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Monday, July 7, 2014

Civilization V: Unlocking Achievements - Part 1

Just because I was on metered Internet service while on vacation didn't mean I couldn't play games. It just meant I couldn't play online games. Anything that did not require an Internet connection, or not much of one anyway, was fair game. I took three games with me on my laptop: Kerbal Space Program (KSP,) Endless Space and Civilization V: Brave New World. Guess which one I ended up playing from nearly 12 hours even though I had plenty of vacation quests to complete? If you thought KSP you were almost correct. However, it was not KSP. I only spent a couple of hours messing around in it; to not much interesting. That means all my weird ideas failed. That's a common occurrence in KSP. No Kerbals were harmed in the making of my failures.

The correct answer is Civilization V: Brave New World (Civ5.) Once again I could not avoid its siren call to build a civilization to stand the test of time. One of the reasons I've been playing more Civ5 lately is because I have so few achievements unlocked. I mean, I have 220 hours of play time and I only had 67 achievements. I thought that was pretty lackluster, so I have committed myself to playing games with the sole purpose of earning achievements. Go me.

This of course would require I break out of my comfort zone and play games with some civilizations I was unfamiliar with and for victory conditions I didn't normally favor. That would require me to pursue Social policy combinations I wasn't certain would work. In short, it would force me to have fun! So I played two games. They were both duels with the small continents map. One was a standard game and the second a quick game.

The standard game saw me choose Hiawatha and the Iroquois Confederation. I faced off against Venice. I'd never played against Venice. I made a couple of assumptions about Enrico Dandolo and they proved mostly correct. First of all, I assumed he'd not have much stomach for a fight. Secondly, I figured he'd try for a diplomatic victory. Based on those assumptions, I determined I would get myself to the Iroquois Warrior technology (replaces the swordsman) and then go all in on conquering Venice. After all, he only gets one city. :D

[caption id="attachment_3177" align="aligncenter" width="1254"]Attack Venice Early Attack Venice Early[/caption]

Unfortunately this proved to be nearly impossible without the ability to move on the sea. Whether by crafty AI cunning, or sheer dumb AI luck, Enrico had set his city upon a peninsula with a one-unit wide approach. It was my Gallipoli moment. One unit would not be taking down his city in a single turn. I'd need to surround the city with units, or bombard it into submission first. I had neither of those technologies yet. I'd need more time to take down the Doge.

So I started building cities. After all, the entire world was mine to settle. I would simply overwhelm him with military might when the time came. I pushed out settlers as fast as I could produce them and overran the continent we both shared. As it turned out, it was the largest continent in the world. I soon had six cities founded, and had even managed to pin Venice into its small peninsula using two Citadels, arresting their territorial expansion in its tracks and grabbing some more land for me without firing another shot. :twisted: But by the time I had, Kyzyl has already become a puppet of the Doge, though I managed to restrict the amount of land the city-state owned to just two hexes. But the worse thing that happened was the Doge converted all my cities to Catholicism. It was the so-called Age of Discovery all over and my Iroquois were losing their cultural identity - again. :(

[caption id="attachment_3178" align="aligncenter" width="1250"]Converted! Converted![/caption]

I vowed that would not happen. But now I was in a quandary. If I destroyed Venice while my people still worshipped the Venetian god, would they ever find their way back to our own traditions? I did not know. Then and there my strategy changed. I could wipe that smirk off the Doge's face easily enough now, but I knew I had to beat him at his own game to preserve the Iroquois Confederation. For the sake of my people and their eternal hunting grounds, our culture had to become the dominant culture on the planet. I'd never won a game by cultural victory. At least there was an upside to the strategic change of direction. If I succeeded, I'd tack one more achievement to my Steam account.

So I began in earnest to pursue a culture oriented game. I started working toward the technologies of archeology and radio. I set out to explore the world, and bring all its antiquities to Onondaga. I stopped building military buildings and began building art centers and museums.

And as it turned out, a single galleass was all I needed to explore the majority of the map. Most of the small continents were close enough for shallow seas to connect them. It wasn't long before I'd contacted the two remaining city-states in the game. As I moved into the industrial age, that gave me the diplomatic muscle to get culture favorable initiatives passed, and to keep Enrico from passing anything else. I established trade routes with Venice. I let him "buy" city-states without contesting the acquisitions. Everything went into building culture, re-converting my cities, and finally ramping up tourism until everyone on the planet wanted to be Iroquois.

[caption id="attachment_3181" align="aligncenter" width="1242"]The World is Iroquois The World is Iroquois[/caption]

And even though the Doge kept trying to convert Brantford, by this time my cultural advantage was overwhelming. I'd explored the entire map. I'd removed the barbarians from it. I'd settled every major land mass and allied myself with all the remaining independent city-states. The only threat to the Iroquois confederation would come if Venice managed to "buy" all the city-states and claim a diplomatic victory. And when Budapest fell under the Doge's sway, that was a real possibility. But another World Congress vote would never happen. Welcome pax Goano'ganoch'sa'jeh'seroni!

[caption id="attachment_3182" align="aligncenter" width="1230"]Pax Goano'ganoch'sa'jeh'seroni Pax Goano'ganoch'sa'jeh'seroni![/caption]

In the end, I added three more achievements to my list:

  • Unlocked: Jun 30, 2014 11:13pm
    People of the Longhouse
    Build a longhouse in a city with at least 4 unchopped forests in its radius.

  • Unlocked: Jul 3, 2014 9:46pm
    It's Just You and Me, Kid
    Beat the game on a Duel Map.

  • Unlocked: Jul 3, 2014 9:46pm
    Workers of the World - Unite!
    Win a Cultural Victory using the Order Ideology.

It seems I had previously won a cultural victory. However, I did that on December 15, 2010 - well before Brave New World was released - so technically I hadn't won a cultural victory - under the new rules for culture in Brave New World. Now I have. :P Next, I go for a portmanteau in part 2 of Unlocking Achievements.


  1. Tsk, Civilization is sooo first half of 2014.
    All the cool kids have finally discovered XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

  2. *LOL* Just waiting for Civilization: Beyond Earth.

  3. […] playing quite a bit of Civilization V: Brave New World (Civ5,) which I wrote about in two posts here and here. During a week full of astrophotography and fossil hunting, I still managed to get in […]


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