23 Apr 2007

Civilization: 2007-04-22


Africa – Dalim Thor

Thrace – Red Piss Legion

Crete – Philip

Babylon – Me

Egypt – Sgrovi

The game started with an initial confusion concerning the rules. Sgrovi, the owner of the game, read the rules from a file downloaded from BGG, that had some rules different from those of the rulebook. We decided to go with that version, finding out later it was wrong.

The first turns all players expanded having no conflicts.

On turn 3 Crete builds two ships and starts expanding out of the island.

On turn 4 Africa and Egypt build the first cities (1 each).

On turn 5 all civs except Crete constructed at least one city.

Turn 6, Africa and Egypt bought the first advance (Mysticism).

The first trade occurred on turn 7 between Thrace and Babylon.

Crete constructed the first 3 cities on turn 8, the turn where things started to get interesting. The first conflict and 3 calamities occurred on that turn. The conflict was minor, but the calamities have done some damages. A volcano in Crete did not cause much damage. A famine in Africa affected all players. The last calamity was a civil war in Egypt (Babylon benefited from it). Egypt lost 2 cities and a token.

Turn 9: With all player having at least 4 cities, the first epidemic occurred. The “lucky” civ was Thrace, but it affected all but Crete.

At start of turn 10, Crete, Babylon and Egypt had a solid empire, while Africa and Thrace were struggling to build cities due to early decisions. 5 calamities occurred on this turn. Famine and a civil war (with no effect) in Africa, an epidemic in Crete, Heresy in Egypt and a civil disorder in Babylon. Thus far, the epidemics and famines were causing the most damage to the civs, and the heresy delayed Egypt a little.

On turn 11, a flood in Babylon destroyed all units and cities its flood plains, while an earthquake in Egypt caused minor damage. At this point, Crete and Egypt were solid, while the other civs were recovering from the calamities.

The first civil war that caused an impact was on turn 12 in Crete (Egypt benefited). Two cities and several units changed sides causing a major impact on Crete, that also suffered an epidemic that Egypt was immune. A volcano and a flood (with reduced effect) in Egypt were insufficient to unbalance the gains from the civil war. A famine in Thrace completed the menu of disasters that turn.

Turn 13 only had an earthquake in Babylon. At this point, Egypt was launched to win the game, only needing to buy the most expensive techs, maintaining 9 cities on the board.

Only two calamities occurred on turn 14. A civil war in Babylon (Thrace benefited) caused moderate damage (Democracy helped). A piracy in Africa caused that civ to lose 4 cities.

Turn 15 was the last turn we played. After resolving the calamities, we declared Egypt the winner. Egypt only needed to acquire a specific tech in 3 turns to win the game. Africa could also win, but required 2 specific techs in 2 turns plus an additional one, and another on the third turn, but the calamities on this turn forced the civ to lose many cities.

Overall, we all enjoyed the game. We played with a few rules wrong that benefited no one in particular. Not many conflicts occurred because we played with the entire board. Some calamities really caused many problems to some civs but overall, the game was balanced, only Thrace was a little behind. We played 15 turns in about 9 hours (with 1 hour lunch break). We didn't reach the end of the game, but by then, the winner was already known. We all had a great time playing the game and we all want to repeat the experience, preferably with Advanced Civilization!

Mr. JMendes appeared in the middle of the game, telling us of some of the differences between Civilization and Advanced Civilization. My opinion is that Advanced Civilization is more polished, and a game to try some day. But for this session, the civilization that will be immortalized in the history books will be Egypt. Historian FNunes signing out!


13 Apr 2007

A game in a University

I remember someone writing that “someday, I hope to see students playing Puerto Rico in the universities instead of the traditional card games”. Well... it's not Puerto Rico, and the players have already graduated and we played it in after work, but the fact is that one day two friends and I played a game of Ticket to Ride Europe in a bar inside the university of Lisbon.

The game was played when António received his copy. He and his girlfriend could not resist and invited me (the one that delivered it) to a quick game. The outcome is not important. What really matters is that al three of us enjoyed it. Here are some pictures.

António and Isabel at the beginning of the game

Not many student were in the bar at that time (arround 6.30 pm)

The endgame with points still being counted


3 Apr 2007

baptism of Fire

During the last month, there is some kind of wargaming disease spreading in our gaming group. It first started when Ferreira played Combat Commander Europe during the monthly encounter of boardgamers in Lisbon in February. At that point, the only wargame I had tried was BattleLore, and although it is a great game, I didn't get the “wargaming feeling” I was expecting.

The Wednesday before the March monthly encounter in Lisbon, I had a chance to play Hammer of the Scots, a game about the fight of Wallace to free Scotland. I liked the game mechanics and how the two factions have different playing styles but maintaining the balance. I particularly enjoy how the re-enforcements are handled on both side.

The next game I played was on that encounter of boardgamers, where I played a quick game of Memoire '44. Although I've enjoyed the game (despite suffering a heavy defeat), I missed the retaliation rules of Battlelore.

But that encounter was important because I had arranged for my brother to play Panzer Grenadier Airborne Introductory Kit with Ricardo. That game has 20 scenarios, representing battles on D day and the following days, between the Americans (usually the airborne combat forces) and the Germans. They played a game in the morning, and after we've returned from lunch, bought a copy of the game. I tried the game next day. The game plays on an hex grid with cardboard tokens to represent everything and with no cards involved. The Panzer Grenadier system is the next step that a Memoire '44 player should take into heavier wargames.

Finally, last week I got the chance to play Rommel in the Desert with Ricardo (he's one the main responsible for the “wargaming disease”, Pombeiro is the other), a game with several scenarios of WWII in north Africa. The combat and movement mechanics are similar to Hammer of the Scots, and just like in Hammer, where the payers had to manoeuvre the forces to capture the nobles and keep them safe in the winter, the supply lines also force the players to do those manoeuvre.

So, what is the result of the “wargame disease”? I find myself wanting to play more wargames and less heavier eurogames. I still love to play the light ones. Also, I now want to add a wargame to my collection (Panzer Grenadier: Eastern Front my first choice) and not an hybrid.