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Civ 6

I've been playing the Civilization series since Civ 1, and i think the first three games are among the greatest computer games. When Civ 4 came out, i gave it a quick try but it was at a busy time in my life and i couldn't handle all the changes and gave up without giving it a fair chance. Civ 5 got universally bad reviews so i skipped that as well. But over the past few years Min and i have occasionally fired up Civ 3 for some local multiplayer marathons. And sometimes we'd run into little glitches or annoyances - most notably a problem with camera behavior in multiplayer - and whenever we'd complain we'd have to stop and remind ourselves that we were playing a game that was over 15 years old. So when Civ 6 was announced, we got excited. Surely all those little problems would be fixed, so it was time for us to take the time to learn the new game. And our winter break was the time to do it.


System Requirements
We ran into our first roadblock immediately. Our laptops are not "gaming" laptops. We have 20 gigs of RAM and processors that were the best available for the Thinkpad T450s at the time we bought them. Our computers can more than handle everything we normally do, including heavy multi-track audio recording. But they have integrated (i.e. not dedicated) video cards. And because of that, we didn't meet the minimum specs for Civ 6. Which is insane. Civ isn't a first person shooter where framerate and 3-D rendering should be important. It's a turn based, top down strategy game. Graphics-wise, i don't care if it looks like the Commodore 64. I can see taking advantage of better graphics capabilities if they're available, but you'd think they'd design it to degrade gracefully for people with regular laptops. A game like Civ has a different audience than, say, Doom, and it's weird to exclude casual gamers with heavy video card requirements.

The good news is that we have another computer attached to our television that we were considering upgrading, and this pushed us over the edge on that decision. So for now we wouldn't play multiplayer, but we could at least try the game together (and bicker about whether to build city improvements or troops!). A side note: once we had the game, i did install it on my laptop to see how bad it was. The load times were prohibitive, but once the game finally loaded - and we're talking several minutes - it seemed to run and look ok. I didn't keep playing to see if the time between turns got worse as the game went on and the AI had more to do. The game also comes with a Benchmark feature that seems to test your computer to see how well it can handle the game. But the feature took so long to run i assumed it was hanging and ended it. We also ran the Benchmark feature on the TV computer, and it turns out the results are incomprehensible to me anyway.

min: OMG people do not know how to make graphs anymore. Label your axes, people! And there should be a legend!


Griping about minor changes
Now on to the game itself. We knew going in that there would be changes. I was skeptical about some of the major announced changes, but they seemed interesting and i was looking forward to seeing how they'd work. I also knew from my Civ 4 experience that a lot of smaller things would change. On this front, i know that i really ought to just accept it. It's a new game, i should expect that things will have changed. But in truth i find these little changes to be very frustrating. What i am talking about here is not new features or changes to gameplay, but changes to how elements that have always existed in the game work. For example, changing what the benefits of building a temple are, or what a great wonder like the Hanging Gardens does, or what you get after researching a new tech improvement like Writing or Mathematics.

Just as examples, in Civ 3, Writing allows you to engage in diplomacy, and unlocks the new tech improvements Literature (which lets you build libraries), Philosophy, Code of Laws, and Map Making. In Civ 6, Writing lets you build libraries, and unlocks Currency (only). In Civ 3, Mathematics lets you build catapults and unlocks Construction and Currency. In Civ 6, Mathematics increases the speed of your naval units by one and is unlocked by Currency. I'm not even saying that Civ 3 is right and Civ 6 is wrong. Just that the changes seem entirely arbitrary, and serve mainly to make sure that people coming in from previous versions have to learn everything from scratch. And the whole point of me choosing to play Civ 6 as opposed to, say, Age of Empires or any other random similar game, is that i have some familiarity with the system and like it. I don't want to learn a whole new game. The Civ name is what brought me here.

To be fair, things have always changed between games, but in the past it's always seemed to be in service of making the game more balanced or accommodating larger rule changes. For example, i accept that Temples no longer reduce unhappiness in cities, because a) managing citizen happiness no longer seems to be a factor at all in Civ 6 and because religion has become a major new aspect of the game. But i can't see why they'd flip around the attributes of Mathematics and Writing, etc., in what feels like a completely random way.

