THIS GAME IS A REIMPLEMENTATION OF AGE OF EMPIRES III
Age of Empires III (2007, Tropical Games) is one of the first and still one of the best worker placement board games of all time. It has been out of print for 7 years now, prompting many fans and reviewers to call for a new reprint of the game. When the rights to the game were purchased by Eagle Games, the expense of license renewal of the name from Microsoft proved to be too much, so the game was re-christened Glenn Drover's Empires: Age of Discovery (EAOD), but never reprinted. Early in 2014, Eagle Games asked for volunteers from the BGG community, who really admired the game and who had played it many times, to work with the designer, Glenn Drover, and the CEO of Eagle Games, Rick Soued, to envision what a new, Deluxe version of AoE III might look like and to help them implement it. After nearly a year of work, culminating last month in the NEW rule book, that envisioning process was complete.
Empires: Age of Discovery, designed by Glenn Drover, allows you to revisit the age of exploration and discovery. Take on the role of a colonial power seeking fame, glory, and riches in the New World. As you proceed through three ages, you will launch expeditions of discovery, colonize regions, expand your merchant fleet, build capital buildings that give your nation distinct advantages, develop your economy, and, if necessary, declare war.
This Deluxe Edition includes the Empires: Builder Expansion along with its capital buildings. Its National Advantage tiles have been built into the new Player Boards.
IN THE BOX:
Including but not limited to:
A totally revised 20 page Rulebook
A 23” x 28” Game Board
6 Player Boards -- approx. 11.5" by 7.5"
2 Double-sided Colonist Dock Overlays -- approx 7.5" by 3.25"
420 Miniatures (6 different figures--70 total--in each of 6 colors)
10 plastic Ship Miniatures
57 Capital Building Tiles (approx 2" by 1.5" -- 2.5mm thick)
46 Trade Good Tiles (1" square -- 2.5mm thick)
A cloth bag with Eagle Games' logo from which to draw Trade Goods
16 Discovery Counters/Tiles (1.5" square -- 2.5mm thick)
16-Card Discovery Deck (2.5" by 3.5" cards)
3 double-sided player reference guides -- approx. 11.5" x 7.5" x 1mm
100 plastic replicas of gold and silver doubloons
A 7.5" by 11.5" 50 page (double-sided) score pad
A 7.5" by 11.5" scoring track
A custom-designed PVC glossy black insert tray
The box is approx. 15.5" by 12.5" by 4.0" & 3mm thick
New Artwork By: Cyril van der Haegen
Original Game Art By: Paul E. Niemeyer
So what does it take to transform an excellent game like AoE III into a Deluxe Edition called Empires: Age of Discovery? Here are the visions of the committee as to what we needed to do:
1) A new set of rules. Over the years, a highly-regarded and frequently-played game like AoE III develops quite a lot of FAQs. A major goal of the committee was to take all of the FAQs and integrate them into a new set of rules. Also, since the committee strongly suggested that a Deluxe Edition needed to integrate the Builder Expansion into the original base game, the new rules needed to encompass the Builder Expansion rules as well.
2) The Builder Expansion. This expansion was printed in 2011 and is nearly out of print as well. The committee thought it would be most desirable to combine the Builder Expansion with the original base game. The Builder Expansion added 130 figurines, including a new specialist, the builder, and a new color for a sixth player (purple). It also added new Capital Buildings, and National Advantages for each country.
3) A new game board. The prior board was beautiful but lacked some functionality. The new board was envisioned by the committee and then executed by the very talented Cyril van der Haegen.The new board incorporates all the elements of better functionality that the committee suggested, such as: larger and clearer boundaries and adjacencies; worker placement spaces are clear and consistent numbered circles showing order of placement and resolution; there is space for Trade Goods and Capital Building Tiles on the board; the training space for the builder specialist is added to the board, the Player Order track has been moved to the bottom to better reflect the Turn phases; easier-to-read reminder text is included in the Event Boxes.
4) Player boards. The committee really thought that there should be a board for each player so that there was a place to stage Colonists and Specialists, and to place Trade Goods and ships.
5) Score Track and Score Pads. The score track around the board will be replaced by the inclusion of two options for score-keeping. An external scoring track will be provided, as will a very thorough and well-designed score pad. One or both can be used as desired.
6) A much sturdier than normal box will be used.The walls of the box will be 3mm thick instead of 1mm-2mm thick, allowing it to carry all of the heavy and plentiful contents that this game features. U-shaped finger cut-outs will be made in the sides of the box so that the many boards inside can be removed without damaging the integrity of the box.
7) A thoroughly-well-thought-out insert will be added. The new insert will be designed to perfectly fit the boards to minimize transit damage. It will also feature a see-through cover; many separate compartments to house all the different figures, coins, ships, tokens, tiles and cards; and U holes on the short side panels to aid in removing the many boards from the box without damaging the box.
8) 2.5mm thick tokens will replace the normal 1mm to 1.25mm cardboard, for the Capital Buildings, Trade Goods, Discovery Tiles, etc.
9) Overlays for the Colonist Dock so that the Dock, which serves a different number of Colonists depending upon the number of players in the game, can be easily re-configured every time the game is played.
10) A cloth bag, used to draw Trade Good Tiles out of, would be provided in the Deluxe Edition.
11) 100 coins would be in the Deluxe Edition instead of the 90 coins that were in the original version. We thought about adding a third coin but rejected that idea in favor of this one.
12) Clearly differentiated figures. Several committee members and others solicited felt that the Colonist and Merchant; and the Soldier and Captain, were difficult to distinguish from one another. So a change in the mold, reshaping the bases of these figures, would be needed to correct this.
13) Player reference cards. Three would be included and these would have brief summaries of the turn order, event box resolution, VP scoring, the builder expansion rules, etc.