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Tips & Strategies (17)

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10
Miniature Painter
Expert Advisor
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Advanced Reviewer
31 of 32 gamers found this helpful
“Keep 3- and 4-player Cards Separate”

As a new player to the game, I find that storing the extra cards that get added for additional players away from the main decks is a must. It is too easy to forget and mix them in when they are not needed.

After completing a two-player game, we excitedly began shuffling for another engagement. Halfway into our exciting sequel, we realized that we forgot to remove the “extra” cards which had been on the bottom of the tray holding the decks. This completely changed the course of history!

I recommend a small ziplock bag for each set of additional player cards. Just keep them somewhere obvious so they don’t get left out!

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10
Miniature Painter
Expert Advisor
Inventor
Advanced Reviewer
45 of 47 gamers found this helpful
“Limiting Technology Advancements”

Science is arguably the most important commodity in this game. Care must be taken when choosing what technologies to invest into. A well planned Science budget will set the foundations of a successful civilization.

Playing technologies of the same type from consecutive ages is almost always a mistake. The upgrade benefit is marginal comparable to the huge investment of paying the Science cost twice. If you have played the Age I tech, skip over the Age II counterpart and consider upgrading during Age III instead. Use the saved Science to advance a different technology line and further diversify your civilization.

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10
Miniature Painter
Expert Advisor
Inventor
Advanced Reviewer
26 of 27 gamers found this helpful
“Small Army Tactics Benefit Colonization”

Tactics that require fewer units, such as Fighting Band and Medieval Army, provide flexibility to a player who is hoping to colonize more often. This balances the generally lower strength bonus they provide.

The smaller armies enable a player to bid more exactly for colonies because they offer more options for sacrificing units to achieve specific strengths. This results in being able to send some units to the new colony while still maintaining decent strength to deter subsequent aggressions, while a player with large armies would be forced into an all-or-nothing decision. There is also a better chance of having extra units not currently in an army which can easily be used to colonize during other players turns with minimal penalty, since immediate replacement is not possible. Sacrificed armies are also easier to rebuild to regain their strength bonus.

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3
I play purple
36 of 38 gamers found this helpful
“A Must Do Tip”

In my experience with this game, there are two things you must do or at least not ignore the possibility of doing. I’ll keep it short, so keep these in mind:

Use/Hold/Kill Napoleon
Do not let your opponent get Napoleon and use him early in the game, especially in a 2p situation. He gives your opponent quite the upper hand with military, especially if you haven’t been drawing bonus defense cards (because that means your opponent has).

Joan of Arc + St. Peter’s Basilica
The combination of Joan of Arc (Age I) and the St. Peter’s Basilica wonder is pretty powerful. Build the wonder early and then build a Temple or two (and upgrade them). Grab Joan and put her into play. She just increased your military strength by 1 for every smiley face and your wonder doubles your smiley faces.

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7
I play black
Paladin
Knight-errant
BoardGaming.com Gold Supporter
33 of 35 gamers found this helpful
“Balance in all things, and then some.”

It’s important to build a balanced civilization, but also to focus on a strength. Balance will give you defense and let you progress, but focus will give you victory.

Make sure your food production keeps up, or you will not be able to get more population for your buildings or military.

Make sure your resource production keeps up, or your won’t be able to add building, complete wonders, or add military.

Make sure your science production is decent, or you will never get your improvements and governments out, and you may end up with a full hand when you really need that card available.

Make sure not to neglect Happiness and culture production, or you will have to deal with civil unrest, and be out of the game before you start.

Make sure your military strength doesn’t lag too far behind, or you will be ripe for your enemies to attack, and you will make it far too easy for them to colonize. If you have a decent military, then the threat of reprisals makes aggression risky, and bidding gets much more interesting for the colonies.

Colonies can make or break you! Some of them add resources or food, science, military strength, or culture. They can swing the game.

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2
Freshman
Reporter Intern
32 of 34 gamers found this helpful
“Don't Mention the War”

This might be quite evident for those familiar with the game, but it’s something that struck me after my last session (which was my fifth, I believe).

Never, ever, disregard your military. Not only will you not be able to pick up some juicy colonies, the other players will invariably take advantage of your weakness. Of course it is impossible for all players to be strongest at all times, but if you don’t lag behind too far, as soon as someone does play an Aggression or a War card, they will be weakened afterwards, and therefore ripe for others or yourself to take advantage of.

Of course this only applies to the Advanced and Full games, and only then if you don’t play the Peaceful variant. Personally, I like the additional tension that the possibility of Aggression or War brings, it keeps people on their toes and provides even more tough decisions for all players when they’re spending their valuable population and resources to build stuff.

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2
Subscribed to BG News
31 of 33 gamers found this helpful
“Recognise the importance of playing events even when u are the weakest civ”

After a bunch of games with my friends and on the lower ratings of boardgaming-online, I noticed that whenever I get an military advantage, my opponent will stop playing events cards so as not to trigger the events that I events that I have played. While I admit that this is the normal psychology, I would advise you to play you events none the less and just deal with the consequence. there’s a few reason behind this:

1) even if you are not triggering the event this turn, your opponent is going to trigger it on his turn. In doing so, he is adding YET another strength based event that will hurt you again in the future. At the same time he gets the culture from it.

in essence, you are only delaying the bad stuff for one extra turn.

