Sean Shaw
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I am a HUGE War of the Rings game fan. Much of that probably stems from me really enjoying the Lord of the Rings books. I probably fall into the camp of a book Loyalist, to the point that I think Peter Jackson's changes in his movie trilogy earn him the right to be burned at the stake (and even still, in a more convoluted turn, I own all three of the movies, plus in addition ALSO owning the extended versions). Hence, I fall into the books are much better then the movies...any day of the week. However, I feel the boardgame captures the feel of the books and the movies, which ever one likes, and is a GREAT game for capturing the feel of the War portion of the Lord of the Rings (If not the story).

Why do I bring this up, because I feel similar things towards Conan. I love Robert Howard's Conan stories. I'm not as big a fan of his as I am of Tolkien's, however, I think his stories are the best of the lot. I think that Sprague de Camp did a great thing in bringing them back for publication, but then committed the ultimate abomination in trying to add in some of his own ideas into the canon. The movies, great in their own right, are even greater deviations of abomination towards Conan, and in no way truly portray Conan in the light of which Howard presented him. For starters, Conan was not always centered on ONE woman (as he is in the movies, especially the Destroyer) until he was a much older man and already had his Kingdom. Second, unlike what many portray him, Conan was NOT an idiot. He did NOT wander in a loincloth and barechested unless something had occurred in which armor was not available. He normally went into battle in full battlegear if it was available. Of course, if it was not, then he'd be going off in whatever he had to wear.

The Comics probably were the worst in some of the presentations and making up of Conan derivatives from Howard's Conan. They made it seem as if Conan's garment of choice was naked. In essence they captured the Feel of Conan, but perhaps not the spirit of Conan. I am glad that they are around simply because they promoted Conan, and have enabled Conan to be around for future generations who hopefully will garner enough interest to actually READ the REAL Conan found in Howard's Conan.

My guilty admission however, would be that I probably like Howard's earlier works culminating in "The Hour of the Dragon" then some of his later works. In that, of course the curiousity of what occurred afterwards always spiked my interest. Howard had only voiced a speculation of what would occur next, with Conan getting older and going into perhaps the expansion of Aquilona. It was under other authors where they speculated the idea of Conan having a son and an adventure in that arena. But that story is not a TRUE Conan story, but speculation...of which is a guilty pleasure on my part.

So, if one can't tell, I fall into the hardcore Howard Camp, where it's only the original Conan stories which are Canon, and the rest is fan fiction...though perhaps some of it is rather nice fan fiction.

Why do I bring this up, for a better understanding of my slant on the Conan Franchise, as well as a relation of how it figures into my normal valuation of the original books/stories vs. media that offshoots from it later on.

That said, how about a review of Age of Conan?

Well, before I start, I think I should give some background on The War of the Ring the Boardgame. I am a HUGE fan of War of the Ring. I love everything from the components, to the gameplay (and most obviously the theme). When I heard that the creators of War of the Ring were making a game with some of the dynamics of War of the Ring (action dice, fantasy setting) I was extremely excited. Age of Conan shot up to my #1 anticipated item (not just game, ITEM as in everything, it was the biggest thing I was excited and anticipating). I ordered it as soon as I found out it was available (good thing too, because as of the writing of this review, FFG seems to be out of stock...of course I expect they'll have it back in stock soon enough as well...hopefully).

One would say, that with such high expectations, there was only one way for everything to go, and that was down. I wouldn't say that, and I'd even say it would have been possible for Age of Conan to fulfill every expectation, but it didn't.

So, with that, I'll get into the meat of the review, the actual game. In this I'll also do comparisons to War of the Ring, of which a review I have also written, specifically so I could gather my thoughts on it to review AoC in a more objective manner. From here on out War of the Ring will be called (WotR) in this review, and Age of Conan (AoC).

The review of War of the Ring is found

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3232924

Overall, a summary of the items are as follows...

