The Let's Play Archive

Civilization 2

by Melth

Part 32: 740 AD - 1020 AD (Sigr!)

As things finished last time, I’d located all major civs in the world and had either conquered or started a war with them. However, there are a number of very small civs (recent replacements of people I conquered) whose location I don’t know. Thanks to Marco Polo’s Embassy allowing me to do diplomacy with people I haven’t met, I can find out though!

I’d rather not give these people a tech that will let them sink my ships with good ones of their own or other techs that will make it hard for me to conquer them, but I’m fine with handing over just about anything else.

Get someone up to worshipful and they will almost certainly agree to share maps with you. They MIGHT do so at a lower friendliness level, but if they reject your proposal, then they might end the diplomacy immediately. And in that case their attitude toward you will likely reset down to something low next turn and undo lots of work. So just do what it takes to go to worshipful the first time.

Now to do the same to the Spanish.

I don’t THINK we’re neighbors…

Two down.

Note that these guys all start with a different pile of rather advanced techs.

Alright, that’s everyone. I can now look around the map for their revealed units. These can be surprisingly hard to find sometimes, but don’t end the turn without finding them. If you do, they’ll be invisible again and all your effort will have been wasted.

Japan is way out here. Probably its own island, so I’d better get some Crusaders and a Caravel out in Do U Even Skrael or Need for Speed. Or both. Looks like they have a lot of military units and are spreading out to make more cities.

The Spanish will never amount to anything. They’re in a small patch of mostly Desert on the end of a desert continent. They’re also closer to my mainland than the Japanese, so I should be able to get a ship out there soon.

The Chinese don’t actually have a city yet, but presumably will within a turn. My cities in this area aren’t large and productive yet, so I’ll need to buy the Crusaders and ships.

After my little disaster last time, I’ve finally recovered and the English are on their last legs.

The Mongols actually have a significant number of cities and a rather large area they could be hidden in, but I’m closing in from all sides at once. The main problem is that most of their troops are Charioteers, which are quite mobile and competent on offense and that they have a bunch of these scattered even in my territory. I’ll need to round them up, declare war, and kill them all at once so they don’t get to first strike and kill my Crusaders instead.

And lastly there’s Rome, which looks big and rich and strong but which I think is actually going to be a paper tiger. Because I started planning for this invasion way before I was actually done conquering the Skraelings, I now have ships ready and waiting to pick up the Skraeling-city-sackers and ferry them over.

After buying Antium, I no longer have a time crunch to get a bunch of gold. I also have no further need for Science. Thus I’m going to try to crank the Luxuries up for 1 turn, start celebrations in every city, and then crank them back down a turn after (maintaining the parties at lower Luxury levels by using the higher Trade that comes from celebrating as a Monarchy). That should let me net more income in every future turn, just like in the last game when I celebrated as a Fundamentalism.

But it’s completely impossible. Monarchy sucks. I have the Hanging Gardens to create happiness and loads of wonders to negate unhappiness. And this city has Oceans and Rivers and even a Wine resource tile for truly spectacular Trade. But Corruption is so huge that there’s no way to get even 2 Luxuries under any circumstances here. Where’s a guillotine when you need one?

Well anyway, no harm done, I just switched back to 70% Taxes immediately after checking and finding out this couldn’t work.

So I check up on every city and make sure they’re producing units at maximum possible speed and that none will grow (fast anyway). From now on growth is generally a liability because I have so many cities that controlling unhappiness is becoming a struggle again and because there aren’t enough turns left to profit much from the growth.

There’s not much to make but Crusaders (and Caravels in a few places). I don’t need any more wonders (Adam Smith’s Trading Company would be profitable if the game was going to go on a while longer, but it shouldn’t) and I don’t need any other city improvements. And I definitely don’t need more Settlers for cities or Roads or anything, I have Roads just about everywhere and there is no time for further investments to pay off. The only real other option would be Diplomats, but they’re totally unnecessary since I have enough Crusaders to just overwhelm City-Walled cities with ease instead of trying to destroy the walls first.

Time to get started!

Possession is nine tenths of the Danelaw, so I should be done fighting here.

At long last! Of course, it’s too late for me to really use this, but it’s been annoying that I’ve been trying and failing to get it forever while half of these newly spawned civs just started with it.

