A Preview of Sid Meier's Civilization: Wisdom and Warfare Expansion
|Civilization | Published 22 July 2013|
"I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other."
– Napoleon Bonaparte
Recently, we announced Wisdom and Warfare, an expansion for Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game. The Wisdom and Warfare expansion features new unit cards which make combat more tactical than ever, while the addition of Social Policies helps to shape the direction of your growing civilization and refine your government. Six brand new civilizations, new map tiles, and more will help your civilization become greater than you ever imagined.
In today’s preview, guest writer El-ad David Amir discusses the Wisdom elements of the new expansion, highlighting the new social policies and how they impact the game. Let’s hear form El-ad:
Science and society are two crucial pillars upon which empires are borne. In Wisdom and Warfare, the upcoming expansion to Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game, players will encounter new social policies to help them better navigate the fates of their civilizations. Additionally, the sky is no longer the limit as several new mechanics allow for rapid acquisition of techs, making the Space Flight victory more achievable than ever. An able leader will need to incorporate both of these tools in order to ensure the triumph of his or her people.
Shape Your Civilization With Social Policies
Social policies are cards that provide a unique continuous ability. Players can use them to further tailor their civilization to a specific strategy or to cover weaknesses in their game plan. For example, Pacifism gives a bonus culture token at the start of each turn and allows scouts to explore huts, while Military Tradition rewards its civilization with a free unit the first time an army figure is built each turn. Each player begins the game with one social policy of his choice and can adopt an additional one whenever he founds a city (to a maximum of three social policies).
However, the cards are double-sided, and once you adopt a social policy and choose one of its sides, you cannot easily reverse your decision. This creates interesting dilemmas: if you start the game with Natural Religion, giving your armies +1 movement and thus making exploration more efficient, then you will miss out on the coin bonus of Organized Religion later.
Fortunately, a few mechanics (such as the new Bureaucracy tech) break this restriction and allow switching policies, giving you the freedom to shift gears when the time is right.
The French, led by Napoleon, exploit social policies to the fullest by starting the game with two social policies instead of one. The different possible combinations offer many early-game options for this civilization: blitz your opponents by choosing Natural Religion and Military Tradition, dig through the Culture deck using Pacifism and Patronage, or prepare for the long haul with Expansionism and Urban Development.
Later in the game, the French are the only civilization that can adopt four policies, gaining a plethora of bonuses that provide a definite edge. Appropriately, their second ability, a combat bonus, encourages this flexibility. The bonus accommodates an offensive stance and also complements other approaches by reinforcing the French defense and facilitating the conquest of villages. The French versatility encourages thinking outside of the box and finding creative strategies to defeat your foes.
Race to Space With New Tech Options
The new social policies are just one facet of the social reform included in Wisdom and Warfare. The seven governments available in the game have been redesigned. As a rule of thumb, the new governments provide the equivalent of a city action each turn, either directly (such as Monarchy, which doubles your capital’s city actions) or indirectly (as in Fundamentalism, which has a combat bonus and supplies its civilization one culture token each turn for each built army figure).
Even Despotism, the starting government of most civilizations, has been updated with a global production bonus. A byproduct of the new governments and social policies is that research priorities have significantly changed. Monarchy and Communism, which were often neglected in the past, now offer powerful governments in addition to potent abilities. On the other hand, many players felt obliged to get certain techs, such as Code of Laws and Irrigation, in order to maximize their civilization’s success; with these updated governments, there are now several alternatives to each, expanding the options available dramatically.
These new decisions cascade through the game and unlock new choices. Going for a tech victory is one such choice that takes center stage thanks to Wisdom and Warfare. The expansion includes many small additions that are both exciting in their own rights and form a magnificent tech engine when combined. Rationalism, a social policy, allows you to spend some of your trade during the start of turn phase in order to acquire a level one tech, a level two tech, or both, in addition to the regular research phase. Supply Drop is a culture card that provides a significant trade bonus while The Great Lighthouse increases the trade produced by your water tiles. The Notre Dame allows its civilization to double its research each turn, gaining two techs instead of one. Finally, Education, a new tech, brings research to the city management phase through an ability that lets you gain a tech by paying with resources rather than trade. The civilization that combines two or three of these mechanics would quickly reach the coveted space launch, winning the game.
Ruling a nation is a complex endeavor that involves juggling conflicting priorities. The new social policies and governments give leaders opportunities to take a step back and examine the big picture: will you value tradition or innovation? Which system of government will provide you with the resources that you can utilize most efficiently? Whatever you choose, remember to always aim for the stars with the upcoming Wisdom and Warfare expansion.
Thanks El-ad! Keep checking back here for more information about the upcoming Sid Meier’s Civilization: Wisdom and Warfare expansion, and get ready to propel your fledgling empire to greater heights than ever before!
Designed by Kevin Wilson, Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game is inspired by the legendary computer game series created by Sid Meier. 2-4 players take on the roles of famous leaders in charge of historical civilizations, each with his or her own abilities. Players explore a module game board, build cities and buildings, fight battles, research powerful technology, and attract great people by advancing their culture. Choose your path to glory!