Posted by: gschloesser | August 11, 2011

Sid Meier’s Civilization

Designed by: Glenn Dover
Published by:  Eagle Games
 3 – 6 Players, 4+ hours
Review by:  Greg J. Schloesser 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This review first appeared in MOVES Magazine

There is no denying that the computer version of Sid Meier’s Civilization is a classic and has achieved near-legendary status in the computer gaming field.  It was a breakthrough concept and spawned numerous sequels and innumerable spin-offs.  The concepts and mechanisms present in that game has had a tremendous influence on computer games and its influence will undoubtedly last well into the future.  It is also interesting to note that the game’s designer is credited in the title of the game, an honor and achievement that is not too common within the gaming hobby, be it computer gaming or board gaming.  His name may have also been added to the title to avoid (unsuccessfully) any confusion with the older Avalon Hill board game Civilization, which was subsequently transformed into a computer game. 

First, a confession:  I don’t play computer games.  Mind you, I’m not opposed to playing them.  Indeed, I’d LOVE to play them.  I still regularly walk into local computer stores and ogle the hundreds upon hundreds of enticing games lining their shelves.  I’d love to attempt to recreate the glory of Rome without being hacked at by Gauls or storm the beaches of Normandy without getting my feet wet or, worse, getting my arm blown off by German artillery.  The computer games being produced today possess an incredible quality and graphic realism that truly boggles my mind.  

So why don’t I play computer games?  Quite simple – I don’t have the time.  Board gaming takes up a substantial part of my time, from the actual playing of games to the seemingly endless number of reports, reviews and columns I write for various publications.  Add to this my duties as webmaster for several websites and my participation on the Gamers’ Choice Awards committees, there simply isn’t any more time available in my “gaming time budget” to allow me to dive into the wonderful world of computer gaming.  Sigh.

With that in mind, it will come as no surprise to state that I’ve never played the computer version of Sid Meier’s Civilization.  However, I wasn’t immune to the hype or lure of the game, so when I heard the news that Eagle Games was going to be releasing a board game version of it, I was extremely excited and eagerly anticipated its release and pre-ordered a copy.  It wasn’t without a bit of trepidation, however, as my initial experiences with one of Eagle Games’ previous releases was less than satisfactory.  Although I greatly admired the quality of the components, the rules had numerous gaps and the some of the mechanisms employed were flawed.  Still, the lure of a board game version of Sid Meier’s Civilization was too much a temptation to resist. 

Well, Eagle Games seems to have continued the tradition began in their earlier games – GREAT components, but less than satisfactory rules and mechanisms.  But before I get into that, let me explain a bit about the game first. 

As with their earlier games, the components are visually stunning.  The game includes loads of detailed plastic miniatures (nearly 800), a large – perhaps TOO large – colorful map and lots of cardboard counters and sturdy cards.  It was several hours work just to clip all of those miniatures from their plastic frames!  Certainly, the components satisfied the kid in me that still enjoys playing with toy soldiers.  That desire is certainly not left unnoticed by Eagle, who plays to this “toy-soldier-it is” in potential customers by touting the inclusion of “784 Detailed Plastic Miniature Pieces” on the box. 

The theme and scope of the game is epic:  creating a civilization that spans the globe and stands the test of time.  Players begin with a few small villages on the board and set out on a bold adventure to “explore the world, discover hidden treasures or dangers and create new cities”.  This expansion is accomplished through exploration, gathering of resources, increasing income, trade and, when necessary, military conflict.  The ultimate goal is to become, according to the box legend, “the most prosperous civilization in the world”.  Pretty ambitious stuff! 

The game offers two different levels of play:  Basic and Advanced.  Those who are unfamiliar to games such as the Milton Bradley GameMaster series (Axis & Allies, Samurai Swords, etc.) would be well advised to first learn and play the Standard game.  However, experienced gamers should have no trouble diving directly into the Advanced version, which does add considerable more detail and helps make the game more closely mirror the computer version.  Be warned, however, that the Advanced version also adds even more length to an already long game.  Three ‘Game Length’ options are provided for in the Advanced rules, but based on my experiences, the printed estimates of the time required to play these versions are way too conservative.  You can safely add 2 – 4 hours to the limits listed, especially for your first several games. 

