Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Sid Meier's Civilization VI

40 ratings
Zigzagzigal's Guides - Macedon (Vanilla)
By Zigzagzigal
Starting in the classical era, Macedon heads into war and never looks back. Their military might is great for domination and scientific victories alike. Here, I detail Macedonian strategies and counter-strategies.
Legacy Guide
If you have the Rise and Fall expansion, click here for the updated guide.

This guide is no longer updated, but will remain for the sake of those without the Rise and Fall expansion.
Note: This guide only covers content released prior to the Rise and Fall expansion. Content from any DLC pack released between the base game and Rise and Fall is marked as such.

To play as Macedon, you must have the Persia and Macedon Civilization and Scenario Pack.

Through great leadership, the powerful armies of Macedon shall conquer to the edge of the world, adapting and learning new military tactics as our realm grows. Combining practical and theoretical training, our armies are as well-versed in mathematics and philosophy as they are in tactics. Though our people are always ready to see our realm expand, our soldiers may tire of constant warfare. That is, until we take one of the wonders of the world and inspire all who fight under Macedon's banner. And at last, once a world is ours, we shall rest.

How to use this guide

This guide is divided into multiple sections explaining how best to use and play against this specific civ.

  • The Outline details the mechanics of how the civilization's unique features work and what their start bias is (assuming they have one at all).
  • The Victory Skew section describes to what extent the civ (and its individual leaders where applicable) are inclined towards particular victory routes.
  • Multiple sections for Uniques explain in detail how to use each special bonus of the civilization.
  • Administration describes some of the most synergistic governments, civic cards, pantheons, religious beliefs, wonders, city-states and Great People for the civ. Only the ones with the most synergy with the civ's uniques are mentioned - these should be given more consideration than they would be for other civs but are not necessarily the "best" choices when playing as the civ for a given victory route.
  • Finally, the Counter-Strategies discusses how best to play against the civ, including a consideration of leader agendas if the civ is controlled by a computer.

Note that all costs (production, science, culture, gold, etc.) mentioned within the guide assume a game played on the normal speed settings. To modify these values for other game speeds:

  • Online: Divide by 2
  • Quick: Divide by 1.5
  • Epic: Multiply by 1.5
  • Marathon: Multiply by 3


Terminology used in this guide and not in-game is explained here.

AoE (Area of Effect) - Describes bonuses or penalties that affect multiple tiles in a set radius. Positive examples include Factories and Stadiums (which by default offer production and happiness respectively to cities within a 6 tile radius unless they're within range of another building of the same type) and a negative example is nuclear weapons, which cause devastation over a wide radius.

Beelining - The strategy of obtaining a technology or civic quickly by only researching it and its prerequisites. Some deviation is allowed in the event that taking a technology or civic off the main track provides some kind of advantage that makes up for that deviation (either a source of extra science/culture or access to something necessary for a eureka or inspiration boost.

CA (Civ Ability) - The unique ability of a civilization, shared by all its leaders. Unlike unique units, buildings, districts and improvements, civ abilites do not have to be built.

Civic cards - Another name for policy cards; you fill up your government with these for additional bonuses and can switch them for free every time you unlock a civic.

Compact empires - Civs with cities close together. This is useful if you want to make use of districts that gain adjacency bonuses from other districts, maximise the number of copies of the same district in the same area, or to maximise the potential of area-of-effect bonuses later in the game.

Dispersed empires - Civs with cities that are spread out. This is useful if you want to ensure cities have plenty of room for both districts and tile improvements. Civs with unique tile improvements generally favour a more dispersed empire in order to make use of them, as do civs focused on wonder construction.

GWAM - Collective name for Great Writers, Artists and Musicians. All of them can produce Great Works that offer tourism and culture, making them important to anyone seeking a cultural victory.

LA (Leader Ability) - The unique ability of a specific leader, which like civ abilities do not have to be built. Usually but not always, they tend to be more specific in scope than civ abilities. Some leader abilities come with an associated unique unit on top of the standard one every civ has.

Start bias - The kind of terrain, terrain feature or resource a civilization is more likely to start near. This is typically used for civilizations that have early bonuses dependent on a particular terrain type. There are five tiers of start bias; civs with a tier 1 start bias are placed before civs of tier 2 and so on, increasing their odds of receiving a favourable starting location.

Complete information on start biases within the game can be found in the Civilizations.xml file (find the Civ 6 folder in Steam's program files, then go through the Base, Assets, Gameplay and Data folders to find the file). If a civilization is not listed as having a start bias there, it does not have one, even if you feel like you keep spawning in the same terrain when playing as that civ.

Tall empires - Empires that emphasise city development over expansion, usually resulting in fewer, but bigger, cities.

Uniques - Collective name for civ abilities, leader abilities, unique units, unique buildings, unique districts and unique improvements.

UA (Unique Ability) - A collective name for leader abilities and civ abilities.

UB (Unique Building) - A special building which may only be constructed in the cities of a single civilization, which replaces a normal building and offers a special advantage on top.

UD (Unique District) - A special district which may only be constructed in the cities of a single civilization, which replaces a normal district and offers some unique advantages on top. In some cases, there may be minor disadvantages as well, but these are always outweighed by the positive features. All unique districts cost half as much to construct relative to the regular districts they replace.

