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Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn» Forums » Reviews

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RIK FONTANA
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Between a head-2-head Civ with my girlfriend, and competing with various friends during the Christmas holidays 3 and 4 player, I had the fortune to hit the table on five consecutive days, and with all possible player counts.

Like many, I’m a longtime CIV pc player, going all the way back to Sid’s first release in 1991. I had owned the first behemoth Civ boardgame from Eagle and played several times. That title gets a lot of unfair criticism, mainly due to being so ambitious as to become unwieldy and quite long-winded. It’s heart was in the right spot, and it sure contained a load of cool pieces and cards. Unfortunatly, it was difficult to complete. Too bloated for general consumption.

So first, I’m happy to say that A NEW DAWN does not suffer from those maladys. It absolutely does capture the ‘feel’ of the Civilization franchise, compressed into a more than manageable running time. If you presently play CIV 6, the most current iteration, you also get the bonus of choosing a civ that includes the artwork of leaders taken directly from the pc game. The map, city-states, world wonders, and natural wonders likewise are drawn from C6. This provides a right-at-home familiar atmosphere that we liked.

Gameplay is streamlined, easy to learn, and has been discussed online, uniquely clever. The main mechanic of selecting one card to play during the turn, from five choices, assures quick tempo and yet thought-provoking choices. One of the best compliments I can say is I felt the same types of emotions I felt when playing the computer version: “I hope no one builds that Wonder before I can get it”, or: “OK, just two more turns and I can pull off this cool move…. If no one messes it up before that!”
The seven over-arching Time periods have been reduced to three: Ancient, Medieval and Modern. But that works fine.

Another similarity to the online version, if you are too close to another player, that can cause headaches. One game, one player attacked a close neighbor early, getting a head start. The other was simultaneously hurt by Barbarians that decided to likewise attack. The first player attacked again several times. The other two players were off on their own and not near this action. But the benefits gained by the aggressor were enough to assure his Victory. Still, two of our games saw almost no battling. The game offers not only a lot of replayability, but by adding the Building of the Map, which I highly recommend after the first play, the opening placement of map tiles plays a large factor in later success. This is a very rewarding feeling, or conversely poor placement can be your excuse for losing!
Some have questioned the abstraction of combat. But we felt it works. Just like in the pc game, you have to worry about it. Yet it might not be a determining factor at all. Or it could be very important. Depends on the players and board positions.

The victory conditions are also interesting: There are three cards placed out at the start of the game. Each card has 2 different conditions. One must fulfill EITHER of the 2 conditions on each of the cards, to win. This is a standard victory. Later in the rules, they mention the option to play an EPIC game, which merely adds a fourth victory card to be fulfilled. Gang: this is the way to go! The Epic version lasts only a few turns longer than standard, but adds a more complete experience, and is the only way we will play now.

As usual for Fantasy Flight, components are excellent quality. No surprise there. Rules were laid out well, and seemed thorough.

Despite the fun gameplay, there are a number of items that all fit under the description of Minor Disappointments. First, and this is typical of many of us gamers: I wish there were more! Please Fantasy Flight: get that Expansion out a.s.a.p.! Some of your titles improve marginally with an expansion. But this is a game that needs it!
Most glaring is that there are only 5 Victory Cards included with the game. There should be a lot more. Two thoughts on that… there are more interesting Agendas that can be created (F/F: ask Civ pc players and they will give you ideas!). But also the existing Agendas could be rearranged so that they are matched up in different ways. This might cause an extra step during Set-Up in the case where the same Agenda appears twice, but that could easily be resolved so only the first Agenda of a kind is kept.
Additionally, more Civs are needed.
But in honesty, one of the weaker aspects of the game is the ONE simple advantage afforded to each Civilization. In the computer game, there are several differentiations. But here only one. I was really disappointed with Rome, for example. It has one small, simple bonus that allows Caravans to leave from a certain type of city others may not. It would have been nice to have a military factor as well. And would seem easy to implement…. In the computer game, unique Military units are usually given during that spot in history when the civ was at a high-point. So here, for example, say that Rome has +1 combat until the first Medieval Wonder is created, at which point that bonus ends for the rest of the game. Conversely, America’s would appear late in the game, for example.
I doubt such addition will be made, as they would need to re-release all 8 of the original Civ cards. But I can wish…..

Likewise, it would be nice to see more Tech cards. Some have discussed more tech levels as well. Even without a 5th level, I would not mind seeing a dial that went higher than 24. But that would again mean a totally new component to replace another; doubtful indeed.

