Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword
Phil Jan 25 @ 10:38am
I give up
I have clocked 57 hours in this game since buying it in the Steam Christmas sale. I've been playing on Noble difficulty (apparently the most fair and suited to civ vets like myself) and I haven't won a single game.

My main gripe is that Civ 4 isn't really a strategy game. If it was then I'd be able to learn from past mistakes, and indeed I have tried a different "strategy" each time I have restarted. After reading guides though, it seems more like there is a single prescription for winning and if you deviate from it even slightly you lose (turning it into a game of micromanagement). While some may be fine with this, for me it just makes for boring gameplay with each game little more than a change of scenery.

In my most recent game my problem was that I couldn't keep up with the AI military production (especially after entering the industrial age and having no coal or oil within my territory or that of my allies). Anyway, thought it would be funny to show the stack of doom that finally made me ragequit. No idea how many units in it as the list goes off the screen:

Tokugawa's stack of doom

Anyone know if Civ 5 is more strategy-based? I would have got it but I really hate how the landscape looks (eww, hexagons...).
Showing 1-15 of 36 comments
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Mr. Alex Jan 27 @ 11:07am 
Civ 5 is a much more easier game than Civ 4.

Civ 5 is basically Civ for casuals (no offense to casuals).
So if you are having trouble playing Civ 4 then you could try Civ 5, though in my opinion Civ 4 is a much better game. Its a real strategy game, i think you just arent good at it yet (again, no offense).

Im playing on Monarch difficulty, and its really hard, but i found Prince too easy.
Noble is a quite easy difficulty level, you might want to rethink your approach to the game if you lose all the time.

Oh, and use mods like Realism Invictus 3.2. Seriously, it raises the game to a new level, after playing it you wont want to revert vanilla Civ 4, ever.

Clearer Jan 30 @ 3:23am 
Having clocked hundreds of hours in Civ 4 with all expansion, I feel confident in being correct when I assert that it most definetly is not a good strategy game. If you want good strategy, you want something like europa universalis. Civ games are essentially just war games -- what made me realize just how poor these games are was the point when I realized that building infrastructure usually brings less benefit to having loads of units. You want your doom stacks and then you want to kill the enemy doom stacks, take their cities to make a new doom stack and so on. The game (Civ 4) is fundamentally flawed from a strategy persepective simply because you, pretty much, only have one route: hope to get the resources you need to fight your enemies, expand to get more production and tech, pummel everybody else -- forget about diplomacy because the AI is going to betray you next round anyway and will all end up attacking you as unified front at some point.
Mr. Alex Jan 30 @ 7:59pm 
This is why i play with mods, you cant have doomstacks because above 7-8 units you will get penalties. The more units in a stack, the severe the penalty.

I played EU III/EU IV., CK2, those are good games.
Though because of the current state of the AI (generally in all games), the player dont have to think too strategically, once you know the pattern every AI is beatable fairly easily.
carlos_alejandro24 Jan 31 @ 10:57am 
i prefer civ 4 over civ 5 any day.
entreri100404 Jan 31 @ 4:07pm 
Originally posted by Clearer:
Having clocked hundreds of hours in Civ 4 with all expansion, I feel confident in being correct when I assert that it most definetly is not a good strategy game.

I've clocked hundreds of hours too, and feel confident in being correct when I disagree with you completely. It is a great strategy game. There are many routes to victory, and I have been busted on more than one occasion going for a space race or even a domination and being beaten to it by somebody else getting a cultural victory.
entreri100404 Jan 31 @ 4:08pm 
Originally posted by carlos_alejandro24:
i prefer civ 4 over civ 5 any day.

Amen to that.
Clearer Feb 1 @ 4:33am 
Originally posted by entreri100404:
There are many routes to victory
Regardless of which route you pick, you must have a very strong military force or you will be killed by the AI -- if you have enough resources to pull another victory condition than a military one, good for you. It is my experience that by the time that you do have those resources a military victory is easy to achieve and it's pretty much because you chose not to squash everybody else that you get the alternative victory condition, not because you couldn't do it.
Azane Feb 4 @ 12:11pm 
Its a bit more military heavy than other 4x style games, Civ 5 is more like Chess, positioning and unit types so much, and civ 4 is more of massing.
Winters Feb 5 @ 7:46pm 
If you have the G&K and BNW expansions then Civ5 is more strategy based (NOT THAT BEING SO MAKES IT INHERENTLY BETTER THAN CIV4 I'M NOT STARTING A FLAME WAR!), as it has the hex system, no unit stacking, and with BNW protecting trade routes becomes essential to victory.
Deadcurze Feb 8 @ 9:02am 
I have played CivV for over 100 hours, and I just got CivIV. I have yet to decide which is the best game. (if you have all DLCs and ignoring graphics.) But I have already arrived at the conclusion that both games are really awesome.
Oktober Storm Feb 9 @ 7:16am 
I've played Civ4 easily over a thousand hours, if not two. We can play together as allies and I'll help you along. There's something you're doing wrong.

