I've been playing more and more of the very first Civ lately. Despite having quite a few flaws associated with the first title, it's also quite elegant, and, unlike its immediate successor Civ2, surprisingly aesthetically pleasant... so why not to write an AAR about the game where it all began, the game that spawned everything from further Civs to things like Warlock, Endless Legend, and even Polytopia. I'll be playing on the King level, as Americans, in honor of the land where Civ1 was developed. Besides, there's definitely something immediately post-Cold War American in the game's shiny optimism. So, let us build The intro is definitely the best in the series. Civ3 is probably the second. Civ4 starts out well, but you'd think it's some sort of antiquity game, since it doesn't contain the sense of technological advancement at all... (For more on the topic, Sullla has an interesting essay on Civ intro videos at his website: http://www.sullla.com/introvideos.html) The Americans, true to their pioneer spirit, immediately start exploring the lands around Washington. I avoided the tribal village for the time being, since it can spawn hostile barbarians. There's a graphical effect of rivers flowing and waves slightly breaking over the beaches. It's amusing to think that the effect returned to the series only with Civ4. One of Civ1's particularities is that the very first turns often witness quite a lot of early eliminations, due to the way map generator creates continents and places capitals (early eliminated civs do respawn, but are often quite inept, either being eliminated soon again, or, due to bad coding, not building more than 1 city). We met the Romans west of us and exchanged technologies. Despite their threats, they were willing to sign peace with us. Entering a faraway tribal village, our Militia found the natives to be quite friendly, charmed by the American way of life. They taught us how to lay bricks on top of each other. Interestingly, the most primitive unit is called Militia only in Civ1. The rest of Civs prefer the name "Warrior", although it's not really much better... are Spearmen or Swordsmen not "warriors"? "Clubman" is probably the best name for them. After we found New York next to the village on the screenshot, we explored it, since villages in the city's BFC can't spawn hostiles. These Civilopedia tech spawns make me think of children's encyclopedias - with reason, since Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley were consulting them in the process of developing the game. It greatly contributes to the athmosphere of Civ. The Romans were unroaching on our Manifest Destiny. This couldn't stand. But first, more free trade. America will always spread the noble principles of free trade and exchange of ideas, even under Despotism. And then we decided that Caesar was no longer useful to us. Since the game doesn't include Carthage as a civilization, it makes sense for the Romans to have this city, given its importance in the empire... but it's still quite ironic. The Chariots (4/1/2) are really OP in Civ1. It's enlightening to track the fortunes of Chariot unit in all successive civs - in Civ2, it already got nerfed to 3/1/2, before becoming a rarely-built, niche 1/1/2 in Civ3, totally outclassed by Horsemen (except its UU's). In Civ4, they were somewhat boosted from Civ3 obscurity to become a niche early rush/anti-axemen unit. They kept the niche role in Civ5, but this time, they were a weak-ish mobile archer. In Civ6, afaik, they are a rather marginal pre-calvalry unit, again. By conquering Rome, we learnt the concept of "Kings". Interestingly, in Despotism, your Civ1 title is Emperor, making it, in a sense, superior to Monarchy. But then, Despotism is a surprisingly viable wartime government in Civ1, due to unit support production maintenance on your units in all other governments. Notably, the concept of sacrificing your cities' per-turn production for having an army was last seen in Civ2 - apparently, the system was judged as overly complex and not that fun. The last Roman city was soon captured, too. We discover the Republic, my preferable government in Civ1. There's something incredibly charming in this image of Sid Meier in a toga. Sid Meier was absent in Civ2, but made a return in Civ3 as the science advisor, something I always considered to be quite neat. In Civ4, there's a hidden leaderhead of him that appears in game files, but not in the game itself. Afaik, Civ5 and Civ6 contain no such reference to the "father of civilization", which is a pity. We continued to advance our Manifest Destiny by settling the other lands, but its native inhabitants, the Mongols, certainly weren't the type to joke around. Fearing for our small outpost of Philadelphia, we agreed to pay them tribute. Finally, our land was prosperous enough, with its spacious skies and amber waves of grain, to become a Republic. Civ1 Newspapers were really awesome. Sadly, the series pretty much abandoned them after that, but I'm sure that they inspired the newspapers in Victoria 2, which I also like a lot (even if a lot of Vicky players consider them a distraction). The sad fates of the Egyptians and the Germans confirmed to us that the Mongols are quite aggressive. Quite a lot of civilizations already out of the game - a common thing in Civ1, like noted.