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Subject: A Game for Lunch: Age of War rss

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Patrick Brophy
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This post originally appeared on TheCraftyPlayers.com as part of an article on games to play at lunchtime.

You are a feudal lord during the Warring States period of Japanese history. You are ambitious and you know you must conquer certain castles to become ruler of the land. You send messengers to your loyal lords, and tell them to bring what troops they can. When the first troops start trickling in, you’ll make your move.

Age of War is a dice rolling game about collecting sets of castles. Each castle card has a set of requirements necessary to roll to capture that castle. Each requirement is made up for a mixture of cavalry, archer, infantry, and general (or daimyo) symbols, which correspond to the different faces on the dice you roll. Roll the dice, and match one set of requirments from the dice you roll (for example, archer and cavalry). Roll the remaining dice, and try to match another requirement. Miss a requirement, and lose a dice anyway! Meet each of the requirements, and the castle is yours. There are a number of castles to capture, either from the middle of the table, or from your opponents already captured castles.

This game is quick, usually finishing in less than 20 minutes, and everyone can get involved easily. Everyone knows how to roll a dice and match a symbol. The randomness of the dice ensures plenty of last grasp defeats and victories, ensuring everybody has a good time. At the same time, the closer you get to claiming a castle, the less dice you have, meaning your chances of getting that castle are reduced. Designed by Reiner Knizia, published by Fantasy Flight Games, this small, affordable box is a fun, push your luck game with gorgeous cards and great custom dice.
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Donagh Molloy
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The problem comes when one player will win when the final card is taken up no matter which player takes the card. So the other players are not going to assign dice to the remaining card to finish the game but need to actively steal from other players. This can lead to the leader player continually missing rolls for the final card and the game going on to long. For this reason I'll only play this two players.

However I’m a sucker for a Japanese theme even if it is pasted on and rolling dice so for 10 euro it ain’t bad
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Played this last night and had the same "kingmaker" scenario with one player in the lead and everyone else trying to steal. Way too long for what it was.

I prefer Dragon Slayer in this genre which at least has a press your luck mechanic as well as the ability to force a player to keep rolling.
 
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Patrick Brophy
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I agree with you about both kingmaking, and the game tending to drag out a bit long. In work, we only ever tend to play with 3 to 4, and on a strict time limit, which stops it running too long.

But the on thing it does have going for it is it's simplicity, and how easy it is to introduce new players to. Most people in my work place don't play games, and this was a great introduction for them as it really engaged them and caused plenty of laughter.
 
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