Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Sid Meier's Civilization VI

48 ratings
Zigzagzigal's Guides - Indonesia (Vanilla)
By Zigzagzigal
A grand maritime empire, Indonesia builds and conquers large coastal cities with ease. Here, I detail Indonesian 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This guide is no longer updated, but will remain for the sake of those without the Rise and Fall expansion.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 Indonesia, you must have the Khmer and Indonesia Civilization and Scenario Pack.

The sea is where we live, where we work, where we conquer. The borders of your kingdom do not begin at the water's edge, but rather incorporates the rich seas as yet more space for its growth. My Queen, I vow to expand this realm to all Nusantara, to all the waters it encircles, and I shall not taste one crumb of spice until it is done.

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


Indonesia has a tier 2 coastal start bias, which is appropriate considering all of Indonesia's uniques depend on sea tiles. Most other civs with a coastal emphasis only have a tier 3 start bias.

Civilization Ability: Great Nusantara

  • Campuses, Holy Sites, Theatre Squares and Industrial Zones gain +1 of their respective adjacency yield per two adjacent coast or lake tiles.
  • Entertainment Complexes adjacent to coast or lakes provide 2 amenities rather than the usual 1.

Gitarja's Leader Ability: Exalted Goddess of the Three Worlds

  • City centres adjacent to lake or coast tiles gain +2 faith.
  • Naval melee, ranged, raider and carrier units may be purchased with faith
    • Like other faith purchases, these costs can be reduced with the Theocracy government.
    • As with gold purchasing, the Venetian Arsenal wonder will not give you double quantities of faith-purchased naval units and there is no discount to purchasing fleets/armadas in cities with Seaports.
  • Embarking and disembarking religious units costs just one movement point
    • Units always end up with fewer movement points remaining after embarking or disembarking regardless of whether or not their maximum movement points changed in the process.
Outline (Part 2/2)
Unique Unit: Jong

A medieval-era naval ranged unit which replaces the Frigate

Upgrades from
Upgrades to
Resource needed

Medieval era

Modern era

(280 Gold)

(??? Gold)
300 Production
1200 Gold
600 Faith
5 Gold
*If you have no access to coal, you may continue to build Jongs even after researching Steel.

Ranged Strength
Negative Attributes
Positive Attributes
45 Strength
55 Ranged Strength
5 Movement Points
2 Attack Range
  • Unable to capture cities
  • Deals full damage to city defences.
  • +5 Strength when in formation
  • Formation units inherit the Jong's movement speed

Negative changes
  • Costs 300 production, 1200 gold and 600 faith, up from 280, 1120 and 560 respectively (+7%)
  • Costs 280 gold to upgrade to from a Quadrireme, up from 250 (+12%)

Variable changes
  • Unlocked with the medieval-era Mercenaries civic instead of the renaissance-era Square Rigging technology
    • This means the unit has no policy card that can boost its production, unlike regular Frigates
    • This also makes renaissance-era Great Admirals ineffective for them, but classical-era Great Admirals will boost their speed and strength.

Positive changes

  • 5 movement points, up from 4
  • +5 strength when in formation
  • Formation units inherit the Jong's movement speed
    • To use this ability, move the Jong, not the unit it's in formation with.
    • This works even if the formation unit has no remaining movement points.
    • This cannot be used to boost the movement speed of embarked religious units.
  • Cheaper to upgrade

Unique Improvement: Kampung

Terrain requirement
Constructed by
Pillage yield

Classical era

Owned coast or lake tile
adjacent to a water resource

Builder (embarked)
Restores pillager to full health

Defensive bonus
Direct yield
Adjacency yields
Miscellaneous bonus
Maximum possible yield*
1 Production
1 Housing
1 Food per adjacent fishing boats improvement
6 Food
1 Housing
1 Production
*This scenario is exceedingly rare; a food yield of more than 3 is unlikely to be seen in a typical game.


Direct bonus
Adjacency bonus
Miscellaneous bonus
New maximum yield*

Mass Production
Renaissance Era
1 Housing
6 Food
2 Housing
1 Production

Civil Engineering
Industrial Era
1 Production
6 Food
2 Housing
2 Production

Modern Era
Food yield added to tourism, plus one if the city has a Lighthouse.
7 Tourism
6 Food
2 Housing
2 Production
*This assumes you already have the enhancements of earlier eras. A food yield of more than 3 or a tourism yield of more than four is unlikely to be seen in a typical game.
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.






Culture is a fine path to victory. Excess faith can help you with Great Person patronage or acquiring Naturalists to create national parks. More to the point, Kampungs are distinct in offering food, housing, production and tourism all on the same tile, letting you work them in vast quantities. There is a significant catch, however - Indonesia favours constructing districts on coastal tiles, which means fewer tiles are available for Seaside Resorts.

Domination is Indonesia's strongest route. You can raise a powerful navy for a very low cost, while bonus yields for Campus, Industrial Zone and Entertainment Complex districts are directly relevant to the domination game.

Religion works reasonably well thanks to Indonesia's very early bonuses to faith generation in addition to faster embarkment and disembarkment of religious units, but the more faith you spend spreading your religion, the less you'll have for buying naval units.

