Stone Age continues to be a favourite in our household, and we were excited to try it 4-player with another couple who had invited us over for an evening of games. Neither of them was familiar with Stone Age, or even worker placement games in general. Part of what had attracted me to Stone Age was reviews I had read that recommended it as a good introduction to worker placement games; not overly complicated but still a lot of fun. The other couple we played with play a fair amount of boardgames, so the combination of game and players seemed to work out well, as they picked up the concept within the first couple of rounds. I was expecting the 4-player game to be very different than a 2-player game, but I found that it wasn't. The removal of the restrictions imposed by the 2-player version on limiting placement actually seemed to make it easier to get the resources I was seeking, and seemed to make other players choices have less impact on me (as there was limited ability to "block"). The exception was the end game, where the huts and cards seemed to disappear very quickly. I was also a little bit disappointed that the first three placements were always agricultural track, tool, extra worker until near the end; that being said I also didn't change it up as it seemed to be the smart play for me too. Despite all my complaints above I really enjoyed the 4-player game and will continue to want to play both 2 and 4 player games.
I also had a chance in a 2-player game to try out a new strategy; I focused entirely on tools and tool-related cards, and then population when they weren't available. The hope was that the increase to my rolls from the tools would offset the need to hunt more often. In this particular game we met both end-game conditions on the same turn, with only 1 hut and 1 card not being bought, resulting in the highest total score yet. My strategy didn't work so well and I lost badly, so it won't be used again.
|Final turn of Stone Age with Tool Strategy|
With Suburbia I have only been playing one strategy so far; maximize income early and then work on reputation. I think with the next few games I am going to try and diversify my strategies a bit just to see how it works out. Having a high income means that I can afford pretty much any tile that shows up in the market, forcing my wife to either buy or bury any tiles that are really useful for me.
|My "city" where I focused on income|
|My "city" with no PR Firm or Casino|