Ed Bryan
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Roll Through The Ages. A new game produced by Gryphon Games. Gryphon Games is an imprint of Eagle games, it encompasses it’s smaller titles. Currently there are five games in the line. Money!, Roll Through the Ages, Gem Dealer, High Society, and For Sale. All of them have been published before except Roll Through the Ages.

Roll Through the Ages comes in a small box about half the size of a standard bookcase box. It is very heavy, upon opening it, you’ll find a thick scorepad, double sided. 4 wooden commodity tracks, a rulebook, a heavy cardstock player aid, 7 wooden dice and pegs for the commodity tracks. The components are wonderful, and are very pretty. My only small complaint is that the dice are a little big, if you have small hands you’ll have trouble rolling all seven at once, nothing a dice cup wouldn’t solve though.

On to the Game! The game is very fast, a game should be over in 10 minutes tops once the players are familiar with the rules. The rules themselves are pretty simple, and the player aid card, and scoring pad are great for reminders. In fact after reading the rules once, you probably will never have to refer to them again, as most of the information is on the player aid.

The Game is played by rolling dice, at the beginning each player gets three dice. Dice can be rerolled ala Yahtzee so you can try and tailor the rolls to suit your strategy. The only exception are the disaster results, which cannot be rerolled. After the dice are rolled, the faces tell you what you can do. You can collect food, workers, goods, or coins. Food is needed to feed your cities (dice) Each City requires one food every turn. If you can’t feed your cities you lose points. Workers allow you to build new cities (which grants you more dice) or monuments which gets you VPs. Goods get you commodities which you can turn in for developments. Commodities value grow depending on how many you have. So one Wood is worth 1 coin 2 wood is worth 3 coins, 3 wood is worth 6 coins. etc.. You can keep 6 commodities from turn to turn allowing you to bank for larger purchases. Coins must be expended on the turn you roll them. After using your workers to buy monuments and cities, you can use your coins and/or goods to buy a single development. Developments are worth VPs, but also they modify the game. For example, Agriculture will gain you an extra food per die used for food production. Leadership will grant you a single die reroll at the end of the dice rolling phase. Disasters are handled abstractly, and are simply negative points. Certain developments will stop disasters, and if you can hit the right disaster you can pass the negative points to the other players through disease. Once you are done with your turn you pass the dice. The game continues till all the monuments are built, or one player has 5 developments.

Roll Through the Ages is a simple, quick game, that is quite a bit of fun. It plays fast, and you can play multiple games in a single sitting. I liked it when I tested it at GenCon, and I’m enjoying the final version. Now the question is, do I pick up the rest of them so I can get all the numbers?

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MS-06 Zaku II
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Thanks for your review.

I have a question: from your comments sounds like it does not have any player interaction. Is this correct?

Thanks
 
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David Neumann
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ah3Dog wrote:


I have a question: from your comments sounds like it does not have any player interaction. Is this correct?



There is interaction in the following ways:

- Certain numbers of skulls trigger disasters that affect your opponents instead of you. You can build developments to protect yourself from these, but at the cost of building other things.
- Monuments can be completed by any number of players, but the first one to finish the monument gets double the points. I've had many games where one player rushes to beat out another player on a monument right before they complete it. Great fun devil

There is also a Trading variant, but I haven't tried it yet.

Dave
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I agree - this is a nice game, which I'm looking forward to playing more.

Edbryan wrote:
The game is very fast, a game should be over in 10 minutes tops once the players are familiar with the rules.

This is the only thing i would disagree with. The game is fast but, even though it's fairly simple, there are some non-trivial decisions to be made and I can't see it being quite that fast, except perhaps with two players and some exceptional rolls. It looks to me like the 30-45 mins estiamte on the box is more accurate for more players and more average rolling.

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Uisge Beatha
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I agree - this is a nice game, which I'm looking forward to playing more.

Edbryan wrote:
The game is very fast, a game should be over in 10 minutes tops once the players are familiar with the rules.

This is the only thing i would disagree with. The game is fast but, even though it's fairly simple, there are some non-trivial decisions to be made and I can't see it being quite that fast, except perhaps with two players and some exceptional rolls. It looks to me like the 30-45 mins estiamte on the box is more accurate for more players and more average rolling.

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Chris
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Neumannium wrote:
ah3Dog wrote:


I have a question: from your comments sounds like it does not have any player interaction. Is this correct?



There is interaction in the following ways:

- Certain numbers of skulls trigger disasters that affect your opponents instead of you. You can build developments to protect yourself from these, but at the cost of building other things.
- Monuments can be completed by any number of players, but the first one to finish the monument gets double the points. I've had many games where one player rushes to beat out another player on a monument right before they complete it. Great fun devil

There is also a Trading variant, but I haven't tried it yet.

Dave


This really doesn't count as "Player Interaction" in my opinion. You are not Directly interacting with the other players. The 3 skull disaster is not something you are trying to do because once you roll 2 skulls you might as well try to roll 3 because it doesn't effect you then. I can't see most people starting their die rolls saying "3 SKULLS BABY!!!!" And since you can not directly affect your opponents you can't stop them from getting the 1st to complete points.

I have also not played the Trading Variant I mean I can see you trading a 5 value "Red" for a 3 value "Yellow if it jumps you to the next level but most people won't trade with you as the fact that you can't really slow down your opponents why assist them. I may try this variant tonight though to see how it plays.

Like RftG this game has no true interaction as you can really play using the solo rules and not see any difference in (controllable) gameplay (I have not played RftG solo so I don't know) But I see this being a nice 2 player game that can be played real fast like Tom said in his video review.
 
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David desJardins
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lordunborn wrote:
This really doesn't count as "Player Interaction" in my opinion. You are not Directly interacting with the other players. The 3 skull disaster is not something you are trying to do because once you roll 2 skulls you might as well try to roll 3 because it doesn't effect you then. I can't see most people starting their die rolls saying "3 SKULLS BABY!!!!"


The word "interaction" doesn't mean what you want it to mean. And your example is also flawed, saying you "might as well try to roll 3" skulls ignores the fact that you have to balance that against the chance of rerolling a die and getting something worse than you had.
 
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Neil Christiansen
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I think the trading "varient" is the way to go and should be the default. It makes for many more interesting decisions and keeps people involved when it is not their turn.


Does it slow the game down? Perhaps not as much as you might think given you can also make better progress by optimizing sets of resources.

My preference would have been "basic" vs. "advanced" rules with players quickly progressing to the latter.
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Eugene
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lordunborn wrote:

This really doesn't count as "Player Interaction" in my opinion. You are not Directly interacting with the other players. The 3 skull disaster is not something you are trying to do because once you roll 2 skulls you might as well try to roll 3 because it doesn't effect you then. I can't see most people starting their die rolls saying "3 SKULLS BABY!!!!"


Quite the contrary. If I'm set for food and have 7 cities, I'm eager to blow on the dice for three skulls. Especially if I got some goods already stored up.

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