In this game, you and your fellow players take on the roles of rival daimyos, competing to vanquish your opponents and unite all of Japan under one banner. To unite the clans, you must conquer their castles and secure their loyalty, but the other daimyos are mustering armies as well. Will you gain renown with every victory, or become just another forgotten warlord? Find out in Age of War!
The Calculated Attack
Each turn in Age of War, you must decide where to commit your armies against a castle. At the beginning of the game, fourteen castles are laid out, divided between six clans: Mori, Uesugi, Chosokabe, Shimazu, Tokugawa, and Oda. On your turn, you will attack one of these castles. Each castle card displays a number of battle lines showing different symbols. On your turn, you will attempt to conquer a castle by matching your dice results to the symbols in the battle lines of a chosen castle.
Your turn begins by mustering your troops – rolling seven custom dice to gather infantry, archers, cavalry, and loyal daimyos to your attack force. Once your troops are mustered, you may attack a castle by matching the results of your dice to one battle line on the besieged castle. If unfilled battle lines remain on the castle card, you must reroll the dice to muster your troops again and press the attack.
If, after any roll, you cannot fill a battle line on the besieged castle, your assault is thrown back. You must regroup your troops by setting one die aside, before mustering your troops again by rolling your remaining dice.
If you can conquer a castle by filling all of its battle lines, you take the castle card and add it to your play area as one of your castles, and the castle’s point value counts towards your total score. But just because you conquer a castle doesn’t mean that castle is safe! You can attack other players’ castles on your turn in the same way you attack unclaimed castles, with the addition of the red daimyo in the upper left hand corner of the castle card as another battle line that must be completed to conquer the castle.
Unite the Clans
The only way you can keep your castles free from the marauding of rival warlords is by establishing your leadership over a clan by conquering every castle belonging to that clan. The number of castles belonging to a clan ranges from the Shimazu, with one castle, to the mighty Oda, with four castles. No matter how large or small a clan, once you establish your dominion over each of that clan’s castles, no rival player can steal those castles away from you.
As an added bonus for uniting a clan, the point value for an entire clan is greater than the sum of each individual castle in the clan. For example, the Chosokabe clan possesses two castles: Marugame and Matsuyama. Separately, these castles provide one and two points, respectively, but by uniting the Chosokabe clan, you receive one bonus point, for four total points. By fully uniting a clan, your claim to Japan grows stronger, and you come closer to victory.
After the last unconquered castle is conquered, the game ends, and each player counts his points. If you have conquered all of a clan, it grants you a greater score than individual castles. The player with the highest score is the winner of the game and the new ruler of Japan!