Some of the most prominent board games, and some that require the highest strategic ingenuity from the player, are civilization building games. These games usually place you as head of a civilization (sometimes specified, sometimes not) and you are tasked with its advancement, sometimes within a certain Age, and sometimes through multiple Ages. If you’re interested in these types of games, we’ve got one right here – Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization.
Arms, Science, Industry, Religion – The Fabric of a Nation
Let us start by saying that Through the Ages is not primarily a game of conflict, but a game of advancement and strategic planning, as well as economical manipulation of your resources. The game has many rules, so it’s not really possible to put it into a very small article like this, but we’ll try to explain the crux of the game, what it’s all about and how to play it.
The goal of Through the Ages is to score culture points, and whichever player scores the most by the time the game ends (by the time you play the last age card) wins the game. With that being said, Through the Ages allows you to cultivate culture in many different ways. You would think that you may need to establish military dominance over your opponents, but no, that isn’t the case. While it is true you can generate quite a bit of culture through warfare, you can generate the same amount through agriculture, industry, science or religion. The game lets you focus on one of those, as all nations start from the same position, and all of them are undesignated, so every one of 2 to 4 players are on equal footing.
To play the game, you utilize action points, and those can be spent in various ways. At the start of every turn, you take a bunch of age cards from age decks (whichever age is currently in progress) and lay them out on the board. Actions can be spent to take one of the age cards, but you can also use it to build mines, temples, farms or increase your military might. All these things generate some sort of resource that is tracked either on your main board, or on a designated board that is used to track how much science and culture you generate per turn, and how much do you have. You also have a population that governs how many workers do you have available and how many are currently working to produce your resources. As you play, you will lose certain cards from the pile of age cards, and they will be replaced by others. You will start with the classical antiquity, and slowly move on up to the Middle Ages, then the New Age and ending with the Modern Age. There are five ages in total. At the end, the points are tallied and the winner declared.
In the end, Through the Ages is one of the best civilization games around, and is certainly worth a mention. The game is very diverse and can be played in many different ways. The rules we described are basics only, and we haven’t even touched what age cards can do, which is all the more the reason to pick this game up. In any case, we hope you have fun with it just as much as we. Happy gaming!