Steam: I’m obsessed with getting the perfect start to Civilization 6 and have been loading the same save file over and over for the past 2 years
The strategy epic Civilization 6 (Steam) now offers 50 different civilizations and 3 expansions. Countless DLCs have been released since 2016. New, exciting worlds can always be created. But MeinMMO author Schuhmann has none of that. He’s obsessed with a save file.
My name is Schuhmann and I have a problem. It must have crept in somehow over the years. I can vaguely remember that I used to be able to play Civilization IV just like that, so chaotically: Just log in, start a game on the huge world map and see what happens. Actually madness.
I remember I played Romans at some point and everything was fine then. You settle down, build, research, send scouts into the world and are happy that a resource could be found near Rome: stones. And with the stones you could build a special wound: Stonehenge.
When you built it, there was a nice little cutscene and it felt good. That’s how it all started, that’s how they got me.
Somehow I must have started back then, a certain… well, I don’t want to call it a compulsion, but I developed a preference. I like miracles.
The urge arose: I build all 54 wonders in Civilization 6
When you build such a miracle, there is a great feeling of having achieved something. There’s a short clip, you get special bonuses and you have something that other races don’t have.
At some point, I don’t know how it happens, the urge arose: I build every single wonder in Civilization VI. And if others build a wonder in front of me, then the game just isn’t good anymore and I have to start over until all the wonders are mine.
Somehow Civilization 6 wants that too: There is a strategy to maximize the benefit of miracles by aligning the state religion in such a way that each miracle gives further bonuses, so that you get even more benefits.
I think there’s even a name for it: “Miracle Rush” or something.
The problem is, at the same time, Civilization 6 isn’t designed to be played that way. This may have been possible in earlier games, but in Civilization 6 it is actually not possible. Although there is a people with the Chinese who are exactly geared towards this strategy, because there you can accelerate ancient and classic miracles with workers, but it simply has to come together too much for you to be able to pull off the strategy.
Because if you want to build the 54 wonders in Civilization 6, you need a plan:
- You can’t just build the pyramids somewhere in a nice lake in southern France – you need desert.
- If you want to build Stonehenge, you need stones nearby.
- And if you want to build that damn Mahabodi temple that I keep forgetting, then you need a normal temple and a forest next to it. When planning your cities, you have to take into account that you are building your temple complex next to a forest – and there you really have time pressure, because otherwise the computer opponents will build the miracle right under your nose and then your whole plan over.
There are 54 wonders in Civ 6 – if you want to build them all, you have to plan early
It is usually the case that for the strategy when rolling the world and the starting positions you have to win a 6 in the lottery. You need many different cities:
- A city of stones, in the desert, but with floodland in it for The Great Bath, the Pyramids
- A city in the desert, with mountains for a strange iron wonder
- A city on a sea where you can put the port for the 3 wonders associated with it
- A city with a forest where you remember to build the temple complex right next to the forest
- and many other requirements.
Since it is impossible for you to build wonders and send out settlers, you must then conquer the other cities next to your starting city. The so-called “3 Slinger” strategy is used for this.
Usually you start playing and the first city looks pretty good too: there are stones for Stonehenge and there is floodland, but then you don’t find any desert for the pyramids and that’s it.
2 years ago I found the perfect start – I curse the day
My problem is that 2 years ago I actually found a perfect start by accident and after umpteen tries and saved it.
It was on July 22, 2021 – I curse the day. Apparently I got it all done perfectly back then, I don’t remember how it was anymore: With the “3 slingshot tactics” I subjugated 3 opposing peoples, it must have been French, Spaniards and some Incas. The names of their cities are preserved, even thousands of years after their destruction. Then I built and saved the first wonders in my starting city, in Paris and Madrid – after 133 moves.
All other attempts to start a new game fail because no start is as perfect as it was 2 years ago. Either stone or desert or river land is missing – something is always missing. I still remember, I played this save file to the end, subjugated the whole world – built all the miracles. And then it was good for a while, but then it was forgotten.
I stopped playing Civilization – What was there left to achieve?
This save file has been on my hard drive for 2 years.
But in the last few days it came back to me, I felt like playing a strategy game, playing this and that and then Civilization came to mind again.
I wanted to play it very differently this time: so many DLCs, so many options, maybe a different race, a completely different strategy. So I started playing chaotically, and then this message came up: “An unknown player has built Stonehenge” – and there it was again. The save file called me.
Then I spent umpteen hours and 3 attempts with my perfect start from 2021. Because even if it’s a perfect start, it has to be played out in a very specific way so that all wonders are in their intended places and are built in the right order at the right time.
I already know the rhythm of the trains by heart, how it continues after 133:
- I have to send workers to Paris to build Stonehenge there – while the oracle is being built in Madrid
- There are barbarians to destroy – with the money from their camps I can hire even more workers who build even more wonders
- When Stonehenge is built, I will establish my religion, Buddhism, and start banning it
- In the Inca city near a lake, first a camp is built, then a barracks, finally the statue of Zeus and the terracotta army
If I play that, I’m back in straight away, the processes are practically burned into my brain – but yesterday I noticed it again. You play 2, 3 hours and then comes this hated sound: Another people have built a miracle that you overlooked. And of course it is this miracle that requires you to build a temple next to a forest. Who thinks of that?
So: Back to round 133 and plan again.
I know I’ve already completed the game perfectly, built all the wonders in the right place at the right time. I can still remember the rough outlines and know that even then I forgot the damn temple. I know that the game is actually won by round 133 and that it only gets boring and slow in the endgame – a problem that every single strategy game I like has.
But somehow I can only play Civilization 6 like this.
Maybe I just need to delete the save file before it ruins my life.
More on strategy games and how not to play them:
Crusader Kings 3: How to get the best start in 2023 – but your Viking son eats all your babies