Rhye's and Fall of Civilization: the Boardgame

Here is a report on our first time playing this mod.

The overall feeling about this mod was that is was definitely better than the original and that the overall concepts and mechanics seem good. But this mod needs more tweaking and balancing before it's ready for prime time. We will not be playing it again as the rules currently stand. It felt as if the mod was barely play-tested, and that we were the ones play-testing the mod. We understand that this is a free mod, and we still appreciate the effort that has been put into it. Everyone was impressed with the quality of the game assets.

We were three players and set up on the Earth map, using only the Eurasia and Africa continents (as suggested by the setup reference sheet). We made it so that the Earth was flat, and that the map didn't wrap around East-West. We wanted to have a few islands available in the game, so we also included Madagascar, Japan, and Great Britain. We decided to pick our civilizations randomly from the deck. We took Cathage, Russia, and Inca.

The player who started in Africa had an advantage because of the land choke point in Egypt. He could spread out quickly in Africa without too much worry about land invasion.

The biggest flaw in the mod was the stability system. It did not prevent aggressive players from constantly attacking and expanding for the following reasons:

- Only the 1st player does a stability check
- The Buddhism religion prevents Civil War
- The Collapsing stability level is essentially the same as Shaky once your civilization grows to more than 3 cities (which only takes a few turns)

The Russian player, after switching to Buddhism, never bothered to play the Consolidation action card again and was happy to stay in Collapsing. He only had 1 in 6 odds of having a settlement flip over. He'd simply keep a small army next to the one settlement he'd have reserved for revolting purposes. We found it strange that Buddhism was the best religion for the aggressive player.

Because the Russian player never bothered to play the Consolidation action card, he was able to play the Research card more often and started to run away in technology. As soon as he took Gunpowder, Russia instantly upgraded his entire army and began to steamroll over Carthage and Inca.

At this point, we had played for over 5 hours and decided to end the game. The game went slowly because there were too much ambiguity in the rules, and we spent a lot of time talking about the flaws in the mod.

More to follow...
Here's a list of specific issues we found for this mod:

- Because the Republic government doubles your income, there is no incentive to play the other government types. Either make Republic less rewarding, or make the other government types more rewarding.

- The Collapsing stability level is essentially no worse than Shaky. Perhaps it should be that Collapsing makes two (or one third) of your settlements revolt? Perhaps Collapsing settlements should roll 1-2 on a d6 to flip over? The latter would prevent a player from just parking an army next to a settlement reserved for revolting.

- With Buddhism, the low probability of revolt, and the ability to choose the settlement which flips, there is no incentive to increase the stability level.

- The cost of units is too low, resulting in too many pieces on the board. We had run out of pieces for Pikemen. It seems the prices could easily be doubled (if Republic remains unchanged).

- Ships are too cheap. A Battleship shouldn't be cheaper than artillery!

- There is no limit on how many units can be upgraded at once. The player leading in technology could instantly upgrade his entire army and overwhelm other players with little warning. I think it should be that units can only be upgraded in settlements and that upgrading counts towards the settlement's construction limit.

- By time you're the first to discover Astronomy, there are no uncovered tiles left. I liked the idea that you get a free ship if you're the first to discover Astronomy.

- There is no bonus for defending a city. The Civilization franchise has always made it harder to attack than defend, but this mod does not follow that spirit of the game, which turns it into Risk-like attacking game. There should be a bonus die for defending cities, and two bonus dice for defending the capital.

- There is no stability hit for conquering other players' settlements. There should be a stability hit.

- The Hanging Gardens wonder is overpowered. There should be a limit on the number of villages it upgrades. With Republic, we found wonders were always easy to buy.

- Once a player builds the Spaceship, there is not enough time for other Civs to even attempt to take it away.

- Resources now have almost no impact on the game. Only one player got 10 gold for having 4 resources. With the terrain and event markers, it's hard to get three of anything. Perhaps it should be 5 gold for every resource, plus some bonus for a monopoly?

- Nobody ever traded because there was no specific phase in each turn to remind us we can trade stuff. I don't like the idea that trades can happen at any time. Sneaky player will definitely exploit this. I've never played a game where trade between players can happen willy-nilly. There needs to be a specific phase in the game turn for trades. The turn phases should be Movement / Action / Trade.

- The small text in the Setup/Rules and Reference panels is quite pixelated and difficult to read. Is it possible to make higher-res versions, or better yet, release vector graphics versions (SVG or PDF)?

- We didn't like re-rolling on a tie during combat. It slows down the game a bit. It should be that either both units die on a tie, or the tie goes to the defender. I personally favor the tie going to the defender, to make it less of a wargame favoring the aggresive attacker.

More to follow...
Here's a list of ambiguities we found in the mod:

- Can you upgrade a village you've just recently conquered?

