Saturday, June 22, 2013

Through The Ages - Cards - Mahatma Gandhi

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.

Mahatma Gandhi


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born October 2, 1869 in Probandar, India.  At 13 he married a woman one year his senior in an arranged marriage.  Growing up he loved stories of an ideal life, truth, and justice.

In 1888 he traveled to England and studied law.  After completing his studies he failed at opening a law practice in Bombay for being too shy in court.  In 1893 he traveled to South Africa for rich Indian Muslims, but once there he found himself facing both rich Indians and those who were indentured servants.  During that time he was thrown off of trains, beaten, and subjected to other indignities for being "Indian" in a "British Colony".  Never during his stay, did Gandhi raise a fist in anger, but instead would focus on civil disobedience through non-violent means.

Upon his return to India in 1914, Gandhi brought his non-violent civil disobedience to free his people from British rule and discriminatory practices.  Gandhi joined the Indian National Congress and advocated for self-rule of the Indian nation.  He attempted to alleviate restrictions on the poor farming class, promoted the education of women, end caste discrimination, and remove religious intolerance.  Through his actions he rallied other Indians to rebel, not in violence, but through peaceful sit-ins, resigning from positions of power, and boycotts.  For his efforts Gandhi was jailed several times, but eventually India was freed from British rule.

After a lifetime serving his people, Gandhi managed to get India its self-rule.  He sat on the council which drew up the new nation's constitution.  He taught Indians to view other Indians as equals, and he removed the barrier for women to be educated.  Having achieved so much, freeing a nation and a people, the one hurdle Gandhi could not overcome was the religion.  He attempted to reconcile the Muslims and Hindus, and for his efforts he was assassinated by a fanatic Hindu on January 30, 1948.

Gandhi's legacy lives on.  India remains a country under its own rule.  Gandhi inspires the oppressed and the weak that change the world around them through non-violent means and by leading a virtuous life.

Game Stats

Gandhi has horrible game statistics.  His first place wins tie with Bach at 10%, with the only leader worse than him being Alexander the Great.  Despite these statistics, Gandhi is a popular leader, being the 3rd most popular for his Age and appearing in 60% of the games!  This makes him the most popular "bad" leader in the game.


Gandhi is a losing player's leader.  His popularity stems from his ability to prevent culture loss from Wars and Aggressions late in the game.  Generally speaking, in many games, the player with the weakest military becomes the target of most other players in the game.  They use their advanced military to steal culture from this weakest player.  The result is the weaker player gets weaker, with the other players getting stronger.  As we have seen, these usually don't affect the outcome of the game in Culture Points as Wars and Aggressions only count for less than 10% of the Winner's score (  However, most of that 10% of culture comes in Age III of the game (  Gandhi is merely a last ditch effort for a losing player to slowdown their culture loss.

In the 10% of games he won, however, Gandhi is an interesting character.  The player with Gandhi went into Age III with a high culture generation engine and a weak military.  Gandhi arrived early and the player took and played him immediately.  The effect in this case was to prevent the militarily strong players from robbing the lead player of culture.  The lead player could then concentrate on simply generating even more culture.

Unfortunately, such a strategy seems highly unlikely, only occurring in 10% of games.

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