Civilization – On The Rocks

   Today it’s something from the old files – a set of optional rules for the old Civilization board game that got proposed when we were a little bored with the original game.

   They did liven things up quite nicely.

   Civilization suffers a bit from stratification and an over-dependence on backstabbing. It’s also hard to balance if some players are too inexperienced compared to the rest, a common situation in a game that calls for up to seven players. To avoid this, and add a note of whimsy, here is “an” optional rule:

   At the start of the game each player may make any one of the following changes to the rules. While any such change must be agreed to by at least half the players, each player is entitled to keep proposing alterations until one has been accepted. Alternately, you can just use the list below:

   1) Add a new “calamity” (or bonus) to the usual selection, this new event is linked to a standard calamity and rolled for on the chart below (1D10):

  • 1 : Neither “calamity” occurs.
  • 2-5 : The normal “calamity” occurs.
  • 6-8 : Both occur.
  • 9-10: Only the added “calamity” occurs.

   Possible new calamities include, but are not limited to the following list of examples:

  • A) Earthquake / Crustal Collapse; Recipient loses any one city he chooses, next turn their degenerating descendants climb up through some convenient crevice to attack a randomly selected player, destroying 2 cities and 7 population.
  • B) Superstition / AD&D Party. A party of adventurers plane-shifts into the recipients territory, he loses 3 cities and 10 population but receives the “mysticism” card for free, if he already possesses mysticism he can curse any one other player for similar losses.
  • C) Famine / Immigration; Player may add transfer up to 6 population from any adjoining territory(s) to one of his own, these may be claimed from another player but the tokens must be replaced with those of the gaining player.
  • D) Civil War / Looting releases hoarded wealth but may lead to other dire results as civilization breaks down, draw two extra trading cards during the next turn, these may be drawn as desired as long as they are not drawn from the same stack.
  • E) Slave Revolt / Horsecollar; Eliminates slavery by making it unprofitable, also increases agricultural efficiency, allowing areas to support one additional population. This is in addition to the effects of the agriculture card.
  • F) Treachery / City winds up burned to the ground, the player who would normally have gained it loses two population of his choice who would normally have taken possession of it.
  • G) Flood / Space Gods; Flying saucers are moved to intervene, bringing with them the Engineering Card, which immediately applies to mitigate the effects. If you already have engineering the flood is repelled by presser beams and has no effect. You must immediately devote one board space in your territory to a system of nazca lines, no population may be placed there from this point on.
  • H) Barbarian Hordes / Cultural Transfer; The invasion (or rumor of same if it doesn’t occur) drives travel and brings new ideas, gain a 100-point credit towards your next civilization card purchase.
  • I) Epidemic / Venereal Disease; causes widespread sterility during the next turn, reducing potential population growth by 50%.
  • J) Civil Disorder / Paper Money; Allows the player to vary his taxes as coinage does and is cumulative with that card, it also reduces the effects of the civil disorder by one city per three tokens spent from the players treasury. Paper money works well for 3 turns but then causes a currency collapse, eliminating one city, the “coinage” card if present, and itself.
  • K) Heresy / Prophet; A wandering prophet leads a mass exodus into the wilderness, player may establish 2 new cities at any location or convert one of anyone else’s to his own through the new religion.
  • L) Piracy / Freetown; Any one city breaks free from the “central governments” control, becoming a thriving free town and a center for trade, as long as the free town survives, the player may draw his “highest” available trading card draw to draw from any trading card stack. Thus a player with 6 cities and a free town draws six cards normally but may draw his seventh card from any stack. A player with more then one free town may draw his two “highest” cards from any stack. No taxes are collected for free towns.

   2) Add a set of three (identical) new civilization cards to the usual ones available, possible cards include:

  • A) Block Printing; This card only costs 80 points to purchase, but has a value of 240 points. It also contributes 20 points towards the purchase of civics and science cards but triggers an immediate civil war.
  • B) Great Wall; (Crafts), This card costs 30 points and contributes 5 points towards the purchase of roadbuilding, engineering, and military cards only. During the first round of any war the attacker loses two units instead of one.
  • C) Cultural Catastrophe; This card is useful only if there are limits on the number of civilization cards which can be held, it costs 180 points and immediately annihilates itself and one other card, removing both from the game.
  • D) Pacifism; (Civics, 30 points); Adds seven units to the first faction during a civil war, but makes it difficult to defend yourself, attackers ignore the first unit lost during a war. Contributes ten points towards the purchase of Arts civilization cards.

   3) Add a set of five (identical) new trading cards, such as:

  • A) Spam; a base value 2 card, multiple cards have values of 2/8/24/48/72. Spam keeps forever, so any number of spam cards held between turns counts as only a single card. Spam can help mitigate the effects of famine as the grain/pottery combination does, but must be discarded thereafter.
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