Sunday, January 29, 2012

Through The Ages - Card - Hanging Gardens

Forum Entry for this card is located here: Forum

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
Hanging Gardens
The Hanging Gardens was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  The suspected patron for the construction of the Hanging Gardens is either Queen Sammu-ramat, King Nebuchadrezzar II, or King Sennacherib.  The reason for their construction remains a mystery, although it is rumored to have been built for a homesick spouse.

Accounts put the giant terraced garden from 400 feet square and may have rose up to 320 feet in height in a series of 80 foot high levels.  Often portrayed with the gardens "hanging" over the sides of the structure, the translation may have meant the terraces were "overhanging" and extended beyond the supporting wall.  Constructed around 680 BC, the Gardens were suspected destroyed around 2 BC.

Or were they?  The only accounts of the Gardens come from Greek texts.  Babylonian cuneiform describing the gardens don't exist, and no archaeological evidence of them has been found.  Did they exist at all, or were they an figment of Greek imagination?
Game Stats
Hanging Gardens provides two Happiness and 1 culture.  The culture is nothing spectacular, the same as most other Age A wonders.  The two Happiness seems to be a fairly good trade.  It means the player would not have to build religious structures or drama, and therefore has more population to spend on military.  In reality, this is equivalent to gaining two extra population for the cost of 6 resources and 4 actions.  It seems like a good deal.

However, analysis of the Finishing positions shows Hanging Gardens provides no major benefit.  Odds of winni

Friday, January 27, 2012

Through the Ages - Poll - Most Unpopular Leader

And we have a new poll to vote on to the right, which promises to be interesting!

Forum for this discussion is here: Most Unpopular Leader Forum Poll

The Most Unpopular Leader
This one seemed an easy one for most people.  Each of the leaders chosen scored lowest within their given Age.  The results are in and registered below:

Frederick Barbarossa is the Winner (loser?)
Frederick Barbarossa was played only 16% of the time.  The next closest leader was also from Age I: Genghis Khan (22%).

Frederick's ability grants him so great flexibility.  He can force a military arms race and outproduce anyone in military units using his decreased cost.  Furthermore, since these use civil and not military actions, his input of military cards remains constant.  This effectively permits Frederick to confront Julius Caesar on relatively even footing since increases in military units do not equate to the loss of military cards drawn for Frederick.

Frederick's ability permits him to compete with colonies, using them to replace the unit's sacrificed to gain the colony.  If Inhabited or Fertile Territories, this permits Frederick to create a "population engine" which increases further increases his military at reduced cost.

Lastly, Frederick's ability gives the player the option to forego ore production if the don't mind expending Military actions to disband military units.  This isn't particularly ideal, but it does save food in cases where a player can not get irrigation into play.
Frederick's Failings
Is Joan a deterrence?
So why is Frederick rarely chosen?  Most likely it is a combination of timing and competition.  In general, Age I leaders are played much less often then Age A, Age II and Age III leaders.  This is most likely because Age A leaders are "guaranteed".  Basically, they are available on Turn 1 and playable by Turn 2 in every game.  Players become more comfortable with understanding the Age A Leaders.

With the onset of Age II, the Age A Leaders perish and need replacing.  At this time the Age II leaders are now available and chosen as replacements.  Among the Age I Leaders, Leonardo da Vinci and Christopher Columbus are the most popular, but even they appear less often then their counterparts from other ages.  Leonardo increases science, a useful ability while granting a slight ore increase when a technology card is played.  Columbus has the shortest "Lifespan" of all leaders: coming into play one turn, using his ability to gain a territory the following turn, and promptly being replaced by an Age II leader.

I believe players do not switch leaders that often from Age A to Age I.  Christopher Columbus, Leonardo and even Michelangelo are understandable choices.  But if it were a choice between the "military" leaders of Age I (Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan), why would people choose them over Frederick?  Joan has a "deterrence" factor if attacked, but I'd gladly give a player 5 culture to destroy one of their buildings or steal their resources.  As for Genghis, his ability depends entirely on the Knights technology appearing in the card row, taking it before someone else, and then getting it into play.  I have seen games where players take the Knights soon as they appear to keep them out of the hands of the player that took Genghis.  He seems far weaker than Frederick, who is essentially a free Mine & Farm.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Through The Ages-Part XIV-Culture: Wonders

The forum for this blog is located here: Forum for discussion located here:

