The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Roll through the Ages and some Expansions

It’s a stretch to say that all of you have already played this, but it’s just a mild stretch (I wager), given that RttA was playtested/demoed at the Gathering in ’08 (where, following standard procedure, I studiously avoided it).

It’s solid, and the Jacqui enjoys it. I particularly like that:

  • all the developments appear useful
  • You have choices from turn 1 (no “build up” turns)
  • The clever combination of skulls with two goods, and that 1 or 3 skulls are “Good.” Adds tension

I’ve also printed out the Late Bronze Age expansion (no thanks to my crappy Dell printer, which stopped working less than six months after purchase). I’m sure we’ll try it.

About the only thing is that I really want to just print out cards with the developments, so that I can quickly see who has what. And maybe toss in a Civilization-style on number of each card. A nice system that can stand plenty of variants and tinkering…. well done.

I finally played the St. Petersburg expansion, again probably years after everyone else. I liked that the Mistress is no longer a turn one game breaker, but we had a turn 1 judge do roughly the same thing. I’d burned out because of the computer game, but I think I’m ready to play St. Pete again, at least with the expansion.

I’ve also played four games of the BSG expansion, and I’m sure it will surprise nobody here that I like it, although when playing with 5 you have to not let someone play a Cylon leader. (With 4/6 it debatable).


Written by taogaming

August 22, 2009 at 8:29 pm

3 Responses

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  1. The back-breaker on the Saint Petersburg expansion is how much longer it makes the game. I think the game really wants the decks to be trimmed a bit.

    I’ve also found a first-turn Judge to be a game-breaker too, and now with the expansion you have what seems like a new game-breaker: if you have to buy one of the hugely expensive new workers on turn 1, that seems to really suck.

    I really was not very impressed with the expansion on the whole.

    Chris Farrell

    August 22, 2009 at 10:54 pm

  2. I got to play RttA once in July, and I do like it. I’m just worried that you’ll have seen everything after the first half dozen plays. I’ll have to take a look at the expansion to see what it offers to mix things up.

    The decks definitely need to be trimmed if you’re playing Saint Petersburg with the expansion. The game goes on about half an hour too long otherwise. I haven’t sat down to look at what I’d remove yet, but I’d say 10-20% reduction should work. Chris may be right about the first round farmers, too, although the VP might not make it any worse than landing a Ship Builder first round. A lot depends on the draw in the first couple rounds, I think.


    August 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm

  3. After a few plays of RttA at the ’09 Gathering my only major complaint was that the 3 Skull result seemed too damaging. The -3VP was often greater than the margin of victory, and when you consider the 5VP swing from 2 to 3 Skulls, it’s an immense number of points riding on the roll of a die. So from that sample size I thought I’d enjoy it more at -2VP, or maybe a different punative mechanism.

    The other thing I didn’t like was that, since Pestilence it was so harsh, almost everyone bought medicine early, and that’s both a boring technology and prevented significant early game differentiation amongst the players. I was happy to see that it now costs 20 in Late Bronze Age which should significantly reduce its popularity.


    August 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm

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