Civilization VI—first time muddling thru

Started my first real dip into Civ 6 a few days ago, after a couple of months of occasional Civ 4. Man, 6 is so much more tactical at first glance—there seem to be endless quirks and nuances to wade thru. If you spin to the right while hopping, you'll get a different outcome than if you read a book while eating…

Plenty to like tho, so I'll stick with it for a while—I can always play at a difficulty level where unfamiliarity with the myriad of detail doesn't derail the fun.

I like the greater diversity among civs and leaders via their individual perks and traits. Also like the Eureka and Inspiration systems, which give boosts based on things you do while playing. Eureka is for the normal Tech tree, and Inspiration for a new second tree, a Culture one. Nice to see culture buffed as a much more significant part of the game.

I haven't figured out the food and production systems yet, having trouble growing my cities and also producing stuff in them. I like that the Traders build the roads between their 2 cities, that was a pain in Civ4. Workers—now called Builders—are not permanent, they disappear after performing 3 actions like build a mine or a fishing boat. Against that, their action is instant, no waiting X turns for the mine.

I always played Civ4 with Raging Barbarians, but they're tame compared to 6's Barbs—which I like. Wonders and Great People seem to have been nerfed considerably unless I'm missing something. I've only played a bunch of 50-100 turn sessions so far, and the only of those I've said "I want that" is the Pyramids, which provide an extra 4th action for Builders—seems a biggie to me. However, there are restrictions on where you can build various things, so in my current effort, Pyramids are not available to me.

Took me a while to realize that building the new Districts obliterates the ground yields, ie you lose whatever food & production was in a hex. Districts have all sorts of niggly details connected to them, which I haven't begun to unravel yet—just built the ones for science, military & commerce so far, and plopped 'em on hexes with low yields. I'll need to complete a few games to get a feel for their better positioning.

I like the hex map and the 1UPT—one unit per tile—so far. The Civilopedia is really poor, most of the info I sought isn't there. The screen interface looks to be excellent, but I won't know for a while yet until I figure out where everything is. Thing I most dislike is the leader cartoons, they're so out of whack with the otherwise epic and glorious vibe which Civ has always presented, and still does otherwise.

It's got to be a tough game for a casual player to get to grips with—there seems to be a lot more going on than in 4. But then, 'getting to grips' is probably not necessary to have a fun experience at easy difficulty.
 
Started my first real dip into Civ 6 a few days ago, after a couple of months of occasional Civ 4. Man, 6 is so much more tactical at first glance—there seem to be endless quirks and nuances to wade thru. If you spin to the right while hopping, you'll get a different outcome than if you read a book while eating…

I like the greater diversity among civs and leaders via their individual perks and traits. Also like the Eureka and Inspiration systems, which give boosts based on things you do while playing.
I really liked the eureka and inspiration systems as well, as well as the requests you get from city states. It felt like having a quest log with things I could strive for the entire game.

I haven't played much of 6 though as without the DLC it feels like there's some depth missing and I haven't really been able to justify spending a bunch of money on buying them, especially since I have to buy them for both me and my wife. And since we only have one gaming PC now and we're not going to play hotseat, we're not getting them any time soon either.
 
You have to plan which crops you are going to put in which fields
Is there crop rotation as well? FS22 sounds great!

without the DLC
I'm playing the "Complete" version I got for $40 on a Steam sale last year, base game + everything. Except it wasn't everything—I thought the DLC'd finished, but no, there are still civ packs after that. They're deep in the barrel now, nearly down to microstates :rolleyes:

Hah, Steam just told me I'm missing 9 DLC—NINE, I bought the freakin' thing 6 years after the base launched, and they're still dribbling cash grabs! It's funny, they're actually confusing themselves now, cos I have some of the 9 :D
That's a sour taste itself, but what's worse is leaving very significant civs until this late in the day—anyone think Portugal is an afterthought in world development? Released 2021-03-25, looks like the last one…

One thing which is a big PITA is the initial load time, even after doing a few file adjustments to reduce or eliminate some parts of the launch sequence. One bad thing is there are 3 different places where you have to interact—typically press 'Play' or 'Continue'—during the load, so you can't just wander off for a couple of minutes and come back to your previous save ready to play.

