Jeff A
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Edit: I guess my title isn't quite correct, I had hopes but wasn't expecting the greatness of computer civ in boardgame form.

I should say right off the bat that, like many of you I am sure, in my youth I played a lot of Civ, Civ2, Civ3 on the computer. That was when I could afford to spend an entire saturday or rainy day during the summer just playing a computer game... ahh those were the days.

Anyway, last night I played through the ages for the first time, with a couple of friends that had played it a few times already. We were short on time so we played the Advanced game, only to the end of the second age.
In the following please understand, I am fully aware that the full game may offer a different feel, I understand big elements of the game like Wars are left out of the type I played. That being said, a few of the things I felt about this game were.

1) I liked how it was easy to learn, yes as others have said, the fiddly nature of how you track things can be a bit trying, but I really didn't mind it. Really gave me the bean counting feel of a civ style economic management.

2) I kind of felt that the research system/building etc lacks something from what a person would really want from a game of the type. I have no idea how it could be made different, and doing that would probably just make everything way, way more complicated. But I didn't feel gratified in advancement. If I had no preconceived notions from Civ, I probably wouldn't have cared. It didn't sit well with me that by the end of the 2nd age I had just become a republic, my opponents were still despots, we hadn't advanced past Alchemy, but there was the transcontinental railway wonder available to purchase and build. It is almost like the entire game could have been played in a 3 part first age.
However that was just an impression, it didn't make it a bad game.

In the end I would like to play the game again, even if it was the advanced game a second time. I would really like to try the full game. I am betting that I should keep the expectation to really advance a civilization through its steps low, as I don't see that part changing.

I won by the way laugh, beginners luck, probably because I had a powerful military and raided my opponents once each, smacking back the buildings they worked hard to build. Oh and my first age leader being Homer, gave me an early point lead which faded as the game progressed.
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Daniel Corban
Canada
Newmarket
Ontario
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You will find that players tend to "skip" tech levels. If one grabs Alchemy, they will avoid Scientific Method. Skip Printing Press, but take Journalism.

As for new governments, it is very science intensive to change government. In an "advanced" game, I would probably either take Monarchy, or none at all. In a four-player full game, you will usually see players changing to Republic or Constitutional Monarchy as soon as possible.

As you have seen, the advanced game also favours those who pursue early culture. Leaders such as Homer or Michelangelo can be strong. The full game is very well balanced so that early culture comes at the expense of infrastructure by Age III.
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Riku Koskinen
Finland
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If you play only half the game, it's no surprise you you feel the civilizations didn't advance much. And like Daniel said, it rarely makes sense to develop all the levels of a same kind of technology. In an advanced game, if you have Alchemy already, getting it upgraded to Scientific Method does not really pay off before the game ends. However, upgrading from Alchemy to Computers in the full game is a common move. Also the age III wonders make sense a lot more than the age II ones in an advanced game. You profit from an age III wonder even if it's the last card of the deck. However, if Eiffel Tower triggers the last round, no one is going to build it.

That said, there is no technology tree in the game (there are no prerequisites for any technology) and the total amount of technology to be researched is quite small, so compared to the computer games it's quite different.

On the abstract level TtA is an excellent game. If you want more of the feel of developing a civilization, I'd recommend also trying Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game.
 
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Jack Smith
United Kingdom
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While there is no tech tree the cost of upgrading and the urban building limit reflects on any tech you have fallen back on. This sort of simulates a tech tree as there is an adjustment for any previous techs taken.

As said already the full game is a lot different than the advanced (which is badly named) as you have time to properly develop your civilisation and build up on the work you have done from up to the end of Age 2.
 
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