Finally, science can be a decent path to go down, thanks to the small bonuses to science and production offered by the civ ability (as well as the additional production from the unique improvement).
Gitarja's Leader Ability: Exalted Goddess of the Three Worlds

Gitarja brings three different advantages tied to faith - but you don't necessarily need to found a religion of your own to use most of this leader ability well.

Coastal or lake-adjacent cities gain +2 faith

A simple but important bonus. Every city you settle adjacent to the coast or a lake gives you +2 faith - which often means the first pick of a pantheon. Divine Spark can help you found a religion, but you'll probably get more out of God of the Sea, which adds +1 production to all fishing boats improvements. The Kampung UI requires lots of fishing boats to be at its most effective, so Indonesia will get more out of that pantheon than most.

While either coastal areas or lakes will do for the faith bonus, you'll want to look out for city spots with lots of aquatic resources (e.g. fish, whales) within a three-tile radius, which usually means settling coast-adjacent areas. Your first few cities will benefit from having fresh water access as well, but once you can construct Kampungs, that'll no longer be an issue considering how much housing they offer.

Beyond founding a pantheon, the faith bonus will mostly be useful for complementing other sources of it, especially considering it can't be boosted like Holy Site adjacency bonuses or buildings.

Ability to faith-purchase naval units

Any Indonesian city on the coast or adjacent to a lake can buy naval units with faith. Unlike purchasing land units with faith, this isn't restricted to a specific government. The cost in faith is double the production cost of constructing it, or half the gold cost of purchasing the unit.

  • Galley (Naval melee, ancient era, Sailing technology) - 130 Faith
  • Quadrireme (Naval ranged, classical era, Shipbuilding technology) - 240 Faith
  • Jong (Naval ranged, medieval era, Mercenaries civic) - 600 Faith
  • Caravel (Naval melee, renaissance era, Cartography technology) - 480 Faith
  • Privateer (Naval raider, renaissance era, Mercantilism civic) - 560 Faith
  • Ironclad (Naval melee, industrial era, Steam Power technology) - 720 Faith
  • Battleship (Naval ranged, modern era, Steel technology) - 860 Faith
  • Submarine (Naval raider, modern era, Electricity technology) - 960 Faith
  • Aircraft Carrier (Naval carrier, atomic era, Combined Arms technology) - 1080 Faith
  • Destroyer (Naval melee, atomic era, Combined Arms technology) - 1080 Faith
  • Nuclear Submarine (Naval raider, information era, Telecommunications technology) - 1320 Faith
  • Missile Cruiser (Naval ranged, information era, Lasers technology) - 1320 Faith

The only way to reduce these costs is to have the Theocracy government (it offers a 15% cost reduction) or to make use of its government legacy bonus (-1% cost of faith purchases per 15 turns you had Theocracy active for). There is no discount for purchasing a fleet or armada in a city with a Seaport - that cost saving only applies if you directly construct the unit using production.

Your faith bonus from having cities adjacent to seas or lakes will only get you so far; you'll eventually need to start building Holy Sites. Building them too early might hurt your early expansion, but you'll want to get them ready in time for Jongs. Jongs are fairly expensive and don't have any corresponding policy card that helps you to construct them faster, so faith should be your main means of acquiring them.

Faith-purchasing continues to be useful throughout the game. You'll usually end up with a bigger per-turn generation of faith than gold, seeing as maintenance costs will drain the latter. That, coupled with the lower cost of faith-purchasing relative to gold-purchasing means raising a navy quickly is a lot easier for Indonesia than most other civs! You also don't need to worry about grabbing military policy cards that boost naval unit production, and being able to get cheap Aircraft Carriers a full era before other civs can help if you're attacking new landmasses late in the game.

There is a bit of a catch, however. Spending faith on naval units means you'll have less left over for other things - such as religious units or Naturalists. You'll need to decide beyond the time of Jong supremacy whether you want to carry on down the warpath, or switch directions. Indonesia is not a civ where you can make the most of all of your bonuses simultaneously; if you want to really make use of fast religious unit embarkment and disembarkment, your navy is going to have to suffer.

Fast religious unit embarkment and disembarkment

This functions like a lighter version of Norway's civ ability, though only your religious units get cheap embarkment and disembarkment, rather than all your units. This is a niche bonus mainly useful if you have a religion and want to spread it to new continents. It can also make retreating from unwinnable theological combat battles a bit easier as well.


  • Settle in coastal areas near lots of sea resources
  • Use the starting bonus faith to found an early pantheon such as God of the Sea
  • Faith-purchasing naval units is cheap enough that you have little need to construct Jongs and later naval units.
  • Religious unit disembarking and embarking has a fairly minor impact and is certainly the least significant of the three bonuses Gitarja offers.
Civilization Ability: Great Nusantara

Gitarja's leader ability pushes you to settle coastal areas, while Indonesia's civ ability means your district yields don't have to suffer from that. This bonus is comparable to Australia's civ ability in that you'll get better adjacency bonuses from placing cities next to the sea, but there's a few key differences.