The reverse of that is they still have a quick save F5 and Esc + Exit to Desktop—so you can be out of the game in ~10 seconds, in contrast to over a minute to load. So one end of t is very good, as it should be.

Apart from the file hacks I mentioned, I'm also playing with a set of mods recommended by PotatoMcWhiskey. When I'm more clued in, I'll have a look thru some of the others.
 
I'm playing the "Complete" version I got for $40 on a Steam sale last year, base game + everything. Except it wasn't everything—I thought the DLC'd finished, but no, there are still civ packs after that. They're deep in the barrel now, nearly down to microstates :rolleyes:
Hopefully I'll be able to get the "Completely complete" version at some point...

One thing which is a big PITA is the initial load time, even after doing a few file adjustments to reduce or eliminate some parts of the launch sequence. One bad thing is there are 3 different places where you have to interact—typically press 'Play' or 'Continue'—during the load, so you can't just wander off for a couple of minutes and come back to your previous save ready to play.
Have you checked whether you can skip some of those with certain launch options?

I thought Civ V was slow to start as well. It would be nice if they could at least get you to the main menu quickly.
 
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Discovered a couple of interesting things…

Barbs won't capture your capital

They showed up very early when my warrior was off gadding about, and my first-build Slinger still had 3-4 turns to go. I decided to watch the carnage… and it never completed.

So I tested again with a quick second city which I left undefended. Yep, they whacked that no bother. So with definite city whackers in play, I took my defender out of the capital again. No deal, they wouldn't touch it.

Barb Scouts are really scouts

Huda thunk it, scouts being all scouty? In previous Civs, if I recall correctly, they were just another unit wandering around. In 6, when they find your city, they head for home and a bunch of Barbs show up soon after. I'd wondered a little why there was sometimes an exclamation mark—as in, ! —above their heads… I'm almost sure now that means they're on their way back to base to spill your location.

I always played Civ4 with Raging Barbarians, but they're tame compared to 6's Barbs—which I like
I've had Barb Horsemen show up very early, maybe around turn 10—way before I could have Archers, which seem to be the first 'can handle Barbs' unit. So it looks like the first 2 builds need to be Slingers, before sending out a Scout. Slingers are useful for defense, and you need to kill a unit with one to get a Eureka for Archery tech, so they're worthwhile. Build 3, and upgrade 'em to Archers later when you have the money, since there's another Eureka comes from having 3 Archers.

Barbs don't heal

I've yet to see a Barb heal. I've parked a Warrior in a defensive plot, and slugged with more powerful Barbs. Not a problem as I heal my guy in place, and then go again, rinse and repeat. This is very useful, as 2 other Eurekas require killing 3 Barbs, and clearing a Barb camp.

Settle for 1 Production, 2 Food

After a lot of starts where I prioritized Food, my conclusion is that Production is more important—obviously both is the ideal. Taking more than 10 turns to build basics like Warrior, Granary, Monument etc… not good.
 
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Have you checked … if they could at least get you to the main menu quickly
I was in the middle of checking… and I found it!
This post by Aristos over at CivFanatics has the detail:
How to bypass the stupid launcher

I got it wrong first try, made a path error, so check your path if Steam says it can't find it. Now I click my desktop icon and get straight to the main game menu :)
 
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Mods

Apart from the hacks & mod group in post #3, two I added and find great:
Auto Record Goody Huts
Hillier Hills

Search for them in the Steam Workshop.

Hillier Hills pretty much gets rid of needing to mouseover a tile to confirm if it's flat or not—simple idea, very nice QoL improvement.

