Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Sid Meier's Civilization VI

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similarly Jul 16, 2018 @ 3:44am
Civ 6 seems much more aggressive and much harder than Civ 5.
tldr: Is Civ6 a lot more aggressive and difficult than Civ 5?

I really enjoyed Civ 5 and played it a few times. I just started a Civ 6 game on the EASIEST difficulty and got my ass kicked. And I only reached 1600 before things went downhill fast.

1. Right off, I'm started with (what later turns out to be) a vast sea on one side, and the other three sides, I've got close neighbors that I meet very soon, and who very quickly all complain that I'm building too close to them (by the time I'm up to my 5th city). At the same time, I'm almost immediately set upon by attack after attack by barbarians. Hardly a moment's peace. I had at least three barbarian camps within 5 hexes of my empire, and three empires within 10 hexes of my starting city!

2. About 90 percent of my mineral resources are rock and mercury. I have a tiny bit of iron, one tiny site for niter, a few spices. That's it. 90 percent of my animal resources are elephants and pigs. I didn't find a horse until close to 1500! All the nearby horses, iron and niter were already taken by my neighbors.

3. Even when I was acting peacefully, my neighbors kept denouncing me and disagreeing with how I run my country ... for apparently no reason.

4. I was later overrun with missionaries. At one time I had nearly a dozen missionary groups crawling around my empire, spreading their religion from city to city. Even though I had a religion and had built religious sites and later temples ... no effect. I was permanently converted.

5. Around 1600, Brazil suddenly invaded with a HUGE army of about 10 units ... armored soldiers with rifles and cannons. I'm still fighting with swords and arrows! Even though I've researched firearms, I can't build any because there's only ONE source of niter in my kingdom.

These guys were damage sponges who walked all over half my kingdom before I simply gave up.

I had one city with good production (London), but most of my cities were producing at a snail's pace.

It's was frustrating: something I never had a problem with in Civ 5. I always had a blast. Sometimes I won, and sometimes I lost, but I never had such a walking over as I had today.

So, here's my question: was I just unlucky? Is Civ 6 SO different from Civ 5 that I'm missing some kind of very important diplomatic aspect that turned all my neighbors into ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥?

Or is this game simply more aggressive?
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Showing 1-15 of 17 comments
SamBC Jul 16, 2018 @ 7:18am 
There have been reports of the lowest difficulty being harder than the second-to-lowest. No idea if that ever got fixed.
cerberusiv Jul 16, 2018 @ 7:43am 
Civ 6 is different to 5 in several important aspects that you need to compensate for in your playstyle.

Maps are smaller and the AI's do tend to start very close. Try a different map or a bigger one with a couple of the AI's removed. Be prepared to restart if you get a poor position.

There is no penalty for expanding in 6 so get your core cities out quick to grab good sites nearby. This is vital to play peacefully. If you are willing to fight then 3-4 cities are enough then build units like crazy and take cities and territory from the AI. That will lock you in a cycle of repeated war but the AI is useless at tactics and relies on numbers or tech advantage. Go early, take from them and your empire will snowball.

You only need one of a strategic resource if the city has an encampment district.

Site your cities for production and put out mines and later lumbermills. Production is harder to come by than food. Encampments and Industrial zones give significant production.

Defend your religion with inquisitors to wipe foreign religions from your cities, get an apostle with the debater promotion to go around and kill the enemy religious units with a guru to heal it. If you choose war your military can eliminate enemy religious units.

6 is a steep learning curve after 5. There are plenty of people producing guides on Youtube, check them out.

Welcome to the game.
terry Jul 16, 2018 @ 7:44am 
You are missing a lot about civ6. It isnt 5 and it doesnt play like 5. You need to forget everything you remember about 5.
1. Starting locations can be crowded but sometimes you will get starts that have city-states closer to you instead of other ai civs.

2. You dont need a lot of resources in 6, just a few. The resources you need to build units(horses, iron, niter etc.) work differently in 6 than they did in five. If you build an encampment you only need 1 iron to build swordsman instead of 2 and you can build as many as you want with that 1 iron. Works the same way with niter and the units you build with it.

3. You get denounced for things other than warmongering in 6. There is an agenda system.

4. You have to use religious units to spread your own religion and to fight off other Civ religious units. You can do religious warfare with religious units without actually going to war.

