[an error occurred while processing this directive] Tilemacho's Review

Ok here you can find my thoughts during my first CTP2 game.

I have a celeron 400 with 192 RAM and Voodoo 3000 16 RAM. I bought 128 RAM during the game so I compared 64 to 192 RAM:
64: Load= 32 sec next turn= 25 sec at turn 407 (year 1732)
192: Load= 25 sec next turn= 22 sec ...

The huge difference was after playing for 5 hours continuously. With 64 RAM loading a game took about 2 min and next turn 1 min15 sec, whereas after I upgraded there was no difference at all no matter how long I played. The game didn't crash at all although I didn't try any scenario or the cheat options.

I played at medium level, 8 civs, huge map and I won the scientific victory after 703 turns (year 2103). I conquered only one civ completely because I wanted to check more the diplomacy options and because the "max city" restriction was always a problem for my plans to expand. The game lasted 7 days and I must have played more than 40 hours to finish it! In general I liked the game very much (I have played civ1, civ2...quite a lot, SMAC only the demo and CTP1...a lot PBEM) and I can definitely say this is the best title!

Diplomacy is really good (I think there is a little problem with the AI to withdraw his units, especially naval units) and the combat system excellent. Although I don't always understand how the units are placed, usually I like it. Borders are also very good and the fact that cities grow over the environment as the population increases is fantastic.

I'm one of those guys who really liked micromanagement. I can't say that I don't like the new system but I think the main reason why it is still functional is because ICS is now even worse! Remember that the first 6 workers now work on 9 tiles...! In my last turn I have a coastal city surrounded by tundra with only 1 advanced farm and size...22!!! Something like that would never have happened in CIV2 or CTP1. In those games you should be very careful when choosing where to place you city and you should take care if you wanted it to grow (I liked that!). Of course I don't think players will place cities very close to each other any more, both because it is very nice to see your capital reach size 58 (my largest city by the end of the game) and because you will try to max expand your borders with only 20 cities (max cities in Monarchy and other ancient Governments). BTW here are the max tiles a city can work according to its size:
Size 1-6 = 9
Size 7-18 = 21
Size 19-33 = 45
Size 34-46 =57
Size 47-... =69

Something I like very much is the way population increases. You no longer have stores that get filled. Instead every turn your population increases according the excess of food in the city. Also the overcrowding effect works nicely. It prevents people from coming in the city although it might have an excess of food. e.g a city has positive food production to able 1500 people to come every turn but because of the overcrowding effect it increases only by1200. (Note: no matter how much food you produce the max number of growth is 2500 every turn...I don't like that)

I like the "Feat of Wonder" idea but I am a little bit sceptical because I think they make the best civ even better... The game has all the information you need but you need too many clicks to get it...the most important is that the city manager and the build manager are separate. I can live with that but at least give me the option to open them both and be able to work on both at the same time....it's quite stupid to open the city manager then click to go to the build manager and then click again to go to the city manager to see something I forgot...and then click again to go to the build manager to finally build what you want.

I also hate the fact that inside the city manager you only see the fortified units. I mean...this is completely stupid, a little F in the image would let me now what unit is fortified and what not...

Also the units in a specific tile should be easily seen. I don't want to click to the tile, go to the unit tab if it's a city and the click an arrow to see the units in this tile/city. I consider this information perhaps the most important and I want to access it easily (I don't exactly remember the CTP1 system but I think it was much better).

Also I want every time I double click in a city the city manager to show up. Now if there are any unfortified units the army manager pops up .....now that I remember I also want to be able to tell that diplomat or spy to stay there and never bother me again...why can't I do that! This could be easily overcome if everyone could fortify...!!! I also don't understand why aeroplanes and ships can't fortify...why can't that cool Moray Striker (super submarine) fortify in my SeaBase2 ? (I mean I don't really care if they get a defence bonus, I just don't want them to bother me every time an enemy unit passes by)

Something I like about the build manager is that I can insert, delete, move-up or move down an order! Something I miss is the fact that I don't know in how many turns will a city increase size.

