I played Stone Age at Indy Con in 2009. I absolutely loved the game, and I knew that it would be a game that we would both love. A couple of weeks later, we ordered the game as part of a big game order. So was I right about this game or was I completely off on this one?
Stone Age is a worker placement game. Player's will take turns placing workers in several different places. There are three places in the village to place a worker. One gives a player agriculture so they pay less food at the end of the round. Another gives tools, which help with collecting resources. The final area in the villages is usually called the "love shack". Two meeples go in and then three come out. Many of the other places on the board are resource spaces. There is wood, brick, stone, and gold. To collect resources a player will roll a die for each worker. Depending on the resource, will depend on how many resources are collected. For example, for every three pips rolled a player will get one wood and for every six pips a player gets a gold.
Players will be using these resources for a couple of different things. They will be using these resources for a couple of different reasons. Players will use these resources to buy cards. Many of these cards provide an immediate benefit such as a resource, food, or points. These cards also provide end game bonuses in the form of multipliers. For example one card might provide a x2 multiplier for each tool that I have. Other cards have symbols on the bottom of them. Players get points exponentially for the number of different symbols they have. For example if a player has five different symbols they get 25 points. If they have all eight symbols they get 64 points.
The other thing that players spend resources on are for huts. Huts score points based on the amount of resources, and this is one of the main ways to score points. The game will end when all of the cards are used or one of the piles of huts is bought up. At that point all of the bonus points are added in and whoever has the high score wins.
The Game We Played
In a two player game especially, I can not resist trying to collect a complete set of symbols and that is what I went with. My wife Had a terrible start with some terrible dice rolls that resulted in her not getting the resources she needed. However, she quickly got up and I ended up using my resources chasing after the symbols. Meanwhile, my wife got cards that provided multipliers for huts and she bought several of the huts worth a lot of points. On the last turn I bought the seventh symbol, and the card gave me the top card of the deck. Luckily, I got the eighth symbol and this jumped my bonus points from this from 49 to 62. My wife got 42 points from her bonus points from the huts. She also got several points for multipliers based on how high up she was on the agriculture track. Once all of the points were added up, I won 190 to 189.
My Rating: 4 (Like it)
My Thoughts: I like that this game mixes luck and strategy. A player can have the best strategy, but if the dice roll is not there it is not there. I like that this adds a bunch of uncertainty to the game and causes players to adjust their strategy on the fly.
Her Rating: 4.5 (Like it!)
Her Thoughts: Rolling the dice is always fun. I feel like this game makes planning ahead manageable, because I can only plan with the resource I have or think I will get.
Combined Rating: 8.5
Stone Age was the first worker placement game that we played, and I think that I have liked every one I have played since then. However, very few have the accessibility of this game. Stone Age is one of our favorites and will remain a "go to" euro game for us.