Civilization 7

Soren, the 4X prophet, tried to do something with it in Civ4 and couldn’t do anything enjoyable with it. So he made golden eras instead. Civ6 expansions tried to crack it and they say it is useful but I dunno, to me it looks like a punishment mechanic that is not enjoyable to work around.

I’d buy that game (series).

In the world of lite boardgames, there’s the mechanic that Small World used. Each civilization starts off with a chunk of vitality measured in units. Units spread out to gain territory. Over turns, those units are lost by enemy action and attrition. With only super-rare exceptions, you don’t get any more units. At any time, you can choose to dump your civilization in favor of a new one fully stocked with new units. Your old civilization stays out and you still get points for them until those old units are eaten up by other players (or even your new units).

This wouldn’t necessarily provide a through-line of, say, France through the Ages, as enjoyed by previous Civ games. Maybe if there was a rule following Small World’s lead where a player’s new civ had to spring from territory held by the old one. I didn’t mention it yet, but each base Small World civilization/race also had a modifying adjective added to it. This really mixed up the variety of potential enemy nations. Add a tech tree, some other Civ elements, and voila, a new Civ design.

That’s a good idea yeah. If you’re going to have disasters, have them happen while the player isn’t playing.

Agreed. It’s sort of a 4x where the end game is an auto battler - you build the best you can, then see how your civ fares in an (uncontrollable, random) disaster of sorts (environmental, civil, etc).

Some may hate it. But RimWorld shows plenty could love losing, if presented in the right way. That games makes a strong point that if the RNG eliminates your colonists, more will show up to inhabit your base. Life finds a way.

The same thought occurred to me. The player know it will or should happen and they have agency in choosing when it happens to maximize their position on the game.

Civ6 did have the Rise and Fall expansion with golden ages and dark ages. Although dark ages reduced loyalty which could lead to loss of territory, the reality is that it is easy enough to offset and ride it out. Certainly any loss was rather minor on the fringes of you’re empire.

I definitely think the Small World line has potential for a way to do it. I think you could go for pulling over some legacy traits or other aspects of the civ you were abandoning to give you that throughline. Which I guess is how Humankind handled it, come to think of it. You had a legacy trait(kind of a boring modifier, I’d prefer some flavor to it) and the cities all got their names from the culture that founded them, so you’d have the old culture live on in your city names.

Could work; that’s not dissimilar to an idea I’ve had kicking around for a civ-themed boardgame.

Personally I’d like to see a civ roguelike (can we call it Rogue States?). It’s difficult to impossible for an empire to last more than a couple of ages. If you can lead your empire to survive and do well enough in the bronze age, you unlock the ability to start an empire in the iron age etc. As long as the achievements you make in each game are suitably impressive, perhaps the inevitable decline and fall is offset by all the shiny new unlocks you get to play with.

We know Ed Beach designer of Civ VI is continuing on as lead designer of Civ VII. We know that he likes puzzley games with intricate parts requiring planning well in advance for optimal play. We also know Civ VI was extremely popular, so it seems likely he’ll double down at least as far as his overall game design philosophy.

Really? This is concerning. This will be the first time Civ is designed by the same person, and he also handled Civ5 expansions. This means the same person is in charge of Civ for what, 12 years? It might get a little stale!

Civ 1 - Sid Meier & Bruce Shelley
Civ 2 - Brian Reynolds, Douglas Caspian-Kaufman & Jeff Briggs
Civ 3 - Jeff Briggs & Soren Johnson
Civ 4 - Soren Johnson
Civ 5 - Jon Schafer
Civ Rev - Sid Meier
Civ 6 - Ed Beach

Did I get that right?

Per Polygon (quoting from a Take2 Announcement they don’t appear to have included a link to).

Ed Beach is a boardgame guy, he is boardgame famous for Here I Stand and Virgin Queen.

No one is expecting a deep wargame out of the Civ series. But you just stated the core problem with recent editions. The AI is too stupid to move melee units in front of ranged units. It’s too stupid to keep its leaders stacked when they are literally the only units who can stack. When attacking a target, it’s too stupid to use ranged units first. You don’t have to be a genius to code that kind of thing. It’s literally just sorting ranged units to move before melee units and leaders to move last and stay stacked. You just need the slightest interest in playing the game as a designer or a coder to implement such basic tactics, and yet Civ VI doesn’t do it.

Agreed, and I’m willing to look past them all and enjoy what’s there, a lot. It’s fun. Maybe part of my brain thinks that tactical blunders and total lack of strategy are surprisingly common in history so it’s fine.

Actually in Civ VI I can still sometimes underestimate what an invasion will take. It’s fun to be bogged down and sue for peace.

If he doubles down on the puzzley aspect I’m out. I’d want to see them lighten that aspect if anything. Min-maxing takes so much focus away from the game itself. It’s the reason I had a hard time with VI is you get so focused on that, you kinda lose the Civ part of the game.

For me, the devil was in the details. I was okay with the idea of puzzling out where I would put the dam and the aqueduct to maximize my industrial district. That strikes me as fun and not too onerous. But then they muck it up by 1) having the discovery of some resource on a tile prohibit the use of the tile for anything else – leading to a perverse strategy of not discovering certain resources until certain things are built. I mean, wtf. And 2) River tiles being very arbitrarily labeled, such that it was not always clear ahead of time where you could or could not build a dam.

But… all this just reinforces my view that I need to play this game (like all civ games) in the same spirit as I would read a Stephen King mystery or my friends watch their favorite TV sitcoms. That’s why the cartoonish graphics (and similar silliness in many earlier iterations), and that’s why the game is so easy on anything like standard difficulty. If I am playing on a high difficulty where it really matters all that much whether I min-maxed the placement of each district, I’m trying to get the game to be something it doesn’t seem designed to be.

And when I look at it that way, the only huge complaint I had with Civ VI was that on original release, the religious game clogged up the map and made gameplay tedious. But that was fixed a long time ago.