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Subject: Beyond the 11th Card rss

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Chris Farrell
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There was an article in the General way back (issue 26-1, I think the one with Merchant of Venus on the cover) called "Beyond the 11th Card", which expanded the card holding limits a la Advanced Civ, but without quite the other drastic changes ACiv made. I just ran across my home-made set of cards for that variant while preparing for a recent game, but could not find the actual rules. Does anyone have a copy they might care to upload? I remember it had a few neat things, like changing the group credit scheme to balance out the Sciences a bit, and adding some more special powers to various cards to make them a bit more interesting. Anyone have any experience playing this variant? I remember I played a few times after this was published but before Advanced Civilization; I remember being disappointed that a) this article was not credited *at all* by the Advanced Civ folks, even though a number of ideas were taken rather directly; and b) they watered down Military quite a bit . Other than that, I don't have much recollection as to whether it played well or not.
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Nate Sandall
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Re:Beyond the 11th Card
cfarrell (#17356),
Hey Chris!
I no longer have that issue of the General magazine (vol 26#1) but a friend and I did try it out back when it came out (we got tired of standard two player games so we started playing 3 countries each!). I don't recall the author (I think I may have that info available somewhere I'll try to find out) but many of his ideas were used in Advanced Civilization (most notably the wheel which became roadbuilding and the switching of the calamity phase to being before the civilization advance purchases phase).

The main changes that were made fell into three groups: changes to trade cards and needing specific advances to take advantage of the geometric increase in value of multiple cards; new calamity effects; and changes to existing civilization cards.

First off the changes to the trade cards was the need for a certain civilization card to be in a player's possession in order for the trade cards to be worth more than face value. Literacy was needed for papyrus; metalworking was needed for iron, bronze, and gold (and silver); clothmaking was needed for cloth; and I think maybe agriculture was needed for grain. What this means is that 4 cloth cards was only worth 20 (5 each) until clothmaking was purchased, and then they would be worth the full 80 points. Cards used to purchase the civilization advance that would give the multiplier counted double towards the purchase of that card. So those 4 cloth cards would count 40 towards the purchase of clothmaking instead of 20 in the variant.

The new civilization cards added in the variant were the wheel which allowed movement overland of two spaces (the equivalent of roadbuilding in Advanced Civ without the extra calamity effects) and military (which was very overpowered). The military card acted as a metalworking card and the effects were cumulative. A player with military in combat loses a unit second to a player without. If a player only had metalworking and the other player in combat only had military the effects cancelled out. If a player had two and the other one, the player with two would get the advantage. And finally, a player with both military and metalworking fighting a player with niether would lose two units first each round of combat before the other player would lose one! Military also allowed you to attack another player's city with 5 units instead of 7 and doubled the effects of piracy (see below).

The effects of the calamities were changed in several ways, and in my opinion, they were a lot more harsh. However, losses suffered to a calamity gave credit that turn towards a civilization advance that would alleviate that calamity next time it is suffered. For example, epidemic losses of 10 units would have generated 20 points of credit towards medicine that turn. Losses caused by a metalworking or military advantage also generated such credits.

The Volcano/Earthquake card was made to be a lot more harsh. Instead of just destroying units in the spaces with the volcano, it also reduced or destroyed (I forget which) units in adjacent spaces unless you had engineering. This meant that the volcano in the Greek islands was truly devastating if you were too heavily invested in the area. I don't remember famine, civil war, epidemic, or civil disorder being altered. Flood was changed to wash away a coastal city if the player didn't have a city to lose on a flood plain. Iconoclasm & Heresy became really nasty in that the victim would lose one civilization card chosen by the player who passed him the card (Law allowed the victim to choose one card that couldn't be affected, and philosophy three more). Piracy allowed the player who passed the card to take one trade card from the victim's hand for each ship on the mapboard, and two cards for each ship if he had military!

The only other change I can remember is that pottery in conjunction with astronomy allowed you to leave a boat in the open sea. This in effect allowed you to keep up to 20 people on boats instead of land.

