Roll Through the Ages - Board Game Box Shot

Roll Through the Ages

The #1 "Winner of Best Family Game 2010”, and a nominee for the 2009 International Games Award for General Strategy, Roll Through the Ages is the hottest family game out this year!

Collect goods, assign workers to build cities and erect monuments, advance your civilization through cultural and scientific developments, but don't forget to harvest enough food to feed your growing population.

This game is perfect for those who appreciate high quality wooden components, medium-weight strategy and the chance to influence a society from the ground up.

Grab those dice and Roll Through the Ages in this awardwinning, addictive and strategic new civilization game!

User Reviews (22)

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6
I'm Completely Obsessed
Viscount / Viscountess
Champion
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
8
85 of 92 gamers found this helpful
“Easy to learn, fun to play.”

Roll through the Ages was one of the games I learned via Yucata.de – and the online play was so fun I bought the game for my gaming group.

The materials are top-notch. Wooden peg boards for record keeping, large wooden dice with a nice heft to them and wood-burned symbols on the sides, and a very thick pad of score sheets to use.

Gameplay is simple – each turn you roll a number of dice equal to the number of cities you own. (You start with three.) Dice will provide food, workers, coins, or goods for you. They can also cause disasters if you’re unlucky.

After you roll, you feed your cities. If you don’t have enough food, you lose a point per city that starves. Then you collect Goods, which can later be sold for coins.

Your workers can then be used to either build more cities, providing you with more dice to roll each turn (and more mouths to feed), or Monuments, which are basically straight up victory points.

Lastly, you can purchase “Developments” which give you both victory points and a special effect. Agriculture, for instance, will give you an extra food every time you roll food on a die, and Medicine will protect you from the “Pestilence” Disaster.

Coins are lost every round, whether you use them or not, but Goods can be saved to purchase larger, more expensive developments, to a point.

Combining Risk-and-roll mechanics with empire building, with resource management, Roll through the Ages is a quick game with a nice degree of interaction between players, as you compete for Monuments (the first to build each gets more points than anyone else) and can affect one another with disasters.

It has been mentioned already, but the expansion, available on the website at The Roll through the Ages website adds a few very nice new developments and other tricks to the game, and it’s a free download.

Pros:
Nice materials and design.
Quick gameplay.
Fun for 2-5 players.
Online play.
Free expansion.
Portable!

Cons:
Very luck-dependent.

 
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6
Novice Reviewer
Knight-errant
Gamer - Level 6
10
82 of 89 gamers found this helpful
“Civ Building Doesn't Get Much Easier or Quicker”

Ever since discovering Sid Meier’s Civilization computer game as a child, I’ve loved Civ games. There’s just something about the exploration, planning, development and conflict that can keep me engaged for hours and hours. The search for the perfect Civ board game has been a personal quest ever since entering the hobby some 4 or 5 years ago.

Now there have been a lot of excellent Civ games out there over the years. From Avalon Hill’s original “Civilization” to “Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization”, many have attempted to capture the magic of human history in a game. Unfortunately almost every one of these great games has suffered from the same affliction: a looong play time. It’s a common problem because it’s tough to encapsulate the entirety of human civilization in a short play time. For me, as a time poor adult, this causes a problem.

Fortunately, this is where Matt Leacock’s “Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age” comes to the rescue with perhaps the most unique approach to the Civ game genre that’s been attempted. At it’s heart, Roll Through the Ages has a very Yahtzee like feel. The game uses 7 chunky wooden dice which will be rolled up to three times on a player’s turn to get a desirable combination of resources. The different faces of the dice each represent different resources including food, workers, trade goods and money which players will use to feed their populace, build cities and monuments and buy bonus-giving developments. One face of each die also has a disaster icon which can have dire consequences for both the player who rolled them and their opponent’s. Disasters offer a nice push-your-luck element to the game as increasing numbers of disaster dice (which you have to keep) may escalate the scale of the disaster or better yet shunt the trouble onto your opponents. The other aspect of disasters though is that they can also provide you with a significant number of goods.

