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

Subject: [Review] AoEIII: A surprisingly great time rss

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George Blichar
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It has been a while since my last review, so bear with me. Also, I do not wish to bog this thing down with the mechanics of the game so much, so if you are really interested in how this thing plays out, head over to

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/459476/thirdfloorgamers-vide...

He's got a great rundown on how things are situated on the board and the things you can do while you are on that board. Suffice to say, this is a worker placement game with many different ways to build up areas and resources to hopefully come out on top.

Now, onto what I thought of the game...

My Actual Review


I had played worker placement games Stone Age and tried to get into Pillars of the Earth thinking they were sort of.... meh. Not bad or good, but I wasn't going to come back many times.

I’d say those experiences would have hindered my my purchase of AoE if I’d known much about it. I saw it for sale at my local shop for $30 on clearance. I knew I’d read good things here, but was unsure. I brought it up to the counter, had the guy check the Geek’s rating, and decided I would give it a shot. I was SAVING money by getting on the cheap, right whistle

Luckily, I was able to get it to the table in about a day or two after purchase. Opening it, I was a little weirded out by how much unused space was in the box, but the quality od the money (a HUGE plus) and the craft of the units really impressed me (I still feel the box could use an insert of some kind to segregate the different colors, but that is nitpicky). I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but was geeked to play.

Going through the rules, you have SOME idea of what is going on, but it really isn’t until the end of the First Age or so that you deal with scoring and realize what you need to do to achieve your goals. Those turns help you understand that randomly placing your colonists all over the board isn’t going to help you too much. Based on what others are doing, not every tactic will be as feasible as it was even 1 turn ago.

This change in strategy or knowing that the strategy you are using is working is what makes the game fun. You will know your basic standing at all times and it will be like a race to see who can mount up as many points as they can before the end of the Third Age. In fact, that race-like feeling makes the whole game feel like it is flying by. You WILL wish for another age or turn by the end; feeling like you’ve just started to get something going, even though 90 minutes have gone by.

I really enjoy this AoE and think it has one of the sleekest designs I have come across yet. I certainly went in not expecting a whole lot (except for the amount of stuff I knew was going to be in the box) but was pleasantly surprised by what I consider to be one of my favorite games.

I hope you enjoyed my review.



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Brian Brokaw
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I did enjoy your review and think you got a HECK of a deal for the amount of components that come in the game! Congrats!
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Ryan Dicorato
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Great review and I'm glad to see you like it. I played Stone Age and after quite a few plays the game gets pretty bland because there's not a lot of options for it.

This game has so many strategy options for winning, that it never gets dull. It is my favorite game currently and I cannot wait for the expansion (which is continuously delayed) to drop.
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Joker Smiley
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I agree - definitely the best worker placement game of the moment, more streamlined and fun than Agricola, Caylus and other more 'fashionable' games ...

Also can't wait for the expansion!
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Jason's Good Twin
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I really like AoE with 4+, but I'll do Agricola for 3-. No more worker placement games needed. I'll analyze my mortgage amortization chart if I need something deeper. I really like the battle/war aspect to lighten the table talk. Without it, there could be two hours of silence.You are right on that this is an awesome game that can easily be a favorite.
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I am glad that Johnny Jaws is my friend.
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Enumclaw
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Thanks for the review, it was good. I picked up AOE awhile back in a trade (traded Ambush! for it) and was wondering if I did well. I have not played it yet, but I am encouraged after reading your review. Again thanks!
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Lou Moratti
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No question it's a very good game. I have to disagree about the money though. It looks good at first but it's a bitch to play with as you can't stack it and it slides all over the place. We substitute poker chips. That and the scoring track are really my only 2 quibbles.
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George Blichar
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brokasaphasia wrote:
I did enjoy your review and think you got a HECK of a deal for the amount of components that come in the game! Congrats!


I even asked why it was so cheap and the guy at the counter told me they hadn't sold a copy in about 8 months so it was time to lower the price. Lucky for me, I guess
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Andrew H
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I think AoEIII's release suffered from bad timing.
It came out just before Agricola. Agricola was hyped through the roof.
AoEIII is a great game that sits between Stone Age (which I find dull as dishwater) and Caylus (which I might like if I played it but I expect it is too much of a brain burner for me).
When it came out it was well regarded but not given a lot of notice to be honest. I can't believe Dice Tower didn't review it (Tom Vasel rates it very highly - a 9 - equal to the equally long, equally beautiful but in my opinion less varied and less replayable Pillars of the Earth which he and his team continuously RAVE about as their favourite worker placement game. If that is because the producers didn't send Dice Tower a review copy then I think it cost them BIG TIME).
If it came out earlier, I think it would have had the attention and buzz that Caylus got. If it came out later, I think it would have got the attention that Stone Age or Lords of Waterdeep got. As it was, I think it turned up just at the wrong time in the pool of worker placement games and Agricola stole it's thunder before it really took off.
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