THE PREMISE OF AGE OF WAR
Get ready for Swords and Samurai.
Age of War is a push-your-luck dice game set in feudal Japan, with elements of set collecting built in. The player, on their turn, takes control of seven die, each with different faces denoting part of an army. The player’s goal is to take ownership of various Japanese castles, each one worth points at the end, by rolling for certain conditions.
The player may reroll as many dice as they want, but only once, if they do not get what they want the first time around. Either that or, in keeping with the theme, by rerolling die you are summoning reinforcements.
When you have rolled your die, you decide which castle to try and take over, allocating die and having the option to reroll if needs be. When you fulfil the criteria they enter your hand. Castles can be stolen off other players at a slightly higher cost, making it a dice game with a surprising amount of strategy.
The game is over when all cards/castles have been taken.
The icons, seen in the image above, denote what is needed to take each castle. For instance Edo (white three) requires two bowmen, two cavalry, and three swordsmen. If you wanted to take it off another player you would also need one samurai, as denoted by the red resource in the top left corner of the card.
QUALITY AND COMPONENTS OF AGE OF WAR
The Age of War components are exceedingly high quality. The box has a woven feel, even though it is just cardboard. The cards are fairly high quality and the dice are simple but effective. The engravings on the die are well done, with clear symbols that make playing the game really fun.
Age of War has been around for a while, however now it has been purchased by Fantasy Flight who, it has to be said, make some amazing games. From the hands of those who make games like Imperial Assault, X-Wing, and Arkham Horror it is no real surprise that the game is well made.
GAMEPLAY OF AGE OF WAR
I only have one criticism of Age of War, and that is it can drag towards the end of the game. That and when my girlfriend loses she insists on keeping playing until she wins…
But seriously, Age of War is a great game. It ticks a lot of boxes, however as more castles get taken up it can become more difficult to get what you need. This can quickly become frustrating as you keep rolling the die to no avail. You keep rolling a Bowman, for instance, when all you need is a freaking horse.
It is often a problem with dice games that luck plays too big a role. This can sometimes be the case of Age of War; however, there is more strategy when you try and take opponents’ castles. Where this is not recommended when playing against your girlfriend, it can be useful when playing against other people.
VERDICT FOR AGE OF WAR
We have actually owned two copies of Age of War. We lost the first copy somewhere in moving house, however we have since purchased it again. It is simple. Sometimes it is too simple; however we keep returning again and again.
There is something charming about Age of War that makes it a fun little game to pick up over and over again. It is simple, but effective, and good at what it does.