PT Guides: Age of Rivals

By Matt Skidmore 29 Nov 2017 0

Age of Rivals is a fast-paced card drafting strategy game of civilisation building. On release, it managed to steal some of the thunder away from the digital version of the eagerly anticipated 7 Wonders, whose completion seems to be taking longer than that of the Great Pyramids themselves.

It is not the easiest game to produce an in-depth guide for as success relies on gaining experience so that you can react effectively to any given situation. The golden rule is to be fluid in your approach and pay close attention to your rival’s choices.


War or Peace?

Whilst it may be fun to build up a large military force and lay waste to your opponent’s cards this can be a very risky strategy. There are a number of cards, such as Mural of Peace, that can nullify offensive cards. Despite the theme of war and conquest, taking a pacifist approach can often prove to be extremely effective.


The Leaders

Each Leader can unlock up to three card slots. Cards placed in these slots are guaranteed to appear at some point during the game. The specific cards available will depend upon each leader’s specialism: 

  • Ziana is an infantry specialist, her Legion and Phalanx units work well together.
  • Nairi likes to construct and combine religious buildings, such as Temple of Wisdom and Sanctuary.
  • Kubra favours a strong resource base, which is a good foundation for a range of different strategies.
  • Lorenzo loves cavalry units.  Recruit Horse Archers and the Huntress for a formidable attack.
  • Arsenia may have an unfortunate sounding name but her missiles units are to be feared. Trebuchets and Heavy Catapults can quickly turn the strongest fortification to rubble.
  • Theophilos loves to shop. Introduce a Naval Blockade to restrict your opponent’s purchasing choices.
  • Grimmer is a fan of underworld units. Use the Thief to exchange a card with your rival, or use a Sneaky Tunneler to undermine their buildings
  • Soraya loves the green artistic buildings. She has some big point scoring opportunities, such as the Inconceivable Wonder.
  • Xiong is the master of building the sort of strong fortifications that can blunt the fiercest attack.
  • Rosemonde and Chipeta are both mysterious characters that do not really specialise in any particular strategy.
  • Xpuha favours underworld units and has the potential to recruit units such as the Deranged Artificer and Lord of Decay, which make great use of otherwise ruined and wasted cards.

Remember to take careful note of your rival’s leader as this may give you some vital clues to their plans. Finally, do not become too focused on securing your guaranteed drafts, take every card selection at face value.

Card Types

Drafting Dos and Don’ts

  • It is essential that you spend your money wisely. At the start of the game, a reliable strategy is to try and build a solid resource base. Each type of card has a primary resource so if you plan to build lots of fortifications then try to acquire stone as quickly as possible. However, do not go overboard as in the final round having too many resource cards can be very limiting.
  • Take a wider view. At the beginning of each round, you not only see the four cards available to you but also your rival’s four cards. Remember that the three cards that you do not draft are passed to your rival to choose from. Likewise, you will get to choose from your rival’s three remaining cards. With this in mind, consider the combination potential of all eight cards. Furthermore, it may be best to purchase a card that could be highly beneficial to your opponent even if doesn’t fit in with your overall plans. Finally, if your opponent has limited funds then you can always buy the cheapest card to leave them with cards that they cannot afford.
  • Expensive cards require careful consideration. Remember that in the final round you have to pay for your cards a second time. Do not shackle yourself with too many expensive cards, especially if your economy is weak.
  • Get the best value for your purchases. Be mindful of a card’s potential to combine and trigger with other cards as often as possible.

Allocate Damage

Damage Limitation

When you take damage, it is essential that you consider how best to distribute it between your cards.

  • Remember that there is a time limit and that you will not have the chance to take off your shoes and socks and count your toes. Think about how best to distribute damage as soon as possible.
  • Each card has the potential to soak up additional damage up to two times its armour rating. The Legion, for instance,has three armour points, enabling it to take up to six points of damage. Use this ‘two times rule’ to nullify extra damage.
  • If the damage applied to a card is more than twice its armour rating, the damage is split, with half being carried over. This allows you to use weak cards as cannon fodder. Throwing your Scouts (armour rating one) in front of some rampaging War Elephants (damage rating nine) will absorb four points of damage, with the remaining five being carried over.

It’s a Knockout

After combat, each card that has suffered damage in excess of its armour rating will be knocked out.

  • Only one knocked out card will be ruined and rendered unusable. The rest will be revived, albeit with one less armour point.
  • Your fortifications are there to protect you. When their amour is severely reduced they are pretty useless. It may be prudent to voluntarily knock them out in the hope that they will revive with a much higher rating.
  • If a powerful card is knocked out then you can significantly reduce the chance of it being ruined by deliberately trying to knock out as many of your other cards as possible.
  • Restored cards lose all applied modifications, which may have a positive or negative overall effect. For instance, if your Warrior Poets have managed to acquire 4 victory points then they will lose these points as soon as they are knocked out.
  • If a card’s statistics change due to a copy or swap action, the Jumbling Jester card springs to mind. The changes are then permanent and apply even after a knockout.

Got any more tips, tricks or suggestions for Age of Rivals? Want to suggest which game we write a guide for next? Let us know in the comments!



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