This is an age of strife and sorcery. An age of might, splendor, and decadence.
Into this age of empire building, heroic achievements, and vile misdeeds steps Conan the Cimmerian. Black-haired, sullen-eyed, and sword in hand, he is a thief, a reaver, a slayer. All tremble at his approach, for he comes to tread the jeweled thrones of the earth under his sandaled feet. His very presence can disrupt carefully laid plots and turn the tide of battles, and no kingdom can truly control his actions.
The Age of Conan is coming...
In Age of Conan, players control the four major kingdoms of the Hyborian Age as they aggressively expand their borders and influence, competing to become the most powerful kingdom of the age.
Each player's forces include Army units, which are used to invade provinces and fight battles by force of arms; and Emissary units, who form and break alliances via diplomacy and political maneuvering.
While no one person plays Conan, a canny ruler will guide the barbarian so that his presence confounds the actions of opposing kingdoms, rather than his own. A truly ambitious kingdom may try and convince Conan to join them and rule their kingdom. Be warned, though, Conan is savage and unpredictable, and the price for attempting to crown him and failing is steep!
Age of Conan is played over the course of three ages. At the end of each age, players consolidate their gains, reap rewards for their accomplishments, and prepare for the future!
THE FOUR KINGDOMS
Each player will control one kingdom during the game: dusky Stygia, noble Aquilonia, barbarous Hyperborea, or militant Turan.
The advanced and civilized nation of Aquilonia rises in Central Hyboria. It relies on well-trained armies made up of elite units to sweep aside its adversaries. Its message is clear; join us and prosper, but resist and be destroyed.
Far to the south, the sorcerous nation of Stygia lies deep within steaming jungles. Its leaders count on their prodigious arcane prowess to bolster their soldiers in battle. They have decreed that all Hyboria will bow before the serpent god.
Amongst cruel mountains of the frozen north, the lands of Hyperborea rally for war. Their armies consist of berserker barbarians, but fell magics summon unnatural creatures and even the dead to fight by their side. Hyboria will burn, and the loot of all its nations will be dragged back to their icy homes.
Finally, on the shores of the Vilayet Sea, the nomadic peoples of Turan have organized into a mighty horde. The cunning horse-lords have a mighty army at their disposal, but are prepared to use diplomacy – backed by ten thousand bows – to convince Hyboria to cede to their rule.
Players will find Aquilonia and Turan both rely heavily on their militaries to conquer their foes, and their cards reflect that. Both possess kingdom cards that augment military contests in their favor and replenish their armies. Turan is slightly weaker militarily, but has more diplomatic options, and several kingdom cards allow Turan to use its emissaries in unorthodox ways to disrupt opponents.
Stygia and Hyperborea, on the other hand, do not have as large an army at the beginning of the game, and less options for augmenting military contests. Instead, they gain access to sorcery right from the beginning, and their kingdom cards allow them to receive more. Besides allowing them to re-roll contests, they also have kingdom cards allowing them to exploit their sorcery in other ways.
STARTING THE GAME
Players begin by each choosing one kingdom to control during the game, either by mutual agreement or random selection. Each player receives the kingdom cards for their kingdom, starting gold tokens, bidding tokens, and plastic figures representing their armies and emissaries. Stygia and Hyperborea each receive two sorcery tokens.
Each player then places their starting units on the board, in their respective kingdoms. Aquilonia and Turan each get five army units and four emissaries as starting units, while Stygia and Hyperborea each get four army units and four emissaries. Strategy cards are drawn, and Artifacts and the Conan bonus card are randomly assigned.
Objective and Adventure cards are drawn and placed on the appropriate spaces on the board. The Objective cards are goals for players to strive for (such as controlling a certain number of provinces in a specific area, or having a greater number of forts than any other player), while Adventure cards represent the adventures of Conan, showing the province Conan must reach to successfully complete the epic saga he has embarked on.
Finally, Conan is placed in the province of Cimmeria, and players bid (each using a Strategy card and a bidding token). The player with the highest result controlling Conan for that turn, and takes the first turn.
