David
United States
Maryland
flag msg tools
badge
Boardgame Aesthete
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Advanced Civilization is one of my favorite games of all time, both because I like the theme and because I like the mechanics. Its one disadvantage, of course, is the fact that it takes so long to play that it's rare when you can get 7 or more people to sit down and spend 8-12 hours on a game. (Which is why civ.rol-play is such a great thing.)

I recently had a chance to play Z-Man Games's Clash of Cultures and it's obviously a game heavily inspired by Advanced Civ. You have the same basic concepts - a tech tree, a deck full of very familiar-looking calamities, a colonization and conquest aspect, and even some trading.

It's an "Ameritrash" game, meaning lots of pieces of plastic and more of an emphasis on different types of units. Besides settlers and troops and ships, there are different kinds of buildings with which to expand your cities.

It differs from Advanced Civ in ways that some will like and some will not. The "trading" mechanic is very weak - basically, you can trade cards or any other resource at will during your turn, but in actual game play, I did not see this happening very much. Unlike Advanced Civ, you don't start with a fixed map, but a blank hexagonal one in which you flip territories as you explore. Different hexes have different resources available.

It was fun and added elements of surprise and novelty (and different paths to victory) that are missing in Advanced Civ, but I have been trying pin down why I prefer Advanced Civ. I think part of it is that I really like the trading part of ACiv - that's really my favorite aspect of the game. The winner is usually the person who masters two skills: managing calamites, and pulling off good trades.

But I also decided I just don't like the randomness of exploration and event cards in CoC that can swing a turn wildly in one direction or another. With Advanced Civ, I can plan out my next turn with a fair degree of mathematical precision. I have to take into account the unknown factors of what calamities I will be hit with and how much purchasing power I'll acquire during the trading round, and of course other players' actions are somewhat unpredictable (sometimes very unpredictable), but generally I can anticipate most of the possibilities and thus plan a variety of if-then moves. In a more card-driven game like Clash of Cultures, with more variability in unit types and the interaction of technologies, you can still plan, but it feels much more like you make your plans and then let the whims of fate scatter them. I'm sure with more games under my belt, I will see where skill comes into play, and I did all right in my first game (came in 2nd), but it was much harder to go back and see where I made a mistake or what I should have done differently.

I also felt like the theme was just chrome in Clash of Cultures. It feels a bit like Eclipse or Twilight Imperium (Third Edition), but with ancient kingdoms instead of space empires. It would be easy to reskin CoC to be a space game or a fantasy elves-vs-orcs game, whereas Advanced Civilization really does make me feel like I'm playing out the pre-Roman history of the Mediterranean.

Clash of Cultures is a good game, but it's not a game I'd go back to again and again, especially not for the relatively long playing time (granted, less than Advanced Civ, but our teaching game with one semi-experienced player and three newbies took over 6 hours).
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Filip Cam
Belgium
Kontich
Antwerp
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like you wanted CoC to be just like Advanced Civ Fortunately it isn't, because there already is a game like that: Advanced Civ!
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Marcussen
Denmark
Odense C
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi - please don't take this as me being defensive, because I'm really not. I'm just feeling chatty in my lunch break

The design takes absolutely zero inspiration from Advanced Civ (a game I'm not really that keen on), but obviously lots of inspiration from Sid Meier's Civilization computer games (and I beleive the two have some kind of relation).

It's not hard to see why you would prefere Advanced Civ if you like tradeing, as I very purpousfully designed Clash to not have a strong trading mechanic.

There are many games with great trading mechanics and I simply felt it best to focus on other things. I had the enormous task of taking on this genre and cramming much of the stuff I like in there, without having it become fiddly. So trading was a subsystem I largely ignorred.

I think you will find that there is a lot of strategy and tactics in the game. Of course there are elements of luck (I like that), but a good player will be able to find better here-and-now choices than a poor player.

This is very much a game of being able to adapt to what is going on around you. It is by design made so you can resaddle as needed - rather than starting the game choosing a certain path and then sticking to it in order to win.

I hope you will get more enjoyment out of the game, and that you try mentally seperate it from Advanced Civ.

I have never tried Eclipse, so I can't compare, but TI3 was one of my favorite games, so there may be some influence there.

Have fun
47 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moe45673
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
David, have you ever played Sid Meier's Civ (the PC game)? If so, you should see that what Christian says is correct; the game takes pretty much all its influence from there. Can the game be reskinned? Yeah, but so can Eclipse (never played TI3). Personally, I prefer the pseudo-historic theme over space sci-fi so I'm happy with the one he went with (although this is clearly a case of "theme first then design").

