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Civilization V


Tzigone
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I just realised you said you get the basics. Er whoops.

OK! Well it still applies and you didn't know about the workers thing.

OK so specific victories. Well as I said you want a good strong foundation which is what the Civs I mentioned are good at. Ethiopia are also good all rounders as their extra faith gets you a religion which can support any victory type too.

More specialist civs for certain victories:

Korea really specialise in a defensive science game. In fact I think they are probably the 'best' science civ. But they miss out on trebuchets which limits their ability to conquer midgame and they suck at exploration because they lose the caravel. Though you could always play nice while you rocket into the industrial era and invade with artillery and rifles while everyone else is lagging behind.

The Maya are excellent at playing wide. More cities means more Pyramids - each giving two science and two faith. Liberty gives you happiness for each city connection and then if you can get the 'Messenger of the Gods' pantheon belief (more science for city connections), then found a religion which will buff those same pyramids to have food and happiness and missionaries that get you science when they spread the religion. This is a lot of fun to play. I haven't tried it in BNW but on G&K this was just amazing. Order would only make it better.

Zulu are the best civ for domination. Ikanda gives your melee units a ton of amazing bonuses, their ability lets you field a bigger army for less gold and their unique unit is pretty fun when combined with the Ikanda promotions. They also have a tweaked upgrade tree as well. Usually you go spears -> pikes -> lancer -> anti-tank gun -> helicopter. They go from a solid mainstay of the army to become increasingly specialised and end up needing strategic resources. Zulu go spears -> Impi -> Rifles -> GW Infantry -> Infantry. With Impi getting a little perk to keep them up to speed with enemy muskets during the renaissance. It's a much better route and means those spears you build early on stay useful all game.

Atilla specialises in very early warfare and can knock out multiple civilisations in the first few turns with his battering rams. But they get almost nothing to help them beyond the first 50 turns or so, so you better make the most of it.

Likewise Ashurbanipal is a specialist for early-ish warfare on higher difficulties. Siege towers are really, really strong and his unique ability compensates you for picking up military techs instead of science ones and the Royal Library lets you get away with neglecting early game culture buildings too.

Venice and Arabia are strong at trade and can have quite effective strategies based around acquiring the Colossus and Petra respectively. To elaborate on what I said about Arabia before - the camel archer can shoot then move. This effectively makes them artillery two ages early, as you can dart in, shoot the city and then dart out without getting hit. Keshiks are the same but the Mongols don't have all the other brilliant stuff the Arabs do - like virtually guaranteed access to oil.

Siam have good synergy with the Patronage social policy tree if you want to play a game with heavy city state use.

A few civs excel on different maps. Archipelago makes England one of the best civs in the game.

Some people swear by Brazil and on the surface they look ideal for tourism. They generate great writers e.t.c. faster and get a 100% tourism bonus in a golden age with a unique unit that speeds golden ages and a unique improvement that nets you extra culture (and thus tourism with hotels and airports). But I can never get it to work because jungle is a fucking terrible start. It's tempting though, they'd smash it late game.

You might look at Byzantine with their unique ability granting an extra belief, then see the 'sacred sites' reformation belief and think... hmmm... mosques and pagodas giving 2 tourism each...

But don't Byzantine is fucking terrible and the piety tree is shit.

Forming a Strategy

So once you've got education you're going to be looking at how to win. This is where you're probably going to think about beelining on the tech tree to get certain techs and wonders and decide what social policies to unlock. This is why you want that solid foundation because you're going to lose some of your balance after this point. You also want to have a look at what the other civs are up to. Open up the global politics tab and see what policy trees the A.I are pursuing as it will give you a clue as to who your competition will be for whatever victory type - including who might be trying to get your target wonder. Spies are good for this sort of insight too.

So lets say you're going for the science victory. You want to get Rationalism as soon as possible (Getting rationalism for the 10% science boost is worth it for any victory type tbh), then you want to look at what wonders will benefit you the most and prioritise them. Porcelain Tower is the science wonder. So do what you can to get it as early as you can.

A culture victory meanwhile you're going to want Aesthetics and/or Exploration and to try to get the Uffizi and/or Louvre respectively.

Patronage is for Diplomacy and unlocks the Forbidden Palace.

You want to get a feel for timing as well. Try and coincide your social policies with the right era so you can go straight from Tradition to Rationalism, or get all three great works of music you need for the maximum theming bonus in Broadway e.t.c

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Frosty, I can now comfortably win at emperor level, with either a science victory, diplomacy or culture. But I still can't get a combat victory without beelining one of these victories and then just slogging out a boring battle instead of building a spaceship or something. When should I be attacking? With what, and when should I ease off the attacks?

