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Subject: Why people say Babylon and Egypt are too strong? rss

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David Lessard
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I'm not sure to understand why people say that Egypt and babylon are overpowered in adciv

Bad AST track that lead to one step behind others when you enter early bronze age, if you build your two city to get the step into early bronze age. you will be short of ressources compared too others nations early in the game. More point to advance in late game compared to Africa and Crete.

Yes they are more easy to play than Africa, Crete or Iberia, but whit experienced player, it's almost impossible to win whit Babylon or Egypt because of the AST.

Finaly

I think this game is about trading, better you are in trade, better your chance of winning is but I never saw those two winning a game.


 
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Lezard wrote:
... it's almost impossible to win whit Babylon or Egypt because of the AST.


It looks like they are disadvantaged early on due to the AST hurdle, but they certainly have won their fare share (or more) of games in my groups. If they are both playing and set up a friendly border and expand away from each other they can really steam along after the AST hurdle early on.
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Andrew Rae
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To my mind the strength of babylon especially is the difficulty opponents have sacking your cities in the late game. If you play by the rules then it is the player to make the end that wins. Africa, for example, has great difficulty building cities that they can protect, where as Babylon can often bank cities behind barriers of population.

Countries that have cities on the coast are particularly suseptible to being ganged up on in the late game if they are ahead. By the time you reach the end game a lead is almost impossible to keep if you border naval powers.

Thats my take on the theory anyway.





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Ben Foy
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The great thing about Adv Civ is every Civ has its strengths and weaknesses. And they all play differently. And every Civ can win. Though the Civ's aren't perfectly balanced, it doesn't matter. Because each presents its own challenge.
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David Ferrier
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citylife wrote:
If you play by the rules then it is the player to make the end that wins.


Not true:

The rules state the following:

34.1
A "...The player who first reaches a finish square on the A.S.T. does not necessarily win the game."


-also-

35.2 "The player with the highest point value is the winner. This will not necessarily be the player with the most civilization cards or the player who is furthest along the A.S.T., although both are an important source of points."
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Ken
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I'll pile on a bit with some of the same thoughts as others. Yes, their AST is a bit steep, but:

1. They've good starting positions with lots of population support in relatively small areas. This avoids early conflict.

2. They go late/very late in the turn when you revert to AST order. That's a huge advantage since you can react to what others do rather than try to guess what they'll do.

3. They have city sites. Lots and lots of city sites. And if the starting players are chosen "right," they'll even have lots of these available that aren't in disaster areas.

4. They can screen their cities behind tokens, making it hard to hit them directly.

If you've played lots of games of Adv. Civ. and haven't seen one of the two win, then either the other players worked against them with some focus (very possible), the players that played them think very strategically, or they got slammed by lots of random catastrophes. They win their fair share, and often more than their fair share of games.
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Steve Bachman
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It's one of the fair criticism's of the Adv. Civ. expansion. Civilization was very well balanced with the AST and card limits to counter the geographic strengths of Egypt and Babylon. Now, most of the balance resides with the other players.

In Adv. Civ., the biggest factor that counters the board strength of Babylon and Egypt is the fact that most players will recognize this strength and counter it through trading or territory battles. The other major counter is that they are often deprived of commodity draws, particularly when they are thriving with high city counts. Still, it is tough to pass up on playing one of them.
 
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Andrew Rae
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Perhaps the situation is a little like Diplomacy. When you have played more than a handful of times you are always aware of particular alliances which are especially strong, for example Russia - Turkey, or the Western Triple, so players adapt to it.

However it doesn't change the fact that on the average and on the whole some countries are underrepresented (Italy and Austria) in long run win stats. Some countries are easier to play than others, and I think this is the case. It doesn't prevent other countries winning, it is just harder and happens less often. Perhaps.
 
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James Lowry
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I'd call that a pretty fair assessment.
 
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Ben Foy
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citylife wrote:
Perhaps the situation is a little like Diplomacy. When you have played more than a handful of times you are always aware of particular alliances which are especially strong, for example Russia - Turkey, or the Western Triple, so players adapt to it.

However it doesn't change the fact that on the average and on the whole some countries are underrepresented (Italy and Austria) in long run win stats. Some countries are easier to play than others, and I think this is the case. It doesn't prevent other countries winning, it is just harder and happens less often. Perhaps.


Hmmm, I agree with you analysis of Diplomacy. Civ doesn't work that way. Civ is much more affected by 'group-think'. And each style of play benefits certain Civs.
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Tom McThorn
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I've played Babylon in 2 games. The first: Came in 2nd. Had a good game, didn't get hammered with calamities too bad. Trading went my way more times than not and the game was fairly friendly with minimal border clashes. There wasn't any ganging up on anyone even though the last turn there was a lot of city reduction due to attacking to jockey for position since it was a very close game. This game was fun.