This place is a mess. Both the City Walls and the Library are 100% worthless and a drain on the treasury, but I can only sell one of them at once. I’ll need to sell the other next turn.

Since it’s big and has no Temple, it also has happiness problems that will only get worse if it grows… so I’ll just have one guy currently producing a lot of Food go be an Entertainer and shift the others to work more Forests so the population goes stable.
Elizabeth the Unready bites the dust.

On that same turn my recently landed units sack Ravenna with ease. It didn’t have a City Wall, so it looked like a better target for just 2 guys than Neapolis over there.

My two cities in near-Rome orbit finish another Crusader and Diplomat team as my Longship returns. Always remember that you DON’T need to move a ship into a city and have the troops select Sleep/Board next ship to get them onto the transport. You can just tell them to walk onto the thing. And you can freely switch between units that have multiple squares of movement per turn in the middle of their moves, so I can have this boat stop here, tell the Diplomat to walk on, tell the ship to move near the other city, tell the Crusader to walk on, and then have the ship get started back for Rome. Efficiency.

I’m currently in a ceasefire on the Mongol front and am trying to locate and corral all their Charioteers before breaking the treaty and killing them all at once.

On the English-Zulu continent I send out scouts and start bringing in more. New civs could spawn just about anywhere while I eliminate the old ones and I want to have troops ready to kill them as they pop up.

The new number 6 is missing of course.

Ah ha! Here is one of the last few resources I haven’t talked about. It’s one of the rarest in the game, despite the Glacier terrain it occurs on being extremely common around the poles. You may recall that Glaciers are the worst type of terrain in the game. They grant 0 Food, Production, AND Trade and they can’t even be Irrigated. Their other resource is Oil, which grants +4 Production. That’s still garbage.

Ivory here is much better; it gives +1 Food, +1 Production, and +4 Trade. That +6 total ties it with Gold and Spice for most total bonuses, and it’s arguably better than Gold overall. Ivory Glaciers are actually quite solid early on and at least pretty good later as the lack of available terrain improvements begins to hurt them.

There’s not much more I can gain from huts at this point, but more troops in out of the way places are welcome.

Alright, new turn, I’ve got the Mongols right where I want them, so it’s time to surprise attack them everywhere at once. Execute order 66!

Cleared out here, and the other 3 Charioteers scattered to the west were all killed too. I really cannot stress enough how important it is to have wars start on your terms on your turn rather than when the enemy feels like sneak-attacking you.

Now for Karakorum here. I’ve got some ships full of Crusaders, but of course it’s impossible for Crusaders to attack right off of boats. Only Marines can do that.

But I don’t need to. I had one empty Caravel kill the Charioteer, revealing the Grassland he’d been standing on. Now my other Caravel moved in and its Crusaders can walk off the boat onto that Grassland at a cost of 1 move (since it’s a Grassland) and then use their second move to attack the city. It’s basically just as good as the Marines’ direct attack.

Yeah, how do you like fighting hordes of horse-riding barbarians?

Note once again that cities on 1-tile-wide isthmuses (isthmi?) between bodies of water basically act like canals. I spread my troops out to find their other cities.

And my first soldiers start running around the Chinese island. Because I got their map from them before their Settlers actually made a city, I don’t know for sure where to go. But the spot they were in is a good bet.


More interesting. I think I’ll just leave them to watch this island in case of enemies respawning here.

All game long I’ve been working on whatever wonder the Romans started building and then buying the thing the turn before they would have finished. But this time I’m trying a new tack.

That city was going to be hard to get troops to, so I’ll just buy it.

The war continues over here on the east side.

Ah another of the last few resources! Swamps are normally terrible terrain (1 food, nothing else), but their resources are pretty awesome. Peat gave a nice +4 Production and Spice is even better. +2 Food and +4 Trade is amazing early in the game. He who controls the Spice controls the universe.

And here’s one of the remaining 2 resources. Tundra is also terrible at 1/0/0 base, but at least it can be Irrigated and walked through at full speed. The Game resource here makes it 3/1/0. Quite respectable.

The war continues, slowed down by Mountains and Hills in the way.

Maybe he’ll pay me. I have no need for this idleness called peace!

