Home > multiplayer > A summary of the ways civ4 is played in multiplayer

A summary of the ways civ4 is played in multiplayer

I. ffa / cton / ironman

The setup of these kind of games is pretty similar to the average single player game. It´s a certain amount of players all playing against each other. In CTON (named after the french – female – player who first introduced those settings) and Ironman games “always war” is checked, while ffa (free for all) allows for diplomatic arrangements like open boarders, ressource trades or non-aggression pacts since war isn´t declared automatically upon contact. Tech trading in all forms is usually off in all three, certainly in CTON and Ironman.

A CTON is defined by its turn and city elimination limit and the lack of diplomacy due to “always war”. The most commonly played setup is the ancient start CTON with a turn limit of around 120 and a city elimination limit of 2, meaning the loss of 2 cities results in a defeat for the player. Ironman is basically the same with the big difference that neither a city nor a turn limit exists. These games often end with space race and can last – depending on the map settings and amount of players – for 8, 10 and more hours, while CTONS take around 2-3. While an Ironman basically always starts in ancient, there is theoretically no rule as to where a CTON has to start. Most common is ancient, classical and renaissance work as well. An ffa has usually a turn, but no city elimination limit. With skilled players the lack of “instant war” usually doesn´t make a big difference compared to an Ironman – the abscence of a city elimination limit does though.

In general CTON and Ironman tend towards a “fairer” game in their settings, while ffa is less about a competetive approach towards the game. That means that ffa is mostly played with random leaders, with barbarians, huts and random events on and often on a map that isn´t always famous for providing balanced positions and ressources. This can be beneficial, resulting in an interesting, unexpected game situation. On the other hand often a player or two are screwed from the start due to small land area, much worse land or lack of strategic ressources.

settings examples

Inland_Sea CTON
map: Inland_Sea
size: small for 5-6 , standard for 7-8 players
climate: temperate
sea level: medium
era: ancient
speed: fast
wrap: cylindrical
ressources: balanced
options: no barbs, no huts, no random events, no vassal states, no tech trading/brokering, always war, no spies, unrestricted leaders – no leader/civ picking
turn limit: 120
city elimination limit: 2

Pangae ffa
map: Pangae
size: small for 5-6 , standard for 7-8 players
climate: temperate
sea level: medium
era: ancient
speed: fast
coast: solid
wrap: cylindrical
ressources: balanced
options: no vassal states, no tech trading/brokering, unrestricted leaders – no leader/civ picking
turn limit: 150

Current CCC Ironman
The CCC is a world wide civ clan tourney, the biggest event in the mp world. More on that soon 😉
map: Grid_beta2 (download here)
size: standard, 8 players
climate: temperate
sea level: high
spoke: 3
era: ancient
speed: fast
wrap: toroidal
ressources: balanced
options: unrestricted leader, Pacal as leader banned, India as civ banned

II. duel

A duel is a duel… What´s interesting are the settings. By far most common are ancient or random era start. Ancient is usually played on Mirror, random start on LD_Mirror_Inland_Sea_3a, both duel size. Both maps provide the same land for both players, a key element to a fair duel. The wrap is flat, ressources are balanced. City Elimination limit is mostly 1, in the ancient mirror setup rather 2.

III. teamer

Team games are usually played 5v5 on ancient start and 3v3 on classical to future start. Different setups exist for all eras, some more defensive, some with more attacking possibilities, where defending is harder.

The in the civ multiplayer community most commonly played setting is the ancient 5v5:
map: Team_Battleground
era: ancient
size: large
sea level: low
climate: temperate
wrap: cylindral
team position: start separate
options: no barbs, no huts, no vassal states, always war, no random events
turn timer: blazing
city elimination limit: 2

IV. occ

OCC, the one city challenge was born in the days of Alpha Centauri, when people for the fun of it started playing the AI with only once city. Such games are about bringing your capital to an unreal technology output, usually winning on points by researching more technologies and/or building wonders for points. Some are played with always peace, some include warfare, mostly though in the late stages of the game with massive Modern Armour / Mobile Artillery stacks. Most popular starting eras for OCC are especially renaissance, but also ancient and industrial. OCC games are a subcategory of CTON.

OCC Renaissance Peace
map: Equal_Islands
era: renaissance
size: standard
sea: low
options: unrestricted leader, always peace, no tech trading/brokering, no espionage, no open borders, no internet, no nukes, no space race, unrestricted leaders
turn limit: 130

V. fixed map

Last we have the possibility of playing a fixed map. The main and only commong example here would be an Earth game, a map that simulates the actual world geopgraphy. There are different version with different civs since the game has a limit of 18 players and there are more civs in the game. Earth provides the same land and starting position every time hence each civ has certain ways of dealing with its situation which are the same everytime. Some civs have opportunieties for an early attack, other need to played fora  long term gain.

Various versions of the Earth map for download after the click.

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Categories: multiplayer Tags: ,
  1. Anonymous
    March 9, 2010 at 00:08

    In CTON (named after the french – female – player who first introduced those settings)

    CTON: Cannot Talk Or Negotiate

  2. March 9, 2010 at 13:02

    If you´re implying that CTON is named so because you can get “Cannot Talk Or Negotiate” out of it, I think you´re wrong or at least not completely right ;).

    But then I might not know the whole story. There was this girl named cton who invented the format. I don´t know though how she chose her name and whether that´s just a coincidence.

    “Cannot talk or negotiate” doesn´t describe cton completely anyway. “Always war” and “City elimination: 2” are key defining factors as well.

  3. Penny
    March 10, 2010 at 19:30

    From what I know, she’s Canadian.

  1. November 4, 2009 at 20:02
  2. December 11, 2009 at 03:18

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