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pulsar3

PLEASE LIST YOUR CRITICISMS OF CIV HERE!

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Hi, all.  I'm a Civ lover from the first non-video game with square tokens and a map of the Mediterranean Sea.  I'm fascinated by then new board game and want to hear main criticisms of it by those who have played it more than a few times.  So convince me the Russians really have an advantage or the setting of a unit's strength at its birth are really flaws of this game, but have some meat in your criticism and some playing to back it up.  In fact, let's start there, but list any kind of criticism you have here.

Does Russia have an advantage overall?

Is it easiest to win a military victory?

What do you think of the strength of units being set at their draw and unchangeable therefrom?

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Ok here's my take on this having played a few games, and I'm finally getting to play the same people so it's getting challenging.

Pulsar said:

Hi, all.  I'm a Civ lover from the first non-video game with square tokens and a map of the Mediterranean Sea.  I'm fascinated by then new board game and want to hear main criticisms of it by those who have played it more than a few times.  So convince me the Russians really have an advantage or the setting of a unit's strength at its birth are really flaws of this game, but have some meat in your criticism and some playing to back it up.  In fact, let's start there, but list any kind of criticism you have here.

Does Russia have an advantage overall?

Hmm.. they are powerful, in some respects their most powerful ability is starting with Communism giving them a serious production boost. The stealing tech power is good but can be countered. I find the Romans and Germans also very powerful, especially the German free units ability.

Pulsar said:

 

Is it easiest to win a military victory?

After 6 or 7 games I've not seen one yet. Mostly science victories and some culture. Economic has come close a couple of times but no military victories yet. Maybe we're all too nice.

Pulsar said:

 

What do you think of the strength of units being set at their draw and unchangeable therefrom?

Well they can get upgraded, I don't really have a problem with it.

I've not really got any issues with the game as it stands, the rules are a bit badly worded in places but that's getting sorted. More games, that's what I need.

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This is great, thank you, Scimon.  Does anyone else have criticisms of the game so far?  I'd love to hear where the rules are badly worded (I don't think FFG's errata sheet is nearly long enough—one page—to cover their characteristic list of unclear rules.)

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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.  

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That's too bad. So basically you could be screwed half-way through the game, feeling it's pointless to go on.  That's way lame.

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Note: please have proper punctuation when creating topics.  All caps read as if you are shouting.

Depending on which Civ you play will help determine your strategy.  Examples are Russians winning by stealing tech and being good at it, Chinese focusing on Culture and being lucky enough to reach plenty of Huts/Villages early in the game, and Germans focusing on fighting and winning often without needing a backup.

I would think that the Americans and Egyptians would be the best to win by any choice since they start with a random Great Person or Wonder.  Those are my thoughts.

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I played this game a couple of times with friends and we all agree that it is too easy to cross water - especially at the beginning. We think that it might be a strategy boost to the game when the Navigation tech would allow just one movement above water or something similar.

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Thank you, Maarek, I have been made aware I don't know proper forum etiquette in the slightest, so I need all the notes I can get happy.gif

Yinkou, I think we'll try playing like that—have you tried a specific house rule out you could share?

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Not yet.

We are still discussing the best solution.

Imho it would be great to have some land tiles with more water squares on it and then apply an alternative rule to the navigation-tech like "just one move per round on water" or "limiting the movement to the coast". But these rules don't make much sense without more water... In most of our games the land tiles formed just  one square wide rivers and in the rarest cases larger seas.

In addition to that we also thought to limit the movement on hills but give some defense bonus to Armys of e.g. 2 combat Bonus Points. (works good for us, but can be more or less)

Our House rule to that: A unit has to stop when it enters a mountain square. If a player researches the engineering-tech (II-tech) his units can move one additional square if they have enough travel speed left. As soon as a player researches the Flight-tech, his units can move normally. If it comes to a Battle on a mountain, the defending side gains 2 Combat bonus points. (They don't stack with the number of armies on the tile. One army gains 2 Combat bonus and 3 armies also get just 2 bonus points)

this makes the game a bit more strategic and more like the vg.

