Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword
Siddha Jun 11 @ 5:01am
How does this compare to Civ 5?
I know about the tactical battle differences and the stacks of doom...
What are the other big differences?
Is it worth getting if one already owns Civ 5?

Thanks :)
Showing 1-15 of 33 comments
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Ogmok Jun 11 @ 9:41am 
Civ 4 "feels" like the good, old Civ 2 with more features and is definitely worth it.

--> Strategy fans love Civ 4 or Civ 5 (and some love both ). Both are great games, but Civ4 feels like the "real" Civilization, at least for me.

My advice for multiplayer games between Civ4 and 5 fans: get the board game (first addon adds a 5th player slot); half of my rpg group loves civ4, the other half civ5, but all enjoy playing the board game
Siddha Jun 15 @ 2:47pm 
Thanks Ogmok.
I bought the complete edition For €6.
Cant argue with that.
BrigadierBill Jun 25 @ 8:01pm 
I actually think Civ4 has a better diplomatic AI. Civ5's declarations of friendship and denouncements seem to lead to massive unofficial AI alliances, which are completely game-breaking for me, while the World Congress was designed to be impossible to oppose. And of course, warmongering is penalized so badly in that game that you'd have to kill everyone in order to be militaristic at all. Those issues are horrible problems in my opinion.

Civ4 is an amazing game aside from the combat (which is fine until it scales up). I like the land improvement upgrades better in this than in Civ5, and although developing cities is somewhat less interesting it is still good enough on its own that I'd actually rate it as on-par with Civ5. The diplomacy is more logical, since you can see a +/- bar giving you an idea of exactly how good your relations with another faction are, and generally diplomatic bonuses and penalties make a lot more sense.

Of course, the combat is not simply stacks of doom. Since the defender automatically picks the best unit to oppose any attacking unit, large stacks cannot be countered by anything except really powerful units like knights or siege engines. And the application of siege engines in this game is appallingly dumb; they are literally suicide bombers. It makes no sense. In late game, you will see an unstoppably-large army show up out of nowhere, and even with a noticeable tech advantage you can be overwhelmed by simple siege engine spams as they cause collateral damage to everything in the unit stack and ultimately slaughter what should be a reliable defense in record time. And you will get frustrated watching 98% chances of victory result in losses, as longbowmen shoot down your helicopter gunships.

I'd personally recommend Civ4. However, be very wary of combat in late-game, it is pretty dumb. Civ 3 has better combat in my opinion despite the potential of Civ 4, and Civ 5 would be a lot better if they replaced a stack limit of 1 with something like 3 or 5.
BS|Couchfighter Jun 28 @ 5:37am 
My take on the two:

Civ 4 BTS = Better city management, less absurd AI diplomacy, total conversion style mods that change basically everything, AI understands naval combat, stacks of doom (I dont really mind it as much), squares. To play well it takes some time to really get into how everything works.

Civ 5 BNW = Pretty, much simpler city building and trading systems, 1 unit per tile, AI diplomacy I've basically given up trying to reason with, AI gets quite confused trying to do anything on sea, game is easier to pick up and play and understand whats going on. I prefer how religion works on Civ 5. Steam workshop for mods, BUT (big but!) modders are way more limited in what they can modify, which is why you don't see any massive remake or total conversion mods on the workshop.
Siddha Jun 28 @ 8:32am 
Thanks BrigadierBill & BS|Couchfighter for your helpful posts.
[RF] Samaister Jun 30 @ 11:36pm 
http://www.garath.net/Sullla/Civ5/whatwentwrong.html

Pretty much this is why CIV 4 is still the best game of the series. For any decent player, CIV 5 is too easy to beat on any level and the horrible AI has nowhere to hide due to the 1UPT format.
Heres hoping the new CIV: Beyond Earth is better.
CountZero Jul 1 @ 2:23am 
Originally posted by RF Samaister:
http://www.garath.net/Sullla/Civ5/whatwentwrong.html

Pretty much this is why CIV 4 is still the best game of the series. For any decent player, CIV 5 is too easy to beat on any level and the horrible AI has nowhere to hide due to the 1UPT format.
Heres hoping the new CIV: Beyond Earth is better.
That review is comparing the base CiV with CIV+two expansion packs. Base CiV and CiV+GK+BNW are almost two completely different games.
Last edited by CountZero; Jul 1 @ 2:23am
[RF] Samaister Jul 1 @ 4:16am 
Originally posted by CountZero:
Originally posted by RF Samaister:
http://www.garath.net/Sullla/Civ5/whatwentwrong.html

