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Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization» Forums » General

Subject: Through the Ages- Runaway Leader rss

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Andrew Young
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We played this wonderful game last night again. Eric put a beat down on the rest of us! He played a very good game and taught us some things.

It did seem (after my 2nd playing) that there are a lot of events that seem to benefit the leader and it starts to feel like the 'rich are getting richer' sort of thing. And as he began to pull away Ghandi shows up (2nd time this has happened) and makes it very difficult to even attack him. Though, wars and raids may not have helped, we'll see. I am a novice to the game so take my comments in that context.

What do you do to a player that is pulling away?

devil
 
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Darrell Hanning
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If you lack the military to take them out back behind the woodshed, then all you can do is focus on maximizing your culture and technology, and hope to catch him at the end, with the bonuses.

I've led the last two games in decent fashion, only to lose on those fricking bonuses, so I know whereof I speak.

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Bruno Valerio
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In our plays the player who is ahead by mid game never ended up winning.

Military is important in the end game and there are lot's of possible combinations with wonders and leaders.
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Filip Murmak
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this game is so flexible that even after a LOT of games you could be surprised by some game situation. Sometimes, mid-game leader win easily, sometimes it's a struggle till the very last turn even if you'd not expect it.

Here's the link to session of one of my games. I was ahead in most things and yet lost due to great timing of my foe's actions:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1366446#1366446
 
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Eric Phillips
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Speaking as the guy who's been the midgame culture leader in each of my last 3-4 games, it doesn't last. Not usually. Such a lead generally means that other players have been paying more attention to other parts of their infrastructure than I have, and eventually it pays off for them. Lately my third ages have been all about trying to keep ahead of a surging challenger who's getting a lot more culture-per-turn than I am, and hoping the game ends soon.

You might be able to slow a leader militarily, esp. if he's achieved his position through neglect of his armed forces. You might be able to hurt him by sniping a card he needs, but that usually won't work unless you need it too. There's usually something else he can do that's equally good, or close to it, and it costs you civil actions and hand space to play dog-in-the-manger. Generally the best strategy is just to tend your own garden until it's nicer than his.
 
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David desJardins
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Fortuna wrote:
Speaking as the guy who's been the midgame culture leader in each of my last 3-4 games, it doesn't last. Not usually.


Well, of course. But that just means you weren't really the leader, you were just ahead in culture. I think the OP's question is about a player who really does have the clearly best overall position. That could mean he's well behind in points, but he has other advantages that more than compensate.
 
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Eric Phillips
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Quote:
I think the OP's question is about a player who really does have the clearly best overall position.


Maybe. He didn't say. "Best overall position" is a lot harder to judge.
 
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David desJardins
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Fortuna wrote:
He didn't say. "Best overall position" is a lot harder to judge.


Good thing, too. A game where it's easy to judge what is the best overall position is trivial, you just always make the move or choice that gives you the best position.
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Mark C
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So far, I'm 5-0 (crosses fingers), and each has been dramatically different (2,3 & 4 players). One I was behind the whole way, down 30 at the end of Age III thinking I'd lost, only to squeak out a win with Age IV & final scoring. A couple others were knockouts.

Couple things I've noticed (forgive them for being obvious)

If you get far behind in culture over the normal course of play, you're going to need some heavy hitters at the end to make it up. Even with 3 card draws, you might not get what you need in the waning rounds. If your infrastructure is really good, you can make up 20 or 30 points, but more than that seems awfully hard. In other words, don't neglect culture if your opponents are scoring, and look for culture generating leaders if necessary. As the deck draws down, be mindful of what it takes to complete a wonder, and stockpile engineering genius, or resources. A good Age III wonder can mean 20+ points.

If you can hit someone's bottleneck with a military or aggression, especially in a 2 player game, you have a decent chance of knocking them out of the game, even if they're ahead. Military combos in early Age III or prior can be devastating with the right aggression or war card. If your opponent is only producing a couple science for example, and you're able to spy or war over tech, you're really hurting them. That means if you draw the spy card, hold onto it no matter what. Even if they hold a solid military advantage, they may have seeded a territory or get hit by another player, leaving them temporarily weak (depending on where in the turn order, and whether they can reconstitute sacrificed units). Or you may suddenly see a combo that allows you to leapfrog them. Either way, you need that card to cripple them when the opportunity comes. Same with all the other essentials --food, resources, farms, mines, or key urban buildings (for example if they are using all their happiness).

If all else fails, just try to improve your position. No one can lead in everything, it's just the nature of the game. If you are getting beaten by too many "strongest" or "weakest" cards, you simply need to re prioritize your military so they are not seeding these cards so much. Even if you are close, they will think twice, unless you only begrudgingly add military to defend.

After 5 games, I feel like I'm just beginning to understand it. There is a real shortage of actions needed to make your civ run well. It's a game of managing risk, fending off rivals just enough, and hitting the end game with a strong push. Knowing the cards will improve your game a lot.

Have fun.
 
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Chris J Davis
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medievalbanquet wrote:
We played this wonderful game last night again. Eric put a beat down on the rest of us! He played a very good game and taught us some things.

It did seem (after my 2nd playing) that there are a lot of events that seem to benefit the leader and it starts to feel like the 'rich are getting richer' sort of thing. And as he began to pull away Ghandi shows up (2nd time this has happened) and makes it very difficult to even attack him. Though, wars and raids may not have helped, we'll see. I am a novice to the game so take my comments in that context.

What do you do to a player that is pulling away?

devil


Just checking:

When you say there are a lot of events that benefit the *leader*, do you mean the leader in Culture Points or the leader in Military Strength? Most event cards refer to "the strongest civilisation" - this means whichever civilisation has the highest military, NOT who has the most number of Culture Points. If you're giving more rewards to the player who is in the lead with Culture Points then no wonder you've got a runaway leader problem!
 
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John Weber
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I have seen so-called runaway leaders in TTA caught in two ways: (1) a change of Age -- usually from Age 2 to Age 3 -- that causes a really strong leader (like Michaelangelo, for example) to die off and thus the leader is no longer the one gaining the most VPs per turn and, as has been suggested, (2) the player(s) who are trailing develop their military and selectively take shots to bring down the leader. Note, even if the leader has someone like Gandhi that makes it more difficult to be attacked, successful colonization efforts and events that punish the weaker player can still have an effect without wars or aggressions being played. Another factor to keep in mind -- assuming you are playing the Full Game -- is the tremendous amount of VPs available through those event cards in the Age III military deck, which usually require a different setup than that employed by the so-called "runaway leader."
 
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