Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
14 Posts

Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization» Forums » Variants

Subject: Balance rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jacob Faturechi
United States
California
flag msg tools
I have been playing quite a bit of this recently and started talking to some people about suggestions for balance. I figured, let's make a thread about it! (If there is already a thread, I apologize. I didn't find it.)

Some of the suggestions being batted about:

1) At the end of each age, automatically upgrade all building and troop tech to the obsolete level. So, at Age III, everything Age A automatically becomes Age I.

2) Balance out some particular cards.

a) Nerf Napoleon. At the very least, take away his extra military action.

b) Nerf Hanging Gardens. I think removing the culture production would handle that.

3) Allow sacrificing non-military units for defense or some other form of surrender. Being the weakest military can be impossible to climb out of.

4) Change the mechanism for distributing tactics. Perhaps a separate tactics deck or include tactic tech.

Thoughts, suggestions, comments?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
flag msg tools
Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
badge
Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
faturechi wrote:
I have been playing quite a bit of this recently and started talking to some people about suggestions for balance. I figured, let's make a thread about it! (If there is already a thread, I apologize. I didn't find it.)

Some of the suggestions being batted about:

1) At the end of each age, automatically upgrade all building and troop tech to the obsolete level. So, at Age III, everything Age A automatically becomes Age I.

2) Balance out some particular cards.

a) Nerf Napoleon. At the very least, take away his extra military action.

b) Nerf Hanging Gardens. I think removing the culture production would handle that.

3) Allow sacrificing non-military units for defense or some other form of surrender. Being the weakest military can be impossible to climb out of.

4) Change the mechanism for distributing tactics. Perhaps a separate tactics deck or include tactic tech.

Thoughts, suggestions, comments?

I think you need to play the game more. Also maybe search the forums a bit more.

1) I think this would break the game in so many ways...

2a) Napolean himself doesn't need nerfing IMO, except when it comes to the interaction between Air Forces and Napolean. We play them as additive, rather than multiplicative (so both together results in 3x the tactic instead of 4x), but I'm not sure what the community consensus on this is. Related to this one balance change I have actually considered implementing is reducing the military bonus of Classical Army by 1.

2b) Hanging gardens don't need nerfing either. Why do you think it does?

3) Something to give players on the defensive more options might be a good idea, especially in multi-player games where one player can get picked on. I'm not sure what that would be though. Perhaps if defence cards stayed "in play" until the start of your next turn?

4) I like the current system. As mentioned at 2a, the only change I'd make is to reduce the impact of Classical Army slightly.


Really though, this topic has been discussed endlessly by players far more experienced than you or I. Perhaps someone can provide a link, but I don't have the time right now.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Bachman
United States
Colonie
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Taking away Nappy's MA wouldn't be bad but likely wouldn't lessen the complaints about him either. I'd be fine with the change although I don't believe it necessary.

The tactics can be improved in my opinion. I wouldn't mind trying a variant with science requirements for each tactic. Seems thematic and might mitigate the wide strength gaps caused by luck of the draw. Perhaps allow a tactic to be adopted for free as a PA or as an MA with a science cost.

I think the rest of your suggestions would not be improvements, as noted above.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Petri Savola
Finland
Espoo
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Separating tactics from other military cards would maybe make sense.

For example you'd have 2 military decks for each age: 1 containing only tactics and 1 containing all the other cards. When drawing military cards you could then freely decide the amount of cards you draw from each deck. This would remove 2 annoying things: Drawing only tactics when you already have tactics and drawing no tactics at all.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Grogan
United Kingdom
Cullompton
Devon
flag msg tools
designer
Check out all my instructional How to Play videos at youtube.com/GamingRulesVideos
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I personally think Hanging Gardens is way too good.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Chunko
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
mb
I toyed with a bunch of tactic related variants including:

Allowing you to force your way to a related tactic by spending science/resources. So you could add or change a troop type on your current card to change to a related tactic.

Replacing tactic cards with troop cards, and then letting players meld them in various formations.

Redoing the entire mil deck with multiple use cards, leading to the very common "do I play this as an event or a tactic" dilemma.

But I never got very far. All my play moved online, and the downside to online play is that variants are impossible to test.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ralph H. Anderson
United States
Prospect
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is one of my all time favorite games. To date, I've played the game face to face well over 80 times, mostly 3-player and I do not see the need for any of the listed changes.

However, we do play with one house rule which I find works very well for us but YMMV.

During all Ages except Age III, whenever you draw military cards at the end of your turn, for each card you draw 2 and discard 1. Obviously you do NOT want to do this for Age III. We find this is simple, effective and does not result in any undue imbalance. It basically smooths out the Military Deck draw.

best
Ralph
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Maxime Gélinas
Canada
Montréal
Québec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not one to tweak with gameplay normally, I've done it with some games that needed it in my opinion, but TtA isn't one of them.

1) Basically, all it does is just upgrading Warriors to Swordsmen in Age III. Thus means the average civilisation with Warriors will get a boost of 1-3 strentgh.

2a) I can see how it would work. If Napoleon has not taken any special military tech or any government, then this could throw a monkey wrench in his snowball effect. Especially in 2 players. I like Napoleon the way he is, but it's a sensible way to tweak his advantages.