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I would really like to hear FFG's official view of Yinkou's rules here.  I like them a lot.  Any quick perspective you guys have on their playability/whether they would imbalance a playtested mechanic?

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I haven't found too many things to be critical of yet. The only one that I believe is going to crop up is how easy it is to achieve a coin victory. I have played a few games now, 2-2 player games (both coin), 1-3 player game (tech victory - also first game), and 1-4 player game (coin). A friend has also played 3-3 player games all ending in coin. A focused drive towards a coin completion is difficult to prevent, as it can occur quite quickly. We are seeing coin victories with only 1-2 level III techs researched, and players obtaining 3-5 coins per turn (win a battle - code of laws, give two resources - pottery, give 6 commence - democracy, give 5 culture - printing press) and 3 easy coins for researching whatever turns markets into banks (this was alleviated somewhat with multiple players wary of a coin victory, but I still managed to build 3 banks in a single turn in the 4 player game). What would seem to be the obvious solution is a quick rush with military, but I find you can't get to a capital in time and even if you get there you don't have sufficient techs to be able to win the battle. Another theory is use of spies and appropriate techs to cancel city management actions but that it very difficult to do and requires a game focused on solely preventing another player from winning (at the expense of your ability to win) and luck in getting spies out of the huts. My group will for sure be playing more games but I think it will simply be a race to see who collects 15 coins first (which negates so much of the positive aspects of this game - the diversity in winning, the late game techs / wonders, etc.).

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 It looks like you have very peaceful friends. ;)

I agree that on a 2 player game the easiest way to win is by coin if the opponent plays passive. But as the number of players rise as harder is to get coins because you have to pay attention to far more things. It's a bit like Poker.

-That's just my opinion from the games i played till now and i had just one economic victory.

@ pulsar:

We just played once with this rule and we were really excited about. It doesn't imbalance the game in any way but gives more strategic thinking about movement and Army positioning.

@ criticism: I more and more think, that the battle system isn't that really convincing. There should be a better way to fight and win a battle. E.g. it should be also possible for a single, strong unit to win a battle against a bunch of weak units. That is not possible if the player with a large army always just opens new fronts.

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Huh, yeah I've heard the battle system is innovative but "unsatisfying."  I was worried about the rigidly determined units' strengths, but it seems others aren't as concerned about that. How unrealistic does the badass-unit-can't-beat-three-weak-spearsmen thing seem? (Does it jerk you out of the story/realism of the game sometimes?  That's what I really hate.)

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 Hmm, my concerning isn't actually about the super-cybertron-ultra-mecha-godzilla unit (lol!) which has no chance against 10 Bowmen in this game.That was just a small missing thing in the game. But as you already said, i'm not really statisfied from the system itself... The friends which i'm playing with actually like it.

For me it's not a true battle system, the actual battle is missing for my opinion. It's just points counting. But i don't think that ffg will do something about that because its hard to change the game rules afterwards, neither in an expansion...

Maybe i'll try a modified Cosmic encounter battle system. Just got a great idea during i wrote this post.

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I agree with Chirisophus. Economic victory is by far the easiest. The coin-producing techs are level I (Pottery/Code of Laws) and level II (Democracy/Printing Press) so you can research them early in the game and start collecting coins. Being resource abilities they cannot be blocked by other players unless they have researched Mass Media, a level IV tech. You gain coins also from some other techs as a bonus(Civil Service, Metal Casting, Computers), from buildings, great people, from the map and by changing your government to Feudalism.

All the games we played were 4-player and most of them ended with economic victory. Our last game was again ended with economic victory in only 10 turns! We were all disappointed by this so we decided to exclude economic victory in the future as a house rule.

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Just won with economy yesterday, and I was a good two turns ahead of everyone else's victory. The last turn I generated 5 coins (Democracy, Pottery, and building two more Markets (for a total of 3), then researching them into Banks).

I'd be interested in seeing if Economic Victory would be more balanced if you just raise the threshold of coins needed. Maybe 18-20 rather than 15.

 

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HI, my English may be not good. 

In my opinion more rational will be  Communism as a starting goverment for China and Monarchy for Russia. 

And I also think that it will be excellent if ground has movement cost and defend/attack bonus. Like Infantry has hight bonuses in forests, mountains, cavalry on plains and etc.

May be it will be interesting to make battles like MTG (light variant). Naval Battles will be very big plus.

 

Thanks

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Two games played so far - my Egyptians were beaten by the Russians in the first and my Romans beat the Americans in the second - both saw tech victories quite comfortably. Several battles were fought and were important in both games, but a military victory was not realistic in the first and irrelevant in the second as my tech victory was secured shortly after nuking my opponent - although it was clear that decisive battles were key. Both players in both games enjoyed reasonable culture advances and i was on 8 coins in the Roman win.

The military aspect to the game is probably one of the least enjoyable so far - i'd like to see more nations too eg Great Britain, India and Greece in particular.

As for nation powers, in the two games, i liked the Egyptian and Roman ones the best, although i utilised the Roman advantage better, The Americans was quite useful in a low industry game, but the Russians wasnt really that helpful.

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I think it is crazy that you can win a battle with no troops left.  My comments and suggestions have just been put in a new topic in the Forums.

This has been the most interesting discussion I have read yet!

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I think when you talk about this version of Civilization which I think attempted to acomplish the same thing the Eagles game version its worth doing a comparison because I believe somehow neither game managed to get it right, but both games did enough right things that when combined (in an imaginary 3rd version) it would be a great game.

Rules wise I think Fantasy Flight games did a considerably (I mean... CONSIDERABLY) better job of laying it out and making it clear.  We picked up the Fantasy Flight Version and where playing and talking strategy after less than 20 minutes.  It took us 2 full games of the eagle version to make heads or tails of the rules and even to this day their are things we just ruled a certain way because we haven't got a clue what the hell the developer was talking about.  In BIG part I believe this is why the Eagle version gets a bad wrap as a game, its actually overall a really great game but getting your head around the rules which actually are very simple, but made overly complicated by a terrible rule book has put off a lot of people.

As for mechanics, the thing that kind of puts me off a little bit about the Fantasy Flight version is that its a bit too abstract for me in certain places.  The whole combat system is very quirky and just doesn't really give you the feel of an ongoing war.  Its more like "a battle takes place" than its over and will be over for a while because its going to take you several turns before you can get back on your feat.  Their is very little tactical combat, or strategic planning.  Its move across the board to an obvious destination and have a battle for which you can guestimate the results pretty definitivly simply by paying attention to what people are buying.  There are no suprise attacks, or borders to dispute.  Its almost like they could have removed the map all together to be honest.  I really don't care for the combat and combat really should be a big part of a civilization board game, I mean civilization the PC game is at least 50% combat if not considerably more.

I like how they handled city management in both games, their is a certain amount of abstraction that has to go into this (its so even in the PC game) so I liked both systems equally.  I also liked the cultural track in the FFG version, I thought that was a very clever way to handle culture as a concept in a board game. 

My biggest beef and probobly the primary reason we play the FFG version over the eagles version play length.  I love long games but the Eagles version can exceed 8 hours easily and I found that quite often the ending is very anticlimatic because its not uncommon for a player to kind of run away with it in the end.  I think making a Civ board game and finding a way to confine it to 3 hours is an awsome feature and while we have no issue with long games per say, its often more fun to thing of board game nights as "hey lets play some board games" rather than "hey lets play civilization and hope we finish!".

One constant complain about the FFG version I get form my group is that the civilizations themselves are kind of narrow minded in their approach to game victory.  They are so obviously designed to go for a very specific type of victory that its foolish to attempt something else, and so as the game starts we know what victory people will go for based on what civilization they ended up with.  I think it would have been better if the game was more dynamic and we sometimes play the civilizations as "blank" with no abilities.

Overall though assuming we have the time we still prefer the Eagle games version noting that we have created a lot of custom house rules and presuming that we have dedicated a game evening to play just that one game.  Despite that though we tend to play the FFG version more often. 

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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).

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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.

 

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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.

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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 **** 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. 

 

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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).

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