Fantasy Flight Games // £10.99 // 2-6 Players // 20mins // Age 14+
In this game, you and your fellow players take on the roles of rival daimyos, competing to vanquish your opponents and unite all of Japan under one banner. To unite the clans, you must conquer their castles and secure their loyalty, but the other daimyos are mustering armies as well. Will you gain renown with every victory, or become just another forgotten warlord? Find out in Age of War! – Fantasy Flight Games
Why did we want it?
T – This game was given to us by a gamer friend, cheers Johan! We didn’t know anything about this game, or that it even existed. However I have found, like Mike, Johan has great judgement in choosing games for other people so I was excited to play Age Of War.
M – I have to say this on was never on my radar. No idea it even existed, which was weird as it’s made by Fantasy Flight Games. I love Fantasy Flight Games and was always excitable about their new release, so this made me realise that maybe my tastes were changing.
Why did we keep it?
T – So easy to learn. Roll the dice, match with a row on a card, keep rolling to claim the card. Simples. However you have to decide which cards to go with to get the most points. It is always a hit with everyone we play it with. They play one game, get the hang of it and want to play again straight away knowing they have a strong chance of winning, fun times.
M – Easy to learn and easy to teach. These are the most important parts of what I would class a filler game which I would class Age of War. A filler games are the small games that you play before the main attraction on game nights. The Samurai theme helps sell it to my group and it does get quite a bit of table time.
Handy tips & techniques?
T – The game is very luck based, however it does depend on what you do with your roll.
I used to go straight for all the yellow cards, if you collect them all you get 10 points. Turns out I nearly always lost! Securing the purple and light grey cards early tends to win me the game.
I also find the Bow and Arrow dice and Horse dice are the hardest to roll, I never get them when I need them, so use them on your first roll if possible.
M – I always try to make the best choice with the first roll. If there are a lot of a single icon that comes up on the dice then I assign that first. If there isn’t really a great deal of choice then use the least amount of dice available to give you a better chance of rolling what you need at a later paint. But all this doesn’t really matter as most of this game is luck based.
T – Very Japanese. I love all the symbols connecting each colour card – also a nice touch for those that are colourblind, no confusing the cards. The illustrations of castles in the background are also lovely. The game may be about Daimayo fighting to take over castles, but the artwork feels a bit more peaceful.
I noticed on BoardGameGeek.com there is a forum thread on how to lay out the cards. The rules just state they should be face up where everyone can see. We just place them colours grouped together in lines. How do you set up the cards for Age of War? Any interesting and fun ways?
T – A very simple game. With seven custom dice, they have a nice weight to them, very satisfying to roll. Fourteen Castle Cards, divided into colours for each “Clan,” these are lovely quality considering they don’t get handled very often.
The box also happens to be nice and sturdy, as the game is so small it can be played almost anywhere. We found the box lid makes a great dice tray if you don’t want them rolling all over the place.
M – Nice size quality dice that are a pleasure to roll. There’s nothing like having a hand full of dice and rolling them across the table. The artwork doesn’t do much for me on the cards but they are functional. The box is a nice size and easy to transport and isn’t 90% air like Splendor.
How it feels to win/lose?
T – When playing two player and you know you are lagging behind/winning it feels a bit of an anticlimax. The best way to enjoy the win is to snatch the last card out of your opponents hand when they needed it. Although with more players things get a bit frantic and if you don’t go for each others cards the game ends all to soon and a win is just by default not skill.
M – Losing isn’t as bad in this game as mostly you lose because of the luck level in the game. Collecting the set is fun and I feel the enjoyment comes from collecting the last card of the set which locks them away so that the other players can’t steal them.
T – I like the game, although I find with two players it drags a bit by the end, then with 6 players things go way too quick. Whenever we play it with others we have a great time though. A small game with lots of frantic dice rolling. Easy to learn for new gamers but has a bit of strategy that makes it good as a filler game on games night.
M – I’m not completely sold on this game as I feel there are better fillers that aren’t so luck based but I do enjoy it every now and then when waiting for others to turn up.
How to play
Age Of War is a quick Dice Rolling, Set Collection game of conquest from Fantasty Flight. The aim is to conquer the most castles becoming the daimyo with the most support to win.
The fourteen castle cards are laid out at the start of the game. Each card shows one castle and the symbols required to conquer this castle, with the symbols separated into battle lines. Each castle belongs to a clan, Castles grant points towards your victory, and you can gain more points by uniting an entire clan, with some clans having only a single castle and some having up to four castles.
A player starts by rolling all seven dice to ‘muster troops’, the six sides of which show , cavalry, daimyo, archery and 1-3 infantry (swords).
Now select a card and use the symbols rolled to conquer exactly one of the battle lines on this card – by placing the appropriate dice on that line.
Now roll the remaining dice, ideally conquering another line; if you can’t conquer a line, one die is removed from play, then roll again. The turn ends when either you conquers every line on the card (in which case he claims it) or you no longer have dice available to roll. Lines do not need to be conquered in order, but can only be conquered one at a time.
Each card is worth a number of victory points. You can conquer cards owned by other players, but you need to conquer an additional daimyo line in the process. If a player owns all the castles of one clan, however, those castles are secure and cannot be stolen. What’s more, these castles are now worth more points because you’ve united the clan under one ruler (you) and strengthened your hold over Japan.
When the last card is claimed, players tally their points, and whoever has the highest score wins.
For more info check out Fantasy Flight Games
Want more fighting in Feudal Japan, check out Conquering Japan also by Fantasy Flight Games