Same QoL boost with the Goody Huts one. Usually I'd miss the notification re what the hut gave, and spend a bit trying to see what changed, too often without success. The mod puts a Map Tack on the location of the hut, which you can read and then delete—again, simple and great.

Two others I installed but haven't experienced yet:

Red Alert 2 & 3 intelligence officer voice
As a big C&C fan, why not? :D I don't know when it should show up, but I assume somewhere in the Espionage system—which I haven got to yet.

Movable Districts
Thought it might be useful for whenever I get an inkling of good District placement, to correct my mistakes.
 
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Jul 23, 2021
7
10
15
I believe Civ 6 is a great product, but I prefer Civ 5 with "Community Patch", it's more hardcore. And to my opinion Civilization 6 should be called with some other name, maybe. :)
 
Indeed, it's been my main one since I posted this. There's a struggle going on between:
A) Posting about my experience;
B) Playing another few turns.

B) has won all those battles so far :)
I'm installing 6 right now. I have The Gathering Storm and Rise and Fall DLC, but none of the other ones, which is kind of irritating.

One thing I definitely like about 5 versus Old World, and I'm guessing this is the same for other Civ games, is that the map is easy to get a read on visually even after you've built it up significantly. In Old World I'm having to hover over an area and read what, if anything, is built there.

Bleh, I'm getting random again. I mentioned that because I was thinking about how different the Civ 6 aesthetic is from 5. I should be able to get used to it now because it's been ages since I played 5.

Be expecting a post later where I explain how I've apparently missed the whole point and have no idea what I'm doing...
 
Be expecting a post later where I explain how I've apparently missed the whole point and have no idea what I'm doing...
Actually, that is the point. It better be, cos that's what I've been doing for the last weeks!

I have only vague memories of 5, much clearer on 4. Loved 5's art style, but found it very slow, and I just didn't like that the wide game was nerfed—I like to build an empire, not a super-strong little corner.

6 is both more complex, and more complicated—a lot more complicated, to a painful degree. Hence the no idea what I'm doing… So many conditions attached to so many things—you can only build this next to a mountain on a desert tile… bwgaah!

That I'm still at it, and looking forward to each session, speaks volumes for how attractive so many parts of it are. I'm pretty sure I'm in this for the long haul, so I'll just keep throwing mud at the wall, and then periodically throw myself at the wall too!

DLC … none of the other ones
Won't affect your game, all you're missing is a bunch of civs and/or leaders—there are still plenty to enjoy between the 3 versions you have. You may not have Kupe of the Maori tho, which is indeed a pity—he's really unique and a great guy to play with while learning the mechanics.

Settlers

Don't stop your city's growth, but you lose a pop when it's produced. When you're offered a governor choice, take Magnus in your capital—his second promotion 'Provisions' stops the pop loss from settlers. There's also a policy card which reduces Settlers' cost by half. You should have both those perks around turn 50-60 iirc, so that's the time to spam settlers—maybe from all cities, then just from capital.

Workers = Builders

Diff from previous Civ games, these guys start with 3 actions, and then disappear—so you're going to be building them all game long. I target the Pyramids as my main early wonder, since that gives the guys a 4th action. Then there's a policy after a while which gives 2 more actions, so now you're up to 6 per. If that's not enough, install Liang as governor in a city—any Builders made there will have another extra action, so 7 total. They make fishing boats as well as land improvements.

Religion

I've mostly avoided it, other than going for an early Pantheon, and founding one, usually via building Stonehenge. I'm playing coastal cities mostly, so I pick the God of the Sea pantheon which gives an extra production to fishing boats. Placing a city to have 3-5 sea resources is a nice food + production boost. If I don't meet a religious City State early, then I pick the 'God and King' policy card from the first 2 offered around turn 10—run that for 25 turns to get the Pantheon, then switch to Urban Planning for the production boost. The whole religion system is quite extensive.

