Aeon's End: what is it like and why should I care?

A thread prompted by the mentioning of Aeon’s End elsewhere, and perhaps this is something @RogerBW might be able to help answer, but is there a particular set that is ‘better’ than the others?

I’m probably missing one out, but I think there’s Aeon’s End, AE: War Eternal, and AE: Legacy, all seemingly the same in terms of core design and player counts etc. (I know Roger has demoed the game several times and speaks very highly of it, hence tagging him in).

1 Like


(My Aeon’s End story in short: the year it came out I saw the art and wasn’t interested. The next Essen they asked on the Friday night for people to demo it the next day, so I read the manual that night, played it for the rest of the show and fell in love.)

There are four sets available right now, and another one that’s waiting for the KS to deliver.

  • Aeon’s End - the original.
  • AE New Age War Eternal - a bit harder, slightly more complicated mechanics
  • AE Legacy - a legacy game, opinions differ as to the reusability of the content in later play
  • AE New Age - last year’s box, introduces the “expedition” system for 4-game mini-campaigns, therefore slightly less of the other content
  • AE Outcasts - the new one, not yet available

All of them use the same basic mechanics, and all are for 1-4 players. You can combine bits from any game (well, post-Legacy Legacy) with any other. So if you’re aiming for “what to buy first” then it depends on your tastes: if you love legacy games then that, otherwise original for straightforward play, WE for more complicated play, NA probably somewhere in between but the smoothest play experience. Roughly.


I don’t have New Age(just everything up to and including Legacy) but a lot of people recommend it if you’re just going to buy one set and not Legacy. From what I understand it has a couple more tools for adjusting difficulty.

Legacy is a lot of fun, but coming from War Eternal is really easy. Like, ridiculously easy.

War Eternal can be hard, but is better than the base game, in my opinion.

For me personally, if I was only buying one, it’d probably be War Eternal and all it’s small-box expansions, but really, I’d probably recommend buying either Legacy or New Age depending if you want the legacy experience, then after playing a few games, if you like it, grab War Eternal too. Then from there, start grabbing the smaller expansions if they have mages or bosses that sound interesting to you.


For me it was, I know Quinns talked about it on a podcast and it sounded interesting, but he complained about the art and produciton quality.

I kept it in mind, but always passed on it, and War Eternal when it came out, then, I think two years ago, by brother-in-law just happened to buy it for me and my group and I promptly fell in love.

So from there, I bought a couple expansions, then once the Legacy Kickstarter came out, I used that to buy everything I was missing. Haha.


Thanks both, that’s been very helpful.


That’s another consideration: the general practice has been that each KS lets you buy all the previous content too, and for the small expansions that’s generally cheaper than hunting them down in retail.


I’m assuming one of these should be War Eternal?


Yeah, the second box. Fixed in the original.


It usually is. The Kickstarters are also great for the add-on pack that gives you enough cards to just build out the starting decks for all the mages. That helps setup time a lot.

Also, if you do buy multiple base sets, don’t combine the basic nemesis cards (unless you want more randomness). It can lead to very unbalanced decks that can make things very hard (or easy).

You mix and match tiers (as in T1 from Set A, T2 from Set B, and T3 from Set A/B/C), but you shouldn’t mix sets between tiers.

1 Like

I’ve been intrigued by Aeon’s End for quite some time. I’ve just always assumed that the mindfulness required for discarding would ruin the game for me. For fans of AE, do you find that’s a thing you enjoy? Tolerate? Dislike?

1 Like

There’s no reason not to play with a completely open discard pile if you fancy it.

For that matter the designer’s said that playing with an open deck won’t do any harm - the only reason for keeping it hidden is that in playtesting they found it slowed the game down too much, but if you’re soloing that’s not a problem.

All that said, I’m a truly terrible card-counter, and I don’t find that makes my AE game less enjoyable.


For most mages, you don’t really need to pay much attention. Though, maybe that’s why I lose a lot. But really, I like being able to really optimize the discard pile if you want.

I have a fiend who really enjoys that time of thing and is really good at it. But, like I said, I largely don’t bother other than generally trying to get it to where a couple of my big money cards stay together.

1 Like

It’s on TTS if you want to give it a go. I personally haven’t played the mod yet, but do have it downloaded and it seems solid. I think there might be a couple, the one I grabbed is the Aeon’s End 2ed Scripted one.

1 Like

I can’t count cards for shit, and I love the game.

1 Like

Slip of the tongue, no doubt :wink:

Perhaps when I have more brainpower I’ll check out TTS. I think AE continues to intrigue me, more so because I rarely see AE boxes pop up in BGG auctions… so clearly people that buy them hang on to them for a reason. (or the demographics correlate with people who buy and don’t care for them also are less likely to list games for sale on BGG; look, I’m neither a statistologist nor a statistiachist)

1 Like

I’m busy the next two weekends, but I’d be down to learn the mod, and play a game with you sometime. That way you don’t also have to learn the rules.


If we can sort out a mutually agreeable time, I’d be happy to play a teaching game in TTS.


Sure thing. I’m typically available during the week in the evenings (US Central), less so on weekends but that also tends towards availability in the evenings, after the kids are in bed.

1 Like

I’m usually more available in the weekends, but can clear some evening time with my wife on a weekday too. I’m US Pacific time, so not too far off from you.

Now that I think about it, I’m actually on mandatory PTO next Friday (5/8), so, really any time that day works. Haha.

1 Like

How long does a game take, with The Teach? I could probably devote my lunch break to it. (The game of 1889 I talked about in the other thread was played over the course of 2 weeks, 1 hour at a time as a lunch break for me and as an after-work-before-supper deal for two other players who were in the UK). So if it’s 60-90 minutes, I could probably work something out during the day on the 8th (or most other week days)