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Quady's Civ IV Diary

QuadyTheTurnipQuadyTheTurnip Icrontian
edited Jun 2012 in Gaming
I've noticed something about myself. If I have a structure or project to work on, I can learn something or get better at something quickly, but if I don't have that structure, I tend to lose motivation or at least lose the thread of my learning. So I've been trying to think of ways in which to practice my writing skills, in a way that is low-key and hopefully amusing for people to read, and interesting enough to me that I'll keep at it.

I think I've come up with something that fulfills these qualifications, and is also suitably nerdy. I'm creating a diary of a Civilization IV game (as one of my friends pointed out, this also qualifies as a Let's Play). For those few of you who don't know, Civilization IV is a turn based strategy game where you control a civilization from 4000 BC to 2050 AD, researching technologies, developing infrastructure, trading with and sometimes warring with other civilizations, and basically running everything in your country until you rule the world through one of various methods (military conquest, being the first to colonize the Alpha Centauri solar system, being such a cultural powerhouse that the people of other nations want to join yours, etc.).

I will be playing the game, then writing up the diary in chunks of a few paragraphs as a narrative of the events of my civilization, getting input from you guys every so often (in order to make the game more interesting for me). I'd try to write it such that you can follow along without any beforehand knowledge of the game, and I'd try to write it in a way that'd be entertaining to read as well. If interest wanes for some reason, I'll stop posting them here, but baring that, I'll most likely be posting a new segment every few days.


Before our civilization can begin its journey through the ages, there are some technical issues to discuss, and there are some choices to make about what sort of world we'll be living in. For each of these choices, I'll be tallying what people choose, and in case of a tie I'll be the tiebreaker. If you only have an opinion for some of the questions I'll be asking, feel free to just respond to those questions. I should also note that this is being posted elsewhere, so votes are coming from multiple places. Meaning if where the game ends up doesn't match up, it just means you got outvoted by my Facebook friends or something.

Civ IV has an incredibly wide variety of land shapes and map types to choose from (as well as numerous historical and fictional scenarios to play through). For our purposes, I've narrowed down the options to three map types: Earth2, Terra, or Fractal. Earth2 uses the shape and location of Earth's real continents, islands, and seas, but randomizes what's on them (so, for example, the Horn of Africa could be a jungle filled with banana trees, or it could be a mountainous realm, rich with gems and gold. The locations of civilizations is also randomized, so the Horn of Africa could be home to the Dutch and the Japanese, for example). Terra uses the general concept of historical Earth, with an Old World (where your civilization starts) and a New World in another hemisphere (and the discovery and expansionism that having a New World brings with it), but continents, islands, etc. are generated randomly. Finally, Fractal is COMPLETELY random. So, Question 1: Earth2, Terra, or Fractal? No matter which of these is chosen, I'll be setting the climate to Random (to make it more interesting), Sea Level to Medium, and the Size will be HUGE (with a corresponding huge number of computer controlled civilizations). This should hopefully make for a suitably epic game.

For those of you who know Civ IV, I'll be playing on Normal speed, on Prince difficulty. This will be my first full game on Prince difficulty (yeah, I'm not the best Civ player), because I've reached the point where I can consistently beat AI on lower levels of difficulty.

Questions 2 & 3: Which Civilization and Which Leader should we choose?
Civilization IV has 34 different historical civilizations to choose from, from the Aztecs to the Zulu. Each civilization has a special unit and special building, for example, America's special unit is the NAVY Seal, and the Dutch's special building is the Dike.

Each civilization has between one and three different leaders to choose from, each who has unique traits that affect their civilization. For example, Winston Churchill is Charismatic and Protective, while Pharaoh Ramsees II is Spirtual and Industrious. Each of these traits have mechanical in-game effects, but don't worry too much about them. Just think of them in terms of pointers for what our civilization will be good at. They all generally line up with history, so Genghis Khan's Agressive and Imperialistic traits make him good if you want to take over the world by force, and Gandhi's Spiritual and Philosophical traits make him a good choice if you don't.

Here's a link to the full list of all civilizations and leaders, though pretty much any major nation or empire from history is represented, so you can just throw out names if you don't want to peruse the list.

Question 4: What shall we name our Civilization?
Though we'll be playing with a leader and civilization chose in Questions 2 & 3, we don't have to call them by that name. If we want to play as England, but name our land the Great and Gloroius Empire of Canada, we can do that. If we want to play as the Ottomans, but call our people the Rampaging Space Pigeons, we can do that. We can also rename our Leader, if we wish.

Once a suitable number of votes have been cast, I'll get started. Also, apologies for the wall of text, future updates shouldn't be quiiiite as long.

TL;DR: I'm going to make a diary/Let's Play of a Civ IV game (with your input!) to practice my writing! Answer the bolded questions above so we can get started!


