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Subject: Nations vs. Through the Ages rss

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Michael Gonzalez
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Subject line says it all. Have at it!
 
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Ludvig Stigsson
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Nations.
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Michael Gonzalez
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Ludstifer wrote:
Nations.


Why? What are the relevant differences that make one better than the other?
 
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A K Vikhagen
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Opinions on Nations?

Interesting discussion on their differences.

 
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Matt Brown
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Okemos
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Added poll

Poll
Which game
Through the Ages
Nations
      48 answers
Poll created by matthean
 
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Thanee
Germany
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Through the Ages is the better game, but both are great.

Nations has less conflict, so that might be a deciding factor, and it is slightly less complex. It also has a built-in handicap system, where one player can play on a more difficult level than another.

Bye
Thanee
 
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Matt Brown
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Also, I have yet to play Nations, but having played TtA, I don't feel the need to.
 
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Tommy Liles
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Great question!

Nations has more "take that!" and the card distribution can be screwy, but despite that I think it's more fun than TtA. The new version of TtA has a lot of polish and it's a great game, but rarely a tense one--I have more runaway leader difficulties with TtA than Nations.

I'd still jump at the chance to play either, though.
 
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Simon Maynard
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I've only played 'Through the Ages' but one difference, as I understand it, is that Nations plays in a significantly shorter time. That may be a crucial factor in deciding which to play.

Don't know whether it's of interest or not but 'Nations' has solo rules out of the box but TtA doesn't.
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Curt Carpenter
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If every person who had rated either game showed up here to vote, you'd end up with the rankings as they are, which is Through The Ages on top, by a pretty clear margin.

But what I would say is that while TTA is the better game (for sure), I prefer to play it online, and avoid playing it face-to-face. Whereas I'd rather plan Nations face-to-face.
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Alonso Villanueva
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Lima
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The only personal reason I can think of for playing Nations is not having enough time to play TtA. I prefer long and heavy games.
 
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Curt Carpenter
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LordObsidian wrote:
The new version of TtA has a lot of polish and it's a great game, but rarely a tense one--I have more runaway leader difficulties with TtA than Nations.

Something's screwy. I've played dozens of games, and all of them have been tense. In fact if anything, my gripe is that more often than not, it comes down to final Impact card scoring. And so often it depends on who got the Impacts that mesh well with their position. If your games aren't close, either some players are significantly better/worse than others, or all are bad and are getting lost in the noise of the game's randomness. But despite playing the new version dozens of times, and the original version an hundred+ times, I still see the same relative final ordering more often than not among players I typically play with. Having a runaway leader is not mean a game is "bad", unless it happens randomly even among experienced players.
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Humulus Lupulus
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Nations is much more tactical in nature than TTA. With events and based on whether or not certain card types appear, Nations requires a lot of adjusting plans (moving buildings around) in order to do well. TTA is more strategic in that you can make a plan and work to implement it without having to suddenly adjust fire so drastically.
 
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David Gibbs
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Antiquity! :)

What are your criteria?

Both are card-driven with selection from a common pool abstracted civilization building games.

Nations is shorter, faster, with a lot less down-time, and far far more playable with more than three people than Through the Ages. TtA is a deeper, more strategic, but more time-consuming game.

I feel I'm more likely to get Nations to the table for a gaming afternoon or evening.

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Michael Gonzalez
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dagibbs wrote:
Antiquity!

What are your criteria?

Both are card-driven with selection from a common pool abstracted civilization building games.

Nations is shorter, faster, with a lot less down-time, and far far more playable with more than three people than Through the Ages. TtA is a deeper, more strategic, but more time-consuming game.

I feel I'm more likely to get Nations to the table for a gaming afternoon or evening.



From this and a few other comments, I think I might prefer Nations. Tell me this: Which of them is more conflict heavy? Someone already said Nations was less conflict-driven. Do you agree?
 
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Timothy Young
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Thanee wrote:

Nations has less conflict...



LordObsidian wrote:

Nations has more "take that!"


Hmmm...
 
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David Gibbs
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Mentat1231 wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
Antiquity! :)

What are your criteria?

