Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Through the Ages

And yet another game of Through the Ages in the bag. I apparently learned something from the last beating I took at the hands of Steve Bauer. This online game was played with Robert Bolan, Nathan Winchester, and Matthew Frederick. The game started with my taking Homer - he's nice for some early points which is probably the amount I won this game by. The difference for me this game was two things: one, I NEVER got a mine upgrade. That's right, I played the whole game never having more than three bronze workers. I never even saw a mine upgrade card - the jerks I was playing with snatched them up as fast as they appeared on the board. This forced me to pay more attention to what I was taking and to play more efficiently than normal. It worked. The turning point for me was probably near the end of the first third of the game when I passed taking a swordsman technology. Saving my science points for knights and saving myself the cost of buying (and expending) swordsman helped immensely. As the game neared its end, I looked to have a pretty comfortable lead. Right up until Robert declared war on Nathan. Nathan DESTROYED Robert and garnered a reward of 21 culture points. Suddenly I wasn't sure I could hold him off. I grabbed Gandhi to earn points and built items solely gearing myself to generating as many last round points as I could. After the dust settled, I had managed to finally knock off Nathan from his undefeated streak. Nathan's "super science" strategy has been defeated (and not by uber military). Some interesting things to note:
  • Never upgraded my mine, nor had more than 3 bronze workers.
  • Never disbanded anything
  • Didn't build the Transcontinental RR (built a late Ocean Liner Service)
  • Didn't change governments until late in the game - switched to Republic 
  • Never had more than 2 military actions
I'm not sure how much more of this game I have in me. It plays awfully tight and seems a little unforgiving when everyone knows the cards and pacing of the game. That kind of non-flexibility is ok in games that are shorter, but this game is pretty long to be that unforgiving. The other thing that is bothersome is that this is a rich get richer game. Fall behind and you are screwed. I still like the game, but its just about to fall out of my top 10 after nearly 10 plays.

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