Thursday, September 30, 2004

What the @!?#!! do I care, I'm in Asia!

Last night, we played what has got to be the most excessive boardgame going: Civilization.
The gameboard, so huge that only the largest of tables could possibly accommodate it, sets the tone of the game. Everything is excessive. The theme (simulating the rise of civilization), the components (so many bits that it takes every player to keep track of them), the play time (+/- 8 hrs minimum).
Players take turns exploring the world, uncovering resources, founding settlements and develloping technologies and wonders of the world. Meanwhile, conflicts arise and politics emerge. Sounds complicated? It is, although probably not as much as it could have been. Clearly measures have been taken to keep the learning curve within reasonable limits, but a game for your parents this is not...
Our game last night included 5 players (Kozure, Luch and Tili had played before, while me and Shemp hadn't). At the beginning of the game, Kozure said he thought we might get through the first of four ages before the night was over, and he wound up being perfectly accurate (as the evening came to a close, we had just played our first round of the gunpowder age).
Things got off to a rocky start right away, as Shemp and I talked about truce dividing the North and South america amongts ourselves (respectively), but then immediately saw the whole thing go to hell. Shemp's first move was to expand into california, and my first move was to try to get it back so I could get a monopoly on wine. I succeeded, BUT AT WHAT COST?!!! Perceived as the leader, I had a vengeful Shemp and a deceitful Tili gunning to take me down. Many military units later, they did (boating technology "shrunk" the worlds considerably, allowing Alaska to be taken pretty easily by Tili as Shemp distracted me to the south). Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, minor skirmishes were occuring between Luch (who managed to corner most of the military market early on) and Tili and Kozure as that part of the world was slowly getting fully discovered (oh, and there is that potentially explosive build up of military might at the European/ African border... but so far peace has prevailed). As it stands, the main characteristics of this session would be: Kozure has a problem with barbarians, Tili has a problem with the plague, Shemp has a problem with me and the board has a problem producing actual resources (ours is a barren earth). Luch's game, so far, seems to be going slow and steady (in fact, when asked to comment on the state of one of the skirmishes elsewhere in the world, he replied "What the @!?#!! do I care, I'm in Asia!"... the title of this week's blog. For the evening, Kozure was ahead... with my poor self pulling up the rear.

Personal comments on the game: To me, the game is fun but feels a little like an expanded and protracted version of RISK. This may be due to the scarcity of resources in our game, forcing people to fight amongst themselves to get anything going. The game can slow down with new players, like me, trying to reference all the inventions/ wonders of the world and improvements that are available for purchase (and a couple of really long negotiations didn't help, either!). This problem will probbaly diminish with every new game, but at 8-10hrs a pop, that could take a while!

Rating: A provisional 7

1 comment:

  1. 1. You must be a slow typist, compared to Kozure, seeing as you started your post first, and his showed up WAY before yours.

    2. I don't have a problem with you, per say. Your actions and your civilization as it is currently constituted - I have MASSIVE problems with those, bucko.

    3. My actual substantive comments are on the other entry for this date.

    4. I'm betting it goes much more quickly next time around. That's not based on anything concrete, however.