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  • The most "well balanced" civs

    Hello,

    I’m gonna try to classify the better balanced civs. I don’t want to determinate wich one is the strongest, or the easiest to play, but the most flexible. The civ that offers the largest choice of playing style (building, peaceful, warmonger, rushing, etc.).

    First, sorry for my poor english : this is not my mother tongue !
    Secondlly, I specify that my comments are for :
    . medium level (regent or monarch)
    . Solo game only
    . No PTW (I don’t own it, as a macintosh gamer !).

    Now I explain my scale and the criterions I’ll use.

    1. THE PROFILE OF THE CIVS AND THEIR TRAITS : 10 POINTS
    I’ve tried to check the five points of view that form; IMHO, the potential of any civ.
    - Starting potential (2 points) : the way a civ can offer you a fast and strong starting game. Religious for the borders, industrious for the faster expansion (roads, food & production), an UU that gives you a big early advantage… these are the criterions that form the " starting potential ". We all know how important are the early times in this game…
    - Cultural potential (2 points) : Easy… Religious and scientific traits form the cultural potential.
    - Cities / empire growth potential (2 points) : Industrious is of course the most important trait, here. But religious (for hapiness) and even commercial (for large empire growth & management) are regarded too.
    - Science potential (2 points) : Scientific (of course…), expansionnist (for the huts !), commercial (more commerce means more research) and industrious (faster built roads and faster growth means faster research) are regarded.
    - Military potential (2 points) : Militaristic (of course), UU (of course too… A nice UU can give you a big advantage for the war), scientific (techs advantage can often give you the victory), expansionnist (same as scientific, during the ancient age) and industrious (more units building potential)… all these things can increase a military potential.
    - " Well balanced bonus " (1 point) : 1 bonus point for the civs that have at least one point in each of the cultural, cities, science and military potentials.
    - Special : Sometimes, I’ll give an extra bonus point or half point to a civ that have, IMHO, a really big advantage in one of these five potentials.

    2. THE UU : 4 POINTS
    . 0 point for a useless UU
    . 1 point for a very little advantage
    . 2 points for a good advantage, but some disadvantage too ! (ex : good UU’s that can’t retreat – bad for attacking ! – or upgrade).
    . 3 points for excellent defensive UU’s or good attacking UU’s that can retreat and upgrade.
    . 4 for a huge attacking advantage

    3. GOLDEN AGE : 3 POINTS
    From 1 to 3 points… Maximum 3 points is for a perfect GA during middle age (for wonders like Sixtine, Leo, Bach, etc… and an already big enough empire).

    4. MAPS : 3 POINTS
    Ability to play a civ on a small, standardor big map.

    Now let's go...

    GREAT BRITAIN :
    Starting potential : 1 (EXP)
    Cultural potential : 0
    Cities/empire growth potential : 1 (COM)
    Military potential : 1 (EXP)
    Science potential : 1,5 (COM & EXP)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 0
    UU : 0
    GA : 3
    Maps : 2 (brilliant on big maps, average on standard, poor on small)

    TOTAL : 9/20

    Comments : No surprise… English can be played on a big map, but their lack of culture and useless UU make them not easily playable in any case.


    ROME :
    Starting potential : 0
    Cultural potential : 0
    Cities/empire growth potential : 1 (COM)
    Military potential : 2 (MIL, COM and UU)
    Science potential : 1 (COM)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 0
    UU : 2
    GA : 1
    Maps : 2 (good on big maps, average on standard, average on small)

    TOTAL : 9/20

    Comments : Sorry for Rome. I loved to play them on Civ 1 & 2… but now… ? No boosted start, no culture bonus => only militaristic way of development. And a strong UU… that can’t retreat (nor upgrade unless you get PTW).


    ZULUS :
    Starting potential : 2 (EXP & Impis)
    Cultural potential : 0
    Cities/empire growth potential : 0
    Military potential : 2 (MIL & EXP)
    Science potential : 1 (EXP)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 0
    UU : 2,5
    GA : 1
    Maps : 1,5 (average in every case)

    TOTAL : 10/20

    Comments : No culture, hard growth… only for warmongers ! And another problem : if you want to really take advantage of your cool UU, you’ll have a really too early GA, probably under despotism, with a little number of undeveloped cities.


    INDIA :
    Starting potential : 1 (REL)
    Cultural potential : 1 (REL)
    Cities/empire growth potential : 1,5 (REL & COM)
    Military potential : 0
    Science potential : 1 (COM)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 0
    UU : 1
    GA : 3
    Maps : 2,5 (no really weakness)

    TOTAL : 11/20

    Comments : No miltary advantage and no miltary profit from the UU… the indians are not well balanced : forget them if you’re a warmonger. No surprise that Gandhi is the most peaceful partner in the game !


