Civilization 5 Achievement Hunting: War Canoe Attack

What is a Continent?

Most commonly people identify North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica as separate continents.

But why each gets to be a continent is unusual and in its nature political.

As an example in Colombia all students are taught that there is no such thing as North and South America that it is one continent, America.

The actual divider for North and South is the Panana Canal…  which is man made.

Worst yet is the whole Eurasia controversy in which case you have a single continent that is so freaking big that it is divided among cultural lines.  If you are south of the Ural Mountain Chain you are Asian, if you are North you are European.  But even this Eurocentric view gets worse when you consider that still connected to Asia is Africa.

And yet Africa has always been considered to be a separate continent and in recent years the dividing line has been the Suez Canal.

But what of this Euro centric view of a non-existent Afro Eurasia?

Well China has roughly the land mass of Europe (excluding Russia) and so does Canada, America, and Russia.  Yet these land masses are not called “continents” in their own right.  All the while Australia, gets to be its own continent of which some people have decided to call it “Oceania” because Australia gets to break the rule of giant single land masses by also including all surrounding islands.

In the end continents are culturally contrived borders used to lock outsiders out of Europe.  Even the EU controversy focuses around Turkey’s membership in the EU only for the sake that it is half Asian… realistically Europe just wants to lock out those foreign ideas.

The Achievement

This achievement is quite simple.  Set the map to continents, settler, quick game, and standard map.

Don’t rush any technology directly, you will want to have Knights and Trebuchets as a minimum for doing this.

Once you have Optics you can move your forces over seas to the east or west (whichever is closest).  Once you find a land mass find a City-State to pick on.  You will be able to manuever your forces into his base and position them for an attack.  When the time is right spring the trap and take the city in one turn.

Make sure that this city state isn’t on a tiny island.  Remember it has to be a continent, not an island.

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Civilization 5 Achievement Hunting: Pyramid Scheme

History

The Louvre Museum was originally modified by King Phillip II to be a fortress.  Originally called “The Louvre Palace” this place was a place for Phillip 2 to hide from vassals.  Vassals were land owners Phillip 2 was supposed to be protecting, and obviously things weren’t going so well.  At this time France was not exactly stable and it wouldn’t be until the announcement of the Third Crusade.

The Louvre Museum would open for business during the first French revolution in which the revolutionaries felt it would be a place for the public to be able to view and experience the epitomes of modern science and arts.

Under Napoleon the Museum was renamed ‘The Napoleon Museum’ and with every land he conquered he would steal their art and add it to the collection.  Under Napoleon The Louvre moved from a large museum… to the largest museum in the entire world.

In the 19th century the French would be “gifted” thousands of Egyptian artifacts from the King of Egypt in exchange for maintaining their position against the Ottoman Empire.  The actual achievement refers to the fact that France “stole” so much art from Egypt.  Even today the Louvre Museum is trying to acquire art from around the world through some pretty shady means.  During the recent (4 years ago) Civil War in Egypt many bandits started selling relics to French Museums.

The Louvre is still one of the largest museums in the world and has one of the largest collections in the world.  There are said to be over 300,000 pieces of art stored at The Louvre that are not in display.

Achievement

This achievement will require you to do a few things.

First, select Napoleon-France.  Pretty simple.  Your best bet is to go with a Huge Map with Archapeligos.  This will give you far more relics and artists to choose from…. however it reduces your chances in actually getting the Louvre made.  On top of this you will need to play on a medium ranged difficulty so that the computers even try to get culture.

So in order to get this achievement you will need The Louvre.  It has four art slots.

The “bonus” is achieved by getting 2 Great Art Pieces and 2 Artifacts.  Each one of them has to be from a different era and be from a different civilization.

To do this you have to “swap” Great Art with two civilizations (hence why you’re playing on a Huge map).  You can either swap the Artifacts or you can get Open Border treaties and dig up their base to get one with an Archaeologist.

You will have the proper balance of art and artifacts if you have +8 bonus to The Louvre.  To get the full +16 bonus you need to max out the Aesthetics tree (it’s a finishing bonus).

Civilization 5 Achievement Hunting: Silk Road

History – The Silk Road

We always talk about in history of the significance of The Middle East in terms of religion, that is Mecca, Jerusalem, and Istanbul…. and in terms of oil.  But few remember the real reason why the Middle East was originally so coveted… commerce.

The Silk Road was a treacherous stretch of territory starting in both India and China, crossing into Mongolian territory, passing through Persia and finally reaching its destination at the ports of Arabia.  From Arabia goods from China and India would be distributed around Europe for a pretty penny.

He who controlled The Middle East, controlled the flow of spices and silks.

