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Meeple’s Eye View – Stone Age

The Meeple’s Eye View is an in depth review of one of the many games in our board game library. This week’s column is written by featured blogger Rick Grayshock.

Cell phones, running water, refrigeration and take-out Chinese food. Yep, we have things pretty good these days. Have you ever wondered how you would do in another era? Do you think you have what it takes to be a hunter-gatherer? Could you survive the STONE AGE?

Theme: Prehistoric civilization building

Number of Players: 2-4

Game Time: 60-80 minutes

Age Appropriateness: 10 and up

Game Type: Worker placement, set collecting

Grow your civilization by sending workers to gather resources. Use those to construct new buildings or advance your ‘technology’. Make sure you have enough food for all of your workers though. Score enough points and your tribe may survive the Stone Age.

Game Play: Players take turns sending their workers out to try and gather the resources they want. Each resource spot can accommodate a limited amount of workers, making some more valuable than others. Once all workers are placed, each player rolls the appropriate dice to see how successful their hunting and gathering was. Use tools to increase your dice rolling odds. Need more workers? There’s a spot to get an additional worker on your turn, unless someone else has occupied it.

Trade in resources for buildings worth varying points or cards that give you valuable bonuses at the end of the game. Use your workers to block an opponent from getting a valuable spot that they need. Whatever you do, make sure you have enough food to feed your tribe at the end of your turn. Failing to do so could mean a loss of victory points.

Component Quality: The components are wonderful. The game comes with a great board, quality cards and tiles and wooden tribe members as well as resources.

My Take: Stone Age is quickly shooting up my list of favorite games (which is not in fact an actual written down list as of yet). I really like worker placement games, and this one didn’t disappoint. There is a small amount of luck that can be had in the game, as dice rolls do play a part in how much of each resource you gather. You can increase your odds of getting what you need by using a tool that gives you a bonus or simply sending more workers to one spot to maximize your rolling.

There is a little math element to the game. It isn’t difficult by any stretch, but all your dice rolls will involve some simple division.

After a half dozen plays or so I still really look forward to this one hitting the table. I have only played with three or four players, but I don’t think the two player version would be as interesting. The final scoring is a little strange at first. You won’t know for certain who has won the game until the scores are tabulated.

Give this one a shot. Especially if you like civilization building games like Settlers of Catan or 7 Wonders. It is a little bit heavier than those two, but not overwhelming. (There is a Settlers of the Stone Age game from Mayfair Games, which is the maker of Catan, so don’t get the two confused.)

Expansions and Replay-ability: There is an expansion called Stone Age: Style is the Goal, which expands the game for a 5th player and adds a few new elements. To my knowledge, this expansion isn’t currently in print which makes it extremely difficult to find, and quite expensive. In my opinion – not worth it. I really like the base game and have no problem replaying it so far.

Meeple Rick GrayshockRick Grayshock is a husband and father who is a digital content producer for FOX Sports Ohio and is a co-founder of the Cleveland sports website WaitingForNextYear.com. Rick is excited to contribute to Meeple Moments and to write about his ‘other’ favorite hobby. Follow him on Twitter @RickGrayshock.

 

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