Civilization VI

You could also work on building up your military as enough of a juggernaut that the opinion of the other civs is moot.

Alright. Enough has changed since the arrival of Rise and Fall that I feel like I needed to play this again. This time, with a pair of Civs I was down on - I was reserving them for later plays.


I played with Korea and the Cree. Korea was predictably the science juggernaut. Science out the ears. Auto-4 adjacency for hill Campuses is silly strong when paired with Natural Philosophy. Once Industrial hits, add Heartbeat of Steam Golden Age for +8 Production, +8 Science base. Since your Campuses are strong and discounted, pile on with Divine Spark to get all the Great Scientists. The additional food and science around the Campuses made for a refreshing placement challenge on the build side of the game. It's really different.

The Cree I thought would be meh. Meh scout with a UI (which are typically meh) with situational trade route bonuses. Boy was I wrong. The Cree are extremely strong. The bonus Trader at Pottery can be leveraged for early Suzerainty bonuses. And the extra route persists, so you're getting 4 Trade Routes for the bonus very easily. Since Poundmaker's bonus is trader specific, you want lots of Trade Routes. But barring that, it's NOT situational. There are going to be Camps and Pastures on the map, so it's just a matter of targeting the internal or external cities with them. The UI is a beast. +1 food/+1 Cog at a time when farms are +1 food is incredibly generous. And they give you +1 Housing, so you can really pump up the city sizes early while also pumping up the production. It's like a better Stepwell. They also improve with tech. Eventually, they give +1 food/+2 Cogs/+2 Housing, +gold if next to luxury, +1 Food per adjacent Bonus Resource (even Fish). It almost feels as strong as the Outback Station.

Loyalties and AI reactions are really nice. War of Retribution means you can war with Light Warmonger Penalties if someone breaks their promise. Reconquest War is good if you just want to retake cities. Finally, if you just want to break skulls and take territory, Golden Age War is an option. Between all the Joint War declarations and various shenanigans, the diplomatic scene is very lively.

I've managed to invade the Mapuche with the Cree, after they Surprise War'd me twice and set me back quite a bit. I tried once during a Golden Age, forgetting that they get +10 Strength (!!! that's crazy!) against the units of a Civ in a Golden Age. I was massacred and went into a Dark Age. This is the point at which I realized that Dark Ages are better than Normal Ages! They allow you to use powerful cards. They have drawbacks, but it's easy to work around them. I used Isolationism the most, giving +2 food/+2cogs per internal route. Can't build or use Settlers while using this card, but that's very manageable. Just have to buy them and rush them out when settling is necessary.

I can see using any of the Dark Age cards to really get going, and that sets the stage for a Heroic Age, which is exactly what happened. The Dark Age lowers Loyalty, so it's a bad time to invade, but it did set me up quite nicely for a Heroic Age at which point I took most of the Mapuche cities.

The thing with Loyalty is that you have to station a garrison in captured cities, and you have to put a Governor. They're still on a countdown until you take the capital, so you really should aim for that. You could always just give back all the cities in the peace deal. This removes a LOT of warmonger penalties. That's also doable in some cases. Alternatively, you can take nothing permanently. Just go like a hammer through the enemy territory, pillage everything, and let cities revolt into Free Cities in your wake. This is desirable if you don't actually want any of the cities, and the capital is near your border. Take the capital, take every city near it, and then abandon them to revolt.

Now I'm interested in playing the Mapuche. Each time they kill an enemy unit in a city's borders, they reduce Loyalty by 20 (a city's max loyalty is 100), so 4 or 5 consecutive kills can really put a dent on enemy city loyalties.

And as soon as I though I was really getting in to Civ VI, a couple of days not gaming thanks to relatives visiting, I find myself with little interest in starting a new campaign again. There is something about this iteration of the game I’m finding less than compelling it would seem.

Welp. Now I've tried Robert the Bruce from Scotland. Another strong Civ. Didn't seem like it from the read. His Highlanders are the real deal - Recon units that can fight with regular units. They're quite good for harassing enemy units from high ground and executing civilians. But both that and the Golf Course won't really change your play. The Golf Course and Bruce's Amenity requirements encourage you to play wider, so you have some space somewhere to sneak in the improvement, and as well as Entertainment Districts.

