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Subject: Rule differences from Advanced Civilization rss

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Paul Schulzetenberg
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Now that the rules are out, I figured I'd make a summary of the changes that I found from the old version of Advanced Civilization. I'm sure I missed some, so I'd definitely appreciate people chiming in.

The basics
- The game now supports up to 18 players.
- Victory is calculated differently. Advances grant 1-6 VPs, Cities 1 VP each, and AST position 5 pts per space, with an additional 5 if you are the only player to end the game.
- There are two more ways to play the game. 'The First Game' is an intro game, and 'The Short Game' roughly simulates the early game and puts players right into the midgame.

Civilization advances
- There are 51 advances, compared to 24 in the old game. These are all over the place, giving new abilities for movement, city building, conflict, city maintenance, trade card acquisition, and a lot more.
- Credits are dealt with differently, as there are now credit tokens instead of credits per card. Some cards still credit specific other advances, though that too looks like it's been simplified.
- Multicolored advances can now only have the credits applied from ONE of the two colors, rather than both.
- There's a special abilities phase which triggers advance effects that take place once per turn (like Monotheism in the old game).
- Costs have been reworked significantly.

Map
- The map goes all the way to India, and stretches further north as well. The Western Expansion map has been integrated into the board.
- No players start on the edge of the board anymore. All begin in a starting location in the map interior, much like Crete in the old game.
- The map is divided into West and East. For games up to 11 players, only one of the two halves is used.
- The spaces that already existed on the board have been geographically tweaked a bit so that there are more spaces in some places, fewer in others, and borders have been changed.
- There are now spaces with a value of 0. These spaces can never have wilderness cities built on them.
- In general, the board is harsher. There are fewer city sites per player, and areas tend to have lower numbers.
- The map is divided differently when playing with fewer than the maximum number of players.

Trade cards
- There are two sets of trade cards, blue and orange. 5-11 players, while orange are only used for 12+ player games. In addition, each of the sets has cards that are removed for fewer players. This will presumably have the effect of there being a more consistent amount of calamities when playing with different numbers of players.
- Trade cards are also divided between West and East and are only used if playing with the corresponding half of the board.
- When playing with both halves of the board, civs from the Western half draw from the Western decks, and civs from the Eastern half draw from the Eastern decks. Each deck has a full set of one resource, and half of 2-3 others.
- If a pile of trade cards is exhausted when you draw a card, you now get a replacement 0 value Water card instead, so at least you have something to trade with, even if there's no value.
- The makup of the trade decks is significantly different. In general, there are larger number of cards in the sets. Many goods have been added, and others have been removed (e.g. Grain has been replaced with Wool).
- You can now purchase a level 9 trade card for 15 treasury rather than 18.
- You can keep 9 cards instead of 8 at the end of the turn in 12+ player games.

Calamities
- There is a new type of calamity, called Minor calamities. All of these are new. As the name implies, they are weaker than the other calamities.
- Players can suffer no more than 3 calamities per turn, only two of which can be major.
- There are multiple copies of some calamities. Players may not be the victim of two of the same kind of calamity (including as a secondary victim).
- Some of the old calamities have been moved to different decks. Specifically, Civil War goes from 4 to 5, Slave Revolt goes from 4 to 3, Flood goes from 5 to 4, and Superstition goes from 3 to 4.
- There are now non-tradeable calamities for decks 6-9. They generally hurt pretty bad if you don't have mitigating Advances.
- Some small changes have been made to calamities based on which Civilization Advances a player holds.
- Civil War and Barbarian Hordes have been streamlined, but ultimately work very similarly.
- There are no support checks, conflict, or surplus population checks during calamity resolution.

Miscellaneous
- There's now a turn marker. I don't see what this is used for -- maybe for calling the game after a certain number of turns?
- There are now two different ASTs, one for beginners, and one for experts.
- You no longer can join the game late via Civil War.
- Shipbuilding and maintenance is no longer a separate phase, but is handled in the movement phase. You can now build ships with a token from the board that is not in the space that you want to build the ship.

The upshot
I haven't played this yet, but it does look like it will be very familiar to players of Advanced Civ. You still do most of the basic tasks the same way: movement, ships, combat,city building, trade card acquisition, trading, purchasing advances, etc.

Rules tweaks are pretty minimal, and serve mostly to smooth out some of the rough edges of the old game. The turn procedure is a little smoother, and the credit system has been simplified immensely. Civil War's shift to the 5 deck will make it at least one turn later before it shows up, which is good, as it was decidedly nasty in the old version, especially for a being in the 4 deck. Calamity resolution and credits are more streamlined, which will eliminate edge cases which would occasionally crop up with the old rules.

The map may affect things, but it's difficult to tell without a play. The East/West division with 12+ players will alter trade cards a small bit, but not too drastically. The map in general has more spaces, but also fewer city spaces per player, which will mean more wilderness cities, and may also lead to a game with more conflict. I'm undecided yet whether I like or dislike that.

