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Which civs do you feel are best designed? (not who is strongest)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Chiatroll, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Chiatroll

    Chiatroll Warlord

    Mar 21, 2010
    I don't mean what civilizations do you feel is the best at all when I say this but which one do you think has your favorite design decisions behind them.

    Personally I like to see a civilization that is built with lots of synergy to his powers where they all paint a very specific picture for how the civ to work.

    I like Brasil a lot.
    You get tourism focused golden ages, a culture/tourism focused UA, and a UU made not to win a war but instead bring you a golden age. Everything is put together in a nice little package that tells me exactly how the civ works.

    I like the Iroquis
    You rush in you murder people. your UA makes you fast and doesn't make you waste as much time building extra workers for roads. Your UU uses those forests to get to the enemy and is spammable because he doesn't need iron and then your UB is a massive hammer booster. It all combines to tell me to get as many dudes out as I can and tell my neighbors I'd like their stuff ASAP.

    I like Portugal
    You build a wide trade empire. The UA and UU both say money a thousand times over while the UI fixes all happiness issues and lets you trade extra resources. I don't think you can scream wide rich victory that turns to an easy diplomatic when the economy is going strong louder then these people.

    Some civs are stronger yes but in cases like Korea the UU's are sort of hanging out for a bit and saying, "Go getum UA! We will be here in the corner cheering tje UA on." I think they did a really good job planning out what they want a civ to do in the newest expansion except for the on purpose generalists like Poland.
  2. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

    Mar 12, 2003
    Norfolk, VA
    I like Civs where everything seems to work together. Then again, it doesn't always work. Indonesia's Candi and UA should work together, but it sometimes just seems like three different things that don't go well together.

    I do think Polynesia deserves to be on a list. Their UU goes well with their UI. Their UI and UA are both coastal focused. And they play differently from everyone else. Brazil is another wehre things seem to work together. Both Polynesia and Brazil suffer from losing their point when not in the right time period (while other civs are designed to have some effect throughout). I'll also add Ethiopia, who does the culture turtle thing very well. The UA and UB stack and they have a building designed for a particular focus.

    I might put the Maya on the list too. Certainly, they are the most cleverly designed.
  3. Tachii

    Tachii Procrastinator

    Jul 29, 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    Mayan archer UU doesn't seem very relevant to the UA or UB though.

    Shaka is probably the most war-oriented civs yet. The UA and UB feeds on the UU and makes it a killing machine. I don't know if the ranged promotion gets passed on to Rifleman? If it does, it's even more insane. He's so war-hungry even an AI will give you a constant threat to worry about. I don't think I've seen Shaka lose a fight yet in Civ5 (against other AIs). :<

    It just begs for Honor opening and killing off multiple civs in a game. Ashur comes in a close second. Though Shaka is just so focused he demands you to build a Barrack and use Honor for some proper massacres in games.
  4. MantaRevan

    MantaRevan Emperor

    Oct 9, 2011
    The Maya take the spot for me, even if the pyramids are a little nuts.
  5. mrwho

    mrwho Prince

    Apr 13, 2013
    The Inca are the best for me. They have arguably the most striking flavour; I love settling tons of cities on hills. The UA, free improvement maintenance on hills (and half elsewhere) and the no movement cost for hills, is in itself a great idea as a hilly civilization is so striking, and the UI has perfect synergy with it. Only the slinger feels out of place.
  6. MattZed

    MattZed Warlord

    Aug 1, 2013
    I think pretty much all of the civs are designed well.

    However, there are a few civs that I don't think are as well designed as the others, and I'd like to point those Civs out:
    Sweden - I don't care about the fact that Caroleans are awesome or that a strategically targeted early Industrial war can generate GGs and possibly some allies. The unique units simply do help Sweden's best victory condition (diplomatic) as much at they should.
    India - They're supposed to be good at going tall, but unlike the Aztecs, they don't get anything to help this goal except a happiness boost. (a boost that comes with a penalty that generally kills REX) Sure, the UU is essentially a cheaper, faster CB that upgrades to a Knight, but in my experience it isn't anything to write home about. The UB, which comes at the same tech that makes the UU obsolete, doesn't do much either. Because of its design, India is weaker than America, in my opinion.
    Siam - Like Sweden, I don't feel that this civ is weak, but their uniques simply don't help much for a diplomatic victory.
    Songhai - Ever since GnK, the embarkation defense isn't that great, fighting over rivers never really was, and their UB is essentially a weaker version of Egypt's. Their UU is a knight that simply doesn't get penalized for attacking cities. Again, not much to write home about.

