Sid Meier's Civilization V

Sid Meier's Civilization V

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Zigzagzigal's Guide to the Iroquois (BNW)
By Zigzagzigal
The Haudenosaunee, better known as the Iroquois, are the masters of using forested land and can push their production up to incredible levels. This guide goes into plenty of detail about Iroquoian strategies, uniques and how to play against them.
Note: This guide assumes you have all game-altering DLC and expansion packs (all Civ packs, Wonders of the Ancient World, Gods & Kings and Brave New World)

The six tribes must stay united in a brave new world. Originally five, the Haudenosaunee (commonly known as the Iroquois Confederacy and will be refered to as such in the guide proper) were formed from the Seneca, Onondaga, Mohawks, Cayuga, and Oneida tribes prior to major European contact in the Americas. While initially held back by infighting, the Haudenosaunee eventually strengthened into a dominant regional force. In the 17th century, trading beaver furs with Europe would provide them with advanced weaponry to carve out a significant empire.

But after a war between the French and the English in the "New World", the Haudenosaunee ended up squeezed between the two, dependent on British weaponry and gradually losing power. The American Revolution was to split the Confederacy, some siding with the British and some with the Americans. Those that sided with the British recieved land in Canada, while those siding with the Americans received rather less. Now, facing assimilation from European cultures, it is up to you to reunite these scattered peoples and to build a civilization that will stand the test of time.

Before I go into depth with this guide, here's an explanation of some terminology I'll be using throughout for the sake of newer players.

Beelining - Focusing on obtaining a technology early by only researching technologies needed to research it and no others. For example, to beeline Iron Working, you'd research Mining, Bronze Working and Iron Working, and nothing else until Iron Working was finished.
Builder Nation/Empire - A generally peaceful nation seeking victories other than domination.
GWAMs - Short for Great Writers, Artists and Musicians - the three types of Great People that can make Great Works.
Finisher - The bonus for completing a Social Policy tree (e.g. Free Great Person for Liberty.)
Opener - The bonus for unlocking a Social Policy tree (e.g. +1 culture for every city for Liberty's opener)
Tall empire - A small number of cities with a high population each. "Building tall" refers to making your empire a tall one.
Uniques - Collective name for Unique Abilities, Units, Buildings, Tile Improvements and Great People
UA - Unique Ability - The unique thing a Civilization has which doesn't need to be built.
UB - Unique Building - A replacement for a normal building that can only be built and used by one Civilization.
UU - Unique Unit - A replacement for a normal unit that can only be built by one Civilization or provided by Militaristic City-States when allied.
Wide empire - A high number of cities with a low population each. "Building wide" refers to making your empire a wide one.
XP - Experience Points - Get enough and you'll level up your unit, giving you the ability to heal your unit or get a promotion.
ZOC - Zone of Control - A mechanic that makes a unit use up all its movement points if it moves from a tile next to an enemy to an adjacent tile next to the same enemy.
At a glance (Part 1/2)
Start Bias

The Iroquois have a forest start bias. As all your uniques interact with forest tiles in some way, it only makes sense. There's a catch, however - forest-heavy regions tend to be near tundra, which can weaken your capital. Being pushed away from the equator also makes launching attacks on other Civs just a little bit harder.


The Iroquois' UA takes full effect with The Wheel, an ancient-era technology, while their UU is in the classical era and their UB is in the medieval era. Fortunately, both The Wheel and Iron Working (needed for their UU) are on the way to Metal Casting (needed for their UB.)

Unique Ability: The Great Warpath

  • Units can move through forests and jungles in friendly territory as if they were roads (and rivers between forests can be crossed as if there's a bridge there, even without Engineering)
  • Forests and jungles in friendly territory can be used as roads for purposes of City Connections after researching The Wheel (Ancient Era, 2nd column, 3rd column overall)
  • Caravans move through forest and jungle tiles as if they were roads
  • With Railroad (Modern Era, 1st column, 10th column overall) forests and jungles in friendly territory will act as railroads for the purpose of the 25% production boost.
  • Note that forests and jungles do not act as railroads for movement purposes; you'll have to build those to get that advantage.