The new calamities may make the game a bit harsher, and will probably serve to pull down the players with stronger map positions. There's more mitigation options available, but also more advances that exaggerate the effects, so that's probably a wash.

The biggest differences are clearly in the the advances. Most (all?) of the old favorites are still around, though some have gotten minor tweaks. There's a ton of new ones, though, with some very strong effects. It's impossible to say what kind of effect they have on the game without playing.

Strategically, the players who traded well in the old game were the ones who won. A military-focused strategy accomplished nothing more than taking one or two other players with you to the bottom. It looks like that may not be the case with the new one. The map looks like it encourages a bit more conflict, and several of the new advances have some pretty big benefits for a military strategy, especially Advanced Military, Diaspora, Naval Warfare, and Provincial Empire.

That said, the trading strategy got some help as well. There are several advances that help players purchase or otherwise obtain more trade cards, turn in larger sets, or otherwise increase economic output. The cumulative effect seems to be that players are likely to buy more advances, and probably there will be fewer turns where players can't afford anything as a result.

I don't know how many times I'm going to have occasion to play this game with anything close to the full complement of players, but I'm excited to give it a try. The support for fewer players seems adequate, so at the very least I can see this getting played as a variant for our regular sessions of Advanced Civ.
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Brian McCarty
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Thanks for the summary!
One other thing: If a stack is empty you get a "0" card instead on no card at all.

Certain advances allow you buy from other stacks beside the 9 stack.

Brian

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Paul Schulzetenberg
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Thanks for pointing those out. I caught that there were water cards, but I missed what they were used for, and forgot to check. I've edited the original post to take that and the purchasing into account.
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David Etherton
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Also you never use the Blue and Orange decks in the same game. Blue deck is used with less than 12 players, Orange for 12 or more. (page 11)
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Paul Schulzetenberg
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I missed that, you're right. I'll edit the post to reflect that. I assumed that, because there were fewer cards in the orange set, they would be added in with more players. Turns out I was wrong. Thanks for the catch!
 
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Tom
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Thank you for this summary. I will point out however that in Adv Civ, both Slave Revolt and Civil War are in the 4 deck.
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Paul Schulzetenberg
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Serves me right for relying on my faulty memory. blush

Civil war goes 4 to 5, Slave revolt goes from 4 to 3, Flood goes from 5 to 4, and Superstition goes from 3 to 4. I'll change the original post.
 
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Flo de Haan
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Great job guys! Of course I had a list myself, but it's great to find out yourself...
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Richard Irving
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Unitoch wrote:
Serves me right for relying on my faulty memory. blush

Civil war goes 4 to 5, Slave revolt goes from 4 to 3, Flood goes from 5 to 4, and Superstition goes from 3 to 4. I'll change the original post.


An easier way to think about that--Civil war and Flood swap decks and Superstition and Slave Revolt do too.
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Clayton Threadgill
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IIRC, in AdvCiv everyone (except Crete) starts on the edge of the map. In this, each civ has a starting zone, which might be in the middle of the board.
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Brian McCarty
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Not sure if this is worth mentioning - but Crete / Minoa is no longer immune to Barbarian Hordes. Also, could BH cross water before?

Brian
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Jim Scheiderich
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N9IWP wrote:
Not sure if this is worth mentioning - but Crete / Minoa is no longer immune to Barbarian Hordes. Also, could BH cross water before?

Brian


To my recall, the BH were land bound. They also tended to burn out within 2-3 areas of movement.
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Anders Gabrielsson
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LHIM wrote:
To my recall, the BH were land bound. They also tended to burn out within 2-3 areas of movement.

It would depend a lot on the population density of the area where they started, but very often that's what happens as they're directed towards high-value targets which will soak up a bunch of the barbarian tokens and usually require them to leave many behind as well.
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John Rodriguez
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Unitoch wrote:

Strategically, the players who traded well in the old game were the ones who won. A military-focused strategy accomplished nothing more than taking one or two other players with you to the bottom. It looks like that may not be the case with the new one. The map looks like it encourages a bit more conflict, and several of the new advances have some pretty big benefits for a military strategy, especially Advanced Military, Diaspora, Naval Warfare, and Provincial Empire.

That said, the trading strategy got some help as well. There are several advances that help players purchase or otherwise obtain more trade cards, turn in larger sets, or otherwise increase economic output. The cumulative effect seems to be that players are likely to buy more advances, and probably there will be fewer turns where players can't afford anything as a result.


From our many playtests Military strategies are possible but a few Points:

1) Arms Races - once someone gets into the military advances the other civs will counter - sometimes with the same classical military advances other times with more asymmetrical options... (e.g. Politics, Monotheism, Fundamentalism).

2) We found that overall it was still very difficult to get a military strategy to work as the *primary* civ strategy. It seems to work best as a situational strategy to negotiate borders more to your advantage and hopefully squeeze out an extra city or two. It can also backfire though!