  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    I've wanted to do this so much myself, in taking the role/persona of the main character I play in whatever game it happens to be (Tropico would be fun). I'm looking forward to the read!
  • Ok, taking what votes I have so far, Boudica and the Celts is the only majority (every other suggestion for leader or nation just had one vote). Map type is split 50/50 Terra and Earth2, and each name suggested has been wildly different (though I'm leaning Rampaging Space Pigeons, since I'm the one who suggested it and someone else voted for it's inclusion). You have until tonight to vote!
  • ErrorNullTurnipErrorNullTurnip Illinois Icrontian
    My vote has probably already been counted, but I'd like to see Terra with Bismark leading the Germans. No idea what to do for a name. I can't wait for this to start!
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! SoCal Icrontian
    I don't know anything about the game to answer questions 1-3 but the obvious answer for #4 is Icrontic

  • QuadyTheTurnipQuadyTheTurnip Icrontian
    edited Jun 2012
    Entry 1 - 3480 BC

    Wandering throughout the lands of Terra for many a year lived a nomadic tribe of Celts, with the rather odd name of "Rampaging Space Pigeons". In the year 4000 BC, for no good reason, they decided to settle down into one of those new-fangled "cities" they'd been hearing so much about. And for an equal lack of good reason, they decided to put me in charge. I promptly appointed Boudica my second-in-command, as her charismatic leadership has made her well loved by our people, and her military skills had kept our tribe safe from bandits for our wandering years.


    We surveyed the nearby land, looking for a good location to set up our city. We settled upon a rocky, forest-covered coast. Pigeonians love forests, as they are home to the many animals we trap for food and the pigeons we domesticate. The rocky hills are perfect for setting up our druidic monuments to those majestic birds, and the ocean should give us fish to feed to the pigeons! (Also, down the line, we should hopefully be able to do some trading with other cities along the coast). In honor of our peoples' namesake, our first city is named The Roost (Future cities will take the various names suggested by you guys for our civilization).


    Our first order of buisness is to figure out what those white fluffy things with the four legs are on the hill to the east of us (in other words, we'll be using our knowldege of Hunting to research Animal Husbandry). The people of The Roost, meanwhile, will be training some people to work the land around the city. Once both of these are complete, we'll have a Worker who can build a pasture, giving The Roost access to our first resource, sheep!

    During this, I sent our scouting party to the north-west, to see what could be found.


    They found some excellent farmland along a river, more hills, some grape vines, cows, and corn (all of which we can use as resources if our city is close enough to them, or if we found another city near them in the future). Most interestingly, they found some small tribal villages. The villagers were all extremely friendly, two of them giving us gifts of gold, and the third teaching our scout how to better fight on and travel over hills.

    ...and then this guy showed up:


    So, my council of advisors, what will it be? War or Peace with Frederick? If we don't want to do so now (you'll note that we don't have any real soldiers at the moment) we could have peace now, and then declare war later on.
  • MrTRiotMrTRiot Living in the North Icrontian
    Go to war now. Early wars are fun and if he's that close to you only good things can happen from eliminating him.
  • ErrorNullTurnipErrorNullTurnip Illinois Icrontian
    Awww, but he wants peace... He is rather arrogant sounding, though. Peace now, build army and then war.
  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA Icrontian
    Smug white cap = war.
  • RyanFodderRyanFodder Detroit, MI Icrontian
    I'm interested in seeing you survive the early war as well. Can pigeons produce an early offensive unit?
  • As per the words of my advisors (sorry Icrontic warmongers, you got outvoted), we have peace with the Germans for now, but we’ll have to wait and see how the next few centuries go before we decide if it will be a lasting peace or not.

    There was some immediate merit to that decision, because International Politics suddenly got very complex. Immediately after my chat with Frederick, this joker showed up:


    Followed quickly by Alexander of the Greeks, Winston Churchill, Wang Kon of Korea, and Julius Caesar:


    The dulcet tones of Leonard Nimoy informed me that some of my people had figured out what those white fluffy four-legged things to the east of The Roost were.


    I sent some workers out to build a pasture for these so-called “Sheep”.


    Our scouting party continued exploring the surrounding area, and in between discovering more villages with gifts of gold for mighty Pigeonia, they got into some fistfights with a bear, some wolves, and a lion. Their animal-punching prowess was unmatched, but the tales told of their fights freaked out the citizens of the Roost enough that they clamored for military protection. A band of hardy warriors were trained…and then given cushy jobs defending the city. It was a morale booster, but one squad of warriors isn’t going to do much when it comes time to wipe the smile of whoever annoys me the most in the realm of international politics. Still, it’s a start! We even built a monument to honor that great day.

