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Subject: Six Player - Western Map rss

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This was a 6 player game using the Western board and the basic AST. The game took 9 hours, or 1.5 hours per player. Most players had played the game 2 or 3 times. Iberia had played online several times.

With six players we had Rome (John), Iberia (Kenny), Carthage (Nate), Greece (Ben), Minoa (Mike) and Hatti (Dan). I think that our general consensus with 6 or 7 players is that Minoa is the hardest position to play, and Greece has the best position. The Minoan player also had slightly less experience than other players. Greece seemed to have a lot of fertile land, so they didn’t need agriculture.

Initial Positioning Strategy
In the opening rounds Carthage moved aggressively into Sicily. Iberia sensing an opening used this opportunity to move into NW Africa. Greece moved south aggressively and the Hittites moved west using boats to take Cypress. The Minoans got Rhodes and Thera and Southern Greece.

Development Strategy
The technology development by players seemed mostly focused on acquiring technologies to mitigate catastrophes. The last two turns were mostly buying whatever technologies where available for scoring points. The tracks that got the most attention were primarily the orange and blue tracks mostly due to their mitigation effects. Nobody spent a lot of time focused on the green, yellow or red technologies. Carthage and the Hittites both developed a wonder around midgame to 2/3 of the way through the game which was nice, but not game changing. Iberia and Greece both purchased Rhetoric which allowed them to purchase additional ‘3’ level trade cards every turn which seemed very effective. Greece and Iberia finished the game with the top two scores.

Requisite Whining
As the Hittites I I was doing fairly well until midgame when I reached for 8 cities for the first time. I was about even with everyone else. I think that everyone was at 6 to 8 cities. I drew tyranny , which is a level 7 non-tradable card, and was traded epidemic, which was a level 6 catastrophe. At that point I didn’t have anything to mitigate the effects. Sculpture, drama or music, which are all blue cards would have all helped lessen the effects. These simultaneous catastrophes knocked me down from 8 cities to four cities and depopulated my civilization. Next turn Greece received cyclone and put it in the Caspian Sea . Being next to the sea affected me as well and I was reduced from 4 cities down to 2 cities. Rebuilding, I was unable to move forward on the AST for two turns, putting me out of the running. At this point in time I also held textiles for 3 turns waiting to acquire the 7th card, and was unable to spend anything on technology. I hate turning in incomplete sets, but maybe I should have settled for 6 of the 7 cards.

End Scoring
Iberia, Greece, and Carthage all completed the AST at the same time. Rome was one space behind on the track, and Minoa and Hatti were two spaces behind on the track.

We didn’t add the AST points in with the card development points. On the development points alone, the scores were Greece (57), Iberia (53), Carthage (48), Rome (43), Hatti (37), and Minoa (about 33).

Overall thoughts
Everyone seems to be fairly satisfied that the strategy of focusing on disaster mitigation seems to be the correct approach. Maybe with more time we will branch out and try other approaches. I think that bad luck can still ruin your chances of winning, but for me winning is secondary to the experience of spending the day trying to develop the most advanced civilization. Learning the technologies and figuring out how to mesh and leverage them is the most difficult part of the game, and after 2 games, I am nowhere near where I’d like to be in this area.

I suspect think that we are going to make the winner of this game play the Minoans next time. The game plays well with 6, but doesn't seem to be as fun as with 7. I suspect that with 9 players, the max allowed for either the East or West board that it will be even more fun.

I was also mentally comparing this to Twilight Imperium 4th edition which we’ve played recently I prefer Mega Civ, but another player who has played a lot of Twilight Imperium would give the slight nod to it. I think that there may be more randomness in MegaCiv, but I also feel like I have more control over developing technologies, and that there is more of an arc to MegaCiv where Twilight Imperium seems to end a little early for me, and isn’t as satisfying.
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Nate Sandall
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Hellas (Greece) has won three out of the three games we have played on the Western map and was played by a different player each time so yes the consensus is Hellas is the strongest position in the West so far. It would be interesting to see what effect the Celts would be on them. Thanks for playing Dan!
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