Salutations to thee, dear Civilization.
Due to the tremendous enjoyment I personally get out of the Civilization franchise, I thought it was worth sitting down for a couple of minutes and share my thoughts – especially the ones that comment on the idea of an expansion for the board game; Civilization: A New Dawn.
Just as a small disclaimer I’d like to mention that I currently have 188 hours played in the most recent video game incarnation and numerous games of the board game under my belt. I merely mention this to enlighten the fact that I am familiar with the franchise and I am aware of the similarities and differences between the two types of game.
I am also aware that some others have made some suggestions related to a possible expansion. I will try to include as many of these in the end of this thread, as I’d like this to become a discussion of a new expansion, rather than merely a plea for one.
There is already lots of reviews of the game online, so I won’t make one. Suffice it to say, I really enjoy playing the game. With that being said - I occasionally find some smaller issues with the game-play that I was thinking a possible expansion could eradicate.
The biggest issue I find in the game is the power of the military in late game. For the most part you either construct one thing, send out caravans, put markers – but it feels slightly like the military card can have too much influence in one turn. I’ve experienced in 2-player and 4-player games how one player captured 3 cities in one turn – Since so many of the victory conditions can be gained by having cities (8 cities, 2 of X wonders, having territory adjacent to water/edge, capital/ 2 captured city states and possibly 5 mature cities) – the game can swing quite a lot, which by default isn’t that bad, it’s just that the rest of the game is about (at least for me) gradually striving towards a specific goal. This problem and how to fix it is hard to say and I can’t judge whether I am the only one with this feeling, but a possible fix could be that you were only allowed to attack one city each time you activate the card, leaving the 1-2 extra attacks for barbarians and encouraging more to attack tokens. Another way could potentially be that when fighting other players, you’d get war weariness that had a negative effect, while another action (like trading) could potentially yield amenity that counters the war weariness (I’m not sure how this would turn out, it’s just that nerfing the military isn’t the only way to balance the card).
Probably one of the biggest connotations within the civilization franchise, is building wonders. Building a wonder and increasing the tech dial are the ways the game help gives the feeling of progress. After the initial 3-4 games it becomes evident that there are “only” 6 wonders in each color, 2 in each time (Ancient, Medieval and Modern). The reason why I write only in quotes is because I realize that there simply isn’t room for more. Considering each player have 8 cities available, there is only room for 32 in total, so having more might not seem as important. In-game the building is just not as exciting after the first play-throughs and in my experience, what normally happens (mostly in 2-3 player games), is that each player merely focuses on separate colors – resulting in the player who takes the blue wonder first, typically also ends with the second wonder. Again, this might just be my experience. I am not sure how you’d improve on this system, but perhaps not having all the wonders available at once might be one solution. Another way to adjust on this system could be that, you were only allowed to produce a wonder after your tech dial has passed a new technology; i.e. the first time you pass the II allowing a level 2 technology you are allowed to build an ancient wonder, after you pass your second II you are allowed to build another ancient wonder, after you pass III you are allowed to build a medieval wonder and so on. You could also potentially rule that you weren’t allowed to buy an ancient military (red) wonder unless you at least have your military card in level 2.
Those two, the military card and wonders are my biggest issues with the game and I believe that they can easily be fixed. Hopefully if there is an expansion on the horizon it will not just be more civilizations with some extra wonders – personally I wouldn’t mind that, but I also believe that an expansion ought to bring in something new to the game.
Here are some of the ideas, recklessly stolen from other threads on this forum:
Districts, built instead of tokens adjacent to cities.
Moar tiles, objectives cards, players, wonders, technologies,
So, what do you say? Are my thoughts about changing stuff completely misunderstood or does it have some ground? Do you have any other ideas for an expansion? If you don’t mind please add some text to your suggestions, like if you suggest more civilizations it could be great if you also had some ideas of how these civilizations looks like. For instance, Vikings: May Ignore water-tiles when determining distance on your action cards: i.e. caravans and fighters count water tiles as 0. It’s just a quick thought, but I guess an example is better than none.