[Civ6] CivVI Impressions after the Weekend
This is actually an email I sent to a friend today about what I’ve discovered so far:
The Diplomacy screen UI is terrible. You do your “work” in the top left corner of the screen. Then after it’s accepted or rejected, you have to wait a couple of seconds before the button you need to advance the screen comes up – in the bottom left corner. And then to close out of the screen you have to click a little X button in the top right corner, so you have to travel your mouse to all 3 corners of the screen every time you do Diplomacy.
The Spying UI is even worse becuz it shows you a list of cities that you can deploy to, but doesn’t actually show which city you’re already in. You pick your city and then it *displays* a list of your available things you can do in that city, but you can’t click on them, oh no – it’s just a display (and thus confusing and shouldn’t even be there, IMO). You have to click a small button at the bottom of the list (long mouse travel, since you probably clicked toward the top of the list) to confirm that you wanted to go to that city. Then after that click the displayed list changes to active and accepts whatever you click on without a confirmation. If you mis-click, then you have to go find the spy, click him, then click “cancel” on him and he loses his action for the turn, and next turn you can repeat that process, hopefully not mis-clicking this time.
Trade UI is a bit weird too. I’ve read that you do have the ability to send a trader to a different city to start trading from there, but I haven’t found it yet. In the early game internal trade routes can give you a really nice boost to food and production, but if you let that go too long your cities will “overgrow” your natural food production and if you want to do international trade for money, culture, science, etc then your cities will decrease in population if you don’t make the switch early enough.
Why no option to turn off espionage? Why no option to have no city-states? Why no option to have double the amount of city-states?
If you lose the game, it doesn’t tell you why, just says “You lost.” How am I supposed to know what to try to stop from happening in the future if I don’t know what happened? I mean… I did a duel with Kongo and he asked me to establish an embassy and I said “ok” and boom! I lost. And I have absolutely no idea why. How does establishing diplomatic ties equal a loss? It was the same when I didn’t know that there was a possible religious victory and the Aztecs sent a wave of Apostles and Missionaries through my lands and suddenly “you lost.” This was on turn 212 in a Settler-level game. I had no idea what had happened, or how I’d lost so early on.
The replay is also just a series of graphs – the map is not there yet again. It wasn’t in Civ5 at the beginning either and got added in later due to player demands. Since the devs know it will be demanded, why didn’t they have it in from the get-go?
Religious fighting is pretty interesting. Basically religious units can’t be attacked by normal ones, nor can they attack normal units either. Missionaries can spread religion and defend themselves, but can’t attack. Apostles spread religion and can attack or defend. They also can add beliefs to your religion and open an Inquisition. Starting an Inquisition allows you to create Inquisitors which can attack Apostles and Missionaries, as well as remove opposing religious views from your cities. They toss lightning around at each other when they fight, so it’s a little like watching wizards go at it. When you kill a unit from a different religion any city within 6 tiles will also remove a bunch of that religious influence from it and gain a bunch of your own, so doing religious battle can affect 2-3 cities at a time and might be more effective than simply spreading the religion.
You can cheese wins for achievements really easily. Choose Russia as your civ, set a custom time limit on the game of 1 turn. Settle your city, click next turn. You win! Watch those achievements roll in! This is due to Russia getting the Civ5 Shoshone’s power of extra tiles on settlement, which increases their score above any other civ in that 1st turn and thus guarantees the victory.
Another easy win is a duel vs Konga on the Pangaea map. Set religious victory as the only win condition, then play as you normally would until you establish a religion, then start spamming Missionaries at him. You get the religious victory very quickly doing that, since he can’t create a religion to fight against you and actively wants you to spread yours to him. The corollary to this is that if you’re playing as Kongo, you might want to turn off the Religious Victory condition especially on a smaller map since you can’t really defend against it.
Fresh water is critical to your early city development. City size is limited by your “housing” stat, and a city without fresh water starts with only 2 housing, while with fresh water starts at 6. The Aqueduct can help if you find a really good spot that’s only 1 space away from a fresh water source (river, lake, oasis, or mountain – yes, the aqueduct turns a mountain into a fresh water source).
The AI tends to be pretty aggressive early on. I’d meet a civ and they’d declare war on me that instant. And then after I’d not see them again for 100 turns and finally pick off a unit they’d sure for peace, and then suddenly we’d be best friends, all the way up to alliance.
It’s hard to get a city much above size 20 due to limited food production. Playing as Rome last night, I made it up to size 24 in Rome and size 22 for 2 other cities by using multiple internal trade routes that gave massive amounts of food, but building districts and wonders completely destroy any production on the tile they’re built on, so expanding your city and building lots of wonders can reduce your food production. I was pretty haphazard on how I built out, though. Had I planned ahead better for when you get the “bonus food for clusters of farms” instead of spreading everything out as I did, I might have done better.
