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that's right, im playing CIVILIZATION FOUR

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,192
900
126
so, after the very disappointing Civ 5 (where it's pointless to capture cities, you will *have* to raze them, thus incurring a near-permanent hate from that leader, so basically a permanent state of war), and the ridiculous Civ 6 one-unit-per-tile-max bullshit, i have gone back aaaaaaall the way to the best Civ - Civilization 4 Beyond The Sword.
You get Civ 4, Civ 4 BtS, Civ 4 .. uh something you dont want to play, and Civ 4 something that really sucks, all bundled in one cheap £11 pack (obv depends on when you buy it, it's at $20 now). Count them, FOUR games of which you will only play one, FOUR !

Basically you got your classic Civ 2 game, with some pretty darn big modifiers; Cities grow much more easily. You can build a shitton of units from any city you like, pretty much. Instead - and, im not saying it's a good thing - the game limits you on your expansion by ... just .. limiting your expansion. Each new city after X cities becomes a big money loser, so, uh, yeah, it's not really as straightofrward as Civ 2, but, if you want you Civ fix, this will do. All that needs doing is that you get past your Civ preconceptions; a city built in the desert won't have enough food, tis city cannot afford this many defenders, roads are an all-powerful solution to every problem, you know, BASIC civ stuff.

So yeah, you can't mess with a classic and expect to not f* it up, but hey, it's Civ 4, it's got better AI, it does its turns faster, and you get all dem pretty colours, n stuff.

I suggest immediately disabling the Mr Spok (yup, Leonard Mthf* Nimoy himself) spoken lines because they are so bad, they can haunt you forever, and then just havin a go atit. it's fairly easy when you realize that you can just spam Praetorians with 8! attack strength and rekk everyone else in the iron age, but the game really shines when you get to huge ass civilizations spanning half of the globe. I'm currently playing a Marathon (very slow, huge extra number of turns) game on a Huge, Earth-based map with the Womans (harr harr, Monthy Python joke), have just gotten off from fighting a war with the silly Chinese, who are bigger and stronger in production, but they take foreeeeeeever to just walk from their side of the map to mine. I made the Egyptian queen my B*** (vassal state) so they both watch my back and guarantee they will not attack me, and i got to Astronomy way before anyone else so i'm just colonizing just about all of north AND south america before my big, WW2, tanks-based steamroll of everyone else.
(playing Noble difficulty)

TLDR - Civ 4 is pretty good.
 
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pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
6,647
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Civ 4 was pretty decent. But my physical copy stopped working because of some windows change+DRM rubbish. Actually rebought it from GoG for a pittance. But I disagree about Civ 5, which was also not bad. As I remember it Civ 4 had more possibility for cultural 'warfare', cities don't defect in Civ 5. Also the graphics were more mod-able. Apart from those issues I preferred 5 to 4. Seems to me that the AI doesn't cheat as blatantly in 5 as in earlier versions. Always found the level of AI cheating in earlier versions of civ to be so frustrating I'd 'rage quit' even against AI (which i guess is even more pathetic than rage-quitting in a game with humans).

Also the one-unit-per-tile thing came in with Civ 5 not 6, and I think it was bought in precisely because people complained about the dominance of the 'stack of doom' game play in earlier versions. I didn't mind the one-unit limit, myself. Though it is obviously wildly 'unrealistic'.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,192
900
126
so, Cities do not defect in Civ 5, and they do in Civ 4, but it's extremely rare - you need to have a massive level of culture to flip them - once that happens, you might as well have just taken it by force. In Civ 5 you have unhappiness, like in every other Civ, but in Civ 5 it takes *forever* for a city to go back to normal, while in Civ 4 it's a very reasonable handful of turns.
Cultural borders are still a pain in the ass, and yeah, this element of Civ 4 should have been redesigned, because you practically cannot take a large city unless you also take every city next to it. It's not a perfect game, like Civ 2 was, the tanks are too powerful, religion is unbalanced (think about having to build 3 buildings - temple, monastery and specialized building) of everyone of 5 religions, naval warfare still sucks, but hey, this is what you have unless you want to put up with waiting 5 minutes for the Civ 2 AI to finish a single turn.
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
6,647
2,042
136
As I say, the thing I liked about Civ 5 is I never found myself getting utterly frustrated with the degree of AI cheating going on. With Civ 2, for example, it was too obvious the AI knew exactly where all your units were. If you left a city without much defense, they'd attack it, if you stacked a lot of units in it they'd nuke it. They automatically knew which to do. Likewise battleships would be sought out instantly by cruise missiles as if there was no fog-of-war at all for the AI.