    GERMANY :
    Starting potential : 0
    Cultural potential : 1 (SCI)
    Cities/empire growth potential : 0
    Military potential : 3 (Special bonus : I think Germany has the best military potential, with MIL & SCI traits and one of the best UU’s)
    Science potential : 1 (SCI)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 0
    UU : 3,5 (deadly invaders…)
    GA : 1
    Maps : 1,5 (bad on big maps – nothing to help ! – good on standard ; too slow on small ones)

    TOTAL : 11/20

    Comments : Germans are kings of the industrial age… but they first have to handle to reach it ! If you want to make great wars on standard maps, it’s a good choice. But Germany is really not a very flexible civ.


    BABYLONE :
    Starting potential : 1 (REL)
    Cultural potential : 2,5 (Special bonus : Babs are clearly kings of culture, with both SCI & Rel traits)
    Cities/empire growth potential : 1 (REL)
    Military potential : 1 (SCI)
    Science potential : 1 (SCI)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 1
    UU : 1
    GA : 1
    Maps : 1,5 (just like germans : bad on big maps – nothing to help ! – good on standard ; too slow on small ones)

    TOTAL : 11/20

    Comments : Surprising little score !.Probably due to the fact that Babs can hardly be anything else than a great building nation on a standard map ! Brilliant science to fight… but poor production potential and no good troops (UU or elite).


    RUSSIA :
    Starting potential : 1 (EXP)
    Cultural potential : 1 (SCI)
    Cities/empire growth potential : 0
    Military potential : 2 (EXP & SCI)
    Science potential : 2 (EXP & SCI)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 0
    UU : 2
    GA : 2
    Maps : 2 (average on evrery kind of maps)

    TOTAL : 12/20

    Comments : Probably one of the best science producers. The big weakness is the lack of growth bonus. And I don’t know what to think about the UU… I think russians are not bad balanced, I mean you’re not forced to be a warmonger, a builder, to choose a little or a big map… But I always find it hard to play them ! No decisive advantage, in fact.


    AMERICA :
    Starting potential : 3 (Special bonus : I think Americans, with their scouts and boosted workers, can get the most important advance during the early game… except, of course, if you choose a small map !)
    Cultural potential : 0
    Cities/empire growth potential : 2 (IND)
    Military potential : 2 (EXP & IND)
    Science potential : 2 (EXP & IND)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 0
    UU : 0
    GA : 1
    Maps : 2,5 (the best for big maps, cool on standard ones, not that bad on small maps)

    TOTAL : 12,5 /20

    Comments : Probably the best on large and huge maps. Americans can easily build a strong empire and a very good army. The lack of culture bonus is their problem… and their stupid UU !


    JAPAN :
    Starting potential : 1,5 (REL & " The wheel ")
    Cultural potential : 1 (REL)
    Cities/empire growth potential : 1 (REL)
    Military potential : 2 (MIL & UU)
    Science potential : 0
    " Well balanced bonus " : 0
    UU : 3 (Samurai rocks… and what an animation ! !)
    GA : 3
    Maps : 1,5 (Forget the big maps / cool on standard size/ just average on small ones))

    TOTAL : 13/20

    Comments : Much better on standard maps. Culture is average and the immediate knowledge of the horses emplacements can be a significant bonus for a good start. The only bad thing is the lack of science. In fact, Japan is most of times a civ for warmongers : make a lot of wars, enjoy your samurais and secure your conquests with cheap temples.


    AZTEC :
    Starting potential : 2 (REL & Jaguar Warriors)
    Cultural potential : 1 (REL)
    Cities/empire growth potential : 1 (REL)
    Military potential : 2 (MIL & UU)
    Science potential : 0,5 (for some benefits from the huts, due to the speedy JW)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 1
    UU : 3
    GA : 1
    Maps : 2,5 (with 2,5 traits – REL , MIL & the JW, Aztecs can play almost anywhere)

    TOTAL : 14/20

    Comments : Aztecs are well balanced. But they have, IMHO, 2 problems. First, it’s very hard to not fight a lot when you take them. Second and biggest problem, you have a difficult choice to make : if you really want to take advantage of your JW, you’ll have a quite useless GA. If you don’t, your JW is " just " an armed scout.


