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

Subject: Defense cards against wars rss

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Nat Hammond
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The rules say you can't use defense cards against wars.

What is the reason for this rule?

I am talking game design here. Is it broken if DEFENSE cards could be used to defend against any type of threat?

 
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Chris Berger
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tigernat1 wrote:
The rules say you can't use defense cards against wars.

What is the reason for this rule?

I am talking game design here. Is it broken if DEFENSE cards could be used to defend against any type of threat?


I don't think it'd be broken, but the idea is that there is not really a defender in a war. Either side can win and get the benefits. The defense cards are so strong because they only (unless used for colonization, obviously) prevent harm to you, rather than also give you a benefit. Churchill would be even stronger if defense cards could be used in a war - you'd be begging someone to declare War Over Culture on you so you could gain 40 points.
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Shane Larsen
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Defending civs already have all the advantages in a war:

- A round to prepare.
- Sacrificing after the attacking civ.

Adding defense cards to a war would make a war strategy way too weak.

Plus in my opinion, it makes the military discard phase more interesting knowing that the bonus cards are only good for Aggression and Colonizing. If they were good for Aggression, Colonizing, AND Wars, you would always keep them, making the hand-management decisions less interesting.

In the end, the reason you don't do it is because that's the rule. I'm sure Vlaada had his reasons for making the rule. All we can do is speculate as to why the rule exists. My speculations are above.
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Savino Palumbo
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My thoughts:

Imagine how sad you'd be if you declared war on someone in Age 3 with a 20 point strength advantage, and during war resolution they drop 4 or so defense cards, ALONG WITH sac'ing units...you've been building military up all along to take away their huge culture lead, but the military deck randomly rewarded them for poor infrastructure.

My point is, if defense cards could be used in war, no one would ever play war cards, ever. You'd just be too scared of them holding defense cards, even if you were Napoleon. It WOULD break the game, IMO...at least for war strategies.
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Steve Bachman
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ELPsteel wrote:
...you've been building military up all along to take away their huge culture lead, but the military deck randomly rewarded them for poor infrastructure.



How'd they get the huge culture lead with a poor infrastructure? I'm not getting the connection there.
 
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Pablo Zamalvide
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I agree with most of which has been said, but I'd love to hear Word of God on that subject. Mater of fact, if it would be possible, I think it would be great if Vlaada could do a small Q&A about design desitions on TtA. I had lots of discussions with friends about this matter. I am aware he must be a very busy man, and I am asking a little too much for nothing, but one can just dream, can't one?
 
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Eric Phillips
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Ward wrote:
ELPsteel wrote:
...you've been building military up all along to take away their huge culture lead, but the military deck randomly rewarded them for poor infrastructure.



How'd they get the huge culture lead with a poor infrastructure? I'm not getting the connection there.


It can easily happen with Michelangelo or Cook.
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Savino Palumbo
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Fortuna wrote:
Ward wrote:
ELPsteel wrote:
...you've been building military up all along to take away their huge culture lead, but the military deck randomly rewarded them for poor infrastructure.



How'd they get the huge culture lead with a poor infrastructure? I'm not getting the connection there.


It can easily happen with Michelangelo or Cook.


Beat me to it...happens all the time especially with brand new players. First time I played TTA it was a 4 player game, I grabbed Michelangelo+Chapel combo and was generating huge culture, but towards the end of Age 2 I simply couldn't get anything out. I lost everything in two consecutive War over Cultures. I'll never make that mistake again...
 
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Paul Grogan
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tigernat1 wrote:
The rules say you can't use defense cards against wars.

What is the reason for this rule?

I am talking game design here. Is it broken if DEFENSE cards could be used to defend against any type of threat?



Whilst you are free to use this as a house rule, I would strongly advise against it as it will completely 'break' the game. Nobody would declare wars as the other player could just play a defence card or two and then win.

As other people have said, a war is 2-sided. There is no real attacker and defender, and both sides could win the war.

