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Civilization 4: The Best Strategy Game?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Jkern, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. JrK

    JrK Chieftain

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    Thou sir, wouldst suckst at the game. :p

    Starcraft is widely regarded as the best RTS ever. Even games like C&C, while having sentimental value, are not as strategic, tactical, original, well balanced and exciting as Starcraft, and it has one of the greatest stories ever seen in a game to boot!
     
  2. carl corey

    carl corey Deity

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    I agree about C&C type games. I liked them, but they're often reduced to building the most advanced type of unit in large numbers. I'd say Starcraft is way more different in this regard. Those zerlings can be a lean mean killin' machine even late in the game if used properly. While building some stupid infantry in C&C will amount to nothing against tanks most of the time. One thing might have made Starcraft even more interesting would have been an "experience"-based approach. You often see "X kills" from a unit, but to my knowledge that does nothing to improve its characteristics. Maybe it would make the game TOO complex?! :D Dunno.
     
  3. Older than Dirt

    Older than Dirt King

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    Total War Medieval and Viking Invasion are better. In fact, Civ 2 is a better game, even though it does not have cute little beavers and horses which are too stupid to wander out of the valley that they somehow were put in by the mothership.
     
  4. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    Are we talking about Starcraft or Civ?

    Starcraft absolutely there are scripts. Combined arms don't really mean much when my zerglings are ready to rush before my allies marines, and besides the zerglings wipe out the opponent no matter what anyway. The only thing that defends against the zergling rush is another zergling rush.

    Maybe you aren't aware how exact some people have it down to a science... Don't want to do you a disservice though.

    I think Starcraft already has equal starts except for very minor differences. Maps, while slightly different, are designed to be equal and there is no randomness (unlike Civ). While this might mean Starcraft is more "fair" than Civ, it also means it's more cookie cutter. And that's exactly what I'm talking about.

    Agreed. That's one area that Starcraft has an advantage, and I do agree it's an advantage, over Civ.

    (Not everyone would agree, I think... back to the "fair" question. Is it fair when one player randomly gets zerglings when another is forced to play terran? The huge differences between them would argue against it being "fair". Civ has a little bit of difference between leaderheads/civs, but nothing like Starcraft.)

    I played with friends quite a bit. We had a group that got together every Friday night for gaming, and one of us had networked his place. 2 computers + laptops and a big hub. ;) We also did boardgaming quite a bit, something a lot of people don't do much anymore.

    Speaking of, how about the Civ boardgame? My biggest impression of it was how unbalanced it could be if one player got a bunch of resources. The computer Civ is the same way, though the map generator usually does a pretty good job.

    Wodan
     
  5. carl corey

    carl corey Deity

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    I was talking about Starcraft, sorry if it wasn't clear. :) I've seen the zerg rush performed with mathematical accuracy and still fail against a barracks + bunker built near the resources instead of trying to block a possible entrance to the base. I've also seen it half-fail against the Protoss, meaning the others would attack the zergs while the Protoss zealots would give them quite a hard time. :D In 4 vs 4 there was indeed nothing to be done against 4 zergs in the same team, but with other numbers I found out that sacrificing one of your teammates to go for the zergs can actually bring you victory. And as a terran you could always let them destroy everything then lift your command center to render the remaining zerlings useless there, so you'd finish the game too if your teammates manage the situation well.

    True, it's no fun being the "victim". :D But true team play meant for us putting the team before the individual. If there was nothing to be done for him, or if helping him would have meant that the team lost, well, tough luck, dude. You'll have your chance next time. And since most of the players didn't go for the zerling rush, many games were decided much later.

    Not sure what you meant by "cookie cutter". :) Not a native English speaker. Care to explain?

    The thing that amazed me most about Starcraft was the fact that it really seemed to be quite fair DESPITE the differences between the three races. Sure, the terran might be a little more difficult to play with, but boy, what I've seen good terran players do! Anyway, in Starcraft you'd get "equivalent" units about the same time with any race. With the research system in place in Civ who knows, this might become too much of an advantage for one civ or another?! And I agree that fairness becomes harder to achieve and assess the more complex the game is.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Oh, and for the record: I'm not saying that "fast clicking" has NO influence in Starcraft. It does indeed. Just maybe not the overwhelming influence some people tend to assign it. And I think strategy does still play a much more important role than speed.
     
  6. 68Thor06

    68Thor06 Chieftain

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    I think grinding in World of Warcraft is the best strategy...bahh nevermind, I should stop trying to be funny. ha

    The entire Civilization series is the best strategy game in my opinion. As the game matures, the developers will hopefully see what people liked in older versions and reimplement them into the newer versions. A lot of games just upgrade their graphics in new releases, Civ actually changes the dynamic of the game. I truly enjoy the Civ series and think this is by far hands down the best strategy game. When I think strategy games, I think of chess, Axis & Allies, and Civilization.
     
