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Age of the Wolf - good? 
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Private First Class

Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:21 am
Posts: 52
Hi gus, could the ones of you that already have Age of the Wolf give a little feedback?
Do you like it?
Is it worth buying?

Thanks!


Sat May 14, 2016 2:16 pm
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Corporal

Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:46 am
Posts: 120
I can't wait for this supplement to hit the USA. It seems like just what we need to kickstart SAGA again.

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Mon May 30, 2016 4:02 am
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Sergeant

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:50 pm
Posts: 312
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
I am expecting my copy to arrive some time this week. All the reviews I have seen so far have been mostly positive.


Mon May 30, 2016 3:05 pm
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Technical Sergeant
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:57 am
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Yes! Yes! Very good! Love it. This puts a nail in the coffin of Dux in my opinion.

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Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:29 am
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Corporal

Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:46 am
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I agree. It is exceptional and I will put Dux away for good.

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John
http://lzbravo.blogspot.com/


Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:33 am
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:32 am
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It seems good, but I'm a little disappointed in that while it has rules for Heroes of the Viking Age (ie the named characters that cost a point)... it doesn't have the rules for all of them. In fact, many seem to be missing.


Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:30 pm
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:28 pm
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After reading the book a couple of times and playing three seasons of a campaign, I've found AotW to be OK, but not all that I had hoped for.

An AotW campaign is described as narrative, basically a series of linked games against other players in the campaign, with a goal of earning the most campaign points over a given number of campaign rounds (called seasons). To begin, each player creates a Warlord, with a motivation and two special characteristics (determined randomly) and his warband, made largely in the way you build a normal Saga warband. Then players will play rounds of individual games, with each player playing between 0-3+ games, depending on choices of who attacks who. Winning games garners players campaign points plus other resources. Then, after each game, players get random events which can help or harm their warband. At the end of a set number of seasons (6 is recommended), the players get bonus campaign points for their resources and the player with the highest campaign point total wins.

The Good:
  • The decision to go with a narrative campaign was a good choice, IMHO. This method keeps the small scale feel of the game and reduces demands on the campaign organizer.
  • The resource system is a nice touch, as land, wealth and word-fame are the three main motivations for many heroes in the dark age sagas and tales. The system is also really easy to understand.
  • The new scenarios in the book are fun variations. I like several of them more that the scenarios in the original rule book.
  • The ability to choose a strategy for each campaign season, which effects your possible scenarios and resource rewards is really nice.
  • The Saga full color pages and layout are familiar and pretty to look at.

The Bad:
  • I found the game system more mechanical than narrative. My rewards for game play are resource points and/or campaign points. The units in my warband increase and decrease in size, but not in experience. After initial creation, my Warlord stays largely unchanged for the campaign. The death toll for units is determined by a simple formula. After each game I feel I am creating an accounting entry rather than a story.
  • Warband growth felt very random. While I can add warriors to one of my units after each game, the fate chart that a I roll on has a significant chance to have a greater impact on my warband composition, than my choices. The fate chart is also the only way to upgrade a unit.
  • AotW would really benefit from a reference sheet, which was noticeably lacking.
  • I've encountered more unclear rules in AotW than I am used to in Saga. For example, may warlord died in my last game, and was succeeded by his son. One of my original Warlord's traits gave him extra reputation and a warbanner at the beginning of the game. His successor did not have this trait. It was unclear if he would lose additional reputation and the warbanner. Also, my Irish opponent has encountered a question with her Curadh. The Curadh is its own hearthguard unit, and at the end of each game hearthguard units ignore the first death as a result of casualties. Since the Curadh is a unit one, it can be taken as a casualty in a game but can never die in the campaign?!

The Ugly:
* The editing in AotW is bad. Lots of little typos as well as some major goofs. At least one scenario description is different than the diagram provided, with the scenario, and as far as I can tell, the only place the effect of resources on warband composition is spelled out is on the warband roster sheet, even though the game text says it should be in one of the rules sections.

When I got AotW, I was looking forward to a system which allowed for development of a warband. Instead, I found AotW to be a solid competitive system to link Saga games together.


Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:54 am
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Technical Sergeant
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:57 am
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Good review!

I was totally puzzled about the allowed unit types until I examined the warband sheet as well.

Someone on TMP was also talking about the Irish Curadh and settled on playing exactly RAW. Someone may have posted on the Studio Tomahawk forum to play it as RAW. I don't completely understand but I guess since it's only ever a 1 figure unit it really doesn't break anything if he can't be killed. If he merges with other HG he ceases to be a Curadh.

Thanks for the review.

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Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:39 am
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I agree with the posted review. AotW is cool, but not as cool as it could be. On the one hand it sacrificed potential narrative and experience based developments for mathematical competition, but on the other it frequently throws balance out the window and treats 'fairness' as a guideline rather than a rule.

I think it would have been much better (although less flexible) if they had prohibited the merging of roster units to form larger battlefield units, and had also introduced another layer of granularity to allow advances and development. Like allowing some units to earn re-rolls, to earn additional armour or additional attacks, or other special abilities (like adding extra fatigue to their opponents, ignoring the first fatigue they earn, etc).

Then as your warband fights more battles, the units develop more personality and history. As it is, like was mentioned above, it feels very mathematical and not very thematic. Personally I think I will allow roster units to be freely split and merged as the player sees fit when I finally get around to running this campaign, as that takes a lot of the 'account balancing' headache out of the game while still allowing your warband to become degraded over time by casualties.


Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:58 am
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