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Subject: New 2018 reprint of a classic game rss

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Selwyn Ward
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First, it has to be said, kudos to Gibsons for republishing this classic board game. The game dates back to 1980 and was previously best known for its Avalon Hill Games edition (1981/82) although Hartland Trefoil were the game’s original publisher. Gibsons first published their edition of the game in 1988.

Civilization was designed by Frances Tresham. Though Sid Meier is the name most closely identified with Civilization, to the extent that a host of Civ games, including board game versions, have Sid Meier’s name attached as part of the game title, this game predates by a decade the first Sid Meier’s Civilization game (a version originally written to run in MS-DOS on a PC).

Coming to this original version of Civilization having played any of the Sid Meier computer games, you will recognise many very familiar features that you’ll only now appreciate originated with Frances Tresham’s board game. Indeed, Civilization introduced several elements that have become integral features of most ‘4X’ (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) games – particularly the ‘tech tree’ where players advance their civilizations by developing technology.

This version of Civilization is not really a 4X game, however. You are expanding and exploiting territory but there is no exploration and, though there is likely to be some combative competition for territory, this is not a game where you will be seeking to exterminate other players.

The game includes rules for 2–7 players but it probably shouldn’t be played with fewer than four and, like Allan Calhamer's Diplomacy (another title published in the 1980s by Gibsons), it is at its best with the full complement of seven. The set up allows for some variability because the seven factions can be selected from the nine available. Victory is achieved by advancing your civilization ahead of your rivals. Players can co-exist in the same territories provided that the land can support the number of units present. If the total exceeds the capacity of the territory, then the units will battle. There are no dice: conflict is resolved by a simple process of attrition: each party removing a unit until the total is within the capacity of the land.

The game is engrossing but it’s not a title that’s designed for casual play. The rules incorporate a simplified version that you should be able to complete in under 2 hours and a ‘shortened version’ that is likely to take about 4 hours. However, you will need to set aside a whole day for a full unexpurgated game.

It’s great to see such a classic game given a new lease of life. It shows that you don’t need plastic minis to hold players’ attention. That said, Civilization does show its age. Gibsons have given this edition new artwork but the garish colours of the map are reminiscent of the Diplomacy board from more than 40 years ago. You can take a look for yourself at Board's Eye View (www.facebook.com/boardseye). The cards are thin but serviceable. What most lets the game down, however, is that the rulebook still looks like it hails from the 1980s. This is not an overly complicated game but the rules are presented as dense text with less illustration than players have nowadays come to expect. A more modern updated rulebook, with, for example, a fully illustrated set up, would have given this edition a huge boost.

That gripe aside, this game deserves to be more widely seen and more widely played, so this new edition is very welcome. Gibsons Games have some other great titles in their back catalogue (we’re looking at you Kingmaker!) so let’s hope this reprint presages more to come…
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Derek H
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Quote:
The rules incorporate a simplified version that you should be able to complete in under 2 hours

Do you know if those rules will be available (and applicable) to us owners of the original game?
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Lance McMillan
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Poins wrote:
...new artwork but the garish colours of the map are reminiscent of the Diplomacy board from more than 40 years ago. You can take a look for yourself at Board's Eye View (www.facebook.com/boardseye).


Gah! That's hideous -- I sincerely hope that's just a test version.

I still love and occasionally play my AH version of the game, but it sees a lot less table-time that it used to, chiefly because of the playing time. We're all still patiently hoping/waiting for someone to somehow re-work the basic system so that it plays in 2-3 (or even 3-4) hours, rather than the typical 6-8 hours, but I'm not sure how you could achieve that without impacting the fun "feel" of the original.
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Lewis Goldberg
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Lancer4321 wrote:
Poins wrote:
...new artwork but the garish colours of the map are reminiscent of the Diplomacy board from more than 40 years ago. You can take a look for yourself at Board's Eye View (www.facebook.com/boardseye).


Gah! That's hideous -- I sincerely hope that's just a test version.