The 2nd time: The game was 6 players. 2 newbies (first game), 2 who had played a few times but not regular (me and another guy), and the sharks. These two played Adv Civ a lot. The game started fairly normally and then as the game started moving to the mid point the "Babylon is too powerful" and "Got to stop him from expanding or he'll win" started. I got stuck between Egypt moving north and Thrace (the green player) had moved across the water and into Asia minor. The two of them did pretty much everything they could to shrink my territory. By the mid-game I was at 6 cities and by the end of the game I only had 5 with no room for more and no ability to expand. The other 3 players didn't want to listen to me telling them that I wasn't a threat and that the other 2 were going to walk away with the game. I never got past that many for the rest of the game. The two of them had EVERY Advancement card 1 turn before the game ended and the point spread between them was small and then the gap to 3rd was huge. I came in dead last and because of this I haven't played since...and this was at least 3 yrs ago. I also no longer game with that group due to that kind of play.

I would play again...but not in that kind of atmosphere or in a tournament. I don't get to game as much as I'd like so when I do play this game I want to have fun.

Sorry about the rant.
 
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Andrew Rae
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Not an uncommon experience, but I would argue it was a wider systemic problem in a particular style of gaming. It had little to do with Civilisation specifically ecept that you were picked on as a target due to your early growth (I presume). Afterall newbies wouldn't know if Babylon was strong or not.

Can I encourage you to get back on the horse and try again, but with a less competitive crowd that isn't going to engage in as much diplomacy. I suspect if you play anything with the sharks they will do exactly the same thing, divert attention from themselves to you for their benefit.

I find it is important to find the right group for the right game. I would pick up on your point and suggest that diplomacy is the biggest factor that determines who wins Civ.

I would like to hypothesize that a 10 percent improvement in diplomacy will counter a 20 percent improvement in management and efficiency. Afterall if noone will trade with you because of a diplomatic agreement it matters little if you have six cities or nine
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David Lessard
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Most of the game I played was very pacific. In my opinion, you never win by doing war in this game.

Taking 6 units to take down a city, ok, you get your card. But I mostly prefer to take 6 units and build a city. first you still get your ressource(probably a better ressource than the one you got from destroying a city), second, the other player did'nt loose is ressource and finaly, more ressources mean more trade, more chance to complete my series of ressources.

The only time we saw war in our game is in the last 5 turns, when it's time to slow down the first player to finish the game and have the chance catch him.

Finaly, we play the game whit 8 players whit the western map. If not, we do not use the western map. Try that, it's almost impossible for everyone to keep 9 city. By playing like this, I had 3 wins whit Crete and one whit Africa.
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Ken
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Try it without the Western Expansion Map and you'll see conflict increase pretty dramatically. With that map, there's simply too much living room. I actually prefer the game without that expansion because it does encourage more direct conflict due to simple lack of space, and civilizations rarely lived next to one another in perpetual harmony.
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Torbjörn Rander
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Lezard wrote:
Most of the game I played was very pacific. In my opinion, you never win by doing war in this game.


I have to disagree with this statement. Sacking cities can have a huge impact on the strategies of the other players, and give you big benefits at times.

Lezard wrote:

Taking 6 units to take down a city, ok, you get your card. But I mostly prefer to take 6 units and build a city. first you still get your ressource(probably a better ressource than the one you got from destroying a city), second, the other player did'nt loose is ressource and finaly, more ressources mean more trade, more chance to complete my series of ressources.


You get a card, plus the ability to get some more money by sacking. Combined with Architecture, this can allow you to sack AND build in some instances.

Sometimes a player sits on that precious last card that you really need to complete the series you've been collecting, and won't give it away. Why not make him see the error of his ways through a little pillaging?

If you want to slow down a player with an early lead, sacking is one of the most efficient ways to do it, since it reduces the trading potential of the targeted player; kinda like a trade embargo, but much easier to achieve (i.e. you don't need to cooperate with the other players to make it work).

There are times when you sit with too many farmers, just waiting for an opportunity to tax revolt, why not kill them off and get a free card in the process?

Sacking cities also has high psychological value, since players with a pacifist think usually don't know how to react effectively to defend themselves unless a big coalition can be formed.

I could probably give you a lot more reasons for why making war is sometimes a highly viable strategy in ACiv.


Lezard wrote:

The only time we saw war in our game is in the last 5 turns, when it's time to slow down the first player to finish the game and have the chance catch him.


Last five turns will, in my experience, be too late to stop someone with a big lead through war anyways, if he's got his board position set ut, and trades decently well.

Lezard wrote:

Finaly, we play the game whit 8 players whit the western map. If not, we do not use the western map. Try that, it's almost impossible for everyone to keep 9 city. By playing like this, I had 3 wins whit Crete and one whit Africa.


Of course it's almost impossible for everyone to keep 9 cities, in almost all tournament games I played, I'd say the city average on 8 players with WEM is about 7...

And now, some thoughts on Egypt and Babylon. I think, in games with 5-6 people, they usually do very well. 7-8 players, less so. My observation is that it's really, really hard for them to get a decent amount of trade cards, due to depletion of the low value cards by the players preceding them on the AST. One or two cards less per round makes a huge difference in the end. The AST disadvantage can, but then again might not, be that bad; other players are also bound to bounce at some point, especially in the late game due to the city number requirement. Position-wise, both countries are very strong, except when they cycle barbarian hordes a few times. This can be a real hazzle, eating your precious heartland up and forcing you to focus on other things than building cities etc.

I find that Asia/Assyria has pretty much the advantages of Egypt/Babylon, and much less of their drawbacks. With the WEM, Iberia usually does very well if played with an aggressive style, how does Iberia and Asia/Assyria do in your games?
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