Civilization VI: Boy do I have a lot to learn!

Game and options select screen for Civilization 6

I can not tell you how excited I was to see this screen Thursday night! I LOVE the Civilization games SO HARD and having to wait for this one, a wait that felt like it would never end (my excitement was insane!), oh man, I was dancing in my chair. I’d bought Civilization:Beyond Earth and while there’s a lot to enjoy in that game, I had high hopes Civilization VI would be more along the lines of Civilization V. I played as much as I possibly could the last couple of days, trying to complete a game before writing this post and, I can tell you, it really is more like the fifth Civ game than Beyond Earth. The difference is in the systems.

Freshly platted Washington city, starting point for my Civilization 6 play through.

I wanted to play as Theodore Roosevelt and grow America to the biggest and baddest country I possibly could. I had to do a quick restart because in my hurry to send my Warrior crew off to investigate for Barbarians close to Washington, I accidentally sent my Settlers off instead and lost a round of ‘city building’ (meaning, instead of settling a city on the first turn I’d have had to wait until turn two). First thing I noticed on settling my first city was the background around my city was a map. Cool! Then I noticed unexplored areas would fade in and out depending on where my people/boundaries were. I didn’t like that and thought it might ruin the game for me. Happily, it did not! I got used to it. I’m still iffy on how countries and city-states look to you if you’re not friendly or, as with city-states, their Suzerain. I get it as it’s a very real indicator of relationship but, ugh. I battled with Peter of Russia, my immediate neighbor, for Suzerain of the city-states around us CONSTANTLY! Matter of fact, ole Peter hit me with a surprise war (that he wasn’t prepared to fight) over, I believe, me taking Suzerain of Lisbon back. It was a very short war that only ran ten rounds before he offered gifts for peace.

Completion notice for building the Great Library Wonder in Civilization 6.

I didn’t focus on building wonders much but did construct a few. I love the way you’re completed build is announced to you. The above screen shot of the Great Library Wonder is from the end of the animation that plays once it’s finished. How neat is that? Even better, that’s exactly what it looked like in MY game. My eagerness to jump in and play thwarted my ‘let’s read about what’s new’. There are bonuses (?) for placement that I haven’t sussed out much yet. I did see that Campus districts do better (at what?) when placed near a mountain so I built all of my campuses at the foot of mountains even though I’m still not sure why I should. Oh, and did I mention you can zoom in and see much greater (and gorgeous) detail than in previous Civ games? So sweet!

Civilization 6, animation screen for completing another Science victory requirement.

I wanted to go for a Science victory because I thought it’d be easiest; work Science tech, construct science-type buildings, focus on policies that are skewed towards science points and, of course, build the rocket. There’s SO much more to a science win than that now! I generally shy away from spoilery info so, if you’d rather find out for yourself, understand I’m about to talk in more detail about what’s required for a science victory. If you’re okay with that, keep reading. It’s a lot of work!!

Civilization 6 screen showing steps and progress toward a science victory

So here you see the screen showing who’s completed what for each step needed to achieve a science victory. Russia was my only real threat in terms of beating me at anything and, before I found this screen in game, I thought I was trailing behind! I’d received intel from my trusty gossip source that Russia had completed building a Spaceport before I’d even unlocked the tech for one. As I was building my Spaceport, a LONG wait (think it took 30-40 some rounds in my capital city) my gossip guy told me Russia had completed a second Spaceport. This confused me but, by then I’d already found the victory conditions progress reports and decided to just focus on what I was doing and not worry about Tsar Peter. I thought perhaps he didn’t know what he was doing?

Ha. He so did. You want more than one Spaceport because there are a total of, IIRC, five rockets you have to launch (and, IIRC, five specific techs you have to research) in order to win a science victory. I was working on my third rocket launch at turn 500. Peter was still working on his second. Neither of us won on science! I wonder if I had him snowed on research because I went with trade-routes that gave the most science points (was Seoul for me) over gold or production. My next attempt at a science win, I’m going to split my trade-routes between science and production points. I *think* I could have built faster if I’d paid more attention to production point counts.

Civilization 6, culture victory progress screen

I kept working at the science conditions, not because I thought I could win (I did not build properly, in any way shape or form, to complete a science win!) but because I wanted to see how much time it took to do this and that. With no chance of a science victory I considered Culture. I was leading in both science and culture so, why not? The above screen is everyone’s progress towards a Culture victory … at turn 500. You can’t wait until late game and then try and win a specific like that! You have to plan your research, city placements (for resources, of course), how you build your cities, policies, … it feels, to me, more involved in this game than it has in previous ones. Involved as in everything absolutely affects everything, if I’m saying that write. I LOVE THIS!! but it does take getting used to. Anyway, no chance of a Culture win for me OR Peter.

