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Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: Thoughts of a first time player rss

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Ell Perry
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Firstly, I am new to BGG. In fact, apart from purchasing Fluxx about 2 months ago, I am almost completely new the board game world and as such probably very different from your average BGG user.

However, I would not count myself as any less of an enthusiast for Conan Lore, Board Games, Game nights and enjoying sociable times with friends. My comments completely derive from having attempted to play Conan twice, culminating in about 5 hours of “play time” and not having completed EVEN ONE age change phase. There would appear to be a standard on BGG that users write reviews after several sessions with a new game and so I assume users will baulk at the thought of my comments on this game without having even completed a third of it. But please hear me out….

Simply, the rule book is absolutely terrible at conveying even simple ideas on the game. Of the 5 hours play time, 4 of those have been myself and 3 other friends attempting to decipher the rules and find some common vein of thought. Having read many other reviews on BGG, I believe this is due to the nature of the game having so many different types of game play occurring at once. An example would be the explanation of Army units, shown by the fact that only on a tiny separate box within the rules does it actually mention that “An army can actually consist of many single units called armies, which also go by the name ‘Army’”. Up until then, my friends and I were still under the illusion that only one army unit could be moved per go.

I am trying to not make this sound like a rant and I certainly wouldn’t waste all of your good time asking for explanations to simple rules such as the above. We will instead persevere and my gaming group will now reconvene for another stab at trying to understand what Age of Conan actually is.


Having re-read this thread, I can’t actually see much point to my musings apart from to highlight my misunderstanding of a rule set which may be of standard complexity to the BGG world. Perhaps in time, FFG will learn that to appeal to “newbie’s” like myself, rules must be clear, simple and resonate. Without that, potential future customers will be scared away. I would certainly think twice about buying another FFG product.

Thoughts? Most likely that having an IQ such as mine will never get you into mensa.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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5 hours?!? This is one of FFG's quicker games, taking us about 60 to 90 minutes to finish. Our first game was 2 hrs, due to reading rule book and the like.

Give it another go and you'll probably find that you like it. This is becoming one of my favorites from FFG...

-shnar
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Phil Shepherd
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Hi Ell.

Welcome to BGG!

I haven't played Age of Conan before, but don't feel bad about getting a rule wrong. Happens to a lot us "average BGG users." There are even geeklists devoted to "tell how long you played a game with the wrong rule."

I think you've got the right attitude though: persevere. I'd also suggest Fantasy Flight's page which usually has FAQs for most of their games. If you don't have luck there, check the page for your game here on the Geek.

If you still don't see the answer/clarification/whatever you're looking for, don't by shy: post a question here! Chances are excellent that somebody else has had the same problem and has figured it out.

Keep gaming and don't be a stranger!
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William Towns
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I've played a couple of Fantasy Flight games and read reviews of many others. IMO rules clarity is just a weakness for the company, while the gameplay and use of theme is their strength. Whether it's games I love (War of the Ring, Twilight Imperium) or games I'm "ehh" on (Marvel Heroes) the rules have been a slog to get through. Considering I read scientific research articles as part of my job, that's saying something! I say read online, look for rules summaries others have made, and never be afraid to put up a question, no matter how basic. This community is very friendly, and most people are here to help.

As far as this game goes, I say give it one more try since you love Conan. Start all over, read the rules (or find a summary), play one demo turn. If it's still not fun, trade it with a clear conscience and ride off like Conan, never looking back...
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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shnar wrote:
5 hours?!? This is one of FFG's quicker games, taking us about 60 to 90 minutes to finish. Our first game was 2 hrs, due to reading rule book and the like.


I guess it varies a lot. I'm experienced in reading rules, and had no major problems with AoC, but our first learning game ran 4+ hours, and after 3 or 4 plays we still take 3 hours. (That's with 4 players, it goes a bit faster with 2 or 3).
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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This is true, probably depends on the players. I've played with some people who take *forever* to plan/strategize their turns, and even with the Action Dice encouraging faster play, some players could still take a long time per turn.

