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