And when playing multiplayer the depth of the game really shines through.
KruhlSentru Feb 16 @ 11:33am 
I think, honestly, that the key phrase I picked up on was "micromanagement". I haven't played the Civ games much, but I have countless hours on Alpha Centauri. The Civ games are good, but honestly, I don't want to play as george washington and get into a fight with gengis khan. Let history be what it is, I prefer something less realistic to be honest. That said, I found a guide for Alpha Cenauri that taught me loads of new tactics over the years. Honestly, the guy's a genius at strategy if you ask me.

The key, though, is that in order to enact your strategies, you can't automate anything. Everything that you automate will detract from your control. For example, in SMAC (Sid Meier's Alpha Cenauri), you may automate your terraformers. Terraformers are like workers, but awesome. The problem is, on automatic, they're dumb and bricks. You'll end up with about the least efficient possible setup, and highest possible eco damage. Thus, in order to do well, you must control each and every one. Your governors are equally stupid, and thus you must control each and every one. In the end, if you want to take on higher difficulties, the only way is to take control of each and every unit, base, worker, etc. and micromanage everything. So, if you don't like taking those half hour long turns near the end just to ge through all your units, then you might consider either keeping to a lower difficulty, or finding a better fit game-wise.

Now, I don't know what kind of strategy games you like, but you could try Warlock: Master of the Arcane. It's based off of a really old game, but brought into the modern gaming era, complete with hex grid. With the expansions, you can "terraform" the land with spells, train up devastating heroes, and in general choose from amongst a variety of paths to victory. I've beaten that game at it's highest difficulty already, so it might be easier than this one. On the other hand, there is a lot less interaction with each base, with each base taking over the job of workers, so you pretty much occasionally tell a city which building they should build next (which you only get one building per city size), and then command your units. It still slows down when you have a long game and lots of units, but not nearly as bad as most of Sid Meier's games.
mvffinsandmilk Feb 18 @ 1:09pm 
Each game in the series is exploitable in some form

- Civ 3: City spam (no real management strategy, just plop as many cities down as possible)
- Civ 4: Stack of doom (no real military strategy, just as many units as you can fit in one tile)
- Civ 5: Science spam (Whoever is in the lead tech wise usually wins, you need to focus in science)

They all have strategy and the difficulty to each game is regards to how your able to exploit it. From what you said in op civ 3 or 5 is def whats best for you. Civ 3 you can stack units, but the stack of doom is less effective against fortified units in cities and the game is pretty fast paced, but you might not like graphics. Civ 5 is the best graphics obviously but slower paced than the rest of the series, and requires more micromanagement imo with regards to finances and unit movements.
Adenru Feb 19 @ 3:21am 
Civ4's mlitary strategy is not only crap but also ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. 5 does not have it and with BNW I'd call it a better game if the AI could handle vast field of tactics properly, but it doesn't.
Face it, civ is strategy for casuals, very, very easy.
mvffinsandmilk Feb 19 @ 6:52pm 
Originally posted by Adenru:
Civ4's mlitary strategy is not only crap but also ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. 5 does not have it and with BNW I'd call it a better game if the AI could handle vast field of tactics properly, but it doesn't.
Face it, civ is strategy for casuals, very, very easy.

I don't think they have ever given much thought to programing the AI's military movement and management as they should have. The only difference is that with the 1 unit per tile in civ 5 it becomes even more apperant since it makes troop movements an important factor.

Personally I think the biggest fault in the AI with regards to combat efficiency is that they simply don't recognize the player's military movements, if you attack from one of their weak fronts they aren't going to send more units to stop a stack of doom, which is pretty ridic. They also won't change their tactics when they are using soley tanks when i'm using anti-tanks. The AI in civilzation games are designed to play dependant on the map, with no consideration for the civs around them.
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