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Subject: Egyptian cultural victory in 11 turns rss

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Holger Hannemann
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Tonight Sylwia and I played Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game again.
After all the talk about how broken the 11 turn economic victory is, I wanted to play a test game to see if I can pull off an 11 turn cultural victory in a regular game (and not just a fake solo game where everything falls into place). I won't report what happened to my wife (who played Americans) because she didn't go anywhere, and was far from every victory condition when I finished the game.
Sadly, once you figured out those strategies every game will feel scripted, and only minor tweaks are needed to pull off those kind of victories (if not in 11 turns than in 12).

So if you still want to enjoy the experience that Civ can be don't read beyond this point!


................ dum-di-dum.......................





Aha, I knew you would read it

So here we go: I played Egyptians, and got the Hanging Gardens as starting Wonder. The Louvre was ready to be built. From turns 1-6 I took advantage of the Egyptian special ability to build one unlocked building per turn for free. I build my capital in the North-east (2 mountains (Incense), 4 deserts, 1 forest, 1 ocean).

Turn 1: Built Workshop in capital, discovered Northern tile, collected 8 (4+4) trade. Picked up Incense with army. Invented Code of Laws.

Turn 2: Changed government to Republic (that allowed me to collect 2 Silk and 2 Wheat during the game). Got Currency in an exchange of ideas. Built Trading Post in capital. Invented Horseback Riding.

Turn 3: Capital built trading post number 2.

Turn 4: Established city number 2 using an army (4 ocean (Silk), 1 desert, 1 natural wonder (desert), 1 grassland, 1 forest). Built Market in City 2 (grassland). Collected culture in capital (Culture Advance (CA): 1). Invented Irrigation.

Turn 5: Established city number 3 (4 mountains, 1 natural wonder (forest), 1 forest, 2 deserts). Built Market in capital, 1 CA from city 2, build Workshop in city 3. Invented Printing Press. At this point I produced 18 trade, and the potential of 10 culture just from the cities.

Turn 6: Capital CA, city 2 CA, got Great Artist, city 3 built Louvre using Construction. Invented Metal Casting.

From this point on the culture machinery was unstoppable,making at least 3 advances on the culture track per turn. I was also lucky to get more Great Artists who increased the culture output even more. Sylwia didn't really do anything to prevent me from devoting all my 3 cities to the arts, harvesting Incense with my capital and using Metal Casting to convert it to 7 culture, or using the 2 incense I collected in huts and harvesting 7 culture in my capital (with another Great Artist and Monarchy).
Using Horseback Riding, the silk gave me the necessary trade points to get the last 3 CA (Turn 10) and 4 CA (Turn 11) to win the game in the city management phase of Turn 11.

I know that this victory wouldn't have been possible in a 3- or 4-player game. Also, the world map was really on my side with a trade-rich city to be established in Turn 4. Also, the Hanging Gardens, combined with the Republic did their share to provide me with the figures needed to sweep the map and collect tons of resources that fed the culture machinery until the end of the game.

I hope that this disproves that the 11 turn economic victory is a game-breaking flaw, and that other victory conditions can be met in the same amount of time (and using the advanced tie-breaker the culture guy will definitely win).

On the downside, this game disenchanted Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game for us, and we won't play this game anymore with just the two of us. It's time for an expansion that brings different strategies to the table that want to be discovered.

Happy Gaming to all of you!!
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Lawrence Davis
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The MatrixCube wrote:


I know that this victory wouldn't have been possible in a 3- or 4-player game. Also, the world map was really on my side with a trade-rich city to be established in Turn 4. Also, the Hanging Gardens, combined with the Republic did their share to provide me with the figures needed to sweep the map and collect tons of resources that fed the culture machinery until the end of the game.


Well, I think your first sentence says it all.

I think anybody could win with any strategy in a 2 player game......and yeah.....in about 11 turns!!

So I'm not quite sure what I'm suppose to take away from your post.
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Holger Hannemann
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DocD wrote:
The MatrixCube wrote:


I know that this victory wouldn't have been possible in a 3- or 4-player game. Also, the world map was really on my side with a trade-rich city to be established in Turn 4. Also, the Hanging Gardens, combined with the Republic did their share to provide me with the figures needed to sweep the map and collect tons of resources that fed the culture machinery until the end of the game.


Well, I think you first sentence says it all.

I think anybody could win with any strategy in a 2 player game......and yeah.....in about 11 turns!!

So I'm not quite sure what I'm suppose to take away from your post.