Players will keep track of their acquired resources on a cribbage style wooden peg board while their developing civilizations are tracked on a printed play sheet which each player has a copy of. Players are going to take turns until either all the available monuments have been built or one player has bought their fifth development (which will usually take about 20 to 30 minutes).

So why does Roll Through the Ages work? The decision to only focus on our earliest period of history and the use of the simple and familiar Yahtzee make the game both short and accessible. However the inclusion of the various Developments and the different bonuses they give offers some simple strategic choices and keeps the game from being overly simplistic. The Developments also add to the game’s replay value as different combinations of Developments can lead to quite different victory strategies. The random chaos of the dice rolling and the push your luck nature of disasters also give the game a good level of engagement (so long as you don’t take your filler games too seriously). And finally, the quality of the wooden components is great and the box is jam packed. Gryphon Games are to be commended for not going for the larger box size (and price point).

Perhaps my only (somewhat ironic) gripe with the game out of the box is that it’s almost too short. The five Development end condition for the game has that frustrating feel of coming just when you were about to really get going. Fortunately the free “Late Bronze Age” expansion (available from rollthroughtheages.com) fixes this nicely with its slightly deeper play and longer play time.

All in all, Roll Through the Ages is a great game and an admirable take on the Civ genre in what is a well paced filler game with meat. It deserves all the accolades it has garnered so far and I for one look forward to anything else Matt Leacock does with the system in the future.

 
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I Am What I Am
 
59 of 67 gamers found this helpful
“Just a fun game all around. Move on up from Yahtzee”

If you’re ready to move beyond Yahtzee then this is the game for you. Surprisingly a lot of strategy for such a simple game. Plus the all wooden pieces are amazing. Plus you can download different scenarios from the website. If you are looking for something nice and quick to play in between those epic Pathfinder ACG sessions, this is the perfect game for you. One thing you will want to do is keep a few mechanical pencils in the box so everyone will have there own to mark up there sheets. Oh, about the game sheets. The box contains what is essentially a life time supply of sheets in the box. Printed on both sides you won’t be running out any time soon.

 
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4
Cryptozoic Entertainment fan
AEG fan
8
78 of 91 gamers found this helpful
“Roll your empire, build your empire”

Through the Ages is known as one of the top civilization games to play. However, it’s a long game to play and could take many hours to play with friends. Actually, trying to get your friends to play the game is a bit hard, unless they like those kinds of games. Roll Through the Ages is the same game but as you can tell by the name, you roll dice to determine what you do.

First of all, the game comes with 7 wooden dice and 4 pegboards. The quality of the components themselves is the best I’ve seen in a small game. It’s light and feels great too so you can take it on the go. The game also comes with a huge stack of double sided score pads so that’s nice as well.

You start off with three dice and each side of the dice represents a different symbol. You can either gain food to feed your cities, gain workers to help build monuments or build more cities to roll more dice. And you can gain goods and coins to build developments, avoiding certain disasters or gaining extra food or workers per dice. Disasters are represented as skulls and for everyone you roll, you must keep (unless your playing the solo version of the game). Each disaster will cost you points or your opponents might lose points.

Using the pegboard is easy. The green color is your food and goes up and down with the food you get. Everything else is your goods and every good you roll, one goes up from the bottom to the top. However, if you have more then 6 goods out, then you must get rid of them.

The game is good when you want to play a quick solo game or with 4 players, the fun really starts to pick up. Your battling to build an monument first so that you can get the points in the square. If you do build it, everyone else will earn the points next to the square. At the end of the game, whoever has the most points wins the game and has the mightiest empire!

 
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1
Rated My First Game
8
65 of 92 gamers found this helpful
“Easy to learn, quick and fun”

Build cities and monuments! Further scientific developments! Starve your citizens to death!(?)

Civ games meet lucky dice-rolling in Roll Through the Ages. Based on the board game, this game shortens play time dramatically but keeps the “I’m a God” feel of building a civilization YOUR way. A must play, it’s easy to learn and teach while keeping hardcore gamers’ attention. Playing equally well with 2, 3, or 4 players, games are lightning-quick. I rarely play for more than a half hour. Sometimes my friends want to play something a little more involved so we put this aside for a more in-depth game that takes 1-3 hours. Sadly, I don’t get to play this one much.