In later versions the AI fiddled the combat-results-table in a way that made a complete nonsense of the stated odds. Also really frustrating as you couldn't make any sensible decisions as you weren't told the correct probabilities.

Civ 5 never gave me that sense of frustration, that inability to plan because you don't know quite how the AI is cheating (the AI got a 'happiness bonus', but that was fairly transparent). Never tried Civ 6 because got sick of gaming by that time, plus the annoying nickel-and-dime dlc-dependent pricing model annoyed me.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
344
126
I have two biases against Civ games. The most important is the utter offensive arrogance of the concept and how badly it's followed. It would be like a group of teenagers making a song and naming it 'the only song needed to listen to', as if it obsoletes The Beatles, and it's just some 'ok' song. ARGH, annoying.

The second is how Sid Meier had to put his name in the title in such a way you have to go to "S" instead of "C" in your steam library to find it.

Having said that. I find the game to have something enjoyable - but a real mix of attraction and annoyance. A lot of its idea are absurd, as part of making a playable game, so eh, not a big problem. Like potato chips, perhaps you 'can't play just one more turn', but like potato chips you might not look at at hours with them feeling good about it.

There's a bit of a paradox, that it might be more enjoyable to play it by 'feel' - I'd LIKE that type of unit - while learning the mechanics in some detail lets you do much better, but arguably makes the game more of a chore.

IMO each version has its good and bad compared to the others. I won't make a list here, but an example that's stuck with me is that I liked the reward system of 'building your palace' from a cave into a nice palace, something the abandoned. Unit stacking could be a lot of fun, and so on.

I have a bad way of buying each release, and playing it very lightly to sort of try it, but not enjoying it enough to play much. I'm playing Civ VI this week, and have been thinking about trying older versions again, but I just have such better games than any of the Civs. (See my backlog RPG thread for some examples).
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,703
2,833
126
I have two biases against Civ games. The most important is the utter offensive arrogance of the concept and how badly it's followed. It would be like a group of teenagers making a song and naming it 'the only song needed to listen to', as if it obsoletes The Beatles, and it's just some 'ok' song. ARGH, annoying.

The second is how Sid Meier had to put his name in the title in such a way you have to go to "S" instead of "C" in your steam library to find it.

Having said that. I find the game to have something enjoyable - but a real mix of attraction and annoyance. A lot of its idea are absurd, as part of making a playable game, so eh, not a big problem. Like potato chips, perhaps you 'can't play just one more turn', but like potato chips you might not look at at hours with them feeling good about it.

There's a bit of a paradox, that it might be more enjoyable to play it by 'feel' - I'd LIKE that type of unit - while learning the mechanics in some detail lets you do much better, but arguably makes the game more of a chore.

IMO each version has its good and bad compared to the others. I won't make a list here, but an example that's stuck with me is that I liked the reward system of 'building your palace' from a cave into a nice palace, something the abandoned. Unit stacking could be a lot of fun, and so on.

