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Civilization; the game series
Topic Started: Jan 12 2013, 09:30:15 PM (2,869 Views)
The Chronicler
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Bionicle fan of GoF
Has anyone here played any of the Civilization games? :)

The first one I got was Civilization III: Complete Edition. Over the years, I also played Civilization IV and both expansion packs: Warlords and Beyond the Sword. I also got Civilization V a few years ago, but it was only recently that I've finally gotten around to actually playing it.


My thoughts on the versions I've played:

Civ III was a great place for me to get into the series. I remember playing through all nine scenarios as every playable civ for each one of them.

Civ IV is very memorable to me in many ways. Of course, I also enjoyed playing the scenarios from both expansion packs, and even though I played all of them at least once, I didn't quite get around to playing as every playable civ.
(Sadly, all of the progress I made on Civ III and IV were lost when the computer they were installed on crashed a few years ago. :( I recently installed those games on the desktop in my room, though I doubt I'll get around to rebuilding my record anytime soon.)

Civ V, I'm finding to be very different from the previous versions. Just to name a few; the playing grid is now hexagons rather than squares, the introduction of City-States, resources are now limited (so you can't make a hundred tanks from just a little oil), and no more unit stacking (in other words, only one unit is allowed to occupy a tile at the end of each turn). Also, since this game's hosted on Steam (the only reason I got my account was just so I could play this game), I've noticed that there are achievements to win, so now I'm tempted to really play this game rather than just beat each scenario once.

What do you think of this game series? Which one is your favorite?
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Malte279
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I'm a historian. I MUST be like that!

The original Civilization game was one of the first (possibly THE first) computergame I ever played. I never saw the second (though I was recently told that the advisors are very entertaining in that one). I got Civilization III and IV with all expansion and just recently I had been playing Civ III again for a while.
I like the recources element in the later Civilization games but I think there are some shortcomings in diplomacy (oftentimes it appears like other civilizations are refusing trades just because (without any previous wars and without the trade being unballanded in any way)) and difficulty levels (sometimes there is very little between the one and the other extreme (hunting axmen and swordmen with tanks and being an axmen hunted by tanks ;)).
One game which I think must be mentioned in this context too is Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri which was kind of a continuation of Civilization. I consider the game one of the best turn based four x games ever made and very much regret that the course of that game has not been pursued any further. The diplomacy system in that game exceeded anything I have seen in any of the other civiliation games (e.g. being able to agree with an ally on where he or she is to attack and where you are going to attack). The option to design own military units with the technology available also was a very nice addition and the AI in the game was working really well too. Combining this game's advantages with the recourses functions of the civilization games and the option to play with more than seven factions and we would have something really epic.
I haven't played Civilization V so far. From what I read opinions are divided on the changes that have been made and I would be very interested in your opinion on these changes Chronicler. From what I read diplomacy in that game is a little to the other extreme with the other factions being all too ready to offer their towns to you.

I think it is a pity that there are ever less good turnbased strategy or tactic games produced compared to real-time strategy games which are often superior in graphics but way inferior in terms of complexity and long-term playing fun.
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The Chronicler
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Here are my thoughts on Civilization V:

In a nutshell, it's a lot simpler in many ways, not that it's a bad thing for the most part.

City cultural boundaries now expand only one tile at a time, rather than an entire ring of tiles all at once. Also, if you just can't wait for cultural expansion, you can also purchase tiles, useful if you want to guarantee that a certain resource will be yours (though my habit of doing this tends to occasionally piss off the neighboring civs :lol: ).

I also like the Social Policies concept, because now you just add benefits, rather than having to switch from one to the other and go through anarchy for one turn.

Like I said, that fact that it's powered by the Steam gaming system (or whatever it is) means that there are achievements to earn (which has encouraged me to really play this game rather than just the scenarios), such as "Win as each playable civ at least once" and "Build every wonder at least once". Also on Steam, you can purchase downloadable content, such as new civs and scenarios, though I haven't yet gotten around to trying any of them just yet (though I'm definitely interested, once I have the chance).

