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Subject: Have you gotten a chance to play Mega-Civ with 6-8 players yet? rss

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-=::) Dante (::=-
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KEW GARDENS
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Now that Mega-Civilization has been out for a while I'm curious to hear what the passionate fans of Civ and Adv. Civ. thought of Mega-Civ.

I'm specifically asking for opinions from those who have actually played the game already. Especially in the player counts that are already well covered by the original Civ/Adv game.

Obviously Mega-Civ is in a class of it's own for monster 10+ player games, but with 6-8 players which would you rather play and why?

Which changes were an improvement? Which weren't?

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Nicholas
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I have played Civ only one time, about 10 years ago and remember almost nothing about that play.
However, I have played AdvCiv ~10 times in 2015, before MegaCiv was published and ~10 games of MegaCiv since.

So what do I think, in comparison with AdvCiv:

1. New turn structure

- turn structure is simplified, by building and maintaining ships into the movement phase. This is a good chance, as it speeds up the game significantly. Turn order is now more important, as players had to plan to their ships in AdvCiv in order to be able to respond to possible aggression. It's easier to defend in MCiv. Ships are easier too pay for, but that is minor.

2. Discount system

- this one is big. First off, it's simpler to calculate discounts. Ditch those discount tokens and get a premade sheet&pencil. It's also easier/faster to see what techs you need to get the biggest possible discounts on another tech.

3. New techs

- a bit overwhelming at first. But, I like the new choices. Not all Civs will end up the same. Civs will have wildly different technologies. There are still some must-haves (Agriculture e.g.), but there also was some balancing done. Roadbuilding is now a viable choice.

4. Calamity resolution

-A bit simplified. Some thematic rules removed (like the Epidemic one). A few calamities changed stacks. Both did work fine for me, but the MegaCiv resolution is easier. Also, most techs which increased calamity damage now only work if you are the primary victim. Reducing techs work all the time. This results in less devastating calamities.
There are also some new calamities, especially non-tradeable in higher stacks. These work fine and CivilWar is no longer the worst calamity by default (although it still may be in some cases).

5. Changed map

-There are less city sites and fewer population points per player. This makes the game a bit tighter and harder to get to 9 cities. I'm indifferent here.

6. Changed AST

-There are two versions of the AST. The basic and expert AST. The basic one is pretty much what it's name implies. Very basic. No need to diversify your techs. Focus on one color and rush through is possible (but will lose you the game against competent players). The numbers at the end of the track are gone, which is a good thing.
Now the expert AST is a different matter. It's a bit tougher than the AdvCiv AST. My AST rating is probably Expert > AdvCiv >>>> Basic. It's also very possible to reign in a leader, whoc tries to finish a game, due to the high city requirement. However, if the leader purchased one or two of the "gain a city after calamity resolution" techs, it's much much harder to stop him from ending the game.

7. Scoring

-Scoring is simplified. I like it. Everyone trying to max their score during the last turn is still the same, however it's faster, as it is much simpler. VP for each tech ( cost related, <100=1VP, 100< x < 200 = 3VP, >200=6VP), AST progress and a bonus if a single player triggered the end.


8. 9+ player games

-Not really your question, but whatever. 9-11 is still fine, as you play with only one trade deck. Minor calamities are a bit annoying, but I guess they are needed. 12+ is not as much fun. Takes longer, no benefit, trade decks are splitted. Players completly seperated from one another.

My preferred player count is 7-9. I prefer MegaCiv with any player count over AdvCiv, as it's faster, better balanced and retained all the good stuff. Unfortunately, my AdvCiv version looks so much better than this ugly MegaCiv.

As a side note, you can play a 5-7 player MegaCiv game in 5h if you use the "short game" variant. I'm not quite sure how balanced it is, but it works very well with experienced players. Although I'm pretty sure that you could play a 5 player Basic AST game in 5h as well - but in contrast to the short game, there is no guarantee that it will actually finish inside those 5h.


Addendum:

East/West map is nice. Mixes things up a little. East plays very differnt than West. However, the printed map is not good. Quality itself is fine, however the size is (LxW) not good for the amount of players on the table. Not everyone will have easy access. Greece is still full of lots of little spaces, while other regions have HUGE empty areas. A little bit of abstraction could have gone a long way here.
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