Sunday, December 5, 2010

Civilization Revolution: A Very Late Review

Civilization Revolution (or Civ Rev) is one of the best strategy video games I have ever played. It has been out for a couple of years now I believe and it is available for the Xbox, PS3 and the Nintendo DS. Like civilization games before it, Civ Rev has the player pick a civilization and raise that civilization out of ancient times all the way to the modern era. Unlike other Civilization games, Civ Rev lets you do it in a matter of a few hours.

Even though I have owned Civ Rev since it came out, I still play it from time to time. Every match has exploration, combat, city development, tech development and randomized terrain to keep things interesting. There are sixteen different civilizations each with their own special powers and iconic leader. In addition to adding variety, this allows for some very amusing situations. I particularly enjoy the notion of playing as “ancient” Americans,and I absolutely love it every time Gandhi informs me that my civilization must be destroyed.

Civ Rev strikes the perfect balance between depth and approachability. On the lowest difficulty, a novice player can be successful on the very first match and get a good feel for the game. However, Civ Rev has enough variety that I have enjoyed playing it for hundreds of hours. My only real gripe with the game is that while it offers you four ways to win (Domination, Cultural, Scientific, or Economic) I have found a single strategy that seems to work the absolute best regardless of which way I want to win. This is a small complaint, however, since it still took me many hours of play to devise my strategy and still requires skill and thought to implement it successfully.

For anyone that’s a fan of strategy games or just enjoys games that you build and explore, I highly recommend you pick up Civilization Revolution. It’s one of the best games available on any console.

**SPOILERS** MY Civ Rev Strategy **SPOILERS**
I highly recommend that you DON’T read this section unless you’ve played Civ Rev for awhile and are just looking for some advice on how to win on the higher difficulties. If you haven’t played much Civ Rev yet, this won’t make any sense and might ruin the fun of early exploration and discovery with the game. Try to find your own strategies first. Then, if you get frustrated, try this. This what I do to win Civ Rev. (Please note, I don’t play online competitive. This is strictly a method for defeating the computer at any difficulty level).

At The Start
Put both workers on production until you have made 2 Warriors. This will take 5 turns. Then put both workers on food. Do not ever take them off food again for the rest of the game. Population is the most important asset to a city and you want it to grow steadily for the entire game.

What to do with your Warriors
Explore. Always offer to be peaceful with other civilizations. Your goal is to get a feel for the land around you and pick up enough bonuses from Barbarians and villages that you get an early game advantage. Hopefully, you will also get at least 100 gold from exploration so that you get a free settler.

Early City Growth
As your city gains population, always put each new worker on sea square to earn tech (not gold). Do not put anyone on production after you have your initial warriors. Only put workers on production once all of the tech earning squares are filled.

Early Tech
Tech is the key to winning the game. You need to get ahead in tech and stay ahead so that you can earn the very helpful bonuses that come with discovering teach first. Using this strategy you will lose out on being the first to build some of the early tech. That’s okay. However, you want to be gaining those bonuses by the 3rd or 4th tier at the latest.

Your early goal is to get to Mathematics first. Mathematics gives you Catapults and these will be the best attacking units in the game for the majority of the game.

The First Kill
If you have a lot of space to yourself, you can avoid this for quite a while. However, if you have a nearby neighbor, you need to kill them as soon as you get catapults. As soon as you’ve got a Catapult Army (3 Catapults joined together) walk them towards your nearest enemy. Make sure you guard them with a defensive army. Destroy the enemy cities and wipe them off the board (or at least clear them well out of your area). Now put some defensive units at some good choke points to section off your area and stop fighting.

The Continuing Tech Strategy
There are a variety of ways to get to all sorts of tech, but here are the main teach to go grab.
· Literacy: Gives science bonus for being there first and you will need courthouses to do well.
· Engineering: Gives +1 bonus to production in each city for first discovery
· Invention: Gives a free great person for first discovery and Leonardo’s Workshop is key.
· Steam Power: Good for exploration, finding Atlantis, and Naval Support for invasions.
· Railroad: Gives +2 production in each city for first discovery. Very Helpful.
· Combustion: Tanks are one of the two best units in the game and very fast.
· Automobile: Artillery Units are the other best unit in the game. Guard them with tanks.