You are wicked, but I am more wicked than you, so be silent!

Marco Polo tells me they don’t have many cities left.

Ah, my Caravel has arrived near Madrid. Just like when taking Karakorum, the plan is to move the Caravel next to a land square like Desert that Crusaders can run across at full speed and then have them first step onto it and then attack the city.

Here goes.

At this point you may as well put that tune on repeat; I’m going to be wiping out at least 1 civ per turn from now on.

Most people playing Civ 2 do so with the rules customized to “Don’t restart eliminated players” so that AI civs defeated before 1500 AD are not replaced with other ones they have to kill too. In fact, a lot of people mistakenly assume that you cannot win by conquest before 1500 AD under the default rules. Certainly this famous but rather bad strategy guide operates under that assumption:

In fact, there are tons and tons of misconceptions about how restarting works in Civ 2. This play actually proved me wrong on several points myself as well as conclusively overturning several commonly held ideas. More on that later.

For now I’ll just explain the very basics. There are 7 available colors in Civ 2, each of which has 3 possible civilizations. Only one civ of each color can exist in the game at once (so since I’m the Vikings and thus Blue, there can be no French or Germans since those civs are also blue colored). If restarts are on, a defeated AI civ may be instantly replaced with one of the remaining civs of that color. The new guys will start with a random bunch of units and Settlers and a ton of free techs and their first city built may start off very large. Restarting ceases in 1500 AD on Deity difficulty.

So my goal all through this LP has been to kill each enemy civ and then stomp on its 2 potential replacements, for a total of 18 wipeouts maximum. I conquered everyone in reach as fast as I could so that I could then find and eliminate their replacements faster and so on. The Spanish replaced the Egyptians who replaced the Aztecs, and thus yellow should be permanently gone.

More Mongol cities fall rapidly.

Ah ha, I’ve found the last one I didn’t know about. I just need to get my troops close and finish them.

The fringes of the English-Zulu continent are explored quickly.

One down. As you can see, the English (who replaced the Greeks) were replaced by the final orange civilization: Carthage. And yellow is gone.

So I phone up Hannibal.

This couldn’t possibly be some sort of trap!

As you can see, he apparently started with a size 6 city and tons of free Irrigation among other things. This is kind of an inconvenient location for me to attack, but I’ll get to work.

The Romans have a preposterous amount of money in their treasury, so I get oodles of plunder for every city I take.

I took heavy casualties here; the place had a City Wall and a VERY lucky Legion. My odds of victory with 0 casualties were 80%, but I actually lost 3 guys before killing him.

Now that I have Neapolis, I can actually hit Rome immediately. See, my ship can sail right into Neapolis, and then the Crusaders can move out and attack. The Roads will allow them to reach Rome with 1 whole move left to attack at full strength.

Rome had a LOT of defenders, but as you can see from the lack of a flag they’re all dead now. Nonetheless, I don’t plan to conquer it this turn.

Ah, the treacherous north sea. We lost a lot of Longships here. And it’s turning out to really be startlingly big and empty.

In search of Mao up here.

Still don’t have anyone ready to move in on Carthage though.

At long last, I’m about 1 turn from hitting Japan. They replaced the Zulu who replaced the Babylonians, so I’m really close to eliminating green entirely.

Rome only has about 2 turns to live if I play my cards right. I’ll need to take most of their remaining cities at once, which means I’ll need to buy some Crusaders and Diplomats right now.

I should be able to finish these guys on the same turn as the Romans.

I only weakened Kashgar; it had 2 defenders.

In all the various oceans, I’m exploring isle by isle. For maximum efficiency, I typically send out my boats loaded with Crusaders and send one off exploring each island I find till I run out. The goal is to have 1 or 2 stationed absolutely everywhere so that I can wipe out new civs popping up in any area- or perhaps prevent them from spawning at all.

Man, this whole continent turned out to be really empty. It’s probably the biggest one in the world too. No one even started the game on it.

More scouting. I’ve got huge fleets out everywhere.

Well they finally managed it!

Just according to plan. They probably expected me to just speed-build the thing somewhere like I did right before they finished the last 3 wonders they were working on.