Bottom Line: there is a real Wish List of more stuff to be argued for. But if you are a fan of the CIVILIZATION series, I can’t see how anyone can be disappointed with what has been delivered here. By nature, boardgames must be simplified from the multitude of options and calculations being made in the computer version. This game captures the spirit and essence of the computer game, and that alone earns a ringing endorsement.
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Chris Watts
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Rikolus wrote:
Between a head-2-head Civ with my girlfriend, and competing with various friends during the Christmas holidays 3 and 4 player, I had the fortune to hit the table on five consecutive days, and with all possible player counts.

Like many, I’m a longtime CIV pc player, going all the way back to Sid’s first release in 1991. I had owned the first behemoth Civ boardgame from Eagle and played several times. That title gets a lot of unfair criticism, mainly due to being so ambitious as to become unwieldy and quite long-winded. It’s heart was in the right spot, and it sure contained a load of cool pieces and cards. Unfortunatly, it was difficult to complete. Too bloated for general consumption.

So first, I’m happy to say that A NEW DAWN does not suffer from those maladys. It absolutely does capture the ‘feel’ of the Civilization franchise, compressed into a more than manageable running time. If you presently play CIV 6, the most current iteration, you also get the bonus of choosing a civ that includes the artwork of leaders taken directly from the pc game. The map, city-states, world wonders, and natural wonders likewise are drawn from C6. This provides a right-at-home familiar atmosphere that we liked.

Gameplay is streamlined, easy to learn, and has been discussed online, uniquely clever. The main mechanic of selecting one card to play during the turn, from five choices, assures quick tempo and yet thought-provoking choices. One of the best compliments I can say is I felt the same types of emotions I felt when playing the computer version: “I hope no one builds that Wonder before I can get it”, or: “OK, just two more turns and I can pull off this cool move…. If no one messes it up before that!”
The seven over-arching Time periods have been reduced to three: Ancient, Medieval and Modern. But that works fine.

Another similarity to the online version, if you are too close to another player, that can cause headaches. One game, one player attacked a close neighbor early, getting a head start. The other was simultaneously hurt by Barbarians that decided to likewise attack. The first player attacked again several times. The other two players were off on their own and not near this action. But the benefits gained by the aggressor were enough to assure his Victory. Still, two of our games saw almost no battling. The game offers not only a lot of replayability, but by adding the Building of the Map, which I highly recommend after the first play, the opening placement of map tiles plays a large factor in later success. This is a very rewarding feeling, or conversely poor placement can be your excuse for losing!
Some have questioned the abstraction of combat. But we felt it works. Just like in the pc game, you have to worry about it. Yet it might not be a determining factor at all. Or it could be very important. Depends on the players and board positions.

The victory conditions are also interesting: There are three cards placed out at the start of the game. Each card has 2 different conditions. One must fulfill EITHER of the 2 conditions on each of the cards, to win. This is a standard victory. Later in the rules, they mention the option to play an EPIC game, which merely adds a fourth victory card to be fulfilled. Gang: this is the way to go! The Epic version lasts only a few turns longer than standard, but adds a more complete experience, and is the only way we will play now.

As usual for Fantasy Flight, components are excellent quality. No surprise there. Rules were laid out well, and seemed thorough.

Despite the fun gameplay, there are a number of items that all fit under the description of Minor Disappointments. First, and this is typical of many of us gamers: I wish there were more! Please Fantasy Flight: get that Expansion out a.s.a.p.! Some of your titles improve marginally with an expansion. But this is a game that needs it!
Most glaring is that there are only 5 Victory Cards included with the game. There should be a lot more. Two thoughts on that… there are more interesting Agendas that can be created (F/F: ask Civ pc players and they will give you ideas!). But also the existing Agendas could be rearranged so that they are matched up in different ways. This might cause an extra step during Set-Up in the case where the same Agenda appears twice, but that could easily be resolved so only the first Agenda of a kind is kept.
Additionally, more Civs are needed.
But in honesty, one of the weaker aspects of the game is the ONE simple advantage afforded to each Civilization. In the computer game, there are several differentiations. But here only one. I was really disappointed with Rome, for example. It has one small, simple bonus that allows Caravans to leave from a certain type of city others may not. It would have been nice to have a military factor as well. And would seem easy to implement…. In the computer game, unique Military units are usually given during that spot in history when the civ was at a high-point. So here, for example, say that Rome has +1 combat until the first Medieval Wonder is created, at which point that bonus ends for the rest of the game. Conversely, America’s would appear late in the game, for example.
I doubt such addition will be made, as they would need to re-release all 8 of the original Civ cards. But I can wish…..

Likewise, it would be nice to see more Tech cards. Some have discussed more tech levels as well. Even without a 5th level, I would not mind seeing a dial that went higher than 24. But that would again mean a totally new component to replace another; doubtful indeed.

Bottom Line: there is a real Wish List of more stuff to be argued for. But if you are a fan of the CIVILIZATION series, I can’t see how anyone can be disappointed with what has been delivered here. By nature, boardgames must be simplified from the multitude of options and calculations being made in the computer version. This game captures the spirit and essence of the computer game, and that alone earns a ringing endorsement.


