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

Subject: 3-player match, worked great rss

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Chris Crowder
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I'm always happy with returning to "Age of Empires III"; this is one of those rare games I can say that I don't play often enough. It's high on strategy, just enough rough-and-tumble combat to distinguish it from conflict-avoidance euros, easy rules that generate a lot of tough decisions, and quickly played.

Last night offered proof that the three-player game works just fine. Remembering my previous session last winter, I vowed to focus more closely on colonization this time. Still, it's only coincidence that I picked up the free Missionary as my first building; it was simply the best of the choices offered. In the turns that followed not only did that give me an edge in colonizing, but the other two players went unexpectedly light on filling the dock so I took advantage. In the first round I easily outscored them, and in the second I was still leaving one of them well behind.

Money is a major problem in the early game. I addressed this with initiative to get an edge in merchant ship bids, and my second building was a free merchant every round. Trade good purchase strategy depends a lot on predicting which ones the others are going for; that will determine what position you have to capture in the purchasing order. Lucky for me the table talk was pretty open, which saved me some guesswork. Fairly quickly I had some really good income per turn (another good improvement over my previous session).

Normally I pay a lot more attention to using soldiers than I did this game. My closest competitor took advantage, grabbing soldiers whenever possible on top of collecting a free every turn thanks to a building. This narrowed my scoring lead in the colonies since I became the favourite target, but Militia in the end game saved my bacon. I managed to secure it by collecting the University in an earlier round and saving it for that critical final round building grab. On top of that, I secured two out of the four warfare boxes on the last round - even though I didn't have a single soldier in the colonies - just to stonewall the others. I hope that wasn't illegal; it doesn't appear to be.

I secured the win by ten points, largely thanks to good early colony scoring and some nice building bonuses at the end. Something helping me there was that several of the buildings available helped me equally well, giving me some breathing room as others made a grab for them. I was also the only player who could afford two of them on the last round.

Takeaway lessons-learned for me this time out: I need to pay a bit more attention to where I'm placing my colonists, since I ended the game with more than enough in some uncontested areas (one in particular, where I had eight and 2nd place had only four). Those obviously would have gone to better use in colonies where I was being threatened by soldiers. I found it interesting that no one ever chose to spend $5 for an extra specialist this time; that's always been popular before. Maybe we've become more studious money managers? I've also had it amply demonstrated to me that the colonist dock X and Y spaces are very useful for upsetting the power balance. Each of my opponents held one of these, and they were a constant threat to my colony control. But I'm still the most enthused about securing free specialists.
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Mark Swenholt
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Cecrow wrote:
On top of that, I secured two out of the four warfare boxes on the last round - even though I didn't have a single soldier in the colonies - just to stonewall the others. I hope that wasn't illegal; it doesn't appear to be.


I believe that you are free to place workers in any number of the warfare track boxes regardless of whether you have soldiers - I've played several games where this has been utilized as a defensive measure.
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mark.gamer wrote:
Cecrow wrote:
On top of that, I secured two out of the four warfare boxes on the last round - even though I didn't have a single soldier in the colonies - just to stonewall the others. I hope that wasn't illegal; it doesn't appear to be.


I believe that you are free to place workers in any number of the warfare track boxes regardless of whether you have soldiers - I've played several games where this has been utilized as a defensive measure.


Yes, its a commom move in our sessions and legal. Similar is, in the last round, players secure places in "Capital Buildings" to prevent from a rich nation to go on it.
 
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