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Maciej Teległow
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We play euros. We started many years ago with Settlers of Catan which was the only game we plaid for a long time. After few years we started adding new games to our menu but most of them were euros. Some hits in our groups are: Beowulf, Ra, St. Petersburg, and last but not least Dominion, we also play Settlers rather regularly. Agricola was not a big hit for us (but we prize the game just not play it), along with Peurto Rico, Caylus or T&E. From longer games and more wargame like I tried Fire and Axe which I like very much but not my group and Reef Encounter with the same effect, the only exeption being Age of Empires 3, which we play rather regularly . Game of Thrones was a big miss few years ago (alliances between husbands and wifes) and Crusader Rex have not even hit the table. As i am a little (or more) bored with euros i dreamed that my group would let itself discover a heavier, longer strategy game. The problems for some of us are: time (better to play many short games then one long during an evening approach) and complicated rules. Lastly we even tried TTA with good effect but there was no power for another try. Being in desperation and always looking for new options I was waiting for Age of Conan. Developed by prized War of the Ring team and being said to have 2 hours game time it have became my new hope. Rules are maybe not typical euro 4 pages short but logical and intuitive (I have read rules long ago). And after a long wait Age of Conan has come to my local shop. I bought it and we played it, the game took 5 hours. Then, during a week we plaid it three more times. It is a Big Hit and I am very happy that I bought it.

First, the rules are maybe not short, but as I said logical and intuitive. After few rounds everyone knew what can he do and how it works. There is very little downtime because fate dice determine what can one do and actions are simple and short. So first 7 dice are rolled and every turn you take a dice and it lets You make military, intrique or court action with addition of Conan action sometimes, then another player take dice from a group of six until the pool is empty and rerolled. This simple mechanic makes game different every time, let you play tacticly by choosing right dice (maybe not letting another player to do some action) and let you be prepared for your turn because you know what options wait for you. This mechanics is prized very much in my group.

Generally the game is about conquest of Conanian world. You can do it militarly or diplomaticly. War gives victory points and intrique gives money. Both give position on the map and is resolved using another very clever pool of dice. You roll number of dice depending on your strenght and symbols tell you how many hits you have done. There are 6 symbols, hits generally and axe, shield and empty slot. Before roll you can boost your chances by throwing a card which counts axes or/and shields as succeses then neutral province rolls and you win if having more hits. Military conquests take more rolls and intrique is just one. You can also boost your roll using special kingdom cards, or sorcery token (reroll). The all conflict mechanic is simple, short and managable because of cards. It is a roll so it is random, but noone in my group complain about it. It is very thematical and give the game exciting moments.

After few conquers player forces meet in some place on the map. And the dance starts. Alliances, pacts, calculating your chances and so on. We do not fight each other very much. In our last game there were three pvp conflicts. This is because shortage of army units, cards and generally every other resource in the game. If I attack and he is prepared then it would be a problem, so everyone looks carefully before attacking strong positioned player. And this is great. It is not easy but doable and balance in the game is that you cannot attack on all sides. This is very important. Balance in the game where every player has another startegic position and his own kingdom cards is very important and in Age of Conan it is executed very well. You have to be very carefull. Thers is too less military actions, troops and so on to make a total war but sometimes, with a good timing you can make a difference. You would rather not conquer all the board but this one or two more provinces can win you the game. The tension from round to round is growing and growing as all players look at himself knowing that attack is inevitable.

And because of Conan himself. The next very clever mechanic in the game is The Barbarian. Players bid for him using cards (the same ones which you use to manage your war chances) and special tokens which you can use twice during a game each (generally speaking). Whoever win, controls Conan and it can be very big difference. Cimmerian goes from prvince to province as the control player wants it but also tring to take as much adventure token as he can. Conan helps in conflicts (and this is big help) if you control him but only in a province where he actually is present. And you get tokens when he goes in the direction choosed by adventure card (for example to Black Kingdoms). Tokens can give you some resourcess quickly or victory points in the end of the game so often there is a choice to be maid. As you see controlling Conan in the right moment can be extremly important especially in the last era of the game (there are 3 eras)when you can try to crown him and finish the game. It is not easy and everyone else try to do it himself so the tension is gowing up with every turn. Everything become important and you try what you can to grab a few more points and then, the game is finished. There are some clever mechanics during scoring which I won’t speak about here but someone is the winner and often it is not so clear who would become one.