    In general, the later a Civ was released, the better designed it is.
  7. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

    Feb 9, 2012
    Let's not neglect the Mongols. There are quite a lof of "rampage era" civ's out there, but many focus on early-era bum rushes. All three uniques come together with the Mongols so that they truly are a terror during the middle ages.

    Spain and Inca came out together, and whoever dreamed them up really should get an ovation. I think the definition of a good design is that has an implicit (not explicit) strategy and personality. It doesn't just grant a bag of goodies with no strings attached.

    Korea and Ethiopia both have overpowered UA's, but that's not this discussion is about and they do both have cohesive designs (indeed, if they weren't so cohesive then perhaps their UA's wouldn't be so OTT).
  8. meowschwitz

    meowschwitz Warlord

    Apr 7, 2013
    It let's you not have to waste research going into archery when you need to beeline theology. When you beeline theology you also are missing out on a lot of military tech and having these guys around are meant to be a defensive force that are cheap to pump out when/if you need them. Later you can still be militaristic but early game you're set up for a mad dash.

    I think Morocco deserves some appreciation here as their UA, UI, and UU let them play defensive and build up enough resources to play diplomatically and protect themselves who thinks that they may be an issue later on.
  9. Tagma

    Tagma Chieftain

    May 21, 2013
    Rome just "works," you know? I love legion+ballista armies, and I really like how every time you click the "choose production" button, you must cast your mind back to the mighty city of Rome to make sure you'll be getting that hammer bonus. Every few turns you're reminded that Rome is the (hopefully) greatest, biggest, most advanced city in the world.
    Also I had a great game with Byzantium on Tilted Axis where my bonkers religion permeated the civilised world; meanwhile small groups of cataphracts, far from the comforts and culture of home, wandered the frozen wastes hunting down barbs... civ really is a fantastic story-telling device sometimes!
  10. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

    Nov 20, 2011
    This is actually quite tricky, because some civs have one brilliantly-designed element but are either let down by others, or the uniques have no synergy with one another.

    Arabia, to my mind, has the best-designed UA in the game as of BNW - it's a very good way of representing multiple well-known elements of a single long-lived culture, with an emphasis on the trading you'd expect, while in game terms it's an inventive way of using the trade system for indirect benefits.

    But the Bazaar, popular and powerful as it is, is a very bad piece of design. It has no synergy with the UA, as it merely duplicates resources and duplicates add no value to a trade route. Markets are something you build everywhere, but the Bazaar's ability scales very badly, being potentially overpowered with the first one or two duplicates and useless afterwards. It has the potential to be ridiculous, but also the potential to be useless depending on what your starting resources are, if you have duplicates, and if the civs you have to trade with have the same resource.

    As a civ overall, the Zulu are one of the best designs. They do what they say on the tin, and do it well - Civ IV had an "Impi rush"; with Civ V's unique abilities and more creative unique units the Zulu (coming to the game late when it was already full of warmongers, and having built a lot of fan expectations) bring this back in a way that's been very positively-received and with a wholly unique UU which is strong but not overpowered, and whose ability makes a lot of sense thematically.

    Ironically, of the choices below highlighted as bad designs I'd say all (except India) are generally very well-designed in one or more regards:

    While I agree with this, and Sweden having two UUs is a weakness given the focus of the UA, most UUs for non-militaristic civs have little synergy with the civ as a whole, so some leeway is permissible. Sweden does have a very nicely-designed UA and a unique niche among diplo victory civs, and the Carolean isn't a bad representation thematically of the real-world formation. The unique cav unit is a letdown, and design-wise looks a bit lazy - take a Khan, reverse its effects.

    Agreed with all of this - the key failing with India is simply that, while its uniques aren't bad in isolation (and as a new tourism building the Mughal Fort is probably now pretty good), it has no growth bonuses. The happiness boost doesn't help them go tall particularly, because they aren't going to be growing any faster than anybody else. Most civs can grow tall without running into happiness problems - India is only at an advantage if it has some way of growing taller to make use of its excess happiness (or conversely some Golden Age-type effect that benefits from lots of surplus happiness).

