There are 6 ways to win Civ 4. The first few have obviously never been achieved:
Conquest–eliminate all other rivals. Obviously this has never happened, since we have multiple countries.
Space Race–send a ship to the nearest star system. This hasn’t happened either.
Time–highest score at a certain date. The date hasn’t come and real life doesn’t keep score, so we can ignore this one.
The other ways to win are possible in real life:
Domination–control 60% of the world population and land (I think). Has anyone ever achieved this? Britain? Mongolia, if we use only the old world? I’m not sure…
Cultural–the interesting one. Have 3 cities with “Legendary” culture. Since real life cities don’t get a point-based culture system, this is hard to judge. What do you guys think? Who has the lead here? France has Paris, Italy has Rome, but I can’t think of a country with 3 Legendary cities. Maybe the States?
Diplomatic–get elected as World Leader by the UN or Apostolic Palace. Has the pope ever declared one country to be the beSt or something similar?
The British Empire falls some way short. At it’s largest extent, it ruled over about a quarter of the world’s land and population. The Mongol Empire is the next largest, with also about a quarter of the world’s population at the time, but covering a smaller area. It did cover just over 60% of Eurasia, but the old world also includes Africa.
If you were really crazy about figuring this out you could run a cheater game of Civ where you build each city according to history and see how much culture each builds up.
My guess is that New York is old enough and filled with enough culturally significant stuff to be “legendary” at this point. In terms of game mechanics, it has several “world wonders”, perhaps a few “national wonders”, lots of “great artists” and “great artworks”. LA hasn’t been as culturally significant for nearly as long, and my impression is that Chicago doesn’t have as much cultural significance at all.
Vegas? All those hotels have got to be a World Wonder (or at least a National Wonder… Civ-Specific version of the wonder that gives +100% culture?) and the shows they have in some hotels are probably equivelent to settled Great Artists.
Switch New Orleans instead of Chicago. Those are the three US cities everyone knows and could identify with a postcard, all over the world. Chicago doesn’t have much to really set it apart from other, vanilla big American cities IMO - Al Capone and rusting steel mills, the Fire, outstanding political corruption, but what else ?.
That said, Italy beat you to the Cultural Vic by a good five centuries with the Rome/Florence/Venice trifecta. Legendary art, differentiated local cultures, and all three influenced all of Europe for a time - be it in terms of art, fashion, even trade & economy. Renaissance Italy was the Hollywood before Hollywood (it also fits with how one wins a Cultural win in Civ 4, which is race up to the mid-level art and farming techs, put the sliders at 100% culture and spam Great Artists while freezing absolutely everything else).
Your point about Britain is very true, but dont cities loose their culture when they are conquered? I guess Jerusalem was in Ottoman hands for long enough to build up to Legendary and iirc was given to Britain as part of a peace treaty rather than direct conquest, but I’m not sure if cities keep their culture when that happens. Jerusalem definetly generates the most culture per turn, what with 2 Holy Cities and their unique buildings along with a number of World Wonders. Paris would be a close second, I think? Eiffel Tower, a bunch of Great Artists, and countless Great Works…
If Britain gets to keep the culture in cities they get through peace treaties rather than capture, they definetly won a cultural victory when they controlled Londkn, Delhi, and Jerusalem. And Cairo…
True, but the game mechanics don’t credit the culture of a city to its conquerors. A captured city starts at 0 culture, and the “world wonders” built by the previous owners do not generate more culture points for the new owners. Otherwise it’d be pretty easy to earn a cultural victory by building up one legendary city at home and capturing another two with relatively small military campaigns.
Another tidbit: Buildings in Delhi and Jerusalem are producing double culture, since they are over 1000 years old. Possibly some buildings and wonders in London, if it existed under a different name since Celtic times. It’s bound to have at least a monument and theatre since Roman times, maybe a church and cathedral too. And Britain is probably running Free Speech at this time, too. Britain just might have held Israel and India long enough to win…
ETA: special effects are added. I’ve conquered the Great Wall, Stonehenge for sure; I think 3 Mile Dam too. Shrines give gold and abillity to see cities with that religion to a conquerer, so I think they give culture too. I’ll check later when I get to a computer…
They did control a good deal, but the Islamic and Eastern Orthodox empires (among others), simply relegate the Holy Sea to just one of many.
NY old enough? Hardly, way to new, land take from the natives, their culture displaced, breaks the link to any ‘Legendary’ claim. If NY was to be legendary they needed to build on the Native American heritage (which didn’t seem much for NYC, so that may not even qualify), or wait much longer for enough time to really have a legendary city. One exception, if NY really came about in a extremely short time, sort of out of nowhere, then I would say it has a legendary claim, possibly Vegas could make that one though I don’t know much about how Las Vegas came about.
The problem is that the real world doesn’t work like a game. It’s impossible to say which civilisation “owns” a city, or even to say where one civilisation begins and another ends.
Take London for example. Is it owned by the Celts? The Romans? The Saxons? Normans? The English? All those civilisations have occupied the city and all have added to its cultural history.
And how many civilisations have there even been? Were the Angles the same as the Celts? The Normans the same as the Saxons? Is modern England really the same civilisation as Henry I? Is France really part of England or vice versa because some people from France conquered parts of England, and the reverse later on? With no common language, history, religion or anything else connecting all the cultures that can lay claim to London, it’s kind of hard to argue that London is really 3, 000 thousand years old. There is no hard and fast rule in reality to determine how a civilisation obtained a city or even when a city has changed hands between civilisations, and even when this can be agreed on, I doubt that any city has remained in the hands of one recognisable civilisation for 1, 000 years. Civilisations just don’t remain stable for that period of time.
With that in mind, the British Empire seems like a winner, though the Ottoman Empire would have beat it by about 400 years, since ~1600 it controlled Constantinople, Athens, Mecca, Jerusalem, Cairo and Budapest. Once again, hard to argue that didn’t give it three Legendary cities.
We’re talking on Civilization terms - where America exists in 4.000 BC ;).
It cuts a few corners and oversimplifies things of course (as by Blake’s comment), but while it’s true that “Italy” didn’t exist as a unified political entity until quite recently, it’s hard to deny that the Italian “civilization” (again, speaking in terms of the game) has been around for much longer.
The city-states might have been infighting like a bunch of inbred cats in a moist bag, but they still shared a common cultural identity.
Yeah, Italy just adopted the Fall From Heaven mod’s City-States civic and added 80% to its maintnance cost. Or is it subtract? I haven’t played FFH in a while.
As for New York and LA not being legendary, they may have been founded late in the game, but by the time they appear, each turn takes less years and the wonders that they built (UN, Broadway, Statue of Liberty, etc in New York, Hollywood, Rock n Roll, etc in LA) give ridiculous amounts of culture.
A more interesting idea might be to use the formulas from Civ 4 to calculate the scores of modern countries… Figure out who will win when we hit the time limit in 2050 :D.