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Subject: Few questions on drawbacks of TTA rss

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TJ H
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I have heard several drawbacks of TTA. I am wondering if they are true.

1. For 2 player games, if one extremely focuses on military, another player have no choice but to do the same? In this case, is it true that other aspect of TTA (culture/science) are less utilized ?

2. For 3 player games, is it true that leading military player often have incentives to attack the weakest military player (likely to be the weakest player) so that he can gain what he wants with lower cost?

3. For 4 player games, is it true that it has very high level of downtime? (resulting in very long playtime)
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Bryan Thunkd
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1) I'm not sure that you can ever ignore military in any player count. It's generally a bad idea to fall very far behind militarily.

2) Everyone has an incentive to attack the weakest military player. Being last in military is the suck seat.

3) Yes.
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Shawn Fox
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There is certainly some significant time in face to face games between turns in 4 or even 3 player games, but most of the time you need to pay pretty close attention to what the other players are doing. What cards did they take, how they use their resources, etc gives a great deal of insight into their strategy which then helps to drive the decisions you make on your turn. That isn't even mentioning the think time that you have to consider your next moves while other players are playing.

Anyway, all of that being said, I often find that my mind is very busy while other players are playing and the time between turns passes pretty fast. Certainly there are turns where someone has some brain lock and the wait can feel interminable, but that really depends on who you are playing against.

The worst is when someone keeps backing out their moves to completely change what they did, especially when they are going right before you and you really want a card and are hoping they don't take it. The stress can be pretty intense.
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John Bradshaw
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xlist21 wrote:
I have heard several drawbacks of TTA. I am wondering if they are true.


The main drawback to TtA is the addiction level. I am currently trying to wean myself off the game via crack cocaine then heroin etc. laugh

xlist21 wrote:
1. For 2 player games, if one extremely focuses on military, another player have no choice but to do the same? In this case, is it true that other aspect of TTA (culture/science) are less utilized ?


The 2p game, between experienced players, becomes almost an out and out war game. It's still excellent, though I prefer the nuances of the 3p and 4P games. There is the option of playing a peaceful variant, where aggression and war cards are removed - possibly useful for beginners or games in a family environment.

xlist21 wrote:
2. For 3 player games, is it true that leading military player often have incentives to attack the weakest military player (likely to be the weakest player) so that he can gain what he wants with lower cost?


I just completed a 3P game today, on BGO (Boardgaming Online) where I was the strongest military player (by quite a margin) for the crucial final third of the game. I came last(!) 1 pt behind the two dead-heat winners. Awesome game! There's no guarantee the strong player can "take what he wants". He needs the appropriate aggression and War cards, and to hope that the opponent doesn't have defence cards - or - perhaps the weaker military player has already built up an unassailable lead with a huge VP engine. It's a fascinating game.

xlist21 wrote:
3. For 4 player games, is it true that it has very high level of downtime? (resulting in very long playtime)


Yes it has high downtime and long playing time. I question that long playing time is a downside. We're gamers right? So we like playing games - yes? So - if a game is really good (and TtA is really great) why would enjoying yourself for (say) 4 hours be a lesser experience than enjoying yourself for 90 minutes?? (Ok - you may not be able to fit a long game into your schedule - fair point.)

IMHO TtA is the finest board game yet devised. I've played it more than 600 times (mainly on BGO but several face-to-face games also), and I still get a thrill at the start of every single game, wondering how my nascent Civ will develop this time...

(Edit for spelling)
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Jason Arnold
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Seghillian wrote:
xlist21 wrote:
I have heard several drawbacks of TTA. I am wondering if they are true.


The main drawback to TtA is the addiction level. I am currently trying to wean myself off the game via crack cocaine then heroine etc. :laugh:

xlist21 wrote:
1. For 2 player games, if one extremely focuses on military, another player have no choice but to do the same? In this case, is it true that other aspect of TTA (culture/science) are less utilized ?


The 2p game, between experienced players, becomes almost an out and out war game. It's still excellent, though I prefer the nuances of the 3p and 4P games. There is the option of playing a peaceful variant, where aggression and war cards are removed - possibly useful for beginners or games in a family environment.

xlist21 wrote:
2. For 3 player games, is it true that leading military player often have incentives to attack the weakest military player (likely to be the weakest player) so that he can gain what he wants with lower cost?


