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G&K: My main impressions

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
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So in order to get the discussion started on VEM for GK, I went ahead and did 3 full playthroughs to see where what I liked and disliked with the new system. I have detailed my thoughts below.

My 3 playtests were:

1) Continents, King, as Byzantium. Won by science easily.
2) Earth, Emperor, as Celts. Lost science victory by literally 1 turn.
3) Earth, Emperor, as Ethiopia. Won by culture so easy it wasn't funny.

Difficulty: While the AI has gotten a bit better in warfare overall (see below), it still appears that the base game is easier than VEM. I am normally a King player on VEM, where as now I am actually winning Emperor games in base.

AI: The AI has made some improvements in the new game, its not earth-shattering but there are some special notes:

1) City State Management: The AI is a lot smarter when dealing with CSs. They use the quests, use their spies to leverage advantage, and spend a lot more money on alliances. In my second game, the Iroquois and Siam both went full patronage and were fighting over CS the whole. Let me tell you, keeping CS when you have a -3.25 influence per turn is a bit tricky!

2) Navy Building: The AI now knows to build a navy, whether they know how to fight with it remains to be seen. I will say they are good about keeping their navies in formation. I was absolutely shocked in my 2nd game when I sent a large army across the sea to stop an enemy science victory and they were torn apart by a strong enemy navy. I'm so used to not needing an escort navy I was in for a rude awakening.

Other than that, I've noticed the AI makes less obvious blunders. I still see the occasional unit just thrown into my army...but it seemed less obnoxiously stupid. Past that, the AI is still fundamentally the same AI. A few improvements, but still a long way to go.

Gold: A lot of people have been complaining about early economy issues, but I didn't see it in the games I played. A few luxuries sold and I never had money issues. In fact, in game 1 I had the kind of gold numbers I'm used to seeing in VEM (and I generally have way more money in VEM than I have in base).

I used TPs in game 1 after a while, mainly because I had a lot of jungle. In games 2 and 3, I never built a single one.

Science: I think generally research is once again too fast, especially from a military standpoint. Maybe its the new units, but it always felt like the second I built a unit the new version was researched. The research pacts felt alright, I like the way diplomacy builds up now. While they helped, I generally just felt research was too quick.

Production: Some have mentioned that early production is quicker for buildings. I do feel that is somewhat true, I generally felt I have able to build the buildings I wanted to. Overall, the production pace felt decent for buildings, units I think still take too long to build at times.

Culture: In my non-culture games, I generally felt the culture pace was pretty good. I got a decent number of policies, enough to do the main things I wanted, without having to commit to it to much. However, in my culture game, culture was too easy.

The problem I think is the freedom finisher combined with faith and great artists. Landmarks provide 12 culture at the end and you get a lot more great people in GK it seems to me. My capital was simply belting out culture, and I finished the culture victory just as I got radio.

Strategic Resources: In every one of my games, strategic resources were a feast or famine scenario. Normally I had so much of a resource it was laughable (35 aluminum in 1 game), otherwise there was none of it on the continent! In game 2, all of the coal on the planet was located in two areas, one controlled by a city state. A lot of bartering was going on with that city state!

I was so desperate for coal (I couldn't build a factory, or a nuclear plant without the factory, OR a spaceship factory!) at the end of game 2, I went to war with 2 civs just to try and get units through the borders to take an area with coal.

I know Thal has spent a lot of time re balancing strategic resources to make the spread fair, but I wonder if ultimately that's the wrong way to go. While I would like to see less resource glut, there is something to be said for having to change strategy to account for resource shortages. It really makes bargaining and warfare more strategic when resources are limited, and keeps the game variable.

Great People: I really like the approach that they took with Great People in the new version as far as giving them all unique abilities.. The first thing I noticed was that I seem to get more Great People now. I recognize with faith that you can buy more but just my base rate I was accuring them faster. As far as each great person
.
Scientist: The bulb seems to be toned down a bit. I don't know the exact numbers, but I used them for academies early and then bulbed late, as opposed to always bulbing.

Artist: The artist creating the golden ages I think is very well done. I never feel cheated by getting an artist now, and the fact that the golden age length is constant can make them very strong.

Engineer: Still solid.

Prophet: I found the conversion very good early game but late game there is so much religious pressure, you have to use prophets with a lot of missionaries and inquisitors if you want to break in anywhere, else your efforts are simply wasted.
The holy site to me is garbage unless I have the piety finisher. I am spending thousands of faith to get 6 more per turn, no thank you.