Unique Unit: Mohawk Warrior (Replaces the Swordsman)

A standard melee unit
Upgrades from
Upgrades to
Production cost
Purchase cost
Resource needed

Iron Working
Classical era
2nd column**
(5th column overall)

Renaissance era
1st column
(8th column overall)


*Assumes a normal speed game.
**Has no 1st column prerequisites, but the technology has the cost of the 2nd column of the classical era.
***Requires 1 Iron resource

Ranged Strength
Negative Attributes
Positive Attributes
2Movement Points
  • 33% extra strength in forest and jungle

Positive changes

  • Does not require Iron resources
  • Obsoletes with Gunpowder instead of Steel (Medieval era, 2nd column, 7th column overall)

Positive keep-on-upgrade changes

  • 33% extra strength in forest and jungle

Unique Building: Longhouse (Replaces the Workshop)

Building of the Production line
Building required
Required to build
Production cost
Purchase cost
City restriction

Metal Casting
Medieval era
1st column
(6th column overall)

*Assumes a normal speed game.

Base output
Output Multiplier
Great Work slots
Other effects

1 Engineer
  • +1 Production to every forest tile worked by the city

Negative changes

  • 10% production bonus removed

Positive changes

  • Costs 100 production, down from 120 (-17%)
  • Increases production yield by 1 for every forest worked by the city
At a glance (Part 2/2)
Victory Methods

Note these scores are a matter of personal opinion based on experiences with the Civilization. You may discover a way of utilising the Civ more effectively in unconventional ways.

Cultural: 6/10
Diplomatic: 6/10
Domination: 9/10
Scientific: 7/10

The Iroquois are great at building up large armies and going for conquest. However, using forests as roads saves you money, which could help for a diplomatic win, and high production helps both culture and the end-game of science victories.

Similar Civs and uniques


The Iroquois are one of a small handful of Civs that are very much tied to a particular kind of terrain. The Inca are tied to hills, while Morocco has a desert emphasis. While the Iroquoian UA is very similar to that of the Incas, (more mobility on the favoured terrain and cheap routes,) the forest/jungle bonus of Mohawk Warriors is very much alike the desert bonus of Morocco's Berber Cavalry. All three Civs have uniques encouraging cities to work more tiles of the favoured terrain - Incan Terrace Farms add food on hills, Iroquoian Longhouses add production on forests, and Moroccan Kasbahs add food, production and gold on deserts.

Same start bias

The Celts also have a forest start bias. They receive faith bonuses for having unimproved forests adjacent to their cities.

Similar to the UA

As already mentioned, the Incan UA is most alike the Iroquoian one overall.

Carthage's UA is in a sense a maritime counterpart to the Iroquoian UA. Free Harbours give you a different way of having cheap city connections, while also extending the maximum range of naval trade routes in a similar way to how forests and jungles act as roads for Iroquoian Caravans, increasing the range of their land-based routes.

Arabia's UA also extends the range of land-based trade routes.

Finally, Aztec Jaguars start with the Woodsman promotion, which allows them to move through forests and jungles as if they were open terrain. This doesn't make them as mobile as the Iroquoian UA would, but it works outside friendly territory.

Similar to Mohawk Warriors

Aztec Jaguars turn up again, this time due to their 33% bonus in forests and jungles. Mohawk Warriors have an identical bonus (which stacks, so if you get a Jaguar via a militiaristic City-State, you can upgrade it to Mohawk Warrior for a 66% forest/jungle bonus.)

Other Swordsman UUs include Indonesia's Kris Swordsman and Rome's Legion. Both require iron unlike Mohawk Warriors, but tend to perform better in combat (Legions have 21% more strength, and Kris Swordsmen have a random promotion which can be incredibly strong or even a downgrade.)

Similar to Longhouses

The production bonus for forests offered by Longhouses is similar to the UAs of the Huns and Russia in that it builds upon a production bonus that already exists. The way it ties you to a particular kind of terrain, is again, like the Unique Improvements of the Inca and Morocco.

Having a downside on a unique building isn't unique to the Longhouse, but it's perhaps the only UB where it matters. Egypt's Burial Tombs make anyone who captures the city receive double gold, but that doesn't make any difference to how Egypt should develop their cities. Meanwhile, Austria's Coffee Houses lose the 10% production bonus for buildings, but instead gain a 5% bonus that can be used on anything, so the loss is very minor. This means the Longhouse is the only UB that actually punishes you for not playing to its strengths.
Unique Ability: The Great Warpath

Above: I can cross that river without Engineering or depleting all the unit's moves.

