This game feels something like advanced Risk(in a way). Players are the lords of creation : purpose of these lords is make their own kind of people prevail on the earth(which is a flat surface floating in space). The game is composed of two parts. In the first part, you lay out the board terrain. In the second part, you populate the earth with barbarians, and manipulate your people using people cards, make them get civilized and build temples. People cards have terrain types painted on them with a number ranging from 1 to 5. Every player gets 7 cards.
Now players take turn laying out the various "rectabgular" terrain tiles in to the "hexagonal" board spaces. There are some impassable terrains, so this layout can cause some crisis later in the game. I'll come back to this later.
After filling all the spaces with the terrain tiles, second part of the game begins. Every players put down a people card face down, and then turn it over at the same time. What a people card means is that the player wants to put "X(number on the card)" barbarians into any hex of particular terrain type painted on the card.
The turn order is decided dynamically in every turn. The player who played higher numbered card goes first. When two or more players put down same numbered card, some terrain cards go first then the others. If the terrain is same too, roll dice.
After putting down your barbarians, you have several options.
1) Attack other area : battle in Lords of Creation has some unique feature. Attacker rolls two dice, while defender rolls one die. When attacking into the same terrain as the attacker stands in, attacker must roll 6+ to hit. When attacking into a different terrain, attacker must roll 8+ to hit. When hit, defender must eliminate one of his units. On the other hand, if the defender's single roll is higher than the both of attacker's dice, attacker must eliminate one of his barbarians too!
And besides that, if a double is rolled attacker must stop his turn instantly(this caused many laughters in my games). In the other words, as long as one does not roll a double, one can continue attacking different areas.
2) Move : you can only move into the same terrain type, and you must leave one of your units behind(similar to Risk). You can make as many moves as you like.
3) Civilize barbarians : you can flip your barbarian tokens in one area to make them into civilized people. The thing is, once a player make one of his area civilized, other players can only civilize areas adjacent to the original source of the civilization. This is a nice touch, because civilized people cannot(do not?) attack other areas, while scoring more points at the end of the game(2 points, while barbarians score only 1). What's even more interesting is you can civilize other people's units too, making then unable to attack you!
4) Build temple : once in your turn, you can replace one of your civilized token into temple(3 points at the end of the game).
After everyone finishes his turn, new cards are given out and new turn begins. Game ends when the cards are all gone and cannot be given out to every players. Areas with barbarians score 1 point, civilized people 2 points, and temple 3 points.
While the use of dice(and the double role rule) renders this game farily light feel, there are some nice features. Considering that this game was published in 1993, some of the ideas are really fresh while not streamlined to perfection. Like the use of people card for both as a mean to determine turn order and a mean to determine how many people you bring in. This reminds me of El Grande power cards, although El Grande give you another tough choise because the more men you bring in the later you go. Use of terrain gives you another ahrd decision about when to civilize and when to
attack - there's a subtle timing issue there.
But the game feels a little long for what it is, and turns are quite repetitive. It's not that "tight" for my taste. Still, it's a funny game and succeeds to retain a good balance between laughter and a little strategy I think.