Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

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Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Vaniver » Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Pretty much the turn-based empire-building strategy games. Some more in-depth reviews of them can be found here; this thread is primarily for organizing multiplayer games with other xkcders.

There are two main ways to play a multiplayer game:

LAN- Everyone sits down and plays the game together. This will either be an IP connection or a simulated LAN using Hamachi. This has the benefit of little calendar time between the start and end of a game- it has the drawback of requiring a solid chunk of time (4 hours generally gets one to the midgame, or endgame if there's a giant skill differential) and everyone being on at the same time.

PBEM- Play-by-email. Everyone plays their turn, saves, then emails it to the next person. This has the benefit of requiring only a small amount of time per day (rarely more than 15 minutes) and flexible times during the day (the game can revolve around the Earth with the sun), but has the drawback of a significant amount of calendar time in between the start and end of a game. If a game lasts around 300 turns, and you're doing a turn a day, that's not a quick game. PBEMs also have serious problems when a player drops out, which is all too common.


Now, the games themselves:

Civilization I used to be able to be found for free here. I don't have a current source yet. I never played it much, and don't see much reason to (unless you're nostalgic for it). Multiplayer: None.

Civilization II used to be able to be found for free here. I don't have a current source yet (but talk with cmacis). This was my first Civ, and near the best- it's pretty much Civ I, but better. Multiplayer: Get the 1.3 patch here.

Alpha Centauri can be found on eBay for roughly $100. I'm sure you could manage to find it elsewhere if you tried hard enough (or asked me). This is my personal favorite of the series, but its netcode is... antiquated. It has an expansion, Crossfire, which received mixed reviews. Multiplayer: Get the 4.0 and Win/XP update patch from here. Go into your install folder, find Alpha Centauri.ini and add ForceOldVoxelAlgorithm=1 under [PREFERENCES].

Civilization III can be bought here for $18; it's probably not worth that much, especially since Civ2 is free. Multiplayer: *shudder*

Civilization IV is the newest and prettiest Civ. It can be bought here or you can also get the Warlords expansion here. It's similar to Civ2, with a few additions and a few subtractions; while the most polished of the series, it's probably not the best. Multiplayer: get the patch here or here.


So, if you're interested in playing, tell us:

Games: Alpha Centauri, Crossfire, Civ 2, Civ 4
Interested in PBEM / Average Turn Rate: Yes, >1/day
Interested in TCP/IP? Yes
Hours available: 7-10 PM EST weekdays, all day Saturday/Sunday
Notes: I prefer normal SMAC to Crossfire.

(You could also tack on name, email, IM screennames, etc, but I'm going to assume that sort of thing will either be on someone's profile or could be settled in PMs)
Last edited by Vaniver on Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:48 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby George Orr » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:51 am UTC

Wow, SMAC is possibly the greatest game of all time. It's always great to find someone else who knows about it. I've also played Alien Crossfire, and sadly must agree that I like it less than the original. It's less balanced, I think. The original factions are quite evenly matched if you play them right. I would definitely be up for some multiplayer Alpha Centauri, although I'll be gone for the next month. If there are still games going when I get back, I will join in very gladly.

I'd much rather do the solid-chunk-of-time version. With smaller maps, games shouldn't take more than 2 hours (assuming everyone is familiar with the game). Still, I'd probably have time available for very long games in the Second Half of August.

I also have Civilization 3 with all the expansion packs, but I don't really like it that much.

Games: SMAC, Crossfire, Civ 3
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Postby Mother Superior » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:58 am UTC

Aaah, Civilization. The game for the civilized (Oh the things I do with words!) gamer. Why, just remembering back to all those times my powerful Viking nations launched a seaborne attack to smash into the shores of medieval America, or my french muskateers holding back wave after wave of aztec warriors. Or the many mountain passes that were fortified and defended from countless foes, the long-planned out invasions, the bombing campaigns, the infantry attacks that failed but then the tanks rolling in and smashing city after city. I love this game. 4 is better than three and 2 is still the best, but the realism mod to warlords is awesome.
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Postby German Sausage » Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:54 pm UTC

ummm... there is no-where to download civ2 through that link. it just says ESA protected. and i got really excited too. i played it endlessly from about 13 to 16, then my computer died. completely. total data loss.
anyway, i really want a copy, and am very interested in PBEM games (since i'm across the planet from most of you) but, as i said before, that link is no help.
PM me if you have a solution!
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Postby cmacis » Sun Jul 15, 2007 3:07 pm UTC

I will love to play Alpha Centauri (only got the straight version) by any method. I have Civ2 but am less familiar with that game. I generally play at the "Thinker" level but am about to play another level up from that. I prefer the huge map of planet and playing as Yang or University.

