Age of Artisans   Review and interview

Age of Artisans Review and interview

Kia Ora koutou and welcome to
our view of the expansion for architects of the west kingdom them age of artisans I’m
joined by the designer of their game sam mcdonald
hey everyone so Sam’s going to be with us at the end of the video to go through
a couple of questions that we’ve got on the game and he’ll also be joining us
for a podcast involving his games and other games later on and they’ll be a
link to that in the description below so here’s the video age of artisans is the
first expansion for architects of the West Kingdom annex run through what’s in
the expansion the good bits the okay bits but not so good bits so the first
thing the game adds are the pieces for a six player I’m not sure you’d want to
play architects of six players but you can if you want and at the very least
it’s two extra characters with their variable player starts and a new choice
of player color probably most significant addition to the game are the
adornments and tool cards these are multi-use cards with the yellow bar at
the top representing an adornment which is an improvement to a building and the
red bar at the bottom representing a tool which is an improvement to an
apprentice the way you get these is at the guild hall and the expansion comes
with an updated guild hall overlay your build buildings and improve the
cathedral as normal by placing a worker in the guild hall permanently but to
gain tools or adornments you have to place a second worker into the guild
hall but that worker is placed on top of an existing one tools cost you nothing
but the worker placed but adornments cost you two tax and three coins mix go
through how tours work first here we have the pickpocket apprentice when you
activate the tax stand you not only get the money from the tax stand you also get
a gold if you added this tool to the pickpocket you would not only get the
gold and the money you’d also get one stone each time you activate the tax
stand now of course the obvious combo of this is to add it to the stone cutter so
you’d get two extra stone each time you use the quarry these tools only activate
when the apprentice actually activates adornments on the other hand go on
buildings you have built and what they do is they give you two things first of
all they give you the bonus on the left immediately when the adornment is built
and at the end of the game they give you bonus victory points based on the number
of the Gold Flag the next most significant
change is the inclusion of artisans and artisans are like super workers each
player only gets one and they have three default powers first they count as two
workers on the turn they are placed next they reduce the cost of using an area by
two money and finally they negate the loss of one valor on a location where
they are used and while these are quite had the effects I didn’t find any of
them particularly game breaking all that powerful but speaking of the black
market there’s also a new overlay here this is the one location where you can
pick up a tool without permanently locking down a worker there’s also a
dozen new buildings many of which focus on the tools and adornments of extra
points as well as 12 new apprentices there are our two traders that allowed
you to trade for gold at the Kings storehouse as well as the abbot who
gives you extra money when you trade there’s a new pickpocket that gives you
extra money at the texts and and the antagonist who makes your placements of
the town center more powerful then there are the strongmen and each of these
provides a buff to your artisan character finally there is a look at who
improves your ability of the guardhouse and probably my favorite characters in
the expansion even forces who give you bonuses whenever you take capture
actions the last component edition and you sideboards for your player board
that have a wagon where you can store excess goods and show you the scoring
for tools and adornments but strangely my favorite change to the game is one
you can do without buying the expansion Architects has always had a little bit of
a first player advantage and one small change to the rules is that the last
player gets to pick an apprentice from those set up at the start of the game
and then in Reverse player order each player picks up an apprentice not only
does this address the first player advantage that existed in the game
before it actually gives you a start to your engine and someone you can put a
tool on from the start of the game although that’s a small change to the
game I think it’s a really really good one and for the solo mode the main
change is that whenever you draw a guild hall the AI player will take the most
expensive adornment they can and they’ll get the victory points for that at the
end of the game overall I think the age of artisans expansion is pretty good
with the adornments until us being the standout part of the expansion for me
I think they’ll add an extra decision point in the game and open up some fresh
approaches for people overall though I don’t think this expansion will fix
architects if you didn’t like to start with it’s very much the same
game still just with more options and more variety
if you fundamentally did not enjoy Architects of the West Kingdom this is not
gonna fix that for you what an entertaining video now gotta talk to say
about some of the things I thought in the expansion were really good some I
thought were not so good and so I thought we needed a bit more discussion
so said well my favorite things the expansion was these the adornments and
the tools can you give us a bit of backstory on the sort of design ethos or
you can put them together yeah so these are the craft cards and you can either
10 min to adornments or tools we kind of had this idea with paladins and I guess
circadians and Raiders as well that we really like multi-use cards yeah so
there’s two different ways of kind of getting rid of the cards so there’s
another layer of interaction there what we thought from the base game was that
money wasn’t as important as it should be
so by money you mean the coins because there’s the whole capture mechanism but
what you would find is people would round up a whole bunch of workers put
them in prison in it with this big pile of coins and in their life know what you
know if they didn’t have a black market or a merchant engine they didn’t have
anything to spend the money on and because the doorman’s cost five
doesn’t beer that’s another sink for that yeah exactly
exactly so and it’s another way of getting points it also encourages people
to build buildings right so they have to build in order to upgrade the
apprentices or their buildings but the thing that I like the most is the tools
because it allows the tool cards here it allows you to customize the princes like
crazy and there’s all these combinations that we probably haven’t even thought of
yet we’ve made sure that’s not overpowered because you can only make
use of them once per chance they trigger luck yes so in the video the example I
used was a plus or on a character that already gets plus also as soon as you
place them down sorry start this is your place in that person Down and boom, 3
right exactly yeah yeah so I think that is heaps of fun and people can make these
new kind of engines that weren’t really viable in the base game like they could
have a whole capturing engine with enforcers and with conspirators and
those sorts of people and they can attach all these tools to them
be earning lots of resources in ways that they wouldn’t have been able to do
and the base game yeah yeah that was my experience as well all right moving on
to the second one which is one of those try to convince me something so is the
the Artisan’s the meeple’s that have a few extra bonuses one of them’s
reducing the amount of honour loss you get one of them is reducing the cost of how
much a location costs to use and the third and final use is they cameras to
workers on the turn they are placed yes but there’s only one yep
tell me a story why is this better than I initially thought it was why is this
better well I think there are these lots of things that you can use them for but
but the main thing is that it gives players a power turn from time to time
yeah for example I’ll talk about the mines at
the mines your initial placement you can only get clay and you have the way for a
certain worker to get gold which is good and I think it’s balanced but sometimes
you just really need that gold and there might not be gold in the in the black
market and you can’t be bothered getting clay what are you gonna use it for so
you put your artisan in there and the mines you get that gold that you need
immediately the other thing that it does is it encourages people who may be a
little bit shy maybe a little bit good to go to the black market because I find
the black market very fun and they this allows them to go there without the
virtue loss although that will end up in prison but that’s a quicker way of
giving the guy back because he is gonna end up in prison and
then you’ll be able to get him or her back I’m not sure if a lthe artisan is a man or a woman but yeah and use you want to use it as much as possible yeah that’s
one thing I notice in games I’ve played a bit people avoid losing virtue
quite rapidly even though probably some of the stronger strategies involve
dumping that virtue down loading up on debts and then trying to
redeem yourself at the end game yeah and the one other thing about the artisan
which i think is kind of cool is we have these three new apprentice
cards which are called the strongmen and what they do is they they will buff the
artisan in particular so one allows the artisan when he’s
to avoid paying to coins and so if you’re right at the bottom of the virtue
track you’re avoiding to tax and to coins but you’re already losing you’re
already getting a two-point reduction with these four points yeah yeah yeah
exactly so you can have some other really cool engines around placing the
artisan capturing him back and then placing them again and that’s a valid
strategy as well come and the final one I wanted to cover was you’ve changed the
opening sequence of the game so now the first the last player gets to pick one
character from the previous row and in that counts back and I want to ask you
did you kick yourself when you originally put the game out and didn’t
have their role in as soon as I saw it I was like why give you if you play with
the expansion just change that role anyway just straight away last player
gets to pick an apprentice and it goes back round to the first player who gets
the last bucket apprentices for me so it kicks off
start your engine yeah that’s right and I think why we thought of it for this
expansion actually we have done it in paladins and thought why don’t we do
that but but also with the addition of the tools and there’s a black market
spot which allows you to buy at all without having built in the guild hall
yeah so with that with the addition of the tools then you want players to have
an apprentice already that they could put a tool on from turn one yeah yeah
there makes makes perfect sense all right so if you wanna hear a bit
more from Sam about his games and a whole bunch of other things check out
the podcast and I’ll link to that in the description below and you enjoyed this
video like it subscribe to the channel and support us on patreon