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It's tricky and only got trickier with the war monger penalties.

Do you ever try and sue for peace and seeing what they'll give you? A well beaten civ will surrender dozens of cities in a peace deal. You need to be sure you can handle it happiness-wise - at least for the turns it takes to raze the crap ones. You can also sell cities to other A.I - in a recent game Japan surrendered his half-dozen remaining cities to me and I just sold them all to my ally Carthage straight away to avoid having -40 happiness. It can help reduce the slog.

You can decide to go on the offensive at almost any time really. If you're finding success with waiting to the Atomic era then I don't see much problem with that. You only need to be the last Civ in control of its capital to win domination so keep that in mind. Look at who has coastal capitals as they're easier to nip and steal late on. I've heard of people waiting until they get XCOM and then flinging ICBMs around and sniping the capitals of all their enemies using the XCOM unit's 100 tile jump move.

I've always had a preference for Industrial era wars because you can attack safely with artillery. Speeds things up when you don't need to worry about your siege units dying.

I'm always a bit wary of trying to pull off the early war because you run the risk of gimping yourself long term. It forces you to delay libraries and the national college which can lead to you falling too far behind. It also makes Honor tempting which isn't anywhere near as good as Tradition or Liberty. I'd say you could 'safely' go to war in the late medieval/early renaissance. Once you've got Universities and a nice little collection of cities that will keep growing and generating science at a rate sufficient to keep you competitive with the A.I.

If you're playing as a Civ with a powerful unique unit then you could always aim to get it as fast as possible and do most of your fighting around that era. Have you tried Arabia? Strong economy, double luxuries to trade for extra happiness to counter the unhappiness your conquest can cause and the amazing medieval Camel Archer. You could even start scrapping in the classical era with Chariot Archers and upgrade them into Camels in the Medieval. Then as you progress into the modern era you're almost certain to have Oil for Bombers.

England and China make good medieval warmongers too with their crossbow replacements.

My recent games have been as Assyria. I've honed my strategy to starting a war by turn 70 with an army of 4 composite bows and 3 siege towers. They push off and start conquering while I keep growing my empire normally. Usually knocked out my neighbour by turn 100-110. Then I consolidate and begin building for overseas invasion in the late renaissance / industrial.

If you don't have a unique unit to exploit then a typical army would be mostly ranged units. Archers then Composite bows are solid and can do a good job killing enemy units and weakening cities before walls. If they have walls you need two or three catapults. Having a couple melee units with the cover promotion to move in first and start soaking up archers and city attacks is useful (don't forget to pillage to heal them!) and to deal the final blow to capture the city. Cavalry are good too, despite the penalty to attacking cities they get the ability to capture a city from outside of the city's range then pop out in case the enemy capture it straight back is brilliant. If you get +1 range on the archers and siege units then you're laughing really.

If going for domination, early on you don't want to ease off until they're good and beaten. Not necessarily wiped out due to the nasty warmonger policy but kicked out their capital and limited in their ability to come back and have a pop at you later. Unless you're having catastrophic problems with happiness that can't be fixed promptly.

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yea like nine times out of ten.

Liberty has its place and I've had some very good games going with a liberty start - that Portugal game that I really enjoyed from a few pages back was a Liberty start.

I've been desperately trying to use Honor in my Assyria games, sometimes going for a mix of Tradition and Honor but really, it never seems to work out long term. It's a shame because Honor has some pretty cool bits - the extra xp, upgrade discount and gold for kills bits in particular. On Immortal I had a domination victory as the Zulu with an Honor start and absolutely steamrollered everyone but attempts to translate it to Deity haven't come off at all.

Piety is just depressing.

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Not really.

Why is piety so bad? It's kind of annoying that so few of the policy trees are useful. I keep trying to deviate from the tradition tree bit even on King level it just leads you to a massive handicap.

Piety just doesn't help you grow at all. Tradition does that directly, Liberty gets you settlers and workers to build quickly which helps growth and I suppose even Honor helps growth through conquest.

Religion is a crapshoot on Deity and Piety doesn't do much else than give you more faith. The Reformation beliefs are good but for me not worth going for.

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Not really.

Piety just doesn't help you grow at all. Tradition does that directly, Liberty gets you settlers and workers to build quickly which helps growth and I suppose even Honor helps growth through conquest.

Religion is a crapshoot on Deity and Piety doesn't do much else than give you more faith. The Reformation beliefs are good but for me not worth going for.

