Civilization 6 Diary, The Mighty Pip Empire: Part 1


Adam banging on about Civilization VI [official site] – even coming into work chat while ill to bang on about Civ VI (GO TO BED YOU FOOL!) – has persuaded me that this might be the time for the return of the Mighty Pip Empire.

I’m not really a 4X person. I get wrongfooted by the weirdness of “diplomacy” with AI opponents, and irritated by the occurrence of events that seem marooned from time and context as they ping up on my screen. During the tutorial, for example, Egypt suddenly embraced protestantism. As a form of religion, it’s so linked to a specific point in human history and tied up in reactions to an existing situation, as exemplified by where the name even comes from, that seeing it just merrily poof onto my timeline without any of the preceding events or politics just seems absurd.

But I do like to go back to the things that I’m not naturally good at every now and again, trying to bend them to my will this time, or to crack them open like a Kinder Egg so I can actually play with the toy inside. This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to get into Civ. I’ve tried so many times I actually have a naming convention for the cities of the Pip Empire which starts with Pipcastle and spirals out into the world with places like Piphaven, Pipping Norton, Pipton-on-Sea…


I figured I’d try more of a trade-y playthrough as I absolutely hate diplomacy and my military strategy is essentially Zerg Rush or GTFO, my Civilization’s hopes and dreams being the thing G-ing the F O in that scenario. As such I am Trajan and the Roman Empire is mine to command.

The first order of business was to rename this “Rome” place to Pipcastle. Apparently that’s not possible at the moment but Adam assures me the ability should be arriving in the first patch of the game. I am outraged because without Pipcastle the phrase “All roads lead to Pipcastle” is meaningless. The appearance of Cumae later instead of Piphaven rubs further salt into the wound. Or it would if I had any salt mines. No idea if there are salt mines in the game, by the way, I was just thinking there should be so the Romans could get on with inventing “salaries”.


Next up I started scouting, but got a bit spooked by Barbarians and Spaniards wandering about so there’s still a lot of fog of war and my Scouts are earning their keep as extra muscle to keep Barbarians at bay.

The people of my towns kept kicking off about the lack of amenities and I think what was happening was I’d ended up researching politics things and science things in my cities and when you finish one it encourages you to pick a next one, so I’d thought that was all I could do at the time. It took a while to realise I had to intervene and shove the game back towards creating builders and setting up those extra structures both for population support and population entertainment.

Churros, you say? Well come on in!

I’m on turn 100 at the moment and Philip II of Spain and Queen Victoria both seem to be flirting with me from some weird dimension outside of history (they like a leader who is surrounded by a powerful military, they tell me, and Philip also sent a delegation carrying churros). I also have a Hanging Garden, a few quarries, some farms, and some bushels of tea on the horizon, waiting for me to turn up with my Roman baths and make a massive brew.

Works in progress include an entertainment complex, and sending those scouts out a bit further now that the Barbarians have been dealt with a bit. But I want to do the investigating of the map parchment-like fog of war without making the bit with the big octopus on it disappear. I’ve already lost a couple of its arms so I’ll have to move cautiously or lose my cephalopod companion forever…

Wildlife protection in action. Sort of.


  1. Andy_Panthro says:

    All this Civ 6 chat is making me want to buy the game… how much longer can I hold out?

    edit: Also I do love the octopus on the map, my only wish is that there’s a “here be dragons” or similar on the land.

  2. Nice Save says:

    If you visit:

    Steam\SteamApps\common\Sid Meier’s Civilization VI\Base\Assets\Text\en_US\CityNames_Text.xml

    That seems to be the file where all the city names are defined. I imagine if you changed the name of Rome’s cities in that file you’d get the modified names ingame.

    Note I haven’t actually tested this (or even started the game for the first time).

  3. ribby says:

    “I think what was happening was I’d ended up researching politics things and science things in my cities and when you finish one it encourages you to pick a next one, so I’d thought that was all I could do at the time. It took a while to realise I had to intervene and shove the game back towards creating builders and setting up those extra structures both for population support and population entertainment.”

    That doesn’t quite sound right to me- the civics and research trees don’t have anything to do with what you’re producing in the cities

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      Philippa Warr says:

      All I know is that I only got the prompts back to produce things like people and structures when I went into a city and selected an item manually. Either it was a weird thing that needed a prompt to kick back in or it wasn’t clear from the UI what had been happening. Everything seems fine now so I’ll probably never know which, but it wasn’t a clear experience.