UI (Unique Improvement) - A special improvement that can only be built by the Builders of a single civilization. Unlike unique buildings or districts, these do not replace a regular improvement. Some require a technology to unlock, and many have their yields improved with later technologies. "UI" always refers to unique improvements in my guides and not to "user interface" or "unique infrastructure".

UU (Unique Unit) - A special unit that may only be built by a single civilization, and in some cases only when that civilization is led by a specific leader. These usually replace an existing unit and offer extra advantages (and occasionally minor disadvantages as well in exchange for bigger advantages).

Wide empires - Empires that emphasise expansion over city development, usually resulting in more, but smaller, cities.
Outline (Part 1/2)
Start Bias

Macedon has no start bias.

Civilization Ability: Hellenistic Fusion

  • When capturing a city, receive a eureka per Encampment or Campus district present, and an inspiration per Holy Site or Theatre Square district.
    • Eurekas and inspirations skew towards technologies and civics you can research before filling out the rest of the respective trees.

Alexander's Leader Ability: To the World's End

  • Never suffer war weariness.
  • Capturing a city with a world wonder causes all of Macedon's units, regardless of location, to heal to full health.

Alexander's Unique Unit: Hetairoi

A classical-era heavy cavalry unit which replaces the Horseman

Upgrades from
Upgrades to
Resource needed

Horseback Riding
Classical era

Medieval era

(130 Gold)
100 Production
400 Gold
200 Faith*
2 Gold
*Purchasing units with faith requires the Theocracy government, which in turn requires the renaissance-era Reformed Church civic. This number does not take into account Theocracy's 15% discount on faith purchases.

**If you have no access to iron, you may continue to build Hetairoi even after researching Stirrups.

Ranged Strength
Negative Attributes
Positive Attributes
36 Strength
4 Movement Points
  • Ignores Zone of Control
  • +5 Strength if adjacent to or sharing a tile with a Great General
  • +5 Great General Points when it kills a unit
  • Starts with +1 promotion level

Negative changes
  • Costs 100 production, 400 gold or 200 faith, up from 80, 320 and 160 respectively (+25%)

Variable changes
  • Classified as heavy cavalry rather than light cavalry, providing a different set of promotions.
  • Upgrades to Knights instead of Cavalry
  • Obsoletes at Stirrups instead of Military Science

Positive changes

  • Does not require horse resources
  • +5 Strength if adjacent to or sharing a tile with a Great General
    • The era of the Great General does not matter.
    • This strength bonus does not stack if the unit is adjacent to multiple Great Generals
  • +5 Great General Points when it kills a unit
The following is kept when you upgrade the unit:
  • Starts with +1 promotion level
    • This works as if the unit got enough experience for the first promotion; subsequent ones are not any cheaper than they would be for other units.
Outline (Part 2/2)
Unique Unit: Hypaspist

A classical-era melee infantry unit which replaces the Swordsman

Upgrades from
Upgrades to
Resource needed

Iron Working
Classical era

Renaissance era

(100 Gold)

(220 Gold)
100 Production
400 Gold
200 Faith*
2 Gold
*Purchasing units with faith requires the Theocracy government, which in turn requires the renaissance-era Reformed Church civic. This number does not take into account Theocracy's 15% discount on faith purchases.

**If you have no access to nitre, you may continue to build Hypaspists even after researching Gunpowder.

Ranged Strength
Negative Attributes
Positive Attributes
36 Strength
2 Movement Points
  • +10 Strength vs. anti-cavalry units
  • +5 Strength when attacking city centres and other districts
  • Receives 50% more support bonus

Negative changes
  • Costs 100 production, 400 gold or 200 faith, up from 90, 360 and 180 respectively (+11%)
  • Costs 100 gold to upgrade into from a Warrior, up from 80 (+25%)

Positive changes

  • Does not require iron resources
  • +5 strength when attacking city centres and other districts
  • Receives 50% more support bonus
  • Cheaper to upgrade

Unique Building: Basilikoi Paides

An ancient-era Encampment building which replaces the Barracks

Required to build
Pillage yield

Bronze Working
Ancient era


Must not already
have a Stable in
the city.


Military Academy
90 Production
270 Gold
180 Faith*
1 Gold
*Purchasing Encampment buildings with faith requires you to be suzerain over the Valletta city-state.

Fixed yields
Other yields
Citizen slots
Great Person points
Miscellanious effects
1 Production
1 Housing
When a military or support unit is trained in this city, gain science equal to 25% of its production cost.
1 Commander
(1 Production and 1 Culture)
1 Great General Point
Melee infantry, anti-cavalry, land ranged and Hetairoi units trained in this city gain 25% more experience in combat.

Positive changes

  • Experience bonus also applies to the Hetairoi unit
  • When a military or support unit is trained in this city, gain science equal to 25% of its production cost.
    • You do not receive science if the unit is purchased.
Victory Skew
In this section, the civ is graded based on how much it leans towards a specific victory type - not how powerful it is. Any score of 3 or above means the civ or leader has some kind of advantage to the victory route above a hypothetical civ with no unique features. A score of less than 2 means some kind of aspect of the civ actively discourages a particular victory route. All values are subjective and may be edited in future.






