In a recent post I mentioned that Luke and I had played AGES, a game I really liked. In summary AGES is a deck building game where the aim is to accumulate the most points. How do you do this? By purchasing some of histories most famous and infamous people, places, events, relics and weapons.
So in this post I'm going to look at the cards that make up the game. In the rest of the post I'll be looking at the front of the cards. Which is the side of the card we are really interested in. However I do love the back of the cards. Which is why I've included the photo below of it. In my opinion it is one of the cooler looking backs out there in a game.
Within AGES there are different types of card that unsurprisingly have different uses within the game. So let's look at our first card from the game.
Icon cards are used to activate the abilities of a card. There are four icon cards representing Art, Good, Evil and Science. I really do like the look of these four cards, they are clean, simple and represent their type really well.
Some cards will require just a single type of icon card (below left), while others will require a combination of different icon cards (below right) to activate the abilities. As long as you have the correct number and type(s) of icon cards indicated in your play area you can then use that cards abilities.
You get an icon card of your choice at the start of your turn. Which then remains in front of you in your play area for the rest of the game.
So you need to be able to purchase cards from the trade row or eventually the Elite row. Especially in the early game the main way you will be doing this is with the gold cards. Once you have purchased some cards you will be using the gold value of the cards bought plus your gold cards to buy more cards.
- Cost of card
- Value of card
- Type of card
- Flavour text
There are three different value gold cards within the game. A single gold coin (below left), two gold coins (below centre) and a gold bar (below right).
Luckily at the start of the game you receive eight of the single gold coin cards. If you want to buy a gold card while playing you can either buy one of the twenty, two gold coin cards that the game has or if they appear in the trade row one of the four gold bars.
The gold cards are probably my least favourite cards in the game. I just don't find them as attractive as the other card designs.
Having looked at the icons and the gold cards lets now look at the other cards, which can be broken down into five categories, characters, locations, events, relics and weapons. These five categories all share a common layout which is shown below.
- Cost of the card
- Icons needed to use the ability of the card
- The cards ability
- Value of card when used as gold
- Name of the card
- Type of card
- Art work!
- Flavour text
There are three types of character cards in AGES, Elite Characters (below left), Jesters (below middle) and Characters (below right).
Elite characters are so special they have their own deck! Not only are they special they also happen to be the most expensive cards in the game.
So why are Elite characters special? In AGES after you have taken an icon card, there is an Elite phase that kicks in once one or more of the starting Elite characters have been bought. Each Elite character that is not a starting Elite character has a special ability that has to be used during the Elite phase of your turn. This is the red/white text in the ability area of the card, an example is shown below, and is only valid if the card hasn't been purchased and is in the Elite card trade row.
The white text in the ability part of the card is what the Elite character does when you play that card from your hand.
There are four special Elite cards that are the starting Elite cards, which are identified with the words Starting Elite (see below). These four cards form the starting Elite character trade row.
You will notice that the starting Elite card mentions the rapport ability. This means that the cost of that Elite card is reduced by one for each matching icon you have on the table in front of you. However there is a limit to this cost reduction. You can not reduce the cost of an Elite card by more than the number of icons required to activate its ability. Although not mentioned on the other Elite cards, all Elite cards have the rapport ability.
Finally when the Elite character deck becomes empty that signals the end of the game.
When you start a game along with the eight single gold cards you also get two Jester cards. Jester cards act as temporary generic icon cards within AGES. This means that when you play a Jester card you place it with the icon type you want to use it as. However unlike icon cards which remain on the table in front of you through out the game, at the end of your turn Jester cards get placed in your discard pile.
Character cards form part of the main deck and are purchased from the trade row.
Location cards when played are the only cards other than icons that will remain on the table in front of you.
Like all the cards you can use the cards ability if you have the correct number and type(s) of icon in front of you. However you may only use a location cards ability once per turn.
Just like Character cards Location cards form part of the main deck.
Event cards form part of the main deck. You will notice in the ability text the word immediate is in green. I will cover that in the Weapon card section.
Relic cards are also one of the cards that make up the main deck.
Weapon cards are mainly used to defeat the other players Character cards. Can you guess which deck weapon cards are part of? Yep you guessed it the main deck.
As promised earlier in the post let's look at that green coloured word immediate in the ability text. Why is it green? What does it mean?
When you see that green immediate in the ability text it means you can play that card at any time. How cool is that? This allows you to play a card in response to another being played. For instance your opponent plays a character card, before they activate that characters abilities you are allowed to play any cards you have that have the immediate ability. So if you had the above weapon card in your hand you could play that card and defeat the just played character before the opponent can activate its abilities.
So I hope this look at the cards in AGES has been of interest. In the next post on the game I'll look at setting the game up. Which will be a shorter post. I can hear the sighs of relief now.