I have a bad way of buying each release, and playing it very lightly to sort of try it, but not enjoying it enough to play much. I'm playing Civ VI this week, and have been thinking about trying older versions again, but I just have such better games than any of the Civs. (See my backlog RPG thread for some examples).
I have issues with it as well. Like the ideas that there is a "Win" condition or Time limit, for eg. I suppose there needs to be an End point, due to "Future Technology" is too generic to be a permanent part of the game, but I always wanted the Civ games to deal with the End differently than it does. I suppose I wanted it to be like the Sims, where you just kept doing things until you couldn't any more, like someone destroying you. I was always more satisfied in just guiding my people through Time than in Winning, although I try to Win each time I play.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
344
126
I have issues with it as well. Like the ideas that there is a "Win" condition or Time limit, for eg. I suppose there needs to be an End point, due to "Future Technology" is too generic to be a permanent part of the game, but I always wanted the Civ games to deal with the End differently than it does. I suppose I wanted it to be like the Sims, where you just kept doing things until you couldn't any more, like someone destroying you. I was always more satisfied in just guiding my people through Time than in Winning, although I try to Win each time I play.
One of the many issues.

I've been playing after a country won, sending giant killer robots taking his cities. Won, huh?
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,327
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106
www.the-teh.com
so, Cities do not defect in Civ 5, and they do in Civ 4, but it's extremely rare - you need to have a massive level of culture to flip them - once that happens, you might as well have just taken it by force. In Civ 5 you have unhappiness, like in every other Civ, but in Civ 5 it takes *forever* for a city to go back to normal, while in Civ 4 it's a very reasonable handful of turns.
Cultural borders are still a pain in the ass, and yeah, this element of Civ 4 should have been redesigned, because you practically cannot take a large city unless you also take every city next to it. It's not a perfect game, like Civ 2 was, the tanks are too powerful, religion is unbalanced (think about having to build 3 buildings - temple, monastery and specialized building) of everyone of 5 religions, naval warfare still sucks, but hey, this is what you have unless you want to put up with waiting 5 minutes for the Civ 2 AI to finish a single turn.
They defect in Civ 6. I've nearly taken every one of Peter the Great's cities this way.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,192
900
126
oh boy.
i'm playing the Earth map (HUGE) on marathon, and man, i am exhausted. There is just so much **** to keep track of. But, with a bit of care and a couple reloads here and there, i'm nearly done. The sun never sets on the Roman empire.

Early rush to iron working, ignore everything else. Literally plant a settler on the iron deposits so i dont even have to mine it.
Then spam a horde of Praetorians which is the most grossly overpowered unit in the game until the tank.
Immediately take over all of central europe, and push into the middle east.
Focus your science on only two things: Alphabet, to trade technologies, and Currency, to produce wealth. Wealth will be fundamental to manage your gross overexpansion.
Spend a thousand years trying to cut off africa and draw a long line from Odessa to Moscow all the way to the ice. Completely cordon off all the massive fighting in asia.
Then work your way to Astronomy and launch a massive rush for the new world.

The game isn't done but there is no way i can lose. I own nealry all of north and south america, all of europe, all of scandinavia, a sizeable chunk of western russia.

There is still a mongol horde to deal with, a Gengis Kahn has beaten all the other AIs and now they are his vassals (ergo, if he attacks me, i fight everyone else too), but in so doing he is far, far behind me in tech. I should have my first tanks rolling out by the time he has cavalry (that's rifle cavalry, not sword cavalry). There is no way he will be able to develop nukes either, as i should be able to just squash him completely with a wave of tanks and then a wave of modern armor.

TLDR: romans are OP.


i like that Civ 4 has several different ways to play and win; you can be a financial powerhouse with the dutch, and buy everything. You can be a pacifist with the Indians and win through religion and everyone loving you. You can rush everyone in the ancient age with Shaka (his barracks *also* lower conquest maintenance costs .. lol), Ragnar's berserkers, or Rome's Praetorians.

What i donnt like is that none of this is obvious and evident. Rules are hidden, or badly explained, and it takes a ton of googling to figure out that something apparently harmless is actually devastating.

And, combos. Something which does nothing for you in one playthrough can be really powerful with a diffferent leader. Or combos with world wonders and otehr specific conditions, such as founding your own religion AND owning the apostolic palace.

