Review: Age of War

Age of War

Designed by Reiner Knizia

Allows to 2 to 6 players

Japanese clans fighting for dominance is the premise of Age of War. The mechanic is simple dice rolling with luck and chance being a strong factor in play.  Players are trying to match symbols indicated on the provided dice to one of the many clan cards on the table. Not only are players competing for the unclaimed clan castles, but they can also attempt to steal a castle from another player--although that is a more difficult task.

A player’s turn starts with rolling all seven of the custom dice and comparing the result to the available cards. Each of the clan castles has battle lines that need to be filled in order to claim the card. The battle lines can be filled in any order but with each roll of the dice one of the rows needs to be fulfilled. Once a player has started attacking a castle, they can’t change their attack and they can only fill one battle line at a time. Once a line is fulfilled the player rolls again to try to fill another. If they don’t roll what they need they discard a die and try again. Play continues until there are no more dice to roll.

In order to steal a card from another player there is an additional battle line that has to be fulfilled – it is always a single daimyo. There is only one way to protect conquered cards from other players and it is conquer all of the castles of a clan – this also earns extra points. The game concludes once all of the clan castle cards have been claimed.

Age of War is a simple dice chucker game with very little strategy. However, it is a very short game and the reliance of a random dice roll adds a level of tension that makes it fun. Short enough to not outlive its welcome and tense enough to create some enjoyment around the table, Age of War makes a fun filler game.