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    Mar 5th, 2014 at 19:30:47     -    Age of Empires II: Conquerors Expansion (PC)

    Game Analysis 2: Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings W/Conquerors Expansion

    Background Information:
    Age of Empires II is a Real Time Strategy game that allows the player to take the lead of one of several civilizations. The goal of the game is to complete all given objectives for each map. The goals, depending on type of game, varies from gathering certain amounts of resources to outright destroying their base. Age of Empires has two types of game modes: Campaign mode and Standard mode. In campaign mode, the player completes a set of scenarios that revolve around a historical event. There are several campaigns to choose from, such as Joan of Arc's rebellion against the British and the Downfall of the Aztecs. In Standard mode, a semi-random map is generated with a fixed number of players. The primary goal to victory is to destroy all other players. Other possible goals are to collect all relics on the map and build a wonder. When a game starts, the player is usually presented with a town center and three to 5 villagers. Using the villagers, the player must build the necessary buildings and military units in order to achieve the goal. Players must also gather resources such as food and gold for several purposes such as training units and building houses and military buildings. Players must also advance through the ages and research techs which unlock different things.

    Game Mechanics:
    Resources: Gathering resources is essential to winning the game. Resources include Gold, Stone, Wood, and Food.
    Ages: Starting in the Dark Age, these limit what techs, units, and buildings can be built. Advancing through the ages ultimately relies on gathering resources. The four ages are Dark, Feudal, Castle, and Imperial.
    Techs: Techs improve the team in different ways. Each tech can only be researched by building certain buildings.

    Game play 1:
    For the first play through, I chose only one other opponent. I chose Full random for the map generation and limited the population limit(max number of units) to fifty. When the game started, I had a town center, three villagers, and an Eagle Scout. The civilization chosen for me was the Aztecs and the map was generated based on Mediterranean geography. I immediately sent my villagers to start collecting resources and used my Eagle Scout to start exploring the areas around me. I also set my Town Center to create a new villager. After my villager spawned, I set it to gather food along with another villager in order to advance to the next age(which requires 500 food). Using my Eagle Scout, I found the location of my enemy's base, as well as some more sheep for gathering food. I also found a relic on the map, which I will obtain later when I have access to the Monastery. Noticing that I needed two Dark Age buildings to advance along with 500 food, I built a house and a Mill beside a foraging bush. The house adds 5 available units(which will only go up to 50), and the mill will allow me to collect food from foraging bushes and farms quicker. Noticing that a house didn't count toward my Dark Age buildings, I also had to build a mine that allows me to collect stone faster. After it was complete, I started my advance to the Feudal Age. I also built a Barracks for training melee military units, which will be used to defend from and attack my enemies. When it finished, I immediately trained three military units to boost my security. Being close to water, I built a dock, which allowed me to build food gathering fishing boats and naval ships such as Galleys and Galleons.

    At this point in the game, I patiently waited for my villagers to gather the needed resources to advance my civilization. Eventually I advanced tot the Castle Age, built an archery and workshop, and had about twenty melee and ranged units. The enemy's first attack came, which consisted of only a small amount of melee units and I was able to defeat them easily. I started to build a castle, which allows me to build the civilization's special military unit. The enemy continued to assault my base with small groups and managed to destroy one of my buildings. I sent a large battalion of my own to the enemies base for a counter attack. Unfortunately, it failed to destroy the base, but I did destroy their siege workshop. I immediately built up another battalion and advanced to the Imperial Age, the highest age achievable. This allowed full access to all research. I upgraded my units and sent them to attack my enemy again. After 4 or so ambushes, the enemy's town center fell, sealing their fate. After laying waste to their monastery, the enemy resigned from the game giving me the victory.

    Game play 2:
    For the second play through, I played through the single player campaign Joan of Arc.

    On the first scenario, my objective was to escort Joan to a certain location on the map. I followed the advice from the AI and made my way along the path to my goal. During my journey, I recruited different units that helped me get through obstacles, such as breaking down a wall and crossing a river. The scenario wasn’t very hard or eventful.

    The second scenario, however, was much more difficult. In this scenario, the player must escort Joan to the French city of Orleans to defend it from the British invaders. When the player arrives, he must build an army to take down one of the two castles built north of Orleans. What makes this hard is that the player has to both defend the city from two invaders and at the same time build a large enough army to take down the enemies castle. Once I arrived in Orleans, I was given a set amount of each resource to start building my armies. But I realized that it wasn't enough to take down the castle, so I had to send out my villagers to gather even more resources. I eventually was able to take down the castle stronghold with a mixture of archer, melee, cavalry, and siege units.

