Age of Mythology boardgame?

I saw this at Barnes & Noble today. It looked interesting, to be sure, but I didn’t want to drop $40 on it before researching it a bit more first. Anyone mess with this at all?

Yes, it’s very good.

And on the other side: it BLOWS. Go to and read the capsule reviews. You’ll find a wide field of opinion. Of course, I’m not a huge fan of Eagle games, but I am a passionate fan of AOM, the computer version.

Ugh. This was a terrible game. There aren’t many weighty decisions to make, and the endless dice rolling really slows the game down. IIRC it’s inbalanced as well.

And on the other side: it BLOWS. Go to and read the capsule reviews. You’ll find a wide field of opinion. Of course, I’m not a huge fan of Eagle games, but I am a passionate fan of AOM, the computer version.[/quote]

The two games of course have nothing to do with each other… apart from the name and very vague themes.

I don’t find the game especially unbalanced from the times I have played it. It’s best with 3 players, to be sure. Egypt starts out with a considerable military advantage but when he tries to apply that in the first turn by attacking, he can quickly garner the wrath of the other two players. I think there are lots of interesting decisions to be made about how far to go econ, when to take the risk of attacking, where to put your victory points, etc.; and the randomness of the dice-rolling combat is mitigated somewhat if you make the adjustment of counting 5s and 6s as hits, rather than just 6s (apparently a designer of the game recommended this after release). As far as the dice rolling slowing the game down, well, I guess, but exactly the same can be said of RISK and Axis & Allies and they are both a lot of fun IMO.

Again, IMO a great board game for 3 players.

"What does that mean, in-balanced?
"In-balanced is when you’re MORE than balanced. This game AoM, it’s not just balanced, it’s IN-balanced. "

:roll: Notify the press, he made a typo! My finger just slipped and hit ‘n’ instead of ‘m’ – get a grip.

As I recall the Vikings were straight up better than the other 2, and as for dice the AoM boardgame is more dice intesive than either Risk or Axis and Allies. All the extra rolling is enough to double or triple the length of the game, as compared to what it could have been with a better combat mechanic. If AoM took a third as long to play, it would actually be ok. As it is, I’m surprised it even got a 6.64 on boardgamegeek.

I can only think people would think this game is great if a) they had a hard-on for lots of plastic minis, b) had never played Settlers of Catan or Puerto Rico (the game upon which AoM is based), or c) had a yen for a lot of repetitive die-rolling. RISK and A&A do have a lot of die-rolling, but the cause and effect between the die rolls and the results is usually a lot shorter. If you roll a lot of dice, you are fighting an appropriately big battle! Not so in AoM. To wit: there are dicefests (Titan comes to mind, an old favorite) with substance, and those without. Eagle forgot to add the fun.

The game doesn’t suck, but it doesn’t have much of an identity. It just seems like a bunch of game mechanics tossed together, along with a bunch of unnecessary plastic bits. I suppose it would go over well with the younger set because of all the plastic monsters, but I think it’s a bit of a bore.

Just to be totally non-committal about it, the game is OKAY. It’s a collecction of mini-games thrown together in an attempt to replicate the RTS experience. Without the AoM license, the game is sort of silly, although it does have lots of neat little plastic pieces.

  • Alan

I really liked it and I have played plenty of Settlers of Catan (of which this is much more fun than raw Settlers) and Puerto Rico (which this is not as good as). There are some popular varients (hits on die rolls of 5 and 6 for example) that are explained on boardgamegeek. It is certainly a three player game though, I would not play it with a different number.

They are publishing Age of Empires 3 next year. This week they release Railroad Tycoon, and early next year they release Pirates! RRT looks to be very good, noting that it is designed from an existing board game (Age of Steam).


“Popular variants” is a nice way of saying the game is broken without them. It’s like you can play a PC game with some “popular variants”, which are called patches. Glenn Drover did not playtest this very well, and I am not optimistic about his next releases (though we can hope that RRT might be an alternative to AoS.) As for it being more fun than the classic Settlers, well, it takes all kinds. For me, AoM was less fun than Monopoly, and that’s saying something.

Wait, it’s boring and silly – but that isn’t enough to make it suck?!

Maybe I’m a bit jaded, but half assed games don’t do it for me – I like to have fun playing games, preferably alot! OKAY just doesn’t cut it.

I think it is a pity Fantasy Flight Games and Eagle seem to be racing to publish as much derivative licensed crap as they can. The German gaming phenomenon is like the initial rekindling of a fire; the spark has caught, but too much or too little air will cause it to die. I think that gamers (particularly new ones, who have just gotten acquainted with “adult” boardgames) may be put off and feel burned at buying a $60 piece of junk. Buying multiple $60 pieces of junk may put them off the hobby for good.

Great post. I totally agree. Hopefully they can be steered to some core favorites first.

The difference being that Fantasy Flight makes some very good games. I’m quite fond of both Twilight Imperium 3 and Game of Thrones for example. GoT may well be licensed, but it’s an excellent game nonetheless.

Other good games by FFG: Arkham horror. Vortex. Through the Desert. I personally don’t care for their Lord of the Rings game or Citadels, but those are popular as well. Several of their other games are decent as well, just not as good as their best games.

I believe he’s paraphrasing one of the great comedy films of the 1980’s :wink:

Undeniably, FF’s track record is much better than Eagle’s, but I tyhink that’s due more to Knizia than anyone else. TI3 has been pretty controversial, GoT less so (I’m not a fan of either game.) However, they sure are pursuing any license they can, and as we’ve seen with WarCraft: the Boardgame and Doom (licensing alone does not make a game.)

Have you played AH? Reviews have been extremely mixed. I think you ought to differentiate between FF’s stable of good designers (Faidutti, Knizia, Wallace) and its stable of not-so-hot ones (Christian T. Petersen, Kevin Wilson)

You might not like TI3 or GoT, but I don’t see that they’ve been controversial at all. As always, not everyone likes all games (IIRC you prefer TI2 to TI3), but for example their boardgame geek ratings at 8 and 7.75 are pretty good. Christian Petersen (the author of these games) is easily one of my favorite designers.

On the other hand I’ve got to agree with you about the Warcraft and Doom boardgames – clearly just an attempt to squeeze money out of a license. I find Reiner Knizia to be overrated though; he’s got a few good games (Euphrat and Tigris comes to mind), but mostly by virtue of designing so many.

You’re right though that I haven’t played Arkham Horror, and only read the rules online. I’m a big fan of the Cthulhu genre, so perhaps I just want it to be good.

Bear in mind that I am not hammering Fantasy Flight Games for everything. They make some good games that I enjoy playing, and I have just stupidly ordered three more from them (Descent, Runebound 2nd edition, and Arkham Horror).

However, in some of their games they are shoveling licensed crap, more importantly, licensed crap that does not appear fully “baked.” I’ve seen numerous comments with respect to Doom and Runebound (the first edition in particular) that the rulesets are not fully “there” and could have benefitted from some more time.

FFG really appears to be upping their production, take for example the release of Runebound 2nd edition almost immediately followed by 7-8 expansion packs. The fact that there even was a 2nd edition about 1-2 years after the first edition irritated a lot of people (it would have irritated me if I had purchased the first edition).

I like the entity, but there definitely looks like there is a bit of a race to “cash in” that would have people screaming were it EA.