BlueberryLemon

Looking for pacifist games

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Hey all! New to the podcast, but loving it so far. Kind of migrated over from Rob's other work.

 

I'm interested in playing stategy games that allow you to play pacifist and achieve victory. Also particularly games where the designers intended for you to play that way as an option [not some sort of cheat or exploit that lets you skip content or anything].

 

I've casually played some of:

Civ V

Civ VI

Stellaris

Endless Legend

 

And EUIV and CK2 are definitely too complicated for me.

 

Should I re-visit one of the 4 I've already played and you think that's the ideal pacifist game? Or is there a strategy game out there that has great options for avoiding war and still achieiving victory? I just love the idea of like Science/Tech or Economic or Diplomatic victories!

 

Thanks for any help you can give!

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With Civ (the only series I've primarily played in your list), I always found un uneasy balance between domination/war victories and others, which are theoretically pacifist. I say theoretically, since they may still entail the occasional skirmish. These different victories sometimes seem to be completely different games. The pacifist victories are races against the other civilizations and often capped by a rather unsatisfactory moment where you've beaten the others and are rewarded by a screen appluading your achievement. The rush of building towards something fizzling out. War victories are more dramatic, I find, finding a way to best your opponents, though they too suffer from a weird-feeling endgame. There's often a decisive moment where you gain the upper hand, and then the rest of it is just mopping up what's left.

 

But I digress.

 

I wonder if a true pacifist strategy game won't feel very different. How can you engineer tension and excitiment and a natural darmatic arc without conflict? Would it entail rousing a sense of conflict, the threat of it, which would trigger a lose state as soon as it become reality? So that you have to do everything you can to avoid it?

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I played a lot of Reus which allows for some pacifist victories. Reus is a game where you're given a planet that you view via a cross section and have 3 giants that shape the landscape and the kinds of places you make determine what kinds of societies grow there. you have 4 biomes that you can create: desert, mountain, swamp, & grassland/prairie. Your societies can go to war if they're unhappy and your giants have abilities that can enhance the landscape or attack the people, and the people can attack the giants if they are unhappy. If you are smart about how you handle the happiness of your people though, they'll never fight and you'll be able to hit your win condition without any conflict at all.

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Just to be clear, you're talking specifically about strategy games here, right? And there has to be a victory condition?

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Roderick: I agree about that they don't make the pacifist victories feel as exciting. I hope devs in general keep working on this if they make games with Economic/Technological/Diplo victories

 

Jennegatron: Oh, that sounds really cool!

osmosisch: Yup, and yup. Strategy, tactics, or 4X. Not stealth or action games or anything.

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Although I hate to recommend it because some of the money spent will benefit Brad Wardell (ptui), I think Idle Thumbs Friend Soren Johnson's Offworld Trading Company might fit your requirements.

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30 minutes ago, riadsala said:

How about Fate of the World?

 

That's a great suggestion, especially now that there's an unofficial patch that's fixed a lot of that game's bugs and made there be a bit more flexibility in the One True Build Order to beat climate change.

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Maybe try some of the older Anno games - they are all about placement with some very limited combat on some options.  Banished is another game without combat that is cool if you can find it at a decent price.

Also-  don't sell yourself short with CK2 and EU4.  Those games are obtuse, but once you play for a bit they make sense.

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