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Wonders and Culture
Wonders represent a major source of culture income in Through The Ages.  So, there are several questions to ask about Wonders:
  • Which Wonder generates the Highest Return?
  • Which Wonders do winners build more often?
Highest Return
We start by reviewing the chart below which lists the total Culture generated in the analyzed games:
Notes:1-"Minimum" indicates the minimum culture when the Wonder was built.  2-Ravages of Time is factored into the above

From the diagram we can see the relative "worth" of each of the Wonders from a culture perspective.  A few general observations can be made:
  • Wonders from later Ages generate more culture than earlier Ages,
  • The Taj Mahal, an Age I wonder, generates the most culture.
Popularity Of Wonders
Next we review Wonder Popularity, how often each wonder is built.

The most interesting take away from these two diagrams is the wonders which generate the most culture are completed less often than those that which produce more culture.  Most players tend to focus on economy over pure culture gains early in the game.  This helps to explain the increase in culture in later Ages as the early focus on economy helps the player's resolve the costs associated with building military units, upgrading culture generating structures, and completing late stage wonders.
Age I and Ravages of Time
Ravages of Time (RoT) is an event which, if played, forces every player to make an Age A or Age I wonder to "ruins".  The Wonder loses all other effects, but it generates 2 Culture per turn.  Overall, Ravages appeared in about a quarter of games (24 of 100).  Secondly, the average turn the event arrived was around turn 16.  The general effect on culture from Ravages of Time was negligible.  Even the Pyramids, if chosen, generated an average of 5 culture when RoT arrived.
Other Interesting Facts
In 7% of games no Age III Wonders were built, while in 3% of games two Age III wonders were built.  For the games where no Age III wonder was built the focus of the players was on military domination.  Those concentrating on wonders were unable to complete them in time usually due to raids, or armed conflicts which destroyed the wonders.
Ineffective Cards (or Just Underutilized?)
Three cards were just not chosen much by players: Taj Mahal, Hollywood and Kremlin.  The question is if they are underutilized or just not good buys.

Good Card offset by
Negative Effects
Hollywood seems to have poor statistics.  It ranks towards the bottom culture return chart and so it appears to be justified in its unpopularity.  Although it has an impressive maximum gain, its average culture  just matches that of Universitas Carolinas.  Hollywood also seems harder to pull off as an effective card.  Unlike the other three wonders which generate off science or population gains, Hollywood requires expensive drama buildings.  However, in the three games where two Age III wonders were completed, Hollywood was the second Wonder.  This card appears to be largely ineffective.

The Kremlin has a decent return, but it suffers from a serious penalty, namely the loss of two Happiness. If properly planned for, the Kremlin will give its builder the number 5 position in culture gain.  Planning for this draw back seems to be an issue, however.

The Ultimate Culture
Producing Wonder
Lastly comes the Taj Mahal, which is in the number one in spot in culture gain, but remains just as unpopular.  The Taj Mahal is a dichotomy as it provides the best average return in culture once completed of all wonders.  Even the Taj Mahal's minimum seen culture gain exceeds the average culture gain of all other wonders.  Despite this, it is not chosen in the majority of the games, being the second most unpopular reason.  The reason for its unpopularity may support the argument of Economy Over Culture.

Hollywood has a poor return and its completion is either a desperation move, or one of the players with a good economy builds it as a "second Age III Wonder".    Kremlin has negative repercussions players need to plan for, so again its low standings is explainable.  But why Taj Mahal?  Despite its impressive return stats, it has an abysmal record.  Are its gains being undervalued by players, or does it just appear at a bad time when people are concerned about focusing on other aspects of their civilization?
Coming Up Next
There is one more article on culture upcoming: buildings.  After that will begin an analysis on the military aspects of the game.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Through The Ages - Part XIII - Culture:The Arts

Forum Entry for this card is located here:

Yellow Cards
Easy topic this time: Yellow cards and Culutre.  There are 5 Yellow cards which add to a player's Culture score.  Four of them are "Works of Art", one for each Age.  The other is an "Endowment for the Arts", which only occurs in Age IV.
Endowment For the Arts
Endowment provides a variable amount of culture depending on the number of opponents with more culture than the player with the card.  In a 4-player game, it is 2 Culture per player.  Thus, the maximum gain is 6 culture.

Overall, it would take 2 actions to take and play this card, but the card will only make a difference if the game is very close.  In a typical game, Endowment for the Arts will not make a significant culture difference to any player.

