Sunday, November 9, 2008

Age of Mythology

The second game that we played at game night, with the same crew - Dee, Ed, and Joe, was Age of Mythology. Though Ed and I had gone over the rules previously, it was our first time to actually play.

There was a slight misunderstanding with the rules at the beginning; I thought that you could only harvest resources if you had a peasant present, so I produced two houses at the beginning. I was a bit ticked off when the rule was clarified.

Playing Greek, I ended up attacking Ed, Norse, in the first round. The other Greek player, Joe, followed up with another attack on his turn, and Ed's army was decimated. Dee, the other Norse player, attacked me a couple of times putting a big hit on my army. After he used a god power to destroy my woodshop, I declared all out war on him.

There are many games where players have to make a decision about who to attack. My thinking is that, if you build up a reputation for being vindictive, it will give your opponents pause about choosing to pick on you. Whereas attacking Ed at the end of the game might have won the game for me, instead I kicked Dee even after he was down. Was this the right move? I don't know.

Dee turned his focus to buildings and economy while I rebuilt my military might. Between Joe and I, we were able to decimate his forces, and I personally destroyed 3 of his buildings. Going into the last turn, it was obvious that the player with the largest army was going to win. Dee and Joe didn't have a shot, but Dee was able to get his revenge by attacking me. His raid of my resources killed one of my soldiers and eliminated my ability to recruit two others. Ed got the largest army with 13 compared to my 12.

The detriment to Age of Mythology is the length of time it takes. Most of the popular games today run about an hour a contest; I didn't time our time for Age, but it had to have been at least 2.5 hours.

Still, it is fun to play. Like Ed says, all the resource allocation games that we play lack a combat element. This one doesn't. In fact, I absolutely love the combat! It has a very rock/paper/scissors feel to it as you try to guess what your opponent is going to choose. I kept going back to the Princess Bride - "but you know that I know that you know that I know..."

A quick funny side note: the Norse Frost Giant seems to be one of the strongest units in the game. He attacks normally with 7 dice, and, on this night, usually used more like 10 or 12. In five contests, it was defeated each time without rolling a single 6.

Overall, this is a game that I want to add to my collection and play again.

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