Merchant: Overall I think they are too weak. I can get 4 gold when I can get 8 science with an academy, and the trade mission still isn't that great.

General: I like the new citadel mechanic, makes them much more useful now. the only issue I found was not having anything to do with them late game. Since I can't use them for GAs now, they often just sit around. It would be interesting to give them a healing mechanic similar to the admiral.

Admiral: I believe this one has a bug. An admiral is not restricted to coast tiles only. Mine was merrily sailing around the world long before astronomy. If that is not a bug it is a hell of a feature, being able to trade with everyone long before they meet each other is huge!

Units/Warfare: While I didn't get involved in a lot of war, here were my general thoughts.

Cities and Siege: I like that cities are more powerful now overall. What makes it so tricky is both the absolute need for siege to take a city, and how quickly a city can now take out a unit. I would send 3 catapults to a city and have to start dancing them as they would be nearly killed in a single hit. To me, this also made terrain a much bigger deal. In base and VEM, I've never much cared if the city was on grassland or surrounded by hills, but it's so important now. Having to slog an extra turn through forest and hills can mean life and death now that cities can assassinate units so quickly.

I also generally like how siege works now, they are a truly dedicated city killer. Even in VEM, by the time I got cannons I would simply use them to blow up units, rarely needing ranged support. But in GK, even 5 artillery pieces would only slowly take down an advancing army, meaning ranged units were still important.

Swords and Pikes: After 3 games, I really don't like how swords are weaker than pikes. The problem is by the time I get iron working, and then actually mine the iron, and then build the unit, the others have moved on to civil service (and the AI loves to beeline to CS).
Both because I don't feel swords are that useful now, and also because it seems to eliminate unit diversity. Pikes are very strong against composite bowmen, horseman and knights, so pikeman are the predominate unit built. Heck, a pike can stand toe to toe with a Lancer for the most part!

Navy: The melee naval idea is interesting, but so far I find ranged navy so much stronger. I can hit units, I can hit cities, I can hit your navy with 3 ranged attacks before you even get to fire. Melee is an interesting concept, but so far I've only found them useful as the last attack on a city to take it.

Cruise Missiles: Is it just me, or are these units more expensive overall then they used to be? It just doesn't seem like I get the bang for the buck compared to other units.

Knights: Maybe it's the pikemen, but Knights feel weak to me right now. On the other hand, they do now have 4 movement, and it's very easy to forget the power of mobility, so I may be too hasty.

Gatling Gun: Same tech as the riflemen, but stronger and ranged. Overall, I don't see much need to build rifleman.

Espionage: Civ 5's spying system has done what no civ game's has done for me, made me want to use it. To me, the system is beautiful simplistic, and gets to exactly what I want to use spies for.
The first thing is that I don't have to spend anything to use it. I don't have to dedicate 20% of my commerce to it like in Civ 4 to get anything. I don't have to buy spies. I simply do it.

I love that my options are straight and to point, get techs, get city state influence, get intelligence on my enemies. I like that I can drop my spies in a city and never think about them again, or I can move them around to every city on the planet and get full intel on what other civs are doing.

The only thing I will say is sometimes the intel is a bit spotty. One time I was told England was building a fleet to attack me. I scout the whole area, never saw a single ship. But another time I was told of an impending attack and find the army coming to my doorstep.

If Thal was to anything to this, the only thing I could see is maybe an extra spy. I really think this is a gem and doesn't need much tweaking.

Faith: Faith is a mixed bag for me right now. On the one hand I love the early game variety. It lets you work with your terrain (minimizing bad starts) and do a lot of other things. On the other, a lot of the time I feel like I'm going faith simply for faith's sake.

In game 3 I went evangelical, using World Church to get more culture. Well...even after an aggressive faith push to my neighbors, the culture I gained was a small pittance compared to my culture generating capital. Faith can get me a diplomacy bonus.....but only after a diplomatic incident for spreading my faith to my neighbors. The only real use I saw for spreading faith was to city states, because I believe your influence drops less if you share the same faith.

A lot of faith options gives you more faith, which you can then spend to get more faith....but there is no real point to it. Mainly by midgame I would just buy great people with faith and call it a day.

Terraforming: [\B] One of my favorite parts of the game.

