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Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A Balanced Approach Wins This Session… rss

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Mitch Willis
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Kathleen
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The Session
I received the game last week and we were able to get in a 6-player session this past Saturday. I’ve read a couple other session reports that stated a particular strategy as being dominant, but our session seemed to favor a more balanced approach. Feeling our way through our first playing, we used a variety of strategies. As I was able to get capital buildings that allowed me to put both a captain and a soldier in the Discovery box each turn, I took on a discovery/colonization strategy. Kevin also took an interest in discovery and colonization, but he also paid just a bit more attention to trade goods and capital buildings than I did. Katie dominated the trade goods throughout the game and got into colonization late in the game. Dan concentrated primarily on capital buildings and merchant ships. Dennis also depended more on the economy, building up merchant ships, trade goods, capital buildings, and using his merchant specialists. Nancy relied more on trade goods and discovery.

As Kevin and I were the primary users of the Colonist Dock, we jumped ahead after the First Age scoring and maintained our lead after the Second Age as well. Oddly enough, the warfare box was rarely used; I used it twice and that was it for the whole game. I battled a couple of times in the Caribbean; once to take control and another time to maintain it. Dan and Dennis got distracted in a colonization fight over Peru while Nancy did OK with discoveries but had trouble matching up her trade goods. Katie became a force in the colonies during the Third Age to supplement her trade good empire.

When the game ended, Kevin won the game with 96 VPs, followed by me with 87, Katie with 68, Dennis and Dan were both in the 50’s range, and Nancy was in the low 40’s. Kevin won primarily because he was a little more diversified than I was; we were close to even on discovery and colonization points but he was able to surge ahead due to the difference in our trade good and capital building VPs. Katie made a huge surge at the end as her trade goods and capital buildings, along with a Third Age jump in colonization points, landed her solidly in 3rd. Dan and Dennis both stated that they overrated the economy aspect of the game and spent too much of their resources there. Nancy played it more as a learning experience and said she was eager to play it again soon.

Observations
I really like the game; there’s a lot of stuff going on each turn and it can be tough deciding where to place your colonists. As I stated above, being our first play, we were pretty much unsure what our optimal plays were, especially at the beginning. Towards the end, we had a better feel for it, but I think it’ll take a couple more sessions before we get a real good grasp on it. Even though warfare wasn’t used much in this session, it can be effective if used in a timely manner. I've also found that how well a particular strategy works will probably depend upon the number of players. With six players, I think you definitely need some sort of balance in at least 2 or 3 areas, with one of the areas, and maybe two, being Discovery and/or Colonization. I’m itching to give this another go and I can’t wait to get it to the table again.
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Glenn Drover
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Plainfield
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Great session report. I've always been a fan of a balanced approach, but I've been branching out and trying unique strategies lately. Over the weekend I played in a four player game and tried the "privateer/ Navy" approach. By the end of the game, I had 5 Merchant Ships!

My gambit almost failed as the Wealth and Navy Capital Buildings both failed to show up. I still managed to win by about 15 pointd by leveraging Merchantilism and Prosperity for 29 points.

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Wade Broadhead
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Thanks to both of you. Good to see balanced approaches usually win. I still think discovery with a strong second facet wins the day, but I'm keen to be proven wrong and perhaps try some unique strategies including a solid warfare and colonization gambit.

My inital detractors are now requesting the game this week ha ha

I think it can be a lot to absorb with 6 players for a first game, but a second 4 player should be perfect.

Another 3 player tonight.... and tomorrow a 4 player-woohoo!
 
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Geoff Speare
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tee hee, that tickles!!!
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Discovery is important...colonies are important...capital buildings are important...I'm sensing a trend here.

For the record, I've done dismally in both games I've played (5th both times, out of 5 and 6); in the first I neglected money/capital buildings, in the second I focused on discovery but was not very efficient about it (and was hurt by an untimely failed mission). It seems like resource efficiency is really the thing to work on -- if you are getting more out of your actions (or getting more actions), it matters less how you get VP.



 
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Kevin Brown
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Macon
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Re: A Balanced Approach Wins This Session…
I felt fortunate to win. It seemed like every time I wanted to do something someone else beat me to it, so I had to settle for my second choice.

One thing on the colonist dock, Mitch and I were the primary users early, but got away from it later. For the last half of the game I was running my whole new world operation with just the free missionary I was getting from the monastery. With more warfare and/or less of a pissing contest in Peru I wouldn't have been able to do that.
 
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Wade Broadhead
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Trust your second gut then
 
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Wade Broadhead
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Tonight I might just go all out to get soilder capitol buildings, train soilders and do warfare while discovering with what's left over, go for the soilder capitol age 3 building. Just for fun!
 
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Todd Sweet
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denverarch wrote:
Tonight I might just go all out to get soilder capitol buildings, train soilders and do warfare while discovering with what's left over, go for the soilder capitol age 3 building. Just for fun!


I've been thinking about doing that, so let me know how it goes! Both, was it fun and were you in contention...
 
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Mitch Willis
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denverarch wrote:
I still think discovery with a strong second facet wins the day


I agree, for the most part. I think you need either discovery or colonization as one of your points of emphasis, especially with more players as there'll be more competition across the board. But I also think you need to be pretty decent in a couple of other areas as well, especially with 6 players. I'm thinking that with fewer players, concentration in one or two areas might work better since there'll be less competition for event boxes and you should be able to better exploit it...but having only played with 6 thus far, it's just a thought...
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Mitch Willis
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Budley wrote:
Great session report. I've always been a fan of a balanced approach, but I've been branching out and trying unique strategies lately. Over the weekend I played in a four player game and tried the "privateer/ Navy" approach. By the end of the game, I had 5 Merchant Ships!

My gambit almost failed as the Wealth and Navy Capital Buildings both failed to show up. I still managed to win by about 15 pointd by leveraging Merchantilism and Prosperity for 29 points.



Thanks, Glenn, I think you've got a very good game here...

Your "naval" strategy was primarily what Dennis and Dan were trying in our session. Problem was they just 'bout evenly split not only the merchant ships but the capital buildings that enhanced them as well...
 
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Glenn Drover
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