Giles Pritchard
Australia
Shepparton
Victoria
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Game name: Duel of Ages: Vast Horizons – Set 3

Author/s: Brett Murrell

Players: 2-8 (the box says 16, but I personally think that any more than 8 doesn’t work too well – though it can be done!)

Playing time: you set the time limit before the game – it depends on how many platters (board pieces) and characters you are playing with, though 2+ hours is ideal.

Key elements:

Basic maths, problem solving, team work (when playing with more than 2 players), negotiation, logical skills, deduction, bluffing, double-guessing.

Key Ratings:
= Low
= High

Depth
Strategy
Luck
Player Interaction

This is a very cool blend of so many interesting elements, a mix of many game genres, some dungeon crawling feel, some war gaming feel, some board gaming feel and the taste of a competitive sport!

The above ratings are my ratings for the base game of Duel of Ages, Set three is an expansion to this base game, not a game in it’s own right.


Short Description:

Vast Horizons is the third expansion set for the Duel of Ages game. This expansion really is, paradoxically, the easiest to review in many ways; yet it is also, in many ways, the expansion that is hardest because it contains the most.

Vast Horizons contains a vast 21 platters – enough in fact to make a line of terrain nearly 4 and a half metres long (around 13 feet) – more with the base set, and more still with the base set and set 2. It also contains 18 dome keys of different types.

As anyone who plays Duel of Ages will know – the terrain, the layout of the board, and playing that layout to full effect is one of the keys to success in the game. This set therefore contains quite a lot that changes the game significantly – although there are very few extra rules.

Vast Horizons introduces not only new terrain platters, but also new types of terrain – the terrain in the game now reflects the ages the setting of the game spans – there is Ancient terrain (the stuff that comes in sets 1 and 2 – there is none of this in Set 3), Colonial terrain, Modern terrain (where, amusingly enough, car-parks are considered rough terrain), and Futuristic terrain. These terrains introduce different challenges and mean that you would need to play the game a massive amount of times to end up with the same board layout as you’ve had before (which adds to the fun and challenge).

Vast Horizons also lets you modify the number of platters and keys on which you play – and this is a great aspect because you can modify the board to suit your time/player requirements.

Terrain in Duel of Ages subtly, yet irrevocably changes the way players tackle each game, short term tactics, which will influence longer term strategies can be heavily influenced by the unique number of interactions various of the game elements creates. This set really brings that to the fore, and makes other characters from later sets far more useful than they may have been otherwise. The ways in which the terrain can be ‘played’ by the various attributes, skills and strengths of the various characters you have at your disposal will vary significantly between games – and this can add a depth that is pleasurable to experience, as well as a challenge that is fun to tackle.

Duel of ages is a favourite game of mine, Vast Horizons has added plenty to the game by ensuring that no two boards I play on will ever be the same again. I wouldn’t recommend Vast Horizons as one of the first expansion sets to get, but I certainly feel that it has been worth it for me.

By: Giles Pritchard
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