Daily Archives: May 14, 2014

Civilization – The Big Map

In which we attempt to release flags of all nations.

After finishing up our first multiplayer game of Civilization V, the strategy group was keen to try it again.  However, this time the plan was to go bigger in all possible dimensions.  After all, if a small map with a few players was fun, then a huge map with even more players should be… well… more fun.

So two Friday’s back we set out on our next campaign, upgrading our game parameters all across the board.

Starting Configuration

Starting Configuration

As noted, we went from a small map up to huge.  We changed the speed of the game from Quick to Epic, which decreases the amount of time advanced per turn, but the time it takes to build things stays fairly constant relative to the number of years that pass.  So if a monument took 5 turns to build at Quick, it might take 15 or 20 when set to Epic.  But you get to move your units around during those extra turns.  In any case, we were happy enough to try and stretch the game out.  We also disabled the turn limit on the game.  Nobody was going to win just on points.  There was going to have to be a decisive victory.

We also opted for a more random layout with continents.

As for the other setting, we went with Raging Barbarians, because barbarians make everything more fun, right?  Okay, maybe that isn’t a universal opinion.

We also opted for Complete Kills, which means that to be totally eliminated from the game you have to lose all your cities AND all of your units.  That was done as a “just in case” option, should anybody die early.  Though I am not sure that was entirely necessary in hindsight, but I will get to that.  We turned on Random Personalities and Disable Start Bias, the first means that AI driven players may not act like their historical selves (cue Murderous, Pillaging Warlord Gandhi) while start bias means that the game won’t try to stick you in an area geographically similar to the real world historical origins of your civilization. (Roll on Snow Pharaohs!)

Then there was Quick Combat, which was frankly the only setting I was willing to go to the mat to get.  Loghound had expressed a desire to see combat animations.  I must admit, the animations can be quite nice.  They are actually not so bad until you close in on the modern era, and then they become an intolerable burden.  You only have to have an AI civ attack you with 20 aircraft every turn for a few turns before you’re ready to pull your head off in frustration.  Expressed in such a way, Quick Combat was left enabled.

Finally, we decided to go with the dynamic turn time.  If you set the turn timer to zero, it starts at two minutes and is supposed to increase slowly over the course of the game.  Since there were time when some of us were feeling time constrained in the last game, we figured we ought to give that option a try.

We paused for a bit, as the game had an error up in the game start window which said, “WARNING: Unsupported number of players!”  We were not sure what that really meant.  Did we have too many human players?  Could the CPU not support as many players as we had for a multiplayer game?  The warning didn’t stop us from starting the game, so we just carried on and the game seemed to support that many players just fine.  Later we found out that the error meant that the map size we had selected was meant for fewer players than we had starting the game… or, basically, pick a bigger map.  It would have been nice if the error had just said that.  And since the game assigned us the number of players we had listed when we chose the map size, the error seems not only uninformative but an indication of some mis-match somewhere in the code.  Life in software.  I am sure that error made complete sense to the person who wrote it.

We got all that decided upon, ignored the warning, and started the game.

More after the cut because words

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