Grow your fledgling civilization from scratch and outmaneuver opposing civilizations in Roll Through the Ages: the Bronze Age! Outsmart your opponents as you build cities and research developments. Complete great monuments before they do. Avoid disasters while sending pestilence and revolts to your opponents. Become the most powerful empire in the Bronze Age by winning the technology and construction race in this exciting dice game!
Roll Through the Ages is an empire-building dice game thematically using the Through the Ages board game which in turn is founded on the hit video game Sid Meier’s Civilization (which is based on the original Civilization board game!) This dice game – with each game lasting about 50 % an hour – is considered a quick and easy option to the Through the Ages board game which has considerably more complex mechanics and may take up to 4-5 hours.
Roll Through the Ages comes with a group of 7 dice unique to the game, 4 pegboards, colored pegs and a collection of score sheets, which is all you need to play the game. The game mechanics are also pretty an easy task to grab: a turn starts with a player rolling dice to see what resources they get. Goods and food are collected and workers are fed. The workers build cities and monuments, and then you get to purchase a development. That’s the basis of the overall game, and players repeat these actions until the game ends, which happens when all the monuments have already been built or any single player has 5 developments. The player with victory points wins the overall game.
The first action in the turn is rolling the dice to see what resources you obtain. The amount of dice you roll depends upon how many cities you have, and the dice produce either food, goods, workers, coins or skulls. Workers are accustomed to build new cities and monuments, while food is required to feed the workers. Goods and coins are used to buy developments. Skulls are bad, representing disasters that occur to either you or your opponents.
You get to roll each die up to three times (except skulls which can’t be re-rolled). This allows you to influence the dice to create resources closer to the thing you need that turn. More workers will be handy if you were trying to expand or build a monument, while you would want more food if your food stores are running low as well as your people are about to starve. Once Walnut Dice Chest are rolled, any food and goods collected are marked on a pegboard which records the stuff you have in storage. Depending on just how many goods you roll and how much stock you have, various kinds of goods with differing coin values are put into your stock.
The next action is to feed your cities. Having more cities means you can roll more dice, but it addittionally means you have to produce more food to keep them from starving. If you don’t produce enough food and you have insufficient food in storage, your workers will starve and you will be penalized with negative victory points. Disasters (based on skulls on the dice) are resolved now as well. Depending on just how many skulls turn up, either you or your opponents will incur negative points or even lose all of the goods in storage.
The next thing involves assigning the workers you rolled this turn to building cities and/or monuments. Each available city or monument has tick boxes inside them on the score sheet, indicating just how many workers are needed to perform them. Once all tick boxes in a city or monument are filled, they’re completed. Completed cities give you an additional die to roll but cost an extra food each turn. Monuments have no effect other than offering you victory points. There’s urgency in building them though, because the first player to complete a monument will earn double the points of those who are slower. In addition, among the endgame conditions is when all the monuments have been built.
Lastly, you get to buy developments using the goods in your storage sufficient reason for coins rolled this turn. These developments provide victory points but also convey beneficial effects. For example, the Agriculture development gives an extra food for every food die you roll, as the Religion development causes the Revolt disaster to affect your opponents rather than yourself. The more powerful developments will cost more, but also provide more victory points when the game ends. Another of the finish game conditions is when any player has 5 developments.
The strategies available are nearly limitless. Do you want to focus on growing your cities first and thereby get to roll more dice? Or do you want to sacrifice growth in order to rush-build monuments for double points before others have a chance to complete them? Or can you prefer to go on the offensive and make an effort to create disasters that may cripple your opponents? Or will you invest the first game in getting goods and coins for powerful developments? With the developments, you also have a choice in concentrating on commerce-related developments, or ones concentrating on food or disasters. Obviously, there are so many ways to play this game.
The only real drawback is that the overall game is really quick (around half an hour) and doesn’t feel as epic as an empire-building game should. The developers took this on board, and also have released a free of charge mini-expansion called The Late Bronze Age which contains adjustments to the game mechanics and objectives. This expansion could be downloaded from their website, and contains new mechanics such as shipping and trading goods with other players. This adds more complexity and player interaction to the game. The endgame conditions are also adjusted, with games now lasting a more fulfilling one hour.
Roll Through the Ages is really a simple and elegant game that captures the feel of an empire-building game, but with only a fraction of the time investment. And since its name provides the words ‘The Bronze Age’, it is fair to assume that more expansions will undoubtedly be coming along to bring you through the Medieval, Industrial and Modern ages for more empire-building fun. Roll Through the Ages is ideal for you if you like empire-building games like Through the Ages or Endeavor, but prefer a thing that is quick and simple.