- Are revolted settlements (independants) considered the same as minor civilizations? Do you get the stability hit and 15GP for conquering a revolted settlement?

- With the Research action card, can you buy a technology (which 2 other civs have), THEN get a free one? We interpreted the Research card so that you must get the free tech first, THEN you can buy a tech owned by two other civs. Is this correct?

- Can units be upgraded anywhere? Do they have to be in a settlement? Does upgrading count towards the settlement construction limit.

- With Hanging Gardens, do you get free upgrades for villages you bought in the same Construction action?

- Is there a stability hit for conquering another player's settlement?

- When there is a Barbarian uprising, do you put a barbarian mounted unit on the territory which had the Barbarian event marker?

- What happens to units that are booted out of a territory and have nowhere to go?

- When smaller portions of the Earth map are used, does the map wrap around East-West, or is it a flat earth? If it wraps around, how do the sea territories connect?

Here's some more food for thought about the mod:

- The stability system (when not exploited) only affects the speed of expansion, and not the absolute size of your empire. In the computer game, it's the size of your empire that affects happiness.

- Because Battleships are much better at attacking, you'd always be compelled to attack other ships because of the statistical advantage.

- It might be nice to be able to trade settlements (limit one per turn).

Thanks again for this mod. I feel that we now have a workable base for the game and that we can make it work if we spend some time to tweak the rules and play-test it further. However, we have other games on the shelf that we are itching to play, and I'm not sure others in my group will want to spend their precious free time to continue tweaking and play-testing this game.
Thanks for the report. There are a few adjustments that I'll make next time I release a patch (maybe January).

A couple of quick notes:

- settlements can be traded. Who did tell you that you can't?

- You shall roll 1d2, not 1d6. 3 faces out of 6.
Thanks for the report. There are a few adjustments that I'll make next time I release a patch (maybe January).

A couple of quick notes:

- settlements can be traded. Who did tell you that you can't?

- You shall roll 1d2, not 1d6. 3 faces out of 6.

Oops! I missed that "Cities" can be traded. I see it now on the rules card. :blush:

When I said the Russian player only had 1:6 odds of a settlement flipping over, the math works out like this:

(1:3 odds of being the first player in 3-player game) times (1:2 odds of a settlement flipping, if first player) = 1:6

We were using dice from another game (Dust) that had half the faces marked in red.
If you have four players the odds are of revolting is 1:4. I don't think that buddishm is too good, if a player has an extra army which he can use to constantly attack his own cities he deserve to keep them. If I have an extra army I usually attack my opponent instead of neutral city. In our games judaism is usually more popular choice because defensive bonus. Even to aggressive players because that way you can negate your opponents defensive bonus. I have only played with four or more players so it could little different with only three.

But if you want more and stronger independents. Collapsing could make you to do revolt roll to one third of your cities rounded down. And revolting settlements could get two defensive units.

I agree that republic is the best goverment, but I hope you did see that it only doubles income from your settlements. And this doesn't necessary mean that other goverments are useless.

We have always played that you can only trade after action phase. And we have also used rule that in tie both units die, this will make combat quicker and risks of attacking are greater, (you actually have risk of losing units when recapturing rebel cities).

You can upgrade village same turn you conquer it.
Independents are different from minor civilizations.
You read the research card correctly.
Hanging Gardens upgrades new villages too.
Barbarians only spawn tiles next to marker.
I agree that republic is the best goverment, but I hope you did see that it only doubles income from your settlements. And this doesn't necessary mean that other goverments are useless.

Yes, I saw that Republic only doubles income from settlements. But we found that the income from wonders and resources was barely significant (especially when you have 7-8 cities). So in essence, Republic does indeed almost double your income.

It still seems to me that the Buddhism + Collapsing + Republic combo is impossible to beat. You can research faster than others because you don't waste time playing the Consolidate action. When all your units outclasses the others, it doesn't matter if other civs have Judaism with the +1 defense.

I wish I had more time to tweak and playtest ideas so that I could give more constructive criticism. :(
Having finished a session of Rhye's and Fall of Civilization: the Boardgame, I have only found 2 issues so far:

- The 40 :gold: technology cost to the players who researched a tech researched by two others is extremely crippling to the economy. I only caught up to the two most advanced nations by getting a free technology (Trade), building the Colossus, and taking Mysticism. Maybe change it to 20 :gold:?
- The Power of Pharaoh is also incredibly OP: Egypt switched to Communism, giving everyone else -1 Stability. Later on, he switched to Fascism, and everyone else got -2 stability.
1. Does Numidians card give you 5 free swordsmen or 5 free infantry units?

5 free up-to-date infantry units

2. Does Tricolour card give you 5 free infantry units or 5 free units?

5 free up-to-date infantry units

3. Can I revolt on first turn and use tricolour card eventhough I cannot change my goverment or religion?

Ha! Sounds like an exploit.
I will add a rule that prevents you to do a revolution if you've got no new government or religion to switch to.
So, the answer is no.

