Thursday, July 10, 2008

Back to the Stone Age

I've come to like Stone Age.

As yet I've described Stone Age as a sort of watered down version of Pillars of the Earth. All the resources convert to victory points at the same efficiency for everyone, and at the same efficiency as each other - it costs 3 "pips" to get a wood, and you earn 3 VP when converting wood via a Hut. Similarly, it costs 4 "pips" to get Clay, and you get 4vp for the Clay when building a hut. The only other thing to do with resources other than build huts is buy Civ cards - which cost 1/2/3/4 resources of any type. Obviously it is best to spend Wood on these as it is the 'lowest value' resource.

Since everything's at the same efficiency when converting to VPs, it seems best to get Wood because there's less waste due to rounding. It's true that some huts require specific combinations of resources, but many are very flexible in what resources they accept.

In reality though, the different resources are not at the same efficiency, because you obtain them at different efficiency levels. Wood is the most efficient, while Gold is the least efficient. It's still true that these efficiencies are the same for everyone, but at least the resources are differentiated from each othre more than I was originally thinking.

In fact, with Tools it's not even true that the efficiencies are the same for everybody - tools can help you get the more valuable resources more efficiently - or at least allow you to get more of the more efficient Wood resource.

After having played the game a couple of times, I've come to think that I like Stone Age more than I originally did. I'm not prepared to say that it's deeper than Pillars of the Earth, but in a recent poll on BGG I voted that neither is any better game than the other. I think both have a lot to offer, and I'm still looking forward to playing Pillars of the Earth with the new expansion.

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