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

Subject: The Missionary position rss

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Paul Mackie
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I’d been long awaiting the opportunity to play this, so I was particularly enthusiastic when Andrew produced this from Euhan’s bag of tricks. Although not overly excited about the game itself (more on this later), Pat agreed to be rules explainer and a participant, since none of the rest of us had played before. He started by describing the game like a cross between Caylus, for turn-wise selection of and competition for action choices, and El Grande, for scoring rounds requiring region majorities.

There’s no description of mechanics here since that’s been adequately covered in reviews and other pieces written elsewhere. But I generally enjoyed the tension and competition for the prime action spaces. Despite thinking there’d be plenty of time to launch Discoveries all over the unexplored map, in fact I only managed to get two of these (Brazil & somewhere in Canada), including one ‘free’, courtesy of a special Capital Building. I also got one other special Discovery card in the last turn of the game, using 7 dudes - yes, one wasted, and a Missionary at that - but this pulled a rather weak-scoring Mississippi, not an India or China (which therefore amounted to 4 dudes wasted!).

By the mid game I was focusing more on the income-producing resource tokens and the merchant ship, at the expense of on-map colonists and special guys like Missionaries, Merchants and Soldiers, thinking I’d pick up special buildings to help me with this later. Flawed thinking unfortunately, and poor turn timing saw me miss out on some choice Capital Buildings and in landing enough dudes on the map. In fact, in the crucial last two turns I hardly contested for colonist landings at all, being shut out by the other players for all except one Missionary. That Missionary helped me hold Brazil for 6 points at the end, although only by successfully table-talking Euhan out of attacking me. If he’d gone ahead, worst case is that I’d be down 6 and he’d be down 2 points - a smaller gap but not enough to alter the final relative positions.
But the building that really secured me second place was the one that converted each $5 to 1vp at the end. With $111 in accumulated cash, I picked up a whopping 22vp, to move me from last to 2nd position after all other scoring had been reckoned.

After one playing I like AoE3, and would be keen to play again and explore some different strategies. Pat is less enthusiastic, noting that like Caylus, play is rather “processional” with little change on board to adapt to between turns. Furthermore, as players agonise over their colonist placements the game tends to bog down, especially in the last turn. I would agree with all this, but I still think there’s more to be uncovered in AoE3.
30 mins rules; 128 mins game time.
Results (player: 1st round, 2nd round, final): Pat (blue): 8,30,107. Paul (green): 8,22,96. Euhan (yellow): 6,26,89. Andrew (red): 0,16,81.


(Originally posted in The Mine Shaft Gap.)
 
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Wade Broadhead
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Maybe you played something wrong. Kind of hard to get 111$ cash unless you bought nothing all game??
 
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Matthew M
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denverarch wrote:
Maybe you played something wrong. Kind of hard to get 111$ cash unless you bought nothing all game??


It's not unheard of, particularly with the help of extra-income producing buildings, to collect a LOT in the later turns. Saving $111 is not difficult if you are planning for it.

-MMM
 
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Glenn Drover
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Having over $100 at the end IS do-able, but to your point, the money might have been better spent on Capital Buildings during the game...

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Paul Mackie
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In the very first game turn I picked up the building that delivers +$5 every turn. By mid game, I was earning $9-12 per turn from the commodity tokens, and on the 2nd last turn I was up to $18. Over 8 turns this amounted to well over $100.
I actually tried to get into the 'interesting' Capital Buildings race, but got pipped usually by Pat and Euhan for the good ones. I ended up settling instead for the +1VP per $5 and the one that gives a flat +4VP and $30 return (for a net gain of another $10).
So, I'm certain we played by correct rules and procedures. Obviously not so certain that I made the right choices during the game, but hindsight is always 20-20 (or 6-6 if you're in metric). But, I'm not too down on my performance given a second placing overall, even if some luck was involved in being able to pick the leap-frogging building.
 
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Glenn Drover
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It's never luck being in the right place at the right time with the resources to execute!

I'm sure you had it planned the whole time!
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Paul Mackie
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Quote:
It's never luck being in the right place at the right time with the resources to execute!

Of course! I was just trying to be humble to make the other guys feel better...
 
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