4. Does deforestation remove forest?

It's irrelevant. A settlement is built, the marker can be either removed or left there.

5. Do mountains, villages, cities or capitol get defensive bonus?


6. Does palace/capitol give you anything?

No, it's just to mark your starting point, and the place where the spaceship is built

7. If I lose my palace/capitol do I lose anything(stability)?

No, it's the same as the other cities

A couple more things:

1 - please use these religion bonuses instead of the ones you printed:

Christianity: +1 die on attacking non-Christian players
Islam: 1 free infantry unit anytime a city is founded or conquered

and tell me how it goes.

2- if you take some photo, if would be great! I'd post them on the boardgame page of the site
Why would you want to revolution when you cannot switch government/Religion.

Also, is Egypt fair? Looks a bit unfair because of the starting governments thing, by switching to Fascism/Communism, can really mess others up.

Apparently, someone actually saw in action the issue I forsaw.
Rhye not sure if you still care about the Boardgame RFC. But you might want to check out this


I'm still very interested in this board game mod. While FFG's Civ release looks cool and everything, you can only have up to 2 or 3 cities in the game, and it focuses on city management more than empire management, and the way armies work seems kind of abstract.

I'll be picking up this game from my parents when I visit for Thanksgiving and will hopefully be giving it a try (finally).

Thank you, for creating such a wonderfull mod for this game. I love it! Now I can actually play this game...

OK, but I also realised that the discussion at this forum stopped for quite a long time at a point, where it just seemed to start.
Is it, because the test phase is over? Is it playable? What about the questions and suggestions the user called "Ignorunt" gave to you?

I am also a game designer, so I don't mind playtesting. I will use what I've got now. I haven't played it yet... but I read everything I could find about it and I can tell, that it seems to work fine (also it could have some minor flaws, but thats ok.)

What I did now, is to translate the whole package into german... tomorrow I play it, and see how the whole thing works... :D

I also changed the artwork, hope that dosen't bother you. If you are interested I can send you the files for checking it...

Again, many thanks for your great work :goodjob:


P.S: Please forgive me, if my english makes no sense, like I mentioned I am german... ;-)

I just tried this mod today and it is absolutely fantastic! Want to give a big thank you to Rhye for putting all this work into taking a long, boring game and making it into a quick-paced and extraordinarily fun empire-building adventure.

I played a 1v1 with my brother, with two empires bickering over North and South America. Unfortunately, this means that I can't have anything to say about trading, since we didn't do any (it's kind of hard to give an advantage to your only competitor). The game ended with me rushing his capitol when he was 1 turn away from a Space Race, so it was nice, close and balanced. Including the time for set-up and take-down, it was probably less than three hours, so quick and snappy too. We would've just been entering the Middle Ages had we played the original!

What I really liked about it was the balance. The Action Card system is fantastic for this, and helps keep one civ from running away with the lead, as any time someone gains an edge somewhere, they're yielding the advantage somewhere else. I was also pleased to discover that by using reference cards and markers, we were able to play the whole thing without using any cards. The only problems we ran into were remembering which wonders went where and who discovered each tech first (for VP considerations), so you may need cards for those.

Our game was mostly a stalemate in Central America - as I was the Russians (he was Greece) and was Jewish and had built the Great Wall, he couldn't get past Mexico, but as my army consisted mostly of infantry and my bonuses were purely defensive, I couldn't punch through him down into South America, either - at least, not until Tanks came into the picture. This stalemate led to some tense arms races and frantic battles, as well as competitive researching since one tech could easily give the other the advantage they needed - Gunpowder for him would give him Cannons to break my Pikemen, but it would also give me Musketmen to stave them off. All in all a very rewarding game.

A couple of comments:

1) Egyptian unique power seems too good. The ability to shift into Communism on day one and REX with impunity while giving all your opponents a non-trivial stability hit seems too good. That's the only one that seems like it needs changing. We've only used Russia and Greece, though, so perhaps we're off.

2) It'd be nice to see more "permanent" wonders. The Great Wall is the only wonder to date whose benefit lasts beyond the turn where it's built. As it is, they don't really seem tempting enough, to be honest. Maybe make them into mini-unique powers? E.g. have the Colosseum increase the amount of units that can be recruited per settlement/city by 1? Not as good as Rome, but still a nice boost. Maybe have the Taj Mahal give either +1 stability for Consolidating or change Revolution penalty from -2 to -1 (as a mini Babylon or India, respectively)? Eiffel Tower halves the cost of buying techs from 40 to 20? Hanging Gardens halves the cost of upgrading settlements?

Right now, Wonders seem more beneficial for their gold boost than anything else.

