I have been playing Civilization The Board Game some times with my girlfriend, but each time, the game quickly becomes a race for the tech-victory. Since it is a large advantage to research tech in general, this victory is easy, and we do never even attack each other, since the tech victory is easier.

Can you propose some alternative rules which would change this behavior? We thought about just removing the possibility to win by tech, but my prediction is, that this will just make culture-victory the new tech-victory.


7 Answers 7


For simplicity, I will focus on the base game (Sid Meier's Civilization the Board Game, as published in 2010) without any expansions because this is what I assume you are currently playing.

Tech victories are common while learning the game rules. This is because the Research phase acts as a sort of timer; if everyone acquires approximately 1 technology per turn, then someone's tech victory is likely to happen close to the 15th turn regardless of other game events. Tech victory is what eventually happens if the empires are grown without focussed strategies, or if opportunities to advance are often missed (fewer strategically useful actions per player per turn).

However, after the learning phase is over, you will see that tech victories are not at all that common. In fact a tech victory is quite a feat for anyone except Russians, whose espionage is the easiest way to speed up research.

And some speed up is very much necessary. Games played between seasoned players are won around the 11th turn in one way or another.


We recently played the Civilization Board Game with 3 players and had a similar experience. In our case one of the players was the Soviets (who have the ability to "steal" tech by marching units into other players cities), and also managed to get a wonder allowing them to steal a technology once per turn. This speeded up the tech victory win, however in fairness all 3 of us were within 4-5 turns of a tech victory by the end of the game anyway.

We came to the conclusion that the tech victory was a bit of a cheap win (much like the tech victory condition in the computer game) because researching tech is something you need to do anyway in order to remain competitive at all.

In future games we may simply disallow the tech victory (I don't think that the culture victory will take its place as a unlike tech, getting culture points is something that you need to explicitly work on - often at the detriment of city development / research / military), however my suspicion is that this will lengthen the game considerably. Our game was fairly lengthy (about 3 hours) and so with hindsight it might be that we just weren't being agressive enough with the alternative victory conditions.

Update: Having played a couple more games (included 1v1 games) I've concluded that a tech victory is just a side-effect of being too nice to each other! Charging at each other with traditional armies generally seems to bring games to a close long before anyone is close to a tech victory.


I've been thinking about this problem. On top of that I've also noticed that the wonders barely get used in our games.
So we thought it might work to restrict level 3+ tech until after the 4 ancient wonders are placed, then restrict level 5 until all medieval wonders are placed.
Haven't tested this yet but I think it might work to balance the huge benefits of learning tech.


The easiest solution in general if you want to make a 'feature' less likely chosen is to make it more expensive or add (additional) preconditions. In this case you can make it more expensive.

However, you also have to watch out for not unbalancing the game.

  • 1
    Have you tried this? How did it work out?
    – Pat Ludwig
    Aug 9, 2012 at 15:56
  • No I haven't tried it myself. Aug 9, 2012 at 21:31

well, in the computer game, you can control which victories to implement. you can check the box by the domination victory, so that no one can we by domination for example. the simple fix for this is to decide at the beginning of the match that victory by technology is not an option. hope this helps.


In our games, the game is usually won by someone conquering a capital city.This is even with the Fame and Fortune expansion.


Once you master the game, wonders are used a lot more, and the Rationalism and Pacifism social policies are necessary for a tech victory (sans Russia).

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