In a nutshell, The Great Warpath makes forests and jungles in your own lands act as free roads. It's a bit more complicated than that, but it's a good starting point to thinking of the Iroquoian UA.

It has both financial and defensive usage, as well as taking pressure off Workers as you don't need to build as many roads. It's worth noting that this UA gives less of an advantage as the game goes on as forests in other Civs' lands get chopped down, but thankfully your UB becomes stronger.

Before I go into further detail, I need to point out that while all three of your uniques focus on the bottom half of the tech tree, that's not to say you should beeline those technologies. Get Worker techs first, as well as Writing, then head to The Wheel, Iron Working and Metal Casting.


Immediately, the forests that are likely to be surrounding your capital can be moved through as if they were roads, and rivers between forests and/or jungles can be crossed without ending units' turns. You can't use this speed advantage outside your own lands (that'd be far too powerful) but it's excellent for picking off Barbarians wandering into your territory.

Friendly forests and jungles giving you the mobility of roads means only hills will slow down your units in defence. And as neither forests nor jungles can be pillaged, it's incredibly difficult for rivals to overcome your speed advantage. It's like a mini Great Wall wonder for free. But that's not all - your super-mobile tiles give you a 25% defensive bonus (and if you've got Mohawk Warriors or promoted ones, that's a 58% bonus in defence and probably an incentive for would-be warmongers to invade someone else instead.)

High mobility and a defensive bonus lets you really mess with enemies' Zone of Control, allowing you to rush in a unit that's stopping them advancing through your land, but defends too well to be taken out. Consider also that some cities will have far more forests than the number of roads you'd usually build, giving you mobility in multiple directions to get in the way of would-be attackers.

So, you're going to be tough to take out in the early to mid-game. In the late-game however, terrain matters less in combat (Bombers, Artillery, Battleships, etc) weakening your UA's defensive advantages. But by then, your Longhouses will give you masses of production to repel threats.

But this bonus doesn't just help you defend your home cities. You can pillage the roads of a city you're attacking to lessen the enemy's speed advantage, capture it, and then use nearby forests or jungles to give yourself an advantage for holding the city.


The defensive uses of The Great Warpath are useful right away, and keep you well-defended throughout much of the game, but that's not the only thing this UA offers. When you research The Wheel, forests and jungles in your own lands will also act as roads for purposes of City Connections, meaning you can make plenty of gold without paying tile maintenance costs. Try to settle cities in forest and/or jungle-heavy regions to take full advantage of this.

It's important to remember that unlike roads, forests and jungles outside your own lands won't create City Connections (nor boost movement speed as already mentioned.) As such, you'll either want to build your cities reasonably close together or get some Harbours up, or else you'll have to build roads to link those cities up. Be sure to send a Worker to remove any on top of forest and jungles if your city borders spread to them, to save yourself some maintenance.

Not only will free or nearly-free City Connections save you plenty of cash, it also saves a lot of Worker time, too. Prior to Construction, you can build plenty of farms, camps and suchlike. After you've researched Construction, be sure to build lots of lumbermills. Your UB will make those tiles amazing later.

Now, for the other economic benefit - forests and jungles count as roads as far as your Caravans are concerned, whether or not those forests and jungles are in your land. This has the effect of increasing the range your Caravans can travel, giving you essentially part of the Arabian UA, which can give you slightly extra gold or maybe reach another Civ for science.

Above: It's often difficult for Caravans to reach other Civs' cities early on, but with forests and jungles acting like roads, you can quickly take advantage of strong Trade Routes, particularly in higher difficulties where opposing Civs are likely to have more early technologies.

While your Caravans can travel further, that'll make them vulnerable to Barbarian attacks, or being plundered by an enemy Civ. Using a mounted unit or a Scout to keep an eye on your Caravans early on isn't a bad idea. As the game progresses, Civs will fill up the world and cut down some forests, weakening the range advantage of your Caravans but making the routes safer.


Your UA may make forests act as roads, but come the time of railroads, you're going to have to start building a more conventional link between your cities. Although forests and roads act as railroads for the purpose of spreading the 25% production bonus, they don't offer the movement speed advantage.