Australia's ability has the following advantages over Indonesia's:
  • It's not restricted to coast/lake-adjacent tiles - anywhere with high appeal is good.
  • Australia's bonus is easily stacked with other adjacency bonuses, while the only thing that makes coastal/lake tiles offer additional adjacency is Harbour districts. This is especially powerful for Campuses and Holy Sites in mountain-heavy areas.
  • Commercial Hubs are affected, which isn't the case for Indonesia.
  • The Eiffel Tower (and city-wide appeal bonuses) can greatly boost the bonuses of a huge number of districts.

But Indonesia's ability has the following advantages over Australia's:
  • Tile appeal doesn't matter, so you don't need to worry about that until the industrial era. That makes placing Industrial Zones and Encampments easier, and it means you can't lose your bonus through bad placement of improvements and districts.
  • Industrial Zones can benefit, which isn't the case with Australia's ability.
  • Indonesia's faith bonus from Holy Sites synergises with other abilities, which isn't the case for Australia.
  • There's an added bonus of Entertainment Complexes gaining +1 amenity if adjacent to at least one lake or coastal tile. Australia gets no amenity bonuses at all.

In a nutshell, Australia tends to get better yields, but Indonesia's civ ability offers a better range of relevant bonuses.

Now, let's see what it means for all the affected district types.


Islands can be good spots for the Kampung improvement, but they tend to lack decent quantities of rainforests and mountains. As such, an alternative source of adjacency bonuses might help you get your science output to something reasonable.

Holy Site

You'll want to build a few Holy Sites ready for when Jongs come available. Possible adjacency bonuses are similar to that of Campus districts, though you can also search for natural wonders as well.

Theatre Square

Theatre Squares are hard to get adjacency bonuses for normally. You can get a +2 culture boost if you have at least 4 coast or lake tiles adjacent, which isn't too bad.

Entertainment Complex

One of the best bonuses on offer here is the extra amenity from coast/lake-adjacent Entertainment Complexes. It might not sound like much, but Kampungs offer a lot of housing, which will often lead to you having large cities that need more amenities. Getting an extra amenity allows your cities to grow two population points larger than normal without any trouble.

Industrial Zone

Industrial Zones can get better adjacency bonuses from quarries and mines than they can from sea tiles, but getting a tile completely surrounded with hills often isn't possible. Getting somewhere with a mixture of hills and sea is a good compromise.


Indonesia's civ ability ultimately prepares you for the Kampung improvement, by letting you settle coastal regions while still getting decent district adjacency bonuses. By itself, it's not an exceptionally strong bonus, but together with Kampungs you can have incredible cities.
Unique Improvement: Kampung

Who needs vast farmlands when you have Kampungs? These tile improvements make coast tiles a good source of food and production, and an amazing source of housing, freeing up your land tiles for other uses.

Starting Out

To unlock Kampungs, you need the classical-era Shipbuilding technology. It's fairly expensive to research, so you probably shouldn't beeline it, but getting it fairly early will be useful. To get Shipbuilding's eureka, you need two Gallies. Grab the Maritime Industries policy card at the Foreign Trade civic to help with that, seeing as your faith output probably won't be high enough yet to make purchasing them an option.

Make sure you're settling new cities near plenty of sea resources. There's two key kinds of city spots to look out for:
  • Locations where there's lots of sea resources adjacent to the same tile. These spots will make some immediately-strong yields.
  • Locations where there's a good number of spread-out sea resources. Although the yields of individual Kampungs won't be as good, you'll be able to construct more Kampungs in the city's radius, hence giving you more production and housing.

Occasionally, you may find spots with a ridiculous number of sea resources offering lots of high-yield Kampungs, but often you'll have one or the other.

The Improvement Arrives

Kampungs at first offer +1 housing and +1 production in addition to +1 food per adjacent fishing boats improvement. Until offshore oil rigs come available, the improvement can only be placed next to resources that can be improved with fishing boats, unless you're building a Kampung next to a sea resource outside of the city's working area, you'll get at least 1 food, 1 production and 1 housing.

With a Lighthouse, a coastal or lake tile containing a Kampung offers 3 food, 1 production, 1 gold and 1 housing. Food and housing obviously will help you to grow your city, and production helps you to fill up the expanded district capacity in addition to constructing additional buildings, but it's easy to overlook the gold yield that's present on all coast and lake tiles. Working a lot of Kampungs will provide your empire with a good income. Seaports add +2 gold to all coastal tiles, making your empire significantly richer.

The Renaissance and Industrial Eras

The renaissance-era Mass Production technology makes Kampungs offer 2 housing each, which allows you to build huge cities without ever needing to construct a single Neighbourhood. The problem with all this housing is having the amenities to support such a huge city - the +1 amenity bonus from coast/lake-adjacent Entertainment Complexes will help, but that won't be enough by itself. To make matters worse, an extensive coastal city emphasis may make it difficult to make use of the area-of-effect amenity bonuses of Zoos and Stadiums. As such, you'll want to find as many alternative sources of amenities as possible - the modern-era New Deal policy card available at Suffrage can really help.

The industrial-era Civil Engineering civic adds +1 production to all Kampungs, giving your cities a notable bump. That's rather helpful for getting land units trained, seeing as a strong navy alone usually won't win you the game.

