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

Subject: 2 Player game, grab both Age II Governments? rss

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Bruce Scott
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I apologize if this has been covered already. I couldn't find it. But my search-fu is suspect.

In a two player game, how common is it for one player to take both level 2 governments? It seems to be a major hindrance to be stuck on Despotism. Is it generally worth 3 CA to grab the other one so your opponent can't get it? (Obviously situations alter cases.)

If this is a generally dominant strategy, is it right to take a lame Age I government in hand to protect against that possibility (I'm not sure that it is a dominant strategy...but this is a conditional question.)

Still a relatively small sample size, but in playing both sides of two player games on BGO, I seem to have a significantly better than 50-50 record when I grab both level 2 govs.

Thoughts?
Thanks in advance.
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Geoffrey Engelstein
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I've never seen it done.

But I would dispute that there are lame Age I govts. They are both pretty good and can carry you the whole game with supplemental tech/wonders.
 
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Matt Albritton
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It might work if the Age III governments come out late, but you can't know that.

I wouldn't think it would be worth the actions unless you just had really nothing better to do.
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Shane Larsen
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I've used it a couple of times. It can stall progress, but if your opponent is competent at all, he should be able to deal with it. Using that extra AP to grab it, and keeping it in your hand can be pretty costly.

Some things that make it a better choice are if both Government techs show up early, you can get it for one AP, you need to deprive your opponent of the extra MAs (from Constitutional Monarchy), and if you're lucky that the Age III gov cards come late.
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John Bradshaw
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Skipbidder wrote:
Is it generally worth 3 CA to grab the other one so your opponent can't get it? (Obviously situations alter cases.)


It's not very often worth 3CA to draw anything, let alone spending it simply to hold back an opponent. It might, sometimes, be worth picking up the 2nd Gov for 1 CA as a blocking move - these things are always situational - but I think there would be something very wrong with my situation if I couldn't spend 3CA more profitably than picking a card I have no intention of using.
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Petri Savola
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If you already have taken and played Republic, it may make sense to spend 3 CA to deny Constitutional Monarchy from the opponent. But the other way around it doesn't usually make much sense. Maybe if you have nothing to do with your CA's and/or opponent has already taken Robespierre but that's quite rare.

If you have Pyramids, Code of Laws, Justice System or Monarchy, denial of Republic doesn't really hurt you very much.

There are cards which are often more important to deny. For example if you didn't get Warfare and opponent takes both Constitutional Monarchy and Strategy, you're usually in trouble.
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Jimmy Okolica
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I agree with possibly spending 3 CA for CM if I've already converted to Republic. Otherwise, I doubt I'd spend more than 2.

That said, if my opponent has grabbed Nappy (especially if he spent 3CA to do it), I might very well grab Strategy and/or CM for 3CA

I'd also echo what others have said. Taking Despotism into Age II isn't awful, if you've planned for it. Pyramids plus Code of Law/Justice System plus Warfare/Strategy is fine from a CA/MA perspective. Being limited to two buildings per type is more of an issue, but if you've planned for it, then you've got labs, libraries, and theaters (plus either arena or religion) and you're ok there as well.

The only dominant strategy I've found in TtA is draw the right military cards and I'm still trying to figure out how to execute that one. My current plan is waiting till the other guy is out of the room and rearranging the deck .
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Evan Miracle
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
waiting till the other guy is out of the room and rearranging the deck .


Love it. I need to try this, but how to do it online too?
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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oldmanriver wrote:
Butterfly0038 wrote:
waiting till the other guy is out of the room and rearranging the deck .


Love it. I need to try this, but how to do it online too?


Piece o' cake. just need to figure out how to hack BGO (or become good friends with the owner )
 
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Tim Scheck
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Agree with Petri: being denied Warfare, Strategy, and Con Mon is much worse than being denied Con Mon and Republic.

I don't even think Republic is viable unless you have Strategy.
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Bruce Scott
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Thanks for the replies.

I guess that means I've got tightening up to do.
(I started trying the idea in solitaire 2 player games after a BGO opponent did it to me. In those 2 player solitaire games, success in times where I could block for 2 CA led me to try it for 3 CA.)

Maybe it was a groupthink issue. 2 player over the table games always seemed to be hang on to despotism until Age II, then split up CM and Republic. Very rarely did anyone take an Age I government.

I'm happy to hear that it is not considered generally viable but only in certain select situations.
 