Civilization 6, victory ranking screen

Teddy and I did, however, win the game. On score. America had the highest score, 595, which puts me along the lines of Nero in the victory rankings. Not very high but high enough! Russia was closest to me with a score of 542. I changed the number of players in the Advanced Options and elected to have 8 instead of the 6 it wanted to default with. I wonder if this is why we were all up in each other’s business, so to speak. I never did meet player 8 because Rome wiped them off the map before I’d explored the entirety of it. Matter of fact, I was close to turn 300, if not passed it, before meeting any players outside of Russia. I did not have a good ‘Scout’ game going. At all. I’m fairly certain the map completed itself once I’d hit a certain point in the game rather than me having explored the whole thing.

One thing I really didn’t like was that your workers (called Builders) can only do three jobs before retiring. This drove me NUTS! I considered dedicating one city to making Builders and Army troops but that didn’t work at all. If you don’t build enough housing and amenities, your city can (AND WILL!) revolt. Not sure if my citizens in that city called Barbs to attack me or became the barbs, but I had to fight them off. Oh, and an oddity, the background music in the beginning was plunky and parts of it had me singing the “Baby Bumble Bee” song. Out loud. It wasn’t a bad thing, just struck me as odd.

Civilization VI is the perfect addition to the Civ series if you ask me. It’s enough of the same game so that you know how to play it, but different enough so that you must (re)learn how to play it. It’s gorgeous, the voice overs from Sean Bean are LOVELY!!!, the quotes in game are perfectly pulled from and placed (very fitting to the time you’re in) and the other civilizations are a bit more involved in the goings on of things this go round. I can’t wait to start another game! I could today as everyone is home and can take care of the kids, but I played so much yesterday I’m not sure I should.

Are you playing? How’s your game going? OH! And, who’d you start with?


Gaming: What I’ve been up to lately

I started looking through screenshots to help me remember what I’ve played over the last few months and found I not only haven’t been blogging, I haven’t been taking many screenshots either. Frustrating as I don’t remember the games I wanted to talk about, specifically, for this post. So screw the last few months and let’s skip ahead to more recently played.

New (unlocked) heroes in Clicker Heroes

I’m not seriously into Clicker Heroes at the moment but I have been playing a bit. I took a look at the gilded hero screen to see how many new heroes were added last update and saw there are five new ones. WAY COOL! Then I saw how much the first of the newly added heroes costs to hire for a single level and wanted to cry. Tsuchi costs 7.076e499 to hire. That’s just his level 1. Holy cow, there’s no way! Now, if I were to go ahead and transcend (can do so for 12 AS currently) and get back to seriously playing, sure. I could hit that. Eventually.

Title screen from Port of Call

When pulling the screenshots I was going to include with this post I noticed that all of the Steam game screenshots are from F2P games. Port of Call is a short adventure (more story than adventure really) game that has an odd little story that, by the end, poses a surprisingly deep and serious question of choices. Well, it could pose that question if you give it thought. Which, I did. Vague enough for you? I hate being vague but I don’t want to ruin it for you should you decide to play. I enjoyed it, though it’s a little rough around a couple of edges. I’d recommend giving it a go. Not a combat game, more of a story game with achievements.

Screenshot of a girl talking about sheep from the game Moirai.

Someone on Twitter tossed the name of this game out, suggesting people play it. I completely get why now! Moirai is an experimental game that, in order to fully experience it, you need others to play. It’s a single-player game with a twist and, as hokey as the graphics are, you really should give this one a go. The ending is the most fun part of the game and I’ve played it two or three times now just to cause/see different results. It takes minutes to play but, I think, it’s well worth it. I’d love to see more games that depend on others playing without having to play with others. If that makes no sense, it will if you play the game.

Sitting at the bar in the Golden Perch in LotRO

I started a new Minstrel in LotRO, another Hobbit lass, and have had a blast playing her. She’s in her 30s best I recall and working the Evendim area. I don’t know when the Minstrel class became my favorite to play but I have several across the servers now. I don’t heal anyone, mind you, as I prefer to solo-play, but if the circumstances were right, I might would try healing again. It’s been YEARS so I’m a little scared to try. DPSing, however, is FAST and fun! I have no idea who the Dwarf is in the screenshot but I saw him sitting there, AFK, when I went to turn in a quest. I sat down just for the screenshot when the little Hobbit in the background asked someone if their friend had shown up yet. Made the shot even better, in my opinion.

There have been a few attempts at saved games as well. I fired up A Kingdom for Keflings on my 360 and after tooling around for a good 10 minutes, unable to remember what I’d last worked on, I logged out. No idea what I was doing in that game. Same with Unholy Heights. Matter of fact, I logged into that one thinking it’d be the first time ever playing it only to see I had a game in progress. Again, no idea what I was doing or needed to do so I logged back out. I tried The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth but, after 8 minutes of playing, I stopped. That’s one heck of a game and I’ve had incredible fun playing it, but, sometimes, it’s too frustrating. I have a game going in both Murdered: Soul Suspect and Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas but I haven’t gotten back to them for fear I’ve forgotten where I was in them as well.


