Tag Archives: gaming

Civilization VI First Thoughts

So I’ve put in a few hours of Civilization VI now. My initial thoughts on it… It is similar to previous entries but different in its own way.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first.

Builders/Workers. These guys only do three improvements and then vanish. The upside on this is that it only takes one turn for them to make this improvement. There are policies and such to increase the number of improvements they can make prior to disappearing. But the days of Build-a-worker-and-let-him-go are gone.

Pacing. I do prefer longer games. Speed runs, etc. hold no interest for me. However, with the game on Standard speed, it seems almost too slow.

These are the only things that stand out as negatives for me at the moment.

Now on to the positives.

Policies. As you play, you research your technology (Pottery, Nuclear Fission, etc.) and Civic Policies. The Civic Policies can lead to a new government type, or to policies that you can implement, such as “Increased production for <insert era here> melee and ranged troops.” These are divided into Military, Diplomatic, Economic, and Wildcard. The wildcard slot will hold a policy of any type. And you are limited in the number of policies you can have implemented at any one time.

Cassus Belli. Everyone knows that when you spank a civ for encroaching on your territory, you get a warmongering penalty when you decide to chastise them. Now you can reduce these penalties by declaring war for a cause. Has someone spread his Zoroastrianism to your city? Now you can declare a holy war on him and the penalty for warmongering is reduced. I’ve also run across another method of reducing the warmongering penalty by liberating a city-state that has been previously taken over by another civilization.

Roads. I’m mixed on this one. Your workers don’t build them anymore, which is good given their limited lifespan. They are now produced by trade missions. The caravan will automatically create a road (which gets upgraded as you progress through the ages) between the two end points of the route. Military engineers can also create new roads, but I’ve not played with them yet.

Traders/Caravans. Again, I am mixed on this one. I don’t normally send out a lot of caravans. But with them being the only early game method of road creation, it is a must. Trade routes last only a few turns. At the end of the mission, a trading post is established in both end cities. Trade routes going through one of these trading posts later increase the value of the route. This gives you more incentive to send them out. And keep them busy.

Corps/Armies. You can create a stronger formation by combining two units into a corps. While I’ve not done it yet, I expect creating an army is similar, two corps to make an army. The upgraded unit is stronger than the single unit and gives you the ability (sort of) to stack troops.

Combat. Leading in from corps and armies, battles. They are pretty much the same as before. Troops battle, troops get experience, troops level up. Now the differences start to show. Each unit is a certain type; melee, ranged, cavalry, support, etc. The units have an upgrade path. Two choices at each level, one mainly for offense, the other for defense. This is capped by a seventh ability, which seems to be movement related (for the units I’ve seen). Support units, like a battering ram or a siege tower, allow the attacking unit to bypass or damage defenses during the attack. Normally, the attacker must beat down the defenses, and then the health of the city to capture it. A battering ram allows the attacker to damage both at the same time, while a siege tower allows the attacker to bypass the defense entirely and hit the health.

In all, I do enjoy this game. It has a few quirks that need to be gotten used to, but overall I like it.

Why are Dungeons & Dragons CRPGs so simplistic?

While driving home from dinner, I was contemplating the latest entry into the D&D computer RPG arena, Sword Coast Legends. It does have pretty graphics, there is a lot of voice over work and the quests seem well-written. The DM tools appear to be pretty good too, though I’ve not delved too deeply into them yet. The biggest issue I have are the character classes.
Continue reading Why are Dungeons & Dragons CRPGs so simplistic?

Via Astrum

Yay for non-blogging hiatuses. Lots of things going on. New full time job (yay!) with a new full time job commute (boo!). Anyway, on to the good stuff. I’ll be at Nuke-Con this coming weekend (Oct 4-6) in Omaha Nebraska. I’ll be running three sessions of Via Astrum while I am there. So if you are in the neighborhood and want to check it out, drop in.

As an update to what is going on with the internal Via Astrum guts… Event tables are finished for all paths. I’ve begun adding new and more vehicles to the game, currently just ground and hover types. Air, sea and space are coming yet. Actually, space ships will be a separate chapter. I’ve normalized the ship weapons between Astra Imperia and Via Astrum. This is to promote more crossover flexibility. I’ve added reactions lifted and modified from Eldritch Adventures. Completed the psi power descriptions to the new format. I’ve also added some weapons, accessories and ammo to the lists. Added a stat called Exposure to vehicles. I also brought the speeds more in-line with modern vehicles. No more racing along at 45mph! Slow down you young whippersnappers! And get off my lawn!

Ahem. Anyway. Added some new heavy weapons (2 and 4mm railguns, 80mm mortars and plasma cannons). Added to the psi powers list (Now with more ways to melt the mind!). And I put in Action Points for what you can do in a turn. I’ll go into more depth on both Exposure and Action Points here in a minute. I also added a worksheet to help with the background procedure, since there are no longer classes.

Exposure is quite simply a percentage chance that when the vehicle is struck, the driver or a passenger is hit. For example, a motorcycle has an Exposure value of 90%. Pretty good chance you’ll peg the driver unless you specifically aim at the bike. On the other hand, a military ground tank has a 1% Exposure. Pretty tough to hit the occupants of a tank.

Action Points are a calculated stat. The base value is AGL x 2. So most characters will have values in the 10-16 range. Some example actions and their cost: melee attack is 3 AP. Ranged attacks are 4 AP. Moving costs 2AP per meter moved. Drawing or holstering a weapon costs 5AP.  Rummaging in a backpack for your cell phone costs 10AP, while pulling something off of a belt or bandolier is 5AP.

In all, there is still a lot of work to do, particularly the Xenobestiary. A whole chapter of alien critters to blow up! I’m also thinking about adding another race. I am somewhat hesitant to do so, just based on the tight tie-in to Astra Imperia. Though there always has been an “alien” sourcebook planned for AI.

Another thing I’d like to get is art. Art can make or break a book. I’ve looked at games with some crappy art and it just throws you off. I’ve also seen subpar games with good art get lots of playtime (*cough* D&D4e *cough*).

Anyway, I’ll see you all at Nuke-Con!