Tech To Avoid
Do not bother getting the following tech.
· Bronze and Iron Working: Pick up Bronze Working on the cheap later in the game if you need defensive units and you haven’t gotten to something better yet. Iron Working and Legionnaires are for chumps like the computer. Use Catapults.
· Ceremonial Burial and Religion: Temples are really important later but this tech will automatically back fill once you get to a certain point. You don’t really need Temples early on.
· Currency and Banking: Not needed early on and you will earn these for free once you get your money to certain levels which you will accomplish by being a mad tech building fool who gets bonus money after researching tech.
· Navigation: Wait for Steam Power.
· Feudalism: Knights are for chumps. They are just slightly more mobile Catapults that cost more.
· Everything on the Upper 5 Tiers that isn’t Mentioned Above: Your goal is to get to Combustion and Automobile. Everything else is a useless distraction.

And Now For The Win
If you’ve been making smart moves and staying ahead in tech growth, your Tanks and Artillery will pretty much destroy anything your enemies can muster. If Leonardo’s Workshop is still available, build it now to upgrade your catapults into artillery. (Actually, preferably, you’re your construction of this wonder so that it complete just a few turns after you’ve discovered automobile technology. Additionally, you should have really good production from Iron Mines and production bonuses from getting Engineering and Railroads.

Now you get to make a decision. You can slog across the board and wipe everyone out, or you can post tank/artillery combos at strategic defensive points.

For a domination, obviously you choose the first option and you go kill everyone. It won’t take long at this point. Your artillery units will easily destroy even groups of Riflemen.

If you don’t want a domination victory, you just use the artillery units to defend against any army foolish enough to approach and use your superior production to build the things you need for different victory types.

For tech, You should already be the tech lead so you can just keep plugging away and win the tech victory.

For culture, start building temples and wonders. The Magna Carta and Shakespeare’s theatre are some important Wonders to get. You will quickly begin to attract great people and flip nearby cities.

For economic victory, keep your main city or two plugging away at tech. Every time you discover a new tech it will also give you some money from whatever science production wasn’t needed for the tech. Switch every other city to gold production. Build markets and banks and watch the money roll in.

Final Notes
Here are few other important details.

Cities: Build exactly 2. Your initial city, and the one you get with your free Settler (which you receive for earning 100 gold). That’s it. That’s all you need. You’ll get a few more cities to play with from your initial Catapult rampage as well.

Government: Democracy. This isn’t even a discussion. All other governments give a cute, kinda helpful, bonus. However, +50% science/gold production is the absolute best bonus to be had. Period.

Troop Building: I build 2 warriors. Then I build a catapult army or two and defensive armies to back them up. Then I will build 1 or 2 tank armies when they become available and use Leonardo’s Workshop to upgrade my Catapult armies into 2 Artillery Armies. If often don’t build any more troops than that. I get 1 free Cruiser as bonus for being first to Steam Power and 1 free Battleship from being the first to Steel tech. I don’t ever build a galley though it’s fun when you get one for free from a Barbarian village.

Troop Abilities: Give troops Blitz whenever you can. If that’s not an option, give them Infiltration or March. If you have to choose between Guerrilla or Medic, curse the game for giving you useless choices. Defensive unit abilities aren’t that important. If you are using your Catapults and Artillery correctly, you should rarely need to defend.

And that's about it. Full production to two warriors then full workers to population. Each new worker to goes to tech. Head as fast as you can towards Combustion and Automobile making sure you are first to Engineering and Railroad along the way. Then decide how you want to win. It can seem pretty straight forward once you get familiar with this strategy, but the computer will usually present you with enough surprises and curve balls to make it interesting. The main challenge comes from avoiding combat until you get your catapults up and running. I hope this advice helps any players who still struggle to win a victory on Deity level difficulty.

1 comment:

  1. I love Civ Rev! It's one of the few games I relaibaly come back to over and over when I'm looking for a good strategy fix. And I do still struggle to win on diety sometimes, so I'm going to give this a shot. :)

    Just curious... have you tried much to find other strategies that are equally effective as this one, or has this been simply the best way you can find to win? How about with the various scenarios, still as effective?