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Sid Meier's Civilization: the Boardgame review by Rhye



One of the first PC game licences to be ever used, Civilization, being a turn-based strategy game, seems particularly appropriate for a boardgame conversion, since the original concept actually comes from a boardgame. To achieve this, Eagle Games reproduced tons of accurate miniatures, and in the end created a fantastic looking game.

In this game, you can every turn move your units to explore or combat, then you can trade with other players, then you gather the money income, and finally you spend that gold to buy new units, buildings or technologies. However, these mechanics don't work properly.

Quoted from the manual: "Technological advancement will be reduced as gold will be channeled into military units." In other words, it admits that something is wrong with this game! There are over 50 technologies, and they're all very expensive. As gold is usually channelled into units, all those cool cannons, tanks and planes minatures will never be used, as the game will be over much earlier than the modern era, or simply aborted halfway. You will consider the latter possibility when you realise that, unlike what the manual says, it takes even 10 hours to finish a game. In other words, you need 2 full days. Standard rules and the late-coming fast rules didn't fix this problem at all.

However, what really kills this game isn't the length of a game. Rather, it's slack time. You will often find yourselves computing complicate formulas, something that's bearable only using a PC with a electronic sheet made on purpose.

The trade phase is buggy as well: almost non-existent when few players are playing, and chaotic in 6. You'll often lose track of the cities which resources belong to, and of the side city cards are rotated (and that's very important in the advanced rules). Things get even worse when you consider the luck-factor, which is in fact way too strong (territories nearby players' starting location may advantage or disadvantage), and the excessive legacy with Civilization III for PC (for instance, the medieval artillery unit is missing, leaving a hole between the catapult and the cannon). All in all, Sid Meier's Civilization: the Boardgame could have been much better than this. What a shame having wasted the official licence this way.






Rhye's and Fall of Civilization: the Boardgame


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