Tabletop Game: Through The Ages
Through The Ages: A Story Of Civilization, commonly abbreviated to Through The Ages, is a Euro Game with a civilization-building theme.
This Board Game provides examples of the following tropes:
- Alternate History: Emphasised by the use of real-world names for wonders and leaders. Gandhi as president over a nation of scientists kept happy by Bread and Circuses? Isaac Newton builds the Taj Mahal and discovers computers? Elvis Presley conducts espionage, declares Holy War and builds the Kremlin? All are plausible occurrences and add significant amusement to the game.
- Ancient Egypt: The Pyramids and the Library Of Alexandria are both buildable wonders.
- Ancient Greece: Well-represented among the Age A cards: Alexander the Great, Homer, Aristotle and the Colossus all feature among the civil deck. Ancient Rome is less well-represented, its sole representative being Gaius Julius Caesar.
- Army of the Ages: It's quite common for an army to consist of some Bronze Age Warriors, mediaeval Knights, renaissance-era Cannons... and modern Air Forces. Particularly amusing when the tactics card in play means those Bronze Age Warriors are utterly vital to your military strength, and losing just them would remove the majority of your military power.
- Bread and Circuses: A technology card, which, in line with the Trope Namer, allows you to assign workers to it to keep your citizens happy.
- Conscription: When a war is declared on you, you have one turn to raise your military power. Expect to see scientists and miners kicked out of their former occupations and hastily drafted into the military.
- Everyone Meets Everyone: Being without a map, all players' civilisations are considered adjacent to each other.
- 4X: A curious version without a map. Not so much exploration (colonies sortof count); but certainly lots of expansion, exploitation and extermination. (Well, it's also a Eurogame, so "extermination" isn't literal. The other players are still in the game after being stomped, though they may not have much chance of getting back on their feet.)
- Home Field Advantage: In aggressions and wars, the defender has a lot of advantages. The aggressor has to use up military actions, and has to make all their unit sacrifices first. The defender can see precisely what strength is coming up against them, and can also play defensive military cards.
- New Tech Is Not Cheap: It'll cost you one or more civil actions to take the card, another civil action and a bunch of science to play it, and then in most cases more actions and resources to build the unit/building needing it. You can't have enough science to develop all the available technologies; choosing which ones to focus on is one of the key decisions in the game.
- Pyramid Power: In this case, the power is to give you one extra civil action per turn. Probably not thematic, but nevertheless powerful.
- Schizo Tech / Anachronism Stew: You don't need to develop the mediaeval technology in any category, you can skip straight to the renaissance or modern version. So it's normal for a civilisation to have, say, journalism without the printing press, computer labs without the scientific method, movies or opera without having discovered drama, and so on. Many civilisations will never develop such niceties as a Code of Laws or the concept of Warfare or Cartography.
- Spiritual Successor: To the Civilization computer games. Also to the original Civilization board game.
- Stone Wall: Mahatma Gandhi. You cannot play Aggressions or Wars while you have this leader in play - but other players must pay twice as many Military Actions to play them against you.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Bill Gates, Sid Meier and Elvis Presley are all Age III leaders in the original version. In later editions, the leaders that replace them are, respectively, Nikola Tesla, Alex Randolph and Rock & Roll Icon. Their properties, however, are unchanged.
- Technology Levels: What the game is all about. Well... One of the many things the game is all about.
- We Have Reserves: Sacrificing military units in a war or colonisation effort is always costly, but rather less so for players with lots of food production, and the impact is lower for the player whose turn it is because they can immediately build replacements.
- You Require More Vespene Gas: There are several resources to keep track of. You've got food, "resources" (which is sort of an abstract of money, materials and energy), science, as well as yellow tokens representing potential citizens and blue tokens representing potential stuff. Building a solid infrastructure is almost always key to success.