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Subject: 7 Ages expansions & new projects rss

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Harry Rowland
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We've been pretty busy lately working on the upcoming 7 Ages expansions and we're pretty far advanced. There will be 3 new expansions to be released in 2009 (currently scheduled for release at Eurowifcon 2009 & Spiel 2009), the classical, religious and modern themed packs with each pack containing 12 new empires, 2 countersheets, (one of large sized empire counters and the other of the standard size for new leaders, artefacts and markers, with the markers all being one sided so you will never have to hunt on the back of the Jesus counter for that elusive fort or disorder marker you need again), 3 new civilisations and a (very small) rules supplement to explain the play of the new artefacts and options.

The classic deck includes a lot of new age 1 and 2 empires (with the occasional age 3 empire tossed in for taste) so that you will increase the competition in the early ages. The modern deck does the same for a lot of modern empires giving many more options late in the game.

The religious deck is the most intriguing as it not only introduces a lot of new empires, it also introduces two new religions, with the current favourites being animism/traditional (so it includes the Greek and Roman Gods as well as other traditional belief in nature around the world), Zoroastroism and Judaism (get your votes in now). Animism/traditional has been a widespread polytheistic belief system for millenia and should probably have been included in the original game. Zoroastroism is the first organised (i.e. controlled by priests) religious belief system that although marginalised (but still extant) these days was very influential in its day. And Judaism, although small in numbers has had an impact on the world greater than pure numbers would otherwise dictate.

http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

1. Christianity: 2.1 billion
2. Islam: 1.5 billion
3. Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
4. Hinduism: 900 million
5. Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
6. Buddhism: 376 million
7. primal-indigenous: 300 million
8. African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
9. Sikhism: 23 million
10. Juche: 19 million
11. Spiritism: 15 million
12. Judaism: 14 million
13. Baha'i: 7 million
14. Jainism: 4.2 million
15. Shinto: 4 million
16. Cao Dai: 4 million
17. Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
18. Tenrikyo: 2 million
19. Neo-Paganism: 1 million
20. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
21. Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
22. Scientology: 500 thousand


All 3 decks will include new events but each will have an extra 2 or 3 bad auguries card to dramatically increase your chances of warding off your opponent's evil eye. Although I was aware some people don't like take that cards (which is why we included the optional limiting range on card play, a rule ironically that is rarely played), I was surprised by the vehemance of some people's reaction. Thus we are working on a sophisticated golden orb rule that will allow you to delay your opponent's nefarious plans but at the cost of handing over the golden orb to your traitorous enemy.

We are currently finalising the rules for the expansions and I am currently going through the suggestions at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/305295 but we have still plenty of time to get things right so if you have any comment or ideas for new civilisations, artefacts, optional rules, historical analyses, anything really please either add it to this thread or http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/305295.

Finally we are actually working on 3 7 Ages projects at the moment, the new themed expansions, 7 Ages the computer game and 7 Ages Lite for those with a busy life and few fingers for counter moving, so any ideas on any of these projects is also welcome.

Thanks for all your support.

Regards
Harry

PS This post has been repeated on http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/305295
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Jonas Jacobsson
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Great news!

Could you tell us a little about the 7 Ages Lite variant?

 
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Santi Velasco
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jonjac wrote:
Great news!

Could you tell us a little about the 7 Ages Lite variant?



Yes please, I've always been very interested in this game but unfortunately there is no way I can bring this to my gaming group in its current form.
 
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Pierce Ostrander
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Yes - more about 7 ages lite.

That map is so beautiful and functional it is a shame that it is locked up in a box with an unplayable game. Please, set it free.
 
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N Petersen
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srcabeza wrote:
jonjac wrote:
Great news!

Could you tell us a little about the 7 Ages Lite variant?



Yes please, I've always been very interested in this game but unfortunately there is no way I can bring this to my gaming group in its current form.


Try playing it using Cyberboard (or Vassal). I have played many Cyberboard games and it works very well.

Regards
Nikolaj
 
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Harry Rowland
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jonjac wrote:
Great news!

Could you tell us a little about the 7 Ages Lite variant?



Less Notes, Less Notes! Its like a car, it doesn't really need brakes does it?
 