    Analysis:
    Overall, Age of Empires II is a fun and challenging game. Although it can become a bit stale and repetitive after a large number of playthroughs. The campaigns are also challenging and fun. The campaigns also provide historical lesson by depicting events that happened during the Medieval time period. One game mechanic about Age of Empires always bugged me, though. It would have been nice if there was an auto explore function for at least the scouting units. Without this, the player has to manually explore the map in order to reveal it, which could get irritating. I would definitely recommend this game to a friend.

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    Feb 10th, 2014 at 11:50:14     -    Amazon Solitaire (Other)

    Game Analysis 1: Amazon Solitaire

    Basic Information: Amazon solitaire is a single player game involving a standard deck of playing cards. For this game, the cards 2-6 and the king are removed. The goal is to stack the cards in the following order: Ace(A), 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack(J), and Queen(Q) for the Clubs(C), Spades(S), Diamonds(D), and Hearts(H) suits.

    Rules: To start off, shuffle the cards a couple of times, to ensure a random experience. After that, 4 cards will be placed facing up on the board. If the cards on the board do not contain an ace, then 4 more cards must be placed on the board from left to right. If an ace is playable, place it above the cards on the board, starting the stack. Repeat with 7-Q. Do this for all 4 suits. If all cards are dealt to the table, place the cards not already placed in the other stack from left to right back into the draw deck without shuffling. Once all cards are sorted into their respected suits, then the game is over.

    Run through 1:
    I start by shuffling my cards. I place the shuffled deck on my board and remove four cards, laying them face up on my board.
    First Play: {QC}, {9H}, {10H}, {QH}
    Second Play: {QC, AD}, {9H, JH}, {10H, 7C}, {QH, 7H}
    I received an Ace on the board, so I place it in my winning pile.
    Third Play: {QC, 8H}, {9H, JH, 8C}, {10H, 7C, 9C}, {QH, 7H, 10C}
    Fourth play: {QC, 8H, AC}, {9H, JH, 8C, 9D}, {10H, 7C, 9C, 10D}, {QH, 7H, 10C, JC}
    Another ace is revealed, allowing me to start my second deck.
    Fifth Play: {QC, 8H, AS}, {9H, JH, 8C, 9D, 7S}, {10H, 7C, 9C, 10D, 10S}, {QH, 7H, 10C, JC, JD}
    I have two cards I can play: an Ace of Spades is placed in my third winning collum. I also have the 7 of Spades playable.
    Fifth Play: {QC, 8H, QD}, {9H, JH, 8C, 9D, 8S}, {10H, 7C, 9C, 10D, 10S, 9S}, {QH, 7H, 10C, JC, JD, 8D}
    I can play the 8, 9, and 10 of Spades.
    6th Play: {QC, 8H, QD, JS}, {9H, JH, 8C, 9D, 7D}, {10H, 7C, 9C, 10D, AH}, {QH, 7H, 10C, JC, JD, 8D, QS}

    I can play the following cards: AH, 7D, JS, QS, 8D, 9D, 10D, JD, QD. I ran out of cards to play, so I have to return the unplaced cards to my deck from left to right.
    I repeated the process above until I sorted the entire playing deck, which only took 2 more deals.


    Run through 2:
    I repeated the steps setting up my board, reshuffling the cards. The process unfolded similarly. I started out finding my aces on the third placement. It took about 3 more deals to get my deck resorted.

    Final Analysis: The game was somewhat enjoyable. After the second play, I wasn't as excited as the first time I played it. I didn't feel I had any real goal for the game, other than resorting my cards. The game is good when you have to pass the time alone, which is the real purpose. Perhaps some rule changes could make this game better, such as shuffling the cards every time you have to start over, adding in a point system to compare it to other rounds, and maybe adapting it to a two player game. Also, allowing the whole deck may add fun and challenge. It needs something to draw the player into the game. Overall, Amazon Solitaire is another solitaire game that is simple to learn, but eventually becomes boring and stale after several playthroughs.

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    1Age of Empires II: Conquerors Expansion (PC)Playing
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