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

Subject: Bonus Points in the Full Game rss

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Geeky McGeekface
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This question is addressed to those who have played the Full Game of Through the Ages.

I've only played the Advanced Game and enjoyed it tremendously, but I'm very much looking forward to trying out the Full Game. I was looking at the rules and noticed for the first time that the Events that give endgame bonus points are handled differently in the Full Game. It looks as if they are shuffled into the third Military deck and are drawn along with the other Military cards. If they are placed in the Future Events Deck, then they will be used at game's end, whether or not they're revealed as an event.

I'm not sure I like this change. In the Advanced Game, seeing the bonuses from the very beginning lets you plan for what you need to accomplish. The way it's stated in the Full Game, it sounds as if there will be a considerable luck factor. For example, if I draw a bonus card that matches what I've been doing with my civilization, I will happily place it as an event, but if it goes to another player, he will presumably discard it. This version will also make planning much more difficult, since the bonuses will be revealed much later in the game (and may not be revealed at all until the end).

It appears that the designer wants to provide some uncertainty at the end, but in a game this complex and multi-facted, this seems quite unnecessary. At any rate, in the games I've played, the outcome was quite uncertain up until the end.

I know that there's a variant allowing you to use the Advanced Game version of the bonus cards in the Full Game, but I wanted to see what those who had already played the Full Game thought of the rules as written. The designer and playtesters have also been active on this site, so if any of them wish to comment, that would be great.
 
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Ron K
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Since players put the cards into the futures deck, each player has some knowledge of what will appear. All age III event cards get resolved at game end (from the current and future event piles). If a card does not help you, then you simply decline to play it into the future pile; if the card is likely to help, then playing it and adjusting your civ to take advantage of it is all part of the game. This usually creates a 10-20 point swing per card with the most balanced player enjoying a bit of each card. Since the cards are not randomly played into the current and futures deck, I find this to be a nice component of the game. To win prior to the event deck being revealed, you really need to build a significant lead. Not playing any cards into the future pile means watching what other players build to in the final round or two.
 
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Geeky McGeekface
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I can see that it would work, Ron, and I want to give it a fair shot. But I am concerned about the luck factor--you really could be screwed if you drew very few bonus cards, or if none of them were suitable. I not only like the planning aspect in the Advanced Game, but the way that the bonus cards make every game different. If having them come out so late in the Full Game means that players have to focus on balanced structures every game, that sounds like something else that would be lost.
 
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Filip Murmak
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There is 13 Age III Event cards in 45-card Age III Military deck. From my point of view, drawing Event cards and planing them as in previous Ages gives another strategy flavor to the game. Once the game develop into Age III it's rather fast in terms of how many rounds will be played since all the players has a lot of Civil Actions. Therefore you need to think twice how you gonna use your Political Action. If you draw 3 Military cards every Production and Maintanance phase, you probably get one Event card. Many decisions come than in your Political phase: do you want to attack weak but Cultural opponent now to drain some poits from him rather than planning an Event? And if you do so are you going to have enough Military Actions left to draw some new potential Event cards? etc etc.

Besides, playing Age III Event cards could turn agains you since some of those gives exact ammount of points to 1st, 2nd best in Strenght for example etc.

And, if you still won't like this concept after you try it, there is alway "Draw Military cards" variant (my last game was played this way and I was really surprised it didn't take any extra time). This way you can draw more than 3 Military cards during your turn so the number of Military Actions is even more important.

Filip

BTW: Don't rely on Event cards, win without it
 
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Olivier REIX
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Larry,

I only played the full game once and I can see your concern but you really should try the rules as they are, it really works like that.

You just have to know tht the bonus are clearly really good for the guys having the most advanced technologies / buildings (age III). Kind of huge, in fact.
 
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Nigel Buckle
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I've played this quite a bit since Essen, and yep, bonus points from events can add an extra level of randomness - you can offset this a bit by increasing your military actions to ensure you draw 3 (the maximum) a turn - but it's still there.

However there are some variants in the rulebook to address this - try those. Currently we like the deal out the bonus cards at the start, pick 1 (or 2 in a 2player) then shuffle the rest back in, but ONLY events that trigger during the game count, which usually limits the bonuses to those picked and maybe 1 or 2.

Seems to reduce the feeling of 'random' end game.
 
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