Arizona’s First 6-Player Game of Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea

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Above is a photo of the first large multi-player game of Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea conducted in Arizona.  It was essentially a learning game for the pictured entirely Euro Gamer participants (sorry, I did not record all their names… but you should recognize me, upper left hand at the table, in the white shirt… yup, I came to the gathering straight from a work day at the office).  One participant is not pictured because he was the photographer.

The pictured game was held at “Game U”, a local game store in Gilbert, Az.. Owner Jeff would likely appreciate a mention in any piece released since he kindly allowed space for me to demo the game; as would Andy Long, who organized things via a “Meet Up” invitation to budding game designers: The Phoenix Game Design Guild.  Everyone pictured is a budding game designer who described what they’re working on before we commenced play of Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea.

As this was a learning game, we paired players up to for a four Civilization game using only half the map, which is one of the game’s nice features: players can choose the type of game desired.  For this contest, the Civilizations played were Carthage, Mauretania, Gaul, and Rome.  Being veteran gamers, everyone understood Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea‘s game mechanics with a few minutes of my explanation, then got into the experience.

Having players team up not only added to the fun in the usual manner of vying Civilizations seeking to achieve victory, but the interplay between partners in choosing where to expand and initiate competitions (which many were calling Battles), play cards… particularly entertaining when vengeance was involved, and generally enjoy the game’s enfolding narrative was a joy for me, as game developer, to behold. Mark & Chris, perhaps this is a way of playing we should mention somewhere in the game’s material?

When time compelled adjudicating the game, the girl at the photo’s lower right and her grad student friend next to her won the game by a single VP as Gaul.  How did they do that?  Although new to the game, the two were experienced gamers:  they took advantage of the Gaul’s Competition special power to sack Roman Cities… gaining a Talent (money) and 1VP for each.  Oh yes, the banter of puns regarding how one team had “Talent” and another none was oft mentioned at the table… e.g when I asked during a competition resolution if the team would like to give up a Talent or Card in lieu of losing a tile, a response of “We don’t have Talents” got a few chuckles.

Lastest Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea Playtest Map

I showed the group the latest professional map art for the game… note there’s a copy of it on the table.  Everyone loved Chechu’s map.  They got a kick out of the little graphic images placed near each homeland (yup, those were noticed) and are looking forward to seeing the full-sized copy of this attractive and game-play functional piece… as am I.

Today’s Saturday, so one of my new gaming friends here in Arizona is hosting a gaming event at his home… we’ll be playing Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea.


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6 thoughts on “Arizona’s First 6-Player Game of Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea

  1. How long did the game take?

    Looking at the latest map, is it going to be 1 or 2 boards?
    2 boards would be nice if you plan to play only with the Western civilizations, or the Eastern ones, but as I looked at the first picture, I see that the final board seems quite smaller than the playtest one: maybe 1/2 the width?

    • Hi Dennis, The mounted game map will be 17″ by 44″… so pending GMT production’s final guidance, I suspect it will be in two sections of four panels each. So you’re right, that may lend itself very well to just using an eastern or western half map for a particular game.

      The play-test map photographed at the Arizona “Game U” fest is Mark McLaughlin’s hand-drawn 17″ x 42″ map… with white borders on its sides (making the map appear larger) which I had professionally framed. Nice to play on and quite water-proof should anyone have an accident!

      Thanks for your interest in ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF THE INNER SEA!

      • Hi Dennis, I neglected to answer your question regarding how long the game took to play. Due to time constraint, we only played for approximately an hour or so… but what an hour of gaming fun it was!

      • Thanks Fred.
        So the final art map on the table is just a sample and doesn’t represent the final size, which will be around the same as the play-test board. Nice!

        • Hi Dennis, We got through most of a single Epoch at “Game U”. Normal play time will vary by player experience and inclinations (beware an overly analytical type who studies and studies options). Suffice that players familiar with the game can complete a contest in a few hours… e.g. our group in Arizona will meet for a 3-5 player game after work on a weekday and finish a game in a single sitting.

          The framed map on the table in the photo’s playing area is the same as the production version (those white edges made it a bit larger). We’ll start using the new map art next week. The group, myself included, is looking forward to that.

          Thanks for your interest in ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF THE INNER SEA.