Sid Meier's Civilization V

Sid Meier's Civilization V

153 ratings
Opening Moves - Simple Guides to Help You Win for New Players
By Havck | 혼혈 | and 2 collaborators
This guide will help you with your opening moves in the game, branching off into two main section, if you want a cultural victory, or any of the other ones. This is a very basic guide that can be applied to both G&K and the vanilla version. This is a guide for new players who want to learn how to play a bit better. I was inspired to do this after I played a game with a buddy who just got a copy, and it took us and hour to get through the first 35 turns. A FULL... DAMN... HOUR

At the moment, I have fairly generic overviews for victories, however, I plan on making other sections for things like which policy tracks you should follow, and other things like that.
Cultural Victory
For this type of victory, you are going to want to stay small, to keep the cost of policies down, and remain defensive, your focus is to rush culture, while maitaing a good enough military to ward off most attacks.

Starting off with a monument and researching pottery are the two things I do first in a game. I usually get my first worker and settler from the Liberty branch, but seeing as how this is a cultural progression, choose tradition as your first policy. This means that building a worker early on is a needed.

Now, one thing that is extremely overlooked by new Civ 5 players are city states. These guys are VERY important to winning. On difficulty settings lower than prince, maybe not so much, but anything higher, for sure. But more on this in a second.

Going cultural, you are going to want to rush all the culture buildings and wonders, this means the Teracotta Army in G&K, the Oracle, and Stonehenge in the Vanilla version to name a few. But to greatly add to your culture output, as previously mentioned, are the city states, so you will need gold, and lots of it!


If you do so, your culture output will be great. Keep your civ to three cities, have one build all the wonders, and have the others build gold, culture, and units.

Of course, it is still smart to sneak in a building that will boost your production every once in a while...

Best civs for this victory, India and Ethiopia. Gandhi because he allows for few cities with large populations without creating too much unhappiness, and Ethiopia because their combat bonus against larger Civs is unreal.

For example

Here, I am playing as Ethiopia, at first glance, it looks like I am screwed. Look at their empire, and compare it to mine. In reality, this is the last turn of the game, and I had previously fought 3 wars with them, each time, they could not even touch my units, I hardly lost any. Each war, I would wrek them, because I had a ridiculous combat bonus over them. 20% from my civ bonus, another 20% from my religion, and another 15% from the order policy track. SO YEAH. And also, if you look in the picture, I am one turn away from finishing the Utopia project.

Science and Diplomatic victories are failry similar, especially in G&K, where for a diplomatic victory, you need so much science you might as well just go straight for the Apollo Mission.

Both require large expansion, so keeping to the monument and pottery trail, select Liberty as your first policy. You can build your own worker in your capital, or begin buildings first and wait for the poilicy worker to come in, but regardless, you are going to need two workers.

Try to expand early on, try to get 4 or even 5 cities as fast as you can, while maintaing hapiness and gold. SO WORK THOSE LUXURIES!


Many of the science buildings base the amount of bonus science on the citizen count in the city, SO KEEP YOUR FOOD UP AND YOUR CITIZENS GROWING, choosing the +10% food growth pantheon is a good idea for this, and so is the hanging gardens, which are OP in the Vanilla version (I mean +10 food, really? NB: This has been nerfed in G&K). Also, ally yourself with Maritime city states. They give your capital food when friends and all your cities food when allies.

Best for science are Babylon and Korea, their Civ bonuses will help your science output alot.

If you are going diplomatic, then you are going to want CRAP TONNES OF GOLD. Try to build a religion that revolves around gold, and spread that as much as you can. Have city states join you side, and try to get ones from all types. You are going to need their support while you focus gold in your cities and improvements, and when the time comes, the vote.

You will need science too for domination, but focus one the ones that give you improved units and unit XP. You will also need gold, (LOTS of GPT, start building those trading posts, Markets and Banks). Contrary to popular belief, it is not the number of units you have, but rather, the strenght of the units you have, try to stay abreast in tech, and advanced in your militiristic units. Then smash them with siege units and your most advanced land units. Some notable units that are great for taking cities are Atilla's Battering Rams, and Queen Elizabeth's Longbow Men (which have exended range and allows you to attack a city without taking damage, you will need vision on them however).

I believe it is Atilla who has the battering rams, they are ridiculous against cities, and will help you conquer early on.

Look closely, and yep, I beat this in 78 turns, however, its not the best I have done, I have also beaten the game on Deity, in 25 turns. If people would like, I can explain what I did to do so.
Cheap Tricks
Falling behind in score? This here is a trick you can use to boost it alot in a short amount of turns. This can only be done in the vanilla version, because they changed it in Gods and Kings.

Whenever you have the option to pick a great person, pick a great Engineer, its pretty much a free wonder. In the vanilla version, there is also a wonder that gives you a free engineer, and another that gives you a free great person of you choice. Pick the great engineer, and start rushing wonders, you can get a few out of this, and easily boost your score. I believe the two wondes to look out for is the Hagia Sophia and the Angkor Wat.
< >
Knight Lazarus Oct 16, 2016 @ 1:30pm 
@JohnBobert The end-time score victory!
JohnBobert Feb 5, 2015 @ 1:13pm 
Like how none of us mention that 1 other victory type :3
Flower Power Jul 22, 2014 @ 2:19am 
Always appreciate new ideas/approaches/tips. Thank you
Dayman Dec 24, 2013 @ 12:53pm 
You jack yourself off too much in this guide.
ladueit Dec 20, 2013 @ 4:57pm 
sweet thanks. merry christmas
Geeklet Jul 28, 2013 @ 1:05pm 
Awesome starter guide. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!
El_Porco Jul 19, 2013 @ 8:20am 
Nice guide for a totally new player to Civilization V, thanks bud =)
Xystus Jul 16, 2013 @ 6:44pm 
Very useful to new players, much appreciated
Mr Freezed Jul 16, 2013 @ 1:51pm 
Suda Jul 16, 2013 @ 11:08am