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

Subject: Balance issue rss

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MS-06 Zaku II
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Hi,

I heard ppl were saying the basic game had balance issue, would you please help me understanding what are not balance?

Thanks in advance
 
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Paulo Santoro
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People's opinions are unbalanced about it.
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Daniel Hammond
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I don't think it was unbalanced as a game, just culture was the weakest path of the 4 and economy was very strong (because it was almost impossible to take coins from people).

The expansion buffed up culture too much and weakened economy (while ignoring it for most other enhancements like investments). The game with the expansion is more unbalanced than the base game (Arabia is too powerful) and with the great people deck in play it is more random as they are not particularly well balanced.

I think in general the accelerated pace of the game takes away from empire building aspect.

These are just my opinions though.
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In the basic game :

- economic victory was an (for some people "THE") easy way to win (average 8 or 9 turns).
- Military was the fastest way to win (but depend of other players). Culture victory was good too (average 9 or 10 turns but only with Chinese or Rome).
- Tech victory was hard (average 14 or 15 turns, except with Russia who can reach it in 9 or 10 turn max).

- The 6 civ were balanced

In FaF extension :

- economic victory was weakened (you can still reach it in 8 or 9 turn but it now depend of other players who can force you to discard coins)
- Military is still the fastest way to win (depend of other players, but with investment and GP, it can be even easier)
- Culture victory has been improved (8 or 9 turns average, cause of investment, new techs, and GP cards)
- Tech victory was a bit improved (cause of investment) but still is the hardest (longest) way to win.

3 of the new civs are not balanced :

- Arabs can win by culture in 7 turns even without devoting once to the art...
- Greek's trade ability in 2 or 3 player games can be very strong.
- Spanish well played (and with good tiles start) can reach a military victory very fast.

FaF randomness :

- Confusius academy and seven cities of gold can decide of the game since the start, as they give strong advantage.

- Some GP cards are way too overpowered if you get them at the start or with the rigth civ. (léonidas, Orvile Wrigth, etc).

- Some GP cards can give you the victory way to easy. (Zuchov, etc...)

Culture in FaF :

everything in FaF seems to have been done to improve culture victory.

The lvl 3 tech Ecology makes the culture victory very easy.
The lvl 2 tech Mysticism allows the culture player to win even without worry about military agressions (as you double your chance to get culture cards, desoriented or defection, to protect you)


So to resume :

In the basic game there isn't a lot of randomness. All kinds of victories are reachable (tech victory only in long games).
The economic victory couldn't be stopped directly by culture or by military battles.

In FaF, there can be a lot of randomness but these new things bring more "fun" according to some players.
Maybe FaF brings more cooperation between players to counter the "lucky" player. -> Sometimes it's not good to get lucky to fast as other players will make alliance to destroy you or slow down your advance.
Economic victory can now be stopped directly by culture cards and military battles.
Only 2 kind of victories are now played (culture and military) cause they are reachable fast enough.

The only thing i regret in FaF is the "Culture > Economic".
If you go for economic, you get no bonus (instead of keeping some trade...). So you have to defend yourself, buy units, maybe invest some coins in military.
Economic is way easy to counter... If you are close to victory, a single army that blocks a coin makes you fail. Furthermore, if a player destroys one of your city he steals you one coin and you can lose for exemple 2 more coins belonging to this city (bank and natural wonder).
If you go for culture, you get 10000000 bonus. Culture card to slow down the econ victory, culture cards to protect you against military agression and to counter a military vic against another player, GP cards that can give you awesome bonus (random). So you can win even without worry about anything else.
Culture is nearly impossible to counter (when the player is close to win). Destroy a city (not the capital) and nothing happens to the culture player. It's just too late. You can steal him 6 culture tokens but he just spends all or close to all his token during the city management. Next turn he devotes and wins.

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Mark Bauer
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wow, very detailed!

I agree with you on most parts, I just want to add the following:

You don't have to add everything from the expansion. You can decide. If you think some things are not balanced, then change them according to your playing group and experience. And BGG is here to help

For example: The relics? I don't play with them at all. I just leave them be. No one misses them^^
It's bad that the new civs are unbalanced, I don't allow the Arabs. The others are okay. And there are a lot of custom civs here on BGG.
There is somewhere a list of a balanced great persons deck. There are a lot of those GPs that it is not very bad to leave some out.
Cutting some Culture Cards? Maybe some that nerf the economic victory too strong? Also, no problem.
And most of players I know play with 2-4-5 investment costs for the culture investment card.

Civilization will never be a balanced game, but it can be tweaked in a way your game group can totally enjoy it!
 
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Indeed it's better to play with some alternatives.
efta 2-4-5(or 6), no relics, and reduces the GP deck is a fair solution.
About GP deck, some GP aren't considered to be very strong but are in some situation awesome. Sint-Francois d'Assise as starting GP for america and you get 15 culture in the first turn ^^. But you have 2% chance to have it.
There is also an economics investment card that was created to change your coins on tech card into permanent coins. But it still don't rehab the econ vic compare to culture and military.

The point is that everyone make it's own rules in his group trying to convince other players about the benefits of some changes.
 
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Robert Aronovici
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Well, my buddies and I finally played a three player game. We got together and played (I had taught each buddy seperately). We only put the Greeks on the side.

I randomly choose the Arabs, which I do think have a great head start. The fact that I discoved two relics next to my capital was awesome. Those relics can boost your victory by 100%.

Of course, once I became way too powerful and about to crush everyone (scientific and/or military) victory they came bombarding me.

If it great finally playing more than just two players and I would imagine with more players; the more interesting coniditions become.

The randomness is truely fun and keeps all players on their toes. We don't think anything is broken except for the Arabs (we realize that now) and the Greeks (but really only in a two or three player game).

We'll also be experimenting with two types of victories once we are comfortable playing more thoroughly with three or more players.
 
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Timothy Madden
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I agree the balance issue seems to come from several of the different civ's in the expansion. Sure the Egyptians are strong so are the Russians, while several of the civ's form WaW can learn techs at three trade. With some more bad-ass ability which makes it hard with people who are playing with one of the base game civ's like the Americans which are rather moderate. I'm rather curious which expansion brings a more balanced aspect to the game.
 
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T S
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binici wrote:
We don't think anything is broken except for the Arabs (we realize that now) and the Greeks (but really only in a two or three player game).


So maybe a 2 player game with Arabs vs Greeks would be good because they are both unbalanced and powerful? What do you think?
 
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