About this project
Age of Conan is an epic fantasy strategy boardgame for 2 to 4 players. It was first released internationally in 2009, in 6 languages.
The game pits the four most important Hyborian Kingdoms - Aquilonia, Turan, Stygia and Hyperborea - in a fight for supremacy involving war, intrigue and sorcery. Conan, the barbarian hero created by R.E. Howard, is a powerful presence, but he's very hard to control! He may help or hinder your plans, while pursuing his own adventures to win treasure, women, and glory.
The game was designed by the same team of authors as the famous War of the Ring board game. Produced by Nexus Games to a very high standard, and published by Fantasy Flight Games in the US, its release generated a lot of excitement and anticipation.
The three designers of the game - Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi, and Francesco Nepitello - started to design an expansion almost immediately, to widen the scope of the game and implementing feedback received from the players. But the expansion remained unpublished and the only updates available for the game were unofficial fan-made creations... Until now.
Age of Conan focuses on the strife between Hyborian Kingdoms.You sit on the throne of one of the major powers of the Hyborian age, reigning with guile, sorcery and an iron fist. It is a strategy game, not an adventure game. In the original design, therefore, Conan is not controlled by a single player. The game focuses more on his role as a reaver, general, and king, rather than on his individual feats. However, it was soon clear the players wanted more Conan! They called for more details about his adventures and a greater role for him in the unfolding strategy.
The expansion, Adventures in Hyboria, is designed to improve and expand the role of Conan in the game. It adds a new dimension to his adventures: Conan's stature grows from warrior and thief, to general, and finally, king. His abilities grow as well, making his presence in the game more visceral and more important.
Adventures in Hyboria adds other new mechanics and game elements. The Hyborian Age is not a time of all-out conflict, and the game includes several paths to victory beside warfare. This remains true in Adventures in Hyboria. The expansion opens more opportunities for player-vs-player conflict, such as, for example, the new rules for Spies and Prisoners.
The success of early playtests with the expansion quickly demonstrated Adventures in Hyboria would make the Age of Conan Strategy Game even better. Unfortunately, the untimely demise of the original game publisher in 2011 (a fact completely unrelated to this product) brought an end to the development of the line, and the expansion remained on the designers' desk.
After a year-long negotiation with Conan Properties and Fantasy Flight Games (publisher of the first English-language edition of the game - see http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=5089), Ares Games finally acquired the license to once again develop the Age of Conan Strategy Game.
This Kickstarter will help us to begin development of Age of Conan, once again. If funding is successful, the plan is to publish the Adventures in Hyboria expansion in early 2015 - and set the foundations for development of new products and games in the line.
The main goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to fund the pre-production and publication of Adventures in Hyboria, and to relaunch the Age of Conan Strategy Game line.
There are only two pledge levels. If you already own a copy of the Age of Conan Strategy Board Game, choose the Barbarian Hero level. If you don't own Age of Conan, choose the Barbarian King level, to include with your rewards a copy of the English-languag first edition (Fantasy Flight Games version). It’s simple, by Crom!
"Day 1 Early Bird" Pledge Levels are available during the first 24 hours after the project launches. They may still be selected when a slot becomes vacant.
Note: We are not including a pledge level for retailers. This is not because we don't want retailers as backers, but because we know how hard it is for a retailer to commit funds several months before the release of a product. If you have a business selling games, you are welcome to back us at the Barbarian Hero or Barbarian King level, and contact us for a personalized proposal.
Here you find more details about all the Stretch Goals we planned since the beginning of the the project, to add extra items to your rewards and improve the contents included in the expansion.
Unlocked means that the goal is achieved and its content is added to your rewards. If a Dollar amount is indicated, the goal is still to be achieved.
Special Bonus Goal!
The items listed in this section are not a part of any specific reward level, and can be added as an option to either a "Barbarian Hero" or "Barbarian King" pledge.
You can include Add-ons just by adding the indicated amount, "Managing Your Pledge" with the button on the right sidebar. You will indicate us your specific choice of add-ons using the Pledge Manager (to be activated on Aresgames.eu after the end of the Kickstarter).