The rules themselves are will illustrated and reasonably easy to follow.  Sadly, there are gaps and errors, and some sections which would have benefited greatly with more thorough explanations, details and examples.  The folks at Eagle Games have been very good in participating on online gaming forums and helping answer questions, as well as providing errata and answers to questions on their website.  Still, many in the public will not be active participants on these forums and will undoubtedly struggle greatly due to the rules problems. 

A detailed explanation of the rules and mechanisms would take a long, long time.  The rules alone cover 25 pages, with several additional pages for historical and designer notes.  Further, the complete set of rules is available online at the Eagle Games website:  Instead, I’ll briefly describe the sequence of play and then expand upon what I consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the game. 

During the initial set-up, each player places two villages, two swordsmen and two settlers onto the map.  Each territory on the board receives one face-down exploration marker.  It is these markers that players will uncover when they send forth their settlers from their villages and will determine if the territory containing the marker is rich in resources or has some sort of limiting terrain (mountains, forests or deserts).  Events could also be triggered, some beneficial (gold, free technologies) and some harmful (the dreaded plague).  Although this aspect of the game does add an enticing ‘exploration’ atmosphere, it also adds a large dose of luck that could prove severely unbalancing.  I’ll discuss this in a bit more length later in this review. 

The game follows a fairly simply four-phase turn sequence: 

1)      Movement and Battles.  Each player moves their settlers and armies as they desire within the boundaries of the movement rules.  Generally, units can move into adjacent territories on a turn, with some units – settlers and ships, in particular – being able to traverse a bit more territory as the game progresses.  When a settler enters a territory containing a face-down exploration marker, the player may examine that marker, triggering any events if called for.  During the Purchase Phase (phase 4), the player can opt to build new villages in these newly explored territories, but must surrender his settler in the process. 

Units of opposing players can coexist in a territory, but if either player desires a conflict, a battle must be resolved.  The battle system closely resembles the system utilized in the computer version and is a quasi rock-paper-scissors affair coupled with dice rolling.  For the gamer who is pre-disposed to enjoy military conflict in his games, this system will likely prove to be very unsatisfying.  For the legions of fans of the computer game, however, it will likely prove to be very familiar and quite acceptable.  Again, I’ll describe this system in a bit more detail later in this review. 

Although conflict can be an important tool in achieving your goals, it should not be the sole pursuit of a player.  The building of military units is expensive and the randomness of the combat system can prove quite costly.  The wise player will emphasize the building of his cities and accumulation of resources, resorting to military confrontation only when absolutely necessary to achieve an immediate objective.    

2)      Trade Phase.  One of the keys to the game is building villages in areas that contain valuable resources.  Accumulating a monopoly on a particular type of resource can be extremely profitable, but it is difficult to achieve by occupying the appropriate territories, especially in the short-term.  So, to accomplish this, the game allows players to trade resources, provided they have settlements within relatively close proximity to each other.  It is this aspect of the game that bears some similarities to Avalon Hill’s version of Civilization, which is NOT based on the computer game.  It also happens to be my favorite part of AH’s Civilization, so I had high hopes that this trading phase would prove as exciting in Sid Meier’s Civilization as it does in the AH title.  Sadly, it doesn’t even come close.  I’ll explain why a bit later.  

The intent of the trading phase is to allow players to swap resources (which, in game terms, means the actual city cards themselves) in order to accumulate more of one type of resource or acquire resources that may yield payoffs on the ‘Critical Resource’ table when determining income during the Production phase (Phase 3).  There is some negotiation involved in the process, which can be fun, but for the most part is fairly dry and calculating.  

3)      Production Phase.   This is the phase wherein players earn money, which they will later use during the final phase to make their purchases.  Money comes from a number of sources: 

a)      City Production.  Each city yields income based on its size, whether it is located in a resource-rich area and/or benefits from productivity improvements and whether it is happy or unhappy.  This puts a bit of pressure on the players to pay attention to these factors so they can maximize their income.  Income from cities can range from a low of zero to a high of twenty.  

b)      Critical Resources.  Each turn, one type of resource will be in demand and yield additional funds (15 gold).  The types of resources that can yield this financial bonanza vary depending upon which of the four epochs is currently in progress.  Players should certainly pay attention to this chart when planning their settlements and trades. 

c)      Resources.  Players receive 3 gold for each different type of resource they possess (possession is determined by the presence of a settlement in a territory containing a resource marker).  

d)      Monopolies.  Finally, income is earned for having an abundance of one or more types of resources.  As the game progresses and more and more territories are settled, this becomes THE major source of income.  Possessing three of the same type of resource yields 20 gold, while managing to collect five or more of one resource provides a financial windfall of 80 gold!  This significant source of income is what drives the trading round and often will direct a player’s military maneuvers on the board.  Beware the player who manages to control five territories containing the same resource! 

