Awesome! Brave New World makes a great game even better!
Brave New World puts new life into the back half of the game, as well as significantly increasing choices in the early game, making you rethink old strategies. Large variety of new leaders to choose from though their bonuses are hit and miss, making some choices clearly better than others.
I like the ideology system. The selections within each ideology are varied. Some will work with an individual's play style, while others won't be very useful. I'd say the ideologies are balanced for a number of play styles and strategies, however.
I really like the new World Congress feature. This is the highlight of the new expansion for me. You gain delegates for various reasons (number of cities, number of allied city-states, construction of specific wonders). The World Host decides a policy they want to enact and then everyone votes on it. The outcomes can have a significant impact on the game. It also increases the value of alliances with city-states, as they join your delegate pool. The major downside to this feature is that I find it far too easy to win a diplomatic victory by controlling the Congress. Several times I've tried to drag the game out to win a science victory, but win the diplomatic victory before I can finish my rocket (or even start it).
I also enjoy the new cultural aspects of the game. Great Writers, Artists, and Musicians add nice boosts to the game. I turn all my great writers in for tremendous culture boosts (especially early in the game). It's a significant boost that helps establish social policies earlier. Great Artists continue to extend Golden Ages.
Caravans are an excellent way to increase cash flow. Before BNW, I sometimes struggled with cash flow especially if I had a large army. Caravans make it easier to maintain a healthier cash flow.
Tourism doesn't really interest me. It feels a little pointless, though it does completely alter the way you earn cultural victories. I use to win many of my games by cultural victory and probably still would, but cultural victories take more work and time to achieve now. I don't consider this a negative feature.
New Wonders are always nice. A few have nice features. I also like that they tied certain Wonders exclusively to specific ideologies.
There are plenty of new Steam achievements for the hardcore gamers out there.
Posted: October 19th, 2013