We did this a while back but there was a long lull in civ 5 interest. Recently we’ve begun to play multiplayer games again. We had a 7 man Pangea game over the last 2 weeks that was among our most interesting ever.
So I thought perhaps I’d start the thread again to coordinate games, discuss rules, and recruit new players. I’d be interested in getting a 10+ man game going sometime.
So, the basics. Civ 5 has a multiplayer mode where everyone plays their turn simultaneously. It’s pretty much like the single player game in terms of everything except that fighting can be a bit tricky. With multiplayer animations turned off, it’s based around the actual time the action is executed. If you bombard a guy a half second before he retreats, it’ll go through and damage him. If the opposite happens, he escapes. It can be awkward especially at the start of turns that involve large forces for combat. Gods and Kings reintroduces animated combat to mp, where each turn there’s a couple seconds where you can issue orders but they won’t actually be executed yet. It paints a clearer picture - you can figure out who’s doing what to who - rather than the more chaotic non-animation. But I haven’t played it enough to figure out how simultaneous actions are resolved. Anyway, most of the game isn’t spent doing combat, so it’s somewhat awkward but not that big an issue.
The weakest part of civ 5 single player is the diplomacy, which makes it interesting since in MP you do real diplomacy. You convince people of the merits of helping you or making a secret alliance against someone else, or what have you. There’s always interesting things going on in our games.
The games take a long time, just like regular civ 5 games. Even playing at quick pace, games can still take 10-15 hours to finish. So we handle games by scheduling them in 3 hour blocks over a couple of weeks. If people agree to a schedule but can’t make it - depending on how big a player they are/how influential we’ll either put it off or just let the AI play their role. If we got a 10+ player game going, we’d probably just let the AI play them no matter what, since I don’t want to end up inconveniencing all the other people. They could take it up again where the AI left them at the next session.
Owning Gods and Kings is going to be mandatory. It adds so many little improvements to the game that it’s difficult to go back to vanilla. The steam summer sale should start within the week and you should be able to get gods and kings cheap if you don’t already have it. There’s IIRC a gold edition upgrade that gets you gods and kings and all the DLCs that should cost $5 on civ day in the summer sale.
Voice chat is also going to be mandatory. If you don’t have a mic, you can still join us and listen - there’s just too much that goes on in voice chat to tolerate someone who isn’t in on the conversation, it’s a hassle. Here is the free mumble client, and our server is (REMOVE THE SLASH) silverbolt.blue/fangsolutions.com port 32768.
Also mandatory is being familiar with the game enough that you aren’t going to be looking up basic mechanics in the civilopedia or being completely befuddled by some new aspect of the game. The game proceeds at the pace of the slowest player, so one really slow person can slow the game down to a crawl. There is a turn timer we can enable, and probably will, but it’s non-customizable and scales based on the number of units/cities in the game (I think), but it’s still overly generous and each turn should not run into the turn timer. We don’t have to play speed civ 5, but if you’re the last one to hit next turn every single turn we will probably not be inviting you to the next game. I don’t mean to make this sound intimidating so that people don’t even try, it’s just a different experience entirely when things are moving along smoothly and people are generally completing their turn around the same time vs always waiting for a minute each time for someone with 2 cities and 3 units to somehow need 3 minutes per turn. We welcome new players and would be happy to help them along.
There are a few rules we can discuss. We had an issue in one of our games where one of our players was trying to screw over another and kept trying to gift all his cities to a rival. To me, this is like if you’re playing monopoly and you end up selling all your properties to a third player for a dollar because you want to see another player lose. It spoils these sorts of games, changes the balance of power and potentially creates wins through unfair and unearned means. I think we should have a rule saying that you have to try to play in your own interest or at least the interest of a long-time ally. Maybe we should ban city-gifting in general. Although there may be a few legitimate uses, like “fine, we can stop this war if you give me my city back”, so that may be overly harsh.
Nukes are extremely powerful and the game might be more interesting without them. Our recent game was very recently decided heavily by nukes. The case against nukes is… in the real world, you can use MAD to deter nuke usage. But what happens when your opponent is 15 turns away from a cultural victory? Then nuking him is the only rational option. That doesn’t have a real-world mirror - no one wins the world on a fixed date. So in general, I’m not sure I like the way nukes affect the game. On the other hand, in gods and kings, there’s a building that reduces the number of people you lose to nukes, so maybe it’s not as big a deal.
Map type is tricky. We’ve played a few, and Pangea probably works the best overall - everyone can see other civs. But positioning can be unfair - some people can get trapped between two empires with better positions, corner positions are more secure than being in the middle, etc. There are maps that are designed around multiplayer balance like ring, east vs west, etc, but they tend to be less interesting. Ring is probably the best of the free for all types. East vs west types can work for team games. For some stupid reason some map types are single player only, so you can’t use continents plus and a few others in MP. Not sure why. I like small continents, but the spawns are not always balanced - sometimes you get a small continent with 2 players on it while other players get their own.
Victory conditions. Diplomatic victories are a weird thing to have in a multiplayer game, because motivations for voting for anyone other than yourself in a multiplayer game can be kind of weird. I guess diplomatic victory can still be a combination of empire size and city state control, but there could also be players voting for the 2nd strongest player just as a way to spoil the winner. I don’t know. There’s also a time victory where the game just stops after so many turns, and I figure we should turn that off.
Team games are also possible. They have to be set from the start, and they are permanent alliances where you share vision, research, etc. We could have a 4v4 type of game, but more interesting might be 2v2v2v2, so there are teams but still a free for all element.
Anyway, if you’re interested, post here and add me on steam. We may not get the next big game started until civ 5 day in the steam sale when gods and kings are on sale, but if we have enough G&K players now we may start one now.
Post what times are good for you. Usually we’ve scheduled games for sometime around 7-10 or so eastern during weekdays. So probably something like Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7-10. The schedule probably will not be wildly different from that, although maybe we can do some weekend-only games.