But Scotland's defining traits are scientific and industrious. So long as you keep your people Happy (having a positive in Amenities), you get bonuses to output and Great People Points. Combine with Divine Spark Pantheon and Campuses and Industrial Zones for mad Great People generation.

Bruce himself subtly encourages you to take the part of the weaker civs with his Bannockburn. You have to be Allies or Friends first with a Civ that's got a captured city. Then Denounce the capturing Civ and then declare a War of Liberation. You won't actually be fighting in this war since you more or less want the status quo to remain. Maybe you want some cities to change hands, and you at least want your lesser Civ to survive. Basically, you're treating the Civ like a Protectorate City State. You're milking it for the +100% Production bonus.

My game with him involved some Wars this way, but I also fought a Protectorate War against Scythia because they were attacking Mohenjo-Daro. Some of my cities' Housing were dependent on that client, so I had to protect them. Once I beat back the Scythians, I also attacked Toronto and then Liberated it for the Suzerainty bonus. I got 6 Envoys on Liberation. I took no other cities, but pillaged for the outputs, and exchanged fire for the troop XP. After I cleaned their unit count, took the peace deal for massive income. It may interest some of you to know that I got ZERO Warmonger Penalties for this entire war, including the declaration.

Some Scythian cities were cut off from their main Civ because of this action. One city was too close and flipped in about 20 turns. Also no Warmonger Penalty.

Warmonger Penalty seems to work strangely for me, often in my favor. Germany attacked and captured one of my client states before I had a chance to declare war (Denounce to Casus Belli takes 5 turns). A City State Emergency was declared and I joined. Easy win (Swordsmen and Crossbowmen vs. Warriors and Archers). Then I Liberated an English City and captured some German ones before I took the peace deal. I had -13 Warmonger, but it was more than offset by +20 because I Liberated England's Birmingham City. We have been cordial all game long, even though I'm violating Victoria's Agenda. Indeed, England as Economic Ally and target of Reform the Coinage traders were responsible for my Medieval Era rocketing to first place. Scythia was less pleased, but I didn't care because I wanted to liberate Toronto anyway, and their cities were bad targets (less Districts).

For what it's worth, my wars are very short and to the point. I have never Warred for 30 turns - it's usually over in 10 - 20 if I'm dragging it out for pillaging outputs.

I also play Civ as a building sort of game, with a side of military action - sort of like SimCiv with a more developed war game. It is entirely plausible to play the game like this and do it more or less exclusively defensive (like a tower defense?) when you're attacked. The counter-invasion is generally a foregone conclusion once the enemy units are decimated. I feel like Civ6's building game is definitely a step above every other game in the series.

For instance, since I lacked Mountains for good Campus adjacency, Natural Philosophy was right out. So the play is for Rationalism during the Renaissance. Maximizing Rationalism requires several things which Scotland helps with Great Scientist output:

1. Requires Great Scientists that boost building output (Scottish Renaissance helps this one).
2. Size 10 Cities.
3. Campuses with at least +3 Adjacency Bonus.

Of course Korea automatically gets the third requirement, and Australia can arrange for it relatively easily as well - both strong science players.

Sorbicol wrote:

And as soon as I though I was really getting in to Civ VI, a couple of days not gaming thanks to relatives visiting, I find myself with little interest in starting a new campaign again. There is something about this iteration of the game I’m finding less than compelling it would seem.

turns out I was wrong about this and I've been playing now on King level rather than Prince which has improved the situation considerably for me. Choices now feel a lot more meaningful, and it's back to needing better focus again. I do get a little cheesed off that every solution seems to be "send in the army" though - At least that how it feels for me, but that's probably because I'm still getting to grips with good district placement and playing to each civ's strengths.

I'm enjoying it to be honest - possible more now that Civ V. Sure the AI was a bit better in that game, but Civ VI feels like there is a lot more to do longer into the game, and it's much less a less on just clicking the "end turn" button now. I won't be going back to Prince now I don't think.

It's more war-ish the higher difficulty you go because that's how you compensate for the massive AI bonuses. Emperor is still okay though. King is where I'm comfy myself. I can still outmatch the AI in pure building at King and I can do it fairly consistent with a builder civ. In fact, I just got done doing that with Netherlands. Many players give her Radio Oranje a pass but I used precisely that Leader Bonus to forward-settle both Norway and Greece in my last game - I settled right in the -20 Loyalty area, too!

