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Fred Distribution Roll Through the Ages the Bronze Age
|Price:||£22.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Delivery Details|
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- Build a thriving civilisation all on the roll of a dice
- Can be expanded upon by adding the 'Roll Through the Ages: The Late Bronze Age' expansion
- 1-4 Players
- 30-45 Minutes playing time
- Ages 8+
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|Age Range Description||—||10 years +||8 years +||12 years to 18 years||8 years +||10 years +|
|Are Batteries Needed To Power the Product or Is This Product a Battery?||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|EU Toys Safety Directive Age Warning||Not suitable for children under 36 months||Not suitable for children under 36 months||Not suitable for children under 36 months||Not suitable for children under 36 months||Not suitable for children under 36 months||Not suitable for children under 36 months|
|Item Dimensions||25.4 x 25.4 x 7.62 cm||8.6 x 12 x 1.7 cm||11.43 x 11.94 x 5.08 cm||22.9 x 7 x 31.8 cm||22.86 x 31.75 x 8.89 cm||28.7 x 28.45 x 8.13 cm|
|Number of Players||1 to 4||2-4||2||1||2 to 6||2 to 7|
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Build a thriving civilisation - in under an hour! Collect goods, assign workers to build cities and erect monuments, advance your civilization through cultural and scientific developments, but don't forget to harvest enough food to feed your growing population. Grab those dice and Roll Through The Ages! In this fast-paced, addictive and strategic game.
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It's a civ-builder game, where each turn you grow your civilisation by adding Monuments or Developments or else by building up your store of Food or Goods for later. In a way, it's like Sid Meier's classic computer game Civilization, but shrunk to half an hour and played with 5 dice. Another way to look at it is that it's like the excellent card game 7 Wonders, but without the cluttered array of cards and fiddly counters and playing in about half the time. Instead, there are score sheets to keep track of Monuments, Cities and Developments and you get a ton of these with the set - although we laminate ours and use wipe-off pens in our games.
You roll the 5 dice up to 3 times on your turn. With each roll you get to keep some but re-roll others. You're left with what you've got after 3 rolls. There are 6 faces on each die:
3 Food - adds to your Food store, moving the peg along
3 Workers - can be sent to work on Monuments, including new Cities (= more dice)
2 Food/2 Workers - you choose which
Coin - 7 coins to buy developments with
Urn - one Goods (move a peg along one space)
Disaster - you can't re-roll this one; the exact effect depends on how many you have after 3 rolls, but each also adds 2 Goods as well
Each turn you have to spend Food equal to your number of Cities (= Dice) and any shortfall is turned into Disasters that are noted on your score sheet and deducted from your score at the end of the game. This means that you will set aside some dice to bring in Food - although you might bank a lot of Food in advance to give yourself turns where Food doesn't matter. Once you've got the "Agriculture" Development, each Food die adds +1 Food, making it easier to feed large populations and making it sensible to add more dice (Cities) to your civilisation.
Workers build things. Your score sheet depicts the various Monuments you can build with little squares to tick off, one for each Worker you assign. The measly Step Pyramid can be built with 3 Workers but the Obelisk takes 9. You can build extra Cities giving you extra Dice on future turns, but these cost more and more Workers each time. The Development "Masonry" adds +1 worker to each Worker die, making the bigger projects achievable.
There are 7 Monuments and when all have been built, the game ends. You can build a Monument someone else has already completed, but you earn fewer points for it. You might want to do do this, though, because the Development "Architecture" gives you +1 victory point for each Monument you have finished at the end of the game.
Coins buy Developments. The cheapest cost 10 points and the most expensive cost 50 or 60. "Coinage" is a Development that means that Coin-symbols on your dice start being worth 12 coins rather than 7. This makes the expensive Developments more affordable. Watch out: the game also ends when someone has 5 Developments.
(So that's 2 ways the game can end: all the Monuments built between the players or 5 Developments purchased by one player. Sometimes you're trying to end the game as quickly as possible, because you;re ahead on points, but at other times you're trying to avoid ending it while you scrabble together more points).
Goods are recorded by moving pegs on your wooden board. The first Good you gain each turn is Wood, then Stone, Pottery, Cloth and Arrow Heads. Goods have coinage values and you can cash in a line of Goods for Coins at any point. The higher Goods (Cloth, Arrow Heads) increase in value much more sharply, but it's harder to advance them because you always start at the bottom of the board, with Wood, then move up.
There are a number of quirky rules here. You can't keep more than 6 Goods between turns. This makes it tempting to cash out and buy cheap Developments but remember: 5 Developments ends the game so you might be better just abandoning the excess Goods. The Development "Caravans" lets you ignore the maximum-6-Goods rule and start building up a big treasury.
There are lots of Developments and in any given game you'll only get to see a few of them in action, but they change the rules of play in interesting ways.
You can see this with the Disaster dice. 1 Disaster symbol is harmless; in fact, it's good because it nets you 2 Goods. Two Disaster dice is bad; it's a Famine and it costs you 2 disaster points (which come off your score at the end), but if you've bought the Development "Irrigation", you're immune to famine and just get to enjoy the 4 Goods that two of these dice give you. With just two Disasters it's tempting to re-roll the other dice and get 3, because that's Pestilence which doesn't harm you (and gives you 6 Goods) but hits all the other players for 3 disaster points - unless they have the Development "Medicine" which makes them immune. Getting left with 4 or 5 Disasters gets progressively worse (although netting you 8 or 10 Goods) and this is the risk with building up your civilisation and adding more Cities (dice).
I hope you can see that this is a simple game that gets complicated quickly. But it's never so complicated that all your options can't be summarized, clearly, on the score sheet in front of you.
There are more Developments than I've mentioned and optional rules for trading Goods. In fact, there's a set of "Late Bronze Age" official expansion rules you can download for free that make the game even more thoughtful and intriguing.
There's really nothing to dislike about this game. The components are of superb quality; the rules are simple yet sophisticated; you can play a game in 30-40 minutes; and other patrons will take an interest in and understand what you're doing. This is how you convert people to gaming in your local pub!
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