If you need Civ2 then it might be worth your time getting in contact with me through msn.
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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sun Jul 15, 2007 3:32 pm UTC

Hey, people! *sniffle* Didn't get this much interest when I started a thread.... I'm in for PBEM, probably!

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Postby Vaniver » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:47 pm UTC

It's less balanced, I think. The original factions are quite evenly matched if you play them right.
The general opinion is that there are several tiers of quality with the original factions:

University
Hive
Peacekeepers, Morganites, Gaians
Spartans, Believers

The new ones are just a mixmatch of hideous (Pirates) and brokenly awesome (Drones, aliens). As well, while the original seven were all concrete ideologies, the new seven were spinoffs or worse versions of the original. Why is there a cybernetic faction? That was already a future society... they have the ability to do it before everyone else? While there is a slight difference in the pro-Planet natures of the Gaians and the Cult of Planet, having both is superfluous.

ummm... there is no-where to download civ2 through that link. it just says ESA protected. and i got really excited too.
Damn, I guess so. I just remembered getting it from there a few years back, and assumed it was still there. It looks like Civ1 isn't free either.
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Postby George Orr » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:02 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
It's less balanced, I think. The original factions are quite evenly matched if you play them right.
The general opinion is that there are several tiers of quality with the original factions:

University
Hive
Peacekeepers, Morganites, Gaians
Spartans, Believers

Yeah, this is definitely the way it seems at first, and overall I think it's right, but there's a lot of variation based on starting conditions. And if you manage to get a decent start with the believers (for example, getting a large continent or conquering the University so they give all of their tech to you), then the 25% combat bonus is huge.

I've always viewed the University, Hive and Gaians as fairly equal, although once again starting conditions are a huge factor in who becomes dominant. Playing a map with alien lifeforms on "abundant," for example, will almost always result in a Gaian victory if you play them right. And if the Hive gets the Crater, then they can build secret projects so quickly that they quickly become unstoppable.

The new ones are just a mixmatch of hideous (Pirates) and brokenly awesome (Drones, aliens). As well, while the original seven were all concrete ideologies, the new seven were spinoffs or worse versions of the original. Why is there a cybernetic faction? That was already a future society... they have the ability to do it before everyone else? While there is a slight difference in the pro-Planet natures of the Gaians and the Cult of Planet, having both is superfluous.

Yeah, that was pretty much my take on them, although The Cybernetic faction is very good, if a bit nonsensical. The probe team faction is just, well, crappy.
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Postby Vaniver » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:19 pm UTC

although The Cybernetic faction is very good, if a bit nonsensical.
In my experience they are strictly worse than University; not having to build network nodes in every base is rather useful, and if one isn't making a large number of bases the efficiency isn't that useful. You can switch to 60% or 70% tech, and so it helps there, but I've always found the extra energy to be useful (coming at me with an army? Well, half of it is mine now). While it is helpful to be able to have two distinct researching factions in a multiplayer game, I think on the whole Crossfire detracts from the game instead of adding.
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Postby George Orr » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:37 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
although The Cybernetic faction is very good, if a bit nonsensical.
In my experience they are strictly worse than University; not having to build network nodes in every base is rather useful, and if one isn't making a large number of bases the efficiency isn't that useful. You can switch to 60% or 70% tech, and so it helps there, but I've always found the extra energy to be useful (coming at me with an army? Well, half of it is mine now). While it is helpful to be able to have two distinct researching factions in a multiplayer game, I think on the whole Crossfire detracts from the game instead of adding.