What we found when we played was that metalworking was a do or die card to get. Players who didn't get the cards that allowed for the geometric increases in the values of the trade cards were at a severe disadvantage to those who did, and metalworking helped iron, bronze, and gold (also silver if using extra trade cards). Players without metalworking had to get military otherwise a player with both military and metalworking would tear them apart. Soon, there would be the beginnings of a runaway leader or leaders situation. Iconoclasm & Heresy being an 8 stack calamity would end up in the hand of someone with a lot of cities and would probably end up being passed to someone not in the lead and killing off a card (military or metalworking probably) worsening their situation. Piracy would then be the kiss of death as a player drawing cards for 9 cities probably has military and then taking 8 cards from another player would score an ungodly amount of points.

Needless to say, we didn't like the variant but it was interesting to try. We did like Advanced Civilization a lot and the military card there works much better in my opinion.

I have the Alea #21 magazine with the unofficial Eastern expansion map, but we haven't tried it out yet. I'll let everyone know how it goes once we do. My friends and I will be playing Advanced Civilization Friday but I don't think there will be more than 7 or 8 of us so we wont play the Alea expansion at that time.

Hope this all helps!
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Chris Farrell
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Re:Beyond the 11th Card
Cavedog_pdx (#17406),

Thanks for the great summary. Your comments are starting to prod my memory. I tracked down the original author on grogards, it was Jim Eliason.

I remember the limitations on trade card values now, and while they seemed cool in concept, sometimes it was a bit harsh (like Literacy being required for Papyrus ... it's only a 2, for heaven's sake) and hugely damped down the game since trading was less of a "win" (since so few commodities could be used without the matching technology - just the 1s, Salt, Spice, and Gems). I also remember it making the variant trade cards a lot more important since some of the crucial mid-value alternate commodities (wine, oil) did not require cards to increase their values.

I remember Military being very nasty, but somehow it didn't bother me. It added conflict into the game as a rational strategy, which it isn't really in either Civ or ACiv (except in the trash-and-burn of the endgame).

I also liked the fact that all the group credits were now additive (5 for the first card, 10 the second, etc.); in both the basic and advanced version of the game, it seems like Sciences get the best credits *and* the best special powers, so this variant of simply giving better credits for whichever area you specialise in seemed more rational.
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John Rodriguez
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Re:Beyond the 11th Card
Cavedog_pdx (#17406),

FYI Nate,

The Alea (Avalon hill side) map has some glaring problems (such as missing numbers, not clear boarders). Make sure and examine the map closely before playing and sort them out.
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Nate Sandall
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Re:Beyond the 11th Card
Velusion (#17409),
Yeah the Alea expansion needs some tweaking to be sure. There's an island city spot without a number on it that's sure to cause problems unless we arbitrarily make it a 1 or something like that. It makes me wonder if the beyond the 11th card variant or the Alea variant were playtested?

I just got the Descartes version of Civilization so I have different (enough) counters to use for a 9th and 10th player (maybe even an 11th!) with the Alea variant. I think an 11th would work if the Western Expansion map is also used. The variant rules also say to make agriculture unavailable in a 10 player game as well, but that seems wacky to me.

As far as the new cards in the Alea variant, caravans seems like a great card to add as this will help create the kinds of trade card shortages in Advanced Civ that were so common in Civilization. Calendar seems very interesting and useful as well and I'm eager to try it. Fanaticism would work I think. Naval Warfare seems expensive for what it does, so I'm going to tweak that to allow a ship to carry 6 units instead of 5 (that would allow, with engineering, an assault on a city with one boatload!). Diplomacy seems to be useless in Advanced Civ, but worth getting if you failed to get metalworking in the regular game. The translation of the rules to the variant forgot Diplomacy completely!

So has anybody else played the Alea expansion yet? I also plan to change the value of the mathematics card to 120 to make it actually an attractive card to get. What do you think?
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John Rodriguez
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Re:Beyond the 11th Card
Cavedog_pdx (#17410),

Oh there is more than one spot.. look closely.. also you have some places where players are going to ask "Can I move diagonal?" Heh...

Not sure if it just wasn't playtested or the printer messed up.
 
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Jeremy Harrison
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Here is the full text of the article:

https://archive.org/stream/GeneralMagazineVol26i1/Vol26i1_dj...
 
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