Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition

RRP: £149.99
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RRP £149.99
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Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition brings back the classic game of exploration, expansion, and development with all new updates! Grow your civilization, advance your culture and tech, and leave your mark by building Wonders.Includes the highly sought after Civilizations and Aztecs expansions for an epic adventureFully sculpted minis of the 7 Wonders included for the first time.
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Category Tags , SKU ZBG-WZK87515 Availability Out of stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Great miniatures and components
  • Great strategy and player interaction
  • Nice take on the civilization genre

Might Not Like

  • Some miniature could have been designed better
  • I want more expansions and more options for my civilizations!
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Description

Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition brings back the classic game of exploration, expansion, and development with all new updates! Grow your civilization, advance your culture and tech, and leave your mark by building Wonders.Includes the highly sought after Civilizations and Aztecs expansions for an epic adventureFully sculpted minis of the 7 Wonders included for the first time.

Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition is a highly anticipated update to the original 2012 game of the same title.

In the game, you will be able to rule your own civilization – bringing it from a single settlement to a mighty empire. To achieve this goal, players must explore their surroundings, build and expand cities, research advances, and conquer those who stand in their way.

With respect to the original, this edition comes with 250 nicely sculpted miniatures made in partnership with WizKids. It also includes the Civilizations and the Aztecs additions right in the box. Originally sold as separate expansions, these were almost impossible to find.

Gameplay

Clash of Cultures: Monumental Edition is a very classic game of exploration, expansion, and development.

Each player begins the game with one simple village and a single settler unit. From there, each player could pursue the victory in many different ways. Each culture could, in fact, pursue a balanced development focused on any of the 9 areas of the tech tree. An expansion included in the box also allows one to pose as one of the ancient cultures, each with specific traits and advantages.

Whenever you choose to play, the final score will be strongly driven by how much you have grown your culture and civilization. A strong military focus could help in keeping the other cultures at bay, but may not necessarily win you the game.

The game unfolds over 6 or 7 ages, with each age consisting of 3 rounds and a status phase. During each round, a player could only perform 3 actions from those available. The action range includes:

  • exploring the modular board to find new resources
  • collect resources
  • grow population and cities
  • develop new technologies
  • hire military units

Some of your actions may have an impact on your population’s happiness, which influences how efficiently your kingdom produces resources, buildings, and units. Among the possible actions, the advance option is critical to your success. It allows a player to trade resources to develop any one of the different fields of study. Any advance in a field could also bring you an instant bonus in the form of a happiness or culture token and it could unlock new buildings and advances.

The advance also comes at a cost, as every three a player takes will trigger an event. Events are designed to spice up the game by bringing advantages together with some challenges for all the players. Barbarians and pirates, for example, are both added to the board and activated as part of some events.

While growing their kingdom, players will also need to face Barbarians, pirates, and any other players in order to expand their culture. Battles are pretty straightforward: roll some dice, calculate unit bonuses, and remove casualties. Overall, it is a very efficient process that keeps this aspect of the gameplay well balanced with the rest.

Besides the mechanics above, there are a lot of other options to keep you busy and to add strategic options: using your civilization-specific traits; building one of the unique wonders; extending your cultural influence to another player city, etc etc.

The overall gameplay is very smooth but complex enough to allow the players a good range of strategic options.

Game Components

As soon as you get Clash of Cultures: Monumental edition,  you realise this game is quite massive. The miniatures and all the other components fill a box that weighs just below 4 Kg!

The miniatures are of course one of the game’s big features. Each player has a set in their own colour, including 6 different military units and 16 different building pieces. Not all the pieces are equally represented. This brings balance to the game by pushing a player to plan strategically what to build and where.

The sculpt of the models is really well done and adds a lot to the game experience. The city’s pieces in particular are fantastically produced. In fact, each city expansion fits around the village settlement piece as a quarter of a bigger circle. I love how they fit together as you grow your city. It also helps a lot to remember that you could only have 4 expansions in each city.

Military units are quite nice as well, although a couple of them could be a bit better thought out. In fact, both the cavalry and the leader units feature a small part (spear and flag) that feels too thin and tends to bend. This doesn’t necessarily ruin the game, but I wish the models had been designed differently.

The box also includes 8 unique wonders represented by gold-washed models and a set of barbarians and pirates’ villages and units. The wonders are quite nice and their colour makes them stand out when you finally manage to build them.

Player boards, map tiles, player aids, various tokens and markers, dice, and one set of coloured cubes per player complete the box.

The cardboard components feel solid and they have nice and clear artwork. The tech board is die-cut and the cubes are set nicely beside each achievement. I would have expected the board to be double-layered but I must admit the design works very well.

The randomness of the map tiles is not very high. I wish they would have made some more extreme tiles to make the maps more interesting. The various tokens, markers, and dice aren’t exceptionally designed, but they get the job done. I think it would have been great to have acrylic tokens or cubes for culture and happiness instead of cardboard ones.

The rulebook and the player aids are great resources for any challenges you face over your first few games. They are very well written. The rulebook explains the game very clearly using some great examples and visual cues. Considering the complexity of the game, this was not easy to achieve.

Final Thoughts

First thing first: I really, really love this game! I grew up playing the Civilization series and this board game does an amazing job of recreating the same great experience.

Thematically, the game succeeds in recreating the feeling of leading your settlers from a few huts to develop into one of the greatest cultures.

At the same time, the theme is probably the greatest weakness of this board game. The theme and gameplay are aimed at people that are really into strategic games and that could commit to long hours of gameplay. I found games could last between 2 and 4 hours, sometimes requiring multiple sessions. The length is not a negative aspect per se, but it could limit the number of times this game comes to the table.

On another hand, you really want a civilization game to be lengthy. Simplifying the options available for the development of your culture will shorten the game, but it will also take away the great feeling of being in control of your civilization.

Crash of Cultures has achieved a good balance between detailed gameplay and playability. The result allows good control of your development while leaving a nice degree of flexibility. This last one will make each game last longer and I like to consider this a good feature in this game.

The number of choices you have is, in fact, another great aspect of this game. Each player will have the opportunity to change their strategy at each game, providing a very different experience every time. Chance plays a good part in the game in the form of goals, events, barbarians, and dice rolls, but you will find that chance will not make you win or lose the game.

Together with a good re-playability, I think Clash of Cultures also comes out surprisingly well in terms of scalability. I found the game plays really well with only 2 players, making the game perfect for small sessions. More players will bring more player to player interaction, but the game will get lengthy and more complex. Personal preference goes to 2 or 3 player games, due to a good balance of length and player interaction.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Great miniatures and components
  • Great strategy and player interaction
  • Nice take on the civilization genre

Might not like

  • Some miniature could have been designed better
  • I want more expansions and more options for my civilizations!