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Subject: Question: Nations vs TTA rss

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MS-06 Zaku II
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My friend Buzz and I was debating which one was "better" (or best fit to our group), based on Rahdo's video reviews...we have sort of discussed about war mechanism, gameplay streamline, game length, price of the game, but no conclusion was drawn.

Your contributions are welcome
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Paul Oakley
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It depends.
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Christoph M.
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To each their own.

For me, it's Nations:
* faster
* shorter
* better accessibility (i.e. complete knowledge of all cards is not needed - TTA has very strong cards/card combos you need to know beforehand)
* more freedom (you are not forced to go military if another player does)
* higher replayability (different nations; only a fraction of the available cards come out each play)
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Richard Ham
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I'd say pick TTA if you don't mind a longer game, want a more predictably strategic experience (since every card will come out every game), and want more aggressive conflict and attacks, plus more complex (not necessarily deeper, just more complex) gameplay.

Pick Nations if a shorter length is important, you don't want harsh warfare, or you appreciate smoother streamlined play, prefer more tactical play (because you can't be sure what cards will appear in game), or if downtime is an issue for your group.

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Scott Seifert
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Well, as to the fact that not every card is used in Nations, you could pick just barely enough cards to cover each age, reveal them to the players, and then use those. If memory is an issue, leave the next ages' (or even next rounds') cards revealed.
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golden_cow2 wrote:
Well, as to the fact that not every card is used in Nations, you could pick just barely enough cards to cover each age, reveal them to the players, and then use those.


Is this really a problem? With TtA it MATTERS that a certain number of Iron cards (or whatever) are going to be coming out because you really need some specific cards. That doesn't seem to be the case with Nations. And with TtA, even if you know certain cards come out in a certain age, if they come out at the end of the Age then they might as well have not come out at all.

One reason that I think I'll prefer Nations that I haven't seen mentioned yet is the final scoring. Nations uses a more traditional system while TtA uses an incredibly "random" method of handing out large piles of points at the end.
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Chris Coyote wrote:
To each their own.

For me, it's Nations:
* faster
* shorter
* better accessibility (i.e. complete knowledge of all cards is not needed - TTA has very strong cards/card combos you need to know beforehand)
* more freedom (you are not forced to go military if another player does)
* higher replayability (different nations; only a fraction of the available cards come out each play)


thumbsup

Anyway you'll have to buy them both if you like Civ' games. Nations is easier to start with.
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golden_cow2 wrote:
Well, as to the fact that not every card is used in Nations, you could pick just barely enough cards to cover each age, reveal them to the players, and then use those. If memory is an issue, leave the next ages' (or even next rounds') cards revealed.


Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.

Silk and Coinage do the same exact thing in Age I. How many other of the 344 "unique" cards have copied effects? Even stuff from Age 1 to Age 4 are very similar. Seems like this game just has us spending 3 hours of gameplay to just get marginally better at converting Gold/Ore into points along the Culture/Military/Stablilty to eventually gain Victory Points.

What does this really do that 7 Wonders hasn't already done for us in a fraction of the time?
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Marco Chiappa
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Evenhope wrote:
golden_cow2 wrote:
Well, as to the fact that not every card is used in Nations, you could pick just barely enough cards to cover each age, reveal them to the players, and then use those. If memory is an issue, leave the next ages' (or even next rounds') cards revealed.


Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.

Silk and Coinage do the same exact thing in Age I. How many other of the 344 "unique" cards have copied effects? Even stuff from Age 1 to Age 4 are very similar. Seems like this game just has us spending 3 hours of gameplay to just get marginally better at converting Gold/Ore into points along the Culture/Military/Stablilty to eventually gain Victory Points.

What does this really do that 7 Wonders hasn't already done for us in a fraction of the time?



+1 !!!!
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Chris Wood
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Whoa, I hope this is not the case. I hate repetitive, unthematic upgrades. Especially for a civ game, everything should be unique. Please let us know if this is the case. If it is, this will go from my must-have to don't-bother.
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Richard Ham
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Evenhope wrote:
Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.


Your example of dupe resource generating cards is certainly true (battles & golden age bonuses are always the same), but the wonders and leaders continually provide new abilities throughout all 4 ages, and there's a higher percentage of these unique card types than there are of the standard resource generating types. And even where you've got duplicate cards, paying 1 gold for silk is very different than paying 3 gold for coinage, depending on how the cards come out. And of course, each game feels very different depending on the distribution of the cards. A game with lots of duplicate resource golden age cards feels very different than a game where they almost never come out. That's where the real variety comes from...
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Rafael Hannula
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rahdo wrote:
Evenhope wrote:
Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.


