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Furry Fox
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Situation:
None of us have played the game, yet. We are:
- Player 1 (boardgamer guy, rulesguy)
- Player 2 (boardgamer girl)
- Player 3 (non-boardgamer guy, eager but little experience)
- Player 4 (non-boardgamer girl, hates even medium-heavy games)

P4 always complains when I bring over medium-heavy boardgames, e.g. Dungeon Petz/Terra Mystica, and generally either doesn't try at all or gives up mid game.

But now she found out that I have Civ - a computer game she grew up with - and she is determined to play it. I already warned her that it has a lot of rules and parts and takes a long time to play but this didn't stop her from insisting. She even wants to read the rules in advance.

Plan:
I will read the rules at least twice to make sure that I don't have to look up any rules during the game, will give her the rules to read. I also found the CardcoreGamer video on Youtube, and will give P3 and 4 the link. If I have time, I will also play a short game with P2 first, to see it in action.

Suggestions?
Any other suggestions to make this go over smoothly? Especially interested in:
- downtime reduction?
- effective ways to explain the game?
- reduce bad luck/unfun aspects?

P3 is always interested in heavier games but it's probably the only chance we have to get her interested/motivated to play non-party games.
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JH
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• Print out the Universal Head game sheet for easy rules reference
• Avoid combat as much as possible in the early rounds, aside from villages; I find Civ combat to be a weak point of the game and it'll slow things down even if you like it
• Let Player 4 play one of the stronger civs, like Russia, that has a clear path to victory
• Emphasize that things like trade collection, tech selection, etc., are simultaneous, not in turn
• There's a variant rule, I think in Wisdom and Warfare, that keeps the Wonders updated even if no one's buying them—might want to check that out
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Mark Bauer
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Best advice I can give:
Setup the game in advance!! It is kind of a chore since the mappieces have to be shuffled and properly aligned, cards need to be shuffled and sorted and maaany maaany token need to be distributed and stacked. This always takes me by surprise again that it takes really long. Better do that before the others are coming.
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Furry Fox
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Setup: I have now put all starting parts for each colors in a bag, organized everything to be easy to set up and shuffled the cards. That is probably the best I can do, since we will not play at our house.

Universal Head: Will do.

Combat: Good to know. Don't certain Civs suffer a bit from this? (Germany, Russia)
But I think the girls are combat averse anyway (except maybe to crush me, which is fine).

Simultaneous: Good to remember, that should save some time.

Wonders: I will look into this.


Thanks a lot. I'm sure these things will already help a lot but I'm glad for any additional ideas.
 
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Tibs
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Play another game. Civ is more than medium-heavy. And since none of you have played, it's going to be long and awkward. Player 4 will hate it, and will probably never want to trust you to play any other game again.
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tom franklin
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My first thought was, "Don't. Choose another game." However, if she's determined to play, she should have the incentive to stick with it.

In general, I always teach a game by going through the How to Win scenarios and then going through the stages of a turn and how to plot out a win.

With Civ I would suggest a few things:

* Go through the Civ Forums here on BGG and download and print out "Civ_player_aid_v4.pdf" and/or the "Boiled_Down_Civ.pdf". These give a good Turn Summary that will hopefully cut down on questions and confusion.

* Review Battle with an open-hand demo. Make a list (or add to the Player Aids) of which group trumps which group.

* When reviewing Techs make sure to mention the relationship between Techs and Buildings and Stacking Limits.

* PlayCiv.com has two great summary sheets: one on Techs (http://www.playciv.com/images/help/Civ_Tech_FF-WW.-2.jpg) and one on just about everything else. (http://www.playciv.com/images/help/Civ_Tech_FF-WW.-1.jpg) Print copies of these for everyone as well.

Let us know how it goes!
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JH
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EternalFury wrote:
Wonders: I will look into this.

A simple way to do it is, every time any player passes into a new section of the Culture track (where it gets more expensive), replace a remaining Wonder on the market board from the previous age (there are three sets of Wonders, Ancient, Medieval and Modern) with the top Wonder of the deck. Keeps things moving and puts a time crunch on getting earlier Wonders.
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Mark Bauer
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Sarcasmorator wrote:
EternalFury wrote:
Wonders: I will look into this.

A simple way to do it is, every time any player passes into a new section of the Culture track (where it gets more expensive), replace a remaining Wonder on the market board from the previous age (there are three sets of Wonders, Ancient, Medieval and Modern) with the top Wonder of the deck. Keeps things moving and puts a time crunch on getting earlier Wonders.

You're sure it's wise to yet add another rule and thing to keep track of to the game when complexity is already an issue for one of the players?
 
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JH
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It's up to them. I like to keep the Wonders fresh, but it would be just one more thing to remember.
 
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Furry Fox
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Ok, we did it. It was no problem. That she already knew Civ quite well, definitely helped a lot.

But there sure are a ton of small rules to remember and reading up on them took quite some time, even though I thought I had a good command of the rules. The game took us 5.5 hours including rules explanations and I could easily see it drop to 3h if everyone knows the rules and the cards.

I narrowly won with a culture victory and P2 was missing only the level 5 technology. The other two weren't far behind but made the mistake of diversifying too much into several win conditions.

Thanks a lot for the advice.
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JH
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Glad you had fun! Five hours for a 4P game seems pretty good for a first time. My wife and I had it down to about 2 hours with just the two of us.
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