more on Through The Ages – electronic play
I’ve recently started playing Through The Ages: A Story Of Civilization through the website www.boardgaming-online.com and have been very satisfied with what it offers. Let’s look at a final tableau to see what it looks like.
Some of the benefits gained from an online implementation include:
- no moving little bits around and risking knocking them off and losing track of the game state
- warning of corruption and/or civil disobediance
- an option to reset the turn state (very helpful to see the effect of different choices)
- game journal logs everything that occured; helpful for any post-mortem or celebration
- automatically processes the production and scoring steps
The online implementation really gives you everything that you need to play the game except the rules. Once you have played the real game enough to know these, you can move to this version easily. In addition to the tableau and journal screens, there are other tabs that let you inspect what cards will come up in the civil card row, which cards have already been taken or removed, and which events you have placed into the current and future events piles. All extremely handy things to review when making your game choices.
If you use Google+ hangout with your friends to play games, this is a very good option to use for TTA when you can’t physically get together. TTA is not an extremely social game (more thinking and mumbling), but it playing online is nicely complemented by the G+ hangout to allow for those accusations of ‘who put those Rats in the events pile?’ (the answer is usually me). It also helps with the one area of the game that can bog down in online play: the policitical phase. This is the time when multiple players can be involved in bidding on a territory other decisions, and if a player doesn’t check in you can have to wait quite a while to get your turn back. This is where the G+ hangout (or equally well, Skype or chat) really helps as being present for the game keeps this phase moving quickly along.
It’s a free site so it’s no surprise that it goes down, sometime quite often. But if you get something out of it there is a way to donate and presumably, help improve that aspect. It also can be challenging to find players in the massive, not exactly well-ordered drop down list, and when setting up a game anyone who sees it being created can join in unexpectedly. But these issues can be managed, and who knows, you may serendipitously meet some new gamers by joining a game in this manner.
Whether you are an avid TTA player or have only played it a few times and would like to improve, this site is a great resource. Most fun to me is that it also enables you to play outside whereever you can get internet connectivity – something I do not recommend with the physical board games as it is extremely prone to being blown all over!