Is this guy going to get to the fecking point of the blog or not? Has it got anything to do with board games? Well, yes…and yes! Two of my strongest memories of childhood are playing the many iterations of what was then Championship Manager (+ actually kicking a ball around in the garden until it was pitch black) with my best friend Jon; another is my love of Age of Empires. How many Sunday afternoons spent closeted away urging my villagers to gather berries faster to maintain my production of archers? How many Wonders built? How many enemy foragers killed by my over-zealous watch towers? How many times cursing at the red player for sending wave after wave of priests hell bent (poor word selection) on converting my atheistic warriors?
One of my hates of computer games is the fact that eventually, that wonderful old game that you’ve played and loved for years will no longer work on your Windows 8 laptop. You are now bereft, alone, the joy of memories your only companion. If you’re lucky enough to own Age of Empires III: Age of Discovery then you’ll never experience this pain. I envy you. Here is a game that I may never play; I don’t know anyone who has it and the prices for copies are prohibitively expensive. All I can hope is that one day a reprint will be issued so that everyone can experience some of that amazing combination of economics, warfare and building a city that only you could design and run.
As worker placement games go, this looks like a gem. Put a strategy game in front of me with multiple ways of winning and I'll start smiling; throw in some building and economics and you'll start to see some teeth; add in the extra needle of being able to declare war on your friends and I'll be whooping and fist-clenching.