As for declaring war on someone who is well down on military strength - that is the game. It isnt 'broken' if you have 10 strength and Napoleon declares war on you with 40 strength. Thats just how it is, your fault for only having 10 strength
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John Paul Sodusta
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The design decision is to provide a complete different feel between aggressions and wars. I think it is very clever.
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Steve Bachman
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ELPsteel wrote:
Fortuna wrote:
Ward wrote:
ELPsteel wrote:
...you've been building military up all along to take away their huge culture lead, but the military deck randomly rewarded them for poor infrastructure.



How'd they get the huge culture lead with a poor infrastructure? I'm not getting the connection there.


It can easily happen with Michelangelo or Cook.


Beat me to it...happens all the time especially with brand new players. First time I played TTA it was a 4 player game, I grabbed Michelangelo+Chapel combo and was generating huge culture, but towards the end of Age 2 I simply couldn't get anything out. I lost everything in two consecutive War over Cultures. I'll never make that mistake again...

So your general statement was based on a specific situation, got it. Most games I've played, the culture lead had the infrastructure behind it. I have seen the Michelangelo pitfall too though.
 
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Savino Palumbo
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It's still not just that specific situation though...getting the culture lead can cost infrastructure loss in many other ways. If you spent your actions and resources building Taj Mahal instead of a more useful wonder just to generate culture, your infrastructure will suffer. If you build guys into temples and libraries and not much else, your infrastructure will suffer. etc.
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Steve Bachman
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ELPsteel wrote:
It's still not just that specific situation though...getting the culture lead can cost infrastructure loss in many other ways. If you spent your actions and resources building Taj Mahal instead of a more useful wonder just to generate culture, your infrastructure will suffer. If you build guys into temples and libraries and not much else, your infrastructure will suffer. etc.

Likewise, if you spend your resources on military and special techs, your culture will suffer. "Huge culture lead" happens just as much with warmongers lagging behind as those you mention jumping ahead. I've seen more gaps caused by the former than the latter.
 
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Savino Palumbo
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Getting an intimidating military can be hard without having infrastructure first. The best tactics cards need at least 2 different military techs, if not 3. This means you need the science, population, and resources to have all that in the first place. Not so much with culture. You don't need any science or population to make Michelangelo/Chapel, or to take Work of Arts early.
 
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Scott Burns
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As a defender, you can win wars. As a defender, you can't win aggressions.
 
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Ruben Schlüter
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I was wondering if this house rule could make sense:

You may use defense cards to reduce the impact of a lost war : as the attacked civilization you are allowed to play defense cards to increase your strength value. Even if you do, you can never win the war if you have played a single defense card. You will always suffer the the "minimum" effect of a war: a loss of one population in a holy war, a loss of one resource in a war over resources, a loss of one yellow token in a war over territory, a loss of one culture point in a war over culture (are here further wars?).

An additional option could be this: In order to be allowed to play a defense card, you will have to sacrifice at least one unit per defense card played.

This will mainly affect 2-player-games, where an "all-in sacrificing strategy" seems standard. Thoughts?
 
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Grant
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Alpha-Omega wrote:
I was wondering if this house rule could make sense:

You may use defense cards to reduce the impact of a lost war : as the attacked civilization you are allowed to play defense cards to increase your strength value. Even if you do, you can never win the war if you have played a single defense card. You will always suffer the the "minimum" effect of a war: a loss of one population in a holy war, a loss of one resource in a war over resources, a loss of one yellow token in a war over territory, a loss of one culture point in a war over culture (are here further wars?).

An additional option could be this: In order to be allowed to play a defense card, you will have to sacrifice at least one unit per defense card played.

This will mainly affect 2-player-games, where an "all-in sacrificing strategy" seems standard. Thoughts?

I don't understand what you're trying to fix. The threat of war forces players to divide their resources three ways: infrastructure improvements, culture generation, and military. Take one away and the game becomes less interesting and challenging. Why is that good? Why would you want the game to be easier? I can understand that some people have gotten upset by wars because they got surprised and were destroyed by them as a novice player. But that doesn't mean wars are the problem. More experience will teach you to prepare for this.
 
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Ruben Schlüter
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Grant, don't get me wrong!

I like the war concept in general, and in three or four player games they work absolutely fine.

What I don't like is the mechanism of wars in two-player-games. And I'm not suggesting a rule change, rather an optional rule - which would affect the game a lot less than other optional rules suggested in the game rules (like no wars at all).
 
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