The Golden Ages - designer's diary

Something about "The Golden Ages". A designer's point of view, in a very bad english.
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Luigi Ferrini
Castagneto Carducci
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Let's start familiriazing with player's mat, that it's the thing you'll look more during the play. The main part is occupied by the Technologies Tree, the technical and scientific knowledges that your civilization is able to master. Here:
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On the right there are the reserve of cubes, your "bricks" to build cities on the map, and the space where place your gold.

On the bottom left there are the spaces where construct the buildings, and on the bottom right there are the attack table and the summary of the actions that you may perform during the turn.
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If you haven't been overwhelmed by the Stendhal syndrome, try starting right from this final summary; the possible actions are eight, four of which (those on the left) require the use of a colonist, while the other four did not require the use of colonists and can therefore be performed freely (although they are nevertheless limited by other factors, such as the disposable income).

Before going into the details of the actions, which we will do in the next post, a note of design: you can't conclude your turn as long as you still have available colonists. Since the colonists are three, each player is "forced" to perform at least three actions during his turn. This is very important, because the action of passing (the one with the golden sun, in the lower right corner) corresponds to bring your civilization in its "golden age": who enters a golden age do not stop playing (which happens in many games, where those who "passes" remain inactive, waiting for the other players' actions), but continues to accumulate money while the other players finish their actions. In game terms, however, that means that you can't just accumulate money and let others play: you must instead use all your colonists in the better way. Unfortunately, to use them in the real better way it's necessary to perform also the other actions, those that do not require the use of a colonist... and so the turn lengthens and the Golden Age gets away! The effect that occurs is that there is a growing tension, a continuous choice between "running" to be the first to start a golden age or making another move to improve your condition; however, in this way you delay the end of your turn and thus risk benefit other players, that in the next turn will have more available money.

This rule, if we cut off the whole civilization superstructure, it the main mechanic of the game: I think it's the "newer" thing that the rulebook proposes and it's so important that it was even mentioned in the title.

Yes, that's why the game is called "The Golden Ages", in the plural, because every civilization in history had its golden age, the period when it reached its maximum might. Then, usually, another civilization came and took its place. It happens, sorry.
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