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

Subject: Does the advanced game satisfy? rss

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Joost Kleppe
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Nijmegen
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Just got this game for my birthday. Hurray! Hurray!

I deciphered the rules and found them not as bad as everybody says. (Seen worse.. old Avalon Hill Games..zombie )

But now that we start playing (with 2 or 3 to start), a question to you fellow-geeks:

Is the advanced game satisfying/ and not broke? The entries I have read up till now contradict each other. Some say the advanced game is perfect, others say it's broke.

3 hours max would be a nice amount of time for me to play this with 2. But if it really has to be.. 6 hours for the full game??gulp

(Of course we start with the simple or advanced game.. but I am curious what would be wise and enjoyable after that..)
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Patiently waiting for the zombie apocalypse...
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Simple game is just that very simple, and very flat. One does not get the true feel for this great game. At most play a few rounds of the simple game to understand HOW to play. Then play the Advanced Game. It really shines. I have heard the Full Game is even better. Overall, I think you need at least 3 to 4 hours. As you become better player, then that time will probably decrease.

Enjoy your play. It is great fun.
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Les Marshall
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6 hours? For 2 people?

When you figure out rules, it can be done in 60-90 minutes per person normally and in 120 minutes per person if you are incredibly anal. Three hours per person is just kooky talk.
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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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The Advanced game works just fine for your first couple of sessions. But once you move on to the Full game, you'll never go back. The big difference is that the cards in Age III take into account that they may come out near the end of the game. So, for example, a lot of the wonders give you a one-time award of VPs, rather than an ability that would be much less useful if you built the wonder during one of the game's last turns. The Age II cards aren't like that, so that many of them are useless when playing the Advanced game. Basically, the game is finely tuned and is intended to be played with the Full game rules.

Another problem is the Advanced game can be unbalanced. The most cited example of this is Michaelangelo. If a player grabs this leader early in Age I, he can be very tough to stop. This isn't a problem in the Full game because there are so many points available in Age III. But it can definitely be unbalancing in the Advanced game.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the Advanced game is broken. But it is much less of a game than the Full game. I'd advise you to play your first couple of games with the Advanced game, to get the concepts set in your minds, then to move on to the Full game. This is particularly true if you're playing with 2 players; the Full game just isn't that long with that number (no longer than 3 hours, and that's when you're first learning the game).
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Costas
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Our first game was the Simple game, and as was brought out, this serves to help you understand what the tokens mean and how to play.

Our second game was the Full game. I would skip the Advanced game altogether. I would suggest, however, that you don't try the Full game with 4 n00bs. Two, possibly three. Then after a play or two, introduce a fourth player.

Your first few games will take a while but we consistently play a 3-player Full game in 2.5 - 3 hrs now.
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Joost Kleppe
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Thank you all for your very helpfull answers, buddy-geeks!!meeplemeeplekisskiss

Especially Larry's entry is very helpfull. Makes sense that the third age-wonders are better as an ending.

So we'll start with the advanced game.. (probably make many strategical mistakes the first time anyway) and then move on to full!

Hope this will replace Agricola as our favourite 2-person game with the 'wife' (which in my case is a man)(played that super-game 100 times!!)
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Jeff Long
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For what it's worth, I find the Advanced game is still a perfectly good game. It is not quite as finely tuned - especially the Age 2 Wonders, as previously mentioned - but the different End Game bonuses can still require you to take different paths, and there are lots of different variants for using the End Game bonuses. You can also include the Wars in the Advanced game easily enough, even though the rules tell you not to.

To be sure, the strategies are DIFFERENT in the Advanced game - early culture grabs are MUCH better and science MUCH worse - but it is still a good game.
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Dave Sinclair
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My two-cents worth. If you are an old time AH gamer, go ahead and jump straight into the Full Version. You won't get everything perfect the first time, but it puts you one game closer to playing with all the rules/features correctly. I've always thought any "watered-down" version of a full game is "time wasted" when I could be playing the full game as designed.

Having stated my preference, should you decide to jump right into the full game, USE THE PLAYER TURN ORDER GUIDES FAITHFULLY. They will resolve many of the "when does this happen" or "we forgot to do this" issues.

Don't stress about the time in a two-player game. With a couple games under your belt, you should see that time fall into the 2.5 to 4 hours per game range. Familiarity with the cards speeds up the process immensely.

Have fun! It's a very enjoyable game!

Standard Disclaimer: Of course, I could be wrong.
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Richard Parker

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I was fortunate to jump head first into the full game with 2 experienced players. Having done so I don't think I could stand going back to shorter more basic versions, I am a glutton for all the elements of this game.
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Shannon L
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I would only ever play the Full game. The other two seem more like tutorials. Use them to learn and then never look back. With a few games under your belt you can finish a two player game in 2 to 2.5 hours. Three player game in 3 to 3.5 hours. There is too much downtime in a 4 player game for my liking.
 
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Mark Mitchell
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Its a superb 2 player game. I find it quite relaxing. Made the mistake in a couple of early games thinking mines and farms were restricted by urban build limit, this made things extremely difficult. Don't make the mistake I made it makes the game painful.

I find it all rather hypnotic, in a good way.

In fact it would be nice to have another 3 ages. Inter planatary, inter-stellar then inter-galactic. Maybe a board that's different where you shift over in Age IV which then completes in Age V (once you interstellar). Maybe governemnts turn into Space Ship Yards... who knows. It might make the game unbearable for some but I love the idea. You can end with human ascention and inter-galactic dominance. Nice...

Who knows we might get some better artwork (RFTG style).

I think the full game is a must for balance and sense of completeness at the end.

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Joost Kleppe
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So true Dave! The turn order guide on the player summary..

Just did my first game, three players, advanced game with an extra round played for fun. (Not for my fun,.. would have won because of Michelangelo without that last round.. cry ). Took us 4 hours.

But indeed we sometimes got messed up because we did not respect the game-order. E.g. we never knew discarding warcards was after the political action!

But the game!! Ultra ultra fiddly. Tiny cubelets slipping through your fingers in all the wrong ways..gulpgulp

But also: Ultra ultra fantastic. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and are thinking now about better strategies.

-The yellow cards: much better than we thought. Make you flexible
-The building of an army: much more important and usuable than we thought. (get those colonies, hit the leader!)
-Iron mine: never skip that one! (I did and I would have been completely out in a full game)

Superdupergame and longing for the second sesssion. And O yes: seems I would always prefer the full game. Seemed like the climax was missing.
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Richard Parker

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gamecat_uk wrote:
Its a superb 2 player game. I find it quite relaxing. Made the mistake in a couple of early games thinking mines and farms were restricted by urban build limit, this made things extremely difficult. Don't make the mistake I made it makes the game painful.

I find it all rather hypnotic, in a good way.

In fact it would be nice to have another 3 ages. Inter planatary, inter-stellar then inter-galactic. Maybe a board that's different where you shift over in Age IV which then completes in Age V (once you interstellar). Maybe governemnts turn into Space Ship Yards... who knows. It might make the game unbearable for some but I love the idea. You can end with human ascention and inter-galactic dominance. Nice...

Who knows we might get some better artwork (RFTG style).

I think the full game is a must for balance and sense of completeness at the end.



Would love further ages though I think most would balk at the extended time. Wish there was a way though.

It is funny though all this talk made me pull out the old computer games Masters of Orion and Galactic Imperuium 2 (I think it is called?).
 
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