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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. Tachii

    Tachii Procrastinator

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    I removed G&K, then only got BNW. :<
     
  2. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    How did you remove it? It should still be on steam? In fact, expansions are treated like DLC so they're incorporated automatically.
     
  3. Chiatroll

    Chiatroll Warlord

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    Me neither I played them in a weird domination style the last time I played them using the bonuses from city states to make my wide pre-BWN puppet empire flawless.

    I didn't have to worry about diplomacy when declaring protection to combine on consulates for every single city state since everyone has always hated a conqueror anyway.

    I just never knew if I was doing it correctly or even if correctly is even a thing with siam.
     
  4. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Greece is a bit scatty with its UA referencing Athens-centred Greece and focusing on diplomacy while the civ as a whole is a warmonger. There's little synergy there (unless you happen to roll militaristic city-states nearby).

    Not a fan of ski infantry, but the rest of Denmark's design is solid. They make great early explorers with the extra embarked speed (better than anyone but Polynesia - England has faster ships, but an embarked scout is a better explorer than a Trireme), on island maps they can colonise very quickly (extra move on disembarking for settlers and workers) and the UA as a whole really does reflect a raiding playstyle well (as well as it can given that raiding is not a very useful part of a game about empire-building and city conquest). They capture what people most associate with Vikings.

    They also get the longship right as a graphic for embarked units (and represented by that +1 embarked movement). Longships were fast transports, they didn't engage in open-seas warfare, so I'm glad they didn't succumb to temptation to make a "longship UU".

    I think of Brazil as a prime example of why synergy is a necessary but not sufficient criterion for good civ design. It has synergy with its UU only because its UU has a "get extra points for your GA" ability tacked on to a standard unit, which indeed seems lazy rather than cleverly-imagined synergy. The UU itself is very late, and a design as unbalanced as Brazil (strong very late game, does essentially nothing the rest of the time) can't be considered particularly well-designed. A fault of the poor tourism system rather than Brazil specifically, but they knew what they were working with when they chose the ability.

    "A Natural Wonder" could, however, be anything from Lake Victoria or Fountain of Youth to Grand Mesa. If it's Mt. Sinai, you have your strategy pre-dictated as heavy religion; most other NWs are of more general utility and can support varied strategies. Other UAs that depend on environmental features, such as Siam's, aren't going to constrain your strategic options so heavily based on what you happen to roll in a given session.

    Which is again in large part going to be dictated by what that Wonder is. If it's Lake Victoria or a religion Natural Wonder, you'll want it ASAP - usually this will also be the case for King Solomon's Mines. El Dorado (if you don't discover it first), Fountain of Youth, Cerro de Potosi and a few others can wait. Krakatoa can wait to be colonised, but you don't want to leave it where it can fall into someone else's hands and give them its bonus for X turns until you can capture it.

    If it's on another island, at any rate.

    Isabella's aggressive, but I haven't seen her showing any particular preference for conquering cities with attached NWs - indeed I can have one in my borders and she'll happily attack one of my other cities.

    Originality is part of good design, but can be just a gimmick if not well thought-through. I've only played Venice once, but to me it feels much more the latter. You can't separate a discussion of power levels from a question of design because good design is balanced, and Venice removes a key limiting factor that sets a trade-off for expansion - the need to devote food and production (or gold equivalent) to producing settlers - in favour of a GP that's automatically generated over time. On top of which they get a ridiculous gold advantage. The result in my experience playing Venice was so drastically overpowered that I got bored by around 1200 AD, being the leader in every demographic going (except possibly territorial extent) on Emperor (before I moved back up to Immortal) - war with Austria? Sure, I'll just buy an army and head over there.
     
  5. VirtuallyJesse

    VirtuallyJesse Chieftain

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    I think Spain, Indonesia, and Polynesia are examples of good design. With Spain and Indonesia UA, it forces you to be active, explore and find wonders/good islands and claim them before someone else. Polynesia will have you building an extra scout and/or trireme and meeting city states/other AIs for early patronage/diplomacy.

    I think a well designed Civ is someone that requires action and is engaging with the player, not just sitting on + passive bonuses.
     
  6. HeraldtheGreat

    HeraldtheGreat King

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    Synergy-wise, I'll go with Arabia (the remake). The UA represents trade and religion, which goes well with the UB, too. The camel archer allows for the potential of mid-game conquest. Overall, a well covered and well done Civ.
     
  7. True_Candyman

    True_Candyman Emperor

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    So you're arguing they are a bad design because they play differently every time? :confused: To me personally, that is a good thing. You always have play dictated by some aspects of the game and it is just so dull for me when they are preset to the extent of Korea, Babylon etc.

