Clash of Cultures – Rules Impressions
Clash of Cultures from board game designer Christian Marcussen is scheduled to be released soon (in fact, the game is currently available for preorder to be picked up at Essen). I’m thoroughly intrigued by the game and somehow missed that the rules were released recently. Although I’ve seen some components for Clash of Cultures previously and know that the game is a Civilization style game, I don’t know anything else about the game, so I figured I would share what was elucidated from my reading of the rules. Clash of Cultures supports two to four players and, according to Board Game Geek, plays in about 240 minutes.
First things first, though, Clash of Cultures has a ton of plastic with it, which is just great for me. The production values that I can see in the rulebook look top-notch. Clash of Cultures is played on a modular board, with the map being created by the players laying tiles made up of four hexes each, with the map starting face down except for the starting areas. Players start Clash of Cultures with an Action card, an Objective card (which typically contains two objectives: one military and one development oriented), and the Farming and Mining technologies (called “advances”). It looks like the game will generally end after 6 rounds (it’s possible for it to end by player elimination, but that appears less likely from what I see) with the players counting up victory points based on cities, technologies, wonders, completed objectives, and some event cards. There are 12 technologies in Clash of Cultures and each of those contains four different advances. You can make your cities bigger, but no city may have a rating (shown by the number of extra pieces you put into the city base, which is a particularly nice touch, with each added building giving the city a bonus) larger than the total number of cities you have. City size determines the amount of resources that the city can gather from adjacent hexes. Each round sees players taking turn performing an action until all players have completed three. You can recruit settlers to go out and found new cities for you, expand your existing cities, enter combat with your opponent (which involves some basic division, since you add up all rolled dice and divide by five, rounded down), and other actions.
All told, the rules for Clash of Cultures are very well laid out and seemed very intuitive. It captures so much of what I love about Civ games without over-complicating the whole thing (although I like over-complicating things on occasion). I definitely look forward to hopefully getting to try Clash of Cultures out in the near future. While Clash of Cultures looks streamlined, it is still pretty meaty, as you can probably tell from the 240 minute estimated playing time, which might take it off the table unless you’re getting a group together for it, although that does play in a single night as opposed to many eight-hour monstrosities.