  7. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    Of course. Since I dislike the whole idea of the game, I'm unlikely to develop any of the skills needed.

    I'm not even any good at MP Civ4, because it just doesn't interest me to develop the skills to play so quickly.

    I don't deny that. It is a great game. But, like most RTS games, it's not a strategy game.
     
  8. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    I think you're way underestimating the decisions and strategy to be employed in Diablo. Read some of the Realms Beyond threads, for example.
     
  9. carl corey

    carl corey Deity

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    Ouch, that should have been "once" in my post. >.< Seeing it quoted hurts...

    About Diablo: yeah, I was probably speaking too fast. But I only played it single player and mostly for fun (edit: meaning without any competition in mind) so that's the impression I got. That while there were some decisions to be made here and there it was more about experiencing the awesome power of my character during the fights, without giving the "strategy" much thought. Close to a shooter, I guess. (don't shoot! :D )
     
  10. JrK

    JrK Chieftain

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    Why?

    I get the idea you've never really looked at the game proper, and dismissed it as a click&builder right off the bat, which is quite frankly, the most unfair action you could have done with this magnificent game.

    As for the strategy, you will fail if you don't use your High Templars, Defilers, Battlecruisers, Guardians, Siege Tanks, Reavers, Science Vessels and other casting or tactical units properly. Try taking a small pass with large, then with small units, see what kind of difference it makes. Wage the chances of arial, ground or mixed assault. Prepare diversionary manouvers to make a reaver/tank drop at the back site of the enemies base, near the resources.

    Then tell me again this isn't strategy. (it's better than civ, with it's "use catapult then swordsman" approach)
     
  11. marioflag

    marioflag History Addict

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    Alpha Centauri hands down
     
  12. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

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    Total Annihililation provided me with many happy hours and it would run well on a PIII-500 laptop with a 16Meg graphics card.

    There was a huge community of unit modders and it was the only game I've ever played where Land/Sea/Air combined arms could actually be implemented. The naval elements of that game still shame any of the Civs.
     
  13. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    That's not strategy. That's just tactical maneuvering. It's no different than, say, a fighting game, where you have to learn the different maneuvers and combos, react to what your opponent is doing with countermoves of your own, etc.

    Strategy is making calculated and reasoned decisions that lead to long-term success. Deciding to research this technology instead of that one because it will give you a relative advantage. Building cities here instead of there. Optimizing the economies of your cities. Choosing enemies and friends and building diplomatic relationships. All the stuff that games like Civilization have, and games like Starcraft don't.

    You're right that there's no real strategy in the tactical (combat) level of Civilization, either. But that's a tiny part of the game.
     
  14. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

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    Not if you have Monty and Toku as neighbors :mischief:
     
  15. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    It does take skill and experience to fight wars in Civ4. Just not much strategy.
     
  16. binhthuy71

    binhthuy71 Emperor

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    Too true. Once the balloon goes up it's just a matter of following the Nathan Bedford Forrest misquotation of being "firstest with the mostest."
     
  17. Sabreman

    Sabreman Chieftain

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    Chaos on the Sinclair Spectrum.
     
  18. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

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    Not a problem! Just making sure.

    Sure, but the ally of the zergs, seeing this near-death of the terran, can immediately follow with his own units (whatever race he happens to be). Or, the zerg player can follow with another pile of zerglings before the terran could build more than a couple of marines.

    Also, part of the power of the zergling is how fast they upgrade. I'm going from memory from way back, but the inital rush is just part of the script. Your 10th drone goes to make a pool, then another hatchery, and 2 of the melee upgrade "buildings" (forget what they're called). Meanwhile you keep pumping overlords and stacks of zerglings. hotkey them in groups of 10. You've finished all 6 melee upgrades (2 at a time) about the time you run out of hotkeys, and that's when you send them over.

    Why are we talking about this anyway? :D We should be talking about Civ.

    Sure. MP makes any of those dynamics interesting. Still, it's hard to do more than trivial damage, since the zerglings are hatching in a continuous stream.

    I think that what you're thinking of is a zergling player who keeps sending out his zerglings in penny-packet "rushes". (By that I mean 10 at a time.... then a delay of about 1 minute, then 10 more, etc. This is not very effective at all and vulnerable as you describe.) I'd rather delay 10 minutes and send over 100 upgraded zerglings.

