The Roman Empire of South Africa

The Roman Empire of South Africa

I’ve been a big fan of the Civilization series since the very first game came out. I distinctly remember being introduced to it by a high school friend. He was playing the Romans against two other computer civilizations. I. Was. Hooked. I played it for hours and hours and hours. The first incarnation of Sid Meier’s classic could also be played to conclusion in one long day… or sooner if you went all Genghis Khan on your opponents. I’ve been playing the latest version since it came out. There’s been quite a furor in the civfanatics forum and other fan sites on how Civilization V has been “dumbed down”. These people expected to play Civilization 4.5 and were disappointed. The game has shifted focus and has been streamlined. It is simpler than the Civilization IV, but whether that constitutes the game being “dumb” is up to the individual gamer.

Personally I like this incarnation (how can I not, it has HEXES!!! YES!) and I’m quite taken with trying to get most of the achievements. Lately I’ve been playing the Romans in a huge Earth map and about halfway through the game it occurred to me to try to secure a cultural victory and I invested heavily into that despite having a largish empire of several cities. The game deposited me on what is now South Africa. I was relatively isolated. The Arabians spawned on what should be the Ivory Coast, that’s not a very a good start location, but if you focus on a small empire the Niger river is a big boost. My current problem are the Babylonians. The began in Egypt’s starting location but have really carved themselves an empire throughout the Nile, most of North Africa (Arabians caved in) the middle east and most of India, so far we’ve been fighting along the western coast of Africa around what should be Cameroon. The deep jungles and mountains in the center of Africa have provided a cover of sorts and a geographical barrier to a more broad invasion by Babylon, so they’ve been channeled west.

I haven’t dedicated myself to really hurting Babylon because they are so huge and I’d rather focus on the cultural victory. We’ll see if fighting this war one handed will cost me, but so far I’ve held my own…

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