As far as I know the consensus in the strategy discussions was that cultural victory is inferior to economic victory, independent from the player number. If this is not so then sorry for wasting your time.
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Lawrence Davis
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Yeah Holger. I'm not a fan of the 2 player game because the results can be too askewed. Two players playing the game pretty much solo, is going to give you a totally different feel than say 4 players playing virtually solo.

More wonders, barbarians, and culture cards come into play during 3 to 4 player games and that just changes the entire scope of the game in my opinion.
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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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We've been despairing of how to get a cultural victory, so it was an interesting read. However, I don't know why you and the missus are so disappointed: there seem to have been a number of factors which went your way that helped you get a cultural victory and your opponent doesn't seem to have responded quickly enough. In slightly different circumstances, even with just two players, I don't see why the game would necessarily go the same way again. For example, what if you had been playing a more aggressive opponent playing the Germans?
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Holger Hannemann
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Salo,

that's true. If the two of us play Russians and Germans the game is still fun because we are at each others throats all the time, and the military victory is the only condition you cannot count on achieving with a scripted game.
But if you decide to go for economic or cultural victory you almost HAVE to stick to the "script", especially if you play with similarly experienced players, otherwise you are not competitive and doomed for losing.

The missus and I played about 25 games of Civ, and we really got our money's worth out of it, but we both feel it's time for something new. And with all the great games that came out in 2010 (and 2011 already) we don't have a problem finding something enjoyable until the first Civ expansion comes out

Cheers

[Edited for misspelling]
 
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Well, just let me say how profoundly envious I am at the fact that you've had the chance to play 25 games of Civ. To be honest, with so many games in such a short time, I'd probably be looking for another game to play anyway.

However, I was thinking more of a German(or even Chinese or Russian)/Egyptian combination with the non-Egyptian player doing more to hinder the Egyptian culture-producing machine. Wouldn't that change the script of the game more? I mean, as the Egyptian, you can start out by following the script, but if someone is heckling (i.e.actively trying to disrupt it), then you'll have to respond and improvise.
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Edward Wehrenberg
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...not to mention the fun that's going to come when Expansions are released! (I wanna play as the Bolivians!)
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Boris Dvorkin
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This was a great session report, and as a matter of intellectual interest I'm glad to see that there is in fact a way to win quickly with culture. However, it is logically false to argue that this report "disproves" the claim that the economic victory is too fast.

First of all, you got the hanging gardens. Without this, you would have needed to devote several city actions to the creation of figures. In the game, all of your city actions were critical to your quick win, so that's a 75% chance right there that the strategy would have failed.

Second, you were unbelievably lucky to get Currency on turn 2. This means your opponent was A) the Americans, B) got a culture great person, C) actually chose to use their first city action to harvest culture, which is a terrible move, and D) got one of the "exchange of ideas" cards. I'm not even going to compute how improbable this is.

Third, you were lucky that the Louvre was available. Another 75% chance of instant failure.

Fourth, your opponent had free reign to ANNIHILATE you, given that you never upgraded your units or added to your forces, yet left you alone the entire game.

You yourself admit that you wanted to try for an 11 turn culture win "in a regular game" and not "a fake solo game where everything falls into place." This was a real game, but it was functionally equivalent to a solo game, given the extensive list of improbable factors that went your way. You even concede that you couldn't have pulled this off in a 3-4 player game. So how does this victory prove anything?

By contrast, the economic player can win in 11 turns regularly, regardless of civ or random starting factors, in a multiplayer game and in the face of military opposition. Again, this was a great report and I thumbed it, but the experience you described isn't generalizable.
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Steve
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Boarass wrote:
Fourth, your opponent had free reign to ANNIHILATE you, given that you never upgraded your units or added to your forces, yet left you alone the entire game.


This was my reaction. Your opponent doesn't have to be going for a military victory to heavily defeat an opponent who has invested, as far as I can tell, nothing in the military.

Still a good AAR though, thanks.
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Holger Hannemann
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Boarass wrote:

You yourself admit that you wanted to try for an 11 turn culture win "in a regular game" and not "a fake solo game where everything falls into place." This was a real game, but it was functionally equivalent to a solo game, given the extensive list of improbable factors that went your way. You even concede that you couldn't have pulled this off in a 3-4 player game. So how does this victory prove anything?

By contrast, the economic player can win in 11 turns regularly, regardless of civ or random starting factors, in a multiplayer game and in the face of military opposition. Again, this was a great report and I thumbed it, but the experience you described isn't generalizable.