Components = 10
Rules Presentation = 7
Gameplay = 7
Personal Tilt = 8
Replayability = 9
Useability = 5

Final score = 7.5

From an objective veiwpoint, this is a surprise, since it actually rates higher than WotR. From a personal view, this isn't surprising, I try to be objective, and hence occasionally games I hate will rate really well, and games I love may not be as highly rated as my OWN opinion would put them.

Components - One of the great things about WotR is the Components. They just speak high quality. Nothing was spared, everything was published in a HIGH standard. In this, AoC is a disappointment.

One of the most obvious things is the plastic the armies and models are made of. In WotR it had a superior plastic which had what seemed to be a higher rubber content. This made the plastic more durable overall, and gave it a tactile feel with the pieces being easily able to be handled.

AoC uses harder plastic which is more in the line with what Axis & Allies, Risk, or other Hasbro/Parker Bros games utilize. This makes it seem cheaper overall in some ways. A lesser degree of plastic quality which gives you a lot of figures, but for a 79.99 game I'd hope that they would have had slightly better than that. It IS BETTER than many other games give you for comparison, so in that light this game doesn't lose much for that in the way of ratings, it's just disappointment on my part.

They do have SOLID blocks of plastic for the forts in the game. I do have a complaint about these, and that is they are so big. Bigger is NOT always better. In this instance, when you use these forts, especially on the smaller areas, it tends to block out some information like the name, or terrain. This can actually interfere somewhat with the gameplay.

In addition, that's not the only thing that feels slightly cheaper. The dice feel as if they are hollow. I'm thinking they are not (and I'm not about to break them open to see), but they are very light in weight and feel less solid. If one also has the Nexus game, Marvel Heroes, they basically feel the same as those dice (but with different designs on them obviously).

The cards feel about the same as WotR, and the Board is well done and nice to look at. The tiles/chits are also thick and extremely nice for chits, just like WotR.

Overall, I think WotR has a quality that is closer to what I prefer, but AoC DOES have durable and nice components.

It rates a 9.5 similarly to WotR...HOWEVER, just like WotR I'm rounding it up to a 10.

It rates a 10.

Rules Presentation - The Rules are easier to understand then the rules in WotR. This does NOT mean that these are easy rules to master. In fact, just like WotR, when you first get the game, you probably want to go through them very carefully. If you read them carefully enough, you can probably have no problems playing the game. Like WotR, there is no real indexing system like many wargames I have. They Do reference other sections, but without the indexing system it can't specify paragraphs.

This isn't unusual or a problem for most. Overall the rules are more straightforward, and on target with their presentation. There are still a lot of rules to read through and remember, but not quite as many as WotR from what I feel of them, and overall, nicer, and easier to understand.

It rates a 7.

Gameplay - Here's where the games diverge quite a bit. In fact, AoC isn't really anything like WotR except that it uses an action dice type mechanic, and it's fantasy. Other than that, they are two completely different games.

For starters, the winning conditions in AoC are dependant upon Empire Points (read...Victory Points). This should please some Eurogamers quite a bit...until they find out that much of the way to get these Empire Points is through Random fought out Battles and War! However, it's the goal in getting Empire points, and whoever has the highest amount after the final tally, that determines who wins.

There are several ways to get Empire points as the game plays. The first, foremost, and perhaps the most important is military conquest.

The Second probably has to do with objectives that are publically available. Most of these objectives can only be accomplished by converting other nations to your side, half of which is a military option, though you can also do it diplomatically.

In fact, objectives are really the only way Intrigue (diplomacy) really get's you empire points, and that's only indirectly by fulfilling Objectives.

The third way is to fulfill endgame qualities such as having the most of a certain type of adventure token, or having the most gold.

As stated previously, the one with the most Empire points at the end, wins the game.

