Recommend
19 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Civilization» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 5 Noobs - We Were the Pigs in Breakfast rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mike W
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
5 Noobs got together for a holiday break game of CIVILIZATION (Avalon Hill 1980 version).

The extent of our experience with CIV was limited to half of a 2-civilization game played by myself to learn the rules and flow of the game followed by a 3-civilization game played by myself with Bobby joining me about half-way through. We finished that game to completion (at 4 AM). (To be honest, I think that little bit of learning did give a big advantage to Bobby and I in our Noob Pigs game since we were more familiar with the rules and the long-term planning needed for the end-game.)

I perused the BGG forums for suggestions on running a Noob session. The keys points I pulled out were:
1. Do not include all 3 of Asia, Assyria, and Babylon in play. I chose to remove Asia from the game simply for the reason that "Asia" does not really sound much like an ancient civilization unlike the venerable names Assyria and Babylon. (Although I do really like the Charioteer counters of Asia.) There was also a suggestion not to include both Thrace and Illyria in play together, but this was not applicable to our 5-player game.
2. Suggest that Egypt and Babylon do not build 2 cities on Turn 4 and delay AST advancement out of the Stone Age by one turn.
3. Nobody else should consider building a city or two in Turn 4.
4. Provide the suggested opening for Crete that builds 8 tokens in the homeland, ships 5 to Greece, builds back up to 8 in Crete, ships 5 to Asia Minor, and builds cities after growing first in Greece and then in Asia Minor.
5. Advise not to purchase too many low value Civilization Cards that would prevent achieving the final Card Point targets.
6. Point out the high value of Engineering to Egypt and Babylon given their flood plains.
7. Make Crete aware of the Volcano in their backyard.
8. Advise that total war is not a very sound strategy, although border skirmishes over farmland and city sites might be common. Moving later in census order is a huge advantage.
9. Although suggested, we did not impose a strict time limit on the trading sessions, figuring we could spend a little more time for a Noob game. A couple sessions did go a bit long and we needed to exert some pressure to give up on a desired trade.
10. Provide everyone some pencil and paper with a couple calculators available for figuring out the total purchasing power on a turn and discounted cost of Civ cards.

For civilization selection, we simply did a random draw of civilizations rather than a random draw to decide choice order. The draw order was decided by order of arrival and I drew last. The players and their civilizations were:

THRACE - Mike
CRETE - Paul
ASSYRIA - Rick
BABYLON - Bobby (we thereafter referred to him as Bobbylon)
EGYPT - John

And this brings us to the title of this Session Report. There is an old saying about bacon and eggs. "The chicken is involved, but the pig... the pig is committed." The one rule I required of everyone playing was TOTAL COMMITMENT to play the game out to the very end. I assumed we would finish up in 10 to 12 hours, but in my invite I asked everyone to prepare for up to 16 hours just in case. (And I can’t forget to mention the rule about "no drinks on the table" either!)

To enhance the thematic atmosphere, we also had my girlfriend Anne and John’s wife Jane dressed in togas and serving us drinks and feeding us grapes. (Ok, that part might have just been a fantasy. I don’t think they would actually do that. After all, Jane is the one that gave Anne a refrigerator magnet that says "Men are ok, I guess, but I can’t see myself cooking and cleaning for one.")

A final note before getting into the Session details. As Thrace, I was actually playing with the yellow Illyrian counters. In one of my test games, I did not care for the appearance of the green Thrace counters on the lush green farmlands of the northern part of the board. I think I even missed some Thrace counters blending in to the background a couple times.

TURNS 1-4
Nothing too unusual at the beginning, just population expansion. Egypt and Babylon chose not to build two cities in turn 4 so each fell behind on AST.

TURN 5
Census: All have 32 except for Crete at 22 courtesy of ship levies
City Count: Babylon 1, Egypt 2, Thrace 3
AST Advance: Thrace, Egypt
AST Position: Thrace 5, Crete 4, Assyria 4, Egypt 4, Babylon 3

Assyria, Babylon, and Crete all decide not to build the two cities needed to advance out of the Stone Age.

TURN 6
Census: Assyria 47, Babylon 45, Crete 42, Egypt 40, Thrace 26
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete
City Count: Crete 2, Thrace 3, Babylon 4, Egypt 4, Assyria 5
Trade: Thrace with Egypt, Babylon with Egypt
AST Advance: All
AST Position: Thrace 6, Crete 5, Assyria 5, Egypt 5, Babylon 4

Rather than shipping population to Asia Minor, Crete moves armies north towards Thrace marking the start of an epic, millennia-long war. Trading begins and everyone advances on AST.

