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 based on the Through the Ages board game which in turn is based on the hit computer game Sid Meier’s Civilization (which in turn is based on the original Civilization board game!) This dice game – with each game lasting about half an hour – is considered a quick and easy alternative to the Through the Ages board game which has considerably more complex mechanics and can take upwards of 4-5 hours.
Roll Through the Ages comes with a set of 7 dice unique to this game F95zone , 4 pegboards, colored pegs and a stack of score sheets, and that is all you need to play the game. The game mechanics are also pretty easy to pick up: 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 buy a development. That’s the basis of the game, and players repeat these actions until the game ends, which happens when all the monuments have been built or any single player has 5 developments. The player with the most victory points wins the game.
The first action in the turn is rolling the dice to see what resources you get. The number of dice you roll depends on how many cities you have, and the dice produce either food, goods, workers, coins or skulls. Workers are used 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 3 times (except skulls which can’t be re-rolled). This allows you to influence the dice to produce resources closer to what you need that turn. More workers would 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 and your people are about to starve. Once all the dice are rolled, any food and goods collected are marked on a pegboard which records the stuff you have in storage. Depending on how many goods you roll and how much stock you have, different types of goods with differing coin values are added to your stock.
The next action is to feed your cities. Having more cities means you get to roll more dice, but it also means you need 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 how many skulls turn up, either you or your opponents will incur negative points or even lose all the goods in storage.
The next phase involves assigning the workers you rolled this turn to building cities and/or monuments. Each available city or monument has tick boxes in them on the score sheet, indicating how many workers are needed to complete them. Once all tick boxes in a city or monument are filled, they are completed. Completed cities give you an additional die to roll but cost an extra food each turn. Monuments have no effect other than providing you with victory points. There is urgency in building them though, as the first player to complete a monument will earn double the points of those who are slower. In addition, one of the endgame conditions is when all the monuments have been built.
Lastly, you get to buy developments using the goods in your storage and with coins rolled this turn. These developments provide victory points but also convey beneficial effects. For example, the Agriculture development gives an extra food for each food die you roll, while 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 end 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 do you prefer to go on the offensive and try to create disasters that will cripple your opponents? Or will you invest the early game in getting goods and coins for powerful developments? With the developments, you also have a choice in focusing on commerce-related developments, or ones focusing on food or disasters. As you can imagine, there are so many ways to play this game.
The only drawback is that the game is really quick (around half an hour) and doesn’t feel as epic as an empire-building game should. The developers have taken this on board, and have released a free mini-expansion called The Late Bronze Age which contains adjustments to the game mechanics and objectives. This expansion can 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 a simple and elegant game that captures the feel of an empire-building game, but with just a fraction of the time investment. And since its name contains the words ‘The Bronze Age’, it is fair to assume that more expansions will 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 something that is quick and simple.