Our opinion about this game-a small summary.
Designed by: Alexander Pfister, Arno Steinwender Players: 1-4 Published by: Nanox Games, Capstone Games, dlp games Year Published: 2020
What is this game about?
CloudAge is a strategy game with a mix of engine-building, a slight deck-building, and resource management. I find there is a small element of luck involved when drawing project cards, especially if you get bigger points cards in your hands, high chance of scoring high victory points.
Goal of the game is to have the most victory points, which is scored on along the border of the production board. Victory points are earned by doing actions on the main board, building project cards and accomplishing mission cards.
Description by the publisher: Fifteen years ago, the mysterious secret society “Cloud” set fire to countless oil production sites and burned down large forests to destabilize the world. The resulting environmental catastrophe had disastrous effects on the entire planet.
So, in your attempt to have a better life, you fly/ travel above the dried-out lands in your airships, looking to create a better landscape. In attempt for searching for lands, you visit cities, send out drones to collect resources, and battle Cloud militia.
Now that I have played the game three times, it is very easy, fast and fun. But it took me three trials to like this game!!
Our first attempt:
Rules were initially hard to understand, we had to listen and re listen to Youtube by Gamingrules few times to understand. Click here to view https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E30u2ZUY62s
In CloudAge , there are three scenarios and campaign/story modes to play.
First time we played, it was two player (two adults): we took scenario one: it was hard to understand and follow. The appeal or desire to continue playing the game slowly died.
However, 2nd try was with four player (two adults and two kids ages 11 and 13) with secenario two-I would say , it was an amazing game!! Real cool ideas and new strategies. Thinky and fun with slight luck based game. Icons are easy to understand once you play one time, a bit of language skills needed to understand the description.
Our third time playing with 4 players, rules became much more easier, very fast, set-up was very easy. Players were quick to plan and anticipate their plan of actions for each phases easily. We have not tried the solo mode.
What are the steps or actions to do when playing:
There are four types of board in the set-up:1. Main game board (4 boards for 4players) 2. Production board (green in colour with zig-zag border). 3. Player boards( 4 different colours, with upgrades for movement, combat and growth) and Action board (yellow).
There are three phases: Production-Movement-Action
Production phase: Green area on the player board. Move your energy tracker on the green colored board.
How do you do it:
All players can do this phase simultaneously, however, it is better for the first few times that you play, you do it in turn order, to give a better learning of this phase. By the time we were playing the third time, we were able to do it simultaneously.
1. You pay an energy (moving your energy level on your player board to one less), and get the rewards (water tokens with or without victory points).Your energy level tracker moves forward when you built certain project cards.
2. Then, draw two cards (from the cards with airships pic); lower number is for the energy level, higher number for the movement of your airship in the Movement phase). These are your initial cards from the begining of your game ranging from 0-3. You can grow your deck and make it better throughout the game during the Action Phase.
Movement Phase: Blue area on the player board. This is done in turn order; you can only end your move only in cloud covering city hexagon where it is either empty or no airship; but another player token cube can be in the same hexagon. You can not land again in the same location later. You can fly over the hexagon with airship of another player.
How do you do it?
You move your airship with the higher number of moves drawn with the cards. Each time you have landed in a city with cloud hexagon shape, you place a player token to say that is a location you have landed. You can not land your airship on the space where is no cloud. You may need extra moves into certain hexagon with ressources.
When you land your airship in one of the hexagon shaped cloud area, you can choose to combat to gain either ressources or victory points or special cards (project cards that give you some bonuses when you build them).
You can not land if there is another airship in the same hexagon. You can land there is a player token place in it.
Action Phase: Yellow area on your player board. First player starts
You can choose one of the three actions to do:
1.Upgrade (your movements, your combat, your greenery ) and/or build a project card(as you long as you have the cost). First player gets two upgrades to do, the other players get only one upgrade
2. This is a unique idea-the cards in the plastic with clouds. Basically, as you fly above, clouds cover and hide the field, so you have to figure what is underneath . You look at the reference card to guesimate and predict the item you are searching for. First player decides which ressource he or she wants and places his/her token on it; the others do theirs in turn order. The first player looks the card with clouds and tries to determine which ressources are hidden under that cloud. Only one ressource per player(even first player). First player takes the card out of the plastic and adds it to their deck (cards used for energy and movement). The other players get their predicted ressource plus an upgrade or a discard options depending on the ressource chosen as well.
3 Your green tiles. During set-up, each player is given two green tiles.
First player gets to place two green tiles (if fully green) on the board, adjacent to their land or airship. They get the associated rewards . The other players only get to upgrade once .
So, to summarize, on your turn as a first player: you do the production phase(other players can do at the same time as well), then during the movement phase, you move first. You fly your airship to one of the hexagon shaped city (covered by cloud). Your number of moves depends on the card you picked during your production phase. Depending where you land, you collect rewards if you win the combat. Then during action phase, as the first player, you decide which one of the 3 actions you want to take. The other players have no say on this. Game ends when all player tokens are off the player board. One last round after that and scoring begins.
This is a board game, that took me a few trials (three) to understand and to enjoy playing. Now that I haved played few times, it has become easier to set-up and play.
But there are few questions that arise:
- None of the players were able to reach the highest level of energy level on the production board. Is this even possible? Are we missing something?
- The immediate actions on the project cards are only one time effect or at every time we do that specific phase?
- The highest victory points so far was in the 50,s( played 3 times ). What is the highest score you have scored?
Some questions to ponder until next game play…..
Lastly, I would like to say a big thanks to Gaming Rules!!