New Apartment Civilizations

It's been some time since my last update and a lot has happened. Well I don't have a big list of things, but the move to our new place counts for a lot. It took us a full week and we still aren't completely setup, but the majority of work is finished and we have the Internet and our computers working. It would have been much smoother of a transition if we would have remembered to book an elevator to get into our new place. Instead we showed up and expected to use the elevator, which was a problem since someone else booked it for the day. It turns out that you have to book the elevator a week in advance and get the super to observe the move in for security reasons and to see that we don't cause any damage to the common areas. After pleading with the super he agreed to give us a chance by giving us the key to the elevator after the people moving in were done with it. This only gave us a couple of hours to move all of our stuff in, so we had to come up with a different plan. We ended up moving all of our boxes into our storage room in the basement by backing our moving truck right up to the storage room door. With most of our stuff in storage, it took us a week to move all of those boxes up to our apartment. To celebrate all of our moving sufferings, we are going to hold a house warming party this Friday. For those interested our place is the Axxis building in Downtown West End and we'll be starting shortly after work and go all night!

On an unrelated note, I have decided to stop playing Civilization IV. It has sucked too much of my life away from me that I will never get back. For documentation purposes, here is my short tips & tricks list for playing:

1. The aggressive attribute of a leader isn't worth it. There are far better attributes that will help you along. I always go militaristic, but I have never found it worth it to have this attribute. Barracks are cheap enough as it is and the bonus experience points you get for your units is far too marginal of a gain.

2. Go easy on farms. Previous Civilizations have taught people that there are only three improvements: farms, mines and roads/railroads. Farms used to be a good thing in old civs, but they have much less value in IV. The problem is that they produce a growth rate that is too high for the rate in which you can build buildings to combat the sickness and unhappiness. You'll end up spending all of your time building things to make your people happy and healthy and have no time at all for the other aspects like expansion, military, spreading religion, and the economy. My rule of thumb is to keep the average amount of food produced by a tile down to 2. Cottages/Towns/Villages are the way to go IMO.

3. Culture isn't that big of a deal as you might think. Don't waste your time building temples attempting to take your enemies over with culture. The most you'll accomplish is taking over 2 or 3 cities over the course of a whole game. I have always gone with a creative leader and then ignored culture issues. Producing science buildings has enough of a culture side effect to ward off enemy borders making your life more difficult.

4. Slavery is awesome! It took me a long time to realize that slavery has no upkeep at all, which is better than barbarism. I always wondered why the computer spent the time switching to slavery. Early in the game it is the slight economical boost required to keep your science as close to 100% for as long as possible. The real power though is if you go the militaristic route. You can force a city to become happy as soon as you gain control over it. Simply build a coliseum and use slave labor to finish the production, the population will drop by 3 and you'll gain +2 happiness, which is almost always enough to make the population happy. I use this technique all the way to the modern era to take over large cities that will drop in population anyways due to starvation. Don't worry about the population loss, the city will grow back much quicker than you think.