Alexander is reasonable at cultural victories. Free inspirations from warfare helps you to get through the civics tree hence getting you to things like archaeology sooner. The science bonuses can also help you get to Flight, Radio, Computers and other key technologies faster.

Domination is obviously the best choice for a civ with bonuses entirely built around war and the military. Hypaspists are great against cities, Hetairoi are great against units, while the Basilikoi Paides, the civ ability and Alexander's leader ability allows you to carry out constant warfare without falling behind in other ways.

A religious game as Macedon is tricky but possible. Free inspiration boosts from warfare can help with getting to civics like Reformed Church sooner, while the full heal when you capture a wonder could give you an edge in theological combat.

Finally, Macedon is very strong at scientific victories. The Basilikoi Paides UB offers an additional source of science which significantly better than the Campus Research Grants project (aside from the lack of Great Scientist Points). Combined with the eureka boosts from conquests, you can cut through the technology tree at a rapid pace.
Unique Building: Basilikoi Paides

Starting Out

Macedon is a civ that can pull off near-constant warfare, but for the first few turns, you'll need to lay the groundwork. The Basilikoi Paides should be your first target as it's the earliest-arriving of Macedon's uniques and also helps make both UUs stronger. Build a Slinger first in your capital, and you can beeline Bronze Working while using your Warrior and Slinger to try and get the eureka for it. While making the beeline, you should be able to train a Settler in your capital and settle a second city.

Once you have Bronze Working, get an Encampment and Basilikoi Paides up quickly in your capital. Aside from the obvious reason of accessing your UB early, it also helps get your Great General Points generation off the ground which will help a lot with making your Hetairoi UU stronger.

With your Basilikoi Paides ready, it's time to research both Horseback Riding and Iron Working for your two UUs. If you build a few Warriors in your capital, you can gain a bit of science to cut down the time needed to research those two, as well as providing you with some units you can upgrade to Hypaspists later. Don't have enough gold to do so? Keep those Warriors at home to repel Barbarians while your main army conquers the world.

Note that while regular Barracks don't offer experience to cavalry units, this UB makes a special exception for the Hetairoi UU. As such, there's no reason to build Stables in any city.

Making the most of Basilikoi Paides

The Basilikoi Paides UB offers science equal to 25% of a unit's production cost when you build it. Purchasing, whether through gold or faith, doesn't count. That's already better than the science on offer from Campus Research Projects (15%), although you don't get any Great Scientist Points from it. Still, while district projects have relatively few production boosts (the Hong Kong city-state being the main one), there's quite a lot of powerful boosts to military unit production. Here are some of the most relevant ones for Macedon:

  • The God of the Forge pantheon offers a 25% production bonus to ancient and classical era units
  • Militaristic policy card bonuses to land and air units boost production by 50%
  • Militaristic policy card bonuses to naval and support units boost production by 100%
  • Militaristic city-states offer production boosts to units trained in cities with Encampments

With just Agoge (for Hypaspists) or Manoeuvre (for Hetairoi) you can build units in a third less time, essentially giving you a 50% boost to science output from that method. In other words, while you'd be getting 15 science out of every 100 production via Campus Research Projects, here you'd be getting 37.5.

The best early outputs can be found with Galleys and Quadriremes, though that comes at the cost of not working on your UUs as much. There, if you can get Maritime Industries and God of the Forge, you'll have a 125% boost to production, and hence a 125% boost to science output via building them. Every 100 production spent on those units will be worth an impressive 56.25 science!

To look at it a different way, here's the science you can expect to gain from various early units:

Battering Ram or
Hypaspist or
Hetairoi or
Siege Tower

For comparison, early classical technologies like Iron Working and Horseback Riding cost 120 science, while late-classical technologies like Construction and Engineering cost 200. You can easily get eureka boosts from conquest, so just five copies of your UUs will get you the equivalent of a late-classical technology for free.

While purchasing units won't offer you science, it's possible to purchase Builders, cut down woods or rainforests to provide production boosts, and complete the training of units that way. If you're chopping woods down, go for the ones away from rivers seeing as Lumber Mills offer more production when adjacent to rivers.

Going towards a scientific victory

If you want to use this UB to support a scientific victory, or just to maximise your science output in general, you'll want as many cities as possible with these four districts:

  • Encampment
  • Harbour
  • Campus
  • Industrial Zone

The other districts are fairly obvious, but let me explain why you want lots of Harbours. Firstly, naval units have better production policy cards than land ones. Secondly, Harbours add trade route capacity, which can be used for additional production. Finally, Shipyards make Harbours offer additional production which is something you can't get out of Commercial Hubs.

This does carry with it the downside that you won't have many Commercial Hubs offering gold, which is important for supporting your military. As such, you'll need to decide whether to focus more on conquests (in which case, build more Commercial Hubs) or maximising science output (in which case, build more Harbours).

To get up to four districts, you'll need to get a city to size 10. New cities will probably benefit from building Harbours first, as Lighthouses offer extra housing and food. Basilikoi Paides buildings offer housing as well, thanks to it replacing Barracks, though you might find it more useful to go for an Industrial Zone before an Encampment for the superior production bonuses which will help you set up everything else in the city.