There are two concepts that I consider to be the real game-changers from the previous Civilization games: City-States, and no more unit-stacking.
City-States are AI civs that consist of only one city. You could either invade them due to being such easy-looking targets, or ally yourself with as many of them as possible since it's the only way to win a Diplomatic Victory.
Removing the ability to stack units (meaning that now you are not allowed to have more than one unit occupy a tile at a time) means that warfare now focuses more on strategy rather than shear numbers. Also, cities are now their own military units, meaning that they can fight back on their own, and have to lose all of their hit-points before they can be captured. In addition, strategic resources are now limited, so you can't make dozens of, say, tanks from just one source of oil. I actually like this new combat system more than what we saw in the earlier games, because now I don't have to keep building so many units and thus neglect improving the cities themselves.

All in all, I'd say Civ V is definitely worth trying out. :yes
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The Chronicler
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Just remembered something I wanted to add about Civ V. When it comes to diplomacy with AIs, I've noticed an interesting pattern. If you and an AI inhabit separate landmasses (the further away you are from each other, the better), then that AI is very likely to be friendly with you. But if you and an AI inhabit the same landmass (worst case, you're very close to each other), then it's more probable that they'll want to declare war on you (either because they wanted lands that you've settled, or you're allied with city-states that they wanted to be allied with). For example, on the latest game I played (on an archipelago type map), only two AIs ever went to war, and they were the only two AIs who shared the same island. Coincidence? I doubt it, from experience. Another game I played earlier essentially sums up the pattern: AIs on your continent will hate your guts (and each other's, too), but AIs on another continent (while hating each other just as much) will wish to be friendly with you (and others on other continents, too).

The way I see it, Civ III, IV, and V are each better or worse than the other two in their own ways. In Civ III, you were never given recommendations on where to build a city or an improvement (it was something you really needed to think about), but the grid layout just seemed... awkward to me. Civ IV had what I consider the great concept that many civs had multiple leaders to choose from, but to play each scenario required loading a mod each time (which I think is rather inconvenient). For Civ V, I already mentioned how much I love the removal of unit stacking, but I've found it frustrating how easy it is to piss off the AIs when you're neighbors with them.
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Caustizer
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Your Favourite Anti-Hero
I recently bought Civ V and I can say I love that game. Having never played any other game in the series it was something completely new. Adjusting to playing in turns isn't easy when I usually play RTS, but once I got used to it I realized its pretty fun and a great time wasting game.

Social Policies are kind of like talent trees, in that each political development changes slightly the way you play. For instance, at the start of the game you can choose between Tradition, Honor and Liberty. Tradition is quite defensive and transitions well into gathering Culture, while Honor is aggressive and keeps your people happy as you conquer other cities. Taking Liberty allows you to expand quickly, but often leaves your empire unhappy as a result.

From an AI point of view I do sometimes find they can be really dumb and overly aggresive for no apparent reason. For instance, the Romans attacked me at the beginning of the game and I easily defended against it... but then they start putting out peace proposals that involve me giving them all my cities and resources. What's the point of ending the war if I give him all the stuff I went to war to defend in the first place? The only way to get an unconditional peace it seems is to attack back.

Other times too an AI empire will refuse an alliance with you against an enemy even as that enemy is attacking their cities, just because they are 'suspicious of you'. This type of diplomacy often results in warmongering empires taking out player after player with no real united resistance from the other AIs.
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The Chronicler
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Hey, it's good to see someone here who also plays Civ V. :yes

Yeah, I once found Rome to be a rather aggressive AI, too. In that game, I (playing Greece) shared a continent with Rome and Egypt, while all five of the other AIs had the other continent. Even though Rome spent practically half of that game at war with Egypt, they also declared war on me a few times, despite the fact that the only border they shared with me was through an Egyptian city they had captured. I was easily able to brush off each invasion and end each war with a just a simple peace treaty. I would have been fine with just sitting back and letting Rome and Egypt duke it out, but when I noticed Persia taking over the other continent (their score surpassing mine for a while), I decided to settle the conflict... by conquering them both. (Besides, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get that "Tomb Raider" achievement for capturing an Egyptian city. :D )

Speaking of the achievements, how many have you unlocked so far, Caustizer? As of right now, I've gotten nearly 60 (out of over 200). I plan on getting as many as I possibly can, so I'll still be playing for a while.

Hey, maybe we could even try a multiplayer game, sometime. :idea What do you think?
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The Chronicler
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Just a little update on my progress on Civ V.