    I don't see the wonder draw as a particularly "luck" based thing. Yes it's random, but it's not particularly lucky to get one over the other, they all help and therefore all prove your UA useful, removing the luck from the equation. Beyond that, it varies situationally as much as any other civ's UA. The word "luck" is thrown around far too casually for Spain.

    Additionally, if you get Mt Sinai, i would actually say that opens up your game hugely rather than dictating it. You don't need to focus on religion early game then, and have free reign to specialize your empire. You also have the option to go religion heavy. Either way, the flexibility of Spain is amazing, and the way they can change each game is amazing. I love them for being such a variable civ that requires the player to be adaptable and open to funky new gameplay styles that are as wide as your imagination.

    I think Spain is well designed preceisely because it isn't geared towards anything, but it's nature means it can be specialised in very odd things from game to game just as much as it can be into more normal things.
     
  8. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    When it takes that decision out of the player's hands? If I'm playing Siam (my favoured civ when not playing random), I have multiple CSes I can choose to divide my attention between, usually including at least two of the three types my UA benefits from. My decision-making is going to be strongly influenced by game context, but isn't going to be a slave to it. I can, if I so desire, play the same way each time and get bonuses - but I can maximise the use of my UA by tailoring it to game circumstances.

    You're seeing "work" to use Spain's UA where I see very little. You settle a Natural Wonder, and decide when to do so. Fine, but that's it for the game as far as working the UA's concerned, and what's more how many civs are you going to play where you don't plan settling around the available Natural Wonders at some stage?

    The rest is just getting free profit from a bonus that requires you to do no more than stick a citzen to work that Wonder, and whether you play a religion game or out-tech Babylon has nothing to do with how you choose to play and everything to do with whether you're next to Uluru or Krakatoa.

    Natural Wonders are very far from balanced with one another - they're always a lucky draw with any civ, and all Spain's UA does is to exacerbate that effect. Nothing - up to and including the Fountain of Youth - is going to break a game like Spain being able to settle Lake Victoria with their first or second city.

    How is this different from getting Mt. Sinai as anyone else? If you're playing as Spain, it's a waste not to utilise the UA, and if you're getting +16 faith a turn from one tile (+24 with One With Nature), you either go heavy religion or might as well not play Spain. Yes, you can play any civ while wholly ignoring their unique ability and get a different play experience, but if you want to utilise Spain's UA you're largely going to have to let the game dictate how you play each session.
     
  9. danieladler

    danieladler Warlord

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    I think a well designed civ should be fun and useful to play with no matter what kind of victory you want to pursue. England is one of those few imo.
     
  10. Crustierpie

    Crustierpie Chieftain

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    Celts.
    -The UA is great for getting a religion and benefits you the more cities you have strongly encouraging a REX strategy.
    -UU is great at helping a religion and defending you from early attacks and barbs. It's great because its an hut upgrade from the warrior and spears don't require resources.
    -After REXing your cities will grow and eventually happiness will become a problem. This building comes at a perfect time to solve that.

    Civ's that aren't well built.
    Egypt is a powerful civ but doesn't thrive together.
    -UA makes you want to wonderspam in he beginning
    -UU is great offensively but comes at a time when your wonderspamming.
    -UB also comes at roughly the same time, but focus on religion and happiness
     
  11. Chiatroll

    Chiatroll Warlord

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    I think people who are coming in to tell someone they are wrong or state things as hard rules should remember that while there are some definite things in bad design a large part of great design is going to go to personal preference.

    I can feel Brazil is well designed because I like synergy. PhilBowles, you can feel they are bad design. And it's all personal preference at that point in the thought process.

    It's Civilization V not Mindjack so the decisions are normally handled by people competent enough to leave lots of difference in opinion.

    In what I feel is bad design, you may disagree.

    Sweeden always throws me for a loop. I look at the AI.. ok if I have lots of civs on the map I can get lots of great people and.. wait throw them at city states? and then two UUs so am I combat now? Won't that make my great people stop coming in when I lack friends? I don't know where to go with sweeden.
     
  12. wigwam

    wigwam Prince

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    One of the most effective ways to use Sweden is to farm Great Generals and Admirals with endless low-intensity wars and send them to city-states for influence. The Carolean is a perfect UU for that. The Hakkapeliitta, to be fair, is not a great UU to begin with and is kind of anti-synergistic with that strategy, but that doesn't mean Sweden can't be a non-conquest-oriented militaristic civ (when do you ever build Lancers anyway?). I'm definitely a fan of the Swedish design.

    I like Ethiopia, too&#8212;the lack of synergy between UB and UA is actually interesting to me. They're both really, really powerful, so pitting them against each other creates some interesting tension for the Ethiopian player. The more you leverage the UB, the less you can use the UA.

    Denmark is terrible now, but it was actually a pretty cool design; it radically changes the way embarkation and movement in general work.