  • Research Worker technologies (and Writing) before anything else - with lots of forests and little need to spend time building roads, you're going to need them.
  • Your UU isn't your most important unique, so don't worry about getting it late
  • Favour greatly settling in forest/jungle-heavy regions
  • Use roads and Harbours where necessary, not everywhere
  • Remove roads and railroads on forest tiles in your own territory (including conquered areas) to avoid paying more maintenance
  • Your Caravans will have a much greater range early on, so use them to get a little science or gold going
  • Build railroads when they arrive to link up your cities as you would for any other Civ
Unique Unit: Mohawk Warrior

Mohawk Warriors, at first glance, may appear a great unit for spamming and invading enemies with. They've got no resource restriction, they're only three technologies in, they've got good strength for their era, and a bonus in terrain you'll want to conquer!

It's not quite so simple. Mohawk Warriors are brilliant defending units as they synergise with your UA to zoom through your forests with a massive bonus (if attacked in a forest, they have effectively the strength of Longswordsmen) but on the offensive, a bonus in forests and jungles is rather more situational. It's useless against cities, and siege units have difficulty getting through rough terrain areas. That's not to say you shouldn't take them on the offensive, it's just that you're not going to be able to conquer the world with them.

So, you've got to use these things carefully. Only attack somewhere if it meets at least one of these three criteria, and you're ready for the attack:

  • There's a heavily forested area near the city
  • They've got iron
  • They're highly vulnerable and a war would be easy

By only taking these priority cities, you can minimise the dislike of you other Civs may have for warmongering, which will give you an easier ride in the World Congress later. Of course, you can choose not to attack at all yet, and simply stockpile Mohawk Warriors, but you'll need iron to upgrade them.

On the offensive, Mohawk Warriors are useful for breaking a fortified position in woodland, as the 33% forest/jungle bonus exceeds the 25% defensive bonus forests and jungles offer. Getting the Woodsman promotion helps them sweep up enemy units and retreat through forests when needed, making them hard to catch.

The Obsoletion Tricks

Warriors upgrade into Mohawk Warriors, but while Mohawk Warriors come avaliable with Iron Working, Warriors don't obsolete until Metal Casting. As such, there's a window of opportunity between first getting access to your UU and your UB (Metal Casting unlocks the Longhouse) which allows you to build or buy Warriors and upgrade them to Mohawk Warriors.

Why is this useful? Well, building or buying Warriors and upgrading them them to Mohawk Warriors is more efficent than building or buying Mohawk Warriors directly. Buying regular Warriors and upgrading them costs 280 gold in normal speed games (not taking into account the Honour tree's reduced upgrade cost) while directly buying Mohawk Warriors costs 390 gold - 110 more.

The bad news is that when you unlock your UB, you lose this advantage. The good news is that your UB gives you so much production, that's not a problem.

Now, there's a window where you can build Warriors and Mohawk Warriors at the same time. But because Mohawk Warriors obsolete with Gunpowder rather than Steel, there's also a window of time where you can build Mohawk Warriors and upgrade them into Longswordsmen, keeping the forest/jungle bonus of the former and combining it with the strength of the latter.

Special promotions kept on upgrade

  • 33% extra strength in forest and jungle

Again, this bonus is best-used defensively, though it can be decent for attacking in certain situations, and is also effective for defending newly-captured land. Remember to grab some iron so you can upgrade these things to Longswordsmen. Upgrading them again to Musketmen frees up that iron, so you only need one lot of it to upgrade your entire army.

One decent route to go down as the Iroquois is to stockpile a few Mohawk Warriors, but avoid attacking with them until the late-game where they can be accompanied by Artillery, which are far more effective at taking down city defences than anything before them.
Unique Building: Longhouse

Settle in forest-free areas and this building is actually worse than the generic equivalent, but settle in forested regions and you'll have masses of production. Forests with lumber mills become as good as mines with a point of food on top, and forests with trading posts will be a good all-round tile. Camps on forests are also affected, which together with the Goddess of the Hunt Pantheon can make very powerful tiles.

Notice the lack of jungle mentioned here? Unlike your UA and UU, the Longhouse only affects forest tiles. Jungle areas are still good for the science potential, but your strongest cities will be those with Longhouses.