The actions a player may take during their turn are determined by the Fate Dice pool. At the start of the game, the Conan player rolls the seven fate dice and places them in the fate dice pool section of the board.
Each side of each die has a symbol representing several related actions a player may take. Each turn, a player chooses one fate die and performs one of the actions represented by that symbol.
Court + Conan
This icon allows the player to take a Court action - which could be drawing Kingdom and Strategy cards or playing an event card. In addition, a Conan player can give Conan an additional move and/or place a Raider token, while a non-Conan player takes an adventure token from the adventure track.
The military symbol allows a player to move and/or attack with their army units, or add additional units to their armies. Armies can subjugate a neutral province by fighting a campaign against its local defenders, or lay siege to a province controlled by an opposing player.
The player can move and/or start an intrigue contest with their emissaries, or collect gold from an enemy province containing one of their emissaries. An intrigue contest can ally a neutral province with the player's kingdom, converting the province to a friendly province, or return an enemy province to neutrality.
The player chooses to perform either a Military or Intrigue action. Note that you cannot use this die result if there is still a die with the action you wish to take remaining in the Fate Dice pool.
With a Wild icon, a player can choose a Military, Intrigue, or Court action. Again, when selecting a Wild die, a player may never choose an action that is still available in the Fate Dice pool. In other words, Wild dice are used last.
When players invade a province or fight a battle with their armies, and form or break alliances with their emissaries, they take part in a contest. Both military contests and intrigue contests follow the same general rules.
Contests are resolved through contested dice rolls. Both players roll a number of dice – depending on factors specific to the contest – and compare their results. The player with the most successful die rolls wins the contest, with ties going to the defender.
Successes are determined by the results shown on the contest dice. Certain die results are successes, others are failures, and some are only successes under certain conditions.
A player can choose to play a strategy card from their hand before the contest dice are rolled. These strategy cards modify die results in contests by allowing players to count shield or axe results as successes instead of failures.
Before playing a strategy card, the player must determine that it can affect the current contest based on the card icons that correspond to the province and terrain the contest is taking place on.
If the Conan player is involved in a contest in a province where Conan is present, The Conan player gets to roll an additional die to the amount of contest dice they roll. Additionally, any "Hit + Conan" results count as two successes, rather than one.
THE ADVENTURES OF CONAN
As the four kingdoms are gaining and losing land by military might and the guile of their emissaries, Conan is continuing on his adventures. It is common for each player to control Conan at some point during the game, both helping him along in his adventures and using him to help or hinder other players.
Each time Conan completes an adventure, a new adventure card is revealed. When four adventures have been resolved, the age change phase occurs after the current player completes their turn.
WINNING THE GAME
Age of Conan is scored with Empire Points. Empire Points are earned by conquering a province through a military conquest and by completing objectives. At the end of the third age, the player with the most Empire points has the most powerful Hyborian kingdom and is the winner!
WHY AGE OF CONAN MAY BE RIGHT FOR YOUR GAMING GROUP
If your group likes highly thematic games of conquest, Age of Conan may very well be for you. The Fate Dice Pool is a new version of the popular Action Dice mechanic used in War of the Ring.
If you or your friends are fans of Robert E. Howard's famous fantasy barbarian, Age of Conan is your chance to battle through the lands of Hyborea in the time of the titular Cimmerian.
While each faction has only two types of units, there is still a lot of strategy in sending your armies and emissaries to gain control of the kingdoms around you. And with Conan himself as a wild card, every game is different!
|12+||2 - 4 ||90+ min |
© 2009 Conan Properties International LLC. CONAN, CONAN THE BARBARIAN, HYBORIA, and related logos, characters, names, and distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks or registered trademarks of Conan Properties International LLC unless otherwise noted. ROBERT E. HOWARD is a trademark or registered trademark of Robert E. Howard Properties Inc. Used with permission. All Rights Reserved. Age of Conan — The Strategy Boardgame © XXXX NG International Srl. All rights reserved.
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