Cities and Districts

Diff from previous Civ games, cities are spread out via Districts—science D, military D, money D etc. You build what you want, and then build relevant buildings within the D—so eg build the science D aka Campus, and then you can build a Library there, and later a University.

This is part of the complex attribute. There's a plethora of rules for optimizing the placement of Ds in a city—near a mountain, on a river, by a quarry, etc etc. A hard cap is you need +3 pop for each new D—ie with pop 1 you can build your first D, but can't build 2nd until pop 4, 3rd until pop 7, etc.

Mastering the rat's nest of optimal D placement is likely key to doing well at higher difficulties. Search for "D cheat sheet", you want the Sept 2019 update version.

Natural Disasters

I recommend turning these down to zero while you're learning. Even with that, I've lost citizens and improvements to floods—good news is that fixing a damaged tile doesn't consume a Builder action. Volcanos have been less damaging, but of course they're easier to avoid—there are advantages to settling on rivers, which is where floods happen.

There's also Climate Change late in the game, which is a bear if you don't get Flood Barriers up in time. I didn't in the one game I took to a finish, and I lost a lot of tiles. I've only seen one drought, didn't affect me, and only lasts 5 turns. Same with wandering hurricanes, 2-3 turns elsewhere. Certainly add lots of flavor to the game!

Barbarians

These are their own natural disaster, far more dangerous than Raging Barbs in previous Civ games. I recommend build Scout, Slinger, Settler, Slinger, Builder, Settler, Slinger, Builder. Tech Animal Husb first, cos it opens Archery. Send slinger out looking for trouble—Archery research time is reduced by 40% if slinger kills someone. Slingers upgrade cheaply to Archers, and 3 Archers gives a boost to another tach, so…

There are also perks for killing 3 barbs, ad for clearing a barb camp. You'll have to learn not to underestimate 'em the hard way :) Once a scout finds your city, he hares back to camp and you can expect 4-5 units to arrive soon after. So it's a priority to whack those camps—they can spawn units sometimes one turn after another.

There are no wild animals. One annoying barb thing is they keep up in tech—I've seen them with units I didn't have access to, looks like if any civs has something, the barbs can have it. Another annoying thing is coastal camps can spawn a bunch of naval units, which can make developing your sea resources a problem—they'll come along and pillage.

Eurekas and Inspirations

There are 2 tech trees, science and culture—they function the same. Almost everything in them can have its research cost significantly reduced—usually by 40% afaics—by Es and Is. These guys are mainly earned by game activities, from as simple as building a farm to more involved stuff like having 3 archers or 2 Campuses.

You can also pick up a bunch of these from the goody huts, which is why you want that Scout out first.

Great People

Not sure how that works yet—you can 'Pass' on a GP if you don't fancy 'em, haven't looked up what that means. Neat thing is they're all individuals now, so Newton is going to provide a different buff to that from Einstein, etc. Like wonders, they seem weaker than previous Civ games.

User Interface

Abysmal, compared to what I'm used to with Civ 4. I really hope I'm blind, and there's a shining light UI hiding around a corner.
Let's bring up the chart which shows each city's pop, production capacity, gold earnings, what it's currently working on, etc etc. Nope, doesn't exist—feel free to check each one sequentially. And this is with Spud's recommended mods installed.

What exactly is this "harvesting" I keep seeing? Seems related to chopping in previous Civ games, let's confirm in the Civopedia. Or not—it's not there. Nor are half the things I tried to look up.

Wonders

Underpowered compared to previous Civ games, but some are certainly useful—there are too many to try building a lot, so pick & choose. Pyramids, the Great bath if you have a long or dangerous river, maybe the Great Lighthouse or Great Library—but mostly underwhelming.

There are a good few natural wonders too, each with their own perks, some great, some not.

City States

Useful, you'll want 1 envoy at most of 'em, which gives 2 of a resource—science, production, faith, culture—or 4 gold in the capital. First civ to meet 'em gets a free envoy, so explore, explore, explore.