2b) I love Hanging gardens, but I fail to see why you would consider it unbalanced. For 6 resources, all you get is the equivalent of one Theology Temple.

3) I don't know if you tried this, and I never did so I might be wrong, but I would feel that sacrificing other civil workers would be more detrimental to the defender than just taking it on the chin.

4) Now that's interesting. We had a poll recently arguing what element of chance in the game is the most instrumental to winning. Drawing a good tactic got over half of the votes. This would certainly help the unlucky stay competitive.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Isaac Shalev
United States
Stamford
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DragonCat wrote:
This is one of my all time favorite games. To date, I've played the game face to face well over 80 times, mostly 3-player and I do not see the need for any of the listed changes.

However, we do play with one house rule which I find works very well for us but YMMV.

During all Ages except Age III, whenever you draw military cards at the end of your turn, for each card you draw 2 and discard 1. Obviously you do NOT want to do this for Age III. We find this is simple, effective and does not result in any undue imbalance. It basically smooths out the Military Deck draw.

best
Ralph


This is such a good idea, I wish it could be implemented in the online versions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Bachman
United States
Colonie
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
ender7 wrote:
DragonCat wrote:
This is one of my all time favorite games. To date, I've played the game face to face well over 80 times, mostly 3-player and I do not see the need for any of the listed changes.

However, we do play with one house rule which I find works very well for us but YMMV.

During all Ages except Age III, whenever you draw military cards at the end of your turn, for each card you draw 2 and discard 1. Obviously you do NOT want to do this for Age III. We find this is simple, effective and does not result in any undue imbalance. It basically smooths out the Military Deck draw.

best
Ralph


This is such a good idea, I wish it could be implemented in the online versions.

Seems like a double edged sword. I'd think it greatly increases the odds of Nappy (or anyone with a military strategy) getting a strong tactic. It seems it would likely lead to reshuffling the discarded Wars and Aggressions back into the deck. You know, the ones the trailing players discard.

I'd like to try it sometime to check it out though.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
john guthrie
United States
silver spring
maryland
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ward wrote:

It seems it would likely lead to reshuffling the discarded Wars and Aggressions back into the deck. You know, the ones the trailing players discard.


that was my first thought. it will really churn through the military decks
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Forbes

New Hampshire
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How about this...

Implement the military card draw 2 for 1, but napoleon can not draw extra cards.

Or when he attacks the defender draws a military card.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M Van Der Werf
Netherlands
Leiden
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
There are some big unbalances in the game but I'm not sure to what extent I would want to fix them. The draw mechanism fixes it some extent by stuff costing 3 actions often etc. Also quite a few cards are very situational or plain useless but that provides interesting play too sometimes and it's a result of the deck being used for several types of games including shorter ones, friendly ones etc.
Just regarding the regular version I would change:
- Napoleon's effect and airforce just stack to make 3x tactics, not 4x. Napoleon is annoyingly strong in combination with the right tactics and introduces some weird fright to take any other age 2 leader because you at least want to force your opponent to take nap for 3 actions.
- Some tactics cards revised: classic army down to 8 or even 7, napoleonic army down to 7. These are too good because they are so easy to get active early.
- Constitutional monarchy nerfed slightly. It's silly how this government type eclipses all others in effectiveness. Republic is perhaps second best but costs more science for a peaceful change and is far worse as 6-4 is a much better split than 7-2. Const. monarchy should be 6-3 or cost more science which would make all other government options more interesting. Especially in 2player it introduces a lot of luck because saving up 12 science and taking it for 3 is a good move often.
- A few cards buffed a bit which are otherwise nearly useless. Bach, hammurabi (give 1 culture/turn), revolutionary idea A(make breakthrough A), masonry (let work with engineering genius). Cards being weak is fine and certainly not every card should be equally good or the game is just about picking stuff up for 1 action only but some cards getting a niche use would be good. Stuff like michelangelo and cook is interesting, you'll won't take them often but they can be (quite) good in the right circumstance.

If you really want to remove the fairly big luck aspect of this game you'd have to redo the military deck in some way. But that would make another game almost.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jonas havreglid
Sweden
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Drawing 2 cards keeping 1 is a huge help for the military players in finding wars and aggression. Military is already very important and very strong. I would rather increase the max number of drawn cards per military action to 4 if anything. It cycles the deck faster and you reach the point where you know that all cards have been drawn by someone much faster. It removes some of the uncertainty and tension the military deck brings to the game.

Drawing tactics in a separate pile would mean that all 8 tactics in age 2 would be gone the first turn, possibly before the fourth player has a chance to draw any. It removes some of the uncertainty and tension the military deck brings to the game.

It is only in age 2 that the deck is low on tactic cards. A less intrusive change is smoothing it here. You can either rein in the best age 2 tactics: Classical down to 8, napoleonic to 7 and mobile artillery to 4 so that the players with age 1 tactics can compete more easily or you can add 2-4 more tactic cards.

Napoleon is a different matter. He is needed, but he is also such an automatic choice in many situations. I support removing the military action and making his air force bonus additive. He would still be picked often to get or deny that extra strength but without his extra military action it requires more work to get him to work in a military strategy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.