5. I already said how you could have built units with that one niter.

To sum it up, it appears as though you just jumped right into the game thinking it was going to be exactly like civ5. Take some time to read the descriptions of the buildings in the civilopedia or maybe check out some vids on youtube. Quill18 use to have some playthrough vids up, i dont know if he still does them or if he has moved on to other games.
similarly Jul 16, 2018 @ 7:53am 
Thanks for the feedback. I'll check it out. On my second playthrough, I again got slammed suddenly by two neighbors who decided to declare war on me at the same time ... but it was because I wasn't building up my army.

I feel somewhat that 6 is more war/conquest oriented than 5 was.
terry Jul 16, 2018 @ 7:59am 
Originally posted by similarly:
Thanks for the feedback. I'll check it out. On my second playthrough, I again got slammed suddenly by two neighbors who decided to declare war on me at the same time ... but it was because I wasn't building up my army.

I feel somewhat that 6 is more war/conquest oriented than 5 was.

build a few units first and you wont have that problem. Some people go scout, slinger, slinger, some people go slingerX3.

If the early game is an issue you can try to go slingerX3, research animal husbandry first then archery. Upgrade the slingers to archers and nobody will mess with you for a while.
If you can get a kill on a barbarian with one of the slingers, it will eureka archery reducing the research time
Last edited by terry; Jul 16, 2018 @ 8:00am
NohatCoder Jul 16, 2018 @ 11:57am 
The three lowest levels are very similar, I don't know why the made it that way, but it is an odd departure from the ways of previous Civ games. I made a mod that makes the supposedly easy levels actually easy:
similarly Jul 16, 2018 @ 4:56pm 
Thanks, I'll check it out! Thanks also for the advice about slingers.
[M²] Tall Guy Jul 16, 2018 @ 6:18pm 
Originally posted by similarly:
Thanks for the feedback. I'll check it out. On my second playthrough, I again got slammed suddenly by two neighbors who decided to declare war on me at the same time ... but it was because I wasn't building up my army.

I feel somewhat that 6 is more war/conquest oriented than 5 was.

Once you get passed early game. the AI will suddenly forget how to "even" when it comes to building military units.
BradyBorn Oct 19, 2019 @ 7:36pm 
I miss Civ 4. This new one isn’t growing on me quick. What the **** happened to the map size and shape? I used get realistic earth maps which I loved and now they are so small. It’s too crowded.
similarly Oct 19, 2019 @ 11:17pm 
Holy necro, Batman! This thread is 18 months old. Why would you resurrect this? Just start a new thread.
plaguepenguin Nov 7, 2019 @ 9:34am 
Others have given you a lot of sound advice, so let me just add a few comments about your numbered points:

1) Lower difficulty levels actually have more of a problem with barbarians than the really high difficulty levels. On Deity, the AI civs all get three settlers, so the experts who have the YouTube channels and only play Deity, are used to playing maps that are all full up with enemy civs, and don't have much room for barbarians. On King and below, your early builds have to put a higher priority on military units because you're going to see a lot of barbarians. It varies, a lot, map to map, because sometimes you have city states close by that fill in the empty spaces and don't let barbs spawn, or kill their units before they get to your territory, but sometimes you just get an onslaught of barbs. Build an army of 4-5 warriors and 4 slingers (research to let them become archers) if you have to. After you kill all the barbs, you can repurpose that army to conquering your neighbors. That stops their complaining about you forward settling them.

2) What others have said about encampments as a workaround for resource shortages. The better advice for low difficulty levels is to take the neighbor civs who have taken the resources. That gets rid of your shortage, gets rid of the neighbors, and gives you more population and land. I rarely build encampments or walls, though the former are definitely useful in dealing with resource shortages at higher difficulty levels, because the AI is most sadly deficient in fighting wars, and I never need help winning wars, not at King level or below

3) Civ6 has an agenda system, whereby all the AIs have these agendas hard-wired into them that influence how they feel about you. They have one constant agenda, that is public and that you can examine on the diplomacy screen, but they also have a set of private agendas that you can only see if you get closer relations with them. But you can figure out what all of their agendas are by the content of their complaints or compliments. Decide which of your neighbors are never going to get along well with you, and target them for conquest first.

In the meantime, before you kill them, you can safely ignore their threats and hectoring, as long as you have a bigger and better army. The bigger army will deter any but those programmed to warmongering or who have a special hatred for you, and it will let you defeat the latter group. You can keep tabs on size/quality of AI armies by looking at the Domination tab in the Victory screen. It gives you a numerical rating of military strength. Denunciation by someone too weak to conquer your cities just means they won't make good deals with you, and that you get to declare war on them at any time without the added surprise war diplo penalty.