I still love and occasionally play my AH version of the game, but it sees a lot less table-time that it used to, chiefly because of the playing time. We're all still patiently hoping/waiting for someone to somehow re-work the basic system so that it plays in 2-3 (or even 3-4) hours, rather than the typical 6-8 hours, but I'm not sure how you could achieve that without impacting the fun "feel" of the original.


Proving that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I love the new board!
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Becq
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Civilization was a great game. Advanced Civilization was (in my opinion, at least) better. Mega Civilization improved on the concept even more (but was admittedly *too big*, and therefore priced out those not planning to play 18-player marathons. There are plans to fix that with Mega Civilization - The West.

If Mega Civilization didn't exist, and the reprint included the Advanced Civ content and a more attractive board (I'd have gone with this one: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/880022/civilization-total-g...), I'd applaud them for bringing this back to a new generation of gamers. But as it is, this reprint seems like a pointless downgrade to me.

And probably a poor business move, too: as a *best* case scenario, it seems likely they'll split the customer base with 999 Games and hurt both companies and Civ fans, too.
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Bill Cook
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Becq wrote:
But as it is, this reprint seems like a pointless downgrade to me.


Respectfully disagree:

1. Base Civ is an awesome game. Whether or not Adv Civ is "better" is kinda irrelevant as it is OOP and probably will be forever.

2. Even the upcoming "small" version of Mega Civ will be deluxified and expensive.
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Mike Marentette
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According to an email that I received from the publisher when I asked about general availability, they said that this reprint will only be available in the UK.
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Martin DeOlden
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I will stick with playing my copy of Adv Civ. Downgrading to regular Civ is something I would never do or play it that way again. Glad I bought it when it came out.
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David Chapman
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gamesbook wrote:
Quote:
The rules incorporate a simplified version that you should be able to complete in under 2 hours

Do you know if those rules will be available (and applicable) to us owners of the original game?


If you own the original game then you already have them. Pages 7-8 of your rulebook.

For those complaining about the board: it's completely unchanged from the 1988 edition, except the colours have been deepened to make Pink and Buff more distinct.
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Rob McArthur
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While it's great for them to reprint the game, it does seem to be pretty tone deaf as to what boardgamers' expectations are these days. A straight reprint is not going to fly. People expect the same great gameplay with upgraded components and a few new options from lesson learned over 40 years of play. They could have even just licensed the beautiful print-n-play art available in the forum.

To me this seems like the result of a conversation they had in a pub:

Some dude:"Did you know people still play your game today and it goes for £100 on eBay?"

Designer: "Really, £100? That's crazy!"

Some dude: "You should reprint it! You'd make a killing!"

Designer: "Well I do still have all the artwork, it wouldn't require very much effort. Hmm...."

Game releases having done no market research. Sells a few copies to the same people who buy classic versions of Clue and Risk. Unsold copies are binned.
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Lewis Goldberg
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robmcarthur2001 wrote:
While it's great for them to reprint the game, it does seem to be pretty tone deaf as to what boardgamers' expectations are these days. A straight reprint is not going to fly.


I'm a boardgamer, and my wants are for a straight reprint. I almost never want any tinkering. For me, the only justifiable rules changes are to incorporate any official errata. For wargames, a graphics update is often desirable, but for Civ, why bother? I love the new (old) look.

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Derek H
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Jedit wrote:
gamesbook wrote:
Quote:
The rules incorporate a simplified version that you should be able to complete in under 2 hours

Do you know if those rules will be available (and applicable) to us owners of the original game?


If you own the original game then you already have them. Pages 7-8 of your rulebook.

For those complaining about the board: it's completely unchanged from the 1988 edition, except the colours have been deepened to make Pink and Buff more distinct.

I must have a completely different version - mine is shades of greens and browns - this new version's colors are (at best) garish.
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R.T. Sloan
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Becq wrote:

A more attractive board (I'd have gone with this one: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/880022/civilization-total-g...)


Now that is a beautiful board. And also functional. thumbsup
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David Chapman
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gamesbook wrote:
Jedit wrote:
For those complaining about the board: it's completely unchanged from the 1988 edition, except the colours have been deepened to make Pink and Buff more distinct.