If you want Add-ons, it is not mandatory that you increase your pledge now! It will still be possible to include add-ons using the Pledge Manager after the end of the Kickstarter, increasing the pledge amount with PayPal.
If you are already familiar with the game, just jump to "More About Adventures in Hyboria," below.
In Age of Conan, you control one of the major kingdoms of the Hyborian Age - Aquilonia, Turan, Hyperborea and Stygia.
You build and use armies and emissaries, enhancing your actions with Kingdom cards, while trying to take advantage of Conan's adventures to increase your power and wealth.
Age of Conan is played over the course of three ages. At the beginning of each age, four Conan adventure cards are drawn and used to create the adventure deck. At the beginning of each adventure, players bid to decide who controls Conan for that adventure. When an adventure ends, a new one is drawn and a new bid determines the new Conan player.
The roll of special dice, called fate dice, determines the actions available to the players. The dice are rolled to form a common pool from which all players pick their dice. Each player, in turn, selects and uses one fate die to perform one of the actions allowed by that type of die. When all fate dice have been used, they are re-rolled.
The game continues until all four adventures in the adventure deck are complete. At that point, the game temporarily stops so that players can collect gold, build up armies and other resources, and prepare for the next age.
Victory is achieved by subjugating vassal provinces using military strength; creating alliances using your emissaries; fighting the other players; and achieving specific objectives which become available throughout the game.
You can also benefit from Conan's adventures, by accumulating his adventure tokens - Monsters, Women and Treasure - and sometimes, by trying to make Conan the ruler of your kingdom.
The game ends at the end of the third age, or whenever - during the third age - Conan becomes the ruler of a player's kingdom... or that player fails in the attempt to crown Conan.
Unfortunately there were not nearly as many video reviews back in 2009 as there are now. Here are a few review links (and excerpts if you don't feel like reading the full review).
Drakes Flames wrote: The Conan part of this game is continued genius... The theme in Age of Conan is executed with what approaches flawless integration of game and source material... Age of Conan is one of the most thematically perfect, deeply intelligent, and just plain thrilling wargames I've played in my whole life.
Fire Broadside! wrote: If you are looking for a wargame at the lighter end of the spectrum which rewards planning ahead and strategic thinking, Age of Conan might be for you. If you also happen to be a fan of the setting then it's definitely a game for you.
Recently, a video review has been posted by Marco "marcowargamer" Arnaudo.
Adventures in Hyboria is an expansion for the Age of Conan Strategy Board Game. It is not a stand-alone product and a copy of Age of Conan is required to play (that's why we are offering the Barbarian King pledge level!). What does Adventures in Hyboria add to the original design? In this section, we take an in-depth look at its contents and gameplay.
A video preview of the "beta" prototype of Adventures in Hyboria is now available (by Marco Arnaudo)
And a combined Age of Conan/Adventures in Hyboria preview by Undead Viking:
And here is an overview of the new contents and mechanics (we assume you have some familiarity with the Age of Conan gameplay).
In Adventures in Hyboria, Conan's adventures are tracked by a special board, charting his progress from lowly beginnings to the most powerful throne of his age. His life is divided in three stages: Warrior, Mercenary and General. With each adventure, Conan gains experience, and develops from one stage to the next, becoming more and more powerful. He can only become King if he reaches a certain experience level, so not every game may end with Conan being crowned.
As readers of REH's stories well know, Conan is capable of bouts of energy and fits of melancholy. This is represented by the Mood Wheel. Conan's "stats" are used to resolve stories - his Strength, Agility and Cunning - and they improve as the Barbarian gains experience - But Conan's mood also must be considered, as the current value on the Mood Wheel modifies his rolls!
Conan's effect on the game varies as he develops from Warrior to King: A different special die is associated to each stage, to be rolled whenever Conan is involved. The dice also includes new results, like "Gold" (Conan needs gold to be hired) or "No Sorcery".
Story Cards add a greater level of detail to Conan's adventures, and add a new level of interaction. In Adventures in Hyboria, each player has a hand of Story Cards. As Conan travels across the land, you may play a Story Card as soon as he's in an appropriate location. Then, you try to complete the Story, using the new mechanics (Conan's stats and mood). If you are successful, not only you reap the rewards, but you also have a chance to take control of the Barbarian away from the current Conan player.