Thanks for this. I've just received my copy and am chomping at the bit to get it to the table.

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Tor Iver Wilhelmsen
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Just a question regarding the tech wheel: You do know that when you pass 24 you move the dial down to 15 and continue, right? It's sadly only mentioned in the "Clarifications" section and not the actual Science section, though...
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Isaac Trickey
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Completely agree! I think that (almost) literally everything in this game would be good to be expanded on. More tiles/features and more city states would be great in particular also.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Uh the board game Civilization preceded the computer game by 11 years and was done by Avalon Hill.

The original board game is being reprinted this year as well.

Young 'uns these days shake
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Andy B
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jschlickbernd wrote:
Uh the board game Civilization preceded the computer game by 11 years and was done by Avalon Hill.

The original board game is being reprinted this year as well.

Young 'uns these days shake


I think we can cut the OP a little slack on this

You are absolutely correct, however, the OPs post was about the PC game, developed by Sid Meier from the original Avalon Hill game Like him, I too played the original PC game to death....in all its guises, plus the eagle games Version and the original AH version.

I have been itching to play again, but just want to avoid an eight hour game....so maybe, at last, a streamlined version has been created that keeps the feel of the original Sid Meier PC game....sounds like.
cool
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RIK FONTANA
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jschlickbernd wrote:
Uh the board game Civilization preceded the computer game by 11 years and was done by Avalon Hill.

The original board game is being reprinted this year as well.

Young 'uns these days shake


Sorry Jennifer,
But You're the young 'un..... there aren't many on this site older than me.

The title you refer to I owned. But, it is not a reimplementation of the COMPUTER game Civilization, and only shares the Title. The Avalon Hill game has different rules and mechanics, and attempts to capture a Historic perspective of early civs in the region of the Mediterranean.

When people discuss the new Fantasy Flight version, they are comparing to the computer game Sid Meier created during the start of the '90s. In fact, it has Sid's name right on the game box. Likewise, the 2002 version I reference, as well as a 2010 version, are boardgames meant to simulate the look, feel and often un-historic directions found in Sid's original works. But the 1980 Civilization (and it's expansion/re-release Advanced Civilization a decade later), were created before Sid's endeavor, and are not related to his game.
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wayne r
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Those thinking of buying this game should be aware that this game shares very little with the computer game that shares its namesake.

There have been a few written about that it is more 3x than 4x. I will go further saying that it is more 2x than 4x. The obvious one is that there is no exploration as in the 2010 version. The other X missing is extermination. While you can destroy an opponent's cities and expansion markers, you cannot destroy his capital. In fact, there is no player elimination.

Furthermore, the very abstract nature of the gameplay does not really convey the feel of the computer game.

On its own (if you don't compare it to its namesake) it is an OK civ lite game. The best thing going for it is its core mechanic and the beautiful game pieces.
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Henrik Lantz
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Rikolus wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
Uh the board game Civilization preceded the computer game by 11 years and was done by Avalon Hill.

The original board game is being reprinted this year as well.

Young 'uns these days shake


Sorry Jennifer,
But You're the young 'un..... there aren't many on this site older than me.

The title you refer to I owned. But, it is not a reimplementation of the COMPUTER game Civilization, and only shares the Title. The Avalon Hill game has different rules and mechanics, and attempts to capture a Historic perspective of early civs in the region of the Mediterranean.

When people discuss the new Fantasy Flight version, they are comparing to the computer game Sid Meier created during the start of the '90s. In fact, it has Sid's name right on the game box. Likewise, the 2002 version I reference, as well as a 2010 version, are boardgames meant to simulate the look, feel and often un-historic directions found in Sid's original works. But the 1980 Civilization (and it's expansion/re-release Advanced Civilization a decade later), were created before Sid's endeavor, and are not related to his game.


Agree completely!
 
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Phil Triest
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Oni no board wrote:
Those thinking of buying this game should be aware that this game shares very little with the computer game that shares its namesake.

There have been a few written about that it is more 3x than 4x. I will go further saying that it is more 2x than 4x. The obvious one is that there is no exploration as in the 2010 version. The other X missing is extermination. While you can destroy an opponent's cities and expansion markers, you cannot destroy his capital. In fact, there is no player elimination.

Furthermore, the very abstract nature of the gameplay does not really convey the feel of the computer game.

On its own (if you don't compare it to its namesake) it is an OK civ lite game. The best thing going for it is its core mechanic and the beautiful game pieces.


Anyone want to point out how this reimplementation solves the problem of the original FFG title it has replaced? I'm opened to getting either but want to know if this game stream lined things for the better like TI4 did as a reboot to TI3.

Thanks!
 
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