Grow your fledgling civilization from scratch and outmaneuver opposing civilizations in Roll Through the Ages: the Bronze Age! Outsmart your opponents as you build cities and research developments. Complete great monuments before they do. Avoid Dice Chest while sending pestilence and revolts to your opponents. End up being the most powerful empire in the Bronze Age by winning the technology and construction race in this exciting dice game!
Roll Through the Ages is an empire-building dice game thematically based on the Through the Ages game which in turn is based on the hit computer game Sid Meier’s Civilization (which is based on the initial Civilization board game!) This dice game – with each game lasting about half an hour – is known as a quick and easy alternative to the Through the Ages board game which has somewhat more complex mechanics and can take up to 4-5 hours.
Roll Through the Ages has a set of 7 dice unique to the game, 4 pegboards, colored pegs and a collection of score sheets, which is all you need to play the game. The game mechanics are also pretty an easy task to grab: a turn starts with a new player rolling dice to see what resources they get. Goods and food are collected and workers are fed. The workers build cities and monuments, and you get to buy a development. That’s the basis of the overall game, and players repeat these actions before game ends, which happens when all of the monuments have been built or any single player has 5 developments. The ball player with victory points wins the overall game.
The first action in the turn is rolling the dice to see what resources you get. The number of dice you roll depends upon just how many cities you have, and the dice produce either food, goods, workers, coins or skulls. Workers are used to build new cities and monuments, while food is required to feed the workers. Goods and coins are accustomed to buy developments. Skulls are bad, representing disasters that occur to either you or your opponents.
You can roll each die up to 3 times (except skulls which can not be re-rolled). This allows you to influence the dice to create resources closer to what you need that turn. More workers would be handy if you were trying to expand or build a monument, when you would want more food if your food stores are running low and your people are going to starve. Once all of the dice are rolled, any food and goods collected are marked on a pegboard which records the stuff you have in storage. Depending on how many goods you roll and just how much stock you have, various kinds of goods with differing coin values are added to your stock.
The next action is to feed your cities. Having more cities means you get to roll more dice, but it addittionally means you must produce more food to help keep them from starving. Unless you produce enough food and you have insufficient food in storage, your workers will starve and you will be penalized with negative victory points. Disasters (predicated on skulls on the dice) are resolved now aswell. Depending on how many skulls arrive, either you or your opponents will incur negative points and even lose all of the goods in storage.
The next thing involves assigning the workers you rolled this turn to building cities and/or monuments. Each available city or monument has tick boxes in them on the score sheet, indicating how many workers are needed to perform them. Once all tick boxes in a city or monument are filled, they are completed. Completed cities offer you an additional die to roll but cost an extra food each turn. Monuments haven’t any effect other than providing you with victory points. There’s urgency in building them though, as the first player to perform a monument will earn double the points of those who are slower. In addition, among the endgame conditions is when all of the monuments have been built.
Lastly, you can buy developments utilizing the goods in your storage sufficient reason for coins rolled this turn. These developments provide victory points but also convey beneficial effects. For instance, the Agriculture development gives a supplementary food for each food die you roll, while the Religion development causes the Revolt disaster to affect your opponents rather than yourself. The better developments will cost more, but also provide more victory points when the game ends. Another of the end game conditions is when any player has 5 developments.
The strategies available are nearly limitless. Do you want to focus on growing your cities first and thereby get to roll more dice? Or do you want to sacrifice growth in order to rush-build monuments for double points before others have to be able to complete them? Or can you prefer to continue the offensive and make an effort to create disasters which will cripple your opponents? Or do you want to invest the early game in getting goods and coins for powerful developments? With the developments, you might also need a choice in concentrating on commerce-related developments, or ones focusing on food or disasters. Obviously, there are so many methods to play this game.
The only real drawback is that the overall game is really quick (around half an hour) and doesn’t feel as epic being an empire-building game should. The developers have taken this on board, and have released a free mini-expansion called The Late Bronze Age which contains adjustments to the game mechanics and objectives. This expansion can be downloaded from their website, possesses new mechanics such as for example shipping and trading goods with other players. This adds more complexity and player interaction to the overall game. The endgame conditions may also be adjusted, with games now lasting a far more fulfilling one hour.
Roll Through the Ages is a simple and elegant game that captures the feel of an empire-building game, but with only a fraction of the time investment. And since its name contains the words ‘The Bronze Age’, it is fair to assume that more expansions will be coming along to bring you through the Medieval, Industrial and Modern ages for more empire-building fun. Roll Through the Ages is ideal for you if you like empire-building games like Through the Ages or Endeavor, but prefer something that is quick and simple.