Pretty much this is why CIV 4 is still the best game of the series. For any decent player, CIV 5 is too easy to beat on any level and the horrible AI has nowhere to hide due to the 1UPT format.
Heres hoping the new CIV: Beyond Earth is better.
That review is comparing the base CiV with CIV+two expansion packs. Base CiV and CiV+GK+BNW are almost two completely different games.

I disagree, the 2 expansions do not change the gameplay in any significant way, they seek to backpedal on some of the punitive aspects of the original, but the game remains broken in most respects. For instance road upkeep, social policies et al. The terrible AI and ridiculous diplomacy remain, the fact you can simply ICS and ally with maritime for the win on any level hasn't changed. The annex/puppet/raze city option is not fixed, another penalty CIV5 imposes on the player.
Honestly most of the new content is just shameless flogging of DLC and feeble attempts to mitigate the broken nature of the game, nothing else.
I'm keen for you to prove otherwise, but the reason there are no pro leagues with CIV 5 is self evident. The patches and DLC have added much, yet changed nothing.
CountZero Jul 1 @ 11:46am 
Originally posted by RF Samaister:
I disagree, the 2 expansions do not change the gameplay in any significant way, they seek to backpedal on some of the punitive aspects of the original, but the game remains broken in most respects. For instance road upkeep, social policies et al. The terrible AI and ridiculous diplomacy remain, the fact you can simply ICS and ally with maritime for the win on any level hasn't changed. The annex/puppet/raze city option is not fixed, another penalty CIV5 imposes on the player.
Honestly most of the new content is just shameless flogging of DLC and feeble attempts to mitigate the broken nature of the game, nothing else.
It seems like you are trying to play CiV in the manner of CIV. Different game, different rules. And here I thought we human beings are flexible enough to adapt to new conditions being imposed on us.

Originally posted by RF Samaister:
I'm keen for you to prove otherwise, but the reason there are no pro leagues with CIV 5 is self evident.
MP Pro League Standings (http://www.civplayers.com/) for CiV is 30 pages long and CIV is 12. SP Challenges for CiV happen all of the time on civfanatics with lengthy discussions after they're completed. Care to spout more drivel?
Last edited by CountZero; Jul 1 @ 11:47am
BrigadierBill Jul 1 @ 12:03pm 
Originally posted by CountZero:
It seems like you are trying to play CiV in the manner of CIV. Different game, different rules. And here I thought we human beings are flexible enough to adapt to new conditions being imposed on us.

Though he was a lot more extreme than my personal issues with this game, I really have to say with large numbers of AI the diplomacy is completely broken in Civ 5. DoF's make unofficial alliances of doom in the medieval age, to the point that refusing to denounce a single ostracized nation frequently leads to that same nation denouncing you in the series of denouncements following. Warmongering penalties mean you can barely wage war without abandoning any hope of cooperation with other civs. And the World Congress not having any options to oppose their decisions, or leave entirely...have they even heard of the League of Nations? Or the UN honestly, look at the ICC in Africa for instance.

Maybe other people are fine because they don't play with many other civilizations, but I play with max settings because I like bigger games. And the AI is truly awful with respect to that, I'd actually say Civ 3 did a better job than Civ 5 with regards to diplomatic AI. And before I see any "programming is hard" comments, it's not about AI all being dumb but about not giving enough information, dumbing down the system in general, and too few scripts:
1.) Make a relation status bar. Higher relations mean they won't backstab you, lower ones mean they may but only if it's in their interests. The overall factors of your relations determine if the relationship status is rising or falling, and by how much (say it drops by 3 per turn but you've been long-term friends, and it's up to 200; it'll take a while to go down). Add to that major approval drops and increases (such as liberating territory, or attacking an ally, or breaking a trade deal) and you're set.
2.) Show the actual amount that factors increase or decrease approval. I don't want bright green and faded green, I want +1 to +4, and vice versa for penalties (with possibly-higher values for extreme cases like being rebuilt as a civ or having multiple cities razed).
3.) More factors. DoF's wouldn't be a problem if they didn't make up such a large general factor in diplomacy. Certain aspects of diplomacy make little or no difference that should be vastly more important.
4.) Eliminate declarations of friendship entirely. The AI is programmed to improve relations with others by making these declarations with anyone the civ they like has done it with, ultimately making a chain of them that acts like an unofficial alliance. It's game-breaking, it's not really realistic (stuff like this was usually far more substantial, such as royal marriages, and not tossed around lightly; simple words in politics like "we are friends" usually meant nothing at all even in the short term).