Related to this is the fact that the country leaders have changed. This isn't super important since in my opinion the leaders should be eliminated or selected randomly anyway. But it's just jarring for Pericles, not Alexander the Great, to now be the leader of the Greeks. It's even weirder for the Romans to not be included in the game at all. In part, the idea seems to be an attempt at adding diversity; Gorgo, Queen of Sparta is also a choice for the Greek leader, for example. But not every country has a choice of male and female leaders. And i suspect that the real motivation here is the ability to sell expansion packs that include additional civilizations and leaders.

I also want to acknowledge that we're coming in from two versions behind, so maybe these changes felt more gradual to people that were keeping up. But imo that just pushes the source of the problem back. Firaxis should be very careful with every minor arbitrary change that they make if they don't want to alienate older loyal players. And if nothing else, it shows my state of mind (disoriented and cranky, which, granted, is nothing new) when it came time to evaluate the bigger changes.

min: He was so cranky. But the new tech tree is pretty bad. It seems bloated with lots of useless tech that don't give you meaningful gains. After spending 10 turns researching something, you want to get something useful in return. Not some crappy policy card that gives you an unimpressive +1 to a "Harbor Adjacency Bonus". Bwah.


The Bigger Changes
We knew going in that there were two major changes to Civ with this version: 1) the concept of districts and 2) the removal of the ability to stack military units. It turns out that there were some additional changes that i also consider "major". Again, some of them may have been introduced in previous versions but they were new to us.

Districts
This was touted as the major change in the promotional material prior to the release of the game. The idea is that instead of your city occupying a single tile, you build your central city in that tile and then you can zone the surrounding tiles as districts in which buildings specific to that zone can be built. So instead of building a marketplace directly in your city, you first zone a commercial district and then you can build the marketplace, and later a stock exchange, etc., in that district. This concept isn't inherently logical. Every town in America has main street that can include a shop, a church, and a library. They didn't have to designate a commercial district, a Holy Site district, and a campus district in order to get those buildings. But i was open to the idea since it seemed like it would give Civ a little bit of a SimCity flavor to it. And you'll notice i've been using the word "zone", which is what you do in SimCity. But in Civ you actually have to "build" the district, and the districts are very expensive/time-intensive to build. So whereas in earlier games of Civ you could pump out a temple very quickly after creating your city, in Civ 6 it takes a long time to build the religious district, and only then can you build the temple (actually, first you build a "shrine"; temples come later in the game, but i'm equating Civ 3 temples to Civ 6 shrines). The districts themselves provide a very minor benefit (see Great Leaders), but it's now a major investment to build anything. When weighing the cost of building a marketplace versus, say, pumping out some troops, you now have to factor in the time it takes to build a commercial district. And on top of that, districts have specific terrain requirements. The campus district, for example, for some reason gets a bonus if it's next to a mountain. And most districts can't be built on certain types of terrain at all. So even if your (core) city itself is on good terrain, you simply can not build a commercial district, and therefore a marketplace, if you are mostly in the desert (and have used up the good terrain on other things)(and in addition to districts, aqueducts also take up external tiles, and so do Great Wonders). There are also population requirements; if your city is of size 1-3 you can only build 2 districts. If it's size 4-6, you can only build 3 districts. So you basically can't have a barracks, a temple, a marketplace, and a library until your city has grown quite a bit. And your city basically just sprawls out in all directions. You're not really building Manhattans; you're building Jacksonville, Florida.


Urban sprawl around the capital.

This is theoretically by design, the idea being that cities will now have to specialize instead of every city building every improvement. Kind of like how Detroit (in its day) was an industrial powerhouse but never became the financial capital that New York was (and vice versa). But ofc Detroit did indeed have some marketplaces and New York did have some factories. And Civ 3 managed to approximate all of that fairly well without making it explicit. I've had plenty of cities that, thanks to their locations, had better production and/or commercial power than others. But i was still able to marginally improve the abilities of other cities by building factories, marketplaces, etc..

An additional complication is that within districts you have more choices. The one that sticks out is that after building an Encampment district, you can either build a barracks or a stable. Barracks makes your ground troops better, whereas a stable improves your cavalry. So it's not even that you have to devote a city to specialize in building troops. You will actually need two such cities if you intend to have a mix of units.

min: because, apparently, you can't possibly have both a barracks and a stable in your encampment. either my horses have a place to sleep or my soldiers do but not both? this makes sense how?

I was open to this idea and i still think the concept could be interesting. I think the biggest blocker is the cost of the districts. I think in the future Firaxis should consider going with more of the SimCity "zoning" concept, but i think an even better idea is to come up with a way for districts to grow organically. For example, if i continue to emphasis commercial improvements, it may naturally occur that i get a commercial district, and based on terrain and population restrictions that may therefore cause me to forgo getting an industrial district in that city. So i like the idea, but in practice it was backwards and prohibitive.