My euro group loves it and I love it too. Even if it is long (we play from 5 hours first game to 2,5 hours last game) I do not feel it. I am deep in the game all the time thinking what to do next, and thanks to a lot of things to control I have what to do all the time. Every game is different and in every game what gives you a succes is good planning, being prepared, using opportunities and timing. And there are many roads to succes. But what is most important this game is very fun to play. And when you win it after 3 or more hours of cutthroat rivalry you feel that you outskilled them all. Thanks for the game because it gives very different expirience from classic euros and is really great.

P.s.: From my euro perspective I have no idea what game to try next? WotR? CosmicEncounter? Age of steam? Maybe something else. But pls, not another 45 minutes efficient engine builder.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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MacTele wrote:
P.s.: From my euro perspective I have no idea what game to try next? WotR? CosmicEncounter? Age of steam? Maybe something else. But pls, not another 45 minutes efficient engine builder.


Hear hear... I mean, I like a lot of 45 minute Euro efficiency games (my number of plays of Dominion is proof of that), but I'm finding more enjoyment lately in some longer and more involved and very thematic games. I haven't played WOTR yet, but my understanding is that Conan is a somewhat simplified and shorter version of WOTR, so it's quite possible you'd like WOTR as well. Cosmic Encounter is actually a 45 minute game a lot of times (depending on the particular way it plays out, it can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, but 45-60 minutes is probably the average), but there's a lot of interaction and conflict, which is what would probably distinguish it from most Euro games.
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Jesse Hallstrom
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Could you edit the review so there is a space between paragraphs?
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Jeff Thompson
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Sacuraf wrote:
Could you edit the review so there is a space between paragraphs?


This is a copy of the OP with an extra line between paragraphs. I have made no edits.

We play euros. We started many years ago with Settlers of Catan which was the only game we plaid for a long time. After few years we started adding new games to our menu but most of them were euros. Some hits in our groups are: Beowulf, Ra, St. Petersburg, and last but not least Dominion, we also play Settlers rather regularly. Agricola was not a big hit for us (but we prize the game just not play it), along with Peurto Rico, Caylus or T&E. From longer games and more wargame like I tried Fire and Axe which I like very much but not my group and Reef Encounter with the same effect, the only exeption being Age of Empires 3, which we play rather regularly . Game of Thrones was a big miss few years ago (alliances between husbands and wifes) and Crusader Rex have not even hit the table. As i am a little (or more) bored with euros i dreamed that my group would let itself discover a heavier, longer strategy game. The problems for some of us are: time (better to play many short games then one long during an evening approach) and complicated rules. Lastly we even tried TTA with good effect but there was no power for another try. Being in desperation and always looking for new options I was waiting for Age of Conan. Developed by prized War of the Ring team and being said to have 2 hours game time it have became my new hope. Rules are maybe not typical euro 4 pages short but logical and intuitive (I have read rules long ago). And after a long wait Age of Conan has come to my local shop. I bought it and we played it, the game took 5 hours. Then, during a week we plaid it three more times. It is a Big Hit and I am very happy that I bought it.

First, the rules are maybe not short, but as I said logical and intuitive. After few rounds everyone knew what can he do and how it works. There is very little downtime because fate dice determine what can one do and actions are simple and short. So first 7 dice are rolled and every turn you take a dice and it lets You make military, intrique or court action with addition of Conan action sometimes, then another player take dice from a group of six until the pool is empty and rerolled. This simple mechanic makes game different every time, let you play tacticly by choosing right dice (maybe not letting another player to do some action) and let you be prepared for your turn because you know what options wait for you. This mechanics is prized very much in my group.

