From e-mail, reader Dave asks:
Do you know, or could you ask your community of fans about, any civilization-building games where you have the option to simply *turn off* warfare? I ask because I’ve been playing and enjoying Civ IV, but I’ve realized that I resent the hell out of it every time I get invaded by a neighbour: “Dammit, now I have to spend two centuries thumping you! I’m trying to build libraries, here!” I’d love to be able to set a “no conquest” option (no matter how anti-historical it may be), since what I really enjoy is the process of building up a civilization over time, expanding its culture and technology, etc. War just gets in the way. You can approximate this in Civ IV by choosing the easiest difficulty level, but after that, “higher difficulty” is translated directly into “more aggressive AI players”. I’d be glad to crank up the city-building difficulty, if it didn’t mean that Genghis Washington was coming over the border every few years.
Good one. I know in Rise of Nations it’s possible to to play a totally nonviolent game. (Except of course, for purposefully expanding your borders so that they eat into your foe’s territory and cause his encroaching buildings to burn down. A devious tactic in which I indulge as often as possible.) But RoN isn’t a turn-based civilization game.
I can’t think of any turn-based games to allow players to compete with each other in the area of city / empire building while prohibiting violence.
Can anyone think of an example?