Sunday, April 05, 2009

Crom, Count the Dead.... Age of Conan the Board Game

"Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

Jon (Stygia), Michael (Turan), Steve (Hyperboria), and I (Acquilonia) faced off today in the new Age of Conan board game. This was a learning session with a few minor asterix and all of us only having a vague understanding of final victory scoring until the very end. Still, what great fun!

Jon led his evil Stygians to quickly woo the southern kingdoms under his banner using intrigue actions. This netted him a huge pile of gold, but few VPs. He also seemed to constantly have a monster pile of sorcery tokens, all very true to theme. His army became slightly bogged down in the politically incorrect kingdoms, but he was able to control Conan to his great advantage most of the game.

Steve, the undead Hyperborian overlord far in the icy North, built an army worthy of Mordor composed of his giant sorcery spawned giants. However, when he marched them out of the snow and into the desert, they did their best Frosty the Snowman imitation and spent at least three full turns deep in a quagmire. Steve too had a respectable performance with Conan, raiding his neighbors much our chagrin.

Michael, the whirling dervish from the East, made the best use of his emmisaries, and launched an impressive golden spearhead of troops across the board at me. Unfortunately, when I counterattacked all he had left was a few camels and an unguarded harem or two, scoring me my one and only Crom counter.

I pretty much ignored Conan the whole game, though I did convince him to follow the path of righteousness for one adventure headed down towards the kingdom of political incorrectness. Instead I girded my loins and focused on building an iron curtain of client states around my kingdom, heavily garrisoned against any foreign adventurism.

Still, Jon was able to crown Conan the King of Stygia, severely crushing our chances of victory... or so we thought!

In the end, it was my successful boring of my opponents during rules explanation that secured my triumph. After 15 minutes of lecture they begged me to start the game, skipping discussion on the finer points of the final victory scoring mechanics. At the end of the game all conquered territories you were able to retain are re-added to VP total. As I had done the most conquering, this propelled me to the lead.

Overall our Age of Conan game was a very enjoyable experience, and one I very much look forward to repeating. Now that we've played, I think we'll have a much tighter, hotly contested military game next time.

Thanks, guys! Great fun.



At 7:11 PM, April 06, 2009, Blogger Ben said...

This video is nice, but I think the game is better than it makes it out to be:

At 4:53 PM, April 07, 2009, Blogger Rob said...

Your post makes it sound better than this sort of lackluster review. Chris Farell's post at the botom. Not that I've always agreed with him, but still ouch.

At 5:50 PM, April 07, 2009, Blogger Travis said...

This sounds great; keep me informed when Crom will rear his gold-crowned head again; I will read up on the rules in the meantime.

At 7:22 PM, April 07, 2009, Blogger Ben said...

I suppose any opinion of mine on the game needs to come with the following disclaimers:

1. I own the game.
2. I won the one game I played.
3. I'm a huge lifelong fan of the Conan mythos.
4. I am a huge fan of its spiritual elder cousin, War of the Ring.
5. I had a personal demo of the playtest version of the game by the designer at Essen 2007
6. I like games with lots of plastic, piles of dice, and global combat, aka Ameritrash.

Okay... I could probably make this a top 10 list, but I want to get back to grinding my new Diablo 2 character, Frost Mage McStinky, up the ladder.

Perhaps the others in the game could give a less biased assessment. Personally, I can't wait to play again.

Travis, I'll keep you posted.

At 7:08 PM, April 08, 2009, Blogger Travis said...

Hooray for Ameritrash; it makes plants grow!

At 6:32 PM, May 30, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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