One of the great things about this game is that you start with a single piece on the board. From this you build an entire civilization: constructing cities, trading with others and learning arts, crafts, sciences and philosophies. Along the way you'll suffer calamities – which can be a blessing in disguise – and probably get into fights with your neighbours.
It's set around the Mediterranean, with players choosing one of the earliest civilizations to play (Babylon, Crete, Egypt et al). This just sets your starting position, what happens after that is up to you. At the heart of the game is the trading of commodities between players. Essential to enabling players to buy 'Civilization' cards, they can also spread calamities (Epidemics, for example).
If you ask me, this is the greatest game in the entire multiverse and I am so pleased to see the Gibsons edition back in print.
For 2-7 players (at least 4, I reckon), aged 12+, playing time 4-8 hours: £34.00 (£28.33 without tax outside the EU)