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Playing on a map of Europe

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  • Playing on a map of Europe

    Since it will be some time before I acquire Civ3 , I've been trying to keep things interesting by playing on real maps, something I've never bothered with before. I'm particularly taken with the map of Europe -- can't really say why -- and I'm wondering what starting position people like there. Based on early experimentation, I'd have to say Spain: easy to secure, good defense of the homeland thanks to Pyrenees and sea on 3 sides, no rear flank to guard once you take out the British Isles and spread into North Africa. Other opinions?
    "I have as much authority as the pope. I just don't have as many people who believe it." George Carlin

  • #2
    Ah, real world maps! Without them, CivII would have bored me to tears long ago. For balanced play, reduce the amount of grassland in the north and east. Forests were there long ago - add them in the game, too, and you may like the results.

    Some good starting positions, assuming 7 civs on at least a medium sized map. The addition of the north african coast and mesopotamia calls for a more mediterranean focus. Here's what I've observed about AI behavior in different places:

    1) Iberia: Madrid is good, the AI tends to stay on the peninsula, later expanding into southern france. Lisbon (or Cadiz) is a good alternate, and they might go to morocco sooner.

    2) Italy: The AI will ignore the peninsula unless you start them somewhat to the south. Make sure they have a good 2nd city spot 3 squares from the first, or they will be sllooowww to grow.

    3) Greece: Athens works fine, as long as nobody starts in the Danube basin, where the Greeks are likely to expand. Even with all the islands, the AI doesn't tend to do much with them.

    4) Turkey: Istanbul is a great starting spot. Ankara is good, too, and it makes the AI spread more evenly east to west. Ankara is better if Athens is another starting spot.

    5) Danube: Harder to defend than other areas, but maybe the best place to grow quickly. I'd suggest making sure plains are more common than grassland here, to check any runaway population boom.

    6) France/Low Countries: Good starting spots abound, with rivers and coastline. Harder to defend, but exploration and expansion are quick.

    7) Scandanavia: More easily defended than iberia, but not as much room in which to expand. The AI immediately moves into germany from here. Good production and specials area.

    8) England: London is a good starting spot. All of britain is yours. Being on an island, trade with other civs is worth more. Expansion onto the continent is hard if anybody else starts in france or germany. The AI does a fair job of this, tho not as well as a human player.

    9) Germany: Much like france, but there is more room to expand. The AI builds many cities here, they end up being a real nuisance if you don't check them!

    10) Russia: Any AI that starts here will be your most difficult opponent - there is too much room to expand, too many huts for them to pop. I don't even bother starting a civ in russia, as it tends to spoil the balance of the game.

    11) Mesopotamia or Egypt: The AI doesn't get out of hand here as long as the map edge limits their growth! Being in the corner, they are easy areas to defend. Carthage can work, too, as long as the AI can reach the rest of the world by land.

    Some challenging starting spots for the human player are the mediterannean islands. These can be fun if you are tired of always winning easily.

    Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, or Cyprus: Small starting place! Your need to build boats to expand gives the AI a head start on the continent. You get hefty trade bonuses and specials, and you are in a fine defensive position. Until you settle the continents, of course.

    Try starting in Switzerland or Norway. Crap growth, but good specials and production and defense.
    The first President of the first Apolyton Democracy Game (CivII, that is)

    The gift of speech is given to many,
    intelligence to few.

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    • #3
      I've played on the Europe map as the English a few times, but must admit I edited it to give a land bridge across the Channel.

      It took too long to get a trireme & sail over, & the British Isles were too small to find more than 1 or 2 huts.

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      • #4
        Try starting in the Northeast or Southeast. Lots of room to grow, contact comes late. The mountains in the east yield several huts to your explorer fairly late in the hut-busting phase. Agree that Moscow start is the most powerful in the game, especially if no civ starts to your east.
        No matter where you go, there you are. - Buckaroo Banzai
        "I played it [Civilization] for three months and then realised I hadn't done any work. In the end, I had to delete all the saved files and smash the CD." Iain Banks, author

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        • #5
          I always start with the Romans on the Europe map. Italy may not seem a good starting position, but in fact it is. If you do not choose random resources, you will have a hill square with coal nearby, which is perfect for wonder building. Usually Rome doesn't grow any bigger than size 5 the first 4000 years, but has always the biggest production (11 or 12 most cases).

          Both the west (Europe) and east (Russia, Mesopotamia, Turkey and Palestina) are great areas to expand to.

          However, for me the most important reason to start with the Romans is because of historical interest. I have always been interested in this great civilization, so playing them is great!

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