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Author Topic: SPM's FAST START GUIDE TO CIVILIZATION 5  (Read 36484 times)

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Offline SirPartyMan

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« on: September 21, 2010, 06:40:55 AM »

Welcome to the Civilization V era. As an avid fan of the game for almost 20 years, I have eagerly awaited the release of each new “generation” of our favorite game.  My focus, and bias, is towards the MultiPlayer world as I’m admittedly a CIV MP addict.

I was honored to be involved as a beta tester for CIV5. My name is listed in the CIVILIZATION V credits – that’s something I’m proud of – as it was in the original CIV3 Conquests, and CIV4.

While for the last six months or so I was under a non-disclosure agreement, now that the game is released, I am free to share my thoughts about announced and released game operation, mechanics, and strategies.

So, this is the article designed to be read by someone who is beginning the TRANSITION from Civilization IV to Civilization V.  I’m assuming the sort of familiarity with CIVILIZATION IV that someone who has played at least 100 MP ladder league games would have.  I’m focusing on differences, and that’s where we will begin.

Let me also state up front that I love CIV4 and played it as much as anyone. Just like I used to love CIV3, just like I used to … well you get the idea. CIV5 doesn’t have to be better or worse than CIV4 – it’s newer and different, and that’s what matters. And it’s hard not to be wowed by the graphics nor pleased with the improvements in MP stability, but ultimately you’ll be the judge of that yourself.

Please realize and accept that there could be minor errors or oversimplifications in this article.  Sometimes the vendor makes last minute changes to the game from what was tested. Also this was intended to be a Fast Start type of article.  For *ALL* the details, go to the in game CIVILOPEDIA or game manual. 

My first point is, when in doubt, trust your past knowledge and instincts. You can relax. You still need Writing to build a Library. Your workers can still chop forests, and pasture-ize cows.  The Taj Mahal wonder still gives you a free Golden Age.

A lot of stuff - perhaps the majority of stuff hasn't changed.  However, yes, there are a lot of changes too – definitely enough to make it a new ballgame where new strategies will need to be invented, and that’s cool I think. But many of the existing ones will just need to be brushed up, and tweaked with a CIV5 flavoring.

It will take awhile to spin this entire tale, but let’s begin …

I want to get the bad news out of the way. I’m sorry if I’m the first one to tell you this, but the following things are gone (for now anyway):

•   no stacks
•   no slaving
•   no Civilization traits
•   no religions
•   no spies nor espionage
•   no “always war” nor “always peace”
•   no vassal states
•   no “n” city elimination
•   no ping or drawing on map in teamers
•   no PBEM (only simultaneous moves, for now)
•   no way to turn off automatic unit cycling
•   no DIRECT IP
•   no pause key (I’m NOT kidding)
•   no chat in game lobby (RIP to spammers)

Some things are much better, in my opinion: 

•   Social Policies are better than Civics
•   City-States are better than Vassal States 
•   Buildings are more diverse and cry out for city specialization
•   Quick Combat (in MP) is automatic (i.e. animations are off)
•   It is almost impossible to lose your capital early to a one warrior rush
•   Uninvited players can’t join games in progress (in Private Games, anyway)
•   Steam is better than Gamespy, say hallelujah brother!

Some things are pretty much the same:

•   importance of strategic, bonus, and luxury resources
•   the technology tree (with some additions and deletions)
•   there is still a good balance between offense and defense
•   need for workers and the right worker actions
•   units (with a few new ones)
•   micromanagement
•   double moves (with no built-in delay)
•   barbarians
•   Great People and specialists
•   terrain types
•   Advanced Era starts
•   Golden Ages

So let’s begin with an …


I.   MAP: The map is divided differently. Tiles are now shaped as hexagons. You can move in six different directions maximum from any given tile, or hex. Units, in general, though can move more distance in CIV5 than their CIV4 counterparts. Without any impediments, a warrior or an archer can advance 2 hexes in one turn. Chariots can move four.  In general the distances are doubled. As in CIV4, rivers, forests, jungle etc. will slow most units down, and roads will speed them up.

FIRST VIEW TURN 0 – You have a settler (flag triangle icon) and warrior (club circle icon) and a coastal start. I typed “G” hotkey toggle once to get the subtle hexagon grid markers. You might note that you can see a larger initial area in CIV5 than in CIV4. You’ll have to pick the tile to plant on, select your first tech, and, after you plant, your first production item for that city, perhaps a scout? You can see four bonus tiles right now. Ivory in the lower right, two deer mid-map and a Silk tile northeast of the settler (flag icon)

II.   ONE UNIT PER TILE (1UPT): This rule says that, with a few exceptions you can only have one unit occupying a tile at the end of its turn (note a unit can “pass through” another unit if it still has enough movement left to end the turn elsewhere). Exceptions are (a) that one civilian (i.e. non-combat) unit can share a hex with a combat unit. For example, an archer could be on the same tile as a worker, protecting them defensively. Exception (b) is that you can briefly have two combat units in a city (for instance this occurs when a new military unit is built in an already garrisoned city).  The game will insist you “unstack” and move one of them somewhere. Decisions, decisions.

III.   THIS MEANS NO STACKS: However, there are no more stacks of doom (large armies on one tile).  You can still have a large army but it might have to occupy 10 adjacent tiles in a formation.  It takes a little practice with 1UPT not to block yourself and prohibit or slow down your unit's movement. A quick way to exchange the places of two adjacent units (both having movement) is just to click one to move on top of the other - it won't allow this and it will exchange or swap their positions on the respective tiles instead – the units do the Civ Shuffle, a cool move to master.  Overall, 1UPT will be an adjustment but ultimately I think you’ll enjoy combat more with 1UPT than stacks. It’s more intense.

IV.   RANGED ATTACK UNITS: Some units, for example, archers, have ranged attack capability – meaning they can fire their weapons at units 1 or 2 tiles away without moving.  Some ranged attack units have greater distance (for example, artillery has a range of 3). These ranged attack units are vulnerable to attack however and should be accompanied by stronger units. Imagine a grid of two spears in front with two archers behind about to enter your land. The archers firing first weakening what’s in front of the spear then the spear doing the final job. 

V.   FREE THE SLAVES:  Brace yourself! There is no slaving in CIV5 – not by population reduction anyway.  There is a way to cash purchase units and other items, even very early in the game, so commerce and a big bank account of gold becomes even more important in CIV5.  I will often buy a 2nd worker once I acquire my first few hundred gold early in the game. Others might prefer a military unit, depending on the situation. However, there are definitely penalties for a poor economy.  If you run in the red, you'll see your growth stunted and you can lose units. You won’t be able to support as many units as you had in CIV4 – I think of each CIV5 military unit as equivalent to 3-4 CIV4 military units. In CIV4, 30-40 was a big army. In CIV5 it’s more like 10-12 is a big army.

VI.   CITY CULTURAL EXPANSION: The shape of your city’s expansion is not as cookie cutter as it was in CIV4.  Cities start with the same basic 7 tile hex shape but can expand both automatically and by the player purchasing tiles with gold (some as cheap as 30 gold) into an extremely irregular shape. This makes it tougher on offensive armies who can’t know where your “blind spot” is without having done extensively scouting. So there's competition for good uses of your precious gold from early in the game onward.

