3 Chits, 3 Giggles
Do you believe in the dice Gods? I do! I have prayed to them many times.
I have friends who despise dice games as the Gods do not favour them. Thankfully the Gods have been kind to me over the many years I have been rolling, which is why I really enjoy the many quick-play dice games available; from dungeon roll, all the way to zombie dice.
Fantasy Flight Games recently released Age of War by Reiner Knizia, a feudal Japan themed dice rolling game where players roll 7 dice and have to match warrior symbols to take over castles. There are several requirement rows, if you can match a row you place the dice in the slots and you roll the remaining dice again until you've filled them all and you claim the castle. If you cannot fill a row you remove a dice and roll again until you conquer or fail, play then passes to the next player. Each castle is worth points and who ever has the most points when all the castles have been conquered is the ultimate General and winner of the game. The theme works well, my favourite part of this roll and conquer mechanic is that you can steal castles from other players. When you own all the castles from a coloured set you have conquered the clan, you can flip the cards for bonus points that are safe from the armies of your enemies.
As with all dice games, sometimes you fail to conquer anything. The turn is wasted but ah well you get to roll again in about 47 seconds. The game is quick, it's fun. It's that perfect length game where you'll want to play it again straight after you finish.
Even though it is a luck based game, there is more strategy here than in most other dice rollers. In zombie dice you either keep rolling until you get 'shot gunned' or stop rolling and eat the brains. In Age of War you really have to think about which castle you will conquer and also the consequences if you fail to do so. You have to use tactics. This is what makes the game stand out for me. The theme is great, it makes me want to put on a Kurosawa film in the background and use an inappropriate accent. The game play is really enjoyable much like the other short and sweet dice-rolling games, but to call it a filler game wouldn't really do it justice. It only costs around a tenner too and is definitely worth a purchase. Age of War isn't going to change gaming forever, but it's fast, fun, feudal themed dice rolling. I highly recommend you roll for your troops and get conquering. May the dice Gods be ever in your favour.
Review by David Murcutt