I’d rather save that money to buy their last remaining cities. Rome was their capital, so the others now count as maximum distance away from their phantom capital for buying purposes and are thus really cheap. And none of them are impervious to bribery until they build a palace somewhere- which would take dozens of turns.

Technically I don’t actually need to take this barbarian city to win, but I’m going to anyway- and I can do it next turn. If you think back on what I’ve talked about through this LP, you may be able to figure out how before I demonstrate next turn.

More islands. Better get some Crusaders stationed there. I noticed last game that there were no restarts at all for some reason. My best guess at this point was that this was due to the other civs and I having units and cities just about everywhere so that there were no safe restart zones. So I’m dropping off Crusaders and such on every island to occupy them.

This patch right in the middle of my territory has remained unexplored all game. I do find it weird that cities don’t automatically explore their surrounds as they grow or the like.

This turn will see the end of both the Romans and the Mongols…

There goes their last city.

And wipeout.

They’re immediately replaced, as I can see thanks to Marco Polo’s Embassy.

She’s existed for all of ten seconds but somehow I call her up.

Standard procedure, I just give them whatever they want as long as it isn’t a really critical military tech.

Famous last words!

Well she got a bad starting spot! Not only is the terrain lousy, but I’ve got 2 exploring Crusaders already there.

In Civ 2 the player really has a lot of different lights and gauges and buttons on their dashboard. I’ve talked a fair amount about how even innocuous “just for fun” sorts of menus like the Demographic Information one can be a source of useful intel for a clever player, but there’s still a couple of basic ones I never brought up.

The trade advisor here is basically good for two things. First, it gives you a complete accounting of how much gold you’re spending every turn to maintain different kinds of improvements. The important thing is mainly that this tells you how many of each improvement you have, which lets you know when you’ve actually tracked down every last Aqueduct you want to sell after celebrating all cities to size 12 or reminds you to sell junk buildings in captured cities and so on.

Secondly, only this menu actually gives you a listing of how much Science you’re getting from each city. The science advisor is quite useless in that regard.

In fact, the science advisor doesn’t even tell you when you’ll get a new technology. For that you have to look at the tax rates menu and what that says about how many turns it takes you to get a new tech and then guesstimate from the beaker progress bar here how many turns are left till the next one. Astoundingly useless.

It does have one handy capability though: it lets you know which of your technologies other people have. Even if you haven’t met them. If a tech is blue in this list, at least one other person knows it. If it’s white, no one else knows it. If you don’t have Marco Polo’s Embassy, this can be a very powerful tool for judging where you are in the race to key techs like Philosophy. And, of course, the game doesn’t actually tell you this anywhere.

The last menu I haven’t talked about at some point so far is the Defense Minister one. It’s pretty worthless, except that its list of how many of various unit types are in production. That can help you make sure you’ve completely stopped building units you don’t need any more of.

Also, the bit on the right lists most abilities units have in a generally fairly descriptive fashion. This includes numerous secret abilities the game won’t tell you units actually have anywhere else. Of course, it’s still inaccurate and incomplete.

More exploration.

I should finally find China in a couple of turns here.



And another one down (you’re still playing Wipeout, right? I’m eliminating someone every 2 minutes or so on average)

And three!

Hopefully some of you figured this out. What I did was move that Caravel all the way into Pisae last turn when I bought the Diplomat. That way the Diplomat could Sleep/Board next ship at the start of this turn (NOT walk onboard). Then the Caravel moved to this spot and now the Diplomat can walk off and then immediately buy the city with its second move.

The key thing to remember is that while a unit can walk onto a boat just like a Grassland, it CANNOT then continue moving on that same turn under any circumstances. Further, Sleep/Board next ship doesn’t actually use up the unit’s turn. Therefore after Sleep/Boarding a boat, the unit is still fully capable of moving off the boat and doing useful stuff after the boat goes elsewhere.

You should choose Sleep/Board next ship over walking onto passing boats when the ship in question can reach its objective in one turn starting from the city tile.

Alright, this place is all mine. It is 840 AD and I’ve eliminated every single civ that was in the game at the start, plus quite a number of replacements.

Here’s the first Roman replacement.

Remember this useless island? Well I do and I happen to have ships and troops all ready to go in the area. When playing at this stage in the game, you should generally eliminate enemy civs as early in your turn as possible so that you still have all your scouts and such ready and waiting to kill any new ones that pop up nearby.

