It's like the designer looked at Race for the Galaxy and said, "Not enough icons..."

Age of Rivals comes to mobile this week

iOS, Android, PC/Mac •

Remember Age of Rivals? We talked about it back in March and its mashup of civ-builder and CCG gave us all sorts of warm and fuzzies when we played in on our laptop. For those of you who prefer to do your gaming on the go, you’re in for a treat, because Age of Rivals is coming to mobile this Thursday.

Age of Rivals is an original CCG that completely eschews the standard CCG model by ditching the concept of random boosters. You’ll find no IAP in Age of Rivals, instead all cards are unlocked as you play meaning you’ll eventually get all the cards, and never have to worry about picking up a crappy card that you already own three copies of.

While we love Age of Rivals’ lack of IAP, what really makes the game shine is its gameplay. The main mechanism is drafting. Each player is dealt four cards, picks one, and hands the remaining cards to your opponent. Do you take a card you really need or steal a card that doesn’t help you, but would really help out your opponent? It’s the same mechanism popularized by games like 7 Wonders and Fairy Tale, and it’s a good one.

Cards are then played to a tableau where they’ll interact to bring your civilization wealth, resources, military might and more. The game has leaders, conquest, economics, and is way deeper than you might think when you take a look at the screenshots. Despite the depth and complexity, you can still finish a game in under 10 minutes.

I haven’t played this one as much as I’d like, but only because it’s on my laptop. This might shock you, but I prefer to game on my tablet and phone, so this will be an immediate pick up for me when it lands on iOS and Android this Thursday. Another incentive for a quick buy is its special launch price. Age of Rivals will go live on mobile this Thursday and cost only $1. That’s a ridiculous price for the amount of game you’re getting so don’t delay in grabbing this one when it launches.

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Notable Replies

  1. Ever since I first picked up the Pokemon TCG on some early GameBoy, I have loved games that give me the CCG experience without asking me to buy anything past the base game. They are few and far between and I think the last I played was Card City Nights. This alone will likely make this a day-one buy for me.

    What's the word on multiplayer?

  2. There will be cross-platform multiplayer. Steam currently has multiplayer including private matches with friends, ranked public matches, and "Player alliances" which I don't really understand.

    I'm pretty sure the games are real-time, but that's pretty much the standard for CCGs. The game plays quick and the card drafting would make asynchronous play seem a bit strange.

    That said, I haven't tried multiplayer so maybe it is async and we'll all be surprised?

  3. Been looking forward to this one. I've had it on my steam wish list, but I generally don't pick things up on PC if I know they are coming to iOS. But the price is so cheap, if the PC version is in the Steam Summer Sale, maybe I will grab both.

  4. Multiplayer is definitely live play. Matches only take about 5 minutes or so though. Plays out quicker than Hearthstone or really any other multiplayer digital card game.

    The AI is fairly competent as well, and theres a few campaign style "special rules" matches that need to be completed to unlock some of the cards.

  5. Age of Rivals is out on US App Store. It's only $0.99 at the moment as well. I watched a few YouTube videos of the PC version. This was an instant buy for me.

  6. js619 says:

    $0.99... I'll bite.

  7. I'm really diggin this game. It's got the empire building aspects that I like about Race for the Galaxy, while also having an interesting draft mechanic. You draw four cards, choose one, swap hands with your opponent, and choose one of theirs. This repeats 4 or 8 times (depending on the round) per round, with a few war and score phases between the start of another. The cards are anything from resources, infantry, defensive walls, cultural wonders, etc.

    The game looks like it's got IAPs but it doesn't. What I mean by this, is you unlock cards by earning gold for random packs. Although I don't think you get repeats for anything but identities, as it just unlocks the cards and upgrades identities. You get 15 gold for an AI win, 30 for a human win, and you always have 3 quests that are super easy to beat, they've just been play or win 1 or 2 games so far. The quests fill in with a new one when you repeat, so it's not a daily or anything like that. All in all, very generous with the gold as its just a way to gate off some cards so you're not super overwhelmed with new cards in your first few games.