+1 Loyalty per route doesn't seem like much, but when you throw something like 5 routes into the city, that's significant. With Limitanei providing +2 for a garrisoned unit, Praetorium +2 for the Governor, the Governor himself providing +8, you're at +18 Loyalty base. Growing the city fast will stabilize it very quickly. The Monument helps, too! Many civs can stack Loyalty like this, but Radio Oranje means you can stack as much as your trade can afford and you grow the city quite fast using the same method. +5 Loyalty can mean the difference between peace and revolution!

I'm playing the Khmer now and it's definitely a lot more "builder"-y than every iteration. Many civs will have a basic building paradigm, but Khmer's abilities shake that up a fair bit. For one thing, their Holy Site culture bombs so that's potentially worth a lot, and on top of that, they give you +2 Food and +1 Housing next to a River, so that will usually trump normal adjacency concerns for Holy Sites. In addition, their Aqueduct gives +3 Faith and +1 Amenity and it gives a massive +2 Food adjacency to Farms - normally an amount you only see in the Modern Era. This means that you want Aqueducts in all your cities because even 2 Farm adjacencies will be sufficient for that city through the Industrial Era (assuming the Holy Site is on a River), freeing the citizens to work other tiles. Fitting an Aqueduct into your build queue and district build is definitely a fresh feeling.

Firaxis and Civilization Twitch and youtube channels just lit up

Maybe a city-building spinoff?

We're about due for the second Civ VI expansion announcement.

Yeah, a second expansion please.

Clearly it is a Civilization Is Strange: Before the Storm - adventure spin-off.

Ooo... they could add natural disasters, it would pair nicely with the Emergency system already in place! The rewards would have different, but I would love it if some tsunami destroyed a city, and all players got the option to send workers or money to help out with the rebuilding.

Adding more random events like in your typical Paradox game, could help a lot imo. Civ can get really predictable really fast. As soon as you have explored your starting area and made a few cities pretty much.
Had hoped for much much more from the Emergency system, so greatly expanding it would be nice.

Expansion official, wohoo.

Yep, natural disasters seems confirmed. Some global warming.

And World Congress is back. It is early christmas :O

Some really interesting stuff they're talking about with how you're powering your empire (cities and units).

In Gathering Storm, the second expansion to Civilization VI, the world around you is more alive than ever before.

Chart a path to victory for your people by developing new advanced technologies and engineering projects and negotiating with the global community in the World Congress on critical issues.

The choices you make in the game will influence the world ecosystem and could impact the future of the entire planet. Natural disasters like floods, storms, and volcanoes can pillage or destroy your Improvements and Districts – but they may also refresh and enrich the lands after they pass.

In addition to these new systems, Civilization VI: Gathering Storm introduces eight new civilizations and nine new leaders. Seven new world wonders can be constructed, as well as a variety of new units, districts, buildings, and improvements.
Volcanoes, storms (blizzards, sand storms, tornados, hurricanes), climate change, floods, and droughts.
Strategic resources play an additional role in Gathering Storm. These resources are now consumed in power plants to generate electricity for your cities. Initially you’ll be powering your most advanced buildings by burning carbon-based resources like Coal and Oil, but renewable energy sources also unlock as you progress to current-day technologies. Your choices about resource usage will directly affect the world’s temperature and can cause melting ice caps and rising sea levels.
Shape the world around your empire to overcome unfavorable land conditions by making improvements like canals, dams, tunnels and railroads. When settling cities, consider the flood risk to coastal lowland areas, but keep in mind that in the late-game, new technologies like Flood Barriers can be used to protect these tiles.
Make your voice heard among the other leaders of the world. Earn Diplomatic Favor through Alliances, influencing city-states, competing in World Games, and more. Use Diplomatic Favor to extract promises from other leaders, vote on Resolutions, call a Special Session to address an emergency, and increase the weight of your votes in your quest to achieve the new Diplomatic Victory.
A new era has been added to the Technology and Civics trees. Combat new environmental effects with speculative ideas such as relocating your population out to seasteads and developing technologies to recapture carbon emissions.
Nine new leaders from eight new civilizations are introduced. Each brings unique bonuses and gameplay, as well as a total of nine unique units, four unique buildings, three unique improvements, two unique districts and one unique governor.
The Black Death: The Black Death ravaged Europe and western Asia in the mid-14th century, killing a greater share of the population than any other event in world history. The pandemic killed millions, ruined economies, upended political dynasties and transformed the face of the Western world. Your task is to lead your nation through the calamity: keep your population alive, your economy strong, and your faith unshaken amidst a world of terror and desperation.