Try to cluster your districts together as best you can so that 1 spy can defend many districts at once. Something else that seems to work nicely is clustering districts from multiple cities in the same area, so if you can build your cities in a circle or triangle and build up an urban core in the middle then they reinforce each other and give big “adjacency bonuses.” Then you can put your farms to the “outside” of your shape and cluster them also so that they give a bonus to their yield (eventually) also, which might help in getting bigger cities so you can get all the districts.
Woods kinda suck in the early game until you can build lumber mills. Until then, you can spam out builders and cut the all the woods you can find down for big production bonuses in your capital, even when they’re outside your borders. Some are calling this an exploit, though.
The Oracle is an amazingly overpowered wonder giving Great Person Points for each district you build that other civs won’t get. Build it ASAP. This is a big deal becuz Great People are now a competition with the other Civs. If they gain one 1st, then any contribution you had toward earning that one is lost and you all start fresh to compete for the next one. Same for you – if you get one, they all lose out. They don’t have static abilities either, so this Great Scientist might give a boost to 3 random techs, that one might give a boost to 2 specific techs, and that other one might just plain give a flat boost of 250 science per mountain that you expend him next to. Or this Great Engineer might help build wonders, while that one might give a permanent production bonus to the city. This Great Artist might paint, that one might do sculpture. Etc.
Venetian Armory is also wickedly OP if you’re going for a big navy since it give you a double-build on any naval unit built anywhere in your civ, not just in the city where this was built.
Deleting a unit gives a ton of cash, even if it’s outside your borders. Scythians can abuse this mechanic in the early game by building light cavalry units (especially using builders to boost production by cutting down forests) since their civ-bonus is double builds of any cavalry, so they build 1, get 2, sell both, use the cash to buy something else, etc. This is thought to be a bug. Or something in need of a severe nerf.
There aren’t any social policies that will give late-game cities production bonuses like they did in Civ5, so when I had to build some cities halfway across the map to get Niter, Aluminum, and Uranium, I had to make sure to send along several builders and defensive units, and then buy up the tiles I wanted. They never “caught up” so to speak. In fact, the more cities and districts you’ve built, the more expensive later ones become, so late-game cities actually have a disadvantage since they will want to build workshops and factories, but that requires building a district and they’re little and don’t have much production so a district takes a long time…. You can’t buy a district, so you can’t rush buildings until after the district is up and running. The district itself gets built the long way of waiting for “next turn.” Military Engineer’s Airstrips do NOT count as airports for airlift purposes either. They have to build an aerodrome district.
Archaeologist have 3 charges like a builder, but I didn’t notice that showing up on their UI. I didn’t really pay attention to them since I was assuming they’d be single-use like in Civ5, but I cleared 3 spots with one before he went poof.
In the early game, your cities can’t bombard incoming attackers until you build some walls. After you build walls, most damage goes to them 1st before the city and most units have a damage penalty vs walls, so they’re a quite powerful thing to have. Siege Towers let you ignore walls. Battering Rams remove your damage penalty vs walls. And once you get catapults they do damage bonus vs walls, but they take time to get into position and can’t fire on a turn where they move, so… IMO, build a siege tower for every 3rd melee and link it and then cities are pretty easy to take since they just ignore the walls. Eventually this stops being a thing in the later game though and once cities are automatically defended you can’t even build walls anymore. I’m not quite sure when it happened. You can do classic, medieval, and renaissance walls, so I’m assuming it stopped being a thing once I hit modern or atomic era.
In the late game you can combine units into “formations.” Basically it powers up the initial unit by a pretty substantial amount. Another nice bonus is that when you combine 2 units the higher promotion/experience level stays, so your early game units that you managed to keep alive and get promoted and upgraded can get upgraded yet again by combining other freshly built units into them. You can combine a max of 3 units in this way once you gain the full ability. You can also build them in the maxed out formation as well, though this obviously takes longer than building a single unit.
When you upgrade a unit it immediately goes to whatever is the current one, without needing intermediate steps if you left off for a long time. Or if you never got iron and couldn’t upgrade to swordsman, you can still skip to musketman – assuming you have niter 😉
For city-states you pretty much want to try to get 6 envoys to each for maximum bonuses. And after that if you can be suzerain and thus get their resources, that’s cool too, but it seems like the biggest thing it to have at least 1 envoy with all of them, 6 if possible for max bonus, and suzerain is nice, but not too big a deal. On a larger map you simply won’t be able to get enough envoys to be suzerain of all of them anyway, unlike in Civ5 where you could just buy their loyalty very easily.
Happy gaming out there!