The game starts out with bidding for control of the Conan player. The Conan player gets some bonuses during play. This includes being able to move Conan and get adventure tokens every turn without having to use an action die, being able to use Conan in battle for battle bonuses, and if one uses an action die, being able to use Conan to create raiders to hurt your opponents territories.

Each player also gets a stack of cards similar to how the Sauron Player and Fellowship Player got their own personal stacks of cards in WotR.

Everyone starts in a specific Kingdom which they have chosen, and then the Conan player rolls the dice and the game is off.

The Dice have several flavors which give players choices on what to do.

These are...

Conan/Court - which enables a player to move Conan on Conan's quest. This either can get them an Adventure Token, or maneuver Conan in some way that they feel. They also get to draw a Kingdom Card from their Deck, or get Strategy Cards. Or, instead of drawing cards they can play a specific type of Kingdom card called an event card.

Strategy cards are general cards everyone uses in the game. You use these, along with Bidding tokens (the tokens have numbers 0, 3, 4, 5, 6) to bid for control of Conan at the beginning of each adventure Conan goes on. They also can be played during a Military or Intrigue action to grant bonuses. They have depicted on them a symbol that matches an identical symbol on the conflict dice. When you play a card, then this symbol also counts as a success for you in those actions. These cards also restrict you from playing them for any conflict, making it so that you can only use the cards militarily for certain terrain which is on the card, or in certain territories for Intrigue.

Kingdom Cards are the specialized deck that you have during the game. These have special items that you can play throughout the game. There are three different types of cards. You have instants which you can play instantly either on your turn or in a situation. You have event cards which can only be played if you take a court action. You also have Play on the Table cards in which you pay a certain amount of gold at the beginning of your turn and you can play them. These then stay on the table and can be reused by paying their cost in Gold. Each card gives you some sort of special action that you can execute. This is similar to some of the actions that you could take with the cards in WotR.

In effect the Kindom Cards and Strategy cards replace the special card decks in WotR, and have similar functions in that they can grant you special bonuses in and out of battle, but also are different in that they act in slightly different ways.

Military - This is how you fight. This gives you the option of moving up to two times, Moving once and fighting, or getting two troops. In some ways it's very similar to a combination of one of the Muster Actions in WotR, and Army actions.

Besides buying troops, which you can do between ages (there are three ages in the game, and between each one you have a buying stage) this is the only real way to gain troops. You can gain two troops, EACH MUST BE PLACED IN A SEPARATE FRIENDLY TERRITORY. Hence if you ONLY own one territory, you can only place one soldier.

Moving is relatively self explanatory, and a move is one adjacent territory. You attack when you move into any territory that is not your own.

The first thing you have to deal with is whether there are enemy troops in the territory or not. If there ARE enemy troops, then you fight them before anything else.

Each territory has a number in it. This represents several things, one of these being it's strength. The opponent will roll either one die for each unit they have in the territory, OR that number found in the territory...which ever is HIGHER.

You also roll one die for each unit you bring in, however you can only have a maximum of five units in the territory.

Successes are determined by different symbols on the die front. At it's very basic, an attacker has two symbols which can score a success whilst the defender only has one symbol that can score a success. It's good to be the attacker in this game.

Cards can modify the chances for success. In addition, if you have Conan and ARE the Conan player, you will have an additional symbol on the dice that will count as a success for you, AND you will be able to add another die to your total (up to six dice) in the battle.

The loser loses a man. After the battle is finished, whoever wins gets a Bring out your Dead Crom token (a token with a skull on it).

Then if you were the defender, you keep whatever position you had in the province. If you are the attacker, you then must worry about the province itself. Even though you won against your enemy, you have NOT won the province.

You do this in the same fashion as you fought the enemy, with the province using it's number as the number of die it rolls. In each province there is also a thing called the campaign track, a series of circles which shows how many of these military battles you must take in order to win the province, and what type of terrain you are fighting on.

If you win a province, you change it to a friendly province and can put a Fort on it. You also immediately score the number in the province as the number of Empire points that you gain.

