CIV-lite?
Lajos
Japan
Hachiouji
Tokyo
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One of my favourite game categories is that of the civilization games. Fortunately, there are many gamers who share this preference, resulting in a healthy market for the genre and a yearly crop of new games. The current Euro-craze, however, resulted in numerous attempts to create some Euro-CIV-hybrid or a CIV-lite. As pointed out earlier by Bankler - see: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/13822 - CIV-lite seems - at least for some gamers - to have become the holy grail of gaming.
This list is intended to discuss all possible CIV-lite contenders. The list is ordered by title. [I changed the sorting to rank on November 1st, 2006.] Before we can discuss anything, however, it might be useful to have some basic idea of what a CIV-lite game is (or should be). The easiest way to figure that out may be to describe the civilization genre first and then to determine in what ways the lite versions (should) differ.

Civilization games
1. Players control different civilizations / peoples.
2. The scale is epic: long periods of time and big chunks of land.
3. There is at least some (technological) development / progression.
4. Civilizations / peoples can fight each other.
5. There is at least some economics / production / trade.
6. There is a high level of complexity, a strong theme and lots of chrome.

CIV-lite
1. CIV-lite games are shorter than civilization games. While the latter generally take at least 8 hours, but often many more, the maximum for CIV-lite games is - let's say - 3 hours, but preferably much less.
2. There is a medium level of complexity and little chrome. Theme strenght may be slightly less than in full blown CIV games.

If we can agree on these basic characteristics of civilization games and CIV-lite games, there are 9 things that need to be assessed for each game to determine whether it is a possible contender for the CIV-lite title:
1. playtime
2. players control civilizations
3. epic
4. development
5. war
6. economics
7. complexity
8. chrome
9. theme strength
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