Trading Posts: Still a dumb name. I still think +1 gold TP are worthless, I never build them, but 2 gold TPs are pretty good. And you can really make them strong now with rationalism and commerce. I had jungle tiles providing me 3 research and 3 gold! I still think they should start at 2 (even the bonus on fresh water TPs in VEM didn't do it for me, I would still generally want +2 food farms), but I don't think they should get better except through the commerce finisher.

Mines: While I miss +2 hammer mines, +2 is a really strong bonus early game for production so I will still sometimes build mines even at +1.

Forts: I miss VEM forts, the ones I would actually build.

Walls/Castles/etc: Even without Thal's bonuses, the new defensive structures are worth it. They bring a massive improvement to a cities defense now, and are often worth a rush buy. Thal I would seriously consider removing your defense structure bonuses, they may not need them anymore.

Policies:
Tradition: Feels like a solid tree.
Legalism: I don't mind the bonus, except it comes too early. It needs to be on the bottom of the tree. Normally when I'm ready to pick it, I'm still on my first city!
Monarchy: Great bonus. I would switch it with Legalism.
Oligarchy: Its okay. I never want to pick this, I normally do it for the finisher.
Finisher: Solid, I really like the aqueduct bonus. I often don't even have engineering by the time I get the finisher so it's a great growth bonus.

Liberty: Generally does what its supposed to.
Opener: One of the weaker ones but not too bad.
Republic: I nice bonus that scales with time.
Collective Rule: Good that's on the second row, to make people work for it.

Honor: Good war tree
Opener: Strong opener, and barbs now give more culture due to the strength increase!
Warrior Code: Nice bonus

Piety: I would say its one of the weaker trees now.
Opener: Faster building is good, but kind of meh.
Mandate of Heaven/Religious tolerance: I hate policies where I spend culture simply to get more culture later. It's purely for cultural wins, its lame, and boring.
Reformation: At least in this case a 33% bonus is exciting, and I get a golden age out of it.
Finisher: The finisher is pretty weak. The culture can be nice but I would rather just belt out great artists instead.

Patronage: This tree hasn't changed much, but because city states are more dynamic and interesting I think it has use. I will say, if you don't use the finisher, the AI will!

Commerce: A really nice tree
Naval Tradition: With the addition of the admiral I really like this one now, especially because with an admiral I can explore the world before astronomy.
Trade Unions: I would rather it gets the science bonus, and mercantilism gets the harbor bonus. Overall I think mercantilism is much stronger, so I would like to spread the bonuses out a bit.
Protectionism: At +2 happy it feels too strong.
Finisher: Really makes TPs useful

Rationalism: A blend of really strong and decent policies.
Opener: I think 15% science straight up is too good for the opener, it's one of the better bonuses and needs to be buried a bit. I would swap it and secularisms bonus.
Soverienty: This is really weak bonus imo.

Freedom: A mixed bag of good and terrible, but absolutely mandatory for culture win.
Constitution: A terrible boring bonus for the culture victory.
Free Speech: Another boring bonus
Universal Suffrage: Only ever get it for the finisher.
Finisher: Its broken for culture right now since you have so many landmarks. I'm curious to see if a academy heavy order with freedom could beat out an early rationalism push.

Autocracy: I'm not a warmonger so hard for me to say much here.
Fascism: Strategic resources just never seem that problematic for me to need twice as much of them.

Order: My favorite late game tree
Planned Economy: Love how it feels me get those factories up, and then gives me a great science bonus for the work.
Communism: Terrific bonus.

City States
Overall I think GK did a wonderful job with city states. Diplomacy with them is more dynamic, alliances and friendships shift and are more fluid, and the multiple quests are great.
I love getting a request from a city state for a good, befriending another city state for that good, and watching this domino effect of friendships as I complete requests because of chaining friendships.
The only thing I would love to see is a little more loyalty for long term alliances. It would be nice if my influence dropped slower with CS if I've been their friend/ally a long time.
The only negative I have is the wow me with science/faith arenas, mainly because that seems pretty fixed in the late game. If I'm not going a culture win, I'm not going to be able to belt out the culture of a civ that is, same with science or faith.


Final Words
There's plenty more I could talk about, but this is already so much. I think my take away message is that a lot has been improved, and as Thal adapts VEM I think its important to maintain a minimalist mindset. GK fixed several areas and frankly I think used VEM as an inspiration in many areas. I think we should respect the baseline and only adjust changes that truely need adjusting.
 