Intrigue - Intrigue involves the use of diplomats or however you want to call them...ambassadors, etc. You can either move two of these, move one and do an Intrigue action, or move one and remove one from an enemy territory which garners you gold. When you get gold, it is in the amount of the number which is in the province.

For Intrigue actions, you are trying to win over the province to your side diplomatically. This is shown by how much pressure you are exerting, not only with your ambassador in their province, but those territories around it which are friendly to you or also have your ambassadors. This determines the number of dice you roll. The territory in it's stead rolls the number of dice equal to the number printed on it (or if it is controlled by an enemy, the number of dice of that number PLUS one). If you have more success, it turns friendly to you and you put your tower there (or you remove an enemy tower).

This gets you NO Empire points. It will get you gold when you are between ages.

Finally you have Intrigue/Military actions which give you a choice between doing an Intrigue or Military action, similar to how you would have had a Muster or Army action choice for one of the action dice in WotR, and you have a Wild side, sort of like the Wilds in WotR (Will of the West side). There is NO real similarities for the Hunt actions in WotR.

As you can guess, as you proceed with these actions and players get tokens, these advance Conan along in an adventure. Each adventure has tokens placed out, and players can collect or discard them depending on whether they move Conan towards or away from his goal. When these tokens are all gone, the adventure is over and a new one begins. There are four adventures per Age, and a total of three ages.

When an Age finishes, players see if they've fulfilled any of the four objective cards on the board. If so the cards are removed and players get Empire points.

They also get gold per every tower (these are gotten via Intrigue).

They can get a troop per city or Fort they possess, or instead can convert a Fort to a city. This is done simply by putting a tower on top of a Fort.

Forts can become cities...TOWERS CANNOT.

They can then buy troops, diplomats, and cards for gold.

Finally, they can bid for artifacts. Artifacts are cards which have special abilities printed on them. Players use one type of adventure token (there are three of them) of their choice to vie for an artifact. They keep the tokens they use, but these tokens are then revealed to everyone else (if everyone else hasn't been keeping track of what other players had taken anyways). One other card gives players a Conan bonus which is also another special ability. This normally goes to whoever has the LOWEST amount of Empire points in between ages.

The final item is a player can attempt to crown Conan as King of their Kingdom in the third age. They do this by putting Conan in their kindom, revealing the total amount of adventure tokens (adventure tokens have a number on them, by adding up these numbers you get the total) total and having that total be higher then what anyone else has of that type. If they suceed it grants them 3 Empire points, as well as making it so that they can be the ONLY ones to get bonuses from adventure tokens at the end of the game (this will be worth at least 8 Empire points, 3 for crowning conan, and 5 for at least one majority of adventure tokens). If they fail, Conan kills their King, and leaves. Hence eliminating that player from the game.

At the end of the game, either by Conan being attempted to be crowned, or the end of the fourth adventure in the third age, players total their Empire points.

They also get bonuses for having the most adventure tokens of one type (+5), having the most Crom Tokens, or having the most gold.

The one with the most Empire points at the end of all this is the winner.

Overall, not that many similarities between WotR and AoC. The similarites really begin and end with the Action Dice dynamic, though some similiarites with how you gain troops or military movement could also be seen.

I find the game a little simpler than WotR in my opinion.

Overall, the theme is not all that strong in the game, and if one doesn't know anything about Conan, they might not realize any influence. However, for those who are fans, the cards can give that feel of the game, especially the adventure cards. The adventure cards have various adventures Conan has been on from the stories, with a plentitude being from Howard. With those, as well as the map and nations of his world being on the board, it can make a player feel as if they are playing that struggle of empires in the World of Conan. Conan himself can be a vital element to play, but you are in the role more as one of the Powers that need to worry about Conan, more than being Conan yourself.

