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Stone Age
 
 
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Store:  Strategy Games
Edition:  Stone Age
Series:  Stone Age
Theme:  Prehistoric
Genre:  Civilization Building

Stone Age

Z-Man


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Ages Play Time Players
13+ 60-90 minutes 2-4

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  • WARNING: Choking Hazard - Small Parts

Product Description

Players struggle to survive the Stone Age by working as hunters, collectors, farmers, and tool makers. As you gather resources and grow your population, you work to build the tools needed to build your civilization.

The times were hard indeed. Our ancestors worked with their legs and backs straining against wooden plows in the stony earth. Of course, progress did not stop with the wooden plow. People always searched for better tools and more productive plants to make their work more effective. In stone age, the players live in this time, just as our ancestors did. They collect wood, break stone and wash their gold from the river. They trade freely, expand their village and so achieve new levels of civilization. With a balance of luck and planning, the players compete for food in this pre-historic time.

Players use up to 10 tribe members each in 3 phases. In the first phase, players place their men in regions of the board that they think will benefit them, including the hunt, the trading center, or the quarry. In the second phase, the starting player activates each of his staffed areas in whatever sequence he chooses, followed in turn by the other players. In the third phase, players must have enough food available to feed their populations, or they face losing resources or points.

Product Information

Stone Age has the following expansions available:

Stone Age Token Set Out of Stock

Spielbox Magazine: Hans im Glück, Der Almanach includes Carcassonne & Stone Age expansions Out of Stock

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Egizia English language edition Out of Stock

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.6 in 6 reviews

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Great game that balances fun with modern game mechanics
April 13, 2011

Stone Age is at its core the quintessential worker placement game. On a turn you will send your worker to one of the different areas to try and improve the quality of life for your tribe. This is accomplished by having them participate in basically three activity types: Town activities, resource gathering and civilization building. The town activities let you improve your food production, provide you with tools that can be used to alter your dice rolls (more on that later), and allow you to grow your tribe by using the "love shack" as we call it. The resource gathering gives you materials for the civilization building requirements, as well as food to keep up your tribe until your food production catches up with your tribe size. The civilization building aspect is done by acquiring developments through cards and building tiles which do have an associated cost in resources. If it was only about the mechanics so far, the game would be very predictable. To counter that, the resource gathering element uses dice. Any pip on a die counts as a point that is used to figure out how successful were you when gathering resources. The higher you roll, the better since it will allow you to acquire more of a particular resource. As mentioned before, tools can be used to increase the value of any roll, and one of the viable strategies is to use tools to your advantage.

Now that we have a basic idea of what to do in the game, lets go onto what you have to do to win the game. The game rewards you with victory points based on the quality of life of your tribe. This is represented both in immediate point increases due to a civilization card providing it or to a new building. However, these points will probably not be much when compared to the end game points. All civilization cards do contain an element at the bottom of the card which acts as some sort of multiplier for one aspect of the tribe progress. You get multipliers for tool production, food production, tribe size and a special one for discoveries and art improvements. The key to win the game is to be able to get the most out of these multipliers while also successfully blocking your opponents from getting them.

This game is simple enough that anyone that can do basic math will understand, and complex enough that people that like a challenging game will enjoy. I will probably say this is one of those games that can introduce people to modern game mechanics while providing a good amount of fun.

Lastly, some of the critiques about the game rely on the fact that people do not interact as they do in other games. This is true to some extent, since the growing of your tribe does not depend on negotiating or dealing with other players. However, conflict will arise when you occupy the last possible place on a location your opponent needs, or you take over the building or civilization card they needed, believe me, there will be plenty interaction.

I think this is the kind of game that should be on anyone's beginning board game library, one of those well recognized jewels that you can always play yet one more time.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Medina
A little bit too pointsy
April 05, 2011

I've played this game three times now and was not completely blown over by it like I thought I would be. I read the rules and thought it would be one of the best games I have every played but after playing a game or two I have not quite the same impression. Basically all you are doing is laying down workers on different areas of the board to gain certain actions that help you do things to score points. That's it! Not much player interaction and you have to calculate quite a few points at the end of the game that made it a little bit too pointsy for me. When there is too much math and calculation involved in a game it detracts from the enjoyment of the game. Dont get me wrong, the math is not hard but still a little annoying. Thats why I probably would not like Power Grid. The components and artwork are fantastic though and does help give this game a rating that is slightly above average.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Simple to learn, satisfying to play
July 21, 2009

Stone Age is so much more than it seems. At first it seems to be bit like Settlers of Catan in its resource management and building aspect or perhaps like Pillars of the Earth in the way players vie for different positions on the board in order to score the most points. Then again it has a Shogun feel to it when you are trying to keep your people fed while trying to improve their living conditions, but then the whole survival element makes it even more intriguing. It seems like more of a solitaire game, like Agricola, where each player is trying to make the cards, the buildings, the resources, the food supply, and the resources work together to make a better tribe than the other players. It actually is refreshing to play a game where all tribes coexist in a world where no one attacks anyone else.

That's not to say there isn't strategy and interaction, it just involves more planning ahead. The end game where all of the work that has been accomplished is well rewarded is where the game is won or lost. The game is always close when you are playing, but it is only at the end that you begin to see the real value of collecting certain cards, tools, people, or buildings. And the strategy that made you win one time, will not always work the next time. It is the variety that other players add in that keeps the game interesting.

I had a diehard group of middle-aged men that met to play Stone Age about twice a month this past year because it was so much fun. Even though I have moved, the guys have already purchased their own copy of the game and are making plans to continue building up society as we know it on my absence.

Hat's off to Rio Grande Games for a beautifully-designed new game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Show all 6 reviews >

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