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by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles on 11 Jul 2008 23:08

by David MarseillesDavid Marseilles on 11 Jul 2008 20:01

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1.3 Attacking
attack.jpg

When you come upon a unit you want to attack, just move your unit into the enemy's square. It will display a special red graphic with a sword over the enemy, indicating you are about to attack, an when you press A, the assault will begin. Before you press A, check the top screen, and you will see your own attack strength and the enemy's defense strength listed. Just because you know what their unit is, doesn't mean you know their strength. Terrain, experience upgrades, base facilities and civilization bonuses can all affect their strength, so always look before attacking. There is some small element of randomness in the battles, so sometimes weaker units (even after attack defend elements are included) can defeat stronger units. So don't get overconfident. If you win the battle, but take damage, you can heal your soldier one unit by holding the next turn (pressing B without moving).

settler.jpg

You can join 3 units of the same type together to make an army, and this is highly recommended. When they are three in the same square, press x, and they will join together so they move together, attack together, and defend together. 3 is better than one. As your unit gains experience by winning battles, it will qualify for upgrades. Upgrades include bonuses for attack and defense, and movement, among others. You'll usually be given the opportunity to choose between two bonuses.

1.4 Expansion

When you have some explorers out there, it's time to think about expanding. Extra cities can mean more resources, more armies, more culture, faster technology, and/or the ability to diversify your production, depending on how you use those cities. So you need to build a Settler. This will remove two population from your capital (starting city), unless you have changed your government to Republic or are the Romans (who start with Republic), in which case it will only take one. You may want an escort unit to go with the Settler, because they are defenseless. If a barbarian or enemy comes upon them, you just lost production turns AND population. You don't want that.

The Settler unit is one of three non-combat units you can build, and it has a special feature, in that it show you the resources on the 8 surrounding squares in any visible area that move you cursor. So before choosing a location, move that cursor over the map, and look for an area that provides a balanced resource allotment (you may have different priorities once you get more experience, but for now, look for areas that have a nice spread of Production (hammers), Food (apples), and Trade (two arrows circling into each other). Some ground has special resources with various bonuses. Resources appear as a special icon on top of the normal ground display. You can tell what most of them are, examples are cattle, silk, and incense. To see their bonuses, when you're over a unit without having given him directions, press A. If there's more than on unit in that location, you may have to press A repeatedly until a broken square selector appears. You can move this selector anywhere on the visible map and see the terrain features and bonuses.

In addition to building Settlers, you get a free Settler when you reach your first Economic milestone.

1.5 Other Special Units
spy.jpg

Spies aren't traditional Combat units, but they can fight each other. You can take them to enemy cities, cross over border lines, enter their city, and harrass them in several different ways. You can steal Great People and get their bonuses for your own civ, you can disrupt fortifications, decreasing their defensive strength for a turn (in preparation for an attack), destory one of their buildings, steal gold, or you can disrupt production making them start over on whatever they were building. You can do one spy mission per spy, then it disappears. You can defend against enemy spies by placing spies in your bases, you should especially do this in bases where you have Great People settled to protect those bonuses, and having a spy in a base on a front line of a war can prevent you from losing some defensive strength. You can capture enemy spies with any military unit, and then use them against another civ or for defense.

You can also build Caravans that will help you increase your gold reserves. When you've built one, pressing X will give you your choice of foreign cities to send it to (if you've found any foreign cities yet). Usually, the father a City is away, the more gold you can get by send the unit there. Caravans are defenseless, so you may want to manually move an escort along with it through unclaimed territory to protect it from barbarians. Caravans are also sometimes gifted to you when you are the first to enter a Village. When the caravan reaches the city of choice, and you move it in, you get a boost of gold, but the other civilization takes a cut by imposing a tax. It helps both of you, but it helps you more. Still you might consider not trading with a civ that you plan to attack in the near future to deprive them of that gold. You might also focus on trading with the enemy of your enemy to give them a boost against a common foe.

The last Special Unit is the Great Person. You don't build these, they automatically appear as your civilization grows in culture. They provide specific bonuses similar to those provided by city buildings and great wonders, but you can choose to use them in different ways. You can either settle a Great Person in a city and they will provide a small but steady stream of that bonus, or you can choose to expend them immediately and get a one-time larger bonus. As noted above, Great People are susceptible to theft by spies, so be sure to protect them if you choose to settle them. Also if a Great Person provides a percentage bonus to a certain city, make sure you settle them in the city with highest output of that something so you get the largest bonus.

2. Conclusion

That's the game. And as you can see, it's lot more than just war. This is hands-down the richest strategy title on Nintendo's DS. Honestly, it's the richest Strategy title on any current generation console or portable. It's been streamlined from the original Civilization for PC (We'll talk about that in detail in our Review), and is an overall fun and rewarding experience. The streamlining makes a full multiplayer far more enjoyable than it ever was on the PC.

So if you've been sitting back wondering what the heck Civilization Revolution is, and how it works, hopefully this has provided a decent overview for you. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.

1. A Beginners Guide

There are more than 60 million DS units out in the world bringing joy to a wide and diverse gaming population. So it's understandable that a lot of their owners wouldn't know anything about Civilization, a long and storied PC franchise with a niche (not small, but niche) audience. So in this preview of the DS version of Civilization Revolution, we're providing a both an overview of the game, and a beginners guide, explaining the basics of the game to people who've never heard of the franchise before.

