Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn
A New Dawn is the latest in the line of Civilization-style board games. Fantasy Flight has managed another solid game while simultaneously reducing the difficulty of the genre significantly. From now on, A New Dawn seems to be the best way to introduce gamers to the genre, taking a hybrid-like approach that allows those familiar with role-selection games (such as Race for the Galaxy and Puerto Rico) to learn the basics of the Civ board game world.
In their quest to bring a simple game to the genre, the designers managed something quite brilliant. The “role-selection” style of taking actions reduces the complexity of each game turn, allowing for less downtime. In addition, the hex-style map and art on the game components are some of the best we’ve seen in Civ games yet.
The addition of barbarians and the changed area control mechanics (when compared to the previous FFG Civ board game) are a breath of fresh air. These changes make for simplified but interesting combat mechanics. Players are force to pay attention to their military might, at risk of losing everything. A similar feeling is present throughout the entire game: no one mechanic or focus seems too powerful. Each of the five possible “focuses” a civilization can take are equally interesting and useful. Overall, the game plays very smoothly with only later turns being prone to analysis paralysis. If anything, we would complain about the lack of differing civilizations, but this will surely be fixed with later expansions.
Our Review: 8 / 10
Civilization: A New Dawn is the perfect teaching tool the Civilization genre needed. With a simpler game, it’s possible to introduce players to the genre without overwhelming them all at once. Definitely keep a look out for this one, as our first batch sold fast.