The Strategy Group got together last Friday night for our first run at Civilization V.
We managed to browbeat Potshot into upgrading to the Gods and Kings and Brave New World expansions, which I understand was cheaper than trying to just get Gods and Kings, which was our target content. That gave us religion as an aspect of the game, though tourism was not yet within our grasp. We all got into our Google+ hangout, got ourselves a bit ogranized, and
As we did in our test run last week, Potshot hosted and select the game options. We went with the Pangea map in order to make sure we were all on one landmass. All victory conditions were allowed. Barbarians were on, but not extra raging. Difficulty level was Prince for all of us. We threw two computer controlled civs into the mix. We elected to go with random civs. And off we went.
Certainly at the start it felt very much like a single player game. Well, the turns took a bit longer than an early game, as we settled down into the routine. There was some getting used to the fact that you have to click “next turn” or hit return to end your turn, and after a couple of fumbles and “wait, is everybody waiting on me?” moments, we all finally figured out that if you select “next turn” and then go back and do something, the “next turn” state is abandoned.
For me the game started out poorly. I was in one of those positions where I might have just started over had it been a single player match. I used to do that a lot with Civilization II, running through starting positions until I got a decent one. I do that less so with Civ V because it is still new enough to be slow starting up.
Anyway, I ended up with the Germans, which was pretty good. I was stuck in a strip of land between the coast and a mountain range, which did cover my flanks and seemed pretty safe at first.
However, that feeling of safety quickly faded as multiple barbarian camps formed up at either end of my stretch of territory. I spent something on the order of 2,000 years battling barbarians as they attempted to swarm my city. They captured an early settler and I ended up having to put production into full military mode for a while in order to suppress these uprisings.
And the kicker was that I didn’t even get the benefit I expected. One of the German special features is that barbarians will sometimes convert to your units when you defeat them. I didn’t get a single one when I needed it, though I did finally pick up a couple at the very end of the battles. And I did recapture my settler, which was good fortune. I was eventually able to get that second city going.
Meanwhile, I had also spotted Potshot and his Ottomon empire to the south of me. I set to trying to block off my coastal plain and catch up on the expansion.
Potshot and I establish diplomatic relations and kept a wary eye on each other as I tried to get another settler up front to keep myself from being boxed in.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the map, somebody was having a serious run-in with the Mongols.
We blame Potshot for having that Mongols DLC. This is the second time they have shown up and been an issue.
But for the most part we spent our time expanding our empires and laying down the foundations for the rest of the game. I managed to come into contact with Mattman eventually and established diplomatic relations with him. I never saw Loghound or the Mongols, who were beating the tar out of him at one point. And somewhere out there the Mayans are hanging out. We ended up calling the game at turn 100, which put us at about midnight real time, and just past 800 AD in the age of the game.
It took me 4,800 years to develop that far.
The game was saved and we plan to pick it up again some time this week.
All and all it seemed to be a satisfactory start. There wasn’t much contact between the four of us, but we are now growing in size that we will be right up against each other soon. And then there are the Mongols. We did have one disconnect incident during our time, but we were able to restart the game and bring everybody back and carry on without issue.
I will note that, checking on Steam throughout the weekend, all four of us ended up playing quite a bit of Civ V. We should be warmed up for the continuation of our joint game.