Thanks for your input!

This session report proves nothing but that culture victory is possible in 11 turns, and I never claimed anything more. I know how improbable that setup and the gameplay was, and I also pointed out that this session is not generalizable, especially not in a 3- or 4-player setup.
I only played one game in a 4-player setup so I can only argue for the 2-player version.
But you are right in everything you said, and I agree that economic victory is maybe easier than a cultural victory in a multiplayer setup but I don't think it is a game-breaking flaw.
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Brad Miller
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The MatrixCube wrote:
Turn 1: Built Workshop in capital, discovered Northern tile, collected 8 (4+4) trade. Picked up Incense with army. Invented Code of Laws.

Turn 2: Changed government to Republic (that allowed me to collect 2 Silk and 2 Wheat during the game). Got Currency in an exchange of ideas. Built Trading Post in capital. Invented Horseback Riding.

Turn 3: Capital built trading post number 2.

Turn 4: Established city number 2 using an army


Seems like your terms, or grasp of the rules, are incorrect. You cannot found a city, nor "pick up Incense" with an army. Only with a scout.
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Holger Hannemann
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Windopaene wrote:
The MatrixCube wrote:
Turn 1: Built Workshop in capital, discovered Northern tile, collected 8 (4+4) trade. Picked up Incense with army. Invented Code of Laws.

Turn 2: Changed government to Republic (that allowed me to collect 2 Silk and 2 Wheat during the game). Got Currency in an exchange of ideas. Built Trading Post in capital. Invented Horseback Riding.

Turn 3: Capital built trading post number 2.

Turn 4: Established city number 2 using an army


Seems like your terms, or grasp of the rules, are incorrect. You cannot found a city, nor "pick up Incense" with an army. Only with a scout.


You can gain incense conquering a hut or village, and the Republic lets you use your armies to build cities.

I might not have been clear enough. Inventing Code of Laws was meant to imply changing the government to Republic on the next turn.
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Brad Miller
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OK, just wanted to check...
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Timothy Pride
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For what it's worth, with I've won economic in 9 turns, in 3/4 players game.

But that's against newbie that didn't know how to block me.

I still believe that Colosus is better wonder than Hanging Garden. But maybe your victory could be faster if you build the capital in almost all desert outskirts, and churning trading post all the time, until finally get the engine going.

And I don't really see culture is scripted, since it's actually using the most randomizing things in civ (cards!). Sure, your tech build probably scripted, but how you pull it (efficiently), depends on your map exploration and cards.
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Holger Hannemann
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Darkmot wrote:
For what it's worth, with I've won economic in 9 turns, in 3/4 players game.

But that's against newbie that didn't know how to block me.

I still believe that Colosus is better wonder than Hanging Garden. But maybe your victory could be faster if you build the capital in almost all desert outskirts, and churning trading post all the time, until finally get the engine going.

And I don't really see culture is scripted, since it's actually using the most randomizing things in civ (cards!). Sure, your tech build probably scripted, but how you pull it (efficiently), depends on your map exploration and cards.


You've won economic victories in 9 turns? Can you please share how you are doing that? Honestly, I thought 11 turns was the minimum....

I forgot to mention, we house ruled that in 2 player games only 3 chits of each building are available, and only 5 harbours, that's why I couldn't build any more Trading Posts. And yes, the Colossus is better but I drew the Hanging Gardens. It could have been worse!

And I still think that cultural victory is scripted. The card draw doesn't affect your progress on the culture track, you have to keep to a certain Tech Tree, you have to build your cities in certain spots to gain enough trade and production for the culture advances and a second wonder. And the less turns you want to play the more scripted it will feel.
 
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Boarass wrote:

Second, you were unbelievably lucky to get Currency on turn 2. This means your opponent was A) the Americans, B) got a culture great person, C) actually chose to use their first city action to harvest culture, which is a terrible move, and D) got one of the "exchange of ideas" cards. I'm not even going to compute how improbable this is.


I think the more likely approach is that his opponent was 1) the Americans, B) harvested an incense, C) Used the currency ability to turn incense into 3 culture, D) got one of the "exchange of ideas" cards.

The odds are a little better in this scenario.
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The MatrixCube wrote:

You've won economic victories in 9 turns? Can you please share how you are doing that? Honestly, I thought 11 turns was the minimum....