Wheee! I’m going to kill these guys the same turn they spawned!

The dumb die young.

They were immediately replaced by the final white civilization, the Russians.

Maybe I can actually kill all 3 white color civs in a single turn.

I still haven’t got a good idea of what the number of spears on the left mean. Some pretty pitiful civs have sported quite a few.

Yes! Thanks to my wonders and putting ships everywhere, I can get the troika!

Awesome. I killed all 3 possible white civs off in a single turn. This little hat-trick of mayhem should leave just a few more colors, most on their last available civ.


So yeah, this was the first I’d ever seen or heard of a civ that was actually already dead being rezzed, not just replaced with another civ of the same color.

As it turns out this is extremely rare but it does happen. This changes everything and ruins a whole bunch of my plans. At this point I actually wondered if this game might be unwinnable before 1500 AD. If so, I’d have 33 more turns of tedium ahead of me.

But then I noticed that the yellow civ had not been replaced, so clearly restarting was not happening infinitely (at least not for every civ). I decided to explore this weirdness further and see if I could win anyway.

Well first I closed in on the hapless Indians and then I called up the new old guys. Old new guys maybe?

Now this fellow should know better. This was exactly what got him killed last time. He spent 4500 blissful years as a peaceful and prosperous civilization with no real enemies and several wonders of the world, then he gave me his maps and like 3 turns later I was obliterating him. But he falls for it again.

I can’t actually find Rome for some reason. They must just have 1 Settler somewhere where he blends in. I looked around for a few minutes but decided to just take out China while checking around here.

There’s one more teal civilization left, then I’ll find out if it’s just the Romans who are being weird this time.

Mortals really do a lot of trembling don’t they?

Now I have two groups to look for.

The Persians are spotted easily. Thanks to my handy calculator, I know I only have a 20% chance to win if I attack with my Caravel while those guys are on the Forest. I’ll have to wait and bring some actual troops in.

Romans? On my continent?

I’m finally closing in on Carthage too. It’s a big city and on a River and might have been working on City Walls for all I knew, so I wanted to make sure I brought plenty of guys.

Good, good. I can keep a watch on these islands now.

At long last I’m fighting the Japanese. And also exploring this zone over in the west to be ready if anyone pops up there.

Next turn, I’ve got Hannibal on the ropes.

And I’m ready to sack Rome all over again.

Next (and hopefully last) will be the Sioux.


… huh. I already killed the Spanish in that exact spot, but I had those troops go after the Indians instead of sticking around. Oh well, I’ve got a Caravel close enough.

Works for me, I’ll have it train another Crusader to watch the area I guess.

Yeah, they never amounted to anything.

It’s like déjà vu all over again!

Oh no. So at this point I began to consider the possibility that I was stuck in some kind of loop where the Romans in particular (and possibly other civs) might be reincarnated endlessly so that I really couldn’t win till 1500. I started looking around for any information on civs being restarted and found lots of pages which all said that what I was seeing was impossible. Many of them also said restarting couldn’t happen near enemy units or cities. So I decided to double down on my attempts to put units and cities on every uninhabited area I could find and then quit if I didn’t get some sign victory was actually possible by the time I’d achieved an enemy-city-free map.

Got them at last.

Now what will happen?

Wait what? Well I’ll investigate in just a second.

Alright, there are now no more enemy cities in existence.

So I check the foreign policy menu. Green has been eliminated! I took that as a sign that I actually could win; yellow being permanently eliminated was not just a one-time thing. Time to get the new Roman and English maps; I already know where the Sioux and Persians are.

Or were that is.

Oh darn it. Everyone but the Persians on this list is some kind of undead horror returned from hell for the sole purpose of annoying me.

Well after some map sharing I find out what happened with that war being declared earlier and it is NOT good news. The English spawned right next to the Persians here. Which led to instant diplomacy between them, which led to war. Which means that (at least in the case of AI units) new civilizations can pop up even right next to foreign troops. Which means there may be no way at all for me to prevent them from spawning by just stationing troops everywhere.