For Conan readers of all media, both the original works of Howard, the comics, the additional books, and even those who are not readers but are watchers of the film, it's theme can be seen and enjoyed.

Overall, the gameplay has many options, and can get somewhat intense. The downward portion of this is that the action dice truly determine how quickly or slowly this game proceeds. If no Conan/Court actions are rolled, it can start to drag on a bit occasionally, as the only person in control of Conan and moving the game towards it's conclusion will be the Conan Player, or player controlling Conan.

The gameplay runs fine, and is above average. There can be an occasional confusion about what someone can or cannot do, and the campaign tracks on nations to convert them to friendly nations can take time and if you aren't careful, can also drag the game to seem slower then it should be.

One other item that I noticed with Central Hyboria is that the player has an advantage with some of the Objectives if they start as Aquilonia. Not that I'm griping, but in someways it seems a tad unfair to reward a player with a greater chance to suceed in one area of the game simply because of starting position...especially in directing specific cards towards rewarding them.

Overall it rates a 7.

Personal Tilt - Some of this may be WotR expectations out of a game that is obviously NOT WotR. I wanted something with components on par with WotR. That didn't happen. I think I could have been happier with AoC, and am happy with it, but not quite as pleased with it as WotR. I feel the campaign tracks to take over nations goes a little slower than planned, and that with everyone using a common pool for actions out of the dice can limit those on the later portions of the dice roll (there are 7 dice, and those at the beginning when the dice are first rolled get a ton of options, those on the later end can be REALLY limited on what they can do). I feel this has an even GREATER impact on the randomness of strategy then anything in WotR. It slims down the actions of rolling the dice over and over again, but it also makes it feel more bulky too. If you never win the Conan in the bidding it also has the down detriment that you actually NEVER roll these dice, which I feel is also a little unfair. It also rewards someone who constantly goes after a Conan adventure tile strategy with extra actions, as opposed to someone who goes after a more strict Diplomatic or military strategy. It's still a great game, just not as high on my list as WotR.

It rates an 8.

Replayability - This game has a LOT of replayability from what I can see. It has many different ways to gain Empire Points, including military conquest, Objectives, endgame points inclusive of gold collecting, and adventure tokens, as well as even a way to gain points via character maneuvering (Conan). Overall, I think it can be a game that is enjoyed over and over again.

it rates a 9.

Useability - This is a game that could have similar problems as WotR in that it can be a little rules heavy and random for Eurogamers, a little too Gaudy for Wargamers, and a little too complex for your typical gamer. However, I think that Eurogamers who are a little more relaxed about randomness in games and possible aggressiveness towards other players, may enjoy aspects of this game inclusive of how it uses a Victory Point dynamic, you have several many ways to obtain these Victory Points without necessarily fighting, and the bidding wars that can occur in this game over control of Conan. I also feel it will appeal to many of those that like Amerigold type games, and especially those who are fans of Conan. It's easier to explain to players than WotR, and even some of the heavier Euros (yes, even easier than some of those believe it or not!). This doesn't mean that everyone will want to play it, or even consider playing it. I think it will be heavily dependant on your group. Another detriment is that this is a game that can take SEVERAL hours of your gaming time, and possibly a whole evening. Luckily it can be finished in an evening of gameplay.

Hence it is much more accessible than WotR, but that doesn't mean it's useable by everyone. Overall it's more average in it's useability.

It rates a 5.

Overall, there are many differences between this game and WotR. I can say I enjoy what has come out as AoC, but I still am much more rabidly in love with WotR than AoC. they are both fun games, and objectively AoC outscores WotR. Personally however, WotR is the gem that outshines AoC for me.