TURN 0, AFTER PLANTING CITY: In the example below, I have just planted my first city on coast next to two one tile lakes. My capital has 2 Food, 2 Hammers, and 1 Gold, but I am also working the Fish tile to my southwest for a total turn 0 output of: 3 food, 4 production, 4 gold, 4 science and 1 culture. You can see this for yourself by going to the city screen, as usual. The tile at 9 o’clock from my capital is Cattle (I’ll need Animal Husbandry to build a pasture, sound familiar?). The tile at 1 o’clock is Deer; I’ll need the Trapping tech to build a camp. The tile at 5 o’clock from my capital is Sugar resource, which I will have a worker build a plantation on as soon as I discover Calendar. And of course a workboat will cause the Fish tile to produce more as well. This is a “legendary start” by the way – one of the new Game Setup choices.

VII.   NO MORE ROAD SPAM:  In CIV5 you pay maintenance per turn for every road you build so do so sparingly.  Unlike in CIV4 where people would road virtually every tile, be selective in CIV5.  What’s important is to road between your cities to create a trade route.

Very Important Difference: You do *NOT* need to road to resources like Iron or Horses to “hook” them in CIV5, like we used to.  You might want extra roads for offensive or defensive reasons, but that’s your call and your budget. My advice is to conserve your gold for better purposes than roads. Gold is perhaps the most critical resource that you need to manage well in a CIV5 game.

VIII.   NO COTTAGES: Also eliminated are cottages – they are replaced with Trading Posts; however, while they provide gold the amount doesn’t increase over time like cottages did. Finding the balance between farms and Trading Posts and other improved tiles is one of the keys to successful city management.  Watch your economy and don’t let your growth outpace your ability to pay for it. 

IX.   SOCIAL POLICIES REPLACE CIVICS: A government is a collection of various social policies which are purchased throughout the game as you acquire culture. There are 10 categories or branches of Social Policies with names like TRADITION, LIBERTY, HONOR, etc. which are spread throughout the early eras – all can be built by Industrial Age.   Around turn 15 you’ll be able to choose your first social policy. Each branch has a general benefit you need to acquire first, followed by 5 other specific policies which you can adopt afterwards. You will need to study this screen for awhile to appreciate how useful some of the policies can become.  Fully implementing 5 branches/categories out of 10 (and their 25 specific policies) lets you build the UTOPIA PROJECT, which gives you a culture victory.

Let me mention a few early, popular social policies: 

TRADITION (capital city receives +1 Food per turn)
LIBERTY (speeds building of settlers by 50%)
HONOR (+25% combat bonus against barbs + barb notification)
ARISTOCRACY (+33% hammer bonus when building Wonders)
DISCIPLINE (+15% combat strength when buddy is in adjacent hex)

X.   A SCOUT WITH CLOUT: Scouts can now attack and defeat opponents (even warriors or injured archers).  A scout is a popular choice for your first build. You might even want to build a second scout before your first worker. Assuming there are goody huts, aka ancient ruins, to be found, and friends/enemies to be met, scouting pays for itself easily. A key early unit for sure. 

XI.   EMPTY CITIES NOT PUSHOVERS: Even empty cities have some defensive capability.  Then can bombard approaching units. Garrisoned cities are stronger of course, but it isn’t a cinch to capture an empty city anymore, although two good units would probably succeed.

EMPTY CITY: ANTIUM has no unit defending and that barb while injured could seemingly take the city in one two-tile move; however see that wonderful red “target” circle under the city name?  It’s the new CIV5 joy buzzer. Click on it, and target the red arrow towards the barb, and if you don’t kill the warrior you’ll at least reduce its strength even more, and if you notice the number above the city name – that’s the city’s military strength of 9.  An injured barb won’t defeat a strength 9 city. To explain the rest of the city sign, the 1 is the population, the 6 is number of turns till it grows to 2, and to the right we’ll have a workboat in 5 turns.

XII.   UNITS CAN SWIM:  There are no transport type boats in CIV5 (no galleys or galleons, for instance).  There are attack and explore type boats (e.g. Trireme and Frigate) but they don’t carry passengers. However, once the Optics tech is discovered, units can “swim”.  Take a swordsman, for example, and move him to a coastline, and then into the water.  Miraculously, he becomes a boat and can travel across water to another land mass. You lose one turn embarking and de-embarking. This also applies to workers and settlers. Just be careful they aren’t sunk in the process as they can’t defend themselves. Units in the water are subject to the same 1UPT rule as land units. A screen shot doesn’t do this justice you have to see embarkation happening live in the game. Very cool addition that I predict will increase naval attacks and offer different naval strategies.

XIII.   CITY GROWTH NOT FROZEN: Your cities don't stop growing when you are building workers, assuming they have enough food; however, the city will stop growing when building a settler. Of course, you can also starve your cities to the point of stagnation or negative growth (de-population), so a well fed population is important. A city needs to be size 2 to build a settler unit.

XIV.   HAPPINESS IS NOT CITY SPECIFIC: Happiness now applies to the civilization as a whole, not to individual cities. After a certain point, but still early in the game, there is a penalty for having too many cities and having cities become too large.  It’s important to stay in the “green” in terms of Happiness, usually accomplished by constructing certain buildings, improving luxury tiles with plantations, social policies, or wonders. The happier your civ the quicker you’ll receive a reward of a Golden Age. Unhappiness hurts you in several ways: less food production, and less science.

XV.   CITY-STATES: Some will love them and some won’t. But CITY-STATES are AI-managed non-human one city mini-civilizations which you can ally with and receive benefits from or fight with or capture or ignore. City-States can’t build settlers and can’t win the game, but they can help you win. It’s a game setup option and they can be turned off but it’s a well thought out dynamic.  Basically, if you do things that make City-States happy they will gift you gold, resources, and units (some really nice ones, sometimes), and join you in a war against another opponent. They can capture, or help you capture, an enemy city. They can also improve your science, food, and culture. Sometimes receiving a resource, say Oil, from an allied City-State when that resource doesn’t appear in your own land, can be game-changing. City-states often ask you to defeat barbs and reward you for it, so, if you play with city-states on, I recommend you also have barbs on. They sort of go together hand in hand. Sometimes the city-states get mad at each other and ask you to eliminate their enemy.  This could be a win-win for you as you’ll gain a new city and make a stronger ally of the other city-state as well.

There are three types of city-states:  Cultural (who will give you extra culture), Maritime (coastal city-states who will give each of your cities extra food), and Military (who will provide you with units).  Take this into account when deciding which City-states to be friends with. When you become an ally (stronger relationship than friends) with any of these three types, you will also receive all luxury and strategic resources belonging to that city-state. 

I will be interested to see whether the MP community ends up playing with City-States & Barbs on or off.  My guess is “on” for CTONs and “off” for TEAMERS, but we will see what happens.