Generally the game is about conquest of Conanian world. You can do it militarly or diplomaticly. War gives victory points and intrique gives money. Both give position on the map and is resolved using another very clever pool of dice. You roll number of dice depending on your strenght and symbols tell you how many hits you have done. There are 6 symbols, hits generally and axe, shield and empty slot. Before roll you can boost your chances by throwing a card which counts axes or/and shields as succeses then neutral province rolls and you win if having more hits. Military conquests take more rolls and intrique is just one. You can also boost your roll using special kingdom cards, or sorcery token (reroll). The all conflict mechanic is simple, short and managable because of cards. It is a roll so it is random, but noone in my group complain about it. It is very thematical and give the game exciting moments.

After few conquers player forces meet in some place on the map. And the dance starts. Alliances, pacts, calculating your chances and so on. We do not fight each other very much. In our last game there were three pvp conflicts. This is because shortage of army units, cards and generally every other resource in the game. If I attack and he is prepared then it would be a problem, so everyone looks carefully before attacking strong positioned player. And this is great. It is not easy but doable and balance in the game is that you cannot attack on all sides. This is very important. Balance in the game where every player has another startegic position and his own kingdom cards is very important and in Age of Conan it is executed very well. You have to be very carefull. Thers is too less military actions, troops and so on to make a total war but sometimes, with a good timing you can make a difference. You would rather not conquer all the board but this one or two more provinces can win you the game. The tension from round to round is growing and growing as all players look at himself knowing that attack is inevitable.

And because of Conan himself. The next very clever mechanic in the game is The Barbarian. Players bid for him using cards (the same ones which you use to manage your war chances) and special tokens which you can use twice during a game each (generally speaking). Whoever win, controls Conan and it can be very big difference. Cimmerian goes from prvince to province as the control player wants it but also tring to take as much adventure token as he can. Conan helps in conflicts (and this is big help) if you control him but only in a province where he actually is present. And you get tokens when he goes in the direction choosed by adventure card (for example to Black Kingdoms). Tokens can give you some resourcess quickly or victory points in the end of the game so often there is a choice to be maid. As you see controlling Conan in the right moment can be extremly important especially in the last era of the game (there are 3 eras)when you can try to crown him and finish the game. It is not easy and everyone else try to do it himself so the tension is gowing up with every turn. Everything become important and you try what you can to grab a few more points and then, the game is finished. There are some clever mechanics during scoring which I won’t speak about here but someone is the winner and often it is not so clear who would become one.

My euro group loves it and I love it too. Even if it is long (we play from 5 hours first game to 2,5 hours last game) I do not feel it. I am deep in the game all the time thinking what to do next, and thanks to a lot of things to control I have what to do all the time. Every game is different and in every game what gives you a succes is good planning, being prepared, using opportunities and timing. And there are many roads to succes. But what is most important this game is very fun to play. And when you win it after 3 or more hours of cutthroat rivalry you feel that you outskilled them all. Thanks for the game because it gives very different expirience from classic euros and is really great.

P.s.: From my euro perspective I have no idea what game to try next? WotR? CosmicEncounter? Age of steam? Maybe something else. But pls, not another 45 minutes efficient engine builder.
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Maciej Teległow
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I edited it also for Your comfort. No problem.
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Troy Adlington
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Good review Maciej.

I played the game last week and thought it definitely deserves a repeat.

I could make some little nit-picking observations about the game but I am not THAT guy

 
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Jorge Arroyo
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I've yet to play AoC (next weekend we will probably try it) but one of my favorite games is Marvel Heroes by the same team of designers. I can't say you will like it, but it doesn't hurt to check it out here on BGG...
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David Tomic
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MacTele wrote:
From my euro perspective I have no idea what game to try next? WotR? CosmicEncounter? Age of steam? Maybe something else. But pls, not another 45 minutes efficient engine builder.


hello Maciej,

although (I assume) very different and a euro game with almost no randomness, and where the game time comes around two hours or more, I would suggest that you try Imperial. That is really a back-stabbing game.