War Machine: At the outset of WWI, the German Imperial Army had a daring plan: invade neutral Belgium and then rush the French heartland before they could mobilize to resist. If successful, the German forces would capture Paris within a month and end their resistance forever. In counter, the French command prepared Plan 17, an all-out onslaught designed to meet and stop a German offensive. When war was declared, both armies swung into motion and set up one of the most incredible and shocking military campaigns in world history. In this multiplayer scenario, players take the side of one of these two great powers at this same precipice. As Germany, your task is to capture Paris. As France, your task is to prevent its capture. The clock is ticking, and the enemy is moving. Advance!
Seven new world wonders, seven natural wonders, 18 new units, 15 new improvements, 9 new buildings, 5 new districts, 2 new city sets, 9 new techs and 10 new civics have been added.
The Espionage system has been enhanced with new options, the Culture and Science Victories have been updated, new Historic Moments have been added, and additional improvements have been made to other existing systems.

Blog post from Ed Beach on the changes and additions. This sounds pretty cool overall.

$40? Seems a bit high. That's almost as much as I paid for the base game, which was around $50 IIRC (from GMG or another Steam key seller).

The live stream has gotten into the actual demo, and I'm sold. 100 percent. Love how they continue to evolve the terrain and map to create more strategic decisions about expansion. Just hope it all works (balance) and that the AI can make at least somewhat competent use of all these systems.

Hopefully they go back and 'fix' some of the older systems, rather than just adding more. Otherwise it will be a bit like the previous expansion. Which could use a do-over on pretty much all its systems.

Shadout wrote:

Hopefully they go back and 'fix' some of the older systems, rather than just adding more. Otherwise it will be a bit like the previous expansion. Which could use a do-over on pretty much all its systems.

Firaxis wrote:

The Espionage system has been enhanced with new options, the Culture and Science Victories have been updated, new Historic Moments have been added, and additional improvements have been made to other existing systems.

Plus they're revamping the Warmonger score to account for the Diplomatic victory. Seems like a pretty holistic update.

They also discussed updating the governors to interact with various new systems, so those traits will be shuffled a bit. Existing civs will get some iterated special traits.

Spotted the Galapagos in the live stream there, too, as a new natural wonder. I'm irrationally happy about this.

My pet peeve is the eras. There was such a lack of bonuses to choose from - between 0-1 each time, depending on your focus. Sometimes 2 if you played religion.

I would love to see a lot more options when it comes to eras, too. In a perfect world, there would be a lot of governors added, too - maybe even some civ-specific ones.

That's a good point. Would be shocked if some of that climate/resource stuff doesn't end up coming into play with the eras, better bonuses or immunities on flood plains, etc. etc.

I don't want to be a wet blanket, but doesn't it seem like a lot of the big new stuff is only happening in the very late game? For me, by that time, the game has been decided for a while and it's generally mop-up operations. I know they're adding a new era, but can lower tech enemies do anything meaningful to maybe provide more of a challenge in the late game?

The revisions and improvements seem great, though.

Seems like climate disasters can happen at any point, so that should help break up the monotony of the end game.

Jesus. I haven't even had a chance to play the last expansion.

Whelp, that right there is my Thanksgiving weekend.

I certainly wouldn't go back to non-Rise & Fall. Really enjoyed the changes in 6, and then the additions in the first expansion. It has it's issues, but I'm a lot less critical of Civ games than some, the AI etc, because I have a ton of fun playing every edition.

Can't wait.

The demo took place at the start of the game and in the ancient era, and it seemed like there was a ton of this stuff coming into play. I doubt very much it's going to do anything to make the late game more challenging from the Civ AIs (although the World Congress certainly could, I suppose), but it's adding a lot of player vs. environment challenge that appears to be relevant beginning to end.

There are also changes they didn't discuss to the other victory conditions... perhaps those will make the AI more robust at achieving them? (Not going to hold my breath, but at this point I accept the AI for what it is.)