2) on the other hand, if you seed some good/neutral events or colonies, you are going to make future events not going to hurt you any further. you do this at the cost of triggering the bad event one turn earlier, but for your trouble, you are given more breathing space in the future AND culture for it.

3) by having your own events, you can better plan in the future. in TTA, only the military deck is unknown, all other cards are public knowledge. having information about future events can drastically change the game for the informed. why give up this aspect to your opponent, just to delay one turn of bad event?

4) no civ is forever mighty. by seeding your own events, you keep your opponent guessing as well. can he afford to sacrifice units for colonies and risk a strength event from you while he is weakened? or could it be that you planted Terrorism or Rats in the event? It gives the strong player more risk in triggering events and may even further delay bad events from coming out.

of cos, this is a generalisation. there are times when delaying a bad event for one turn is extremely crucial. but those are the exception rather than the norm. also, over the course of the game which last mostly over 15 turns, the culmulative culture you gain from events can total up to the range of 20-30, which can means the difference of defeat and victory.

If you find yourself almost never playing event, read this tip and give your next game a try!

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
30 of 32 gamers found this helpful
“Strategies of the ages”

In “Through the Ages” each of the four game parts (“ages”) is a little different and it requires a slightly different approach. Here is a simple set of strategic guidelines I use that gives some advantage to careful players:

Age A – ancient times. Know all the leaders! Be prepared to play with any of the ancient leader, know its strengths and weaknesses and focus your development to gain as much as you can from your leader presence.

Age I – middle ages and Renaissance. Either / or! You should either focus on general development of your civilization not taking to much care about acquiring culture points or – if you have an opportunity – you should execute powerful combos focused on gaining culture quickly. If you play Theology / Michelangelo / St. Peter’s, your opponents may even immediately concede… But if you focus on development you should not worry about gaining a few culture points. You’ll get them later.

Age II – discoveries and enlightenment. Expand! You can get quite a lot from new colonies. It’s also a good moment when you can dominate the game by military force if other players have still ancient units only.

Age III – modern times. Don’t be greedy! The game will end soon, so focus on gaining culture. Building a level III mine or lab can be plentiful but only if you have enough time to use it. So count the probable number of remaining turns and plan your development ahead as precisely as you can!

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4
Critic - Level 2
Strategist
Gamer - Level 4
35 of 38 gamers found this helpful
“War is not the only way”

While it is obvious that military power can be extremely powerful in this game, I have one probably ten or more games with absolutely nothing but warriors, and then only a minuscule amount. This may sound crazy, but it is very possible. The key is to gain such a lead on culture, that any war against your civilization will be meaningless. Here are some keys to doing this
*Grab every single culture boosting leader that you can. I’m not completely sure who the best Age A leader is, maybe Hammurabi, but Michelangelo is the essential Age I leader, and Shakespeare or Bach follow him quite nicely. A great Age III leader to grab is Elvis/Charlie Chaplin (depending on the version) or I have also finished my games out with Ghandi, who can protect you from your opponents military as long as you have obtained the boost that you should have from your other leaders.
*Certain wonders can be game breaking when paired correctly. The most powerful combination in the game has to be St. Peter’s Basilica plus Michelangelo. When you drop Organized Religion with this pair, a single temple will produce a whopping 7 culture! Heavy culture wonders like the Taj Mahal or the Eiffel Tower are great for this strategy. The Hanging Gardens is also a great wonder to have with Michelangelo, and the Ocean Liner Service or Transcontinental Railroad can give your economy a strong boost. Just keep your eye out for these incredible combos.
*Your economy must be strong. You have to be able to build these urban buildings that will give you your culture lead. Get your economy stable as soon as possible.
*In order to keep your economy strong and to be able to get the right urban buildings, science is a must! I have found Libraries can help a lot, and there are also wonders that can get you the science you need to. Don’t neglect science!
*Events can be essential to your game. Don’t play any military events, unless you need to trigger an important event that you planted earlier. Always remember that you score points for triggering events. Even if an event doesn’t directly help you, if it won’t hurt you either, play it! Those culture points are what is going to win you the game.
*Now I know that keeping all of these elements under control can sometimes be impossible or at least extremely hard because of the layout of the card row. So don’t be afraid to supplement any element that you are lacking with yellow action cards. You just need to always keep your eye out for the cards that are essential. Don’t fill your hand with cards that will not help you.

Above all, a good strategy for any game is to be able to adapt. You cannot enter the game thinking, “I am going to play a heavy culture strategy this game” or anything of the sort. You need to keep your eye on the card row to see what combos are coming up, and adapt your strategy from the cards that you can take. Eventually, once your strategy takes shape, you need to focus on that strategy, but at the beginning of the game you need to be open to whatever game style presents itself to you. But if you are falling behind militarily, this strategy has worked for me many times. Hope it helps!

