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Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game» Forums » General

Subject: Sid Meier's Civilization vs. TTA - the verdict rss

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Troy Adlington
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I keep seeing these games compared and I just don't see it. They certainly scratch a different itch for me.

Right now I would rather play SMC
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TTorres
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JohanCarstensen wrote:
After playing Sid Meier's Civ, my verdict is quite simple:
- Sid Meier's Civilization is very good strategy boardgame definitely one of the best games of 2010.
- Through the Ages is one of the best boardgames of all times.

What about your verdict?

Perhaps I'm wrong, but wasn't this exact question asked verbatim just a couple of days ago? If so, why are you starting a duplicate thread to state and ask the very same thing?

A
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Stig Beite Løken
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Through the Ages is my all time favourite game. I have played it somewhere between 100 and 150 times (my group lost count after a hundred). It's the only game that I have ranked '10'. However, the game has a few cons, most notably the downtime in 4-player games; it's simply too high, especially in the lategame.

TTA can also be incredibly brutal if a player is lagging behind in military (we always play with the "no ganging up" official rules option). Although it's fairly rare, I have seen players get knocked out of the game (they leave using the honourable withdraw option). Some of the cards are a bit useless (Joan of Arc outright sucks, and a few of the other leaders are so circumstancial that they rarely get played). Some people dislike the lack of a map in TTA, but this is more a question of preference IMO. Through the Ages is not an easy game to get into and if you play against veteran players, you will most likely get creamed.

So with all these cons, why play TTA? Well, every round you get to make interesting decisions, potentially changing the dynamic of the game while building your civ. The military cards are refreshing and make for great moments when drawing them (although there is certainly a lot of strategy in this regard as well, what you choose to seed into the deck for later play and what you choose to discard, is very important). Bidding on colonies is fun and filled with tension. The military cards and aggressions/wars add to player interaction and also make sure the game never gets dry.

Although there are a number of typical combos in TTA (Michelangelo and St. Peter's Basilica is the textbook example), a game of TTA never feels scripted. You have to constantly adapt to the situation on the board and the state of rival civs.

Warning: The following is a bit rantish.

I only have four plays with Sid Meier's Civilization. The first two were fun and I enjoyed them. However, the last two games have really shaken my joy for the game. Both were economic victories, and both were rather boring. The economic player had a strong military and good science (since going for the economic win doesn't exclude getting all the other nice stuff). I'm not gonna explain all this stuff, check out the other threads here on BBG. In the last game, the economic player just followed a typical path and won. Very little modification needed, no one wanted to attack him since he was strong and the person going for culture (me) was weak. I used a few cards defending myself while losing a few units, growing weaker. If I stopped devoting to culture, I knew I had no chance of winning, so I had to keep on. The military player kept pounding me, while the economic player went for the win. And why shouldn't the military player attack me? It was his best chance of winning.Etc etc etc. Maybe you can tell that I'm a bit frustrated. The next game, I'm going for economic victory. This is the most boring victory condition also, IMO, because you mostly just keep to yourself, turtling.

It was also frustrating that the economic player could just use the resource ability of writing (a 1st level tech) to shut down my main city. Luckily I could counter him by using a tier 3 culture card. Which was the best card I had. From the final culture tier. Against a lvl 1 tech? The next time I didn't have a copy of this card, and he had the resource necessary to use writing yet another time. The consequent delay was enough that I could never win. The military-minded player didn't stop attacking me even then, and why should he? It was his best chance to win. The economic player had just built a stronger and stronger army, so he could never win by suddenly changing targets and attacking him.

Time and time again I'm reminded of how it is not only faster, but also easier to win an economic victory. And culture sucks. The game just seems really flawed and I'm surprised it wasn't discovered in playtesting. I really, really want to like this game...
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Bill Thorpe
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minor note, the cost of writing is not the level 1 tech, its the spy resource, which are somewhat rare, you will often have none, and only rarely have 2 or more, you got unlucky on that regard.

But as to the main issue, economic does seem easier, I've seen several house rules that help that, the (max 4) on cards changed to (max 3) was the one I like the look of best, although I have yet to try it.

-Oberon
 
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Daniel Hammond
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kyrinthic wrote:

minor note, the cost of writing is not the level 1 tech, its the spy resource, which are somewhat rare, you will often have none, and only rarely have 2 or more, you got unlucky on that regard.

But as to the main issue, economic does seem easier, I've seen several house rules that help that, the (max 4) on cards changed to (max 3) was the one I like the look of best, although I have yet to try it.

-Oberon


Spies are not that rare (I have had 3 tokens in a game before, in fact between huts and villages I think they are the least rare token, although there are none on the market and they don't recycle) and resource culture cards can be used as spies (level II and III I think).
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Lawrence Davis
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Stig, I don't disagree with you about how easy it is to win with coins. I've only recently come to the conclusion that coins are too good and culture too long.

However, I still question the military player's play. Even if you are the "path of least resistance" for him, he has got to know it's still a sprint to the finish for him. Basically, can he take your capital before the economic player places his last coin.

Leaving the coin player alone, only ENHANCES his chances of winning and that's not smart play to me. If I'm the military player in that game, I would ask you (maybe at gunpoint) to help me stop the coin player. If you refuse then, yeah...I'm coming for you. But if you are willing maybe we both could weaken him enough for one of us to win.

Fighting off one player is not that hard. Having to fight off two....very hard.
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Daniel Hammond
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Try my variant :) and give me feedback.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/617870/daniels-enriching-cul...
 
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Stephen Stewart
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DocD wrote:
Stig, I don't disagree with you about how easy it is to win with coins. I've only recently come to the conclusion that coins are too good and culture too long.

