The Let's Play Archive

Civilization V

by ModeWondershot

Part 1: Começar


Vamos começar!

Anytime you go to start a game of Civilization (hereinafter Civ) V, it's worth looking at the game setup screen here. It is used to determine your Civ choice, map, number of players, difficulty, and pace. In this case, Continents establishes that there will most likely be 2-4 Civs per landmass, and the size ensures that we will have an interesting number of neighbours.

The Difficulty basically determines whether you or the AI opponents have any advantages from the game start. Prince difficulty just means that the player and the AI opponents all have almost exactly the same number of units and resources at game start, meaning that advantage is skewed slightly towards the player as the AI generally does not play as well as a human with some idea of what they are doing. However, as I will be taking orders from the thread for certain actions and behaviours, I think this should put everyone in this game on equal footing.

This splash page of sorts narrates a bit of the story of the ruler we are playing as, and gives us a bit of background on the country. Again, Dona Maria Primeira might be taking a bit too much credit here given her mental state at the time, but it is still accurate to say that she was around to see the events described, and the continuity of Portuguese government at the time was predicated on her rule.

This page also describes our unique ability (UA) which is Mare Clausum. Named after a little known act of political legerdemain as part of a treaty established with Spain, Mare Clausum says that we gain double the amount of gold from resources that our Civ has for purposes of calculating trade route value. For now, all that means is that Portugal makes gains in trade that other Civs don't at all stages of the game, so it is worth focusing on trade whenever possible.

The unique unit (UU) we have is the Nau which the Portuguese word for carrack, a sailing ship commonly used in the Age of Exploration. Of note were the fact that early carrack designs were quite modular, and one could be equipped for either combat or trade rather easily. To that end, nau in this game are used as combat ships, but also have an ability that can be used to generate extra money.

The third ability we have is a unique tile improvement which is a little unusual. The Feitoria (factory) is a type of European colonial fortified trading post that was often built to be used as a market in overseas territories. I'll describe a little more of what they do in the game when the time comes to build them, but let's get a little more into the early game first.

Music: Saudades de Coimbra (Peace)

This here is our game map, where we see a lot to deal with from minute one. The unit highlighted by the god-rays in the centre of the screen is our Settler.

The Settler is used to found our first city, the capital and basis of our entire Civ. It's important that a city is settled in a place with good resources available, and the start we have is pretty good, as we have hills for added production value, a river nearby for access to unique benefits, and two units of wheat in adjacent hexes for food (elephants two hexes away are pretty cool too). Therefore we will settle here, despite a glaring lack of fish.

Just like that, we have our capital. The city screen here tells us quite a bit about the city currently selected. The city's statistics in the upper left provide information on what each city produces, which is in turn based on the tiles within its borders and population. Food causes population to increase, and more Food leads to faster growth. More citizens mean more resources will be accessed by that city, so Food can sort of be thought of as the EXP which levels up your city, while also being the lifeblood that keeps it going, and is therefore two kinds of essential. Production determines how fast your city builds things, Gold how much money it makes (or costs) each turn, and the stats for Science, Faith, Tourism and Culture determine how much it produces of those values, though these statistics will be explained a little later. For now, something needs to be changed:

Muito bem.

Now the unit we have highlighted is our Warrior, whom we will use to explore the area. Warriors have a movement speed of 2, which means they can cross 2 tiles of flat terrain in a turn, and a sight range of 2, which means they see 2 tiles away from themselves unless their line of sight is blocked by mountains, hills, or forests. We'll move the Warrior onto that wheat field to our southeast, near the fog.

Thus we reveal part of the map, though we do recall what is on each tile, fog of war will darken any tile we do not observe directly, thus we will not be able to tell whether or not other units may be hiding there after we leave.

Now that our units are covered, let us return to Lisboa and figure out what to do with it. Cities should spend every turn producing something, whether unit or building or, eventually, bonus stats like science points or money. For now, we have the option of building a Worker, who improves tile gains and exploits resources in our territory, a Scout, who moves more efficiently than a Warrior but is weaker, another Warrior, or a Monument, which will cause our city to start producing more Culture. In the interest of having our city make more all-important Food early, I'll start with a Worker.

As the description shows, a Worker will create an Improvement on a tile that is near the city, and Improvements cause the city to gain additional stats. For instance, the first and most basic Improvement is a Farm that will give a minimum of one extra Food to the tile it is based on, so a city with a healthy number of Farms will grow more quickly than one that does not.

Last for this turn is our science. Civs make advances along identical tech trees, but must choose what to prioritize in order to make gains in certain areas early. For me, a strong start is to branch into Pottery, as it leads to the earliest science-producing tech of Writing, which will push us further along the tree faster, and Sailing, which is essential to being Portuguese.

The early tech tree is above for your reference, though more details about how it works will, as with most things, have to wait for later.

With this, we end our turn.

Starting the next turn, I move the Warrior further east to scout the area, and spot something interesting (apart from more elephants) in the southwest-most tile. Ruins!

Ruins are early-game bonuses seeded at random in each world, and the first Civ to touch one with a unit gets a random bonus. The bonus can be middling, or it can be amazing, like this one. Remember that population growth is tantamount to a city leveling up, so a free level is nothing to sneeze at.

Back at our city screen, the added citizen is already boosting our production, which has shaved off a turn spent on Worker creation. What has happened is that the new citizen has started "working" the other Wheat tile next to Lisboa, meaning that it is adding the statistics provided by that tile to Lisboa's total. Therefore, a larger population will sustain itself and improve the city by working new adjacent tiles for Food and other resources, but it will also need more Food in turn to maintain a larger population. Science has also increased thanks to the additional citizen, which will have a greater impact in the longer term by reducing the overall number of turns required to research new tech.

Two turns later, I move my Warrior northeast and find Mt. Kilimanjaro. Between this and the omnipresence of elephants and wheat, our Portugal is evidently located in this world's equivalent of Africa (note to self: next city will have to be called Angola). These Natural Wonders are nice to find early, as they give unique benefits to Civs who have them within their borders, and just finding them makes your citizenry happy, adding a point to your global Happiness score. Happiness is important because it allows empires to grow larger, but we will get to that a little later. For now, I'll be making plans to put a future city next to the mountain to reap its benefits of 3 food and 2 culture per turn, and moving my Warrior next to it gives them the permanent bonus of "Altitude Training", which allows them to spend half as many movement points as normal crossing hills, and gives them a bonus to their combat potential in an environment that has hills. Legal!

Oh, and there's a ruin next to it too!

Bonus isn't that great, though.

Barbarian encampments are a sort of wild-card enemy spawner that are seeded randomly in the world like ruins, and they generate pseudo-warriors called Brutes in the early game that attack Civs close to them. They aren't too dangerous if you know how to deal with them, but they can become quite numerous and Barbarians can make advances along the tech tree to create more powerful units eventually.

A little more exploration and we start to get a sense of the shape of our continent. I don't want to move the Warrior too far from home right away in case it becomes a target for barbarians, but I have to balance that risk against the reward of knowing what is in the area and potentially finding more ruins for more bonuses. It's like many aspects of this game in that while you will eventually be able to get everything you will need, you will have to make decisions and sacrifice certain advantages in favour of others.

(Oh, and we found 2 more herds of elephants and a herd of bison, this is going to make trade kind of interesting, let me tell you.)

To better scout my immediate environs, I start moving back west in order to see what is to Lisboa's north.

Barbarians, and more bison and elephants.

On passing the turn, we finish researching Pottery, and can now begin building projects to make even more use of our wheat, or start the inexorable process of becoming Catholic.

Another two steps west for the Warrior reveals another ruin, so that will become our more immediate priority next turn over the barbarians. There is something else at the northwest edge of the Warrior's sight range, but we will get to that a little later.

I also determine that our next bit of research ought to be Writing, so that we can start filling out more of the tree a bit quicker.

These ruins were worth an excellent bonus, as early Culture is a great boost for reasons I will establish in just a moment, however something even more amazing has happened:

WE FINALLY FOUND FISH! Graças a Deus! We won't be able to act on it for a while, but it's worth mentioning.

Another turn passes, and our Worker is ready to start doing as his name suggests! However, something else pressing is made apparent to us thanks to that Culture gain from last turn:

We have the option of picking our first Social Policy.

Social Policies are tree-based bonuses that we acquire every time we break a certain Culture threshold, which is in turn determined by how many Policies we already have and how many cities are in our Civ. The more Policies and cities, the more Culture is required until the next one. Policies affect individual Civs on an empire-wide scale. Unlike with technologies, however, it is impossible to acquire every Policy, and our time is generally best spent picking one Policy policy tree and getting every possible bonus from that tree before moving on (Policy trees also provide additional bonuses upon being filled completely). The graphic shows 9 trees (and Ideology) but for now only 4 trees are available as the rest are unlocked through tech. Picking a Policy tree has an immediate effect on how the Civ best develops and eventually achieves victory, therefore it is one of the most relevant early-game choices that a player will make.

...Which is why it's time for the thread to decide what values the tribe of Portugal will embrace and determine our first Social Policy tree. I'll provide a simple explanation of each tree to inform your decision:

Tradition provides +3 culture per turn to our Capital and will allow us to someday build the Hanging Gardens. The bonuses in the tree contribute to the construction of Wonders (unique buildings like the Hanging Gardens) and give large bonuses to a limited number of cities. It's considered the bonus to take if your Civ will have fewer, more capable cities, and its benefits are best realized in the early game.

Liberty provides +1 culture to every city in our Civ, and allows us to someday build the Pyramids. The bonuses in this tree apply to all cities and give early bonuses to city growth and development across a wider empire, which is good for Civs that will spread far and wide and have a larger overall number of cities, and its' benefits are less immediate but effective for a much longer stretch of the game. I tend to like picking this as a more exploration-happy Portugal, but whether this persists is your decision.

Honor makes military units 33% more effective against Barbarians, gives us culture whenever we kill Barbarians, and allows us to someday build the Statue of Zeus. Honor, despite the name, is best suited for a Civ that expands through war and seizure of cities belonging to other Civs, but must make sacrifices to early-game growth and general city effectiveness to achieve that. I don't generally pick it for a Civ that doesn't otherwise have some sort of war-focused UA or UU, but this is your call to make.

Piety focuses on religion, making us build the Faith-generating buildings Shrine and Temple 50% more quickly while also allowing us to someday build the Great Mosque of Djenne. Piety won't help a Civ expand, but it will help that Civ's religion tremendously, and that can have its own impact on the game, since a religion provides separate bonuses to a Civ that has it and the Civ that created it. The particulars of religion's effects on the game will have to be expounded upon later, but for now this is the one to pick if Portugal is to be as Catholic in this game as Maria I was in her day.

Voting will end in 2 days from now, so exercise your will over the populace by specifying which tree to follow!

Boa sorte!