I am a huge fan of Sid Meier’s Civilization series. Of course, I play mainly the computer versions of this franchise – you may find a lot of posts about it on this blog, for example here. Still, when boardgame implementations appeared – first Through the Ages, then Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game and lastly Civilization: A New Dawn – I of course immediately jumped to them too.

The newest one – A New Dawn – recently got a very interesting and thematic expansion. Last weekend I had a chance to play it twice and in the below article I will share my impressions as well as session reports.

The Game

Before starting with sessions and impressions, some information about the base game and then the add-on. Hope that will build your interest in that title too!

Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn Base Game is a strategy board game in which two to four players act as the rulers of history’s most memorable empires. Over the course of the game, players will expand their domains, gain new technologies, and build many of humanity’s greatest wonders. In the end, one nation will rise above all others to leave its indelible mark upon history.

This game presents players with an undiscovered country to conquer (you need to explore it!), built from beautifully illustrated map tiles. These would-be conquerors construct and populate the map with barbarians, natural resources, and city-states, then formulate their plans for how they will shape this world to their vision. Their exact goals, however, change with each game (this is great mechanics for the game replayability). Agendas are detailed on victory cards, three of which are drawn during set up (plus two additional with expansion). Players race to become the first to accomplish one agenda on each of these victory cards, spreading throughout the world and ensuring their civilization’s place as the greatest world power.

Terra Incognita expansion is actually packed with the new material and new possibilities that will expand the boundaries of the game even more:

  • we will now have the opportunity to explore our surroundings and new landscapes
  • our cities will develop new districts that will give new abilities – fantastic game addition
  • we will get new forms of government which provide for additional advantages
  • what I like most is the re-definition of battles – more armies, forts, much more focus on interaction and military aspects
  • of course, not surprisingly we will also get ten new leaders – it will double the number of civilizations ready to can play
  • last but not least, there is now possibility for up to five players to lead their own civilizations and discover new areas!

The Sessions

I love picture-rich session reports so that one will not be any different. Below short description of our two games. You can click on each of below pictures to enlarge it.

There was three of us, each leading one of the most formidable civilizations ever.
Surprisingly, we did not discover much – the game set-up with forts really prevented us from far away journeys. The districts proved very powerful and interesting. Forts gave us so much needed military focus. There were no hostilities between civilizations and the end was very suspenseful (in red my last move of the game)
To win you need to fulfill 4 goals – with expansion you have also two military targets – forts control. Before last turn of the game (as it occurred) I had only 1 point and was far away in race for victory. But a well prepared plan – sending two planes, taking over two forts and fulfilling 5 cities target gave me (Japan) astounding victory!
Above my final set of cards with weapon allowing for the victory clearly marked.

I do not remember such a suspenseful Civilization game – and still cannot believe I pulled this off! But good plan and checking the victory conditions is a key – as we learn in our second game.

On next evening we started the second game. The initial set-up was as above – long term my place proved to be most cursed, with two barbarians close by.
This time a large body of water in the middle of map prevented us from too much contact – at least, till the moment when we got the planes. Kuba had perfect place for some of the best districts, Lukasz had natural wonders and I was fighting most part of the game with barbarians. The climatic moment during last turn came when a brutal fight for one of the forts ensued.
Kuba (Poland) really prepared well for his last turn show – not only conquering the fort but also delivering 16 strength attack, There was not much for me (last in turn) to do except for conquering one of the Kuba’s cities – a bitter-sweet end!
My had at the end of the game – again, military approach clearly visible.

That was really great second game – completely different from the first, suspenseful and finished with a blast by Jakub (Poland)!

Terra Incognita expansion – first impressions

Let me share now my thoughts and experiences regarding the game and its new expansion:

  • I simply love the much more focus put on military aspect of the game – the forts being permanent part of the path to victory and more armies available
  • Adding districts allows for much more powerful combinations and build ups, with each city developing into different direction
  • It is relay neat and small add-on – each civilization now has one special, unique technology
  • I would like to mention – again – great components quality; FFG is known for great quality products and here it is no different!

I am really glad I could play that new expansion and familiarize with it. We really had tons of fun and the surprises and suspense which was part of this made for unforgettable memories!