Your example of dupe resource generating cards is certainly true (battles & golden age bonuses are always the same), but the wonders and leaders continually provide new abilities throughout all 4 ages, and there's a higher percentage of these unique card types than there are of the standard resource generating types. And even where you've got duplicate cards, paying 1 gold for silk is very different than paying 3 gold for coinage, depending on how the cards come out. And of course, each game feels very different depending on the distribution of the cards. A game with lots of duplicate resource golden age cards feels very different than a game where they almost never come out...


+1

Nations is very well balanced game and there isn't that much super cool abilities or perks but the tension comes from competition, scarce resources, screwage etc.

If you play with advanced/expert decks there will be more deviation (for example Dreadnought which costs loads of stone but provides lots of strength)
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Chad Ackerman
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rayffis wrote:
rahdo wrote:
Evenhope wrote:
Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.


Your example of dupe resource generating cards is certainly true (battles & golden age bonuses are always the same), but the wonders and leaders continually provide new abilities throughout all 4 ages, and there's a higher percentage of these unique card types than there are of the standard resource generating types. And even where you've got duplicate cards, paying 1 gold for silk is very different than paying 3 gold for coinage, depending on how the cards come out. And of course, each game feels very different depending on the distribution of the cards. A game with lots of duplicate resource golden age cards feels very different than a game where they almost never come out...


+1

Nations is very well balanced game and there isn't that much super cool abilities or perks but the tension comes from competition, scarce resources, screwage etc.

If you play with advanced/expert decks there will be more deviation (for example Dreadnought which costs loads of stone but provides lots of strength)


Ah, dang! That's what I was afraid of. I guess it's just not my cup of tea. I like me my thematically driven special powers! Helps to add some spice to games.

This is still something I'd like play, but definitely not buying it up front. Thanks for the feedback!
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Michael Denman
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Considering that we're in a TtA vs Nations thread, I'm not sure I see why anyone is stressing over thematic powers. Surely Nations has more variety than TtA does, doesn't it? And Nations even has special abilities for each player/country which TtA doesn't have.
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Chris Wood
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That blows. If the guy who made robinson crusoe and stronghold did a civ game, I would buy it instantly. I think his name is Ignacy. He is the ultimate marriage between euro mechanics and theme.
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I noticed on Richard Ham's runthrough that the Civs he was using (Persia and Egypt) only had 4 spots for buildings/techs, and if you want to build new stuff you have to build over top.

Does that feel limiting?

Do any of the other Civs (Rome, Greece, China) have additional slots for buildings?
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Christoph M.
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Evenhope wrote:
Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.


basic cards are identical.
advanced and expert aren't.
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Chad Ackerman
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Chris Coyote wrote:
Evenhope wrote:
Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.


basic cards are identical.
advanced and expert aren't.


Take this image for example:



Are these all basic cards? Because there are very little mechanical differences among all of these and they span through all four ages. If these are basic, then what are some good examples of the advanced/expert cards that can really change up the gameplay when compared to these?
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Rafael Hannula
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WBuchanan wrote:
I noticed on Richard Ham's runthrough that the Civs he was using (Persia and Egypt) only had 4 spots for buildings/techs, and if you want to build new stuff you have to build over top.

Does that feel limiting?

Do any of the other Civs (Rome, Greece, China) have additional slots for buildings?


B-sides have 4-building/military spots whereas A-sides have 5 spots.

It doesn't feel that limiting. It just generates more interesting situations because you can't preserve everything
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Christoph M.
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Evenhope wrote:
Chris Coyote wrote:
Evenhope wrote:
Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.


basic cards are identical.
advanced and expert aren't.


Take this image for example:



Are these all basic cards? Because there are very little mechanical differences among all of these and they span through all four ages. If these are basic, then what are some good examples of the advanced/expert cards that can really change up the gameplay when compared to these?


These aren't. but they differ in production value - that's ok and enough for production buildings.
What do you expect? Special rules for every card à la A Study in Emerald?
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Rafael Hannula
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Evenhope wrote:
Chris Coyote wrote:
Evenhope wrote:
Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.


basic cards are identical.
advanced and expert aren't.


Take this image for example:



Are these all basic cards? Because there are very little mechanical differences among all of these and they span through all four ages. If these are basic, then what are some good examples of the advanced/expert cards that can really change up the gameplay when compared to these?


Yeah, buildings don't differ very much. The interesting situations arise when there is shortage of some resource.

The abilities are on advisors/wonders but the main difference and deviation between games comes from card distribution. Which resources are scarce/how many military cards comes into play/which events etc.
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Chad Ackerman
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Chris Coyote wrote:
Evenhope wrote:
Chris Coyote wrote:
Evenhope wrote:
Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.


basic cards are identical.
advanced and expert aren't.


