Dec 29, 2014

Christmas Gaming - Stone Age

Christmas break is now over for me, and we didn't get nearly as much gaming in as I was hoping we would.  Sickness (kids, us and guests) kept us a lot more low key, and led to naps (especially by me) during our normal gaming times.  We did manage to get a few games of Stone Age in, but only two player. 

Stone Age is still a new game for us, so we are both still testing various strategies and playing styles.  In Stone Age there are two ways to trigger the end of the game; build the last hut in a pile or if there are not enough Civilization cards to replace all four slots on the board.  One thing I have noticed is that with 2 players, it seems to be the huts that end the game, not the cards.  Its not all that surprising considering that the number of hut piles changes depending on the number of players (though the amount in each pile stays the same) and the number of civilization cards stays the same.  We did have our first game with the civilization cards being the end game condition, but I have noticed that we the score from the cards seems to dominate the hut score, even with the huts ending the game.

My board at the end of the game where we ran out of civilization cards.
While playing I started to realize that the game components quality and theme does add to the game for me.  I am not sure if it is a result of my tastes changing over time, possibly due to having tried a larger selection of games or playing boardgames more often, or if I am just starting to realize something that was always there.  I like the fact that this game has different shapes for each resource, that the main board and each player's board have detailed art and that all of the tiles are solid (i.e. not flimsy). 
The table during a game of Stone Age
We haven't played very many games yet, but I have won all of them so far.  I have found with most of our boardgames that I seem to pick up on the strategies quicker than my wife does.  Once we are both familiar with a game we are usually pretty evenly matched (I still seem to have an advantage in math-heavy games and she has an advantage in word games) but it takes some time to get there.  This leads to an issue that I struggle with; should I purposely let another player win?  I don't want to discourage anyone from playing with me by winning all or the majority of games, but I also get a lot of my enjoyment from playing to win, regardless of the outcome.  Playing to lose really takes the fun out of the game for me, but may be a worthwhile sacrifice to keep playing the game until we are more evenly matched.

I think that Stone Age will be a favourite for a while, and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to play with 3 or 4 players and see how the game changes.