Thursday, 28 October 2010

Stone Age Success

Many apologies last week left me wondering how many would attend. Rory came in and told me he’d be back in ten minutes and I sat alone and waited.......luckily Dylan decided to pay a visit, this rare and pleasant occurrence aloud a gaming session to take place. In my haste to bring all the games knowing Matt and Jimmy would be absent I neglected to bring San Marco. In the end we opted for Stone age and played the correct 3 person rules + a house adaption based on vagueness in the official rules. This all worked out splendid as once all players got used to the system there was good tension and competition for resources.

The three player rules only allow 2 players in any one resource area (except food hunting) usually the limit is 7 but only allowing 2 players mean you can easily miss your chance. Equally the centre resources of corn, axes and babies can only be occupied by two players (or one player twice) which means every third go you cant get one (unless a rival chooses to place elsewhere as Rory frequently did). There are normally 4 stacks of huts which acquire victory points. The rules say take away ½ for 2 and 3 players but this doesn’t work so the house fix is to take away ½ for two players and ¼ for 3. This allows the game to remain balanced. I’ve played this where fewer huts are available but 4 stacks are retained and this makes the game end faster. This Tuesday we removed a stack which felt significantly more in the spirit of the game (4 players 4 stacks and 3 players 3 stacks etc). This provided continued competition for resources and board position maintain the tension and choices from the 4 player version. I wasn’t that impressed with the scaled version of this game on my one previous play but this weeks outing was superb and I would recommend it as a three player game, the rule tweaks are similar to removing a region in power grid they don’t change the feeling the game just reduce the space so it keeps working.

Rory bravely played on despite realising in the last third that he was significantly off the pace, a lack of hammers and early expansion, a critical food miscalculation and it became a two horse race. Dylan benefitted from some extraordinary card luck and racked up a very good score but in the end I was triumphant.

We drunk....... a lot less than all the splitters who went to the beer festival.

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