I just completed a 3P game today, on BGO (Boardgaming Online) where I was the strongest military player (by quite a margin) for the crucial final third of the game. I came last(!) 1 pt behind the two dead-heat winners. Awesome game! There's no guarantee the strong player can "take what he wants". He needs the appropriate aggression and War cards, and to hope that the opponent doesn't have defence cards - or - perhaps the weaker military player has already built up an unassailable lead with a huge VP engine. It's a fascinating game.

xlist21 wrote:
3. For 4 player games, is it true that it has very high level of downtime? (resulting in very long playtime)


Yes it has high downtime and long playing time. I question that long playing time is a downside. We're gamers right? So we like playing games - yes? So - if a game is really good (and TtA is really great) why would enjoying yourself for (say) 4 hours be a lesser experience than enjoying yourself for 90 minutes?? (Ok - you may not be able to fit a long game into your schedule - fair point.)

IMHO TtA is the finest board game yet devised. I've played it more than 600 times (mainly on BGO but several face-to-face games also), and I still get a thrill at the start of every single game, wondering how my nascent Civ will develop this time...


Well said.
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david landes
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I saw a very good comparison to Agricola with regard to military power.

In Agricola, you have to feed your people in order to win.. it is the player who best accomplishes building a farm after being fed who wins.

In TtA, you have to have a competitive military.. it is the person who best accomplishes building a civilization (culture) after having a military who wins.

So it is not ALL about military.. unless you fail to have one.. in which case you MAKE it all about military.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Seghillian wrote:
Yes it has high downtime and long playing time. I question that long playing time is a downside. We're gamers right? So we like playing games - yes? So - if a game is really good (and TtA is really great) why would enjoying yourself for (say) 4 hours be a lesser experience than enjoying yourself for 90 minutes??
Longer isn't necessarily better. If a 90 minute game delivers essentially the same experience and enjoyment, then it's superior to the longer game. The length and downtime of TTA is one reason why I really would much prefer to play it online asynchronously instead of in person.

If you're looking for something that is similar but a little shorter and where military isn't quite such a mandate (although it appears so at first glance) try Nations.
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Clyde W
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1. True
2. True
3. True
 
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Rusty Patterson
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I think a lot of players and prospective players are taking an over simplified view of military. Admittedly, I'm a newer player, but I view military as just another part of the equation, along with culture, science, and happiness, that you have to keep balanced in this excellent game. Why don't we here people complaining about how this would be a better game if only they didn't constantly have to worry about generating science points? I understand that some people may be more averse to the idea of military conflict, but it is a civilization building game.
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Bryan Thunkd
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RustyInRT wrote:
Why don't we here people complaining about how this would be a better game if only they didn't constantly have to worry about generating science points?
A small deficit in science might throw your timing off a little bit. A small deficit in military can immediately knock you out of the game if you get hammered by the other players in the right way. Gosh darn that science!
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Robert Johnson
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Thunkd wrote:
Being last in military is the suck seat.


Nothing truer has ever been said.
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Sam Carroll
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Thunkd wrote:
If a 90 minute game delivers essentially the same experience and enjoyment, then it's superior to the longer game.


Well, that's the big if, isn't it?
 
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Eric Phillips
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spartax wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
If a 90 minute game delivers essentially the same experience and enjoyment, then it's superior to the longer game.


Well, that's the big if, isn't it?


I don't think you can cram a satisfying civ-game arc into 90 minutes.
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Fratloev Fratloev
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To reduce downtime you can try :
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/76941/new-rules-new-pu...

I really prefer 4 players game, and we always play with this variant (one action per player).
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Bryan Thunkd
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Fortuna wrote:
spartax wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
If a 90 minute game delivers essentially the same experience and enjoyment, then it's superior to the longer game.


Well, that's the big if, isn't it?