I was talking about playing a game of pure Alien Crossfire factions. Compared to the University, yes the Cybernetic faction is worse, but compared to the other Alien Crossfire factions they are quite good. And in my experience, higher efficiency is actually very good, especially with large numbers of colonies (although after a certain point your colonies are unaffected, it doesn't matter once you get Transcendi). Also, if you get the Network Backbone, then the Cybernetic Consciousness will also have a Network Node at every base.
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Postby e946 » Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:32 am UTC

Will a cracked version of alpha centauri work online?

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Postby German Sausage » Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:33 am UTC

thanks for your help guys, i have a torrent downloading now and hope to be playing soon.
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Postby evilbeanfiend » Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:57 pm UTC

e946 wrote:Will a cracked version of alpha centauri work online?


go buy it :x
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Postby cmacis » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:30 pm UTC

I recall a copyright loophole that allows you to pass it around if it isn't available in the shops.
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Postby evilbeanfiend » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:38 pm UTC

http://www.amazon.com/Electronic-Arts-1 ... B00001NTSO

iirc it uses no copy protection at all. which personally id like to support hence you should buy it.
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Postby Vaniver » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:58 pm UTC

Wow, the price has dropped significantly since the last time I looked at it. Those probably aren't original CDs.

Crossfire does require you have a CD to play; that's another reason I dislike it. Normal Alpha Centauri will play without the CD.
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Postby Cuton » Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:23 pm UTC

I'm not a very accomplished civ/centauri player, I've played each game but always have a hard time winning on some of the "middle" difficulty levels.

My brother and I always played alpha centauri, me as hive and him as morganites. It lasted epic 10 hour games and it was fun, we were playing on easy though.

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Postby ArchangelShrike » Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:57 pm UTC

I'd play, but again the problem is the timing. And PBEM gets long...

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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Coin » Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:21 pm UTC

After the christmas hollidays I've felt a strong urge to play a game of Civilization IV which has led me to the newly updated mod Fall from Heaven 2.
Would anyone be interested in trying it out with a multiplayer game or, failing that, perhaps just a regular round of BtS?
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:29 pm UTC

I might be up for PBEm Civ 4.
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:08 pm UTC

I will definitely be in, but I only have Civ II:ToT (the art in this game is SOOOOO much better).
Edit: EBay has it listed as $4.00 US, and it is definitely worth it. It lets you make games with multiple maps, as well as alternate victory conditions and a decent scripting system. If you are up for a challenge, I can set up a map to spawn loads of barbarians on a semi-regular basis.
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Kizyr » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:19 pm UTC

I'm definitely up for another Civ4 multiplayer game; hopefully lasting longer than the last one.

I don't think I'd really be up for Fall from Heaven, though. But I do have Civ4 and both the expansions--I'd prefer a regular Beyond the Sword game myself. KF
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Phen » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:23 pm UTC

I'd prefer regular Civ4 with expansions, but last time nothing came of it. I barely met anybody before it stopped. We did have a deadbeater, though, so the 31 hour turn limit got to drag things on and on.

Regarding Alpha Centauri; I have the game, but I've never really gotten into it, sadly.
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:36 pm UTC

The Stars! thread died, so if anyone's into attempting some sort of PBEM Alpha Centauri (or Alien Crossfire), I'm in! I've never gotten tired of that game.

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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Coin » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:39 pm UTC

Seems like the idea is popular. Great :)
I'm all for having a regular game, though I'm curious as to why Fall from Heaven gets so little love.

As I wasn't part of the last game: Would anyone like to recap what the settings were and what worked/didn't work and what should be done different?
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Phen » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:07 pm UTC

I've just not bothered to look into it :D No mods => no hassle. Regarding settings, the timer just need to be lower. Went too slow.

MJ, I've still got stars sitting on my desktop, but I havn't summoned up the will to charge into the tutorial for reals.
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Phen » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:29 pm UTC

I'm procrastinating enough already. ... It's not like I have two exams next week. >_>
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:34 pm UTC

I know, I don't even have time to play anyone right now. Sorry, Aiwa!

Anyways, I'm in for Alpha Centauri if anyone else is.

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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Jessica » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

I'm up for civ 4 with expansions PBE.
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Kizyr » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:00 pm UTC

Either Civ4 or Alpha Centauri would be great. Alpha Centauri may be easier since I don't need to get out my CD every time I start it up.

