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

Subject: Variant (Age III) Leaders and Wonders rss

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William Simonitis
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Part 4 (of 4)

Okay. The last eight. As before, some are clearly better than others and there might be some balance issues yet to be worked out, so any criticism is welcomed.

Age III Leaders
Alexander Graham Bell: Gain 2 Science. Gain 2 Culture. Once per turn you may spend 2 Resources to score 1 Science or 1 Culture.
Perhaps a little weak, but when compared to Elvis Presley/Rock and Roll Icon, he's arguably equal.

Antonin Dvořák: Gain 1 Culture. Each of your wonders produces 1 additional Culture and 1 additional Happiness.
Our small tribute to the Czech Republic, Dvořák is a favorite among our group as we tend to be a little wonder-happy; it's not uncommon to get 5 Culture per turn and 4 Happiness from him.

Mao Zedong: Once per turn, as a military action, you may move any yellow token from an urban building onto Mao Zedong and score 4 Culture. Each yellow token on Mao gives you 2 Strength and 1 Happiness.
Since we've added a few ways to add yellow tokens to the game, we thought it might be good to have one leader provide a bonus for removing them. It's not uncommon for a Mao player to use the last four turns to gain 16 culture by removing his tokens from play on science-production buildings. So far, it seems strong and thematic, but balanced.

Age III Wonders
Biological Engineering (6 4 6): Gain 2 Culture. Gain 2 Science. Immediately score 3 culture per farmer. Starvation costs are reduced by two.
We wanted to add a few wonders that offered a few other bonuses in addition to large End-Of-Game jackpots as an incentive to build them a little earlier in Age III. The reduced starvation cost bonus is much more useful than it might initially seem.

Maglev Transit System (5 3 3 5): Immediately score 4 culture per lab and 2 culture per miner. Your corruption costs are reduced by two.
Somewhat like the Internet, but it doesn't scale with level of lab and it provides a decent enough bonus for players that have not emphasized science production. We recently added the reduced corruption cost, but may end up removing it if it's too strong.

Olympic Games (2 3 4 5): Gain 1 Culture. Gain 2 Happy. Immediately score 3 culture per level of each of your arenas.
Weaker than Biological Engineering, but it costs a little less. We also wanted to add some benefit for building arenas, which our group (unfortunately) tends to ignore.

Televangelism (3 3 3 3 3): Gain 3 Culture. Gain 3 Happy. Immediately score 2 culture per level of each of your temples.
Strong, but only if you get it out early; as the game progresses, its value declines. The immediate bonus maxes out at 16 (at four Organized Religion temples), and that is with a dangerous emphasis on temples. (As it is, just how many happy faces do you really need? Building four temples? C'mon!) Side note: We wanted to make the cost (6 6 6), but it would have been too expensive.

Three Gorges Dam (5 5 5 5): Gain 5 Science. Immediately gain enough culture to equal that of the player with the next highest culture score. Cannot be used in a two-player game; if selected, draw another Age III wonder from among the unused wonders.
Talk about expensive! Huge science boost. Potentially huge culture boost as well, but only to someone who has fallen behind, and even then it will only bring a 4th place player up to tying for 3rd place. Since we don't know which wonders will be in the game, intentionally falling behind in culture with the idea of getting this wonder is a very, very risky strategy and has not yet worked out.

So, that's it. Feel free to test them out if you're so inclined and give us some feedback. It would be much appreciated.
 
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Geeky McGeekface
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It's time for baseball, people! Pitchers and catchers report soon and the national pastime is with us again!
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Televangelism as a wonder of the world! With a cost of 6-6-6!! I love it!!!
 
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David desJardins
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Datharaur wrote:
Age III Wonders
Biological Engineering (6 4 6): Gain 2 Culture. Gain 2 Science. Immediately score 3 culture per farmer. Starvation costs are reduced by two.


What are "starvation costs"? Is this an (odd) name for Consumption?

Quote:
Three Gorges Dam (5 5 5 5): Gain 5 Science. Immediately gain enough culture to equal that of the player with the next highest culture score. Cannot be used in a two-player game; if selected, draw another Age III wonder from among the unused wonders.


This seems too wild/random to me. It's not just someone who has fallen behind, but also someone who is narrowly in second place when there is a leader way out in front (in VPs, but with less scoring potential).
 
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William Simonitis
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Datharaur wrote:
Age III Wonders
Biological Engineering (6 4 6): Gain 2 Culture. Gain 2 Science. Immediately score 3 culture per farmer. Starvation costs are reduced by two.

What are "starvation costs"? Is this an (odd) name for Consumption?

Yes. Somewhere along the line we started calling it starvation. I have no idea why.

DaviddesJ wrote:
Datharaur wrote:
Three Gorges Dam (5 5 5 5): Gain 5 Science. Immediately gain enough culture to equal that of the player with the next highest culture score. Cannot be used in a two-player game; if selected, draw another Age III wonder from among the unused wonders.

This seems too wild/random to me. It's not just someone who has fallen behind, but also someone who is narrowly in second place when there is a leader way out in front (in VPs, but with less scoring potential).

I agree. It's intentionally wild/random. It's a sort of Hail Mary, and one that might not even exist in the deck depending on the draw. The other idea we had for it was to have it eliminate corruption entirely (cheap, plentiful power) in addition to the science gain. We opted with the culture boost since most Age III wonders offer some sort of large-ish culture boost. Also, if a player has accumulated a 50+ point advantage towards the end of the game, the other players will sometimes lose interest; at least the Three Gorges Dam gives some element of excitement to what might otherwise be a dull endgame and keeps the leading player on his toes.
 
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James Rousselle
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I fail to find the logic in proposing wonders/leaders that punish someone who has played well to get the lead.

I do not believe this game needs "rein in the leader" type mechanisms.

Also, sometimes the person who currently has the most victory points is not necessarily the leader.
 
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Eric Phillips
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Quote:
Yes. Somewhere along the line we started calling it starvation. I have no idea why


Well, you know. Eating food... starving... pretty much the same thing.
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David Barry
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Datharaur wrote:
Alexander Graham Bell: Gain 2 Science. Gain 2 Culture. Once per turn you may spend 2 Resources to score 1 Science or 1 Culture.
Perhaps a little weak, but when compared to Elvis Presley/Rock and Roll Icon, he's arguably equal.


Bell seems significantly weaker than Einstein, usually worth +3 Science and 3-6 Culture per turn in our games (from technologies played). I think Bell's bonus point should not cost resources - he might even need to be beefed up a bit further. Agreed that Bell is comparable with Elvis (worth +4 Culture per turn IF you get movies), although the two happy faces can also be useful (eg. to allow moving workers off temples).

Edited to correct a misconception about Einstein's abilities - DB

 
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