Old World: Family isn't a word. It's a sentence.

Title Old World: Family isn't a word. It's a sentence.
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Game diaries
When July 6, 2021

Families aren't a discrete system in Old World.  They're also not something you can relate to other games you've played.  They're not like combat, or income, or technology, or culture, or religion.  Instead, they're all of those things and more..

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Missing word here: “You may never see a Roman sage, but if you want to play Sages, you’re going to have to play as ”

Typo here: "The bad new is that each nation is limited to four of them. "

There’s actually one overlook bonus from Traders that I really like - most Families like it if their cities are close to each other. For Traders, it’s the opposite - they are happier the farther apart their cities are (which also makes it easier to get the other two families closer together).

Thanks @cornchip and @Mark_Crump!

Ah, I’m glad you brought that up because I have questions! The fact that Traders “prefer distant cities” isn’t quantified in any way. Can you elaborate a bit?

Also, you mention that other families like cities near their other family cities. How is that quantified? I know there’s a (not insignificant!) maintenance cost for distance from capital that applies to all cities. But there are other distance penalties and effects? I don’t recall seeing that in the opinion tooltips.


If you’re racing another nation to finish a Wonder, you’ll get there quicker if you build it at an Artisan Family Seat.

Is that how it works? For me (and maybe this is the difficulty setting I’m playing on), as soon as anyone starts a wonder it’s locked out for everyone else. (Which, given the huge upfront cost and time investment, seems like a much better way of handling things than Civ’s.)

Yeah, this is a little different. There is a family opinion bonus from having their cities close together, and it will tell you what the values will be before founding cities (and it’s only a positive bonus, never negative). In the case of Traders, the farther apart the cities are, the higher the bonus is.

This is how it works - once you start a Wonder, no one else can build it (“Max 1 per Game”). (Took me a long time to abandon the Civ way of doing it, but this is definitely a lot better and is fair because of the resource cost.)

A little bit of Through The Ages influence?

I like it!

The tagline is a bit twee, some marketing dude’s attempt at Wes Anderson, but I’ve stared at it long enough while eating that it feels like it makes sense. It’s appropriate even. And it applies to Children of Morta:

“Family isn’t a word…it’s a sentence.”


Whoa, good sleuthing skillz, @Misguided!


Not really. It stuck with me from the Morta review and came to mind as soon as I read the thread title.

I think Tom would benefit from running replace double space with a single space before posting an article. Not a big problem, but a consistent one!

Real writers use double space.

You better release all this as an Almanach.pdf once it’s done, because that’s exactly what I want to read to get into the spirit of the game, until I can finally play it in a few weeks!


You may never see a Roman sage, but if you want to play Sages, you’re going to have to play as [Roma?]

Hunter cities, like Champsion [sic] cities, get +2 training.

Part of Old World’s brilliance as a design is how it combines its three distinct scales: personal, social, and geopolitical

So Old World is the Barry Lyndon (the movie) of strategy games. I like that!

These write-ups are great and, like @Left_Empty, just what I need to get into the spirit of the game.

I also love the dropping of ‘wonder races’. My experience with Civ is incredibly limited (V and mostly in multiplayer with lots of desyncing) but I clearly recall my friends getting really pissed off when a wonder was finished a turn or two earlier than they were about to finish it. I’m not sure whether you lost the resources but you lost turns/time as well as the wonder so it was a double (possibly triple) whammy. I love Through The Ages and that too dispenses with the wonder races so my thoughts exactly @Bluddy.

They’re the cities where you want to iron

Nobody wants to iron, Tom.

Yeah, I’ve spent decades double-tapping the spacebar after a sentence. It’s a hard habit to shake. Is it messing up the formatting? If so, I’m not averse to running a find/replace, but I think I’m too far along in life to retrain my thumbs.


Btw, old world uses server-client so desyncs are not a thing anymore.