Session Report for Age of Mythology
I had played the game at CHITAG and owned the only copy so I was set to teach Roger, Jeff and Greg last night.
I drew the Norse, Jeff the Greek and Roger and Greg got stuck sharing the Egyptians (for more on what this means see the reviews).
I drew first player and put a VP on the wonder for no ther reason than that I was planning to try to build the dang thing. I had no idea if I'd succeed...
The first couple turns were a bit slow as we made sure we all inderstood the flow of things, but we were all enjoying ourselves. Most interesting was that the first 5 actions played were Explores so we were all making alot of resources when the Gathers started falling. This meant lots of big armies. It probably should have meant lots of buildings, but what did we know, right?
By turn 2 Jeff and Roger were duking it out twice a turn. This was the way of the game for most of the way through the nine turns we played. I got attacked only once all game and won a single VP cube by a lucky troop selection which forced my opponent, Greg, to retreat after I beat his spoiler.
I decided early on to let the Greeks and Egyptians fight as much as they wanted to. I built as many varied units as a needed to always have what looked like a big deterrent. This was made easier by the steady poundings each of my opponent's armies were taking, both as attacker and as defender.
By turn 6 or so I had figured out a plan for actually getting the wonder. I had been piling the VP up there most of the game so it looked very much like a game winner if I could pull it off. I was trying to hide my secret plan and succeeded until I aged up to Mythic in turn 8...then everybody knew I could win and ganged up to stop me.
It came down to the last turn, turn 9; in the next turn we'd be placing the last 3 VP cubes ending the game (we played this wrong, but in my defense, the rules are slightly unclear on this matter). I chose Gather, Trade and Build and calculated I could almost guarantee the wonder with just those three, but I was hoping for a Gather all or nifty god power card.
The final turn played out with me (first player) playing my standard Gather, mountains (Egypt has no mountains, I'd been doing it all game to hose two opponents at a time). This habitual play was a monumental, or should I say wondrous, mistake. I had drawn the Gather all card and had I used it, I would have easily gathered the 10 of each resource to build the wonder next action. As it was I got close, but the remaining resources were gathered up so my trade cards were useless. We went around the table through the first action round with my 3 opponents avoiding handing me the wonder while the tried to maneuver for Largest Army and Most Buildings. Jeff (Greek) had 5 VP from battles and would win if I failed to build the Wonder or if he could get enough troops for Largest army. Roger (Egypt to my left) had a lot of buldings and was likely to win that race.
I spent the rest of round one kicking myself and planning who to Attack to try and steal the resources I needed to build the Wonder and not lose enough units to give Jeff the Largest Army. Then, Greg (Egypt to my right) forgot about Trade and Recruited. This put enough resources back in the bank; I played Gather all and scooped up almost all of them at the beginning of round 2. The other three knew then that they couldn't stop me. Roger had too few and too weak troops to even really have a decent chance at winning a battle round, the long range cost of his wars with Greece. Greg had some troops but still not the right mix to actually win a Battle. I thought they would Attack me anyway, but they didn't and I built the Wonder. I scored for the Wonder and Largest Army and won by a pretty good margin.
Even though it was a learning game, the systems are easy enough to pick up that we felt like we were playing for real...I intend to brag on my win anyways...
AoM is a good one. It'll be on the table a lot in the coming weeks.