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Age of Empires III Age of Discovery

3.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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  • Over 400 stunning miniatures
  • Historically accurate money (gold Spanish dollars and silver pieces of eight)
  • Easy to learn European Style game system
  • Multiple paths to victory
4 new from $130.00 1 used from $129.99 5 collectible from $83.03

Product Description

It is the late 15th century and a new age is dawning. While searching for a new trade route to India, explorers have discovered a new land. The first reports tell of strange creatures, exotic people, and fabulous wealth. Captains and adventurers flock to these new lands in search of gold. They are quickly followed by colonists, soldiers, merchants, and missionaries all seeking wealth of one kind or another. Colonies begin to spring up, and soon competition among the great nations of Europe begins. Take the role of one of Europe's colonial powers and stake your claim in the New World. As the leader of your nation, there are many paths that lead to victory: It is an Age of Discovery...it is an Age of Empires!

Product Information

Product Dimensions 12.5 x 3.5 x 15.8 inches
Item Weight 4.4 pounds
Shipping Weight 4.4 pounds
Item model number TRP001
Manufacturer recommended age 12 years and up
Best Sellers Rank #360,488 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
#9,010 in Toys & Games > Games > Board Games
Customer Reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

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I was invited to a neighbor's house for a night of board games. By chance, I got the opportunity to play Age of Empires III with the creator, Glen Dover, watching and giving advice. (major cool guy) The players were 30-50 years old and it was a rousing 2 hours of game play. Based on that experience, I purchased the game. My kids, 6, 8 and 11, begged me to play the game but I figured it was too complex for them to enjoy. Shame on me. Two months later, I agreed to try to walk them through it. They loved it.....every part of it. Each child chose a fundamental different strategy. One child loves discovery, one child loves declaring wars and the third child is trying to win with economic might. We've played it several times and the game is never the same twice. I like the fact that the game has a fuse; it's 8 rounds so it doesn't go on forever. It's a complicated game, so it is not for the fidgety. It takes time to explain, but my children really like the different pieces, roles and strategy. It's pretty funny watching them try to form alliances or think through ways to win.

Being the OCD dad, we carefully count each piece before we put the game away, but my kids are troopers. At the end of the game, we have a quick 10 minute discussion about which strategies worked and what they would do different. It seems like a good game to teach strategy, planning and forward thinking. Mainly, it's nice to tear everyone away from their screens and play a game for two hours as a family.
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First and foremost, Age of Empires III the board game is NOTHING like the video game. They share a title, thats about it. The game is very easy to learn, and the goal is to get from Europe to the New World and come out as the strongest colonial power. That said, there are multiple routes to this goal. You gain 'victory points' for controlling the most land, for having the best economy, for developing your lands the most efficiently, for going out and exploring the rest of the world (India, Africa, Japan, & the Phillipines just to name a few). If you want to warmonger, by all means that traditional route is still open as well. Due to the varied strategies you could follow to gain these victory points, each game can be very different in outcome. Hence the title, this is one of the most balanced and interesting games I have played in a long time. While a love is history is nice, you do not necessarily need it to play this game as well. It would be great for both the casual gamer as well as the more experienced players. All in all, this is a great buy.
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First off, this game is nothing like the computer game by the same name. At all. Which is a good thing, as I don't think that the computer gameplay would translate to the tabletop very well.

This is a fun, exciting, well balanced, perfectly paced multiplayer game of imperialism, with lots of quality pieces and, most welcome of all, a minimal feeling of "blind luck" influencing events.

I'll address the last point first: everything, from resources, to units, to turn order, can be bought. You decide what you want, and how important it is to you, and then make sure you get it. There's no waiting to get what you need if you want it. Luck does arise when resources are made available, and also by keeping certain aspects of the newly explored lands secret until you explore there. But this just keeps things exciting.

The pacing is good too, which is a hard thing to get right in a complicated, 4+ hours game. It intensifies toward the end, rather than just become repetative. Part of that is probably from hardwiring a raising of stakes through the ages (more expensive/important buildlings and discoveries - similar to what Witches Brew does with its increasingly expensive & powerful cards); and part of the intensification is intrinsic to natural game flow.

The number of things you can do per turn is staggering at first, but adds fantastic depth. The range of strategies you can use is vast. You can go for an aggression/warfare approach, concentrate on colonization, or stock up on merchant ships and depend mostly on trade; or any combination, plus a heavy or light dependence on important buildings, or on exploration... It keeps the game really fresh, and the player feels like he's in a toystore with too many toys to play with.
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I wasn't really expecting much from a board game based off of a video game, but saw that it was ranked VERY highly on [...]. Picked this up for 30 bucks on discount at my local comic shop, which helped to sway my decision to get it.

If you've ever played any worker placement games ala Stone Age or Pillars of the Earth but felt like the things you were doing in it didn't really amount to very much, this game changes that. Everything you do correlates to something else going on in the game which you can use to get points later on. You can never truly count yourself out of this one, which is partly what makes it so great! Claim territory, Discover new lands, gain money with goods; all will hopefully pay off for you in the end. Oh, there is also a fighting mechanism (which I got demolished by the last time I played) which adds a whole lot more competition when claiming the new world for points.

Despite some reviewers complaints, once you play through a round or two, you really start to get the hang of what is going on and start thinking "I hope the other guy doesn't take the spot I want!" Streamlined, relatively simple and VERY LITTLE DOWN TIME! Great game and I highly recommend it!
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