The progress of each player's civilization is tracked through the use of figures and cards on the map tiles, and by tokens and cards on the Market board. To win the game, you must be successfully complete one of the four tracks -- Military, Economy, Culture or Technology -- before your opponents each complete his or her own track of choice. You can build an enduring civilization and win the game by:
- inventing increasingly complex technology, including space flight (Technology)
- ascending the cultural ladder through a variety of artistic accomplishments (Culture)
- destroying an opponent's capital city (Military)
- gathering 15 gold coins (Economy)
Each type of victory is achievable by each civilization, but it's wise to start the game on the path of least resistance by rolling with your civilization's initial strengths. As you follow this obvious progression, however, your opponents will attempt to block your progress through military action or other means. And that's when strategy really comes into play. Working a secondary (but no less powerful) plan can result in a win by building up a secret powerhouse. Technology, for example, can be quietly collected as you pursue a more obvious objective and then employed during a last-round bid for success [source: Goodhead].
And sometimes the best defense really is a good offense. A valid way to defend your capital city is to attack your opponent before he reaches it -- if you have sufficient fighting power to successfully trump your enemy. If you lose, and lose your army cards in the process, your capital city will be left unprotected.
Keep in mind that battles are won not just on the number of army cards each player has, but according to a civilization's accumulated battle powers. (And you'll quickly learn that Civilization's military action doesn't always follow traditional rules. In fact, sometimes it seems almost comical: Footmen can destroy tanks and archers can shoot down airplanes [source: Three Wise Men].) Even if you lose a battle that takes all your army cards, you could still triumph because of your city's defenses, bonuses from barracks or academies, or the expertise of a great general. The possibilities are (purposefully) endless, and it may take a few games before you start to get a feel for how to balance your resources.