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Jimmy Okolica
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Actually, depending on when it comes out, I will often take Monarchy. If it comes out early with Aristotle and I've gotten Pyramids, Monarchy is great. If you end up getting warfare, you've gotten CM a whole lot of turns earlier. Theocracy is much more situational but I have taken it with code of laws plus Pyramids and done fine with it. You're getting happy faces plus a little culture plus the ability to have 3 labs. lots better than a sharp stick in the eye.
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Petri Savola
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
Actually, depending on when it comes out, I will often take Monarchy. If it comes out early with Aristotle and I've gotten Pyramids, Monarchy is great. If you end up getting warfare, you've gotten CM a whole lot of turns earlier. Theocracy is much more situational but I have taken it with code of laws plus Pyramids and done fine with it. You're getting happy faces plus a little culture plus the ability to have 3 labs. lots better than a sharp stick in the eye.

I initially thought Theocracy is totally worthless, but nowdays I think it's only very situational.

The situation where Theocracy is acceptable is very fierce military race where you see that you're going to lose that race when age II is about to begin. With Theocracy you can often push 2 extra workers to military instead of happiness which may push you from weakest to strongest, which can be huge.

Monarchy can be good if you've got early Alchemies or Universtas which means that you usually have some leftover science.
 
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B C

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I took Theocracy for the first time in many plays recently, but it was because I was in a tight bind for happy faces. It helped, but I was stagnant at the end of the game from not having civil actions.
 
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Eric Phillips
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If I don't have Pyramids, I rarely even consider Theocracy. If I do have Pyramids, though, it can work very nicely.
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Nicolas Barber
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Petri wrote:
If you already have taken and played Republic, it may make sense to spend 3 CA to deny Constitutional Monarchy from the opponent. But the other way around it doesn't usually make much sense. Maybe if you have nothing to do with your CA's and/or opponent has already taken Robespierre but that's quite rare.

If you have Pyramids, Code of Laws, Justice System or Monarchy, denial of Republic doesn't really hurt you very much.

There are cards which are often more important to deny. For example if you didn't get Warfare and opponent takes both Constitutional Monarchy and Strategy, you're usually in trouble.


I agree with this,
Like you, and like OP, I think taking the 2 ages II government is strong.

I also lately tailored myself more around Republic than CM,
Meaning if Strat early go for it, etc.
So in the end I tend to deny CM for the other player quite a lot, my view is that I lose 3 CA doing it but the opponent loses 2 CA/turn out of it.

I've not lost against someone stuck on Despostism all game doing this, but I have lost against people having Pyramid and making a very late switch into Age III governments.
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Petri wrote:
If you already have taken and played Republic, it may make sense to spend 3 CA to deny Constitutional Monarchy from the opponent. But the other way around it doesn't usually make much sense. Maybe if you have nothing to do with your CA's and/or opponent has already taken Robespierre but that's quite rare.

If you have Pyramids, Code of Laws, Justice System or Monarchy, denial of Republic doesn't really hurt you very much.

There are cards which are often more important to deny. For example if you didn't get Warfare and opponent takes both Constitutional Monarchy and Strategy, you're usually in trouble.


I feel like you think this game on a completely different level than I do.
 
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David Pearlman
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If for some reason you've taken republic, and you've got CAs burning a hole in your pocket, denying constitutional monarchy, which is commonly considered the best government in the game, is not a bad play, especially if your opponent is short on actions, and/or has been saving up a bunch of science.

If you have constitutional monarchy, it's not at all certain that your opponent even wants republic. They may be holding out for a level 3 government, or planning to use a couple of blue techs instead of a government. Two player games are shorter and less science heavy.
 
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vanatteveldt vanatteveldt
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In 2p tta denying cards to the opponent can be quite strong due to the zero-sum nature.

However, you don't really need a government per se: since the urban buildings are less important in 2p, governments are mostly about MA's and CA's. Thus, it becomes more interesting to deny the opponent if other sources of actions have passed already.

Most extreme example: You have republic, opponent despotism, and all other age A+I+II sources of actions have already been discarded or taken by you. In that case it can be quite enticing to take ConMon, as the opponent is now stuck with too few actions. However, if strategy and justice system are still in the deck and the opponent already has pyramids and a strong age II tactic, then it makes a lot less sense.

The same situation can arise with the other unique age II cards such as riflemen, coal, and selective breeding. If the opponent doesn't have swordsmen / iron / irrigation, then it becomes quite interesting to spend CAs on them even if you don't really need them. This also makes it useful to sometimes hedge your bets by taking e.g. irrigation but not playing it, especially if it comes late in age I, but the opportunity cost can be quite high.
 
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