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#1
Old 12-24-2011, 11:39 AM
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What civilization building games are there where the purpose isn't to go to war

Games like empire earth, age of empires and civilization are fun but the main goal is to build a military and conquer your opponents. For me most of the fun comes from progressing through different stages of technological development, building a larger civilization and growing my population. When I play civ 2 I usually just pick a scenario with 3 civilizations so I don't have to go to war all the time.

What all civilization building strategy games (where you build a society and take it through stages of development) are there where the goal is just to build a society, not to conquer other societies? Aside from sim city I don't know of any.

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 12-24-2011 at 11:40 AM.
#2
Old 12-24-2011, 11:49 AM
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Dwarf Fortress.
#3
Old 12-24-2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Games like empire earth, age of empires and civilization are fun but the main goal is to build a military and conquer your opponents
Bolding mine. One of these things is not like the others...

Try Europa Universalis 3. War is a part of the game, but it's not strictly neccessary. There's good odds it will come up in a discounted package with expansions on Steam soon. It's a good, and extremely complex game, with no "win" conditions - you just play from the late middle ages into the nascent Victorian era.
#4
Old 12-24-2011, 12:08 PM
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You mentioned SimCity, but that's just the most well-known game in a whole genre of city builders:

Caesar 1, 2, 3, & 4
Pharoah
Zeus: Master of Olympus
Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom
Children of the Nile
Imperium Romanum
Grand Ages of Rome
CitiesXL
Tropico 1, 2, 3, & 4

These games tend to be smaller in scope and more mission-oriented, but they often have a sandbox mode where you just build the most awesomest city you can.

Then there are the economic-engine games like Patrician. I'll also throw in the transport-building games like Railroad Tycoon and Cities in Motion.

For a different take, there's Evil Genius, where you are criminal mastermind building your secret underground lair.
#5
Old 12-24-2011, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
Bolding mine. One of these things is not like the others...
How is Civilization different? Military might is an absolutely integral part of all five versions of the game. You can in theory win a game without going to war but it's insanely difficult and a step towards avoiding war is building an army big enough to dissuade your enemies from attacking (but not so big that you're perceived as a threat.)
#6
Old 12-24-2011, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
How is Civilization different? Military might is an absolutely integral part of all five versions of the game. You can in theory win a game without going to war but it's insanely difficult and a step towards avoiding war is building an army big enough to dissuade your enemies from attacking (but not so big that you're perceived as a threat.)
It's not particularly hard to win Civ4 without going to war. It's even easier to go peaceful in Civ5.
#7
Old 12-24-2011, 01:33 PM
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Good list from Terminus Est. I've played them all.

Pharaoh is an old game but still very playable. In fact, I have a campaign going right now. It's one of those games that gives real meaning to the complaints we so often hear about how they just don't make games like they used to.

Children of the Nile is also very much worth playing. And the Tropico series is hugely entertaining and even has up to date graphics.

All of these games do have a military component but is a small part of the game; basically, providing for a military force is part of your job as a leader but you don't go on a click-fest in combat ... you just build an army and tell them to go fight. In Children of the Nile combat doesn't even take place on the screen -- you build up a force and send them off, out of sight.
#8
Old 12-24-2011, 01:43 PM
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Too late to edit.

I forgot to mention The Settlers series. A lot of people think The Settlers II Gold Edition is the best of them and I agree. I would say the latest one, Settlers 7, is the only one not worth a look.
#9
Old 12-24-2011, 02:44 PM
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Re: Patrician

I've played a fair bit of Patrician IV, and have found it to be interesting in concept. It's only in one setting (northern Europe in the 1370s), but your actions can grow sleepy villages into sprawling cities, and get new cities founded as well. There are pirates that you have to fend off, but they're a minor part of the game if you keep them under control.

