Civilization VI


Did she play Civ V at all?


Yep and she liked it a lot too. I’m the reason we stopped playing CiV IV. To be fair, we played it for years, like five, six… maybe even seven years. It was the go to game for I want to play something not too fast paced, maybe watch TV, surf the net. We played a ton. I asked to stop because I wanted something else. I felt like we needed to try something newish.

I got out of CIV V because I hated the demo, like really hated it. When she asked for CIV VI… well it was past time I gave her something because I keep dragging her and others into these other games to try myself. If I suffer through this game enough, I am sure I’ll get her try another others with me later.

To be fair to CIV VI, I do like the early parts, and the barbarians can be hard, like I started with a horse barb showing up on my 5th turn or something but I hate the wars, diplomacy and the AI speckles cities around they can’t defend.


If you both like WWII, you should give Strategic Command a try. Once you get the rules down it is so awesome.


That’s a war game right? We don’t really play war games. That’s an actual war game right. The them she likes is more of the build civilization stuff and not the war pieces so EUIV, CIV, and then a numebr of city builders like Tropico. War is…secondary, tertiary at best.


Yes it is :)
You mentioned how bad the war part was, so wasn’t sure if you wanted a game that focused on that aspect, does it well, and is fun to do mp.


While I enjoyed BattleMasters as a kid, ever since GemFire, Genghis Khan 2, Nobunaga’s Ambition days, I like games with heavy building part and then some war. I feel like since they got rid of the stacks of doom they wound up with a game the AI just doesn’t play very well which wouldn’t be that bad if they didn’t also give it the most idiotic reasons for declaring war too.

The English can’t even reach me… and she declares war. wth.


I’m never sure what irks me more with that stuff. Is it that the developers never bothered to put in a simple check (If I’m not on the same continent, do I have ocean going vessels? No? Then no war) or is it that the AI clearly has no idea of what it’s supposed to be doing?

There should at least be a motivation of some sort to declare a war. Wars are costly and wars are risky. Even if the AI is playing like board game players, they shouldn’t just randomly declare it. They should declare war when they have something to gain by it. If you’re on the opposite end of the continent or on a different continent entirely, it’s impossible to even wage a war, let alone actually gain anything from it. The AI should put those resources towards more settlers, workers, buildings, etc.


I might be misremebering, but I feel like with CIV IV if someone across the seas declared war on me within a few turns they’d show up with a bunch of ships and land with their stacks of doom. I might question how much cheating the AI got to beeline for the one city with the weakest defense in the middle of my place but hey at least I knew yep, they’re ready to take me, and if I survive the first few onslaughts I can make it out of this.

This game, I’m like, well it’s been a few generations, maybe I should just demand some gold from her and see if she will end this pointless war… yep.


I may be misremembering, but I think the Civ4 AI waited to declare war until it had to (meaning when it had to actually enter your territory).


It seems unlikely you are misremembering. I definitely remember watching SOD come up to what I hoped was my biggest rival only to veer into my territory, accompany by DOW by both countries.

@SorenJohnson what are your thoughts on Civ 6. Most importantly, us amateur AI guys have been speculating that 1UPT makes AI harder to program. Is that really true?


I think asking Soren to pass judgment on Civ games that aren’t III or IV is kinda unfair.


I think I remember Civ III being this way. But I can’t remember for sure, it’s been too long.


Really why? If he doesn’t want to answer that’s fine. But he hasn’t been an employee of Firaxis for many years.and he is still involved in developing strategy games. Most importantly not only is the AI in Civ IV the best in the series, the computer opponent in Off World Trading Company also was a very challenging opponent.

I once attended a talk Soren gave at GDC on among other subjects creating good AI.


Yup. Civ 4 definitely had the most fine tuned UI and AI. Reading Sulla’s page and tons of Civ 4, 5, and 6 articles really gives you an understanding of how the series has taken huge steps backward since 4 in more areas than not. The only neat new additions that (sort of) work in 6 are districts and boosts. Everything else is a complete mess.

He also mentioned the difference in development. 4 was made with consulting tons of hardcore tournament Civ 3 fans. 5 & 6 were mostly small, closed teams who either had no clue what they were doing, or whose input fell on deaf designer ears. Stuff like Magnus’ double chop governor bonus shows they have no clue what they’re doing. The rumor that the entire team hated the “must have full movement cost to move into a space” change but Ed Beach insisted it stay shows it’s probably an upper management problem.

Stacks of doom weren’t even THAT overpowered. Experienced players knew how to trap them and take them apart. But they were effective enough that it gave the economically powerful, but tactically deficient AI a fighting chance. I’ll take the SOD bulkiness over the 1UPT disaster any day.


Yeah. I think this is a key point.

