Let’s Play Civilization V: Gods & Kings Part 1
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
The first expansion for Sid Meyer’s Civilization V, Gods & Kings, was released June 9th this year, and inspired by this excellent written playthrough of the new expansion by PC Gamer‘s T.J. Hafer I decided to do my own. So sit down, lean back and enjoy this tale of the mighty, stalwart and vigorous Danes! The images are clickable, as it can be hard to see when they are too small.
For the set-up of my game, I have chosen a large map with 10 civilizations and 15 city states (I’ve decreased the number of city states from the default 20, as I think they tend to fill up too much of the map otherwise). We begin with a world age of 3 billion years consisting of large continents with a temperate climate, normal rainfall, abundant resources and a high sea level. One of the civ specifics for the Danes is being quick at sea with a +1 movement for embarked units and only having to pay 1 movement point when moving from land to sea, so I hope this choice will grant me an extra advantage as the game progresses. The civilizations I’ve chosen as opponents are mainly the rest of the 9 new civilizations that have been added with Gods & Kings in order to get to know them and see what they are all about.
Let the game begin!
So, it appears that I’ve landed myself in no less than an excellent starting area for the Danes. Plenty of sea all around and what appears to be a range of mountains to the right. Not only can I begin my seafaring early – the mountains and the fact that I’m on a peninsula also protect my capital from enemy attacks. Looking around I see that I am also near the resources wheat, cattle, sugar and pearls, which will provide me with plenty of food and gold as I set up my civilization. I settle the city of Copenhagen and begin with building a warrior and researching Animal Husbandry, while I send my initial warrior out for some exploration of the nearby area.
I often find that military units are much better for exploration if you play on the difficulty of Prince or higher. They don’t move as fast as scouts, but they don’t die as fast either which is a big plus with bunches of rampaging barbarians around all over the map (they’re worse than the Danes!). And getting your early-state military units levelled up a bit before the real wars hit never hurts either. At least you can earn the respect of other civilizations for a while before they skip ahead and come back with advanced steel-wielding units and crushing catapults to threaten everything you hold dear. I’m going to enjoy my early sanctuary while it lasts.
I send my second warrior exploring and decide to go for a monument next. It only takes 5 turns, as I’ve put my game pace on quick, and it provides me with some extra culture that will help expand my borders and let me acquire social policies faster. Social policies can really boost your gameplay, so I tend to go after them fast.
I don’t really have anything around me that requires mining right now, so I decide to go for Pottery as my next technology. It will lead me to sailing which I need in order to collect pearls and start building a navy, and it will enable me to build the granary, which will enhance my food collection. All good for an early stage game.
Meanwhile, my trusty viking warrior has found the natural wonder Mt. Fuji only paces away from my doorstep. This is excellent news. Getting this wonder within the borders of my civilization will grant me +2 gold, +3 culture and +3 faith every turn. Faith is one of the new additions of Gods & Kings. It enables you to build or join a religion. Building up your own religion means that you get to choose some different benefits that will be bestowed upon you as the leader and upon its followers. Only a certain number of religions can be found, so you got to be fast if you want your own.
It’s time to pick a social policy, and I go with Honor. Honor is great in the early stages of the game, as it gives me a fair advantage when fighting barbarians. And it doesn’t hurt to just be badass military-wise in general. I play as the Danish vikings after all. We do like a good smashing. Roar.
In 1600 BC the city Aarhus is founded by the root of Mt. Fuji, giving me access to some more cattle, fish and cotton, which will provide me with both food and gold. I have now build out my Honor policy, gained a few more warriors and archers and researched a few more of the basic technologies. So far my strategy of intimidating other civilizations with building up my military early is working. I have met the new civilization Austria, which used to be a city state before the expansion, and they have taken the stance afraid, early asking me to form a declaration of friendship. Which, naturally, I refused. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going after the Domination victory, but for the moment it is fun to be on top and feared. The other civ specific for the Danes is being able to pillage without penalty to movement. An excellent trait that I might want to use later on.
I now get a message that I have built up enough faith in my empire to found a pantheon. The pantheon allows me the choice of a special benefit for my civilization and is the first step towards creating an official religion. What you choose in this early state of believing should fit to either your surroundings or your general plan for the game. Giving myself a benefit of +1 happiness from cities on rivers seems like a bad choice considering that I’m not near any. So I go ahead and choose the Goddess of Protection pantheon, giving myself a +30 increase in city Ranged Combat Strength. I think I have settled on trying to win via the Domination victory now, so I’m probably going to be at war a lot, and some extra city strength and protection never hurts. Especially not, since in the Domination victory, you have to hold on to your original capital city (in my case Copenhagen) throughout the entire game to be able to win. Also, I like to be a goddess.
So, it appears that my civilization of stalwart Danes is off to a great start. I’ve founded two cities, one near a natural wonder, build up a starting military decent enough to scare the living poopy out of at least one other civilization, and I have found a pantheon and named myself Goddess of Protection. I’m fairly sure that someone is going to come around the corner soon and pull me off my high horse, so for the time being I’m going to enjoy this as much as I possibly can. So at least for now: Long live the Danes!
Tune in soon for Part 2 of The Stalwart Danes. Will they continue to grow and prosper with maids and mead all around? Or will they trip and fall in their own beards?