H C
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I've recently been interested in Civ after playing Sid Meier's, but most are 3 hours plus, and even fast players can only finish them in 2.5 hours+. I want:

- A feeling of Civ from the ancient ages to the modern age or further
- A streamlined tech tree with many options thematically tied
- Multiple avenues to win/get points, like a mix of science/military/culture/etc with each balanced and capable of winning but no dominant strategy
- under 2 hours
- works well 2P, 3P, and 4P (I don't like 2P Civ's focused on military)
- A map to move around on, not just cards/player boards
- the more streamlined and simpler the better

If possible, I'd like one with simultaneous turns or at least low down time. I've looked into a few, so don't recommend:
Through the Ages
Nations
Sid Meier's Civ
Clash of Cultures
Age of Empires III
7 Wonders
Imperial Settlers
Deus

as they don't fit my criteria.

EDIT: Oh, and non-dice combat would be nice. I prefer cards or something at least semi deterministic.
 
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    Settlers of Catan.

    You're asking for diametric opposites. It's going to be a tough bill to fill.

             S.

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Brad Keusch
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NowOrNever88 wrote:
I've recently been interested in Civ after playing Sid Meier's, but most are 3 hours plus, and even fast players can only finish them in 2.5 hours+. I want:

- A feeling of Civ from the ancient ages to the modern age or further
- A streamlined tech tree with many options thematically tied
- Multiple avenues to win/get points, like a mix of science/military/culture/etc with each balanced and capable of winning but no dominant strategy
- under 2 hours
- works well 2P, 3P, and 4P (I don't like 2P Civ's focused on military)
- A map to move around on, not just cards/player boards
- the more streamlined and simpler the better

If possible, I'd like one with simultaneous turns or at least low down time. I've looked into a few, so don't recommend:
Through the Ages
Nations
Sid Meier's Civ
Clash of Cultures
Age of Empires III
7 Wonders
Imperial Settlers
Deus

as they don't fit my criteria.


Olympos. note the second "o" is correct, there are a lot of games with similar names. This is by the designer of small world and it is a million times better than SW and ticks off most of the items on your list. I would highly recommend it for you.
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Donald Walsh
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Have only played the first edition, but Antike II may be a close as you can get. Note: I didn't find original Antike to play in 2 hours, so YMMV.
 
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Shane Larsen
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The Golden Ages

They don't stay available long, but gamesurplus.com has some in stock right now. Get it while they do. Mark my words, they will be gone soon.
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Ben Rubinstein

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I'm interested to hear what you find, because I don't think it exists, unfortunately. You're gonna have to sacrifice about 1/2 of your desires to get close.
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Thanee
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Historia offers most of it (but no map to move around on).

Bye
Thanee
 
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Derry Salewski
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Antiquity

The only requirement it really misses on is that it spans like, the dark ages to the renaissance. But it plays decently quick once you figure it out, plays simultaneously, offers multiple paths to victory, doesn't focus on military conquest, the tech (building) options are all thematic and has a map to expand on.

But the game you are asking for doesn't exist. Half those games you say don't fit your criteria are trying their very, very hardest to fit your criteria.

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H C
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Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone, I'll be looking into them. I know its a hard bill to fit, but I just want to see if, just in case, there is a super game out there that does fit and work.

Please keep the recs coming!
 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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The Settlers of the Stone Age has a map, 4 technology tracks, and exploration. I think it plays in under 2 hours. Designed for 3 or 4 players, but there are some variants for 2 players.

You might also check out the following GeekList:
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/16204/civ-lite
It looks at games (mostly from 2006 and before) and analyzes them on whether they fit 9 criteria of "civ-lite".

That said, I agree with what others have said. You're looking for a lot of features in a single game, and some of those features (including "feeling of civ", "simple" and "under 2 hours") work against each other. In general, the more thematic a game is, the less simple it is. And to get a real feeling of civilization, you probably need a game that's over 2 hours.
 
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David Brain
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I think it's basically a choice between The Golden Ages and Historia - I tend towards the first as it feels slightly less like playing a spreadsheet, but I consider both to be excellent contenders for the Civ-lite Grail.
 
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Michael Schneider
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Ok I have another one...
Hyperborea

- A feeling of Civ from the ancient ages to the modern age or further
check

- A streamlined tech tree with many options thematically tied
Well you are developing one of eight open available techs, so no techtree but they are quite thematically

- Multiple avenues to win/get points, like a mix of science/military/culture/etc with each balanced and capable of winning but no dominant strategy
check

- under 2 hours
half an hour per player, so check

- works well 2P, 3P, and 4P (I don't like 2P Civ's focused on military)
Setup is dependant on the player-count and plays well with every number, so check

- A map to move around on, not just cards/player boards
Check, it is even possible to explore...

- the more streamlined and simpler the better
The rulebook is quite... not good... but the gameplay is pretty streamlined.


I like the game more after every play. Each of the six races has two different powers where you choose one, every play is different and depends on your developement. I can't recommend that enough.
This game fills the spot for 4x games that are shorter but not less emersive than TI3. I really really dig this game.

Have a look at it...
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Christopher Boat
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Theyve already been suggested but I'm seconding Olympos and Golden Ages
 
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Dean M
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Let us know what you decide on as I'm interested in this also
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