Sid Meier's Civilization V

Sid Meier's Civilization V

26 ratings
Basics - French
By Ryan
Hello, this is a quick video guide of what to expect if you are to pick the French as your Civilization.
Video of how to play France.
This will tell you what to expect out of the special units, what to expect out of the playstyle, and what victory conditions to expect to dominate with.

Victory Conditions
Hello, if you really didn't want to watch the video I'll give a quick rundown of what you probably should be thinking if you are randomly paired up with the French or are just new to Civilization and think they would be fun to play!

Victory Conditions

  • Culture
    France is a place of MANY artists. France in the real world can do just the same in Civilization V. His +2 culture per city may seem very weak especially considering he loses it after Steam Power is introduced but at that point you'll have other buildings to help offset what you've lost. As any Cultural type of victory you'll want to build any Wonders that will grant you extra culture. Chances are you'll want to build a few cities even if going for the Cultural Victory just because of the +2 Culture per city. Remember to choose the Tradition tree if you are pursuing this. Recommended.

  • Domination
    Viva la France! Domination is achieved by the time you have Musketeers and Foreign Legions. Those units tear the battlefield up when you are "Foreign" land. Offensively they are fantastic units. For the time period you'll be in you will dominate with those units. Depending if you have the edge up technology wise - you could easily take over the "stronger" Civilizations to leave only the weak. At that point you are staring at a Domination Victory. Domination and Cultural victories are on par with each other - the tricky part is choosing in the early game what you want to strive for. Recommended.

  • Science
    As with any Domination orientated victory you have the chance at a Scientific victory as well. Why is that? When you have a lot of cities or just many Capitals you'll generate quite a bit of science. With that science you'll be one of the smarter Civilizations in the game. Once you are able to build spaceship parts I highly suggest doing so. Recommended.

  • Diplomatic
    France does not have any personality traits to help you with a Diplomatic Victory. France does not have any special buildings to help Diplomatically. Essentially, it is one of Frances weaker points. In most games you will not want to choose Patronage as a Social Policy as others have better advantages in most games. Not Recommended.
Social Policies
Won't get into as depth as the Victory Conditions only because Social Policies can usually go anyway for any Civ and still win. Will only note those that are very important to each Civ.
  • Tradition
    Pick this route if you are choosing to go with a Cultural Victory as it helps with a tall empire. It will increase happiness due to the large city(cities) along with grant you more income from defenses. This will also help with building Wonders so you can continue getting more Culture. Choose this Social Policy for a Cultural Victory.

  • Liberty
    Liberty is all about expansion. Frances expansion can be huge because of the early +2 culture per city meaning the borders will expand like a wild fire. The extra culture per city will boost your personality trait to +3 per city until Steam Power. Choose this Social Policy for Domination Victory.
The rest are really up to you on how you're playstyle will be for policies, Tradition for hunkering down with few cities - Honor for cutting down enemies early on - Liberty for expanding like a mad-man but again, that goes for any Civ, not just the French.
  • Every summer more than 100 cyclists compete in the Tour de France; the course spans roughly 2,000 miles and takes three weeks to complete.

  • Built from 1666 to 1681, Europe’s oldest functional canal, the Canal du Midi, lies in France.

  • The French have the highest female and third highest male life expectancy in Europe.

  • French was the official language of England for over 300 years (from 1066 until the early 14th century.

  • France produces some of the world's most famous liqueurs, such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, and Triple Sec, and upwards of 8 billion bottles of wine a year.
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Churl Jul 23, 2016 @ 4:07pm 
Its "Vive la France" , "Viva" is Italian ;)
cubiksoy Jul 27, 2015 @ 6:35am 
Only just realized I should clarify: The only DLC I have at this point is Mongolia, so I'm still in the old game. I appreciate these guides staying up!
Ryan  [author] Jul 24, 2015 @ 8:45am 
Thanks for checking them out, I appreciate it :-). France is great at a Cultural Civ - which as stated in a the comments below, used to be great at Domination. I know quite a few people who absolutely despise cultural civiliations but I always feel it's because they're not quite sure how to really play them. Regardless, France is a good one to play!
cubiksoy Jul 24, 2015 @ 7:11am 
Love your guides Ryan. Thanks for all these.

Had to convince myself that +2 Culture isn't that bad - once I did, playing France was fun indeed. So far my problem is building up a strong enough military to deter attacks while I work on culture. When you have a lot of cities you become tempted to put off Steam Power for as long as you can, but someone will notice and kill your musketeers.
Ryan  [author] Aug 10, 2013 @ 2:00am 
Unfortunately, this guide is somewhat out of date - if you have Brave New World the changes with him drastically change what he used to be able to do. Nowadays, he's best for a Cultural Victory and isn't so great with a Domination Victory. Although it's possible, I wouldn't really recommend it as much, lazy me just has to update the guide when I've got some spare time.
TheoreticalHeretic Aug 9, 2013 @ 5:10pm 
Even though I knew most of these tips (I always play as france for a cultural victory), I never have tried a domination or scientific victory with him because I pretty much thought he couldn't. This is a nice guide :)
Etfar Jul 19, 2013 @ 11:37am 
you should update france for the brave new world changes
Ryan  [author] Jun 10, 2013 @ 9:29am 
It's these Civilizations that are the toughest to recommend Social Policies for considering they can go in so many directions. One of those where I'm ready to just say, "Anything can go - just decide for yourself". Thanks for checking out the guide!
Sugar Man Jun 9, 2013 @ 9:46pm 
Thanks I can make up my mind on what Social Policy I can choose
Ryan  [author] Jun 5, 2013 @ 10:32am 
Thanks for checking out my guide and glad you have decided to check out how France plays! Normally do not play them myself, but they are fun!