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#21 Somnambul



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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:49 AM

I think that problem with Russian opponent in a game is that he presses you to counter him way to often. Your freedom to choose technologies is limited in a way that you must consider Russian tech pyramid in order to prevent Russian civ from gaining military or tech advance via army sacrifice method.

Example 1. Russia can produce a lot of low-level units and upgrade them for free just by stealing a tech for it from you in their movement phase. Although you also will be having the same upgrade technology, this is not that advantageous for you, if you have less units of that type. Also you loose your chance to have advantage over Russia in the next turn by having upgraded units. Plus Russia still gets to research a tech in Research phase. If the Russian opponent is going for military victory, it requires much less effort for him. Plus he always has a chance to gain a tech victory as a back-up, if the defence is too strong or there is a rival military strong player who is also going for military victory.

So you loose time, production (hammers) and opportunities either by withholding your tech progress in the desired way or dealing with Russian army figures. This is even a bigger concern if there are more than two players in the game.

Example 2. You can also counter the abovementioned Russian strategy by focusing on economic victory, which is most easily gained by controlling natural gold deposits, building banks and using certain great people and tech card abilities. Also, feudalism might help and certainly Panama canal wonder could (only that modern wonders are quite far away in the wonder card deck). But by doing so, particularly focusing on tech card abilities, you risk that other players might attack you, which will certainly happen once your aggresive opponents have noticed that you are close to economic victory. So you shouldn't forget about building and upgrading your army and defence system (walls, great generals, barracks, war academy, army figures, Himeji Castle, certain culture event cards and tech card abilities). However it requires certain technologies to upgrade your units and those tech cards are not the ones who can help you to gain economic victory. 

It becomes even a greated challenge if there are 3 or 4 players in the game.

So my suggestion is that Russian army sacrifice ability should be replaced with something else or should be made more costly (e.g., 1 figures for level 1 tech, 2 figures for level 2 tech, 3 figures for level 3 tech and 4 figures for level 4 tech).

#22 Somnambul



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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:55 AM

Also I think that Rulebook isn't specific enough. There are things which aren't clear right away, especially with tech cards.

For example, I didn't understand from the first time that certain cards increase your culture hand size. First, I thought that the round "+1" symbol is a coin, so I thought that the player should add 1 to their coin dial. Only later did I notice that there is an actual coin symbol on other tech cards, so after closer look I figured out that the round "+1" symbol resembles a culture event card. 

Also I and my game mates had a quarrel regarding Metal Working resource ability - whether it add +3 to attack only or to both attack and defence (health). Only later did we read the Official FAQ and came to final aggreement that this ability increase attack strength only.

And there are many other points in the rules, which could be interpreted in two ways. This was/is a problem not only for me, but for other players, as well (judging from the forum discussions).

So, my suggestion to FFG is to publish full explanation for all tech cards and to take into account forum discussions, because the Official FAQ is too short.


I also think that, since uranium is such a rare resource, nuking other cities should be excluded from Atomic Theory card abilities. Being an only player with uranium in the game is a way too strong lever. Although it could be helpful against impudent Russians.


Also, I think unit upgrade should be more flexible. For each rank unit's strength increases by 1. This sucks, when you have a strength 1 rank 1 unit. It means that, whatever the rank of unit is, it always stays the weakest unit of that rank. It also means, that, for example, rank 1 strength 3 infantry unit kills rank 3 strength 1 mounted unit and that is just ridiculous!

I suggest that this should be evened out. For example, rank 1 strength 1 unit should have strength 3 in rank 2, but rank 1 strength 3 unit should have strength 4 in rank 2 (as they already do). In other words, initially weak units should become stronger faster than initially strong units.


Finally, FFG should have included some items for counting trade points and production for each city. By default the player has to remember them and recount. This is not only inconvenient, but also time-consuming.

I personally use poker chips for counting them. I use red chips for production and white chips for trade points. I put the red chips in three rows for each city. I put the white chips together, because it doesn't matter from which city they came from. Also a paper and pen could be used, but that is not as convenient and players tend to forget to update their numbers. Besides, other players can more easily see how big is the production for each opponent's city, just by looking on the size of the opponent's stacks. 

