View Full Version : Civilization IV

2007-01-13, 09:36 PM
Ok, I know it's been out for a while, but I finally picked it up.

I really like the game, it's easy to learn; yet hard to master. So, anyone got any tips on how to play that game? Especially on managing cities; somehow, disease always gets to them...

Also: How does a play-by-email game work (in Civ IV anyway)? I'm interested in trying it out; I don't feel like playing a 6 hour game online... that's just annoying.

2007-01-13, 09:49 PM
Usually play by email games used to work where you took your turn, then the game emailed the info to the player, so when they turned on their game it told them the move and what happened, and then they took their turn. Essentially it meant you played over the course of a week or more. Sort of like playing chess by mail. If you two were both at the computer it could go faster, but it assumes you want to take 2 hours plotting and strategizing, and that your buddy doesn't want to be there for that.

2007-01-16, 12:50 PM
Bah. That whole series went wrong after Civ II :smallbiggrin:

Saithis Bladewing
2007-01-16, 01:56 PM
Unlike every previous Civilisation game, you must be VERY careful about how you expand. Covering the map with cities is a bad idea. Space your cities just right so that at optimum size their borders won't overlap. Young cities will SCREW over your economy if you don't have ample padding from larger ones, so when you move to expand, make sure your economy can handle supporting a new settlement. It's been a long time since I played, but that's all I can remember.

Oh, yeah, disease. Disease wasn't too bad. If it's really bothering you, play one of the expansionist leaders (Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, etc.) and stock up on buildings, research and any wonders that increase your health. I think the Hanging Garden increases health, but I'm not sure.

Archonic Energy
2007-01-16, 03:42 PM
nuke them before they nuke you...

i never said i played fair!

Lord Herman
2007-01-16, 03:55 PM
Hmm... civ 4...


2007-01-16, 04:05 PM
Civ 4 is the suckiness, Civ 3 was better and Civ 2 was the best, no I'm not saying this 'cause my compy can't support Civ 4, I really did play it.

2007-01-16, 04:17 PM
Civ IV is good game. Love the idea of culture/borders and religion. I find I'm superbly mediocre at it--I'm great at surviving, but winning is tough.

With your cities' health--don't be in a rush to let your cities grow too fast, until you can build improvements to keep them healthy, like acqueducts. I find that unless you are in a particularly food-low area, building granaries is actually not a great idea (unless you need the health boost if you have corn, etc.). If possible, put your cities near rivers or lakes but not on flood plains (fresh water boosts health but flood plains drop it). Don't build near jungles (again, if you can help it). Try to keep at least a few forests alive--these also improve health, though it's so tempting to chop all forests down to rush production. My thoughts; take them with a grain of salt as again, I am not an expert.

Again, good game. Good thing it's not too addictive though.

*clicks "End Turn" button*

*clicks it again...*

*clicks it again...*

*clicks it again...*

*clicks it again...*

*clicks it again...*

Archonic Energy
2007-01-16, 04:29 PM
Civ 4 is the suckiness, Civ 3 was better and Civ 2 was the best, no I'm not saying this 'cause my compy can't support Civ 4, I really did play it.

but Alpha Centauri was better than them all

2007-01-16, 04:38 PM
I rarely have trouble with sickness, but I couldn't give you advice as to why. I just have a tendency to build in resource heavy areas, lots of cows, pigs, sheep. Those'll help give you health

Saithis Bladewing
2007-01-16, 04:51 PM
but Alpha Centauri was better than them all

Archonic Energy, you are officially QFT.

2007-01-17, 05:14 AM
I've never done Pbem in Civ III or IV, unfortunately.

I really like the diplomacy of iv IV, and believe it to be the most advanced. You can build actual relationships with other civs, and set yourself on a parallel course as others (or crash course). The religion aspect is also intriguing and adds depth.

The game is a bit smaller than previous versions, but I suppose that comes with the more expansive features. I think I like it ebcause of the "interesting decisions" capable of being made- such as how you can use mines, fields, workshops, windmills, and the like to really make each city unique, and handle every situation differently.

2007-01-17, 12:46 PM
To expand on what Saithis said:

When expanding, keep an eye on your research rate. It will decrease as your maintenance costs go up and drain your cash at an ever-increasing rate. Once your research rate hits 50%, it's time to stop sending out settlers and instead allow your economy to recover before pushing outwards again. If you keep expanding, you run the serious risk of utterly tanking your economy, thus screwing your research, thus putting you so far behind that you can't possibly win.

The key to city management is specialization. The way the buildings and National Wonders work means that you will get MUCH more good out of one mega-hammer city and one mega-commerce city than you will out of two cities that are mediocre at both. For a production city, you want as many mines, lumbermills, and workshops as you can feed and just enough farms to feed the citizens working them, but no cottages. For a commerce city, you want as many cottages and/or coast tiles as you can stuff into the "fat cross", with just enough mines/lumbermills/workshops to get all the booster buildings constructed and just enough farms to feed everything.

A city with seven or eight mines and a food resource, plus a barracks, forge, Heroic Epic, and West Point (and later a factory and power plant) can produce a shockingly high percentage of all the troops you'll ever need. A city with a dozen cottages, a cash resource (i.e. Dyes or Gold) or three, and perhaps a few watermills, along with Grocer, Market, Bank, and Wall Street will produce literally hundreds of gold each turn...and if there's a Shrine there, the city's income goes from "huge" to "downright absurd".