I gave this a low grade for components because in my set and at least one other I’ve seen the images on the dice rub off easily. You can touch them up with a sharpie, but for the cost I think Gryphon could make them more durable.

Dust Rating: 5
(My own rating system, 1-10, where low numbers are good.)

 
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8
Professional Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Silver Supporter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
6
38 of 55 gamers found this helpful
“Better than Yahtzee”

Take Yahtzee and Civilization, then throw them in a little box. Shake real hard for a few minutes, and Presto! You’ve got Roll through the Ages.

This is a nice little game that you can play with others or yourself. It works better with others, because it adds a little more interaction between players than Yahtzee ever did. You can affect other people with some of your Civilization advances and wonders, and you can end the game sooner on a certain condition.

It’s a small box, so that makes it a good game to travel.

So if you like Yahtzee, I bet you’ll like this even more. If you hate Yahtzee, well, you might want to give it a try.

 
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9
Gamer - Level 7
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Petroglyph
Explorer - Level 3
8
60 of 88 gamers found this helpful
“Great "Filler" game”

This game is a great filler game for those small bits of time during game sessions when you are waiting for someone to show up or otherwise don’t want to start a longer game. Be sure to download The score sheet for “The Late Bronze Age” if you want a more challenging game without adding a significant amount of gametime to play.

 
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8
Senior
Critic - Level 3
Junior Reporter
Explorer - Level 4
10
59 of 87 gamers found this helpful
“Good empire building game”

Roll the dice and choose your strategy. Do you build up your resources, create monuments or buy new abilities? Lots of action and plenty of variance. There is luck (i.e., it is dice), but the game moves along quickly and a good strategy can pay off with a few good rolls. It isn’t a deep thinking game, but it helps to pay close attention to your resources to maximize your buying potential.

 
Player Avatar
1
8
59 of 88 gamers found this helpful
“A very fun dice game.”

Roll Through the Ages is an extremely clever civ. building game, using dice. I feel like the game, as printed, ends a little prematurely. I recommend using the free Late bronze Age scoresheet Gryphon has on their website. The game is just a bit longer (1-2 turns at most), yet it feels more fulfilling.

 
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5
7
59 of 91 gamers found this helpful
“Good game, much better with 'expansion'”

After few plays, download The Late Bronze Age ‘expansion’ from offical site (www.rollthroughtheages.com). It makes game longer and more fun.

 
Player Avatar
2
Gamer - Level 2
7
59 of 92 gamers found this helpful
“Satisfyingly simple Civ”

Very quick to learn, very portable and quick to play. The components are few and simple but being all wood are very nice to play with. All in all a well thought out simplification of the Civilisation genre, reduced to dice rolling. The score-sheets double as a very effective player aide once an initial grasp of the rules has been imparted.

 
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8
El Dorado
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Rated 100 Games
Paladin
7
59 of 92 gamers found this helpful
“A fun dice game”

I’m usually not a huge fan of dice games or press-your-luck style strategy, but I actually had a lot of fun with Roll Through the Ages.
It may be because I was a huge fan of the Civilization video games and this reminds me a lot of that, but on a smaller scale.

I enjoy the elements of the tech tree and I found the game to be easy to learn and pick up. The difficulty comes in trying to figure out which is the right strategy to pursue.
I think the components in this game also are a big plus. For coming in such a compact box, the boards and dice are surprisingly hefty and made of wood (always a good thing!). The only thing I was not a fan of are the little pegs that you need to move through the board to track resources. They are made of plastic and I found the majority of them didn’t really sit right in the holes. I would wish for some wooden pegs that had a better fit with the boards.

Check out this game, even if you’re not a huge fan of dice games. The strategy is surprisingly well done creates some good in-game dilemmas. It’s also deeper game than the size of the box or the playing time suggests. Finally, it plays really well as a quick two-player game.

