Civ V - Random Thoughts (Long)


Oct 1, 2010
Hi folks, first time poster, long time listener. Been playing Civ games rabidly since the 2nd, and now that I've played 5 for a while, I wanted to post my thoughts and see what you hardcore fanatics think.

It looks beauoooootiful. I really appreciate the graphic improvements of the game, especially the number of little guys in a unit. It really rocks. The ocean! She is so pretty!

It takes way too long to build stuff. I've got a city and IIRC it has 15 pop with plenty of production, but it still takes me 32 turns to build a freakin' stadium? And military units, forget about it. I realize the designers want to avoid huge armies used in older games, but really, them units is soooo expensive.

The manual could use a section about "What's changed from the last game". Here I am, plopping roads down on resources to connect them to the ol' trade network, and then I find out that's not necessary. C'mon guys, throw us diehards a bone here, will ya? Oh, and would a physical, printed manual be that costly? Thanks for the tech tree poster but I'm not in college and have real stuff to put on my walls.

Policies are cool. I really dig how culture is banked and used to unlock kewl powers. It helps make the inevitable hundreds of more games I'll play before Civ6 different. I also like how some block future use of others--makes sense. That said ....

Policies dampen the affect and feel of different governments. I don't even know what kind of government I have. I guess then that it's not important, which sucks. I'm called a Lord--am I feudal? Imperial? A Stargate Go'a'ul System Lord? Got no clue!

I miss religions. I don't care what people think, I loved them! It helped me feel my empire was different than everyone else's and allowed me to dabble in religious genocide. Who doesn't love that? The affect of different religions combined with policies was great and I want that back.

AI for leaders is annoying, crappy, and unrealistic. This reminds me of an older version (2?). I meet another empire. We shake hands, share a glass of wine, talk about Mad Men, and when I ask for some pearls ... they demand 3 resources AND cash? Maybe I haven't explored the game enough but EVERY empire seems to demand at least 3 resources for their 1. Stupid.

City-States are a nice addition. I'm not super happy about having them, but they make a nice change to the game for me. Getting units, culture, and food is cool. I also like when they try to gang up on me when I get my aggression on. Try and stop me!

Borders expand too slowly. This is getting old. I have like 9 cities on the same half of the continent, it's the 1940s, and there's still huge swaths of non-owned land that an enemy empire keeps settling. It's more annoying than anything else, which should be a sin in a game.

I love how any unit can sail away. Sail away with me! Not having to bulk up on transports is super groovy. Now I can send my settlers off to die on another continent much more quickly!

Barbarian village spawning gets old quickly. Find a barb village. Raze it. Hear the lamentations of their women. A few turns later, pop comes another one. Repeat until you're sick of it--and keep repeating. I'm playing whack-a-mole in the modern era and it's getting old.

I'm OK with Steam but not for Civ5. Wow, I unlocked a TF2-like achievement for Civ5? Whatever. I just want to play my new game--stop downloading yet another patch for Left4Dead 2!

Goodbye fat cross! And good riddance. I love how any resource within your borders can be exploited. I'm all about exploitation! Wait, that's not what I meant ....

Where's my railroads? Just a graphic bug but it annoys me. So I research railroads and set my minions to building a rail network across my vast evil empire. Sometimes, a hex shows the rail in a slightly blurry graphic--other times, there's no difference between a railroad and a dirt road, graphically. Let me see the work of my underpaid citizens!

Thanks. I feel better now. Off to show Russia and Persia who's the man. (Anthrax is, if you get the joke.)


Sep 25, 2010
My Game Play Experiences Part 1:
Well it is safe to say that Civ 5 is worth the money. With that said, let’s take a look back at our dear old friend Civ 4 in an effort to explain some of the changes that have been made and to also ask ourselves why these significant changes were made.

1. Civics:
I remember teching the same old path over and over again; bronze for slavery, priesthood to see if I could build Oracle to get a free tech which was usually either monarchy for the happiness bump or code of laws to get to civil service quicker. Bureaucracy is what I call the “pro’s” civic. Most players would move through the tech tree based on resources and other non-relevant needs. The fact of the matter is that the first civ to get to bureaucracy had a pretty significant advantage especially if you coupled it with an academy.

Why did this change?

It got boring. The civics were way too unbalanced. For example; having slavery in the modern era to quickly build nukes was just way to unrealistic (note: all they had to do was make it so that once you abolished slavery you could never go back). Out go the civics in come the social policies. But wouldn’t you know that the designers would find a way to dumb this down into a silo style engineering methodology. If you want to wonder whore go right ahead we will help you do that. If you want to be a war monger go right ahead we will help you there too. Feel like being a tech junkie? By all means knock yourself out. You want to spam settlers? Just do it. But here is the problem. Most laws and civics along with religious attributes were mostly reactive in nature throughout history, definitely not proactive like this game suggests.

