A thoughtful and personal exploration of games

It’s a Brave New World – Civilization V


Since I got back from PAX East, I’d been hankering to play some Civ V. I wasn’t really able to until Friday rolled around (I blame school, friends, and Diablo 3 in that order).

The main reason I was so into playing some Civ V was because of several conversations I’d had last Saturday at the 2K Community Party regarding what I was missing from the awesome Brave New World DLC. I was told about the new culture victory, the tourism mechanic, and how Venice only got one city but could buy city states… and I was sold.

Why does playing Venice appeal to me? I don’t really know. Maybe it’s the simplicity of approach. Only one city, but I can have some pseudo cities? That’s not too bad. I get double the trade routes? Sounds good to me!

I purchased the Civ V Complete collection on Steam and immediately started a duel game as Venice and fell in love. The trick I use to get through the game is all about maximizing productivity and not pissing anyone off. Go for producing buildings, get a religion that emphasizes growth, have a few units on hand to protect boundaries and to poke around, horde wonders, and go for a lot of trade. It’s weird to see all this land and these lovely locations I’d expand to, but I just can’t get there. I have to take a particular mental approach in the tune of “it’s okay, that’s not how Venice operates”.

Speaking of trade, I encountered Pocatello of the Shoshone and became fascinated. My only encounters with them had been kind of neutral until I sat down and started a game as them. They’re my second favorite now mainly because of everything they do. If you build a city, they get bonus tiles (normal cities start with 7, the one you have the city in and the 6 immediate surrounding tiles, while I noticed the Shoshone get an extra 7 or so). Further, their scout has the strength of a warrior and can choose the item you get from ancient ruins. I can’t emphasize that enough: THEY CHOOSE THE FREE THING. There’s some wiggle there as you can’t just get free settlers all the time everywhere, but every few ruins you can hit the same bonus. They’re a pleasure to play and their music… incredible.

They certainly added a lot of new civilizations to the game, along with new units, buildings, wonders, some civilization specific tile improvements, I don’t think they added any new technologies (but I could be wrong), and they added several new mechanics to the game. Culture got a once over to allow for Tourism and “great works”, espionage got introduced to the game along with spies (England gets a bonus spy which makes them especially dangerous around the Renaissance period), and faith was introduced along with customizable religions (I really appreciate this part).

I know I’m late to the party (by about a year) but with Beyond Earth just a few months away, I really wanted to get some Civ V mechanisms under my belt.

See, now I want to play another game of Civ.

I’m going to go do that.

Until next time!

– Thomas

P.S. “Ah, Venice.” – Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (he says it 3 times during the movie, on arrival in Venice, coming out of the sewer, and right before having fun with the Fraulein).

P.P.S. I also recently got the original Borderlands game and all its DLC. After fighting with the game for a couple of hours, I finally got it working. Had to install some PhysX stuff that wasn’t provided with the game. Irritating as all hell. It certainly feels older than Borderlands 2.

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