XVI.   RESOURCES HAVE QUANTIFIABLE LIMITS:  Hooking Iron doesn’t mean unlimited building of Swordsmen. Each resource has a limited quantity, visible on game dashboard. Let’s say you can build 4 horse units.  If one of them is killed, you will get that resource back.  You are just limited to 4 horse units at one time. So if you have two or three iron (or other strategic) resources, hook them all for maximum benefit. Extra luxury (as opposed to strategic) resources should be traded with others as you only benefit from the first.   

XVII.   HEAL INSTANTLY OPTION: When a military unit wins a battle and receives a combat promotion, one of the choices will now be HEAL INSTANTLY which is great in some, but not all, situations of course.   Another warning: there is no auto-promotion option in CIV5, you decide if, when, and how to promote your units. In combat, clicking quickly on a promotion button might be a matter of life or death to your unit. When the turn changes you’ll get a message about any unit that can be promoted, I would attend to them first. 

XVIII.   NO PAUSE KEY: This is a deliberate omission meant to prevent the frequent abuse of the pause key, whether to annoy, to cheat, or to ruin games, as happened often in CIV4.  Schedule your kitchen/bathroom trips BEFORE the game launches. In real life, of course, there is no pause key. And they don’t pause the Boston Marathon so you can tie your shoes. I’m sure many people will complain about this, but as I think about it, people pausing has almost always bothered me. In those rare emergencies, like your kitchen is on fire, or the police are at your door, you can skip a few turns, or even concede the game. Of course, if everyone in the game wants to agree to an “x” minute break, the game could be stopped and re-loaded, by mutual consent. You could also play without the turn timer on, but that would create more problems, I think. Perhaps, this will be re-addressed as an MP option in a future patch or expansion pack, but I wouldn’t bet on it. When playing in SP mode, you can disable the turn timer and have an unlimited amount of time to make a move.

XIX.   MICROMANAGERS PAY ATTENTION: You can still micromanage your city’s labor force choosing the tiles they should or shouldn’t work. You have to work tiles no more than 3 away from your capital, and within your cultural boundaries of course. Some people were afraid that novice gamers would misclick in this area, so by default you can’t misclick on the City Page and screw things up. Instead, you have to select the upper right corner option, “Citizen Allocation Focus” item – this will cause the + sign to turn into a – sign, and then you’ll be allowed to micro laborers. With Citizen Allocation Focus turned on you can also do macro-management by specifying “food focus” or “production focus” etc. but you can also still manipulate the exact tiles you want, just like in the good old days, if you prefer. In the City Screen below (with “Citizen Allocation Focus” turned on), you can see the circles with the green background and a human profile - those are currently being worked.  The black circles are not being worked presently. You just click to change them.  The ones with the arrows going in both directions are owned by a neighboring city of yours but you could reassign those tiles to this city by clicking twice on the arrow circle.

MICROMANAGERS REJOICE: You can still reassign laborers in the City Screen as long as you turn “City Allocation Focus” on.  The Green circles are what are currently being worked. The hexes outlined in Red are recommended tile purchases.

XX.   NEW VICTORY CONDITIONS: At press time, the game did not have a 1 or 2 CITY ELIMINATION option (it might become available in the future), so pay attention.  There are five paths to victory:

a.   A Domination Victory is when you are the last full civilization standing to still have its original capital. This does not mean you die when someone captures your capital, unless it’s your only city. One of your other cities will become a replacement capital. The victor doesn’t have to defeat every other civ; other player(s) might have helped. The victor just has to be the last one standing with their original capital. City-states don’t count, by the way – they can’t win or lose games. 

b.   A Science Victory is successfully launching the Spaceship to Alpha Centauri, very similar to CIV4 except you actually have to move the space parts around the map from the city which built them to one city where it will be launched when completed. Also the spaceship doesn’t have to land – just be launched, and it’s gg. There are fewer parts needed overall, but basically it’s the same as CIV4. I have achieved spaceship victory around turn 300 when I was trying hard to do so at Noble level.

c.   A Culture victory is won by acquiring five complete “branches” of social policy. Once you’ve acquired 30 social policies (all six policies in 5 completed branches), you can build the UTOPIA PROJECT (which will take you a number of additional turns, and can’t be rushed or purchased) for a Culture win. I’ve done this as Napoleon of France, who is a culture magnet, so it is also achievable, but will take a lot of turns.

d.   Diplomatic Victory – The Globalization tech lets you build the United Nations wonder, where after a vote someone can be declared the Diplomatic winner.  Your alliances with non-human players can make the difference here. Under some conditions city-states and AIs *HAVE* to vote for you. The percentage of the vote you need depends on the number of players. Like with CIV4, I assume most MP play will not allow for a Diplomatic Victory. This is a checkbox item in Game Setup. 

e.   Time Victory – at the end of the game: either a full 330 turn game in Year 2050 AD, or less if MAX TURNS is set differently during Game Setup, the person with the most points wins.  Points are a combination of 6 things, shown in ranked order from lowest influence on outcome to highest influence on outcome:

•   Land (i.e. How many tiles/hexes you’ve acquired)
•   Number of Cities in your Civ
•   your total Population
•   your Technologies acquired
•   your Future Technologies, if any
•   your Wonders

The exact number of points for Land, Cities, and Population is influenced by map size and game difficulty level. As in CIV4 you’ll be able to mouseover your score, from the Diplomacy mini-screen, and see the breakdown in detail of each of the 6 categories. The best scoreboard is the Diplomacy panel – also take a look at the various advisory panels accessible via Fn hot keys, such as F8 Victory Progress and F9 Demographics.

OK – now that you have the “big picture” – let’s delve deeper into the details with each category, starting with …


In CIV5 there is no distinction between leaders and civilizations. Every Civ has one leader only, at least in the basic game as released 9/21/2010. Perhaps expansion packs will change this. There is also no “unrestricted leaders” option yet. So start getting familiar with these 18 civ/leaders in MP for awhile.  Note: If you purchased the Deluxe Edition of CIV5 you received a 19th civ, Babylon; however, you will not initially be able to play Babylon in MP.  Down the road when the first major patch is released this could change. 

Also Leader/Civs have one special ability (not two traits), usually one unique unit and one unique building (but not always). There is only one starting tech in CIV5 and whatever Leader you pick it is Agriculture. 

For example, one of the strongest civs for Ancient Era starts certainly is Alexander of Greece which has two early UUs – Hoplite and Companion Chivalry, but no Unique building. Greece’s special ability is known as “Hellenic League” and involves City-States – Greek influence with city-states will degrade at half the normal rate and recover at twice the normal rate. The Two UU’s are both early game powerhouses: Companion Chivalry is a Horseman on steroids – it can move 5 tiles during one turn and has a combat strength of 14.  By comparison, regular horseman (you need horse resource and Horse Riding tech) move 4 tiles and have a combat strength of 12. You also can get more Great Generals from a Companion Chivalry too so it’s a really powerful unit. A hoplite is a Supercharged Spearman (you can build after discovering Bronze Working without any resource requirement).