4) Ignore religion until later games, after you have established a command of the aspects of the game that you can't ignore: science, culture, money, war-fighting. Don't even try for your own religion until you have a handle on the other aspects. Religion has some buffs it can give you, but you can readily and easily win without them, while you can't win if you let other civs get too far ahead of you in science for too long.

The only way that ignoring religion completely can hurt you is if another civ gets a religion victory before you can get your victory. Track that in the Religion screen of the Victory drop-down. If another civ does look like it's getting close to a Religion victory, you can start taking their cities, or at least sacking their Holy Sites, as your means to stop them. You can also use the Holy Sites in the cities you have taken from civs that do have religions to practice the mechanics of defending against a Religion victory.

5) Don't fall behind in science. One of many reasons it that the science leaders can build units that will walk all over your primitive units. You might find yourself behind early, even at a low difficulty level, because some civs just get luckier than you on their starting locations, or are more savvy than you, until you master how to maximize your science output. But the longer the game goes on, the more your ability to actually formulate a strategy, where the AI only has tropisms, will tell, and you should pull ahead in science long before 1600.

Early in your experience with the game, the easiest way to handle civs that are ahead of you in science is to take their cities. Not only will you not be behind them in science after they're dead, their cities will tend to have campuses that will pump up your science output after they are your cities.

The overall theme is that the way out of all your difficulties is conquest. There are definitely other ways to win, and other ways to deal with the problems you outline, but you can rely on conquest as your initial approach as you learn the game on lower difficulty levels. Kill thy neighbors and steal their cities, and do it as early as possible. Even if you approach the game at first with the sole intent of conquering everybody and winning a Domination victory, you will pick up the mechanics of the other systems you need to win even a military victory. Expertise in these other sub-systems of the game will allow you to be a pacifist in the future if that's more in your natural style. But until then, take inspiration from the warmongers and conquerors of history. Gandhi is for later, be Chandragupta for now.
similarly Nov 7, 2019 @ 5:04pm 
Two points of clarification:
1. I made this thread over a year and half ago, so I have no idea why this thread was resurrected by the person a few posts above yours.

2. It's not that I don't know how to play civ. I've played civ since the 1980 board game. My problem was that, after Civ 5, Civ 6 seemed really different ... much more aggressive, much more geared to simply fighting. Since I was still very early in the game, my main question was if this was typical, or if I was simply having a bad first game.

I've barely touched the game since, not because it's a bad game, but just waiting until some of the expansions are a little cheaper because I'm a cheapskate.

That said ... thank you for you advice. It was very detailed.
Last edited by similarly; Nov 7, 2019 @ 5:04pm
Kissaku Nov 13, 2019 @ 5:12am 
Yeah it's true that Civ6 rewards more aggressive play because playing "tall" is not really a valid option anymore. But still, I don't think it's overboard. I am a very peaceful player and I consistently win deity games without any wars or some defensive ones. So as long as you can expand enough and be competitive in yields you can go as peaceful as you want.
The Bored Chairman Nov 13, 2019 @ 10:04am 
Just a tip about dealing with religious unit spam, if a civ is spamming their religion in your territory and they refuse to stop, go to war with them and use the "Condemn Heretic" command with military units to kill the unit and decrease their religion's presence in your empire.

As long as you don't go conquering cities, you'll only get the grievances/warmonger penalty from declaring war (try to use a Casus Belli to minimise that). It's the easiest way to get rid of unwanted religious units if your Faith production isn't on par with others.

Another way is to simply use Apostles with the Debater promotion, along with any other bonuses you can stack and simply kill any religious units with Theological combat. Even if they send them en masse, they'll still have a hard time converting your cities with the constant drops in pressure from dead religious units.
StonesOde Jun 24, 2020 @ 10:42pm 
Also having an issue with the learning curve in this game versus V... aside from the very touchy AI, aggressive barbarians and constant housing/amenity issues, it seems like opponent civs are so much more productive than me! They will just overtake me massively with pumping out military units, wonders, technology & putting down settlers faster than I ever could (often past my empire after I tried to block their growth with a string of cities, trying to sandwich me inside theirs). Could it be that I'm trying to play too rounded and need to focus on some areas while ignoring others? I can't ignore cities complaining about food/growth/amenities etc.
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Date Posted: Jul 16, 2018 @ 3:44am
Posts: 17