Sulla's first Civ V walkthrough


Nov 27, 2006
The Deep North, Australia
The first Civ walkthrough I read was Sulla's famous Civ IV walkthrough. Since then I enjoy reading about others' adventures in Civ almost as much as I do playing.

So I was pleased to find Sulla's first Civ V stories at:

It's not altogether flattering, pointing out shortcomings in balance, UI, Civilopedia etc, however it is constructive and, from my experience, it is fair.

(On a similar note see this review: )
pretty harsh.
Yeah, but he's got some good criticisme here and there, even though it's still a bit from a Civ4-standpoint.
There are some issues like the balancing which are quite off, he's right about that.

It's better argumented criticism than most of the criticism on this forum.
I respect sullla, but he is an "civilization super scientist" and playing on very powerful US on continents using Emperor (the new Prince of ciV), wiping the board is too easy for him.

Expecting tougher Deity game from him.


...also he was complaining the "mouse-over info" to be too slow to be good, and you can change that in the options to be faster.
It's an interesting review, however I'm a bit puzzled regarding the city-state paragraphs. He talks about how powerful things are like the maritime ally food bonus, vs. making granaries and watermills yet neglects to mention the amount of gold it takes to ally a city-state. So he should at least acknowledge the trade-off. Maybe he did crunch the numbers and find that gold is best spent allying the maritime city-state but it isn't clear to me *shrug*
If you pay attention and actually fufill the demands of city states you can ordinarily have them for cheap or close to nothing. I think its a very valid strategy, most of the buildings cost far outweighs their usefulness, and many can actually cripple your economy.
There are a lot of weird inconsistencies here.
Like: it takes too long to raze cities, and you suffer unhappiness in the mean time.
Combined with: razing cities is too easy and effective a strategy.

Lots of reasonable points though too, like AI military ineffectiveness (particularly for city capture; it needs to understand how to not attack a city unless it has sufficient force to win, and it needs to understand how to not charge futilely into siege unit firing positions, and it needs to understand when to take defensive rather than offensive positions).

Strongly disagree about wanting more sameness in civ UA/UU power to avoid multiplayer balance issues. I'd prefer different abilities across civs to balanced ones.
He makes some good points, complains about some things that aren't really problems and makes some points I don't agree with.

Sulla said:
These traits are very poorly balanced at the moment, with some of the civ traits almost completely useless, like the poor Ottomans and their "50% chance to capture a barbarian naval unit in combat." Seriously, how useless is that?! Other civ traits are highly dependent on the gifts from city states, making them useless for Multiplayer games - or would be, if MP wasn't completely unplayable right now at release. The poor balance between the traits at the moment reminds me of Master of Orion 2, in which some abilities were so much better than others that they became "must haves" for any MP activity. This area of the game needs a lot more work currently - expect to read that a lot of that here, because this game has some very, very serious balance problems right now!

Here I think he makes a mistake that a lot of people are making. Specifically, the UA's aren't supposed to be balanced, the Civs are. Some civs clearly have better abilities than other Civs, but that's not necessarily a bad thing if those civs are compensated with strong UB's or UU's, and I think in most cases they more or less are. Certainly I think that some civs in the current game are better than others, but it's more complicated than he's making it.

Sulla said:
If you look only at gold/research, then adding more cities only makes your empire better! Of course, you need to have the happiness to control them, and you can pretty much forget about a Cultural victory if you keep expanding, because more cities also increase the cost of additional social policies. (Note: I think this is a mistake, making it IMPOSSIBLE for large civs to win by culture. In Civ3/Civ4, you could win by culture if you were small, but you weren't excluded by having a large civ. I think this should have been implemented differently.)

Here I disagree. Civ has always had a bad case of bigger=better. One thing I like about Civ V is some attempts made to try to counteract this, of which the social policies is the most obvious. I only wish they went further. Currently there's too many holes in the system, allowing large empires to essentially have their cake and eat it too. If it was up to me tech costs would scale with empire size in some way too, but that's another story.

Sulla said:
These ranking lists are useful, and provide nice information when they pop up. However, they only show up on certain dates, and there's no way to access this information while playing normally. Some of that really should be available to players; right now, there's no way to tell whether you are militarily stronger or weaker than the other civs, for example.

Isn't that what the "soldiers" listing in the demographics does?

Sulla said:
(Workers cannot pass one another on a road if one is improving a tile, for example, which is really silly.)

Pretty sure this isn't right. You can pass a worker just fine, you just can't stop on him as far as I know.

Sulla said:
What do I want to do with Nagoya? Well, maybe if I could see the city...? There was no way to look at the city in question, or even move the screen at all, which was locked in place on this prompt. I honestly had no idea where Nagoya was located, and the game was forcing me to make an important decision right now, without any chance to even see where the city was situated! Furthermore, if you choose to raze or annex the city from this menu screen, you cannot then change your mind and turn the city into a puppet. Uhh, this is not good interface design here. I don't really understand how this could slip through testing without being caught. A simple "zoom to city" option would fix this completely. Hopefully coming soon in a patch?

I'm not sure why he's making such a big deal here. If he just puppets the city he can change his mind and annex/raze it whenever he wants. He makes it sound like an important decision, but it really isn't, unless he clicks "annex" for some reason.

It still takes a number of turns equal to the population size of the city in order to raze it, which I thought had been removed from Civ5. I'm not a fan of this, and it's going to be extremely problematic for Multiplayer

Wasn't this feature originally added specifically FOR multiplayer? It is not clear to me how this is a problem, I see it as an improvement. If an opponent wants to raze your city they have to hold it for a few turns now. Makes surprise attacks and backstabs slightly less exploitable.

(You do get the info from mouseover, but there's a delay of several seconds. Weird.)

As said, this can be adjusted.

He does make some good points. I agree city states need tweaking (perhaps diminishing returns on multiple states of 1 type), the build times are a bit long and the AI needs serious work.
Hi folks. First of all, this is not a Walkthrough. It's just my impressions on playing some early games of Civ5. You can probably learn a little from reading, but please don't misunderstand the purpose. :)

We can debate points back and forth endlessly, and we won't all share the same opinions. Here's the concise review of Civ5 thus far. Is it fun? Yes, although a lot of that is the newness factor after four years of no new Civ games. Is this a balanced and polished game? Absolutely not. I'm very disappointed by how poorly the AI currently performs, and by the unplayable state of Multiplayer at the moment. (I know MP isn't a priority for many of you, but it is for me.) Will things get better? Maybe. Hopefully. If there isn't a robust patching process, I very much doubt I'll still be playing this game in a year.
I must say I pretty much agree with Sulla's game overview. As for me, the worst thing is the dumb AI - we went a serious step backwards from the Civ IV.
Although, I must say the game is fun. And hopefully, a few balance issues will be solved and maybe we'll get a game much more up to Civ standards.
It very much pleases me that this review (sorry to have said walkthrough earlier), which I think it's the best one yet (to repeat myself) is on the frontpage of CFC. This is the one review that I have passed along to friends and to those that want to know about Civ5.
I must say, I love your candidness Sulla, but I do have one minor criticism of your critique that I feel is unfair. You can't just look at a civilization as having a UA, or as having a UU, or a UI (either UU or UB). A civilization is comprised of a combination of the three.

For example, Suleiman definitely has the weakest UA (and situational, no doubt), but very strong UUs -- possibly the strongest of the game.

That said, the civs aren't truly balanced. I agree with your conclusions, but I just don't think it's fair to say Suleiman sucks because his UA sucks. The Greeks are incredibly powerful. The Americans are about average, thing to note about the Minutemen is that units upgraded from Minutemen *keep* the terrain movement bonus. In essence they start with a promotion, and promotions are kept when upgrading, so building Minutemen essentially ensures that unit, even when upgraded, will not experience terrain movement penalties. That little-known fact makes the Americans better than most people give them credit for...still not the best, but not horrid.

Overall, I am hopeful for some minor tweaks in the game (better AI...but Civ IV didn't have a good AI either until Bhruic...and more balanced civs), but I like the overall direction; it just needs refinement. I actually like that civ abilities aren't just a grab bag of a small handful of unique abilities; diplomatic victory actually requires diplomacy and protecting others now, not a surrogate for domination; combat is infinitely more fun IMHO; gold has much more usefulness and variety in what you can do with it; hexes make movement better.
Lots of reasonable points though too, like AI military ineffectiveness (particularly for city capture; it needs to understand how to not attack a city unless it has sufficient force to win, and it needs to understand how to not charge futilely into siege unit firing positions, and it needs to understand when to take defensive rather than offensive positions).

Strongly disagree about wanting more sameness in civ UA/UU power to avoid multiplayer balance issues. I'd prefer different abilities across civs to balanced ones.

I disagree with him about wanting Civ Traits back (they were fun in Civ3 & Civ4, but eventually got too bland & samey) but I do agree with him that some traits are almost downright useless compared to others. I'm really surprised that these balance issues ever made it through play-testing without being picked up! I also concur on the issue of the military AI-I had at least one occasion where my lone archer unit was able to wipe out some barbarians, without them *once* being threatened by said barbarians.
Of course, this is all based on the Demo. Picked up the full game today, so hopefully I'll get a better idea of the game from that!

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