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[R&F] Civ is about the map. Until it isn’t.

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by acluewithout, May 12, 2018.

  1. DJ_Tanner

    DJ_Tanner Emperor

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    That statement is a perfect summation of the series in general. I think you are spot on on your observations, and it is something that has always plagued the series. The game is just so different on turn 100 than it is on turn 0 and that change becomes exponential. Part of that is the design of the genre, you begin with nothing and grow into a powerful force. But the gameplay is starkly different. The game should find new ways to keep you engaged with the map into the later eras be that through increasing the colonization abilities or changing how you influence the world. I think it is inching that direction. The underlying systems for religion, trade, and loyalty are great ideas, I just think they need some more time in the oven to really understand how they interconnect and where they overlap. I do hope the devs keep that in mind as they add features, because the game really does revolve around the map and features that don't engage the player with the map should be avoided (even if they add historical significant or are super cool).
     
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  2. cinattra

    cinattra Warlord

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    Civ6 is all about the land grab and science grab...game over!

    After Civ4 they dispensed with too many mechanics that were working just fine. Civ5 was beautiful but started easing away from all the things that made Civ4 engaging and tension filled.

    Civ6 is meh when I have to go back and play the other 2.

    It is not about the map per se...it's about how the map is allowed to be played.

    I.e. cities that cannot defend themselves and military stacks.
     
  3. blackbutterfly

    blackbutterfly King

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    Despite Ed Beach in an early Civ VI interview saying Civ is all about "playing the map", for some reason Civ VI's maps are sub par.

    I've been playing Beyond Earth multiplayer quite a bit recently and the maps in that game are really good, much better than Civ V's standard maps. B'cos they're all scripts (not of Africa, Australia, etc.) they are better balanced. Great for MP!

    Each MP game I've played is about the map. You play the map...not the civ. So the game is different each time. (Meanwhile Civ VI MP is so monotonous...besides being glitchy).

    The map is a crucial piece of the Civ game. An integral part IMO.

    Civ VI added a 4th unique to civs making them less balanced for MP. I find in Civ VI I'm playing the civ more than the map. (E.g: as Nubia I settle the edges of desert, as England or Indonesia I settle coasts, etc.)

    I think the guy who produced all the maps for Civ games "Bob" left Firaxis. He's not credited as author in any of Civ VI's maps. It explains all the issues with start locations, rivers, etc. Someone's stepped in to fill that void.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  4. Chepas

    Chepas Chieftain

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    I completely agree with the original post. Further, on Emperor, I feel I have no choice but to conquer 2 other civilizations to achieve parity / gain an edge in the game. No matter how well I settle/expand, I'm just too far behind on the exponential curve.

    I just played an epic game (as in "awesome", not as in "everything is produced slower" -- it was standard speed.) It was on the Large Europe map that came with YnAMP. I played as the Aztecs (non-historical, I know), which gave me a start in Iraq in a very fertile area full of floodplains and the Tigris/Euphrates rivers. Normally such a bountiful food source in Civ games would let me pump out settlers like no tomorrow, but food doesn't help with that in Civ VI. It also gave me the double-edged sword of semi-isolation -- no water to cross, but a large distance to the 2nd closest neighbor, and even the closest neighbor was 20 tiles away. Moving Eagle Warriors and Archers on one-way missions to take out the nearest civ was challenging, but then a real awesome dynamic opened up -- North Africa.

    The map has a lot of detail on the northern coast of Africa, and I had no competition at first, because other civs had to go the long way around the Med. But North Africa is 60 tiles across and at least 20 deep. This means LOTS of barbarians as I explored. The entire army that took out a major civ was swallowed up fighting in groups of 2-3 as I tried to explore. It was *challenging* and *rewarding*, as each new luxury resource meant the extra attack power I needed as the Aztecs to take on Pikemen that Rome and Greece were already building en masse. My notional "Afrikakorps" made it 3/4ths the way across before retreating to upgrade, and had to do a lot fun fighting in the meanwhile.

    What was sad -- I never really settled North Africa, despite winning a science victory eventually. Settlers just became too expensive and slow to build, and were only sent out to secure new luxury resources after a while (one to create a harbor on the Med.) And they moved painfully slowly -- it would take 17-20 turns from my western-most city to reach a lot of places I wanted to go until I could get a trade route built.

    Even after I took over another Civ's 4 cities, Rome was doubling me in science per turn, and Greece had a continuation page of Great Works when doing diplomacy. If I didn't attack Greece at the first opportunity they were going to win the game before 1400 AD. The second I researched Replaceable Parts I had my muskets/swordsmen/warriors and crossbowmen staged, did upgrades to all, and sent them across the Med to try to get a foothold in Greece, not liking my odds when they had twice the military "score" as I did, and I was attacking.

