I thought it might be good to list and discuss some of the spin-off ideas for this game that could work with the current rules, or with slight adjustments. Basically, I will list any ideas that fall outside of the current game but could still make a good game… in theory at least. I will try to test these games, or versions of the game, at a later date.
Card Piles – Fast Play
I recently had a discussion with a fellow gamer. I wanted to limit the play and make a faster version of the game. A game that took let’s say 30-60 minutes. I thought perhaps we could limit the number of cards available and when they were all gone – game over. Each card would be worth points, and to encourage a range of play, a set of three of a kind (one each of expansion, technology and military) would be worth more. The most points wins. Scoring is 1 point per card, and 4 points (instead of 3 points) for a set of three of a kind. This works quite well, and makes for some interesting play. You can adjust your game by having more of one type of card (rather than even amounts of each), just shuffle the pile and turn the first card over, and that victory card is the one players have to play for. We tried with two piles of cards so players could play for two types of cards, and you could also win more than one card in a turn. Alternatively you could turn over any number of cards and simple resupply the victory cards at the end of each turn from the face down pile. The objects is to finish the pile and add up all the points.
Hand of Cards – Fast Play
Similar to ‘Card Piles’ except each player draws 5-7 victory cards (less for a faster game) and they can either keep them hidden or lay them out for other players to see. Each player must win all their victory cards to win. This version is highly strategic and a lot of fun as players are trying the guess their opponents next move.
Another Simple Version – Fast Play
A much simpler version of the rules; I might even adapt some of them to fit in with the current game. Cities only produce one of each resource for each city size, like in the game Risk ™, where you simply count the number of cities and add your points, then collect the equivalent amount of each resource. Wealth can be converted 3:1, so this is where the player adds their input. This could work well with counters, as you collect equal amounts in smaller quantities. You can spend resources on any city in any way. Technology advances could upgrade cities, such as construction adding city walls to all cities, rather than building them separately in each city.
You have only three types of units; land, sea and air. Technologies advance those units’ strengths. This removes all the complexity as to which unit does what. Variety is then in the balance of how much defensive or offensive strength you give the units, and when.
Most of the other game-play is the same. You could still include resources and wonders, but they would count overall rather than in each city. I think this would be a very fast game, especially compared with the current rules.
Playing a game like this on your own is rare, as I don’t think there are many single player board games. Right now I can only think of card games and Mahjong. In this game I was thinking you could have cards that represent the opponent. Each turn you could draw a card from the pack and it would tell you how they play their turn. You would need to test this pretty thoroughly, but I think you could do this if you were clever about the opponents moves. You would also need to shuffle the cards to randomise the game, allowing for more than one play.
Combat focused play with reduced resources
This version is more focused on allowing combat in the game.
- It allows for faster movement of troops, by doubling the movement rates for slower units and a 50% increase on faster units.
- I have also reduced the resources to one type by giving each terrain a single value between one and seven. Each city occupies a terrain and accumulates that amount of points per turn.
- Cities do not expand in a circular pattern, instead they can be built one hexagon at a time, each time adding to the amount collected according to the terrain that the tile occupies. These tiles must be connected to the original city. New cities can be founded the same way as usual, using settlers.
- Points can be spent in any way, on anything ,and in any city.
- You must defend each city tile. Losing one tile removes the points you gain from the tile each turn, but an enemy cannot claim that tile until they control the base of the city (the first tile placed). After this they control the city and assume its points.
- Cities can have a maximum of five or seven tiles (haven’t decided on this, but I’m leaning towards five).
- Different cities cannot make contact, so all cities must have at least a single space between them.
City only game
In simple terms, this is the regular game but with a modified research chart; removing the technologies that allow for military units and replacing them with others. The aim is to place your cities in the best possible way, and expand them, allowing you to research all the technologies faster than your opponents.
Simplified city system
This uses a city card where you pull random tiles to build your city, rather than using the map directly. For example, you would occupy one hex space for the city, and then get a card with either a grid or hex pattern on it, as if zoomed in on the city. On this card you could place terrain which would add up to the total number of resources collected. Alternatively, you could use this to show what upgrades you had added. This would work for all ways of playing.
There are a variety of ways you could build up your city. One thought might be to expand your city with buildings (e.g. building a granary allows you to add an extra terrain tile to your city), or the reverse, where you can add a building whenever you expand your city.
Card version of the game
Instead of the regular moves or actions for the player, they could draw cards with each turn. They could include options like, expand one city, build ship unit, build new city etc. The players would have to rely more on luck ,and this may balance the expert players against the beginners. This would add a more random element to it which, might appeal to some players.