Myself, I am eagerly waiting to try Conan, so perhaps my taste is maybe not too far from yours?

Kind regards
/David.
 
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Murray Fish
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Very nice review!

I am looking forward to getting this game and trying it out with wargamers, Ameritrashers and eurogamers alike!
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JonJacob wrote:
Do people call these types of games weuro or Euro-trash? Does it matter?


No.

JonJacob wrote:

Age of Conan doesn't strike me as a pure AT game so it could be seen as a stepping stone into heavier games.


Let's see, it's about Conan the Barbarian, you're rolling tons of dice, you're using cards to help you kill your opponent's armies, and you gain points for collecting both kinds of booty.

If the folks that use the term don't count that as AT, I must have missed the memo.
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Jorge Arroyo
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I've only played Marvel Heroes from this team of designers, and I do think it's a very thematic game, but in a way, it's more abstract than your typical AT game. I've seen comments thrown at Age of Conan saying that the theme integration is weak, but from what I've read it seems like the way the theme is brought to life through the mechanics may also be a bit more abstract. How the actual adventures of Conan are brought into the game are a great example...
 
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Maciej Teległow
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Age of Conan is full of theme. Theme has to be implented by mechanics in a boardgame and for me mechanics in Age of Conan gives great feel of conquest game in Conan universum. Conan is very important element of gameplay and during our fourth game bids for him were very close and tension just before showing your bid was really high and face of my friend loosing him to his wife - priceless. Thanks for that she was able to come from weakest position to lose the game by 1 point after crowning Conan. And we were almost sure she would be killed during crowning but she was prepared. Earlier Conan helped me conquer two provinces in a row during two turns. This game as a conquest with Conan as a hero much stronger then any king or queen is very, very thematic.
Thanks for your ideas about games. I have never checked Marvel Heroes and now i am interested. But i cannot find rules anywhere.
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Jorge Arroyo
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It seems the game's rules are not available from FFG anymore, since the game was dropped from their catalog (licensing issues, I think).

If you tell me your email address I'll send you the pdf


 
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Eric
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maka wrote:
It seems the game's rules are not available from FFG anymore, since the game was dropped from their catalog (licensing issues, I think).

If you tell me your email address I'll send you the pdf


The rules are still posted on the Fantasy Flight site here:

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/age-of-conan/m...

and it appears the game is still in their catalog.
 
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Maciej Teległow
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We were talking about Marvel Heroes

maka - i have sent you my email by private mesage here on the Geek.
 
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Matt Thrower
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Quote:
P.s.: From my euro perspective I have no idea what game to try next?


Check some of these out:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/24341
 
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Eric
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MacTele wrote:
We were talking about Marvel Heroes

maka - i have sent you my email by private mesage here on the Geek.


Ooops. blush
 
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Luke O'Hearn
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This was a good review.

I mostly like AT lite war-games. My favourite are:

- A Game Of Thrones
- Axis & Allies
- Britannia
- Diplomacy
- Star Trek Ascendancy
- Supremacy 2020
- Titan

I played only a partial (learning) game of AoC - years ago. I enjoyed it, but actually thought it was a little more "euro" than I would like. Having to do a combat action and an intrigue action to conquer an enemy's territory was painful for a war-gamer! It seemed like the designers were trying too hard to discourage pvp combat.

Maybe as the game progresses there is lots of combat despite this "speed-bump"?

I know this is an old thread, but I might recommend Small World to the OP. Like AoC, this looks a bit like a war game and there is certain combat over territorial disputes. But nobody is getting eliminated or decimated like in more aggressive war games.

Edit - Marvel Heroes is awesome!
 
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