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Subject: 3 or 4 players? rss

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Jan Schröder

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would it be possible to play the game with 3 or 4 players (partitioned off map, maybe)? Or does it not work at all?
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Bern Harkins
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I've played both Civi and Advanced Civi with four players, and both were last lacker experiences. It's not the same game with less than five, and we always preferred six.
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Mil Myman
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Something I've always wanted to try - and I've done it with other games, but not with Civ/Adv Civ - is to play, say, 3 or 4 players, but with each player playing two positions. Essentially a 6 or 8 player game. This opens the game up a bit. The rules I propose for Advanced Civ (which I assume would also apply to Mega Civ):

1. You track the scores of your two civilizations separately, and your final score is the LOWER of the two. In other words, you have to advance *both* of your civilizations. You can't just tank one at the expense of the other.

2. Each of your two civilizations is entirely separate - they much each purchase their own advances. One's advances to not apply to the other.

3. Each civilization draws its own trade cards. If your two civs have 4 and 7 cities, then they get 4 and 7 trade cards, respectively.

4. To speed up trading between your two civs, you can combine their trade cards together into one "double hand" for the duration of the trading phase. However, at the end of the trading phase, this "double hand" had to be split between the two civs in the same proportion as they started. So if your two civs have 5 and 10 trade cards each before combining, you can combine them together into a hand of 15 cards, trade with other players, and then split them back into 5 and 10 (or as close as possible, if you wind up with a different number of cards).

5. Non-tradable calamities cannot be passed to your other civ.

6. Your civ is not necessarily immune to secondary effects of calamities affecting your other civ.

7. If one of your civs has fewer than 3 cards to trade, then it can't trade, even with your other civ - and you can't combine the two hands.

8. Essentially, trade between your two civs works the same as trade between you and another player, except that you know for certain what all the cards are.
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Flo de Haan
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Of course we tested this... and there is a reason our game says 5-18 players instead of 3-18 players.

The reason is this:

we just don't think it is a good idea. We leave it up to anyone to try and find a way, creating house-rules (that will happen anyway) but we fully rejected it for our release. There are many many games that can be played by 3-4 players.

The core thing of Mega Civilization is the MEGA: This game is designed for larger groups.

The main three reasons are:
- When collecting trade cards, players should at least be able to make a complete set of commodities every two turns. This is already a hard time when playing 5 players, so we adjusted the rules there a bit, but 3-4 players bring too little wealth in the game every round.
You see. if a set consists of 8 or 9 cards, and every turn only 4 cards are drawn... The rules should be adjusted too much if you would for example take out one set per stack (too much calamities), a different system having smaller sets (extra cards).

- When there is one weaker player, and two better ones, the game simply lasts too long to give this one person a fun time. In a game of at least 5 players there are more ways to catch up. The same is true for when there is one player that's ahead in at the start of the game. You need these extra players to slow this person down.

- Some calamities force victim to give secondary damage to other players. If there are not enough secondary players the calamities are too destructive. Of course you could have additional rules for 3-4 players, but... reason 2.



After all. We cancelled all options for 1-4 players. Even 5 players is a minimum number. Actually we only added it to have a little ease-in to the game for new players.

Personally, apart from what the rules say, I'd suggest: Play with at least 7 players to experience the game to its full extend. I'm not talking about (Advanced) Civilization, I'm talking about MEGA CIVILIZATION.

I'm 100% sure there is no-one in the world that has played the game more times than I did. I've been testing for years now, with every separate number of players. My personal favorite: 15-18 players. This number has all options enabled.
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Flo,

with your experience, what do you think about the "variant" just above your post ?

=> pros and cons (i have read your answer above but your vision on this could change my decision to buy it or not)
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Jan Schröder

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thanks for the detailed answers!

so that i get it right:
MEGA civilization would be the version of Civilization to choose for lots of players, as all resources and calamities etc. are scaled for multiple players.
For a smaller player count it would thus be better to play "classical" civilization? (or arguably some other game thats good for 3 or 4..?)
 
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John Rodriguez
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schroederjan wrote:
thanks for the detailed answers!

so that i get it right:
MEGA civilization would be the version of Civilization to choose for lots of players, as all resources and calamities etc. are scaled for multiple players. ki
For a smaller player count it would thus be better to play "classical" civilization? (or arguably some other game thats good for 3 or 4..?)


The takeaway: Mega Civilization is fully playable with 5 and starts to shine with 6. It really isn't any different than the prior versions in this case (I'd never recommend Civ or Adv Civ with only 4). If you have 3 or 4 you could house rule things and perhaps play - but the core game will need some adjustments to compensate for Flo's issues.

Phil your variant might work but it's hard to say as it changes up quite a bit. Personally the "double-hand" thing seems too clunky for me to want to try out. (I'm lazy and wouldn't want to keep track of the cards like that)
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Matt Price
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powerwis wrote:
Flo,

with your experience, what do you think about the "variant" just above your post ?

=> pros and cons (i have read your answer above but your vision on this could change my decision to buy it or not)


I'd love to hear if Flo feels the same way as John. That's an interesting idea for a variant, and does get around the issue Flo brings up of too few cards coming into play to make the game work well.

*subscribed*
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Flo de Haan
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My opinion here:

Mega Civilization with 5 players can bring the same fun as the regular (Advanced) Civilization, when it comes to the issues mentioned.
What I said for MEGA counts as well here. If you have always liked (Adv.) Civilization with 5 players, you'll sure love MEGA CIVILIZATION with 5 players.