The Modern Era

The modern era brings two changes useful for Kampungs. One of which is oil being revealed at the Combustion technology, which may allow you to construct Kampungs in additional places. Offshore oil rigs won't boost the food in adjacent Kampungs unlike fishing boats, but more housing and production is nice to have.

More importantly, the Flight technology makes Kampungs offer tourism based on their food output. The intrinsic food yield of coast or lake tiles is not counted, but the food yield added by Lighthouses is. Most Kampungs will offer between 2 and 4 tourism as a consequence. Considering you'll be working a lot of them anyway, that can help towards cultural victory if you want to go down such a road. You can't really rely on them alone - make sure you have Great Works, artefacts, wonders and some national parks as well.

For a cultural Indonesian player, national parks are particularly good. Working a lot of Kampungs frees up plenty of inland tiles for placing them, faith you accumulated to buy Jongs with will be useful once more and national parks are a good source of amenities.


Kampungs are arguably Indonesia's most powerful unique, helping you to support huge cities even in areas where little land is available. The production boost covers up a normal downside of settling by the coast, while the tourism yield offers a reasonable alternative path to victory if domination isn't working out.
Unique Unit: Jong

Rounding off Indonesia's uniques is the Jong UU, which is fast, strong, and can even get your armies over to distant continents much, much faster.

Getting to Jongs

Jongs arrive at the medieval-era Mercenaries civic. After Political Philosophy, you'll need all of the following for it:

  • Games and Recreation (Boost: Discover the Construction technology - Construction is awkward to research in time, so you may want to just hard-research this.)
  • Defensive Tactics (Boost: Be the target of a declaration of war - Mainly out of your hands; you might have to hard-research this.)
  • Feudalism (Boost: Have six farms in your territory - A couple of Builders can get the job done.)
  • Military Tradition (Boost: Destroy a Barbarian Encampment - Barbarians are everywhere. Getting this boost is easy.)
  • Military Training (Boost: Build an Encampment - One city can usually spare some production.)
  • Mercenaries (Boost: Have 8 land military units in your territory. Archers or other such cheap units can help you get to that number quickly. You'll need to use these units later to boost Jongs to their full power.)

You'll also want the Cartography technology so you can cross oceans and get some Caravels to complement your Jongs. The Eureka for it requires two Harbours, which you should be going for anyway.

Finally, consider building or buy some Quadriremes ready for upgrading as soon as you have the Mercenaries civic. Mercenaries helpfully offers the Professional Army policy card for half-price unit upgrades, making it a rather efficient option.

Quirks of Jongs

Before going into the main uses of Jongs, there's a couple of important quirks of Jongs that can be easy to overlook.

Firstly, arriving in the medieval era rather than the renaissance era, there's no corresponding policy card to help construct them faster. As such, you'll really want to get a good faith infrastructure and acquire them by that method.

Secondly, Jongs have a different set of Great Admirals that can boost their effectiveness. You'll need classical or medieval-era Great Admirals, rather than medieval or renaissance. That can be tricky to get in time - you might want to grab the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus wonder (Requires the Persia and Macedon civilization pack) for its free one.


Jongs have 55 ranged strength making them great already for the medieval era. If they're in formation, that rises to 60 - on a par with the strength of Ironclads! Any unit that can embark, in addition to Great Admirals, can be part of a formation with Jongs. If you're struggling to get enough formation units, you can always just quickly build some Scouts and embark them, but usually you'll want to embark an army that can disembark to support conquests you make. Working a lot of coast tiles will provide you with some excess gold you can use to purchase more land units in cities you take as well.

Jongs in formation can usually kill Crossbowmen in a single hit, meaning land units won't be too much of a problem while you take down city defences, and can stand up to Caravels more effectively in defence.

Escorting formation units

Move the Jong, not the formation unit to use this bonus.

Jongs have the unique ability to move formation units at a faster pace than they can normally go. This has the minor advantages that you don't need the Square Rigging technology until you go for Industrialisation, and keeping your Great Admirals up to speed is easier, but there's quite a few other good applications of the bonus.

The key advantage is the fact you can escort armies to new continents much faster, especially in the time before the Steam Power technology. With the Mathematics technology, Jongs have a movement speed of 6, which will be three times as fast as your embarked units can go at this point in the game! Grabbing the Great Lighthouse wonder will also speed that up, as will any classical/medieval era Great Admirals. You can also get Settlers and Builders overseas sooner, which helps to build and develop new forward bases.

However, you can't boost the movement speed of embarked religious units as they can't create a formation.

But the best trick of Jongs is...

Unlimited Embarked Movement

If you have enough Jongs, you can get a single unit an unlimited distance across water in a single turn, as shown in this diagram (assuming you have the Mathematics technology for 6 moves per Jong). Detach the first Jong once it has a single movement point remaining, move it out the way, bring in a new Jong, attach it and repeat. You can gain a bit of extra distance if you move the embarked unit into the first Jong's tile before attaching it and moving them.

An ingame demonstration, where I move a Scout a great distance in a single turn.

