Civilization 5: Talk about that Setup!
1431 hours later
Civilization 5 is one of my most played games ever. With almost 2 months spent in game (yup, overall time), it still manages to impress me with new & hilarious outcomes. And by the way, I don’t do mods, which sometimes deepen the game experience on some games. Despite that there are plenty of good ones out there (Game of Thrones, Elder Scrolls!), I prefer playing the game as developers meant (or should I say finished) it to be. Though I’ve tried a few ones, approximately 98% of time I’ve played without them. It has been a couple years it had a patch and although it has some issues, (that mostly deal with illogical things such as a Horse Archer unit not being considered as a horse unit) there’s nothing gamebreaking and most of the time the illogicities cause only giggles.
But how do I get my Civilization experience to feel fresh over and over again? Haven’t I gone through everything already? To be honest, I haven’t even experienced the game completely. In addition to Single player mode, there’s a multiplayer and a scenario mode. I’ve played multiplayer a couple times with friends in a same team (basically a co-op mode) but the matches tend to take very long (about 8 – 12 hrs on quickest difficulty) depending on how experienced other players are, do you do war and couple other factors. Playing against random players? That would only cause misery and sorrow, and I don’t play games for such reasons. And try to keep 8 players in a lobby for 10 hours straight with no breaks. Scenario mode is about pre-made scenarios that usually follow certain historical events like Fall of Rome and Japanese Invasion on Korea. There are few leaders you can play as and rules for winning variate. Other rules are very strict and gameplay offers a pretty different single player experience.
So. I play single player with some basic principles which have changed over time I have spent with the game. Starting with difficulties, there are 8 difficulties in the game. 3 easiest ones (Beginner, Very Easy & Easy) focus on powering the player’s resources and abilities and lowering those of AI (Short for “Artificial Intelligence”, basically the leaders that computer plays as) while the 4th difficulty (Normal) doesn’t apply any boosts to player nor the AI. Difficulties upper from the 5th level to 8th level (Hard, Very Hard, Extremely Hard & Impossible) continue to boost AI while player’s bonuses pretty much stay the same with few decreasing when going for upper difficulties. The whole listings you can see here. Pretty much anything regarding the information about the game can be found from wiki and various Steam guides, so I won’t discuss them further here.
The importance of setup
Within the gallery above you see the game setup phase, through which you will have a chance to manipulate the game world and its settings. Recently, I’ve taken up a tendency of adding extra civilizations (AI players) and in comparison, removing city-states (AI too, but not actual players: they act like a support for whichever civilization that is allied or friends with them, providing extra resources, military units or food.). By default, amount of city-states is 2x to civilizations (20 c-s, 10 civs for example) but I’m testing the variation of the opposite, as seen in the image: with 20 civilizations and 10 city-states in game. Well, aren’t they both AI, so is there an actual difference? Yeah, they don’t act like civilizations: city-states can’t build new cities, declare wars against anyone, don’t have diplomatical power, have restricted elements of city growth, can’t establish a religion, list goes on. Basically, they are almost completely helpless against civilizations. Most importantly, they cannot win the game. Thus, they aren’t actually your competitors, but more of a support in your conquest over the world.
By replacing 10 city-states with 10 civilizations, there’ll be a lot more action going on as everyone is desperately trying to grab the open land as early as possible. War is inevitable, and sometimes you’ll be picked by AI who also planned to settle on that beautiful spot you took 1 turn earlier. This depends on the civilization’s aggresiveness, which is set by default to each leader of civilization. The historical figures, like Gandhi or George Washington. To make things more interesting, ever since of my 4th game or so, I’ve been playing with setup of “Random personalities”, which at some level randomizes the aggression factor of a Leader, for example. You could see normally an expansionist (= a civ which builds and builds more cities as if it’s the only thing that strives them forward) going tall (a term which means building very few cities with huge population in each) instead of being wide (opposite of tall: a large amount of cities with small population in each) or a typical warmonger (a civ who tends to attack other civs) going for cultural victory (generally a method of winning the game without having to go war, easier with a lot of friendships with other civs).
I like randomization, but there are times I feel like I want to do certain type of map with certain civ. Usually this involves of me picking the most over-powered civ that works well on certain map type while giving AI a disadvantage. This time, I took “Oval” with randomized settings for terrain, resources and so. I’ve learned from experience that Oval tends to be very packed map with little space to your neighbours. Kind of what I pursued here: early expanding, which leads to early wars. Don’t really matter if I win or not, as long as it’s fun. After getting the “hardcore” achievement of beating the game 100 times, winning’s not that important anymore. Most of time though, it’s not like I could avoid winning anyways!
Have you ever tried any Civilization title? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!