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Jul 12 2013

The 5 Best Player-Made Civilizations for Civilization V

header_292x136Sid Meier’s Civilization V is arguably one of the biggest and most enjoyable time-sucks in the history of PC gaming. What can begin in the early evening with the idea that you’ll just lay out the foundation of your empire for a few hours can quickly get out of hand. Before you know it, you have to be at work in two hours, because Gandhi of all people is being aggressive again and you’ll be damned if he infringes upon your sovereignty. Well those looking for new additions to the turn-based cultural simulator will be pleased to know that Firaxis is bringing nine new playable civilizations in the just released Brave New World expansion. There’s also eight new wonders including the International Space Station, a couple new scenarios including the American Civil War, and the implementation of the Tourism mechanic, which we all know was pivotal during the Civil War. But Firaxis isn’t the only one throwing new civilizations into the ring thanks to intuitive and community-based Steam Workshop. Player made mods and civilizations are becoming quite the rage, so let’s take a look at some of the best player made civilizations the Workshop has to offer.

A Mod of Ice and Fire

GoTA Game of Thrones-themed Civ 5 mod was bound to make an appearance on this list. The lands of Westeros and Essos, featuring the warring families looking to betray and connive each other to command the Iron Throne, are a perfect setting for a Civilization setup. While the player-controlled civilizations could have just been the houses (e.g. the Starks, the Lannisters, the Baratheons, or the Targaryens) specific leaders were chosen to control surrounding lands. For example, Robb Stark controls the North, Tywin Lannister is in command of the Westerlands, and Balon Greyjoy leads the Iron Islands. Spies and important persons are all from Game of Thrones lore, and the lands are almost exactly similar to those made famous in the books and in the show. Each civilization has unique traits and buildings, and the inclusion of the religions from GoT was a nice touch as well. Definitely worth a download.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

watertribeAs a diehard ATLA fan who is still impatiently waiting for Book Two of Legend of Korra to come out, the Avatar: The Last Airbender modpack had to have a spot. Those of you who are fans of the show can easily assume what the civilizations are going to be: Fire Nation, Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom, and the Air Nomads. The map is tailored to be an exact replica of the one from the Nickelodeon show, and each nation features a unique unit and trait that is fitting for them, and is led by the appropriate leader. For example, the Fire Nation is led by none other than Fire Lord Ozai (although the use of Sparky Sparky Boom Man as a general would be much appreciated). Their unit is generically named the Fire Warrior though why they didn’t just go with Firebender still remains a mystery. But what is especially interesting is their civilization’s trait, Divine Right, which gives them a +25% combat strength versus cities, which is fitting given the Fire Nation’s tendency to try and raze cities that aren’t theirs. The Air Nomads have the Element of Freedom, which allows land units to pass through mountains. The Water Tribe units receive instant embarkation and can pass through ice thanks to the spirits Tui and La, and the Earth Kingdom features Neutral Jing, which halves unhappiness from the number of cities. The creator hints towards more units and features in the future, so this is a pack that should be subscribed to. Will Book Two or the mod update come first? We’ll see. Yip yip!

The Candy Kingdom

candyNot a collection of civilizations this time, but a single one that is so sweet in every sense of the word that it had to be included, the Candy Kingdom from Adventure Time’s The Land of Ooo under the command of the benevolent Princess Bubblegum. The Candy Kingdom features a hilarious trait known as the “Immortal Princess of Science”, in which The Capital receives a Royal Laboratory (+20% Science, 2 Scientist Specialist Slots) and a tech boost that is earned whenever a science building is built in the Capital. The unique unit is the Banana guard, which replaces a Pikeman unit and receives a combat bonus when it is located near the capital, Castle Bubblegum. Lastly, their unique building is the Candy Mass Factory, which replaces the Granary and has +2 Production after researching Construction and a Scientist Specialist Slot. The only downside is that its food yield bonus is applied to a less common set of resources (Sugar, Citrus, and Banana). Unfortunately, there is no vanilla version of this civilization, you must have Gods & Kings. Lucky for you however, is that Brave New World contains Gods & Kings. So cook yourself up some bacon pancakes, and go make the whole world sugary sweet with a splash of science.

Columbia and Rapture

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Regrettably, these two civilizations, both made by the same person, also require Gods & Kings. But since you’re a lovely Civ-fiend such as myself, you’ve already bought that expansion, or are saving up to buy Brave New World, so there’s no issue. Still reeling from Bioshock: Infinite’s mindfuck of an ending, I included the mod for Andrew Ryan’s underwater capitalist utopia and Father Comstock’s right-wing theocratic jingoist society because of the massive contrast between the two, and how fun it would be to play as either/or. Ironically, the Rapture mod that required the installation of Gods & Kings features a unique trait called “No Gods or Kings. Just Man.” With this trait, specialists provide +1 of their respective yields, and Religious Buildings increase Great Person Generation rather than providing Faith. The special units for Rapture are the Little Sister and the Big Daddy. The former replaces the General and provides healing and combat bonuses to adjacent units. The latter replaces the Marine and get a combat bonus when paired with a Little Sister. It’s unique buildings include the Monument to Human Achievement, the Temple of Man, and the Great Chain. Respectively, they replace the Shrine, the Temple, and the Grand Temple. On the other side of the clouds we have Columbia, which strangely features no unique buildings. I think Monument Island or the Hall of Heroes could have easily been incorporated, but I digress. Columbia’s unique trait is “Another Ark for Another Time” which grants a free Great Prophet upon discovering Philosophy, and the allowance of infantry from the Modern Era forward to generate faith from kills and the ability to paradrop. Their two units are the Motorized Patriot and the Assault Zeppelin, which respectively replace the Machine Gun and the Carrier. So the choice falls to you. Will you fight for God and country? Or do you feel entitled to the sweat of your brow? Now, would you kindly download these packs?

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