Pointless Nonsense

Posted in video games by Bill on March 5, 2011

My almost 5 year old desktop was starting to die, which is bad in that I had to spend money to replace it, but good in that I was now capable of playing Civilization V (this is also bad because it leads to me spending endless hours staring at a screen forgetting to eat or drink).

It’s actually a pretty radical departure from previous Civ games:

  • Hex Grid: the diamond-shaped grid is gone, replaced with hexagonal tiles. It takes some getting used to (and I still press the up arrow on the numpad a lot, despite it not doing anything), but I think it’s better.
  • No more government/civics: The whole government thing where you have a revolution to change civics has been abandoned in favor of a culture-based system where at certain intervals you’re allowed to select a bonus in certain categories.
  • No more tax/science slider: You still boost science by building libraries and assigning specialists, but you can’t jack up science spending when your finances are good just by adjusting the tax rate.
  • Happiness is civ-wide: Cities no longer have individual happiness ratings, your whole civilization has one happiness rating. Overpopulation and what used to be corruption are combined into this, so if you try to expand quickly it is a major pain in the ass, as you lose happiness both for population and number of cities.
  • Units don’t stack: A settler/worker/great person can occupy the same space as a military unit, but only one of each. No more attacking a computer controlled city with your cavalry to find 11 spearmen and 6 warriors piled up.
  • Cities have innate defense: A city with no unit stationed in it can still defend itself with ranged attacks on any unit within 2 tiles.
  • Taking cities is hard: You need a pretty balanced attack, with siege weapons, ranged attackers, and multiple ground troops to surround a city.
  • City-States: The map is littered with single city civs that are not trying to win the game. They engage in diplomacy and provide you with benefits when you get on their good side. City-states have different traits that determine what the benefits are… free military units, culture, food, etc.
  • More uses for cash: Upgrading units is even more important since you can only defend with one unit per city, various diplomatic uses, bribing city states to win their favor, you can now pay to expand your cities’ borders on a cash-per-tile basis rather than wait for culture to expand them naturally, buying production outright (there’s no longer any way to hurry things, but halfway through building one thing, you can buy another without interrupting progress on your construction) and you have to put up money up front for…
  • Research Agreements: No more tech trading, but you and another civ can agree to both put cash up and some number of turns later, you will each get what it calls a “random” tech (but it appears to always be the cheapest one you’re not currently researching).
  • No more religion: Mostly this means you don’t constantly get those annoying messages about “Hinduism has spread to Orleans” or whatever.
  • Giant Death Robot: The awesome end game unit. It is quite awesome taking an army of mechs to beat down on someone.

I’m still getting the hang of all the new stuff (especially combat), but I’m enjoying the hell out of it, so I will probably not be getting a lot of sleep for quite a while.

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2 Responses

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  1. joseph said, on March 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I might have to give this another try. It runs, but it’s pretty slow on my laptop, and I just don’t have the time to invest in games anymore. But that Giant Death Robot is too cool! I might have to play it to the end once, just to build that unit.

    • Bill said, on March 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      Fortunately, I do have the time.

      And the giant death robot is absolutely cool. Marching a fleet of mechs up to the capital of the guy that’s been a pain in your ass the whole game is very satisfying.


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