Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization, most definitely in my Top 5 boardgames of all time. The best working of an already established game in my opinion and the perfect civilization game.
It was the first ‘heavy game’ I learned how to play so will always hold a special place in my heart and the more I play it, the more I enjoy it. Through the Ages has the perfect balance between deep strategy and satisfying mechanics. I was hooked straight away and there is very little that you can say against this game, some say that it’s ‘too complex’ or ‘too long’ but that wasn’t really an issue for me.
I generally play two player, so I cannot comment on more than that but it generally takes a few hours. It’s the kind of game though that will draw you in, you won’t notice the time flying by and you will be way too engaged to be concerned about time.
Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization is the new edition of Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization which is also an amazing game, the update though has definitely improved gameplay making it EVEN better than it was previously was, which I didn’t know was possible.
I definitely prefer the military system in this version, it has been hugely improved and streamlined slightly. Although it may not seem as harsh now I think that’s for the best. It opens up a lot more room for attempting different strategies throughout the game and makes military more balanced and fair.
Without comparing the two games too much, Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization is definitely a work of art. It wholeheartedly deserves it’s place in my Top 5.
This game has a perfect combination of strategy and theme, hand management and card drafting. The kind of game that you tend to immerse yourself into and really dive deep into the theme, a fantastic rulebook and wonderfully balanced cards.
If you aren’t aware of Through the Ages, it’s a civilization building game. Each player attempts to build the best civilization through careful resource management, discovering new technologies, electing the right leaders, building wonders and maintaining a strong military. Weakness in any area can and will be exploited by your opponents.
The game takes place throughout the ages beginning in the age of antiquity and ending in the modern age.
One of the main mechanisms in Through the Ages is card drafting. Technologies, Wonders, and Leaders come into play and become easier to draft the longer they are in play.
In order to use a technology you will need enough science to discover it, enough food to create a population to man it and enough resources (ore) to build the building to use it. While balancing the resources needed to advance your technology you also need to build a military. Military is built in the same way as civilian buildings. Players that have a weak military will be preyed upon by other players.
There’s no map in the game so you cannot lose territory, but players with higher military will steal resources, science, kill leaders, take population or culture. It is very difficult to win with a large military, but it is very easy to lose because of a weak one.
Round one –The game begins in Antiquity, which serves as a preparatory round for the rest of the game. In the first round, players have just a few civil actions. They take cards from the card row to shape the way their civilizations will initially grow. Each player’s turn ends with production of science, food, and resources.
Round two – From the second round on, a few new civil cards appear in the card row at the beginning of each player’s turn. The Middle Ages begin in the second round, and Age I cards appear in the card row.
On their second turn, players may begin building and developing their civilizations. They may use all their civil and military actions, and they may do more than just take cards. They will also have an opportunity to draw military cards after production.
The Rest of the Game – From the third round on, players will have military cards. These allow players to plot political maneuvers and improve their military forces with tactics. Of course, players continue to work on increasing their population, developing new technologies, and expanding their production of food, resources, science, and culture. They will take steps to ensure their people remain happy, and they may also need to deal with corruption.
Advancing Through the Ages – When the Age I civil cards run out, Age II, the Age of Exploration, begins. Certain antiquated cards are discarded, and populations become more demanding, but otherwise, the game continues under the same rules. Age II civil and military cards enter the game, bringing advanced technologies, industrial wonders, and enlightened leaders.
The End – Your first game is shortened. When the Age II civil deck runs out, the game is near its end. Again, certain antiquated cards are discarded and the demands of your population increase. Age III, The Modern Era, begins, but you do not use Age III cards. Each player is granted at least one more turn to put the finishing touches on a glorious civilization. The player to the right of the starting player will take the final turn, so that everyone will finish with the same number of turns. The player with the most culture points wins.
Source for Game Overview [here]
So there are a few of my thoughts.
I am genuinely in love with this game, a true masterpiece and one I feel like I will continue to love for years to come.
Thank you for reading, and thank you for visiting my blog.