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Friday, June 14, 2013

Through the Ages - Card - Nikola Tesla/Bill Gates

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.

NOTE: Bill Gates replaced Nikola Tesla in a later edition of the game.  The card effects are identical, only the image and name were modified.  I wrote a brief biography of both.  And, just to satisfy curiosity, I have the version with Nikola Tesla!
Nikola Tesla/Bill Gates
Bill Gates
History
Bill Gates was born in October of 1955.  He is a leader and innovator in business, primarily focused on electronic computing environments.  Bill Gates' founded the company Microsoft, which is the world's largest software company in the world.  Through his leadership Microsoft came to dominate the personal computer market, and within a decade came to dominate the business world.

The Microsoft Windows Operating System runs the vast majority of computers in the world.  By making the operating system relatively inexpensive, capable of running on inexpensive hardware, and allowing the free market to dictate which programs would be successful and which would not, Microsoft has shaped today's business world.  Over its history Microsoft has been both criticized for its anti-monopoly techniques, but also praised for keeping certain computing environments free, namely the Internet browser market.

Bill Gates lives on (as of the time of this writing), so it is difficult to judge what his final impact on history will be, but as of now he is one of the most influential and powerful business leaders in the world.
Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 - 7 January 1943) was a Serbian physicist, mechanical engineer, and futurist who emigrated to the United States to work with Thomas Edison.  Tesla is most famous for developing an alternating current (AC) system which functioned well.  AC current allows us to use electrical power in our housing in a safe way.

Nikola Tesla experimented with X-Rays, vacuum tubes, radio signals and electricity.  Much of today's modern inventions are based on Tesla's inventions and patents.  Whereas most scientific discoveries, and many of the famous scientists of the past, were based on discoveries, Tesla's work focused on inventions.  Tesla made practical use out of theories.

Despite a mechanical and electrical genius, Tesla was a poor businessman.  He would become so focused on a given project he would forget all other responsibilities, and his business would collapse.  Although he achieved astounding success in creating inventions, including later patents on tilt rotor aircraft using turbine engines, his business life was a disaster and he died impoverished. 
Game Stats
BG/NT is only the second AGE III leader.  The card's ability turns labs into an ore production center.  Unfortunately, by the time Age III occurs, the time frame is so short there is little time to use the ore gained.
Opinions
BG/NT should greatly boost ore output, but given the short length of Age IV, the player needs to capitalize on it to maximize culture point production.  For this reason, BG/NT is great for finishing a Wonder or boosting to some of the high end buildings.  Expect the game to end shortly, however, so BG/NT will not be in play long.
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