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Subject: Variant Rules for 4-Player Game? rss

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William Humphrey
United States
Spencerport
New York
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Greetings, all!

Have just played my first game of AdvCiv in a long time - and to completion, not a time limit! For my limited circle of gaming friends, we seldom can get more than 4 for any game session.

Early on, we decided that the optional rule allowing two trade cards per city was too powerful and limited the extra card draws to the "big" stacks (1-5). However, in this game, no one (Italy, Illyria, Africa, and Crete, played with the WXM) was ever in any danger of not making the card-based hurdles on the AST. And three powers had only a two or three Civ cards unbought at the end (typically Mining, Roadbuilding, and Military - the cards with serious calamity-aggravating side-effects).

So it still seems like the extra card draws are too much. Does anyone know of a better 4-person variant rule?

Bill
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Jud Cohan
United States
Duarte
California
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My first 5 or so games of Advanced Civ had 4 players. We didn't use any variant at all - just one card per stack. It does make for a different game from 7 players, but it seemed to work fine.

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Jared Boyce
United States
Unspecified
California
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Hey there,

I've played a few 4-player games where there weren't enough cards in the game and I understand the "double cards" rules. I've played with a few myself, but I think that they are too strong as well.

The rule I've come up with is a (roughly) +50% rule:

3 cities = extra 1 card
5 cities = extra 1,2 cards
7 cities = extra 1,2,3 cards
9 cities = extra 1,2,3,4 cards

The important part of this is that the bonnus scales with the number of citires you have. The rule you suggested about doubling the 1-5 cards means that the first five cities give you a bonus while the last four cities don't. There should always be a bonus for getting more cities.

Also, I'm not sure if you use this or not, but it's very important to have the bonus card distribution be separate from the normal card distribution. What I mean is:

Player A has 2 cities, Player B has 3 cities, Player C has 4 cities, Player D has 5 cities.

First:
Player A gets his normal 1,2 cards.
Player B gets his normal 1,2,3 cards.
Player C gets his normal 1,2,3,4 cards.
Player D gets his normal 1,2,3,4,5 cards.

Then, after all of those cards have been dealt out:
Player A gets no bonus cards.
Player B gets bonus 1 card.
Player C gets bonus 1 card.
Player D gets bonus 1,2 cards.


This reason this is important is that it decreases the chance that the lower cards will completely run out before any of the players have gotten their non-bonus cards.
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Chris Burke
United States
San Jose
California
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We tried a 4-player game for the first time. We also found a problem with the epidemic and less so for famine. We didn't finish the game, but we were two or three turns away from doing so. Epidemic came out twice and both times it was traded amongst the two strongest players. This caused the weaker players to be the secondary victims and have to take 10 points of damage each. While not too damaging as far as calamities go it really magnified the disparities amongst the top and bottom civs. The problem is the secondary effects may be too strong when there are fewer players and fewer players to dole out the losses. Any others experience this problem and have a solution they have tried out?
 
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