This movement technique is great when you need to move Settlers, Builders, Great Generals or reinforcements, but the need to dedicate a lot of Jongs to it makes it impractical for moving a large army overseas. Spreading out your units can also make them somewhat vulnerable to enemy attack, especially if you're keeping Jongs around beyond their point of obsoletion to exploit this movement trick.

Obsoletion of Jongs

Jongs will remain useful for combat until Battleships arrive, giving them quite a wide window of usage. As embarked movement speeds shoot up with the Steam Power technology, you won't need to use their ability to speed up embarked units unless you want to exploit the unlimited movement trick.
Administration - Government
Here are the governments, policy cards, pantheons, religions, wonders, city-states and Great People which have particularly good synergy with Indonesian uniques. Be aware that these are not necessarily the best choices, but rather options that you should consider more than usual if playing as Indonesia relative to other civs.


Classical Era Governments

Classical Republic is a reliable choice that will help with your early expansion aims thanks to its high number of economic policy slots.

Medieval/Renaissance Era Governments

Merchant Republic isn't far from Mercenaries on the civics tree, and its high number of economic policy card slots help you manage your fast-growing Kampung-boosted cities.

However, Theocracy reduces the cost of faith-purchasing units - including naval units. You'll also get an additional reduction to unit faith-purchasing costs via its legacy bonus.

Modern Era Governments

Fascism suits a standard domination path well due to its good universal strength bonus.

If you're after culture or religion, Democracy is a good fit. Bonus district project yields gives you a source of additional faith via Holy Site Prayers projects, while cheaper Great Person Patronage gives you a use for all the gold Seaport-boosted Kampungs will be providing you with.

Policy Cards

Ancient Era

Ilkum (Economic, requires Craftsmanship) - Kampungs and fishing boats demand a lot of Builder charges, so a boost to their production is a good idea.

Land Surveyors (Economic, requires Early Empire) - You may find yourself buying a lot of tiles to maximise how many Kampungs you can build early on. This policy card should help you acquire more, and hence get more food and housing sooner.

Maritime Industries (Military, requires Foreign Trade) - Getting Galleys up quickly helps you get the Shipbuilding eureka sooner, while faster Quadriremes gives you more available to upgrade once Jongs arrive.

Urban Planning (Economic, requires Code of Laws) - Coastal cities can lack production early on, so this policy helps make up for that.

Classical Era

Natural Philosophy (Economic, requires Recorded History) - Double your Campus adjacency bonuses, which helps you make the most of the bonus from adjacent coastal tiles.

Scripture (Economic, requires Theology) - Double Holy Site adjacency. This should help you get more faith for purchasing naval units with.

Medieval Era

Aesthetics (Economic, requires Medieval Faires) - A Theatre Square on a one-tile island is now worth an impressive 6 culture per turn - the equivalent of three Monuments.

Craftsmen (Economic, requires Guilds) - Double your Industrial Zone adjacency bonuses.

Navigation (Wildcard, requires Naval Tradition) - If you can squeeze in one more Great Admiral before the medieval-era ones are all exhausted, your Jongs will be considerably stronger.

Professional Army (Military, requires Mercenaries) - Upgrade Quadriremes to Jongs and have an instant strong navy.

Retainers (Military, requires Civil Service) - Excess units can be put to work keeping your amenities high. This is important for ensuring your Kampung-boosted city growth doesn't get completely out of hand.

Serfdom (Economic, requires Civil Service) - Get more Kampungs out of your Builders.

Renaissance Era

Colonial Offices (Economic, requires Exploration) - The nature of Kampungs encourages you to settle (and conquer) far and wide. This policy card will help those newly-founded or captured cities grow to their full potential faster.

Liberalism (Economic, requires The Enlightenment) - Important for keeping your large cities happy.

Logistics (Military, requires Mercantilism) - Faster movement in your own territory can give Jongs a bit of a boost when setting out overseas or escorting your embarked units.

Industrial Era

Colonial Taxes (Economic, requires Colonialism) - Your distant Kampung cities will now deliver you even more gold. This can get pretty crazy once you have Seaports up and running.

Expropriation (Economic, requires Scorched Earth) - Buying tiles may be necessary even late in the game to ensure you can still squeeze in a few more Kampungs - especially when oil is revealed letting you place them in more locations.

Public Works (Economic, requires Civil Engineering) - More Builder charges means more Kampungs.

Modern Era

Five Year Plan (Economic, requires Class Struggle) - Get more out of your Campus and Industrial Zone adjacency bonuses.

Martial Law (Military, requires Totalitarianism) - Huge cities and warfare is not a nice mixture if you like amenities. Lower the pain with this policy card, which reduces war weariness by a quarter.

New Deal (Economic, requires Suffrage) - Costs you gold, but grants you a helpful boost to amenities throughout your empire.

Propaganda (Military, requires Mass Media) - Reduces war weariness, so Indonesia's strained amenity situation doesn't get even worse.

Atomic Era

Sports Media (Economic, requires Professional Sports) - More amenities and better Theatre Square adjacency gives you two different bonuses that are both helpful for Indonesia. There is the downside that culture bonuses this late in the game don't offer that much, but extra amenities are still very helpful to have.
Administration - Religion

Divine Spark - If you want to found a religion, this pantheon along with a bunch of Holy Sites is a good place to start.