    There is no deck building either. Cards are randomly chosen from your collection of unlocked cards at the beginning of the game to make your deck.

    I'm having a blast with it so far. I've played 3 games online already. They're pretty quick, but extremely dense with interesting decisions imo.

    I also started an empire for us. It's called StatelyPlayCoalition. Basically it's a guild in-game. We can all try to complete some empire wide quests, and we get some bonus gold every day for being in one. Join up. This game is definitely worth $0.99, and I'd easily pay $9.99 for it.

    Let me know if you guys have any questions.

  8. js619 says:

    Played through the tutorial, thought I had a handle on things, and got promptly trounced by the Normal AI. I'm enjoying it so far though - I'm assuming it syncs across devices? Requested membership to the Empire as well, hopefully we can get some friendly games going once people get up to speed on it.

    edit: Just beat the normal AI twice. This game is getting moved to the first page of my games folder, and I have to admit it's pretty damn playable on my iPhone 6. There were some people up in arms on TouchArcarde over the required internet connection, but it doesn't bother me other than the fact that I'll play on my phone at work versus the iPad #toolazytotether

  9. I tried to add you to the empire, but it said you were already part of another empire. Try again, and I'll see if it works this time.

    Some tips for strategy are buy resources early. You get money every time your opponent buys a card that uses a resource that you have but they don't. I think stone and wood are two very important resources to get. Most of the early cards use them. Make sure you're getting enough coin income for the later rounds, especially round 4 when you have to repurchase your cards for the final empire.

    Don't forget to get some army cards as well. The tutorial stresses that numbers are more important than strength. That's 100% true. If you have three 1 strength guys and he has one 9 strength guy, you will get 5 points and he will get 1 after the conquer phase.

    You can also set some guaranteed cards to come in your deck for each of the rivals (identities you can choose) on the main screen. You can probably only choose 1 at the moment, but the different rivals allow you to bring in different combinations of types of cards. Most importantly, they are changeable. Just tap on the card in the rival screen, and you can choose something else. I originally thought they were set in stone, but they're not.

    Also I was wrong about guild quests, those on the empire screen are just your quests. You do get bonus gold though.

    I'm really, reallly liking this game if you guys can't tell.

  10. js619 says:

    My fault - didn't realize you could only join one alliance and I clicked on TA as well. I'm a free agent now, requested it again.

  11. You're in. Picked you up off the waivers list.

    The hard AI on this game is hard. I've won 3 online games out of four and 0 against the hard AI. Just got stomped 111-74 by it.

  12. Think I'm 1-1 vs hard. Might be 1-2.

    I just sent a join request, but if multiplayer is required to contribute, please decline. I'm only going to play vs ai.

  13. Just curious, but why not play "vs. Anyone"? There's literally no difference, only you get more gold. There is zero interaction outside of occasional simple emotes ala Hearthstone. Every game's cards are pulled from both collections, so you won't be at a disadvantage card wise either.

    You do only contribute to the empire if you win one game vs. Anyone. If you're sure you won't play versus humans, I won't add you, but you might want to give it a try before I decline your request.

  14. Because I don't have to worry about being interrupted in the middle of a game, for one thing.

  15. Cool, I was just curious. Some people don't like the stress of competing with another person, especially when they can shit talk you. No judgement, either way. If you're sure you won't play online, I won't add you. We can only have 10 players.

    @js619 What's your strategy been so far? I've started to beat the hard AI a little more regularly. I think I've played 10 games today already. Ha!

  16. js619 says:

    Wait... there's a strategy to this? ...

    I jest. I've started by grabbing as many of the resource cards as possible in the first round, if not first two, but I haven't found consistent cards just yet to really formulate a game to game strategy. Neither the hard AI nor I had a lot of military going, so it was a lot of culture buildings and the few military that we did have kind of slugged it out. I'd like to use the skull cards more, but a lot of them depend on combining with other skulls, and I'm not certain that they're guaranteed in the deck? You?