Above: Before any improvements get made better with technology, improved forests will have a higher total yield than any other non-resource tile.

Having a point of food as well as production makes it easy for your cities to work lots of lumbermills (or trading posts or camps as the case may be) unlike the pure-production mines. As such, you can have the best production in the game in the medieval era, and have a stronger production base than most Civs for the rest of the game. High production helps with wonder building or even the spaceship for a scientific victory, but more than anything else, it's excellent for building an army.

Using your high production to churn out military units is the most effective use of Longhouses. Your UA already provides some economic support and high mobility in home territory lets you keep your defences slim while on the offensive. Don't feel tied to when your UU is avaliable; put off any wars until Artillery if you have to (but don't leave it too late either.)

Overall, your UB is highly powerful if you've been careful with your settling locations. A new city in a forested area will develop at breakneck speeds with a Longhouse, and existing cities will have incredible amounts of production for whatever purpose you see fit.
Social Policies: First tree choices
Here's where it gets complicated. Tradition, Liberty and Honour all have their merits - Tradition because you can build tall cities working lots of lumber mills, Liberty because of your easy city connections and the fact that cities working lumber mills can have good production while not growing too fast, and Honour because of your UU.

So, you've got to choose carefully. If you meet lots of the following criteria, Tradition's probably best:

  • Forested regions are concentrated with relatively little away from your starting location
  • Strong food areas
  • You have limited space for expansion
  • Your capital is likely to be strong

If you meet lots of these criteria, Liberty's probably best:

  • There's plenty of forest to settle in
  • Long chains of forests or jungles for City Connection purposes
  • Your starting continent has a broad range of luxuries

And if you meet lots of these criteria, Honour may be worth a shot.

  • You lack forests or jungles but areas near other Civs have lots
  • Nearby Civs lack defence
  • You've got strong gold generation

I'll cover all three, though keep in mind with the rest of the Social Policies I show, I'm assuming you're heading towards a domination victory, with science as backup (as your high production helps with building the spaceship, and your UA and UU makes settling in jungle areas easy)


Tradition is the best Social Policy tree out of the three if you want to strengthen your chances at a scientific victory, though it may be a little less effective at war than the others.


As you won't want to remove forests, it takes a while until you can work them and you have little need for roads, rapid tile accumulation helps reduce the risk of having a time where your Workers can't work anything.


Free unit maintenance for garrisoned units lets you support even more. You'll want plenty of Mohawk Warriors even if you're not going to war with them, as, after all, they keep the forest/jungle bonus.


Your first four cities will be able to spread their borders without you having to build anything. Plus you get to save a small amount of cash, helping to support more units.

Landed Elite

Forest-heavy areas are better than hill-heavy areas for food, but they're not quite as good as open terrain. So, Landed Elite helps to offset that problem.


This greatly reduces the problems of building your capital tall. Getting gold out of it will help support more units.


Around this time, your Longhouses will be coming to provide you with excellent production, and Artistocracy takes that even further for wonders. Getting some good military wonders will certainly help out later.


Your first four cities will grow quickly and hence be able to work more lumber mills, while the ability to faith-purchase Great Engineers will come in handy for the Spaceflight Pioneers tenet in the Order ideology if you're after a scientific victory.



All your cities can spread their borders immediately, meaning you don't need to put so much effort in building Monuments.


This has a massive impact on new cities' production. They'll be able to build Longhouses much faster, helping to develop them quickly.

Collective Rule

Being able to build Settlers much more rapidly will really help out with getting good forested areas for cities, before other Civs start moving in and cutting down trees.


With a lack of a need to build many roads, your Workers will have less to do than most Civs' Workers, but that's a chance to develop all the other tiles (or just have fewer Workers and save on unit maintenance.) Plus, this'll make setting up railroads faster later on - after all, your forests and jungles won't give you railroad-esque movement later in the game.


It's not hard to form City Connections as the Iroquois, so you can quickly regain a little happiness after founding cities.


Gets you through Social Policies a little faster and gets a free Golden Age, which gives a helpful boost to production to help build up more Mohawk Warriors. Not the strongest policy for you, but needed for the Finisher.