 
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6
Arrowhead
Knight-errant
Time Well Spent - Games
9
59 of 95 gamers found this helpful
“More fun than it should be”

Roll Through the Ages surprised me. I never played Yahtzee as a kid, so the mechanic was sort of new to me, but the game was easy to learn. At first glance, this game looks like a bunch of number crunching (and it is) and some weird dice mechanics (which it is) and seems complex. But after playing it a couple of times, it is oddly addicting. My wife, a non-gamer, played two games, won one of them, and wouldn’t let my gaming group go until we played again. After the first night we were hooked! If you haven’t given Roll Through the Ages a try, you need to as soon as possible.

Its a simple game about building your civilization through the Bronze Age. You roll dice to gain food, money, workers, and trade goods, while trying not to roll disasters. You can use your workers to build more cities (giving you more dice to roll) or build monuments (gaining victory points). With trade goods, you can purchase developments which will improve your civilization, making you more potent in the future.
The game ends when all the wonders have been built or when a player has 6 developments. Last, everyone counts up how many victory points they have earned, and a winner is declared. Its fast, fun, and exciting.

You definitely need to try this game. Three or four times, because it will only take about an hour. Enjoy!

 
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2
Noble
8
59 of 98 gamers found this helpful
“Civ-building and push-your-luck paired well”

Great, quick civ-building game with great push-your-luck thrills.

 
Player Avatar
4
Rated 25 Games
7
59 of 100 gamers found this helpful
“Better than Yahtzee is correct!”

Game is fun. Better than most dice game sout there.

 
Player Avatar
9
Sweden
Bard
9
59 of 102 gamers found this helpful
“Try the smartphone version”

I’ve really enjoyed the iPhone version of this versatile and quick-paced game. The great advantage is of course that you get a single-player version for all those times when you do not have co-players at hand. I play it on the train to work, at airports and often enough while watching something not quite good enough on TV.

Among the perks with the smartphone versions are also that your high scores are saved, so you always have those to compete against and try to break. On the downside is the fact that the achievements are soon fulfilled and Gryphon Games does not seem to be introducing more achievements, at least to date.

In sum, if you like RTtA and ever have dull moments with a smartphone at hand, try to play this game on the phone.

 
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9
Stratagem fan
 
59 of 109 gamers found this helpful
“easy, quick, fun”

You start with 3 dice referred to as “cities” in the game and 3 food. You also have a pegboard track showing levels of food, wood, stone. pottery,cloth and food. the dice have 6 different Icons. They are- 2 food, 3 people, choice of 1 food or person, 1 coin, 1 good, or 1 skull and 2 goods. You can roll up to 3 times. You must keep all skulls but may reroll all other dice. You record the results on the pegboard track. Then you must resolve disasters(skulls) and feed your cities- 1 food per city. You can then use people to aquire more cities(dice) or build monuments(victory points). Being the first to build a monument gives you more points than building that monument after someone else has. You can also buy 1 development(per turn) by spending goods for it. Developments have game effects. The game ends at the end of a round of turns in which someone has gained 5 developments, or sall of the monuments have been built by someone(It doesn’t have to be the same person for each one). The game is easy to teach and plays fast.

 
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8
Gamer - Level 8
Expert Recruiter
Count / Countess
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
8
59 of 110 gamers found this helpful
“CivYahtzee!”

This is an excellent, quick and light game. Definitely a filler, but great fun!

 
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3
My First Wish!
 
59 of 112 gamers found this helpful
“Good game for solitaire play”

This Dice rolling/ civ game works well for waiting for your group to arrive, it easily translates to solo play without muss or fuss- Less interesting as a solo venture, but works none the less.

In this game you are rolling for resources to convert into civilization advancement. High on luck, but recruit the yatchzee set to a more resource oriented game.

 
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5
Advanced Grader
7
59 of 113 gamers found this helpful
“So many paths to choose from”

I’ve only played this one a few times, but each time have found it to be more fun that I would expect. There’s an excellent spread of options that allows each person to try a different path to winning. That, paired with the dice-rolling aspect, makes for some definite replayability. It’s small size and fast play style makes it a good game for those who don’t have or want to spend a lot of time or space playing a game. Although, those same features could potentially be limiting for long term playability over the course of an evening. It also makes a nice game to show your mother-in-law that there are more interesting games than Scrabble.

 

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