This is just a good, quick, simple, dice-rolling game that I recommend. The dice-rolling is similar to Yahtzee, but each turn you get something good (just maybe not exactly what you wanted).
How to Play
There are 3 main components that each player will use: dice, pegboard, and score card/reference sheet.
- The dice in this game have 6 unique sides:
3 food (feeding cities),
3 workers (building cities/monuments),
2 food or 2 workders (you choose which to use),
7 coins (used to buy developments but lost at end of turn),
1 good (used to buy developments but can be saved for later turns),
2 goods and 1 skull (2 goods and part of a disaster, cannot be re-rolled).
- The peg board tracks goods and food leftover from previous turns.
- The score card/reference sheet tracks your completed cities, developments, monuments, disasters, and has remainders on how to play the game.
- Roll Dice
Roll 1 die for each completed city you control (you start with 3). Set aside any dice with a face-up skull. You may then re-roll the remaining dice. After this re-roll, set aside any dice with a face-up skull on them, and then you may re-roll the rest of the dice one more time. If you chose not to re-roll a die the first time, you may re-roll it the second time.
You roll a skull, 3 food, and 7 coins. You then re-roll the 7 coins and get a second skull. On your final re-roll you choose to re-roll your 3 food to try to get a 3rd skull.
- Collect Goods and Food
For each good (dice showing a skull give 2 goods), increase a peg on your board by 1 starting at the bottom. *See Example and Picture below*
For each food on your dice, increase the green food track on your peg board by 1.
I start with Stone and Cloth up 1 space each.
If I roll and keep 6 goods I would first increase Wood by 1 to 1, then increase Stone by 1 to 2, then Pottery by 1 to 1, then Cloth by 1 to 2, then Spearhead by 1 to 1, and then finally increase Wood another 1 to 2.
I start with 2 food, roll 3 food, and move my marker to 5.
- Feed Cities and Resolve Disasters
For each completed city you have, decrease your green food track by 1. Then, for each point you can’t decrease it, mark 1 spot in the disasters section of the score card. If you rolled 2 or more skulls, reference the right side of the score sheet to see if you lose any points and mark that many spaces in the disasters section.
If I have 5 cities and I only have 3 food on my green food track, I would go to 0 food and mark 2 disasters. Then, if I had rolled exactly 2 skulls, I would mark 2 more disasters. If I had rolled exactly 3 skulls, each other player would mark 3 disasters instead.)
- Build Cities and/or Monuments
For each worker you rolled, you can mark an empty box in either a city or a monument. If you mark all the spots in a city, you complete it and will roll one more die per turn. Marking all the spots in a monument completes it. If you were the first player to do it you would score the left point value, everyone else that completes it in the future scores the right value.
I rolled 9 workers on my turn. I choose to put 3 more into my 6th city completing it so I will roll 6 dice starting on my next turn instead of 5. With my remaining 6 workers, I put 5 into the Stone Circle completing it, and since I was the second person to complete it I only get 1 point. The final worker I put into the Obelisk to complete it at a later point.
- May Buy a Development
Coins and goods can be used to buy a development. Coins are worth 7 a piece at the start of the game (12 with Coinage). Goods can be sold in a lump for the bonus on the beg board. If you use any of the 5 resources you must use all of that resource. Only 1 development may be bought each turn, and unused coins can’t be saved for next turn.
- Discard Goods in Excess of 6
All of your pegs may only be over a combined total of 6 places at the end of your turn (unless you have the Caravans development). You must move pegs to the left until they do not exceed 6 total.
To get to 6, I could
move Wood back 2 (Wood up 3, Stone up 2, Pottery up 1),
move Stone back 2 (Wood up 5 and Pottery up 1),
or move any 2 back 1 (Wood up 4, Stone up 1, Pottery up 1)
- Pass the Dice to the Next player
The end of the game is triggered when
A) a player buys their 5th development,
B) at the end of a player’s turn, every monument has been built at least once this game.
In this game everyone gets the same number of turns. So if player 1 went first and player 2 achieved one of the above game end triggers, players 3 and 4 would still take their turn.
This is a nice quick game I break out when we don’t know what we want to play. The rules aren’t too complicated, and the score card/reference card is spectacularly well-designed. Everything fits compactly onto it, but it doesn’t feel cramped or like anything important was left out. I really appreciate a good reference sheet, and this game delivers.
The dice-rolling works particularly well in this game because even if you get skulls, you still get 2 resources per skull. You might even get Pestilence making your opponents lose points instead.
Developments are where this game gets the rest of its variety. There are a good number of choices at different prices, so you can take your civilization building in different ways. My only complaint with the game is that almost all of the games I have played, the game ended when someone got their 5th development. I think maybe only 1 game I played all of the monuments were built. The 5 development game end feels a bit rushed to me, but it does keep the length solid.
At their website http://www.rollthroughtheages.com/#downloads there is a Late Bronze Age variant that could address this problem. I only just came across it while I was verifying that the extra score sheets can be found on there. As you can tell, I do not expect you to need extra sheets anytime in the near future.
In addition, the website reminded me that there is a trading variant that lets players trade goods and food however they want on their turn. I have not used that variant so I can’t speak to it, but I enjoy the game without it.
All in all, I enjoy the game. I’m always happy to play it. I would never schedule an event just to play this game, but I basically always bring it with me.