Unfortunately, I can't offer to host it, so I'll just have to leech off of someone else's hard work here... KF
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby henre » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:30 am UTC

Games: Civ IV (vanilla, I don't gots money for expansions :( )
Interested in PBEM / Average Turn Rate: Yes, >1/day
Interested in TCP/IP? No
Hours available: n/a
Notes: No notes here, I just want to freaking play! :D

edit: I can nail Noble pretty solidly but I've never been able to beat Prince.
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Cryopyre » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:11 pm UTC

Games: Alpha Centauri
Interested in: Any way in which to play (never done online)
Interested in TCP/IP? No
Hours available: Only about 2 a day
Notes: Newbie, go easy
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Kizyr » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:05 am UTC

Games: Civ4, Civ4: Warlords, Civ4: Beyond the Sword, Alpha Centauri, Civ3, Civ3: Play the World (ok, so everything--but Civ3 pales in comparison to Civ4)
Interested in PBEM / Average Turn Rate: Yes, 1/day
Interested in TCP/IP? No
Hours available: 6PM~2AM EST - though, with PBEM it's easier to accommodate
Notes: I prefer pacifism, so if you leave me alone, then I'll leave you alone

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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby henre » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:29 am UTC

Jessica wrote:I'm up for civ 4 with expansions PBE.

Kizyr wrote:Games: Civ4, Civ4: Warlords, Civ4: Beyond the Sword, Alpha Centauri, Civ3, Civ3: Play the World (ok, so everything--but Civ3 pales in comparison to Civ4)
Interested in PBEM / Average Turn Rate: Yes, 1/day
Interested in TCP/IP? No
Hours available: 6PM~2AM EST - though, with PBEM it's easier to accommodate
Notes: I prefer pacifism, so if you leave me alone, then I'll leave you alone

Phen wrote:I'd prefer regular Civ4 with expansions, but last time nothing came of it. I barely met anybody before it stopped. We did have a deadbeater, though, so the 31 hour turn limit got to drag things on and on.

bigglesworth wrote:I might be up for PBEm Civ 4.

Coin wrote:After the christmas hollidays I've felt a strong urge to play a game of Civilization IV which has led me to the newly updated mod Fall from Heaven 2.
Would anyone be interested in trying it out with a multiplayer game or, failing that, perhaps just a regular round of BtS?

So do you guys want to play a vanilla Civ IV PBEM? I'm about a Noble-level player. I unfortunately don't have any expansions.
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Re:

Postby Iv » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:18 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
ummm... there is no-where to download civ2 through that link. it just says ESA protected. and i got really excited too.
Damn, I guess so. I just remembered getting it from there a few years back, and assumed it was still there. It looks like Civ1 isn't free either.


I used to play Freeciv a few years ago. It was as complete as Civ II at the time. I heard they continue to develop it. It is a civilization open source clone for windows and linux. I am just pointing to this website, I have too much time sinks scheduled already to start such a game...

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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Indon » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:13 pm UTC

All this talking and I haven't seen anyone mention the Pitboss utility for CivIV, which establishes a persistent game on a server which individuals can log into freely?

Personally, PBEM is too slow-paced for my tastes (I'm more of a hotseat/small LAN player).
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby Kizyr » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:20 pm UTC

henre wrote:So do you guys want to play a vanilla Civ IV PBEM? I'm about a Noble-level player. I unfortunately don't have any expansions.

Civ4 PBEM, or PitBoss as Indon mentioned, are both good for me.
Again, someone else would have to set this up, since I'm no good at that sort of thing... KF
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby bigstrat2003 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:22 pm UTC

henre wrote:So do you guys want to play a vanilla Civ IV PBEM? I'm about a Noble-level player. I unfortunately don't have any expansions.


I'd play vanilla Civ 4 as well (BTS is preferred, but I understand why we can't :/). PBEM or LAN makes no difference to me, pick what you want.

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henre
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Re: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Civilization Multiplayer

Postby henre » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Okay, so thus far:

bigstrat2003
Kizyr
henre

are up for Vanilla Civ IV PBEM. I think we'll wait a bit longer for more participants.
An airplane, a puppet, an orange, a spoon,
A window, and outside: stars, and the moon.

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