Thursday, October 30, 2008
The conversion of Nathan Winchester (whose picture is HERE) continues. Last night I invited Nathan and Dion Garner over and after looking at the games, we settled on playing Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery. I pulled this one in part because Mike Gingold had talked about liking the three player game over the five player game he had been in. Having only played four and five player games, I was not quite sure what to expect. I ended up being first player and grabbed two buildings my first turn - a soldier in the discovery box and an extra colonist each round. These extra pieces from the second turn on made a huge difference for me. I managed a large number of discoveries (and profited twice off Dion's failed discoveries). I also ended up snagging the Missionary almost every turn and sending them overseas, which helped me snag a huge amount of points in the majorities phase each time. Dion was making money hand over fist with every one of the money buildings and the privateers (other players pay you). Nathan was a trade good crazy fool and also the rum king of the world. But, when all was said and done, I was well out in front - Charles: 153, Dion 102, Nathan 78. Three player was ok, but I think it lacks a bit of the tenseness you get when playing with 5. Though the colonist dock is always tight, the trade goods and specialists are especially tight with more players. Because there are "more" trade goods and buildings and so forth, money seemed less important than in a 5-player game. It was also easier to score points in the new world since there was not as much competition. All of that is not to say that it wasn't fun - it was. I think I just like the desperate need to grab multiple things in a 5-player game and watching them all get taken. Something that didn't really happen in our 3-player game. Now, this is a bit like another game I really like - Samurai. A lot of people don't care for the 2 or 4-player games. I like them all because your approach to the game has to be pretty different. I think this is probably VERY true with AoE III. In a 5-player game, you simply have to be very efficient and aggressive with the turn order at the right time. In a three player game, a lot more things are available, so you have to spread out to more areas than you normally would when there is more competition.