Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stone Age - 3 Player

Ed was busy trying out St Petersburg while I really wanted to get in at least one game of Stone Age. Since Steve had just finished playing a round with 3 other players and wanted to move on to another game, I was only able to corral two other players, Eve and Josh.

Three player has slightly different rules than the four player version - out of food field, the mating hut, and the tool hut, only two can be occupied and once a resource has two players occupying it, it is full. Other than that, and the fact that each player gets more turns because there is one less person fighting for cards and huts, the game plays similar.

I followed what is becoming my favorite Stone Age strategy:
  • Get as many Tribespeople as is prudent. I've never tried the starvation strategy, instead I try to get only as many as I can support. I ended the game with 9.
  • I try to keep my permanent food production within 2 or 3 of the number of Tribespeople that I have. The number gets skewed a bit at the start of the game since I start with 5 tribesmen and no food. Fortunately, I also start with 12 food, which keeps things stable until I'm able to increase my production. I added 2 food production before I added my first new Tribesperson.
  • I cherry-picked the cards that I wanted and only paid more than two resources for one late in the game. By that time, I had 6 different symbols and was willing to pay whatever it took to get the extra 13 VPs that the 7th symbol would provide. My opponents were a bit inexperienced and allowed me to take whatever cards I wanted with very little opposition.
  • I'm rapidly losing my love of tools. I ended the game with only 2.
  • Whenever possible, I put all my resource gatherers on one task instead of spreading them around. Without a lot of tools, luck plays too high a role otherwise. After one round of rolling two dice for gold and getting snake eyes, I abandoned the one or two on a resource tactic unless I was forced into it. Note: an obvious exception to this is food. With one guy and one tool, you're guaranteed at least one food and could get as many as three. By the same token, if I only absolutely need one wood and I have a tool available, I feel reasonably comfortable devoting only one or two tribespeople to the task.
  • Buy huts early and often.

I ended up with 154 pts on the track, good for second place before bonuses were counted. Unfortunately for them, my opponents did not understand the true value of the cards. After adding up bonuses, I had 303pts compared to Eve's 218.

I swear that I will post game reports of games that I lose as well, but I've won 6 straight since deciding to start this blog.

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