    Not a weakness with Siam, because Siam isn't tailored for a diplomatic victory. It's tailored to make use of city-states - you will quite often (and I prefer to) go for a diplomatic victory because you've already put the effort in to get the CS bonuses, but Siam is not a "diplo civ". It was suggested pre-BNW (since culture victory worked differently) that it was ideal for a culture victory, but Siam is a very solidly-designed civ with a UA that's very interesting to play in a variety of ways and is fully capable of going for any VC. In that regard the Wat still has some synergy since you need culture for every VC, and it can count as a free culture building when going Tradition. The elephant has no relation to anything else, but see above re UUs for non-warmongers.

    Songhai's strength is that it does have synergy. They have a UA which rakes gold from capturing cities and a UU which, as a knight without the city penalty, is the strongest medieval city attacker except Naruesan's Elephant or the Conquistador (both also knight replacements). The Mud Pyramid Mosque is maintenance-free, so has minor synergy with a civ whose modus operandi is "attack, get money, buy more army, attack, get more money, rinse and repeat", but is on a bad tech path for domination. One abiding weakness of the Songhai design is that the Mandelaku has not been fixed following the release of the Spain DLC, since the Conquistador also has the 'no penalty attacking cities' ability and other bonuses besides. But generally this is one of the most synergistic civ designs.

    The issue with the Mongols is that their UA doesn't really have a lot of synergy with anything and doesn't accomplish a lot. Both UUs are very well-designed, but I mark them down for a UA that doesn't obviously capture who the Mongols were thematically and doesn't help them particularly with any victory condition, including the obvious domination.

    Spain's been criticised a lot for being a "roll of the dice" civ - it's going to rise and fall with what happens to be on the map, and I feel this is fairly poor design (see my comments on the Bazaar). A strong design should be one you need to work to exploit, and that plays differently depending on the game environment but is not a slave to the map. The Inca fit this mould - sure, you don't need to do a lot of work to exploit their UA, but they're strong on certain maps without being crippled elsewhere (every map has hills somewhere).

    Ethiopia is brilliantly designed to capture its stated theme, but it lacks synergy between its UA and its UB.

    Korea was also on my shortlist of the best-designed civs (although like Sweden it's another non-warmonger with two UUs).

    I'm not sure this can be called good design, because the civ wasn't actually designed this way but came about as a result of both a patched UA and game changes with BNW, but I've been impressed by Austria's design in a recent game.

    With changes making city states more valuable as independent entities, even when not going for diplo victory, Austria makes you seriously consider every marriage - you already have to be allies with the CS, so you're in essence exchanging one perk for another, having already had to work to obtain that CS to begin with. You're also unlikely to be taking city-states early game now. This is not an ability you will now automatically click every time you hit 500+ gold and have a willing ally, as it was in G&K's early days, and this speaks to what I say about good design above. When, whether and where you use this is going to be both map-dependent and reliant on the player working for the bonus and targeting the specific CSes you need at a given time.

    Then there's the coffee shop. Forget Sweden, Austria has a building that grants +25% GP production that nobody else has. This has been overlooked as far as I can tell, but as of BNW this is a very big deal. Austria is fairly flexible with its victory conditions, but GP boosts now tend to favour cultural victories because you get boosts to three different GP bars.
  11. shattergod

    shattergod Chieftain

    May 4, 2008
    England. Hands down. It is the single most perfect civ in the game.
  12. ballingforlife

    ballingforlife Chieftain

    Mar 27, 2013

    Not neccesarily the best but very good synergy. And some of these show exactly what blend the dev team wanted.
  13. simonthesinner

    simonthesinner Chieftain

    Jun 27, 2013
    Rome is good, the UU and the legions building ability as well as Romes UA all makes perfect sense. In cotrast, the celts, who I like a lot, are a mishmash between dffrent eras and cultures. Germany as well would have been better off as either "Teutons" with the UA and some earlier units/buildings or as a modern "Germany" with production/great people focus.

