good grief, the thing is beautiful and weighs a ton. Happy gaming!