Today's review is Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age--a dice-rolling civ game from designer Matt Leacock and publisher Eagle-Gryphon Games that plays in only 20-30 minutes. Thirty minutes?! How can that be, you ask? Well let's find out!
- 4 pegboards and pegs
- 7 custom wooden dice
- 1 pad of scoring sheets
In case you couldn't tell from the Components List, or the title, Roll Through the Ages is a dice game. It uses the now-familiar mechanic of rolling dice, saving and and all you want, and rolling the remaining. Then you have one more chance to roll any or all (including dice saved from a previous roll), and you stick with that last result. The only difference is that if you roll the one side of a die with a Skull and two Goods, you have to set that aside and it's not rolled anymore.
At the start of the turn you're able to roll one die for each City you have--and everyone starts with three Cities. The downside is that you have to feed your Cities.
So you roll your dice and then when you're done, you have to feed each City with 1 Food. If you can't, you have to mark a Disaster on your score sheet. If you have more than 1 Skull, then you resolve those based on a table on your score sheet.
Then you spend workers from your dice on building new Cities or Monuments, which as generally just worth points, but can also give you special abilities. (And you get more VPs if you're the first one to build the Monument.)
Then you can spend money earned from the Coin side of dice on a Development, which gets you VPs and special ability, such as the ability to reroll one die, extra stone when you produce stone, or the ability to collect more Food when you have that on your remaining dice.
Finally, you have to discard Goods in excess of 6.
The game ends at the end of the round where someone builds 5 Developments, or when each Monument has been built by at least one player.
Roll Through the Ages is great!
I'm not generally a fan of civilization games (they're too long), but this one plays in 20 minutes, or so.
The gameplay is simple enough for family or even nongamers, but it's deep enough that gamers love it, too. This is a game that often comes out as a quick and meaty filler on game night. And my 8-year-old loves this game. He says it's "very, very, very fun. You can tell them that." So I did.
There's an expansion on the Geek that changes the score sheet, and adds in trading between players. It adds complexity, so I'd only recommend using that with gamers. But it's a GREAT expansion. It also deals with what some consider a flaw in the game: It's mostly solitaire.
Firestone's Final Verdict--Roll Through the Ages is a civ game that's easy to explain, fast-playing, and fun. It works well with nongamers, gamers, and family.
Theology of Games would like to thank Eagle/Gryphon Games for providing a review copy of Roll Through the Ages. This in no way affected my opinion of the game.
Thanks for reading!