Of course apart from that MEGA brings you much more options and cards


Personally I was never a fan of a 5-player game of (Advanced) Civilization. I have always tried to get at least 6-7 players (preferable 8), but hey, that's my personal opinion. Maybe it's just that I like big games.

Our 9-18 option just brings so much more to the game, that can never be reached with a smaller group (where everyone stays seated). And with all those new cards, the variety of situations that occur is just much more fun with more players, then when every player (of these 5)goes the same route.. (mysticism, metalworking, Literacy, Monotheism etc.)

When I am with just 4-5 people, I'd rather play a few different board-games that are optimal for 5 players. I like 1830 for instance.


As I said: If you want to try and adjust the rules for 3-4 players. Please do! I encourage that very much. Share your findings here or wherever online and have other people join the fun. I believe the internet is a great way to crowd-gather play-testing data. However, it's always a matter of taste. A hundred people, a hundred opinions.

And maybe it does work out. And maybe we should adjust the box saying 3-18 players in a future release. Until that time we don't want to mislead people, so we have definitely chosen to start the game at 5 players.

p.s. I fully agree with John, quoting: "Mega Civilization is fully playable with 5 and starts to shine with 6."
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Mil Myman
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Velusion wrote:
Phil your variant might work but it's hard to say as it changes up quite a bit. Personally the "double-hand" thing seems too clunky for me to want to try out. (I'm lazy and wouldn't want to keep track of the cards like that)

Perhaps you misunderstood me. There's nothing to keep track of. You combine the hands of your two tribes at the start of the Trading phase, and then you split them apart again after the Trading phase. You don't have to keep track of the number of cards each tribe is supposed to have, because the number of cities they have is right there on the board. The only thing you might have to remember is if they bought a 9-stack card.

If you still think the combining hands thing it "too clunky", you can always keep the hands separate and trade with yourself as if you were two different players. But it seems that would make the whole process take a lot longer. The combined hands idea was to speed things up.

But it seems to me that if you're playing with fewer than 5, you want to play regular Civ/Advanced Civ, not Mega. With up to 18 tribes, you could have nine players playing two tribes each. Or even six players with three tribes each! However, you are still responsible for your own loss of sanity.

EDIT: Upon further reflection, I guess you might need to keep track of the two tribes' number of cards they started with, but still, that's only two numbers each up to a maximum of 18. If you need to, to can write them down, or use a d20 or some similar device (regular cards, M:tG life tracker, tokens from another game, tokens from *this* game, poker chips, dry erase board, etc. You could even place one of the spare tokens on the Census track to indicate number of cards.)
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John Rodriguez
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:

EDIT: Upon further reflection, I guess you might need to keep track of the two tribes' number of cards they started with, but still, that's only two numbers each up to a maximum of 18. If you need to, to can write them down, or use a d20 or some similar device (regular cards, M:tG life tracker, tokens from another game, tokens from *this* game, poker chips, dry erase board, etc. You could even place one of the spare tokens on the Census track to indicate number of cards.)


Yea that's what I was referring to. It's not a terrible lot to keep track of and certainly you can try out your variant and see if it works. Post back here!
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Mil Myman
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Velusion wrote:
Phil Fleischmann wrote:

EDIT: Upon further reflection, I guess you might need to keep track of the two tribes' number of cards they started with, but still, that's only two numbers each up to a maximum of 18. If you need to, to can write them down, or use a d20 or some similar device (regular cards, M:tG life tracker, tokens from another game, tokens from *this* game, poker chips, dry erase board, etc. You could even place one of the spare tokens on the Census track to indicate number of cards.)


Yea that's what I was referring to. It's not a terrible lot to keep track of and certainly you can try out your variant and see if it works. Post back here!

Yeah. Now all I need is to find a day when enough of my gamer friends are available all day, among the ones who like Civ. That hasn't happened for quite some time.

However! I have used this "variant" with other games, including Age of Renaissance, which is kind of like Civ, and found it works well. Of course, in AoR, you don't have the trading aspect.
 
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Dmitry Volevodz
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>My personal favorite: 15-18 players

Holy jesus. What is the game length and the space needed?
We have played many 8-10 Twilight Imperium sessions, but only couple were 8 players and it was a mess, now I can't imagine 18 players in one room playing one game.
 
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William Chew
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Voley wrote:
>My personal favorite: 15-18 players

Holy jesus. What is the game length and the space needed?
We have played many 8-10 Twilight Imperium sessions, but only couple were 8 players and it was a mess, now I can't imagine 18 players in one room playing one game.



Well the map is almost 7 feet long. So that takes up most of a main table and I'm curious about the rest of the components.
 
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Brian McCarty
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Voley wrote:
>My personal favorite: 15-18 players

Holy jesus. What is the game length and the space needed?
We have played many 8-10 Twilight Imperium sessions, but only couple were 8 players and it was a mess, now I can't imagine 18 players in one room playing one game.


Keep in mind that ~75% of the game is played simultaneously or is really quick (AST resolution takes ~10 seconds / player)

Trading and Calamity resolution seem to take the longest time to me.

Brian
 
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Flo de Haan
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This game is not twilight imperium.

I have played several games with the higher player count in my own living room.

You see, Mega Civilization is not so much for a 100% sitting experience. You don't need 18 chairs.

Trust me. It'll be a beautiful mess, but it works just fine.
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