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Jonas Jacobsson
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Harry Rowland wrote:
jonjac wrote:
Great news!

Could you tell us a little about the 7 Ages Lite variant?



Less Notes, Less Notes! Its like a car, it doesn't really need brakes does it?

Not sure what you mean by "Less notes", but I agree, a car does not need brakes. Well, as long as you have a big car... cool
 
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Harry Rowland
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Well we get rid of unnamed leaders (maybe all leaders), forts, elite markers, possibly cities. We can simplify the terrain. We can simplify the unit types to just one of each type (still front and back, e.g. spearman/rifleman or cavalry/tank etc) with the difference in technology spaces (not ages) giving you a modifier for conflict resolution.

As to the rules we can simplify the conflict system, the standard game can have artefacts only giving you glory, not having any effect on play. We can even make the game a 5 x 5 matrix with two extra (5 space) ages one before the first age to allow offsets for players after the player who starts the game with a first age civilisation (whereas now where they all start on the same space). There would also still be a seventh age after the last age so you can keep track of who ends the game the most advanced at the end of the turn that one or more players goes through the last (5th) actual age.

This change alone would reduce the length of the game by almost 50% (25 actual game spaces as to the current 49) and would have the added bonus of making T & P more important (as each advance is equal to 2 advances now). The 2 most obvious ages to merge are the current 1st and 2nd into the 1st age and the current 6th and 7th ages into the new final (5th) age. We would still have 7 ages with the ages before and after the game though so it would still be 7 Ages (curse you William Shakespeare!).

So you can see there are many ways to shuck these peas to improve the game while speeding it up as well. Like all our games, 7 Ages is a framework on which you can hang a lot of ornaments. Or in this case, take down some of the more ugly paintings. Feel free to tell us which paintings you hate the most.

Regards
Harry
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Andrew Wood
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I like others it seems really would love to see the Lite version come soon. I like the idea of removing leaders, forts, elite, cities (not capitals).
I also like the idea of removing half the unit types. EG remove sword/catapults and modern equivalents, and of coarse elephants, nukes, SD.
I kinda like the 7 ages of 7 spaces though. And people don't always have to play Total History. In fact the Lite version "official" play could suggest just one or two ages.
 
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Joe Lott
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bazzawood wrote:
I like others it seems really would love to see the Lite version come soon. I like the idea of removing leaders, forts, elite, cities (not capitals).
I also like the idea of removing half the unit types. EG remove sword/catapults and modern equivalents, and of coarse elephants, nukes, SD.
I kinda like the 7 ages of 7 spaces though. And people don't always have to play Total History. In fact the Lite version "official" play could suggest just one or two ages.



They have a 7 Ages Light, it's called History of the World.
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Byron Collins
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Great info- looking forward to the expansions.
 
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Daniel Hammond
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I have always liked the limited range rule and have played it every game. Even though I am a die-hard fan of 7 Ages it is the Go-slow rules that I would think are most likely not used. Thanks for making games Harry! Your name is on many of my favorites.
 
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Mathew Gibson
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The expansions sound interesting.

I have been a critic of various elements of the game, but for me one of the biggest flaws has been the difficulty - the virtual impossibility - of pursuing certain Empire-specific goals.

For some empires their big points come from a religion, for example. But you have to get the right card. If you don't draw it, all your other efforts are wasted. This means luck is trumping strategy, which is a fatal flaw in a game. take the Arabs, for example. They are pretty worthless without Islam, which will generate the most points for them. Now, they have Mohammed as a LEADER and they live on top of MECCA but they still need to draw the friggin Islam card and play it without someone then countering that, or forcing the discard of the artefact. I have spent turn after turn as the Arabs playing Destiny trying to find a card with Islam. It's nonesense. The flavour is wrong and the mechanic is wrong and all it creates is fustration.

While I think that all the Religions and Governments ought to be simply things you can chose to take on as long as you fulfill the requirements, I am hoping that at least a revised deck might narrow this gap.
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Mathew Gibson
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OH, and could you have the effects of governments, religions and other artefacts ON the card so that players don't have to constantly be flipping to the rules book.

Thanks.
 
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Mathew Gibson
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I'd like to see the game offer a variant where the scoring of VPs is generic, rather than Empire-specific. I didn't really enjoy the determinism of the existing system, and felt it too-heavily weighted toward histories later-age traditional winners.

