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Thread: Does Civ 4 favour a warmonger?

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    Urban Ranger
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    Does Civ 4 favour a warmonger?

    For Civ 1, the best way to greatness is to wage war early and often. The sooner you manage to kick all competition off the surface of the planet, the higher your score. The Space Race is only a last resort. As a result, Civ 1 is a wargame in its very essence. It is a more complicated (and more fun) version of Warlords.

    Now, years later, the latest incarnation of the game still appears to favour such an approach. Sure, the game is more complex now, and there are more victory conditions, but can you get a higher score winning a cultural victory than a conquest one?

    Should Civ V fix this shortcoming?
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    Hauptman
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    I would not call it a shortcoming...

    Land is power, the more land you hold, the more power you have. true in the real world, true in the game...

    I have aquired "Huge tracks of land" without waring with anyone in a few games.... Culture flipping, early city spamming, Island hopping, etc. The more city squares you can work the more you will succeed in the late game... But that isnt the ONLY way. I can win a game with 1 city or 50. Yes 1 city is harder. Its a closer race, but its doable.

    Personally I play this game for its strategic warring aspect. When to goto war, who to goto war with... Most strategy war games donot have that much descision making involved... If i had the programing knowledge, I'd make games with even MORE descision making involved... Try and get it as true to life as possible... Train more troops, or have them work in the factories to make more equipment, starve the population so the troops have more food and are stronger? someday, someone (or myself) will make that game for me...
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    The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?...So with that said: if you can not read my post because of spelling, then who is really the stupid one?...

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    Dis
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    weren't we saying the warmonger got screwed when this game first came out . Or maybe that was just me. I've since learned ways to wage war effectively, but it still isn't easy.

    Yes the scoring is ****ed up. We can all agree on that. The scoring has never been perfect in civ games, however.

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    Velociryx
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    IMO, the Civ Series has NEVER been a war game. At least not in the truest sense of the word (compare Civ to any of the classic "grognard" wargames that SSI used to crank out, and you'll find Civ sorely lacking in almost every element that makes a wargame well....a wargame.

    I totally agree that all previous iterations of civ were slanted in favor of the militant mindset tho.

    Civ IV....I'm not sure yet. I agree that warring can take you quite far, but this time, there are certain limits (although by the time you REACH those limits, unless you are playing on gimungous maps, you control much of the world anyways).

    In any case, I think that the solution to the problem (and we're getting there incrementally) is to bolster OTHER areas of the game and not pay much attention to warfare (warfare is the laggard in the game engine anyways, far, FAR less advanced than any other aspect of the design...it got a fresh coat of paint with promotions, but that was the first advance it had seen in about forever, and it was coupled with a general de-evolution of the system in any case (loss of ZOC for example), for a net gain of about zero.

    For instance tho, if there was a "diplomatic memory" of the number of conquests you had already embarked on, number of wars you initiated, a Causa Belli system in place....all of these things would go far in limiting the POWER of wars without ever touching warfare itself.

    I believe that's where the game will eventually get to.

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    Blake
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    Well, I do think that pretty much the easiest way to win is with either Tokugawa or Caesar. Granted they do get a great combination of traits, starting techs and UU that make conquest particularly easy for them. Perhaps in principle a non-conquest victory could be just as easy for leaders with less of an imperial slant. That isn't my experience though.

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    johnmcd
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    I only play huge maps and conquest and domination victories are just too time consuming to be bothered with.
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    Blake
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    You don't have to go for Domination to greatly benefit from doubling your territory holdings .
    ed: The only exception is Cultural victory.

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    OneFootInTheGrave
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    I'd say yes, and I don't think that peaceful strategy can compete with wargaming one points/success wise. It can be played though and be made into a winning strategy in single player, but it is not even in with a chance to be an "optimal" strategy on occasion.

    I think well executed war style game beats it every time.
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    The keeper
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    A warmongerer will beat a pacifist.

    Civ4 is winnable using many strategys. But score will be the highest being a war mongerer because land is the biggest component of score.
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    OneFootInTheGrave
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    yes, I should have added "speed" wise too, but I am trying to figure out how to speed up considerably this culture win type, and maybe there is still hope to speed the culture win up to realatively "fast" levels.
    Socrates: "Good is That at which all things aim, If one knows what the good is, one will always do what is good." Brian: "Romanes eunt domus"
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    uberfish
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    Taking over an opponent's territory in one decisive war and parlaying that advantage into either domination or space victory is probably the highest percentage winning strategy on emperor+ difficulty levels. As in the real world, it's just as much about securing resources as it is about land. The successful conqueror ultimately gets bigger, more productive cities through having more health/happiness resources and more trade options, plus a larger chance of acquiring the post-industrial resources such as oil, coal and aluminium.

