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Age of Mythology: The Boardgame» Forums » General

Subject: First Impressions rss

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Dave Shapiro
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Milwaukee
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Before proceeding I should state that I am not a 'fan' of Puerto Rico. Though I think it is a good game, I do not find it a great game. Age of Mythology is similar to Puerto Rico; it falls in the same family (as Union Pacific is similar to Acquire).

The player boards have areas for farms (plantations) and cities (buildings) with mechanisms that mime the original in many ways (gathering/settler, with the same "what-I-do-may-help-you-more" efect). The game is won/lost on victory points that can vary as players place one VP each every turn in one of 4 areas (Largest Army, Largest city, Wonder and Last Battle).

The two games differ in two areas. First AoM is more complex. Rather than the same 'characters' to choose from each turn in PR, AoM offers a set of 'permanent actions' that can be altered by the inclusion of 'random actions' at the player's choice. This alone increases the number of choices facing the player (and the complexity of the game). But the increased variety does not end here; there are more buildings than PR and each offers some benefit to the owner. There is the standard gather extra or storehouse (warehouse in PR) but there are additional buildings -the Great Temple for example that allows a player to buy a VP. In short the game offers more choices with greater complexity. (The rules are done well - we had no problems.)


In addition to all of this, there is combat. We found battles to be somewhat rare (only 2 in the last game). Attacking a player has some influence on the game but this is not a wargame. The result of an attack is more on the order of stealing from your opponent. Assuming you win, you may take a farm, take resources (goods) or destroy a building. Combat is simply another tool, another option - this is not Risk.

Based on these initial playings, I believe that AoM is a step-up from PR and should appeal to the same people. It is more complex because it offers more choices and the correct strategy is more difficult to determine each turn. Of the people I have played with, the PR fans not only enjoyed it, they thought it had more potential; that it was possibly a better game.
 
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Bill Bass
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Re:First Impressions
Only two battles in an entire game?! It's almost as if you have not played the whole game yet! In the two player game my girlfriend and I had last night, we had at least three battles, and I had just advanced to the third age when we decided to call it quits for the night. I would not consider the game to be heavy on combat (unless a certain group chose to play it that way), but two battles does make this sound like an incredibly benign group of gamers (no offense). Just wait until you start to see the benefits of an occasional raid on another's resources, or the effect of when someone has a building destroyed that they were using a lot, like maybe a market, for example. The players will actually have to start spending resources and turns recruiting an army, balanced with all of the other things they want to accomplish. Then the TRUE depth of this game will begin to reveal itself to you.
 
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Ubergeek
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Washougal
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Re:First Impressions
qrux (#19352),Another nice note is the built in time limit or end to the game. It can end though one of two mechanisms. Immediately when someone builds the wonder, or at the end of a turn in which the last victory point cube is placed. There are only 30 victory point cubes in the game regardless of the number of players, and 3 must be played each turn to the victory point cards. This means the game will not go over 10 turns (of 3 cards played per turn) and possibly less if someone builds a Great Temple and starts converting blue resources to red victory point cubes. This should keep the game from going too long and prevent anyone from getting knocked out.
 
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Martin Munzel
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Re:First Impressions
Concerning the battles, I'd like to add that there is a huge luck factor in them; I find the outcome of a battle completely unpredictable. If you have a look at the odds tables posted here, you can see that even with 9 dice to 5 in a battle, you only have a rough 60% chance of winning. So even if you did a good job at buying the units that counter your opponent's, and you outguessed him by pitting a hero against a myth unit, you only get a 60% chance of beating him. I'm not happy at all with that. However, the author promised to post alternative combat rules in a week or so, which are supposed to work without any dice. That should make for faster and more strategic battles.
 
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Pantera
Sweden
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Re:First Impressions
Terror (#19486),
You are forgetting the ties, which have a pretty high odds due to the system of rolling 6's. Which also makes the Medusas bonus good, and the Berzerk Special Ability pretty dangerous.

Instead of checking your odds to win, you should check the oppponents chance to win. A Battle Dice of 5 vs. 9 only gives 19.5% chance of winning. I.e there is a 80.5% change of winning or doing a tie with 9 vs 5.

Pretty good I think. If combat wheren't unpredictable, the Greek Mythological Hero would win all combats.
 
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J Battle
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Chicago
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Re:First Impressions
Pantera (#19487),
Seems like every time we've used the berserk, both units have rolled zero 6's - that's a tie, and the berserker dies :0
 
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