A wonderful write up well done and thanks for taking the time :goodjob: This really does help try to fathom G&K and what could be improved. I also go for the minimalist mindset for a future GEM mod simply because G&K has just totally transformed vanilla into something very special when vanilla needed a lot of extra work by Thal and the testers just to make it playable . What an incredible experience playing G&K is (except for the bugs!) Hat's off. What a game!

That said, there will be balance issues that will rear their ugly heads the more we play this game....

  1. Love the unequal distribution of resources on the map. However I also loved the way that Thal found a way to stop you feeling like you want to re-roll. However on balance, I go with the base G&K implementation. I'd be very skeptical about encouraging too much coastal settlement with excessive use of fish and atolls! The AI is going to have big problems if it settles too much along the coast line with the dynamic naval conquest system.
  2. Love the way that G&K allows the landscape to slowly transform from agriculture to towns (TP's) making you think about when to start building them. Initially when the TP's arrive they are underwhelming at only +1 gold but generally, I'm skeptical about changing it to +2. The last thing we want is TP spamming again. I realise that all tile improvements are somewhat underwhelming but it's about the subtleties in how to make use of them.
  3. People are saying that city specialization is not an important thing in G&K? It's pretty important as far as I can tell. Not sure that too much needs to change.
  4. Thal's mechanic for adjusting the AI's tactical weakness with extra experience and specialised promotions is absolutely essential. I cannot understand why the base game does not have that mechanic in for handicapping. We have to find a way to balance out the tactical layer, and Thal managed to work out how to do it. Thal's free AI pillaging move has to make a come back. It was wonderful in VEM to see the AI burning down the house.
  5. Thal's mechanic for adjusting the science rate per era is also essential for handicapping at a guess
  6. I really worry that the AI must struggle to capture cities in G&K. I know they are managing to do it, but if it's complicated for humans, how is the AI to manage? Thal helped the AI to capture cities more easily and I think that should be brought back.

In the future, it looks like a pluggable DLL for GEM mod will be a possibility yeah! That means that Thal can take a rest from AI coding, and someone else can make AI improvements and then plug that straight into the GEM mod. The AI-DLL should work for both GEM mod and base G&K to really help the community enjoy this spectacular version of civ.

Total sympathy for all the modders out there that are having to battle with the lack of documentation in the changed API and function bugs. That can't be easy.

Cheers
 
Nice write-up. I'd like to respond more... too sleepy! I'll just mention that...

While I would like to see less resource glut, there is something to be said for having to change strategy to account for resource shortages.

... my most memorable Civ3 game was so much fun because, struggle as I might, I had no iron and - this still stings - no saltpeter.
 
Stalker 0 & Glider 1 - I strongly agree with everything you both say, except that I am finding G&K harder than VEM so far for some reason. Comments:
FAITH - I agree with your conclusions but I like that religion has the most impact when you begin on marginal territory or where you make an active decision to go all the way with it.
WALLS etc - Also agree that they are good enough on their own now, especially with the new naval AI.
STRATEGIC RESOURCES - I totally agree with you here - too many in G&K but it is lovely to be missing a crucial one (EXCEPT when you are Rome and you don't have Iron)
FARMS & TRADING POSTS - I agree totally here with the first two posts, but I do think VEM's +1 gold on rivers ONLY after you improve was inspired and should be retained in the new version.
 
Wow, lot's of suggestion, only skimmed over it, so quick comments.

1) City State Management: The AI is a lot smarter when dealing with CSs. They use the quests, use their spies to leverage advantage, and spend a lot more money on alliances. In my second game, the Iroquois and Siam both went full patronage and were fighting over CS the whole. Let me tell you, keeping CS when you have a -3.25 influence per turn is a bit tricky!

There do seem to be a few overpowered combinations though, where Alex can get to 0 negative influence for example (Papal Primacy, Religion spread, a few Patronage policies) and Siam/Sweden are theoretically able to build a positive feedback for influence.

Also, in my mind, there's too few mercantile luxuries.

Gold: A lot of people have been complaining about early economy issues, but I didn't see it in the games I played. A few luxuries sold and I never had money issues. In fact, in game 1 I had the kind of gold numbers I'm used to seeing in VEM (and I generally have way more money in VEM than I have in base).

I did miss the extra gold for open borders...

Culture: In my non-culture games, I generally felt the culture pace was pretty good. I got a decent number of policies, enough to do the main things I wanted, without having to commit to it to much. However, in my culture game, culture was too easy.

The problem I think is the freedom finisher combined with faith and great artists. Landmarks provide 12 culture at the end and you get a lot more great people in GK it seems to me. My capital was simply belting out culture, and I finished the culture victory just as I got radio.

