Author Topic: Civ 5  (Read 1433 times)

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Offline sloanjh

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Civ 5
« on: September 24, 2010, 08:40:17 AM »
Got Civ 5 day before yesterday.  Not entirely happy about it - they seem to have pulled a lot of the stuff out of it that I liked in Civ4 (e.g. Religion).  They've also changed combat - back to 1 unit per hex, plus ranged fire over multiple hexes (even archers have a range of 2).  The bad way of thinking about it is that they've nerfed it down to be an arcade version of the game - the good way is that they've tried to do what Steve did in going from SF to Aurora - cut down on the number of units to reduce game play time.

Oh yeah, they pulled the clock that lets you know "oops - it's time for bed" too.

John
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Civ 5
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2010, 06:59:11 AM »
I like a lot of things about the new civ but for some reason it hasn't grabbed me with one more turn syndrome yet, although I can't figure out why. I like the new combat model and I really like the way cities expand now. I also think city states were a great addition. Diplomacy seems odd and there is no explanation about some of the deals. I don't think there are foreign trade routes any more so there is isn't any real benefit to open borders, and what does a pact of cooperation actually accomplish? The one thing that is really bugging me though is how unit maintenance is calculated. There seems no logic to it. Anyway, I can't see me going back to Civ4 so I will continue playing and look forward to one or two patches. 8/10 so far I think.

Steve
 

Offline Shinanygnz

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Re: Civ 5
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2010, 08:37:23 AM »
Not got it yet.  Waiting on the player reviews and first patch.
I never really got on with Civ 4; religion was Meh! as it didn't really do much and I hated the change to the combat system.  Great Person was cool though.  Not having to know xml made modding Civ 3 much easier too (change a text file or two and add a couple of graphics - what could be simpler?)
What I've always wanted from Civ is a Call to Power style combat system where having a proper combined army was FtW.
 

Offline Shinanygnz

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Re: Civ 5
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2010, 05:38:35 AM »
Downloaded the demo from Steam last night and played through a 100 turn game (the limit).  It's Civ as we know it, but with a stacking limit of 1 combat/non-combat unit per hex.  I am not liking that on first play.  Have to give it another couple of goes and see if that's a deal breaker for me.  I can see a limit to reduce "stack of doom", but one!?!
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Civ 5
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2010, 10:57:34 AM »
Downloaded the demo from Steam last night and played through a 100 turn game (the limit).  It's Civ as we know it, but with a stacking limit of 1 combat/non-combat unit per hex.  I am not liking that on first play.  Have to give it another couple of goes and see if that's a deal breaker for me.  I can see a limit to reduce "stack of doom", but one!?!

Having been in it a week or so now, I've refined my opinion:

  • I don't think it's so much trying to kill the SoD, as much as trying to rip out a lot of the complexity, which in turn makes the game faster and (for some) more fun to play.  One of the reviews I read http://www.joystiq.com/2010/09/17/civilization-5-review/ called it a cross between Civ4 and CivRevolution, which apparently is a simplified console version that I never played.  It also says that the UI was designed by the guy who did the CivRevolution UI.
  • They've succeeded in speeding the game up.  The game feels a lot faster - I've now got Infantry after only a week of play, which probably would have taken me a month to get to in Civ4 (I like huge maps :-) ).
  • The cost of the speed-up is ripping out a lot of the richness of Civ4.  The tech tree now looks more like a "pipe" - 3-4 techs wide, and they've gone back to an "and" condition for preconditions, so you have to advance through it like a wave-front (no lunging forward on military tech while letting economic languish).  Income is no longer fungible - there are separate mechanisms  for generating research, gold, and happiness, and there's no way to trade off between them, other than by deciding which buildings you're going to build.  Flipping of cities due to culture is gone - culture now only lets you buy hexes one-at-a-time - once you own a hex I think the only way to lose it is to lose the city.  Combat is less rich too (although maneuvering is a micro-managment PitA due to the 1-unit limit) - the unit and promotion differentiation doesn't feel as pronounced.  Gone are the days of the dreaded Axeman with its 100% bonus against melee units, as near as I can tell (actually, I think the unit itself might be gone).  The differentiation due to resources is also washed out - they typically only give a bonus of 1 when improved now.
  • The scale of the combat system feels wrong.  If a typical spacing between cities is 6 hexes, then archers (with a range of 2) can fire 1/3 of that, while modern artillery only has a range of 3.  I like the ranged combat idea, but I wished they'd tried to fix SoD (which I'm not convinced needed fixing, due to seige units and flanking attacks) by going to more of a STARS! mechanism where two stacks would fight it out in a tactical display without human input
  • The biggest problem I have is that it feels like a lot of the attention-to-detail on the part of the lead designer that I saw in Civ4 isn't there.  In all the previous Civ versions, it's felt like they've very carefully tuned the game so that the right things happen at the right times, and so that everything fits together in an integral whole.  I don't see that here - for example, there aren't any designer's notes which would explain the decisions they made.  It feels a bit like the game went out before it was ready, i.e. that they had the mechanics coded up and didn't have time to work through the ramifications of what they'd done.

