An official announcement should appear shortly, but meanwhile here’s a brief report and preview video from the Intel Developer Forum 2012: Civilization V Gets Touchscreen Adaptation for Ultrabooks and Tablets! Touchscreen support is to arrive in a free patch, presumably coinciding with public availability of touch-friendly Windows 8.
That’s very exciting news since the only comparable tablet game is Firaxis’s own Civilization Revolution, and that version is barely more advanced than Civilization I. I’m guessing that Civ5 will still require an x86 tablet with the full version of Windows 8, not an ARM tablet with Windows RT. The video shows off pretty and responsive graphics, but it’s probably wise to expect lengthy AI turns in the late game.
Still, a touch-compatible Civilization V is a very good argument for the Microsoft Surface Pro or a similar Windows 8 tablet. I might never leave my comfortable chair again…
2012-11-02: Touch screen support has arrived in patch version 126.96.36.199.
2014-03-26: I finally tried touchscreen mode on a Sony Vaio Duo 13 but was unimpressed. Even on a high-end ultrabook, the graphics are choppy, touch is slow to respond, and path input was buggy to boot. A fitting coda for the overall disappointing Windows 8 era.