TURN 7
Census: Egypt 39, Babylon 37, Crete 34, Assyria 30, Thrace 20
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete, Assyria vs Babylon
City Count (card draw): Crete 2, Thrace 3, Egypt 4, Assyria 6, Babylon 7
Trade: Thrace with Assyria and Egypt, Assyria with Babylon and Egypt
Civ Card Buys: Egypt - Mysticism, Babylon - Pottery, Assyria - Drama, Thrace - Mysticism
Civ Card Points: Thrace 30, Crete 0, Assyria 60, Babylon 45, Egypt 30
Calamities: Assyria Earthquake
City Count (turn end): Crete 2, Thrace 3, Egypt 4, Assyria 5, Babylon 7
AST Advance: All
AST Position: Thrace 7, Crete 6, Assyria 6, Egypt 6, Babylon 5

TURN 8
Census: Crete 41, Egypt 39, Assyria 27, Thrace 23, Babylon 23
Conflict: Assyria vs Babylon
City Count (card draw): Crete 2, Thrace 4, Assyria 5, Egypt 5, Babylon 7
Trade: Thrace with Egypt, Crete with Egypt, Assyria with Babylon
Civ Cards Buys: Egypt - Architecture, Babylon - Metalworking, Assyria - Pottery, Thrace - Metalworking
Civ Card Points: Thrace 110, Crete 0, Assyria 105, Babylon 125, Egypt 110
Calamities: Thrace Famine, Egypt Civil War (nominee Thrace gained 6 tokens)
City Count (turn end): Crete 2, Thrace 3, Assyria 5, Egypt 5, Babylon 7
AST Advance: All
AST Position: Thrace 8, Crete 7, Assyria 7, Egypt 7, Babylon 6

The first Civil War hits Egypt to the benefit of Thrace which gains 1 area in the Levant with 2 tokens and 3 areas on the African coast with 4 tokens. This would prove to be valuable territory for Thrace.

TURN 9
Census: Crete 37, Babylon 27, Assyria 26, Thrace25, Egypt 20
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete and Egypt, Assyria vs Babylon
City Count (card draw): Thrace 3, Crete 3, Assyria 5, Egypt 5, Babylon 7
Trade: Thrace with Assyria and Babylon, Assyria with Babylon
Civ Card Buys: Babylon - Architecture, Assyria - Literacy
Civ Card Points: Thrace 100, Crete 0, Assyria 215, Babylon 205, Egypt 110
Calamities: Egypt Earthquake and Flood drops city count to 1
City Count (turn end): Egypt 1, Thrace 3, Crete 3, Assyria 5, Babylon 7
AST Advance: All
AST Position: Thrace 9, Crete 8, Assyria 8, Egypt 8, Babylon 7

Another devastating turn for Egypt with more calamities of Biblical proportions. The situation at the end of turn 9 (reminder that Thrace is playing with the yellow counters):


TURN 10
Census: Egypt 38, Thrace 37, Babylon 31, Crete 31, Assyria 25
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete, Crete vs Assyria
City Count (card draw): Egypt 1, Crete 4, Thrace 6, Assyria 5, Babylon 7
Trade: Thrace with Assyria, Babylon, Crete, and Egypt for a complete set of salt, Crete with Egypt
Civ Card Buys: Egypt - Drama, Babylon - Coinage, Crete - Clothmaking, Thrace - Engineering, Literacy, Pottery
Civ Card Points: Thrace 405, Crete 45, Assyria 215, Babylon 315, Egypt 170
Calamities: Babylon - Earthquake
City Count (turn end): Egypt 1, Crete 4, Thrace 6, Assyria 5, Babylon 7
AST Advance: All but Crete
AST Position: Thrace 10, Assyria 9, Egypt 9, Crete 8, Babylon 8

Rather than rebuilding cities, Egypt masses troops against the Thracian rebels. Thrace responds by bringing population together to form a city in the North African desert away from Egyptian armies, plus 1 city in the Levant.