  17. I try to get 2-3 of the resource cards out in the first round. They become less common/impactful if you get them later. I feel like getting more than four gives you a pretty bad chance of having a terrible/vulnerable setup for round 2. Particularly to a card I think is called Catapults. Regardless it has some sort of siege weaponry on it. It does 3 damage to the first position item. This is devastating if you get it off on someone's resource in round 1 or 2.

    Ranged weapons are really good at denial, and I find Ongers to be an insanely good card. So it might behoove you to grab a stronghold type card if you see one, since it completely negates it. I find cards that combo like Trade Outpost (I think, I'm terrible with names) which gives 2 culture to every resource type card, or going military heavy with cards like Shield Wall or the ones that get buffs in the presence of a small number of infantry are really good. I try to avoid things that require the presence of three or more of a single type of card though.

    It's interesting that you said the AI hasn't had much military. I have found the opposite to be true. They're really fond of knocking my guys out. I

    If you want to try out cards with skulls, try playing with a different rival. A couple of them have guaranteed skull cards. The pirate guy is pretty cool.

    Also, make sure you're assigning damage well, and don't be afraid to take some knockouts. You can get rid of 9 damage with a 1 and 2 armor card! (Block 9 with 1 -> halves and rounds down to 4 and block with 2 -> 0) If you have a high armor stronghold, use it and knock it out with another card or two. That way, it has a chance of reviving back up to its normal armor minus 1. If you don't knock it out, it can't heal, and you're stuck with some low armor crap. Destroyed cards can make good shields in the 4th round since they can halve the damage of anything with only 1 armor point. If you only have one knocked out card, it has a 100% chance of getting destroyed. If you purposefully knock out something else, then it jumps down to just 50%. I know that's obvious, but it took me so long to make that connection in my play.

    I'd say learning how to assign damage and not being afraid to knock stuff out was the biggest increase in results that I got.

  18. js619 says:

    I love this game so much I'd divorce Ascension, marry AoR, and have little card babies with it.

  19. Ditto that sentiment, my man. I think we've stumbled upon a GotY contender. I can't stop playing this.

    Did my strategy tips help you out?

  20. js619 says:

    Absolutely agree on the GotY. Even with the polish of RftG, this feels... more fun? More strategic? I can't put a finger on it, but I'm liking this one a lot more. Maybe because it's new?...

    They definitely did - thanks! Think I was overbuying the resource cards to start, not realizing that once I had them, I had them. Beat the Hard AI a bunch today, and two of 5 "anyones."

  21. I think you lose the resources of the card is destroyed in battle, though. I could be wrong, however.

    Does anyone know the rarity colors?

  22. Perhaps rarity isn't the right term since the game isn't truly a CCG, but there do seem to be colors associated with the cards when you open a pack. I haven't paid close attention; perhaps they just represent the card type. I assumed there were some "rare" cards that were stronger than the starter cards, but perhaps not.

  23. There definitely is card rarity: green, then red, then purple, I think.

  24. My only complaint so far is that it seems to require an internet connection (though I could be wrong). I'd much prefer a game like this to have a separate online access button, but this is just me being slightly picky since I often have internet access.

  25. The developer said on BGG that they are working on offline play

  26. It says we get daily rewards for joining an alliance, do we have one here yet?

  27. Yea, I made one. StatelyPlayersCoalition. I think there are a few people in there that just joined randomly. I'll open a spot for you.

  28. I just want to put the disclaimer out there that the only thing the empire system of this game requires of members is to win 1 game a day against a real human.

    Nothing above and beyond that does anything. I don't really mind if you're not all consumed by it, but if you can do it frequently then I don't have a problem with it.

  29. Jules says:

    Perhaps we can make another alliance? There seems to be enough people interested. Have just installed the game and will try it tomorrow.

  30. Yeah, sorry for the lack of a contribution yesterday--no wins against humans. I played several games and got trounced in all of them! Gotta work on my strategery.

  31. The same over here :cold_sweat:

  32. i have not had time to try against a human yet. Are the games live or async?