Both are card-driven with selection from a common pool abstracted civilization building games.

Nations is shorter, faster, with a lot less down-time, and far far more playable with more than three people than Through the Ages. TtA is a deeper, more strategic, but more time-consuming game.

I feel I'm more likely to get Nations to the table for a gaming afternoon or evening.



From this and a few other comments, I think I might prefer Nations. Tell me this: Which of them is more conflict heavy? Someone already said Nations was less conflict-driven. Do you agree?


TtA has direct attacks on other players. Nations does not -- it has competition to be best / not-be-worst on a couple scales, with consequences, but essentially no direct attacks on other players.

So, I would say Nations is clearly less conflict-heavy.
 
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Tommy Liles
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curtc wrote:
LordObsidian wrote:
The new version of TtA has a lot of polish and it's a great game, but rarely a tense one--I have more runaway leader difficulties with TtA than Nations.

Something's screwy. I've played dozens of games, and all of them have been tense. In fact if anything, my gripe is that more often than not, it comes down to final Impact card scoring. And so often it depends on who got the Impacts that mesh well with their position. If your games aren't close, either some players are significantly better/worse than others, or all are bad and are getting lost in the noise of the game's randomness. But despite playing the new version dozens of times, and the original version an hundred+ times, I still see the same relative final ordering more often than not among players I typically play with. Having a runaway leader is not mean a game is "bad", unless it happens randomly even among experienced players.


YMMV. Although I've played TtA many times, I have not played as often as you. In my experience one player will hit a culture generating combo sometime toward the beginning of the second age and then the rest of the players have to react militarily to stop them. Due to a number of factors--player inexperience, reluctance to do something "mean" to the winning player, etc.--this doesn't always happen. I have also heard more experienced TtA'ers observe that in their face to face games usually only one person "goes military" and usually that person wins in a blowout.

I get that all of this can be mitigated by playing with experienced players and I relish the opportunity to do so, but it rarely happens for me, and playing with new or casual players leads usually to a runaway leader.

Having a runaway, as you say, doesn't make a game bad. After all, in my previous comment I did write that TtA is a great game and I always have a blast playing it every single time.

I stand by my Nations recommendation partially, however, because I simply don't have the same problem occurring in games of Nations. It may be because the game is less about combos and is shorter. I suspect this is the case, but again, YMMV.

TIM0THY wrote:
Thanee wrote:

Nations has less conflict...



LordObsidian wrote:

Nations has more "take that!"


Hmmm...

Let me clarify.
Nations encourages (sometimes requires) players to direct conflict in a way TtA doesn't. This game requires players to meet various thresholds for various resources each turn or disaster ensues. Often the flow of the game is such that maximizing damage and directing it to the proper opponent is of a higher priority than developing a player's own board. TtA, which states in its own rule book that it isn't a game about aggression, rarely promotes attacking to that degree. Usually you have to go out of your way to hit somebody in TtA. In Nations you'll likely be getting hit (albeit indirectly) or hitting your opponent each turn.
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Geoff Speare
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I vastly prefer Through the Ages but there are plenty of people who feel otherwise.

1) Through the Ages is long and complex. Correctly managing your civilization takes most people a few games, ideally played in a relatively short time span (i.e., not once a year). Nations is shorter and less complex (not simple by any means).

2) I find TtA to have more theme; to me, the nature of moving workers around in Nations doesn't feel at all like building a civilization.

3) The fact that you don't see all the cards in Nations means that you can get hosed by having none (or not enough) of what you need show up, which I don't like. All the cards show up in TtA (pre-expansion, and not counting a few cards in the first age), but the variance in order creates very different games.

4) Through the Ages has direct attacks, and a rule for withdrawing if your situation is hopeless. Nations has interaction but it is more Euro-ish.

5) Nations does have a cool handicap mechanism that is very clever.

6) The new TtA production is very good; the Nations production is OK and I feel it's overpriced for what you get.

If you think you would like TtA I would suggest trying it and then falling back to Nations if you find TtA is not your bag.
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Steph
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nations,

easier to teach and learn, faster game play, different every game, less fiddly, more options to find players.

Of course everyone will be different. You would probably like both.
 
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