Earth Goddess - Coastal cities tend to have a lot of high-appeal tiles, and as such you can get a lot of faith out of this. At least, until you start placing districts on those high-appeal coast-adjacent tiles. Districts on high-appeal tiles don't get the faith bonus.

Fertility Rites - If by some strange quirk you fail to get any of the better pantheons, this might be a helpful option to help your Kampung cities fill their huge housing capacity faster.

God of Healing - Indonesia has an incentive to place Holy Sites next to the coast, and naval units have a lot of downtime when they go off to heal up. This pantheon uses the former to help with the latter.

God of the Sea - Usually your best choice, as Kampungs encourage you to seek out areas with lots of fishing boats and a +1 production boost to all of them can really help your empire out.

Religious Settlements - Another backup option if you somehow fail to get something better. Religious Settlements speeds up city tile acquisition via culture, which can save you some money accumulating potential Kampung tiles.

River Goddess - The immense housing and food Kampungs offer mean gathering amenities becomes very important. However, this pantheon can be fairly tricky to use considering there won't be that many times you can get both good Holy Site adjacency bonuses and adjacent rivers.

Religious Beliefs

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

Burial Grounds (Enhancer) - This lets you acquire tiles by constructing Holy Sites, which might help you grab a couple of potential Kampung tiles or save you money purchasing tiles which can then be diverted towards potential Kampung spots.

Choral Music (Follower) - An excellent choice which helps you get to Mercenaries, and therefore Jongs, faster.

Dar-e Mehr (Worship) - Offers a strong faith output which becomes stronger every era - helping you to keep up with the rising faith cost of later naval units.

Missionary Zeal (Enhancer) - Now, your religious units will have unrivalled mobility, making them pretty hard for enemy Inquisitors and Apostles to catch.

Stupa (Worship) - A source of precious amenities.

Synagogue (Worship) - The strongest immediate source of faith out of the faith buildings, making it very helpful when you're buying Jongs.

Zen Meditation (Follower) - A straightforward and helpful source of precious amenities.
Administration - Wonders, City-States and Great People

Hanging Gardens (Ancient era, Irrigation technology) - Faster growth helps you fill your Kampung-boosted housing capacity sooner.

Pyramids (Ancient era, Masonry technology) - Extra Builder charges will aid you in constructing additional Kampungs.

Colosseum (Classical era, Games and Recreation civic) - The way Indonesia typically should position cities can make this tricky to use well, so it might be a good conquest target later on rather than something to necessarily rush. Nonetheless, a huge boost to amenities in the region will really help manage the amenity shortages huge Kampung cities can end up with.

Colossus (Classical era, Shipbuilding technology) - Indonesia's incentive to rush Shipbuilding gives you a head start on this wonder, and an extra Great Admiral Point will help you getting one soon enough that it can boost your Jongs' strength and speed. Not the strongest wonder for Indonesia, but nice to have around.

Great Lighthouse (Classical era, Celestial Navigation technology) - More movement for naval units greatly builds on the advantages of Jongs, letting you move formation embarked units around even faster in addition to having a good speed advantage in naval combat generally.

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Classical era, Defensive Tactics civic) - A free Great Admiral will really help you strengthen your Jong navy. Combine this with the Great Lighthouse and the Mathematics technology for 8 movement points per turn!

Alhambra (Medieval era, Castles technology) - Indonesia's civic route will often lead them to the Exploration government a long time before they can reach Theocracy. The Alhambra helps to compensate for the lack of military policy card slots, while also offering a handy amenity bonus.

Huey Teocalli (Medieval era, Military Tactics technology) - Lake tiles can support Kampungs if they have water resources present. As such, this wonder can really help your more inland cities. It can also offer some amenities, which is nice to have around, as well.

Venetian Arsenal (Renaissance era, Mass Production technology) - It only applies to manufactured naval units, not ones that are purchased, but nonetheless double quantities of Jongs is still useful to have.

Estádio do Maracanã (Atomic era, Professional Sports civic) - An empire-wide boost to amenities which will really help you manage those massive Kampung cities.


Armagh (Religious) - Working a lot of Kampungs rather than mines and farms can free up a lot of land tiles. Using the tile improvement offered by Armagh, you can get faith out of those spare tiles. Requires the Vikings scenario pack.

Auckland (Industrial) - Incredibly powerful in the hands of Indonesia, especially beyond the industrial era. All coastal tiles - Kampungs included - gain additional production. Become suzerain over it as soon as possible and keep the city-state safe from invasion! Requires the Vikings scenario pack.

Buenos Aires (Industrial) - A respectable if not incredible boost to amenities, helping you support your huge housing limit from Kampungs.

La Venta (Religious) - Another city-state offering a special tile improvement which yields faith.

Mohenjo Daro (Cultural) - While unecessary later in the game, this city-state allows you to position your early cities in spots to optimise the number of sea resources in range of them without you needing to worry about fresh water access.

