Hello dear readers and welcome to Shoot the Rookie! Today’s post is another in my Civilization VI Stories series in which I take an in-depth look at my most recent game of Civilization VI. This time around I was playing as France, under the wine-glugging leadership of Catherine de’ Medici, so why not join me to find out how my latest foray into world domination went!
I am perhaps being a little unfair on Catherine. I mean, I have no idea if she actually liked wine as much as her depiction in Civ VI suggests. It is possible that it is all just a rouse to make her seem less capable than she is, but she is certainly a fun figure to have around the game.
In my previous outings I’ve found that the AI version of France never does very well, so I was keen to explore the bonuses they bring to the game to see how I might be able to lead them to victory. With that said, victory is rarely an easy thing to achieve, so let’s see how I got on shall we?
Map Size: Standard
Map Type: Fractal
AI Civilizations: 7
Presented with a pretty starting location with coast, river and mountain squares, founding Paris was easy. The rest of the games’ opening was not, as I found myself quickly confronted by powerful Barbarians on several sides and I had no choice but to expand my military if I wanted to expand my Civilization.
My plans for expansion were further stunted by quickly running into the Japanese on my southern border who were none too happy about me settling both my second and third cities near them. Although he didn’t declare war, it was apparent at this early stage that Hojo Tokimune wasn’t going to be my best friend and was likely going to be stiff competition!
So the middle is where things get interesting. Or at least, they usually do. Not to say that this game wasn’t interesting, but more that it was a struggle. Expansion was a struggle, science and culture were a struggle, production was a struggle. Progress was slow, and the fact that I finished the game with only 7 cities definitely speaks to that.
Although I wasn’t faced with any real wars, I was denounced for pretty much everything, including having no culture, which since France’s bonuses are mostly culture based was quite worrying. Uncultured and uneducated we may haven been, but I knew what our strengths were and that culture was nonetheless the only possible victory condition we could achieve. So whilst others built spaceports and waged pointless wars, I slowly started building ALL the wonders!
Ta-da! Catherine and I did get to pour ourselves a victory glass, but just barely. At least one of the other Civilizations was pretty close to a science victory, and I even utilised France’s enhanced spying ability to try and disrupt their progress – something I don’t usually like to resort to.
In the end, a combination of canny trade deals for great works and France’s special tourism bonus for wonders really came through. The prevalence of mountains within our borders meant there was quite a bit of National Park potential as well, which was lucky as by the end the land into which I could expand for tourism boosts was nonexistent.
This game was a slog. Not in a bad way, just that victory was hard won and slow to arrive. As you can see from the graph above, if it had gone to a score victory I wouldn’t have come close to winning. I wouldn’t even have come second. Or third. Or fourth! What this tells me is that although I was miles behind the competition, I was also far more focussed, and sometimes thats what you have to do to win at Civ.
I managed to build a small country of beautiful cities, most of which had national parks and wonders, and I was lucky to be blessed with a capital city that was fast growing and productive enough to be able to do just about anything. Of course, the ‘best’ cities are not always my favourites, and one thing that will stick with me from this game was the story of Bordeaux, a city that couldn’t keep up with the rest but still played its own, valiant part in the victory of France.
So there we have it! Playing as France really was quite hard! But what did you make of it? Do you like playing as France? Would they be your goto Civ when seeking a culture victory? Let me know all below in comments and don’t forget to join me next time for more video and game and anime chat!
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