For those who love WotR and are considering whether or not to get AoC, determine what it is about WotR you love. If it is the theme, AoC is not related, and you'll need to be a Conan lover to have that apply to you. If it is the action dice dynamic, you could enjoy that in AoC, as this is a heavy factor in the game, though more slimlined than in WotR. If this is the primary reason that you enjoy WotR, than you should run to your nearest gamestore for the Action Die dynamic in AoC. If it is the military/muster portion of WotR, there aren't that many similarities except how some of the ideas operate similarly (such as gaining troops or troop movement). If you like the idea of how the cards work in WotR, there are similarities between the two, but it's iffy on whether they are related enough that if you enjoy how WotR works, you'd also enjoy how AoC works.

Overall, I think it's an iffy proposition on whether someone who is strictly a WotR fan would love AoC. I think it's possible, but at the same time, hard to tell.

Personally I enjoy AoC, but then I also enjoy Conan (and as explained above, more specifically a fan of Howard). If Nexus continues to put out games like this (I not only have WotR, but also Marvel Heroes, and now of course AoC) then I can see that they will be one of my favorite Game Publishers!

Age of Conan's final tally is

Final = 7.5
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Christian van Someren
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Quote:
I probably fall into the camp of a book Loyalist, to the point that I think Peter Jackson's changes in his movie trilogy earn him the right to be burned at the stake (and even still, in a more convoluted turn, I own all three of the movies, plus in addition ALSO owning the extended versions).


Hear, hear!

I'm also a die hard WotR fan, and that's the main reason that I'm interested in this game. Your review was very thorough and insightful, but I do have one question. Are the 4 kingdoms different enough that each one plays uniquely? One of my favourite aspects of WotR is that the 2 sides play completely differently, and I was wondering if that carried over in AoC.

Thanks for the great review!
 
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Anselmo Diaz
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Hi, excellent review.
I spotted a couple of little mistakes, though:

1) "
Quote:
Successes are determined by different symbols on the die front. At it's very basic, an attacker has two symbols which can score a success whilst the defender only has one symbol that can score a success. It's good to be the attacker in this game."


Actually, the attacker has 3 symbols that grant him a hit, not 2. If you are the Conan player, one of them count as 2 hits.

2) "
Quote:
If you never win the Conan in the bidding it also has the down detriment that you actually NEVER roll these dice, which I feel is also a little unfair
."

It is only at the start of the game that the Conan player rolls the dice. Afterwards it's whoever player's turn it is, if the dice pool is empty.

I'll be playing it tomorrow.
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Sean Shaw
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Christianv wrote:
Quote:
I probably fall into the camp of a book Loyalist, to the point that I think Peter Jackson's changes in his movie trilogy earn him the right to be burned at the stake (and even still, in a more convoluted turn, I own all three of the movies, plus in addition ALSO owning the extended versions).


Hear, hear!

I'm also a die hard WotR fan, and that's the main reason that I'm interested in this game. Your review was very thorough and insightful, but I do have one question. Are the 4 kingdoms different enough that each one plays uniquely? One of my favourite aspects of WotR is that the 2 sides play completely differently, and I was wondering if that carried over in AoC.

Thanks for the great review!


Not really. The biggest differences between the kingdoms are the position on the board as well as what each one has in their deck. At the beginning of the game, they have slight differences, with Hyborea and Stygia having some sorcery tokens but with less soldiers. Through out the game, the Play on the Table cards are what give the kingdoms the biggest play differences.

The Play on the Table cards all have different special abilities (If you draw them from your Kingdom Deck, the draws are random) which stay on the table in front of you once played, but you STILL have to pay money to use their powers. Those special powers give the kingdoms their unique qualities, other than that, the Kingdoms seem to play the same.
 
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Sean Shaw
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Oops, well, I suppose we misinterpreted that rule (who gets to roll the dice each time), tonight we'll play that correctly then!
 
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Anselmo Diaz
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Christianv wrote:
Quote:
I probably fall into the camp of a book Loyalist, to the point that I think Peter Jackson's changes in his movie trilogy earn him the right to be burned at the stake (and even still, in a more convoluted turn, I own all three of the movies, plus in addition ALSO owning the extended versions).


