I don't particularly play games with mods, I haven't been a PC gamer for most of the years I have been gaming and in that time I've played with maybe a handful of mods. I'm really more of a PC tweaks kinda guy! However, earlier this year a game was graciously gifted to me, and I found I couldn't play it my way without a modification or two. That game was Sid Meier's Civilization V.
Civ V is a strategy game or something, and the latest installment in a games series that's as young as I am. More importantly, it has Nuclear warfare and Empire building. There is a comprehensive range of options for the game, from graphical to geographical. You can have any combination of Nations on landscape variations but when the maps get large and the AI players number too many the game can chug a little so it's a good thing that you can knock the graphical settings down a great deal, I can barely tell the difference anyway! On top of all this vanilla fidelity there is an in-game mod browser and management system with several hundred community made mods, which is really rather useful should you develop a niche niche
in need of scratching.
When I was starting to play the game and learn how much I sucked at it, I was disappointed that there was no option to have realistic starting locations for nations on Earth maps. Luckily, I was pointed in the direction of the Mods and eventually found a simple little one called Yet (not) Another Earth Maps Pack (v.9) and an even more up-to-date version of what I have been using can be found here
I enjoy this Mod because although I find the game fun in general, I think the homeland of the nations is important and being able to fight Napoleon for control of France or nuke India because Gandhi is a dick adds a level of excitement to it. It's worth mentioning that I really don't play the game for a challenge and that this Mod will let you know where every enemy is (assuming you know basic geography, sorry America) so you can avoid them or attack them with ease as well as colonising huge areas of the World because you know they'll be vacant. As the in-game warning informs
you, using mods in this game can be tricksy and for this one in particular you are advised to have a computer with the recommended specifications for the game. Having multiple mods enabled at once can make everything even more unstable too.
The mod is great, it lets me enjoy a genre I don't even like all that much. The latest version of the mod has a Europe-only map. Hot damn I wish I didn't have a hot date
this weekend otherwise I'd be rewriting that European history the way it should have been.
I'm going to end on the most indispensable wisdom that has been shared with me regarding this game in the hope that it may help out other people when dealing with the menace of Civ V...
"The biggest thing that stands out about Gandhi is that he has a nuke rating of 12. This is 4 points ahead of the closest leaders (Catherine, Montezuma and Ramesses tied at 8) making him hands down the most nuke prone leader."
-- A Brazilian, 1st July, 2011.