Endeavor: Age of Sail - Review

Endeavor: Age of Sail - Review

After our Nauticus review, it's time to give it a try Endeavor: Age of Sail, a new German naval-themed management software.

We had already talked about it Endeavor, game for 2 to 5 players of Carl de Visser e Jarratt Gray, published in 2018 by Burnt Island Games e Grand Gamers Guild, in the in-depth analysis made by our Claudia, but with this review we will better analyze the dynamics.

Endeavor: Age of Sail - Review

Editorial history

The first edition of Endeavor, published by Z-man Games in 2009, it met with some success, to the point of being sold out within 3-4 years. The game is subsequently sold in the secondary market for collector's figures, until a new edition is announced in 2017, published on Kickstarter in two different versions: a basic, and a "deluxe", exclusive to KS with improved components.

The European version, Endeavor: the routes of the empire it is instead published by Skull Creations.

Endeavor: Age of Sail - Review

Endeavor: Age of Sail setting

We are in the middle of the colonial era, called to expand our empire by exploring different continents of the globe, establishing trade routes, occupying strategic points and facing other European powers.

On the domestic side, we will try to increase our levels of industry, culture, wealth and influence, as well as increase the number of settlers at our disposal and build new buildings.

The setting of Endeavor it is well rendered, aided by a main board full of maps, naval routes, connections and personal boards that will be populated with buildings and workers.

Endeavor: Age of Sail - Review


We immediately anticipate that the setup of Endeavor it is long and tedious, with 95 small cardboard discs to be placed randomly in certain spaces on the board (and an inevitable waste of time looking for empty spaces, when discs are left over). The new edition manages to save us time on the preparation of personal boards, including both in the version Retail than in the version Deluxe containers in which players will find ready-made all the components necessary for the purpose.

The game is of medium complexity but of short duration. The rules are straightforward, also suitable for occasional players (who, however, will initially be lost due to the quantity of components set) and a consultation of the rules during the game will hardly be necessary.
There are two mechanics that we liked the most about everything:

The first is the construction of buildings: an action that takes place automatically, for each player, once per turn (and indeed, is used to keep track of the turns played and mark the progression of the game).
At the beginning of the round, each player has the right to construct a building: the level of the building to be built, however, will be determined by the level of personnel reached in the “industry” track. This possibility offers progressive growth to all players, even those not interested in high-level buildings.

The second noteworthy mechanic concerns the distinction between "closed" and "open" regions. Closed regions have a row of actions that must be strictly "carried out" from the first to the last. Once the last action is finished, the region becomes "open": the governor's bonus is awarded to the player who contributed most to the opening and the region's actions will become available (this time without a predefined order) but only for the players who participated to the development of the region. This particular mechanic puts us in front of difficult and interesting choices: we can help open a region (even by taking a single action) to be able to exploit it in the future, but in this way we will help the opponent who wants to compete for the bonus assigned to the governor. To open it we may be forced to take an action that we do not need, when we could instead focus on the regions already available, trying to chain our placements in links that will provide valuable points at the end of the game.

We also found flaws: in addition to the excessive length of the setup, we believe that the four tracks (industry, culture, wealth and influence) to be increased are just a gimmick to simulate a certain freedom of choice on the development of our faction. Too bad that, for a winning strategy, it will be necessary to advance in all the tracks (which, moreover, are so interconnected as to force us to make homogeneous progress), and that paradoxically, having four tracks to be increased in a necessarily homogeneous way is practically equivalent to having a single track .

We would have preferred to be able to set winning strategies even by giving up some of the tracks, so that every game does not necessarily have to follow the same development.

Even the uniformity of viable strategies represents a (slight) problem: we realized how it is not possible to differentiate our game scheme too much from that of the opponents. Replayability, reduced in the original version, has been improved in the 2018 edition thanks to the introduction of missions.

Endeavor: Age of Sail - Review

A final consideration should be made on the cost of the game: with a list price of around 60 euros, the new version of Endeavor almost doubled the asking price for the first edition. From a title of 60 euros we would expect a box full of miniatures, but this is not the case and, despite the components of a good level, the asking price (even for the basic version only) remains completely unjustified.

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