How much better is the Hoplite from the Spearman?  There are five direct attributes for every military unit, plus some have special abilities:

Cost  -  Hoplite costs 40 gold and Spearman 33 gold
Moves  -  Both move two hexes per turn
Range  -  Neither have ranged attack capability.
Ranged Strength – Both are melee units so zero ranged strength
Strength – Hoplite’s combat strength is 9; Spearman is a 7.

Here’s a table that summarizes the entire set of 18 initial choices:

WashingtonAmericaManifest Destiny: all land military units have +1 sight plus 25% discount when purchasing tilesUU: Minuteman (musketman with ability to move thru all tiles without impediments)UU: B-17 (a bomber which is harder to intercept and packs a harder punch)
Harun al-RashidArabiaTrade Caravans: +1 gold from each trade route and oil resources provide double quantity.UU: Camel Archer (a Knight with a twist – it is a ranged unit and can do damage to enemies 2 hexes away). UB: Bazaar (a market which doubles luxury resources and speeds creation of Great Merchants)
MontezumaAztecSacrificial Captives: Gains culture for the empire from each enemy unit killedUU: Jaguar – this is the Aztec warrior with fighting bonuses in jungle and it heals 2 damage units when it kills.UB: Floating Gardens – this is the Aztec’s Watermill. Should be built when city is near a lake or river. Increased food production with lower maintenance cost.
Wu ZetianChinaArt of War: Effectiveness and spawn rate of Great Generals increasedUU: Cho-Ko-Nu – this is the Chinese crossbowmen.  It fires twice in one turn.UB: Paper Maker – China’s Library building. Faster Great Scientists, +4 extra gold per turn.
Ramesses IIEgyptMonument Builders: +20% production towards Wonder constructionUU: War Chariot – Egypt’s horseman with one extra movement per turn,  which doesn’t require horse resource to build.UB: Burial Tomb – Egypt’s Temple. No maintenance, and gives 2 happy and 2 culture points per turn, instead of just 3 culture from normal temple. If your city is captured, it does double the gold plundered by your enemy.
Elizabeth IIEnglandSun Never Sets: +2 Movement for all naval unitsUU: Longbowman – in CIV5 only England can build Longbows, the others only crossbowmen – Longbows can attack 3 hexes away – 1 additional range compared to crossbows.UU: Ship of the Line – In CIV5, only England can build the Ship of the Line, a souped up Frigate. More ranged combat strength, slightly cheaper, with one hex greater visibility.
Napoleon BonaparteFranceAncien Regime: +2 Culture per turn from cities before discovering Steam PowerUU: Foreign Legion: Industrial era (you’ll need Replacement Parts tech) UU step up from Infantry. Like its name suggests, it thrives when outside home territory.UU: Musketeer – French Musketman which has a superior combat strength than regular muskets.
Otto Von BismarckGermanyFuror Teutonicus: Upon defeating a Barb unit inside an encampment, there is a 50% chance you earn 25 gold and they join your side.UU:Landsknecht -  is a half price Pikeman. Very effective against Knights.   UU: Panzer – Germany’s tank with greater strength and one additional movement per turn.
AlexanderGreeceHellenic League: City-State influence degrades at half and recovers at twice the normal rate.UU: Champion Cavalry – Greece’s horseman on steroids, stronger, 1 extra movement, GG more likely.UU: Hoplite – Greek Spearman unit with greater power than regular spears.
GandhiIndiaPopulation Growth: Unhappiness from number of cities doubled, unhappiness from number of Citizens halved.UU:War Elephant – India’s answer to the Chariot Archer. WE’s have extra combat strength, but move slower (3 vs. 4) sometimes.UB: Mughal Fort – is India’s castle (requires Walls as prerequisite). Improved city defense and 2 culture per turn.
HiawathaIroquoisThe Great Warpath: Units move through Forest and Jungle in friendly territory as if it is Road. These tiles can be used to establish trade routes.UU: Mohawk Warrior – this is Iroquois Swordsman who fights better in Forest and Jungle.UB: Longhouse – Iroquois’ Workshop (increases city’s production – 1 hammer per worked Forest tile).
Oda NobunagaJapanBushido: Units fight as though they were at full strength even when damaged.UU: Samurai – Japan’s version of the Longswordsmen, a medieval infantry unit. Starts with Shock I promotion and increased odds of spawning a GG.UU: Zero – Japan’s fighter aircraft unit, which has a bonus against other fighters. Both fighters and Zero have 8 hex range.
SuleimanOttomanBarbary Corsairs: 50% chance of converting a Barbarian naval unit to your side and earning 25 Gold.UU: Janissary – Ottoman’s Musketman has attack bonus, and autoheals when it kills a non-Barbarian unit.UU: Sipahi – Ottoman’s answer to the Lancer. Better speed, visibility, and can pillage without movement cost.
DariusPersiaArchaemenid Legacy: Golden Ages last 50% longer. During a GA, units receive +1 movement and a +10% combat strength bonus.UU: Immortal – Persia’s Spearman, which more power, and a healing ability twice as fast as normal.UB: Satrap’s Court – Persia’s Bank (market is prerequisite). Increases +2 happiness per turn as well as greater wealth.
Augustus CaesarRomeThe Glory of Rome: 25% Production towards any buildings that already exist in the Capital.UU: Ballista – Rome’s super powerful Catapult, with a bonus when attacking cities.UU: Legion – Roman Swordsman, with great power, and the unusual ability to also construct roads and forts (only non-Worker unit able to do so).
CatherineRussiaSiberian Riches: Strategic resources provide +1 Production and Horse, Iron, and Uranium Resources provide double quantity.UU: Cossack – Russia’s Cavalry style unit, with a strong combat bonus when battling damaged units.UB: Krepost – Russia’s Barracks with in addition to normal +15 XP per unit, it reduces the culture cost of acquiring new tiles by 50%.
RamkhamhaengSiamFather Governs Children: Food and Culture from friendly City-States increased by 50%.   UU: Naresuan’s Elephant – Siamese Knight, with a bonus against other mounted units and a higher combat strength overall.UB: Wat – Siamese University. In addition to normal 50% boost to science beakers, it also gives +3 culture per turn, and costs one less gold for per turn maintenance.
AskiaSonghaiRiver Warlord: Receive triple Gold from Barbarian encampment and pillaging Cities. Embarked units can defend themselves.UU: Madekalu Cavalry – Songhai’s Knight, who receives bonus when attacking cities.UB: Mud Pyramid Mosque – Songhai temple. Normally temples are +2 culture and cost 2 gold maintenance per turn. Mud Pyramid Mosque’s have *NO* gold maintenance and +5 culture per turn.