    It is still possible to outresearch the AI and win by spaceship on emperor fighting only limited wars though, if you have a good starting spot. And there's always the cultural victory, but I would consider this an objectively weaker strategy since it wouldn't work if the AI was more aware of this win condition and sacked one of your 3 cultural cities with tanks.

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    paleman
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    Another factor favoring conquest/domination on the score front: the earlier you finish the game, the greater the boost to your score. Only conquest and domination are achievable before the modern era.

    A case in point: when I've won domination victories in the modern era, my score was not significantly greater than when I won a diplomatic victory around the same time while holding, say, 55% of the land. On the other hand, my scores on domination victories which ended before 1800 are greater than all my modern era finishing scores by a factor of 4.

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    Veritass
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    Originally posted by Blake
    Well, I do think that pretty much the easiest way to win is with either Tokugawa or Caesar.
    I will grant you that the scoring is messed up, but this quote says a lot about whether Civ is a war game or not.

    If I am a reader of these forums, and I start up a game and choose to be Caesar, then I am pretty much saying to myself, "I want to play an early-era war game and conquer the world using Praets." If I start up a game and choose to be Gandhi, then the opposite is in effect and I will probably be warring very little.

    As it is, I do neither of these. I prefer to start up the game with as much randomness as possible, and have to modify my thinking as we go: Look at the leader I was rolled -- time to set up my initial strategy. Look at the starting position I have -- time to adjust my strategy for this game. Explore the world and find some new neighbors -- time to adjust my strategy. Discover the world is very big or very small -- time to adjust my strategy.

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    smbakeresq
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    I think the "fix" needs to be in the scoring system. In any game, the victory conditions drive the game, and the emphasis being on land favors warmonger strats.

    A modded scoring system might be the answer....

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    Boppo
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    Personally, when I am playing a SP game I don't care what my final score is. As long as I win the game I am satisfied.

    Haviong said that, the game is slanted to score higher for quick domination and conquest victories. All of my highest scores are from those types of victories. In a tournament or competitive situation there is a decided slant in that direction.

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    tetley
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    I really miss the Great Generals from Civ 3. Do I miss how the entire Civ 3 game hinged on getting a GL so you could rush a Forbidden Palace? No. But still, Great Generals are still a significant part of civilizations. I wish they had stuck around in Civ 4. Warmongering should not be THE way to win Civ, but it still should be A way to win Civ.
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    Urban Ranger
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    Originally posted by Velociryx
    IMO, the Civ Series has NEVER been a war game. At least not in the truest sense of the word (compare Civ to any of the classic "grognard" wargames that SSI used to crank out, and you'll find Civ sorely lacking in almost every element that makes a wargame well....a wargame.
    All right. You are right that Civ probably can't be compared to the more grognard-esque wargames, but it is rather similar to Warlords in many ways.

    Warlords is a wargame published by SSG - very good one BTW, you maybe able to find it on the Web. In the game you play one of the empires, building up your armies (stacks of doom! ) and conquering cities. You can make improvements to the cities, although only in very limited ways. Oh yeah, its similar to Heroes of Might and Magic, or perhaps Age of Wonder, on a very general level.
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    Velociryx
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    Yep...played Warlords I - III, and enjoyed them all. Lots of strategy there, no doubt, but I'd not class any of them as wargames per se.

    I mean, true, they use warfare to drive the game, and there are broad strategic uses OF the various units in-game, but that's as far as it goes.

    In my mind (and there are a lot of like-minded folk out there who lurk and post on the appropriate boards), a WAR game just isn't unless, at a bare minimum, it includes such things as:

    Line of Sight and combat factors FOR it (LoS is certainly present in Civ, but has nothing to do with battle)

    ZoC (outright removed from civ)

    An accounting of troop skill level (present! And the game is better for it! )

    True combined arms approaches (immitated, but not well enough to count)

    True stacked combat (not even really imitated...hinted at vaguely, perhaps?)