Once you've got a properly developed city, start churning out naval units for science. If you end up with too many for you to manage, you can start a war against a civ with coastal cities and take some risky manoeuvres to try and take them over. Losing units normally increases your war weariness, but Alexander's civ ability ensures that won't be a problem.

In the modern era, you can take the Patriotic War policy card for a 100% production boost for support units. This bonus is as good as the ones available for naval units, so even your inland cities can output the maximum amount of science.

Maximising production is the key to getting lots of science as Macedon. Thankfully, production is already useful for scientific victories as it helps you build space race projects. Having Encampments in a lot of cities means the Integrated Space Cell policy card is easy to use, helping maximise your production late in the game.


  • Beeline Bronze Working to get this building ready for your UUs
  • Try to get the God of the Forge pantheon for faster unit production and hence faster science
  • Naval units offer the best science as their policy card production bonuses are stronger, though starting in the modern era you can also train support units for science as effectively.
Alexander's Unique Unit: Hetairoi


Macedon comes with two classical-era unique units which can work together to conquer huge amounts of land. Although you'll generally be using them both together in war, I'd advise researching Horseback Riding and training Hetairoi first for three reasons. Firstly, you can use them to fight Barbarians for Great General Points prior to starting a war. Secondly, Iron Working has a trickier eureka than Horseback Riding, so leaving a little more time makes it easier to achieve it. Finally, Warriors can be directly upgraded into Hypaspists so you'll have a complete army sooner if you leave Iron Working to last.

One problem with Macedon's double-UU setup is that it can cost an awful lot of gold to keep it running. Once you've started your first war, you should focus on constructing Commercial Hubs or Harbours to keep your economy healthy.

Heavy Cavalry Promotions

Hetairoi start with a free promotion and are classed as heavy cavalry rather than light cavalry. This means, right from the start, you have a choice between the Charge promotion for +10 strength against fortified enemies, and Barding for a +7 bonus against ranged attacks. Alternatively, you can hold off promoting the unit so you can use it for a quick heal later.

As far as the promotions go, generally Charge and Rout are better against enemy units while Barding and Maurauding work more effectively against cities. Unless you're up against a lot of Heavy Chariots or Knights, Reactive Armour will generally be a better choice than Armour Piercing.

Great Generals

Every kill you make with Hetairoi gives you Great General Points, and building lots of Basilikoi Paides buildings will help with that as well. You can usually secure at least one Great General.

Sharing a tile with a classical-era Great General, or being within one tile of one, will give Hetairoi a total of 46 strength - nearly as high as a Knight! If you chose the Charge promotion as well, you can take down fortified Warriors in a single hit.


Hetairoi upgrade to Knights with Stirrups. Once you have a good-sized force of Hetairoi fighting your enemies, don't hesistate to grab the technology and spend some gold to upgrade them. Knights start with a massive 48 strength, still benefit from any classical-era Great Generals you may have around and will still have the promotions they started off with or earned as Hetairoi. The only real loss is the fact Knights don't get Great General Points on kills.


While Hypaspists take on cities, Hetairoi tear enemy units apart - though they can still perform reasonably well against city defences as well. It may be more expensive than a Horseman, but the ability to secure an early Great General will make your entire army more effective.
Unique Unit: Hypaspist

Hypaspists are excellent at taking down cities, especially those without walls yet (though if that's a problem, just build a Battering Ram or Siege Tower). While Hetairoi handle enemy units, cluster together Hypaspists on the front lines so they can start sieging cities.

+5 strength against city defences

Garrisoned unit and a river? Not a problem.

Hypaspists get a +5 strength bonus against cities. By itself, that might not sound amazing - after all, Rome gets a Swordsman replacement with 40 strength in all situations while Roosevelt's America has a +5 strength bonus for all units on their starting continent, but consider that the Hetairoi UU makes it much easier to secure a classical-era Great General than would otherwise be the case. 46 strength against cities is great at this point in the game. Add the Oligarchy government, and it's up to 50.

+50% support bonus

Support bonuses help units to defend more effectively if they're clustered together. Units gain +2 defensive strength for every adjacent other unit you control. For Hetairoi, they provide +3 instead. This means if you keep your army close together, it becomes much harder for enemies to attack you, especially when you add the easy Great General Hetairoi and your UB can provide.


Hypaspists are great at taking down city defences and should be kept together so they can resist enemy attacks effectively. You'll generally use them in a similar way to a Swordsman with siege support (a Battering Ram or Siege Tower) and should be able to take over quite a lot of cities by the time they obsolete.
Civilization Ability: Hellenistic Fusion

No need to be the target of a war to get this inspiration - I can get it by being the instigator of one!

So, you've got your UUs together. Now it's time to go to war. Hetairoi smash through enemy units, Hypaspists peel apart city defences, and this ability gives you more out taking enemy cities.

Be careful which civs you target. Although the four districts affected by this ability (Encampments, Campuses, Holy Sites and Theatre Squares) represent each of the four main victory routes, some civs are more likely to build them than others. Japan for example can construct Encampments, Holy Sites and Theatre Squares faster. As another example, Arabia has a University-replacing UB which encourages them to have a lot of Campus districts. As yet another, Germany starts with a higher district capacity in every city so they're more likely to give you multiple boosts each time you take one of their cities.

