Civilization V: Brave New World

Released this year, Civilization V: Brave New World is probably the best game in the successful franchise by Sid Meier. In case if you do not know who is Sid Meier then stop reading this article right now, go and read his wiki entry instead!! Civilization series have been turn based strategy games, and had gone silent for quite some time.

We had seen other war oriented turn based games (Total War series), but the Civilization series has a cult following. Yours truly included. So what has changed since the last version?

Tactical Genius over sheer Numbers

The important part of keeping any game active is that

What has changed is the sheer importance of tactical gameplay over numbers. In the previous versions of Civilization, we had the option of stacking multiple units on the same tile and then spamming units to defeat the other player in military domination. In the current version of the game, you cannot stack military units, however you can stack a general with your military unit or a civilian unit with it.

Choke Point

What this means is that now you can keep a strong unit to protect a choke point and protect your area. Exactly like in the movie 300, this will be far more effective than spamming units!!

More ways to win a game

You do not have to be a war lord to win this game, there are other victory conditions. You could use your culture (new concept!), you could use diplomacy and of course the science method to win the game. This makes for interesting games, since you could actually be dominating throughout the game with an army, but a weaker player could be Allies with all the other players and beat you still!

Hexagonal Tiles

Well, gone are the square tiles of yore! We now have hexagonal tiles and with more than 200 hours in the game, these are feeling natural to me. This means, that the player now has to smartly position his units to win battles.

Hexagonal tiles makes it easier for an isometric world as well. I feel changing the tiles has actually added to the game dynamics.

All in all, this is one game you have to try! Leaving you with a wallpaper with all the keyboard shortcuts in this game!

Civilization V: Brave New World
Civilization V: Brave New World Hotkeys

Rise of Nations: Japan infantry

Note: The post was ill-timed, when I wrote it I was completely unaware of the Japan crisis. I realized my folly when a friend informed me of the same. My apologies, this was not meant to be a stunt to get more attention. The post was neither tweeted nor posted on Facebook.


I love the Japanese civilization in Rise of Nations. It is by far one of the strongest infantry civilizations in the game. There are of course the Mayans and the Aztecs who can give the Japanese a run for their money, but with Japanese barracks churning out units faster than any other barracks and with each unity being stronger than the normal unit, you can’t go wrong.

The civilization benefits are also geared in such a manner that it ensures that as ages advances, the Japanese will keep on becoming a stronger force to reckon with. The civilization benefits are as follows –

  • Farms 50% cheaper, Farms and Fishermen produce +25% resources
  • Build aircraft carriers 33% faster and ships are 10% cheaper
  • Barrack Units do 5% extra damage vs buildings for each Age plus Military research
  • Barrack Units built 10% faster, 7% cheaper,for each Age plus Military research

What this means is that the Japanese player can kick off a good boom at the start itself. Cheaper farms and +25% more food means more villagers to collect wood with. More resources at the start translates into ideal boom conditions.

Typically what I do is –

  • Start with 5 farms at the start of the game (you have enough wood to do this)
  • Then science 1 and civ 1
  • Then a town to expand your territory
  • Then commerce 1 and build an additional farm
  • Then a woodmill and more farms
  • Then a trade center and a temple
  • Then science 2 and mil 1
  • Tower for your frontier town and a barracks between your towns
  • Complete the farms and get the rare resources
  • Age. As you are aging start building heavy infantry
  • Get the senate built and a despot (cheaper infantry and war resources)
  • Get 5 HI, 1 archer, patriot and go mil 2
  • Start towards your enemy town and start raiding (rare resources, merchants) but avoid frontal assault (you benefit later in the game)
  • Get a siege workshop and have some siege engines built (2-3)
  • Now go for the first town

Its downhill from then on. The key is to know that you are going to be stronger and stronger with your infantry (atleast till age VII, then you have stronger units). Take towns, and hold your lines. During those times build more units (infantry, light cavalry to take down archers and siege + supply wagons if needed). Use villagers to repair towns and build your barracks closer to the front lines.

Rare Resources:

Rare resources that you need to go after – Cotton and Whales

The Cotton will reduce unit production times by 25%, and Whales will give you the resources required to generate more Heavy Infantry.