Endeavor: Age of Sail - A Kickstarter Preview!
PUBLISHER: Burnt Island Games & Grand Gamers Guild
DESIGNER: Carl De Visser & Jarratt Gray
TIME: 60-90 min
INTRODUCTION to Endeavor: age of Sail
In Endeavor: Age of Sail, players strive to earn glory for their empires. Sailing out from Europe and the Mediterranean, players will establish shipping routes and occupy cities the world over. As they do so, players will leverage their growing industry, culture, finance, and Influence, building their engine and extending their reach into the far-flung regions of the world.
I received a prototype version of Endeavor: Age of Sail.
Endeavor: Age of Sail is played over 7 rounds. Each round is comprised of 4 phases.
At the beginning of every round, every player will:
- Construct one building based on your current industry level or lower.
- Gain Population based on your current Culture level. (These are your workers!)
- Pay workers to free building spaces based on your current wealth level. (These are your action selection locations!)
- Take actions, and manage your cards based on your current influence level.
Occupy: Claim a city by using a building with the occupy action and placing a worker from your harbor into a city to claim it’s token, and glory! Occupying cities will allow players to draw cards from the continent deck.
Ship: Send a worker to a continent shipping track to claim the token. The player who owns the most population, when the track is completed, will become the Governor. Completing continent shipping tracks allows players to unlock the continent to begin to occupy it! Additionally, with the new Exploits, players can unlock new objectives!
Draw: Draw a card from a continent where you own presence (population markers). Your presence must meet or exceed the printed numerical value of the card you wish to draw. These cards are played into your player board, and you need to manage your influence level to ensure you don’t discard any of them! When players gain cards, they will adjust their current values of the printed attribute(s) on that card.
Attack: Eventually players will run out of room to expand, and if you’ve built buildings with attack actions, you’ll be able to engage in combat. Drive your opponents from the cities they’ve claimed, to deny them the city’s Glory points and to break up their network of profitable trade routes!
Payment: Pay for a building to remove a worker from the current building. This action is especially important for empires looking to expand rapidly!
From the Kickstarter: Endeavor: Age of Sail preserves everything about the original edition that you know and love. The satisfying pacing which begins briskly but grows richer and deeper with every turn, the always-interesting breadth of the choices available to you, that feeling of the world unfolding as the game progresses, it's all still there. And it's all driven by that surprisingly lean ruleset which draws its complexity from the interactions and tensions that it creates. So how did we improve on this? Let’s take look!
Exploits are the major new gameplay addition unique to Endeavor: Age of Sail. Sure you can play the game without them (and for your first play you probably should), but once you play with them you'll never go back!
In each game you'll deal out three random Exploits (or choose three you enjoy playing with). Like the regions of the world, Exploits are locked at the start of the game. Each Exploit is a historical event from the era that is related to two of the regions on the board. When both of those regions are opened during the game, that Exploit becomes unlocked, and players may now begin interacting with its unique mechanisms and scoring opportunities.
This board better serves different player counts! The inclusion of this new board means that 2 player games do not need to play with a “variant” or “dummy player” rule!
Game End and How to Win
Once seven rounds have passed, the game comes to an end and scores are tallied. You’ll earn Glory for:
- How well you’ve improved your four attributes (Industry, Culture, Wealth, and Influence)
- The Cities you occupy and the links you control
- Glory symbols on your cards and buildings
- Special scoring opportunities from this game’s Exploits
The player whose empire has accumulated the most Glory wins!
WHAT MIGHT YOU LIKE or Dislike?
Endeavor: Age of Sail is a box full of incredibly streamlined mechanics. A game will consist of area-control, route-building, resource management, engine-building, action selection, and worker placement. On top of that, there’s a “small” bit of city building, and combat. The elegance of Endeavor: Age of Sail is how the 5 different actions work together to bring players an immersive, thematic, and balanced experience of 18th Century exploration.
Endeavor: Age of Sail is a game of world colonization, and this theme may or may not resonate with every gamer.
The inclusion of official 2 player rules is a huge success, as they’ve removed the need for a “dummy player” and steam-lined the experience for two.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. For those who do not know, Endeavor includes the ability to use slaves. Now, do not let this scare you away. Endeavor tackles this issue head-on and does so in such a thoughtful manner that can’t think of a better way to incorporate it into a game this well. Players will, from the beginning of the game have the opportunity to draw slavery cards from the European continent. Thematically to the times, it will propel the empires that use slavery towards industrial might. However, and this is the most important point about this deck, players will also have the chance, using the European deck of cards to eventually abolish slavery, putting an end to one of the darkest periods in world history. Any players who used slavery as an empire will be negatively impacted at the end of the game, losing numerous glory points. So, if the thought of slavery in a game bothers you, you should know how Endeavor tackles this tough issue.
Endeavor: Age of Sail includes new art on everything, and while art is a very subjective matter, it’s a significant improvement over the original.
The exploits are likely the single best addition to the game. These new, end game goals, can be unlocked by players throughout the game by opening the specific continents on them. These exploits add a lot of variety to the base game and add new ways to interact with the world. They are thematically and mechanically immersive.
Endeavor: Age of Sail is a reprint of the older ZMAN edition, however, Burnt Island Games & Grand Gamers Guild have included significant upgrades to the game that work incredibly well. You can see the creative passion and innovation they put into this project and the new detail, and care they took into making this game a reality is evident. Thanks to Burnt Island Games & Grand Gamers Guild, gamers around the world can finally enjoy what I believe is one of the best gaming experiences around. Rarely will you find a euro game this thematic, and mechanically synchronized. The new upgrades and additions make Endeavor: Age of Sail a must own that I believe will quickly climb the ranks of gaming greats.
You will like this game if you enjoy: worker placement, action selection, route-building, area-control, engine-building, and leading an empire to world domination.
Don’t miss your chance to rule the world! Lead your empire to glory!
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