Overall, I think that what they were going for was a "Beer-and-pretzels" game, more along the lines of the original (board game) Civilization, rather than a detail-oriented monster along the lines of an SPI game.  I think they succeeded in this, it's just that I liked the detail-driven monster that was Civ4 :-)

Ok, now for some things I like:
  • The hexes are nice.
  • The way cities grow with culture is interesting.  It would have been nice if they'd combined it with the old method by e.g. making the culture effect depend on travel time rather than distance (so culture flows along roads easier).
  • City-states are an interesting idea.  They're kind of like dynamic goody-shacks.
  • Errrr I thought there were more, but they're not coming to mind right now.

John
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Civ 5
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2010, 09:37:18 PM »
I still can't get into the game despite about thirty starts :), which is a shame as I am a huge civ fan. I really don't know why it hasn't gripped me like Civ4 did as I like some of the changes. As John said, I think this game may be a collection of ideas, some of them very good, without any strategic overview as to how the game plays out. The English Longbowmen for example is a huge advantage in the early game as its 3 hex range means it can shoot at cities with total impunity. It's almost a case of not playing the English as they make it too easy. The overall difficulty is much lower too. I am playing at the very hard difficulty because normal difficulty is almost impossible to lose and the AI is too easy to outfight with simple maneuvers. I also still haven't worked out how unit maintenance is calculated and its a real pain not having such key information.

One game I had a scout get three upgraded weapon results from ruins and I had a rifleman in about 3000 BC !! Had to quit that game because I couldn't get over the giggle factor of my riflemen conquering the entire ancient world :)

Every time I load the game after a break I have no real desire to play the game I saved and I keep starting a new one trying to capture the one-more-turn feel of the old civs. I really, really wanted this game to be great and its proving to be OK, but nothing special at the moment. Perhaps after some patches the Civ magic will return.

Steve
« Last Edit: October 04, 2010, 09:41:38 PM by Steve Walmsley »
 

Offline Shinanygnz

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Re: Civ 5
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 11:37:03 AM »
I shall soon have a better opinion as I just got it as a pressie for my birthday.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Civ 5
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 08:48:32 PM »
I shall soon have a better opinion as I just got it as a pressie for my birthday.

Happy Birthday :-)
 

Offline Shinanygnz

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Re: Civ 5
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2010, 11:49:19 AM »
Happy Birthday :-)

Thanks.  Went out for a very tasty meal at a local Arabic restaurant, recommended by our gay ninja (well 4th Dan Aikido) at work.  Got back and started a "learn it" game on low level.  Liking it so far.  The ability to purchase tiles to get to that resource over yonder is cool.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Civ 5
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2010, 10:24:02 PM »
I finally had an exciting game. Played as the Egyptians on Emperor/Epic on a large Pangaea map with 12 civs/24 CS. Had an iffy starting location near tundra but decided to go with it. Followed a strategy of building wonders and increasing culture while fortifying my borders. My location was in the centre of a dumbell-shaped contintent so everyone else was split into eastern and western areas. The Ottomans were becoming a serious threat in the West though as they and the Aztecs mopped up several other civs. The Aztecs were mainly on the far side of the Ottomans though and I had a city in a coastal salient in the heart of Ottoman territory. In the East the Japanese and Russians were killing everyone else. Although the Russians were lower tech than me, the Japanese had the highest score in the game. Two city states, Sidon and Singapore, were between me and the Japs in the north-east while the Russians were slowing expanding their territory to my south-east and east.