I must have a completely different version - mine is shades of greens and browns - this new version's colors are (at best) garish.


That's the Avalon Hill edition.
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Eero Miettinen
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Savory Oliver wrote:
yeah I liked Civ back in the day, but no interest in playing it anymore. My standards around components, artwork, rules, play length, theme integration, how many players you need to have a great game, and lots of interlocking mechanics have changed. One of the reason Civ was so great was the total lack of serious competition.


I don't see the point of straight reprint either, but I am curious to hear if your art criticism applies to the MegaCiv-version as well? I like the art and components in that version. Sure, the counters are maybe a bit too simple, but at least the board situation is very clear.

Rules and theme. In my opinion the beauty of this game(series) is in it's simplicity. Expansion and Stock-Population-Treasury -mechanisms in particular are simply brilliant. As for the theme I am yet to find a game that depicts rise and fall of the civilizations better than this game. Any suggestions on that?

Game length is an issue, but people have been trying to create a fast playing "Civ-lite" with the same epic feel for 40 years without success.
So, this game got something right from the start although this is not a game you just spontaneously put on a table on a game night.
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Derek H
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eerom wrote:
Savory Oliver wrote:
yeah I liked Civ back in the day, but no interest in playing it anymore. My standards around components, artwork, rules, play length, theme integration, how many players you need to have a great game, and lots of interlocking mechanics have changed. One of the reason Civ was so great was the total lack of serious competition.

Rules and theme. In my opinion the beauty of this game(series) is in it's simplicity. Expansion and Stock-Population-Treasury -mechanisms in particular are simply brilliant. As for the theme I am yet to find a game that depicts rise and fall of the civilizations better than this game. Any suggestions on that?

Game length is an issue, but people have been trying to create a fast playing "Civ-lite" with the same epic feel for 40 years without success.
So, this game got something right from the start although this is not a game you just spontaneously put on a table on a game night.

These comments are spot on. There are games that do different things and occupy their own niche ("civ in 2 hours"), but none to compete in this space.
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Steve Carey
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Since I sold my copies of Civ/Adv Civ, I would like to get the Gibson 2018 reprint version.

If it's only going to be made available in the UK, hopefully it will pop up at one of the retail outlets so I can place an order (if anyone can provide a link, I'd appreciate it).
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Hept86
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It was on sale for £30 (25% off RRP) at the launch party yesterday, which means the RRP should be £40. (www.gibsonsgames.co.uk under news).

The publisher's twitter page says there is an interview with Mr Tresham about Civilization in the March edition of a magazine called Tabletop Gaming.
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Matthias Kievernagel
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Those colours on the new board look like they imply nation borders.
No clue, what the idea behind it is.
Looks rather irritating to me.

Matthias.


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mkiever wrote:

Those colours on the new board look like they imply nation borders.
No clue, what the idea behind it is.
Looks rather irritating to me.

Matthias.


The Gibson Games edition has the regional boundaries for smaller player counts denoted by colour.
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James
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For you folks that have snagged a copy, are there any ideas about the easiest way to pick up a copy of this reprint in the U.S.?

Thanks for any answers.
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Hept86
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I don't think it has been released yet.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Steve Carey wrote:
Since I sold my copies of Civ/Adv Civ, I would like to get the Gibson 2018 reprint version.

If it's only going to be made available in the UK, hopefully it will pop up at one of the retail outlets so I can place an order (if anyone can provide a link, I'd appreciate it).


UK shipping is incredibly expensive, just keep that in mind. More expensive than any of the European online stores that I've frequented. Hopefully philbertnet.com will get it somehow and then it won't be as ridiculous.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Hept86 wrote:
I don't think it has been released yet.


boardgameguru has/had it but they won't ship to the US.
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David Chapman
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jschlickbernd wrote:
UK shipping is incredibly expensive, just keep that in mind. More expensive than any of the European online stores that I've frequented. Hopefully philbertnet.com will get it somehow and then it won't be as ridiculous.


Apologies for that. Our right wing neoliberal shitheads privatised our mail service.
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