3) How does settlement upgrading work? Can it be done on the same turn that the settlement is founded? If not, would building the Hanging Gardens work around this?

What is the formula for taxation?

You get 5 gold for every settlement you own, 10 gold for every city. Double those numbers if you're in a Republic. Add on to that an additional 5 gold for every wonder you've built, as well as an extra 10 or 20 gold if your Stability is high enough. I believe the resource rules are the same as they were in the original. All of this info is on the Taxation action card.
After long break we played the game again. With three players and used map from Mare Nostrum. We felt that game advanced too slowly, we mostly just fought. There just seems to be too much moment compared to actions.

So we came up with nice idea to have more actions per turn. At begin of each round we randomly reveal two actions from extra action deck. When choosing actions player can either choose one of these two, or two actions from four not revealed.

So usually we did two actions per turn, but one of them was usually not so optimal. Sometimes you have to choose only one action, like recruit when the situation was bad.
Thanks! I'll go ahead and post the contents here so they are easier to find:
General questions
Q: What are the action cards for?
A: After movement phase, every player can use one action.

Q: Can more than one player use taxation (or any other card) for example?
A: Yes, as each player has its own set of actions printed.

Q: With the wonders is the great wall defensive bonus always used or just defending inside the city with The Great Wall?
A: Always.

Q: The wonder pyramids: Do you choose a player who skips his action phase in the same round or in the following round?
A: As soon as you build the Pyramids (with a Construction action), you choose a player who skips his action the next time he would normally play an action card. If the player is after you in turn order, he will not get to perform his selected action this turn. If he was before you in turn order, and therefore already played his action this turn, he will skip the action step during the next turn.

Q: Can aircraft end their movement anywhere, or only with a friendly unit or city, or only in a friendly city?
A: When something isn't stated, I meant that it's the same as the Sid Meier's Civilization normal rules. In this case, ending the movement in a place with a friendly settlment/unit/battleship.

Q: During a recruitment action, can I build 2 land units in a city and a fleet in every water space adjacent to the city space? Is this the max number of units you can build at a city in a single action?
A: In a city, 2 units and 1 fleet; in a village: 1 unit and 1 fleet. If you're Rome, no limits.

Q: If you buy a tech in research for 40 Gold you don't have to have the prerequisites, right?
A: No, you actually need them.

Q: Does any player that switches to Republic get a free tech, or just the first?
A: Any player gets the bonus at the moment of the switch, but only the first time he does it.

Q: There is only a limit of building 1 wonder in a village, right? If a city with 2 wonders gets reduced do the wonders stay?
A: Yes, they stay.

Q: Does palace/capital give you anything?
A: It's not just to mark your starting point, and the place where the spaceship is built. It also gives +1 when defending inside the city.

Q: Are palace and spaceship counted as a wonder, during taxation?
A: No.

Q: Does deforestation remove forest?
A: Yes, the marker has to be removed, so that if the city is razed, a new settlement won't need a new deforestation.

Q: Where can the 2 free infantry units obtained by Islam be placed?
A: Only in the newly founded/conquered settlement.

Q: When researching computers, you get all the techs that other players have at this moment or the ones that they get in future?
A: Only the ones they have in that moment.

Q: Does the free taxition that you can get with the Leaning Tower or with the Statue of Liberty include the new build settlements and city upgrades from the same construction phase?
A:Yes it does.

Civ-specific questions
Q: When you use your nation's unique power card, that counts as your action for the turn, right?
A: If there's a specific card for the action (like the Greek one), yes.

Q: If you get 2 extra actions is it allowed to use the same action twice (for example use Suicide as Japan and then do 2 taxations)?
A: Yes.

Q: Does a card like Americas unique action require four cities be used? Or can they reduce one city and grow one. What if there are not four cities?
A: With less than 4 cities, they apply to what exists (up to 3).

Q: Can a Royal Navy ship load an infantry every turn or only when it's build?
A: The bonus infantry only appears when the ship is built.

Q: Incas may settle in the desert, build settlements for free in the forest and build wonders in mountains, right?
A: Yes.

Q: Does Numidians card give you 5 free swordsmen or 5 free infantry units?
A: 5 swordsmen.

Q: When playing the Carthage and France unique powers, is the placement of the 5 new units subject to the unit building limit rules (2 per city, 1 per village)?
A: No.

Q: When can you use these 5 swordsmen? In the movement phase? So that you dont play this action card in the action phase but in the movement phase, so that you can move the 5 swordsmen in the same round?
A: It is an action card, so you select and play it as your action during the action round. The action is merely to place 5 units. Subsequently you get to perform another action of your choice. You cannot move the new units until the next movement phase (next turn).

Note: make sure that the backs of the regular action cards and the backs of these unique power action cards look the same. Otherwise it will not be a secret action if you choose your unique power.
Top Bottom