If you have multiple possible targets, it might be best to target whichever civ is likely to have a lot of appropriate districts early on first, giving the other civs more time to develop the ones you want.

Capturing enemy cities will grant you eurekas and inspirations, skewing to the left-hand-side of the respective trees. In other words, you won't end up with eurekas and inspirations for technologies far later than your current research unless you've filled up the eurekas and inspirations up to that point. Having all these free boosts means you don't need to dedicate as much production to meeting them - you can instead just train more units in Basilikoi Paides cities for science. Alternatively, you can work towards the easier boosts to more reliably get the harder boosts from this ability.

Ultimately, this is a simple but powerful civ ability which ensures a heavy emphasis on war won't make your research suffer.
Alexander's Leader Ability: To the World's End

I've dismantled nearly the entirely of America. My people don't mind one bit.

Alexander's leader ability makes prolonged wars considerably easier to manage, while also allowing Macedon to continuously start new wars once the previous ones are over. Who cares about the diplomatic consequences?

No war weariness

Every round of combat and every unit lost produces war weariness, which eventually starts cutting into cities' amenities. Not for Macedon. Fight as much as you like, and you'll never lose amenities that way. Taking over cities will still harm your amenities as your luxury resources will need to stretch over more cities, but it'll be less of a problem for you than it is for other domination-focused civs.

Against trickier foes, you can exploit this bonus by drawing out the war as much as you can. Use ranged units or hit-and-run attacks to increase the other civ's war weariness (as it's increased every round of combat) and once their economy starts suffering, you'll have the upper hand.

This ability also has the effect of making any bonus that reduces war weariness useless (such as the Defence of the Motherland policy card), which may free up some military policy card slots for unit production bonuses instead. That'll help with making the most of your UB.

Finally, any excess units you may have produced in a Basilikoi Paides city can be risked in war without any real consequence. You'll want to get rid of them anyway to keep your maintenance low, and having no war weariness eliminates a penalty from losing them. Try to fight one unit at a time so you can eliminate them without giving your enemy experience in the process.

All units heal when capturing a world wonder

They weren't even in that battle!

Being able to take good wonders without the effort of building them is one of the best bits of warfare. Macedon gets the added bonus of healing up all their units when they take a wonder city - regardless of where the injured units are located! That eliminates a few turns needed to heal up ready for the next city capture, while also ensuring you can defend the captured wonder city against being recaptured.

Early on, capitals of other civs are the most likely cities to have wonders. You can dedicate the main bulk of your army to taking the civ's capital out, while dedicating a small number of units to keeping other enemy cities weak and intercepting any units that might be trained there. Usually, you'd have to retreat those units after a few rounds of combat, but taking a wonder allows them to be healed right up again letting them hold the line until the bulk of your army can reinforce them. An example of that is shown in the screenshots at the start of this section - a couple of Hypaspists are keeping Osaka in check while I focus on Kyoto.

Later on in the game, once you have a strong enough economy to support a really large army, you can attack multiple cities simultaneously and use the empire-wide healing from capturing a wonder to keep going further. Fighting two different civs at once allows you to be unpredictable in regards to when you'll be healed up, making it hard for your enemies to know how to counteract it.


  • No war weariness gives you an advantage in long, drawn-out wars
  • Aim for capital cities both to help with domination victory and because they tend to have wonders; it'll heal up your entire army.
Administration - Government
Here are the governments, policy cards, pantheons, religions, wonders, city-states and Great People which have particularly good synergy with Macedonian uniques. Be aware that these are not necessarily the best choices, but rather options that you should consider more than usual if playing as Macedon relative to other civs.


Classical Era Governments

Oligarchy makes your Hypaspists stronger while helping both your UUs gain promotions faster.

Medieval/Renaissance Era Governments

This is a tricky one. Merchant Republic offers extra trade routes and hence production, but lacks military policy cards. Cheaper gold purchasing isn't as useful to Macedon as most civs seeing as the Basilikoi Paides UB encourages you to train your units rather than buy them.

Theocracy could make a reasonable alternative if you've captured a lot of Holy Site cities. Faith-purchasing units won't give you science, but it still gives you a good use for a yield you may otherwise struggle to have a good use for.

One strategy is to simply stick with Oligarchy for an extended length of time, considering how useful the strength and experience bonuses are. Losing a few policy cards and influence points is acceptable if it means you can take over the world sooner.

Modern Era Governments

Definitely go with Fascism. Stronger units built faster is great for warfare, but a bonus to all unit production can also be a great help for science via your UB.

Policy Cards

Ancient Era

Agoge (Military, requires Craftsmanship) - Helps you train Hypaspists faster, and also helps you get more science from the Basilikoi Paides UB.

Conscription (Military, requires State Workforce) - Having two early UUs you're encouraged to build in decent numbers costs a lot to maintain. Sooner or later, you're going to need this policy card.

God-King (Economic, requires Code of Laws) - It might seem an odd choice at first, but this really helps you get a better shot at the God of the Forge pantheon for extra military unit production.

Manoeuvre (Military, requires Military Tradition) - Helps you train Hetairoi faster and also helps you get more science from the Basilikoi Paides UB.

