Age of War

Everything can collapse. Houses, bodies, and enemies collapse when their rhythm becomes deranged. In large-scale strategy, when the enemy starts to collapse you must pursue him without letting the chance go. If you fail to take advantage of your enemies' collapse, they may recover.
   –Miyamoto Musashi

Age of War is a fast-paced dice game for two to six players, designed by Reiner Knizia and set among the warring states of feudal Japan. In the game, you and your fellow players take on the roles of rival daimyos attempting to unite the Japanese clans by mustering your troops and conquering castles.

Castles Under Siege

At the beginning of a game of Age of War, fourteen castle cards belonging to the six clans are laid out in the center of the play area. Each turn, you must attempt to conquer a castle by laying siege to it with your forces. Your turn begins by mustering your troops: rolling the seven custom dice. Each die has six possible results—one infantry, two infantry, three infantry, archers, cavalry, or daimyo. After your roll, you must attack a castle. Each castle card possesses at least one battle line, showing a variety of symbols from the dice. With the results you roll, you must complete one battle line on the besieged castle each turn. If you cannot complete a battle line, you remove one die from your rolls for this turn and muster your troops once more by rolling again.

Each battle line on a castle card must be matched exactly, with the exception of infantry. When you fill a battle line that requires infantry, you may match or exceed the number of infantry needed to complete the battle line.

If you fill each battle line on the besieged castle card, you conquer it and add it to your play area. If you fail to complete all of a castle’s battle lines on your turn, however, your assault has been defeated, and you must wait until your next turn to besiege a castle.

Castles conquered by your opponents aren’t permanently out of reach, however. You can besiege castles in your opponent’s play areas in the same way that you would besiege an unconquered castle. However, you must treat the red daimyo symbol in the upper left hand corner of the castle card as an additional battle line, which makes stealing castles from your opponents harder than conquering them for the first time.

Claiming Victory

The castles you capture in Age of War belong to six different clans, and each clan that declares its loyalty to you brings you closer to an ultimate victory. The number of castles belonging to a clan ranges from one to four castles. Regardless of the number of castles, when you conquer all of a clan’s castles, that clan swears its loyalty to you. The castles of a clan united behind your banner cannot be stolen from you, but immunity to your opponent’s attacks is not the only benefit of conquering a clan.

Each conquered castle grants you the number of points printed on the front of the card, but if you manage to unite a clan, you’ll gain a number of points greater than the sum of each individual castle. For example, the Tokugawa clan in Age of War consists of three castles: Inuyama, worth one point; Kiyosu, worth two points; and Edo, worth three points. But players clever enough to conquer all three castles and secure the loyalty of the Tokugawa clan receive two bonus points, for a total of eight points.

Conquering clans and castles adds another level of strategy to Age of War. Clans with a few castles may be easy to conquer, but you’ll receive more bonus points if you attempt to unite a clan that possesses many castles.

When the final unconquered castle is taken from the play area, the game ends, and players tally their points by adding the point values of conquered clans and individual conquered castles. The player with the most points succeeds in uniting Japan under his banner and wins the game! Are you prepared to test your adaptability and your tactics on the field of battle? In Age of War, one player will rise above the other daimyos to gain renown as the leader of a unified Japan. Muster your troops, besiege the clan’s castles, and march to victory in feudal Japan!

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15 – 30 minutes

2 – 6 players

Ages 14+





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