Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game

You will fight with armies, sorcery and intrigue to make your kingdom the most powerful of its age.

This interesting and involving strategy game, by the creators of by War of the Ring and set in Robert E. Howard’s world of Hyboria, is very satisfying and strategic once you get to know all its little rules quirks. Eschewing a standard turn sequence, the game is divided into three Ages, each of which is further divided into four of Conan’s adventures. While Conan completes his adventures (tracked by adventure cards), the player engage in conquering neighbouring provinces via military might and ambassadorial intrigue. Additionally, a bidding round decides who gets to control Conan during each adventure, and it can be greatly advantageous to have him on your side in both war and diplomacy.

Age of Conan really is a must for War of the Ring fans. The games share a similar mechanic in the use of fate dice, with icons which allow players to choose from various actions, but they have quite a very different feel. Their main similarity is the way these game designers manage to seamlessly blend the macro actions of army movement and conquest with the micro actions of characters and their adventures—they’re quite unique in this respect.

I highly recommend another look at Age of Conan—save yourself some grief by downloading my rules summary and reference sheet and you’ll find the rules quite easy to get your head around. It’s also a stunning looking game that comes with 168 very nice plastic figures—including Conan himself of course. While you struggle to “crush your enemies and see them driven before you”, Conan adventures throughout the land, occasionally sticking his big broken nose into proceedings.

Years later, Ares acquired the game and ran a Kickstarter campaign to add an expansion called Adventures in Hyboria and fix an oft-cited criticism of the game: that Conan himself doesn’t have enough to do. Of course it was a clever way to ship out a lot of stock of the original FFG print of the game too. The expansion took a while to deliver, but the game is now finally rich with Conan adventuring and development as well as military conquest.

Update Log

Date Version Changelog
Jun 2016 2.1 Typo in Setup section of Adventures in Hyboria fixed
Jun 2016 2 Added Adventures in Hyboria expansion; small fixes throughout
Jul 2010 1.2 Fixes
? 1 Original release

5 Comments

  • Uthoroc Uthoroc says:

    A slight correction in Setup for Adventures in Hyboria:
    “Each player takes the 3 spy figures in the color of his kingdom.”

    Should be
    “Each player takes 3 spy figures in the color of his kingdom.”
    As there are more than 3 spies for each kingdom.

    Thanks for these, they are great as always!

  • Uthoroc Uthoroc says:

    We played another game of this yesterday, and I noticed an omission in the Age of Hyboria sheet, which is also very well-hidden in the original rules. Under “Advancing the Mood Wheel Marker” it states:

    “Additionally the mood wheel marker advances clockwise along the wheel, after a player attempts to resolve a story card; for each success rolled on the dice when resolving a story card, the marker is advanced one step.”

    This should really be listed as step 5 under “Using Story Cards”, otherwise it’s horribly easy to forget:

    “5. Advance the mood wheel marker 1 step for each success rolled.”

    • Thanks mate, I’ll put that in asap. I played this recently and I really need to put some additional stuff in this summary to make the game flow more effectively. There are numerous little processes like you mention that make it tricky to play.

  • Uthoroc Uthoroc says:

    I love the gameplay despite (or because of) all the tricky little processes, but with the expansion we’ve been encountering this strange issue, where Conan’s experience seems out of whack with the rest of the game. I’ve posted about it in the forum.

What do you think?