Through the Ages tournament

You’re welcome! Are we all done with the regular season?

I think there’s still one game underway.

The new Himeji Castle wonder seems a bit much. For 9 rocks in Age I, you get +2 culture +2 military and the ability to sacrifice a unit during a military action for double its strength plus 3 culture or +3 defense. Basically rendering you immune to almost any attack.

Have you had any luck using it? I feel like oddly enough the castle is weak on defense; e.g. if your opponent is forcing you to sacrifice a unit just to block an attack, then that’s already as much damage as most of the early attacks would do even if they succeeded. And by the later ages, the extra 2-5 attack power probably won’t make a huge difference in the strength totals. I feel like (but have never actually verified) that the castle might work well with an offensive strategy in the early ages; e.g. to get that extra one time attack boost to bust through the defenses (and get a little extra VP).

(I suppose it also matters if you’re talking about a 2 player game or a 4 player game)

How is the final game going, by the way?

An aggressor most likely isn’t going to always hit you when he can just to fail the attack and force you to sacrifice a unit. A lot of the time they’ll just pick a different target or just forgo giving up military actions/draws. The castle renders you mostly immune to hits for most of the game because you’re just not worth it to a player who’s trying to win rather than kamikazing you.

I would say that factor by itself would make the castle a mediocre wonder, but coupled with the flat military and culture bonus seems to give way too much. Compared to other wonders of the same Age like the Taj where the ENTIRE wonder only gives +3 culture.

Ha, they are not as vindictive as I am I guess. If I knew I could spend my political action to force someone to sacrifice a unit I would be doing it every turn. :D (assuming I didn’t have Nostradamus and his sweet bonus VP for playing new events). I’ve mostly been playing the expansion cards though, so I’m not sure how well the Castle wonder compares to the base-game wonders.

The final game is moving along, slowly but steadily. I feel like the other players are purposefully taking their time on their turns in order to take advantage of my lack of long-term memory. Like if it didn’t happen in the last 12 hours, it might as well have been in a different life time for me, and so each turn is a completely new experience. In more concrete terms,

  • Thraeg is disdaining military and taking occasional bad-luck events in order to get lots of VPs. Wait no late-breaking news he did a military build up.
  • Porous and Otto are going for more balanced approaches with strong armies and a mix of production and VPs
  • I am building the largest hoard of rocks and ore, and then building Machu Picchu on top of them.

It’s not just the political action, it’s the military actions. 1-2 military actions are a big deal in Age I. It limits building/upgrading other military, or drawing military cards. Getting events you want - and especially favorable tactics cards - is very important.

You could have him sacrifice a vital unit that knocks out a tactics bonus he was getting, but then all you’re doing is setting him up for someone else to cash in on hitting.

I think it would still be a wonder worth getting if it was only the +2 military and sacrifice ability. Giving it +2 culture seems unnecessary overkill.

Would you say that the Castle is in line with the Acropolis? E.g. the Acropolis costs 5 instead of 9, has half the military and culture value, and the Acropolis has arguably more applicable bonus powers. E.g. you will always research government techs, so that’s an immediate research savings, and the building cap bonus can be helpful in some situations.

I’ll let this BGG post speak for itself:

Be honest, did you write that post? :D

I did not. I have nowhere near that kind of TtA encyclopedic knowledge.

How does one get in on the action?

I remember trying MP in the early days after release and my games kept dying due to sync errors of some kind. I presume it’s more reliable now?

You can message @Dave_Perkins to get you on to slack. We arrange a few games through that medium.

We are almost done with our first little league and I’m sure there’s enough interest to start another. Soon!

Did that last game ever end?

Nope! Though we are in the end game for it. We are well into the third Era and The War to End All Wars has begun. We might have one or two wars after that, but it’s nearly over.

Wish I could see!

Wish it would end!

Yeah, it’s been running for 6 weeks from what I can tell. The other round 4 game lasted 8 days.