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Brian Bankler
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San Antonio
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This seems to be one of the holy grails of game design, and with a recent thread asking for comparison between games I figured I'd make a geeklist so we can compare and contrast.
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1. Board Game: Vinci [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:562]
Brian Bankler
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San Antonio
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Vinci really belongs in the "Rise and Fall" category, since you have multiple Civs. But each civilization does have two advances ... ok, this barely qualifies (it's about two hours in my group).
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2. Board Game: Antike [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:522]
Brian Bankler
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Civ, check!
Technologies, check!
Good game, ???

Update (corrected Game ID)
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3. Board Game: Tempus [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1402]
Brian Bankler
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Haven't played Tempus yet
 
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4. Board Game: Mare Nostrum [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1019]
Brian Bankler
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Good old Horse Nose.
Economics, trading, fighting, unique advances (heroes/wonders).
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5. Board Game: Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:2554]
Donald Walsh
United States
Columbia
Maryland
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Had high hopes for this one. Sort of like Civ with no combat. And a lot of random events. Not that great a combination.
Has a similar "multiplayer solitaire" feel that Puerto Rico has, but a lot more random.

Swapped it here on the 'Geek.
 
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6. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:83]
Enon Sci
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Helping Brian keep this alive (this Geeklist is a nice addition to the Geeks resources).

 
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7. Board Game: Imperial Settlers [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:113]
Enon Sci
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Never played, but fits the theme.

I hear this is a vicious title, and far deeper than its art style might imply.
 
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8. Board Game: Historia [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:925]
Enon Sci
United States
Portland
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Nice little title getting the spotlight out of Essen's Spiel 2014.

Haven't played it, but it is one to watch.

I'd recommend Rahdo's Run Through on this.

 
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9. Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:754]
Enon Sci
United States
Portland
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Dice game, but still a decent distillation of the Civ theme(and the mechanics of its big sister).

Rahdo just did a Run Through on this. Worth a watch.
 
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10. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:546]
Enon Sci
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Never played, and have little interest, but seems to fit the bill. Correct me if wrong.
 
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11. Board Game: Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1856]
Enon Sci
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Never played, and know little about. Included for completeness.
 
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12. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:49]
Enon Sci
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This is more an empire builder than a full on, multi-era Civ builder, but it scratches a lot of the same itch.

 
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13. Board Game: Patchistory [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:722]
Enon Sci
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This one comes in right at the two hour mark, but I hear it really offers something special.

Haven't played, but am curious to see my reaction when I do.
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14. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:354]
Clinton Sattler
United States
Knoxville
Tennessee
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Economics? check.. you are creating economic engines from ranches, banks, gun stores, mines, etc..

Conflict? check.. you can assassinate partners, extort your opponents, piggyback off their development by building access points, ruin their economies through unrest, revolution.. even bring on a depression to bring your opponent's income engine to a sputtering stop.

The ebb and flow of rising and falling fortunes are very strong in the narrative arc of most games. The game is about laying the groundwork for your political coup in your hand and tableau, but holding back just enough to keep your true intentions murky. When the time comes, you will either blindside your opponent or do whatever you can to turn events away from your opponents favor.. perhaps even at the expense of your long term prospect just to keep the game from ending.

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