It's also an interesting look at capitalism. At first it seems to be a very clear theme of "look how wonderful things turn out when you let the job creators create jobs". If you play as a textbook dispassionate rational investor long enough, though, you start to see the negative consequences of your actions. Cities grow as you create more jobs, but smithies and weavers and vineyards are more lucrative than grain farms and dairies; if you invest only in the most profitable businesses, there will soon be widespread famine across the Hanse. If you don't invest your money in fountains and infirmaries (which never turn a profit), there will also be plagues. These famines and plagues stifle the growth of your cities and noticeably eat into your profits. If you play the game with a more benevolent tack, you'll see steadier growth of not only the cities, but of your wealth as well. Even if you do play as an "enlightened job creator", you may notice in the guild statistics that even as the cities grow, the actual quality of life of the burghers isn't necessarily increasing (and be even be decreasing).
#10
Old 12-24-2011, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
Bolding mine. One of these things is not like the others...

Try Europa Universalis 3. War is a part of the game, but it's not strictly neccessary. There's good odds it will come up in a discounted package with expansions on Steam soon. It's a good, and extremely complex game, with no "win" conditions - you just play from the late middle ages into the nascent Victorian era.
The only Civ game I have really played is Civ2, I never really got into Civ3 and never tried 4 or 5.

FWIW, a big part of Civ2 was building your military so other countries wouldn't attack you or so you can attack other nations. When I played I usually tried to build the great wall, Eiffel tower and UN as fast as possible just so that other nations wouldn't attack me. That way I could devote my building efforts to civ advancements instead of military units. I preferred building city advances, wonders, trade routes, etc. over military units. I'm a total liberal.

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 12-24-2011 at 03:32 PM.
#11
Old 12-28-2011, 06:11 PM
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For Civ IV at least, you can set custom rules for the game, including mandatory peace, or for a less extreme version locked alliances. You could also choose the computer-controlled rulers and select only fellow builders, Bismark and Hatsepshut and Asoka play well with others, Montezuma and Isabella famously attacked at the drop of a hat. You could also play with the religion settings, the computer players love to ally with co-religionists and declare war against heretics.

You could customize things so you get a scenario to your particular tastes--absolutely no fighting, no fighting other players but you have to watch for barbarians and animals, down to a regular game tweaked so that wars are much less likely.
#12
Old 12-28-2011, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
When I played I usually tried to build the great wall, Eiffel tower and UN as fast as possible just so that other nations wouldn't attack me. That way I could devote my building efforts to civ advancements instead of military units...
This is pretty much how I play the conquest games: Insulate, research the tech, build the force, crush the opposition who chose to waste their early time and resources with petty skirmishes.



Master of Orion can be won with diplomacy and with only defensive battles.
#13
Old 12-28-2011, 06:55 PM
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Military is only one of 7 ways to get victory points in the card game 7 Wonders, and it is certainly possible to win with 0 military.

The Avalon Hill Civilization / Advanced Civilization games certainly have war, but it is definitely not the purpose.

Brian
#14
Old 12-29-2011, 08:52 PM
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Check out the Anno series, the most recent being Anno 2070. While these games do have combat, it is by no means central to the experience.
#15
Old 01-02-2012, 12:48 PM
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I've won Civilisation 4 with just a couple of defensive units in each City through the following Victory conditions:

- Cultural
- Space Race
- Score
#16
Old 01-02-2012, 12:56 PM
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I second 7 Wonders. Out of the seven ways, the military is not even the most important way to get victory points. In first place is generic non-wonder buildings such as the Temple and Senate. Military is in the middle along with science and Wonders and guilds (but is more important than gold and trade in terms of victory points.)
#17
Old 01-02-2012, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by glee View Post
I've won Civilisation 4 with just a couple of defensive units in each City through the following Victory conditions:

- Cultural
- Space Race
- Score
I started winning Civ 3 via country size so frequently that I turned it off. Just a few defensive units in each city in case of Barbarian attack.
#18
Old 01-02-2012, 01:09 PM
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Edit: Forgot the main point: Chek out The Great Art Race. I picked this up in a steam pack with [patrician3 and Darkstar 1, but haven't played it yet. It's an economic sim rather than a civ builder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max the Immortal View Post
It's also an interesting look at capitalism. At first it seems to be a very clear theme of "look how wonderful things turn out when you let the job creators create jobs". If you play as a textbook dispassionate rational investor long enough, though, you start to see the negative consequences of your actions.
I think the problem here is that the economic model doesn't hold up. You can make money doing it, but the models never switch over to valuing food, healthcare and shelter properly. And nobody else seems to build much in the Patrician series, so you essentuially stand in for the entire economy. You'd think the townspeople could build their own damn houses, but nooooooo...

Actually, I'd reverse that. In theory, the models should always value food, healthcare, and housing first (wine in Europe was a basic foodstuff because cheap wine holds calories). However, people only want so much of these and should then buy other goods. As the propserity of a town rises, it should consume more and more luxuries. However, since nobody can grow a damn wheat crop without you micromanaging the process, they manage to starve themselves while eagerly rushing out to buy the medieval version of iPods.

Last edited by smiling bandit; 01-02-2012 at 01:11 PM.
#19
Old 01-02-2012, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
they manage to starve themselves while eagerly rushing out to buy the medieval version of iPods.
So you mean the burghers in Patrician are really college students ?
#20
Old 01-03-2012, 03:35 PM
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Pocket Civ is a print and play board game thats free and actually quite good, just scroll down to 'files' to get everything you need. Theres a computer version too, but I'd advise reading the rules and playing the paper version first. It's solitaire so other than battling the occasional barbarian invasion there isn't even the opportunity for war.
#21
Old 01-03-2012, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
The only Civ game I have really played is Civ2, I never really got into Civ3 and never tried 4 or 5.

FWIW, a big part of Civ2 was building your military so other countries wouldn't attack you or so you can attack other nations. When I played I usually tried to build the great wall, Eiffel tower and UN as fast as possible just so that other nations wouldn't attack me. That way I could devote my building efforts to civ advancements instead of military units. I preferred building city advances, wonders, trade routes, etc. over military units. I'm a total liberal.
The game has changed dramatically in this regard. I've played 3, 4, and 5, and pretty much always aim to win via science or cultural domination. I can't remember the last time I tried to win via conquest.

Granted, unless you're sharing a continent with Ghandi, you usually do still need to have a credible enough military so that they won't attack you. But in Civ V, I often rely on my city-states to fight for me.
#22
Old 01-03-2012, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by furt View Post
Granted, unless you're sharing a continent with Ghandi, you usually do still need to have a credible enough military so that they won't attack you.
Ghandi!?
#23
Old 01-03-2012, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Gandhi!
#24
Old 01-03-2012, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by N9IWP View Post
The Avalon Hill Civilization / Advanced Civilization games certainly have war, but it is definitely not the purpose.
It's not even really war - it's attrition down to how many units the region can support. There are a few advances that modify this, namely Metalworking and Engineering, and the Military advance means you get to move last, after all others have committed, but the really aggressive advance isn't even combat- or resource-oriented - it's Monotheism. Of course, by the time anyone gets that, the game is pretty much on its last or second-to-last round.
#25
Old 01-03-2012, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by furt View Post
Granted, unless you're sharing a continent with Ghandi, you usually do still need to have a credible enough military so that they won't attack you. But in Civ V, I often rely on my city-states to fight for me.
Gandhi is a motherfucker. Don't trust him. He looks quiet and friendly and those little round glasses of his are cute, but he's really teching up to nukes as fast as possible to make you his bitch.
And that's when he's not just Cultural Winning your ass right out in year 1200.

Fuck Gandhi. I'll take Montezuma before him any day. At least Montezuma is predictable and upfront about wanting to ruin your shit day in, day out.
#26
Old 01-03-2012, 07:48 PM
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I'm pretty sure I've beaten Galactic Civilization II without going to war with any of the other races.

Pwned them by dominating interstellar trade. Bitches see me, they hatin'
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