Here is the version I have used for my own games, and it has worked really well.


First, here are the principles behind the design.

1. Religions confer game bonuses. There are no VPs to be gained from having a religion. Why would your Islamic rival state think you are doing well because

you have adopted Christianity. Also, with more religions coming into play, there would be too many to cover.

2. Over several games I tallied the number of VPs earned in each turn of a full 15-counter-set game. The average was rounded to 24 points in almost all of

the ages, except the sixth and seventh. The bias in value toward the latter Ages (seen also in games such as History of the World) reflects our own

self-importance. Each age should be valued equally. 22 of these points are attributed to Empire size, cities etc and the others to the play of Artefacts, Trade/Progress advancement etc.

3. The VP for having your home province has been removed entirely.

4. The exception is the first age. Because of the pace of the first age and the ability to race to be the first (and only) Empire to occupy areas and grow to

largest size, there are fewer points for the first age. This is structural, not a de-valuing of the period.

5. For those Empires that state it on their cards, Tundra and Desert still count toward determining size.

6. The Age used is based on the age that the most-advanced empire is in. So, once an empire is in Age 5, no barbbarian empire can earn points for taking provinces and wrecking empires. The world has moved on. (Of course, if you sack that lead empire and the next-best is back in Age 4, you're back in business.)


Every Age:


1 per advance due to Trade and progress
1 per non-religion Artefact played
1 per Empire you claimed a land or sea are from which was removed from the game that turn (by defeat or through Discard Empire)


Age Specific:

Age 1

China 2
Middle East 2
India 2
SE Asia 1
Europe 1
Africa 2
Advanced 2
Artefacts 1
Oceans 1
Cities 1
Land Military 1
Wheat 1/region
Barbarians 1 per land/city taken from another player



Age 2

NE Asia 1
China 2
Middle East 3
India 2
SE Asia 1
Europe 2
Africa 2
Advanced 1
Artefacts 3
Oceans 1
Money 1
Cities 2
Land Military 1
Wheat 1/region
Barbarians 1 per land/city taken from another player


Age 3


NE Asia 1
China 2
Middle East 2
India 2
SE Asia 1
Europe 2
Africa 1
Americas 1
Advanced 2
Artefacts 2
World 1
Oceans 1
Money 1
Cities 2
Land Military 1
Wheat 1/region
Barbarians 1 per land/city taken from another player


Age 4

NE Asia 1
China 1
Middle East 1
India 1
SE Asia 1
Europe 2
Africa 1
Americas 1
Advanced 2
Artefacts 2
World 2
Oceans 2
Money 1
Cities 2
Land Military 2
Largest Outside Home Province's Region 1
Wheat 1/region
Barbarians 1 per land/city taken from another player


Age 5

China 1
Middle East 1
India 1
SE Asia 1
Europe 1
Africa 1
Americas 1
Advanced 2
Artefacts 2
World 3
Oceans 2
Money 1
Cities 1
Land Military 1
Naval Military 1
Largest Outside Home Province's Region 2


Age 6

China 1
Middle East 1
India 1
SE Asia 1
Europe 1
Africa 1
North America 1
South America 1
Advanced 2
Artefacts 1
World 2
Money 2
Cities 1
Oceans 1
Land Military 2
Naval 1
Largest Outside Home Province's Region 2


Age 7

China 1
Middle East 1
India 1
SE Asia 1
Europe 1
Africa 1
North America 1
South America 1
Advanced 3
Artefacts 3
World 2
Money 3
Land Military 2
Naval 1
Oil 1/region
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Jonas Jacobsson
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kissybooboo wrote:
I'd like to see the game offer a variant where the scoring of VPs is generic, rather than Empire-specific. I didn't really enjoy the determinism of the existing system, and felt it too-heavily weighted toward histories later-age traditional winners.

Here is the version I have used for my own games, and it has worked really well.

I suggest that you post it in the Variant forum.

/jonas
 
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Jonathan Woolley
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If the Lite version makes harvesting glory counters and immediate glory conditions generic, it should probably also make set-up, Money, Leader Number, and empire name generic.

