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Cuba Libre and Civilization

Galatolol 1
Poland
Kraków
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Microbadge: I love FranceMicrobadge: 18xx fanMicrobadge: Historical games fanMicrobadge: Economic Games fanMicrobadge: Heavy Games fan
So two years ago I stated that multiplayer historical games aren't for me. Since then I bought Cuba Libre, Andean Abyss, Here I Stand, Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648, Civilization, The Republic of Rome, Struggle of Empires (again BTW, as I used to own it), and Westphalia.

Cuba Libre

Board Game: Cuba Libre

My first COIN (unless we count Root as one ). I played it twice, it took us 3h and 2.5h. I like the game: the map feels animated, there is plenty of interaction, the action selection system is brilliant. I also find that this system helps with downtime and AP since usually 1-2 players are inactive, so they can fully concentrate on the next event whilst the rest thinks about the current turn.

However, I have some misgivings. I feel that you're basically doing the same few actions over and over. "You removed my troops? I'll place them again". "You removed my base here? I'll place it there". The very beginning is different, but once the board is filled, I find the quality of decision making stagnant. The government faction starts strong and grows weak (logical) which may be frustrating; the Syndicate is rather boring to play (but the idea behind them is interesting).

I enjoyed Cuba Libre but paradoxically it didn't make me want to try those longest COINs.

I look forward to trying Andean Abyss though. And The Coin Tribes' Revolt: Boudica's Rebellion Against Rome, a micro COIN-like game that I PnPed. Probably I'll end up liking some of the COINs, but won't be a die-hard fan.

Civilization

Board Game: Civilization

I got an Avalon Hill copy of original Civilization and finally was able to play it. I was slightly familiar with the game, having played Advanced Civilization online several years ago.
We were 4 and played a short variant. Following a suggestion found here, I removed one copy of each advancement card that normally is 4 of. The rules say that you can choose any triangle on the AST track as the endpoint. We decided to choose the first one and then see if we continue.

Board Game: Civilization

We reached the first triangle after 30 minutes, the second after 90 minutes, then decided to do 2 more turns, which took us under 3 hours in total. It was too short, since we traded "for real", with tradeable calamities, only in the last couple of rounds; I think that third triangle would be ideal. Nevertheless, we had great fun, loved easy yet impactful mechanics and proved that you don't have to reserve the whole day in order to play the game. I'll always treat it more as en experience game, so won't mind not playing it "properly". You can have a really solid session in about 4 hours.

Now I'm playing Advanced Civilization online again and I don't really think this is a significant improvement of the original, at least not to the extent of me wanting to have a copy. The game basically got bloated. The change I like the most is that, upon trading, you have to tell truth about two cards instead of one.

However, changes introduced in Western Empires (formerly Mega Civilization) do look promising to me, probably I'll end up buying it... The only thing I potentially won't fully appreciate are big individual decks of advancement cards that may result in more... explicit, gamey? feeling of developing your civilization (fortunately not "Napoleon attacking Great Wall with tanks" level). Does that feeling make any sense? I don't know. Anyway, the somehow abstracted yet highly thematic way Civilization presents the development of ancient empires is just awesome.
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