Cultural and Expansion Issues


Apr 29, 2009
I know this has been mentioned before and a lot of people have expressed the opinion that they are in favour of the slow cultural expansion of cities, but really am I the only person who has an issue with the fact that the mini-map, and the map itself, looks rather strange - even in the later games?

I really liked the feeling in Civ 4 when you started growing your empire, and seeing your colour spread across the mini-map and the world. In Civ 5 I just don't feel that, my empire doesn't feel like an empire any more. Someone in another thread mentioned that it's like you're in control of a bunch of city states, against a lot of other city states, instead of empire against empire. I actually agree with this.

Personally I think it comes down mainly to: no distance from palace maintenance, and you don't need a road to get access to resources. This means it doesn't matter how far away you settle your cities so invariably you head off to high luxury resource spots, even if they're really far away from your capital. This really shouldn't be possible, both in terms of gameplay and realism. Not only does it not make any sense but it makes your empire look really disjointed.

Perhaps I'm playing the game wrong and I should buy tiles more often, or perhaps I should stop settling far away and stay closer to my capital, and build more trade-post cities, but it just doesn't seem logical to do this. Why bother buying useless tiles when you already own all the resources and enough land to cover your population, and why settle close when new resources and further away?

One reviewer said that culture isn't important any more because cultural expansion is slow and you can't have a cultural battle with another empire's border, and he got lambasted on these forums. I think I agree with him, culture isn't as important as in Civ 4 because you can buy most of your culture from city states (which doesn't really make any sense) for social policies, and that's it. What else if culture used for? Nothing really, just social policies. In Civ 4 it was a lot more important to focus culture on your border cities which actually made sense.

I've been playing Civ 5 for a lot of hours since it came out, and I'm generally enjoying the game, but the more I play it (and the more I read these forums) the more I'm starting to think I might load up my last Civ 4 because I really felt like I was in command of an empire in Civ 4 BTS.
I feel the same way in regards to country borders. Someone told me to just spam small cities and build happiness buildings inside (only them) and that would solve some problems with borders. But then cost of policies would be so high, that i would not get anything soon. Not to mention cultural victory which is the oposite from civ IV where you were actually winning cultural victory by having huge borders.

I remember also when i was using spies to spread culture on my niegbour borders. It was nice another way to fight but not using swords. Especially trying to take over his city or at last make people revolt that way.
I like it how it is. They have made culture much more interesting than it was before.

If you build your cities too far away, then its very hard to defend them, and roads get expensive.
. This really shouldn't be possible, both in terms of gameplay and realism. Not only does it not make any sense but it makes your empire look really disjointed.

It's more realistic than the 'big congruent civilization' typically seen in earlier civs, most real countries were really disjointed until very recently in history, and many still are. The Spanish didn't control the south of spain but did control the Netherlands and various bits along the mediterranian, Austria had little provinces scattered all over the place, England controlled bits of France but not all of its own island, venice was scattered all across the med, and all of the areas around Russia involved settlements buried in the midst of unpopulated land. Once you get to the colonial era, you have bunches of 'one little city to grab a resource' all over the place. It's only in the 19th-20th century that you see as many neat congruent looking countries as you do now, and that requires ignoring things like English and American colonies and Kaliningrad.
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