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Subject: Civilization game for me rss

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Brendan Newell
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I'm sure this question has been asked before and equally sure that there's no "right" answer. I just wanted to get a few opinions before making a purchase.

We recently bought Roll Through the Ages and I've got an aching for a civilization game. I've previously owned Sid Meier's Civilization (the 2002 version) which I actually rather enjoyed but never played regularly enough to spot all the problems with it. I also have played plenty of 4x games on the pc.

I've seen and read about various civ games here on bgg but none of them have really stood out as "the one that must be bought" and I'd really rather be sure before investing in an expensive game. Do I go for Through the Ages, Sid Meier's Civilization, Clash of Cultures, Eclipse, Twilight Imperium? Or is there something else I've missed?

Whatever it is, it really needs to play well with two players as it's often just me and one other.

Thanks for your comments
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Aradraug
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Go for Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game with Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game – Fame and Fortune. Never played better civ game.
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Jude Mapp
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Completely agree with the above poster. Clash of Cultures is also excellent, but just feels... restricted in comparison.
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Juuso Mattila
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Unless having a map and making direct warring with other players are your priorities, I suggest you wait for Nations to come out later this year before you make your decision.
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Ed Bradley
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Try and pick up the old Avalon hill Civilization. All the other civil games are still trying to match it.
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Brendan Newell
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Thanks for the suggestions.
The Avalon Hill one is probably going to take too long to play for my liking and I'd like to pick something up now - can always get Nations later if it's a good one.

I'll pick up the Sid Meier's Civ game and let you know what I think
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Thomas
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For two players then go with Clash of Cultures, hands down awesome game. Scales well too.
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Shane Larsen
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Since you don't mind the look and abstract nature of Roll TtA, I say go for Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. It plays excellent with two.
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Jonathan Challis
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Personally I would NEVER recommend either version of Sid Meiers Civilization or the original Avalon Hill/Gibson Games (Basic or Advanced). I've played them all, loved them all, own several and find them all completely and utterly surpassed by Clash of Cultures.

I also love Twilight Imperium and Through the Ages (my #1 and #2 games in fact) by they scratch a slightly different itch. I have no hesitation in recommending both, although in your case TI3 is far too long for you, and TTA probably is for more than a 2p game.

Of all of these TTA is honestly the only one I'd actually recommend for 2p though. As good as the other games are, for 2, I'd find something else to play.
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Michael F
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+1 for Sid Meier's Civilization

Yes it's better with more players, but still plays just fine with two. If you're looking for the game that most closely resembles the pc games of the same name, this is the one to get.
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C Bazler
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Kelanen wrote:
Personally I would NEVER recommend either version of Sid Meiers Civilization or the original Avalon Hill/Gibson Games (Basic or Advanced). I've played them all, loved them all, own several and find them all completely and utterly surpassed by Clash of Cultures.


Can you elaborate a bit on this? I had Clash of Cultures on my wishlist for awhile, but took it off when I realized that each culture is exactly the same. I like Sid Meier because of the different powers/advantages each nation has, which I also think are thematic and interesting. (The early advantages some players get are slightly better, but tend to be evened out later on by the other players, so I don't mind the imbalance.)

I just can't figure out why people prefer Clash of Cultures, but I've never played it, so maybe I'm missing something.
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Brendan Newell
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How do the three (tta, civ and coc) compare in terms of military in two player games? I can imagine things getting pretty one sided if one player is able to wipe out the others armies since there's then nothing to stop him attacking every turn.
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Jonathan Challis
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cbazler wrote:

Can you elaborate a bit on this? I had Clash of Cultures on my wishlist for awhile, but took it off when I realized that each culture is exactly the same. I like Sid Meier because of the different powers/advantages each nation has, which I also think are thematic and interesting.


If that is important to you, then yes Sid Meiers does that, and CoC doesn't. I have to say I actively prefer to NOT have starting differentiators, and have them all occur in play.

I prefer a balanced start to an assymetrical one, and would note that the only Civ game I do like with such an assymetrical start (TI3) has widely varying power balance issues because of it. It only (partly) gets away with it because this is one assymetric system of several and the table balances itself - far more than in say Clash, which is a more euro approach to a Civ game.
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Jonathan Challis
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brendannewell wrote:
How do the three (tta, civ and coc) compare in terms of military in two player games? I can imagine things getting pretty one sided if one player is able to wipe out the others armies since there's then nothing to stop him attacking every turn.


Civ being Civilization, Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame or Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game?

Of them all I'd say actually Through the Ages is the most brutal militarily, but with any number of players it's a great risk to fall behind militarily. You can reap rewards for doing so, but also your destruction, so choose carefully!
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C Bazler
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Kelanen wrote:
I prefer a balanced start to an assymetrical one, and would note that the only Civ game I do like with such an assymetrical start (TI3) has widely varying power balance issues because of it. It only (partly) gets away with it because this is one assymetric system of several and the table balances itself - far more than in say Clash, which is a more euro approach to a Civ game.