But VEM has different social policies, especially the free great person is missing, no?

Strategic Resources: In every one of my games, strategic resources were a feast or famine scenario. Normally I had so much of a resource it was laughable (35 aluminum in 1 game), otherwise there was none of it on the continent! In game 2, all of the coal on the planet was located in two areas, one controlled by a city state. A lot of bartering was going on with that city state!

I was so desperate for coal (I couldn't build a factory, or a nuclear plant without the factory, OR a spaceship factory!) at the end of game 2, I went to war with 2 civs just to try and get units through the borders to take an area with coal.

I know Thal has spent a lot of time re balancing strategic resources to make the spread fair, but I wonder if ultimately that's the wrong way to go. While I would like to see less resource glut, there is something to be said for having to change strategy to account for resource shortages. It really makes bargaining and warfare more strategic when resources are limited, and keeps the game variable.

I do like that coal in VEM is spread on offshore islands forcing you to go colonize (but making it available.. ;)) For Strategic ressource, something in the middle would be better, giving you a baseline, but making the variance higher above...

Prophet: I found the conversion very good early game but late game there is so much religious pressure, you have to use prophets with a lot of missionaries and inquisitors if you want to break in anywhere, else your efforts are simply wasted.
The holy site to me is garbage unless I have the piety finisher. I am spending thousands of faith to get 6 more per turn, no thank you.

Agree, in the early game, better start that religion, afterwards, converse some city states. Piety site is not good enough. What about giving them the powers of Reformation, making you change your two of your beliefs?

Merchant: Overall I think they are too weak. I can get 4 gold when I can get 8 science with an academy, and the trade mission still isn't that great.

Disagree, Trade Mission is great for "rush-buying". Customs House should get buffed.

Admiral: I believe this one has a bug. An admiral is not restricted to coast tiles only. Mine was merrily sailing around the world long before astronomy. If that is not a bug it is a hell of a feature, being able to trade with everyone long before they meet each other is huge!

I guess that was intended, but it should be changed. Especially jarring on advanced start where you can take that commerce policy right at the start.

Navy: The melee naval idea is interesting, but so far I find ranged navy so much stronger. I can hit units, I can hit cities, I can hit your navy with 3 ranged attacks before you even get to fire. Melee is an interesting concept, but so far I've only found them useful as the last attack on a city to take it.

See the other thread, melee ancients don't work since coasts are only one tile wide, different ranges for ranged units can make a big difference, melee units losing health outside your borders absolutely means that they need to be able to heal there.

Espionage: Civ 5's spying system has done what no civ game's has done for me, made me want to use it. To me, the system is beautiful simplistic, and gets to exactly what I want to use spies for.
The first thing is that I don't have to spend anything to use it. I don't have to dedicate 20% of my commerce to it like in Civ 4 to get anything. I don't have to buy spies. I simply do it.

I love that my options are straight and to point, get techs, get city state influence, get intelligence on my enemies. I like that I can drop my spies in a city and never think about them again, or I can move them around to every city on the planet and get full intel on what other civs are doing.

The only thing I will say is sometimes the intel is a bit spotty. One time I was told England was building a fleet to attack me. I scout the whole area, never saw a single ship. But another time I was told of an impending attack and find the army coming to my doorstep.

If Thal was to anything to this, the only thing I could see is maybe an extra spy. I really think this is a gem and doesn't need much tweaking.

Do Agree, I would like however an option of "scout foreign lands" giving me view of their empire (What does that foreign continent look like? Is he building an army?) in addition to maybe a "slow production on World wonder/nuke/space ship" option. Don't know if the AI spam those against you though...

The additional spies should be dependent on the mapsize/enemy count though.

Terraforming: [\B] One of my favorite parts of the game.

Trading Posts: Still a dumb name. I still think +1 gold TP are worthless, I never build them, but 2 gold TPs are pretty good. And you can really make them strong now with rationalism and commerce. I had jungle tiles providing me 3 research and 3 gold! I still think they should start at 2 (even the bonus on fresh water TPs in VEM didn't do it for me, I would still generally want +2 food farms), but I don't think they should get better except through the commerce finisher.


not sure if Thal is keeping the science/commerce Villages?

