I have rediscovered the wonders of the Civ 5 game.     I started and stopped a bunch of games and goofed around before completing a game with Ramhkamaneneeadandang and discovering better how to abuse the City States for fun and profit.     I had also forgotten how huge the Terra map is.     That is a work of art and incredibly hard to end up using much of the world with.    Now, imagine playing with 20 city states and only two oppenents ?    I ended the game by Tourism Victory and none of us had colonized the “Brave New World”.

There was something about this game in prior iterations that felt a tad unfinished.    This is gone now.    We’ve got fully fleshed out religions to found, which may have real names but are just various collections of bonuses now.     Tourism provides a different kind of cultural victory, more amenable to larger empires.     It’s not surprising that after many years the game is now displaying a nice polished touch.

My vague memory from years ago is that I never did well with the game with a large number of opponents, and that’s where the fun really is – the map should be full.     I’ll go ahead and share the settings I’ve decided on for games.

  • Terra Map – because it’s fun.    So are the other ones so this could change.
  • Huge Map.    Game is simply more fun with a lot of territory.
  • No Barbarians.    They just irrritate me or the other AI players, or are there to exploit.
  • No Ruins.    Talk about an easily abused mechanic, and I can’t resist abusing.
  • New Random Seed on Reload.    This used to be a problem in that you just reload your game and try again after losing any combat.   With the load times on the current Civ 5 iteration, I’ll enable it and reload if combat or the early war really goes that badly.   Doing it once or twice is not really abusive.    The boredom penalty eliminates the abuse.
  • Chieftain Level.   Still working my way up in difficulty.    Given how long the games last though, I’ll be lucky to move up at all.
  • Eleven AI players.   For a total of twelve active players.    That seemed fitting, and is working well in my current game.
  • Wet world, default for other parameters.    Desert and plains get de-emphasized this way which is good.   Jungle is emphasized which is a bit annoying but still OK, that’s what workers are for.
  • 24 City States.    I think you can double that if wanted.    I might play around with this number.
Fearsome and not cartoony.   Nice.

Fearsome and not cartoony. Nice.

My latest game is as Shaka of the Zulu, and being played true to form.     I shall be an expansionist warmonger, and win either by conquering the world, or by the Space victory.     I started out and found my first neighbor is Gandhi, and clearly the first target when playing a warlike civ.    Especially when looking at how outnumbered I got him.

Four cities to one.   Time to secure one flank.

Four cities to one. Time to secure one flank.

When enough units were built, he got eliminated quickly.  I had enough units to crush him before he could build himself out of new-empire status.   Gandhi as a peaceful builder can bury you.

That's Delhi in the middle.   My son called it the "Giant Diaper"

That’s Delhi in the middle. My son called it the “Giant Diaper”

He's gone.

He’s gone.

Next I got a request from Pocatello of the Shoshone, to go to war with Turkey.   Why not ?     I had heard that the idea was to stay on the AI players good side by agreeing to these kinds of requests.     My army moved south and got into position, and was ready after the ten-turn delay.

The war got me two additional cities, and the peace agreement got me two more, as the AI Ottoman was left with Istanbul and one other small little burg.    But the AI “Good Side” was hard to find – Pocatello (#3 in power empire behind my #1) hates warmongers and now is guarded, and won’t trade with me.    Most other empires are the same.    Well.    You can’t expect to keep everyone happy if you fight a lot, but I thought my erstwhile ally would retain some friendliness.    The only one who liked me was…… The Ottomans.    They were considered “Friendly” even though I took half their empire, perhaps because I agreed to trade after the war.

Little good that got them.    After waiting long enough that I had dealt with my unhappiness problem, Istanbul was mine and two AI’s were down.

Currently I’m expanding out and eating up the emptier spaces on the map in my area, maintaining two good relationships with City-States and working on a third, and moving up the tech tree to enable Caravels and eventual cross-ocean colonizing of the new world.     Will I go to war with another neighbor, Egypt, who can be crushed with ease ?    I’m not sure, but probably.    Trying to build up better relations with the Shoshone by converting them to my religion, but we’ll see how well that goes.

Egypt in Yellow, Shoshone in Brown.

Egypt in Yellow, Shoshone in Brown.