Hear, hear!

I'm also a die hard WotR fan, and that's the main reason that I'm interested in this game. Your review was very thorough and insightful, but I do have one question. Are the 4 kingdoms different enough that each one plays uniquely? One of my favourite aspects of WotR is that the 2 sides play completely differently, and I was wondering if that carried over in AoC.

Thanks for the great review!


The differences are: where the individual kingdom is located on the map, the set of kingdom cards(different for each kingdom), and the starting conditions (some kingdoms get 5 army units, while others Stygia and Hyperborea- get 4 army units and 2 sorcery tokens).

That's all, I think.

Edit: greyLord beat me by a few minutes.
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Mike Smith
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I just cannot see why you think the plastic used on the figures is inferior to that in WOTR. I spent hours using hot water to straighten the figures in WOTR. No such problem in AOC. The figures are extremely crisply moulded and there is virtually no flash. The rubbery plastic in WOTC is also not a good base for paint. I found the red colour of the Sauron/Saruman figures to be a rather nasty shade. For me the quality of the figures in AOC is far higher.

The Conan figures are superbly detailed and very convincing for their nations. Only one of them (Stygia) is carrying his shield in his "unhistorical" right hand, whereas many of the figures in WOTC had this flaw.
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Sean Shaw
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Mantuanwar wrote:
I just cannot see why you think the plastic used on the figures is inferior to that in WOTR. I spent hours using hot water to straighten the figures in WOTR. No such problem in AOC. The figures are extremely crisply moulded and there is virtually no flash. The rubbery plastic in WOTC is also not a good base for paint. I found the red colour of the Sauron/Saruman figures to be a rather nasty shade. For me the quality of the figures in AOC is far higher.

The Conan figures are superbly detailed and very convincing for their nations. Only one of them (Stygia) is carrying his shield in his "unhistorical" right hand, whereas many of the figures in WOTC had this flaw.


Get a sledgehammer and hit one figure of each. One is more prone to bend then break in my opinion, the Conan ones being the type that is more prone to break. In addition, the rubbery feel makes the WotR figures easier to grasp, then the typical plastic of board games.

The reason I believe the figures are bent is in how they were stored after manufacture, as well as how they are stored after packing. The ones in Conan would also bend in high heat, bad packing conditions.

Edit: I had some figures in another game out of the same plastic (type of AoC type plastic), and they were badly bent...but not only bent, their bases were cracked due to the type of plastic, hence boiling put them back, but they were prone to snap off at the base after that.
 
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Mike Smith
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You hit your figures with a sledgehammer if you wish! I will just play the game with mine. The board will warp, the counters flake apart, and global warming put a stop to our little games, before they take any damage in normal play...
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Sean Shaw
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Mantuanwar wrote:
You hit your figures with a sledgehammer if you wish! I will just play the game with mine. The board will warp, the counters flake apart, and global warming put a stop to our little games, before they take any damage in normal play...


I can understand that.

 
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Peter Putnam
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GreyLord wrote:
Oops, well, I suppose we misinterpreted that rule (who gets to roll the dice each time), tonight we'll play that correctly then!


Nice review. Fixing the who rolls the dice rule should help out a lot. Having 7 Fate dice are key because everyone will get a chance to roll the dice and pick first at least once per game. However, you are correct that bad luck with fate dice can be harsher than bad luck with the contest dice or with your card draws.
 
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Peter Putnam
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Quote:
"Christianv" Are the 4 kingdoms different enough that each one plays uniquely? One of my favourite aspects of WotR is that the 2 sides play completely differently, and I was wondering if that carried over in AoC.


The sides are fairly similar so you will be disappointed if you are expecting the sides to be really different.

