This was our fourth session of Age of Empires III: Age of Discovery, all of which have been two-player games between Sandra (my gf) and myself.
Sandra was yet again the English and this time I took the white, which I decided were the Scots.
Session 3 can be found here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/199005.
We had been alternating the first player position and the English were due to go first, but I forgot this and random selection saw the Scots as first player.
The buildings that cropped up first were: Conquest of the Inca Empire, Conquistador, Trading Post and Settlers x2.
I didn't have much of an overall plan at the outset, and I knew from experience that Sandra would probably focus on a Trading strategy, with some Colonisation and Wealth accumulation, so my aim was to purchase Merchant Ships and go for whatever ship-orientated Age III card turned up!
Turn 1 - The Scots established a Trading Post, whilst the English employed the Conquistador.
Turn 2 - The Monastery appeared and my improved income saw this building snapped up by the Scots.
Turn 3 - True to type, the English had begun with a strong bid to corner the Trade Goods, which they coupled with sending Merchants to the New World. My own Trading Post, and use of Merchants saw the Scots invest in New World Cartography, which we used to discovered New Spain with, for 7vp!
Age I scoring
The English made a strong bid for the Caribbean, but the Monastery of the Scots saw them claim more than just a foot-hold.
English = 6vp
Scots = 2vp
Our initial second age buildings were: Colonization Laws, Indian Allies, West Indies Co., Market Place, Ship Yards.
Turn 4 - I made a bid for New Granada with only 4 in our expedition and our luck held. Meanwhile, the English discovered Peru and picked up Colonization Laws.
Turn 5 - The English focused on building their income with both Merchants and Trade Goods. The Scots picked up both Marketplace and University. The second, apart from being a good source of vp, would also guarantee me the ship-orientated building I was banking on in Age III.
Turn 6 - The Scots upgraded from a Monastery to a Cathedral, plus discovered the lands of New England. The English developed Ship Yards to help their Conquistadors uncover verdant lands.
Age II scoring
The English still held the Caribbean, came second in two others an drew with the Scots in the fourth territory. But the Scots had also banked Discoveries, the University and New World Cartography.
English: +12vp = 18vp
Scots: +16vp = 18vp
Initial buildings available were: Factory, Mercantilism, Population, Power & Wealth.
Turn 7 - I thought about denying the English the benefits of Mercantilism, but with the Cathedral and MonasteryI went for Population to turn those Settlers into vp. The English took Mercantilism and concentrated on maximising their income - Sandra was banking on taking the Wealth next turn. The Scots discovered Virginia.
Turn 8 - Sure enough, the Navy appeared, along with Factory. The Scots employed the University to take the Navy, whilst the English took both the Factory and Wealth. The only Battle of the game took place now as the Scots tried to leverage another Colony, but the English were crafty and reacted well to retain their advantage. The English discovered Brazil.
Age II scoring
English: +14vp (Colonies) +16vp (Discoveries.) +29vp (Income) +16vp (Wealth) +5vp (Factory) +25vp (Mercantilism) = 123vp Total.
Scots: +26vp (Colonies) +23vp (Discoveries) +15vp (Income) +14vp (Population) +18vp (Prosperity) +24vp (Navy) +4vp (New World Cartography) +5vp (University) = 147vp Total.
Although my plan for picking up the Navy did pan out, I think that the actual reason for victory was the Trading Post I picked up on the first turn coupled with the use of Merchants to gain money for buying plenty of Capital Buildings throughout the game. We both had enough money to get three Age III buildings, but I had been able to also keep ahead in Colonisation, Discovery and vp's from buildings themselves. Again, this was especially true with the Monastery and Cathedral helping sway the Colonies from the English to the Scots.