I propose a solution.

If you happen to build a large military early you should be able to unlock military minded policies. If you happen to build a wonder or two maybe this unlocks another policy. The link between culture and policies is unrealistic in my view. Maybe you can gain policy points to improve your chances of unlocking a desired policy; this could be similar to odds of creating a great person in civ 4. A little unpredictability is what makes the game more challenging and fun to play imo.

2. Combat:
I had a discussion with a well known Earth/FFA MP player about combat and we came to the same conclusion; Civ is a war game at the end of the day. The most successful players would slave chop a huge army regardless of score and run wild over the map. Feeding their depleted economy with gold plundered from beaten civs that usually would quit when they saw a stack of doom on their border. The quitting is what I hate the most in MP FFA; please note that I am guilty of it too (can you say ranking system?) I am also going to throw in the inevitable warrior rush component of civ 4. If you have ever hosted an FFA you know as well as I do that there is usually 1 or 2 players that are “new to the game” for the sake of time we will call these players noobs or the alternate spelling newbs. A noob would leave there civ unprotected and any savvy player would look at the score and look at the civ to determine if they started with a scout and would proceed to walk their warrior into the civ and take the city. This advantage of having a noob or AI close by is usually insurmountable. Another component of combat had to do with the randomness of who had copper pop in their cap. If I have copper my neighbor was dead in civ 4 most of the time. If I had horses in cap you could bank on 6 chariots on your door step while you were about to settle your second city.

So what changed?

Goodbye warrior rush, we will simply give the noob the ability to defend a city without a unit in it. That levels that playing field. Goodbye random copper, hello everyone has copper how are you doing this fine evening? (Oh, and by the way, iron called and wants to join the party too) this too should help level the playing field. Goodbye slavery but we would still like to hang around your cute friend “slap chop” as I would like to call her. Now this really levels the playing field, sort of??? I am talking to you iron. Goodbye stacks of death you are just too falic in nature. (Hey Firaxis, this is one of the reasons guys like to play this game. It makes them feel like they have a bigger penis) This should make the shower after gym class feel less stressful for our good old friend “the noob”. With all of that said I like the changes to combat except for the fact that it takes way too long to build units just to lose a catapult to a horseman that is not in view.

I propose a solution.

Allow weak units to have a unit ride shotgun like a great general. This uses up a unit and would increase its ability to defend only. That shot gun unit cannot attack unless it wastes a turn to “undefend” so to speak. Please also make it so that F$@#&^g scouts do not impede my war machine. Let’s have a safe passage agreement that you start with unless the AI or player gets angry and nullifies it. Killing a scout should not start a war.

The unhappiness is a bear to deal with. Happy buildings must be cheaper to buy and build. Firaxis, are you trying to make this game into something other than a war game? Because if I wanted to build an empire I would play the Sims, DO YOU FEEL ME?

Barbs. What can I say? I see them in my sleep. Enough said.

Here is another problem I have noticed. Some Jack hole stretches his settlement to my cultural border and buys up all the valuable tiles. I of course switch on the war machine silo and begin to amass an obvious army. He proceeds to counter with a crap ton of units while others are breezing along chatting it up with B.S. city states and building wonders that should not have an effect on score. Fast forward 30 turns; me and my cold war neighbor are mired in battle while the more passive civs stroll along civ builder’s yellow brick road. We are war weary and have fallen behind on tech, culture, and more importantly, units. That’s right; just because I built a crap ton of units doesn’t mean they all survive. Now my other neighbor notices my lush capital has a archer in it and my army scattered throughout hex land and decides to move 4 swords and a catapult to my cap and it is goodnight sweet Jesus. MAKE TILES CLOSE TO OTHER CIVS WAY TOO EXPENSIVE TO BUY EARLY GAME! Or make it so that the farther you are away from your cap the more expensive they are to buy. Sounds so simple.

Here’s an idea Seth…FIX IT!

These are simply some suggestions from a guy that is worse than some and better than others at this game. I know that this is a forum for fans which means I am sure to get an earful of complacent die hards that thinks Firaxis can do no wrong. So with that said let your suggestions be heard. I love Civ 3 & 4, Civ 5 is nice but playing does not have the addictive appeal for some reason and it is too good to play to the extent that it has ruined Civ 4 for me. Does anyone else feel this way?

Part 2 will be released after the first major patch is up and running. I am sure the topics will be about MP and the weak ass AI and those odd ball city states that don’t add up. (It’s like Firaxis is making us scout, trade, and be diplomatic. Don’t tell me what to do Firaxis.)

See you on the battle field friends and foes and may the luckiest player with iron win!

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