Strategy

Clear the barb camps, pump out settlers, get the Eurekas and Inspirations to move research along, explore with scout(s)—who btw can fight a bit. Muddle thru, picking up stuff about districts as you go. That's about where I am at the moment.

Happiness seems to be the main brake on growth, cured mainly with luxury resources plus some civics and buildings. So far I find gold the most important resource, you can do a lot with it. Buy city plots, buy and upgrade units, buy some buildings, buy settlers and builders.

Ranged are the best military in general, they get a free shot and also have some melee defense—so they'll win any 1-on-1 with same era melee opposition. The barbs don't heal, so you can engage, withdraw and heal, and re-engage ftw.

Enjoy!

Despite the complexity and complications and sucky UI, I'm really enjoying it. There's a lot to like—the maps are much bigger than previous Civ games, even Duel or Tiny has a lot in 'em.
 
Actually, that is the point. It better be, cos that's what I've been doing for the last weeks!

I have only vague memories of 5, much clearer on 4. Loved 5's art style, but found it very slow, and I just didn't like that the wide game was nerfed—I like to build an empire, not a super-strong little corner.

6 is both more complex, and more complicated—a lot more complicated, to a painful degree. Hence the no idea what I'm doing… So many conditions attached to so many things—you can only build this next to a mountain on a desert tile… bwgaah!

That I'm still at it, and looking forward to each session, speaks volumes for how attractive so many parts of it are. I'm pretty sure I'm in this for the long haul, so I'll just keep throwing mud at the wall, and then periodically throw myself at the wall too!


Won't affect your game, all you're missing is a bunch of civs and/or leaders—there are still plenty to enjoy between the 3 versions you have. You may not have Kupe of the Maori tho, which is indeed a pity—he's really unique and a great guy to play with while learning the mechanics.

Settlers

Don't stop your city's growth, but you lose a pop when it's produced. When you're offered a governor choice, take Magnus in your capital—his second promotion 'Provisions' stops the pop loss from settlers. There's also a policy card which reduces Settlers' cost by half. You should have both those perks around turn 50-60 iirc, so that's the time to spam settlers—maybe from all cities, then just from capital.

Workers = Builders

Diff from previous Civ games, these guys start with 3 actions, and then disappear—so you're going to be building them all game long. I target the Pyramids as my main early wonder, since that gives the guys a 4th action. Then there's a policy after a while which gives 2 more actions, so now you're up to 6 per. If that's not enough, install Liang as governor in a city—any Builders made there will have another extra action, so 7 total. They make fishing boats as well as land improvements.

Religion

I've mostly avoided it, other than going for an early Pantheon, and founding one, usually via building Stonehenge. I'm playing coastal cities mostly, so I pick the God of the Sea pantheon which gives an extra production to fishing boats. Placing a city to have 3-5 sea resources is a nice food + production boost. If I don't meet a religious City State early, then I pick the 'God and King' policy card from the first 2 offered around turn 10—run that for 25 turns to get the Pantheon, then switch to Urban Planning for the production boost. The whole religion system is quite extensive.

Cities and Districts

Diff from previous Civ games, cities are spread out via Districts—science D, military D, money D etc. You build what you want, and then build relevant buildings within the D—so eg build the science D aka Campus, and then you can build a Library there, and later a University.

This is part of the complex attribute. There's a plethora of rules for optimizing the placement of Ds in a city—near a mountain, on a river, by a quarry, etc etc. A hard cap is you need +3 pop for each new D—ie with pop 1 you can build your first D, but can't build 2nd until pop 4, 3rd until pop 7, etc.

Mastering the rat's nest of optimal D placement is likely key to doing well at higher difficulties. Search for "D cheat sheet", you want the Sept 2019 update version.

Natural Disasters

I recommend turning these down to zero while you're learning. Even with that, I've lost citizens and improvements to floods—good news is that fixing a damaged tile doesn't consume a Builder action. Volcanos have been less damaging, but of course they're easier to avoid—there are advantages to settling on rivers, which is where floods happen.

