Civilization IV - Is it possible to pick the colors?

What in the hell is up with the default color scheme for this thing? It seems to go out of its way to pick a mixture of “light purple, dark purple, light blue, dark blue,” and similar schemes, for most games.

I imagine that each civilization has its own default color, and I’m just randomly getting stuck with ones that are similar? I’m not color blind, but the last game I played it was really freaking hard to pick out the light tan, beige, and parchment colors that its seemed three civilizations had that started very close together.

Is there a way to change this, so that no matter what the civilizations, bold contrasting colors are used?

Also, as an aside just because I started a thread, I’m not sure if I really suck or if something odd is going on. Even playing on noble level, by 600 B.C. the computer player is attacking me with hordes of troops that I would not have been able to create with my civilization had I simply dedicated myself solely to producing military. I’m getting hit with stacks of 10 chariots, spearmen, etc. when I’m lucky to have a couple of archers or spearmen per city.

My last noble game I only survived as long as Churchill and Stalin hated each other more than me. I was struggling to keep up in the tech race and keep 4 balanced up to date defenders in each of my core cities and 6-8 on the border cities. Churchill and Stalin each had 10+ in every city and a couple of stacks of 40+ roaming the countryside. A lot of stacks were so big that they couldn’t all display in the pop-up on 1920x120 resolution. Totally insane. Either one could wipe out my entire civilization in one war if they knew how to use them. It’s like they didn’t pay maintenance or something.

The funny thing was every time they went to war they would move all of their giant stacks into one adjacent city and stay there until peace was forced upon them by the Apocalyptic Palace or the UN, thus all they did was swap similar cities and wait to see whose would culture flip back first. And their 40 units would always be too scared to attack until the defense bonus was 0%.

I think that even on Noble the AI gets discounts on army building, to make up for poor tactical ability.

Hmm… sounds like your early expansion game is weak. Though it might seem morally detestable, be sure to use the slavery civic to help pump out settlers. Chances are you’ll reach the point when cities cannot grow usefully grow any bigger due to sanitation and anger. Then, don’t worry about equally defending all cities, and put the bulk of your defense into border cities. The AI is rarely smart enough to do an interior attack.

At Noble, I thought they paid full price, but got a discount on maintaining and upgrading them. I’ll have to open the XML and check.

I was under the impression the civ 4 AI didn’t cheat. Well that’s me disappointed :(

It depends on what difficulty you play at. At some levels the AI gets advantages, at some levels human players get advantages. I think prince is the “even” version.

Some people assume that there are multipel AI’s coded, so when you choose a difficulty you are choosing which AI to play against. That isn’t how it works, Firaxis wanted the best AI possible and wouldn’t program a gimped Ai to play against, instead they have one AI that plays as smart as possible (considering the constraints CIV4 offers) and then it is handicapped not by making bad decisions but by production modifiers and such on lower levels.

SlyFrog: See this post from the CivFanatics forum. Haven’t tested it myself, though.

Table of AI advantages on all levels and mod to reduce them

Oo, interesting.
I wonder why they chose not to have the “easier” AI’s just not compute as many things and so on? This way, if you get production bonuses etc, something that worked on one difficulty level completely blows your economy on another! IF there’s one thing that fucks me off, it’s the AI “cheating”, especially if it’s not explicitly mentioned.

The sad reality is that the AI in virtually every tactical or strategic game cheats.


Without cheating there is no such thing as a “hard” AI for a game like Civ4.

Programming the AI is one of the biggest challenges for a video game. To ask for multiple AI’s for different difficulty levels is like asking for different graphics engines. I couldn’t even imagine how big that task would be. Also a lot of bugs come from the AI code, writing several different AI’s would multiply the bugs and make much more difficult to track each one down.

AI “cheating” is common in all games. FPS games modify speed, accuracy and damage based on the difficulty. I dont believe most have different AI’s based on the difficulty they are using. (thats my guess, I could be wrong)

Civ4 has an additional AI challenge that most games don’t have to deal with. It was created from the group up to be fundamentally moddable. Because of that they couldnt “hard code” anything in the Ai (since the Ai had to work even if every resource in the game was replaced). Because of that there isn’t anyplace in the AI code where it says to build a barracks, or build a rifleman. Instead the AI considers the attributes of the object it considering to pick the one that would be best for it. If it thinks a city needs protection it looks through the units it can build and tries to find the one that is best suited to defend that city, etc.

It really is pretty amazing that you can throw in high movement unti and the Ai is smart enough to build some for exploration and grabbign enemy workers, or you can build a unit that isnt quite as powerful as another but is way undercosted and the AI will realize that they are a good deal and start churning them out. Its not perfect but it is impressive for what it is.

I have no problems with cheating; it’s when it’s masked. “No! Our AI is really clever” when it’s getting bonuses on upkeep and so on. I like them to clearly say “from this point on it cheats”.

I’m well aware of how large a task writing an AI is. But I didn’t call for multiple ones. Unless it’s implemented in a radical way most of the algorithms present in an AI will require some stage of itertion - ie how much time it spends calculating certain things. To make an easier AI from a more challenging one it’s possible to scale it back by disabling certain parts.

AI “cheating” is common in all games. FPS games modify speed, accuracy and damage based on the difficulty. I dont believe most have different AI’s based on the difficulty they are using. (thats my guess, I could be wrong)

I don’t think this analogy is applicable. When playing a strategy game AI it is essentially a replacement for a human counter part. They should be playing by the same rules as you. Imagine if it’s a board game (which it essentially is). Wouldn’t it be unfair if they got £400 whenever they went past Go?

As for the rest; I, for one, was extremely impressed by the Civ IV AI. It was a definate improvment over 3, for instance. As you pointed out, the fact it can adapt to player modifications is extremely impressive. However at no point did I say the AI was bad. I just mentioned my dislike for not only cheating AI’s but especially when it’s not clearly stated.

Thats fair, it would be nice if a mouseover on the difficulty selection would say exactly what was modified by that difficulty.

Thanks, I may just give this a try. It’s got to be better than trying to separate burnt yellow from taupe from tan.