However, I still question the military player's play. Even if you are the "path of least resistance" for him, he has got to know it's still a sprint to the finish for him. Basically, can he take your capital before the economic player places his last coin.

Leaving the coin player alone, only ENHANCES his chances of winning and that's not smart play to me. If I'm the military player in that game, I would ask you (maybe at gunpoint) to help me stop the coin player. If you refuse then, yeah...I'm coming for you. But if you are willing maybe we both could weaken him enough for one of us to win.

Fighting off one player is not that hard. Having to fight off two....very hard.


Right on Target.

If you go cold turkey for the ECON win...You better have an army to back it up. Otherwise you will lose. For obvious reasons, MILITARY is the biggest thorn to all winning strategies. Blocking key buildings/trade/etc. to reduce you gains.

WRT TTA vs CIV.... They really are 2 VERY different games, in mechanic, length, players attracted to them, etc, etc,

TTA is a little more Hardcore and micromanagement. CIV...Simple, quick, "beer and pretzels"
 
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Stig Beite Løken
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DocD wrote:
Stig, I don't disagree with you about how easy it is to win with coins. I've only recently come to the conclusion that coins are too good and culture too long.

However, I still question the military player's play. Even if you are the "path of least resistance" for him, he has got to know it's still a sprint to the finish for him. Basically, can he take your capital before the economic player places his last coin.

Leaving the coin player alone, only ENHANCES his chances of winning and that's not smart play to me. If I'm the military player in that game, I would ask you (maybe at gunpoint) to help me stop the coin player. If you refuse then, yeah...I'm coming for you. But if you are willing maybe we both could weaken him enough for one of us to win.

Fighting off one player is not that hard. Having to fight off two....very hard.

Good suggestion, but the point in my answer is one of the things that made me dislike the game more. It wouldn't matter if the military player attacked the economic player; in order for the attack to hurt, the military player would have to take his capital and end the game (which was incredibly difficult, giving the economic player's strong army). The economic player didn't have coins on any tiles, so the military player couldn't blockade any, and destroying one of his two back-up cities wouldn't really have hurt him. All his coins were on techs. Remember also that the coins player had a very strong military, all three cities had barracks (I think upgraded to military academies). This only underscores how difficult it is to really stop the economic victory path. I had a very weak military and not that impressive techs either. It was a faster thing to try to take my capital than to harass (for no use) the coins player.

I think the only effective way of harassing the economic player, is to do it as early as possible. But the fact that two players (the coins player and the other player who wants to "sacrifice" himself to weaken both parties) strike out at each other, only makes it easier for the other two to win.
 
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Lawrence Davis
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Vicar in a tutu wrote:
DocD wrote:
Stig, I don't disagree with you about how easy it is to win with coins. I've only recently come to the conclusion that coins are too good and culture too long.

However, I still question the military player's play. Even if you are the "path of least resistance" for him, he has got to know it's still a sprint to the finish for him. Basically, can he take your capital before the economic player places his last coin.

Leaving the coin player alone, only ENHANCES his chances of winning and that's not smart play to me. If I'm the military player in that game, I would ask you (maybe at gunpoint) to help me stop the coin player. If you refuse then, yeah...I'm coming for you. But if you are willing maybe we both could weaken him enough for one of us to win.

Fighting off one player is not that hard. Having to fight off two....very hard.

Good suggestion, but the point in my answer is one of the things that made me dislike the game more. It wouldn't matter if the military player attacked the economic player; in order for the attack to hurt, the military player would have to take his capital and end the game (which was incredibly difficult, giving the economic player's strong army). The economic player didn't have coins on any tiles, so the military player couldn't blockade any, and destroying one of his two back-up cities wouldn't really have hurt him. All his coins were on techs. Remember also that the coins player had a very strong military, all three cities had barracks (I think upgraded to military academies). This only underscores how difficult it is to really stop the economic victory path. I had a very weak military and not that impressive techs either. It was a faster thing to try to take my capital than to harass (for no use) the coins player.

I think the only effective way of harassing the economic player, is to do it as early as possible. But the fact that two players (the coins player and the other player who wants to "sacrifice" himself to weaken both parties) strike out at each other, only makes it easier for the other two to win.
I understand what you are saying stig, but I still wonder if BOTH of you could have done something as a united alliance. Forget about taking the economic player's capital. That's not the intent. The intent is to weaken him enough so that maybe one of you guys could pull off a tech victory or something like that.

I've only played a few games, but I haven't seen anybody stand up (for long) against a two front war.
 
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Bill Thorpe
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DocD wrote:
I understand what you are saying stig, but I still wonder if BOTH of you could have done something as a united alliance. Forget about taking the economic player's capital. That's not the intent. The intent is to weaken him enough so that maybe one of you guys could pull off a tech victory or something like that.

I've only played a few games, but I haven't seen anybody stand up (for long) against a two front war.


The problem is that militarily there is pretty much nothing you can do to stop an economic victory short of taking the capital.

Sure, you can sometimes stall them a turn or two by blocking a bank or great person, but you cant stop them from putting coins on techs like printing press or monarchy or pottery. if they play half smart, they dont need any coins on the board, and due to the mechanics of the victory condition, they can focus on a surprisingly strong army, and no loose flags to chase down. This makes taking out the capital a brutal if not impossible task in the timeframe before they win.

Because of this, the military players best bet is nearly always to rush the easiest target and pray. Because if they go after the econ guy and dont win, they have soundly lost any chance of winning the game.

A varient where you have to place the coins from techs on a square of the map could make military options a lot more interesting... hmm..

-Oberon
 
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Matt Mehlhoff
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So... what happened to the initial question?
 
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