I have just finished what may have been the longest game I've ever played (it took me six days, playing an average of 4 to 5 hours each day, so that would make it more than a full 24-hour day if it had been done nonstop :o ). I played as America on a huge, Earth type map (yes, the terrain and resources (but not starting locations) are based on the world as we know it). What made this particular match significant is that I tried it at the "normal" difficulty level, the hardest I've ever tried. (Nearly all previous times I've played any Civilization game was on the easiest difficulty level. :oops ) But it was worth it to get six more achievements at once. :D

Malte, you mentioned "shortcomings in difficulty levels," and I can now say from experience that the normal difficulty (4th easiest of 8 levels) could be considered a fair balance between the two extremes, at least in Civ V.

My score was by far the highest for most of the game, but that's mostly because I was able to build nearly every Wonder. My starting location didn't leave a lot of room to expand, but it did give me easy access to such a wide variety of luxury resources that I was able to keep my empire happy. While easier difficulty levels allowed me to easily follow my victory of choice, this was the first time I found myself changing tactics on the fly. I wanted to go for a Space Race victory, but halfway through I saw India allying itself with so many City-States that I had to sway some to my side to prevent that guy from winning a Diplomatic victory (which in hindsight ultimately turned out to be unlikely on its own, anyway). Because I had to keep spending gold to keep my allies on my side, the area I really struggled with in this match was gold funds. I was so strapped that it was actually cheaper to build new units and disband old ones rather than simply upgrade the old units.

As I got closer to the end, it was becoming clear that some empires were far stronger than others (out of 12 civs and 24 City-States, there were only 9 civs and 17 City-States left by the end of the game). I was not one of the stronger ones by any means, my score was even surpassed during the last few turns. This time, I couldn't afford to fool around, so once I reached the Modern Era, I ignored all other technologies and focused on researching only the ones that would allow me to win a Space Race victory. It was worth the effort, because I was starting to get worried that the nearest of these superpowers would invade me next, but I managed to finish the spaceship.

Needless to say, I'll never again play another game on such a high difficulty level (except for the scenarios, where achievements are awarded for doing so). This is mainly due to my attitude on how I play any Civilization game: I never lose a game, I just refuse to finish the ones I know I'm about to lose. :p
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Petrie85
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Great To Be Different
Nope not yet I may check them out soon.
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vonboy
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The IT team was fired... Fire Grilled
I've played some civilization port on the SNES (I think it was either based on Civ I or II, or maybe kinda both), and it was a ton of fun.

I've also played Civ IV, with both of it's expansion packs as well. and really liked their first try at a culture system, and civilizations actually claiming their own territory from it. It did help, at least visually, when just keeping an eye on who is controlling what.

I'd love to give the latest version a whirl sometime, but I don't think Civ 5 will work on my current computer very well, and due to lack of funds for it anyway, I'll just stick with IV, thank you very much.
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Caustizer
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The Chronicler,Jan 22 2013
11:00 PM
Speaking of the achievements, how many have you unlocked so far, Caustizer? As of right now, I've gotten nearly 60 (out of over 200). I plan on getting as many as I possibly can, so I'll still be playing for a while.

Hey, maybe we could even try a multiplayer game, sometime. :idea What do you think?

Yeah we could try a multiplayer game sometime.

I recently upgraded to the Gods and Kings expansion and the Korea-Ancient Wonders DLC, and it improves the game considerably. The addition of Religion is an interesting concept that I haven't completely grasped yet, but the changes they made to Social Policies make sense.

Basically, they added the 'Faith' Resource which is now seperate from Culture and linked to the Piety Tree (which before was dedicated to generating more Culture... which was very odd because it meant you were investing in Social Policies for the purpose of investing in more Social Policies). They also reworked the Commerce Tree so it doesn't suck anymore (Naval Tradition now gives a free Great Admiral) as well as made some Naval units melee so they can capture coastal cities.

Now England (+1 Ship Speed and Ship of the Line) + The Great Lighthouse (+1 Ship Speed) + Naval Tradition (+1 Ship Speed and Great Admiral) is a very potent combination for attacking coastal cities.

The Ancient Wonders are also very handy - Statue of Zeus gives you a bonus attacking cities, Temple of Artemis gives you a growth and archer production bonus and the Maleuseum gives you +gold whenever you expend a great person.