TURN 11
Census: Egypt 45, Assyria 33, Crete 31, Thrace 29, Babylon 25
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete and Assyria
City Count (card draw): Egypt 2, Crete 5, Assyria 6, Thrace 7, Babylon 7
Trade: (Starting turn 11, Trading was happening too many, too fast to record for the remainder of the game; Crete did acquire a full set of Grain this turn)
Civ Card Buys: Babylon - Engineering, Assyria - Architecture, Crete - Metalworking, Literacy, Astronomy, Thrace - Medicine
Civ Card Points: Thrace 545, Crete 315, Assyria 295, Babylon 455, Egypt 170
Calamities: Thrace Epidemic, Crete Famine, Assyria Civil War (nominee Egypt gained 3 tokens) plus lost 1 city to Famine, Babylon lost 2 cities to Famine
City Count (turn end): Egypt 2, Crete 4, Thrace 5, Assyria 5, Babylon 5
AST Advance: Crete, Babylon
AST Position: Thrace 10, Crete 9, Assyria 9, Babylon 9, Egypt 9

Thrace constructs a third city from the rebels of the Egyptian civil war.

TURN 12
Census: Egypt 38, Babylon 31, Crete 26, Assyria 20, Thrace 19
Conflict: Crete vs Assyria, Assyria vs Egypt
City Count (card draw): Crete 4, Egypt 4, Assyria 5, Thrace 6, Babylon 6
Civ Card Buys: Babylon - Medicine, Thrace - Coinage
Civ Card Points: Thrace 655, Crete 315, Assyria 295, Babylon 595, Egypt 170
Calamities: Assyria Flood (No Effect), Thrace Civil Disorder
City Count (turn end): Thrace 4, Crete 4, Egypt 4, Assyria 5, Babylon 6
AST Advance: Thrace, Crete
AST Position: Thrace 11, Crete 10, Assyria 9, Babylon 9, Egypt 9

The situation at the end of Turn 12:


TURN 13
Census: Egypt 45, Crete 37, Thrace 33, Babylon 33, Assyria 19
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete and Assyria, Crete vs Assyria, Assyria vs Egypt
City Count (card draw): Crete 5, Assyria 5, Thrace 6, Babylon 7, Egypt 7
Civ Card Buys: Egypt - Medicine, Babylon - Law, Assyria - Metalworking and Music, Thrace - Music
Civ Card Points: Thrace 715, Crete 315, Assyria 435, Babylon 765, Egypt 310
Calamities: Egypt Famine and Epidemic, Thrace lost a city to Famine, Crete Volcano (1 token) and lost 2 cities to Epidemic, Assyria lost a city to Epidemic, Babylon Civil War (nominee Egypt gained 1 city and 5 tokens)
City Count (turn end): Crete 3, Babylon 3, Assyria 4, Thrace 5, Egypt 6
AST Advance: Thrace, Babylon
AST Position: Thrace 12, Crete 10, Babylon 10, Assyria 9, Egypt 9

The turn of calamities across the known world. Many changes from the situation last turn:


TURN 14
Census: Babylon 42, Crete 36, Assyria 33, Egypt 30, Thrace 22
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete, Babylon vs Egypt (surrender of Egyptian city)
City Count (card draw): Crete 4, Thrace 6, Assyria 6, Babylon 6, Egypt 6
Civ Card Buys: Crete - Engineering, Thrace - Law
Civ Card Points: Thrace 885, Crete 465, Assyria 435, Babylon 765, Egypt 310
Calamities: Babylon Flood
City Count (turn end): Crete 4, Thrace 6, Assyria 6, Babylon 6, Egypt 6
AST Advance: Babylon
AST Position: Thrace 12, Babylon 11, Crete 10, Assyria 9, Egypt 9

TURN 15
Census: Egypt 35, Babylon 34, Crete 30, Thrace 27, Assyria 21
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete and Assyria (surrender of Crete city)
City Count (card draw): Crete 4, Assyria 6, Thrace 7, Babylon 7, Egypt 8
Civ Card Buys: Egypt - Engineering, Babylon - Literacy, Assyria - Law, Clothmaking
Civ Card Points: Thrace 885, Crete 455, Assyria 650, Babylon 875, Egypt 450
Calamities: Crete Volcano (1 token) and Civil War (No Effect)
City Count (turn end): Crete 4, Assyria 6, Thrace 7, Babylon 7, Egypt 8
AST Advance: Assyria, Babylon
AST Position: Thrace 12, Babylon 12, Crete 10, Assyria 10, Egypt 9

Crete ships population to Cyprus. Assyria reluctantly purchases the low value Clothmaking card in order to avoid city revolts in turn 16 due to insufficient tokens in stock.

