Endeavor: Age of Sail is the Second Edition of the 2008 release Endeavor. Players take control of a growing seafaring empire and set out to establish shipping routes, occupy cities, control connections between cities, gain assets and build buildings.
As well as taking control of the seas and far off cities players mustn’t neglect their status at home. Their empire will need to grow in industry, culture, finance and influence to be successful. Through exploration, shipping, colonisation and war players will control regions and resources all in an effort to gain the most glory.
Players control their seafaring empire through their own personal player board, where they keep track of their attributes (industry, wealth, culture, influence and glory), construct buildings, and gather asset cards.
Each round players will construct a building (based on their industry level), gain population (based on culture level) pay workers to free up buildings (based on wealth level), take actions and manage cards (based on influence level).
The five actions available are;
- Occupy - Take control of a city.
- Ship - Opens up new regions for occupation once the shipping track is full.
- Draw - Lets you take a card from a region.
- Attack - Kicking your opponent off an occupied city.
- Payment - To refresh occupied buildings.
Once a new region has its shipping track completed the region becomes open. The Governor Card is awarded to the player with the majority on the shipping track and gains the bonus on the card. Once the region is open then the cities and connections in that region can be occupied.
The game lasts for seven rounds and the player with the most glory wins.
Initial Thoughts on Endeavor: Age of Sail
The gameplay, theme and core mechanics of the original Endeavor have been preserved in the Second Edition. However, this is not just a re-skin of an old game with updated graphics. There has been so much more content added to the Second Edition.
First, the artwork has been upgraded and refreshed and looks gorgeous. The player board is now double-sided for different player counts meaning that the game scales better. There is also an official two-player variant included in the game, something the original did not have and one of the reasons I never looked at the original Endeavor.
One of the biggest additions is Exploits and the game can be played with or without them. If you're using them, three random exploits are picked and are based on a historical events based on the regions on the board. Once the specific region is open the exploits come in to play. Each exploit has its own game changing abilities and custom components. This increases the replay-ability of the game and drives players to adopt and change their strategy based on the available exploits. There is also a mini-expansion called Charter Companies. These allow players to build Charter Companies instead of a normal buildings which offer strong bonuses.
The addition of the two-player variant is what sold me on Endeavor: Age of Sail and convinced me to back. I always liked the look of the original Endeavour but never purchased due to it being a minimum of three-players out of the box. The game contains a mix of mechanisms including area control (capturing key cities and routes), resource collection (gathering assets to build up your empire), engine-building (constructing buildings) and action management (using population tokens and trade tokens) all packaged in to one gorgeous looking game.
The Second Edition was funded through Kickstarter and some of the stretch goals were outstanding. Each player has their own custom insert making set-up quick and simple. The building tiles also have their own insert. The player boards are recessed so stop knocking of components. All the components look to be produced to a high quality.
Endeavor: Age of Sail really stands out as a quality produced game with fantastic gameplay and replay-ability. The game is due to hit backers in Sept 2018 and I am super excited to receive my copy and cannot wait to get it to the table.