11 December 2017
Spin-off for smaller groups also in the works
Taking around six hours to play, Avalon Hill’s hugely influential empire-building epic Civilization is a long game.
But even it pales in comparison to Mega Civilization, a reimagining of the 1980 classic released a couple of years ago that blew up its simulation of 8,000 years of human civilisation to support up to 18 players – and take twice as long to play.
After eight years in development, Mega Civilization was released as a numbered collector’s edition in 2015, packing its 3,000-plus pieces into an enormous wooden box that cost $200 (£150) and weighed 11kg. The game was so limited that each copy came with a certificate of authenticity – even now, you can expect to pay hundreds for a second-hand copy.
It will soon be easier to find a copy of Mega Civilization, though, as its creators have announced a new edition of the game due for release next year.
Mega Civilization: The West is a slightly trimmed-down version of the original, dropping the player count to between five and nine people and halving the map size to ‘just’ two boards.
Co-designer Flo de Haan explained in a BoardGameGeek thread that the team eventually plans to release a second box, Mega Civilization: The East, which could then be recombined with The West to recreate the full 18-player experience.
De Haan added that a price and release date is yet to be decided beyond sometime in 2018, but confirmed The Wes would come in a standard cardboard box and include components equivalent in quality to the first Mega Civilization, with no plans to reprint the limited wooden-box collector’s edition.
The creators are also working on a revised set of rules for the original Mega Civilization, which will then be refined into the rules for The West.
Beyond its plans for The West and The East, de Haan said that the Mega Civilization designers were also developing an even more compact version of the game for smaller groups – but that it would be a spin-off, rather than a new edition.
“Yes, there are many options to changes for three to four players, but we believe that has so much impact to the basics of the game, that we wouldn't wanna call that Mega Civilization,” de Haan explained. “We would love to develop that, and we're working on it. But that's gonna be a different game.
“The changes may include a different trading-system, fewer advances, different mapboard, different civilizations, different rules for calamities, fewer commodities, etc. You see, that's quite a change to the original. Therefore we kept our focus for Mega Civilization to the rules we created for five to 18 players.”