War
The other thing that we knew going in was that you couldn't stack military units any more. In older Civ games, you could build a hundred tank units, put them all on a single tile, and roll them up to an enemy city. In response, the other player would load that city up with a hundred defensive units. To me it wasn't a major fault of the previous versions, but i can see how some people might have thought it was unwieldy. And it definitely forced you into an arms race mentality, where you felt the need to constantly build troops. In Civ 6, you can only have one unit per tile (for the most part). So (since the tiles are hexagons) the most units that can attack a city at once are 6. And an interesting development is that the cities themselves have an inherent defense, so even if there is no unit in the city, it can still defend itself like a unit would (having a unit in the city does bolster the defense, ofc). The city's defense can be improved with city walls and similar. The city can even bombard nearby enemy troops, so it can "fight back", not just defend. The attackers can build siege towers and battering rams and other such supplemental units to circumvent or destroy the walls. I like the idea a lot. For one thing, you no longer feel the need to stack multiple troops in each of your cities (although a garrison can still provide other benefits). And the battles are therefore shorter and more intense.

You do eventually get to research tech that allows you to stack two units (and later more) into an "army" but we found two stacked units to be significantly less effective than two individual units (and that seems to be the general internet consensus). I think Firaxis should have just stuck to its guns here and kept it at one unit per tile.

min: What is the point of stacking my units if they're going to be worse than 2 separate units? Why even make that an option? Who would want to do that? Now instead of 2 units that can each attack once per turn and each do 40+ points of damage, i have 1 unit that goes once in a turn and does mebbe 50 points of damage. Do you see the problem here? Are you following me? Can you do basic arithmetic?

Ignoring the "armies", i think this was a good change, entirely in the plus column.

Workers
Here's the first change that we came across that we weren't expecting. In older versions of Civ, you can build workers, and they can mine the hills, irrigate the grasslands, clear swamplands, and build roads. Doing each action takes a number of turns depending on the action and the terrain, but workers last forever and by the end of the game you tend to accumulate a lot of them. Which is good because eventually they'll be needed to build railroads and clear pollution. But they can be hard to manage because you have to order them around one by one. You can automate them, but the automation (as of Civ 3) was rudimentary. You can tell them to go around and "clear swamplands" but then that's all they'll do, and they'll do it (basically) randomly. You can tell them to "build roads" (or later railroads) but, again, it would be random (i,e. just in random squares around your cities but not necessarily between cities), or you can order them to build a road or railroad from city A to city B. The problem was when you have 20 workers and you want them all to do like a big intercontinental railroad project; you'd either have to tell 20 workers one by one to build a railroad from city A to city E and hope they'd hit B-D as they went, or you'd have to direct them from A to B to C, etc., again, one by one. And if you wanted workers to embark on some new project, you have to catch them while they were in between tasks while on automation. If some worker was set to build mines and you now wanted workers to build railroads because that tech became available, you could either interrupt the worker in the middle of building the mine (and lose all that effort) or keep an eye on him every round until he was finished and then take him out of automation. Keeping track of that for 20 (or more) workers was impossible.

So what i would have liked to have seen is the ability to manage workers at a macro level. Set percentages for workers that are doing irrigation vs. mining, or whatever. Have a worker queue so that you could change orders but only after they finished their current jobs. Give orders like "build roads between all cities" to 10 workers at once.

Firaxis clearly saw that managing workers was a problem, but they solved it in a very different way. First, workers now only have a certain number of "charges". Three by default, can be expanded a bit based on tech and policies. Second, they don't build roads anymore. So a worker can irrigate a grassland and build two mines, and then he's gone and you have to build another one (and they aren't super cheap). There is no automation anymore (obviously, with only 3 charges, you wouldn't want the computer deciding what to do).

As for roads, they are built by traders, which is a truly bizarre decision. Managing trade routes in this game is a nightmare that deserves its own section (but this review is already too long), but the idea that you get roads by sending traders to a city is weird in and of itself. I didn't know that Marco Polo pooped out a road behind him when he traveled to China. And if i just want roads between my own cities, i have to send traders to each city? There is no indication of which of your cities have had traders sent to them already when you're on the trade route selection screen. It's impossible to manage. A later upgrade to the worker unit allows them to build roads, but then you are back to the problem of charges.

