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Basics - Venice
This is a quick video guide of what to expect if you are to pick Venice as your Civilization.
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.
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 Venetians or are just new to Civilization and think they would be fun to play!
Culture The best option to go considering you'll be able to generate the Merchant of Venice which is their unique unit. It allows you to "buy" a city state thus allowing you to pick and choose what City-State has the best resources that you absolutely MUST have. If nothing else, it also allows you to remove the Diplomatic Victory from someone else if you snag their City-States from them. Remember though, this generally will cause aggression. This Civilization is always going to be the "One-City Challenger" but with added perks. Highly Recommended.
Diplomacy For those that do not want to pursue the arts you could always choose to go the Diplomatic route. Ally up with the City-States and choose the Patronage Social Policy tree. Once you've got those make sure to hang on to the City-States and try your best at becoming the leader of the World Congress. From that point forward you should have the game in the bag. Highly Recommended.
Science Considering you'll ALWAYS only have one city this is not a good route to go. You may have a higher population than anyone else's Capital for the most part but it doesn't bring all the sciences to one house. Even if you are to "buy" the City-States and eat up their science that they produce you'll still have a harder time than other Civilizations that can just build a city on the spot. You'll also gain no distinct personality trait that helps outside of the defensive unit - Great Galleass. UPDATE: Amassing a large arsenal of City-States alongside defeated AI cities will generate quite a large sum of Science resulting in a well rounded Victory. Somewhat Recommended.
Domination You'll have a harder time finding ways to keep yourself alive rather than finding ways on how to conquer the entire world. Not only that, but if you are to take over cities you'll never be able to annex them. Not being able to do that with ANY city is a detriment. I understand some people never annex them but you'll have no distinct military advantage over another. The only benefits you'll receive are the Merchant of Venice to help finance your war alongside City-States to help here and there but not enough to muster a complete elimination of every Civilization. UPDATE: You'll be able to succeed in a Domination Victory if you just buy out your entire army which is a possibility. You can still conquer the AI's cities and puppet theirs just as if they were City-States as well so this is a possible solution as well. Somewhat Recommended.
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.
Patronage A good choice for those striving for the Diplomatic Victory and to an extent, a Cultural Victory. You'll be able to get Great People more often as gifts, more science, a higher resting point at 20/30, and more happiness from gifted luxury resources. If nothing else, you'll be able to buy the City-States more easily if they are on a good side of yours, rather than a bad side.
Tradition You'll always want to choose this Social Policy because you're never going to have a sprawling empire that you CONTROL fully. You'll be able to have your Capital grow faster, quicker Wonder production, better defenses against other Civilizations, and lower unhappiness from a large Capital. You'll also be able to fill out the maximum amount of tiles you can obtain from one city.
Commerce Venice has multiple options on Social Policies that will make them a powerhouse. It's one of the reasons as to why Venice is actually one of the stronger Civilizations to play - even though they only have 1 city. You'll obtain more gold from trade routes, science from gold producing buildings, more gold from your Capital, and more. It's something that is great to have for any victory condition.
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 Venetians.
Venice is sinking; the city sank almost three inches in the last 100 years.
Laurence Olivier played Shylock in the 1973 movie version of “Merchant”.
Venice is known as “the Queen of the Adriatic”.
The Merchant of Venice had its first performance in 1596.