Yeah, confirmed. The new Mongols appeared right in reach of my troops in Japan. So MAYBE the presence of nearby cities can prevent civs being respawned in that area, but it’s not feasible for me to actually build cities on every little island and every corner of every continent. Thus I can’t really prevent respawns.

I killed the English and the Romans and the Mongols. I apparently forgot to screencap attacking the English and Romans though. This is now Caesar number 4 I believe. England 2 was replaced by Greece 2. But the Mongols are gone!

So here’s Rome 4 I think. If you want a picture of the future, Julius, imagine a boot stamping on a Roman face – forever.

Shut up and give me your maps!

Ah ha!

And I also killed the Persians and they were replaced over here.

And those in turn were replaced with China 2. This island is really popular with respawns for some reason.

That’s actually still Rome 4 over there though, not a new one.

City time. Maybe I can prevent any spawns way out here.

Huh, that’s weird. It’s rare to see a desert along the poles like that.

The Chinese 2 are dead; the Romans are still at large but have moved and thus become invisible.

Next turn I got them too.

Ha ha, they’re dead! Alright, I really should be able to win this!

And how appropriate if it ends with the Greeks under Hippolyta, since she was also my very first victim this game.

I’ve got her surrounded. And here at long last is the final resource I haven’t talked about : Fur. Whereas Game enhanced Tundra from 1/0/0 to 3/1/0 respectability, Furs take it to 2/0/3. Which is just not that great despite being more plusses overall because Tundra can’t be enhanced much and pretty much every other Trade resource either grants more Trade or is on a much better tile to begin with.

I’ve been slowly shutting down; ordering units to sentry and making sure cities don’t grow so that I don’t need to bother with 40 unimportant things every turn.

This turn I really only needed 1 unit to kill the Greeks.

But it’s not over! Here’s ANOTHER England! Will this ever end?

Well he spawned right next to one of my soldiers and was killed immediately. But it’s still not over!

Notice her recently acquired techs on the right. For some reason the game saw fit to give her almost everything I know.

Therefore even giving her all my remaining techs barely raised her friendliness at all. Therefore I can’t get her maps like this!

I’m getting desperate now because I don’t want to spend 12 turns looking for her and I REALLY don’t want to spend 12 turns looking for whoever replaces her since they’ll presumably start with all my techs too.

I had to give her my entire treasury, 3000 gold acquired from pillaging every single city in the world and collecting 70% Tax revenue on more than 90 cities for dozens of turns, to just barely get her friendly enough to trade maps. I am now out of good options.

There she is! There’s no time to waste. With that much gold and loads of advanced techs, she could speed-build a wonder of the world if she wanted to. Or City Walls to back up the who knows how many defenders in that square. Delenda est Carthago!

Yes! But I didn’t get any gold back because the unwalled city was destroyed completely without conquering it. So I’m down 3000 and will have neither gold nor technology to trade for maps next time.

… Sigr! There’s not going to be a next time!

That really couldn’t have ended more fittingly. Nevermind the idea of the Greeks being my first and last conquest, TravelLog said right from page 1 that Carthage had to be destroyed. And in the end, that’s exactly what it took to finally win when things were looking grim. Just conquering it like I did against Hannibal wasn’t enough; it had to be completely obliterated. Carthaginem erat delendam!

So here’s a map of the whole world, 95% explored, when I won in 1020 AD.

I’ve marked the location of every civilization I’m certain about. Original capitals are circled, later sites that people popped up in have Xs. And they’re all in their civ’s color of course.

I believe there were another 2 civs I didn’t record in those hectic final turns where I was killing off 3-6 per turn. Specifically, there was a 3rd Persia before China 2 and another India too.

Along with the 28 I have definite locations for, that makes a total of 30 civs destroyed. Either way, I believe that is the highest ever recorded. I believe it may also be the highest civs killed/turn ratio ever recorded at an all-game average of 1 wiped out per five turns.

There have been quite a few Civ 2 conquests finished much earlier than this, but most or all of them were on smaller maps or lower difficulties or tailored maps and nearly all of them had restarts off. 840 A.D. (when I killed the last original civs) is a very good time for large, Deity random maps with restarts off. Particularly since I could have done it earlier if I didn’t also need to fight the Zulu and Egyptians and English and other restarted people along the way.

