Luck should be a part of game, dont u think (Even if it makes two games incomparable)? If everything becomes strategy and game play, some players would never lose a game. What is the point in playing a game, when u r always winning.
Er, sure, that's why only a short time after chess had been invented, it quickly became boring. Good thing they soon invented the extra rule where every player gets to roll two dice each move, and if rolled snake eyes, got an extra queen to place anywhere on the board...
Don't get me wrong: I'm glad civ3 has some random elements built in. But this randomness should only affect small things, like combat results. But when luck can hand you a game-breaker, like a free pyramids or a free great library, I have a problem with that as well. I didn't like the ability of MGLs to rush wonders in PTW as well, and have said so in the past. In a tournament like the Epics, it's all about comparing results, and if I get a free settler from a hut others didn't have gotten, then I may have won the competition but I can take no pride in a victory like this. I remember a certain Epic (forgot which one exactly) where Urugharak got a free settler from a hut, and where he said in his report that this makes his game completely uncomparable to the rest. And he hadn't sounded glad about that.
If you leave out the first row of the ancient age tech tree, and assume that not every tech will be researched until the game ends, there are still about 50 techs that will be discovered first by someone. I'm not sure about the chance of spawning an SGL, but I seem to remember 3% - that would be 1,5 SGLs on average per game, meaning 1,5 free wonders that can completely change the flow of the whole game, that you have no control of and, what I didn't know, you cannot prevent with the editor.
But unlike Sirian, that's not a deal-breaker for me - I still love the game. I would like to see a change there, but will still play it if no change will come. But then I haven't played so many games like he has, and haven't shouldered the burden of organizing such a fine tournament like the Epics.
What I'm a bit surprised about, though, is that Sirian likes (or liked) GalCiv so much. In my dozen or so games I played, I suffered from several random events out of my control which had a much
greater effect on the game than a free wonder, like the fundamentalist's event, or the complete change of alignment from one of the AIs. Imagine in civ3 that suddenly half of the cities of one of your opponents decide to form a new civ, and suddenly you don't face an 800lb gorilla anymore who was just about to invade your core, but two baby gorillas posing no longer any threat and who are now fighting each other instead of you. Ridiculous, IMHO.
But maybe that was another reason why he decided not to organize a similar tournament for GalCiv.