    Other well designed civs:

    Other civs that coud do with an overhaul:
    Sweden (very powerful civ, and fun to play, but to focus on both nobel prize and our renessance offensive warmongering seems a bit scattered)
    Mongolia: Knocking over 2 city states makes you a denounced pariah and you will have to fight civs very soon. Would be more useful if they could extort CS money easier. Also see the huns.
    The Huns: Let's pick one eastern, boogeyman, overly agressive horsearcher horde and make it a good one. The huns also should have some combination of some version of germanys (pick up free barbarian units) and Venice's (can't settle, have to conquer) abilities,
    Denmark: What is the point of this civ? They have oneof the richest histories of any still existing nation and this is what you come up with? Should have naval (longships?) or trade (sound toll?) or bonus to administer conquered holdings (danelaw?) or extort (danegeld?) ability and, as they also represents norway, maybe a bonus to exploration/archaology (legacy of Amundsen, buld archeologist at reduced cost?). Ski infantry is silly and immersion breaking when you fight them in the desert. Berzerkers should be a swordman upgrade.
  14. True_Candyman

    True_Candyman Emperor

    Oct 23, 2011
    I have got to disagree with you on this one. Spain is a "dice-roll" civ, but only if you look at it without any imagination. 95% of the time as spain, you will have a natural wonder in reach if you really stretch to get it. If you get it and can secure it, this can give you a big leg up. The fun part is how you work to exploit Spain's UA. If you choose not to go for it straight up and build up a strong core first, then you have a strong musketeer and knight to help conquer it later. The knight can even found one of your own cities after you raze their's if the spot is awkward for acquiring the NW. Even Spain's AI is geared towards this, being an aggressive neighbour more often than not in the hopes that she can conquer some good NW's. If you choose to rush over and settle there, that works too. And it is an option because of the gold bonus you get from discovering natural wonders. Then tricky part then is securing a city that is likely a significant number of tiles away. Really Spain is only as luck based as every other civ in the game. In reality it's just more of a challenge to succeed often requiring more skill, with a bigger instant pay off than most at the end of it.

    I think Spain are a FANTASTIC design for a civ, fun and playable on every map type. They aren't hurt by the "dice-roll" element to them, they have PLENTY to mitigate any negatives and reduce any "chance" element, and once they get going they can turn into a steam train ploughing down everyone else in whatever they choose. I love Spain, even when i have a game that doesn't work out for NW's, because for every civ, the fact that you have to work for your UA means that sometimes it doesn't pay off. And working for Spain's UA has led me to some of the most fun, interesting and different games i've had the joy to play in civ.
  15. Bakspatel

    Bakspatel Prince

    May 1, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I'll give the Netherlands a shot. Perhaps not the best out of the list of civs, but it has some good synergy with money:

    UA: Encourages you to trade luxuries with other civs for other luxuries or.. money. And more luxuries means faster GA which means.. more money.
    UI: Greatly improves the power of a city and its increase in money. Makes building cities at flooded planes successful and makes more.. money.
    UU: Build for long, sustainable use to raid cities and... make money.

    So simply said, everything of the civ represents the ability of making a lot of money.
  16. de_baser

    de_baser Warlord

    Sep 18, 2012
    No mention of Venice?
    Good design is not about synergy of abilities, it's about orginilatiy or just general use of interesting ways to play. Venice is defo up there for me then, always fun.

    Also, i love the Bakh'tun thing with the Mayans and Spain's UA. The fact that civs are so incredibly different in Civ V BNW makes for a grand complete game.
  17. Crafty Bison

    Crafty Bison King

    Jun 26, 2012
    Inca, Polynesia, England and Persia. But then again I also like civs that don't always work together for fun play making them work, e.g. Byzantium, Celts and Indonesia.
  18. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

    Mar 12, 2003
    Norfolk, VA
    I think the point is to give you a defensive unit very early to defend your cities as you go exclusively as a builder civ.

    Shaka is a good example. I'll also add the Mongols. Keshiks and Khans are so fun together. Their UA technically fits too, although attacking city-states isn't very good, there's no doubt it fits their military style.

    I'm not convinced their designed victory condition is diplomatic. Rather, they're supposed to use city-states to achieve a different victory condition. Becoming friends with cultural city-states and building the Wat does work together. Their UU isn't inherently better for their strategy, but it's quite a good unit, so I can't complain. Rather than being poorly designed, I'd argue the problem with Siam is just that it's not designed for the new cultural victory. Instead, it's designed for the old one. Still, social policies are always good.
  19. Tachii

    Tachii Procrastinator

    Jul 29, 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    Erm. Sure, I guess.

    I always build Hanging Gardens these days so I have to sink into Archery regardless fairly soon.

    Question: With BNW, I lost the Mayans as civ to play with, do their UA include Great Writers/musicians now too?
  20. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

    Mar 12, 2003
    Norfolk, VA
    They do. How did you lose the Maya as a civ to play with? :confused:

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