After Emerald, Amy and Bridget retired for the evening leaving Jim, Chris, and I looking for a three player game. I suggested Age of Mythology, since it's supposed to be quite good with three players. And besides, I had already invested a bunch of time punching the bits! None of us had played before, so we spent some time going through the rules, familiarizing ourselves with the cards and the pretty plastic. We all quickly noticed the similarities to Puerto Rico in the action cards.
I can sum up this game in one word: Long. After 3 hours we aborted the game. I think we all agreed the game had some fun and interesting parts, but it was progressing very slowly. I particularly liked the resource management and the tough choices when deciding which permanent action cards to keep before picking from the random deck. However the battles were really, really long and very luck-based.
The first battle started when Chris used his Loki card to steal 5 resources from Jim. Jim didn't care for this very much, so he decided to try out battles by attacking Chris. At the time, Chris had by far the best army of us all, so Jim was just attacking to see how the battle system worked. We all (including Jim) expected Chris to clean up. However two things occurred that changed the outcome considerably:
1) Every time Jim chose a unit for the next skirmish, it was as if he could read Chris' mind like a book. It was truly uncanny.
2) Chris often couldn't roll a 6 to save his life. I lost track how many rolls of 8 dice or more would end up with no 6's showing. Jim also had dry spells in this area, which just dragged the battle out even more.
After a long battle with lots and lots and lots of dice rolling (note to self: really need to get more dice for this game to help speed up battles), Jim ended up being victorious. He stole 5 resources back from Chris, leaving Chris' army devastated. After all those resources Chris had invested in those units, you'd think that something better would have resulted.
We had decided to call the game early, so on the same turn I attacked Jim just for grins. Now that Chris' army was decimated, I had the largest army on the field. I attacked Jim with an Attack 7 card, and I had an Armoury to boost my available units to 8. After battling Chris, Jim only had 4 units remaining, so it was 8 units against 4. Once again Jim showed his uncanny ability to pick the best unit for each skirmish. And once again 6's were scarce on both sides, with each skirmish often requiring multiple rolls to determine a winner due to lack of hits. After destroying many more of my units than he should have, Jim's army eventually ran out of luck. Since the battle between Jim and Chris had just occurred in the same round, Jim had already claimed the victory points on the last battle card. This left no victory points for my efforts, so it's important to be in the first battle of a round if you want those victory points.
So I guess for me the jury is still out on this game, as we have yet to finish it. Granted our group tends to play slow, and this was the first playing. If battles were faster and a little more strategic, this would definitely net significant playtime in the future, as I enjoyed the card play and resource building aspects. As it stands now, this is only going to hit the table when we feel like spending a lot of time on a game with a siginficant luck factor. That's not something we do often. Maybe at one of our weekend sessions we'll get enough time to give it another try, but there's so many other long games that are known to be good or haven't been tried yet...