Civilization is also one of the best board games ever made, although you will need 6-10 hours to play it. It's clear that Sid Meier used some elements of the board game in his famous computer game, but there's a great difference between the two.

Civilization is played on a board showing the Mediterannean Sea and Middle East, divided into territories of varying size, each of which can support a different number of people. Each player gets a number of double-sided tokens which can be flipped to represent population or wealth.

Each player places two people on the board in a pre-arranged location. Population expands exponentially, doubling (or almost doubling) every turn. Population from different nations can co-exist in one space, as long as they don't exceed the population limits of that space. When they do, tokens are removed one by one, with the smallest Players may collect 6 population in one location to produce a city, which is the basis of the game.

Players with cities receive one "trade cards" equal to the number of cities they have. Each trade card has a different value--if you have 3 cities, you get cards with a value of 1, 2, and 3. Within each value, there are two types of trade goods--for example, the stack of value 1 cards includes Hides and Ochre. Trade proceeds rather as in the game Pit; players trade cards with each other, and get large bonuses for collecting sets of matching cards. After trading, players turn in sets of various point values for civilization advances such as agriculture, navigation, poetry, or mysticism, which give them certain advantages in play.

Civilization also includes a bit of Old Maid. Each stack of trade cards includes a disaster. The person who holds that disaster at the end of a turn must play it and face the consequences (which are often quite severe). Civilizations can frequently lose half or even two-thirds of their cities to a plague or barbarian horde, but the rapid repopulation rate ensures that they will not be knocked out for long.

Civilizations progress along a chart with 17 spaces. Each civilization moves forward on the chart each turn, but must have certain minimum cities and civilization advances to progress beyond a certain point in the chart. The player whose civilization reaches the end of the chart (which represents the late Iron Age, around 400 BC) is the winner--if two or more civilizations reach the end of the chart on the same turn, players count points for advances, cities, and trade goods; the player with the highest point total is the winner.

Civilization can be played by up to 6 people, or 8 people if the Western Mediterannean expansion is added.