Works of Art
The four Works of Art vary in strength depending on the Age of the card.  As the Age increases, the culture gained from the Works of Art decreases.  These are simple one time gains.  If a player were to gain all four of them and play them, the culture gain would look something like the following:

The following table compares the Works of Art to the expected culture/action generated for the turn and the overall culture generation.
Works of Art for Age A through Age II all exceed their expected Age's Culture per Action generation  (explained here: Typical Game).  At Age III, the Works of Art no longer meets the expected return per action.  Effectively this means spending actions on Works of Art before Age III should generate more than the average, making them "good buys".

At the beginning of the game Actions are very limited.  If both Works of Art for Age A and Age I are picked up, they will account for all of the expected culture gain by the end of Age I.  Furthermore, there is usually one or two turns somewhere during Age I when the player lacks resources to spend and playing a Work of Art may fit nicely into this pattern.
Several risks associate them with the playing of Works of Art.  One event negatively affects the player who is leading in culture: Barbarians.  If pursuing a Work of Art in the early game, this may seem to put the player at risk to losing a population.  There are several ways to counter the risk of Barbarians:

  1. Start a Military Strategy - Several events improve the position of the player with the largest military.  Playing Works of Art puts the player in position to force an early military escalation and meets the expected culture generation.  Military Actions, which are used to build military units, are not needed to play Works of Art which use civil actions.  This makes playing Works of Art very complimentary to the Military Domination strategy.
  2. Play Works of Art Later in the turn - There is no need to play the Work of Art immediately when drawn.  The Age A card can be kept until round 5 or 6, when the Civil deck begins to run low and the possibility of Age II starting early occurs.  By this time either Barbarians has come out, or another player will not play it because they lead in culture.
  3. Concentrate on building Farms.  The 'loss' of a population is not as devastating as it seems.  Building a farm allows the player to make up the loss relatively quickly.  Furthermore, choosing farms (or mines) allows a quick recovery costing only 2 ore and an additional action.
Early Works of Art are an easy way to gain an quick jump in Culture.  They permit the player to concentrate on infrastructure projects without having to worry about falling too far behind in Culture generation.  Age A and Age I Works are most valuable in this regard, but this rule of thumb remains valid  into Age II.

Even if the Work of Art is not played it denies it to the other players.  Although the card may take up a position in your hand, it only took one Action to bring the card from the card row.  This essentially denies a player 4 to 6 culture for the cost of 1 Action.  If you are so busy with the remaining actions the card never gets played, it may still be worth the action to prevent another player, especially late in the game.

An important point is the Works of Art are only valid if they are low in the card row, near they 1 Action cost range.  Age A and Age I Works remain profitable into the 2 Action cost location, but usually there are better things to do with these actions at this point in time.  A very Late Age I Work of Art may be worth 2 actions, particularly if the player has more Actions from Code of Laws or some other action generating mechanism.

Lastly, if you find Endowment for the Arts is profitable, you are probably fighting for 3rd or 4th position, unless it is a remarkably close game.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Through the Ages - Card Review - Library of Alexandria

Forum Entry for this card is located here: Library of Alexandria Forum
This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
Library of Alexandria
Egypt - Home of Pharaohs,
Pyramids, and
 centers of learning
The Library of Alexandria is the second Wonder to come from Ancient Egypt, the other being Pyramids.  The Great Library of Alexandria was the largest collection of knowledge of its time, consisting of close to half a million parchments from Assyria, India, Greece, Persia and others.  With a staff of 100, the Library was a largest place of education in the Ancient world, having been formed around 283 BC.

The destruction of the library is blamed on many people.  Julius Caesar used fire ships against an Egyptian Fleet led by Pompey.  Flames may have spread and burned part of the city, and possibly the library.  Christians may have destroyed part of the library when the Temple of Serapis was converted to an Christian Church.  Later, rioting involving by Jews, Pagans and Christians may have destroyed more of the library.  Lastly, Moslems captured the city in 640 AD and the city was sacked, with ancient documents put to the torch.  Reality may differ, though most likely some share of the blame for its destruction belongs to each of the above...and others unknown.
Game Stats
The stats for the Library appear decent, if not exceptional.  Like the Colossus, the Library provides an average of 18 culture.  Looking at the Build-to-Final-Position the Library shows no major advantages to coming first.  If anything, the Library does improve odds of coming in second. The pie chart for this data is shown below:
Strategies, Combos and Opinions
Science: The Library forms a strong addition for starting a science strategy.  Unfortunately, the Library is subject to Ravages of Time, and has the highest Action cost of all Age A wonders.  Building the Library leads to a greatly reduced economic and military engine.  Ideally this would be offset by the ability to learn technologies quicker than opponents, but this may not be the case.

