Played my first 4 player game of Roll Through the Ages official last night. I've played the solo game quite a bit but I quickly discovered that the multiplayer game plays a bit differently!
What development should be purchased first and why?
Board & Card Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who like playing board games, designing board games or modifying the rules of existing board games. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
First off, I'm assuming you're playing The Late Bronze Age version (which is far superior to the game as sold off-the shelf – It's very clear that The Late Bronze Age version of the game is what was originally presented to the publishers, and they felt the need to "simplify" it to reach a wider audience by removing several really nifty mechanics).
Given that, Irrigation is the simplest first pick, although Leadership can be almost as good, if you're a little lucky and use it well. If you can leapfrog to Quarrying, that's a great start (it'll help you buy better advancements, and it combos very well with Engineering and Architecture later in the game). If you're playing with three or four players, get Medicine ASAP. It will save you at least 3 points in penalties.
...and that's my 2 cents.
I start off with Quarrying if possible. It can rack up a lot of money towards developments. Even if you only get an extra "bump" per turn (as opposed to one extra "bump" moving on the Stone track, when you acquire up 7+ goods), it's still a good chunk of money.
When you or other players roll more Empire Dice, then get some protection against, those Disasters.