Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How Civilized is Antike?

While I went into Antike Duellum with the goal of finding out what the heck a rondel really is, a secondary goal was to take a look at a member of a game family that has been cited as a contender for _the_ Civ Lite game. You know, a game that you the same thrill as playing Avalon Hill's Civilization but in just two hours.

There's a list of things you look for in a Civ Lite game. Stealing from  BGG used Lajos, that includes each player having their own civilization, an epic scale, technological development, warfare, economics and some level of complexity.

And I also know that playing the two-player adaptation of Antike isn't the same as playing the original multi-player game, won't give me the full potential Civ feel.

Honestly, by the listed criteria, Antike and Antike Duellum does very well. It at least partially covers every item on the list. And, to be honest, I have been finding it to be a very good game and one that I intend to keep on playing.

But... there are some elements that I felt it fell short of as far as the Civilization feel is concerned.

The biggest one is that there is no trading, as well as no calamities. That removes a high level of interaction with the other players, as well as a level of uncertainty. For me at least, that definitely takes away from the Civilization feel. In fact, those elements or a big part of why I liked the game Parthenon, which fails to be a Civ Lite game on several levels.

I also felt that it felt short of the epic scope as far as time is concerned. The map is big enough for an epic sense of geography but I didn't get the sense of the vast passage of time.

I know that it probably sounds like heresy but one of the best games I found to give me that civilization feel in two hours is still Settlers of the Stone Age. The map covering the entire globe and new people rising up as well as the gradual desertification of Africa really gives me the sense of epic time and space. Plus, there is lots of trading and the dice definitely add elements of disaster when you roll seven. On the downside, I don't count the bandit equivalents as warfare and I don't think it can accused of being complex.

I also know that I really haven't been looking into the world of new games in the last five years. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some very solid contenders that have come out in that time. That being said, the Antike family is still quite beloved and definitely puts in a good fight as a Civ Lite game.

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