This is my first attempt at writing a session report...
Herein is the account of the 40 years colonization efforts of the New World:
The Year is 1493, and Columbus had just returned with news about the discovery of the New World. At this point in time, the rulers of the Great Empires were thus:
Red, British: Kau, who considers himself to be an 'Immortal'
Green, Portugal: Wilfred 'Worm'
Yellow, Spain: Mark the Dracula
Blue, France: Eugene also known as DarthFunk
Orange, Holland: Michael 'Sick Chicken'
Being new to this business of colonization, the rulers were hestitant and not sure initially of what to do.
In the first five years:
The Portuguese King, Worm, decided that military is the best answer to all problems and he quickly ordered the building of barracks.
French King DarthFunk believes in peace and religion and send his men to undergo training in the monasteries.
The British felt that discovering and being the first in new areas is a cool idea and starts advertising for new captains to journey forth in the name of the King.
Meanwhile, Spain was plundering the newly discovered Inca Empire and returned with lots of treasures and such which King Dracula quickly pawn for some nice cash.
Finally, Holland's King decided he will be a jack of all trade and quickly spread his men out in each and every area, accomplishing nothing and little of note in the process
In the second five years:
A time of revolutions!
Due to the inefficiencies of their rulers, the French and Holland people revolted and seek to overthrow their rulers, DarthFunk and Sick Chicken. It was quickly established that the revolutions were instigated by the Queens of the two rulers who seek to recall their men back from this madness of colonization and to go home. Reluctantly, the two rulers ceded their rule and returned to their family.
A new ruler Ivan the Great, an experienced ruler who had gone through several simulations of just such events through a mysterious game codenamed AOEIII, emerged and the people were calmed. Ivan the Great took a look at the shambles that is the Holland empire and decided to accept the employment of the leadership of the French. Thus the Holland empire, without an able ruler, declined and was swiftly removed from the board.
Ivan the Great quickly took stock of the situation and decides that, what with the French monasteries churning out missionaries at a constant rate, conversion of the natives people, to be funded by trade routes is the best option. He quickly set about creating a trading post to generate a regular income.
While all these revolutions were going on, the Portuguese were swarming the Caribbean with their soldiers. This made the British and Spanish colonists at the Caribbean wary and King Immortal of the British Empire responded by sending in more colonists on the theory that "he can kill ten but can't kill a hundred of us!". French send out a lone, dispensable missionary to the Caribbean to report on the happenings there.
The Spanish, meanwhile, made use of the riches from the Inca Empire to create alliances with powerful merchant guilds and established many profitable shipping routes.
In the third five years:
Age of Discoveries!
Important discoveries were made during this period by all 4 powers as each of their explorers return with news of new region, new riches as well as new plunders.
War erupted in the Caribbean as the Portuguese soldiers cut down the British and and Spanish colonists at will. With no defenses of their own, the British and Spanish colonists were driven out of the fields and hid in the huts of the natives, generating no VP for their rulers by the end of the First Age. The lone French missionary there, being a man of peace and incidentally being the least in number, was left alone. He watched the battles unfold and send his report back to his King. His King was pleased with the report and he was duly rewarded.
News of the war reached back home and enraged the British and Spanish Kings. King Dracula demanded the training of soldiers in response to this outrage and the British started recruiting merchants, on the theory that 'he can kill our man but he can't stop us making a profit out of him first!"
End of the First Age: Portuguese: 6, all others: 0
In the fourth five years:
Ivan the Great created a new Cathedral in his French empire. Here, the missionaries were schooled in the arts of salesmanship and persuasiveness, vastly improving their abilities to convert the natives to their way of thinking. At the same time the French picked up some nice trade contracts and started sending their missionaries to the Canada region.
Spanish King Dracula continued to gain influence in the Merchant Guild and established the West Indies Co. for the purpose of enhancing his trade income. The Spanish started a colony at Brazil.
King Worm meanwhile realized that the Portuguese treasuries were fast drying out as they had not establish any worthwhile trade routes and with the military draining his resources. Despite the best efforts of his advisors, he persisted in his military strategy and continue in training and sending soldiers to the New world.
Britain concentrated on training merchants and captains to gain gold and to prepare to explore new regions.
In the fifth five years:
A Privateer appears at this time and offers his services to Portugal. Engage me, he said, and I will destroy the trading ships of your enemies and bring you back the spoils, after I take my cut of course. King Worm, while not being attracted by this proposition, was nevertheless determined that this Privateer not end up in Spain (who is next in line in the Privateer's list of prospective employers) as, combined with Spanish armada, the result will be devastating.
After consultation with his good 'friends', Ivan the Great and King Immortal, he decided to empty all that was left of the Portuguese coffers to take up the Privateer's offer in order to deny them to Spain. Ivan the Great and King Immortal did smile knowingly at each other at this turn of events.
With only 1 ship, the Portuguese privateer will proved to be of little impact to the other powers in the years to come.
Meanwhile, the New World is quickly becoming populated with colonists as each power strive to exert their influence. With her army of highly trained and efficient missionaries, French is having a great advantage in this endeavor.
Portugal spread her soldiers out amongst different regions while Britain continued sending merchants to the New World. Fighting broke out in several regions as Portuguese soldiers opened fire on the colonists from the other empires.
Seeing 2 companies of Portuguese soldiers land at Canada, French quickly recruited a band of local Indian mercenaries in Canada to counter this new threat. An uneasy peace would thus ensue in Canada which will last in the coming years.
British and Spain intensified their efforts at finding new regions to colonized. Spain sends in her newly trained soldier to solidify her position in Brazil.
In the sixth five years:
Much jostling for space in the New World. With her large presence of soldiers in the New World, Portugal began to flex her prowess and gun down the colonists of a couple of regions, chiefly targeting French and British subjects. According to a Portugal soldier however, the French were 'breeding like rabbits in the haystacks' and the Portuguese were increasing frustrated at the boatload of missionaries in blue swarming the regions. British positions, on the other hand, were particularly vulnerable and in a few places were reduced to a distant third or fourth positions or were driven out completely.
In Brazil and New Spain, French missionaries appeared and threatened to overtake the majority population of Spanish colonists. A Spanish soldier was hastily send to each location to contain the situation. To prevent any bloodshed, the French send a peace message to Spain, explaining that they were in for religious and peaceful purpose and have no plans at all to subjugate the majority positions of Spain. King Dracula was suspicious but decides that, with soldiers stationed in each region, there should be no trouble from the French.
Back home, the French build a University while the other powers decided to conserve their gold.
Thus ended the 2nd Age with all powers pretty close to each other on the VP track.
In the seventh five years:
Spain grabbed Navy and Prosperity advantage during this period and there were fierce competition for profitable trade routes by all except Portugal. Portugal meanwhile continue to send more soldiers and conduct more battles against the other great powers.
In the eighth five years:
A boatload of French missionaries appeared unexpectedly on the shores of Brazil and quickly established a majority position much to the dismay of the Spanish colonists there. King Dracula, however, was not unprepared for this, with a combination of monetary awards and threats, a group of Spanish colonists was force marched from New Spain to Brazil in double quick time, this and with the Spanish soldiers opening fire at the French quickly put the French in their places and left them remaining at 2nd position.
Battles also broke out in Caribbean and Virginia where the remnants of French, British and Spanish colonists were all but wipe out by the Portuguese armies.
Finally, French's University allowed the country to grab the Mercantilism advantage ahead of Spain which had to settle for something of less attractiveness.
The game ends with France at 79, Spain at 74, Britain at 63 and Portugal at 38.