Let me know when your online and we'll link up.

Caustizer.
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The Chronicler
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To be honest, I plan on trying out all of the DLC before moving on to the Gods & Kings expansion. The only one I've gotten so far is the Mongols civ and scenario, and that's only because it apparently came as a free bonus with my copy of Civ V.

I usually play on weekdays (except Wednesdays) starting around 10am to 12pm and finishing around 5pm, so if we ever do try a multiplayer game, it'll have to be a relatively quick game. (maybe a duel-size map) I'm not really feeling up to a multiplayer game right at this time, but I'll be sure the let you know when I'm ready. ;)

Anyway, I'm currently at 66 achievements, after finishing that week-long game. (I can now say from experience that huge maps take a very long time. More than half of my time on that match was spent just waiting for the AIs to process their turns. <_< ) How's your progress with achievements, Caustizer?
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Ghostfishe
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Ahh... I used to play Civ II, when I still had a computer that could run it. Loved the throne room decorating aspect. But I always had to cheat, because I've never had the "multitasking" abilities necessary to play well, and the AI was always so psycho. They'd start out with "hey, we like you, let's be bestest friends!" Then two minutes later, when I hadn't even done anything, "we've had enough of your insults! You're going to die!" :slap

I did try Civ III after that, but mostly just play without opponents so I don't end up getting creamed. The later sequels look really interesting, but... I doubt I'd be any better at playing them. :lol:
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The Chronicler
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It's been a little while since I played Civ V, (been busy with other things) but I'll getting back to it in two days.

Earlier today, I finally got around to purchasing all of the DLC, except for the Gods&Kings expansion pack. (I'm saving that for after I've tried everything else.) This is definitely going to keep me busy for a while.
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The Chronicler
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I've found out that the second expansion to Civ V was recently announced. It's called Brave New World, and it basically expands significantly on Culture and Diplomacy. There will be 9 new civilizations (the only one confirmed at this time is Poland), and some new scenarios which include the American Civil War. This will be released sometime this summer, so keep an eye out for it.

As for my progress, I've now won as twelve different civilizations, the most recent being England. I'm obviously going for the achievement of winning as each playable civ, and I'm currently halfway there (six from the base game, and seven more from all the DLC). There's also an achievement for sinking a total of 357 naval units while playing as England, which I've quickly discovered is going to take a while. (mentally keeping track, I'm currently up to 55, and that's with and archipelago type map with raging barbarians and I wiped out all the other players on the map (the count from that one game is actually 32; the first 23 came from my first attempt that I gave up on because I remembered why I don't like huge maps: gameplay becomes way too slow.)) Right now, I've unlocked a total of 83 out of 227 achievements.

Malte, you mentioned your perception how in diplomacy the AIs tend to "give away their cities". In my experience, they literally will do that, but only if you are at war with them and you have proven that you are definitely capable of completely destroying them. I refuse the offer every time, because why wait ten turns before I can declare war on them again, when I can just finish them off within five turns. Also, if you want to remain friendly with any of the AIs, don't invade more than one or two of them, or they will all hate you. In other words, going for a conquest victory is really an all-or-nothing approach.
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The Chronicler
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Just over a week ago, four more of the nine new civs that will be coming in the next expansion pack were revealed: Zulu, Assyria, Portugal, and Brazil. Also, the release date will be July 9 in the U.S., and July 10 everywhere else.

I've now gotten just over 100 achievements out of a total 287 for the entire game. (It seems there will be 60 more from the second expansion pack, though none of them have been given real names just yet.) That may not seem like much, but from the base game alone, I have 92 out of 108, so that leaves just the really tricky ones. So far, I've done little more than let my time fly by as I unlock more achievements. I've been sticking to the easiest difficulty level every time, simply because I'd much rather be bored than frustrated. That'll likely change once I start with the scenarios, where there's achievements for winning on the harder difficulty levels.
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The Chronicler
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I have now gotten as much of the achievements for the base game of Civ V as I can actively go for. Today, I finally got that achievement for sinking 357 enemy ships while playing as England. I had to go through five games to get that, so now I'm glad that I can finally stop playing as England all the time. The last few of these achievements, like build 1000 temples, are ones that I can only keep on playing regularly until I eventually hit that number needed.