There's also Climate Change late in the game, which is a bear if you don't get Flood Barriers up in time. I didn't in the one game I took to a finish, and I lost a lot of tiles. I've only seen one drought, didn't affect me, and only lasts 5 turns. Same with wandering hurricanes, 2-3 turns elsewhere. Certainly add lots of flavor to the game!

Barbarians

These are their own natural disaster, far more dangerous than Raging Barbs in previous Civ games. I recommend build Scout, Slinger, Settler, Slinger, Builder, Settler, Slinger, Builder. Tech Animal Husb first, cos it opens Archery. Send slinger out looking for trouble—Archery research time is reduced by 40% if slinger kills someone. Slingers upgrade cheaply to Archers, and 3 Archers gives a boost to another tach, so…

There are also perks for killing 3 barbs, ad for clearing a barb camp. You'll have to learn not to underestimate 'em the hard way :) Once a scout finds your city, he hares back to camp and you can expect 4-5 units to arrive soon after. So it's a priority to whack those camps—they can spawn units sometimes one turn after another.

There are no wild animals. One annoying barb thing is they keep up in tech—I've seen them with units I didn't have access to, looks like if any civs has something, the barbs can have it. Another annoying thing is coastal camps can spawn a bunch of naval units, which can make developing your sea resources a problem—they'll come along and pillage.

Eurekas and Inspirations

There are 2 tech trees, science and culture—they function the same. Almost everything in them can have its research cost significantly reduced—usually by 40% afaics—by Es and Is. These guys are mainly earned by game activities, from as simple as building a farm to more involved stuff like having 3 archers or 2 Campuses.

You can also pick up a bunch of these from the goody huts, which is why you want that Scout out first.

Great People

Not sure how that works yet—you can 'Pass' on a GP if you don't fancy 'em, haven't looked up what that means. Neat thing is they're all individuals now, so Newton is going to provide a different buff to that from Einstein, etc. Like wonders, they seem weaker than previous Civ games.

User Interface

Abysmal, compared to what I'm used to with Civ 4. I really hope I'm blind, and there's a shining light UI hiding around a corner.
Let's bring up the chart which shows each city's pop, production capacity, gold earnings, what it's currently working on, etc etc. Nope, doesn't exist—feel free to check each one sequentially. And this is with Spud's recommended mods installed.

What exactly is this "harvesting" I keep seeing? Seems related to chopping in previous Civ games, let's confirm in the Civopedia. Or not—it's not there. Nor are half the things I tried to look up.

Wonders

Underpowered compared to previous Civ games, but some are certainly useful—there are too many to try building a lot, so pick & choose. Pyramids, the Great bath if you have a long or dangerous river, maybe the Great Lighthouse or Great Library—but mostly underwhelming.

There are a good few natural wonders too, each with their own perks, some great, some not.

City States

Useful, you'll want 1 envoy at most of 'em, which gives 2 of a resource—science, production, faith, culture—or 4 gold in the capital. First civ to meet 'em gets a free envoy, so explore, explore, explore.

Strategy

Clear the barb camps, pump out settlers, get the Eurekas and Inspirations to move research along, explore with scout(s)—who btw can fight a bit. Muddle thru, picking up stuff about districts as you go. That's about where I am at the moment.

Happiness seems to be the main brake on growth, cured mainly with luxury resources plus some civics and buildings. So far I find gold the most important resource, you can do a lot with it. Buy city plots, buy and upgrade units, buy some buildings, buy settlers and builders.

Ranged are the best military in general, they get a free shot and also have some melee defense—so they'll win any 1-on-1 with same era melee opposition. The barbs don't heal, so you can engage, withdraw and heal, and re-engage ftw.

Enjoy!