A free Great Person! Great Engineers, Scientists and Prophets are generally best at this stage of the game. Great Engineers can help get you a strong wonder, Great Scientists help offset the technology cost of building wide and Great Prophets at this stage can help get you a religion or enhance it.


If you're going down the Honour route, I'm assuming you're going into war with your Mohawk Warriors.


Barbarian encampments are revealed as soon as they spawn, you can fight them more easily and you get a culture incentive for doing so, making Barbarians much less of an issue. Fighting Barbarians with Warriors for promotions, then upgrading them to Mohawk Warriors later is a good idea.


Start with the right-hand side of the Honour tree first so you can reach Professional Army in time for Mohawk Warriors. Discipline will be useful for your melee-focused army later on, or you can pair up Warriors to make fighting Barbarians easier.

Military Caste

An easy source of per-turn culture, allowing cities to expand their borders without a Monument, as well as happiness which helps you support any conquests you make.

Professional Army

It's already more efficent to buy Warriors and upgrade them than it is to buy Mohawk Warriors (and the hybrid approach of building Warriors and upgrading them works well too.) You can make that even more cost effective, and making military buildings cheaper saves a lot of time later on in the game.

Warrior Code

Gives you a free Great General (probably during or just before you launch a Mohawk Warrior attack) and makes melee units faster to build, meaning you can churn out even more Mohawk Warriors.

Military Tradition

This policy really helps out in getting Mohawk Warriors to the Woodsman promotion sooner, which is excellent together with its forest/jungle bonus. Of course, it's also quicker to get to March giving you particularly hard to kill units.


Getting gold back on kills means your economy can run a deficit so long as you're killing enough. That lets you support a larger army.
Social Policies: Commerce and Rationalism
Generally, Commerce and Rationalism are the best second and third choices for a land-based warmonger to support unit maintenance, support lots of cities (with Commerce's Protectionism) and keep up with technology.



Capitals start with guarenteed luxuries, and the Palace adds 3 base gold to the city. As such, you can make a fair bit of cash out of this policy right away.

Mercenary Army

Landsknechte are cheap and help cover any vulnerability you may have on open terrains to mounted units.


You can get science out of money buildings, and your cash goes further when purchasing items. While your high production can handle building things without needing assistance from gold, it's useful for buying Landsknechte or for making sure a city gets a new important building quickly.

Wagon Trains

Your UA makes the cheap tile maintenance aspect of this Social Policy less useful (until railroads come along at least) but the extra Caravan gold is more useful, as by treating forests and jungles as roads, they have a longer range than normal and are hence more profitable. So, building on that works fairly well.


Not a spectacular policy, but Great Merchants are good for an extra rush of gold to support your economy if you've built too many units for your finances to handle.


This is more like it. Lots of happiness, and it's global happiness, too, so it won't be held back by the size of your cities. Even if you took Tradition and want to use your production for a peaceful victory, this is still good for Golden Ages.


Trading posts on forests make an interesting compromise between production and gold thanks to your UB. But now, the gold potential's even better.



Whether you want to build the spaceship or want to keep up with military progress, taking Rationalism is a very good idea. The opener gives you a good, easy science boost so long as you can keep your empire happy.


Great Scientists are good for everyone. Here, have more of them.

Free Thought

Trading post + forest + your UB + Economics = 1 food, 2 production, 3 gold and 1 science. That's a powerful yield. On top of that, Universities are stronger, too. Building tall or building wide, you'll get plenty here.


It's not that hard to fill at least one specialist slot, even in a wide empire. You'll want Longhouses in most, if not all of your cities, and they each have an engineer slot. This policy still favours building tall, but extra science is good for everyone.


Reducing science buildings' maintenance means more gold for maintaining units. Or maybe skewing the World Congress in your favour, maybe?

Scientific Revolution

The effectiveness of this policy depends on how much warmongering you've been up to prior to this point. The more you do, the harder it is to get a research agreement. Still, it's worthwhile getting this for the powerful finisher


A free technology can really help push a tech advantage which is useful no matter the route you're taking, and being able to buy Great Scientists with faith is one of the more powerful uses of it.
Order offers you bonuses for both domination and a scientific backup, and hence makes the best option for you. For a pure scientific approach, Freedom may work a little better, but I'm not covering that here.