Denial: The library increases the hand size of its owner for both Civil and Military cards.  This benefit makes a 'denial' strategy somewhat less expensive in terms of holding card which may not be used.  However, it does not provide the player any additional actions to either take the civil card before another player, or increase the odds of drawing the desired military card.
The Library, like the other pure science wonder, Universitas Carolinas, has no card combinations.

Library of Alexandria?
I believe the appeal of the Library is it represents a constant stream of science, which is critical to many other strategies.  Unfortunately, there are many other ways to generate the same or more culture for cheaper costs.  The Printing Press is a direct replacement requiring 3 science, 4 ore, and 3 actions.  This is significantly cheaper the Library and provides 3 additional actions to improve the economy.

Perhaps the greatest argument against the Library is the other science wonder: Universitas Carolinas (UC).  UC requires 1 fewer action, 3 additional ore, and provides 1 additional science per turn.  As we will see in a future article, UC has much better success rate for being built and providing a return.

What thoughts does everyone else have on Library of Alexandria?  Is there something I've missed or do you have another theory about why the Library, one of the most popular of all Wonders, has such a poor rate of converting to first place wins.

MagnaCon III Delays Blog

Sorry for the delay of the Card of the Week, but there is a good reason.  This Saturday we held MagnaCon III in Denver.  This event supports the Monday Night Gaming Group which meets at the Whittier Center.  All proceeds go to the Whittier Community Board to support the center.  Attendance was good, around 50-60 people.  Denver is a gaming mecca, having many groups spread out throughout the city.  Many of these people I know, but only manage to see once or twice a year, often at conventions.  Attending MagnaCon allowed me to mingle with these great people and catch up on their lives (Congratulations to Sarah and Travis on their upcoming new addition!).

The focus of MagnaCon is "epic" games: games which take a longer than usual time to play so they don't hit the table as often.  I saw Twilight Imperium (the very definition of "epic"), Starcraft: The Board Game, and many games of Eclipse.  Towards the evening the games shifted to shorter games: Chaos in the Old World, Discworld, Citadels and others.  Overall it was a great time!

Many people deserve credit for contributing to this year's successful event.  So, in no particular order: Dave Jones, Jeff Slagga, Nate Hayden, Eli Moreland, Brian Kowalski, Scott Lewis, and so many more.  I'd like to offer special thanks to the following people:

V.M. Livingston: The original 'founder' of MagnaCon, although she was unable to be involved this year.

Jeff Slagga (and Wife!): For picking up where Veronica left off and organizing a great event.  He shouldered the responsibility fo orgna

Dave Jones of Time Well Spent:  Dave both ran the dexterity games in the back (I'm awful at them, but many people love them...particularly the kids!) and offered many games as giveaways from his company:  There were some great games offered and the raffle was probably the only time the room was in rapt attention!

Great job to all of you and I look forward to attending again next year!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Through the Ages - Part XII - Analyzing More Games

Many people requested I review more games than just 20.  So, out of consideration and a desire for completeness, I did.  I collected data on 100 games.  As we increase the sets of data, we increase our accuracy, or at least our confidence in the accuracy.

What Changed
After 100 games, the popularity race between Aristotle and Moses was finished.  Aristotle came out on top by just over 12 additional plays.  Julius Caesar made a comeback and it was neck in neck with Moses for some time.  As I loaded the last few games, Caesar passed Moses to achieve second place!  So, Hail Caesar (except for Aristotle)!
Game Final Score
The final score numbers shifted upwards by about 4% for all positions, except for the 4th which

Monday, January 16, 2012

Through The Ages - Increasing Sample Size

A few people have asked me some questions which 20 games just cannot answer.  Similarly, several people asked I increase the sample size to see if anything changes.  Most felt 20 games were not sufficient.

So, I've now compiled 80 games worth of data.  On Thursday I will discuss the changes the larger data set shows.  I am also seeking a better color scheme for the website, one which shows the text of the widgets better.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Through The Ages - Poll - Most Popular Leader

As we finish off this Poll, a new one begins!  Please vote and take your educated guess!

