Saturday, September 24, 2016

Civilization V Countdown: #8 Germany

Let continue the countdown of what is an objectively perfect ordering of video game tribes with a little iron to go with all that blood. Today's entry is, of all things, a story of redemption. What started as a one-note stereotype was fixed with only two official expansions and some patches. In the world of computer gaming this is a massive victory. Compare and contrast with "let's add more rebels!" for example.

Why is Germany #8?

Before Brave New World fixed them you'd be asking "Why is Germany #29?" Despite my highly vivid ancestral memories and an enjoyment of the color gray their initial incarnation fell well short of the glory suggested by vaguely recalled past incarnations. It even seemed somewhat lazy. We all know that the early war panzers were inferior to the Soviet and even the British armored units, right? A special pikeman is decent (and not missed at all when it went away) and the ability to snowball barbarian units combined for an overall lukewarm reaction, at best. Then they added the Hanseatic League via the Hansa bank special building and all was forgiven and then some. It's thematic, it's fun and it's breaks the usual boring "German people as militaristic robots" theme seen so many times. Whoever made that decision deserves a promotion or a medal or something.

Let's not forget Bismarck, who is the spitting image of a gym teacher I had in grade school. Couldn't it be Frederick the Great? One more patch, guys? Please? Fine, Mr. Angry Walrus it is.

Ve Germans are not all sunshine and chocolates.

Most Memorable Game as Germany?

That's an easy one: my first ever domination victory. This was in the original release, where this was all Germany was good for and I wanted that little achievement in the Steam library because why wouldn't I? I believe my thought process afterward was "Well, I'll never play as them again." If I only knew that a highly abstracted tribute to Renaissance North Sea trade would be later inserted, but a surprise is always better than a disappointment, isn't it? 

If I ever get a tattoo it would be this.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.  

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