Comments about which Civs will be the MP Powerhouses in Ancient Starts:

Of course it depends on your strategy; however it’s hard not to be impressed with:

a)   Alexander of GREECE due to his two strong early UU’s. Early rushers will think Alex is great. Mitigating that is in games without city-states, he has no Special Ability.

b)   Japan’s special ability of Bushido (units fight as if always at full strength) will be very powerful for warmongers and Samurai are to be feared.

c)   Rameses of Egypt has a 20% advantage over the others on building Wonders and that’s a key benefit as Wonders contribute so much towards score. Also its UU the War Chariot is available early and its unique building is a triple threat - great for Happiness and Culture with no maintenance cost.

d)   Augustus Caesar of Rome’s special ability of enhanced building speed is a big one and its two UU’s are both early appearing.

e)   Napoleon of France is great for accelerated culture growth. You will be several social policies ahead of the competition as Napoleon, especially if you also build Stonehenge. The French UU will only come into play in longer game or advanced starts. 

f)   Catherine of Russia has a special ability with double strategic resource quantities (double horse and iron resources is huge) plus Krepost has a great bonus on 50% cheaper tile purchases.


Each civ gets one free “Tech” at beginning of game. It’s Agriculture, which lets your first worker farm tiles. Here are your choices for the first tech for you to research (you will be asked to choose on turn 0 so prepare yourself) and some comments. Of course you’ll need all four of them early in the game so it’s just a matter of priorities:

a)   Pottery (cost 67) – lets you build Granary, always important. In CIV5 the yield from a granary is different – it’s now +2 food for every turn. Pottery leads to Sailing, Calendar, and Writing. You need Sailing to build workboats (No fishing tech anymore). You need Calendar for plantations, necessary for happiness, and to build Stonehenge a powerful early Wonder. And of course you need Writing for Libraries.
b)   Animal Husbandry (cost 23) is another key early tech. Just as in CIV4, it lets your workers build pastures and it reveals horse resources. Animal Husbandry leads to Trapping (similar to Hunting in CIV4) and the Wheel (which still is needed to build roads).

c)   Archery (cost 23)– Lets you build the archer of course, the first ranged unit available. In the early game, archers are awesome defenders. Archery leads to Mathematics – Archery is one of the first three techs researched probably, but not necessarily the first.

d)   Mining (cost 23) – Another critical early tech.  Mining allows your workers to chop forests, which I’m sure everyone likes to do, as well as mine hills. Leads to Masonry and Bronze Working (can build spearmen).

Here are a few TECH differences that might surprise you at first.  There is no Fishing tech (so you can work ocean and lake tiles turn 1), but you now need sailing to build workboat and to fish, crab, etc.  Calendar is an important early tech so you can build plantations which are needed to maintain happiness. Optics is discovered earlier in CIV5 than in CIV4 and for good reason - it allows embarkation (i.e. units  “swimming”). Trapping is needed for camps and trading posts (which replace cottages). Acoustics is a Renaissance era tech that allows you to build an Opera House which is a big cultural boost.

I’m not going to list and comment on every tech (in this article anyway). Enjoy studying and learning the Technology Tree and developing your new strategies. You’ll find that it’s not a huge learning curve, as many of the techs are the same as the ones in CIV4, sometimes with a new twist though, so watch out.


In CIV5 there are many of the same and several new Wonders. As in CIV4, wonders fall into 3 categories: World Wonders (only 1 can be built per game), National Wonders (only 1 can be built per civilization), and Projects. Each wonder conveys different benefits, including culture and great person points as well as the primary benefit. For example, The Colossus gives you +1 gold from water tiles worked by the city where it is built, plus +1 culture per turn, and +1 great merchant point per turn 

Some of the more important ones:  Stonehenge (+8 culture per turn and +1 Great engineer points per turn which is huge); Angkor Wat (culture cost of acquiring new tiles is reduced by 75%, +1 Culture and +1 Great Engineer points per turn) - this will really cause your borders to grow much more quickly.

The Great Library is nerfed somewhat giving you just one free tech, +1 culture, and +1 Great Scientist points. Pyramids gives you a 50% bonus on worker construction speed, +1 culture and +1 Great Engineer points. Oracle is one free social policy, +1 culture and +1 Great Scientist points. 


BONUS Resources: increase food and gold output of a tile, but cannot be traded:  Bananas, Cattle (moo), Deer, Fish, Sheep, and Wheat.

LUXURY Resources: increase happiness and sometimes a small tile bonus. Multiple copies of the same luxury resource don’t help you – only the first one does – trade the remainder if you can: Cotton, Dyes, Furs, Gems, Gold, Incense, Ivory, Marble, Pearls, Silk, Silver, Spices, Sugar, Whales, and Wine. If your city asks you to find and improve a Luxury resource and you are able to do it, you’ll get a 20-turn (YES!) WLTKD (We love the King Day) which is a big food boost.

STRATEGIC Resources:  are not visible at start of game, but become visible when a certain tech is researched: Aluminum (revealed by Electricity), Coal (revealed by Scientific Theory), Horses (revealed by Animal Husbandry), Iron (revealed by Iron Working), Oil (revealed by Biology), and Uranium (revealed by Atomic Theory).


As in CIV4, a Golden Age (or GA) is a period of high productivity for a civ.  Worked tiles receive +1 hammer and +1 gold during a GA. The duration of the GA varies based on several factors.  There are several ways to trigger a GA.  The Taj Mahal wonder triggers a GA, also if a Great Person is spawned, they can be used to create a GA. Further, excess happiness each turn is added to a bucket and when you fill it a GA begins (for the first time in Noble mode you need 335 points for a GA, the next one is 670, and so on). At some point, if you have requested too many GA’s using great persons, the GA length will be reduced one turn at a time down to a minimum of 3 turns.


In CIV5 there are nine different terrain types: Coast, Desert, Grassland, Hill, Mountain, Ocean, Plains, Snow, and Tundra.  Terrain types have different yields (food, hammers, gold), movement costs (usually 1), combat modifiers (usually 0).  Also certain terrain types allow different “features” and resources.  The 16 different features that can appear on these tiles alone or in combination: Fallout, Flood Plains, Forest, Ice, Jungle, Lakes, Marsh, Oasis, and Rivers.  So for example you could have a Grassland tile with Forest, situated on a River.

And there are seven “Natural Wonders” Krakatoa, Mt. Fuji, Old Faithful, Rock of Gibralter, The Barringer Crater, the Grand Mesa, and the Great Barrier Reef.  When you discover each of these, your people will become +1 happy.  However, the tiles themselves can’t be landed on and are “impassable”. 


There are more buildings in CIV5 than in CIV4 – some are very beneficial – buildings can increase your science, your food, your economy, your happiness.  Often in CIV5, the buildings are tiered as a sequential series of prerequisites.  For example, I spoke of the Opera House when discussing the new tech Acoustics. Opera House increases your culture by +5 per turn.  However, before you can build Opera House you have to build the prerequisite cultural buildings:  Monument and Temple. There were only a few limited cases of this before in CIV4 like Library and University.  Now it happens more often and to a greater level of depth. Something new to learn. 

Here are a few good “new” buildings you should know about right away:

WATERMILL:  You can build this early and it’s +2 food same as a Granary. You need a river location to do this, but it’s like having two Granaries – it will accelerate city growth for sure.