I don't know why "charges" were applied to workers but not to military units. The same logic that says a worker can only build three things before becoming exhausted should apply to how many times a soldier can fight, too. Not that i want that, but the selective application of this concept raises questions. This does "solve" the problem of managing a large group of automated workers, but in the same way that strangling your children in the third grade would solve the problem of paying for their college.

min: They stop being cute around age 5 anyway.


Religion
I can't say too much about this because it kind of caught us by surprise. But apparently religion is very important in Civ 6! Early in the game we passed on the decision to build shrines, thanks to the cost of first building a Holy Site and the fact that (as noted above) shrines no longer affect citizen happiness. The description said something about +2 Faith points per round and the ability to build missionaries and that all sounded like something we weren't interested in. But then later we saw Indian Hindu missionaries coming into our cities and converting our citizens and pretty soon India was well on its way to a Religious Victory. So we then looked into this missionary stuff and it turns out that you have to build your own missionaries to "fight" off "enemy" missionaries and this is all done without any kind of declaration of war (having a city converted to an enemy religion can be a "casus belli" for war later in that game, although we never saw that option). So ok, fine, we'll build some shrines and stuff. Except it turns out that in order to form your own religion, you have to attract one of four Great Prophets that exist in the game, and there are more than four civilizations in the game and by the time we figured all this out all the Prophets had been recruited and we simply could not form a religion and therefore had no way of defending ourselves from these missionaries.

min: goddamned missionaries! where's my Atheist Prophet? why couldn't i defend against missionaries with science!

So we simply attacked India militarily (hey, we were playing as Norse vikings) min: also der. you send missionaries, we send infantry.. If it weren't for other factors, i would say that we should play another game now that we understand the religious aspect and give it a fair shake min: no! no religion! *shudder* god talk gives me the heebie jeebies.. I'm a little uncomfortable with religion being so prominent in the game - i have a friend who for a while refused to build temples, etc. at all because he didn't want to drug his people with the opiate of the masses - but of course religion has been an important part of the history of civilization so i understand it being in the game.

For what it's worth, we tortured ourselves by playing through the tutorial before starting a real game, and the tutorial made no mention of all this religious stuff, so i don't accept 100% of the blame for missing how important religion was.

Government
It was with Civ 6's government system that i realized how dumbed down the game has gotten. I was initially pretty excited because i saw that in addition to government, there was now a sub-concept called Policies. I imagined being able to select policies like "Universal Health Care" where maybe your population growth and happiness increased but so did your expenses. Or maybe going back a level and being able to choose policies like "Democratic Socialism" vs. "Capitalism" as Policies within the Democracy government with appropriate benefits and penalties for each. Turns out i was way overthinking it.

In Civ 1-3, there were only a few forms of government, and each one came with its own plusses and negatives. For example, Democracy increased economic growth but citizens became war weary much faster. Whereas in Communism production was spread out equally among all of your cities (itself a positive and negative). I'm oversimplifying and there were multiple benefits and detriments to each government type, which made weighing the differences between them a lot of fun and also fairly consequential. In Civ 6 there are twice as many governments, some of them very granular (e.g. Merchant Republic), but the choice doesn't feel very important. Each government type provides what feels like a minor bonus, and no negatives. Each government type allows for a different mix of policy slots. For example, Merchant Republic gives a bonus of "+2 Trade Routes and 15% discount on gold purchases", and allows one military policy, two economic policies, one diplomatic policy, and two wildcard policies (which can be filled with any of the other types or a special fourth type). For comparison, Monarchy's bonus is "+2 housing in any city with medieval walls and 20% bonus influence points" and has three military policies, one economic policy, one diplomatic policy, and one wildcard. Without getting into all the details of the game, i assure you that the bonuses of either government types are not game changers. And the policies are even less significant. A typical Military policy is "Logistics: +1 Movement if starting turn in friendly territory". That's basically garbage, so whether you get 3 of those or 1 in comparison to your number of economic policies ("Skyscrapers: +15% production toward Industrial era and later wonders") is meaningless. And you get new policies constantly based on the tech you research, so just about every other round we sat and agonized over these inconsequential choices. It eventually occurred to me that these policies - which are shaped like cards that you drag into your deck - are based on games like Magic: The Gathering or Munchkin. You're not really setting policies, you're just picking which (minor) bonuses you want.