Muscat (Trade) - Indonesia's more of a Harbour-builder than a Commercial Hub-builder, but you'll need all the amenities you can get later in the game. Requires the Vikings scenario pack.

Nan Madol (Cultural) - You need culture for Mercenaries, to unlock Jongs. Indonesia's civ ability encourages you to place districts next to coastal tiles. With this city-state, it all ties together nicely.

Zanzibar (Trade) - 12 extra amenities for your empire so you can support huge Kampung-boosted cities.

Great People

Remember that these are only the ones that have particular synergy with Indonesian uniques, not necessarily the most effective options. All classical and medieval-era Great Admirals are useful for Jongs, but it would be redundant to list them all.

Classical Era

Gaius Duilius (Great Admiral) - Make sure you have the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus wonder if you want to use the retirement bonus on a Jong. That way, you can end up with a Jong as strong as a Battleship.

Medieval Era

Hildegard of Bingen (Great Scientist) - Building Holy Sites to prepare for Jongs? You might as well get some science while you're at it.

Leif Erikson (Great Admiral) - His retirement bonus allows you to cross oceans early, which allows you to ignore the Cartography technology for quite some time (well, unless you really want Caravels rather than relying on embarked units or Galleys to get the last hit on enemy cities). Still, make sure you have the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus wonder if you want to use the retirement bonus, so you can keep the strength and movement speed bonus to Jongs.

Renaissance Era

Mimar Sinan (Great Engineer) - A small boost to amenities.

Santa Cruz (Great Admiral) - Renaissance-era Great Admirals don't boost Jongs, unlike regular Frigates, so you don't need to worry about retiring this admiral for an early Jong armada (or two with the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus wonder). Jong armadas are nearly as strong as Brazil's Minas Geraes and will tear apart anything they face for quite some time.

Yi Sun-Sin (Great Admiral) - An early Ironclad complements your Jongs nicely for some powerful naval warfare.

Industrial Era

Horatio Nelson (Great Admiral) - Better naval flanking is good for a civ that finds it easy to spam naval units.

James Young (Great Scientist) - Revealing oil early will enable you to place Kampungs on more tiles.

Joesph Paxton (Great Engineer) - Get some bonus amenities.

John Spilsbury (Great Merchant) - One of four Great Merchants offering special luxuries, which means more amenities for supporting Kampung cities with.

Modern Era

Joaquim Marques Lisboa (Great Admiral) - Permanently lower war weariness with the retirement bonus, which is really helpful for a civ that can struggle with amenities.

Atomic Era

Helena Rubenstein (Great Merchant) - More special luxuries for amenities.

Jane Drew (Great Engineer) - Additional amenities.

John Roebling (Great Engineer) - Even more amenities.

Levi Strauss (Great Merchant) - Even more special luxuries for amenities.

Information Era

Estée Lauder (Great Merchant) - The final Great Merchant offering special luxuries; these offer more amenities than the others.

(Cultural) Jamseth Tata (Great Merchant) - Indonesia's huge cities can handle a lot of districts, so getting +10 tourism per campus can be rather significant.

(Cultural) Masaru Ibuka (Great Merchant) - Every Industrial Zone offers +10 tourism.
What connects all of Indonesia's uniques is an emphasis on coasts. The fewer coastal cities Indonesia has, the weaker they are. Settling cities two tiles from the coast lets you shut out coastal areas while also preventing the cities from being captured by Indonesia's navy.

Of course, that's not always an option, so it's worth considering each individual unique.

Great Nusantara

This ability doesn't tend to give Indonesia amazing adjacency bonuses, but rather it complements the powerful Kampung UI to ensure they can settle sea-heavy regions without worrying about meeting tricky adjacency requirements.

Still, even though this bonus isn't much of a danger by itself, you can still counter it effectively. As it encourages Indonesia to put their districts next to the sea, they're prone to naval raider units like Privateers, Submarines and Nuclear Submarines.

Gitarja - Exalted Goddess of the Three Worlds

City centres gain +2 faith

Indonesia will usually be first to a pantheon, but beyond that point this bonus is relatively small. There's not really a lot you can do to play around that other than keeping Indonesia from settling directly on the coast.

Faith-purchasing naval units

Indonesia's option of spending faith for a navy means they can build one up at a rapid pace, but it means spending faith on that instead of religious units. That offers a good opening for religious civs around the medieval to industrial eras when Jongs are at their strongest.

Cutting Indonesia off from sources of faith will also weaken their navy. If you can't cut Indonesia off from the coast, you might be able to cut them off from mountains or natural wonders. They can't lock down all the good city spots, after all.

Easy religious unit movement

If Indonesia has enough spare faith to start spreading their religion, you might have to account for their slightly higher religious unit mobility. The most effective way of handling that is to place Inquisitors along your coast with a two-tile gap between each one, so thanks to zone of control, their religious units can't slip through.

Gitarja - AI Agenda (Archipelagic State)

Gitarja dislikes civs that own lots of cities on small landmasses, and like civs that avoid doing so. This means if you take lots of good Kampung spots for yourself, you might be on the receiving end of Indonesia's navy. Thankfully, civs with a strong incentive to settle small landmasses (e.g. Japan, Australia) tend to have decent defensive capabilities for such scenarios.

