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155 of 157 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful guide, but the game comes with a good manual
I bought this guide at the same time as I bought the game it covers as the Civilization series has always been a complex and deep one that rewards time invested understanding how the internal workings of the game are structured and how to handle strategy and yet pervious versions have had dissapointing (or no) printed manuals.
The guide is good and it definately adds...
Published on 11 Nov. 2005 by Peter Bennett

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for war-gamers and multi-players. Less help for solitary plodders!
With other versions of Civ you definitely needed to spend cash and buy the aftermarket hints n tips book. This time, it's not so clear-cut.

CivIV is my fave game and I've now been playing it since it first came out (and still not bored, which either means it's an excellent game or my brain is actually contracting).

BUT I didn't need to buy the...
Published on 4 May 2007 by Rowena Hoseason


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155 of 157 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful guide, but the game comes with a good manual, 11 Nov. 2005
By 
Peter Bennett "Pete" (Hertfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Civilization IV Official Strategy Guide (Official Strategy Guides) (Paperback)
I bought this guide at the same time as I bought the game it covers as the Civilization series has always been a complex and deep one that rewards time invested understanding how the internal workings of the game are structured and how to handle strategy and yet pervious versions have had dissapointing (or no) printed manuals.
The guide is good and it definately adds some more insights to the game, however you should be aware that the manual that comes in the game box is actually a very good one which includes perhaps 70% of the same material found in the guide.
So, I would not say I regret having bought the guide but it might be worth buying the game on its own first, reading through and digesting the thick manual and then considering whether or not to buy the guide as well.
Things that are in the guide that are not in the manual (or covered in more depth or from a different angle in the guide) include:
- a nice summary of differences from Civ 3 for existing players
- a slightly more in-depth review of the new civics options with recommendations of good sets of choices to make to achieve various aims
- an outline of variant stratgies (e.g. castle, dagger) that is a good introduction
- ten pages of a two player game with the two players comments on progress which is rather weak
- an excellent summary of the leaders and their strengths and weaknesses which pointed me to the Spanish as a good choice that I would have probably overlooked
- a nice overview of some key technologies and how they fit with the game
- a good summary of some patterns of building and technology discovering to get you off to the right foot when starting a game
- a good overview of key wonders, when to build them and how to use them
Hmmm, on reflection I've just gone back and changed my rating to four stars. On balance, I would say that most of this material will appear on fansites pretty quickly as it did for previous versions of Civ and stick to my advice of getting the game and reading the manual before buying this guide.
But, if you are the sort of person who likes to have additional strategy guide information in printed form and you feel the manual is lacking in some of the areas I highlight above then this guide will be a useful and good value complement to the thick booklet that comes with the game.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for war-gamers and multi-players. Less help for solitary plodders!, 4 May 2007
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Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Civilization IV Official Strategy Guide (Official Strategy Guides) (Paperback)
With other versions of Civ you definitely needed to spend cash and buy the aftermarket hints n tips book. This time, it's not so clear-cut.

CivIV is my fave game and I've now been playing it since it first came out (and still not bored, which either means it's an excellent game or my brain is actually contracting).

BUT I didn't need to buy the Strategy Guide straight away.

Most of the useful advice (for me) is in user manual which comes with the game, and I picked up most of the rest of it as I went along.

That's probably because I generally play a 'builder' game, and I play on my own.

Big sections of the Strategy Guide are devoted to multi-player war-gaming, and include plans of attack and development for if you're playing as a team, or against other real people.

So I can see it would be really handy if you want to play with / against other people.

But it's less vital if you play on your own.

The extra info is helpful (especially the stuff about the leaders and their characteristics), but it's not crucial. I could easily have done without buying the Strategy Guide at first.

So if you've just got the game, I'd suggest setting it up, reading the user manual, and playing a dozen games before you think about buying the Strategy Guide. You might find you don't need it! (Or buy one between several friends, and pass it on. Cos you won't need to refer to it very often).

It's a credit to the game designers that this version of Civ is so easy to use without having to refer to endless charts and books.

Just play it!
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0 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just my opinion, 27 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: Civilization IV Official Strategy Guide (Official Strategy Guides) (Paperback)
Book was concise and clear, but having tried the game, I found that I did'nt like it. So it was not needed
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