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Empires: Age of Discovery» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Early thoughts on National Powers rss

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Steven Durst
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Admittedly I’ve only played this a few times but here are my initial thoughts on the national advantages:

Prussia: Once per Age when resolving one battle, each attacking Prussian soldier eliminates 2 units (max 1 soldier enemy per friendly soldier).
So you say you like fighting? Prussia may be for you. Your soldiers can engage in wholesale slaughter (in one battle each age). Seeing as how warfare is rather limited in this game and generally used in very select areas, this makes even a single soldier in a region able to swing the juicy 6 colony points to you. Use this to your advantage to keep the enemy guessing and pump out those soldiers to inspire fear in others so they leave YOUR territory alone.

England: Once per game, just before the colonist dock event box is issued, English player may add 2 free colonists to the dock and reorder workers (NOTE: you can go above the normal number of colonists on the dock due to this ability which my group missed the first time).

This is a very strong early game power, able to get the jump on opponents in order to secure the trade goods from newly discovered territories (by moving your guys to the front of the line). In the latter half of the game, the ability can still be useful to pump out 2 more free guys to secure majorities and the reordering can be used to move your guys to the back of the line and perhaps watch and see where everybody places their guys first in order to make the best moves for you.

France: Twice per game (only once a turn) just before Trade Goods box resolves, the French player can take one trade good from the trade goods track.
This is the “screw you” maneuver for trade goods. You see your 4th cocoa show up on the board and you don’t want to get into a messy conflict with others in turn order? Simply take it. You save yourself a worker and you can prevent the poor sap on the 4th spot from receiving a trade good. You sneaky git you! Like many of the screw over powers, the threat of this power can be more powerful than the ability itself. Threaten the other players that you’ll use this to swipe the goods so they avoid the trade goods track and thus letting you swoop in with your own guys.

Ottoman Empire When sending soliders using the colonist dock, they may be treated as missionaries.
Now your soldiers get you an extra dude when they arrive to the new world. This makes soldiers very valuable to you for getting more dudes on the map. Combines very well with Cathedral which increases this to 2 workers per missionary/soldier. Just watch out for the reformation which shuts this ability down (missionaries can’t use their ability in region with player with reformation and their own missionaries). Besides that, spam the board with your Holy Warriors and get colony scoring.

Italian City States: Twice per game (only once per turn) just before Specialists event box is resolved, the Italian player may replace any worker on the specialist track with a worker from their supply. The replaced worker is returned to owners supply.

Ha! Again use this to bully the other players from staying away from your domain (ie the Specialist Track). Tell Jimmy to stay away from making a soldier because that is what you want. Does he really want to waste his move and worker when he knows you can just swipe it from him? Use this fear to dominate the specialist track yourself.

Denmark: Starts the game with one fur and one fish. At any time, the Danish player may secretly look at the Discovery counters in New France and New England.
Another power that works early. Starting with 2 goods means any other good will automatically get your trade income rolling. Also you are in a good position to know exactly what power you need to take New France and New England so you don’t have to waste workers to the unknown. These territories will also score you the goods you already start with. Very straightforward power to get a head start.

Spain: Just before turn 1, Spanish player make make a free discovery, taking the discovery tile ignoring resistance. They add 1 soldier to the region and take the plunder amount (only regular plunder, not the conquistador plunder).

Start with a territory already on the way to being under your thumb. This gives you several VPs from the tile for free and you can start colonizing that territory from the start (but so can everyone else). However that soldier might make others wary to intrude since you can kill them off with warfare before anybody else has soldiers. It’s use or lose though so you have to decide before the game starts or lose this forever.

Holland: Once per game, before the Merchant shipping event box is resolved, the Dutch player may take the Merchant Ship from the Merchant shipping box (regardless of who would have won it).
Another ability I would bully others with. With only 8 turns, who wants to get into a bidding war for the merchant ship when you know Holland can just swoop in and steal it? As Holland, I would bid 1 colonist on the merchant ship each round and just dare people to intercede. This ability might just win you 8 merchant ships if you play your cards right.

Portugal: Once per age (3 times total a game) the Portuguese player when taking a Discovery event, may use the Discovery Deck instead of discovering a region in the new world. When doing so, resistance is always 3.
Why engage in risky exploration of the New World? You know exactly what you need to conquer the rest of the world (3 resistance). Utilize this power early, middle and/or late to monopolize the Discovery deck and rack up discovery points and plunder! I wouldn’t completely ignore the New World though since those colony majority points are huge (especially with builders).

Synopsis:
I really like the screw you powers (Italy, Holland, France) since the threat of using that power will often result in greater profit than actually using it. This allows you to possibly dominate those spots on the board with less effort. I find most of the powers to be about on par with each other; none are too overpowered and all are useful. I think of all of these I don’t really like Spain’s power since it is very one and done but it is still very useful.

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Justen
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So I'm trying to figure out, are these new National Advantage powers meant to entirely replace the NA tiles from the Builder's Expansion?
 
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Just Another User
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Justen wrote:
So I'm trying to figure out, are these new National Advantage powers meant to entirely replace the NA tiles from the Builder's Expansion?

Yes, I think the Builder's Expansion is reproduced entirely within the Deluxe Edition.
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Fabio Henrique
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The problem with these national powers is that Spain power could discover New France OR New England, making Denmark power much less useful.

Wario83 wrote:
Admittedly I’ve only played this a few times but here are my initial thoughts on the national advantages:

Denmark: Starts the game with one fur and one fish. At any time, the Danish player may secretly look at the Discovery counters in New France and New England.

Spain: Just before turn 1, Spanish player make make a free discovery, taking the discovery tile ignoring resistance. They add 1 soldier to the region and take the plunder amount (only regular plunder, not the conquistador plunder).

 
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Anthony Mai
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Spain's ability doesn't imply that it ignores the adjacency rule, whereas it explicitly says to ignore the resistance rule. Going by that, the Danish power should be left intact since Spain could only discover Florida, New Spain, or New Granada.

I agree with you if the power goes by your interpretation--that would reduce the Danish power, but not much. It could be a boon if you can snipe the other region away (or the trade good from the region Spain chose) and potentially have a set of three by the end of the second round.
 
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Fabio Henrique
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Delwarris wrote:
Spain's ability doesn't imply that it ignores the adjacency rule...

What do you mean by adjacency rule?
 
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