Duel of Ages II
List Price: $49.99
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from 14 customer reviews
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Duel of Ages II is a time-scramble board game played between two opposing sides each having 1 to 4 players, with uneven size allowable. Each side controls a selected team of 8-12 characters from different ages of time: Ancient, Colonial, Modern and Future. The goal is to win greater glory in overcoming adventures and in tactical combat than the opposing team.
Although multiple styles of play are available, the standard DoA game-play involves seven phases:
Selection of each side’s team of 8-12 characters (kept secret).
Building of the interlocking puzzle map to best suit your character’s skills.
Selection of a Team White and a Team Black based on character Respect.
Revealing and equipping of characters.
Bringing characters onto the map based on Respect.
A sequence of game rounds where characters maneuver on the map to accomplish adventures, hunt enemy characters and avoid dangerous situations.
Counting of total achievements won. The team with the most achievements wins.
The game can end at a certain time or after a certain number of rounds.
Game play is an unusual mix of tactical wargame-style combat, treasure gathering, and non-combat character teamwork and adventuring, and has no close comparison to other games. Differences between characters are significant, with many having poor fighting skills. Game play and winning is therefore an act of balancing fighting, treasure-gathering and adventuring.
From the game box:
Select a team of characters. Overcome adventures and the enemy team to win favor, achievements, and ultimate victory. And while you are at it, enjoy the stories that your game builds.
NOTE: The guaranteed cut alignment on the punch boards in the game is 3mm. This is fine for functionality, but if you are seriously averse to aesthetic misalignment, you may not be pleased. Check with your OCD before purchasing
Players: 2 - 8
Time: 150 or more minutes
Ages: 12 and up
Weight: 2,700 grams (estimated)
Average Rating: 3.7 in 14 reviews
My son and I have finally found a game that we both can relate to, play and enjoy. I get my tactical and strategic fill...and he gets to 'Grok' me to his heart's content.
Duel of Ages is a great game that is sound in its mechanics and yet is compelling in each game that is played. I love the tales my son gets to tell Mom about how 'Grok' hit 'Tex' while riding on the mountain bike. I also like the fact I do not have to explain spell casting, vampires or scantily clad women to him...we get to enjoy having fun without mature themes.
Venatic delivered a game to my family with this title. I am looking forward to getting the expansions.
As a prelude to next semester's psych thesis, my group is profiling game interaction within a college environment. We are limiting to tabletop games, because the rest of the mob is concentrating on computer gaming.
Summer break prevented us from getting any further than one week's profiling with five games. We went with variety -- in so far as games we knew, given short time. Duel of Ages was one of those games
College dorm sociology places young, hyper-libido members of the opposite sex in close proximty to each other. Social awareness is perhaps the highest in their entire life. Social energy, especially among the female sector, shoves many other less-social activities aside.
In general, males have a strong pull towards competition and challenge. This is especially true of computer gaming, which acts as a strong 'hermit' effect. To phrase it acceptably, men tend to want to hole up to fight whatever 'dragons' challenge them, and see women only for 'quality' time. Women are quite the opposite.
Duel of Ages was chosen because no-one had yet played it. One player had purchased the first two of this series. This was the only copy we had, so our games were limited. We played with the expansion only after our profile was complete.
Among males the game was received initially with mixed emotions, I think because there were some rules confusions that held us up. We also played with only one character each, which meant some players were kicked out quick. Regardless, recruitment ability was strong for the game, with interesting characters, artwork, and gameplay (once we got it right).
The game proved to have very high holding power, however. Of the five, it was the most requested for replay. Also, a few players who had initial negative reactions became much more positive about it. At the end, it became the most uniformly liked among male players (#3 among female). The game also produced 'obsessors' similar to Warhammer and Magic.
I recently received Sets 1 through 3 of the game myself. It surprises me how engaging the game is. I have not seen the game in about three days now, with it being borrowed by my younger brothers and their friends, and my uncle, who is big into games. They won't stop talking about it (which gets clucks from my aunt :) ).
I personally think the game is fascinating. It is easy to play, but changes every game. Based on our dorm room experience and that at home, this is definitely a game I'll be asked to play for some time to come. My friends who stayed for summer school are suffering gradewise because of it :). Highly recommended as a college game, but (like most games) only in the men's dorm room.
I am new to this community and not a hardcore gamer. My review is not based on a comparison of other games to Duel, but my impressions of playing the game and the observations of those I play with. So please read it in that context.
First Impressions of the game:
What I was most impressed of at first with the game is the artwork. The grapics on the cards and rulebook looked very nice. I also thought the idea of intermixing eras was very clever. As a literature major in college, I always wondered what Beowulf would do on a jetski with a photon blaster.
The only initial complaint I had were the little cardboard character pieces. The come in a sheet all connected. so when I tried to take them apart, the little corner would sometimes tear a little. On a bigger piece, that would be alright, but on a little chracter piece it was a little frustrating. In the future, I would suggest seperating the pieces with an exacto knife.
Playing the game:
The first time I played DoA Worldspanner, I did so with one of the Venatic employees, Josh Evarts, so I was fortunate to have that first hand training. My learning curve for the game was probably a little shorter than most, but my experience has been that people with any type of analytical mind pick up the game quickly. I have played the game approximately 25 times since it came out in March, and these are my thoughts:
Pros of the game:
I like the diversity of the characters. Every time I get a team of completely divergent characters with different strengths and special abilities. That means I don't know my strategy for any given game until the game starts. It stresses the ability to think quickly and analytically. It also makes knowing all chracters, weapons, and objectives essential. When you play against a clock with so many missions, you must prioritze quickly, and corectly, or you'll lose.
I also like the camraderie of playing with and against other people. Now that may true of any game ever made, from Taboo to Titan, but what makes DoA stand out to me is that the engineering of Duel allows for epic momments which can either completely boost your psyche when things are not going well or completely shatter morale. It is fun to watch the opposing team quiver and it hurts me to my gut when it happens to me (as it did last night, tragically).
Cons of the game:
The accumulation of equipment. The only probably with getting gear is that sometimes it takes an hour before decent equipment can be had. Now if you're playing a two hour game, that sometimes feels like too big a part of the game. If you have one team with great melee skills and another team that really needs equipment to be successful, than you really have a problem. I can't think of a way to fix this, and it has only happened once, but it was very frustrating. Again, though, the diversity of the game is what I like the most, so I shouldn't complain, but I hate losing, so I'm bitter.
The dice. Now before I start on this I know true-gamers will probably dismiss me just for being shallow enough to complain about this element of the game but I think I must. I have renamed my two blue angles the 'Sirens' because they might sound beautiful, but in the end, lately, they have ultimately caused my gruesome death. Character health is sometimes a little low, so someone can pot-shot with a lucky roll and kill a superior player. Granted that attributes to those epic moments I just referred to, but still sometimes the balance of the dice is not quite right and may affect strategy more than neccessary. If you can consistently roll under 6 combined on two 6-siders, than you can consistently win the game. And I know the averages are that dice always balance each other out over time, but just sometimes it doesn't feel that way.
I really enjoy playing the game. Every person I have taught the game to (8 so far) have really enjoyed the game. It is not too hard to pick up mechanics and the exploration and development of strategy is very fun to do as a team and afterwards with competitors. I play with one of my coworkers (who is actually serving as feedback for me as I write this review) and we spend a couple hours a day just talking about the game and strategy.
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