A few friends and I had a conversation about Advanced Civilization some time ago, and we talked about ways to reduce the length of time that is required to play. One suggestion was that some of the disasters are too dangerous and slow the game down too much. These optional rules allow for some reduction of the effects of the tougher disasters. This particularly affects games with fewer players where secondary effects become much more significant.
1. Volcano/EarthquakeNo change.
2. TreacheryNo Change.
3. FamineIn games with only four players, secondary effects are limited to 12 tokens. In games with only 3 players, secondary effects are limited to 10 tokens. In games with only 2 players, secondary effects are limited to 8 tokens.
4. SuperstitionNo Change.
5. Civil WarSince good communications help prevent this sort of thing, the technology Roadbuilding will also reduce the effect of Civil War in the same fashion as Music and Drama and Poetry.
Also, the technology Philosophy seems to have a negative effect on Civil War rather than a positive one. Generally a Civil War will result in the beneficiary recieving between 5 and 10 tokens. A 15 token gain is rare except for early in the game. By the time someone acquires Philosophy, one also is likely to have Music, Drama & Poetry, and there is a good chance that he has Democracy as well. Even with nine cities one rarely goes over 65-70 tokens, and the civilization that is able to stay consistently at 9 cities is rather rare. In the end, Philosophy ensures that you will lose a minimum of 15 tokens, and also prevents you from having any say in which tokens you lose.
Not sure why this is, but instead I recommend this option: Philosophy has the effect of limiting the maximum size of the second faction to 15 tokens. If after token selection the second faction is larger than 15 tokens, the beneficiary must decide which 15 tokens to take. The remainder are returned to the first faction.
6. Slave RevoltNo Change.
7. FloodIf the primary or secondary victim posesses Engineering, the maximum number of tokens they can lose to a flood is equal to half the number of tokens they posess on that floodplain (round up).
8. Barbarian HordesInstead of 15 tokens, the number of barbarian tokens that attack is equal to 10 plus 2 for each era the player has passed on the AST. In other words, a player in the Late Bronze Age has passed the Stone Age and Early Bronze age, so he is invaded by 10+4=14 barbarian tokens.
Also, if the player being invaded posesses Military, then each time the Barbarians enter a new territory of his the barbarians lose one token before conflict is resolved.
Additional Option: if the Barbarians conquer a city, a trade card is drawn at random from the losing player's hand. That card is placed face down on the board underneath the Barbarian tokens present there. When those tokens are completely removed from the board in a later turn by a player through conflict, the player who won the conflict gets the trade card. If more than one player has tokens in the space, then the card remains on the board until only one player has tokens in that space.
9. EpidemicEpidemic can be a real Civ-killer since most of the tokens usually have to come from cities.
Reduce the number of tokens from the Primary victim to 12, and secondary losses are reduced to 20, no more than 8 per player. If there are only 4 players, secondary losses are reduced to 12. In games with only 2 or 3 players, secondary effects are limited to 8 tokens.
Medicine reduces losses for Primary victims by 6 and for Secondary victims by 4. Roadbuilding increases casualties by the same amount.
10. Civil DisorderEither: All but three of the Primary victim's cities are reduced, OR half the Primary victim's cities are reduced, rounding down, whichever is less. Therefore the primary victim may never lose more than four cities from Civil Disorder.
Music, Drama & Poetry, Law, Democracy, and Enlightenment (new) reduce the number of reduced cities by one each.
Military and Roadbuilding increase the number of reduced cities by one each.
A single player is selected as a secondary victim. That player reduces two cities. However, the technologies that affect primary victims have the same effect for secondary victims. The player that traded Civil disorder to the primary victim cannot be the secondary victim.
11. Iconoclasm & HeresyFour Cities belonging to the primary victim are reduced.
Law, Philosophy, and Military (new) reduce the number of reduced cities by one each. Theology reduces the number of reduced cities by three. A secondary victim with Theology reduces one less city than he is assigned (new).
Monotheism and Roadbuilding increase the number of reduced cities by one each.
12. PiracyThe Primary victim has two of his coastal cities attacked by pirate tokens. The cities are chosen by the trading player. If the Primary victim has less than two coastal cities then no other cities are attacked. If the primary victim has no coastal cities at all then this Calamity has no effect.
Each city is attacked by 5 tokens plus one token for each era the player has passed (i.e. a player in the Early Iron age has passed both Bronze ages and the Stone age, so his cities would be attacked by stacks of 5+3=8 tokens each). If the victim posesses Military, the number of attacking tokens is reduced by one per city. Also, if any of the victim's ships are present in the same space as the city, the number of attacking tokens is reduced by one per ship.
Conflict is resolved normally. If the pirate tokens are victorious and there are Pirate tokens remaining in the space, then the remaining pirate tokens are replaced by a pirate city token. In addition, for each pirate city formed in this way, the victim who lost the city also loses a trade card at random from his hand. This trade card is placed under the pirate city and is given to whichever player conquers the pirate city.
The primary victim then selects two coastal cities belonging to two separate players, neither of which may be the trading player. These cities are attacked by Pirate tokens in the same manner as the Primary victim's cities were, and with the same number of tokens each.
In a two or three player game only one secondary victim is chosen and one of his coastal cities is attacked.