Civilization V – or How I Spent My Day Being Sick And Still Getting Things Done

Civilization games are great, especially if you like thinking far in to the future and planning the logistics of world domination. Most of the articles I’ve written on this have dealt with games that were “completed” in some fashion; this is very much a game ┬áthat can’t really be completed. Why note it as complete? In this case it’s more about: winning, using all available mechanics, and generally enjoying things.

I usually win Civ V games through culture, diplomacy or science; very rarely through domination. This time I played random, got English, and was very happy to be on a map with a ton of water and where long range snipping was a valid tactic to take my own continent. In the end, I won through domination, got Augustus Caesar rank, and felt pretty good about the whole thing. Got one round away from using a Giant Death Robot in a legitimate combat situation.

Two of the mechanics that were “missing” from the original release of Civ V were religion and espionage. In many ways I think it helped with the new feeling and tactics of this game to not have those mechanics present at first. The game to make a name for itself with the city state premise, let along the death of the stack of death. With all these changes for long time players not having the complexities of these systems I think it was a good call. This may have led to a slight over tilt towards combat mechanics, however the new faith mechanic and espionage bring things back in to balance. It took a few games for me to figure out that religion was more of a side game, something to actually be used much later in the game rather than early game. Espionage I’ve enjoyed in pretty much every iteration, this was no exception: helped keep me in line with lanes of research I had no desire to spend time on, and furthered my city state goals nicely.

Even with my rig late game turns can take a few minutes. In some games, or in times where all I wanted to do was play games, this was seen as a bad things. Anymore, I see it as a perk! The long wait times actually made it easy to get work done, made for a great timer of focus: five minutes of nothing while the game thought about what should happen. Knowing that I had a short time span to get things before my next move actually helped with some things; it forced me to create more code comments to make sure I knew what I was doing when I’d get back. When not working, knowing that I had some time coming up made it easier to get up and walk around, use the restroom, take care of cats, and all while not feeling like I wasn’t managing time well. I may have been sick, but Civ V helped me relax and still get things done!

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