    Sure, my pleasure. Some cookies are made of batter (butter, sugar, flour), rolled out on a table or sheet to a thickness of 1/4" (3mm), and then punched out into shapes using metal shapes (1" wide strip of metal, folded back onto itself so the ends join -- one edge then becomes a cutting side as you push this into the dough). These might be round, or in the shape of a star, or Santa Claus, whatever you want. You end up with a piece of dough 3mm thick in the shape of the cutter. You place this dough on a flat pan and stick in the oven for 12-20 minutes.

    When someone uses the term "cookie cutter" it means to create duplicates in an assembly-line fashion. It means they are the same with little to no differentiation. It also means there's a process to creating them which is fast and easy while requiring little to no creativity. Simple mechanical process with no "art".

    Totally agreed!!

    Agreed there as well. Despite my thoughts about zerglings, I enjoyed all and played all.

    Agreed. What makes it work for Starcraft is that there are different research "trees" for each race. They're represented by physical buildings, but the gameplay is the same.

    Sure, I agree with that also.

    ps I love your alias, CC. :goodjob:

    Hear hear, to all these thoughts.

    Wodan
     
  19. carl corey

    carl corey Deity

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    One... more... big... post... about Starcraft and I'm done. :)

    ---------

    Zerling rush - I think the earliest was: build 2 drones, second drone mutated into a Spawning Pool, wait for enough minerals, spawn 3*2 zerlings. Group from all 3 players, you get 18 zerlings right away. The problem was, if you saw that all 3 enemies were zerg you could assume from the start they're going to rush and you'd build accordingly. It would probably still work on one guy, but all 3 zerg economies would be behind. 4 vs 4 it's really hard to resist because 24 zerlings can finish the job really fast then regroup in the center to counter any counter-attack. 18 is slower.

    Getting to 10 drones and then 10 zerlings didn't count as a zerling rush anymore. :) Maybe a zerling attack, but not rush. On the Hunters map the terran would pretty much block the entrance by then, so the zerlings would take some fire from marines in the bunker. Tough nut to crack. And in my previous example the zealots weren't meant to kill the zerlings, just to keep them occupied so they can't go back and defend against the first counter.

    A one to one rush on the other hand almost always failed to finish the guy. On 3 vs 3 that was more like playing 2 vs 2 since both the rusher and the rushee (?!) would be tied up in their personal war.

    As for delaying 10 minutes, unless it was agreed upon from the beginning by all players it would mean you're dead, as almost every time people attacked very early. Marines + 2-3 Firebats and/or Zerlings and/or Zealots was enough for a first attack. Posting sentinels to see an attack coming and alert your teammates was a very wise thing to do, otherwise 3 to 1 would have been a huge problem. And you wouldn't be able to surprise them on the counter either, as the good economy would mean that they can build enough units until the others manage to reach any of the 3 initial attackers.

    A second Hatchery that early would also mean death almost every time. That's 300 minerals that could go into some Sunken Colonies to defend. At least two of them to stall an attack until your friends arrive.

    Of course, many times those early attacks didn't succeed in finishing a player, neither would the counter, so the game would just continue normally. That was usually the point where it really branched into all sorts of strategies*: mass units for second attack, upgraded units, special units (and which ones), preparing drops, going aerial, blocking new resource sites, cutting off enemy forces from each other. Combinations of these created a lot of possibilities.

    Thanks for explaining "cookie cutters" by the way. :D I have no idea if they have a name in Romanian other then "forms". :lol:

    ~~

    P.S. Alias: "Corwin" was taken. ;)

    ---------

    * And I do mean strategies. This seems to correspond to what you've said too, DaviddesJ. By the definition of the word I know, the planning of which units to build and what is the long term plan for the war is strategy. Tactics means using your troops to achieve your strategic objectives, responding to your enemy's actions, etc. They are all present in Starcraft.
     
  20. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    Fair enough. I agree that it could happen and that there's some strategy there. Not a lot, but some.

    The point, to me, is that the game deliberately reduces the amount of strategy, by emphasizing all of the necessarily clicking and real-time micromanagement. That's a very deliberate decision to create reward systems for players who practice a lot and get to be really good at the simple, underlying mechanics. All of that doesn't eliminate the strategy, which still exists, but it puts on a big overlay of other stuff which in most cases matters more.

    It's probably possible to have six uber-experts who have played Starcraft 6 hours/day for 2 years and who are all total masters of the interface and for the game between those players to be quite strategic. But that's the exception rather than the rule. Unless you play a truly enormous amount of the game, the limitation on your ability is going to be interface manipulation, keeping track of many things going on at once, quick reaction time, communication with your teammates, etc. Not strategy.
     

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