Take this image for example:



Are these all basic cards? Because there are very little mechanical differences among all of these and they span through all four ages. If these are basic, then what are some good examples of the advanced/expert cards that can really change up the gameplay when compared to these?


These aren't. but they differ in production value - that's ok and enough for production buildings.
What do you expect? Special rules for every card à la A Study in Emerald?


Not necessarily, but do nearly all 344 cards have to strictly be about spending (a amount of b resource to get c amount resources d)?

For instance, in Age 1, if you're heavy Military you can take over territories to be able to get x of some amount resource every round. Are territories in the later rounds all just better versions of the Age 1 territories to get more resources? Or are there some that give you an extra worker for free, or "whenever you start a war your opponents must give you 1 gold or lose 2 ore", or "score 1 victory if you own the Pyramids", or "if you conquer this territory with any submarine workers you get x bonus of whatever".

I guess I'm hoping there is more stuff like that to make the stuff you invest in have some potential other bonuses within gameplay.

Another example could be if your nation bought silk. Instead of just discarding it for its immediate effect, maybe there could be other cards that give you a bonus for having silk in your nation.
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Richard Ham
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Evenhope wrote:
Take this image for example:



Are these all basic cards? Because there are very little mechanical differences among all of these and they span through all four ages.


Yes, structurally the buildings are the same, but functionally in the game, what you can do with them is very different.

Earning ore (increase your ability to build structures) + stability (up your chances of wining events and avoiding war damage) is *very* different than food (maintain greater population) + money (invest in more new tech), or money + ore, or stability + culture, or food + etc.

And the fact that in a given game, only a fraction of all the buildings will come out, and in a completely different combination every game, means that the avenues for success will be very very different every time you play.

Then layer in the truly unique cards (wonders and leaders) that will also make every game radically different, and... well... you know how where this is heading
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rahdo wrote:
Evenhope wrote:
Take this image for example:



Are these all basic cards? Because there are very little mechanical differences among all of these and they span through all four ages.


Yes, structurally the buildings are the same, but functionally in the game, what you can do with them is very different.

Earning ore (increase your ability to build structures) + stability (up your chances of wining events and avoiding war damage) is *very* different than food (maintain greater population) + money (invest in more new tech), or money + ore, or stability + culture, or food + etc.

And the fact that in a given game, only a fraction of all the buildings will come out, and in a completely different combination every game, means that the avenues for success will be very very different every time you play.

Then layer in the truly unique cards (wonders and leaders) that will also make every game radically different, and... well... you know how where this is heading


And perhaps that's all this game needs to be. I want to play really bad so I can see it for myself!

Thanks for the great review of this, Richard! I love and greatly appreciate all your hard work with your Rahdo Runs Through series. You rock!!!
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Rafael Hannula
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Evenhope wrote:
Chris Coyote wrote:
Evenhope wrote:
Chris Coyote wrote:
Evenhope wrote:
Is it just me? Or do all these cards pretty much all do the same thing from age to age? It seems like there is a real lack of room for thematic special powers to give to cards in this game to make them feel unique and relevant to the thing they are trying to emulate.


basic cards are identical.
advanced and expert aren't.


Take this image for example:



Are these all basic cards? Because there are very little mechanical differences among all of these and they span through all four ages. If these are basic, then what are some good examples of the advanced/expert cards that can really change up the gameplay when compared to these?


These aren't. but they differ in production value - that's ok and enough for production buildings.
What do you expect? Special rules for every card à la A Study in Emerald?


Not necessarily, but do nearly all 344 cards have to strictly be about spending (a amount of b resource to get c amount resources d)?

For instance, in Age 1, if you're heavy Military you can take over territories to be able to get x of some amount resource every round. Are territories in the later rounds all just better versions of the Age 1 territories to get more resources? Or are there some that give you an extra worker for free, or "whenever you start a war your opponents must give you 1 gold or lose 2 ore", or "score 1 victory if you own the Pyramids", or "if you conquer this territory with any submarine workers you get x bonus of whatever".

I guess I'm hoping there is more stuff like that to make the stuff you invest in have some potential other bonuses within gameplay.

Another example could be if your nation bought silk. Instead of just discarding it for its immediate effect, maybe there could be other cards that give you a bonus for having silk in your nation.


Yeah, unfortunately there aren't bonuses although there is some wonder/advisor combinations which may work well together. This isn't game of synergies, combos, bonuses etc. This is just a very good and well balanced euro civ game
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