Saturday, January 03, 2004

I am queen of the world or so I tell myself

I played a long game of Civilization this afternoon. I get into these kicks every now and then when I just have to play. I've been playing Civilization since high school and we're on the third variation of the game now. I'm still no better at it than I was in high school but I consider it a victory if my civilization is still on the map, come mandatory retirement in 2050.

Today though was probably my worst possible performance. I only founded 6 cities, absorbed a 7th (the English town of Brighton) by cultural prowess, and then picked up an eighth, Novograd (Russian city), but ended up losing it back to the Russians after my new assimilees decided my culture sucked big time. I had a good start, but got behind thanks to wandering barbarians and my own inability to deal with the issue. After losing about 5 settlers and 3 workers, I got smart and sent an archer after the barbarians. Problem solved, but then I was 100 years behind Abraham Lincoln and Queen Elizabeth.

I also don't ever click on the "Big Picture" screens. My method of going through technology is somewhere along the lines of "Hmmm, what can I learn in the shortest amount of time?" Well, that never gets you to the Manhattan Project, but it'll certainly get you the Hanging Gardens of Babylonia, simply because everyone else is busy building towns and infrastructure while my civilizations are invariably twiddling their thumbs and raising taxes.

This time though, I built a huge military. I never build huge militaries. This time I did. I even built a nuclear submarine and a bomber. That was kinda a cool. I usually never make it past upgrading my armies from warriors to spearman. Then when the Germans or French roll through with their tanks, I'm usually history. This time, I wasn't history because they were all freaked out by my large, mostly useless army that cost an enormous fortune (200 gold/turn) to maintain.

I also became kind of an arm-twister. The French were scared of my tanks, so I managed to wheedle money and technology out of them. The Persians were good for ivory and silk, while I went after the pesky English for iron and saltpeter. But despite my new military prowess and cunning acumen, I still managed to score my lowest score ever in my decade of playing this computer game.

If it wasn't for the fact that I have no food in my house and thus, need to go grocery shopping and get some food, I would honestly give it another go and this time, see what happens when I declare war on everyone instead of sitting in a corner building the biggest possible stick I can carry. Kudos to anyone who knows what the reference to "big stick" is

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