Walls/Castles/etc: Even without Thal's bonuses, the new defensive structures are worth it. They bring a massive improvement to a cities defense now, and are often worth a rush buy. Thal I would seriously consider removing your defense structure bonuses, they may not need them anymore.

agreed! It also frees up spaces for three espionage policies (in three trees), giving better offensive, better defensive and an extra spy.

Final Words
There's plenty more I could talk about, but this is already so much. I think my take away message is that a lot has been improved, and as Thal adapts VEM I think its important to maintain a minimalist mindset. GK fixed several areas and frankly I think used VEM as an inspiration in many areas. I think we should respect the baseline and only adjust changes that truely need adjusting.[/QUOTE]

Agree, minimalist is the way to go, but also for the threads, I guess there should be one on
Social Policies
Espionage
Religion
Land Combat
Naval Combat
Great Persons
City Buildings

or on
Tall/Wide/Conquest Balance
Science/Commerce Game (those pesky trading posts)
Victory Conditions/Pathways.

This thread would get unwieldy quite soon else ;)
 
Long post
Spoiler :

The AI now knows to build a navy, whether they know how to fight with it remains to be seen
I've seen the AI do some smart things with a navy. As a land-based power I captured an enemy coastal city, and they recaptured it 3 times using their navy and a cannon that they set up on a 1 tile island just offshore.

Strategic Resources: In every one of my games, strategic resources were a feast or famine scenario
While I would like to see less resource glut, there is something to be said for having to change strategy to account for resource shortages.
IMO VEM still has G&K totally beat on strategic resources. What I like in VEM is that resources are more rare overall, that it is possible to get some but hard to get many, and so strategic resource units can actually function like elites.

I agree that most of the great person improvements are still slightly underpowered. I don't like a design where they're near useless unless you're going Freedom.

I like the new citadel mechanic, makes them much more useful now
I haven't actually tested: how did this change?

After 3 games, I really don't like how swords are weaker than pikes.
I agree. I think some of this will be helped by VEM moving pikemen to metal working and having weaker militia at Civil Service, but the strengths also need to be addressed.

The melee naval idea is interesting, but so far I find ranged navy so much stronger. I can hit units, I can hit cities, I can hit your navy with 3 ranged attacks before you even get to fire. Melee is an interesting concept, but so far I've only found them useful as the last attack on a city to take it.
Agreed.

Civ 5's spying system has done what no civ game's has done for me, made me want to use it. To me, the system is beautiful simplistic, and gets to exactly what I want to use spies for.
I actually really agree with this, I think espionage is beautifully done. It's minimalist, but done in a way that is fun but unobtrusive. [Though it could just be that I get a perverted thrill from rigging elections and launching coups.] Which is right. Espionage has never really changed the overall path of great empires; it SHOULD be a weak mechanic, it shouldn't ever take up a large part of your economy, and it shouldn't be a big hassle that takes up a ton of your attention. The only part I'd change are the police station building lines.

I'm still undecided on Faith. Using the +1 happiness per city founding ability as Celts and spreading my religion like crazy gave me *huge* happiness benefits, and then with Pagodas too.... I didn't build even Coloseums until late game, and was running a large happy surplus throughout despite massive expansion.
So I think it is too soon for me to call it weak.
I'm also finding it pretty fun so far.

Thal I would seriously consider removing your defense structure bonuses, they may not need them anymore.
Agreed. Low cost + no maintenance + more cities threatened (by melee naval units) + extra hitpoints (Thal's idea!) makes the defensive buildings a good build. I'm ok with a few effects for them in Tradition and Freedom, supporting a small military cultural strategy, but otherwise probably not needed.

Policies:
I still find policies weak in general; I feel like the yields from investing in culture are not very good, I prefer the more powerful abilities in the VEM policies.

Piety: I would say its one of the weaker trees now.
I'd like to see more links between Piety and Religion. Like reduced Faith costs for purchases (or boosted faith yields), faster religious spread rates, etc.

 
Nice Post

About melee ships: I like this new aspect BUT they absolutely need to be able to withdraw after attacking! just one tile. still realistic
The current way, they are just too weak relative to ranged ones; and totally ineffective against most cities.

Too many Strategic Resources ruins a part of the game, miss VEM!
 
BUT they absolutely need to be able to withdraw after attacking! just one tile.
I initially thought this wasn't possible. But didn't VEM implement something like this for ranged attackers with blitz? After taking the first shot, the remaining movement points are reduced to 1.
I thought move after attack was too strong, but 1 move after attack might be interesting; it wouldn't let you attack a city and retreat out of bombardment range, but it would let you bring more ships to bear per turn onto a single city, and would let you attack with a melee ship then bring another ship in to screen it.
 
