Through the Ages game

by Shelley

(Upstate New York (USA))

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Through the Ages
Board game manufacturer:
Eagle Games
Number of players:

Quick Verdict
A long game with plenty of housekeeping, but little strategy.

The game and gameplay

Goal: Achieve the most culture by developing your civilization through production, science and military strengths.

Click here to Put Your Foot Down: submit your OWN Footprint Rating and leave comments for this game!You start with a number of workers who you can assign to specific occupations (generating resources for example). You must balance the number of workers in play with their food consumption (busy people must eat, after all), discontent and corruption.
Use accumulated resources, science points and armsmen to purchase civilization improvements and to steal resources from your neighbors.

Civilization improvements may award you additional culture points each turn, improve your science, increase your military might, allow you to build wonders, up your food and mineral production, and grant your civilization bonus attributes through leaders. Events may occur which affect your growth and position.

At the end of the game, the civilization with the greatest culture wins.

Pros and cons

The game is detailed and pretty, but I found it trending to a “rich get richer” mechanic. Very often, the event cards available encouraged picking on the weakest person, which only encourages kicking the poor civilization while he’s down. I also found that if you get even a little behind on your production tracks you can’t realistically catch up.

While the games appears at first blush to offer several strategies to win, in truth if you don’t “keep up with the Jonses” in your building (particularly on the military side) you won’t find your final score very competitive.

The verdict

Having played once, I have little interest to play again. Perhaps if you have a table of equally-skilled opponents, you would find the game challenging and enjoyable. With the limited strategies and the lack of ability to catch up when you get behind, Through the Ages won’t take up a slot on my gaming shelf.

Boardgame Beast gives Through the Ages two-and-a-half footprints out of five. Click here to leave comments and submit your OWN score for this game!

Comments for Through the Ages game

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Mar 26, 2010

An alternate opinion

by: Jestrada

Through the Ages is one of the top civilization games to be made in the last decade. It’s in the Top 10 board games on most serious board game website. Through the Ages is a proven game with dedicated board gamers, and I would suggest that the above reviewer’s opinion is a minority. The fact that the game has been reprinted many times already is evidence of its success. There are a variety of strategies, and the game has high replayability. The idea that the “rich get richer” is not correct – you can choose to focus on military, or technology, or agriculture, or resource production, and each different strategy will have different benefits. Highly recommended.

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