You know that feeling when you get up from a "Little" power nap, and realize you were sleeping for 8 hours?
That's this game. But instead of getting rid of stress, it's full of it.
In all reality, however. Sid Meier's Civilization V manages to feel like a board game. You start with 1 big piece, and you try to control the board, in sense. The game is rather welcome to new players. Almost everything is, or can be, automated. You might get confused for a bit, but soon you'll be Nuking Gandhi like a pro. But take heed, however. If you automate your Workers, which you'll find yourself doing the first couple games, they WILL build Farms everywhere. I have no idea if this is a fetish of some kind for them, but they do. This means first timers who want to automate should build a Tall Empire; To explain, a Tall Empire consists of few Cities, but each has a high Population. If you build too many Cities with too many Farms, your Population will make your City unhappy.
Now, for a synopsis of the game;
Sid Meier's Civilization V has many objects of importance. These are below. If you already know how the game plays, skip this section:
[G] = Gold. Gold is your main income. Gold is used for Trades, bribing City-States, and the purchase of Units or Buildings. It can also be used to purchase Tiles. A good income leads to a good Empire. Fact: George Washington is the only Leader who affects the purchase of Tiles (At least in Vanilla).
[F] = Food. Food increases how quickly your City grows. The more food, the faster. If you run out of food, your Citizens will starve until you have enough to sustain them.
[C] = Culture. Culture is used to adopt Social Policies, and grow out your borders. Culture is given to you 1 per turn at the game's start, which is why Monuments and other such Buildings increase Culture. Some Social Policies ALSO give Culture, or other benefits. Once you reach a certain pre-ordained amount of Culture, you may choose a Policy. Remember, for every City you found, Culture Cost is increased by 15% before you're allowed to get a new Policy. You can also achieve a Victory by adopting 5 Social Policies to the end of their branches in Vanilla, or through Tourism in Brave New World.
[H] = Happiness. Happiness is weird. First time players might see it as somewhat redundant at face value. The only thing it blatantly tells you is how close you are to a Golden Age, which increase [G] and [P] (Which I'll get to later). However, an UNHAPPY Empire grows at 1/4 it's normal speed, and a LIVID Empire grows even slower, weakens your units, and makes [P] plummet. Each City you found increases Unhappiness, and your Population does, too. If the people are unhappy, the Empire will fall.
[P] = Production. This is the amount of, uh, "Build" you have per turn. In essence, it's how quickly you build your Units, Buildings, and Wonders. Production can be increased by the terrain around you, and by Buildings like the Workshop. The more Production, the better.
[S] = Science. Science is the big thing of Civilization. Your Empire starts (At least in Vanilla) with Agriculture already Researched. This means you can build Farms. "But!", you cry at the silly reviewer on your screen, "If I only have Farms, what's all this stuff about Workshops!" Well hold your mouth, my, um, Civ-lings. Science is used to "Research." In a set number of turns, whatever you selected to Research is unlocked, and you get whatever bonuses come packed with it. This can be Units, Buildings, Wonders, Perks, Projects, or more. Science is one of the MOST IMPORTANT aspects of this game. Science can also unlock a Victory, but it's rather difficult. You must first unlock ALL SCIENCE PROJECTS, build the Apollo Program Wonder, and THEN build multiple Spaceship Parts. These Parts must then be moved to your Capital, and added to your Spaceship. Once you have all of them, you win!
[C-S] = City-States. City-States are non-player Civilizations, which can't win the game. They have Units roughly around the Era of the most Futuristic Era of any player, and while they are only 1 City each, they can be bribed for Influence.
Get ready for one of the most annoying factors of the game.
Upon Bribing a City-State with 250 Gold, they become Friendly. Giving you various perks. HOWEVER, Bribing them once more makes them your Ally. They gift you all Resources they have, give you more perks, AND they declare war on enemies you're fighting, or that fight you. Since City-States are about twice as much as normal Civilizations in number, allying yourself with many makes you a mighty force. If you manage to build the United Nations Wonder, unlocked with Science very late in the game, you can initiate a vote for World Peace. In doing so, City-States allied with you vote for you. If you get the required number of votes, you win!
[BB] = Barbarians. Barbarians spawn in small camps. They simply harass you. If you get onto an Encampment Tile, you remove it, AND get some Gold. Leaders like Suleiman and Bismarck can get Barbarians to join you, whereas Askia can get Triple Gold from these Camps.
Holy god that was a lot. If you read it all, I applaud you. Now, Civilization V is a great game. It's fierce competition, fun, and overall an honestly fabulous title. If you're a fan of Turn Based Strategy and you don't own it, GET IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It's an amazing work that deserves the money you pay. Not only that, but there's DLC that give Religon, and WAY more Leaders to choose from. Now, is the DLC worth your money? In my opinion; No. It provides more Leaders, but changes or adds Mechanics I'm not too fond of. I truly think the original is better. Civilization V captivates you into a suprisingly educational experience I didn't expect heading into it. You won't learn too much playing it, but the Civilopedia included in the game provides INCREDIBLY detailed backgrounds to Leaders, Buildings, Technology, City-States, and more. I urge you to buy this game even more now that Beyond Earth has come out, just so you can see what Civilization TRULY IS. The game's mechanics, art style, historical accuracy, and music blend together to form a game you'll spend weeks playing, again and again. Some people say it's only worth it with Expansions, but this game is fine just how it is, and in my humble opinion, is one of the finest games ever crafted.
TL;DR Buy it now you terrible person.