The silk road became the primary way of obtaining oriental goods for all of Europe.  He who controlled The Middle East, controlled the whole of Europe.  Rome controlled the Middle East for centuries and upon losing it, the empire fell.

Similarly Venice controlled the Middle East’s silk road for centuries and during that time Venitian currency became the official currency of the whole world.  Once Venice lost control of the Middle East however it was swallowed up by neighboring City-States.

When The Ottoman Empire took The Silk Road from Venice it took a huge toll on the Europeans.  Now spices and silks were far more expensive than they had ever been.

The result was a mass build up of navy by the world powers and an attempt to find a sailing route to India.  At first sailors went around the Horn of Africa and this was quite successful.  The end result is that Portuguese became one of the world’s first known maritime empires that had a massive control in the Indian and Chinese trade.

Now wars were being fought in the seas over the control of the “Spice Route” instead of over the original Silk Road.  Another consequence of The Silk Road being under control of the Ottomans was the discovery of America.

Another consequence that many miss is the impact on the nation of China.  With a massive export industry, China was able to grow exponentially.

Today China is the largest exporter of goods in the world, has the largest population in the world, has the largest army in the world, and with all of these funds have been able to fend off The Mongols, The Huns, and The Japanese.

Achievement

In order to “cheese” this one you will want to go into Advanced settings and specifically choose Wu Zetian – China, Temujin – Mongolia, Ghandi – India, Darius – Persia, and Harud Al’Rasheed – Arabia as your enemies.  Delete the others.

You should also choose Pangea as you will be using caravans.

You will want to choose Venice.  Venice gains twice as many trade routes as the other civilizations.  Also make sure to turn off barbarians simply because it will make it a tonne easier.  You won’t have to protect your trade routes this way.

The goal is simple, keep everyone at peace and grab cities near groups of players so you can have trade hubs.

Peace is best obtained with the sword.  Having a strong army will ensure no one declares war on you, it will also ensure that you can “keep people in check” who are causing trouble.  This grouping of leaders is quite the mis-match.

China, India and Arabia are all expansive players who enjoy taking tones of cities.  By comparison Persia and Mongolia are militaristic civilizations that start with a couple of cities and invade.  These two things combined can lead to disaster and may require some juggling so that all the civilizations can actually survive.

You should not rush to trading trees, you will need an army.  Instead, rush Iron Working.  This will give you access to The Colossus which will give you an extra two trading routes (Venice gets double trading routes).

You should try and take city states that are surrounded by enemies.  The more nations you can cover by city-states the easier this will be.  If you have a giant army and feel as though you can’t wait for the next Merchant of Venice, feel free to take over a city-state militarily.

However note who they are allied with, if the answer is someone…. you’re better off leaving them alone.

Also remember you HAVE to uses caravans.  You cannot use trade ships.

Civilization 5 Achievement Hunting: Gardens of Lake Texcoco

The History

There is this myth that before Europeans showed up aboriginals were all very peaceful people coexisting…. this is not the case.

In fact the Aztecs existed for less than 300 years and when the Europeans showed up many of the descenters quickly jumped to the other side.

The Aztec people were at war with Incans, Mayans and their own Aztec people for centuries.  Ruins indicate that wars focused around Lake Texcoco.

Today Lake Texcoco is drained out and is the foundation for Mexico City.  Back then Tenochilitan (pronounced Tee Noo Ti Clan) was built on an island surrounded by the Lake.

The center of the Aztec Empire had no access to land for farming and so their engineers invented a new form of aggregation.  Locally it was known as Chinampa and is a process that is still done today.  The European settlers referred to them as “Floating Gardens.”

These floating gardens were primarily made of mud and contained rich soils from the bottom of the lake.  They were held in place by trees and were thick enough to grow corn.

The Aztecs would go on to fight multiple military campaigns entirely for control of lakes so that they could control this food source.

The Achievement

Gaining this achievement is quite simple.  First select The Aztecs (duh!).

If you want to maximize your chances of getting this acheivement done in one “run” select Huge map.

Next make sure you pick The Wheel in your science tree.  It will take anywhere between 8-15 turns to obtain this depending on which difficulty and length of game you chose.  Smaller and quicker is always faster.

Now you need to find a Lake.  If you are lucky you may find a Lake tile very close to where you start off.

To make sure a tile is a lake tile hover over it with your mouse and it will read “Lake.”  Ocean tiles and oasis tiles are often disguised to look similar to lakes.

Once you gain The Wheel research you will gain access to the Water Mill… I’m sorry… The Floating Garden!  Start up production of this bad boy or simply purchase it for 320 gold (if you have 320 gold by this point that is).

