Had the gang over for gaming yesterday. We played the ever-popular Advanced Civilization with five players, and had a good time of it.

The mix of powers was the same as last time, though who took what was different. I decided to take Crete this time, and got Barbarian Hordes (which Crete is immune to) twice during the game.

For some reason, we went a bit slower this time, only getting about as far as the first time we played. I found this a little disappointing, but still a very good day as everyone was in good reach of the lead at the end.

Jason played Egypt, and nearly knocked himself out of the game by building two cities early, one of them away from a city site, reducing his population to just enough to support the cities. He made the Early Bronze Age barrier, and didn’t build on the flood plain, but the lack of population kept him from doing anything else until the first Civil War calamity hit, and he inherited some territory in eastern Asia Minor.

As Crete, I didn’t have my best start ever, mostly because I bounced off the Early Bronze Age twice. I built my first city the first time, and planned to build the second the turn after, but forgot about it when the time came, putting me a turn behind where I planned to be. However, I managed to escape most of the first and second round of calamities (including being the one to trade away an Epidemic, rendering me immune), and overall was in the best position, though Patch’s Thracians had also been doing well.

Mark was surprisingly aggressive during the game, with his Assyrians on the border of Babylon’s (Dave’s) start areas for pretty much the entire game (with an interruption by the Egyptian pocket empire). Between that and Egypt’s late start, the Levant wasn’t truly colonized until reasonably late, and most of North Africa was never occupied. I had gotten Astronomy towards the end of the day, and was hoping to colonize Carthage once the third round of calamities (which was hitting me) settled out.

Thanks to a couple of nasty calamities on the last two turns, I only finished with three cities (I had rebuilt up to six after a Civil War handed a fair chunk of property to Thrace, but Slave Revolt reduced me back to three). And that cost me the victory. For the third time in three games, I was in second. Now, this is a much better average than anyone other than Patch (who has been first twice, and third once; average 1 2/3), but I’d like to get an actual win….

Final Scores:

Side Player AST Cities Civ Cards Cards Treasury Total Place
Thrace Patch 1000 350 280 27 10 1667 1
Crete Rindis 1000 150 440 0 0 1593 2
Assyria Mark 900 350 300 0 0 1550 3
Babylon Dave 900 200 390 0 0 1490 4
Egypt Jason 900 300 280 0 8 1488 5

The spread between first and second was less than 100 points, and I had a definite edge on Civilization cards, so not only was I likely to have broken the Early Iron Age barrier first (up to five cards, and some nice bonuses starting to add up), but I probably would have had the victory on any turn other than this one. But, we were all happy at how tight the game was staying.

We need to sort out who’s available when, since it looks like we have some crowded schedules next month. Not sure what we’ll play, though my playtest copy of Metropolis Archon has finally arrived….