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Subject: Do inconsistent card backs cause a problem? rss

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Daniel Corban
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I have had three different copies of Civilization pass through my hands. A first edition and two second editions. Both second editions have varying shades of color on the trade card backs. I mean widely varying. Some are almost orange and some are light brown. Not only that, but some of the cards are offset a bit. The first edition cards are perfectly shaded and centered.

To me, it seems obvious that the inconsistent card backs would cause a problem. If I know that Piracy has a light brown shaded card back, and the current top card on the Gold stack is orangish, then I know that card is not Piracy.

I have a mint set of the expansion trade cards as well. They make things even worse. They are all a lighter shade of brown, perfectly centered, however the cards are not glossy. All three Civ sets had a minor gloss to them. So not only do the expansion cards stick out for being a lighter shade, but they are even more obvious since they don't shine.

So, the question is: how much does this really affect the game in practice? Being able to see if the top card is a disaster or not with 100% certainty sure does seem like it would.
 
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Could you sleeve them? Coloured backs or blurry clear sleeves?
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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Or draw from the bottom of the deck and discard to the top. Is it really that much of a problem? You have no choice in drawing cards anyway, so only tradable disasters are affected. Are the tradable disasters a different colour to the commodity cards in the same deck? That could be a problem. Otherwise, different colours between different commodities is irrelevent.
 
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Daniel Corban
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Yes, you do have a choice in drawing cards. Players are able to manipulate the stacks they draw from and the order in which they draw by carefully adjusting their number of cities. I have only played the game once and this happened many times and was an immediately apparent tactic. Also, if you know a calamity is on top of a certain stack, you can track who draws that calamity.

Of course I am not concerned about the different goods having different backs. It is only the goods vs. the calamities that I am concerned about.
 
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Ben Foy
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dcorban wrote:
Yes, you do have a choice in drawing cards. Players are able to manipulate the stacks they draw from and the order in which they draw by carefully adjusting their number of cities. I have only played the game once and this happened many times and was an immediately apparent tactic. Also, if you know a calamity is on top of a certain stack, you can track who draws that calamity.

Of course I am not concerned about the different goods having different backs. It is only the goods vs. the calamities that I am concerned about.


I have played the game many, many times and this hasn't been a problem. Anyone who really cares about a calamity can card count anyway.
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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Micromanaging cities in order to avoid card draws is probably why this game lasts too long. Like I say, draw off the bottom and discard to the top.
 
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Ben Foy
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nyhotep wrote:
Micromanaging cities in order to avoid card draws is probably why this game lasts too long.


That only happens with the first CW.
 
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Dan Freedman
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Interesting. I have the 1st edition and (like you) haven't noticed a difference. I wonder if your 2nd editions have cards pieced together from different sets to make a complete one?

I too would see this as an issue if you can glance at the trade stacks, see a calamity where you wouldn't otherwise notice.

Card sleeves aren't the ideal solution because the cards are so small. You'd have to find some non-standard sleeves, or you'd have an itty bitty card in a huge sleeve. But I can't think of a better way.

Good luck...thanks for sharing. Something to think about anyway when deciding which version to buy.
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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I wonder, do you have the expansion cards in the set as well?
 
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Daniel Corban
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One of the second editions was untouched by human hands. It was unshrinked and peeked at. It had the messed up backs. The other second edition had the identical card back problem.

As I said, the first edition is fine.

No, I do not have the expansion cards mixed in. I have only played my personal copy once and I don't forsee playing with the expansion cards unless somehow I magically get a game with 6-7 players and the western extension going.

Yes, players can card count. Many players won't bother. The "marked" cards seem like they will make it so they don't have to card count yet still know. Honestly, it doesn't even bother me that other players will know which cards are calamities. It is the fact that I will know which cards are calamities that bothers me.
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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Well, you could always stack the cards out of sight, and have one of the players act as a "banker".
 
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Gary Heidenreich
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My copy I received in trade had a wide variety of cards like you describe (plus the wickedly creased one). I ended up making a deck of cards.
 
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Daniel Corban
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It just seemed odd to me that an especially popular 25 year old game, one which can be cutthroat and very competitive with players taking every advantage possible, would not have this defect mentioned before.
 
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Gary Heidenreich
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I got mine used so I can't say if it was like that from the get go or not.
 
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Daniel Corban
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Considering how nearly every Avalon Hill game with cards (hannibal, successors, etc) have varying shades of card backs, it seems par for the course.
 
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Peter White
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dcorban wrote:
It just seemed odd to me that an especially popular 25 year old game, one which can be cutthroat and very competitive with players taking every advantage possible, would not have this defect mentioned before.


In the original version of Civ, the cutthroat players were all card counters. So the back of the card is of no particular advantage or disadvantage to them -- it only matters to the minnows.
 
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Archibald Zimonyi
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Double Dan wrote:
Card sleeves aren't the ideal solution because the cards are so small. You'd have to find some non-standard sleeves, or you'd have an itty bitty card in a huge sleeve. But I can't think of a better way.

I actually use card sleeves for the smaller cards as well.

What I did with my sleeves was to cut them in half. I use the cheapest (100pc for about $2) and they fit perfectly. I assume that this would work the same for the more expensive sleeves that are not clear (as they cheapest are).

Archie
 
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Daniel Corban
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I finally played this again today. The card backs did not seem to be an issue, mainly because I didn't bother to remember what shade any of the calamities were. Although, when I looked at the card stacks, I could easily see the different shades. Like I mentioned earlier in the thread, if I memorized that the Epidemic "isn't orange", then I could easily see who was drawing it.

It actually seemed rather easy to detect who was attempting to trade a calamity. It seems like your trade would have to be relatively large (5 cards or so) before it was sufficiently obfuscated.

Also, a flood really hurts early in the game if you are Babylon. Ugh. The turn before I could afford Engineering!
 
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Michael Kolp
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Here are Rommé cards with 55 cards per package (4x13 + 3 Joker) widely used. Right now I could get @ ebay.de 5 packages (275 cards) for less than 5€.

With these cards I can easily emulate the 90 cards of the "Welt der Spiele - Civilization" + "Westeuropa Erweiterung" or

the 103 cards of the original Civilization + Expansion Trade Cards Set or

the 114 cards of the Advanced Civilization Trade Cards Set or

the 157 cards of the "Mega - Civilization for 9 players" Trade Cards Set


Eg. Mega - Civilization for 9:

Ace & 2-9: standard COMMODITIES
Clubs & Spades = Ochre 9 / Iron 8 / Salt 9 / Grain 8 / Cloth 7 / Bronze 6 / Spices 6 / Gems 5 / Gold 5
Hearts & Diamonds = Hides 9 / Papyrus 8 / Timber 8 / Oil 7 / Wine 6 / Silver 5 / Resin 5 / Dye 4 / Ivory 4

10: new eastern CALAMITIES, tradeable (2 Treachery, 3 Slave Revolt, 4 Superstition, 5 Barbarian Hordes)
Jacks: old tradeable CALAMITIES (6 Epidemic, 7 Civil Disorder, 8 Iconoclasm&Heresy, 9 Piracy)
Queens: old NON-tradeable CALAMITIES (2 Volcano/Earthquake, 3 Famine, 4 Flood, 5 Civil War)
Kings: brandnew Mega CALAMITIES, NON-tradeable (6 Cyclone, 7 Tyranny, 8 Corruption, 9 Regression)
[Diamonds, Hearts, Spades, Clubs]: each 1

Jokers: Water 15
 
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