    GREECE :
    Starting potential : 1,5 (Hoplites ! !)
    Cultural potential : 1 (SCI)
    Cities/empire growth potential : 1 (COM)
    Military potential : 1,5 (SCI & UU)
    Science potential : 2 (SCI & COM)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 1
    UU : 3
    GA : 1
    Maps : 2,5 (good on every size of map)

    TOTAL : 14,5/20

    Comments : The best defenders of the game and a high science level. Well balanced civ : quite good for building, best defense for a long time, techs lead for good units, etc. The only weaknesses are the risk of a very early GA, and the lack of offensive bonus. I don’t understand why I can’t play them !


    EGYPT:
    Starting potential : 3 (Special bonus : IND for a very fast starting, REL to increase quicly your borders during the early times, it’s simply perfect !)
    Cultural potential : 1 (REL)
    Cities/empire growth potential : 3 (Special bonus : IND & REL can’t be beaten, by far !)
    Military potential : 1 (IND)
    Science potential : 1 (IND)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 1
    UU : 1
    GA : 1
    Maps : 2,5 (a little harder on big maps…)

    TOTAL : 14,5/20

    Comments : Egypt is perfect for beginners ! You can do everything with them : build a strong and fine empire, or produce tons of units to overflow your neighbors. Perhaps the most flexible civ. Only 2 disadvantages : the lack of offensive boost (the UU is poor) and the risk of very early GA (but if you activate it through the Pyramids, it can be pretty cool !).


    IROQUOIS :
    Starting potential : 2 (EXP & REL)
    Cultural potential : 1 (REL)
    Cities/empire growth potential : 1 (REL)
    Military potential : 2 (EXP & UU)
    Science potential : 1 (EXP)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 1
    UU : 4 (" THE UU "… MW are a HUGE advantage !)
    GA : 1
    Maps : 1,5 (you’d better play them on standard maps : no bonus to manage a very big empire, and the EXP trait is weak on small maps)

    TOTAL : 14,5/20

    Comments : A quite polyvalent civ. No real weakness (except on small maps). But, with a so brilliant UU, you’ll probably can’t stand peacefully building during a long time ! You MUST make war with the MW. Well, one of the best in terms of flexibility.


    FRANCE :
    Starting potential : 2 (IND)
    Cultural potential : 0
    Cities/empire growth potential : 2,5 (special bonus : IND&COM is really wonderful for cities/empire growth, one trait for the cities development ; one trait for the empire management)
    Military potential : 1 (IND)
    Science potential : 2 (IND & COM)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 0
    UU : 1
    GA : 3
    Maps : 3 (I think IND & COM is simply the best combination for any kind of map !)

    TOTAL : 14,5/20

    Comments : You can play " anywhere " with the French. You can build a big, strong empire or fight all your opponents, it’s up to you !. You just can’t win through culture and have to be careful with the city flips. The other problem is that you don’t have any UU to boost your conquests or your military level.


    PERSIA :
    Starting potential : 2 (IND)
    Cultural potential : 1 (SCI)
    Cities/empire growth potential : 2 (IND)
    Military potential : 2 (IND & SCI)
    Science potential : 2 (IND & SCI)
    " Well balanced bonus " : 1
    UU : 2
    GA : 1
    Maps : 2,5 (same as the egyptians :a little harder on big ones)

    TOTAL : 15,5/20

    Comments : Very close to Egypt, IMO, with a much better military potential and lightly harder starting and empire growth. Another civ you can do anything you want with… anywhere you want !


    CHINA :
    Starting potential : 2 (IND)
    Cultural potential : 0
    Cities/empire growth potential : 2 (IND)
    Military potential : 3 (Special bonus : as good as the Germans, with IND, Mil and a really good UU !)
    Science potential : 0
    " Well balanced bonus " : 0
    UU : 3
    GA : 3
    Maps : 2,5 (a little harder on big maps, too)

    TOTAL : 15,5/20

    Comments : The best military potential, the ability to manage a big and strong empire, an easy start, a very good UU… and the possibilty to choose the time of your GA : earlier with the Great Wall, later with the UU. A very effective civ. But don’t even think about a cultural victory and, as for the French, beware the city flips !


    OK, it’s finished ! I hope you enjoyed the (very) long reading !

    Just have to give my favourite civs : Persia, Egypt, France and Japan.

  • #2
    I would agree with your choice of favorite civs, apart from France... their UU is alittle disappointing.
    I remember someone else saying that two pikemen are better than one Musketeer. I've found that to be the case.
    The French traits are certainly VERY good.....but If you have PTW, the Carthaginians(My favorite!) have the same traits and probably one of the best UU available(Numidian Merc).

    Very good post Fatalis2! Very well researched!
    Last edited by HAND; April 3, 2003, 19:55.
    I love PEPSI! (twitching and shivering profusely)

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