Age of Renaissance is a 'B' tournament, which means beginners are welcome to play if you have played before, read the rules, or attended a demo. Eric Monte did a great job a few years ago of generating interest in this classic and bringing it back into the century. I am hoping to continue his good work and introduce this terrific game to new players as well as keeping it around for the veterans for many more years. I played it for the first time at WBC after reading the rules on-line. Eric’s format helped me to learn it and I bought a copy of the game the following year. This preview will sound a lot like Eric’s last preview in 2018.
With most of the field recently being new players, this is THE time to learn one of the best multi-player strategy games ever made! Not to mention there was a time where this was one of the largest events at WBC and even had its own mini con. It's time to find out what the hype is about! I recommend attending the demo if you've never played or have played previously but it’s been a while. Folks, if you have never played, you can attend the demo then play in the heat. We had several people do this in 2017. If it's been a while since you've played, I strongly recommend attending the demo to become familiar with the game once again. If you've forgotten, you are required to make a few important choices at the start of the game. If you choose to read the rules only and not attend the demo, be prepared to start playing without much guidance. Additionally, please DO NOT HESITATE to email me for any guidance or suggestions prior to WBC.
Age of Renaissance has been called a lighter version of Civilization (and its successors, Advanced Civilization and now Mega Civilization). It has hints of History of the World and even Risk. Up to six countries compete for land and commodities on the colorful map: Venice, Genoa, Barcelona, Paris, London, and Hamburg.
The game progresses through three ages, representing progress in time. There are commodity cards, leader cards, and event cards to be played, and dice are rolled for combat. Unlike in Risk, though, combat is not the sole purpose of the game. There is a little of something for everyone. Players will negotiate, gain territory, and make advancement purchases. I encourage anyone who has some time to come out and give it a try. Of course, I also hope the long-time players and even former players will try their hand at building the most capable civilization.
Heat games will be determined randomly. We will differentiate between new (as in you don't know the rules) and players who do know the rules. We will make table assignments as random as possible while still having a reasonable mix of experienced and new players. In general, there shouldn't be a need for 3 player games, and they will be avoided if possible.
All heats will be 6 hours long. Games must get started 15 minutes after the start time but may start earlier if the game is set up and all players are ready. 5hrs and 15 minutes after the start of the heat, tables will not start another turn and complete final card play after the completion of the upkeep phase.
There will be no time limit for the final.
Hard Finish - At 5hrs and 45 minutes after the start of the heat, players should complete their current phase and proceed to final card play.
Time in this game is a funny thing. When all players are experienced, the game should take 4-6 hours at most. In some years the finals have finished in under 5 hours. Slow and inefficient movement through the phases can add significant time to the game. Both new and experienced players may be the cause of the game moving slowly, so everyone please keep pace! Please consider the following suggestions and rules to keep the games moving:
- Feel free to record the purchases of other players. Players should announce which advances they bought when they've completed purchasing. However, it is a tournament rule you are not allowed to ask for a full list of a players advances when it's their turn or your turn. You may ask about Exploration/Religious advances since they usually have a significant effect on purchasing or expansion for the entire game. You may always ask a player what they bought in the purchase phase of the current turn. A good time to catch up is during the expansion phase when neither you nor the player you are checking is expanding. This rule is intended to speed play, not to conceal from players which advances you own!
- Taking a rundown of what every player has purchased after the purchase phase should be avoided since it is very time consuming. Tables that continually do this should be brought to my attention and may be asked to move immediately on to expansion at the conclusion of the purchase phase.
- Bidding should be limited to 2 minutes. Especially for new players, just bid high (at least above 20) if you don't know what to do since this is often a safe play (protects against events, gives you options during expansion, and you'll probably get paid anyway during card play). Players continually taking excessive time should be brought to my attention.
- Plan your purchase phase in advance!
AOR is a game with a decent number of moving parts. Things are bound to be overlooked, forgotten, and even possibly done the wrong way. Whenever you feel something is awry, say something, right away! If there was a significant mistake, please alert a GM or assistant GM to help solve the issue. It's always best to have an independent party make the choice for everyone, this way no one feels badly after the game.
WBC House Rules:
- The Attribute of Master Art is amended to allow its owner to immediately discard one card during the turn of its purchase in addition to its normal discard abilities during the Buy Card Phase. Per the rules, this discard will also be face up.
- Optional House Rule: To keep games to within the time limit we will play with an optional house rule. If it is discovered there are exactly zero cards left in the draw pile during epoch 1 or 2 after the buy cards phase, advance to the next epoch after playing the play cards phase by shuffling the discard pile and adding in the required cards. This rule will only be used by tables that unanimously vote to use this rule. If there is a dissension, the table will not use this rule. This optional rule will not be an available for the final since time should not be an issue. The purpose of this option is primarily to speed play and ensure games finish.
All heat will be potentially eligible for advancement to the final. If six or fewer winners show up to the final, then they will play. I will post a list of winners and alternates after each heat on the kiosk. If you win a heat and know that you will not be attending the final, I would appreciate knowing that ahead of time. The HMW-Points Standard tiebreakers will be used to determine alternates
There will be a final shortage/surplus roll before the start of the final card play phase, per the rules.
For a game to count, a summary sheet must be accurately completed recording ALL pertinent info and submitted promptly to the GM. Winners are responsible for seeing that this is accomplished. Summary sheets will be handed out by the GM before play begins.
HEATS: MOST WINS - POINTS (HMW-P):Tie-breakers are:
- Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
- Most Second Places
- Fewest total points behind first place in second place finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
- Fewest total points behind first place in all finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
- Fewest Heats
- High dice roll.