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The following is from the "Overview" page on an apparently abandoned CC-BY-SA wiki, "Civilization", on Wikispaces:
Civilization is game where you are in control of the mind of the leader who will take his civilization through the whole of human history. From primitive dwellings, stone clubs and basic government structure through to the modern era. You will make choices that will determine the fate of your empire. From what technology to research next (e.g., The Wheel, Pottery, Democracy, Navigation, Rocketry) and the where your explorers should head next. From birthing new cites to seeding colonies on foreign soil. How should you react to finding another civilization? Trade and peace or war and sieges? Everything you do, from international trade deals right down to the infrastructure of each of your cities, will change history. You can choose up to 16 civilizations such as the Babylonians, Americans or the Indians and see if you can do better than they did in the real world. Want to play as the Aztecs are attempt to repel colonial conquests onto your land instead of falling as they really did? Want to see if you can match the global greatness of the English empire with its many colonies? What about install a Communist dictatorship in America and play world police? Want to play as Germany and win a world war for a change? How about playing as the Zulus and unite Africa? And there's always the chance to nuke America as China.. Whatever you do, however you play, you will never get away from the fact that YOU ARE MAKING HISTORY HOW YOU WANTED IT!
But really, this game is much more...
Civilization is not a game for the light-hearted casual gamer. Nor is it a game for Generation CS. It's a game for those who want more than eye candy and simple gameplay that a 10 year old could handle and clock in 3 hours. No, Civilization is NOT a game you can just pick up on a rainy afternoon and put it back down in time for dinner. Rather, it's a game that is to be played by people who want to:
Use their imagination to extend the game past the PC
A world outside of this one to help craft as a key player in global events
Formulate and manage the tactics of international wars
Enter the bubbling cauldron of treaties, promises, lies, deceit, and global alliances that is international diplomacy
LEAD A CIVILIZATION THROUGH TIME FROM THE SPEARS TO THE SPACE-SHIPS!
I really can't stress enough how great this game is. But it's greatness doubles, no triples, when you let it take a place in your imagination. When you start to fill the gaps and icon moving onto icon and destroying it becomes an epic battle filled with thousands of individual men who know they might die for the greater good and national honour. When a simple desert tile becomes a landscape of sand dunes and harsh conditions, miles and miles of soft smooth virgin sand-dunes. A city icon becomes a busting trade centre with richly built residence areas for the successful merchants and shadowy dwellings for the poor and third class and mayors and growth and crime and festivals.
Yes, Civilization is a game for those who want more than mind numbing FPS and the shallow resource wars that are modern RTS. You will never get anybody who is fragging up at the local net cafe to really enjoy Civilization. It's a gem reserved for the few.
But if you are willing to give it a go and put a few minutes of demoing the game behind you.. you never know, you might just join us :)
The following is from the "Tips and tricks" page on an apparently abandoned wiki, "Civilization", on Wikispaces:
Scouting around for your first city site equals good. Obsession over it equals bad. Balance the time you spend searching. If you think you are wasting too much time you probably are. Usually I move my settler four/five squares in search. Whatever suites you. After the first city is founded it is effective to use Militia units for scouting neighbour territories where next cities will be placed.
The site of your first city is critical. It will most likely be the centre of your empire for many miliniua. By (or on) a river, near fish or game and grassland are all a big plus for your city. Don't build it in the middle of a mountain range.
Give your citizens some sharp sticks. Any old otherworlder could just stroll into your city, rub two sticks together and burn it to the ground. A Militea should be raised before you consider anything else.
Don't tie your lone city up in a wonder. While they are all good, many fall into the trap of spending the first few hundred years constructing a Wonder when they could be expanding their empire beyond one city. Remember: Settlers > Wonders.
Selling your Palace is stupid. Unless you want to be a retarded loser leader don't. A Palace is more important then any Wonder. Bar none. Why? Because you get virtually no tax, no research, no trade without it. Idiot.
Build your second and third city close. About 8 or 9 squares away because then you can react quickly to any military threat. Fight the temptation of building cities a billion miles apart while using the excuse that you can connect then by roads... If you and your Palace is out of sight then it's going to be out of mind for the mayor. Corruption will ensure.
Grow! All the time, build setter and city. Start to inprove the land around your cites but a settler is much more useful as a city. Seed cities in all directions.
Explore your land. Bag as much land as possible before the other civs get their greedy hands on it. Stop by at the naive's villages. They might help or hinder your civilization but it's always fun to see what they are going to do.
You might want to consider a Wonder now.. but only after you weigh up the factors (is it really worth all that work and time?). The Pyramids own all the other Wonders of old. In fact, they own every Wonder ever.
If you come in contact with any other tribe-turn-civil follow your heart in diplomatic relations.. make peace, exchange technology, declare war with passion :P Backstab before they pull the knife on you. Oppress the weak, suck up to the strong (basically mimic how nations interacted in real history :P ).
Timing is everything. Sometimes it's best to not to tie your entire nation in a war that could be fought later. Are you really ready to commit genocide with less than a dozen cities?
Think of Monachy as enchanced Depotism. Don't be a dictator when you can be king.
If you completely own the island you started on then start sending out colonies and seed the world. Soon other nations might try to get a foot hold on your land. Control the sea lanes before they do.
Research! Don't get behind in the techs. Trade should be put towards science and not tax.
Be careful you're managing your city improvements properly. Only build what you need and never leave a needy city without its building.
Sick of always having to build something in every city all the time? Can't your citizens just take the day off? Well.. if there's nothing you really need to build build a Barracks then sell it when it's done. You get 40 Gold for each one. Dunno why Barracks though.. but everybody else says build/sell works best with Barracks so I guess it's the best for you shields.
But soon everybody will have access to Cannons and the next best thing will be Rifleman. I salute Sid Meier for his balancing of the units to fit historical military tactics. Because when Rifleman arrives it's going to be very hard to invade the neighbours. All you have to do is park a couple Rifleman units on each border and focus on science and culture. Riflemen are hot-property so don't share it with everybody! Keep it secret, keep it safe. While they're blowing each other up with those old Cannons you will be snug and safe behind your trenches. This break in combat is a great time to get ahead in the techs.
Establish embersies with the other civilizations. This way you can monitor their progress and react quickly when one gets too powerful.
When invading (sorry, *civilizing*) another land try to remember history. A half-baked effort doesn't work! Holding one or two cities only is a plan doomed to fail. Rather, try to spear the gut of the defending civilization. If you can manage to take more than half of its cities.. then and only then do you have a foothold.
If you're suffering and losing bad.. don't retire! Don't even go back a few turns and load the game again; it's not worth sacrificing the feeling you get when you complete the game with NO reloads.