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Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization» Forums » Variants

Subject: 3 tactic cards separate decks variant. rss

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SPACEBOY
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Hi guys,

I'm not a super experienced Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization player, but I have played it at least 20 times now (partly online, partly with my physical copy) and I'm about to close an online order including this new version (which I played 2 times with a friend's copy) .

In this thread I read many opinions saying the improvements of this new version over the previous one are great, except new military rule changes don't end convincing everyone (please refer to that post if you haven't read it yet).

So, I wonder if a variant like this would work: at the beginning of the game all tactic cards are removed from their respective decks, shuffled separately to form 3 "tactics decks", and set apart, next to the military board.

At the start of each era (except era A), draw as many cards, from the corresponding military deck, as the number of players and put them face up in the military board, so all players may use them (adopting one or migrating from one to another), by spending a political action plus a number of military actions equal to the current era.

At the beginning of eras 2 and 3, all but currently-in-use tactic cards are removed from the military board (so players using tactics from previous eras won't loss their benefits until late, when using a political action to adopt a new one).

In this scenario, all players would always be able to choose from the same pool of "fixed" tactic cards, so luck-of-the-draw factor would be mitigated.

Personally, I don't understand why Vlaada insists with the randomization of military cards (maybe he just wants to keep the surprise element, maybe there's another explanation, who except him knows?)

Anyway, this is just a variant from the perspective of a geek (a truly fan of this game, by the way). Please let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading meeple
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Grant
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So, in a 3p game you would only have a fixed set of 3 tactics available to all players each age? Sounds like that could make certain military techs way more valuable and others practically worthless. The player who can't get the military tech needed to utilize the available tactics is really screwed.

I also don't think the tactics rules need changed in the new version. I think the ability to copy has solved the problem well enough.
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SPACEBOY
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Probably you're right. Maybe the fixed pool of tactics cards should have exactly one copy of each tactics card of the era currently in play. So, all types of tactics cards would be able for players to choose from, every game, but in the middle of the military board, only the ones currently used. When a new era begins, all but currently-in-use tactics from previous eras would be discarded and one copy of each tactics card of the new era would be placed face up next to the game board (in the "disposable tactics cards area").
 
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Kester J
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It sounds like a reasonable thing to try to me. It's already the case that only some subset of tactics are drawn in each game, and while this retains that random element, it removes the additional random element of who draws those tactics, and lets you know beforehand what you're aiming for. Games where e.g. only cannon tactics are available in age II would be rare enough that it'd be of the "interesting texture" kind provided by other random card draw elements in the game, rather than a real problem.

Do let us know how it goes if you try it.
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SPACEBOY
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Glad to hear this doesn't sound like an absurd idea to you: sometimes here at BGG it's difficult to bypass the "intransigent fanboy effect" laugh

I'll tell you how it works (I'm waiting for my copy of this new edition to arrive) meeple
 
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Tolis Koutsikos

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In the thread you linked, I'm getting that people criticize that some tactics are better than others (Age 2 vs Age 3), not how tactics work in general. Your variant doesn't directly fix that. If some tactics are indeed better than others, having all tactics available every game would only pidgeonhole everyone at following the exact tactic setup.

Also, the cost/opportunity doesn't feel right, one political action and X military actions to copy/play a tactic feels too harsh.

I also have a problem with "thinning out" military decks by removing tactics from them pre-game, it would make aggressions/wars more often. Just some thoughts.

 
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Ben Kyo
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FinrondFelagund wrote:
... sometimes here at BGG it's difficult to bypass the "intransigent fanboy effect"

Funny to hear this. In all my time browsing variants on BGG it seems that in nearly every case a bad idea for a variant from someone who doesn't understand the game very well receives quite reasonable criticism from people who do understand the game very well. Sometime the reasonable criticism is scathing, sometimes not, but even when an "intransigent fanboy" gets involved, it is only to make pointless jibes, which can easily be ignored in favour of the responses from patient, experienced geeks who take the time to pick apart the reasons why a variant is a bad idea.
 
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SPACEBOY
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tokou wrote:
...having all tactics available every game would only pidgeonhole everyone at following the exact tactic setup.


I don't find this to be true. You're ignoring 2 facts: 1) the order in which civil cards appear; 2) there isn't enough copies of military techs for all players can get exactly the same; and 3) even if there were enough copies, not everyone is going to select all of them from the card row over a lot of other good stuff.

My idea is just to reduce the random element of getting tactics cards.

tokou wrote:
...Also, the cost/opportunity doesn't feel right, one political action and X military actions to copy/play a tactic feels too harsh.


Agreed. I'll try my variant paying the same cost as described on the rulebook.

tokou wrote:
...I also have a problem with "thinning out" military decks by removing tactics from them pre-game, it would make aggressions/wars more often.


Certainly, It will make not just agressions/wars cards appear more often, but all the types of military cards.
 
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SPACEBOY
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Benkyo wrote:
FinrondFelagund wrote:
... sometimes here at BGG it's difficult to bypass the "intransigent fanboy effect"

Funny to hear this. In all my time browsing variants on BGG it seems that in nearly every case a bad idea for a variant from someone who doesn't understand the game very well receives quite reasonable criticism from people who do understand the game very well. Sometime the reasonable criticism is scathing, sometimes not, but even when an "intransigent fanboy" gets involved, it is only to make pointless jibes, which can easily be ignored in favour of the responses from patient, experienced geeks who take the time to pick apart the reasons why a variant is a bad idea.


You're right. Nevertheless, sometimes the patient experienced geeks doesn't see the same aspects of a matter that others, like me, sometimes can see.

It wasn't my intention to attack anyone.
 
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Jon Cleek
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I posted this on another thread, but how about this to build off your idea?

Take out all tactics from military deck. Shuffle one of each type at the start of each respective age and imagine a card row with five slots: 0MA, +1MA, +2MA, +3MA, +4MA. The first one (slot 0) costs MA equal to the age. The next one costs +1, and so on. When a round +1 turn is completed (e.g. 5 turns in a 4 plyr game - this way the "shift" doesn't happen on the same player's turn every round) shift all the cards down one spot (kind of like the regular card row), but never cheaper than their age (e.g. A2 tactic will always cost at least 2 MA). The card previously at the "0 slot" is still available for MA = age. When the new age starts, all the previous age tactics are still available at the cost of MA = age. The new age tactics are shuffled and ordered as described above. A3 only has 4 tactics, so the cheapest one starts at +1 (i.e. the "0 slot" is empty)

So the Mil Deck isn't "thinned out", thus increasing frequency of war/aggression, replace the removed tactic cards with filler cards that equal 1MA for tactic purchases only.

This still has a great amount of variability as some tactics will be very costly early in the age, and others will be available early, but a nice amount of consistency because any tactic is available to anyone if they want it badly enough or will wait for it.

This will probably add value to Mil Actions. So Con Mon, and blue war techs may increase in value... not sure. But I guess that's part of the beauty of this game. Any change has a trickle down effect to other cards, etc.

Haven't tested this. But the mechanic should work, but I'm not sure if the cost is correct or the "shifting down" timing is best. Those can be adjusted.
 
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