A second endeavor

The past two Mondays I have played Endeavor.  This is a somewhat recent game that saw a few plays when it was brand new, and then got quickly shuffled out of the rotation.   So its been fun coming back to it and giving it a second chance.

In case you don’t know, Endeavor is a shipping and colonization game.  The game is structured to be precisely 7 turns long.  Each turn you buy a development building, recruit workers, assign them tasks including colonizing, war making, shipping, and acquiring trade cards.  The map is nicely drawn, helping invoke the theme.  Players start in Europe and after some early colonization in Europe, begin shipping to various foreign pasts of the world.

Our first game (last week) was with just 3 players, but tonight’s game was with 4.  Endeavor can handle up to 5 players, and I believe it might be best with a full group.  Especially in our three player game, many distant lands were never opened for trade.  Even in our 4p game we didn’t touch a couple of the distant lands.  It just seems logical that with a fifth player the game would finally be running at full speed.  And this lack of scaling bothers me a bit.  I would rather not play Endeavor again as a 3p game.  I’ll agree to 4, but I think it would be better with 5.

At its heart Endeavor is a engine-building game.  So far I have not found the right mix.  I’ve finished a distant 3rd in both recent games I’ve played.  I also think Endeavor is largely a tactical game.  Certainly some long-term strategies, especially around what building you build is present.  But the activities of the other players open and close opportunities, and better players will observe and act upon the changing situation to their advantage.

Ultimately I feel Endeavor is not a long-term game for me.  I’d play it most anytime if asked.  But after these couple recent plays, my apatite is largely sated again.


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