Lords of the Fallen was free last month on PSN so I picked it up. Beautiful game but I need to go back and beat that first boss. Again. I *did* beat him (after 5 or 6 deaths) but he killed me as I killed him so it didn’t count. I’d have played this a lot more if 4YO didn’t bomb me with a million questions when I play. She’s SO curious and wants to play the game with me. Nay, FOR ME. She says she’s asking the questions so she can learn how to play. I think it’s to keep me from playing so she CAN play. (Not that I’d let her, prefer her to stick to games like Mario Maker.)

OH! There’s one more. Animal Crossing! I started it back up after having not played for 10 months. I was afraid my favorite neighbor, Tex, had moved away but he’s still there! WOOT! I ran around and spoke to all the residents, picked weeds and decided to get back to playing daily. That was last week, mind you, and I haven’t played since, but I do plan to! Love that game!

So, what have you guys been playing lately?

Zee merge is complete!

I’ve been going back and forth about merging my blogs into one for a couple of years (at LEAST). I imported my personal blog into Flamingbard last night and, best I can tell, it looks like everything imported correctly. A plus, if you will, to the import was that I finally found what broke my template on my personal blog. I’d embedded a video I’d seen on Facebook into a post and the size of it (of which I don’t appear to have any control over) borked my sidebar all the way down the page. Who knew?

Going forward you can expect to see posts about my gaming adventures as well as posts about, well, my life. I blog off and on about Boo (I call her 4YO on Twitter), food, things that bug me, … I know some read both but for those that don’t, hopefully this won’t bother you too much. I do not have a schedule for posting in mind as my time is often taken up with the kids, household crap (I detest chores), being exhausted or binge watching something on Hulu/Netflix. I rock the roll of couch potato quite well, let me tell you! I’m hoping that after the move, whenever that is, I can find a new ‘normal’ that includes more time for gaming and blogging. I do have plans to do a gaming ’round up’ post soon on what I’ve been up to lately.

Fingers crossed!

I’ll leave you with a picture of me drawn by 4YO herself. She’s quite proud of her work and tells me that it looks JUST like me!

Portrait of me drawn by my 4 year old grand daughter

Nailed it.


Btw, anyone know why I’m seeing ads here? I know it’s WordPress Word Ads but I didn’t use to see them myself. I use ad blockers to keep them at bay and my blocker says it’s blocking three ads, yet I’m seeing the ads. Weird!

Some games, it just doesn’t work out

My recently played games list from Steam

I’ve been playing through games in my Steam library lately. A week or two back I was hit with the urge to play Civ V again but found I never redownloaded the game after getting my new hard drive this past Christmas. I had, however, downloaded and installed Civ: Beyond Earth so I gave it another shot. I wasn’t sure I’d like it given the first time I played I felt a little iffy on it. It’s like Civilization games but it’s also different enough to stand out a bit and the miasma drove me nuts. This go round I enjoyed it more and although there’s still a lot I’m learning, I’m having some fun with the game. I prefer the cookie-cutter preset parameters of Civ V but I’m starting to understand more about the choices you are presented with and how they affect your game. That said, I really hope the next Civ game is more like Civ V than this one.

Clicker Heroes has had a few updates and I’m scratching my head trying to understand how ancients work, for instance, but finding I may not care, as much as I once did, to understand them much right now. I’ve been more into puzzle/point and click games anyway, which accounts for most of the games I’ve played this past week. The Room has beautiful graphics, intriguing puzzles and a hint system to help you out if you get stuck. I did have to pull up a guide for a few puzzles but I enjoyed the game! Charnel House Trilogy, another point and click story driven puzzle game, was … weird. It’s not bad! It was just a bit weird and the second book, Sepulchre, had a huge ‘out of left field’ moment for me that made me wonder if I’d missed something big or if the story writers went a little too far in trying not to give away the ending too soon. Dunno. That said, I enjoyed playing it as well. I started Murdered: Soul Suspect last night thinking I wouldn’t be able to get into it and played two hours before going to bed. I’m really liking this one.

There were a couple of games I tried, however, that I just couldn’t get into.

