Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Fantasy Flights Sid Meiers Civilization game has been on my wish list since it was released. I played the computer games and can remember many evening playing it and having "Just one more Turn".

The Board game version looked interesting, it was a distilled version of the game that took away a large part of the micro management and was getting favorable reviews. But I held off, I wasn't sure how often I would get to play the game and was unsure if Fantasy Flight had done a good job or just filled a box with as many cardboard bits as possible.

I picked up a copy as a Christmas present along with a copy of the expansion, Amazon had it for a good price and I was struggling to find gift ideas to suggest to family. I opened it up and looked through the masses of tokens, cards and boards. All produced to Fantasy Flights usual high standards. The bits looked lovely and the artwork worked really well.
I started on the rules and faltered, the rule book was well written but its quite big. Usually I start piecing the game together as I am reading the rules but as there were so many bits I hadn't started punching and bagging yet. Christmas celebrations came and went and I still hadn't finished reading the rules.

Then a night was set to play, I had 2 weeks to get my head around the game. I watched a couple of videos from the geek and started to bag the pieces. The rules were read and then reread again. I don't think I have read the rules to a game so many times in such a short period of time.

Last night the game hit the table, there were 4 of us and it was the first play for all of us. I had warned people in advance that it was going to be a long one and as the clock struck 8 the game started. I had spent the previous 20 Min's running through the rules and bits and anything we were unsure of or would need later we would deal with as and when the situation arised.

The game started smoothly enough, civilizations started developing and cities were being built. It really felt like you were playing a condensed version of the computer game. Analysis Paralysis did start to set in once we all got to 3 cities a piece but the pace of the game was still going well.

My Egyptians were doing well with there technology research and culture but I was starting to be harassed by two other players. I managed to research flight then built a stream of airplanes while researching as fast as I could. America was building up its culture and its cities were creating money and trade quite freely. Unfortunately China decided to nuke one of Americas cities which caused it to stall. Rome was doing well, its economy was moving along nicely and was getting to around 12 coins.
It soon became apparent that Egypt was going to win and two players decided to send there troops in to attack. I had luckily won a battle the previous round and take a much needed 3 points of trade to get my last level 4 technology. I just needed to hold my ground and not loose any trade this round.
China went first and made the mistake of dealing with an American battle first, he lost a few units but won the war. There were 2 battles against my cities but his depleted forces were no match to my air power and I won both battles. I then managed to research the final level 5 tech and win the game.

It was just passed midnight and we had been playing for 4 hours. It was a test of the game that we only went through one packet of crisps and 2 rounds of coffee. We were all hyped about the game that hunger and thirst were put to the back of our minds.
The story the game tells is brilliant, America will definitely not forget the nuclear attack from China, while its archers very tank battles would like to be forgotten.

Simply put I love this game, its going to get a 10/10 score and I cannot wait to play it again. Everything about it just works, the components are lovely. The rules are pretty straight forward once you have played a few turns and the varied victory paths make the game a good challenge.

No comments: