From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
This seemed like an appropriate moment to talk about why I enjoy Civilization 5:
I’ve put a lot of hours into this game. As you might guess, this is the fifth instalment in the Civilization series. Although it’s more accurate to say that each successive Civilization release is an iteration over the last rather than a sequel as such. The gameplay remains the same; start with some settlers and a couple of goats, and finish with a spaceship of colonists heading for Alpha Centauri.
The major change made in version five was the removal of stacked units, something that I have come to view entirely positively. When you move your military around the map, positioning becomes all important, and combined arms tactics are rewarding (and rewarded) rather than simply pumping out endless copies of the ‘best’ unit you have as though this were an RTS game.
There are several paths to victory, of which outright military conquest is only one. Science, diplomancy, and culture offer their own path to victory While I have put in over 600 hours over the past couple of years, I haven’t finished that many games. What I love about Civilization is the endless possibilities you are presented with at the start of the game.
By the time the game has run through to the industrial era, I’m usually looking to start again. Victory is nice, but for me it does not match the thrill of exploration.
That aside, Civ 5 is a thoroughly enjoyable game. The lack of unit stacking makes positioning cities quite important. Building a fortified town across a key mountain pass, for example, allows you to control large areas of the map, and keep those pesky computer players at bay. You can do the same with individual units, taking the strategic high ground and dictating where your opponents can strike. Settling on the open plains is all well and good, but without the mobility of mounted units your cities will be vulnerable to sudden assaults.
In the screenshot above, Rome controls the major pass across a range of mountains, stopping movement of anyone I don’t care to grant access through my lands. To the south, Antium is protected by a river. In the east, Arretium is positioned so that any invaders coming via the northern pass are caught between it and Rome. None shall pass!