Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Civilization: The Board Game

In a previous post, I mentioned that we had punched out the pieces for Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game. Sunday, as part of a pre-birthday fiesta of sorts (more on that later), we broke out the actual game.

Martin, Ben, George, Paul and I started out. We were learning the rules as we went along, but we forged ahead. Martin put down in Asia, Paul in Europe, me in Africa, Ben in S. America and George in N. America. Here you can see the basic layout.

(Martin was purple, Paul was green, I was blue, Ben was red, and George was orange.)

We stuttered through expansion for a few turns. Martin had to leave, but initiated an attack on Paul first. We left his pieces dormant for a turn, but Steve showed up to take over where Martin left off.

That included the attack on Paul. Here we see them at the special "battle table" we set up, with Ben refereeing.

Ben managed to expand to Australia and George to northern Europe before the game ended early in the Medieval age. It ended there because we were playing the "short game" which took us 3 or 4 hours. If we knew the rules as well as we do know, we could probably play the "medium game" in that time frame.

It was a fun game, but confusing. The element of luck in the game seemed a little bit high. Also, some rules were a bit weird -- if you discover a minor civilization, a new city goes not to the discoverer, but to whomever has the fewest cities. While this might mitigate the luck, it added to the sense of unfairness. Maybe over a longer game (with better strategy), this luck would even out. Also, because all minor civilizations were discovered when there was a tie for fewest cities, the city ended up being a barbarian instead.

When the game came to a close, Ben and George were tied with the most points. The rules gave no tiebreaker, but we ended up declaring George the winner. Now I can't remember why.

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