(Scientific) Maritime Industries (Military, requires Foreign Trade) - Offering a better production bonus than Agoge or Manoeuvre, this is a great policy card to pick if you want to maximise your science from the Basilikoi Paides UB.

Urban Planning (Economic, requires Code of Laws) - Every point of production counts when you're training an army, especially when it gives you science via your UB as well.

Classical Era

Veterancy (Military, requires Military Training) - This saves time setting up your UB in new cities.

Medieval Era

(Scientific) Feudal Contract (Military, requires Feudalism) - Train medieval and renaissance era melee infantry and land ranged units faster, helping you get more science out of them. This is preferable to taking the Chivalry policy card because the Basilikoi Paides UB doesn't offer extra experience to new Knights and later cavalry units.

Meritocracy (Economic, requires Civil Service) - With all the inspirations you'll be getting for free, you may need a lot of culture to keep up. Meritocracy is the easy way to get that.

Professional Army (Military, requires Mercenaries) - A large army costs a fortune to upgrade. Use this policy card and it becomes a lot more manageable.

Renaissance Era

(Scientific) Press Gangs (Military, requires Exploration) - Another great boost to production for those who like making the most of Basilikoi Paides science.

Industrial Era

(Scientific) Grand Armee (Military, requires Nationalism) - While Press Gangs makes your coastal cities better at training units for science, Grand Armee is good for your inland cities. You'll get bonuses to melee infantry and ranged unit production for the industrial and modern eras alike.

Military Research (Military, requires Urbanisation) - Taking a government like Fascism and have more military policy card slots than you know what to do with? This will give you a small amount of science for every Military Academy and Seaport you have, making it useful whether you're at peace or war. Seeing as your UB is on the way to Military Academies, you'll find it more useful than most civs. Scientific victory-inclined Macedonian players who like to build naval units for extra science will find this card especially useful.

National Identity (Military, requires Nationalism) - This policy card allows you to take slightly riskier manoeuvres when trying to capture wonder cities, which can cut down the time it takes to make conquests.

Modern Era

Levee en Masse (Military, requires Mobilisation) - Spamming units for science can cost a lot in maintenance, so use this policy card to make that more manageable.

(Scientific) Patriotic War (Military, requires Class Struggle) - With a huge bonus to support unit production, this is a great help if you want to maximise your science output via the Basilikoi Paides UB. Unlike other policy cards offering a 100% production boost to military unit production, this one can be used in inland cities.

Third Alternative (Military, requires Totalitarianism) - Especially useful for a scientific-inclined Macedon, this will offer you plenty of gold from Research Labs, Military Academies and Power Plants to support the huge armies you'll end up training.

Atomic Era

(Scientific) Integrated Space Cell (Military, requires Space Race) - A scientific Macedon player will already have Encampments in key production cities, so it's easy to make use of this bonus. It offers +15% production to space race projects in cities with Military Academies or Seaports.

(Scientific) International Waters (Military, requires Cold War) - The last policy card offering a powerful boost to naval unit production, which can be an excellent source of science for Macedon.

Information Era

Ecommerce (Military, requires Globalisation) - This policy card makes international trading better than internal trade as far as production is concerned. That'll be great for some last-minute unit training for science, or for space race projects.
Administration - Religion and Wonders

City Patron Goddess - A possible backup option if you don't manage God of the Forge, this helps you build the first district in a city faster - such as an Encampment so you can get a Basilikoi Paides building up and running.

God of the Forge - Construct both your UUs faster, and also get plenty of science sooner. This is a great choice to have as Macedon whether you're after a domination or scientific victory.

Religious Beliefs

You can have one founder, one follower, one enhancer and one worship belief.

Church Property (Founder) - Gold is in short supply for a civ with two early UUs encouraged to build them in large quantities. This belief will help you manage that burden.

Defender of the Faith (Enhancer) - Makes cities you capture which contain a wonder even harder to flip back. Crusade is another good belief, but lacks direct synergy with Macedonian uniques.

Divine Inspiration (Follower) - Considering your incentive to capture wonders, this belief offering bonus faith for them is appropriate to take. You can use the faith for Great Person patronage or purchasing units.

Meeting House (Worship) - More production can only be a good thing for a civ encouraged to train lots of military units.

Papal Primacy (Founder) - Convert militaristic city-states to your religion and enjoy stronger production bonuses. In turn, that means you'll make more science via your UB.

Tithe (Founder) - Like Church Property, this is a good source of gold to manage your large early army.

Wat (Worship) - Get some extra science to help keep up with your free eurekas.

Work Ethic (Follower) - While you'll need pretty large cities to really see the effect of this bonus, it can be a great help when you're putting together your army (and producing science).


Colosseum (Classical era, Games and Recreation civic) - A great source of culture so you can keep up with all the free inspirations you'll be getting from city captures.

Colossus (Classical era, Shipbuilding technology) - An extra trade route means more production or gold, and the wonder itself offers extra gold. That's really useful for supporting your large early military.

Terracotta Army (Classical era, Construction technology) - You'll need to build this wonder to get the free promotions. Do so, and your entire large army will be substantially stronger. All your Hetairoi units will have at least two promotions, and it won't be hard to go even further.

