Why You Should Own FFG’s New Civilization Boardgame Now

27 11 2010

Yeah, play this now

For the past few weeks, after putting down my credit card to buy this baby, I can honestly say that I’ve got more value out of it than any other of my game purchases – even the CCG ones. Now I’m here to tell you why you should be playing this. And even though I’ve played it a ton of times, I always forget to take pics, so I’ll have to source my images from Boardgamegeek.

So, on with the show!

The box is loaded!

First of all, the box is pretty much filled to the brim. FFG has a reputation for big box games with a lot of air in them – thankfully, they’ve curbed that desire with this particular release. Everything fits tight in a box you’d usually find for games like Bushido or Ghost Stories. And it’s a good fit. The great thing about this is the box is very portable. FFG’s big box games had you lugging around totally unnecessary packaging in large bags, while this could fit in a backpack – which is great when you want to play with friends.

Flags and covered wagons

It’s a four-player game and scales incredibly well. Two player is more like a duel, while three- and four-player games provide that interaction that’s always missing from playing the computer game. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this boardgame is an iteration of the popular Civilization computer game series  and it does this very well.

A game in progress

Looks intimidating and all, but seriously, if you’ve played the computer game or have half a functioning brain, you can pick it up in 15 minutes – though you won’t know the deeper levels of strategy, you won’t be shaming yourself on the first play. The game’s remarkably intuitive with obvious ways to do things. The great thing about it is the multiple victory conditions: you can win via technology, military, economy or culture. This gives people incredible leeway in how they approach the game.

Replayability is not an issue – with 18 map tiles that are randomly placed and six different civilizations, I can safely say that you will never have the same game twice. I’ve played it several times already and I’ve won once and lost a few times – and all of them have been different. I’m telling you right now this is Game of the Year material – Kevin Wilson hit a homerun on this one. He’s combined the efficiency-obsessed rules of Euro games with the flash-and-victory fascination of American games into one product and he did it seamlessly.

Several concerns to address – with games like these, you usually worry about the time – but Civilization’s playing time clocks in at a reasonable rate – with my shortest game at two and a half hours for three- and four-player variations. Although I was playing with experienced players – but a teaching game of this is pretty fast, too. My longest game ended up that way because I misread the rules – but I suspect I could have cut an hour of playtime from that if I had taught it right.

Another is the fiddliness – looking at those pics may lead you to think that bookkeeping for this is hell. I can tell you flat-out that it’s pretty easy to play. You only have to worry about two main resources: hammers and trade, while others are optional. Technology works on a pyramid – which makes keeping track of what you can learn a snap. The turn summaries are excellent while the rules themselves are as streamlined as possible to cut out extraneous stuff. Only combat will take some getting used to and it’s essentially a more complicated game of rock-paper-scissors.

This is a great game for newbies and experienced players. I’ll even dare say that it can work as a pretty good gateway game. All I know is that this baby’s going to get played a lot and will probably last a long time on my gaming shelf.

Images Sourced From Boardgamegeek




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: