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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Civilization 5 England Campaign AAR

Post 1 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-08-05 23:14:45 UTC

So I decided to go for a quick  #civ5  campaign as England, King, standard map size, small continents, random map settings, to maybe trying some naval game for a change since I usually play on Pangea style maps.

Does not look like it. Portugal is way too close to me for comfort, and Polish settler is literally next to the spot I sent my first settler to, one turn later and it would be too late. I'm not entirely sure if that's the best place for a city - that hill next to sheep would be better defensively, but 1 fish + 3 crab with a Lighthouse sounds pretty good and I'm sort of considering going exploration at some point so I'd like my cities coastal.

Opening was scout, shrine (I took belief for 15% faster border growth, nothing really seemed particularly useful), worker (nothing to steal nearby), settler, archer. I'm really tempted to just spam archers, get one melee unit as soon as I have some tech, and rush Portugal now, eliminating them from the game, warmonger or not. I'm not really sure how viable this early rush is without any unique units or other bonuses, and terrain isn't terribly friendly for that.

Post 2 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-08-17 23:17:59 UTC

I started that civ5 campaign as England, and then I had no time to continue... I decided to play a few turns just to remind myself what was going on. Oh yeah, I stopped just before fun stuff started happening.

• DoW Poland
• Build city (in this order, so their warrior&settler won't get bounced making capture way harder)
• Bombard their warrior&settler
• Move my warrior south to make sure they don't escape
• Instant buy Archer in my new city
• a few turn later warrior is dead, and I have a new worker

And what's that? Portugal is sending unprotected settler to found a city between London and York? That's just silly, second DoW, capture (I accidentally attacked that settler with my archer, DoWing during attack, but that only shot arrows at it, wut? I had to reload to start of turn, DoW from menu, then attack).

So Portugal and Poland are both down a settler, and I have 3 workers now including one I legitimately built. That doesn't really put me ahead, just makes sure I'm not behind since AI on King gets so pretty big bonuses. Poland might plausibly have another settler down there, as they only have their capital, so I guess I could send my troops there for more.

There's a mod which makes captured settlers stay settlers. If I played with that I'd be so far ahead right now... But the only mod I'm using here is InfoAddict.

Sadly I probably won't have much time for this campaign anytime soon anyway.

Post 3 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-08-22 22:02:36 UTC

Civ5 England campaign (King)

Poland founded second city, so there was no point harassing them further. Instead I sent all my troops (3 Archers, 1 Warrior) against Portugal, mostly to harass them, since I didn't really have much hope of taking over any of their cities.

Then I decided it's time to do some trading, and since Portugal had triremes which could be nasty I peaced them out. That locked out my Warrior on wrong side of border - and he doesn't have embark yet as I only just got optics. There are no transport ships, so he'll stay there until another war with Portugal, or until I disband it, unless Portugal expands its borders to cover all of that land, presumably bouncing it all the way west then.

I'm not terribly enthusiastic about my 3rd city, and I really have no idea where to put my 4th (even less any good places for 5th and 6th). Is this isthmus south from Panama City with 4 bananas, 2 fish, and 1 clam (and 2nd already in range from York) in range any good? It would have ton of food and some late game science, but no production to speak of.

Settling east along that York river was my original idea (probably on that hill on river's south side - still feels safer than plains north of river wrt potential Polish attack), which would be ton of river tiles, 1 banana, 1 sheep, and 1 wheat. No new unique luxes anywhere except 1 fur 4 tiles from London, it will expand there eventually, it's extremely weak place for new city.

Alternatively my embarked scout could discover something nearby, solving my problem.

Anyway, it feels good to be stronger than any nearby AI, even if I'm probably far behind AIs on different continents.

Post 4 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-08-23 17:41:42 UTC

Civ5 England campaign (King):

• I disbanded scout as there are no landmasses reachable by just coastal travel
• I tried to get Great Lighthouse, someone took it while I was a few turns in
• My trade route to Panama City got plundered by pirates pretty much right away... seriously? I sent it there instead to another civ to make it safe in case of war.
• I'll finish National College in 2 turns
• Poland settled 3rd city somewhat close to that hill where I sort of wanted my city to be, but not crazy close
• Portugal sent another unprotected settler towards me... Yeah, like I'll allow that.
• It doesn't feel like I'm making much progress here, but I'm pretty bad at judging this.
• At least York is as good as I hoped it would be.

Post 5 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-08-25 12:24:49 UTC

Civilization 5 England campaign (King)

• Portugal offered Porto for peace, which I took.
• London managed to build Hanging Gardens.
• I got another settler - I can either build city now and buy my way to bananas for 200 gold (and sit at -4 happiness for a while), or wait, but then my cities are growing pretty fast, so I might never get my way out of negative happiness
• I have a decent shot at building Oracle, and I want to go Exploration with that free for flavor reasons. Should I go something else instead like commerce or liberty?
• I want to build Circus Maximus in London, but that's many Colossea away, especially if I build that new city.

Every time I play this game, I feel happiness mechanic is artificial and obnoxious, especially at punitive levels human player has to deal with, while AI gets much more sensible levels, where it has impact but doesn't make the whole game all about this one mechanic.

I could lower difficulty all the way, but then AI is a bit too much of a pushover. Maybe I should mod "King except for Chieftain happiness" difficulty level into the game? Mid-campaign?

Post 6 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-08-25 14:19:11 UTC

Civilization 5 England campaign (King, mostly):

So I reconsidered a few things - I enjoy this game a lot, except for happiness bullshit... so I midgame modded happiness back to warlord level (12 base, 75% from cities and pops). AIs are still playing with 12 base, 54% from cities and pops, so I'm playing the hard way, relatively speaking. Happiness is still something I need to care for (I prioritize all happiness wonders and buildings pretty much everywhere, and I'm only in single digits up), but it's no longer ridiculously punitive.

I guess I could give AI some extra happiness as well to keep things fair, but then it wouldn't really matter either way. Sure, it makes game a bit easier, but fun is the key, and happiness management was the least fun part for me. I might try emperor with warlord happiness next campaign (AI would be down from 56% to 51% unhappiness).

Anyway, with 3 Longbows and 1 Trireme conquering Lisbon was really easy - and another Trireme is exploring the world now. I got a lot wonders in London, and Portugal even finished Petra two turns before I captured it.

Warsaw has Great Wall, so I sort of want it now. I'm not totally sure if my longbowmen can shoot over jungle tiles into Lodz, it's not artillery so they need full line of sight. Of course I could harass Poland until it gives me Lodz peacefully, then take Warsaw next war.

I didn't get any mass denunciations after I captured Lisbon - so I guess most civs never met Portugal, and so they don't know they ought to decounce me for that warmongering. Hopefully they don't know Poland either, as Poland is on the east coast, and all of them are to the west.

I'm not sure which victory condition this is heading towards. I got exploration for extra naval movement/LOS, and +3 production in every coastal city.

Post 7 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-08-29 21:47:22 UTC

Civilization 5 England campaign (happy King):

After being really late to religion party I got Great Prophet from Hagia Sophia, founded very late religion, and Tithe and Pagodas were still available. A few turns later I got legitimate Great Prophet (now at 300 instead of 200 faith) and grabbed Divine Inspiration (+2 faith / wonder) and religious texts.

Conquering Poland is surprisingly hard, as Warsaw has light of sight blockers from every direction. First war I could shoot Warsaw from one hill, but they chickened out and gave me Lodz, which I promptly razed, giving me second hill to shoot Poland from. As soon as truce timer expired, second war, still extremely awkward, but they gave me Krakow this time. I'll probably have to put my units in harm's way the next time, since that's still only 2 hills I can shoot from.

During my first war I managed to plunder two trade route with my Trireme turn one for +400 gold. So sweet. So far I lost one Trireme to Poland, and 2 cargo ships to pirates. Totally my fault all that. There was blatant barb camp on the way westward from York/Nottingham to Denmark. It's still standing, empty, since my ships can't raze it. And that Trireme died to bombardment (which was safe, it couldn't kill me and I could pillage next turn) followed by Polish Composite Bowmen I disregarded in my reasoning. Oh well, it will teach me next time, it ended up being fairly inconsequential.

I'm definitely going against Poland for the 4th and presumably final time, not sure what to do next. Since I have Universities that jungle isthmus city with 4 bananas and 2 fish looks really tempting.

My happiness is overflowing, which is no surprising as I turned unhappiness down to 75%, but then I'm still doing everything to generate more happiness just in case (wonders, luxes, pagodas, exploration policy that gives happiness for each naval building etc.). I probably overdid that, if I play the next time I'll set it to 85% or so maybe. 100% makes the game all about happiness, so I definitely don't want to go that high.

Not sure which victory condition I'm going for. I got to Printing Press first, so that sets me up for nice diplomatic victory, and I think I'm leading on science so that might work as well. Or since I already have 2 capitals, I'm taking Warsaw anyway, and most other capitals are coastal, I might spam ships of the line and go for domination instead.

Most civs dislike me, but I got declaration of friendship from Egypt somehow.

Post 8 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-08-30 01:37:02 UTC

Civilization 5 England campaign (happy King):

I finished off Poland, losing just one Swordsman - I forgot bananas don't have any plunderable structures on them - I keep making small tactical blunders like that a lot, but they don't matter all that much.

I also built that 4 bananas 3 sea resources city I planned for half the game now.

Not sure where to go next with all that. Alexander and Ramses seem to be OK with my warmongering, only Dido is really bitchy, but Dido is not a threat. I could easily take Copenhagen - it's just across narrow sea from York, but that's fairly pointless unless I commit myself to domination victory.

I'm ahead on pretty much everything, so I could just take my time and win by science or diplomacy. I doubt AI would be able to pull off naval invasion of my continent, not in normal circumstances, and here from that far, against my stacked bonuses between English UA, both English UUs, and exploration? Simply not happening. Maybe they could settle a city on my continent and start from there, but that's still an extremely unlikely shot.

Post 9 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-08-30 13:00:05 UTC

Civilization 5 England campaign (happy King)

Last time I said there's no way AI could launch naval invasion from across the world, and the only chance it has is settling some cities on my continent and launching invasion from there at some point. Apparently Alexander follows me on G+ and he's doing exactly that. I don't really care for these city spots - I had to rush buy bananas for Canterbury, and Krakow lost potential fish, but it's really not a big deal.

I basically need to decide if I want to go for domination or not. Right now I have friendships with Alexander and Ramesses, and I'm science leader, so if I want to go peaceful, nobody can really backstab me, but Alexander could maybe outvote me? He just finished Forbidden Palace and has loads of city state buddies.

If I go for war, I can either attack Alexander's tiny cities (but then I could have attacked his settlers and didn't - I'm getting really soft), or go for Denmark's capital as that's going to be easiest.

I never did any major naval warfare, and I never did science victory, so both have some appeal.

It's also my last chance to build Longbowmen before they get obsolete. Range 2 Gatling Guns are just infinitely better than range 1 Gatling Guns.

Post 10 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-01 20:33:57 UTC

Civilization 5 England campaign (happy King)

Copenhagen was just way too tempting, troops I sent were massive overkill too - and more are on the way. Harald still not wanting to peace out, but he'll figure out that he lost. No idea why so many of Alexander's troops are in the area.

Next Dido or Montezuma. Montezuma's capital looks pretty hard to take by sea, so I guess I could take Texcoco first, and take Tenochtitlan by land instead?

I could bribe some local city states to provide support too, I'm making quite a bit of money.

No idea how to take on the last two civs - they'll probably have Flight by the time I get from 4 to 6 capitals, so it will be much harder.

Post 11 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-11 00:19:19 UTC

Civilization 5 England campaign (happy King)

I paid Alexander to declare war on Rasesses to make them both busy while I'm dealing with minor civs. Harald didn't accept white peace, but a few turns later it have me Kaupang voluntarily for free. Danes are weird. Oh well, it's a nice city on a way towards Montezuma and Dido.

Dido had a ton of ships, but mostly Caravels, and they weren't too hard to dispatch - I lost a captured Galleas and Keshik donated by a city state, but captured 2 Caravels, so it was net about even. She was pretty resigned after losing Cartage and Saguntum, and even offered me Hippo Regius, but that's really far and really pointless, so I let her get away with giving me some some gold.

• Captured Dido's cities, and Montezuma's cities soon to join them.
• Game thinking Dido had the most powerful army in the world (before our war). Actual warfare disproved this. Also Ships of the Line OP.
• What Harald's cities ended as.
• Alexander's continent - how the hell do I attack that?
• Ramesses's cities - so damn tempting.

I have friendships with Alexander and Ramesses, so they're both last. Ramesses looks way easier, so Alexander is probably going to be the final war. I've been collecting city states so fast that if I am too slow I might accidentally win diplomatic victory before I win domination.

I got Great Admiral too - that's like the most worthless Great Person of them all - and he even spawned in my capital instead of somewhere useful. None of my ships have range 3 and I started upgrading Longbowmen as 2 range Gatling Guns seem more useful against Musketmen level units.

Presumably I need to upgrade my fleets at some point - I don't even know what upgrades to what. I have Caravels, Privateers, and Ships of the Line right now, in somewhat large numbers.

I think I'm just going to land both my Gatling Guns from Cartage next to Tenochtitlan turn one when I'm invading it. That's the best they could be used for. Otherwise, naval bombardment from 2 tiles only is going to take forever.


Post 12 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-12 00:26:44 UTC

Civilization 5 campaign: England (happy King)

I wondered if that silly thing where AI figures out I have troops on its borders and requests either immediate declaration of war or backing off applies to navies too - it does, Montezuma asked for war, so he got a war.

The war was fairly uneventful. I got one Ship of the Line with range 3 (too late to matter this war), but mostly took Montezuma's capital using two range 2 Gatling Guns.

I'm now researching towards Ironclads, then Destroyers and Battleships, but that will take forever.

I have friendships with both Ramesses and Alexander, but at this point there's no point stopping - as soon as my ships get repaired they'll go straight for Ramesses's capital. Ramesses is fighting Dido right now too (he peaced out Alexander), so it will be easy.

I just got to adopting ideology. I'm not sure which to choose, and I'm not sure if it even matters. I'm also trying to win the world fair. Hopefully I win by domination before I accidentally win by diplomacy (second screenshot).

Post 13 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-13 19:29:43 UTC

Civilization 5 campaign: England (happy King)

Range 2 Gatling Guns and range 3 Ships of the Line with every single mobility bonus possible (England, Exploration, recently captured Great Lighthouse) are ridiculously overpowered.

Montezuma wouldn't peace out so I got another of his cities Texcoco - then I went to fight Ramesses (my declarations of friendship with Alexander and Ramesses expired ages ago, I'm not sure why I thought otherwise, I probably confused them with open borders which we kept renewing or something like that).

Another easy fight, Thebes taken, peaced out two turns later. Which was nice, as none of his other cities were anywhere near the coast, and I only had one range 2 Gatling Gun nearby (it didn't even come here from my army - I sent it all the way from Lisbon to pop up some ruins on a one tiny island I discovered very late, I thought I might as well move it to Egypt once instead of back home as both were about equally far away) so if he kept sending troops against me it would be pretty awkward to defend Thebes.

Thebes was really well defended - it had city bombardment, Crossbowman, and Frigate in the city, as well as another Crossbowman outside. That's not good enough compared with range 3 Ships of the Line (unfortunately only half of them have that range, I rushed too many in cities with just Barracks), but I lost a Caravel and a Privateer to all that (and my carelessness with melee units).

I'm just Athens away from victory. I'm not sure if I want to go straight for Athens or to take one or more of Alexander's cities in Bay of Athens first. There's only one tile within 6 tiles away from Athens that's not within shooting range of some city.

A war against Alexander will probably be a global war as well - maybe I should start right away, as plenty of action is going to happen even before my ships reach Athens? Any guesses when the game is going to end?

In some minor news, I took Order ideology like I do every single time - +25% science from factories and factories being built in half the time just looks so awesome, and free +2 happiness per city and 2x spy defense are also pretty nice. World Fair is going to trigger in a few turns, and something tells me I'm going to win it too :-)

Post 14 - Originally published on Google+ on 2014-09-13 21:06:19 UTC

Civilization 5 England campaign (happy King):

Domination victory in turn 263 - quite a bit faster than turn 382 I had in my Arabia campaign.

I sunk down Alexander's puny fleet (Dido had the largest fleet this campaign not counting me), then proceeded along western side of Bay of Athens taking Corinth, Sparta, then Athens. 1 Great War Infantry and 2 Gatling Guns landed there for help as well (one of Gatling Gun had extra range and extra attacks - OP much?). I thought about taking Pharsalos on eastern side of Bay of Athens to protect the attack, but it wasn't necessary given Athens' weak defenses and simultaneous attack from sea and land.

I burned down 2/4 towns Alexander founded on my continent - not for any military necessity, I just thought I might as well since we're at war.

Alexander was at war with Harald before, so he had a lot of troops on Danish/Aztec continent - and they successfully took my allied city state of Zurich, losing like 10-15 units in the process (I wasn't counting too closely). I could have sent my fleets to stop them, but instead I took Corinth, Sparta, and then Athens, sparing just a few units to defend Zurich (Ironclad, Privateer, Frigate I captured from Greece, and Ship of the Line). Screenshot is what's left of Alexander's army near Zurich. I'd probably be able to liberate it in a few turns, but the game ended.

It's a bit of a shame since next turn I'd be able to upgrade my Ships of the Line into Battleships with twice the firepower.

And that's enough civ5 for now. I'll continue my campaigns of RimWorld and XCOM Long War and probably add something new to the mix as it's more fun to play a few different games simultaneously. I haven't decided yet what to play.

I still this the game is too punitive in terms of happiness, but I definitely overdid it. The next time I'll play Civ5, I'll probably go Emperor with -10% or -15% unhappiness reduction - it sounds a lot more fun than playing unmodded King.

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