18 thoughts on “Age of Artisans Review and interview

  1. This is a different format to normal as we had Sam in the studio for the podcast, so i thought i'd combine the short summary of the expansion with an interview. Also, here's a link to our podcast page where you can hear more from Sam, including a big announcement for the west kingdom and our discussion on variable player powers.

  2. I really liked this game, but I don't like it as much with 2 and that's the player count I'd be able to play it at the most.

  3. Love that you got Sam on to talk about the expansion. I love Architects and it was great to see the way Sam thinks and I look forward to hearing more from him on the podcast. I love the apprentice draft mechanic, but would you use it in the solo variant and how would that work?

  4. Where did you hear/read of your second-mentioned artisan power (reduce the cost of using an area by 2 silver)? After reading through the rules I've seen no mention of this power. Did you confuse it with the strongman apprentice ability?

  5. Artisans do not have the 2 coin discount by default. My bad, Sam was clearly too polite to correct me at the time. I got confused clearly because id just played a game where i had the strongman apprentice with the discount.

  6. Great little video. Even though the game isn't my cup of tea it was really interesting to hear about the thinking behind the expansion. Would love to see more of this sort of thing. Good stuff (as always)!

  7. I like this sort of expansion. It adds a bit of a different spice to the game, to give it more legs, rather than change it too much of over complicate it. I'll definitely use the start draft of apprentices anyway in future games. Good interview.

  8. Artisans and Paladins has been on my "to buy" list for some time, having watched your top video I have just ordered on-line (not from tax avoiding Amazon which I never use). That was such a good review with your main man Sam!

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