I'm not someone who is a maven at Clash but I have played it over 20 times. The one thing that stands out is that any path through the tech tree you take can be viable. This shows the level of thought and playtesting that went into the game. Newbies might criticize the game as being too luck prone if they get swamped by barbarians; those familiar see it as an opportunity for lots of plundering.

In short, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts! As the first two responses said, though, the game is not trying to be Advanced Civ which is what you hoped to get out of it. It's trying to be a Civ game, a definition which has long since evolved from 1991 (and, IMO, succeeds greatly at).

Btw, games shouldn't take longer than an hour per player. There's a "short" variant that takes 2/3 as long and plays wonderfully, if in a pinch (such as introducing the game to 3 newbies!).
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Einmal ist keinmal
United States
Andover
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
You'll Never Walk Alone
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The trading mechanic of Advanced Civilization is the entire game. If you're good at that, you will do well, and if you trade poorly, you will do poorly in the game. Period. The randomness (or chaos) of getting hosed in a trade in AC is much more crippling to a player's game than any events in CoC.

The bad events in CoC usu. also have some type of compensation for the suffering player (i.e. VPs, Gold) as well as some choice. The ones that don't can usually be mitigated or prevented from certain technologies (Myths, Irrigation, Sanitation). As for barbarians, well, there are other threads here that discuss that, but I'll just briefly say that they can be controlled by the player's discovery of Advances (via movement of Happiness and Culture indicators). Barbarians also provide rewards for defeating them (some Objectives, Gold, new Cities).

Exploring is somewhat random, but there are no terrible region tiles. Everyone begins with access to all resource types. Barbarians might appear, but again, this isn't necessarily bad. After 20 plays (with all player counts), I find the randomness in CoC to be in the Goldilocks Zone for a game of this type.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
N Burghardt
United States
Fairfax
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmb
Echoing others here...one of the things I love about Clash is that the barbarians are less of a hindrance and more of a variable. When they pop up nearby they provide a chance for expansion and points if you invest a little extra militarily. Otherwise just invest a bit in defense and they become a nice barrier. Excellent design.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
We will meet at the Hour of Scampering.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Desiderata wrote:
The trading mechanic of Advanced Civilization is the entire game. If you're good at that, you will do well, and if you trade poorly, you will do poorly in the game. Period.


While I'd agree there is some truth to that, I think it's an oversimplification. It's also important to understand the trade-offs and timing between expansion and consolidation (i.e., building cities), and the optimum tech selections for your situation (knowing what calamity cards are in play, where the flood plains are, etc.).

Personally, as much as like Tresham's Civilization and the "steroid" version of Advanced Civilization, I've always felt that the entire game is movement on the AST, more than what happens on the board. Turns the game into something of race, which seems a bit discordant to me.

I think the games scratch different itches, to a large degree. I find Civ/Adv Civ to be more of a thinking game (as is the case with most Tresham designs), that facilitates a sense of immersion with its real-world map, whereas CoC is more of a "civ-lite" kind of game, playable in 2-3 hours, with greater emphasis on different aspects.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Papenfuss
United States
Star
Idaho
flag msg tools
"Your results are back: it's negative"......um, is that a bad thing?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
AmadanNaBriona wrote:
I'm sure with more games under my belt, I will see where skill comes into play....


This is true.

I like the randomness provided in this game, because it provides tension. However, with more experience, I believe players will be better able to predict where they may want to place "insurances"...or not. But I feel the "luck factor" in this game is just enough so that *nonexperienced* players actually have a chance to compete, so you'll never be free of unexpected calamity.

In the end, I do think the "Luck factor" is generally over-hyped by those who have only played few CoC games, rather than those who played this many times.

AmadanNaBriona wrote:
Advanced Civilization Clash of Cultures is a good game, but it's not a game I'd go back to again and again, especially not for the relatively long playing time (granted, less than Advanced Civ, but our teaching game with one semi-experienced player and three newbies took over 6 hours).


Playtime should come down for *most* players after playing multiple times, but if your group has major AP issues, then it's possible it might still linger in the 3-4 hour range for 4P.

However, it is true, trading is of little importance in this game, so if that's your thing I can see why you might turn elsewhere.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pas L
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
Nothing will come of nothing.
badge
Speak again.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Not sure I get comparing this to Eclipse, both feel very different for me (not a fan of Eclipse).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Kitching
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oddly enough, there is a game that seems to sit between civilisation and clash of cultures: Mare Nostrum.

