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

Subject: Different strategies, different results rss

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JD
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Just had my first or second 4 player game of Age of Empires last night. Three of us had played before and one was new.

The thing about this game is that people can try to win by using very very different strategies. Interestingly, each of us tried something different and for one person, it really paid off.

Orange strategy: None. He was playing for the first time. And his score was so low he didn't make it around the first corner in the scoring track.

Green strategy: My plan was to fill the New World with colonists and to try for territory scoring points. I bought the Cathedral (missionaries add two colonists) but without a guaranteed steady stream of missionaries (from a building or the missionary space) this was a complete mistake. My secondary goal became to score second in every space. This I did in all but two areas, and I scored first once. I was just a couple points behind the person in second.

Yellow strategy: Kill. Off the bat, yellow bought the soldier-producing building and tried to put as many soldiers as he could in the New World, having at least one, but usually two or more, battles per round. He killed a lot of my people before he started killing others. He came in second place, a couple points ahead of me.

Blue strategy: Buildings and money. Blue got lots of trade goods, most of the ships, and bought all the money-producing buildings. With an income of well over $20 a turn (he had $60 in the last round) he bought four of the Age III buildings, giving him a massive scoring powerhouse. Interestingly, he only scored points for two regions in the New World (one first and one second). The complete opposite of me. And he won by a large margin.

Verdict? Next game I'm going to focus on getting more money so I can buy Age III buildings. These seem to make all the difference in the final scoring. Having people on the map doesn't even seem that important if the points are so small and they don't get you any money! I'm sure people can find holes in this strategy, but based on last night's game, I want to see if I can ensure a victory by focussing on cash, cash, cash.
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Mitch Willis
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Kathleen
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In our games thus far (about 20 or so), going strictly for cash has been a losing strategy. I can recall only once when a person in one our games did this and won (and that was our first or second game, when we were still learning). Buildings that provide income earlier in the game (Trading Post, Trade Routes, Conquest of the Incas, Marketplace, Taxation, & Privateers) are also usually highly competitive and we try not to let one person acquire too many. While having cash is good for buying buildings, it probably needs to be balanced with other strategies, particularly Colonization or Discovery to get enough VPs to win. Colonization points can be huge since they are scored 3 different times during the game. That's what I love 'bout this game...there's so many different paths to victory. Most of our games are won by being balanced in 2 or 3 areas, with Colonization usually (but not always) being one of those areas...

There's an expansion that's due out later this summer that'll probably add new strategies and alter existing ones...
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Chris C.
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Did anyone else collect trade goods? Usually in my group 2 people vie for trade power house and have to try a double route to victory. If your friend got any trade good he wanted, then that will just let him walk to capital building victory points with all the cash he would accumulate and any bonus discovery points.

One of my favorite strategies is to go trade goods and discovery till I can buy victory point buildings at endgame. Its too easy for soldiers to pick you off if you try for New World Colonization points.
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JD
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Both good points.
I was thinking about focussing on just discoveries too. Maybe that combined with point buildings, as you say, would be a good idea. I was just very frustrated that I sent so many colonists to the New World just to get mowed down by soldiers.
 
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Bryann Turner
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You cannot win without Age III buildings. Well, I'm sure you could win if you scored first in every colony all 3 scoring rounds, but that's impossible.
 
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JJ Belyeu
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So I dont know if this thread is even still looked at (or even this site, since no posts I see are even close to up to date). But I thought I might chime in on my strategy.

I can usually divide it up into 3 phases, each taking place in a seperate age:

AGE I: Creating a steady income stream

-This usually involves taking first or second pick of trade goods and trying for merchant ship. And/or buying either Trade Routers, Settlers or Conquest of the Incan Empire give you a nice headstart for the next turn. Taking Specialist spaces is always a good move too, especially captain or merchant.

AGE II: GET SOME TILES!!!

-And by tiles I mean Trade Goods, Discovery Tiles, and Capital Building. I know people make a big deal about scoring in colonies, but in large games, this can be HUGE contention. Discovery Tiles, while only scoring once, can provide massive VP and once acquired, stay with you. I'm not saying totally forget the new world, but taking second isnt a bad thing.

-Stabilizing your income is still a big deal. Grabbing Ship Yards and Taxation are good. Getting Marketplace is another big one if you missed Trade Routes in Age I. Specialist spaces usually round out my turns.

AGE III: Use your money wisely.

-My key strategy for this is just make sure you know what buildings you SHOULD be buying. Take a second or two and do the math. I just finished a game where another player bought Navy out from under me (keeping me from scoring 20 VP with it), but it cost him the game and allowed me to take a tile that was almost as good (giving me the win btw). He scored nothing for navy and although kept me from getting the VP, sabotaged himself. My main point is dont rush it when it comes to Age III capital buildings, some prove more valuable than you might think.

-Another big thing for me is making sure to play heavy on Discovery, especially if I didnt use it on Turn 7. Dont leave ANY units stranded there, or they become a loss in the long run. PLAN AHEAD!

Just my 2c. I know its VERY money heavy, with a flavor for discovery, but considering I've won the last 5 games I've played in a row, it seems to work for me...maybe its just my opponents.

PS: I never play warfare, cause i'm never in the colonies much, and this saves me a lot of moves over the course of a game.
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