I don't think you can cram a satisfying civ-game arc into 90 minutes.
You don't think you could? Or you think that everyone else shares your preferences and thus couldn't enjoy a 90 minute civ-game? I'll grant you that the former is true but I think it's obviously untrue that everyone shares your same preferences, which suggests that there are at least some people who could enjoy a 90 minute civ-game.
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Rusty Patterson
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Thunkd wrote:
Fortuna wrote:


I don't think you can cram a satisfying civ-game arc into 90 minutes.
You don't think you could? Or you think that everyone else shares your preferences and thus couldn't enjoy a 90 minute civ-game? I'll grant you that the former is true but I think it's obviously untrue that everyone shares your same preferences, which suggests that there are at least some people who could enjoy a 90 minute civ-game.


So you agree with him but you're going to give him a short lecture on everyone not sharing his preferences? Based on what? Your belief that he assumes everyone shares his preferences?shake
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Bryan Thunkd
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RustyInRT wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
Fortuna wrote:


I don't think you can cram a satisfying civ-game arc into 90 minutes.
You don't think you could? Or you think that everyone else shares your preferences and thus couldn't enjoy a 90 minute civ-game? I'll grant you that the former is true but I think it's obviously untrue that everyone shares your same preferences, which suggests that there are at least some people who could enjoy a 90 minute civ-game.


So you agree with him but you're going to give him a short lecture on everyone not sharing his preferences? Based on what? Your belief that he assumes everyone shares his preferences?shake
I only agreed that he would not find a 90 minute civ game fulfilling. Personally, I find that most civ games tend to take too long. I don't feel that I get as much out of them as the time warrants. That's one of the reasons I only play TTA asynchronously. I'd love a 90 minute civ game!
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Jason Farris
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jvdv wrote:
I always play with the No Ganging Up variant with 3 or 4 players. That may be less "thematic", so to speak, but makes for a more fun game where a player doesn't get singled out and indeed knocked out of the game.


I just stopped playing. Whether I was the bastard military guy or the guy in the suck seat, it eidn't matter. Skill level matters so much that unless you have a dedicated group of players who just love playing this game, most games will result in the relative newbs getting crushed by the mo experienced players.

I still have it but haven't been able to get it to the table.

Now Nations I get to the table, and the handicapping is awesome to make everyone competitive. And the more I play it, the more I realize that its seeming lack of depth is an illusion. There is more there than a lot of TTA folks like to give it credit for.

For dudes on a map, I have no problem getting Clash of Cultures to the table which scratches a different itch.

Between the two of them, who needs the fiddliness, down time and kludgy military/war/aggression/tactics mishmash that is TTA. I'd like to see Vlaada revisit the game and see what he could do to streamline it more now that he has had years to consider it.

 
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Cranium Junker wrote:
'Vlaada' and 'streamline' seem pretty antonymous.


Most of his rulebooks would support this statement.
 
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Cranium Junker wrote:
Smilinbrax wrote:
I'd like to see Vlaada revisit the game and see what he could do to streamline it more now that he has had years to consider it


Yeah its called Mage Knight (jokes)

'Vlaada' and 'streamline' seem pretty antonymous.


That's too bad. TTA is a fine game, but I bet it could even better and more playable with a little more "editing." I like complex games, but I also like better flow. I'm fine with him keeping it military heavy if ony that part of the game wasn't Spread out over so many different areas.
 
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senorcoo wrote:
Cranium Junker wrote:
'Vlaada' and 'streamline' seem pretty antonymous.


Most of his rulebooks would support this statement.


"most" maybe, but not all. Tash-Kalar has a 2 page insert (front and back) that covers all the rules for 4 kind of games...

Space Alert has two rulebooks: one is the "algorithmic" rules, and the other is the "novelized" rules.

The same holds true for Mage Knight.

In the latter two cases you can choose which rulebook to use: the introductory one for your first plays, or the bare one with just the rules.

It's evident from his rules sets that Vlaada is/was an IT man. His rules are like program listings
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Jonathan Challis
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Thunkd wrote:
Seghillian wrote:
Yes it has high downtime and long playing time. I question that long playing time is a downside. We're gamers right? So we like playing games - yes? So - if a game is really good (and TtA is really great) why would enjoying yourself for (say) 4 hours be a lesser experience than enjoying yourself for 90 minutes??
Longer isn't necessarily better. If a 90 minute game delivers essentially the same experience and enjoyment, then it's superior to the longer game.


That's subjective - all things being equal, I'd much rather play a 3hr version than a 90min version of the same game. In fact much under 90 mins and I'm not even interested in the game.
 
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