A pretty large segment of the people who post on forums like this want the game tailored for the expert and near-expert. People who play the game dozens and dozens of times, and get to know/hate all the loopholes, all the exploits, all the choices with a clear best answer, all the areas where the AI is unable to follow through on its threats, etc.

But a pretty large segment of the buying public buys a game, plays it a few times, and that is it. Which leads to quite a different perspective. Thinking through my own experiences, the first time or two that I played the orginal civ, the first time I played any succeeding version, the first time I played Rise and Fall, I can still get a glimpse of this perspective. It’s a different game, more of an adventure into the unknown, more of role-playing a civ through the ages, and far less a strategic analysis of the rules. Except that, well, I will come back to the except.

My sense is that at least since 4, Firaxis has been increasingly concerned about the latter group. I’m thinking that this is basically a business decision, thinking that like all companies, they need growth, and the less hard-core audience is required for growth. The outsized personalities of AI opponents fits this well. They have put a lot of resources into making you despise your rivals, which has a much broader appeal than detailed strategizing, min-maxing etc.

I understand Firaxis’s concern. They are big and secure compared to indie developers, but PC gaming isn’t all that big a pond, and they are by no means an entertainment giant, their resources are definitely limited. And their priorities seem to be to broaden appeal as opposed to catering to the near-expert crowd, who they hope can be mollified with multi-player and mods. And perhaps they really have no choice; it would be extremely difficult to expand the audience for the game without expanding features, and expanded features makes good AI ever more expensive to pursue, and good AI is really the only way to satisfy the expert crowd.

But despite the fact that I personally enjoy the game immensely (I am aggravated by several things, but I clearly come back to it over all the alternatives out there), I have a sense that their business decisions are transforming Civ into a very un-cool game. Wherever you go and read about gaming, smart people are slamming the game, such that it is embarrassing to speak out and say you think it is a lot of fun… and THAT alone is likely to sink their plans to grow the base.

Further, I think they are overlooking a fundamental shift in the audience for games. Nowadays, a huge portion of gamers watch gameplay online before ever buying or at least before playing much… so they are far quicker to become knowledgeable players, who then complain far sooner about the repetiveness caused by unclosed loopholes and exploits. It’s all well and fine for players like myself to say, “Hey, I know that that is OP to the point of broken, so I won’t use it.” From what I am seeing, a large number of people have this compulsion to take shortcuts to discover all the exploits, but then don’t enjoy the game because of the exploits… and then put the game down, creating negative buzz. Probably even worse for makers of CRPGs whose audience tends to look up all the spoilers ahead of time, but then doesn’t like the game because the adventure isn’t very adventurous. But also true for a strategy game like Civ.

But let’s face it, if Ed Beach asked me for advice as to direction, I wouldn’t know what to tell him. Because the other route is fraught, too. Catering to the hard-core from past versions is always going to be problematic, because of the nostalgia factor. People get attached to myriad different details from a past versions, so pretty much no matter what you change, you’ll have a crowd howling over missing that wonderful aspect of the past version.


I may have missed this being linked, but here are the changes planned for the Spring Update.

To me the only thing I want/need to enjoy this game would be a vastly improved AI that makes sense in it’s decisions (from declaring war to getting annoyed) and while they do mention the AI getting improved here, I’m not convinced this is the patch I’m waiting for.



This is the patch I’ve been waiting for.


Great post, good sir.

Heck, we just had this discussion about Falcon 4.0 in another thread. Some people said that by catering to the hardcore, the flight sim essentially died.

For me personally, I have my own individual quirks that I absolutely cannot do without. I just love discovering those huts all over the Earth map. And I like saving the game right before discovering a hut and continuously loading until I get the best possible hut. One of the Civs had this pre-rolled odds option so that no matter how many times you loaded the game, you got the same result for huts and for combat. It drove me crazy. I just couldn’t play with that option enabled because of previous Civ-game habits I’d developed.

I guess I like a challenge, but I also love exploiting any advantage I can possibly exploit while I’m playing.

It’s weird, but I have absolutely no interest in a Civ game that:

  • Doesn’t have an Earth map.
  • Doesn’t allow me to save scum and get the best possible huts on said Earth map.


See that’s not me. I just play games to have fun. I don’t even mind if there is a somewhat noticeable deficit… but Civ VI’s is glaring and frustratingly so bad. It’s not something I can overlook, not because I want to have some sort of tactical war game that has me moving my pieces so precisely that I it’s like the art of war strategies here… I just don’t want the AI squeeze a bunch of cities into a space too small, declare wars that make no sense to engage in AND be unable actually play the tactic they designed the game to use by going with a single unit per hex system.

Aka, I am not interested in hardcore war-games in my civilization games and even I find the AI to be outrageously incompetent in the wars it starts.