As for Health: placing cities on a river and leaving forests intact both increase health, while having jungles and flood plains in the "fat cross" decrease it (though flood plains are worth it due to their amazing food output). You can also either connect food resources by putting their appropriate improvement on them and running a road out to them, or you can trade for resources you don't have access to. Finally, there's buildings that improve health outright, and more that increase the benefit given by health resources (i.e. granaries make Wheat, Corn, and Rice give +2 health instead of just +1).

Saithis is correct that the Hanging Gardens gives +1 health to all your cities, but it also gives +1 population, which kindasorta cancels it out.

Unfortunately, I can't help with the multiplayer, since I've only played singleplayer. Even if I did, I'd probably get spanked anyways since I still have trouble keeping up on Monarch.

2007-01-17, 05:12 PM
Wow, there is so much more to this game than I originally thought...

Archonic Energy
2007-01-17, 07:02 PM
Archonic Energy, you are officially QFT.

why thanks Saith.

i have yet to install/play the warlords addon... i'll get around to it.

2007-01-17, 07:33 PM
Civ 4 is an amazing game, certainly better than Civ III(can't really speak much for II, as I was very young when I played that one), though of course not as good or as complex as Alpha Centauri(what is?).
The improved Specialist system, religion, expanded diplomacy, and flexible tech tree all come together to make the game a more interesting experience.

Civ IS a complex game, though, and I can't say I've mastered it yet. Good advice has been given in this thread - civ IV heavily favours players who specialize their cities. Look closely at the surrounding terrain, and on that basis decide what the city should focus. Commerce is probably most important overall, as it affects your entire empire, while food and hammers benefit the city only. But be careful not to make your commerce-focused cities so focused on commerce that they won't have enough hammers left to build crucial wonders like Oxford University and Wall Street. The hammer bonus to Towns from the civic Universal Suffrage will help alleviate this concern, however.

If you have a lot of food-rich terrain, you could also try out a more specialist-focused strategy. Using Caste System and Representation, your food rich cities can get a LOT of scientists which will also generate Great Scientists, who can build academies in your cities to increase tech output by 50%.

It's important to maintain a standing army, even if you do not intend to wage war. Even your good friends might turn on you if they see that your country lies undefended.

Oh, and know early which Victory Condition you want to aim for. While Space Race Victory is something that can be achieved relatively easily with a good tech output- even if you first start to focus on it mid-game- Cultural victory is a different matter. For Cultural you need to focus on your 3 culture cities right from the start. You'll also need to focus on getting several religions. You don't have to found them, you just need to get them. That will give you access to Cathedrals, which increase Culture with a full 50%.

Diplomatic victory is quite a bit harder to achieve than in Civ III. You really need to be on good terms with people here - unlike III, you can't just give everybody lots of tech and money on the turn before the election to ensure that they'll vote for you - rather, you might need to have fought alongside them in wars, and share religion with them, and all kinds of other factors. You probably also need to have some kind of military power.

propaganda mode:
Finally, I might come forth with a little recommendation. If you seek a different experience with Civ IV, you might want to try out a Fantasy mod called Fall from Heaven, which can be found here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=171398
It's the single most popular Mod for Civ IV, and it adds stuff like spellcasting, vastly different civilizations, vastly different religions,, new buildings, new tech tree, new wonders, new civics, a LOT of new unique units, as well as special powerful Hero units for each civilization. I'm not just recommending it because I happen to be on the development team:smallsmile: , it is a very enjoyable Mod. /propaganda mode

2007-01-19, 11:53 AM
The Warlords expansion for Civ IV is nice, you can make other nations your client state rather than just wiping them off the map. Also if you get lucky, you can make some great people generals and have your armies sweep across the world.

Archonic Energy
2007-01-19, 09:43 PM
The Warlords expansion for Civ IV is nice, you can make other nations your client state rather than just wiping them off the map. Also if you get lucky, you can make some great people generals and have your armies sweep across the world.

did you not read my first comment?

Rush to nukes.
build 1 for every city.
End the game...

2007-01-21, 10:09 AM
People, people, if you just play to drive your opponents into the ground Civ 4 is pretty easy unless you want to switch on massive difficulty modes. Mods can help though, some add a big tactical edge to actually thinking. (I personally use the ViSa modpack, which includes a lot of things like Mutrally Assured Destruction nuke systems)

However, I think the real fun of Civ 4, thanks to the new diplomacy system, is actually role playing a civ. You could play a millitaristic and opressive empire makeing heavy use of that draft button, or one of those kniveing back-stabbing ones. I've actually found groups of roleplaying civ4 players online which are fun :smallbiggrin:

2007-01-21, 04:28 PM
People, people, if you just play to drive your opponents into the ground Civ 4 is pretty easy unless you want to switch on massive difficulty modes.

It depends on your play style, I think. I'm absolutely horrible at building any sort of effective military. I've never learned how to balance building a decent fighting force, making money, and developing my cities the way I want them. All of my victories are diplomatic or space race. I play on Noble level.

2007-01-21, 09:39 PM
There is one problem with Civ 4.
It is Horribly programed.
I can play Oblivion on max settings on my Computer. This is non stop for hours.
Playing Civ4 online with my friends manages to CRASH my computer (and overheat twice). This is still happening with all things set to low.

edit: I'm a pure Techy with using Ghandi. I get to nukes by the time others have muskets.

2007-01-21, 10:28 PM
i almost forgot about civ4, ive been to busy with guild wars. i might have to play it tommorow.
i suck though i play on cheiftain and i only win half the time. i hope everyones advice helps