I just finished my first game of the “Civilization” tabletop game version that I bought a while ago. We played it with a few friends and didn’t really finish it, we never got past the Medieval era :) but it was great fun.
I originally feared how it would go. Even though we used the simpler Standard rules, it was a bit tough to get started, as all the turns consist of multiple events and you have to do a lot of counting and multiplying. It’s not that difficult, but the first time you’re surely bound to get a few minor things wrong as I did today.
But as we went along and got used to the turn cycle, things really started to work out themselves and the gameplay became smooth as everyone got used to the rules. It was evident that a lot has been put into the production of this game and the rules feel fairly well balanced and you’re not left with any “dead ends”.
Such games often involve point counting to determine the winner (if it’s not just a simple conquest where you eliminate all your opponents, which is also entirely possible) and the good news is that you can do this at any arbitrary point in the game if you get too tired. We did after playing for something like three hours, as we took it at a fairly leisurely pace. And I also cut some corners in the rules and made them even simpler – for example, we entirely ignored the World Wonders concept as we didn’t have to bother with them this time :)
The rulebook doesn’t seem to cover some situations or covers them vaguely. For example, it says that when your settler discovers an “ancient civilization”, the player with the least amount of settlements gets a new one and an army unit there. But if it’s a tie and several players have the same amount of cities, then “a cavalry unit is placed in the region that doesn’t move and attacks everyone who enters it”. This doesn’t seem to make sense????
Also, with alliances, it’s unclear if you can also let other friendly players use your ships for transport? :)
But it’s still a great game and good entertainment with friends instead of simple drinking ;) you’ll have to remain fairly focused so excessive substance abuse doesn’t really help here.
I’ll surely do this from time to time as I find interested players in the region. And I’m happy I got this game on eBay (where else?), since it seems to be out of print and is fairly rare.