You Had Me at Hex Grid

Civilization V has been announced today for a Fall release. Firaxis reports that they are excited to be working on the first game to combine Alan Moore’s seminal neo-anarchist graphic novel with the deep technology tree and addictive gameplay of…

Hm? Yes?

Oh. Oh, I see.


Civilization V Announced, Introduces HexesSid Meier’s legendary turn-based historical strategy series Civilization will receive a brand new installment on PC this fall, publisher 2K Games announced today.

Civilization V will charge players with once again leading and shaping a civilisation all the way from the dawn of society through to the space age, now backed by an all-new graphics engine and boasting “unprecedented modding capabilities.”

An “entirely new combat system” which includes ranged bombardment is promised. Civ V also makes the jump to hexagon-shaped tiles, which 2K says will take the series “in new directions” with “deeper strategy” and “more realistic gameplay.”

“Each new version of Civilization presents exciting challenges for our team,” said series creator Sid Meier in a press statement. “Thankfully, ideas on how to bring new and fun experiences to Civ players never seem to stop flowing. From fully animated leaders and realistic landscapes, new combat tactics, expanded diplomacy and shared mods, we’re excited for players to see the new vision our team at Firaxis has brought to the series.”

Developed yet again by Firaxis Games–who’ve helmed the series since Civ III–Sid Meier’s Civilization V is slated for release on PC in fall of this year.

So via Shacknews we see that a new Civ has been announced. The graphics can be assumed to be charming and aesthetically pleasing, so let’s ignore those for the moment and talk about how it will play. Bombardment? Ok, this will allow for bigger projected zones of control. Expanded diplomacy? Intriguing for me, as I’m a big fan of killing them with kindness. Hex grids?

Oh, it’s motherfucking on.

I was raised in the gaming world, almost literally. I spent my youth being ferried from gaming convention to gaming convention by my father; a gypsy-like existence of hustling remaindered Ral Partha miniatures and obsolete RPG supplements in bright, tobacco-scented dealer rooms. Back then in the bronze age of gaming, there were basically three kinds of games. There were newfangled video games where you could move around more or less freely. There were turn based boardgames where you moved around on a grid or track of squares. And there were immense Goddamned war games where you carefully pushed stacks of cardboard chits across hexes. Hexes in your game meant you were a man: a hairy-chested, scotch-drinking Hemingway of the open gaming room. I would peer past the edges of tables I was just tall enough to see over, my mind awhirr with curiosity, confusion, and intimidation. It was like peeking through a cracked door into some sort of masonic ceremony, all arcane charts and cyclopean rulebooks.

I’ve grown up a bit since then, as have video games of course. Still, I can’t shake a certain awe that comes over when the hexagon is invoked. It’s right there in my gamer DNA.

I wonder if Civ is banking on this.


2 thoughts on “You Had Me at Hex Grid”

  1. I don’t know if I am alone in this, but the last Civ I really liked was Civ II. I played that for days. I played Civ IV and I really didn’t care for it. Okay, tech tree blah blah blah, diplomacy, blah blah blah, space race, blah blah blah. Just didn’t find it engaging.

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