Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Rivals for Catan» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Dinner Rivals - Era of Gold (Review for Spouses) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Travis Morton
United States
Brackenridge
PA
flag msg tools
[Daytrip Gaming]
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I recently picked up this game so take the below with a grain of salt.

Era of Gold is the first recommended theme deck to be played after your intro game. It adds 27 cards to the Base Set.

Since this introduces the 'Face-up' City Expansions, it is helpful before the first game to point out what the Merchant Guild is, and why it will be important later.

-Strategy:
Era of Gold adds 10 City Expansion cards. Meaning Cities are almost crucial to a winning strategy. Expanding outwards (horizontal) early seems less important than developing established areas (vertical expansion).

Being that the Era of Gold has gold in the title, the premise is almost obvious; Gold! More importantly Trade Advantage.

Much of the added units are ships, and even another Trade Ships Race is added to the Event Deck. Having more ships is a viable and, unfortunately, common route to early supremacy.

Strength is a hidden value. 3 cards hinge on it; Gold Cache and Reiner the Herald, and Brigands. Gold Cache needs a hero to be played, and Reiner regards Skill Advantage. If one player really is attacking the Trade Ship route to victory, then the Strength route is uncontested. An early hero can allow the 2 Feud-like events to swing in your favor. And if you have the only skill as well, all the better when Celebration gets rolled.

Pirate Ships are precarious. They reward you for staying in play, but do not add to the Commerce/Trade battle. Often it is correct to remove them to build a more profitable building/unit when needed. Since they get put on the bottom of the draw pile, you may even be able to juggle them. A devious, and ill advised tactic, is to scrap your Pirate Ship, and then dig it back up via the Parish Hall turn-after-turn to shoot down a well built Trade Fleet. It will not win the emotional contest over, but it will bring a large lead back into check. {Ignore that, rules from memory that were not correct}

Merchant is a workhorse action, but chaining them together with other attacking actions may leave a sour taste in the opponent's mouth. Unless it is the final turn, it is probably better to pace the blatant robbery/beating that stealing resources can provide.

Turning the tide of victory can happen literally in a single turn. If you have either the advantage tokens, and can build a Settlement and then an Unit to get the other, that is a 2 point swing that also saps a point from the opponent on the verge of winning next turn.

Having an open Road, enough resources for a Settlement, then the resources for a Hero, Pirate Ship, or Trade ship is not too hard, but it is acceptable for a means of winning. It allows a come from behind victory that is not excessively brutal, and is admirably cunning.

Progress advantage is something not emphasized, but having an Abbey early on allows for both Year of Plenty and Invention to reward you as well as being +1 card in hand. It is a less obvious and need-not-be-mentioned tactic to tilt the scales.

-Review-
The deck adds new ideas, obvious lines of play, and more interaction with resource theft, and emphasizes advantage vs greedy expansion.

This really is like the intro to post-intro games.

Because there is an obvious line of play by building Trade Ships, it dangles the fruit of easy victory that both players can fight over; or it allows for some back-door plays that get style points as well as a less contested victory.

I have never ended an Era of GOld game at the large deficits that some have claimed like 12-5, it usually was 12-10 or 12-11.

One rule I do not push is the build your opening hand. For all of our games, the random start factor is where most of the fun stems from. Can you get a crappy hand and make it victory? Will your spouse's first turn be enough to lean the game in their favor?

I find that as long as you treat this as a game, and not a contest, Rivals is perfect. The rules are spelled out, and there is always another path to victory.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reiner Dr. Düren
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Something you have understand wrong: When you scrap a Pirate ship, the card goes to the discard pile and cannot come back to your hand to be built anew.

Dr. Reiner Düren
Catan GmbH
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Travis Morton
United States
Brackenridge
PA
flag msg tools
[Daytrip Gaming]
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just caught that today actually during Duel of the Princes. Thanks all the same, I am amending now
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.