As always, I'll be covering the best tenets in the first "inverted pyramid", so that's three from level 1, two from level 2 and one from level 3. I'm assuming you're going for a domination victory, but you can substitute Iron Curtain for Spaceflight Pioneers for science.

Level One Tenets - Order

Socialist Realism

Monuments are super-cheap to build and with this policy become an incredibly easy source of happiness, great for supporting conquests.

Young Pioneers

Need any more happiness? This tenet makes all your Longhouses, Factories, Hydro Plants and Nuclear/Solar Plants worth some, so you can grow cities into production powerhouses with less of a downside.

Hero of the People

Great People are good for any Civ. Great Scientists in particular will be useful at this late stage of the game to keep up with rapid military technological advancement.

Level Two Tenets - Order

Workers' Faculties

Factories become cheap and offer more science, helping you build on your production advantages and cover any scientific weakness.

Five-Year Plan

This may seem a bit strange, considering much of your production will be from lumber mills rather than mines, but you'll work just as many quarries as anyone else, and +2 production per city is still very useful.

Level Three Tenet - Order

Iron Curtain

Free Courthouses in new city conquests helps prevent unhappiness slowing your conquests down, but this tenet also makes internal Trade Routes 50% more effective. Workshops are needed to send production via internal Trade Routes and thanks to the fact your UB is cheaper than standard Workshops and more effective, it's easy to get that aspect of the tenet going. Just make sure you can handle the loss of gold from trading internally instead of with other Civs or City-States.
While not the most important thing for the Iroquois, religion nonetheless offers you a range of advantages. Here's a selection of the best options.


Dance of the Aurora

The areas with the highest concentration of forests will tend to be near tundra. While this policy doesn't affect forested tundra tiles, there's a decent chance of some tundra hills, which are affected by the faith bonus and are just as good as forest, plains or desert hills.

Other faith Pantheons aren't listed here due to them being situationally useful based on your starting terrain, but are nonetheless useful to take to increase the odds of you founding a full religion.

Sacred Path

Jungles count as roads when in your own lands, just like forests, so it's a little easier to set up new cities in jungles than may otherwise be the case. Sacred Path lets you get more out of your jungles, and provide a defence against cultural players later in the game.

Goddess of the Hunt (Tall-building Iroquois favoured)

If you build a camp, it won't remove a forest it's on, meaning those tiles benefit from the Longhouse's +1 production for every forest worked, leading to some particularly powerful tiles.

Messenger of the Gods (Wide-building Iroquois favoured)

Helps to offset the increased technology cost per city.

God of Craftsmen

It's not hard to get a new city to size 3, and this Pantheon helps you get a Longhouse in that new city sooner, which will wipe out early production issues.


Tithe or Church Property

More money means more military might as it covers maintenance costs.

Interfaith Dialogue

A small source of science to help complement other, more conventional kinds. Unless your faith generation's high, you'll probably get more out of Tithe or Church Property


Religious Community (Tall-building Iroquois favoured)

Longhouses lose the +10% production modifier Workshops have, but here's a way to put it back and then some. As the +1 production per forest counts as base production, you'll make more out of this belief than most, so long as your cities are tall enough.

Pagodas (Wide-building Iroquois favoured)

Two local city happiness each (as well as 2 faith and 2 culture) for no maintenance cost. Helps to support a wide empire without draining your military support money dry.

Mosques (Wide-building Iroquois favoured)

As a backup for Pagodas or perhaps to complement the belief. 1 less happiness a time but 1 more faith.

Divine Inspiration (Tall-building Iroquois favoured)

Well, all that Longhouse production's gotta go somewhere, and building plenty of wonders is a possible way to go. Divine Inspiration offers 2 faith for every world wonder, giving you more out of them for whatever purpose you like.

Holy Warriors

If you managed to get Dance of the Aurora or another high-faith producing Pantheon to work well, you can reward yourself with an alternative way to get Mohawk Warriors, Trebuchets or other such units. In most cases, you won't have faith that high that early, but I'm listing this here in case you do.

Asceticism (Wide-building Iroquois favoured)

A cheap source of happiness. Reaching 3 followers in a city isn't that difficult.


Itinerant Preachers or Religious Texts

A faith-free way to help spread your religion, freeing up faith for other uses.

