Overview: Stone Age is a medium strategy worker placement game set in ancient times. Players take turns placing their workers on food, buildings, civilization cards, tool maker, field, mating hut and resources. After each worker is placed, players then pick up their workers and resolve resource dice rolls, pay for civilizations/buildings, or gain tools/agriculture/extra worker. For example, if three workers were placed on food, that means you get three dice to roll. Each food and resource has a different dice pip cost, meaning gold (6 dice pips) is harder to gain than food (2 dice pips). Players also must gain enough food to feed their workers after each round or face penalties. End game condition is one pile of buildings empty or no more civilization cards to be drawn to fill all four spaces. Winner is the player with the most victory points.
Stone Age is a classic style worker placement game where there are an incredible amount of options to do each turn. Food, wood, clay, stone, and gold are the resources you need in order to buy civilization cards, feed workers, or purchase buildings. The number of workers placed on a resource area is the number of dice you roll, with each resource having a different dice pip cost. Food is the easiest resource to gain but very important because if you don’t feed your workers at the end of a round, you must use other resources or take a 10 VP penalty. Making sure to feed workers and receive good resources dice rolls is helped by the ability to gain more workers, agriculture (extra food each turn), or tools (die pip bumps).
The optimum strategy in Stone Age takes a few plays to understand, and with each addition of players, the strategy changes. Do you go for lots of tools, workers, agriculture? Do you buy civilization cards or buildings? Each person may try for their own combination and see what works best for them in each particular game. Another important thing to note is some civilization cards have a multiplier on them, for example, 3x points per building. These can be used to gain huge point gains at the end of the game, which means it can be harder to calculate who’s actually in first at any given time. Also, The replay value is good in Stone Age, especially with more players, as one strategy may not work in another game if spots get taken up. Stone Age is an awesome worker placement game that can be played in under 90 min and has challenging but not overcomplicated strategy.
2 Player Experience
Two player in Stone Age is interesting because it has different rules than with four player. Both players cannot hop on another resource if their opponent is there (besides food). Also, players may use only two of the three locations that in the center of the board: field (agriculture), tool maker (one tool), and mating hut (one extra worker) per round. This changes the strategy because it’s easier to block another player from getting an essential resource. However, there is only so much blocking one can do it 2 player, since the starting token changes with each round. Two player is less interesting because it seems like the optimum strategy can be figured out quickly, and it turns out to be luck who wins if both players know how to play. Two player is still very enjoyable but can get stale easily. Highly suggest playing with 3 or more.
4 Player Experience
Stone Age is a fantastic game for four players. It’s definitely more challenging and the optimum strategy is not as obvious as in two player. It’s harder to get the resources you want, especially if you are going last on that round. Players have to adjust their strategy as gameplay progresses because their opponents may be going for the same things. This makes Stone Age have more replay value with four player, because each game is going to have a different feel depending on what players are competing for. Stone Age is very balanced with four players and is quite enjoyable.