Age of Comics Preview

In the 1940’s, comic books were a booming industry. Age of Comics: The Golden Years puts players in the role of publishing houses in New York during this era. You’ll spend 5 rounds hiring writers and artists, publishing comics, and gaining fans along the way. Let’s take a look at this new game from Lirius Games, a publisher out of Rome.

Age of Comics ideas

Publication House

In Age of Comics, players are given 4 editors (workers) that are placed around the central board. There are 6 actions on this board to choose from:

  • Hire will allow you to add one writer and one artist from the line up into your hand. These new hires specialize in one of the six genres of comics in the game. This is noted by the color of their card and their icon.
  • Develop allows a player to take a comic from the line up to eventually publish. Paying $4 allows you to search the deck of comics for the genre of your choice if you don’t like what is shown next to the board.
  • Ideas let you collect idea tokens that are necessary when you eventually publish your comics.
  • Print allows players to publish a comic and gain fans. The number of fans is based on the values of the writer and artist assigned to the project. You can choose to print a rip-off comic which will encroach on other players mastery of that specific genre.
  • Royalties is where you go when you need that influx of cash.
  • Sales will allow players to take orders for comic genres and earn even more fans when they fulfill these orders.
Age of Comics hires

Worker placement spots are straight-forward but the order in which you approach these can be very important. In my first couple plays, I found myself just focusing on a single printing of a comic. The more I played, the more I saw opportunities to setup future prints and earning more fans by planning out future releases.

Best in the Industry

Players can print comics quickly for a fast influx of fans, or they can do the work early on of collecting sales tokens and hiring the ideal team to maximize their impact. Players who do this preparation probably won’t publish a comic in the first round. Age of Comics is essentially an economics game in a really great looking wrapper.

Looking for bonuses is important as you hire and plan future publications. Mastery bonuses are given to the publisher that publishes the most of a specific genre. With six different genres, players can choose to step on one another’s toes or stay in their own lane and stick to specific genres. As a fan of horror and sci-fi, I found myself working toward publishing those comics more often. At times, the bonuses on the comic books and the synergy between cards made me dive into romance and western comics.

Age of Comics player board

Fan Service

In between each round, the top 3 comic books will earn victory points for their publishers. All comic books will earn money based on their number of fans. I love how these are tracked using miniature comic book tokens for each of the publishing houses. Money can feel tight at times, and this pushes players to invest in sales or even print rip-off comics for more cashflow.

Age of Comics sales

Players earn special actions with each comic they publish. These actions include printing comics with betters inks (+2 VP), rearranging your writers/artists, hyping upcoming comics, and even adding a 5th editor. Sometimes earning these special actions quickly in the game can be a huge boost to players. It took us 2 or 3 games before we saw how valuable these special actions can be early on.

At the end of the game, players will add their fans to their earned victory points, along with bonuses they earned, for their final score.

Age of Comics fan track

Age of Comics is dripping with theme, and it’s a unique one at that. Playing the game immediately took me back to my childhood and the collection of comics I still hang on to. The comic artwork on the cards and tiny comic tokens are gorgeous. Lirius Games captured the iconic look of each of these genres and it adds a lot to the presentation.

Age of Comics is definitely going to attract comic fans and gamers who are fond of worker placement games. While we played the game at 2, 3 and 4 players, our favorite plays were at the 3 and 4 player counts because these games felt more competitive.

Age of Comics: The Golden Years launches on Kickstarter on September 19, 2022. Drop by the campaign and check out all that this game has to offer.

A prototype of the game was provided for this coverage. Components and rules covered in this preview are not finalized. Read more about our preview policies at One Board Family.