And the UI obviously sucks, and there's a few things which are really annoying (my machineguns cannot shoot airships .. ) but otherwise i think Civ 4 is currently the best Civ.
Civ 2 was great, but it's too old. It was simpler, more direct, and had some great game mechanics that no longer exist - i still leave units guarding cities because im so used to cities freaking out and stopping ALL production when the last military unit leaves - you can now maintain waaaay more units out of any city - you can ..

uh, come to think of it, probably Civ 2 was better. And i would still play it, if it didnt look and play like ass.
 

Blue_Max

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2011
4,227
152
106
I've been playing Civ4 religiously *forever*. Runs smoothly on even a potato and BTS just has everything I want in a game! <3
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
102,783
17,201
136
Civ 4 is great. I probably played CIv III the most, and like it the most, but probably because of that I just didn't play Civ 4 as much, as I was mostly done with it before BTS and such was released, which certainly made it way better.

I liked the "cultural assimilation" mechanic in Civ III and mostly missed that in later versions. I loved just "out-arting" border nation towns and absorbing them into my empire....but Civ 4 was definitely the best one overall.

I really didn't like Civ 5 and played maybe...1 hour of Civ 6. Less I think (free from Epic not too long ago, so not too annoyed by its disappointment)
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
344
126
I liked the "cultural assimilation" mechanic in Civ III and mostly missed that in later versions. I loved just "out-arting" border nation towns and absorbing them into my empire....but Civ 4 was definitely the best one overall.
Or, the 'cultural assimilation' mechanic in the South Park DLC where you "out-fart" border nation towns.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,420
854
136
Alpha Centauri is singlehandedly the best "Civ" type game that was ever made. If Firaxis ever gets its head out of its ass and makes an Alpha Centauri 2 (properly) I'll show up to the Civ party again.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,192
900
126
Alpha Centauri is singlehandedly the best "Civ" type game that was ever made.
uh ..

i played exactly ONE game of AC. I beat the game (on Noble, i guess, that's my difficulty, but i don't remember what the equivalent is called in AC) and found it waaaay too easy. Militarist faction.
 

hardhat

Senior member
Dec 4, 2011
340
41
91
Alpha Centauri was amazing for it's time. The factions felt so completely different. But Civ IV is just a deeper game. Culture/espionage/corporations/great people/specialists/improvements/combat/unique units are all better. Civ IV and Alpha Centauri are my top 2 in the civ franchise for sure.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,420
854
136
uh ..

i played exactly ONE game of AC. I beat the game (on Noble, i guess, that's my difficulty, but i don't remember what the equivalent is called in AC) and found it waaaay too easy. Militarist faction.
- The game was so much more than just it's difficulty.

The factions were much more fun than civilizations, the unit system, the lore and future tech, how "barbarians" worked, the fact that "nukes" reshaped terrain, building units. It was just a damn solid game all around.

A lot of core concepts from AC also fed back into and shaped the Civ series after Civ 2 (i.e. culture).

I've been waiting a long time to return to Planet. Can't think of a better Civ game to get a modern top to bottom overhaul.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
11,192
900
126
I've been waiting a long time to return to Planet. Can't think of a better Civ game to get a modern top to bottom overhaul.
well, once certainly can imagine AC2 being and then being totally excellent, but one must also consider the .. situation .. with Civilization.

Something AC1 had, that at the time annoyed me, was how once you progress after a certain point, the world changes; i do not remember exactly, IIRC the planet comes alive and the landscape has some major changes that ramp up the difficulty. It's a clever idea, however i would probably go for the simpler civ2.

See, one thing that annoys me is how they have never made - in my opinion - a better civilization game than civ2.

Sure, civ4 has all the bling, a award winning soundtrack, Spock's narration, a decent AI, tons of gameplay options.
But it also allows you to build a stack of 40 units, which would have been unthinkable in civ2.

In civ1/2 you plant a city. It grows with food, and for every square you get ether 2 half-food, or 3 half-food. That +0.5 food makes it grow.