1st Turn - Code of Laws
2nd Turn - usually none
3rd Turn - Pottery
4th turn - Any Lv1, probably Horsback Riding. 1 Coin = (1)pot
5th turn - Democracy. 2 Coin = (2)pot
6th turn - Printing Press. 4 coin = (3)pot+(1)dem (try to save culture here)
7th turn - Metal Casting. 8 coin = (4)pot+(2)dem+(1)mc+(1)pp
8th turn - Civil Service. 11 coin = (4)pot+(3)dem+(1)mc+(2)pp+(1)cs
9th turn - Anything. 13 coin = (4)pot+(4)dem+(1)mc+(3)pp+(1)cs

And (2) from Code of Laws during the game. 15 coins in 9 turns. Well, sure this needs quite helpful resources, map, and probably German. But it's doable in ideal conditions. Oh and the best wonder for this setup is Colossus and Porcelain Tower. Or maybe Louvre for 2nd choice.


As about cards, well, it depends. Usually, I have plans, but sometimes I can hasten my plans or change it acordingly because of the cards I have (unless it's drought or bread&circus like cards)
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Holger Hannemann
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Darkmot wrote:
The MatrixCube wrote:

You've won economic victories in 9 turns? Can you please share how you are doing that? Honestly, I thought 11 turns was the minimum....


1st Turn - Code of Laws
2nd Turn - usually none
3rd Turn - Pottery
4th turn - Any Lv1, probably Horsback Riding. 1 Coin = (1)pot
5th turn - Democracy. 2 Coin = (2)pot
6th turn - Printing Press. 4 coin = (3)pot+(1)dem (try to save culture here)
7th turn - Metal Casting. 8 coin = (4)pot+(2)dem+(1)mc+(1)pp
8th turn - Civil Service. 11 coin = (4)pot+(3)dem+(1)mc+(2)pp+(1)cs
9th turn - Anything. 13 coin = (4)pot+(4)dem+(1)mc+(3)pp+(1)cs

And (2) from Code of Laws during the game. 15 coins in 9 turns. Well, sure this needs quite helpful resources, map, and probably German. But it's doable in ideal conditions. Oh and the best wonder for this setup is Colossus and Porcelain Tower. Or maybe Louvre for 2nd choice.


As about cards, well, it depends. Usually, I have plans, but sometimes I can hasten my plans or change it acordingly because of the cards I have (unless it's drought or bread&circus like cards)


Holy cow!! I wouldn;t want to believe it but it's true.

That just renders the game even more undesirable until this issue is fixed. I hope they will come out with the expansion soon that takes care of the coin craze.
 
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The MatrixCube wrote:

Holy cow!! I wouldn;t want to believe it but it's true.

That just renders the game even more undesirable until this issue is fixed. I hope they will come out with the expansion soon that takes care of the coin craze.


Please bear in mind, you WILL not BE ABLE to pull this off against me in any number of players . I can do that since my opponents were newbies, and so they didn't know how to harrass me.

I just want to say, that kind of victory is possible if all stars are aligned, but Civ is one of the high interactivity game, so if someone is able to pull it off, it's the fault of the opponents rather than the game.
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The MatrixCube wrote:
Darkmot wrote:
The MatrixCube wrote:

You've won economic victories in 9 turns? Can you please share how you are doing that? Honestly, I thought 11 turns was the minimum....


1st Turn - Code of Laws
2nd Turn - usually none
3rd Turn - Pottery
4th turn - Any Lv1, probably Horsback Riding. 1 Coin = (1)pot
5th turn - Democracy. 2 Coin = (2)pot
6th turn - Printing Press. 4 coin = (3)pot+(1)dem (try to save culture here)
7th turn - Metal Casting. 8 coin = (4)pot+(2)dem+(1)mc+(1)pp
8th turn - Civil Service. 11 coin = (4)pot+(3)dem+(1)mc+(2)pp+(1)cs
9th turn - Anything. 13 coin = (4)pot+(4)dem+(1)mc+(3)pp+(1)cs

And (2) from Code of Laws during the game. 15 coins in 9 turns. Well, sure this needs quite helpful resources, map, and probably German. But it's doable in ideal conditions. Oh and the best wonder for this setup is Colossus and Porcelain Tower. Or maybe Louvre for 2nd choice.


As about cards, well, it depends. Usually, I have plans, but sometimes I can hasten my plans or change it acordingly because of the cards I have (unless it's drought or bread&circus like cards)


Holy cow!! I wouldn;t want to believe it but it's true.

That just renders the game even more undesirable until this issue is fixed. I hope they will come out with the expansion soon that takes care of the coin craze.