Honor is just very civ or situation specific. I like it with the Zulus or Aztecs, and sometimes open it if I get a goodie hut or certain openings, apart from that, it's Tradition all the way.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 11 months later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I am really struggling with this. I played loads of I and II and some of IV and found them fairly easy but I just can't get success on V at all. Even when I think I am doing well, some other nation wins. What are they key things to understand about the mechanics? what is a good start to a map? I've got the gods and kings expansion with it. 

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I've put a few hours into this but I'm by no means a great player but here are a few thoughts. Going wide in this game (lots of cities) is incredibly difficult due to the stacking penalties (science especially) for every city. Have a big empire and you'll struggle to research anything. Happiness is also vitally important so try and settle near luxuries and have copies for trading. Ideally, you want to get 3 or 4 cities out quite early and then consolidate, leaving a fifth or at most sixth city for missing strategic resources that you'll need (coal and oil are the most important as you can gain aluminium via a building and uranium is really only needed for nukes and the Giant Death Robot). 

Don't spread your focus too thin and play to your civilisations strengths i.e. if you're going for a science victory pick one of the specialist science civs like Babylon, Korea or the Mayan's. 

 

A good start is very objective due to civ bonus', buildings and what victory condition you're going for. Ideally you want a horse resource near by, a luxury or two, on a river and preferably on a hill. Jungle is the worst start unless you're Brazil (and even then it's crap until you can use the Rosewood Camp special building) and barren desert is crap unless you're Morocco and manage to build Petra. 

 

Don't worry about city states (unless you're Greece or Siam) until the later game when you can just give them loads of cash but if you come across a militaristic CS and they have access to a unique unit that is worth it, you're in the correct era and have the resources for it then go for it as certain units are godly (Arabic Camel Archer, English Longbow and the Assyrian siege weapon are great). 

 

Shoshone are a good easy pick to start due to their extended starting area and their scouts that can pick village boosts means you can tailor what you get; they upgrade to Composite Bowmen so a couple of those and you can steamroll anyone in about 20-30 turns on a small map.

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34 minutes ago, Scruff said:

I've put a few hours into this but I'm by no means a great player but here are a few thoughts. Going wide in this game (lots of cities) is incredibly difficult due to the stacking penalties (science especially) for every city. Have a big empire and you'll struggle to research anything. Happiness is also vitally important so try and settle near luxuries and have copies for trading. Ideally, you want to get 3 or 4 cities out quite early and then consolidate, leaving a fifth or at most sixth city for missing strategic resources that you'll need (coal and oil are the most important as you can gain aluminium via a building and uranium is really only needed for nukes and the Giant Death Robot). 

Don't spread your focus too thin and play to your civilisations strengths i.e. if you're going for a science victory pick one of the specialist science civs like Babylon, Korea or the Mayan's. 

 

A good start is very objective due to civ bonus', buildings and what victory condition you're going for. Ideally you want a horse resource near by, a luxury or two, on a river and preferably on a hill. Jungle is the worst start unless you're Brazil (and even then it's crap until you can use the Rosewood Camp special building) and barren desert is crap unless you're Morocco and manage to build Petra. 

 

Don't worry about city states (unless you're Greece or Siam) until the later game when you can just give them loads of cash but if you come across a militaristic CS and they have access to a unique unit that is worth it, you're in the correct era and have the resources for it then go for it as certain units are godly (Arabic Camel Archer, English Longbow and the Assyrian siege weapon are great). 

 

Shoshone are a good easy pick to start due to their extended starting area and their scouts that can pick village boosts means you can tailor what you get; they upgrade to Composite Bowmen so a couple of those and you can steamroll anyone in about 20-30 turns on a small map.

 

 

Thanks, that's great. Two mistakes I have been making is expanding to wide and quickly and also doing a lot to influence city-states. The game is certainly keeping my interest more than III and IV did.

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  • 3 years later...

Utterly demoralising game of this tonight 

4 MP and 4 AI. I’m totally mixed in without much resource 

 

1 guy - new player - at other end of map us having his own fun fighting AI and city states

 

Other 3 of us quite close. One going science, one piety and myself cultural. Guy dicks me over early on razing everything built and stealing workers. Feels like absolutely no way for me to recover or be competitive  (he didn’t need to he locked his strong position into an unassailable position, for me at least) - they’ve both pulled ahead. Can’t pivot to different victory condition or pressure them - and little to do of interest each turn. They’re ahead science, culture and military (I have no iron)
 

Still only another few evenings on futile boring play.:( Id leave but social awkwardX

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