Maybe the biggest announcement of last week was the unveiling of Civilization V, which is being developed by Firaxis and set to be released in time for the holiday season of this year. The turn-based strategy title powered by Sid Meier came very close to perfection with Civilization IV and its two expansions, and it's very interesting to see what the team behind the game is planning to change for the fifth main iteration in the franchise.
A material published in a Danish gaming magazine and translated by intrepid forum goers brings welcoming news. It seems that Civilization V will no longer allow for military units to be stacked on top of each other, which is quite crucial to how combat will evolve.
There will be clearer fronts and with support units like archers and cannon able to shoot, more than one hex positioning will become crucial while keeping a battle line becomes more important than having the most powerful units. There are some comparing Civilization V with the system from Panzer General.
The preview talks about a more limited role for religion, which might mean that religious-powered wars are out that combined with the supposedly much improved diplomatic Artificial Intelligence could imply long term planning, and backstabbing may be much more important than just displaying and then using overwhelming force.
There is also talk about making resources finite. One steel resource will only be usable to equip a limited number, maybe just one, of units with improved armor with the resource returning to a shared pool when the unit is taken out. Technologies and development will probably allow for the support ratio to be improved, making it easier for the nation to field more advanced armies. Firaxis is also saying that the civics have been replaced with something called social policies while leaders now have truly unique characteristics.
The changes sound pretty good at the moment, with some clear departures when compared with Civilization IV. Look out for more news as the game nears its release date.