Once it grows it can eat more food and save more food. BUT, once it grows past a certain size, people become unruly. You then need military units to force them to work.
Bigger cities need more military units. Sure, colosseums exit, but it's mostly about military units.
Because each unit is actually raised FROM a city; it belongs to X city and takes its food from it. This is the vicious cycle that prevents overexpansion.
Get food -> Grow city -> needs military -> eats food.

Managing to bring out a stack of 6 or so units in civ2 was a major feat for a civilization, war was done 1 city at the time.

Civ4 is much more of a wargame. Get your city into gear and start spamming units until you can just steamroll the opponent. Units also become obsolete much more in c4 and they have adopted that "X unit does well against Y unit" trope.
Overexpansion is limited in city maintenance, no growth when building settlers or workers, and the simple lack of territory to expand into. Cultural borders are agonisingly bad - place down a city and BAM, that piece of land is forever yours. If someone takes your city, spends years growing its culture, and you by chance take it back for after 1 turn of conquest, you lose everything because culture is added to the tiles itself, and never goes away.

I mean, there's a hundred thinsg wrong with the game, but as far as i can see, it's the best civ there is as of yet. And it's shocking that Civ5 and Civ6 were noooooowhere near as good as civ4.
I really cannot say much about AC1 because, as i have said, i played ONE game. However i would be surprised if AC2 was made, and it turned out good. Like, CIVILIZATION good.
Not like "entirely new game" good, like Civ5 (almost exclusively a political game) or Civ6 (almost a city builder game).
 

Rebel_L

Senior member
Nov 9, 2009
405
21
81
For the civ games, 4 is what I play when I want to have a game. 2 was lots of fun back in the day but as much as I loved unlimited railroad movement it always led to a conquer enemy civs in a single turn scenarios in late game. I actually find the civ 4 late game combat to be more engaging.

I have never tried to edit a set of civ rules to limit military but I would think it would be fairly easy to do if you wanted to have less units floating around in a civ 4 game. I have always tended to edit rules to go the opposite direction as I prefer to build few mega cities over tons of cities everywhere. Culture really has been a great thing for someone like me so that the computer doesnt constantly build cities between my fairly spaced out cities.

AC I never really cared for, I played it for a while when it came out, but the having to constantly redesign and upgrade old units got old pretty quick for me. It seemed like a neat idea, but in the end it frustrated me more than anything. I was also not a huge fan of the idea of such drastically different races as far as their play style went.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
344
126
I liked some ideas in AC and mean to play more, but years ago when I tried it, one thing that was annoying was what seemed like a lot of arbitrary design, a little like Star Trek TNG's random tech name generator. Oh my gosh, the floobiator isn't working! Quick, get the astro plasma stream under 200 trufans!
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,420
854
136
I liked some ideas in AC and mean to play more, but years ago when I tried it, one thing that was annoying was what seemed like a lot of arbitrary design, a little like Star Trek TNG's random tech name generator. Oh my gosh, the floobiator isn't working! Quick, get the astro plasma stream under 200 trufans!
- On the contrary, I really appreciated the amount of thought and effort that went into projecting forward from a real place to come up with future tech research and achievements rooted in actual science (but obviously science fiction, as we have not overcome some basic limits yet).

Naturally the further up the tech tree you went, the greater the balance of fiction to science, but it was still grounded without getting into all the "positronic quantum electro-spanner" garbage of Star Trek.
 

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
7,203
712
126
I never got past Civ2. I think what happened was my gaming self moved away from strategy gaming to tactical gaming and then that focused on FPS. But I do remember the fun I had with Civ2 in custom gaming mode. I would edit the configurable .ini file and place my chosen people in a silly mountainous region that the AI would never stick people. But the hidden matter was in this custom game the mountain core was made of gold, or something tremendously valuable. So, while my people lacked the brains for science they had managed to ability to raise wealth quickly and buy cities, and units. I laughed about the situation of beating the AI in such a silly way but it worked. But I also got pretty distracted by Transport Tycoon, noting the best way to beat your opponent was have their trains crach into one of your trucks conveniently parked on the tracks. Gosh I miss those days of screwing with the AI.
 

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