Tallying the amount of money the players receive each round can be a tedious and time consuming process.  The mechanics of the game require that players assign city improvement and technology cards to their various city cards, rotate the city cards depending upon their size and flip the cards back and forth if their happiness status changes.  Further, since the cards are traded back and forth during the trading round, this entire process proves quite fiddly and tedious.  Various suggestions have been put forth to minimize this sequence, but none have proven to be completely satisfactory. 

4)      Purchase Phase.  Here is where the players can acquire a whole host of stuff, including new villages, new military units and settlers, city improvements, new technologies, wonders of the world, upgrades for their existing settlements and more.  The costs of these items vary depending upon the items being purchased and the current epoch being played.  Further, some players will receive a portion of the payment depending upon technologies that are possessed.  For instance, if a player is in possession of the Medieval Era Feudalism technological advancement, then any player who purchases men-at-arms during that era will pay 5 gold of the purchase price to that player.  This certainly is a factor when one considers which technological advancement to purchase. 

Similar to the computer version and AH’s Civilization, the purchase of a technological advancement often has prerequisites.  For example, in order to purchase the ancient technological advancement of Currency, the advancements of Trade/Mapmaking AND Code of Laws must have been previously purchased by the players.  A detailed ‘technological tree’ chart displays all of the possible technological advancements and their prerequisites.  Several technological advancements also grant the player a ‘Wonder of the World’, which will grant victory points at the end of the game.  It is the purchase of these advancements that will ultimately trigger the progression of the game from one era to the next and can eventually trigger the end of the game. 

As mentioned earlier, players can improve the status of their cities by purchasing city improvements, which range from temples to cathedrals in the ancient era to highway systems to television stations in the modern era.  These improvements help make their cities happy or more productive.  Players cannot purchase these improvements, however, until the technologies allowing them have been purchased.  

The types of military units available vary depending upon the current era as well as the technologies that have been purchased.  Generally, infantry, cavalry, artillery and navies are available in each era, with airplanes becoming available in the modern era.  The strength of each unit within a particular era are inherently the same, but in combat there is a rather strange ‘rock-paper-scissors’ method employed wherein cavalry is better than infantry, infantry is better than artillery and artillery is better than cavalry.  Combat is fought on a rather unsatisfying “one unit versus one unit” basis.  Again, keep reading as I’ll describe this in a bit more detail later.  Players are well advised to keep a healthy mix of different types of units in their territories so that they will be able to have better options available during conflicts.  Plus, leaving an area ill-defended is just asking for an aggressive action from your opponents! 

Players can also upgrade their settlements during this phase, depending upon whether the proper technology has been purchased allowing this.  Basically, a settlement can only be as large as the current era in progress.  So, in the ancient era, only villages are allowed, while in the modern era, size four metropolises can be constructed.  Since income increases with the size of the settlement … and more victory points can be earned … increasing the size of a settlement is usually a wise purchase. 

Once the cycle is completed, it is repeated until the game reaches its conclusion ¼ to ½ a day later.  The rules do provide a number of different methods in which the game can conclude, with players being allowed to decide prior to commencement which method they prefer.  Once the game does conclude, players earn victory points as follows: 

1)      Settlement Size:  

  • Each settlement is worth 1 victory point.
  • Each town is worth 2 victory points.
  • Each city is worth 3 victory points.
  • Each metropolis is worth 4 victory points. 

2)      Wonders of the World:  Each is worth 2 victory points. 

3)      Seminal Discoveries:  Some technological advancements are known as ‘Seminal Discoveries’ and are worth 4 victory points.  These usually do not confer additional benefits to the owner, however. 

If the players chose to slog it out through the “Long Game”, the game can end in three different possible ways:  A Diplomatic victory, a Military victory or a Technology/Space victory.  In this case, additional victory points are earned: 

4)      Bonus Victory Points

  • Diplomatic victory:  the player who owns the United Nations technological advance receives 5 bonus victory points.
  • Military victoryALL players receive 1 victory point for each military unit they own.
  • Technology/Space victoryALL players receive 1 victory point for each technology card they own. 