  33. js619 says:

    Live, but even I can manage to get a few in in ten minutes or so. Even with the kids running amuck.

  34. It's not that I can't find the time, it's just that if I actually know I am going to have enough time to play a live game of something without kids/wife interrupting me....I am going to be playing Overwatch competitive matches. Everything else, get's a-sync. I guess that is why I play so much X-Com 2 and Civ, as I usually just have a single game up on the screen all weekend and I kind of just play a turn as I walk by the computer all day.

  35. Up to 40 or so online games. Currently in Realm 3 or something, top 80%.

    Still doing some utterly retarded plays,some games I have no idea how I get myself into it out of a hole. Some games I obliterate the opponent.

    Good fun :slight_smile:

  36. @Baelnor We still have one spot! You should join us!

    Also do you have any tips? I've been playing a military heavy strategy, it works about half the time.

  37. @Baelnor @js619 I've started to notice that I feel that way when I don't get a couple of good economy cards in the first few cards. Discounts can add up a lot, and giving your opponent tax money can be devastating even though it is sometimes easy to overlook. I mean, if you get a resource on the first turn and only use it two times a round that gives you net 11 plus gold (8 from discounts, and 3 from round income). That's a ton, in fact it's roughly equivalent to a modest round income spread throughout the game. That's ignoring the tax your opponent lost because they don't own it, cards with double discounts, and the fact that you'll probably get that discount more than 2 times a round.

    I tried to go really heavy military for a while, but that frees up a lot of the holy type cards that usually come with big point values for my opponent. When it works, it's crushing. I haven't ironed out the kinks yet though.

    Oh, and in case you weren't aware, resources are associated with certain card types. If you go to the cards screen, the top banner will tell you the primary resource of that type. I missed this for a long time.

    @TheDukester Your time will come. You will hit the, "I'm hot shit now" slump, and it will be infuriating.

  38. I'm pretty hooked on this game now. There are endless details, but nobody is expected to know all the details. And I can learn more details each quick game. I'm still wondering whether battering ram knocks out trenches before the war or vice-versa, pretty sure I have seen both happen.

  39. So, the ranking system is volatile. Lost two games and went from tier 3 to tier 5....

    Think I am going to ignore rankings...

  40. It's in the empire screen, but it's your rank. Just as those quests are your quests, not the empires.

  41. js619 says:

    Discovered two things today - if you or your opponent lose the connection, you get a minute to reconnect. Good to know for when my phone rings and I lose data.

    Also, you can apparently end the game with negative culture points, as I forced an opponent to do.

  42. Not sure why, but this game just is not doing it for me. If you need space in the Empire, I volunteer to be removed. I'm not sure how often I'll play going forward.

  43. I should be Snotty128 in game. Ive left my empire now because I was the only one active

    I got 750 gold from the end of month ranking, which Im quite happy with! That was for being rank 3: realm level.

  44. Sent it. You’re in. I dropped KYaker because he said he wanted out.

  45. @MisterMentat Glad to help you get your daily "win vs. anyone" this morning ...:unamused:

    It was interesting to see that the matchmaking algorithm doesn't prevent battles between players in the same empire, though.

  46. Is there some kind of hidden rule about how resource cards are shuffled in? It seems to me that they there are almost always at least 3-4 in the first draw, split between both players, while they show up much less frequently later in the game.

  47. Some cards only show up at certain points in the game. Look near the bottom of the card for the diamonds and half diamonds. Each diamond represents a round. The card may show up or not in each half-round.

  48. Sometimes I hate that a building's ability is randomized. Like when you have something that will permanently block an enemy building, and you see a building that is going to wreak havoc with your city at the end of the round, and instead it blocks some lame-ass Horse Trader or something.

  49. I don't hate the RNG in this game because it amounts to nothing more than shuffling 8 cards or rolling a d8.

  50. Yea, if a card is selected to appear in a round, it won’t get selected again until the last round. So there’s really not a ton of randomness.

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