I waged war against Gandhi in #Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization app (Gandhi and his predecessors, to be exact). By far the heaviest game I've played, but I started to get the hang of how everything works. I didn't even realize how long I had been playing because I was so absorbed with adjusting my tactic to try and win.
Here are my first impressions after the tutorial a few days ago and then completing my first challenge against the AI today:
(+) Great price! - I got it on sale a while back when @nealkfrank let everyone know that it was 50% off for $5.
(++) Tutorial - The tutorial is fantastic and filled with lots of humor. You have "Ancient Vlaada" as your civ's leader who hand-holds you through each element of the game. It's still a lot to take in by the end, but I can't imagine it being anything better. There's been a lot of thought and love put into it and I appreciate that.
(++) App implementation - When I watched a review of the actual game, I knew right then that I'd never own the game myself because it's so darn fiddly. The app takes care of all of the details so that you can completely focus on playing the game and planning your strategy.
(++) Depth of gameplay - I'm a strategy nerd so I can't think of anything but good to say for this. In each turn, a player will go through each of the phases: taking a political action (wage war, show aggression, etc.), then a number of civil actions (increase population and/or advance your civ's food, resource, technological, or cultural production), and lastly a number of military actions (advance military might or tactics). Your limit on the number of these actions will vary depending on your technological upgrades or the type of civilization you have (which you can either upgrade peacefully at a higher cost or revolt at a lower cost but eat away at most of your available number of actions). All of this happens under these other very important strategy elements:
- Card drafting - There's a row of cards that continue to flow in and out that represents the stream of time. You draft the ones that will synergize the best with your strategy or your current tactic. The cards include various civ leaders with different powers, action cards for immediate benefits, and cards that you can build to advance your civilization. There's element of bidding and sometimes needing to take cards you don't even want so that your opponent isn't getting everything his/her own way.
- Leaders - Each of the leaders offer different persisting effects that will help your civ's military, technological, or cultural advancements. This is a big part of the tactical play. Your currently selected leader "dies off" once the deck representing the current age runs out (there are four ages), so it's beneficial for you to swap your leader before this occurs. So if you've been focusing heavily on military with the use of Napoleon, then it's good to start considering what should be the next vision for your civ if you see that all of the upcoming leaders are more focused on the development of technology or culture.
- Workers and resources management - This takes the most time to wrap your head around. You can't simply stockpile resources (ore) and food without making use of them. Otherwise, it will lead to "corruption" where some of these produced goods will get siphoned off and you won't be able to make use of them. You also can't populate your civ with more people without having the capability to support them. Otherwise, they grow discontent and cause a bit of an uprising.
- Besides these, there are a number of other elements that lead to multiple layers of strategy, but I'll keep this short :)
(++) Replay value - I can easily imagine each play being completely different from the other. The variable setup in the order of the cards alone will do this, but there's also the overall play style you can change up on. I'm going to enjoy discovering what are some of the most viable strategies.
(-) Time - It seems to be on the longer side, and I'm not sure if I'd ever want to play against other players, especially if they're prone to AP. There are about 30 different challenges the app offers against AI's, so this will be plenty for now.
Final thoughts: Great game with incredibly smart design ideas, but I'd only play on the app. Also not a good option to play with my wife. Way too heavy and it's just full of potential for aggressive plays @sdirrane (I'm up really late because my son woke up at 2am and couldn't fall asleep until 4am...)