Mastering Civilization IV – Choosing Which Nation to Play – French Empire
Sid Meier's Civilization had become THE game when it was introduced. "Civilization" had many sequels, the latest one being Civilization IV. In this article we discuss strategy you should apply when leading the French.
The popularity of Sid Meier's Civilization is incredible. Since the game was introduced in 1994 (a first real turn-based strategy ever) it had several versions - each one being a "hit". The latest PC playable version of Civilization is "Civilization IV", launched in October 2005.
Althgouh 3 years is a considerable amount of time in computer-related industry, Civ IV is still very playable and enjoyable game. With the victory options and most the pre-game selections (choosing the map, the climate and sea level, game speed and world size, Difficulty Levels (A,B)) covered in previous articles, we continue with a review of civilization choice. The next nation is France.
French Empire Overview
The French nation has the Musketeer as its unique unit (replacing the Musketman). The advantages are not many. In fact, the only advantage is quickness (2 compared to 1). However, as only Gunpowder technology is required for Musketeers (as for musketman), they can appear in relatively early stages of the game, replacing Macemen and countering Knights. The Knights can actually be replaced by Musketeers – especially if you have no Iron or Horses in your territory.
The starting technologies for the French are Wheel and Agriculture. This enables Chariots almost instantly (connect Horses) and Pottery and Animal Husbandry are available instantly.
The civilization has 2 leaders – Louis XIV and Napoleon.
Louis XIV traits are “Industrious" and “Creative"
“Industrious" will mean you have a double speed production of all Wonders and Forge. The latter must lead you to discovering Metal Casting (requires Pottery and Bronze Working) as soon as possible, with Crossbowman (enabled by Machinery) just one technology away. Yet again, you should progress to Musketeers to replace the medieval-ages units.
“Creative" means you have +2 culture in each city per turn. This will lead to your territory (defined by “Cultural borders") growing rapidly and can save you building obelisks in your cities. With wonders built at double speed (see “Industrious" above) you should seriously consider a cultural victory (though it is very hard to achieve). Theatres are built at double speed as well, giving you even more culture, and Coliseums (also double speed) will make people happier in your growing empire. Discover construction (a valuable technology in any case) as soon as possible, and acquire Drama when you can. The Globe Theater is easily achieved.
Napoleon is “Aggressive" and “Industrious".
With the effects of “Industrious" explained above, being “Aggressive" means that you will have a bonus of free promotion (Combat I) for all melee and gunpowder units – making your Swordsman, Axemen, Musketeers etc. 10% stronger from the very beginning. This makes even more sense to build Musketeers instead of Knights. Barracks are constructed at double speed – something you would want to build in all your cities as it requires no technology at all. And with barracks your units are even stronger (free promotion of your choice). Drydocks are speeded up as well, giving you an option to build naval units twice as fast and giving them more experience. Steel should be discovered to take advantage of this building. However, beware – drydocks reduce your city health.