    I think Persia might be the best of the vanilla civs; I really like that they turn Golden Ages into a very active element, something that you prepare for and then try to take maximal advantage of. It sets interesting, distinct priorities for Persia in terms of buildings and Wonders and it creates a nice cyclical history of dynastic expansion and consolidation.

    And you know, I think old France was a way more interesting design than new France. The Chateau is kind of cool, but the new French UA is godawful&#8212;it demands that you play for one particular victory, but then all it does is give you a bonus for something you were guaranteed to do anyway. The old French UA may have been a bit OP (and weirdly un-Napoleonic), but it was a very cool representation of France as both cultural leader and expansionist menace.
     
  13. MarshalN

    MarshalN Prince

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    I think Denmark is terrible, but design wise it makes sense. It's just not powerful, but that's got nothing to do with the subject in this thread.

    I actually have a problem with China - historically I don't think China is really a warmonger type civ with aggressive expansion and fighting. The generals thing never made sense to me. I'd think if anything China should be good at getting tributes from city states, or get diplo bonuses when doing trades (say, +50% happiness from traded luxes). Or some kind of culture bonus. Having a military bonus just.... seems really weird.
     
  14. Abraxis

    Abraxis Emperor

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    Can we be clear, before anyone starts discussing Indonesia, that their national motto is "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika"
    literal translation: "many, yet one"
    connotative: "Unity in Diversity".

    To my understanding they were specifically designed not to tunnel vision a single gambit like a lot of other civs, but rather to be able to take advantage of very different factors to achieve their aims.

    "sometimes just seems like three different things that don't go well together"
    That's exactly how they were designed. The goal ideally being for the player to be creative and find a way to integrate diverse factors into a cohesive whole.

    I'm not so sure how the strategic element works as I've only played them once and didn't finish the game, but look at how it works on a tactical level with the kris swordsmen, finding creative tactics to take advantage of whatever bonuses each kris soldier has to make them to work better than a squad of the next civilization's more homogenous units.
     
  15. Blueboots

    Blueboots Chieftain

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    Inca. Those terraforming, hill-jumping people rule the world.
     
  16. ehecatzin

    ehecatzin Emperor

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    I rather like the Aztec design ideas. Specially the nice synergy early game between its UA and UU, opening Honor and go scouting and barb killing with Jaguars works like a charm, and it helps you in getting down tradition quick to get a tall core, and here's where the UB kicks in wonderfully.

    I like the whole idea of creating a tall empire that keeps on declaring war just for the sacrifitial killing, it works nicely gameplay and flavour wise, thats good design.
     
  17. Abraxis

    Abraxis Emperor

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    I think the idea of Sweden is that they can play both peacefully and militarily to equal success. Not necessarily that they should be doing both all the time.
    Either they're at peace and using their superior diplomacy to push out tons of great people to stimulate their economy with their abilities or improvements, or they're at war, and using their superior military to push out tons of great generals which can also be used to stimulate their economy through city state gifting.
     
  18. livsbrand

    livsbrand Warlord

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    Chiming in with the ones who said Siam, Aztecs and Arabia. I would say Iroquois too, but there's a problem with movement cost when moving from regular road to inside-border-forests and vice versa. I guess that's a coding issue, but it really hurt my experience with them. And to pick something that is not vanilla... Yes, the Inca are pretty damn cool. How convenient that everyone already stated the reasons for me.
     
  19. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    Early "builder" civ that goes werewolf and changes over to domination later on. I've only played them a few times but it was really fun.

    As far as "design" of civs go I can't get past the Inca (who happen to be one of the "best" too). They're just so fun to play and everything works well together. They make me look at the map in a totally different way than when playing other Civs.
     
  20. Law Lord

    Law Lord Chieftain

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    I agree with most in this thread that the Maya, Iroquois, Sweden, Aztecs, Arabia, Zulu and Rome are examples of good design: synergistic, well balanced, and promote playing out the civ's 'theme' in a fun way.

    England is getting a lot of love, but I don't think they are in the top tier of well designed. England is certainly well balanced and allows for flexible gameplay, but I would like to see a nod to the Industrial Revolution which is nowhere to be found. Instead it's a tongue-in-cheek James Bond bonus that is rather uninteresting. They aren't poorly designed, just not top tier.

    Brazil is also not particularly well designed. The UU is near useless despite its attempt at synergy. The UI is good, but promotes the opposite of the UA in providing defensive culture. I think Brazil is strong because of the above average UA and UI strength, but not well designed.

    I'll throw in for the Shoshone as an example of good design. The UA is useful and fun in the early game, it has great synergy with the Pathfinder, and even if the Comanche is relatively weaker, it is still useful to have a fast cavalry that can cover your large territory in the late game. I don't find them OP either, just strong in the hands of a good player. It promotes early settlement and remains flexible.
     

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