So this was really disappointing. Not only did Policies turn out to be a dud, but the basic concept of Governments has been watered down to the point where it doesn't really matter.

Great Leaders
This is a new concept that feels almost redundant to Great Wonders, but i guess it adds a new facet to the game. The idea is that when you build districts and other improvements, you generate a certain number of Great Leader points each round. There are Great Generals, Great Scientists, Great Artists, etc.. Building an encampment earns you Great General points every round, building a campus earns you Great Scientist points, etc.. And the idea is that you are competing against the other civs to "buy" these Great Leaders. You want to earn your 1,000 points to buy, say, Charles Darwin before the Indians do. Which of course sounds just like real life. There's something very circular about it, too. You build campuses and libraries and the like to earn Darwin, but the main function of those buildings is to improve your scientific output. But the bonus for earning Darwin is also a boost to your scientific output. So it's a "rich get richer" sort of thing. In that sense, it's different than a Great Wonder where (in Civ 3 at least) you might build the Great Library because you are falling behind the other civilizations in science and the Library brings you back up to parity. So the Great Wonders are (potentially) a way to catch up, whereas the Great Leaders reinforce the things you were already good at. That's not a terrible idea, but, again, the Leaders turn out to not be all that important. Since old habits die hard, i made a point of building an encampment and a barracks in most of our cities, and therefore we recruited a lot of Great Generals, and they basically just provided minor, non-noticeable bonuses to our troops.

min: you could also "buy" them with any "Faith" points you've accumulated. why is there so much religion in my Civ game!?

Spies and Traders
Spies and Traders aren't related, but we had the same complaints about both. Both spies and traders require major amounts of micromanagement. In Civ 3, once you got the Espionage tech, you could plant a spy in an enemy civilization. That automatically got you some intel on the civilization. The spy could then perform one of a few missions (see enemy troop locations, steal technology, sabotage production in a city), at a cost of money and at a risk of getting caught. In Civ 6, you first have to build a spy. Then you have to send the spy to a specific enemy city, and then wait for the spy to travel there. Then you have to tell the spy what to do (and actions are limited by what's in the city). Then you have to wait several rounds for them to do it. Then after a few rounds the spy is done and you have to give them a new job. It took forever and provided very little (we learned such important things as "this Greek city is building a granary").

I noted the weird road building aspect of traders above, but you also have to manage the routes for each trader that you build, and after they complete a route you have to choose a new route and weigh the very minor rewards of that route. And there's a weird limitation (that we never quite understood) to what cities you can reach. You can trade between your own cities or with other civilizations' cities, if you can reach them. So every few rounds you're dealing with a trade screen and after staring at it for a while we'd just pick something at random and it never felt like it mattered.

I have a vague recollection that you could build traders or convoys in Civ 2, but i liked the way it worked in Civ 3, where you just negotiated with other countries to trade resources. Actually, that aspect is in this game as well so i don't know why we also needed to build and manage traders.

min: i think it was so that we could get frustrated by more pop-ups blocking the board.


Gameplay
This is where it all really fell apart. I know that i'm cranky, i try to be patient and force myself to stay open to changes and keep playing. But some of the more basic elements of the game were a complete fail, making it not worth trying to get used to the changes.

Camera
This was the main reason we decided we needed to "upgrade" our Civ. In Civ 3 single player, the camera is pretty good about keeping focus on the right things. If you're in the middle of a fight with 6 troops attacking a city, the camera knows to stay on troop #2 after troop #1 attacks, instead of suddenly panning to troop #7 standing at some random place somewhere else. And if you're being attacked by an enemy civilization on its turn, the camera shows you that. Great! I mean, honestly, it's something you'd never even think needed to be mentioned. But in Civ 3 multiplayer, the camera did everything wrong, basically the opposite of what's described above. But, ok, Civ 3 is an old game and multiplayer was probably a bit of an afterthought. We should play Civ 6. Well, we can't play Civ 6 multiplayer because of the hardware issue. But i would have never imagined that playing Civ 6 in single player mode would have all the same camera problems as Civ 3 multiplayer. But it does! It's constantly panning away from the area that i've dragged the camera over to. The only way you know that you're being attacked between your turns is because of little notifications that come up on the sidebar. This is like basic stuff, but it's a disaster. Virtually unplayable because that alone.

Tooltips
Then there's the tooltips. Good god. In Civ 3, if you wanted to know the details of the terrain (e.g. how good is it for production, commerce, etc.), you could right click on it and get a little info. In Civ 6, wherever you put your mouse cursor, and annoying box pops up to tell you about the tile, no matter what you are trying to do.