      • Vandelay says:

        The next turn button changes to a production button for me when a city has stopped producing. I’m not even sure if I can move to the next turn without selecting something, same with moving units that run out of orders. Perhaps there is an option that turns that off.

        Been playing since 9 this evening and I haven’t really figured what I am meant to be building to deal with the amenities complaint, outside of entertainment district in every city. I’ve mostly been ignoring it and hoping some of the things I’m building are helping, seeing as I was planning on my first game being mainly focused on military (something I don’t normally do in these games.) Seems to have been working out ok, except for with one city.

        It started when Gandhi (isn’t it always?) decides to plonk his second city about 5 or 6 hexes away from my first city. Obviously, war was always inevitable with him, but when he threatened ME for building MY city too close to his I wasn’t going to take any more. Queen Vicky is going to send a battalion of club wielding warriors your way!

        The war went reasonably well and I managed to take the city that was on the edge of my border. Delhi looked a little too strong to take right away though, when I was still so early in the tech, so we settled our differences for a little while (he offered to give me everything to make it stop,) and peace returned to the land. All the while I kept getting moans about the amenities in the new city. I tried to build a few things to help, but I really wanted to spend my time building up for the next push into Delhi.

        Eventually, war happened again (he complained I had units too close to him, I didn’t want to move them.) But, Delhi was suddenly protected by elephants. They smashed through most of my units. To make matters worse, the city I had captured in the last war decided that they were fed up of not having enough housing and entertainment, and breakout in rebellion, with 4 groups of rebel scum appearing around the city. Fighting on two fronts didn’t appeal, so I thought “Screw this, Gandhi can have’em back!” A deal was made, Gandhi could have the city back and I would make peace, in exchange for most of his money. Oh, and why don’t you chuck in Mumbai for me too? You know, the city that has the horses next to it.

        I left the game with my next goal being to link up my first couple of cities with Mumbai, preferably in a circle around Gandhi’s territory. Is that close enough to you Gandhi!?

      • Lord Byte says:

        Amenities can be alleviated by building an entertainment district, but I have 25 cities and only now have some cities started running out… of luxuries. Apparently for each unique luxury you find (and improve inside your borders), you gain 4 amenities that automatically get doled out to cities that need it. More of the same luxuries serve only to be traded to others (and the ones you use will not show up in the trade window, so trade away). They could have used some screen to show this, as I had to calculate this myself by going into report, resources and subtracting the luxuries I had from the ones that show up in the diplomacy screen.
        And the 4 amenities per unique luxury is apparently mentioned somewhere in the manual but nowhere else.

  4. thekelvingreen says:

    Yeah, the weird incongruities are sort of what’s killed Civilization for me in the past. I know it’s a What If? type of game to a certain extent, but it still grates to have Gandhi building Stonehenge or the Japanese inventing Islam. Part of me just cannot let go of that.

    • Nogo says:

      Building the Taj Mahal in Cleveland is part of the charm for me.

      I personally imagine all the actual featured leaders in the game sitting around a board tossing dice in a parlor. Ghandi got too drunk and is throwing the nuke pieces around.

  5. caff says:

    Pipping Norton. I love it ;)

    • polecat says:

      If Pip’s empire expands westwards, she is welcome to Pippenham, Pipton Mallett and Pipford-on-Avon (not to be confused with the Leeds-Pipford conurbation).

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      phuzz says:

      Pip-on-the-Wold, Upper and Lower Pippinton, Pip-on-the-Water, Pipsdean, Pipshill, Pipway (featuring Pipway Tower).
      I for one welcome our new Pip Overlord (Overlady?)

    • lglethal says:

      For a more continental flavour why not try Pipstein, Pippingin, Pipburg, pipgart, Pipholm, Pippenhagen…

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Pipsterdam, Pipsels, Pipris, Piprid…

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          Pip de Janeiro, Pipdelphia, St. Pip, New Pip, Pipcouver, Pypyang, Moose Pip

  6. bill says:

    Good grief… if even Pip is trying to play Civ then I really have no excuse not to give Civ3/Civ4 another try…
    Maybe it’ll click someday…

    • vorador says:

      I hear you. I even bought a while ago Civilization 4: The Really Good Edition With All the Bits and Bobs to see if it finally clicked.

      No dice. Guess me and hex-grid turn-based games will never belong together.