WORKSHOP:  This lets you build buildings 20% faster. So it makes sense to put it early in your building build list. The Prereq Tech is Metal Casting for Workshop. You might be thinking this is like a CIV4 Forge.  Well, CIV5 still has the forge, but it only accelerates production of land military units, the Workshop is for buildings.  This is another example of building specialization.

CIRCUS:  This building gives you +3 happiness and can be built after you research Horseback Riding. It requires a horse or Ivory source in that city. 

ARMORY: Requires Iron Working and adds +15XP for all land units. Another prerequisite is the Barracks, so this is another tiered group of buildings. After Barracks you can also build Military Academy, and after Military Academy, you can build Arsenal.

GARDEN: Can be built after discovering Theology. Increases the speed of generating a Great Person by 25%.


In CIV5 MP Teamer Games you will be able to tech together or apart, just like in CIV4. However, there is no “ping” or drawing on the map (some will miss it and some won’t), and no shared benefits from Wonders (unless the Wonder gives a free tech). The scoreboard finally shows both individual and team total scores as the game progresses.


In CIV5 almost every first capital will begin with 2 food, 2 hammers, and 1 gold production. Planting on top of ivory or plains hill is not the bonus it once was in CIV4. One important point is that you should really try to plant a city alongside a river, as there is a nice bonus (+1 gold for every tile adjacent to a river). Of course you also want to be near other valuable resources so that as your city grows it can use these bonus tiles.  Cities on hills do get a defensive bonus as they did in CIV4. An enemy crossing a river to fight you is penalized 25%.

I wanted to say a few things about the new interface.  Don’t panic – everything is still there to keep you informed. The design themes are minimalist and art deco.  Game information is there somewhere, it just might not be in the same place you’re used to.  Let’s start with the main game screen upper left corner.  Here is a game I am playing after a few dozen turns:

CIV5 DASHBOARD: Going left to right: Overall, I am making 10 science beakers per turn. I have 136 gold in the bank, and I am making +5 gold per turn. I have 2 happy people (in green) – unhappy would be in red. I have accumulated 106  happy points and am on my way to a Golden Age when I reach 335. And I have accumulated 48 culture, +3 culture per turn, and when I reach 60 culture I’ll pick another Social Policy. The 4 next to horses means I’ve build a pasture (but not necessarily a road) on my horse tile and I have 4 horses available from that one resource to build. Of course below it I’ll have sailing in 1 turn. Hover your mouse over anything in this section, and you’ll expose another level of detail with some really important stuff. This is a terrific “dashboard” worthy of study. 


Note on the city screen below that there are several key areas. The dashboard info in repeated at top of screen. In upper left, you have an excellent city summary including size, growth, and current Food, Production, Gold, Science, and Culture yields. In lower left is the current build and the all-important PURCHASE tab, and also CHANGE PRODUCTION.  Note the “Buy a Tile” button at bottom center right above “Return to Map”. In upper right is the place where you can manually manipulate Citizen Allocation, Specialists, and check on your current buildings and wonders, which is explained more in the next section.


This area isn’t changed very much from CIV4 happily. There are still five types of Great People: Great Artist, Great Engineer, Great General, Great Merchant, and Great Scientist. Great Generals are somewhat special. For the other 4 types there are buildings that allow you to assign your laborers to them so that instead of gathering food, wealth, and production for a city, they are generating Great Person points. For example, as soon as you build a library you can assign 1 or 2 science specialists to speed up the generation of a Great Scientist.

When you receive your Great Person you will have several choices.  All of them can give you a Golden Age, but you might opt for something else:

GREAT SCIENTIST: can obtain a free tech or build an Academy (a tile improvement which when worked gives you extra science)

GREAT ENGINEER:     can Hurry Production (like a wonder) or build a Manufactory (a tile improvement which when worked gives you extra hammers)

GREAT ARTIST:   can plant a Culture Bomb, or build a Landmark (a tile improvement which when worked gives you extra culture)

GREAT MERCHANT:   can conduct a Trade Mission with a City-State (for gold), or can build a Customs House (a tile improvement which when worked gives you extra gold). 

Here is a screenshot of the Specialist section of the  City screen and how this is done.  The interface is different – but essentially the same information is there.


At this stage of the game I can build all 4 specialists/Great People. I have acquired points in each category (as demonstrated on the progress bar (and a mouseover will give you the exact score and points per turn).

I am closest to building either a Great Merchant or a great Engineer, although I have some points for Great Artist and Great Scientist.  Some of that is due to Wonders you’ve built – almost every wonder yields Great Person points. But most of this is due to specialists. Specialists are laborers assigned to buildings.  Look down further and see those 2 yellow dots next to BANK? 

Very important, you have to click ON the Manual Specialist Control checkbox.  This is done to protect the noobs from themselves. You will always want it on, after a few turns anyway, once you can assign a spare citizen to be a specialist – I usually wait till pop 5 or 6. Second, you then click on the circles next to the Building names to assign specialists.

Note I don’t have the two circles associated with Library clicked on here in this example.  If I did I’d have more Great Scientist points. 

Here’s the best news:  it’s no longer a lottery.  I don’t get a great person until I’ve acquired that many points in that category in that city.  It’s possible, but unlikely, this way, using this example, for one player to produce a Great Merchant and a Great Engineer in the same turn, even from the same city.


A Great General can be used several ways:  (a) to initiate a GA, (b) to provide offensive and defensive bonuses to units within one tile of the Great General, (c) to build a citadel, a tile improvement which gives a defensive bonus to all units inside it, and also attacks any enemy who ends turn within one tile of the Citadel.  A Great General can’t attack the enemy directly (it is technically considered a non-combat unit) so it can be “stacked” with another military unit for protection, as all Great People can.


When you select Multiplayer-Internet from the CIV5 main menu you will be brought into a menu of available games. This lobby has no chat capability currently. It will just be a list of games. To find people for a CIVPLAYERS League game use our STEAM CIVPLAYERS LEAGUE GROUP Chatroom  steam://friends/joinchat/103582791431089902  or click on the Chat Room link at our site.

You can also host “private” games (by invitation only) or open games (anyone can join).  I plan to host games with the words “LADDER LEAGUE” in them.  You can add other ladderites to your friends list in STEAM and “invite them to game”.

One warning: In the current version, games options cannot be changed once the game is hosted. This is one of several “MP wish list” items that should be addressed in future patches or expansion packs.

When the host sets up the game, there are choices like:

-   City-States:  You can set the # of city-states from 0 to 28.

-   Map Type: The game release map choices are: Archipelago, Continents, Four Corners, Fractal, Inland Sea, North vs. South, Oval, Pangaea, Small Continents, Tiny Islands, and West vs. East, plus Random. 

-   Map size (duel to huge – 2 to 12 players)

-   Game Pace – Quick being the traditional MP favorite, also standard, epic, and marathon are available.

-   Game Era – Ancient, Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Industrial, Modern, and Future.

-   World Age – 3, 4, or 5 billion years with 4 billion being the normal setting. Random is an available choice also.

-   Temperature – Cool, Temperate, Hot, Random

-   Rainfall – Arid, Normal, Wet, Random

-   Sea Level – Low, Medium, High, Random

-   Resources: Sparse, Standard, Abundant, Legendary Start (gotta love this one), Strategic Balance, Random.