Once it is completed you will get the achievement.  Note there will be no aesthetic changes in the lake, the lake tile will simply yield more resources.

Civilization 5 Achievement Hunting: Bollywood

History

Every country in the world has their own film industry that supports the local interests, culture, politics, and language.

The first big boom in the film industry occurs in the 1930s.  Hitler felt that in order to create a 100-year Reich Germany would have to dwarf France in culture.  To do so he invested heavily in German cinema making Germany the largest film producer in the world.  In response Britain created film industries across all of its former colonies including India, Australia and Canada.  Japan, China, America, France, Sweden, and The Netherlands also heavily invested public dollars into the film industry.

Today we bask in the results as over 10,000 films are produced a year.  Of these however only 1,000 are coming out of the United States.

Yet we rarely hear of foreign films.  The reason why we hear about them is because of an existing demand in our culture for a certain type of movie.

Bollywood happens to almost entirely be musicals.  In fact Bollywood is not only the largest musicals producer but also the largest movie producer with over 1300 movies produced in a year.  Bollywood surged in American culture in the early 2000s because of the mass immigration of South East Asians but also because America just didn’t make that many musicals.

In 2012 for example there were only two movie musicals…. other than Disney of course.  Rock of the Ages grossed $90million.  Not to be out done Les Miserables grossed $442 million

The demand is clearly there for musicals, and Bollywood fulfilled that demand.

Regardless some of these Bollywood films are pretty odd…

But then again so are most of ours….

Gameplay

Set the game to Pangaea, Duel, and Settler difficulty.  Go into advanced settings and turn off barbarians.  Trust me, it makes this achievement that much easier.

Open with double expansion.  The early production and gold advantage will put you far ahead of the computer later in the game.

Brave New World certainly changed the Cultural Victory and made it far easier to obtain.

To start when choosing a religion make sure to build culture building tenants.  You will want to spread your religion to your opponent as frequently and as often as possible.

Some clear ideological choices for this achievement are Aesthetics and Exploration.

Aesthetics will boost your culture and artist generation, very simple.

The full tree of exploration will allow you to see hidden dig sites.  This will come in handy later when you are trying to gain extra tourism value via archaeology.

You should rush to archaeology so to grab all of the dig sites as fast as possible.  After this rush to try and get broadcast towers.

You should stockpile your great musicians and have just enough archaeologists to go into his base to take the dig sites in there.

When you have about 500-600 tourism value you can abuse an open border treaty and have your musicians massively increase your influence with him.

If worst comes to worst and you can’t get an open border treaty, simple declare war on him and protect your musicians.

With this “influence bomb” a 3-city cultural victory will come soon.

Top 6 Highest DLC Totals

People squabble about DLC quite a bit.

But more and more it is becoming clear that many developers are simply making games so they can sell DLC.

I decided to sit down with my Steam account and figure out exactly who are milking their consumers the worst.  The following is a list of the six highest DLC totals in gaming. The results may shock you…. or maybe they won’t.

#6. Company of Heroes 2: $68

companyofheroes2

Don’t be fooled by Company of Heroes 2’s position on this list, this game has a lot of room to grow.  Having been out for less than two months this game has created over 20 DLC packages including 10 on launch.  Seeing as it is one of the most popular games on Steam currently it is presumable that they will continue producing DLC until eventually they are number 1!

#5. Crusader Kings 2: $91

CrusaderKings2

Crusader Kings 2 was sort of a last straw game for me and Paradox Interactive.  On its first day of release it came with five DLC packages which included customization options and map layouts.  People told me this game was amazing but just the sheer amount of nickle and diming was enough to turn this guy off.

#4 Call of Duty Black Ops 2: $94

codblops2

If one was to get voted as most likely to be on this list, it was Call of Duty BLOPS2.  This game came with map packs that were sold to consumers at $15 a pop including a couple of game modes, a few campaigns, some gun customizations, and some more maps.  Call of Duty BLOPS might be one of the biggest rip offs if not for the single fact that so many play it so much.

Had there not been another Call of Duty game coming out they might have continued to pump out more DLC for Call of Duty BLOPS 2.  In their latest interview they were talking about how heavily customizable Call of Duty Ghosts will be.  All I heard was “hey look at all these new DLC opportunities.”

#3. Civilization 5: $111

civilization5

It’s a really weird formula that Sid Meier has going.  He release an expansion every single year that drastically changes the game and basically turns it into a completely different Civilization game.  Throughout the year he releases new nations that people are asking for.

It’s a bit of pandering.

Let’s be honest, is Brazil really a great nation of the world with a 5,000 year old history like Greece?  Is Poland really a nation that could compete with Russia?  All of these minor nations have been added in just to please people… and people overwhelming are willing to pay for them.

