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PREVIEW: Civilization V: Brave New World

The pen, it is said, is mightier than the sword. But the piano and paintbrush can also trump enemies.
The Straits Times - May 23, 2013
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PREVIEW: Civilization V: Brave New World

The pen, it is said, is mightier than the sword. But the piano and paintbrush can also trump enemies.

This is what happens in the second and final expansion of this hit world-domination game, in which the enemies, despite being all-out aggressive, fail to spend enough time smelling the roses.

In earlier versions of the game, you achieved victory through conquest, diplomacy, culture or science. But Brave New World has tweaked the culture wars significantly.

Previously, you had to amass Culture Points by building temples, shrines and other cultural buildings to expand your borders and to unlock social policies which offered bonuses to your civilisation, such as increasing production, wealth and making your workers work faster.

The first player to unlock all the available social policies achieved Cultural Victory.

But now, it is quite different. The social policies are still there for the bonuses, but to win you must now amass a new resource called Tourism. To gain tourism points, you need to attract Great Writers, Musicians and Artists to your civilisation and then place them in cultural buildings such the Opera House, Amphitheatre and even in Wonders Of The World such as the Great Library.

So if Leonardo Da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa or Charles Dickens writes Great Expectations while in your nation, you get two extra tourism and culture points per work per turn. When your accumulated tourism points exceed the total culture points of all other nations in the game, you achieve a Cultural Victory and win the game.

This is not easily achieved until much later in the game. While you can choose to be peaceful and friendly, you must still expand your empire to have enough cities to build these cultural buildings.

As land is a limited resource in the game, it means you will usually have to conquer a few cities in order to have enough room to build the necessary number of cultural buildings.

When your nation discovers Archaeology, you will be able to hire archeologists to visit special sites to retrieve artefacts, which can also be placed into cultural buildings to gain tourism points.

Diplomatic Victory has also been tweaked. The World Congress will now be formed once all the rival civilisations are discovered.

Control the World Congress, which later morphs into the United Nations, and you can influence the passing of resolutions to your advantage - or the detriment of your strongest rivals.

Get everyone to vote for you as World Leader and you can also win the game.

The expansion comes with nine new civilisations and leaders as well as eight new wonders.

Also new is the concept of trade routes, which you can use to link up with other civilisations and city states to generate trade revenue.

Trade routes also come in useful because you can use them to get your new cities up to speed by transferring food and production from a bigger city to a smaller one.

The changes to the game will expand the number of endgame options, when military might is balanced and you cannot hope to conquer all of your rivals' capitals.

But I find a peaceful victory too boring and still prefer to let my catapults and knights do the talking.

ginlee@sph.com.sg

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