Alhambra (Medieval era, Castles technology) - Macedon often benefits from having military unit production cards available at all times, seeing as their UB makes military units offer science when trained. The Alhambra ensures that won't be a problem.

Angkor Wat (Medieval era, Medieval Faires civic) - Make your empire considerably stronger by adding a point of population to every city. In a huge conquered realm, that means an awful lot. Requires the Khmer and Indonesia Civilization and Scenario Pack.

Forbidden City (Renaissance era, Printing technology) - Also can help with ensuring Macedon has enough military policy cards to work with, or for balancing military and economic policy cards if you're playing for a scientific victory.

(Scientific) Venetian Arsenal (Renaissance era, Mass Production technology) - Naval units have good production-boosting policy cards, making them the best source of science from Macedon's UB. If you're building a good navy anyway, you might as well make that a ridiculously strong navy with this wonder. Just make sure you can handle the maintenance costs - forming fleets and armadas will help.

Big Ben (Industrial era, Economics technology) - Allows you to have a good array of economic policy cards even when you're taking a military-heavy government like Fascism. That's especially useful if you're after a scientific victory.

Ruhr Valley (Industrial era, Industrialisation technology) - A production bonus can be made into a strong scientific advantage via the Basilikoi Paides UB.
Administration - City-States and Great People

All militaristic city-states are useful as the production on offer helps you build an army faster and get more science out of the Basilikoi Paides UB.

(Scientific victory favoured) Auckland (Industrial) - Get even more production (and science via the Basilikoi Paides UB) out of your coastal cities. Requires the Vikings scenario pack.

Carthage (Militaristic) - Send lots of envoys Carthage's way! You'll want to have lots of Encampments anyway, and Carthage makes them all offer extra trade routes. More trade routes can mean more production and food, or perhaps gold instead.

Kabul (Militaristic) - With this experience bonus, Hetairoi can get to the mighty Breakthrough promotion even sooner.

Preslav (Militaristic) - Hetairoi can now be deadly against units that attempt to hide in hills as well.

Great People

As usual, I'm only covering Great People with particular synergy with Macedonian uniques. All Great Generals can be helpful for Macedon - especially those in the classical era - but it would be redundant to list them all.

Classical Era

Hypatia (Great Scientist) - Permanently boosts all your Libraries' science outputs, making it easier to catch up with all your free eurekas.

Zhang Qian (Great Merchant) - An extra trade route means more production or gold - either way is good for supporting your large army.

Medieval Era

Abu Al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi (Great Scientist) - While useful for any warmongering civ, the fact Macedon blends warfare with the scientific game makes this Great Scientist especially relevant. He helps your units heal up faster.

Marco Polo - An extra trade route to help support your continuing warfare with.

Renaissance Era

Isaac Newton (Great Scientist) - More science to help catch up to your free eurekas.

Leonardo da Vinci (Great Engineer) - Adds culture to all Workshops, helping you catch up to your free inspirations.

Industrial Era

Adam Smith (Great Merchant) - An extra economic policy card slot is very useful for scientific Macedon players in particular, as it ensures you can take the unit production bonuses of Fascism while also maximising Campus science yields.

James Watt (Great Engineer) - A production boost to all Factories means a science boost via Macedon's UB.

Nikola Tesla (Great Engineer) - Another production boost to Factories.

Modern Era

Albert Einstein (Great Scientist) - Makes Universities stronger, which helps you catch up with eurekas from warfare.

Atomic Era

(Scientific) Chester Nimitz (Great Admiral) - Like producing naval units in conjunction with production-boosting policy cards for science? This Great Admiral boosts your production, making that even more effective.

Dwight Eisenhower (Great General) - Though the bonus is small, any bonus to military unit production means more science via the Basilikoi Paides UB.
Macedon has a lot of early military strength, but so long as you keep them away from your cities, they should be reasonably manageable. The double-UU combination Macedon has can really drain their treasury - pillage some Commercial Hubs of theirs and they might seriously struggle to maintain everything.

Hellenistic Fusion

If Macedon never takes a city, they never gain a boost from this. It goes without saying a good defence is important. Putting off building Encampments, Campuses, Holy Sites and Theatre Squares in new, vulnerable cities that are in the vicinity of Macedon might be a good idea.

Alternatively, as a desperate measure, you can gift cities you feel you're at great risk of losing to other civs. That comes with the downside that you can't recapture them if the war flips in your favour, but it denies Macedon boosts.

Later in the game, consider using Spies on Macedon's Campus districts, as they'll tend to have more eurekas you can steal than other civs.

Alexander - To the World's End

No war weariness

Because Alexander's Macedon suffers no war weariness, they'll have quite an economic edge in prolonged fights. As such, it's important to end a war against them early or seek out ways of minimising war weariness. Fighting in your own territory rather than in theirs or neutral territory produces lower war weariness (especially with the modern-era Defence of the Motherland policy card), though if you can take a city off Macedon, you might be able to encourage them to cut their losses and accept peace.

Health from wonder conquests

This is quite a nightmare to play against, so you'll need to take preventative steps. Always make sure that your wonder cities are either far away from Macedon or heavily fortified with defensive buildings and units. If Macedon's at war with two civs at once, check they're not taking land off the other civ. If they are, be sure to finish off Macedonian units rather than letting them flee on low health.