There are slight differences in the Kingdom Cards. Here's the breakdown for cards: Events, Instant, 1g-characters, 2g-characters, 3g-characters
Turan: 7,5,2,5,1
Hyperborea: 7,6,2,3,3
Aquilonia: 7,6,0,5,2
Stygia: 6,7,1,6,1

Here what Francesco Nepitello says about the Kingdom decks:
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=410

"With deeply characterized realms like Turan, Stygia, Hyperborea and Aquilonia, we had lots of opportunities to fill the cards with flavorful elements, and we decided to exploit the idea as much as possible, balancing every deck with the peculiar features of each kingdom in mind.

Looking back at what we did with War of the Ring and Battles of the Third Age, we decided to further streamline the system, by representing the special abilities of army units as Kingdom cards, alongside sorcery spells and devious actions. Even named characters, like valiant generals and cunning diplomats, were handled in the same way. The fact that cards in the final product feature artwork taken from the comics is a final grace that make me particularly eager to play the published game, when I will finally get to place in front of me general Gromel and his Black Legion!"

 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Echtalion wrote:
1) "
Quote:
Successes are determined by different symbols on the die front. At it's very basic, an attacker has two symbols which can score a success whilst the defender only has one symbol that can score a success. It's good to be the attacker in this game."


Actually, the attacker has 3 symbols that grant him a hit, not 2. If you are the Conan player, one of them count as 2 hits.


And to take it one step further, the defender has two symbols that score hits, not one. A basic attack die hits 3/6 and a basic defense die hits 2/6; if you have Conan, the hit chance goes up by one regardless of whether you are attacking or defending.
 
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Keith Vey
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Quote:
I feel the campaign tracks to take over nations goes a little slower than planned, and that with everyone using a common pool for actions out of the dice can limit those on the later portions of the dice roll (there are 7 dice, and those at the beginning when the dice are first rolled get a ton of options, those on the later end can be REALLY limited on what they can do). I feel this has an even GREATER impact on the randomness of strategy then anything in WotR.


I do not own this game, but am considering it. When I read the rules at first this concerned me a lot. If it is too limiting for the later players, I don't think my group would enjoy it.

But, after reading the rules on the dice selection, I thought it wasn't too bad of an issue.

In the rules it says that you cannot pick a die with several options on it if a die with the single option you want to take is present. For instance: a military, military/intrigue, and wild are rolled. If the first player wants to play a military action, he must take the military die. Then, if the next player wants to take either a military or intrigue action he must take that die. This would leave the third player with the wild die and 3 options. Of course, the players could pick suboptimal actions to prevent a player from getting the wild die.

I guess what I'm asking is: Does this not play out in practice, or are the later players really screwed?
 
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Sean Shaw
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It can happen that the wilds are the last ones, but many times what may happen is you will want a military action, but all that's left by the time it get's to you is Intrigue with the others having used Wilds for the Military actions. Or perhaps you really want to do a Court action to get strategy cards, but by the time the die selection gets to you, others have taken all the conan/court actions and the wilds either because they wanted them, or to ensure that you would not get them. In that light, being later on the die selection area has the ability to hose the later (and especially the LAST one to select) player
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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With 7 dice, the first choice after a re-roll keeps moving around the table no matter how many are playing. I had a horrible streak in my first game, where I went 5 turns with only 1 chance to take a military action.

That can be frustrating, but it's also fun to figure out what your best course is given the available dice. That can be a really interesting decision, because you need to factor in the increased value of playing certain dice because doing so will deny them to other players.
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Keith Vey
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That sounds about what I expected.

I have no problem with people selecting an action for the purpose of denying me that action and, having limited options at some point in the game seems like a good thing to me.

What I didn't want to hear is that the game becomes a "Whoever gets the most military actions wins." But from the responses, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Thank You
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Jeffrey Inks
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I don't think the later players are 'screwed'. The fourth player has the choice of four dice. His next go he will have a choice of all seven. By forcing the early players to take the single die of the action they wanted to play leaves a better chance of there being a good selection when the fourth player get its first turn.

Some die rolls will be different but they are dice.

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