You said so much I'm not going to pull out from all of your qoutes from above, just respond to some.

1. Units - Pikes should be stronger than swords they are both from different era's. The longsword is the unit that is comparable to pikes.

2. Science - That being said, I agree with your statement on needing an adjustment to science. If I could have my way I would want marathon science with standard build rates.

3. GP - I like the new function of the Citadel expect for the fact if you build it on a resource it doesn't connect that resource anymore. I also do not understand why you could have a great merchant and using him on a luxury resource doesn't connect that resource either.

Just some minor and quick comments.
 
Nice Post

About melee ships: I like this new aspect BUT they absolutely need to be able to withdraw after attacking! just one tile. still realistic
The current way, they are just too weak relative to ranged ones; and totally ineffective against most cities.

Too many Strategic Resources ruins a part of the game, I miss VEM!

Purchasing GP with Faith a little bit OP i think; furthermore it DOESN'T increase other GP's price!
only 1000 faith, then 1500 for the next SAME one (means you can buy a GM for 1000, then a GS for 1000, then a GM for 1500)

I really miss one type of building: Faith Multiplier (like Radio for :c5culture:, Bank for :c5gold:)
A church which give +x % :c5faith:, x being relative to the % of followers in your city. I made a thread about that but didn't get feedback till now :(
(example: x=%followers/2, pop=10 followers=6, church gives +30% :c5faith:)

AI seemed quite improved on several points: less city spamming, no more one unit-attack, better diplo relationships, a bit better at war.
I liked how they ALL tried to make coup (and succeed in some) in my allied CS (means all the CS :D) just before the UNO vote.

About that, best improvement imo: the CS missions, much more often, new ones :)c5culture: / :c5science: / :c5faith: races, ask to Demand Tribute to another CS, ask for protection (the you have to keep your promise and get some penalties with other Civs),... very nice for the Diplo Victory
Also, in order to reach a DipVic, u'd better keep good relations with other Civs: they now have to vote for somebody-else (I mean no more self-vote). I got two votes out of 5 from them, nice. (they try Coups in your CS, but still vote for you if you're their best friend -stupid but nice and fair)

Some policies need to be moved/balanced; cant remember them all right now; but Rationalism opener (15% :c5science: when :)) is OP, you're right
Also seemed me a bit more easier to get a lot of Policies, and I wasn't going at CultVic...

Knights/Cavalry: do NOT underestimate mobility power; AND it's nice to get some tanks with 150+ XP ;) I use them a lot, I like to strike-withdraw-kill with a RU (ranged unit) and that way staying out of enemy's range and thus getting OP units (then crying when losing one haha)

Mitraillette (Gattling Gun?) vs Riflemen: I did think like you, then I realized that I kinda missed them for holding position (no Fortification), attack cities (cannot enter cities and horses getting -33% vs cities). And they only upgrade once, to Machine Gun. Riflemen->Great War Infantry (wtf is those Great names)->Infantry->Mechanized Infantry->->-> don't snub Riflemen.

I liked Espionage but seemed to me sometimes too easy to steal a Tech (7 turns with a ^^^ spy) sometimes impossible (200+ turns) (recruit, standard speed)
Intrigue system very nice at first look... But I only got two (one from my spy, one from another Civ) on the whole game and some players say it's inaccurate false.
Cannot Improve Spies by rigging elections :( Maybe by trying Coups? but almost impossible with a Recruit, so currently you'll have to steal some techs (quite long at start, roughly 40 turns) THEN rig elections with an improved spy.

Counter-Spying seems not to work very well: I had one ^^ spy in my capital (5 stars, bad for me) + the two buildings (forgot their names, Police and.., both +25% chance to kill a spy) AND I killed only one spy on the whole game, while he stole me like 5 techs, maybe more.
Small "bug": if LC 'left click) the bubble info about being tech-stolen, you can forgive him (and thus win some diplo-points, if you RC the bubble: too late, cannot forgive him)

C'est tout, pour le moment.
Sorry for my bad English, hope you understand me ;)
 
Great War Infantry (wtf is those Great names)
[Just FYI: the "Great War" is an alternative name in English for World War I. So Great War Infantry means WW1 era infantry.]

I agree with the upgrade path issue, but I see this as a problem, not a feature, I'd like to see machine guns upgrade into Mech-Inf, with promotion conversion.

