Game Name: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
Designer: Matt Leacock
Publisher: FRED Distribution – Gryphon Games
Playing time: 30-45 Minutes
- 4 wooden player boards
- 7 custom wooden Civilization dice
- 24 player pegs
- 1 rulebook
- 100 sheet scorepad
From FRED Distribution:
Roll Through the Ages is a 2010 SdJ nominee!
Build a thriving civilization–in under an hour!
Collect goods, assign workers to build cities and erect monuments, advance your civilization through cultural and scientific developments, but don’t forget to harvest enough food to feed your growing population. Grab those dice and Roll Through the Ages! in this addictive and strategic new game from Matt Leacock, designer of Pandemic.
Roll through the Ages is a lot of fun. The box is small, and they pack a lot of value into that small box. The components are of excellent quality. There are wooden boards and pegs, a very thick scorepad, and some very cool wooden dice. Perhaps they should have used a different color than brown for the faces of the dice, as they are wooden so the brown is a little hard to see, but that is a minor issue.
Each player gets a board and some pegs, plus a scoresheet. You start the game with 3 cities, which means you get to roll 3 dice. You can expand this up to the full 7 later as you build more cities. Then you roll the dice! I’ll tell you, those dice feel good in your hands!
This is when you realize that it is a portable resource collection/worker distribution game. Depending upon what you roll (and you can reroll twice after the initial roll) you will either gain…
Goods – which you can store on the pegboard, and sell later for coins
Food – which you use to feed your cities
Workers – for new cities or monuments
Coins – to buy developments, or
Disasters – which can be good or bad, mainly depending on who they fall on
You then simply mark the boxes on the sheet, feed your people, build your cities/monuments, buy a development if you wish, and your turn is over. The dice go to the next player.
The game ends when either all of the monuments have been built, or one player has 5 developments. You then add up your score and see who wins. That’s all there is to it for the most part.
All of the reference information you need is on your scoresheet, so reference back to the rules is minimal. You’ll know the rules after one play, and you will want to play again.
We use this as a great filler game. Something to do while waiting for everyone else to show up. It is a game that is fun for the whole family. You really do get the sense that you are building a civilization.
I have played this with all my kids (except the 3 year old) and they have all enjoyed it.
Don’t forget about the food. You need enough food to feed all your cities each turn.
You can avoid some of the worst disaster effects by buying certain developments. The one I recommend to get as soon as you can is irrigation. It can prevent the effect of rolling 2 disaster dice (skulls), which give you -2 points each time.
Get more cities as soon as you can! More dice means more everything!
Many games will come down to just a few points difference, so every point counts.
The goods from bottom to top of the pegboard are: Wood, Stone, Pottery, Cloth, and Spearheads. I admit, it took me a couple of minutes to figure this out the first time I played, so I’m saving you that trouble, even though it is right in the rulebook my brain refused to see it.
There is a free expansion with a revised score sheet available too!