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Subject: Cold war rss

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Miguel García
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I've only played 3 games so far, but overall, all of them have went the same regarding wars: a tense Cold War, everbody slowly builds their army until the final turns. We saw some minor skirmishes during the first one, but the involved players late came to lament them.

Basically, players only use their army to reach for temples on the final stretch. This might also create unfair advantages, because both attackers and target players will see their military strenght quite weakened and their temples will become easy targets for their neighbours.

And frankly, I see no way to change this:
-) If you "spend" your military against player B, both player B and you become weaker and will become automatic easy targets for all the other players.
-) Buying military (beyond the initial soliders you need to found cities) is a bad inversion if you don't intend to conquer or defend. You will force your neibourghs to build more army to defend against you, while the rest of the players will use these resources to develop their economic engine.

Have any of you experienced this? How do (or would) you solve this in your games?
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Francesco Simionato
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i had the same feeling last game i played (and it was my first game with antike).

Me and one of my oppened had a big fight (involving a lost of 5-6 unit) in the early game, than we started an arms race, while the other player take advantages build temple and research.

in the very last turn the cold war has become very hot and i destroyed 2 temple (attacking the other peaceful player) and almost destoying an other temple from the guy i was in "cold war".
this would allow me to take 3 VP + 1 (for controlling 15 city) and making me the winner.

unluckly, i didnt extimate the defence power of the very last temple and i "only" took 3VP.
the most peacful player won in that turn, buying his last VP with "Know how"




---As you may notice my English is far from being perfect, I apologize in advance for my English mistakes ----
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Paul Oakes
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You've described my experience of Antike perfectly. I played it about 10 times when it was first released then sold it because the game progressed in a completely predictable way.

Minor variations in what territory was controlled, who recorded various achievement bonuses etc. only modified the number of Temples you needed to burn at the end in a competent game - 1 Temple was excellent, 2 typical and any more had little chance of a win. Eventually we regarded the positioning of Temples as the biggest decision in the game - on frontiers allows armies to assemble quickly but they are a target, while deep in the interior makes them safe from attacks. For a game of this length and complexity it was disappointing that things were so repetitive, and it's a game I rarely see played anywhere I go.

Not playing it for years makes me agreeable to another game some time but I'm not in any hurry - I'm like this with a lot of games I've played to death in the past.

The problem with mutual annihilation isn't unique to Antike, but makes players pick their battlegrounds carefully. If you only need to destroy 1 Temple to win it isn't relevant, while if you need 3 or more you don't have the time to worry about this (unless your undefended Temple is enough for someone else to win). As losing a Temple doesn't cost points and the rebuild is quite easy I'd usually be happy with a rampage and counter-rampage sequence, and sometimes practically invited a neighbour to do this by leaving an undefended Temple while assembling a vast horde near targets.
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nick alter
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I just played for the first time with a number of newbs to board gaming and we had a great time. Instant thought was great game - have to buy it. But then reading the forums it seems that the repetitive last turn temple dash may be the standard way to play.

its a shame as it seemed a great fun game and we all enjoyed it. followed by fun debates on the merits of different positions and options.

has anyone cracked this or perhaps made house rules to optimise it ?



 
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Francesco Simionato
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Well, next october there will be a new edition of this game, with some changes in some rules and tec three... maybe that will solve our "problem"
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Miguel García
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After playing Antike Duellum, I see a number rules Antike could benefit from.

Still, this is an issue related to the core elements of the game and I don't think it will change.

I certainly like the 2 player game more.
 
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Don Lynch
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Nick wrote,
"its (sic) a shame as it seemed a great fun game and we all enjoyed it. followed by fun debates on the merits of different positions and options."

Nick don't give up on this game due to what other people are saying about it. Just because somebody wrote something here doesn't mean it's true. Find out for yourself how much fun it can be. The time you spent reading about what other people felt about the game could have been better spent playing a few more games yourself. The road not taken is there for the taking.

Been playing this game with my friends for over 7 years (and well over 4 dozen games, all with 4 to 6 players). Did reach a point where yes it did in fact feel a little stagnant, so took a break from it. Went back to find out it's better than ever. You can win without sacking a temple. Been there, done that, multiple times. See, after a while good players will realize the potential threats in various moves, and keep their strategy flexible to counter threats and make their own. Raises the game to another level. There is plenty of creative play left in the original game. For example, the last 2 games I played (6 and 4 player), I tried an opening strategy I had never used or seen used before (over first dozen or so turns). Won both games, the 6 player without sacking a temple, and the 4 player by sacking a temple last turn (and not boring at all). But it's all about the journey. If you play by rote, you're missing the point of playing a game.

ps> I stopped playing competitive chess when I found myself memorizing opening moves and games. Now that's boring. And there's only one victory condition in chess.
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Don Lynch
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By the way, just because I used the same opening strategy the last two games does not mean that I've broken the game or that I'll even use that strategy next game. Part of it was where I started, Phoenicia in the 6 player game, which includes of course where I was in relation to what all the other players were doing. You kind of have to be able to read into what other players are doing, even if they aren't aware of it themselves.

A couple of thoughts about the temple sacking business. It's not easy to sack a temple in the early part of the game, due to lack of available units in proximity to existing temples. And the lack of Know-How to take advantage of the situation. It's extremely hard to take out a temple early without having wheel and/or sailing. So by the time people have roads and/or navigation, there are a lot more troops on the board. The game may be entering its late phases when sacking a temple becomes actually more convenient to be the last thing done, due to useful/needed Know-How acquisitions and larger economies to build the many military units on the board.

Last game I played (Greece 4 player), there were already quite a few temples sacked before the last turn when I sacked one for the win. A couple of the players had already gained a few cards for temple sacking, one of them being also just one card short of victory. My last few turns went <temple> for a card, <gold> for 9, <know-how> spending 18 gold for all 8 know-hows (now a know it all) and a card, <iron> for 8 (the Phoenician had previously annihilated both our large fleets to take away my striking power, and thus concentrate on his Arabian war), <arming> 8 new fleets, and <manoeuver> to concentrate on and sack templed Paphos for the winning card, before someone could sack another temple and win. So even though it was my last act, there was no guarantee that the game wouldn't be over before I got to play. So not boring at all.

 
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