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SR: b20 -- two "new" games

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  • Constantine von Hoffman
    last night at b20 i got to play two sort of new games -- Sid Meier s Civilization: The Board Game & Setters of Canaan -- herewith some thoughts: Sid Meier s
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2002
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      last night at b20 i got to play two sort of new games -- Sid Meier's
      Civilization: The Board Game & Setters of Canaan -- herewith some thoughts:

      Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game (SMC:TBG) is a board game version
      of a computer game based on a board game. matt, david f, adam and i played
      for about two - two and a half hours then quit, not because we didn't enjoy
      it but because it was clearly a mini-monster type game (probably 4-5 hours
      playing time). we played the "basic" set of rules (as with all games from
      Eagle this one has basic/intermediary/advanced rule sets), which seemed a
      good way to get acquainted with the game.

      as with the computer game, the idea is to explore territory (some of which
      turns out to have prizes, some of which is booby trapped), build towns,
      acquire technologies and advance up the tech ladder to be boss of the
      planet. all of this requires a good deal of trading and (in my case)
      literal horse swapping. combat is resolved by dice but the modifiers (for
      tech and different types of units) made it feel less of a dice fest than
      say Axis and Allies. SMC:TBG seems to be Advanced Civ. lite, which is not
      meant as a knock. the rules are a bit rough and vague on some points --
      this is clearly version 1.0 of the game, which is a shame given that they
      are charging $60 for it. it seems to need a couple more rounds of
      playtesting not for playability but for inconsistencies or things missed in
      the rules. it will definitely need a good FAQ before the next edition is
      published. as with most "American" style games, the rules and mechanisms
      are not as elegant as they are with "European" style games. the basic rules
      offer a simplified version of the game, so it is missing a few things --
      like any incentive to go up the tech tree. the map and bits in this one are
      superb.

      as to the game itself -- i think adam won. i came in in a resounding last
      place. Matt would have done better had we not (actively) conspired and not
      told him a key rule we discovered while he was on the phone with his wife.
      however, in our defense, let me say that knowledge of that rule didn't
      prevent me from playing like an idiot anyway.
      i thought the game was fun and i really do look forward to trying it with
      the complete rule set which will allow a whole different set of
      interactions between the players by giving people various different tech
      abilities.


      settlers of canaan: this was a gift to me from a bunch of knuckleheads for
      my birthday. it is a scenario/variant of settlers (of course), published by
      a christian game company, in which you try to do the typical settlers thing
      while at the same time building the temple in jerusalem (a la the Cheops
      scenario, for those of you who know it).
      the differences from regular settlers are: a pre-laid-out board which
      includes a "copper" hext that serves as a wildcard for resource production;
      different development cards; the need/ability to trace a route of supply
      (through your own and other people's roads) to a border town through which
      you can build the temple. This game is played to 12 pts or until the temple
      is completed, and includes another 2 victory point card (along with longest
      road and largest army, er, most "priests") that goes to the person who has
      contributed the most stones to the temple -- this card also lets you pick a
      resource type and do a 2 for 1 trade. We didn't really appreciate the power
      and fun of this card until well into the game.

      campbell scored the win in this one despite all of kyle's whining. i stank
      up the joint, and the other gentleman (whose name i've forgotten -- my
      apologies) placed a respectable third. overall i'd have to rate this a very
      good variant with enough difference from the original to give it a
      pleasantly different feel from the original. it will definitely hit the
      table again, as opposed to the previously released "historical" settlers
      scenarios which were pretty much play once and forget.

      i saw some folks playing the lord of the rings risk game and was intrigued
      -- anyone have any comments on how it played?





      Constantine

      www.areporter.com


      The image of a free constitution was preserved with a decent reverence.
      --Edward Gibbon
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