    One of my advisors informed me that someone had invented something he called a “Wheel”, which let things roll along the ground. I informed him that such an invention was ridiculous, as pigeons didn’t roll along the ground. He responded that the invention of flight was a few thousand years off, so we may as well start with rolling around first. I sighed, then told him to go invent Bronze Working so we could cut down all the annoying trees around The Roost.

    The Roost had reached a population of 48,000, and things were getting a bit crowded, so we kicked out a bunch of people who annoyed us and told them to start their own city.

    So my advisors, where shall we build our second city? To the northwest, where there are wine grapes a-plenty? Along the coast to the east, where there are deer and beaver for trapping, but no viable farmland? In the interior, the northeast, where there is much farmland, and where tales tell of gold in the mountains?

    Here’s what the known world looks like at the moment:


    The Germans lie to our northwest (Grey), the Greeks directly north of us (Blue), and the Koreans to our northeast (Teal). Stalin's Russians are somewhere to the north, and we have no idea where the Romans and the English are (having only come in contact with their long-distance scouting parties).

    Most of the land around us is fairly viable for city creation, the biggest question is which resources we want to pursue. Resources are things like silk, gold, sheep, oil, incense, etc. Most squares of land in the game give some combination of production, gold, or food. Buildings and other improvements that we build on a tile increase that amount. For example, a mine gives extra production, and a town gives extra gold. Resources give an even larger amount (for example, sheep give a large amount of food and a bit of gold, while precious gems give a massive amount of gold) than a normal tile does. Beyond that, resources give other special bonuses, generally to health, happiness, or the production of specific units or buildings (for example, sheep give health in the city that controls them, gems give happiness, and you can't create the War Elephant unit without access to the elephant resource). Since we're in an area where all other aspects are fairly equal, resources will mostly determine where we want to build.


    Another consideration is that there's an advantage to sticking close the coast or rivers, as it gives better trade between that city and others of our nation or other nations. And finally, we can't put our new city too close to the old one, or they'll be competing for control of the same resources (each city essentially can utilize the land up to two squares away from it).

    Feel free to ask questions about the details of certain areas of land if you wish (or about any other aspect of the game, though I'll try to introduce most aspects as they become relevant over time).
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm Madison, WI Icrontian
    So much game available in the southeast, and metal. That'd probably be my vote, but I may be dumb at Civ.
  • MrTRiotMrTRiot Living in the North Icrontian
    Go for the strategic resources to the South East...

    Also, how did "icrontic" get outvoted on the early war??? Are you posting this somewhere else too?
  • Yeah @MrTRiot, I mentioned it somewhere above that I'm also posting this via Facebook and e-mail to some friends.

    @Snarkasm All the directions are actually quite equal in their strategic value. So it's not a dumb pick :P
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
  • TheironhandTheironhand Centerline, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Jul 2012
    I only played Civ 4 a handful of times, but I played Civ 5 for over 70 hours +, and I recommend you head for the Southeast , its near the coast, it has plenty of resources, and your somewhat able to defend it.

    But if you build near the Greeks, you'll be competing over the gold there, and the Germans are most likely going to expand near you, so if you build there you can gain a head start.
  • RyanFodderRyanFodder Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2012
    I recommend going for the pigs and gold near the greeks. You need a food resource to keep a city growing (pigs) and the gold will definitely help out with your research potential.

    Aside from that, you keep the greeks from their ideal city. I doubt the iron will be claimed by the time you go for your third city. The MOST ideal city IMO is the Wine/Corn/Pigs, but that is pretty far for an early civ. The Corn/Corn/Cows/Coast will be an amazing city in the future as well assuming there are some hills nearby for production.

  • KoreishKoreish I'm a penguin, deal with it. KCMO Icrontian
    I have to agree with CannonFodder. The Pigs/Gold/Gold would be nice to get early in the game and a city there would help to interfere or disrupt other civs looking to take that south east location. If you wanted to try something really ballsy take the Wine/Wine/Cow as a quick third city to prevent the Germans from getting it.
  • ErrorNullTurnipErrorNullTurnip Illinois Icrontian
    I vote to expand to the north and take that gold. Not sure how well it'll work, but that might prevent the other guys from moving down south east as well....? Also, it's shiny.
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! SoCal Icrontian
    The choice is quite obvious sirs!


  • QuadyTheTurnipQuadyTheTurnip Icrontian
    edited Jul 2012

    Edit: does that count as fan art? My first fan-art ever!
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    This thread has single-handedly convinced me to finally make a go off Civ V. I've never played a game life it before. Well, I guess maybe Sins of a Solar Empire is somewhat close.
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja I don't know how to not Icrontian
    By make a go off Civ V, do you mean play Civ V .. or try a new game similar to Civ V?

    Either way, good choice! I'd love to welcome you to our 2-8 year long proposed Civ V games that we will never finish.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    Go of Civ V*. Phone typo.
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