European-Style Civilization V

| Friday, June 15, 2012
In the world we have seven continents: North and South Americas, Antarctica, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Europe.  Within Europe there are between ten million and one hundred gazillion countries.  Or about 50, but I cannot count past 41.  After that things just get fuzzy and I start to panic.  Within those countries are various ethnic and cultural groups which often seek to divide their countries.  But of course division spawns division so you know they'd just form new groups to hate each other.  It's a fractal of division.

And a breeding ground for war between small countries.

Lately I've been using this as the inspiration for my games of Civilization.  Rather than having a half-dozen civilizations and a dozen city-states, all with room to comfortable build a half-dozen cities, I instead have no city states, replacing them with civilizations, and use a map too small for them.  The result is a lot of civilizations of 1-3 cities, with barely any room at all.  And of course, a lot of war.

The effects can be strange.  While war is generally destructive, having so many civilizations also means a lot of research agreements, so science can move ahead quickly.  The constant war, and constant need for war, means that diplomacy isn't going to keep anyone alive, because no one trusts anyone enough.  Odds are, they've been at war before and will be at war again.  With only a couple cities these aren't big wars, but enough skirmishes to keep everyone nice and angry, but without the nice, so just angry.  City placement is even more important, since if you're only going to get a few, they'd better be great.   While there is temptation to try to get every single tile covered, there is a limit to how close cities can be built and borders can expand far enough that these cities tend not to add much and don't work at all due to the happiness mechanic in Civ V.

Have you found any settings to dramatically change the way you play your games?


Kring said...

> And a breeding ground for war between small
> countries.

The big countries are the ones who seek war. Small countries cannot afford war (not enough warm bodies, not enough money, not enough land/people to sustain food/ammunation.)

Klepsacovic said...

I don't mean Lichtenstein small, but Serbia small. Though even at small scales, conflict is possible (perhaps we'd not call it war): cattle raiding is an old human past time.

theB said...

i doubt serbia would have the juice to attack anyone without russian support.

Anonymous said...

Thats pretty much how I've been playing all my games of Civ 5 for the past half year or so.

No matter how you choose to play or what settings you choose, the game ALWAYS turns into every civ warring with each other. Your friends will always betray you and your enemys will always DOW you over and over again no matter how bad you spank them each time. The AI has no other way of playing like in past versions of the game. I never declare war first because it will inevitably happen anyway.

So I've been playing on large maps with every civilization in the base game and dlc's going at it (somewhere in the mid 20's). War is declared almost from the get go to the very end. But even that type of gameplay is becoming boring so the new expansion is coming around at the right time. Hopefully diplomacy is improved so that war won't always become the de facto option.

Klepsacovic said...

@theB: There were the wars/genocides within the Balkans.

@Anonymous: I does seem that the "AI plays to win" aspect has caused the AI to be so self-focused as to be incapable of cooperation. It would be nice to see the return of alliances and vassals.

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