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10
Miniature Painter
Expert Advisor
Inventor
Advanced Reviewer
26 of 28 gamers found this helpful
“Peaceful Nations Benefit from Extra Military Actions Also”

Cards that provide additional Military Actions can be helpful even when aggression and Strength are not high on your priorities. Military actions not spent for building units are used for extra draws from the Political Deck at the end of your turn. These extra cards can provide better access to the defense cards and better Event options, allowing you to play around your Strength deficit more effectively. A particularly dangerous Political Card could also be maintained in your hand just to prevent opponents from drawing into it after a reshuffle.

Keep an eye on the card row for cheap opportunities to pick up Military Actions. A small investment in Warfare could provide just enough tactics to keep you out of trouble during conflicts, and a large hand of saved Political Cards may dissuade opponents from targeting you in the first place.

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4
Critic - Level 2
Strategist
Gamer - Level 4
34 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Tactics: the best way to win a war”

When I am playing a military game, I have found that the only way to win is to effectively use my tactic cards. Otherwise, there is no way to get enough strength to make a big enough difference. In order to effectively use tactics though, you need a good science base. Establish this base early in order to always have the most recent units and other important techs. Cartography and Warfare technologies can be really helpful, because military actions are essential in order to keep the right cards in your military hand. You need to be able to draw three cards every turn, because unless you get wars or aggressions, or military events, your military strategy will be kaput. Drawing cards will also help you get the tactics you need. Then, in Age II, grab Napoleon! If you have followed the steps up to that point, he will turn you into a powerhouse! Then declare as many wars as possible! Your opponent should crumble under your might!

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
33 of 36 gamers found this helpful
“Pax Mongolica”

Pax Mongolica – a historic period in Asia, when there was no competition to the Mongol army, so the Mongols rule the continent without any real need to actually use their army.

It’s obvious that the Age I leader Genghis Khan is worthless without mounted military units. It is not so obvious that the combo of that leader with “knights” military technology is one of the most powerful ones in the whole game.

If you can get both knights and Genghis at the beginning of the first age – do so even if you pay many actions for acquiring these cards. And if you are fortunate enough to get them both you would probably like to keep them to the end of Age II when the Khan becomes obsolete. Upgrading the cavalry to level 2 units during Age II is welcome but not necessary.

The power of this combo is in the fact that it gives you military advantage and it generates culture at the same time. Your opponents have to choose: either they compete with you on the military field (and slow their cultural development down) or they allow you to bother them with aggressions and – later – even wars. Either way – you have the upper hand.

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2
Gamer - Level 1
30 of 33 gamers found this helpful
“Early Game Tips for Beginners.”

-Your first full turn should almost invariably include building a third bronze and increasing your population. If you picked up ideal building site during your initial turn you can build a philosophy instead. This will gain you an additional science. On your second turn build a philosophy (or bronze). Resources and Science are extremely important in the early game.
-Try to keep a worker available while there are Age A events still to come. The Development of Religion event is something that you really can’t afford to miss out on if it comes up. Your opponents will be getting a free temple, be sure to get yours too.
-Alchemy, Iron, and Knights are all worth 2 civil actions. These are probably the 3 most important Age I cards. Iron and Alchemy are fairly obvious, and Knights give you access to all the Age I tactics. If you’re in a 3 (or 4) player game, the second (third) Iron card might even be worth 3 actions, depending on the situation.

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1
33 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Rule the card row, don't let it rule you”

Of course your strategy should change based on what is and isn’t available in the card row. However, you can also manage that, and in my oppinion that’s probably the most important part of the game.

Always look at what came up in the three actions section. You won’t take it, most likely (only in very few cases it’s worth it to take a card for three actions), but you can predict where it will be in future turns. And if it’s your turn, you can also take more or fewer cards to manage that.

For example, if the last Iron is in the second three actions spot, and you are player three and both one and two already have Iron, then you might want to not take any cards, so player four would have to spend three actions to get Iron, or leave it for you to take with just one. In both cases you win — either four overspends, or you get the last iron for one action.

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
25 of 30 gamers found this helpful
“Don't get caught by the ends of ages”

Remember that some cards become obsolete when one age ends and another begins.
Prepare yourself earlier not to get caught and discard too many cards or worse face disasters after losing your leader.
This tip seems obvious, yes, but amazingly many players forget about that…

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8
Gamer - Level 8
Expert Recruiter
Count / Countess
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
26 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Leaders: You gotta have 'em!”

Leaders are very important in this game. My advice is that early on, be willing to spend extra resources to get one. If at all possible, get Hammurabi. The action boost is essential. It’s important to note that this is a resource management game, and actions are the most important resources. Be willing to spend generously early on to snag a leader that will boost your actions.

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
24 of 36 gamers found this helpful
“Next Chance”

Warning: Applying this rule makes the game last longer and leads to higher total scores.

For the civil card I, II and III, other than leaders (!) when they are taken out the queue due to not being bought, set them aside. Unhired leaders and used up cards should be discarded as usual. When the deck of a given age ends, shuffle the set aside cards and continue the current age, but after this operation all unused cards from the current age are discarded normally. When the recycled stack ends the age ends as per normal game rules.

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