23 Feb 2012

Age of Conan Board Game

Age of Conan is a strategy board game for 2-4 players. Each player acts as the king or queen of one of four major powers in the Hyborian Age - Aquilonia, Turan, Stygia or Hyperborea.

The game is essentially three mini-games in one. Players can use either military or diplomatic means to gain control over neighbouring provinces. Each player has a number of army units that can be used to conquer other provinces, and establish military control. A player can also choose to use an emissary, to establish an alliance with another province, after which the player can control the province by diplomatic means.

There is also a separate game mechanic designed to represent the wanderings of Conan across the Hyborian world. This consists of a number of Adventures, each of which is represented by an Adventure Card. These Adventures are abstract, and only involve moving Conan from province to province. However, helping Conan on his adventures gains a player Adventure Tokens, which will gain a player more victory points at the end of the game.

The game components are excellent. Although the army units for the four different kingdoms function in the same way, there are four different sculpts for the four kingdoms, which is really very nice. The emissaries four the four different kingdoms are also sculpted differently.

My girlfriend and I have played this game several times and we have thoroughly enjoyed playing it. Having played many wargames before, I had expected to win easily the first time, but to my surprise, she thoroughly defeated me. This happened because I played the game as though it were a straightforward wargame, and focussed on recruiting armies and attacking provinces to gain control over them. However, my girlfriend's strategy of establishing a network of alliances with smaller provinces proved to be far better, because she received huge amounts of gold by doing so, which allowed her to recruit huge armies later in the game. She also mastered the use of strategy cards, kingdom cards and sorcery tokens very quickly, and handed me a couple of disastrous defeats in battle.

Nevertheless, I found the game to be immensely entertaining, even when I was being smashed into the dust. Perhaps that is because I used to collect Conan the Barbarian comic books when I was little, and simply enjoyed the atmosphere.

1 comment: