Thoughts on V from a longtime lurker. (Including wins on Diety)


Sep 25, 2010
First just want to say I've always enjoyed reading these forums. Picked up a lot of great strategies and ideas for different styles of play through. I used to hate the Incans in Civ 4 before figuring out how good they were here I'm a longtime player of IV and III and have been eagerly awaiting five.

With that preface said I'm gonna write a little on who I've played as, how it worked, what works well in the game, and of course what really doesn't work. So far I've won on King, Emperor, Immortal and Diety. You can check out my steam stats profile (ben_jackson)i'm the one in Texas, if you wanna verify the Diety win.

For the first few games I've played as my favorite Civ from IV, Rome. Luckily they don't disappoint in V either. The +25% production bonus to all your secondary cities in a game that lacks as much production as V is uncountably good. Legions and Ballistas are two of my favorite UU, they come at a perfect time (I b line to Ironworking most games only occasionly stoping to pick up Masonry along the way). The early powerful units usually let me knock out the nearest Civ, most times s two before a quick upgrade to Longswordmen. Domination victories on every Rome play except one where I got a culture victory, with 20 cities, on Prince (way way to easy). All throughout the game to make sure I'm using my UA, I purchase whatever building in Rome, then spam it with quicker production throughout the rest of my empire. This is essential for all gold producing buildings, and workshops to unlock Ironworks for Rome itself.

Got another King Victory playing as Egypt, this time just with high score. I built everyone wonder but two in the game, which i quickly took from Montezuma. Ended up winning with a high score a single turn short of completing the utopia project (Ya I was pissed). I got bored toward the modern era and wanted to nuke someone so started a war with Washington where I obliterated half of his cities for fun (Nukes look awesome).

Now on to my comments about the good and bad of the game.

The Good

1. Revamped Combat System- Thank god the Stacks of Death are gone. Combat in Civ 5 is fantastic. Between Great generals, Flanking, Range of Supporting units there are innumerable strategies to try out. This was the most needed revamp for the series, and is easily the most fun of the game.

2. Cities defend themselves- A useful addition, especially early game. It's nice to be able to explore without fear of barbarians ending you within the first 10 turns. Later sieges of strong cities on high difficulty require a decent amount of strategy. A fun change.

3. Navies Matter- I've had a few games where I've conquered entire civ's thanks to a powerful navy supporting a few powerful troops. Navies were all but useless in IV so this is a welcome change.

4. Social Policies-Fun little that really allow you to customize how your empire reacts throughout time. Really creates a lot of different ways to play the game.

5. Leaders speaking in their own language- This one is a little more aimed at me (I'm fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek) but it's really fun to hear the leaders speaking in their original languages rather than a fake regional accent. It adds a nice flavor to the game.

6. Happiness- Prevents over expansion and creates a nice needed balance to the game. Heard and read a lot of complaints about this but I really don't think its that bad except for exception 4 in the bad section.

The Bad

1. I cannot stress this enough. The designers have created a great system for combat that the AI is simply incapable of understanding or playing. I've noticed this on King through Diety difficulty. Way to often the AI will advance on me with Archers in front, lined up next to or in front of spearmen/swordman. My Praetorians make easy work every time. Even on Diety level when I was fighting Ghandi he kept flinging his War Elephants against my spearmen to their own destruction instead of staying out of range and weakening me with arrows. This has got to get fixed somehow, it's simply too easy to beat the AI as it stands militarily.

2. No endgame or Wonder videos. Is it really too much to ask when I'm shelling out 50 bucks to give me a 5-10 second video when I beat the game. It feels cheap. The wonders no longer inspire awe when you get them. It's boring, it's drab and the game has lost much of it's historical appeal because of it. The cities not changing from ancient to Renaissance also add to this affect.

3. Simply not enough resources/gold to maintain any sort of empire late game with maintenance costs. I've somewhat fixed this by switching to legendary starts which make the game much more enjoyable but even then, the AI and myself are all hemorrhaging gold from 1900 on. This has happened in test games I've played where I've had every monetary building possible, focused my other cities, and have a standard army compared to the rest of the AI. There simply isn't enough money to be had in the game. Either maintenance costs need to be lowered or tile bonuses need to be upped.

4. Why can't I purchase a courthouse. It's the only building in the game I can't for some reason. Make it expensive I don't care. If my empires economy is kicking I should be able to offset the initial happiness from conquering a city through economic means. I mean c'mon, you can buy just about anything else in the game.

5. Since the AI can't play the game at least give me a Multiplayer where I can play someone. Both games I've tried on MP so far have been dropped or glitched or screwed up within 100 turns. I trust this will be fixed by 2k/Firaxis.

6. I miss religion, it's too much a major part of history to remove from a historical game. I don't miss espionage.

7. Razing cities- I noticed this on my Egypt playthrough. While I was razing cities, I took 3 in a single turn they completely jacked up what I needed to the next social policy. This just seems unfair as It pretty much prevents a culture victory if you go on offensive wars to weaken aggressive neighbors. If I'm in the process of burning a city to the ground it shouldn't add to my culture points requirements. This cost me my culture win as Egypt, (sore win instead, I had double score of 4 remaining civs). The game shouldn't make non-military victories so dang hard to achieve.

That's pretty much the nuts and bolts of what I think. I'm not gonna nitpick on here like many. I'd give the game an 80/100. Maybe a 75/100. If they fix some of the biggest bugs and problems there's no reason this game can't easily surpass IV.


Apr 8, 2005
Anyang, Kyeonggi-do, South Korea
I agree with you on a lot of these parts and they have been reiterated in other posts.

I'm starting to notice the AI's inability to grasp tactical combat situations. I also wish that they would let you buy courthouses.

As for Wonder videos, they were never that important to me in the first place, so I don't miss them that much. I do love all of the pictures they have for each of the wonders. I guess this is just more of a personal preference. Maybe a nice, epic video for a Win would be nice.

While I did enjoy religion in Civ IV, I do have to say that the new City-State system seems to be better. Religion just became to much of a driving force behind the play in Civ IV, I feel that the City-States keeps conflict more localized with many more options and always doesn't force one into a war.

If one of your Allies are being attacked by a neighboring Civ, you can go to war with that Civ, cut your losses and move on, or start gifting units to help that City-State. You can wait till they are conquer, liberate them and have a friend for life. Let them take the brunt of the attack before you steam roll through the enemy Civ from another direction. There are more creative options that I don't list.

If you are going to reintroduce Religion to Civ V, it should be something milder, tone downed that subtly influences diplomacy instead of being the driving force.

That's my 200 Korean Won worth...


Nov 19, 2001
Just curious - did you lose any games along the way? Do you think you will always win on deity with the current release?

In current game playing emperor I haven't had as much of an issue with archers walking up to the front. The AI has been good about leading the charge with the correct units. I do find plenty of other issues but at least they are usually more subtle.


Dead weight
Aug 18, 2001

1. agreed.
2. i like the paintings for the wonders more than videos. but miss endgame videos.
3. i think this is the inflation variables being out of whack. I am modding inflation OUT in my game.
4. agreed. but maybe there's a reason.
5. no comment
6. i'd like religion to be a lot simpler than it was and not just be a make-allies or make-enemies tool. I like simple espionage not complex involved bull crud like it was- so just make a spy unit and a diplo unit or something for legitimate snooping around... that would be cool. maybe some minor destructive acts but nothing major.
7. refrain from your attacks? weaken but don't decapitate if you are ";cultured?" I disgree with your point here almost entirely.


Sep 27, 2007
This is a good, honest review. Much better than the QQing all over these forums that has made them simply unbearable.

I agree with many points, though very happy religion was removed. I feel like i'm playing Civ again.

I'm really not enjoying the role Courthouses currently play and I agree that maintenance costs becomes grindingly unbearable. I feel like the solution would be reassigning the role courthouses play altogether (doesn't it feel weird that they are only necessary in annexed cities?). Perhaps, they should reduce maintenance cost in their current city? There should be a building that does this apart from the Socialism social policy.

When you think about it, with buildings costing 2-4 gold maintenance on average, that's virtually 1-2 trading posts per building. For most of the game, that's simply unreasonable, especially since production costs have dramatically increased.

Isn't the implementation of the trading post supposed to discourage the be-all, end-all cottage economy of CivIV?


Sep 25, 2010
I have lost on diety so far. Never lost on duel and tiny. One loss two wins on stardard. Haven't been able to beat large on diety yet. I generally do really well but ultimately can't overcome the tech disadvantage between longswordman and riflemen. If it's past around 1500-1600 on diety I can't win. It's just too hard to maintain any type of economy, scientific production and army that can compete with the AI.

I also forgot to write that I love City States. Keeps things interesting and liberating them is one of the best things you can do strategy wise in a game.

Also forgot to mention that as bad as the AI is at fighting, when it comes to choosing to go to war the AI in my games has been fantastic. In my first game on king I founded a city a little far away from my base to grab the only iron on the continent. When i did this both other civs on the continent went to war with me. Very realistic, loved that aspect. Also love that resources provide a limited number of units/buildings.
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