Still, this is definately one of FFGs quicker games

-shnar
 
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my eye
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Go posthaste to Universal Head AGE OF CONAN Rules Summary & Reference, download and print out. Should help quite a lot.
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Ell Perry
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Thank you all for your very kind responses, it’s great to see such an active and friendly community!

This Thursday, my friends and I are having our next go with AoC, this time prepared with Rules Summaries and even more beer.

Quick Question: Why is it beneficial to conquer lands over winning them with emissaries. I'm sure there is probably an obvious answer but having read the rules but not completed a full game yet, I couldn't see an obvious answer.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Artie Heinrich
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Hi Ell,

here's the difference:

- Conquering lands gives Victory Points and it's one of the main roads to win the game.

- Winning a land with emissaries creates Income but does not give VPs, so it's good to keep your war machine running but won't help you win directly.

Important point: once you are allied to a land via Intrigue (an emissary "win") you can no longer conquer it.

Regards,

Artie
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Ell Perry
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Thank you for clearing that up Artie, especially your last point about not being able to conquer an allied land.

Would it be correct in saying that the first age intrigue contests are the best tactic and leaving combat contests until ages 2 & 3?
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Plation wrote:
Would it be correct in saying that the first age intrigue contests are the best tactic and leaving combat contests until ages 2 & 3?


I think focusing on intrigue early and conquest late is wise, but the game is highly situational, and you need to adapt your approach to the situation.

Here's an earlier thread where that was discussed, primarily on the second page:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/396045
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James
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Our first game ran on and on like that, until I found the part that states that Conan's adventure ends as soon as the last adventure token is removed from the adventure track. That made all the difference (funny how playing the game as designed helped us enjoy it more :cool:)!

Nothing wrong with asking on the boards for input, people around here always seem to want to talk about games anyway! :D
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Ha! When did you think the adventure ended? When the Conan Player decided to end it?

And we have that problem all the time, not quite getting all the rules of a game right (especially with FFG games). You should see all the wrong ways we've played Arkham Horror...

-shnar
 
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Ivan Trombik
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Hi All,

Im also kinda new in Boardgame matters (2 years or so), although my collection contains by now titles such as WorldofWarcraft(ShadowofWar,BurningCrusade), StarCraft, TwilightImperium 3rd Edition /hehe.

Imo AoC is indeed a short game of FFG as mentioned in the thread.

So noone can complain as it does indeed need an enormous amount of time 2 play the epic games of FFG,not to mention to find ppl willing to do so, b able to play n b interested in Boardgames at all, most ppl I can get for a boardgame think of a little colorful board with some figures, some dice, roll-n-move n thats it - surprise, surprise....devil

FAQ of FFG is nice, but way to short, doesnt cover all questions. With me it helps a lot keep readin rules over n over again(army vs. army units!) n go through reviews of game/rules u find on fantastic BGG or elsewhere in Internet.

Thx a lot 2 u all encouraging others 2 post here, I feel much better now, knowin im not the only noob in BG world, others may/must have the same problem sometimes. laugh

Take all gd care of urself n keep Conan riding throughout the Hyborian Land! gulp
 
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Ram A
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Well after reading your post i couldnt stop myself from replying.
The rules are indeed a bit unclear but not because the rule book is written poorly but simply because the game has been designed poorly, imo.
I have bought the game and played it 3 times (trying hard to like it) but it really has been by far the most boring game i have played in a long time......i know others will disagree and ofcourse thats fine, to me the game feels broken, certainly not because its too difficult, its not, but the design is broken adding up to repetitive boring gameplay in which nothing develops on the board.....
Maybe try some other games which are really fun, more complex and still quicker to play such as: planet steam, steam, powergrid, race for the galaxy.......these games offer interaction (yes even race for the galaxy), meaningful decisions, development of play, and more streamlined play and are all much more elegant in design (a whole lot more even...).




 
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