Sorry for rant, just defending his annoyance with diplomacy (nothing else, the game is otherwise much better with BNW and G&K).
Siddha Jul 1 @ 3:55pm 
Interesting discussion and links. Thanks all.

[RF] Samaister is clearly not correct about there being no MP leagues for CIV5.
That site and its lists are not matters for debate or opinion. Fact is the MP standings list for CIV5 is almost 3X that of CIV4. Also not for debate or opinion is the fact that CIV5 is always at the top (number 5 or 6) of the active players list on Steam; every day, nearly 4 years after release; whereas CIV4 isnt in the top 100.

CIV5 is obviously a great game. My own limited experience is that they are very different games. Even though they seem similar, the experience of actually playing them is very different; for me at any rate.
CountZero Jul 1 @ 4:33pm 
Siddha: Here's the Civilization Players League steam group (directed from Civplayers.com): http://steamcommunity.com/groups/civplayers

It is open for Civilization III, IV and V matchmaking.

Actually, I enjoy BrigadierBill's posts and his opinions (I wouldn't go as far as he did calling them rants) on the opaqueness of CiV's AI diplomacy are largely devoid of the absolutist tone of the other. As for the opaque CiV diplomacy, I guess it is a matter of taste (and whether or not one has Infoaddict installed ;)). I enjoy it for the most part (I usually play large maps on Immortal or Deity) and there's often a reason for a turn in relations (AI made new alliances behind my back, established more trade routes with an hostile civ, etc). Or, your lands nearly surround theirs and they decide to adopt a Putin-like diplomacy. Or, there are civs that make it a habit to backstab you (no mystery there). Furthermore, if I can inject a some aspect of realism here, very rarely, if at all, diplomatic relations between two civilizations/nationstates have remained at a friendly level lasting thousands of years no matter how one side tried to appease the demands of the other, vice versa.

Lastly, there's a CIV diplomacy mod for CiV that contains map trading, vassalages and more.
Last edited by CountZero; Jul 1 @ 4:34pm
[RF] Samaister Jul 1 @ 4:48pm 
MP Pro League Standings (http://www.civplayers.com/) for CiV is 30 pages long and CIV is 12. SP Challenges for CiV happen all of the time on civfanatics with lengthy discussions after they're completed. Care to spout more drivel?

Having a MP league table doesn't mean anything apart from the fact it is played by people, sort of like showing the local footy league then claiming it as proof of pro leagues. Wrong.
As for the game itself, i note you have been unable to refute any of my statatements regarding the broken nature of the game. I mean really, you don't actually believe your nonsense about alliances behind you back, do you? Or the fact that a civ will behave counter intuitively and in a fashion bordering on the absurd?
Sure the game may be functional in multiplayer(after you have shelled out hundreds of dollars to partially fix what should have never been broken) but for single player the game is laughable, easy and downright dull.
The fact that the game must be modded to make it playable with features that should already be there is a damning statement itself.
I've been a CIV player for nearly 15 years and V is the worst. CIV. EVER.

Oh and your insults, far from wounding, lend creedence to what i state as its obvious that the truth hurts.

Last edited by [RF] Samaister; Jul 1 @ 4:53pm
[RF] Samaister Jul 1 @ 5:18pm 
I could go on about how the vets deserted CIV 5 in droves, or how the game was so broken the lead designer quit(was fired) or that tellingly none of the many acknowledged pro players from civ 4 playtested CIV 5.
Or why they brought back Sid meier for the sixth installment if CIV5 is just chipper.
Sadly just because lots of people play a game, doesn't make it a great game, hell look at TF2, its just a game about selling hats and trading.
Given the overwhelming agreement amongst most players that CIV5 was flawed game design, AI and the ludricous annex/raze cities function, forgive me if i don't share your stubborn defense of a game which you even state that th AI needs to be modded, is 'opaque' etc.
And when you talk of realism, which civilizations are you talking about that are thousands of years old? I'm not going to lecture you on the modern nation state, but prior to the 1500s, modern states as we know didn't exist, so no dice my friend.
If you want i am happy to create a separate thread to discuss the issue, but i'm guessing that history hasn't changed since i majored in political science.
Good luck with your game.