3) The map is tighter as you mentioned. Unlike the last game where everyone could usually maintain 9 cities... you typically cannot do that in Mega Civ. You will likely average 7 in the late game. People who keep up all 9 cities for many turns are likely doing very well. This doesn't necessarily make military better... but from a certain point a view I suppose it could be more attractive - especially when you neighbor is city rich and you aren't. I mean... you deserve your fair share... right?
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Mil Myman
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Unitoch wrote:

- Tax revolts now give your cities away to other players.

This was always the case. Though it hardly ever happens with experienced players.
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Flo de Haan
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Unitoch wrote:

- Tax revolts now give your cities away to other players.

This was always the case. Though it hardly ever happens with experienced players.


Even during playtest we hardly saw tax revolt. The tough penalty keeps players focused to prevent this.


We also tested a lot on military strategy. In theory it is a winning strategy, however, something you cannot control is the backfire as John mentioned. As soon as a player acts aggressively, or seems too powerful, other players team up to counterattack or prevent cities from being built.
Of course when the power cards add up (military, advanced military, Naval Warfare etc.) that player has a big advantage, but other players may purchase the same cards soon, and you get the same arms race as was happening with Metalworking in (Advanced) Civilization.

Military is worth nothing as soon as all players hold that card (just like Metalworking), though you keep the drawbacks.
That is not the case for advanced military where board-strategy makes the difference.

Advanced Military combined with Naval Warfare does a lot! Believe me.
But expect to make enemies fast.arrrh


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Paul Schulzetenberg
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Phil Fleischmann wrote:
Unitoch wrote:

- Tax revolts now give your cities away to other players.

This was always the case. Though it hardly ever happens with experienced players.


Thanks for pointing this out. It's been so long since I've seen a tax revolt that I thought it was something else. I'll fix the initial post.

hooliganj wrote:
IIRC, in AdvCiv everyone (except Crete) starts on the edge of the map. In this, each civ has a starting zone, which might be in the middle of the board.


This is something that was so clear from a glance at the map that I left it out, but you're right, it should be included. I'll edit the post.
 
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Mil Myman
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Flodehaan wrote:
Military is worth nothing as soon as all players hold that card (just like Metalworking), though you keep the drawbacks.

Well, Metalworking is still useful for the Barbarians.

As I read through the rules, I saw a few things that looked like typos. Are these correct:

* For the "expert" game, you need 3 cities to enter the Early Bronze Age. This is the same number of cities as the next age. The minimum cities requirements for the various ages are: 3, 3, 4, 5. As opposed to 2, 3, 4, 5 in the original game.

* If a player has Engineering, you need 8 tokens to successfully attack his city, but then the city is replaced by only 6 tokens, rather than 7. So Engineering doesn't help you as much in defending your cities as it did in the original game.
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Mil Myman
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Epidemic - You can completely wipe out an area if affected by Epidemic, instead of having to leave one token.

Famine - Pottery now gives a flat reduction in losses, not dependant on having grain, nor on how much grain you have. Agriculture *increases* the losses from Famine.

A lot of the other calamities are modified - including ways in which advances mitigate/aggravate them. You can read them yourself, but I thought the changes to Epidemic and Famine were particularly noteworthy.
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Bill Gallagher
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Now that I've had a chance to read through the rules, I had a question/comment regarding Slave Revolt:

If a player is traded this calamity, and has Mining and Cultural Ascendency (but not Mythology or Enlightenment), does this mean one needs six population tokens for each city? Granted, this is a worst-case scenario...

I'm hoping to get a copy at BGG.CON if one is available there.
 
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David Etherton
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Yuglooc wrote:
I'm hoping to get a copy at BGG.CON if one is available there.


It'll take an entire suitcase on its own! (Jealous of the folks who can drive in)
 
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etherton wrote:
Yuglooc wrote:
I'm hoping to get a copy at BGG.CON if one is available there.


It'll take an entire suitcase on its own! (Jealous of the folks who can drive in)


I do hope this means you're picking this up, so I can play your copy.
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Bill Gallagher
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etherton wrote:
It'll take an entire suitcase on its own! (Jealous of the folks who can drive in)

That's what the FedEx office at BGG.CON is for - to have those games that won't fit into my suitcase shipped home.

Yeah, if I do snag a copy, I'll have it at Orccon (Strategicon convention - February 2016 in Los Angeles).
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Travis Dean
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Yuglooc wrote:
Yeah, if I do snag a copy, I'll have it at Orccon (Strategicon convention - February 2016 in Los Angeles).


That might be enough incentive to actual attend a Strategicon finally.
 
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Bill Gallagher
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N9IWP wrote:
Also, could BH cross water before?

Brian

No, they could not cross water zones in Advanced Civilization. They apparently can here (note that as they don't have Astronavigation, I assume that they cannot cross open seas).

Note that the Hordes must start in a city (not necessarily in your "home area"). Also, if you have a wilderness city (one not on a city spot), they will start there.
 
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