Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Through the Ages
Well, I saw a post about Through the Ages being on sale a couple weeks ago, so I finally pulled the trigger. This is one of those games that has all the potential to be a hit with me - good word of mouth, good rankings from the BGG community, a following that loved it despite all the early quality issues and a designer that has shown repeated excellence. To top it off, it might as well have been called "Civ The Boardgame" (except that a huge suck ass POS already exists with that name) as it basically recreates the PC game experience. I have held off on acquiring this one for some time, as I wanted to wait for a "good" printing of the game. I've been reluctant to try and trade for it for exactly this reason. Early English versions of the game had numerous printing errors and poor quality components which were corrected both in fix packs and in later printings. However, the cost for the game was still ridiculous ($80) for what was mostly a bunch of cards. However, I was able to pick up the newest edition for $37-ish, so it was time to play. Luckily for me, Nathan Winchester is/was also a Civ addict and was willing to drop in to play it. Got out the game and since it was the middle of the week, we simply played the basic game to get a handle on the mechanics and since we didn't really know how long it'd take. The basic game was perfect - just the right introduction and length. Lot of feel for the game, interesting decisions, but didn't throw too much at us to induce AP. Nathan built himself something of a points engine with a couple of wonders, but never changed/upgraded his government, so didn't try for another building. I went towards a bit more infrastructure and was making lots of food and resources, but my few actions each turn limited what I could do. In the end, I banged out a couple of upgrades to help my score. Nathan had a pretty big lead, but I made up a lot of that in happiness score and strength scores. Ultimately, I came up two points shy of Nathan's 50 points. Today, I read through some of the advanced rules and now I'm really eager to try the advanced or full games. The corruption and happiness pieces are interesting additions to the already fine juggling acts you have to do, and the military cards sound like icing on the cake. I'm sure the next game I play will be really long, but I can also see where once you have a better feeling for it, the game speeds up dramatically.