If FFG would come up with some items for counting production and trade points in each city, it would also be nice if there were some indicators for stacking limit, culture hand size, battle hand size and movement points. But first two would be enough, as it is easy to remember the rest parameters.


#23 binici



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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:51 AM

So far, I have been teaching the game to many players (four new players) and seperately, so I myself, have not finished a "full" game. I just bought this game a few weeks ago for X-Mas and I love it!

Teaching the basics and mechanics of the game and referencing it to the PC game is what helps (most players will have a guide from the PC version). We played using the short intro version and victory once somebody builds three cities.

I have tried four of the six civilizations and found the Germen's to be really nice at being the bully (if you want to go that route). America is really impactful, China with production hogging and Russia with production scoring as well, but the lack of culture sucks. Next, I plan on trying the other two civs and figuring out what they do best (Egypt and Romans).

One of my buddies was on the fast track of winning through culture, so he was doing really well and others were very timid and wanted to learn all the tech's.

So much flavor in this game and I plan on picking up the expansion this weekend. Here's hoping to playing a full game soon.

#24 KAGE13



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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:01 AM

Some interesting comments.

This is probably my biggest comlaint about it. 

Jonny WS said:

I have found that you have to pick your path to victory as soon as you see your civ you are playing.   While a military victory is the easiest way to win, having a back-up is good.  Trying to change your plan half-way through the game is a MAJOR disaster.  

In the 2 times I taught this game to new players, they ALL wanted to start over half way through because they realized they didn't play to their Nations strength.  You are TOTALLY screwed if you don't pick your path from the start. 

The other thing I don't like is the square tiles.  They should have made it more like TI3, with hexes.  The 5 player game is wierd.  You pretty much have to play with 4. 

I see a few people hate the combat system.  I think its fantastic.  Its simple and there is a lot of strategy.  I don't think its anti climatic at all.  If a player doesn't think about what they play, they will get crushed, even with superiour forces.  And you can "delay" to minimize losses.  Helps to closly watch what each player draws all the time.  This has to dicatate what you also draw.  

I did notice someone said they when you loose a battle your forces are totally decimated and you have to rebuild quickly.  The computer game was exactly like this.  If you gambled on an attack and lost you had to quickly rebuild before you lost a city.  It was pretty much an all or nothing battle.  With only 3 cities it probably feels more devistating.  And this only happens if you aren't building enough units. 

The game feels a bit "paniced" for how short it is and what needs to be accomplished.  I like to see a bit longer of a game.  You could probably do this by making a bigger board.  I've been playing around with it.  I don't think it takes away from military victories because you move 6+ by the end of the game anyway. 

As I said I think hexes would be better and more condusive to differant numbers of players other then 4 or 2.  a 6 player civ game would be awesome. 

I also don't like how fast the world is revealed.  basically by turn 2 everything is revealed.  Making the board bigger would have mean more exploring would need to be done.   Maybe you even make smaller hexes or squares.  Then you could have tech that reveals more then 1 tile. 

Then you could also add more water ( i saw someone mention it was to easy to travel across water).   You would end up with continents and not one wierd shaped land mass. 

I would also like to see seperate ship and land units.  Love the combat system,  keep that the same, but seperate navel units out.  Aircraft would be the one unit that could fight in both. 

Overall I think they game is very good as far as Civ goes.  The eagle games one was brutal, but has some interesting concepts.  Someone on BGG has made a "rewrite" of the eagle games version and it was damn near perfect.  It was called Civilization CHR.  The only problem was you couldn't get anyone to play it because it took about 60 hours to play.  No exageration.  And the board wasn't modular. 

As much as I complain about the board its also the best part of the game because its modular. 


#25 Somnambul



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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:07 AM

I modified the combat system a bit, so that the units may gain experience as in the PC game.

I assigned a name to each of the units, so that their battles rounds can be counted and recorded.

Thus, for each three battle rounds a unit survives he becomes a seargant. This means +1 strength and +1 health.

For each five battle rounds a unit survives he becomes a lieutenant. This means +2 strength and +2 health.