-   Victory Types – the five victory conditions can be individually checked on or off

-   Advanced Game Options – Max Turns (lets you set a turn time limit), Complete Kills, Disable Start Bias, Enable Turn Timer, New Random Seed, No Ancient Ruins, No Barbarians, No City Razing, One-City Challenge (yeah!), Raging Barbarians, and Random Personalities.

One nice thing is that HOTJOINs still work.  When someone disconnects from an MP game, the other players receive a message.  The host can toggle over to STEAM and invite that player to the game.  They can then go to their FRIENDs screen/list and click on JOIN GAME.  NOTE: That the host has to invite the dropped player; what is good about this is that the uninvited can’t join games in progress – only the invited.

However, there is no pause key or voting screen, so this means that a player that drops will probably miss a few turns (AI takes over). By the way when a player hot joins, it will appear to the other players that the game is “reloading” – just be patient and soon the game will resume. 

In open FFA games, letting hot joiners miss a few turns will probably be the norm.  In competitive games, like the CCC, I am certain a RELOAD would occur. The Ladder League ethic for years has been not to penalize droppers at least for the first two drops. So we will start out expecting hosts to rehost the game when a player drops.  If someone is quitting the game, they should tell everyone, to spare the others the delay. It will be interesting to see how people, and the rules, adapt to the new CIV5 environment.


a)   Set up your Game OPTIONS from the Main Menu before attempting to play. The OPTIONS screen starts with GAME Options, and you can also specify INTERFACE Options, VIDEO Options, and AUDIO Options.  A lot of this is personal preference, and I am not going to make recommendations, except to say, that I do encourage you to NOT check “Multiplayer Auto End Turn” – leave it unchecked. I think you’ll be happiest with it unchecked, for now anyway.  In SP mode you might like it. 

b)   Every version of CIV has had bugs. CIV5 is no different. Sometimes the game stalls, hangs, prevents players from doing anything, perhaps crashes, etc.  Try reloading the game – this *USUALLY* clears up the problem.  There is an Autosave option which of course hosts (and really all players) should turn on. Forced restarts don’t happen that often, but they can.   

c)   You can type in chat window even when WAITING for others to finish their turn. Just press the TAB key and then you can type in the in-game chat box at almost any time.

d)   There is no CTRL-A hotkey anymore. You don’t really need it, as any “automoves” from the previous turn happen immediately upon the start of the next turn.

e)   To reposition the map in CIV4 you clicked once, in CIV5 that doesn’t work, but you can “grab” the map with a drag and drop operation and pull it whichever direction you want, tugging the map the way you want.  Once you understand that, with a little practice, you can achieve the map repositioning you want. You can also click on the minimap in the lower right corner of the playing screen to reorient the game screen, as always.

f)   Related to map repositioning, there is currently no option to stop automatic unit cycling currently. The game seems determined to move the focus on the map away from where you want it to be especially during combat. You’ll have to reposition the map yourself until they add this feature in a future fix pack. Be prepared for this.

g)   Combat odds are still available in CIV5.  Just mouseover the enemy unit and you’ll see the Combat Information Table with “probable” odds – however as in past games sometimes David does slay Goliath, and the weaker unit will win a certain small percentage of the time.  Don't send out solo attackers.  There are several bonuses including a "flanking" bonus when you have 2 or more units adjacent to each other and adjacent to enemy.

h)   Be aware that combat units exert a “zone of control” over surrounding tiles.  When a unit moves between two tiles within an enemy’s zone it uses up all of its movement, and will stop.

i)   Some units cannot Fortify and receive the 25% first turn and 50% subsequent turn defensive bonus. Mounted units, armored units, naval and air units can’t fortify – they can sleep or do nothing (skip a turn).

j)   Cities must be captured by Melee units.  Ranged Units, Siege Units (like catapults), and Air Units can soften up a city for capture, but can’t actually take it. 

k)   When you conquer an enemy city (or city-state) you will normally have three choices: (a) annex (means it joins your civilization at a significant penalty to your happiness, but the new city is under your direct control, and you receive the full benefits, gold, World wonders – but not national wonders, and points accrued), (b) create a puppet (you will gain its gold and science research, and you are not penalized for unhappiness, however, you can’t control what it produces in terms of buildings or units).  (c) Assuming the host didn’t select the option “no city razing”, you have the choice of destroying the city too. By the way, you can later in the game annex a city that is your puppet when you are ready to take the hit on happiness.

l)   CTONs will be affected by the absence of ALWAYS WAR – ALWAYS PEACE game options. This will make non-team MP games more like the traditional FFA where you can form alliances as well as go to war, as well as to ignore opponents. Perhaps some hosts will still advertise “CTON” style games and the traditional CTON ladder rules can be voluntarily enforced by the players. But the game currently can’t be set to prevent human players from becoming allies.

m)   Happily, the OCC (One City Challenge) option did survive into CIV5, but the darn AI will still build extra cities when they take over from a human player.

I hope this article will help you get a jump on learning and mastering CIV5.  It will be fascinating to see new strategies, tricks, and techniques generated over the next several months.  I look forward to seeing you in a CIV5 game soon, to writing additional CIV5 articles, to reading other people’s CIV5 articles, and to many more years of satisfying gameplay. Good luck everyone and good game. 

Best, SPM

« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 01:59:18 AM by SirPartyMan »

Offline gitbliss

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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 09:50:05 AM »
Such a great guide!  Thank you SPM!

After reading this I am optimistic on civ5 multiplayer. 

CTON's will definatelly be great and teamers look more chaotic with the 1 unit per tile, no delay on fast moves and 2/4 movement per unit, but I think there are so many good elements that at the end it will be much fun.

My copy from Amazon arrives beggining of October....cannot wait for a game :)

Offline Bantams

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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 03:27:12 PM »
Bah there goes the Always Peace OCC I wanted to try :)

Hows the no always war option going to work on the League ?

Offline SirPartyMan

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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 03:35:53 PM »
As I said in my post, there are two options:  Play an FFA style of non-team game, or enforce CTON rules through the honor system, which in some respects it always was.  The host should make it clear in non-teamers what is expected, or I would think if the game lets you do it, you can do it.

I'm sure people will develop new game variations as well. Also at some point 2K will release new features, and ALWAYS WAR (or ALWAYS PEACE) might be resurrected.  Will be an interesting few months.


Offline Tony[UYP]

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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2010, 02:20:29 PM »
CIV5 doesn’t have to be better or worse than CIV4 – it’s newer and different, and that’s what matters. And it’s hard not to be wowed by the graphics nor pleased with the improvements in MP stability, but ultimately you’ll be the judge of that yourself.

I'm afraid you've pulled a F-P here SPM  ;D
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 02:21:16 PM by Tony[UYP] »

Offline CanuckSoldier

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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2010, 11:04:51 PM »
CIV5 doesn’t have to be better or worse than CIV4 – it’s newer and different, and that’s what matters. And it’s hard not to be wowed by the graphics nor pleased with the improvements in MP stability, but ultimately you’ll be the judge of that yourself.

