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Subject: Dinner Rivals - Era of Progress (Spouse's Review) rss

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Travis Morton
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Brackenridge
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Era of Progress is the 3rd recommended theme deck from the Base Set box.

Overall it promotes City Expansion, and trying to mitigate the Plague event card.

One of the things some love, and others like me are less a fan of, is the lessened interaction between the two players. There is the Chief Cannoneer to fight Strength Advantage and the Trade Advantage is left to the Base Set to be handled.

--Anecdotal Facts:--

-Chief Cannoneer is the only added Unit

-All the buildings are City Expansions

-Guido the Ambassador is the only Action - Attack, and he does not even
negatively affect the opponent.

-There are no Commerce/Trade icons in the set

--Review:

On the surface after you take in all these facts, you may ask 'Why play this theme?".

The value here is to setup Duel of the Princes and to further emphasize City Expansion as a valid way of gaining points. This set will also make fragile relationship gaming moments invalid for the next 30+ min. I will say, this is the longer running game as there is little way to get ahead besides building. When a Plague comes up, everyone is hit the same. To some it may be boring, but it is like the other themes; it pushes an aspect of the game.

If Era of Turmoil boiled some blood, this will cool some heads.

--Strategy:
I am putting strategy later, because honestly there is not a lot to go on that a look through the cards will not reveal.

The Library/Abbey are needed for the 'Face-Up' City Expansion University. While at the center of some of the action cards, Cannoneers, and the Building Crane, gaining victory can easily be done without it.

The show-stopper is Town Hall. This expands the already powerful Parish Hall and makes it into a puzzle factory. Every turn should be about assembling pieces from one of the draw stacks to get an 'advantage'.

Parliament is a surprise game-ender that should be accounted for when someone is nearing their 10th Victory Point. If you do not know where it is, either find it, or assume they have it.

The Base Set is the home of Trade Advantage, once you have a feel for where the game is going, it may be a sneaky way to get that extra point, Large Trade Ship is often better when placed properly than the {insert name} Trade Ships. If you have the Trade Ship thing going, you get 16.5% chance of getting more resources (Trade Event), and you get free resources from Trade Ships Race. It is not a huge goal, but may be an unattended advantage.

Strength is only valuable because of the Feud-type events in this campaign. However, the Skill they provide will edge out advantage during Celebration rolls. Notice the Cannoneer provides instant Strength Advantage, but has no skill. Unfortunately he requires the University for his own discounted cost.

Overall, expand and build. Plague only affects Cities, but all the building in Era of Progress require them. So lay heavy on the Base Set draw stacks till you are ready to tackle City Expansions.
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