    Multiple attack factors (shock value, meelee/fp value, morale, etc) (some of this was present in civ 2, absent beyond that)

    Leadership (crucial, but utterly absent)

    Supply (absent - too abstracted to matter...unit upkeep cost =! unit supply)

    And a bunch of others. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE most of the games you mentioned. Can't tell you how many WEEKS of my life I spent on HOMM3...absolutely brillant game. Same with EU2 (which wasn't on your list, but is prolly my favorite game of all time).

    Still, I wouldn't class either of those as a war game.

    I haven't seen a GOOD wargame since People's General, unfortunately (which was a beauty....)

    It's a dying breed.... They've moved too many of them to RTS clickfests, which utterly sucks.

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    Vynd
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    There are many ways to approach this question.

    Does Civ IV favor the warmonger by giving them the highest score? Clearly the answer is yes. A successful attempt at conquest or domination will give the highest possible score.

    Does Civ IV favor the warmonger by making warfare the easiest way to win (regardless of score)? I would give this a qualified yes. The easiest possible win seems to me to be a domination victory where you take a civ well-suited to early warfare--say the Romans, or Incas--and play on a map that is likewise conducive to early war--such as Pangaea, and use the Marathon setting to increase the early UU's shelf-life.

    Now if you stipulate random maps, starting civs, and game speeds then this answer is less clear-cut. Depending on your start your odds of victory might be highest if you focus on something other than warmongering.

    Does Civ IV favor the warmonger by making warfare the most fun way to win? I'm sure there are people who would say fighting wars is the most fun part of the game. Personally, I feel otherwise. Wars can be fun, but they involve more micromanagement than anything else in the game. Fighting a lot of long wars, imho, gets tedious. Especially once you have your opponent on the ropes and it's just become a matter of gradually capturing their remaining cities.

    One can also argue that precisely because the game design makes warmongering the default "best strategy," it's the least interesting to play.

  20. #20
    gus_smedstad
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    Civ 1 was a very complex version of "Empire," which was a character graphics wargame for the DEC PDP-11. Sid has stated as much in the past. In Empire, you had abstract cities which could build Armies, Fighters, Destroyers, Carriers, Subs, and Battleships. The production model was similar to Warlords I. Eventually there was PC version with proper graphics, released a bit after Civ 1, IIRC.

    Civ 4's economy and combat system have changed, but the basic gameplay remains what it was in Empire: build units and capture cities to build more units until you control all the cities on the map.

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  21. #21
    Theseus
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    I looooooved Empire. (BTW, I wouldn;t mind seeing real rivers in Civ some day.)

    My initial reaction to Civ1?

    "I have to manage cities and research and stuff? That might suck, but it sounds interesting... I'll try it out."



    Civ4 ain;t a wargame, not by a long shot. Heck, you can't even play at being an insane warmonger anymore (without doing all the other 4X stuff, that is).

    Does it favor the warmonger? Well, the game *is* supposed to have *some* relation to human history. Si vis pacem, para bellum!
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    CraigRichardson
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    Originally posted by Boppo
    Personally, when I am playing a SP game I don't care what my final score is. As long as I win the game I am satisfied.
    Amen to that. Any scoring system is going to be artificial, and why should I care about something that is artificial? Winning, and winning as fast/complete/etc. as possible, to reflect optimizing your strategy, is what counts. Score, as such, is just a rough way to measure - in a particular game - how I am doing against the AI. As a way of measuring completeness of victory? No. People are just going to manipulate the artificiality of the scoring system, which has nothing to do with the game . In fact, I don't consider comparing scores from one game to another - especially games with different settings - to be at all meaningful.

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    Yosho
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    Originally posted by Velociryx
    I haven't seen a GOOD wargame since People's General, unfortunately (which was a beauty....)
    Yeah, the only good current one I can think of is the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games, which they're still making.

  24. #24
    fed1943
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    IMO,to be or not a wargame is a different thing that about the best strategy be or not the warmongers one.
    In a wargame the player plays the role of military and his greatest concern is about military things(not politics of defense).
    Civ4 is not a wargame.
    Best regards,

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    Son of David
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    Almost all of my most successfully-won games have been achieved through constant warfare and domination. Whenever I've been unduly peaceful I always get out-built or invaded. So it certainly favours me in that respect. Maybe militarism is just the only strategy I am competent with

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    Yosho
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    Anyway, it depends on the map type. If you're playing on Pangea, or on Continents and are on the same landmass as an agressive AI or two, you will need to fight. If you're playing on islands or arcapeligo, or have your own continent to yourself, you can win with a pure builder stratagy.