Alexander - Hetairoi

Without a Great General, Hetairoi are basically just Horsemen with a free promotion. With one, however, they become on a par with Knights, and are devastatingly effective against your fortified units. Thankfully, they're more expensive than regular Horsemen, limiting Macedon's ability to spam them in excessive quantities. Archers can perform reasonably well against them, as can Horsemen of your own.

Killing Hetairoi stacked with a Great General and occupying the Great General's space won't destroy it, but it will send it back to one of Macedon's cities. This opens up an opportunity for you to kill as many of Macedon's units as you can while they lack a huge strength bonus.

Alexander - AI Agenda (Short Life of Glory)

Alexander likes civs that are currently at war - so long as they're not at war with him. He hates it when civs are at peace.

For warmongers, this agenda offers the opportunity of a friendship - something you might not normally have. Having a trading partner can help you to get plenty of luxuries and keep your amenities high, which is great for handling war weariness.

For peaceful civs, this might make you prone to a declaration of war by Alexander, but on the other hand, he's less likely to attack you if you're already at war.


This Swordsman UU is mostly dangerous if it gets up close to your cities. Their support bonus helps Macedon's army to defend if packed together, but chokepoints can minimise that problem. If you can lead Macedon's army into a narrow pass between mountains or even just a bit of open terrain surrounded by rough terrain, Hypaspists will defend about as well as regular Swordsmen. Considering they're slightly more expensive to build, that will work in your favour.

Ranged units ignore support bonuses, so Archers will perform effectively against Hypaspists.

Basilikoi Paides

Being an Encampment UB, it's not easy to pillage Basilikoi Paides buildings. To make matters worse, it allows Macedon to have both a good science output and a strong army. The solution? Make sure Macedon's economy is weak by avoiding giving them gold in deals, and in war-time, pillaging their Commercial Hubs.

The Basilikoi Paides UB is strongest in coastal cities. If Macedon can be denied coastal city spots, you can weaken their science output a little - though make sure you're not just letting them settle in rainforest or mountain-heavy areas instead!
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Zigzagzigal  [author] Mar 30, 2018 @ 12:47pm 
You can stack Oligarchy's legacy card with the government bonus for a +8 strength bonus, so it's usually worth sticking with it.
FormidableDonut Mar 29, 2018 @ 11:42am 
For rise & fall, it seems like the government options can be balanced a bit more in the 2nd level governments, without necc. having to stick to Oligarchy until 3rd level. When you build any first tier building in a government plaza, you unlock a "legacy" card based on your first tier government. If you're an oligarchy, you get an oligarchic legacy wildcard which carries the Oligarchy combat bonus (in r&f, any non-ranged/non-cavalry land and naval units get +4 combat strength)
Zigzagzigal  [author] Feb 7, 2018 @ 1:00pm 
Change from the 7 February patch:

- Great General (and Admiral) bonuses no longer stack
Zigzagzigal  [author] Oct 19, 2017 @ 5:30pm 
Changes to this guide in the 20 October 2017 Autumn patch:

- The new Angkor Wat wonder (in the DLC) can really help Macedon consolidate their conquests.

- The new City Patron Goddess pantheon is a reasonable backup option if you fail to get God of the Forge.
Snake Sep 30, 2017 @ 4:02pm 
Thanks for the guides they really help out!
Zigzagzigal  [author] Sep 26, 2017 @ 12:12pm 
I've now released two compilation guides: Civ Summaries, which distills these guides into a single section each, and Tricks, Secrets and Clarifications, which looks at some of the more obscure elements of each civ.

Otherwise, the next guide won't be until there's a new civ in the game, which will probably be in late October. There's definitely going to be a civ from South-East Asia, but which civ specifically is as of yet unknown. Indonesia is suspected but not confirmed.
1000 1k! Sep 24, 2017 @ 8:14am 
Yensil Sep 17, 2017 @ 10:42am 
I've tested Alexander vs Gandhi and Gandhi comes up short. Alexander suffers no war weariness whatsoever, rendering Gandhi's ability useless against him. :3
paulski66 Sep 17, 2017 @ 9:09am 
I'm not sure you get enough credit for what an incredible resource these guides are. Thanks again for an excellent job here.

I look forward to reading the more general breakdowns. Can't wait!
Zigzagzigal  [author] Sep 16, 2017 @ 6:34pm 
To SCC Blazer:

Victory skew scores can be tricky to put together. They're more intended to be used to compare different victory routes for the same civ than to be used as a comparison across civs. Having said that, I'll try and explain some of the reasoning behind the scores.

Egypt - Chariot Archers got buffed in the last patch, and while they're expensive, they're incredibly strong and mobile for the era. They're basically like having a mobile Archer corps early in the game.

Arabia - Mamluks are good, but they usually won't win you the game and Arabia's religious and scientific advantages are even better. Having said that, a scientific advantage can also be a military one.

Russia - I realise I neglected the faith-purchasing factor so they've been bumped up a point for domination victory. Cossacks are reasonable UUs made better because they replace a unit that's relatively easy to beeline, but in singleplayer, warfare as Russia is overshadowed by their religious victory potential.