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Subject: Stone Age review 14 rss

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An Hava
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Living in the Stone Age was a breeze.

Introduction

In Stone Age you are a tribe of people trying to survive in the Stone Age(obviously). Players take turn placing workers on the board. Players have their own little board, but it doesn't really serve any purpose.

At First Glance

Beautiful illustrations on the board. A lot of detail, which does help create a nice atmosphere. The woorden pieces are great too, as they are shaped somewhat as the thing they represent, i.e. gold is shaped like bars, clay like bricks. The dice cup looks nice too.

Gameplay

The main board allows for different actions. These can be divided in to several different categories. To keep it simple I'll divide them in to three.
There are places where you can collect good, wood, clay, stone and gold. You can place more than one worker at these actions spaces, but there is a limit to the total number of workers at each space (except food). The ammount of stuff you gain is determined by dice.
Then there are three 'village spaces'. These allow you to either gain an extra worker (which is a hut where two workers have to be placed, insinuating the game is not for kids), gain tools or plow/sow a field. These spaces are very important especially in the early game. Having an extra worker is useful ofcourse. Having tools helps with die rolls and a field provides a steady income of food.
Lastly there are several spaces which allow you to build a hut (points) or buy a card (points and a little extra for you).
There is a great variety of cards, but I won't elaborate on that.

After everybody has placed all workers, your tribe must be fed. This is rarely a problem.

When there are no more cards, or a pile of huts has been bought, the game ends and the player with the most points wins. The point scoring system is nice and allows you to focus on certain tasks. Depending on the cards you bought you can get a lot of points for the number of workers, tools, fields or huts you have. So it can be a strategy to focus on buying cards that give points for tools and try to get a lot of tools.

(That was bit longer than I intended, but the game is actually pretty simple.)

What's good about it?

It's easy to learn. The game doesn't involve as much planning as say Agricola. But an experienced player can still make a lot of difference. Easy to learn, difficult to master.

The game has a nice feel to it. The illustrations are great and I like that they took extra effort with the cup and the wooden pieces.

What's not so good about it?

There isn't any interaction between players. This is often a complaint I have with worker placement games (which is odd, as I own a lot of them).

I'm not a huge fan of dice. Though in some games it's fine, and over the course of a game the luck should balance out. But a 1 or a 6 can make a lot of difference at times. I have to say that in Stone Age, you can do something about the die rolls with tools and the number of workers you place.

Your personal board doesn't really come to life like in Agricola, but not every game has to be Agricola.(And not every game should be Agricola)

Conclusion

Stone Age is a really good game for people who haven't played a lot of games. It's a good way to introduce people to the fact that there are more than three games in the world.

It's still fun to play even if you prefer more complex games, but I don't find myself really immersed in the game, despite the fantastic look.

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