    Well, as many have you have figured out, the long time/investment required to produce units means you should fight the AI's military first then take their cities. If you can dig in and wear down their counterattack with good terrain and indirect fires, they'll run their units into the ground then you can siege at will. I took out their capital and then it snowballed into rapid conquest. I love battering rams.

    At any point in there, a joint war from any of 4 other civs could have pushed me back into the sea, but no one moved, even the far more advanced Romans. I was completely overextended and it would have taken literally 15 turns to bring up meager reinforcements (that were busy holding off the steady stream of barbarians from North Africa and Saudi Arabia, and the northeast hinterlands...)

    Then it was too late. I solidified my "colonial" holdings and started hitting next turn. The fun was gone, honestly, other than my self-imposed quest to get as many luxuries as possible. Taking over one mature civ ended the game. I ended up with cultural and scientific victories within a turn of each other at the end.

    That game was epic when I was playing / fighting / conquering *the map* -- and what a rewarding map it was. But it could have been so much more... more than half the map was unused in all honesty. And that is after I increased the number of starting civs a couple more than default.

    Expanding is too expensive and too slow, and rarely rewarding. Conquering pays far higher dividends.
     
  5. Sherlock

    Sherlock Just one more turn...

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    The 'TL;DR' version of Chepas epic post:

    The AI gets way ahead of you and the game forces you to use your military to knock them down. There's no 'playing the map', there's no 'different strategies'.... no, you have to attack the AI. Rule of thumb is you always attack your closest neighbor.
     
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  6. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    It's going to be strange coming from me because I'm one of the most flagrant warmongers possible and often point out that non-war VCs are pseudo victory conditions...but quoted statement isn't consistent with reality for single player games against the AI. You can easily find footage on YouTube of skilled deity players running the game start to finish w/o eliminating neighbors/doing offensive wars and winning science or culture with solid times.

    In PvP not so much, because people will try to kill you much more effectively. But in PvP it's not about the AI bonuses. Conquest through war is the most efficient way to consistently defeat opponents who are trying in civ 6, but the AI doesn't actually try.

    I never got to a high level of play before Civ 4, but this has been true at least since then. Civ 4 deity was a lot harder to set up conquest since stacking helped inept AI tactics a little and teching ---> unit strength disparity for :hammers: trades was more meaningful, but it's been true that conquest is the higher dividend path for well over a decade in civ now, and quite possibly since inception.
     
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  7. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Well it doesn't really matter if you're behind below deity anyways since the AI won't be winning before turn 300 typically and generally doesn't have upgraded units. On Emperor, you probably only need like ~10 cities to win, maybe 5 of them have to be good. Even on that deity game I won on; I only had 14 cities though I did take some: I don't really see what you else you can do when the spawns are that close.

    Was behind 1 in science by a bit but they were nowhere close to winning. This is before they changed the YEILD bug though however judging by what I've read it hasn't really sped the AI up too much. But since better players are done like 100 turns before I would, it hardly is an issue.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
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  8. Chepas

    Chepas Chieftain

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    I honestly wasn't aware of peaceful Deity victories in "normal" conditions -- I will have to check that out. I'm not a super micro-manager, but I am confident there are strategies and tactics I hadn't considered to make up that gap peacefully.

    My current ability leaves me a challenging game on Emperor -- I can win most of the games I play out, but there are a couple "false starts" now and then. I can beat Immortal under controlled conditions (Scythian horseman rush on the 4-way map, for instance) but I haven't tried it on a real game yet. I'm exploring the different civs -- I do enjoy how differently each one plays at Prince and King. At Emperor, I feel compelled to attack as soon as possible, but that may be because my expansion/settling isn't up to snuff!
     
  9. Esperr

    Esperr King

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    What civ game are you playing? I havn't posted here in forever, VI is the one civ where the map matters the least besides maybe 1.
     
  10. Za01phod

    Za01phod Chieftain

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    Just give me a proper terra map!
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Map definitely matters more in 6 than 5, 1, or 2 from a decision-making standpoint. I've not played 3 enough to know the nuance. The reason is adjacency, tactical terrain (not really more so than 4/5, but more than early games), placement restrictions, and no fallback on tradition + 3-4 cities.

    Map mattered the most in Civ 4, to a fault as on non-standard script you could spawn with wildly unfair scenarios only matched by the bugged tundra starts in this game, with a larger proportion of you early game progress tethered to this RNG.
     
