If you didn’t know already, civilisation is one of those games that seems to last far longer than you expected it to. I know too many players that have looked at the clock to be shocked that their game has taken them well into the early hours of the morning with no signs of the game wrapping up anytime soon.
This is what happened to one civilisation player but on an extreme level. His game had been ongoing for 10 years. 10 real life years of hell. The game had gone on for so long that the latest game in the series at the time was Civ III, and we now have Civ 6.
He hasn’t been playing the game non-stop since it started, but instead has played it on and off during downtime between playing other games. Even so, he managed to reach the year 3991 AD, and his world has become a nightmarish place.
The player, named on Reddit as Lycerius, started his game on Civilization II back in 2002. Here are some of the interesting things that happened during his game since then.
The Ice Caps Melted (A Lot)
This is a serious concern in modern day society, and it’s something that’s potentially only just around the corner. In Lycerius’ game, the ice caps had melted 20 times by the time the game had reached 3991.
As a result, everything that wasn’t a mountain had turned into useless swampland; areas in the game that couldn’t be used for farming.
Big Cities Don’t Exist Anymore
Due to the huge lack of resources and a constant threat of nuclear annihilation, big cities were a thing of the past. Instead, Lycerius’ Civ II game had developed into smaller cities with even smaller populations.
The population had shrunken so much that in 3991 AD it was 90% of the size it was in 1991 AD. Lycerius mentioned that this was the peak population count his game had before population count started dropping.
Three Massive World Powers
The world had developed to a point where there were only three massive superpowers left, constantly fighting it out against each other for world domination. These three superpowers were fairly evenly matched throughout the whole ordeal.
The Longest War In History
It seemed that no matter how hard Lycerius tried, the three remaining factions, his included, couldn’t create any sort of peace treaty. The war kept going on. In fact, the three remaining factions seemed to be stuck in a stalemate war for 1,700 years.
Nuclear Bombs All Day, Every Day
With no peace treaty in sight, the three remaining factions were constantly sending spies into the other faction’s territory to let of nuclear bombs. This only served to increase famine and decrease population even further.
Massive Guerrilla Warfare
The barbarians in Lycerius had evolved into a powerful tactical guerrilla unit that stole resources from each faction with little opposition. Because all three factions were throwing all of the little resources they had left into their war efforts, this left them open to attack from the barbarians.
No Resources For The Population
The two remaining AI factions were throwing all of their remaining resources into creating more military units. To stand a chance at staying alive, Lycerius had to do the same. This left even fewer resources for the general population.
Because each faction had maxed out their tech tree, there wasn’t any way for either of the factions to get ahead and this is what caused the war to last 1,700 years.
How The War Ended
What are your thoughts on this topic? This is perhaps one of the craziest things we’ve seen happen in the Civilization franchise so far. The initial post Lycerius made on Reddit was actually so popular that an entire subreddit was created to try and find a solution to the game.
Hundreds of minds came together to think of a solution. Eventually, a number of solutions were made, with one player finding a solution that allowed them to finish the game in just 8 turns. It must have been quite shocking for Lycerius to find such a quick end to his game after spending 10 years playing it.
To accomplish this, Reddit user Spyforce changed up his war efforts by slowing down his army production. Spyforce stopped producing units and instead focused on producing more spies.
After producing enough spies, Spyforce would then send spies to the cities from different factions. Because nearly all of the cities in this game were so small, Spyforce was able to use these spies to capture the cities.
It was far easier to capture cities like this than throwing an entire army at each city because each city had incredible defensive bonuses because of all of the swampland terrain. The AI also didn’t follow through with the spy tactic, which allowed Spyforce to slowly capture more cities as the AI still struggled to increase their world domination in any way.
As Spyforce captured more cities, he started to sell the buildings and monuments in each city. This allowed Spyforce to build a huge stack of gold – he could then use this gold to bribe other cities and take ownership.
In just 8 turns, Spyforce built 100 spies and captured territories from both factions. Eventually, there wasn’t enough power remaining in either AI faction for them to put up a fight and Spyforce managed to end the game.
There are many other methods available for players to win Lycerius’ game, but the spy method seems to be the most efficient.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through our article on this topic. We don’t think there’s been anything as epic as this in the Civilisation franchise ever since Lycerius first posted about his 10 year long game.
Now that most Civilisation players are putting time into either Civ 5 or Civ 6, it would be very interesting to see how a ten year game would turn out now that both games have evolved so far. I’d love to see a Civ 5 game reach the year 4000 AD just like Lycerius’ game did.