I ran a poll for the what players believed the most selected Age A leader is in a 4-player game.  I then analyzed 20 games to calculate the "actual" most popular leader.  Forum for discussion located here:

Poll Results
Most player's believe Julius Caesar to be the most popular leader, with Aristotle a close second.  I can honestly say I expected one of those two to to rank high as well, so the poll results don't surprise me.  Time to look at the data from the games.

All Hail...Moses?
Moses just barely beats Aristotle by a single game.  Julius Caesar comes in third at 14 games.  The rest are played in under 10 games.

Admittedly, a single game is not enough to determine if Moses truly beats Aristotle.  However, why would Moses beat out everyone's favorite: Julius Caesar?

Let's get some comments and discussion rolling!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Through The Ages-Part XI-Culture:Future Event Card Culture

Forum for discussion located here:
Playing Event Cards
Every event card played to the Future Events deck gives the player adding the card points equal to the Age of the card played.  There is a delay between the time cards are taken in hand and the time they are played.  Age I event cards cannot be played before turn 3.  For the other Ages, there is a one turn delay between when the Age begins and when the events for that Age may be added to the Future Events pile.

If an event were played ever turn by a player the maximum culture generated is 34 points.  Many things conspire to make this maximum gain unattainable.  A player may not draw an event card to play, the choice of event cards available may have negative resolution events for the player, or the player may choose to use their political action for some other reason (Aggression, War, etc.).
Individual Games
From analyzing the games we see players' attain about 9 to 13 culture points through playing cards.  Those who finish first tend to average 11 culture, while those that finish last score around 9 culture.  This difference is relatively insignificant.
Chart of Player Finishing Order and Culture Gained From Playing Event Cards

Interestingly, the games where players scored higher cultures, everyone scored higher cultures, while those games with fewer event cards showed everyone scored fewer culture.  In short, everyone scores roughly the same amount of culture points through the playing of Event Cards.
Adding Events to the Future Event's deck does not seem to be a major focus of players.  Positive events are more likely to appear in Future Events than negative events, a not too surprising conclusion.  This simply reinforces that the culture differences among  players are in the Wonders and Buildings/Leaders/Other cards.

We will revisit event cards in the future to discuss strategy around Event cards.  I am beginning to believe there are alternatives which players need to consider

Monday, January 9, 2012

Through the Ages-Part X-Culture:Where Culture Comes From

Forum for discussion located here:
Brief Review
Previous articles discussed culture generation.  The following was concluded:
  • Winning the game involves having the highest Culture at end of Age IV,
  • The average score for a game is 211 points
Sources of Culture
After analyzing games we derive the following breakdown of where culture originates from:

From the above chart we make several notes on the sources of culture
Pacts and Treaties account for less than 1% of the income for the winning player.  This isn't unexpected as Pacts generate little culture an appear late in the game.
Historical Territory cards overall add less than 2% to the winning score.
Aggression and Wars
Although culture generated by Military Actions measures between 0% and 30% of the winning player's culture, on average it makes up less than 8%.  As we will see in future articles, the majority of this culture comes from Wars.  This is not to say Wars or Aggressions are not important, but the culture gained from them is very little in a typical game.
Playing Event Cards
The adding of event cards to the Future Events deck generates culture for the players.  The playing of these Event cards makes up the third largest contribution of Age IV culture at 9%.
Culture generated from Wonders creates the second largest contribution of culture to the winning player's Age IV total at just over 26%.  Wonders therefore make a major component to eventually victory.
Impact Cards
Impact Cards (Final Scoring) have been discussed in greater detail here: Final Culture Scoring.  Despite constituting over 30% of the final score, it is already known that Final Scoring impacts the eventual game winner in less than 5% of the games.
Other (Buildings, Leaders, etc.)
The largest portion of culture comes from Buildings, Leaders and Other sources not mentioned above.  This accounts for over half of the winning player's Culture income.
Overall, players need to concentrate on culture generation to win games.  The primary source of income for culture currently consists of Civil Buildings/Leaders, Culture Generating Wonders, and the Playing of Event Cards.  This is not to say other aspects are to be ignored, but expect the majority of culture to come from these three sources.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Through the Ages - Card Review - Colossus

Forum Entry for this card is located here:
This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
The Colossus (of Rhodes)
"The Colossus of Rhodes" was the last of the "Wonders of the Ancient" world built, and the first of the Wonders to fall victim to the ravages of the world.  It was a statue of the Greek Titan Helios built to celebrate Rhodes victory over Cyprus, who was besieging them.  The Colossus was completed around 280 BC, but fell victim of an earthquake about 56 years later.

