So, I played a game of Stone Age with my best friend this last Friday. I was taking notes to try and keep our moves sorted out for recollection once I started this blog, all the while my friend looked at me like I was crazy for taking said notes. He doesn’t understand how I’ve got the interest in doing more than just playing board games. It’s a passion project. I have a passion for it. He doesn’t know how I make time to do it. Me either to be honest. But, here we are. He can make fun of me all I want while we’re playing. Hopefully it will lead to better blogs over time.
Rundown on Game Play
The game is essentially a hunter/gatherer game, where you collect resources to build up your village. On top of that,you must keep your villagers fed, build up your village with new straw huts -which are made up of resources you collect – as well as building up your civilization.
Fun fact about your straw huts, the resources you use to build those straw huts are NOT straw. No straw in the game whatsoever. Except the huts.
Anyway, back to the game. You start with 5 meeple and you use them to build up the amount of food you can farm, you can get two of them to “do the deed” so that you can gain more meeple, they can gather resources (wood, clay, stone, gold), they can hunt, as well as claiming boat resources (civilization cards) and claiming huts. Each hut is built with a different combination of resources, which you have collected from the resource areas that are available. (wood is from forest, stone is from quarry etc.) The goal of the game is to collect victory points, which you collect when you buy huts, and at the end of the game with civilization cards. I’m not going to go into detail about scoring, there are a lot of places to find out scoring details, and I’d like to spend more time on other aspects that go beyond the basic rules.
My strategy for the game we played on Friday was to max out on my village size and farming income as fast as I could. I didn’t want to have to worry too much about my agricultural income while mating, so I was basically going back and forth between farming and mating when I had first choice on placement. We basically battled back and forth for dibs on farming to start the game. For my first turn I decided to focus on grabbing a 6 villager and filling up on some more food. My thought process was to bulk up on food and if I had a rough turn or two, it wouldn’t affect me from feeding my village. I had a good second turn, having six meeple to spread around on the second turn. I put one into farming, three into the forest to get me wood and i put one on a civilization card. I played it off that I was being risky about it, but I knew I would get at least one resource to pay for my card. It was a farmer’s market card and my roll gave me a second agricultural move on one turn. In two turns I had 6 villagers, and 3 are automatically fed each turn. My next turn was somewhat similar but instead of heading up two more agriculture spots, I got a seventh villager and went up one farming position. This was a very good start to the game, and I did my best to keep it up from there.
Now, you can’t really expect me to tell you I was this lucky and dominant all game, but from then on through the game, with most of my villagers paid for extremely early, I could focus on getting some resources and focus on collecting buildings and civilization cards. This middle area of the game gets a little foggy, as it sort of all came together and nothing overly interesting happened. Although, my buddy had a farmer’s market role that gave him a lift on the food chart, and left me with a measly piece of wood. He couldn’t have planned it any better. I never really had a chance to have anything fun like that happen against my buddy, but that was a memorable turn.
When all was said and done and we got to counting our civilization card points, I ended up with the following:
– 7 different “green cards” and 1 double = 50 points
– Builders were X2, with 7 buildings = 14 points
– Grainers were X4 with 10 agricultural build ups = 40 points
– Shaman were X2 with 8 people = 16 points
This score was on top of about 50-60(?) that I had from my buildings. This was a high scoring game for me and I was completely dominant almost from the get go. This strategy worked wonders for me in this game and it felt wonderful.
Because my friend doesn’t understand why I do this and most likely won’t read this, I’ll let you know that next time we play that game, I’m going to change up my strategy to bulk up on wood as soon and as much as possible. I’ll be sending one person in for farming until I have enough to maintain balance, and otherwise, I’ll collect as much wood as I can. to have this sitting in my village rather than on the forest, I’ll have a bit of control of the board. He’ll never see it coming. But you will. As soon as we play the game, I’ll let you know how it went!