But I have to say that I like the National Manager. When you double-click it autocenters to the city and you are able to select all your cities and overwrite the current queue or append a new order! I would only prefer to be able to open not only the build manager but also the city manager from it. To say the truth when I double-click I would prefer both to center and open the city manager! (Activision give that option please.... )

About the auto-center ability of the game...I hate it when I have to move a unit in the edge of my 17 inc monitor and it doesn't autocenter...!!!

Now...about the borders in sea. Although I don't consider this a very big problem I think there is room for improvement. A possible solution would be: in ancient age the boarders extend only one tile inside the sea, in RenaissanceAge 2 tiles and in Modern Age become as they are now...(your opinion?)

About the Ship of Line not being able to bombard land units. Although I didn't like it at the beginning I now think it's better that way because of game-balance purposes. I remember from CTP1 that all my 1v1 multiplayer games ended soon after the one player became able to built Ship of Line...maybe a better solution would be to make bombarding very ineffective until later stages of the game...

I would also prefer the Legion unit instead of the Samurai but I don't consider this to be a real problem I think it is very stupid that ships that can't see submarines can't fight them when they are visible (e.g near a sonar bay) but can bombard it!

About the trading system. Although I think it is ok I found the CTP1 system were you tried to build monopolies much more fun. Also it seems to me that there are very few goods even in the max setting. I would also like it, if the goods gave to the city something more than just the ability to trade. e.g I would expect a forest with hardwood to have production higher than just 5... Finally I don't like that every time I cancel a trade route I lose one caravan.

Something else that I find very stupid is the fact that a spy can be seen by a diplomat!!! I agree that a diplomat can see a laywer or slaver for example... but other spies should only see a spy.

I like the fact that roads still exist when you place a railroad something which counts for the other tile improvements too.

About the Majors. They are fine but I don't want them to use my PW! Maybe there could be an option to say that a Major will use PW only if they are over 5.000 for example.

About piracy. I think they don't destry the trade route...they just take the money. If this is true it's very good. I like the Urban Planner (modern settler). makes a city of size 3 with some buildings. I wonder why the Sea Engineer doesn't work the same way.

I have a feeling that the Tank unit is tooooo strong but I am not that sure about it.

I think the internet is a very strong wonder. It gives every city a computer center. In my game it increased my science by more than 20%. I also don't like that although I had the internet I was still able to build a computer center in each city which of course did nothing....this should be fixed.

Furthermore I couldn't find when the wonders actually expire. This should be in the top in GL I think. Is it just my idea or are there to many wonders to increase science?

About the advances: I think the engineer should be earlier available in the game...but I might be wrong in this one. In general they are fine. The only thing that bothered me is the absence of future advances which should give you extra bonus! They were in CTP1 why not in CTP2?

Buildings: I don't get why a temple is now called shrine and the marketplace bazaar. Also it is impressive that most buildings have minor effectiveness compared to CTP1 and CIV2 (e.g Bazaar, Academy and Mill only +10%), I think this is because workers produce much on their own as I said before.

Television has to be changed! It gives +5 gold per citizen and has an upkeep of only 5 gold!!! To let you see what that means: most of my cities size 20 didn't produce more than 100 gold per turn, but after I built television in them they produced 300!!!

Not important but I loved the CTP1 hover tank icon. I did build them just to view the image! The new one is **** in my opinion...please change it back! To say the trough I also like the war walker and the cannon more in CTP1...

The AI is good I think, although I started a game in very hard and I managed to kill 2 other civs very early (I think I will definitely win this game now). The reason perhaps is that I found 2 archers in ruins and went to attack them with a stack of 4 units (2 warriors and 2 archers). But I noticed when we exchanged maps that they had explored only a very small region (I think this is the problem because if they had explored a little more they would have found the ruins before me a saved themselves...).

Note: I found in a ruin in my first game Electricity! I think only ancient advances should be possible to be found in ruins.

1. The is missing a link for the PT boat in the GL
2. In the scoring tab they say 30.000 population but it 300.000. I think they mean 30.000 and they just put a 0 more somewhere.
3. the buildings after wonder thing.

Finally I can say that the game is worth buying. Once again I felt that "one more turn feeling" which to say the trough had missed since Civ2! Of course there is a patch needed to correct several problems and to make Hotseat and PBEM available. Sorry for the long post, please post any questions or your comments on my "review".

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The screenshots are from "Part 1" of the Apolyton Preview.

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