Originally posted by CountZero:
As for the opaque CiV diplomacy, I guess it is a matter of taste (and whether or not one has Infoaddict installed ;)). I enjoy it for the most part (I usually play large maps on Immortal or Deity) and there's often a reason for a turn in relations (AI made new alliances behind my back, established more trade routes with an hostile civ, etc). Or, your lands nearly surround theirs and they decide to adopt a Putin-like diplomacy. Or, there are civs that make it a habit to backstab you (no mystery there).
Furthermore, if I can inject a some aspect of realism here, very rarely, if at all, diplomatic relations between two civilizations/nationstates have remained at a friendly level lasting thousands of years no matter how one side tried to appease the demands of the other, vice versa.
Lastly, there's a CIV diplomacy mod for CiV that contains map trading, vassalages and more.
CountZero Jul 1 @ 5:27pm 
Originally posted by RF Samaister:
As for the game itself, i note you have been unable to refute any of my statatements regarding the broken nature of the game. I mean really, you don't actually believe your nonsense about alliances behind you back, do you? Or the fact that a civ will behave counter intuitively and in a fashion bordering on the absurd?
---snip--
Oh and your insults, far from wounding, lend creedence to what i state as its obvious that the truth hurts.:tlove:
What? You were crying about road upkeep and social policies. Road upkeep isn't a bug but a feature. What are you missing free road upkeep from CiV? Again, you are illustrating my point that you are trying to impose CIV rules and mechanics into CiV. To be frank, roads IRL tend to fall into disrepair without upkeep. Social polices? Again different game, different rules that have their advantages and disadvantages, of which you listed neither. How should I comment on an item to which you have yet to express your opinion other than saying CIV GOOD, CiV BAD?

Originally posted by RF Samaister:
Having a MP league table doesn't mean anything apart from the fact it is played by people, sort of like showing the local footy league then claiming it as proof of pro leagues. Wrong.
As for pro leagues (those televised and with payouts), not one have I cursorily searched just now listed any Civ game (http://www.majorleaguegaming.com/seasons). There have been discussions on civfanatics about forming such a league but, if memory serves me correctly, proposed initiatives went nowhere. Since you made the claim about Civ pro leagues, I think the burden of proof lies on you.


As for counterintuitive AI nonsense, I guess you never saw the CiV table listing attributes of individual civs, some more backstabby than others. Such tables also were widely popular for previous Civ iterations. Infoaddict adds a plethora of information (hence its name) include relations between AI civs vis-a-vis yours. I'm starting to wonder if you really played CiV because you would know that ICS'ing is no longer viable with the advent of BNW due to the science penalties imposed on forming new cities. ICS'ing piety worked for a bit, but a Firaxis patch soon fixed that.

Originally posted by RF Samaister:
The fact that the game must be modded to make it playable with features that should already be there is a damning statement itself.
I've been a CIV player for nearly 15 years and V is the worst. CIV. EVER.
As for the mod suggestion, I'm afraid that your lack of reading comprehension got the better of you there. Nowhere did I suggest it to be mandatory or that the game is unplayable without it. It is just there if you want non-essential features to spice the game up, that's all. Infoaddict isn't really necessary. It adds nice touches, but it does not make the game playable as I've played plenty of SP games without it just fine in G&K and BNW. Lastly, that last comment of yours is just pure dickwaving. So what? I've been playing Civ since I purchased the first iteration back in 1992, which predates your entry into the series by seven years. So what? Who cares? It doesn't immediately make our opinions about CIV or CiV more valid than someone who started the series with either game. The fact that you pulled that out from your pocket suggests that you really have nothing more to say on the matter, not like you had anything worthwhile to say in the first place.
Last edited by CountZero; Jul 1 @ 5:37pm
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