In retrospect though, I could have done a good deal better if I’d known about how restarting was going to work in this game. A lot of what people believe to be true about it turns out to be false. It very definitely does not stop when you’ve fought every civ of a given color and, contrary to what most people who’ve seen that happen say, it can definitely continue more or less indefinitely. I fought 6 white civs and 7 orange ones, and that seems to be unheard of.

It also turns out to be false that civs won’t restart in places where you have units or cities. Completely false in fact, I saw new guys pop up right next to Crusaders and cities alike. So there’s absolutely no way to prevent it from occurring.

Oh and for the record, the idea that you can win by wiping out all existing civs in one turn is complete nonsense. I never thought it was true myself, but a lot of people apparently do. Restarts happen the instant you wipe out the old civ, not at the start of the turn after or something.

After more research, the most accurate thread about Civ 2 restarts is this one from many years ago: Of course, it turns out to be wrong on several points. One major mystery that remains is why no one was restarted at all in my last game despite restarts being on then too.

Anyway, in light of my experience I think I can say that there are basically 3 key countermeasures to take to deal with enemy civs restarting. First, kill all civs you come across as fast as possible. The earlier you eliminate them, the earlier you can find their replacement and eliminate those guys too. Second, get Marco Polo’s embassy very quickly and use that to locate everyone you can as fast as possible. That was an area where I could have done much better. Third, post Crusaders or other good attack units in reach of every piece of land you can get to in order to be ready to kill the newcomers immediately.

Oh and bear in mind that if one civ has been restarted in an area, there are better than normal odds that another one will be too. Definitely keep people posted there to strike again.

Time for the wrapup! Just like last time, I didn’t actually get to watch the guillotine come down on my many victims. Instead the computer froze up for about 5 minutes while the chopping sound played. Oh well.

The power graph is labelled for the final 6 civs on the board rather than the ones that actually existed at the times shown. The colors should be right though.

And my score. I never really play for score and it would be really easy to do many times better.

Still, it’s nice to get the top title.

And here’s the final screen before the game ends at last.


It’s been quite a ride. I played pretty sloppily (especially in the first game) and got blindsided by a whole bunch of weird happenings, but the outcome was respectable and I wasn’t really aiming to break any records to begin with. That I probably did anyway for most civs killed (while still finishing 25 turns faster than most people even think is possible) is awesome. And finishing by destroying Carthage after joking about that all thread long was awesomer.

I learned a fair amount myself while making this LP and I’m quite proud to have developed the world’s first accurate calculator of Civ 2 combat odds. I think that tool in particular and my delving into the math and secret mechanics that make this game tick in general will be very helpful to other players out there.

Although this game is sometimes dull or frustrating to play (partly due to an excess of luck elements and the unnecessarily opaque rules) it’s still a favorite of mine after all these years. The later Civilization games suffer from similar problems and are not. I think the reason for that is something I said at the very beginning of the thread: Civilization 2 is more of a remake or expansion of Civilization 1 than a sequel. It fixed most of the small problems that hurt Civilization 1, but without really changing the fundamentals.

And Civilization 1 was a really groundbreaking and remarkable game. The ambition of it was just amazing for one thing. In 1991, how many people would have thought that making a game which would span 6000 years of human history, technological development, exploration, war and diplomacy, economics, and politics across the globe was even possible? How many would have thought a game like that could actually be fun, even as it covers everything in nitty-gritty detail every turn?

Besides the sheer daring of trying to make a game that was really about the whole story of civilization from the beginning to the future, Civ 1 was fascinating for starting a whole new genre of turn-based strategy games which still have not really moved all that far away from its example. How many other games is that true of?

Lastly (and most importantly to me as a game designer) a big part of this game’s appeal is how passionate Sid Meier clearly was about the original and about this sequel that changed so little. One reason few people would have thought a game like Civilization 1 was possible at the time is that few people are interested in the whole sweep and majesty of human history the way he is. Some people are interested in political history, some in economic history, some in science history, some in stories of explorers, some in the whole histories of a country or two, and many in wars. But Meier’s enthusiasm for all of those and more pulses through the whole game from government mechanics to technology descriptions. And that’s the biggest reason I’m always willing to forgive Civ 2 its flaws and boring phases: pride in and passion for one’s work is contagious.