Civ5: Brave New World

No screenies in this post, just a nice wall of text.

As I’m sure you already know, Civ5 recently came out with a new expansion.  9 new civs, some new wonders, existing wonders re-tooled, new game mechanics, etc.  They’ve all been detailed in the reviews and you can read them elsewhere.  I’ve been playing a lot since it came out since I have this thing where I like to play as every civ, perhaps try to get a unique achievement or something beyond the bog-standard “you won with this civilization” one.

My impressions —

The Good:

  • Now that spies can act as diplomats there’s actually a point to using it, if only as a diplomatic tool.
  • Trade routes are now a thing, instead of merely cash in the bank
  • Cultural victory is now more involved than simply getting your social policies and building a wonder

The Bad:

  • New civ descriptions are oftentimes vague and you have to play the civ to figure out what it means.  I *still* don’t know what Portugal’s “resource diversity gold bonus from trade routes” means.  I think I get the gist, but it’s not spelled out anywhere
  • Science needed for a new tech now scales with the number of cities you have.  Arguably this is good, but it scales poorly so if you don’t have a small core of only 3-5 cities and then a lot of puppets your science output is relatively a lot lower than it used to be
  • The trade caravans and cargo ships really clutter up the screen.  There’s really not much point in sending them to city-states either, as sending them to other civs always gives far larger bonuses.
  • Archaeology is pointless except to accelerate your already way too easy and fast cultural victory

The Ugly:

  • Cultural victory is WAY too easy to achieve.  In my 7 playthroughs with the various civs since the expansion dropped I’ve done 6 out of 7 victories as cultural, and on the 7th one, even though I put absolutely no effort into culture at all I still was “right there” for cultural victory
  • Having a lovely city-state ally providing you lots of good stuff and watching it turn purple as Venice puppets it
  • Still have no idea why city-states take 30-50 turns after allying with you to decide to start providing resources that they already have upgraded, but if they aren’t upgraded and you give them another 200 gold you get them instantly
  • “Just one more turn . . . ” is more valid than ever.  I’ve stayed up WAY too late many nights trying to do that one more thing . . . .


Impressions of the various civs I’ve played so far:

Zulu – wicked OP military in the early game, but “bog standard” once you get into the Renaissance and beyond

Brazil – standard early on, but then Carnival is wickedly OP once you start getting tourism going.  Cultural victory in turn 302?  Too fast!

Morroco – The Kasbah improvement for desert tiles rocks!  Nothing really special about them otherwise.

Venice – sounds more fun on paper than it is in practice.  It’s certainly not *bad* but has some frustrations from not being able to set your own borders and then also deciding if you even want to puppet a city-state and lose the ally bonuses is often a nasty trade-off

Portugal – kinda meh, though the gold boost you can get from chain-building the Nau unit in the mid-game is kinda nice.  The Feitoria is kinda useless since you ally with all the city-states eventually anyway so you get the resources regardless

Shoshone – expand early, expand often.  The Pathfinder unit is quite interesting with being able to choose from a list of options when finding a ruin, and getting 15 tiles for a city on build instead of 7 is pretty nice for establishing your borders early on while the 15% home-ground combat advantage helps you keep it, but then it becomes a standard civ once the borders are stabilized up against the others.

Assyrians – Royal Library is a nice military boost in the mid-game after you’ve got a few great works under your belt.  Siege towers would be awesome in the early game if you’re military-minded.  Similar to the Hun’s battering ram, but they also give 50% bonus to any unit within 2 tiles attacking the city as well.  Not quite as OP militarily in the early game as the Zulu, but still very much up there.  If you don’t go the military route during the Classical Era though… pretty standard civ.

Still have the Indonesians and Polish to go.


Posted on July 18, 2013, in Civilization 5. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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