Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization is described as a new edition of Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. What are the major changes between the two versions?
The new edition was released during Essen 2015. Information on it was readily available since summer 2015, although the game was still at a prototype state. In brief, the new version revolves around 3 major overhauls:
- Complete graphic redesign. While the older game did work, the cards and the player boards were rather dull. All cards in the new version have their own unique, engaging illustration.
- Card rebalancing: based on analysis of thousands online games, it was noticed that a couple of cards were very strong, while others were very weak or skipped. For instance, nobody was interested in building a new Mine/Farm in late Age II, or everybody was taking Napoleon with 3 Civil Actions. These issues have been fixed.
- Streamlined rules: corruption was an unnecessarily complex phase, so it was moved forward, before production, reducing downtime. Military was also nerfed quite a bit, as sacrifices were completely removed from aggressions & wars and it's a bit easier to defend in the early game.
I would suggest further reading of two comprehensive articles:
BGO Developer Nicholas Vlaada and the rest of his team wrote a detailed list of all the changes, along with his rationale, which has been reprinted on Board Game Geek. In short, it's a lot of rebalancing and changes to the way that certain actions work, but it is largely the same game as before.