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Fellow "Civilization V" fanatics rejoice! Firaxis is gracing us with another expansion with even more mechanics for our quest to conquer the world!

In my playthrough of "Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World," I had a preset scenario in which I played as the Moroccan Empire. Adding to familiar victory conditions, Firaxis introduces new "cultural" victories. Now, once your civilization produces a great artist, you can use them to create great work that gets housed in a museum or opera house. For each great work, you get tourism points each turn, similar to how you get culture points. You then use these points to influence other nations, and when you have influenced enough Civs, you can achieve cultural victory. However, cultural victories don't bring much in the way of rewards. If you achieve military victory, you will eventually take over a city, but cultural victories only garner the admiration of a few nearby city-states. There is also a new archaeology mechanic where you research the tech and can then produce archaeologist units to excavate artifacts on the map for cultural or tourism points.

Three social policies have been removed and reworked into the Ideology system. Now, once you reach the Industrial era, you can use social policies to expand upon Freedom, Order or Autocracy ideologies, which are basically religions with more of a focus on financial, scientific and military benefits. For example, while religion allows you to generate happiness based on your people's love of gardens, one of the options in the Freedom ideology allows for an instant 6 militia soldiers. But just like in life, people can never agree on anything, so now there is the World Congress, which is essentially the United Nations. Everyone gets delegates to vote, while the Civ that hosts the World Congress has twice as many. The congress can vote on things like trade embargoes on Civs, establishment of one world religion or ideology, or even bans on certain luxury resources. Ultimately, it allows players a way to cripple the growth of certain Civs and gain advantage without exerting military force.

While money doesn't buy happiness, money can buy buildings that make people happy. In "Brave New World," there are more ways to make money: international trade routes. You build a caravan, and then assign them a nearby city to go to. In addition to monetary gain, science is also traded; the more techs the other Civ has, the more science you receive. In addition to the trade of fact, faith is also transferred; the other Civs are influenced by your religious convictions. But be careful not to let a town of wayward souls trade with zealots, less they convert.

"Brave New World" is shaping up to be a welcome expansion to "Civilization V." The new mechanics add plenty of new strategies to a game that I've put so much time into already. I can't wait to try out the full game and take my first step into this "Brave New World."

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