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Age of Empires CCG: Nautical Booster
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Players: 2 or more
Weight: 37 grams
Average Rating: 2 in 2 reviews
Age of Empires isn't necessarily a bad game; it's just that there are so many others out there based on similar ideas that are better.
This one has a lot of bookkeeping, which, believe it or not, appeals to some people. More irritating, to me anyway, is that the game expects you to provide your own tokens. Here's a hint to gamemakers everywhere--if your game needs tokens, include them. We managed to make do with coins from the old change jar, but still, it just seems unprofessional not to include vital components.
Gameplay is slow, but not unbearable as you try to cut down trees, grow food, mine gold and quarry stone (the cards and rules actually refer to mining stone, a vocabulary issue which might explain why the rules are poorly written) to build up your village and attack your opponent's town.
Okay as concepts go. But this game doesn't really bring anything new or cool to the civilization building genre. Any of the Settlers variants, Civilization, Vinci, Ohne Furcht und Adel, and a host of other games are faster paced, easier to understand, require less bookkeeping and just as strategically challenging. On the flip side, Age of Empires requires more bookkeeping, but has infinitely more strategic challenges.
This is a game that had a lot of potential, but it stays too close to its computer game roots to be a favorite of mine.
Apparantly Journeyman Press doesn't quite understand the point of marketing a card game. Usually, card games are marketed as such because of their simplicity and portability, not to mention that they usually don't require much else to play other than the cards themselves. Sure, there's the occasional token or some nonsuch, but that's no real big deal.
Age of Empires is a well designed computer game. Put in any form other than that, and it becomes a tedious, cumbersome, and outright unpleasant game to play. Part of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Microsoft, who foolishly allowed this game to be made. For some reason, they seem to think that the same multitasking that made Windows a popular operating system would make a good card game.
First off, if you buy this game, be forewarned that you will also need to purchase an unpleasantly large number of tokens of one kind or another: 100 plus in each of several colors. You might want a pencil and some paper as well. Also, if you want to be able to win with any goal other than military superiority, buy tons of boosters, because it seems as though the other two goals (Building a Wonder or Finding and Enshrining 5 Relics for 6 turns) require cards which are rare. Worse yet, there are issues brought up by the cards which are not addressed by the rulebook, which seems as though it might have been written in English before it was translated to Swahili, Mandarin Chinese, Afrikans, and back to English. This is the most garbled, incomprehensible and needlessly wordy rulebook I've ever had the misfortune to endure.
Don't buy this game, unless you have a masochistic Certified Public Accountant streak in you.