I can see that, and would still like to try CoC. The reason I like varied powers is that it gives you a different experience every time you play, and provides alternative approaches to victory. For example, it's very rare in my experience to see someone pull off a culture victory in a Civ game, but in Sid Meier it's not hard with a nation like India or China. Playing with Spain, on the other hand, allows you to travel fast, which can be advantageous in other ways.
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Moe45673
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The claim that Clash of Cultures has symmetrical starting civs is faulty. Yes technically Red and Blue civilizations are equal, but that drops off the table because of the objective cards.

FYI: The objective cards are worth 2 points at endgame and putting down as many as you can is a major step towards success.

Let's break this apart. You start the game with a random objective card. Guess what? Everyone else does too, and they're different than the one you have. Already you have some direction to work towards that differs from everyone else. Stating that all Civs start off equally is fallacious. The objective cards give you direction, same as starting as Spain or India in the FFG game.

Secondly, you will get 6-7 (possibly more, but rarely) objective cards in the game. Some of them will be nearly impossible to complete before endgame, due to how you've built up your civ. Don't expect to. Expect to get 3-5 fulfilled and if you can't, work towards other methods of victory (eg, go for cultural influence like mad). Also, the game allows trading almost anything with the other players, including objectives, and some action cards allow you to swap objectives with an opponent against their will

I just played my 13th game of CoC with a gamer who buys and sells games like mad and only has in his private collection the games he considers amazing. Sid Meier's Civ was one of them, and he's now selling it to replace with CoC. He said that CoC does everything SMC:TBG does except it's less fiddly has simpler rules, and plays quicker.

Also, I introduced CoC to a dyed-in-the-wool videogamer who had played a lot of Civilizations (one of those firm believers that Civ V is not a Civ game (he likes it, but it's not Sid Meier's Civ), and Civ IV:BTS is) and after playing CoC (2 player, mind you), he sat back astonished and said "This is a f***ing civilization game"

Something else I should mention is game length. CoC will take about an hour per player (less if all are experienced) and Sid Meier's is reportedly a bit longer. However, CoC comes with a short variant that takes 2/3 as long as the full game and gives you an experience very close to it as well, so you can scratch that itch in 2.6 hours with 4 players if need be! It also comes with a variable end-turn variant so you don't exactly know when the last turn will be, all but eliminating that typical Euro last turn pointgrab (I never play without this variant, unless playing the shortgame)

Finally, CoC looks prettier on the table. The map tiles pop more and are larger and are hexes, not squares. The placement of tiles makes the maps look more natural, you actually get rivers and coastlines! The cities are cool and are easy to see at a glance which ones are more powerful, the advance board is right in front of your face and there's no flipping through cards AP-ing while trying to figure out the best techs to acquire, and other fun features.



Addendum: Through the Ages is amazing but it's a Euro. It no longer scratches my Civ itch but I still love it as a resource management game, which it excels at.

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Brendan Newell
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Kelanen wrote:

Sorry, I meant Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game

Kelanen wrote:
Of them all I'd say actually Through the Ages is the most brutal militarily, but with any number of players it's a great risk to fall behind militarily. You can reap rewards for doing so, but also your destruction, so choose carefully!

Good to know. In actual fact it seems a lot easier to find a copy of Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game so that might just be the easiest option at the moment anyway. That said, people's comments seem to be pointing me in the same direction so we could have a winner.
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Jonathan Challis
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Moe45673 wrote:
The claim that Clash of Cultures has symmetrical starting civs is faulty. Yes technically Red and Blue civilizations are equal, but that drops off the table because of the objective cards.


To me at least, this is very different to an assymetric start with different civilisations. This is more akin to being able to pick leaders in play in TTA.

Don't get me wrong, I think TTA and Clash are much better games than either incarnation of Sid Meiers Civ, but I understand what the OP is asking for, and it's something that Sid Meiers delivers and Clash/TTA don't really.
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Sean McCormick
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I would recommend A Brief History of the World. It doesn't have a tech tree or have you playing one civilization from the dawn of time to the modern age (which is generally a ridiculous model), but it does a great job of playing out world history before your eyes, and it's easy enough to scale to two by simply giving each player control of multiple powers.
 
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Thomas
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Kelanen wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
The claim that Clash of Cultures has symmetrical starting civs is faulty. Yes technically Red and Blue civilizations are equal, but that drops off the table because of the objective cards.


To me at least, this is very different to an assymetric start with different civilisations. This is more akin to being able to pick leaders in play in TTA.

Don't get me wrong, I think TTA and Clash are much better games than either incarnation of Sid Meiers Civ, but I understand what the OP is asking for, and it's something that Sid Meiers delivers and Clash/TTA don't really.


Then it seems Eclipse is his best option then.
 
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Jeff Molander
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I absolutely love Eclipse, but I wouldn't call it a civilization game. Especially if he's gonna be playing mostly 2p, Eclipse is gonna get old after about the fifth game or so. It's really fun with 4+ players, but with 2 it's really cut-throat.
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Matt Brown
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CoC is more of a 4x than Eclipse is a Civ game.
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Donald Walsh
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Jonathan Challis
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Eclipse is certainly a good game for the right niche, but whilst it's arguably a 4x game, it's most certainly not a Civ game, and it sucks as a 2p game which is all the OP is going to be playing.
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M Hellyer
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Does "Clash of Cultures" have a really clever mechanism like the trading cards for resources in AH "Civilization" and "Advanced Civilization"?
 
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