No announcement yet.

Civilization 4: Terrain and Resources


  • Civilization 4: Terrain and Resources


    A Worker working next to a Fresh Water lakeTerrain in Civilization IV works largely the same as in Civ3: every tile has a base (immutable) terrain type (Grassland, Plains, Desert, Tundra, Hills, Mountains, Ice, Coast, Ocean) and on top of that Jungle or Forest may exist. Rivers flow between tiles (and not through them, as in Civ2, SMAC and the CtP series) and give any bonuses they may give to all tiles that border on it (but they do not give movement bonuses as in aforementioned games). Attacking across a river gives the defender a bonus. Civilization IV also features single-tile fresh water lakes [see image]. Proximity to fresh water (lake or river) gives cities a Health bonus. Certain terrain types give a bonus to defense or offense (Forest, Jungle, Hills) though not as many as in Civ3 and as in all Civ-like games the speed of Unit movement is affected by terrain as well. Spread throughout the map are 31 different types of Resources (Civilization IV: Warlords will add a few more), from Wheat to Iron and from Incense to Whales -- these have a major impact on gameplay [see below]. How these Resources are distributed over the map has been improved compared to Civ3, it's more balanced this time.

    As in Civ3, players can build Workers to enhance the terrain around their cities [see image]: build Roads and Railroads to connect cities in a trade network and to speed up movement, build Farms to increase Food production, Mines to increase Hammer production. But besides these four traditional ones, Civilization IV supports many new types of Improvements, such as Windmills, Lumber Mills and Workshops. New in Civilization IV is also that certain Advances and Civics increase the output of Improvements. Every Resource also has a specific Improvement that is required to be built before Cities can take advantage of them: a Winery for Wine, Fishing Boats for Fish, Whaling Boats for Whales, a Quarry for Stone, etc.

    The overall size of the entire map has been somewhat reduced compared to Civ3, this is the cost of switching to 3D. To compensate for the loss of epic map sizes, epic game speed has been introduced instead [see Game Speed].


    In Civilization IV all Resources that can be found of the map have two uses. The first is the same one as in previous Civ games: they give a bonus to resource collection. Where a ordinary Plains tile gives 1 Food and 1 Hammer, a Plains tile with a Stone Resource and a Quarry (which is required to access it) gives 1 Food, 4 Hammers and 1 Gold. The other use is that if a City has a Resource in it's Resource box, it gets a certain bonus.

    As in Civ3, in order for a Resource to be in the Resource box, it needs to be connected to it by the Trade Network of its owner. A Trade Network consists of all tiles that are connected with each other by Road, as well as all Cities that are located along a river or coast line. A Resource tile has to be improved with both its matching type of Improvement plus a Road in order to be part of a Trade Network. Resources can be exchanged between players, as long as the Trade Networks of both players connect with each other. Such deals can be arranged through diplomacy [see Diplomacy]. A player only needs one instance of a Resource for full benefit (assuming the Resource and all cities are part of a single Trade Network) but if a Resource is traded away to another player then the owner doesn't get the benefits him/herself anymore (nor can it be traded again to other players). If however (s)he has more than one instance of the Resource, then (s)he can trade each instance away to another player, and as long as (s)he keeps at least one instance for him/herself, (s)he gets the benefit him/herself as well.

    As mentioned, every resource in the game gives a bonus. There are three types of bonuses available, or rather 3 types of Resources: Strategic Resources, Luxury Resources and Food Resources. For every type of Luxury Resource in a City's Resource box it gets a Happiness bonus and for every Food Resource it gets a Health bonus. Strategic Resources allow the production of certain items or make certain items cheaper (though the system is less restrictive than in Civ3). For instance Marble makes Wonders cheaper and Iron and Copper are required for the production of certain types of units.

    Go to the Civilopedia for a detailed breakdown of all Terrain, Improvements and Resources.

      Posting comments is disabled.

    Article Tags


    Latest Articles


    • Civilization 4: Gameplay Concepts Introduction
      by Martin Gühmann
      The basic gameplay concept of Civilization IV is the same as that in all other Civ-like games: you take charge as the leader of a band of wandering people and set out to found an an empire of cities, armies and scientists with as goal to eventually rule the world. Compared to Civ3, Civilization IV will introduce some new concepts, such as Religion and Great People, change some existing ones, such as combat and technology, and leave others pretty much the same, such as diplomacy and Wonders. ...
      August 9, 2012, 15:54
    • Civilization 4: Overall Design
      by Martin Gühmann
      Civilization IV is part of the Civilization franchise, and a franchise can usually only be successful if it makes conservatively changes between iterations. So Civ4 is not extremely different from Civ3 -- it will be a conservative sequel. According to Soren Johnson, a good rule of thumb for a franchise is "1/3 old, 1/3 improved, 1/3 new". He believes that the best way to improve on Civ3 is to choose a focus and really improve the game in only a single (or a few) area(s), rather than trying to change a little bit of everything. That doesn't mean that Civ4 will play the same as Civ3, while the essence of previous games has remained, many details have changed and the step from Civ3 to Civ4 is the biggest and most ambitious one the series has made to date....
      August 9, 2012, 15:51
    • Civilization 4: Combat
      by Martin Gühmann
      Barry Caudill, Civilization IV Senior Producer on Promotions In Civ III, unit promotions involved rising in level from green to veteran to elite and each level added a hit point and a small combat bonus. For Civ IV, we decided to build on this system and make promotions much more intricate and customizable by allowing players to choose from over 20 different bonus types (many with multiple levels, for a total of over 40 available promotions). The numbers and type...
      August 9, 2012, 15:49
    • Civilization 4: Diplomacy and Espionage
      by Martin Gühmann
      Diplomacy The final type of global activity that takes place in Civilization IV is diplomacy: as leader of your empire, you can sit down with the leaders of other empires and exchange technologies, trade resources or sign treaties. Diplomacy works pretty much the same as in Civ3: When you first encounter a civ, its leader is added to the list of known contacts (visible in the bottom-right of the screen). At this point you can always contact him/her for one of three act...
      August 9, 2012, 15:48
    • Civilization 4: Technology
      by Martin Gühmann
      Besides sliders and Civics, research is another thing that happens on a global level in Civilization IV. All the Research Points, or Beakers, that every City collects are put together and used to research Advances. These Advances enable new options for the player, such as new Units, Buildings, Civics, Religions, etc and also open the way to new Advances. As such they move game forwards, from Stone Age to Space Age: the technology tree, which determines the relationships between the Advances and what new options each Advance enables, forms the backbone of the entire game. Once the whole tech tree has been researched, a player still has so-called Future Technologies to pursue: each of these gives a bonus to both Health and Happiness....
      August 9, 2012, 15:46
    • Civilization 4: Civics & Global Policies
      by Martin Gühmann
      Barry Caudill, Civilization IV Senior Producer on Civics Choosing your government has been an interesting part of playing Civilization since the original. In Civ IV, our team at Firaxis has really ramped up this feature and given players many more choices, which bring with them a whole new set of interesting decisions to make and strategies to employ. The new Civics system will allow players to customize their government to fit their current situation and style of ...
      August 9, 2012, 15:44