Despite the complexity and complications and sucky UI, I'm really enjoying it. There's a lot to like—the maps are much bigger than previous Civ games, even Duel or Tiny has a lot in 'em.
I'm beginning to suspect Civ 5 was the Idiot Edition. No wonder I spent so much time with it.
 
Load, Save, Exit

F5 = quick Save
F6 = quick Load
This works very well, even in the middle of a turn afaics.

I haven't been able to find a way to launch directly to the QuickSave file from a desktop icon, it still stops at the main menu. If anyone's cracked it, please share.

As with previous Civs, the Esc menu has 'Exit to Desktop'—very good.
There's also a great 'Restart' in the menu—it rerolls your current setup with a new map.

Custom Advanced Menu

I don't think I've actually looked at the default 'Play Now' menus yet. I go into 'Create Game' and then 'Advanced' at the bottom of that.

Loads of choices and options there to get the game you want. If you find a setup you want to repeat a few times, use the 'Save Config' button at the bottom—next time you start a game, use 'Load Config'. You can have a load of diff configs saved, great time saver.

Don't miss the scrollbar on the right in the Advanced menu, I'd probably rolled 10 games before I spotted there were more options down there :D

Turns are Slooow

My PC is 5 years old, which is still 2 years after Civ 6 launch—around same time as the 2nd expansion. So I should be fine with my i7-7 and 1060.

I played first with the default 5-6 opponents—small map if I recall correctly—and even early on the turns were taking 20-30 seconds. Didn't take me long to turn on 'Quick Movement' in the 'Game' options, it's off by default. That helped a lot, but it's still not as fast as I'd like.

There's also an annoying 'Unit needs orders' every time I click Next Turn—obviously the idle unit cycling doesn't fully gel with the software's action sequencing.

Get the Map Tacks mod

I have ~30 mods installed, but the one which shines in the foreground is Map Tacks. It allows you to put tags on the map as you see things, eg new city spot, goody hut, barb camp etc etc.
Shift+A to add a tack to the tile your mouse is over;
Shift+D to delete a tack.
 
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Build Power Stations, or not?

Took my second game to a finish—still just practice v one AI on Prince. Due to my flood problems mentioned above, I avoided coal and oil PS and waited for nuclear. ~30 turns later, Radioactive steam leak! 5 turns after that, Radiation leak—in a diff reactor. So I learned about 'recommissioning' the nuke plants—spending typically 4 turns making like new.

All fine, except… if I'm going to spend say 1/6th of city production baby sitting the nukes, is it worth building them at all? I'm not clear what the effects of leaving a city unpowered are—slower performance than when powered of course, but by how much?

I have a feeling the production saved on initial build and then periodic maintenance would make up for not having power. Anyone have a handle on this?

Small Island Cities

I founded a city on a 2-tile tundra island just cos—lots of seafood—and stuck an Industrial zone on the other tile. I was surprised at how well it developed, with Harbor + Lighthouse etc—even got the Great Lighthouse wonder there later. So they're viable.

Is there a Log of Events?

'You completed a City State request'—nice, but I'd like to know what it was. I saw it 10-30 turns ago, but totally forgotten now.
'You triggered an Eureka/Inspiration for…—nice, but I'd like to know what the trigger was. I saw it 10-30 turns ago, but totally forgotten now. Yes, it's in the tech tree, but…
Plus various other events.

Civ4 had a log of each turns events, I don't see anything in Civ6 other than the history of main periodic events.

Governor Liang in Builder City

Liang's initial perk is an extra action for Builders, so I put her in a lesser coastal city any basically produced all my Builders there. I already had the Pyramids which is another extra action empire-wide, and not too long after I got the policy card which gives 2 extra actions. So I ended up with 7 actions on each Builder, which is more than double the unbuffed 3 they get.

You need a steady stream of Builders until the late game, so seems a great investment to me. There is an early policy I also snagged which knocks 30% off the cost of producing builders—allied with the 50% off Settler cost policy and you have a good basis for rapid expansion and development.
 
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