And if it comes down to a choice between making artifacts all the same and dropping them, drop them. Same with leaders.
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Harry Rowland
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There are some excellent ideas here, please keep them coming. Won't address all the issues yet but this one

kissybooboo wrote:
The expansions sound interesting.

I have been a critic of various elements of the game, but for me one of the biggest flaws has been the difficulty - the virtual impossibility - of pursuing certain Empire-specific goals.

For some empires their big points come from a religion, for example. But you have to get the right card. If you don't draw it, all your other efforts are wasted. This means luck is trumping strategy, which is a fatal flaw in a game. take the Arabs, for example. They are pretty worthless without Islam, which will generate the most points for them. Now, they have Mohammed as a LEADER and they live on top of MECCA but they still need to draw the friggin Islam card and play it without someone then countering that, or forcing the discard of the artefact.


is something we have been looking at too and we are considering giving the seed empire (the historical first one to start the religion) a special power to adopt the religion without the need for the artefact card provided they satisfy the other conditions. The seed empire of Islam is the arabs (not sure if there is any seed empire for christianity as it was only adopted by the Romans after a thousand years and is not a condition of their card).

Regards
Harry
 
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Zeljko
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How about adding Adopt religion / Government to the empire starting phase? That may be better than 'seed empire'.

I was thinking about artefacts that modify glory points, like Hanging Gardens. You may create artefacts for Money (Wall Street), World Sea (Magellan's Voyage) and something for wonders.

Consider option that some on-board artefacts should be 'indestructable' so someone may consider waging a war for them. Perhaps add rule that whenever artefact should be destroyed a card is drawn to determine wonder destiny...
 
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Mathew Gibson
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In relation to Artefacts, I now play in a way that both simplifies their play, promotes their use and ensures thay have a greater degree of impact in the game. Here's how:

I ignore the Green and Blue artefact asopects of all cards entirely.

Instead, when an Empire plays a Civilize action, it can select from among the available Green artefacts any ONE that it wants to play on itself.

The artefact must conform to any of the requirements normal for that artefact, such as the Age it is playable in and the location/neighbour requirements for a Religion, as examples.

Blue artefacts are now placed on specific age boxes at the start of the game. They are not "played" by anyone, but are static instead.

Box 12: Paved Roads
Box 22: Renaissance
Box 24: Printing
Box 36: Railways
Box 38: Industrial Revolution
Box 40: Radio
Box 42: Universal Suffrage
Box 46: Computing

The exception is Satellites, which is treated as a Green artefact: ie it can be played by any player on or after Box 46 during a Civilize action.


Red artefacts are played normally, as per the rules.

The Black Artefact, Internet, still ends the game, but it is also played as the Green ones are, as long as its conditions are met.

It's way more fun, simpler and religions actually make a difference in the game.
 
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Ludwig Nijholt
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jonjac wrote:
kissybooboo wrote:
I'd like to see the game offer a variant where the scoring of VPs is generic, rather than Empire-specific. I didn't really enjoy the determinism of the existing system, and felt it too-heavily weighted toward histories later-age traditional winners.

Here is the version I have used for my own games, and it has worked really well.

I suggest that you post it in the Variant forum.

/jonas


I thought this was the Variants forum.

While on that subject: I'm working on a Axis & Allies variant, to be played on the 7 Ages map. As I'm fairly advanced with the rule modifications, I can post them if people are interested.
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Mathew Gibson
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I'm interested.
 
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Ludwig Nijholt
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Alright, I guess I'll start a thread on that soon, but here is the summary: I apply the World at War rules and set up to the 7 Ages map (with some modifications, as the map is larger than and slightly different from the WaW map).
 
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Ludwig Nijholt
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I've finished v. 1.0 of 7 Ages - Axis and Allies variant and uploaded the PDF for approval. Pending that, I'll be starting a thread on it (if possible simultaneously under Axis & Allies, World at War and here; if not, I'll add links to a single thread at these locations)

I've tried to keep the rules as concise as possible, resulting in 5 pages of PDF text, over half of which is concerned with map details.
 
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Ludwig Nijholt
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7 Ages - Axis and Allies variant 1.0 has been approved; the file can be found here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/41943

A thread for comments is currently pending approval.
 
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