  12. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    What you may find - and I could be completely wrong here since I don't know how you play - is that playing efficiently enough to play peacefully and win at Deity may be primarily about cutting out things you may be doing currently, at least until your empire is strong enough to afford diversions. Oh, and doing the things you need to do to hit as many eureka/inspiration boosts as possible.

    Do I really need that building/district/wonder? Does it trigger a eureka/inspiration or otherwise me along the tech/civic tree efficiently? Would running a project be just as good? If not, and I do need it, have I set up Magnus and a Builder to chop it in as quickly as possible?


    One of the things Civ 6 does well, to my mind, and likely better than other iterations of Civ, is make the map "different but equal". It doesn't completely succeed because some resources are just better than others and sometimes it just plunks you down on a coast (Hi, Victoria!) with no river nearby for even your second city, but that's more a challenge with the map seeding than the underlying mechanics. Between the eureka/inspiration system and the varying yields by resources, the game does play differently, especially early on, depending on where you start.

    Starting near a natural Wonder, though, can make the game silly easy. As in my test game 7, where I could place my second city beside a Piopiotahi that was surrounded by resources for a foolish amount of early game culture + gold.
     
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  13. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    Yeah, I (as a non-expert) think the mechanics well pretty well with the map. It's just that the maps are boring.

    Of course the civs become more detached from the surrounding land as they advance. That's true in RL too.
     
  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    At least this is less common than good food + gold/gems openers in Civ 4 while someone else gets plainscow'd or tossed into a sea of jungle (which is significantly more punitive than it is in Civ 6). Civ 6 is far from perfect but it does have less map-spawn RNG while still having actual decision points in that regard.
     
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  15. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    Yep. And obviously some natural wonders are better than others. My current game I started with the Pantanal just outside of my capital. Really didn't affect me (other than dropping an earlier holy site). But if that was Torres nearby on a grass forest hill deer? Yeah, that would be sweet.

    There is a difference certainly whether the resources near you are all plantation resources without a mine/quarry to lay down, or whether you start next to Spices or Sugar to really speed your food along. But I definitely remember those civ 4 games where the only food you got was a plains hill sheep, instead of getting the wet corn.
     
  16. blackbutterfly

    blackbutterfly King

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    How so?

    I think you'll find coastline, rivers, lakes, mountains, etc. are usual boundaries between enduring nations.

    IRL superficial nations like the former Yugoslavia, USSR and India that don't adhere to those rules are countries that don't last. The Indian sub-continent has already begun to Balkanise beginning with the formation of Bangladesh. It's actually a hotbed of political turmoil all over - in the south Tamil Nadu (and Sri Lanka with the Tamil Tigers), Kashmir & Jammu, Punjab, etc.

    You could also include in that list nations that have been vanquished and resurrected like Poland.

    FYI I haven't played a standard Civ VI map (in single player) in more than a year! (Ex: testing mods).

    IMO Firaxis civ maps peaked at Beyond Earth (for map scripts). TBH my favourite maps to play are my own Scrambled maps (which are inspired by Civ V's) :D
     
  17. Chepas

    Chepas Chieftain

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    You actually diagnosed me pretty well there. I moved up from King to Emperor when I got very comfortable chopping/harvesting and knowing when to do so; maybe my next step is to see city projects as a desirable item, not a default because I have nothing better to build or it would take 47 turns to build something.

    There is a part of me that really enjoys the "building" part of the game -- placing districts, improving land, etc. I make some sweet setups with Germany when I play them.

    Of course, when I do run projects, I end up pleasantly surprised ("How do I have 5000 gold all of a sudden? Oh wait, I remember...")

    (Also, to be honest, I'm still playing Vanilla. I'll pick up R&F next time the wife is out of town and I have time to really explore it!)
     
  18. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    Yup. Projects are basically the default build that something else needs to be really good to displace. The selection menu works against us, intuitively, as it buries these down at the bottom.
     
  19. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Deity

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    I wouldn't play the game if it wasn't for the large/ludicrous Terra maps on
    offer by Team Gedemon. They are beautiful, configurable, and they make
    exploration a joy with all manner of surprises and disappointments. YMMV.
     
  20. Sherlock

    Sherlock Just one more turn...

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    Are these in the workshop? I'm having trouble finding them. If they give you maps worth playing I'd like to try them.

    I played one more game last night just to see if I could find a decent map. Restarted six times. Finally got a 'ok' city-start. Second city location was just fair, third was crap and the AI starts pulling away from me big time. The crummy maps with such little production and such rare resources are why I'm done with CiVI.
     

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