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

Subject: Should I play the simple game first? rss

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Amir Rachum
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Hi,
I purchased Through the Ages and I read all the rules (Sheessh!!). I was wondering - is the simple game really worth playing? As far as I'm concerned, I have no problem playing it to get the hang of it and then move on. However, other people in my group might decide whether to play another game based on their first experience. So, in that light, do you recommend playing the simple game first?
 
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Graham Smallwood
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Definitely not. I would say it is a great idea to play 5 turns and then start over, but the Simple game actively teaches you incorrect rules. I hate games that do that. If you play the Simple game, you will understand the Full game less. But if you play five turns and start over with all the rule, everybody can see how to not get stuck in a food/population rut and they can see how mean the Event cards can be to the weakest nation.
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David desJardins
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No. Pretend it never existed and you'll be happier. Advanced game too.
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Daniel Hammond
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I agree that it isn't worth playing but for different reasons. I played the games in order and I found that the simple game didn't feel like a game. I felt like I was just getting production started and then, game over. The transitioning between the rules wasn't that hard for me, but the simple game didn't feel like a game to me. So you might as well play the intermediate game (which at least feels more like a game). My 2 cents.
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Amir Rachum
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How about the advanced game? I AM a bit afraid to play the full game right on.
 
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David Etherton
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I wrestled with this too (read over the rules many, many times before finally recruiting another player) and I'd definitely say go straight to the full game.
 
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David desJardins
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I think you're better off if you play the full game and just quit after one or two ages than using the broken and misleading scoring in the shorter games.
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James Ludlow
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I think you're better off if you play the full game and just quit after one or two ages than using the broken and misleading scoring in the shorter games.


This or play the advanced game once and then move the full version. It's not like your score in game 1 means anything. No one has a clue about what they are doing regardless of the scoring system.

Either way. The full game isn't that difficult to pick up once you get through a few turns.

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David Moffett
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I'd say it depends on the level of gaming proficiency you and/or your group possess. The basic game does teach a watered down, sometimes downright incorrect version of the rules but it does so in order for you to focus on the core mechanics and become comfortable with the concepts the game presents. It assumes (hopefully correctly) you will advance to the more complex stages and be intelligent enough to re-write certain concepts.

If you and your group are gaming vets, are familiar with civilization-esque concepts and are generally competent and sharp skip the basic game. My group is composed of one long time gamer, one middling gamer, one newbie and myself. The long time gamer didn't really understand the basic game until near the end and the other two never truly understood it but played well enough and explaining it was rather painful.

TLDR:
Do what you think will work best. The game is complicated and filling but if your group is experienced you should be fine skipping the basic game.
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Geeky McGeekface
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I understand where David des is coming from, but I think I agree with James. The Advanced game is quite good (as opposed to the Simple game), but unbalanced, in that some cards can really swing the result. But as James says, none of you will know what you're doing anyway.

My first game was an Advanced game and I loved it. I'll never want to play it again, as the Full game is much better, but it was a good way to start with me, as the Full game would have been a bit much.

That said, many groups have done quite well starting out with the Full game. So if you think your group won't be scared by its scope and length, go for the Full Monty right away. But if you'd rather scale that back a bit, I think starting out with the Advanced game is fine.
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Steven
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I'm far from a TTA expert, but I would actually recommend playing through the simple game first, if only to learn the mechanics. Yes, the scoring in the simple game is weird, but nobody cares about scoring in a first game anyway. And this game has so many fiddly mechanics that it's worth nailing them down first before dealing with more advanced concepts, like future events or aggressions.
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Russ Hewson
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Quote:
nobody cares about scoring in a first game anyway


If only this were actually true
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Evgeny Reznikov
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Go for the advanced game. We did, and it was fine (but took a while).

When I teach the Simple game (and I do occasionally), I throw in the happiness and corruption mechanics from the advanced game, and teach the correct rules from the get go.
 
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Tim Seitz
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If you are learning by yourself from scratch, by all means, step through the simple and advanced games before tackling the full game if you want.

If you are teaching it to others, then you can jump straight to the full game. The differences in the early ages are minor (actually LESS complicated since you don't have to memorize endgame scoring), and if you progress all the way through you can add in pacts, aggressions, wars, and air force.
 
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Joe Simpson
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My friend bought this game a couple weeks ago and we played through the simple version first. Can't say I was really impressed with the game that much and wondered what the hype was all about. We've since played the full game and...wow! Totally different perspective.

This game is a blast to play and is growing on me with each play now. My advice is to skip the simple version right away and go for the full version or at least the advanced game.
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Nacho Facello
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I never played the simple game.

My only concern is when teaching new players, there's too many rules for them to keep track of, and if there's one new players and three experienced players, he'll suffer a lot.
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Sheldon Morris
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nachof wrote:
My only concern is when teaching new players, there's too many rules for them to keep track of, and if there's one new players and three experienced players, he'll suffer a lot.

If this is the case, the three experienced players should be helping the new player to avoid certain mistakes by giving some advice and good options. Let them know of the consequences of their choices.
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p55carroll
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JoeRockEHF wrote:
My friend bought this game a couple weeks ago and we played through the simple version first. Can't say I was really impressed with the game that much and wondered what the hype was all about. We've since played the full game and...wow! Totally different perspective.

This game is a blast to play and is growing on me with each play now. My advice is to skip the simple version right away and go for the full version or at least the advanced game.

That's encouraging. I just started teaching myself this game last weekend, and the Simple Game certainly struck me as boring and fiddly. After half a dozen turns of it, it's hard to motivate myself to continue to the end. I considered starting over with the Advanced Game, but my experience so far doesn't make that idea appealing either.

Guess I'll bite the bullet, while the game is still on the table, and learn the Full Game. If I play it once through, at least I'll have some sense of what it's like--and then I can warn my wife before we play.

I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that this won't turn out to be my kind of game. I bought it mainly because it sounded like a streamlined version of Advanced Civilization, which we used to enjoy (and still own). So far, it seems that everything I liked best about Adv. Civ. has been stripped out of this game.

But--maybe there's more that I've yet to discover.
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