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Subject: Starvation & Grain rss

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Keimpe Visser
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Hello,

I recently bought and played Civilization (Gibbons version).

One thing that happened 3/4 in the game i found ackward.

We were with 3 players (testers), and two of us collected grain, not allowing the other player to have that fourth grain card.

In this setting, as there are only 8 grain cards, the calamity-card Starvation happens (almost) every turn!

And because it almost happens every turn, every player was sticking to his grain (with pottery) to reduce the losses.

I can only imagine what will happen with more players.


Any ideas?

Many thanks,
Keimpe
 
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Edward Kendrick
United Kingdom
Redditch
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I believe there is a variant or house rule under which in order to gain the benefit of Grain against Famine, you have to give up the grain cards. This puts them back into circulation.

In the versions I'm familiar with, the Famine card is a 3 card, so it isn't made more frequent by people holding on to Grain - the 4 calamity is Civil War. Is the version you have different? - if so, it's possible that later versions moved the Famine card from 4 to 3 for just this reason. In that case that would be another possibility to avoid the problem you describe.
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Keimpe Visser
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I can't recall ever stating that my version somehow was different in the order of calamity cards.

Acually Famine is the third calamity card. But as we had 4 cities, (sometimes 6,5 or 3) the grain was always in circulation and therefore also the Famine card (which is a red one)

Thank you for your post, although i never really use house-rules, as i think this game is quite good on its own.
I was just wondering if we played it right?
Is this a flaw in the game?
Or is this just as it is?

Regards,
Keimpe
 
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H-B-G
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Halesowen
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Barbarossa wrote:

In the versions I'm familiar with, the Famine card is a 3 card, so it isn't made more frequent by people holding on to Grain - the 4 calamity is Civil War. Is the version you have different? - if so, it's possible that later versions moved the Famine card from 4 to 3 for just this reason. In that case that would be another possibility to avoid the problem you describe.


It is actually the other way round, the original Hartland and the Avalon Hill edition have Famine in stack 3, the later Gibsons version moved it to stack 4 (and created this problem) along with Civil War to Stack 5 and Flood to stack 3. I presume this was to do with the perception that Civil War is too powerful for stack 4, but I don't see this slight rearrangement making too much difference in that respect.

You could try changing the arrangement back to the original editions, that is Famine-3, Civil War-4, Flood-5, so that the act of hoarding grain would not cause a string of Famines, rather it would cause a load of Civil Wars, which is something you would want to avoid. You might also try with more players (if you can) where the cards would be more spread out, I wouldn't play the game with less than 5.
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Peter Schott
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I am familiar with this case, as famine is a type 4 calamity in the German base game as well.
On the other hand, esp. when playing with 6-7 players (as this game should be played all the time), grain is one of the big scorers.
Nearly nobody holds on the grain cards just to save a few tokens. It's just not worth it, compared to the hundreds of points you could make by selling them - either to other players, to complete your salt, bronce or whatever stack, or to the bank yourself.
So, the problem might be there, but not for more then one or two rounds.

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Keimpe Visser
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Point being,

Once the famine is mostly there, everyone was sticking to its grain, making the famine occur more often.



 
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Keimpe Visser
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Thank you for all your posts.

So what i gather from your points made:


Play with more players, then the grain is worth trading instead of saving tokens.

Probably we played to conservatively.

regards,
Keimpe




 
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Roger McKay
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I read the optional grain rule before I ever bought the AH 1980) version, so my group has always played it that way.

I am well-known among my friends for inventing house rules, but I don't consider this to be one.

I DO think that it makes more sense for the famine to be in the grain stack, though.
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Keimpe Visser
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I agree, it should be in the grainstack, and also later than the flood.
I tend to think that returning one grain to the staple for 4 units, is actually a good rule. When it is optional and can also keep it for trade if preferred.

Keimpe

 
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Ward Stolk
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Also used to play the Gibson's version. We got stuck in this loop as well and resolved more ad hoc. We said you could declare the grain cards you have, then use them to buy a civ card and still get the benefit in the famine. Everyone was fine with it (the grain holders because they could actually use the grain and the non-holders because the famine would stop showing up every round. However, not fully satisfied with that resolution. I think playing more aggressively (taking the hit and using the grain cards) may be more beneficial indeed.

Incidentally, the Dutch copy (Compendium games) that I currently own has 3. Flood, 4. Famine. 5. Civil Disorder and has Civil War relegated to 7. Not sure which is better (also since I recently found out we were playing Civil War wrongly). Civil War is not so bad if you are still small (i.e. 35 or less units and you are not affected).
 
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