Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Roll Through The Ages

Product– Roll Through The Ages

Producer– Eagle/Gryphon Games

Price– ~$40 here http://www.amazon.com/Roll-Through-Ages-Bronze-Age/dp/B001POAECY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416486454&sr=8-1&keywords=roll+through+the+ages

Set-up/Play/Clean-up-30 minutes (2 to 4 players)

TL; DR– A great Euro-style dice game. 85%

 

Basics- Roll to see how civilization grows in this Yahtzee like game.  Players take the roles of different civilizations during the Bronze Age.  Each turn a player rolls a number of dice equal to their cities (starting at three). These dice have different faces ranging from workers, food, goods, coins, and disasters. A player can reroll the first roll twice just like Yahtzee, but all disaster faces must be kept.  After a player finishes rolling, the player collects food, workers, and goods depending on the dice results.  The most confusing aspect of the game is you earn goods.  Each player has a peg board and a score sheet.  This peg board has spots for food and goods.  There are six different tracks for goods, but you gain goods by moving each peg one space starting at the bottom for every one good you have.  If you gain more than six goods in a turn, then the bottom good gains another rank and so on up.  As an example, if you gain seven goods, you would gain one rank of each good, then gain one extra rank in the bottom two goods.   After collection, players then feed their cities and have disasters happen.  Don’t have enough food for your cities?  Then you gain disaster points at the bottom of your score sheet.  Some disasters give negative points at the end, cost the player goods, or even attack other players like the literal plague (rolling three disasters results in a plague that gives every other player three negative points.  Players can then spend workers to earn more cities or monuments for points by spending workers to cross of boxes.  When you cross off all the boxes in a city or all the boxes of a monument, you have built that monument or city and now get the points or dice in future turns.  The first player to build a monument gets a higher score of points, while the players who builds after get fewer points.  Players can also buy one development a turn.  These developments do several things like preventing plagues, allow you to save more resources, or get you extra points for monuments or cities.  To buy a development, a player spends coins from dice or goods.  Each good rank has a number associated with it indicating how much it’s worth for developments.  You have to fully spend all your goods of one type if you use them-you do NOT get the difference!  Once a player is done, he/she passes the dice, and the next player takes their turn.  The game continues until someone has five developments or all the monuments have been built between all the players.  Then, the game continues until all players have taken an equal number of turns.  Player with the highest score wins.

 

Mechanics-This game is quick, but has a surprising amount of depth.  You roll the dice three times, choosing which dice to keep, and then you make choices with the resources you find.  It’s all pretty easy.  However, what you get and your own plan really make you think on your feet.  It’s fast, but smart and elegant.  5/5

 

Theme-I love Euro-style games, but these games really lack the theme and story of their American cousins.  There is a store here as you build different world wonders and have the make choices for your society.  Will you abuse your people to build great heights or will you stay small and manageable?  If you look for a story, it’s here, but the instructions won’t help you as you get a one sentence introduction to the games story.  You can tell that story isn’t the focus of this game.  The components are nice and do feel a bit old, in a good way, so it’s not a complete loss.  2/5

 

Instructions-The instruction to this game are well done.  It’s a simple game that runs quick, so the instructions are a tri-fold pamphlet.  The hardest part of the rules is understanding how goods work.  If you can get past that and the examples provided, you’re golden.  These rules do a good job of getting you playing all by yourself without having to turn to Board Game Geek and the internet for help. 5/5

 

Execution-Here is where this game shines way above most games.  This game doesn’t just have some dice; it has custom carved wooden dice.  It doesn’t just have markers for your items; it has cool wooden boards with different colored pegs for each item.  I was kind of disappointed the game didn’t come with golf pencils to mark up your score sheet, but nobodies perfect. 4.9/5

 

Summary– This is one of the games I bring with me to cons and game days whenever I travel.  It’s light as it fits into a small box, it’s heavy as its got some great Eurogame elements in a dice game, and it’s quick as it takes less than half an hour to play.  You learn how to play in less than five minutes, and you start making smart choices in 10.  If this game had some pencils and a bit more theme to it, this game would be at the top of my dice game list.  However, given what’s here, this game is a blast and something you shouldn’t pass up. 85%

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