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On the fence about Age of Conan

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#1 L81Corvette



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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:24 PM

I have been considering purchasing this game for some time but am still not 100% ready to take the plunge.  I love Conan and the Hyborian Age.  I love large, well-themed, epic board games. I also LOVE FFG games.

Having said that, my only real gaming group is my kids (ages 7, 10 year old twins, and a soon to be 17 year old) and occasionally my wife.  We enjoy the BSG and LoTR games as well as WoW The Adventure Game and Doom the Board Game.  Outside of FFG products, we do some miniature wargaming and assorted adventure board games as well as RISK.

Normally, I would have already been all over Age of Conan except that I had a really disappointing experience with my last large-size, FFG game purchase. Being a Tolkien fan, I followed the development and just "had to have" Middle Earth Quest. Well, to make a long story short, after 3 tries diligently trying to MAKE myself like it, I had to finally admit that I didn't. I hate it. It's the most not-fun non-rewarding game purchase I have ever made even though "on paper" it seems like I should absolutely love it.

So now, I'm afraid the same thing will happen if I go ahead and purchase AoC.  I've read the rulebook and it seems pretty straightforward, but that doesn't always equate to having it on the table.  So how "fiddly" is it to play? Does it "feel" like Howard's universe? Is it unnecessarily overcomplicated (as is the case with MEQ)? How does it compare to some of the fancier RISK editions?

Thanks in advance for any insights into the game any real players can give!

#2 Whitmire



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Posted 13 March 2011 - 09:25 PM

The game is not fiddly at all. While there are tons of bits and pieces in the box, only a number of them exist on the gameboard at the same time.

The rules are rather straightforward and it's easy to play the game as long as one person knows the rules by heart. And I mean all of them - reread the rules after playing your third game. It's easy to make mistakes in your first few games, so read the rules carefully.

The game lasts quite a while, which may be a problem considering your gaming group. We can't finish a game in less than four hours, for some reason.

Combat is fun but very random. So is intrigue. Lots of rolling dice and plans gone awry because of bad luck. Strategy and Kingdom cards make the results somewhat more predictable, however.

The Conan "fluff" in the game keeps the game thematical, and you will get Conan moments, but AoC did not 100% meet my expectations of what should be Conan, and I've been a die-hard Conan man since the 80s. To me it feels more like Barry Windsor-Smith's Conan rather than the dark, brooding Conan of John Buscema, if you get my meaning. The theme is present, but not very heavily.

Furthermore, Conan is more like a force of nature in the game rather than an active participant. This may strike odd to some people, while others will like it. You are the kings of the known world who shudder on their thrones at the thought of the dark-haired Cimmerian coming to claim your throne (even though this is actually the way to win the game).

It's a game to be lived and experienced rather than strategized to death. This may make it a very good game for your gaming group - planning beforehand won't win this game for you. To win, you have to adapt to changing situations.

#3 L81Corvette



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Posted 14 March 2011 - 11:00 AM

Thanks for your reply. It definitely sounds like the kind of game the family and I like!  I especially think the role of Conan in the game sounds thematically perfect.  Wandering around the lands and all the rulers (players) need to keep a wary eye on him and try not to "piss him off" too badly.

#4 ronsen_04



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Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:06 PM

Please, a monkey could play RISK! It's about as much a strategy game as Settlers of Catan is.

That said, I mean no disrespect. Honestly. I own Age of Conan and I love it. It's fairly "light" for FFG and not nearly as fiddly as most of their other games. Yes, it is more complicated than RISK...even if you take the fancier editions into account. But at the end of the day you should be happy with buying it. If you let your kids play RISK and miniature wargames you shouldn't have a problem with them playing Age of Conan.

Other than that, go find yourself a gaming group that does not consist largely of under-age people. :)

#5 Seren



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Posted 15 April 2011 - 02:57 AM

These are some awesome write-ups. I'm going to have to consider this one as well.

For he was a lone adventurer from the north...

#6 Tsugo



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Posted 15 April 2011 - 04:29 AM

This is one my groups favorite games. The only reason it doesn't get played more often is that we have 6 people in our group.

Others have posted some good answers to your questions.  This is definitely one of the less fiddly games that FFG has published.

The one thing that I tell people new to this game, is that it's not Conan the Adventure Boardgame.  I think a more apt title would have been Battles of the Hyborian Age.  I also let them know that direct PvP combat will occur, but right off the bat, generally it's not strategically sound.  But if they want immediate player conflict, it's an option.


#7 MinionOfProvidence



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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:57 AM

It is a great game and definitly worth the time however i to find the player limit frustrating. Only four people can play and though this still seems like a good amount i am use to Arkham horror and Decent were large groups of people are playing. I will say though it is definitly worth the purchase and is a great intiment and fast paced game (if everyone knows what they are doing) 

#8 Doc9



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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:57 AM

I can't believe you don't like Middle Earth Quest! That is one of the best games our group plays. It's sweet spot is three players.

#9 MinionOfProvidence



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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:03 AM

I have to disagree with the risk comment, i think this game is way easy to play, and even easier to learn. I taught my two friends and my girlfriend how to play in the space of twenty minutes. The only thing that takes a while to grasp is all the different dice options, but by the end of the first game you know exactly how to play. Compared to the likes of Mansions of Madness i would say Age is a cake walk.

#10 Teetoo



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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:05 AM

Cardhaus.com has it for an amazing price of $19.88 for those interested! Hard to go wrong at that price.



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