A curious feature of this agenda is that the game's map type may greatly influence it. Gitarja will get along well with many civs on Pangaea maps, but won't have too many friends on maps like Island Plates. In other words, on maps where Indonesia is less powerful, they'll make more friends - and potentially more allies.


Jongs are fairly scary units to be up against if your navy is behind the curve. They're fast, they're strong, and thanks to Indonesia's good gold output and ability to purchase them with faith, you may well see them in large quantities.

The usual response to a naval assault if your navy is weak - siege units - isn't a good way of dealing with Jongs as they can quite swiftly kill Bombards. Instead, you'll either need to avoid settling directly on the coast, or have a renaissance-era navy of your own. All three renaissance-era naval units (Caravels, Frigates and especially Privateers) can fight Jongs reasonably well, especially when promoted.

One notable downside of Jongs is the fact they have no corresponding policy card to help construct them faster, unlike regular Frigates. That means even if Indonesia has a faith and gold edge letting them churn out their UU, you can counter it with good production.


Kampungs initially offer reasonable food, some housing and a touch of production and gold, and eventually turn into behemoths which create enormous cities. As such, you might want to curtail Indonesia in the first half of the game before their UI really gets out of hand. A land-based invasion might be appropriate, but not every civ can manage that. Taking city spots stopping Indonesia from getting good sea resource-heavy areas may also help, but there's only so far that can take you.

An alternative method which is easier to use is to cut Indonesia off from sources of amenities. Avoid trading them luxuries, especially later in the game when their cities grow. Push them into a long, snaky empire so they can't use area-of-effect buildings like Zoos or Stadiums well. Even save up some cash or faith to acquire Great Merchants that offer amenities if you have to. Indonesia only has one relatively small boost to amenities as part of their civ, so cutting them off from additional sources will significantly curtail their city growth and render the housing bonus of Kampungs much less useful.

If you fear you can't hold a city near lots of sea resources, consider sending Builders to harvest the resources. That action requires the Celestial Navigation technology. Alternatively, if you can capture an Indonesian city but feel you can't hold it for long, that might be a good tactic as well.

Naval raider units are rather good against Indonesia - they can deal decent damage to Jongs as well as their upgraded counterparts, and they can raid their coastal districts. If they're in trouble, then you can pillage a Kampung to heal back up to full health. The sheer quantity of Kampungs you're likely to find in Indonesian waters can make keeping your navy alive much easier than it would be when fighting other naval powers.
Other Guides
If you like these guides and want to send a tip, you can click here![]

Compilation Guides

Individual Civ Guides
jjj Apr 9, 2020 @ 12:46am 
Doctor G Dec 27, 2019 @ 10:04am 
it a worthless civ to start with on a Historical placed map. you need to Jump settle by the computer with loyality boost and a govn to have any effect with it in this game. It is normally 70 to 100 turn in such maps before you can place your 1st colony off your Small island. With china and Japan in the area you will lose. no ifs or butts. you will be swarmed by forward settling china and india. so you have to forward settle on them, and like magic they will run down the coast into the jungle and settle on you. this is the worse civ in the game to try to play on earth and not great in asia. placed historically
kikopaff Jan 10, 2019 @ 10:38pm 
Thanks for this guide. Really helped me nail a domination victory.
Aluminum Elite Master Mar 28, 2018 @ 6:41am 
The different admirals for Jongs is something I just found out myself the hard-way (I read many of your guides, but haven't read all of them exhaustively!).

If you rush to Jongs, it actually works *better* that way because you are more likely to not have retired the earlier admirals.

But I had focused on the Kampung and going tall first from it... I ended up retiring early admirals in expectation of the Jong being a straight Frigate replacement. Which it isn't. I'd forgotten it is earlier, and like I wrote, retired my two early admirals. It wasn't the end of the world, but it's one of those moments where just a little more forethought would have been great!
Zigzagzigal  [author] Dec 6, 2017 @ 4:50pm 
Thanks! I really like the looks of the Emergencies system; it looks like it'll finally be a proper anti-runaway mechanic that works in both singleplayer and multiplayer.
Starkman Jones Dec 6, 2017 @ 3:45pm 
Wonderful as always. Hoping you'll enjoy Rise and Fall.
Sponkmonkey Nov 10, 2017 @ 2:51pm 
Excellent guide.
erixtr Nov 10, 2017 @ 10:44am 
Thanks for the guide.
Zigzagzigal  [author] Nov 9, 2017 @ 12:53pm 
Right, fixed that line.
paulski66 Nov 9, 2017 @ 8:35am 
Great guide. I think Indonesia may be my new favorite civ. Kampungs are awesome, and make building large, productive cities a breeze.

One suggestion for a line which may be resturctured for clarity:

"Kampungs at first offer +1 housing, +1 production and +1 food per adjacent fishing boats improvement. "

Makes it sound like Kampungs offer +1 to each of these per adjacent resource, as opposed to +1 for food only (which is the case).

Maybe: "Kampungs at first offer a +1 housing and +1 production bonus, as well as +1 food per adjacent fishing boats improvement. "