It possibly has no link to either but has a map of the Med, actual historical civilisations, collection of resource card to buy things, trading and a combat system of roll a die per unit, removing a unit for each multiple of 5.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter O
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I never really thought of Adv Civ as a trading game. Sure it had the trade element, but my group would fairly quickly figure out who had the bad calamity and trades basically took that into consideration. In all my plays (and more than my fair share of wins) I never thought my trading skill was what put me over the top. I think I was competent, but the greater skill tester was walking through the tech tree in the most efficient manner possible WHILE making sure those advances dovetailed with the race to nine cities on the board. Our group was mostly pacifist. Major invasions rarely happened (though my friend hit me hard on one).

I say this as an avid fan of Age of Renaisance which very much was a spiritual successor to Adv Civ and one of the time saving aspects was to get rid of the long trading phases. Age has very little trading at all, yet keeps the adv Civ feel for many.

I'm looking forward to getting my Clash and expansion sent by a friend who found a msrp copy in a flgs for me. But from my initial look, I see it as being relatively unique (as far as Civ board games can get). I can't think of any game using the specialized building pieces to grow a city and particularly then using them to express a shift in culture. The tech tree isn't very unique, but that's hard to do with a theme like this.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Marcussen
Denmark
Odense C
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
The tech tree isn't very unique, but that's hard to do with a theme like this


I'm curious what you mean by this

Do you mean that the individual advances aren't unique - because that is certainly true. Or do you mean the way it is handled mechanically? Because that suprises me. It was one of the things that took the most time to figure out - how to present many advances, balancing between choosing a path and shifting strategy, and making sure players can see which advances other players have. Once I had that nailed, I knew I could make a good civ game.

Its funny how solutions once presented are so obvious, but getting there can be quite hard.

I hope you enjoy the game! cool

8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter O
United States
Oakland
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
marqzen wrote:
Quote:
The tech tree isn't very unique, but that's hard to do with a theme like this


I'm curious what you mean by this :)

Do you mean that the individual advances aren't unique - because that is certainly true. Or do you mean the way it is handled mechanically? Because that suprises me. It was one of the things that took the most time to figure out - how to present many advances, balancing between choosing a path and shifting strategy, and making sure players can see which advances other players have. Once I had that nailed, I knew I could make a good civ game.

Its funny how solutions once presented are so obvious, but getting there can be quite hard.

I hope you enjoy the game! :cool:



Advance names for sure. How do you have a civ game without something like irrigation?

As for how its handled, I didn't mean to detract from the quality of the work. Simplicity is beauty and takes an INCREDIBLE amount of work to get it right. Your implementation looks good. There's just only so many ways to make "Pay X resources to get Y ability" feel unique and different in a game system without exploding into usually unneeded complexity. That's all I'm saying. I'd be hard pressed to name ANY tech tree that feels unique. My impressions may surely change once I get actual play time in on Clash. I'm looking forward to it!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Einmal ist keinmal
United States
Andover
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
You'll Never Walk Alone
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tranenturm wrote:
marqzen wrote:
Quote:
The tech tree isn't very unique, but that's hard to do with a theme like this


I'm curious what you mean by this

Do you mean that the individual advances aren't unique - because that is certainly true. Or do you mean the way it is handled mechanically? Because that suprises me. It was one of the things that took the most time to figure out - how to present many advances, balancing between choosing a path and shifting strategy, and making sure players can see which advances other players have. Once I had that nailed, I knew I could make a good civ game.

Its funny how solutions once presented are so obvious, but getting there can be quite hard.

I hope you enjoy the game! cool



Advance names for sure. How do you have a civ game without something like irrigation?

Yeah, "innovative way to water crops" just takes up too much space. shake
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fabian
Switzerland
Bern
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
marqzen wrote:
Quote:
The tech tree isn't very unique, but that's hard to do with a theme like this


I'm curious what you mean by this

Do you mean that the individual advances aren't unique - because that is certainly true. Or do you mean the way it is handled mechanically? Because that suprises me. It was one of the things that took the most time to figure out - how to present many advances, balancing between choosing a path and shifting strategy, and making sure players can see which advances other players have. Once I had that nailed, I knew I could make a good civ game.

Its funny how solutions once presented are so obvious, but getting there can be quite hard.

I hope you enjoy the game! cool



I actually felt it reminded me very much of Age of Renaissance. Sure, it used pencil and paper, but it had a very similar kind of tech tree: https://boardgamegeek.com/image/667218/age-renaissance?size=...
1 
 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.