A Civilization V AAR – Part One

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Brant Guillory, Decmber 16, 2012

Brant’s kicking off an extended Civ V AAR, with commentary on his game, and tips & tricks as he goes along.

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I’ve been playing every version of Civilization, starting with the first one back when I was in college. And I lost more than a few nights to the “just one more turn” bug. Civ III was my favorite for a long time, but Civ V is rapidly overtaking it, with the mixture of social policies, faith, and city-states really combining to keep my interest.

I’m chronicling this play-through with Carthage, and I’m also trying a few new things just to see how it goes, so expect to see a few “huh?” moments as I puzzle my way through some of these decisions. Expect this AAR to run for quite a while, with about 10 screenies with commentary for each article.

And while I’m no Civ expert, I’m pretty experienced, so you’re going to get a lot of “this worked for me” but it’s entirely likely you’ll find someone, somewhere who vehemently disagrees. But, hey – we wouldn’t be Grogs without some complaining, right?



The setup.

I’m playing as Carthage, which I’ve only played one time before. I wanted to trample folks with elephants, but I also like the idea of free harbors in each city. I’m also playing on a huge map with small continents, which should play to the harbors’ strength in connecting trade routes. I’m also playing at “quick” pace, in the hopes of finishing the AAR before 2014.

Even with a huge map, I’m only playing with 9 opponents and 16 city-states. This should give us all a lot of space to explore and noodle around.



The start.

I’ve got tundra around me, and some green stuff to the south, so I suspect I’m up against the northern edge of the map. Lots of silver, stone, and marble nearby, which will play a big role in which technologies I start to research.



Founding the first city.

I’m a fan of the production queue. It takes one thing off of my mind, and it also helps keep me on track for longer-term strategies. I end up starting and stopping a lot throughout the course of a complete game, and this lets me stay on track if I don’t get to play for a day or two – no going back and recreating a near-term strategy. I also like to get some scouts out as soon as possible. I want to know what’s over every hill in sight. Normally, I build a few warriors between the scouts in case I run into the inevitable barbarians a bit too close, but this time I’m going to get a monument built a bit earlier to get the culture numbers cranking up.



Guiding my research.

For the same reasons as above, I’ll usually spool up a bunch of techs for research as well. In this case, I’m pushing mining and masonry up front, because of my nearby resources. After that, I get nautical, to play to Carthage’s strengths before jumping over to the monetary developments to get markets built.



Into the Wild.

Moving south confirms that there’s a lot more green in that direction, and reaffirms my suspicion that I’m way up north on the map.



First scouts.

Just built my first scout and getting ready to launch some recon. Now that I’ve got him ready to go, it’s time to pull my warrior closer to home for defense of the city. I’m going to head a bit further north first to find the edge of the continent and confirm the geography I expect.



Found some ruins.

My warrior has located our first ruins, so I’ll check those out before heading back to Carthage.



Oooga Oooga!

First ruins result in an upgrade to my warrior, so I’m going to have a spearman on the map very early. That’ll be a great help as I run into barbarian warriors.



Another ruin!

I’ve found another ruin along the north coast, so let’s see what we get. Unlike older versions of Civ, the ruins don’t spawn barbarians, so checking them out with a scout isn’t going to find him suddenly surrounded by three red meanies.



Uncovered Some Lost Tech.

W00t! I picked up a free tech, and a good one for the early game in the Gods & Kings expansion. I can now go quickly add the Shrine to my production queue to try and win the mad dash founding an early pantheon, before the faith costs get too high. The Celts accumulate faith just by waking up in the morning, but everyone else needs to build shrines or hope to find some artifacts in the ruins.



Gah! Barbarians!

Of course, it turns out there’s a barbarian camp right next to those ruins. My scouts are not equipped to fight; time to run!



Next episode will include our first battles, some new buildings, and further exploring the continent. Beyond that, we’ll find some city-states, build new cities of our own, and finally get off this continent and start behaving like Carthaginians and hit the waves.

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