Small game group, since it's August. Game night was at Gili's house.
Age of Empires IIIGili 96, Jon 95, David 95, Elijah 93, Avraham 60
Just one game took the entire evening, from around 7:40 until 11:20 or so. I'm pretty sure most other game groups finish games more quickly than we do. Yeah, we have some AP, but it doesn't seem like THAT much.
First play for Avraham and Elijah, second for David, third for Gili, and fourth for me.
The end scores are all pretty hazy. Several final or interim decisions might have changed them. Also, I tried to discover a province with four colonists twice, once in each of the last two turns, and failed both times. If either had succeeded (which was overwhelmingly in my favor) I would have won; then again, I could simply have waited until I had six colonists on the last round and try only once, with guaranteed success. So this was also the result of a choice, only I didn't know how many points I needed exactly to win.
If they don't do anything to change the board depending on the number of players, worker placement games are optimized for the maximum number of players. In our case, for five players. Though the game was long, it didn't drag much and was pretty interesting the whole way. Elijah, as well as the others, enjoyed the game.
Gili played with heavy soldiers, killing off other colonists here and there; I finally put a stop to her killing mine with some soldiers of my own and then the defensive building that gives you a soldier in every area whenever you're attacked. I don't often say this, but this game could actually use just a tad more conflict.
David had very strong income with tiles and ships, and also a lot of missionaries and the bonus for missionaries. I had strong income with tiles, too, and I took the first building first, which was the one that gives $20 so that you can then go and buy two more buildings; it's always the first one chosen, so it may be somewhat broken. I think it's less broken in five players, because you don't necessarily get to pick your next building already on the first round. Still, there is one that gives $5 per round which I don't think of as broken, so I don't know what the fix would be.
I also had a captain in the discovery box each round, and played for as many of those as I could. Elijah and Avraham also did several discoveries. Avraham neglected everything else, including income, which is why his score was so low. He had a merchant every round, however.
We discovered that we were playing one rule incorrectly: that an area only scores once there are at least three colonists in it. This prevents areas discovered right before a scoring from counting during the scoring. I don't know how I feel about this rule.