Civilization Revolution (Civ Rev) belongs to a genre called Turn Based Strategy (TBS). Other DS games that use this Turn-based gameplay mechanic include Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, and Age of Kings, however, that mechanic is about all they share with Civ Rev. In scope, it is the most unique strategy game on any current generation console or portable, and it is easily one of the most hardcore games on the Nintendo DS, which makes a great first game for WiiHD to review.

Rather than being level-based like most of its kin, Civ Rev is an open world. You don't advance from one battlefield to start fresh on another, you start on a map of the world itself, and you finish on that same map. You don't change commanding officers throughout the game to get different types of bonuses, you choose one civilization, and use their bonuses throughout the game. Finally, while you can play Civ Rev as a pure war strategy game if you want to, you have other options. You can win a Cultural Victory, a Technological Victory, or an Economic Victory, in addition to the more war-oriented Domination victory (See victory conditions).

1.1 Getting Started

So now we're going to explain step-by-step how you might play the game. This is not a guide to how you Should make decisions in the game, just what decisions there are to make, so you can get a good idea of whether this unique title is for you or not.

Let's assume you want to start a brand new game from scratch, you'll choose Random Map (the main mode of the game), and then choose your difficulty level. If you're new at this, you may as well choose the easiest difficulty, Chieftain, just so you can get a feel for the game before really challenging yourself. Now you get to choose a Civilization, and each has it's own strengths. On the touchscreen, you'll see the name of each civilization's leader, and their picture. On the top screen, you'll see the name of that civilization and their strengths. There will be one bonus for each of the 4 eras of the game (like increased strength of a unit, cultural bonuses, technological bonuses, wealth or base production bonuses), and one General bonus. Long time civ fans will be able to quickly determine which bonuses they want. Newcomers will have to experiment, but don't worry, you will quickly come to understand the advantages of these bonuses. In my experience with Civ Rev, the Romans are a nice civilization to get started with.

After you've chosen, it's time to start the game. Chieftain difficulty starts you out with a tutorial, which is especially nice for newcomers to the franchise, but a little annoying for longtime users. You can choose to end the tutorial after the first barrage of prompts if you so choose, but if you're new, keep it on for a while. In Chieftain, your starting location is chosen for you, but in later difficulties you will get to choose. We'll describe choosing city locations a little later, but for now, let's look at the base menu by pressing the R shoulder button.

civrevbase.jpg

On the left side, from top to bottom, you have the option of 1) Building a unit (your army or Settlers) 2) Building Buildings (stuff that makes your city better at various tasks, or Wonders that can improve your entire civilization), 3) building roads 4) Rushing Production (pay x gold, and complete you build queue immediately) 5) Viewing your already build city buildings, and 6) Viewing the Wonders that that City has built. On the right side, from top to bottom, you have 6 options for resource gathering at that base, 1) A balanced focus (default, and what most beginners will use the entire game) 2) A focus on wealth, 3) a focus on food (and thus growth for that city) 4) a focus on production (churning out buildings and units faster) 5) a focus on research (finishing new technologies faster) or 6) you can hand choose each resource square you want to harvest.

What do you need to know about building in your city? Well right off the bat, you want to explore the map, so building a warrior first is a good idea. That warrior will also let you defend another base when you build your next one.

1.2 Taking Action
relicaw.jpg

Why do you want to explore? Well, when you start you can only see a certain area around you, the rest is covered by the "fog of war", so scouting helps in several ways. 1) You want to scout out locations for new bases. Different areas have different kinds of resources, and the more of the map you can see, the better a location you can get, and the faster you base will generate what you want to generate (wealth, production, science, food, etc). 2) The Civ Rev map is full of opportunities. By discovering a great river or great forest, you get free gold. By discovering a village (a peaceful non-civilization), you can trade tech with them (it's not really a trade, you find a village, they disappear, leave a resource behind, and give you things like gold or technology). By conquering barbarians (hostile non-civilizations) you can get gold and units AND increase the experience of your military units increasing your odds of victory in battle. 3) You want to know where the other civs are. You don't want to get attacked without being prepared, and knowing their location will allow you to trade with them. 4) Finally, there are relics (archaeological sites) in the game that each provide you with unique bonuses for whoever finds them first.

Eventually, you will want to build buildings and wonders as well. If you want a technological victory, building buildings and wonders that provide a tech bonus help, like the library (building) or the Great Library (Wonder). Wonders require a long time to build, so you might hold off on them until you have more than one base.

Intermittently, when you make a technological discovery, your Science advisor will ask you to choose another technology to research. Use [[| WiiHD's handy Technology Guide] (downloadable and optimized for printing) to decide what technologies are right for you. Each technology opens up different units, buildings, wonders, and different technology paths for you. Choose wisely.

arrow.jpg

Now it's time to get out there and explore. How? Controls are just what you'd expect. If you want to move your selected unit, use the dpad for up, down, left, right and diagonal movement. That will point an arrow in the direction of movement, but doesn't automatically move your unit. Once you have a desired spot picked out, press the A button, and your unit moves to that location. Some units can move more than a single space in one turn, and roads allow any unit to move faster, so you can go more than one square in many cases, just keep dragging the arrow out. While the arrow is white, you can accomplish that move in one turn, once the arrow turns yellow, it will take more than one turn to complete the move, but you can drag it out as far as you want, and the next turn, the unit will automatically continue it's trek toward the destination you selected. Don't want to move that particular unit right now? You can cycle to the next unit with the L shoulder button. Want it to stay still, hit B. You can also fortify (making them stronger on defense) with the Y button.

Stylus controls allow to tap and hold a unit to bring up buttons representing possible actions. Tapping, holding and then dragging will let you move the unit where you want it.

Go on to the next page to find out how to attack and more.

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