#2. The Sims 3: $440

sims3

Okay now we see the real money rolling in!

The Sims 3 was released in 2009 and since then has sold somewhere in the realm of 10,000,000 copies.  It is the top selling PC game of all time.  It also happens to be the most profitable PC game of all time.

So it’s no surprise that there’s literally no end to the DLC and custom options in this game.  There are somewhere in the realm of 40 DLC packages available for this ridiculous game.

It just might be the only thing keeping Maxis and EA afloat.

#1. Train Simulator: $1470

And our winner is…. Train Simulator with an outrageous amount.

Yes $1470 for all of their DLC.  To keep this in perspective that is more than average rent per month, and it is almost enough to buy a brand new ATV.

Publisher RailSimulator.Com are clearly the greediest developers in the entire world, congratulations!

The worst part is of course it’s not even a real game with real objectives.  Unlike The Sims 3 in which you have goals and stats that go up.  Train Simulator just has you drive trains for a living with no real benefits or advantages given…. it is in the truest form a simulator.

You’re looking at an average price of paying $20 per train to add in with over 80 DLC trains available.

The best part about these professional con artists is that they re-release the exact same game every year with a new name.

In 2009 came Railworks.

Owners of “Railworks” were automatically upgraded to Railworks 2 in 2010.

Railworks 3: Train Simulator 2011 came out in 2011 and owners of Railworks 2 were automatically upgraded to Railworks 3.

The game was renamed fully in 2012 to Train Simulator 2012 in which all owners of Railworks 3 now owned Train SImulator 2012.

And in 2013 the final transformation happened in which the game was re-released once again with moderate improvements and called Train Simulator 2013.

You are looking at a game that has been developing DLC non-stop for 4 years… and the results are far massive than anyone could ever imagine.

Update September 26, 2013: This game was re-released again as Train Simulator 2014 with a brand new logo.

trainsimulator2014

Civilization 5 Achievement Hunting: Barbarian Warlord

The History

The word Barbarian derives from the Greek Barbaros.  An expression in Greece was Pas Me Helen Barbaros, If Not Greek then Barbarian.

In Roman society Barbarian became a bridge term to describe a number of groups including Germans, Celts, Carthaginians, Iberians, Thracians, and Persians.

Thus barbarian became a term to describe anyone that was considered to be uncivil, like the Romans.

The main source of what we know about the barbarians comes from Tacitus.  Tacitus splits in the world off into barbarian zones.

Thus every single person in the lands of Germania were called Germans.

The people the Romans referred to as Germans include modern day Swedes, Norweigans, Danes, Germans, Austrian, Dutch and English.

But in Roman era the tribes included The Jutes, The Danes, The Geats, The Gutes, The Angles, The Saxons, The Goths, The Vandels and about 12 minor factions.

Theodric The Great was King of the Ostrogoths and Viceroy of the Visogoths.  With a united army of Germans he was capable of controlling Spain, Italy, and Byzantine creating alliances and recruiting from the barbarians as he went.

Theodric negotiates with all the other tribes for total control of Germania and was successful for a period of ten years of creating a new state called “Germany.”

After Theodric’s death the empire fell apart and was conquered by local lords.  Theodric’s death also signaled a change in business.  Instead of raiding the ‘barbarians’ would now settle and protect their people using a feudal government system.

The Germans are most definitely the most popular form of barbarians.  After the German barbarians you saw the rise of The Vikings, The Celts, The Mongolian, The Songhai, The Ethiopians, The Somalians, The Eskimo and the North American Indian.

In time as the hand of Roman civility hit them they too would settle down… except for The Somalians…. (watch Captain Phillips).

The Achievement

For those who are wondering whether this achievement is broken or not.  First off make sure you have the most up to date version of the game, Civilization 5 Gold with the Brave New World expansion (Civilization 5 + Gods and Kings + Brave New World will do as well).

If you have this version of the game on Steam then it’s just a matter of time.

My first ten barbarian tribe kills yielded no additional armies or gold.

They will come over time.

Make sure to set the game to rampant barbarians mode.  This can be found under Advanced Options at the selection screen.  This will start off with three barbarian camps per civilization and will spawn at three times the normal rate.

This will give you tones of barbarian camps to slay to get this achievement.

Play the game like you normally would… that is if you were a barbarian warlord badass.

You will need a decent sized army to start, 5-6 troops is a minimum with mixed groupings.

The Barbarian tribes will advance in power over time, so your army has to do the same.  Don’t invest in culture or any wussy stuff, pure unit research.

If you maintain a strong enough army people will not attack you either.

It just takes time.

Best of luck.