I used three Great Scientists to leap to rifleman/artillery and built several riflemen and a single artillery. My intention was to wound the Ottomans, who appeared to be the most serious threat, then turn to face the Japanese. Unfortunately, just as I was about to launch my spoiling attack against the Turks, Russia and Japan attacked me simultaneously. Singapore was my ally and held a narrowish mountain pass so they held up the Japs while I rapidly reoriented my suddenly feeble-looking military to fend off the massive number of Russian musketmen, crossbowmen and pikemen crossing my border. A couple of Japanese riflemen also appeared down the narrow strip between the sea and the mountains that was held by Sidon. I used my available funds to ally Sidon to distract further Japanese reinforcements and managed to destroy the intruders with a combination of my single artillery, a nearby city and one of my own riflemen. Meanwhile my other 4/5 Rifleman ran aorund the countryside killing off Russian invaders. Every city starting building military units but it was a very slow process.

I finally halted the Russian hordes just as the Japs conquered Singapore and started exiting my end of the pass. I got a second artillery just in time and used riflemen fortified on hills supported by indirect fire to hold the line. Workers moved in and built forts under fire plus road links to those forts. Eventually I reached a point where I could hold the line and spare a few riflemen. I used this strategic reserve to launch an offensive against the Russians and took two of their cities. They offered peace negotiations and I settled for two of their cities, one of which I razed and the other was quickly taken by a fresh wave of Japanese troops. Three factors swung the balance in my favour. A new great scientist allowed me to research infantry, a third artillery was built and I finally got a couple of ironclads into service. They sailed down the coast and blasted the Japs who had just taken Sidon. While holding on the Singapore front, I launched an offensive and liberated Sidon, which was then indebted to me. The Japs were fully committed on the Singapore front and didn't mount any attempt to retake Sidon. This allowed me to move the full weight of my forces to face them. A large battle ensued on the plains near St Petersburg, a Russian city south of Singapore that I received in the Russian surrender but which was captured by the Japs. While that battle raged, I launched a blitzkrieg down the pass to Singapore and recaptured the city, which completely unhinged the Japanese line. Their forward units were now trapped between Singapore, which bestrode the pass leading back to the bulk of Japanese territory, my units near St Petersburg and the new Russian border. I mercilessly crushed them and launched my victorious forces in a twin assault through the territory of Sidon and Singapore. The Japanese were in serious trouble and three of their cities quickly fell, including the former Indian capital. I was running out of steam though and Ottoman forces were massing in the West so I settled for peace negotiations. The Japs kept most of their territory but I liberated several English cites and two Indian ones, recreating both civs. They didn't seem very grateful though.

My battle-hardened forces used the newly built railways to move to the West. At this point I realised that I had no aluminium at all in my territory and the Ottomans had several resource locations. As the Ottomans were plainly going to attack me anyway, I used my carefully hoarded funds (and 7000 GP from the Jap surrender) to upgrade several of my infantry to Mechanized Infantry and attacked them first. The Egyptian blitzkrieg took two cities immediately but the Ottomans also had infantry by now and a costly, drawn-out battle took place, with my outnumbered but technologically superior forces holding off Ottoman human wave assaults. I created a Citadel in the midst of my defensive line, which was located in some woods along a river, and used it as a bulwark upon which the Ottomans expended themselves. My first tanks and aircraft arrived, which proved sufficient to break the stalemate and I took the city which was backing up their attacks. The Ottoman defences collapsed completely and my tanks ran unhindered across great swathes of their territory. Several cities fell and the Ottomans sued for whatever peace terms they could achieve. I was magnaminous as usual and just ensured they would be no further threat. Now for those Aztecs!

Steve
 

 

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