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Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords
Review By: Nick Arvites
Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Genre: Strategy
ESRB: Everyone 10+
# Of Players: 1
Online Play: Yes
Accessories: Requires Sid Meier’s Civilization IV
Buy Now: Buy Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords at Amazon.com!

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Expansion packs for strategy games are as close to a certainty as you can get. Some expansion packs are like completely new games, while others make minimal changes. Civilization 4 is no different. The first expansion pack, titled Civilization 4: Warlords, adds in 6 scenarios and several changes and new features. As the name suggests, Warlords focuses more on military than the other aspects of the game.

Civilization IV: Warlords adds in eight campaigns scattered across the globe and throughout history. The scenario list consists of the Peloponnesian Wars, Chinese Unification, Alexander’s Conquest, the Rise of Rome, Vikings, Genghis Kahn, Omens 1754, and the Barbarian Horde. Omens 1754 might be the first one on the list to not sound familiar. That scenario drops you into the Ohio Valley as Britain and France compete to control the new world. This scenario is an “Alternate History” one, and focuses on religious and cultural conversions almost as much as military conversions. The Barbarians scenario essentially puts you in control of the random Barbarian tribes that pop up in a standard Civ game, and the goal is to wipe out the AI controlled civilizations. The Genghis Kahn and Vikings civilization is similar to the Barbarian one, except with a bit more structure. Those wanting a more traditional scenario would be more at home with the Chinese Unification, the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, Alexander the Great, or the Rise of Rome.

Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Warlords

Six new civilizations are brought into the game. Players can now control the Vikings, Zulu, Ottomons, Koreans, Celts, and Carthage. Each comes with their own special units, though as history will tell you none of them are good for the modern age. The Ottomons replace Musketmen with Janissary, but the other special units from the new civilizations are scattered through the earlier ages. New leaders have been brought in. While each new civilization gains a figurehead, four existing civilizations get a new leader. England and Russia gain WWII era leaders Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin, while Rome and Egypt gain ancient leaders Augustus Caesar and Ramesses II. Three new leader traits were added into the game. Leaders can now possess the Imperialistic, Charismatic, or Protective traits, and these traits have been assigned to some of the existing leaders to make them more accurate.

New units are almost scarce. Warlords adds in Triremes (ancient warships), Trebuchets (siege weapon), and Great Generals to all civilizations. Great Generals are the Warlords that the title refers to. They operate similar to the Great People from the original game, except they only appear when your cumulative combat experience hits a certain point. The Great General has some extremely useful abilities. He can join a city as a great military advisor or construct a military academy, which provide +2 experience points to new units or +25% to military production respectively. The Great General can also lead units as a Warlord. This attaches the Great General to a unit and distributes 20 experience points evenly to every unit in the tile. The unit that the Warlord is attached to gets free upgrades and access to special promotions that aren’t attainable without the Warlord.

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Posted: 2007-08-16 17:30:57 PST