That Dragon, Cancer is a game I bought because I wanted to feel. I wanted to get lost in the story and maybe even cry a little. Cancer is a scary thing that has certainly been a part of my life in one way or another and, perhaps for this reason, I was drawn to this title. I really wish I hadn’t bought it now. It wasn’t just that I couldn’t connect with the story, I felt a disconnect if that makes sense. I’m not sure why either, it just didn’t work for me. I played for about a half hour, waiting to feel that connection, that draw, with the story but I had to fight distraction the entire time. This may sound stupid but the biggest turn off for me was that Joel doesn’t have a face. I’m assuming this was done so you could put your own face to Joel in order to help you connect on a more personal level? I dunno, but I wanted the game to put a face to Joel for me and, in as much as I played, it didn’t. That bugged the crap out of me and I couldn’t stop wondering about his non-existent face. He wasn’t “real” to me without a face and, I guess, that’s why I couldn’t sympathize with Joel or his family.

I also gave Aura: Fate of the Ages a short try. I played maybe 15 minutes which, I’d usually say, isn’t enough time to really get into a game. BUT. I just couldn’t get into this title at all. I have NO idea why because I tend to like stories such as the one in this game, the setting and puzzles. Originally I stopped playing to watch videos on YouTube of folks who’d played the game, their playthroughs, in hopes I’d see something to make me want to play. I still don’t know why but I took an immediate dislike to the game. I may try this again at a later date but, at the same time, I think it’s okay to not like every game you buy. Right? It could be as simple as the graphics are seriously outdated but that didn’t stop me from falling head-over-heels in love with Dragon Age: Origins.


I’m looking forward to playing more of my Steam library before the Summer sale hits. I have no games on a ‘sale’ watch list yet but if I do see something I like I’ll feel a bit more justified if I’m actually playing games I bought on previous sales … or something like that. Confessions of a Steam gamer and all that.



I’m a little high maintenance sometimes

This year has been rough on the financial front so I’ve been cutting corners wherever I can and looking for more ways to bring our bills down. We eat a LOT of chicken now because it’s cheaper than other meats around here but it’s versatile, can be cooked in so many dishes! Right now I’m really into *foil packs cooked on the grill, too. They’re easy to do and save on the electric/gas bill. Also, the grill doesn’t heat the house up like my oven does! This is important because we’re not running the air conditioner if we don’t have to during the day. Doc becomes miserable when the inside temp hits around 85°F so I turn the AC on to cool downstairs off for him when it’s about to get that hot inside. What’s hitting me the hardest (and, boy, is it HARD) is not turning my computer on in the mornings. Actually, for the last five weeks I’m made sure not to turn it on at all for a 24 hour period each week (did I mention that’s HARD?!?!?) and to only have it on three-five hours a few more days during the week. I do give myself carte-blanche to have it on all day and game when I can at least twice a week.

Another thing I’m doing is hanging laundry to dry outside. I started this a week ago and have done 19 loads of laundry. I don’t hang undies outside so of the 19 loads, three have been dried in my dryer. I only have one line to hang on and it was at our chain-link fence. I’ve noticed a few pick marks from the top of the fence line on our sheets and tee shirts so I asked Mike if he could move the clothesline for me. Turns out, whoever put the poles for the clothes line up cemented them into the ground. Well cemented! I shrugged it off and started wondering if we could put something on top of the fence line that would protect the clothes … I know, I think in crazy from time to time.

Mike’s the kind of guy who plans lots of ideas and buys materials a little along, hoping to eventually find time to see these ideas to fruition. He and Goose are enlarging the back deck right now with wood he’s had in the building for a few years for instance. When Goose broke our sink a few months back he went out to the building and got the sink he’d bought for a kitchen remodel he’d been planning and replaced the broken sink on the spot. He can pull all sorts of tricks from his sleeve because of his way of buying things a little along!

Apparently he’s also been planning to enlarge the fence around our back yard where Boo (3YO) and the dogs play. Yesterday he and Bear moved the fence from next to the clothesline and enlarged it to encompass the yard behind our big building/garage. I’d show you a picture but he’s embarrassed that the new fence is three different levels in height. He used what he had on hand to enlarge the fenced in area and, what he had, was different types of fencing. I think some of the fencing he used he’d originally planned to go around our garden and that’s why it’s not chain-link. Either way, it fixed a big problem for me and I’m happy with it. When we have the money we can buy more chain-link and make the new fence match and look better.

I’m hoping he has more clothes line in the building and can get a second line up on the poles. Would make laundry go a bit faster if I could hang two loads out at the same time!

Anyway, I had no idea my request would cause so much work but that’s generally how it goes. I’m a little high maintenance in my desires it seems! I’m hoping to see a sizable difference in our electric/gas bill soon. We’re on a bill pay system where they average our yearly usage and charge us an ‘expected usage’ amount each month. They refigure the ‘expected usage’ amount a few times a year and adjust it when necessary. When Bear and Britt moved in four years ago that amount skyrocketed up. I wish I’d started working to get that bill down sooner!


*If you’re unsure what a foil pack is its meat and veg, seasoned and or marinated and wrapped in foil in individual portion sizes to cook in the oven or grill. I suggest using a heavy-duty aluminum foil but if you don’t have it, regular foil works, too.