So, just what do I think of the game as a whole?  Well, my first observation is that this game is long … VERY long.  In my first game, we played for right at six hours and were just completing the second era (the medieval era) when we prematurely ended the game due to time considerations.  Sure, we had some rules consultations, but not an undue amount.  Subsequent games shaved just a tad off this time and the longer versions lasted several hours more.  The game is just long … too long.  Playing the “Long” version easily takes 8 – 10 hours.  That simply is far too long for my tastes.  If I’m going to play a game that is this long – and that is NOT often — I’m going to want to play one that doesn’t have the numerous flaws and drawbacks present here. 

As explained, I’ve never played the computer version of the game.  However, from my rudimentary knowledge of computer capabilities, I can state without much doubt that the computer version in all likelihood handles the record keeping and status of cities, resources, troops, trades, etc. in a far more efficient and less cumbersome manner than the board game.  Here, the effort to track all of this is quite bothersome and the potential for error is considerable.  Further, it adds considerable length to the game itself, which is already too long. 

No doubt, the game does have flavor and some interesting mechanisms.  Fans of the venerated Milton Bradley GameMaster series will immediately find much to like here.  The abundance of detailed miniatures alone provides some satisfying eye-candy.  Sadly, the game suffers from numerous flaws and drawbacks, leading me to ponder just how thoroughly the game was play-tested with a variety of different groups.  It’s one thing to play-test the game numerous times with one particular set of individuals, and quite another to have a variety of different groups play test it during the development stage.  Often, one group will spot problems that another group misses. 

So just what are some of these flaws and drawbacks?  Here’s a brief checklist of some of the problems I have encountered with the game: 

1)      Trades.  This was very problematic, even with the implementation of several suggestions made on various internet forums.  Each time a player establishes a settlement, he receives a city card that depicts the type of resource found in the territory.  When trading in attempts to collect sets of resources, the rules state that players should physically trade the actual resource cards.  However, the rules never tell you just what constitutes a ‘resource card’.  The designer eventually affirmed that our assumption was correct:  you swap the actual ‘city cards’, as they are called in the rules. 

Actually transferring these city cards with each trade gets confusing.  Since city cards must be oriented to the correct side to indicate the production level of the city, one must exercise extreme care to make sure these orientations remain correct when transferring them.  In addition, any city development cards tied to that city are NOT transferred, and are re-assigned to other cities.  It is easy to forget where these developments were assigned when the city cards are returned at the end of the round.  Further, nowhere in the rules that I could find does it state whether the player obtaining the card in the trade also gets the base income that these cities yield, or does that income remain with the original owner.  After my first playing, I later had this issue clarified on the internet that the city income remains with the owning player.  This made tallying the total amount of income a player receives extremely difficult since city cards may have been temporarily given to other players as the result of trades.  

In subsequent games, we used the suggested option of NOT physically trading the city cards, but rather marking them with a unit of the other player.  This was a bit easier, but players still had to look around the table to determine what other resources they had acquired in trades in order to calculate their production income and monopolies.  It sure seems that an easier and more efficient method could have been devised to handle the trading mechanism. 

A final note on trading:  since all holdings are visible, there was little to no tension in the trading phase.  With Avalon Hill’s Civilization, you don’t know exactly what commodities each player holds so you are forced to do lots of negotiation to locate the best possible trade.  Plus, there is always the threat of receiving a calamity when executing a trade.   Since everything here is visible, there simply isn’t any mystery or danger.  That, to me, saps most of the fun out of the trading aspect. 

2)      Combat.  In all of my games, none of the players were completely satisfied by the combat method employed.  In fact, several players were vocally upset by it.  Basically, players involved in a battle remove their units from the territory and, one at a time, bring forward a unit of their choice, resolving battles on a “one-on-one” basis.  Uggh.  This really is very simplistic and totally unsatisfying, although I understand it was done this way in order to more closely resemble the combat method employed in the computer version.  To add to the insult, although this is admittedly minor, the rules state that each player should place their military units involved in the battle behind a screen.  Sadly, no such screen is provided, so the rules suggest utilizing the reference chart.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t stand on its own, so someone would have to hold the screen with one hand, while choosing their combat unit with the other.  It just didn’t work.  So, we simply opted to have players place their units in their lap and bring forward the one unit they desired.  This really seemed out of place and very, very weak. 

