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Subject: Stone Age wipes the smug smile from my face rss

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Steven
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(This is my first session report for BGG, so please be gentle!)

Yesterday, my non-gaming fiancee (NGF) and I played our second game of Stone Age. We were not too pleased with our first game, since we felt it dragged on (and on, and on), but that was because we ignored the civilization cards and buildings for long stretches of time. Since we enjoy Agricola a great deal, and since Stone Age gets such glowing reviews here, we decided to try it again.

By way of background, I'd had a terrible run of gaming luck all weekend. From the time we got off work on Friday, we'd played Blue Moon,Kahuna, Small World, and Mamma Mia! -- and I'd lost each game to the NGF. We also played Ticket to Ride and Bohnanza with our gaming group, and -- even though my NGF didn't win those games -- I placed behind her both times. So I was itching for a victory.

Two of the four initial civilization cards were tool multipliers, and the other two were agricultural multipliers, so I immediately formulated my strategy: I would maximize tools and agriculture, then rack up as many green cards as possible. And, if I may say so myself, my strategy proceeded swimmingly. My NGF focused on expanding her people, which left both the tool shed and the farm open to me and put her under serious food pressure. She was, however, building a mountain of resources by constantly picking the forest, but I made do with the other resources (and an occasional wood pickup), which gave me just enough to get all the civilization cards I wanted and a few opportune buildings.

On the very last turn, I picked up my seventh different green card and a civilization card that maximized my agriculture and added another agriculture multiplier. I'd completed my strategy at the last minute! I had maximized both my tools and my agriculture track, I had picked up a ton of tools and agriculture multipliers (though there were some still left in the deck), and I had diversified my green cards.

Scoring was very satisfying. After laying out my civilization cards and counting up my resources, my score was a whopping -- whopping! -- 176. Yes, I know that's not high for you Stone Age experts, but in our first game I don't think either of us exceeded 100 points. So I was plenty pleased with myself, and I didn't hesitate to show it either. Victory was in sight!

I watched with glee as my NGF began despondently turning over civilization cards. "Any tool multipliers?" I asked. "No," she said. "Agricultural multipliers?" "Just one," she said, revealing her card. She hung her head. I beamed.

"How about green cards?" I cackled. She put down one card, then paused, then another, then another, then.... With each card, my smile faltered, until finally she also revealed seven green cards. Would that be enough? No! Even with those green cards, she was only at 120 points! Victory was mine!

"And now for my last five cards," she announced. Now, here's the strange thing. I've read the Stone Age rules a couple of times now, and I have never seen any reference to "twists of the dagger" or "extra kick to the rear" cards. And yet here they came, one after the other. One building multiplier, another one, and so on, until she had eight multipliers for her nine buildings, for 72 points, and a crushing 192 to 176 victory over me.

Final score -- Me: 176, NGF: 192.

"But wait!" she said sweetly. "I haven't even counted up my remaining resources yet!" I stared in despair at a veritable mountain of wood, which she counted out, one by one, in an unholy combination of a victory lap, a touchdown celebration, and a stake pounded through the heart.

Closing thoughts: I was never meant to be a caveman.
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James Honeyfield
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Your NGF sure plays a lot of games for someone to be called a non-gaming!!! That's great for you...maybe she should let you win sometimes tho just to keep the peace laugh


Nice report by the way.
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Steven
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SuperSize wrote:
Your NGF sure plays a lot of games for someone to be called a non-gaming!!! That's great for you...maybe she should let you win sometimes tho just to keep the peace laugh

Yes, she's very accommodating about my hobbies, which is why I'm marrying her!
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Jim bo
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celiborn wrote:
SuperSize wrote:
Your NGF sure plays a lot of games for someone to be called a non-gaming!!! That's great for you...maybe she should let you win sometimes tho just to keep the peace laugh

Yes, she's very accommodating about my hobbies, which is why I'm marrying her!

and rightly so, she sounds like a keeper.

nice write up by the way. on the face of it, it sounds like you may have fell foul in trying to maximise fields and field multipliers with a tool based strat. there's certainly nothing wrong with getting a decent amount of fields but unless you also make an effort to increase meeples you will reach a point where your fields equal or possibly exceed your population and then each additional field is adding very little apart from as a multiplier.

additionally a tool based strat can be powerful but you need to couple it with something else that has synergy with it. tools and fields don't synergise. what i mean by that is tools obviously increase your gather rate whether that be food or resources. fields decrease the need to gather food. so there's no synergy, they are in fact counter to each other. a hut or meeple strat can synergise well with tools because the tools help you gather more resources to be able to construct huts or gather more food to support a relatively larger population base than your fields would otherwise comfortably allow.

culture (green) cards can synergise with a tool based strat but you then need to make sure you dominate the wood resource (which by the sounds of things you didn't) to be able to buy the cards cheaply especially with the increased gather rate from the tools. this would have been an ideal counter to your NGF because if she was focusing on meeples and hence had a larger population than you, it's in your best interests to make the game as short as possible which means running through the cards quickly so she's not able to make the most of the gathering potential that a large pop base offers.

just my 2 cents anyway. hope it may help in avoiding another such weekend which i can sympathise with, been there myself
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Steven
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Yojimbo252 wrote:
nice write up by the way. on the face of it, it sounds like you may have fell foul in trying to maximise fields and field multipliers with a tool based strat. there's certainly nothing wrong with getting a decent amount of fields but unless you also make an effort to increase meeples you will reach a point where your fields equal or possibly exceed your population and then each additional field is adding very little apart from as a multiplier.

additionally a tool based strat can be powerful but you need to couple it with something else that has synergy with it. tools and fields don't synergise. what i mean by that is tools obviously increase your gather rate whether that be food or resources. fields decrease the need to gather food. so there's no synergy, they are in fact counter to each other. a hut or meeple strat can synergise well with tools because the tools help you gather more resources to be able to construct huts or gather more food to support a relatively larger population base than your fields would otherwise comfortably allow.

culture (green) cards can synergise with a tool based strat but you then need to make sure you dominate the wood resource (which by the sounds of things you didn't) to be able to buy the cards cheaply especially with the increased gather rate from the tools. this would have been an ideal counter to your NGF because if she was focusing on meeples and hence had a larger population than you, it's in your best interests to make the game as short as possible which means running through the cards quickly so she's not able to make the most of the gathering potential that a large pop base offers.

just my 2 cents anyway. hope it may help in avoiding another such weekend which i can sympathise with, been there myself

Thanks for the strategy tips! This is very useful advice: I hadn't thought of the way that different tracks related to each other. Time for a rematch!
 
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