The Colossus stood 107 feet tall with a bronze outer skin standing on a platform of white marble.  It was a marvel of engineering and art, requiring 12 years to complete.  Alas, when the earthquake struck the Colossus' knee gave out, and the statue crumbled.  It lay strewn about its resting spot till the Arabs invaded in 654 AD.

Although artists like placing the Colossus straddling the harbor (as depicted on the card), in reality the harbor would have been too wide.  No one knows what the Colossus truly looked like, but it must have been a magnificent sight to behold. 
Game Stats
The statistics for the Colossus are not particularly good.  It is the least favorite of the Age A wonders, and 10th overall.  (Full explanation of statistics can be found here)  Still, it is completed in about a third of all games.  Perhaps the saving grace of the Colossus is it requires the fewest number of actions to complete.  This makes it the most likely Wonder to be built first if it is chosen, albeit by just one turn.
Culture Generation
Culturally, the Colossus isn't the best Wonder out there.  The Colossus can be expected to generate 20 culture in a game.  When compared to other culture generating Wonders, this isn't spectacular.  It just noses out the Library of Alexandria by a turn
Combos, Strategies and Opinion
The bane of Colossus
Colossus is usually associate with a "Colonization Strategy".  However, the +1 Colonization bonus is less than the +2 which a standard Defense card provides or if the Cartography card comes up.  Sadly, it is entirely like for the Cartography to appear just as the Colossus is built.  So, if  a player takes Cartography when another builds Colossus, the power shifted to the player with Cartography for the cost of 4 science.     If combined with Cartography the Colonization strategy is greatly improved through Age I, but come Age II a single Navigation will once again put the goals at risk.
The other Colossus
Military Domination
For an early domination approach Colossus may seem a good buy.  It provides a permanent +1 strength for 6 ore.  Unfortunately, 6 ore is the equivalent of 3 soldiers at +1 strength each.  Furthermore, both Cartography and Warfare offer quick counters for 4 science to the Colossus in Military domination.  Lastly, particular leaders (Joan of Arc, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Genghis Khan [w\cavalry]) all quickly counter the Colossus easily.
Cartography: It almost seems as if the Cartography card needs to be coupled with the Colossus in order to keep the Colossus relevant if pursuing a Colonization or Domination strategy.
Warfare: Warfare increases the odds of drawing a needed military card and provides +1 strength.  Again, providing an easy counter to a Domination strategy, but also a great supplement.
Cartography & Warfare: If a player succeeds in getting Cartography, Warfare, and Colossus into play, the other players better be ready to take some punishment.  However, the player will probably be behind in good Tactics or Cavalry technology.
From analyzing games it appears the Colossus has a negative trend to successful wins.  Only 1 of the 7 games ended in a win, while 5 of the games Colossus appeared in resulted in the player coming in 3rd or 4th.  The Colossus is too expensive for what it provides.  Cartography and Warfare provide better counters to it for just 4 science.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Through The Ages - Part IX- Culture: A Typical Game

The forum for discussion of this topic is located here:
"Average" Scores
Having eliminated Final Scoring as the potential for a deciding factor in the majority of games, we now look at how the game generates culture.  Averaging the results of the sample games we derive the following picture:

Note that these are averages of each player's score at the end of every Age.  The highest final score encountered was 331 culture, and the lowest winning culture was 88.  The lowest scoring players varied from 26 to 175 culture.  The important point from the chart above is the comparative growth of the players' culture.
From the average game above and reviewing the games played, the following milestones may be used

Monday, January 2, 2012

Through The Ages-Part VIII-Culture:Giving Final Scoring Its Due

Forum for discussion located here:
Brief Review
Before moving on to Culture Generation, it is necessary to give Final Scoring, or "Impact" cards (from their wording: Impact of...), a more in-depth look.

In the previous article it was mentioned Impact cards cause a change in player position order roughly 60% of the time.  In other words, in 3 out of 5 games played a player will overtake another player in culture through Impact cards.  However, in less than 5% of games (or 1 in 20) does this affect the player enough to eventually be the final winner.  (full article here: )
Culture Bonuses
The following chart provides a breakdown of the highest scores in twenty games. Included is the "average" of all the games:
In all the cases, the majority of the points are formed before the end of Age IV.  In fact, this is the case for all the pl