While I didn’t get a full demo of the new Civilization board game from Fantasy Flight Games, I did get a glimpse of it in action. This isn’t a full overview, more of a brief taste.
New Dawn is a little less 4X and more Euro than its predecessor (Civilization: the Board Game). This isn’t a remake, a new edition, or a sequel, but rather an attempt to streamline the Civ experience into a 90 minute strategy game. You will collect resources and spread your control across the map, although I don’t believe there is direct military combat against other players. No big battles with plastic miniatures, anyway.
The primary driving mechanism of the game is a row of cards in front of you – one for each player. You choose which card to activate (and have the opportunity to swap in cards from your hand), but the farther down the row a card is, the more powerful its effect. The plastic city miniatures are neat-looking, and there’s a bright civ-looking board with barbarians, different terrain, and specialty resources. As always there’s technology, culture, military, production, and wealth to manage, although I didn’t necessarily see how all of that played into the game.
The goal of each game is randomly determined through a set of 3 victory cards, dealt at the start of the game. In order to win, you’ve got to be the first to accomplish the goals on those victory cards – but each presents 2 options, and you only need to do one, and it’s my understanding that you can get those those victory conditions in multiple ways. You might go for artistic or technological development, or try and influence city-states and expand your control of the map. You can fight barbarians with military and even take over land by force.
So overall, this isn’t trying to replicate Civilization VI in board game form the way Civilization: The Board Game did for Civ IV. But it does seem to be trying to capture the spirit of the Civ video games, building your own empire as you see fit and trying to conquer the world – in one way or another.