From Taurus to Valeria, from Bêlit to Juma, many of the best Conan stories feature great characters fighting alongside the Barbarian. Now these characters are also featured in the game, appearing during an adventure and used to specific effects (normally to help Conan during a Story).
Often, wars are not won with armies alone, and Hyboria is far from an exception! Spies are a new playing piece available to Kingdoms. At the beginning of an age, they are spread out all across Hyboria. The presence of a spy can help your chances to conquer a Province, forge an alliance, or hinder the attempt of your enemies to do the same.
Conan has quite a dislike for this sneaky, 'civilized' way to deal with conflict, and the presence of the Barbarian often has a fatal effect on a Spy...
Slavery and ransomed hostages are common occurrences in Hyboria, and the rules for Prisoners are meant to represent this. The possibility of ransoming back your defeated troops and exchanging prisoners means the loss in player-vs-player conflict is less punishing than before, especially in multi-player games, adding yet another level of player interaction.
Kingdom Cards give each player the ability to "break the rules", providing each Kingdom a unique gameplay flavor. With many new mechanics added by Adventures in Hyboria, new Kingdom cards allow players to manipulate them and further differentiate the abilities of Aquilonia, Hyperborea, Stygia and Turan.
We expect Adventures in Hyboria to ship to our backers in April 2015. We will ship the Age of Conan 1st Edition boardgame to our Barbarian King backers at the same time. We will ship from our main warehouse in the USA and from our secondary warehouse in Germany. No customs charges will apply to backers in the USA or in the European Union.
Shipping your rewards to any destination in the Continental USA is free of charge.
If you live in another country, please understand that shipping charges are highly variable by shipping method, destination, and are also subject to change over time. Depending on the success of the Kickstarter, it is also possible that additional secondary warehouses in other countries will be activated.
For all these reasons, if you are not resident in the Continental USA we are not including shipping charges as a part of your pledge at this moment.
Before your rewards ship, you will have access to a section of our website called a "Pledge Manager". There you will have an option to indicate your address and to modify the choice of rewards, if necessary (for example, adding multiple copies). Shipping charges will be calculated and paid at that time.
We remain committed to make every effort to keep shipping charges reasonable, while using reliable shipping methods with guaranteed delivery.
Our estimate of the shipping charges is:
- between $ 12 and $ 15 for Barbarian Hero rewards shipping to a destination in the EU (including VAT charges)
- between $ 15 and $ 25 for Barbarian Hero rewards shipping outside of the USA and EU
- between $ 20 and $ 30 for Barbarian King rewards shipping to a destination in the EU (including VAT charges)
- between $ 30 and $ 45 for Barbarian King rewards shipping outside of the USA and EU
Please understand the estimate is just that - an estimate - but we'll do our best to make the shipping cost as low as we can.
- between $ 12 and $ 15 for Barbarian Hero rewards shipping to a destination in the EU (including VAT charges)
Risks and challenges
Age of Conan - Adventures in Hyboria is our fourth Kickstarter project. We already delivered two Kickstarters successfully - Sails of Glory and Galaxy Defenders - with a very positive feedback from our backers. The production of the rewards of the third Kickstarter (Galaxy Defenders - The Earth Strikes Back) is in progress, with a confirmed delivery schedule at the moment.
Creating a high-quality strategy boardgame is not an easy task. However, Ares Games has an excellent track record of publishing games with high-end components, such as our War of the Ring game and our Wings of Glory miniature line.
Our staff has strong experience in producing games with ready-to-play miniatures and a wide range of different components. We don't envision any specific challenge associated to the production of this project.
The products offered in this Kickstarter already have fully developed gameplay.
The main risk at this stage is the project might be delayed, during the remaining stages of the production pipeline, with respect to its scheduled release date. We prefer a reasonable delay to compromising on the level of quality we are looking for in our games in general, and in this product specifically,
There are also risks of delays, as with any game manufactured in Asia, related to transport and delivery to our warehouse in the United States. These are also routinely handled by our logistic staff, but unexpected delays due to customs clearance, strikes, and exceptional weather are always possible, and may influence the time necessary to deliver the games to our backers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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