Further, the factors used to determine a unit’s strength and the number of dice to roll, plus any modifiers, is, well, strange.  Generally, units receive 1 die for the era they represent.  Then, there is the very disappointing ‘rock-paper-scissors’ mechanism I mentioned earlier, wherein cavalry is better than infantry, infantry is better than artillery and artillery is better than cavalry.  The favored unit receives a modifier to their die roll equal to the game’s current era.  So, if you have an ancient cavalry (Era 1) versus a Modern machine gunner (Era 4), the machine gunner rolls 4 dice, while the cavalry rolls only 1 die, but adds 4 to the die roll!  This actually means that an inferior unit has a decent chance of defeating a unit of a higher era … and it occurred numerous times during the games we played.   Although certainly not an ideal combat procedure, I wasn’t as appalled by this as several players were, a few of who claimed that this procedure really ruined the game. 

3)      City Developments.  As mentioned earlier, developments can be purchased to make cities ‘happy’ or more productive.  However, these developments cannot be purchased until the proper technology is purchased.  Often, this takes time, as certain technologies cannot be purchased until other prerequisite technologies have been purchased.  Thus, it is quite possible to go many rounds without being able to purchase the proper developments to make your cities happy or more productive.  This can suppress income, which means players make less purchases and it takes longer to accumulate the necessary funds to purchase those expensive technology cards.  Since the purchase of technology cards is what triggers the advancement of the game from era to era, this means the game will be prolonged even more.  That is NOT a good thing. 

My bigger concerns regarding city developments, however, are their expense in relation to the increased income they generate, coupled with the fact that they completely vanish once a new era is reached with no compensation to the players.  For example, during the first era, developments cost $10 and generally only affect the happiness or production level of one city.  Since villages cannot progress beyond the first level in size during the Ancient era, this means income from these cities is usually $2 if the city is unhappy, and $4 if happy.  Thus, the purchase of a happiness development at $10 increases the player’s income by $2.  Financially, it will take five full rounds before the player breaks even.  A productivity city development will double the income, but at another cost of $10.  It still takes 5 rounds to break even.  It is quite possible … indeed, even likely … that an era will end before one recoups his money.  To rub salt in the wound, at the end of an era these city development cards are lost, with no compensation to the players.  So, investing in these developments doesn’t seem to be a wise financial decision. 

The game’s designer evidently agreed that this was a significant problem and has declared official errata, which changes this rule.  Under the new rule, city improvements no longer become obsolete simply by moving into a new era.  Now, when a technological advancement is purchased in the new era that allows for a new city improvement to be constructed, that player can name one type of city improvement from the old era that becomes obsolete.  This does add some new considerations to the game, particularly in regards to the purchase of technological advancements.  It also does help somewhat mitigate, albeit not completely eliminate, the problem described above.  Sadly, there is a very good chance that the average purchaser of the game will likely never be made aware of this and other critical changes to the rules. 

4)      Exploration markers.  As mentioned, at the beginning of the game, an exploration marker is placed face-down onto each territory on the board.  A player can only look at one of these markers when one of their settlers ends its turn in that territory.  Most of the tokens are resources, which mean that a city located there will generate more income and the resource can be traded with other players in efforts to further increase your income.  Other tokens, however, trigger events or reveal certain restrictive terrain that limit the size of cities that can be built there … or prohibit their construction completely. 

The intent is clearly to add an exciting ‘exploration’ element to the game, and that is fine.  However, there can be a tremendous ‘luck’ impact here.  For instance, in my first game, when placing my two settlements at the beginning of the game, I placed one in Africa and one in North America.  Since we played with only four players, each of us executed similar placements so we each had room to expand without conflict for several turns.  My opponents each seemed to find an abundance of resources during their explorations, while I found loads of junk.  North America was particularly bereft of resources.  In the dozen or so territories that comprise North America, there were a total of two … count ‘em, two … resources found.  The rest were deserts, no encounters, one minor empire (which went to an opponent) and several treasures, the latter granting a miserly sum of $10.  Building cities in these resource-deprived territories would yield no further income until I would be able to purchase city developments that would improve their status to ‘happy’.  I’ve already described the foolhardiness of such purchases, so I opted not to construct new villages in these areas.  This meant I was WAY behind on the number of cities and income, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the outcome of the game. 

This ‘luck of the draw’ aspect surfaced again in our second game when one player found three ‘Free Technology’ markers, each of which allowed him to simply take a free technological advancement.  That is simply WAY too powerful. 