I'm afraid you've pulled a F-P here SPM  ;D

You need to compare this to Civ3 and Civ4 at release, not at the end of their run.  I'm sure that Steamworks will prove to be better than Gamespy in the end once all the game side bugs are solved.

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Offline Tony[UYP]

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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2010, 12:08:04 AM »
You always say this CS, why compare a game made in 2010 with one made in 1999(?) or 2005?  Using your logic CIV6 (if there is such a thing) only has to be more stable then CIV3-5.

Wouldn't something like starcraft II at release be a better comparison? Or Halo? or any game made in 2010?  Even Mario Kart-wii is stable (over a wireless connection too).

Also how much bigger could CIV4 MP have been if vanilla wasn't so unstable?  How many got put of and didn't buy BTS or just stopped MP-ing?

And tbh even now, CIV4 MP is poorly programmed (I'm sure some of this is GS but I bet alot is not).  I have no prior experience of steam, but if other games are stable it leads me to believe poor programming is responsible.

Anyway I don't want to divert attention from SPM's otherwise well written article, I only mentioned it because its funny how head-over-heals beta testers go for Firaxis, I recall FP saying the exact some thing about how stable and bug free CIV4 MP was (on release) ...  But at at least he was getting paid for his troubles :/
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 12:09:59 AM by Tony[UYP] »

Offline Tony[UYP]

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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2010, 12:12:58 AM »
Ok found it ... if this doesn't make you wet yourself, your not normal ;D
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 12:13:42 AM by Tony[UYP] »

Offline CanuckSoldier

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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2010, 12:30:04 AM »
You always say this CS, why compare a game made in 2010 with one made in 1999(?) or 2005?  Using your logic CIV6 (if there is such a thing) only has to be more stable then CIV3-5.

Wouldn't something like starcraft II at release be a better comparison? Or Halo? or any game made in 2010?  Even Mario Kart-wii is stable (over a wireless connection too).

Also how much bigger could CIV4 MP have been if vanilla wasn't so unstable?  How many got put of and didn't buy BTS or just stopped MP-ing?

And tbh even now, CIV4 MP is poorly programmed (I'm sure some of this is GS but I bet alot is not).  I have no prior experience of steam, but if other games are stable it leads me to believe poor programming is responsible.

Anyway I don't want to divert attention from SPM's otherwise well written article, I only mentioned it because its funny how head-over-heals beta testers go for Firaxis, I recall FP saying the exact some thing about how stable and bug free CIV4 MP was (on release) ...  But at at least he was getting paid for his troubles :/

I'm not comparing features, I'm comparing stability and major bugs relative to their own era of gaming.  And it is a fair comparision IMHO.

I agree that having this level of bugs and lack of features is not good for us, but that doesn't mean we should all just go home and give up on Civ.  If we did that this community would have died long ago with the crap that was Civ3PTW.

So yes we can sit here and whine and complain, or we can get on with figuring out how to have a fun game and have some fun, while waiting for the patches to come.

Yes maybe some day MP will get the same attention as SP in a Civ franchise.....but in the mean time we have to continue to be here to fight for what we want.

So as players you either will leave the game because of the issues or stay and be part of the solution, that is everyone's choice to make.

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Offline [COOL]Fred-fr

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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2010, 07:15:41 PM »
Great work SPM, you are the new civ 5 spiritual guru of the COOL clan :D ;)
Thank you very much :bow:
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 07:18:22 PM by [COOL]Fred-fr »
8) Wanna join the coolest clan of this community ? Have a look here : 8)

Offline SirPartyMan

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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2010, 08:32:40 PM »
Thanks Fred.

I said in my article, there were bugs and that you needed to be prepared to reload some games.  I do find fewer turn 0 problems with CIV5 that with the current patched CIV4.  I also said after my comment about stability "and you'll be the judge of that", acknowledging that a full blown rollout might reveal more problems than I'd experienced with a limited number of testers, who generally had well configured machines.

There are some improvements in stability. What percentage of CIV4 games launch cleanly today with no problems?  Maybe 20-25% at most?  I'm not making excuses - I'm dealing with reality.  I would say much more than 50% of CIV5 games are launching ok at turn 0. 

But, it's always a challenge to play CIV MP - it's not for the faint of heart.

So while I was happy to see a few improvements, there are many missing features (which I also pointed out) that complicate matters.  History does repeat itself, unfortunately.  We went thru this with the CIV3 Conquests, and CIV4 rollouts also.  But we came through those trials and tribulations to play thousand and thousands of MP games.

This weekend I saw more CIV MP games played than I have in a long, long time.  That's the good news.  The first major patch will be even better news.

Best, SPM

PS: I wasn't paid a dime by 2K / Firaxis, although I will admit, in the interests of full disclosure, they gave me, and all credited beta testers, a complimentary copy of the game. 

« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 08:37:42 PM by SirPartyMan »


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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2010, 03:33:48 AM »
This game is by far worse than civ 4 was in vanilla. There is mad lag starting around turns 30-40 in most MP games. This 'lag' is non-existant playing huge map, epic game speed, from ancient start all the way to researching every technology and having 35 or so cities. It only exists in MP. No lobby. Common sense options were removed. Using 'steam' to prevent hacking separates us into 'regions'. Bugs when manually setting citizens. The French civ is OP in SP and MP. Yet they claimed this game was tested? Pfffft.

Good fast start guide SPM. You could delete whatever you said about buildings, MP teamers, Hotjoining, and good connectivity. Also mention that this game needs real testers not 6 'elite' league players who's machines are " genrally ...well configured" than the rest of the common serfs.

Honestly I think I have the most achievements in game, and almost the most logged hours. From playing it so far all I can say is FAIL. At least until this game is repaired and the kinks worked out, later era games are the only way to play it. They've got problems in those eras also but no where near as noob as ancient is.

If these issues aren't worked out by the first expansion I will no longer continue with the series, which is sad cause I have played them and enjoyed them all up until civ 4 BtS.

Offline Zingali

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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 05:54:55 AM »
any advice for players making the transition from angry birds to civ 5?
never played the game before.  I was a fan of Railroad Tycoon, but never tried to get involved with Civ.  This is my first go at it and so far, I'm stumped.

Offline Santa Claus

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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2012, 06:39:59 AM »
Wow SPM...I don't even play Civ5...that is one incredibly long post,very good job though  :bow:

Offline CanuckSoldier

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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2012, 07:22:12 PM »
There are a few details that have changed, PBEM is possible now as a hack of Hotseat mode.  But Pitboss we are still waiting for.  And we can see a players ping in the staging room and the host can kick players now as well.

There have been a year of patches, mostly for bugs and SP game balance issues and improving the AI, but two patches did address the MP issues, and I reasonably expect more to follow.  And since it has been a year since release I would not be surprised to see an Expansion Pack sometime in 2012.  If you look at the history of Civ3 and Civ4 XP's are generally released in the second year to keep momentum going, not to mention profits :P

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