Civilization VI First Thoughts

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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.