What the? Get out of my way i just want to look at my city!


min: i blame Mac users with their stupid 1-button mouse. they were jealous of our right-clicking abilities.

There is a "tooltip delay" option in the settings, but the maximum time is 2 seconds, which is barely anything.
So there is just constantly a tooltip floating around, blocking your view. On top of that, the tooltips only tell you about the terrain info, which is useful information when you are first settling a new city and that's about it. In Civ 3 you could right click on a unit to learn the fighting capabilities of that unit, right click on a city to get options, etc.. The tooltips even have a higher z-index than other important information, so for example those notifications i mentioned earlier about how you might have been attacked between rounds can get covered up because the game thinks it's more important to tell you about the productivity of the soil underneath the message.


Barbarians where? Where?!

Different tooltips do appear on the city product screen, where they mainly serve to obscure the other items on the list when you're trying to decide what to build next.


Can't... see... list...!

UI
The tooltips are a big part of it, but generally speaking the UI is a lot messier and more difficult to navigate. A lot of effort was clearly spent to make the board look "better" (hence the graphics card requirements), but they therefore chose to eliminate a lot of the menu screens and do everything on the main board or with a few "reports". There is no military advisor view, for example, and you can't get a list of all your cities and what they are working on. Basically a ton of screens have been eliminated or replaced with less useful pop-ups that are overly rendered and hard to look at. I've seen that a lot of people dislike the more bright and cartoony look and feel of the board itself. I'm not sure if the cartoony part is the problem, exactly, but it's just kind of hard to tell what is background and what is important, since it's all rendered the same way.


Is that my boat over there or just an image indicating that i've enabled a fishing improvement?

AI
In definite proof that i am a crank, i've seen very little of the above complaints in other reviews of the game. However, complaints about the AI are common, and i agree with them. One of the benefits of this game is that the AI is more upfront about what they are upset at you about. But they are still not very logical. We had Gorgo constantly popping up to yell at us because we were running away from barbarians instead of fighting them, when in reality the barbarians were running away from us and we just couldn't catch up. There's a new option in the game to raise an objection when a civilization plops down a city in the middle of what is clearly your territory, which is good. But in our game India created a city right in the middle of three of our cities, nowhere near their other cities, and when we complained about it Gandhi (Gandhi!) told us to fuck off. And this was on a low difficulty level. In general, the other countries pop up constantly and are belligerent for inexplicable reasons. And then there's the weirdness of having a little animated movie with the leader saying their line, and then loading another screen where their words are repeated and you only have the option of clicking OK. Either give me a chance to respond, or don't show me the same thing twice.

Other Stuff
We actually have a lot more complaints:

  • The city interior view has been replaced with some pop-up menus that suck.
  • No city production queue?!?!
  • Another problem in Civ 3 that we were hoping would get fixed around escorting civilian units actually got worse.
  • Sean Bean did not need to read a random quote to us every time we researched a new tech. Why on earth would you pay a celebrity to do that?
  • The Civilopedia seems greatly diminished from previous versions. min: the Civilopedia, once a great resource, is the most useless piece of crap in Civ 6. there's hardly any info on the actual thing the entry is supposed to be about followed by a 3 paragraph thesis on the history of the thing. i don't care about the history of cavalry units! i want to know what i can do with a cavalry unit in this game, what i need to get one, and what it can upgrade to. instead, we get what basically amounts to "Cavalry are military units". 0_o


What we liked
Ok, to end on a positive note:

  • The idea that there are little city states that you can either try to conquer or you can compete with other civilizations to influence and become their suzerain was fun.
  • Sea travel was always a pain in earlier versions of Civ. In this version, once you have a level of sea travel tech, your land units automatically can "become" sea units when they go into a water square. So you don't have to wait rounds to build a transport ship in order to travel across a body of water. As noted above, escorting units is still a problem, but being able to walk directly into the water is cool. min: he turned into a boat! the horse turned into a boat!!!
  • The fact that you can cite a "casus belli" when declaring war, which reduces or eliminates your warmongering penalty depending on the type, is nice. This is the sort of minor tweaking and updating that i wished Firaxis had focused on instead of the major sweeping changes.

I guess my overall thesis is that Civ 3 was great and just needed a few fixes and instead we got a very changed and kind of unfinished game.

By fnord12 | January 12, 2017, 3:39 PM | Video Games