Rainy Day Game's Board Game Review of Age of Mythology: The Board Game:
Age of Mythology: The Board Game in Summary
When we first got Age of Mythology: The Board Game, we were ready for some classic ol' American big box war gaming, like Risk or Axis and Allies. However, Age of Mythology is a much more complex game than that, with important influences from games like Settlers and Puerto Rico.
Of course Age of Mythology is based on the popular video game of the same name. But BE CAREFUL, fans of the video game will not enjoy this board game automatically, and we encourage you to read our review and really consider if this game will appeal to you and your game crew.
Having said that, we have really enjoyed playing Age of Mythology: The Board Game. It is part city development, part resource allocation, part dice-rolling battle royale. Made to Eagle Games' usual high standards, Age of Mythology is a masterpiece of the game publisher's art.
Age of Mythology: The Board Game Gameplay
Age of Mythology: The Board Game is simply too big a game to fully outline the rules here. So, I'm going to try to give you the flavor of game play to help decide whether this game is for you. The theme is a clash of civilizations based on the mythologies of Greeks, Norse and Egyptians. Your goal, as the leader of a civilization, is to guide it through the four epochs of the game (Archaic, Classical, Heroic, Mythical) and accumulate the most victory points along the way. Playing on your personal board game, representing your civilization, you will develop your land, build your cities and deploy your armies.
A key part of game play of Age of Mythology is that there are four different paths to winning victory points: building the Wonder of World, having the largest army, having the most buildings, and winning battles. Victory points are represented by wooden cubes which players place on the scoring path they feel most confident of winning. When the conditions are met, the player may collect victory points from the path they have won.
Age of Mythology play centers around the getting and playing of action cards. Players have a set of 7 standard action cards they can select at will, or they venture off into the random action card deck. Here more powerful card variants lurk, but the random draw means you won't always get that great card when you need it. Players can only play 3 cards each turn, and you start with 4 to choose from. Each epoch you advance in the game will give you one more card, so a civilisation in the final epoch will have a hand of 7 cards to choose which 3 to play.
The basic actions are:
Each of the actions has a whole set of rules, too lengthy to summarize here. But you can see that there is an entire land development/resource allocation/civilization theme developed. This is not just Risk or a military game with some resources tacked on.
Rather it's a resource game with a military module tacked on. Fighting can be involved and time-consuming. Each culture has a wonderful group of miniatures unique to itself. These units all have special abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Combat involves gathering a group of units and throwing them one by one at a set of defenders, also one by one. Each attacker/defender pair has to take into account their special attributes, which determine how many dice each side should throw. So, a battle will hold the game for usually around 2 minutes. Not a lot of time, but something any potential buyer should beware of. Each time you win a battle, you can take the victory points currently on the "Win Last Battle" scoring path.
Players continue building, producing, and fighting until one of two things happens. First, a civilazation in the Mythic Age can build their Wonder, immediately ending the game. Or, at the end of 10 rounds all the available victory cubes will be used and the game ends. At then end of the game, players check to see who has the largest army, the most buildings, or their Wonder and the winners of those victory paths take their points. The winner of Age of Mythology is the player with the most cubes at the end!
Who should buy Age of Mythology: The Board Game?
Age of Mythology: The Board Game is 3 hours of strategy and resource allocation. We find this game challenging and interesting, but it is not a quick, casual game. Not everyone is going to enjoy a lengthy, big box game. The rules are marginally complex, although the rulebook is well written with lots of examples and graphics. Age of Mythology: The Board Game will be right at home with gaming groups who enjoy longer games, or familes with older children and a history of boardgaming together. For those of you willing to try it, Age of Mythology: The Board Game will reward you many evenings of swords-and socery fun.
The Manufacturer's Board Game Review of Age of Mythology: The Board Game:
Age of Mythology, the tremendously popular real-time strategy game from Ensemble Studios and MicroSoft, gets the Eagle Games treatment!
Players control armies made up of warriors, priests, heroes, and mythical creatures from ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Norse mythology. They gather resources, which allow them to create buildings and armies. Special buildings are required to allow players to build new army types and improve the abilities of their units. Battles are resolved with a unique dice and card system that keeps the action moving. You get all the fast-paced action of a real-time game, with real 3-D pieces, and face-to-face gameplay! The ultimate real-time strategy game jumps off the screen and onto your tabletop!
In Age of Mythology, you will:
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