For each seven battle rounds a unit survives he becomes a major. This means + 3 strength and + 3 health. However this is very unlikely to be achieved during a game, unless played very aggressively.

In order to implement this technically, you need to stick letters to each of the unit cards and use a battle experience table like this to record battle rounds the unit have survived. Letters on stickers represent the unit's name. You can assign any name you like or set any upgrade treshold or number of ranks, of course.

NB! By "battle rounds" I mean each fight a unit has survived during a combat. This means that after entering a front the unit can survive one, two or more fights, gaining +1,+2 or +3 experience accordingly.

If the unit dies, his experience is erased from the table and battle record can be started from beginning by the next player who picks this unit's card from the market. I guess, it won't hurt to use China's ressurection ability to bring the killed unit back to the standing forces and count his experience as he would have survived by himself.

All other rules apply as per rule book.

p.s. Using this modification would also allow to make unit's with initial strength of 1 more effective, as maximum strength they can gain is only 4 (but with the combat modification I have proposed it's 7).

#26 Somnambul



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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:36 AM

It turns out that 3, 5 and 7 battle rounds (fights) are too much, so I decreased the treshold to 1 for seargant, to 2 for lieutenant and 3 for major. I also updated the rank table example in the message above. As the units are picked from standing forces randomly and only actual fights count (not opening a front), it's still quite hard to upgrade the unit above seargant rank.

#27 Somnambul



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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:11 AM

I managed to modify the game and change the rules, so that I can enjoy the game more. I made a "Unit Experience Table" (previously "Rank Table") I mentioned before and also created a checklist, so that players can agree on modifications they want to use.

So, for the moment, here is the list of changes/suggestions I have made:

  1. Use poker chips to remember how many trade points and hammers (in each city) you have. Update the stacks with new buildings, blockage situations, deforestation and governments (Communism/Democracy).
  2. Use "Unit Experience Table" for tracking your unit experience. See the checklist for explanation (text in bold). Experience adds strength value to units as indicated in the table. Thus a situation when a level 1 strength 3 unit kills level 3 strength 3 unit can be avoided. The last table version lists "captains" instead of "majors".
  3. Use "Epic Game Variant" (see the checklist) to make the game more enjoyable:
  • The game becomes less time-pressing, still it takes only about 4 turns more to finish;
  • Players have more strategic options and their mistakes are less painful;
  • Cultural Victory becomes more likely and so is the possibility that III level culture event cards will be used;
  • Economic Victory is not that easy, but still possible;
  • You have enough time to enjoy your technological advancements;
  • There always are plenty of resources;
  • It is more likely that modern wonders will be build and used;
  • If military victory is not gained early, most likely all players will be strong military;
  • There will be a lot of surprising breakthroughs for you and your opponents due to advanced technologies, resource abilities, modern wonders and II and III level culture event cards;
  • It is more likely that players will try to engage in battles with barbarians or each other.

The "Unit Experience Table" is here.

The cheklist is here. Just tick every modification you want to use (unless they contradict each other). The text in bold just describes the modification/house rules.

#28 Tibs



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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:00 AM

Having only played 1½ times, currently my biggest issue is with the Wonders available to lower player numbers. I feel like the total number of Wonder cards in the deck and the number of wonders available at any given time should scale with player number. Either that, or there should be some mechanic that instantly removes all unclaimed wonders of a given era.

For example:

All unclaimed Ancient wonders should be returned to the box as soon as any player reaches II on the culture track, or any player has upgraded all three combat types to at least rank 2, or any player posesses 5 coins, or all players have a level 2 tech.


All unclaimed Ancient and Medieval wonders should be returned to the box as soon as any player reaches III on the culture track, or any player has upgraded all three combat types to at least rank 3, or any player posesses 10 coins, or all players have a level 3 tech.


Of course, I'm not sure exactly how well all of these conditions line up with each other.

#29 Somnambul



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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:05 PM

Though, I must add that after purchase of F&F expansion, Civ BG seems much more balanced. And I don't feel that my modifications are still necessary. Besides there are some flaws with unit XP and unlimited map feature - in some situation some civs (like Chinese) can advance way too fast and game balance is lost.

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