Again, I completely understand the idea behind the exploration counters and tend to enjoy games that have an element of discovery.  However, when these discoveries can have such a major impact on determining the flow of the game and, quite likely, the ultimate victor, a better method should be devised to insure a more equitable distribution of the markers.  Several methods have been suggested by various folks on the internet, but, again, the average customer will likely never be aware of these ideas. 

Although not as severe as the ones listed above, I have even more problems with the game, including: 

1)      Currency.  Money is represented by six types of coins, with denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.  Unfortunately, all of the coins are the same size and are only in three different colors.  Thus, the 1 and 5 denominations are both copper, the 10 and 20 denominations are both silver and the 50 and 100 denominations are both gold.  One has to examine the coins very carefully to ascertain the differences.  Why they didn’t use six different colors is beyond me. 

2)      Map.  It is huge … TOO huge.  It could have easily been condensed without sacrificing space for the troops.  Further, there are several charts that should have been printed directly on the board, which would have greatly aided all players during various phases of the game.  Eliminating the artwork along the board edges would have provided the required space to print these charts. 

Finally, it was difficult to determine which land areas were connected to other land areas and which ones should be considered islands.  This is important as the only way to reach islands is via ships, which are expensive to build.  We had to make some judgments since we could not locate anything in the rules to clarify this situation. 

3)      Plague.  This is an exploration chip and, if discovered in later rounds, can prove devastating.  When uncovered by a settler, the plaque wipes out all units in a territory and reduces the size of cities.  With each progressive era, the impact of the plague widens, devastating territories up to as many as three spaces away from the area where it was located.  There is no technology in the game that can mitigate the effects of a plague (unlike the Medicine advancement in AH’s Civilization), so this is just simply a matter of luck.  The unlucky player who uncovers one of these plaques in the latter epochs could suffer irrevocable harm.    The plague effects are simply is too powerful. 

4)      Military Units.  Although I applaud the use of tons of highly detailed miniatures, I question why they are ALL the same color.  Yes, I know this was likely less expensive, but it does make differentiating between them quite difficult.  For example, the horseman (Ancient era), Knight (Medieval era) and Dragoon (Gunpowder era) all are strikingly similar and very difficult to differentiate.  One of the players in one of our games sent three units into a battle and was distraught when he learned that they were ancient units.  He thought he was sending units from the medieval era.  He lost the battle and, had he won, he would have won the game.  The pieces from each era should have been different colors, even if this would have added a dollar or so to the cost of the game. 

OK … that’s enough.  It is obvious that I cannot give the game an endorsement in light of the numerous flaws and problems I have experienced with it.  Most of these problems could likely be mitigated or even eliminated by devising other methods or rules.  But, for me, it just isn’t worth the time and effort.  There simply are SO many other games out there that don’t have these myriad of problems and are much more fun to play.  I could be much more forgiving if some of these problems were present in games that took 2 – 3 hours to play to completion.  But when a game takes 6, 8 or even 10 hours or more to play to completion, that game had better be darned near perfect and without a host of flaws and problems.  If I’m going to invest this much time in playing one game, I’d much prefer to spend my time with games such as Machiavelli, Age of Renaissance or the better version of CivilizationAvalon Hill’s.  

My bigger concern, however, is for the general consumer.  Although I applaud Eagle Games’ effort at bringing visually stunning, epic-oriented games to the game-buying community, I am very disturbed by what appears to be a lack of thorough play-testing. Eagle Games is admittedly attempting to get these games in the hands of a wider audience as opposed to simply concentrating on members of the gaming hobby.  Unfortunately, the average purchaser of a game from the shelves of giant retailers such as Target or Comp USA will likely not take the time or effort to search the web for official errata or various discussions on the game.  If significant problems with the game system or mechanisms are discovered … as they will be … they may well simply abandon the game and be far less likely to purchase similar games in the future.  In the end, this could prove detrimental not only to Eagle Games, but to other game manufacturers and the game industry as a whole.  That is NOT a good thing.  My hope is that Eagle Games will begin devoting more time and effort to the thorough play-testing of their games so that such flaws and problems can be alleviated before the game is released for public consumption.  I don’t think that is too much to ask.



  1. Easy to understand even if you are not familiar with the computer game. Record trade and coins on a dial. The tech system makes sense. Good implementation of the computer game. Do not fight unless you have to, war is costly. 6/10

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