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Subject: Age of War: Sort-of-Detailed Overview rss

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Zephram Raviedes
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This is a dice-and-cards by Reiner Knizia and released by Fantasy Flight Games in 2014. It has seven custom dice and 14 cards. Dice are all the same, cards are all different. The cards are integral to the game and add a lot of depth the likes of which aren't common to dice games.




--THE BOX--
Like the game 'Friday', this game is packaged in a square box, but is pocket-sized and far more portable than its packaging suggests. It can be taken anywhere and it's mechanically simple enough that you can leave the box and rules at home.




--COMPONENTS--
The dice are very well made, with nice distinctive iconography and flawless printing. They're quite fun to roll. Cards, too, are very nice - on par with those of Gamewright games like Iota and Forbidden Desert. They're textured and slightly glossy. I wouldn't really say sleeving them is a necessity unless your game gets heavy play; there is no shuffling in the vanilla rules.

All 7 dice have these faces: 1 infantry (blue), 2 infantry (blue), 3 infantry (blue), archer (magenta), cavalry (black), and daimyo (red). This produces a distribution of roughly 50/50 infantry/noninfantry.

Each card (castle) is part of one of 6 colored sets. There are individual scores for each castle as well. Castles range from fairly easy to capture (Odani, 10 infantry) to quite difficult (Edo, 1 cavalry+1 archer, 1 cavalry+1 archer, and 1 daimyo). Every castle except Kumamoto has a special daimyo battle line which calls for an extra daimyo when that castle is contested.


Mori - RED (2 cards - 5 pts for the set)

GASSANTODA (2 pts)
1 daimyo
8 infantry

TAKAHASHI (2 pts)
2 cavalry
5 infantry
2 infantry



Chosokabe - BLACK (2 cards - 4 pts for the set)

MARUGAME (1 pt)
2 daimyos
1 cavalry

MATSUYAMA (2 pts)
1 daimyo
4 infantry
4 infantry


Tokugawa - WHITE (3 cards - 8 pts for the set)

EDO (3 pts)
1 archer + 1 cavalry
1 archer + 1 cavalry
3 infantry

INUYAMA (1 pt)
1 daimyo
2 archers

KIYOSU (2 pts)
1 daimyo
1 archer
1 cavalry
3 infantry



Uesugi - MAGENTA (2 cards - 8 pts for the set)

KASUGAYAMA (4 pts)
2 archers
2 cavalry

KITANOSHO (3 pts)
1 daimyo
1 archer + 1 cavalry
6 infantry



Oda - YELLOW (4 cards - 10 pts for the set)

AZUCHI (3 pts)
1 archer
2 cavalry
5 infantry

GIFU (1 pt)
1 daimyo
1 archer
1 cavalry

MATSUMOTO (2 pts)
1 archer
1 archer
7 infantry

ODANI (1 pt)
10 infantry



Shimazu - GREEN (1 card - 3 pts for the set)

KUMAMOTO (3 pts)
2 daimyos
1 archer
1 cavalry
4 infantry





--THOUGHTS--
Lots of game in a small number of components. Got some all-different stuff, got some all-the-same stuff, a bit of set/run type scoring going on, and lots of ways to mitigate (or take advantage of) luck. The cards are designed to give you a variety of choices which narrows as the game progresses, and it does this exceptionally well - there is both a desire to roll high numbers of swords and a desire for a big variety of different die symbols.

A major strategic element involves filling of the battle lines, and by too zealously committing infantry, you reduce your die pool for getting the other, rarer symbols. If you can't fill a battle line, a die is set aside for your next roll. Because of the comparative rarity of some combinations needed to capture castles, there's sometimes a major strategic advantage to taking a mulligan and going for the reroll. This is something I've yet to see in other dice games, and combined with the great modularity of the components, one can invent variants for this game very easily.




--MINI-VARIANTS--

Still reading? Well, here is a silly variant that I reckon belongs here rather than its own thread. Sometimes it's fun just to chuck the dice between games of AoW or something else.


SAMURAI SLOTS!

REQUIRED: poker chips, score tokens, etc.
Each player puts 10 chips in the pot. On each player's roll, s/he adds 2 to the pot, then rolls 3 of the Age of War dice.


3 Daimyo 25
3 Cavalry 20
3 Archers 15
3 matched Infantry 15
3 different Infantry 15

2 different Infantry 10
w/Daimyo

2 different Infantry 5
w/Archer

1 Daimyo w/1 Archer 5
and 1 Cavalry

1 Daimyo w/anything free roll
else



Cheers
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