TURN 16
Census: Babylon 28, Thrace 27, Egypt 25, Crete 23, Assyria 23
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete and Assyria, Crete vs Assyria
City Count (card draw): Crete 5, Assyria 6, Thrace 7, Babylon 7, Egypt 8
Civ Card Buys: Egypt - Coinage, Babylon - Philosophy, Assyria - Medicine, Crete - Agriculture, Thrace - Democracy
Civ Card Points: Thrace 1085, Crete 565, Assyria 790, Babylon 1115, Egypt 560
Calamities: Thrace lost 2 cities to Famine, Crete Civil Disorder, Egypt Famine
City Count (turn end): Crete 4, Thrace 5, Assyria 6, Egypt 6, Babylon 7
AST Advance: Thrace, Assyria, Babylon
AST Position: Thrace 13, Babylon 13, Assyria 11, Crete 10, Egypt 9

The situation at the end of turn 16:


TURN 17
Census: Babylon 33, Crete 30, Assyria 28, Thrace 26, Egypt 24
Conflict: Crete vs Assyria, Babylon vs Egypt
City Count (card draw): Crete 5, Assyria 6, Egypt 6, Thrace 7, Babylon 7
Civ Card Buys: Egypt - Law, Astronomy, Babylon - Astronomy, Crete - Drama, Thrace - Philosophy (11 cards)
Civ Card Points: Thrace 1325, Crete 625, Assyria 790, Babylon 1195, Egypt 810
Calamities: Egypt Earthquake and Epidemic, Thrace lost 1 city each to Epidemic and Egyptian Piracy, Crete Flood (no effect), Civil War (nominee Egypt gained 4 tokens), and lost 1 city to Epidemic, Assyria lost 1 city to Epidemic
City Count (turn end): Egypt 3, Crete 4, Thrace 5, Assyria 5, Babylon 7
AST Advance: All
AST Position: Thrace 14, Babylon 14, Assyria 12, Crete 11, Egypt 10

TURN 18
Census: Egypt 43, Thrace 27, Babylon 25, Crete 23, Assyria 23
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete, Crete vs Egypt
City Count (card draw): Crete 4, Thrace 6, Egypt 6, Assyria 6, Babylon 7
Civ Card Buys: Assyria - Democracy
Civ Card Points: Thrace 1325, Crete 625, Assyria 990, Babylon 1195, Egypt 810
Calamities: Babylon Famine and Flood
City Count (turn end): Crete 4, Thrace 6, Egypt 6, Assyria 6, Babylon 7
AST Advance: All but Babylon
AST Position: Thrace 15, Babylon 14, Assyria 13, Crete 12, Egypt 11

An unlucky trade card draw of Famine, Flood, and Civil Disorder prevents Babylon from the real trade goods needed to acquire Democracy and advance on the AST. Other players are reluctant to trade with Babylon.

TURN 19
Census: Egypt 36, Assyria 30, Crete 28, Babylon 25, Thrace 18
Conflict: Thrace vs Crete (2 Thrace city surrenders)
City Count (card draw): Crete 4, Thrace 5, Assyria 6, Babylon 7, Egypt 8
Civ Card Buys: Egypt - Philosophy, Babylon - Democracy (11 cards), Assyria - Coinage (11 cards), Crete - Pottery
Civ Card Points: Thrace 1325, Crete 670, Assyria 1100, Babylon 1395, Egypt 1050
Calamities: (did not bother)
City Count (turn end): Crete 4, Thrace 5, Assyria 6, Babylon 7, Egypt 8
AST Advance: All but Babylon
AST Position: Thrace FINISH, Babylon 14, Assyria 14, Crete 13, Egypt 12

The situation at the end of the game:


GAME TRACKER
Total playing time for the game was 10 hours, 15 minutes. We did a couple breaks for food and pictures. (We had to fiddle a lot with the lighting for the pictures.) I also put together a spreadsheet to record the events and information of the game as they happened real-time. Here is a link to the file upload on BGG. This specific game is recorded on the tab labeled "Example (5P)". I figured if we planned on spending on the order of 10 hours playing a game, might as well extend the time by a half hour to record everything.

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/74371/civilization-game-tr...

ERRORS
Being our first play, a couple errors would be expected.
- A couple times we let players go back and purchase a Gold card during the Acquire Civ Cards phase.
- During the first Epidemic, we might have missed the requirement that no area become depopulated. I seem to remember removing one of my cities and not replacing it with a token. Starting with the second Epidemic, we played it right.
- Assyria misunderstood the requirement for city support until about the half-way point. He thought each city required 2 farming areas rather than just 2 tokens. Not sure if he would have played it any different.
- Early in the game, I tried to build a ship during the Movement phase, but an astute Crete pointed out that I was too late.