My impression is not that Intrigue readings are false, but that circumstances change. I get a message that player X is planning to attack city Y, so I move a bunch of forces over there and build some walls, then X changes their mind about the attack. I see that as good AI, that the AI is willing to re-evaluate.
The AI seems better now at calling off attacks when it realizes it can no longer take a city. It used to do this before after some of the patches, but it seems better now at only attacking cities where it forecasts that it has enough local superiority to take them.
 
I think that AI still struggles with Terrain. I have had several early rushes. If the city they are attacking has rough terrain in a preponderance of locations then the AI struggles and barely makes a dent in the cities defenses. However in the few circumstances when they attacked a city surrounded by farms they simply moved up and overwhelmed them.

I would like to see the Great Generals ability broken into two separate abilities;

1. Citadel - Can only be built inside cultural borders, grants more healing and Xp when creating units in the nearest city. More like existing GP buildings.

2. Forward Base - Can be built anywhere even in enemy territory (does not have to be attached to existing cultural borders), has the 1 hex culture bomb effect, -10 hp for adjacent enemy units, and defensive bonuses. This gives that WWII Airborne/Vietnam effect of ploping in and claiming land.

Would love to see the Great Generals with the Airborne ability as well.
 
I just reached this thread. Great job, Stalker0 - especially since I pretty much agree with you down the line, and with the others who are also impressed enough by G&K to want to use it as the base (rather than VEM as the base).

Unbalanced starts are more of a philosophical difference, but after playing a few games with them on G&K, I have less desire than ever for VEM-style balanced starts. It didn't take me long to settle on an optimal strategy for my favorite civs on balanced maps. I love how much the lack of balance widens strategic choice from game to game, especially in tandem with the religious benefits, which can help turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.
 
Just another example of how the GK strategic resource system can create some interesting games.

In my most recent game I'm playing the Dutch going for a science win. I have divided the continent between myself and Egypt to the north. We are in late game and Egypt is getting ahead of me in science.

Egypts city strength on my front line are crazy high and mobile sams are on the board, so I realize that i'm going to need rocket artillery to break them down.

But sadly I've got 2 aluminum to my name. So I'm looking to recycling centers to carry me through, when some scouting turns up a goldmine. I found Egypts 8 aluminum deposit near my border, just out of range of his city. So I hatch a plan.

Using a navy escort combined with the best infantry I have, I sneak a Great General into Egypt's territory and build a citadel. Egypt retaliates but the citadel combined with the ships is able to break it back. I send another GG and culture bomb (I mean citadel) the next square up, and snag the aluminum deposit!

Suddenly the tables turn, Egypt's spaceship progress drops to a crawl, and he starts converting to oil units instead of aluminum. Meanwhile I bring my Rocket artillery to bear and begin my eventual victory march (still won by science but took Egypt's capital before it was said and done).
 
While I like that cities have more hp and defense the damage output is much too high. It makes it damn near impossible to mount an offensive without using cheesy tactics like withdrawing horse archers or 3 ranged artillery.

Mind you that this only starts occuring during the late game, early game (like before walls..) this isn't an issue. In any case the hp could use an increase while the damage output could use a decrease, to make the battles against cities wars of attrition rather than counterstrike - ciV
 
I like what Gods and Kings has done overall, but I'm not a fan siege units anymore. They pretty much fail at being used for field artillery, and frankly, all them from the Cannon onward should have that capacity.

What I would like to see, is a single Classical Era "field artillery" type unit, the Scorpion. The historical basis of this unit is that the Romans employed it similarly to how we might use machine gun positions today. It would later upgrade to a Cannon, and from that point onwards, ranged strength should be double what it is now, with the bonus vs. cities being +50% instead of +200%.

There should also be a cost increase of course. I'm thinking production time increase, and if it's possible, some sort of increased gold maintenance, because cannons and newer are expensive.
 
I've played four games now, and have had no problem using 2 cats vs no walls, and 3+serious melee vs walls. It's not as easy as it used to be, but G&K clearly realized the AI needed help on defense, and gave it to them. Their entire tactical slant is geared toward survival. Realistically, that is the best we can hope for from the AI at this time.
 
What I would like to see, is a single Classical Era "field artillery" type unit, the Scorpion
What would this accomplish that is different from archers/composite bows/crossbows?

I think siege units achieve their intended purpose of being good vs cities, and 3-range artillery still provide some nice opportunistic damage without annihilating anything before it gets close.
 
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