From Christian Marcussen, the creator of Merchants and Marauders, comes Clash of Cultures, a civilization game in which each player leads a civilization from a single settlement to a mighty empire. Players must explore their surroundings, build large cities, research advances and conquer those who stand in the way. The game features a modular board for players to explore, 48 distinct advances, seven mighty wonders, and loads of miniatures and cards. The winner will create a culture that will be remembered and admired for millennia.
Recently we got a chance to sit down and play a few games. Below is the thoughts of a few of the players.
Clash of Cultures felt like a loving tribute to games like Age of Empires or Civilization. In which players vie for control of a largely untamed and unexplored map while developing a complex and deeply connected tech tree. Ambitious and fun from the word go, I worry that some of the design decisions and play patterns are either too narrow, too resource intensive or too slow to see success. And might prove a trap for inexperienced gamers. Nevertheless I’d be happy to play it again!
A game of extremes, divided essentially right down the middle. The player interaction element is very simple and easy to follow; with a glance you can tell a lot about the state of the game by just what’s visible on the world board. The advancement system is the opposite extreme, very complex and synergistic it’s the key to all of the higher level play in the game. Want to have an army? need an advance. Want to build an academy? need a different advance. There are around forty-eight advances and two games in I’m still finding combinations and synergies to focus on. Overall a great game that can provide multiple strategic elements for those who like to find new paths every time.
This was my second play, and I found myself having the same experience I did the first play through: 1) I feel the actions / dudes on a map part of the game are entertaining and easy to grasp for most people. It has an elegance and simplicity that is welcoming in the 4x genre and combat is simple and quick. BUT 2) The technology board is REALLY dense and a MASSIVE mountain to climb. I find myself overwhelmed by the choices and overall dense way the board is laid out. Beyond this, the pieces are pretty and the game goes by very fast (54 actions don’t nearly feel like enough).