    The thing is, though, even the domination stratagy in CivIV requires a lot of economic development; civIV basically requires mixed stratagies most of the time.

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    Pythagoras
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    One thing about wars in civ4 is that it can be extremly costly if you lose. I've noticed wars in general are very risky endeavours. Getting bogged down in perpetual warfare where little headway is made is a sure way to get nowhere fast. Wars can be very wasteful. Long seiges of well fortified cities can be similarly wasteful if they don't go well. This gets especially annoying when you just want to be a builder, but your neighbor aggressively pursues wars against you. Granted, I'm relatively new to Civ 4, and am a builder, so maybe this has more to do with my inexperience in waging war.

    In any case, the human player has the greatest power of them all: reloading and reconsidering, but I like to see how things playout before reloading after some (IMO) minor defeats.
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    Hermann the Lombard
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    Originally posted by Pythagoras
    One thing about wars in civ4 is that it can be extremly costly if you lose. I've noticed wars in general are very risky endeavours. Getting bogged down in perpetual warfare where little headway is made is a sure way to get nowhere fast. Wars can be very wasteful. Long seiges of well fortified cities can be similarly wasteful if they don't go well.
    That sounds truly realistic. Ask most of the opponents of the Assyrians or the Goths or the Turks or the Mongols how costly it is to lose. Oh...they don't seem to be around to ask. All of what you say is realistic, even if the game mechanics aren't.

    Since Civ2 (and I didn't play the original) I have fancied myself to be a builder, but it requires less thought to win by military means. Yes, it requires thought, but not as much as (say) a cultural win, and the other victory conditions are easier when built on a foundation of partial conquest.

    When militarily successful, there comes a point when you have "choice of victories" (usually with the exception of cultural victory). It's only a matter of time and of choice.

    I don't really pay attention to score, because generally playing to maximize score requires even more micromanagement than my usual overkill. In Civ2 the way to maximize score was to annihilate all but one of the other civs, then preserve a single AI city as an "Indian reservation" while pumping the population (etc) of your world-wide empire. I reached my limit on score when I got sick of the micro, then I'd put that last city out of its misery.

    To meander a bit, as a Single Player you have the freedom to set your own victory conditions. There are many games that I don't play out, I reach a point where victory is inevitable but tedious. That means that my strategy has been successful, and I know it; do I need the gratification of the victory screen and the Hall of Fame entry? Those things are cool, but often anti-climactic.

    OTOH, some times I do want my achievement to be "validated" by the game's victory criteria. It's good to be King...and it's good to be Augustus Caesar. The Gods know it's better than being Dan Quayle!
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    Son of David
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    Just finished a wonderful game as the Aztecs. Tried out a few opening strategies: some building the Oracle and getting a free tech, various degrees of expansion, etc.

    Basically all of the attempts were very unsuccessful save for one, which was VERY successful: forget culture and wonders in the early game, build up an army and crush the opponent!

    It made a world of difference. I went from being the one threatened in previous attempts to being totally dominant throughout the game, eventually wiping everyone off my continent (this is Prince level).

    My vote is 'Yes' this game absolutely favours a warmonger, at the Prince level anyway

  30. #30
    Pythagoras
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    Originally posted by Hermann the Lombard

    That sounds truly realistic. Ask most of the opponents of the Assyrians or the Goths or the Turks or the Mongols how costly it is to lose. Oh...they don't seem to be around to ask. All of what you say is realistic, even if the game mechanics aren't.
    I totally agree. I think its a great addition to the game. Wars are more challenging and interesting IMO. Its definitely true, however, that if you come out on top at an early enough period, you remain mostly unstopable. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but a fact. Its been the case in all civ games.

    I really liked in Civ 1 how you could generate a civil war by capturing a capitol. I had some come-from-behind games in which I could do this. Maybe its not historically realistic, but I think maybe the risk of another civ emerging as a "child" civ might be a good way to balance this out, either through war or another mechanism. Maybe this doable in a mod?
    "What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive?" Irv Kupcinet

    "It's easy to stop making mistakes. Just stop having ideas." Unknown

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