Nobody knows its secrets. It's like nothing you've gone after before!

No scrying today, so let’s play detective and unravel this Through the Ages expansion screenshot instead

As the weather turns brisk it’s a busy, busy weekend here at Stately Manor. Alex is currently sweeping the chimney, Tof is putting up the storm windows, Tanner is tuning up the snowblower, and Nick is out splitting our winter supply of oak and birch. Where’s Kelsey? Making the tea, of course.

What I’m getting at is that we’re all a bit on the busy side this weekend and gaming opportunities are going to be harder to nail down than those few loose shingles over on the north wing (that’s where Other Nick is, by the way). So, no glimpse into the future today, but I don’t want to leave you with nothing to talk about all weekend, thus I present a new screenshot of Through the Ages I stole found on Twitter. Part of me is incredibly excited–this is our first glimpse of the seemingly-forever-promised new Leaders & Wonders expansion. The other part of me is sad–what have I done to piss off Vlaada that I’m not in the beta for this? WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME, VLAADA?

First of all, while you can find the screenshot in question at the top of this post, WordPress sometimes crops those, which won’t do if we’re going to go over this with a fine-toothed comb. As such, I’m reposting the image for our evisceration below:

Kelsey, grab me my magnifying glass!

Let’s start at the top, namely with the card row. A lot to digest here starting with Isabella of Castile. From the look of it, Isabella gives you two blue cubes, helping to prevent corruption becoming an issue. Further down the row we can spot our first new Wonder: The Forbidden City. From its reduced-size image in the card row all we can glean is the gift of another civil action. Considering that the pyramids from Age A offer the same benefit, I’m guessing there’s some other, special ability that comes with the Forbidden City that we aren’t privy to. Oh well, the art is nice.

Leaving the card row, let’s look at the empire itself. All the basic buildings stay the same, but we have two new Wonders out in the distance. Personally, I can’t make out either of them. Is the first Alhambra? The second is still under construction so we have even less info, but it appears to be a caravan of some sort. Perhaps the Silk Road? I’m open to any guesses here, especially obvious ones that my dim brain didn’t think of.

Looking elsewhere around the empire we can see that there are four mines and, yet, we’re producing 5 ore. That extra ore has to be coming from somewhere, either one of the new leaders or, possibly, that completed wonder.

That brings us to our final mystery. Who are the four new Leaders currently in the employ of all four players? All of them are new and, happily, two of them are women (three, if you count Isabella in the card row). Which women, though? The Red player’s leader has a less medieval-aristocrat look than Green’s leader or Isabella. Boudica perhaps? What about Green’s queen? I’m open for suggestions. Now, let’s look at the men. Blue appears to have snagged Mad Eye Moody for his leader while Yellow has a more mellow fellow. A Greek philosopher? Alan Barrows from the Folksmen? <insert shrug emoji here>

What does any of this tell us? Not a damn thing, really, but it’s sure cool to see new things popping up in a screen that I’ve looked at multiple times every day since it arrived on my iDevice. This image was posted by the rules guru Paul Grogan who also tells us that the app (and cardboard version…it’s coming to both) allow to mix the new cards in with the old or you can choose to only play with new leaders and wonders. Also, this is all still being playtested so everything could change before we get it in our greedy, fat fingers. When will that be? Nobody’s talking.

We’ll keep an eye on Paul’s Twitter for more of these but until then, VLAADA LET ME INTO THE BETA TEST!!!!


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Notable Replies

  1. Hmmm…that Forbidden City is interesting. I go straight for the pyramids every time I have a chance. Depending what any added bonuses are on the Forbidden City, the race to the pyramids doesn’t seem nearly as important.

    It is also interesting that it is Age I. Stack a pyramid and Forbidden City and skip Code of Laws?

    Note that I am horrific at this game so if I’m suggesting anything, you’re advised to do the opposite.

  2. I’m curious, in a game where you mix old and new wonders, do they all mix together or are there still only a certain number of wonders each age? I mean, are the Forbidden City and Pyramids guaranteed to both be in a game where you mix in the expansion?

    Assuming it’s a fixed number each Age, but I don’t know because I’M NOT IN THE BETA.

  3. I think it would be awesome if, when playing with mixed sets, a set number are used but they are randomized.

    I think this game is excellent as is, but the one thing I would like to play around with is variety. Instead of knowing which cards will show up, you won’t know what your game contains until they are revealed. I’m not saying this would improve the game but I’m willing to give it a go.

  4. rinelk says:

    Just so you all know, Dave is the sort of philistine who takes his magnifying glasses with THREE sugars.

  5. Looks like green is getting a point of military from somewhere too

  6. Tamsk says:

    From an Open Borders Agreement with yellow would be my guess on that score.

  7. That could certainly explain the extra military action (which I hadn’t spotted), but not the extra military power. 1 (spearman) + 1 (spearman) + 1 (fighting band) = 4 somehow?

  8. Are they also getting +1 blue cube from somewhere? I count 17, but I think you start with 16

  9. You’re assuming you know what the agreement is between green and yellow, though. Perhaps that is a new agreement as well?

  10. As for the leaders:

    1. Captain Blackbeard’s lesser known, and jealous about facial hair, first mate, White Stache.

    2. Time-traveling David Bowie.

    3. Socrates just after he drank the hemlock.

    4. The prince who really wanted to be a princess from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

  11. Hardco says:

    Some of the details on the cards are posted elsewhere, BGG forums I think? The way they handled new leaders and wonders on was to take random set of each at the start of the game.

    Are you sure a beta has started? I’ve been assuming they are only in alpha, and the invite may be forthcoming for beta testers…

    For the lazy detectives:

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