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Three Moves Ahead Episode 175 – Gods and Kings

July 1st, 2012 by Rob Zacny · 9 Comments · Podcast, Three Moves Ahead


Popcap’s Jeff Green joins returning guest David Heron, Troy, and Rob for a discussion of the Civilization V expansion Gods and Kings. Together, they discuss why Civ V was so controversial, how G&K changes it, and whether its major changes seem quite as meaningful now that they’ve put some time into it. Be sure to listen to the episode for details on a little contest to give away some spare Sins: Rebellion keys. Which we should have done last week, but we forgot. Because we’re disgraceful. But still pretty great.



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9 Comments so far ↓

  • Seb Dunn

    Be my dad Jeff Green. :)

  • Caesar T.

    Monday just got made!

  • Nebulaz

    Seb I agree. I am always amazed at who is a secretly a strategy gamer. Unlike most game genres strategy games seem to hold a wider birth of gamers (albeit some times covertly) than more accepted ones like Action/Adventure. Great cast this week, and Rob did a great job feeding each guest great questions!


  • Chris Nahr

    Nice episode but two points weirded me out…

    Civ5 is not a multiplayer game? Have really none of you heard of Giant Multiplayer Robot? I’ve been in multiple PBEM games for weeks, it works great: http://multiplayerrobot.com/

    Also, I’m amazed that anyone would want spies that must be moved around the map and that can destroy improvements. The best thing about Civ5 was getting rid of such horrible nuisance units.

  • Mike

    “My Last Civ IV Game or A Lesson in Metagame Mechanics”
    A short story by Mike

    It was the best of Civ, it was the worst of Civ. My empire had flourished and grown into a medieval powerhouse economically and militarily. Conquering the world was only a few small wars away…and one major conflict with my eastern neighbor Charlemagne. Charlemagne and I were friends, trading goods and sharing the longest unguarded border in the world. The calm peace of a thousand years seemed endless and yet I knew it was wise to stack defensive armies in major cities near Charlemagne. Stacks, although hated, were afterall the way to play, the way to win. There was time yet to build and learn. Charlemagne could wait, my attentions turned west. Next turn.

    Pusuing global domination I continued my march across the west. Enemies fell one after the other. Though Charlemagne was always there lurking in the east he seemed occupied with his own battles in an undiscovered land. Our empires expanded, our armies grew bold. Next turn.

    Did I grow too comfortable with the riches and bounty of trade? Fat and dumb with my easy western conquests and happy citizens feasting and enamoured with traded goods and riches I grew content. Charlemagne and I were friends. Partners. Allies? Next turn.

    And so it goes. And so it goes. Until one day. Next turn.

    Enagaing Charlemagne in diplomacy to renew our trade agreements, I am met with rebuke. What? Wait…what? Why? There has been no aggression, no build up of forces on the border, no diplomatic insult or injury. What are you doing? Why are your armies massing? Declaration of war!?!?!?! Next turn.

    Stack upon stack fall upon my cities’ walls. My forces hold out – for now. Reinforcements arrive, but they are too few. Stack upon stack upon stack invade from the east. Peace cannot be bought, Charlemagne has determined that my time has come. He must have victory. I must be eliminated. Next turn.

    As I sit in my chair, wondering what happened it dawns on me. Flaky AI players, unprovoked attack, no warning, no signs. Fucking metagame. The AI will always try to win – their victory condition will always be their final goal. There is no elegance in this! Longtime friend to instant enemy. RAWRAARARRWRW! RAGE QUIT! UNINSTALL!

    Civ V is coming out soon. No stacks of doom in that one. Can’t wait.

    Next turn.

  • Ben

    This must have been the podcast that upset me the most. To dismiss Civ multiplayer as something to tame weird fanboys really got my blood pumping. In particular the elitist “my dick is longer than yours” argument of “I played 10,000 hours and I never play multiplayer”. What is that but fanboy bait ?

    For sure Civ 5 multiplayer isn’t for everyone, partially because it takes multiple multi-hour sessions to finish a game and partially because it is quite different from single player Civilzation.

    The diplomatic system gets a much stronger meta overlay, as it is harder to deceive humans, while on the other hand, the battle strategy gets less important, as players move synchronously.

    Aside from that I personally love the good old comp stomp. It being round based, you have time to chat which makes it a great thing to do while catching up with your friends. Not unlike board games actually, but much more fun, if you can’t live next door.

    On the other hand they have nailed the problem of all turn based games in multiplayer, namely the wait. There is nothing more boring than waiting for other players to make their turn. Even worth if you actually depend on them actively ending it.

    Finally I could really only laugh at the suggestion of multiplayer suitable for Civ. I respect Mr. Green but really, did he even spend 10 seconds to think about that ? Have you ever tried to get back in to a game of Civ after a day or two. How much time you’ll spend getting back into the game ? Not to mention that it gets tricky to handle more than one game at once, so you probably wouldn’t actually play very much. And how long would games take – years ?
    I mean you can just give it a try with Civ4, as that has play by email).

    Even worse, in cooperative games (-> comp stomp), there is no benefit in NOT having human players acting at the same time.

    Sorry for getting worked up, but it just sounded like “this doesn’t fit my situation so it is stupid” – actually a typical fanboy argument.

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  • Chet

    I’m always a little confused when I hear you guys talk about any of the Civs. Everyone always talks about trying to win, which is a totally foreign concept to me.

    Civ, to me, is a simulation of history. How does my civilization fare throughout the ages is what i’m playing for. Not to “win” the game.

    Which is why I’ve spent many games playing as a essentially a minor power trying to navigate my way among the various super powers.

  • Rob C

    It’s funny because I’m confused when people say Civ is a simulation of history :-). To me a simulation is software that tries to realistically model a system based on a set of variables / conditions. Some simulations take more liberties than others. The Falcon series of flight sims is supposed to model more details of flight then say The Red Baron. To me Civ is as much of a history simulation as the Atari 2600 game Night Driver is a driving simulation. Sorry in advance if that came off as snarky.