For the DLC achievements, I've already gotten the ones that can be done in a custom game (mostly just win as a certain civ). To get the rest, I'll need to play the scenarios, something I've been looking forward to for a long time now. :)

One of those DLC achievements, Turtle Power (sink an ironclad with a Korean turtle ship) may seem simple, but the hard part is actually finding an enemy ironclad ship in the first place (probably why only 0.1% of all players on Steam have gotten this achievement). Apparently, none of the AIs ever build an ironclad. After a little online search, I found a technique that solves this problem: 1, Build an ironclad. 2, Gift it to a city-state. 3, Once you see that ironclad belongs to them and you have a turtle ship ready, declare war on that city-state. The rest should be easy to figure out.
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The Chronicler
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I just finished unlocking all the achievements from the Mongols DLC, which includes winning the scenario on the hardest of all difficulty levels. Of course, I didn't go straight for the ultimate challenge, I gradually worked my way up through each progressive difficulty level, in hopes of perfecting whatever strategy would work. Of course, my key to success was reading advice that was posted online by other people who had already beaten the scenario. Conquering all 8 other civs in less than 100 turns may seem impossible, but if you start off just right, it can be done. Heck, I was afraid I'd have to try multiple times on the hardest difficulty level, but I actually managed to do it right on the first try. :D

Previously, I never would have even dared to play any game of Civilization on one of the higher difficulty levels. (I never saw anything to gain that would be worth such potential frustration.) After this accomplishment, I feel like I actually have a good shot at collecting every achievement on Civ V.

I'm going to take a break from this game for a while, due to an upcoming family vacation, but once I get back to it, I'm very confident that I'll succeed with the 5 other DLC scenarios.
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Petrie85
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Great To Be Different
Ah that's cool And I might check these Games out.
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The Chronicler
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Civilization V's second expansion pack, Brave New World, has just been released yesterday (or today, if you live outside the U.S.). Even though I certainly plan on eventually getting it, I'm in no rush. I've found that there are advantages to waiting a little while after a video game's initial release. :)
Edit: Almost forgot to mention, Brave New World comes with two scenarios: Scramble for Africa, and the American Civil War. I think both of these should be very interesting.

Anyway, after an extended break, I'll be getting back to playing Civ V tomorrow, continuing where I left off on my progress of achievements.
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Malte279
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I'm a historian. I MUST be like that!

A while ago I got the Civilization V gold edition (original game with gods and kings that is). There are some good and interesting concepts in this version of Civilization. For example I like the way they made the defence of towns more autonomous (so you don't have to have units in every single town to ensure they are save) and powerful enough so a town won't just be captured by any random unit that happens to walk by. I also think that the idea behind not allowing to stack units was quite sensible (towns with stockpiled units had become pretty much unconquerable in Civ 4). However, I think they should have been a bit more moderate about the stacking limits. Rather than making it just one military and one civilian unit per tile only I think it would have been a better option if they had allowed one melee and one distant unit per tile too (so you can actually protect catapults. Also the moving of units in tight places (mountains etc.) is sometimes getting rather annoying mostly because of the stack limit.
One thing I find kind of annoying too is how with the invention of firearms range weapons cease to be. Musketeers as well as their advancements all have no range attack (unlike antic archers) which is not exactly realistic.
I like the social policies options of Civ 5. In terms of diplomacy I think it would have been a great addition if they had permitted for an option to trade / annex individual tiles rather than entire towns as well (given that such little "border disputes" can indeed be a source of conflict). Unfortunately other civilizations continue to be somewhat unreasonable when it comes to trading. Neutral nations with whom you don't have any quarrel may still refuse to trade a luxury good of which they have several for two or three of your own luxury goods claiming for the trade to be "unfair" for them.
Another nice addition could have included the option to change the direction a unit was looking at for the purpose of allowing "flank attacks" or attacking the rear. Different marching- (higher speed) or battleformations (better fighting abilities less casualties) might have added a little more tactical depth too.
Don't get me wrong, I think it is a good game with some interesting innovations but I think there is still a lot of room for improvement. Maybe there's some of that in the expansion "Brave new world" (I am particularly curious about the Civil War scenario).
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