COMMENTS
THRACE - I would say the main thing that put me in position for victory was being named the nominee of the Egyptian civil war in turn 8. In turns 10 and 11, I built 2 cities on the African coast and a third in the Levant. Since Crete had mostly prevented my growth from the homeland, those 3 cities kept me in the game of collecting the mid-value trade cards. I held on to all 3 cities until the final turn when it did not matter anymore.

BABYLON - Another big factor in giving the victory to Thrace was the unlucky Trade Card draw for Babylon during turn 18. With a draw of Famine, Flood, and Civil Disorder, Babylon missed out on the real trade goods needed to purchase Democracy and advance on the AST. By advancing on turn 18, Babylon most likely would have been able to overtake Thrace by total points for the win. Babylon benefited from relative peace with Assyria and Egypt, but probably should have pushed to eliminate the Thracian city in the Levant.

ASSYRIA - A relatively quiet game. Maintained 5 or 6 cities just about the entire game. Had some early border skirmishes with Babylon as expected but that ended by turn 10. Some mid-game engagements with Crete in Asia Minor and Thrace on the north coast of the Black Sea. Probably could have benefited from more aggressive expansion into Asia Minor and Cyprus. For most of the game, Assyria’s farming population was trapped between the walls of Babylon and their own cities in Asia Minor. Another issue was acquiring too many low value Civ Cards, making the 1400-point target almost out of reach.

CRETE - Crete followed the first half of the suggested opening script by boating to Greece. But for the second half, rather than boating to Asia Minor, Crete moved armies north to engage with Thrace in a war that would last the entire game. A small city count during the first half of the game kept Crete out of the early trading and Civ Card acquisitions. Some nice trading during turn 11 put together a complete set of Grain to help get back in contention, but entry into the Iron Age was delayed until turn 17.

EGYPT - Poor Egypt. A flurry of calamities during turns 8 and 9 (Famine-secondary effects, Civil War, Earthquake, and Flood..."that was Biblical") really derailed any plans of cultural advancement. Egypt’s play was pretty solid before and after the devastating mid-game, but those lost turns prevented Egypt from moving out of the Bronze Age until it was too late (turn 17). Probably should have rebuilt cities sooner after turn 9 to speed up Egypt’s recovery on AST.


All in all, it was a fun and exhausting day. Rick is definitely looking forward to getting another game together during the summer. He lives 200 miles away from the rest of us, so it takes some extra planning and spousal permission for him. I am hoping to recruit a couple more Noobs to introduce the game before then.

I welcome any comments from anyone on our play, strategy, tactical/strategic mistakes, the session write-up, my game tracker aid, anything.
14 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Morgan
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This makes me hopeful that I can get my n00b group to play this. Sounds like a good time.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger McKay
Canada
Bedford
Nova Scotia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Pencil? Paper? Calculators?

My gaming group came up with a house rule that prevents players from using paper and writing implements until they buy the Literacy advancement. Calculators are RIGHT OUT.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
marc lecours
Canada
ottawa
ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
RogMcK wrote:
Pencil? Paper? Calculators?

My gaming group came up with a house rule that prevents players from using paper and writing implements until they buy the Literacy advancement. Calculators are RIGHT OUT.


We allow the use of an abacus.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Debien
United States
Round Rock
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds to me like Crete completely over played his hand. I play Crete a lot and the Crete strat should be peaceful negotiation - my city cites (Crete has more than it needs) for your farmlands (Thrace has more than enough). Both Civs can peacefully co-exist IF Crete snags some extra space over in Asia minor. So yeah, Crete attacking Thrace was a pretty awful maneuvor and by the score, he seems to have paid the price. It's ok if you want to play the part of a war monger, but to be woefully in last place for a 8 hour game can be pretty boring. Glad to see the warring did not harm Thrace's game!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike W
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RogMcK wrote:
Pencil? Paper? Calculators?

My gaming group came up with a house rule that prevents players from using paper and writing implements until they buy the Literacy advancement. Calculators are RIGHT OUT.


I like your commitment to the theme. You could take it a step further and require the display of a Papyrus card before using the paper (like Grain with Famine).

I do think having the paper/pencil around is helpful for a Noob game. There is enough stuff constantly frying your brain, such that remembering a couple numbers (trade card value, total credits, treasury) can get too much, as silly as that sounds.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.