I feel my enthusiasm for this game waning. How many interesting decisions do you get to make? It's like the entire game is scripted. Compare this to a round of Through the Ages, where you make interesting decisions almost all the time and the gameplay feels incredibly dynamic. Also, in Through the Ages, you actually get the feeling of building a civ, not just playing a racing game.
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Vicar in a tutu wrote:

I feel my enthusiasm for this game waning. How many interesting decisions do you get to make? It's like the entire game is scripted. Compare this to a round of Through the Ages, where you make interesting decisions almost all the time and the gameplay feels incredibly dynamic. Also, in Through the Ages, you actually get the feeling of building a civ, not just playing a racing game.


When I played my first 10 games or so of Civ I thought: This game is Through the Ages, just much more fun. You probably know what I mean, TtA can feel like a chore to play, and it leaves you satisfied but highly brain-drained.
But there's a reason to this brain-drain, and you are very right on this: It is because you make interesting and game-changing decisions all the time. TtA is a heavy game whereas Civ is a light game at its heart that lost its appeal to me after 20 games.

I just hope the expansion will reignite the flaming passion I felt for Civ once.
 
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As Germans, it's plausible to purport that one could acquire three coins on Code of Laws. That, combined with the coin printed on the German starting map, could allow victory by turn 8. Theoretically.

Darkmot wrote:
Please bear in mind, you WILL not BE ABLE to pull this off against me in any number of players .

Out of curiosity: what, exactly, could you do to stop the strategy under discussion? Please cite specific examples.
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Xaxyx wrote:

Out of curiosity: what, exactly, could you do to stop the strategy under discussion? Please cite specific examples.


If you're going culture, it depends on what card you've got. I really can't explain it, since it's really tactical (depends on your map and resources and other players position too).

But access to silk is a great help. Combine it with Monarchy and Steam Power, chipping his unit one by one, and finally drop big army on capital, you could steal a military victory.

Make sure you know how the coin player feed his democracy and printing press. Obsolete the Colossus or Porcelain Tower (snatch them before he gets it also works). And obsolete the Louvre or Angkor Wat.

And getting Himeji will never hurt .

And, you could also "warn" his danger to other players, make them target him. Even if he completes his 15 coins on 9th turn, you still win if you could destroy his capital (or the more nasty, other weaker player's capital) on the same turn.
 
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Darkmot wrote:
If you're going culture, it depends on what card you've got. I really can't explain it, since it's really tactical (depends on your map and resources and other players position too).

Rather vague, and reversible: there may be 'tactical' situations where the economic player has the advantage (you got the crappy tile with a wall of water between us; or the economic player gets culture cards that can defend against this supposed interference; or the economic player starts with all 3-strength units; blah blah).

Quote:
But access to silk is a great help. Combine it with Monarchy and Steam Power, chipping his unit one by one, and finally drop big army on capital, you could steal a military victory.

By turn 9?

Quote:
Make sure you know how the coin player feed his democracy and printing press. Obsolete the Colossus or Porcelain Tower (snatch them before he gets it also works). And obsolete the Louvre or Angkor Wat.

Democracy is fed by... well, Democracy. Each coin costs a measly six trade per turn, and Democracy auto-generates 2 of that trade. I simply find it an absurdity to claim that this process can be interfered with in any significant way.

Obsoleting wonders is a strong idea, I'll admit. But nowhere in the economic strategy is it even referenced that the player is dependent upon any wonders. He makes mention about which wonders are most useful; but I can't imagine why he wouldn't be able to pull this off without any wonders at all.

Quote:
And getting Himeji will never hurt .

And several barracks and various military tech upgrades etc etc. You still believe you can finish him by turn 9? I'd be curious to see a military sequence.

Quote:
And, you could also "warn" his danger to other players, make them target him.

To similarly little effect, I'd imagine. So far, the only real threats you've illustrated are your supposed ability to crush him in a 9th turn military blitzkrieg on his capital (after he's already gotten his 15 coins!) and some vague references to the supposed power of various culture cards. Neither of these seem to present any direct, plausible interference with the economist's ability to collect his coins. And both of these gloss over the fact that the economic will *also* be building an army and acquiring culture cards of his own, all of which exist only to stave off any supposed aggression interfering with his economic focus.

I remain wholly unconvinced.

Quote:
Even if he completes his 15 coins on 9th turn, you still win if you could destroy his capital (or the more nasty, other weaker player's capital) on the same turn.

By tiebreaker variant, perhaps. I'm considering the base rules. The merit of each is a topic for another thread.
 
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