I love turn based strategy games on the PC. It's like playing a tabletop wargame, only without all the set up, without worrying about pieces. And you can save your game! So much more convenient than just stopping mid game or trying to write down the board state on paper so you can set it up again to continue later. And yes, my college roommates and I used to do exactly that my Freshman year. I suppose it indicates how old I am that I even mention that's a reason I like PC strategy games.
Once Becky & I bought our first PC back in, like, 1996, one of the first games I got was a turn based strategy game. Typical format: settle cities, generate income, buy units, go fight for more cities, more income, more/better units, etc. Man I wish I could remember what it was called. I spent so much time playing it. It was simple, graphic were poor, AI was dumb, but it was still fun.
For a few years I played some PBEM games. Twilight Emperium, Medeival Wars. They had the cool updside of actually playing with real people. I made some good friends playing them. The processing time of each turn allowed for a depth of diplomatic play that was somewhere between exhilarating and exhausting.
About 2006 I bought Civ IV. That has been my go to computer strategy game for a decade now. I loved Civ IV. There was just something really satisfying about watching a civilization grow from stone age to space age. Just the grand scope of exploration, scientific and social advancement over millenia ... it captured my imagination. The game pulled it together really well.
Eventually Civ V was released as an extensive revision of the civ series. Hex based instead of grid based, single units per tile rather than grand built up armies, introducing a Civics Tree similar to the Tech Tree. I wasn't sure I'd like the single unit per tile mechanic, but otherwise it seemed intriguing. I nearly bought it, but then found out it didn't accomodate hot seat play. That was a deal breaker. I would sometimes play the game with my kids in hot seat mode, each of us taking turns at the computer to build our empires. It was a cool thing. To not be able to? I'd stick with Civ IV. I guess they eventually fixed it, but I'd already kind of blown off Civ V, so I didn't go back to look at it again.
So civ VI was released last October. Apparently very similar to Civ V. Hot Seat play included at release. Somewhat modified unit per tile system. I'm not sure I'm sold on it. It's different than Civ IV, but that's it. I can get used to it. I really love having a Civics tree. I like how they set up government types with policies you can choose that affect game play. Cities are built differently in Civ VI. They expand by district, eventually occupying several tiles within their cultural border. It makes for a cool sprawl mechanic, some really neat city development play.
Managing diplomacy this first game I've played has been a challenge, especially with a warmongering mechanic that the more you fight, the more hostility other nations have towards you. The simple answer to manage it is, "well don't pick fights then," right? Except that your warmongering status increases dramatically even when you're not the aggressor. I guess the other simple answer is, "I guess I'll just fight everyone."
Managing city happiness and size requires attention. It is so easy to let a city outgrow the amenities you have that ensure citizen happiness. As you move up the tech & civ trees, you get access to building that provide those amenities and allow cities to grow even more, but doing so requires some pacing.
I love how they set up trade. As you develop the tech for it and the buildings to support it, you get trade units who can engage in trade routes between cities, both domestic and foreign. They build your roads, generate income and affect diplomacy.
Barbarians are super aggressive and everywhere in Civ VI. Mostly I think that's awesome. It allows for combat in a game that otherwise tries to encourage peaceful diplomacy between players. The barbarians allow many opportunities to loot income and gain experience for combat units.
The graphics are fun. The game is pretty intuitive. Tabby plays it with me and picked up on it very quickly.
I guess the best indicator of how much I like it, though, is how much time I spend playing it. I've pretty much blown off playing both WoW and Hearthstone entirely to play CIV VI. And of course I stay up way to late every night playing "just one more turn."
2 weeks ago