Just War

Makes invading places somewhat easier, though you'll need decent faith generation to spread it to plenty of foreign cities.
World Congress
Here's a list of the decisions and brief notes on importance of some. Ones missing depend greatly on the situation you're in. Voting choices may vary depending on your game - if everyone's pushing for a policy you don't want, but your strategy doesn't rest on it, then it may be better just to abstain (or vote for it for possible diplomatic bonuses.)

Note "priority" refers to how high you should prioritise your votes if it comes up, not how much you should prioritise putting them forward.

Arts Funding

Medium priority
Vote no

Great Scientists, Merchants and Engineers are more useful for you than GWAMs.

Cultural Heritage Sites

Medium priority
Vote yes unless you lack wonders

High production gives you a good shot at wonders, so getting more out of them can be a decent move.

Embargo City-States

Medium-High priority
Vote no

City-State trading is vital if you've been warmongering enough to turn every full Civ against you.

Historical Landmarks

Low priority
Vote no

International Games

Medium priority
Vote yes if you can spare enough production for the happiness and City-State boost (and maybe to deny cultural Civs the tourism.) Vote no otherwise.

International Space Station

High priority
Vote yes

Your high production gives you a good chance of getting hold of the top prize, which will help out towards a scientific backup victory.

Natural Heritage Sites

Low priority
Vote no unless you have Natural Wonders of your own

Nuclear Non-Proliferation

High priority
Vote yes if you have plenty of nuclear weapons, you lack uranium and other players have them or you're the only player with nuclear weapons. Vote no otherwise.

Sciences Funding

Medium priority
Vote yes

You can get more out of Great Scientists and Engineers than GWAMs.

Standing Army Tax

High priority
Vote no

World's Fair

Medium priority
Vote yes

Like the other projects, your production gives you an edge for taking the top prize. All that culture will really help defend against cultural Civs.
High production gives you a great opportunity for getting wonders after your Longhouses are up and running, though you'll probably have to pass up on many early wonders. Still, if you can't build a wonder, you can always capture it.

Here's a selection of the best wonder choices, arranged by alphabetical order per era. Don't just shoot for them all; prioritise the ones that best suit your situation.

Ancient Era

Statue of Zeus (Honour Only)

Honour exclusivity makes it a little easier to build, and a bonus against cities will be great for any serious warmongering.

Classical Era

Hanging Gardens (Tradition Only)

Competitive even for a Social Policy tree-exclusive wonder. Still, if you manage to build the Hanging Gardens, you can make a huge city, able to work lots of super-lumber mills for masses of production.

Terracotta Army

Build up a diverse early army (keeping some obsolete units will make this even stronger) and you can greatly increase its size. Powerful if you want to go to war in the classical or early medieval era.

Medieval Era


Your homelands will have an above-average amount of rough terrain, making the Drill I promotion rather useful. If you can grab this wonder before Gunpowder, you can build Mohawk Warriors with a 78% bonus in forests and jungles (assuming the city also has an Armoury) and only one promotion away from Woodsman, Blitz or March.

Angkor Wat

Forests only count as roads for purposes of movement and City Connections when they're in your land, so you'll want to gain tiles more rapidly to help out with that. Plus more forest tiles mean more super-lumber mills or trading posts.

Machu Picchu

More gold helps support your army, and it's not hard to link up new cities thanks to your UA.

Notre Dame

Global city happiness! 10 points of it! Helps support conquests or just building a wide empire!

Renaissance Era

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Great People are good for everyone. While some Civs may make more out of this wonder than you, you can use your high production to deny anyone else it.

Porcelain Tower (Rationalism Only)

If you've already gone to war by this point, getting Research Agreements going will be difficult, though a free Great Scientist will still be useful, and getting this wonder denies anyone else it.

Taj Mahal

A lower-priority wonder, but a culture, production and gold boost will be useful to have.

Industrial Era

Big Ben (Commerce Only)

Provides a little gold and reduces the cost of purchasing items. This makes buying your way to an army easier.

Brandenburg Gate

Stack with the Alhambra and a Military Academy and you can take a new melee unit all the way to March, Woodsman or Blitz.

Modern Era

Kremlin (Order Only)

While it's the weakest of the three ideology wonders on the whole, fast armoured unit building helps you adjust to the faster speed of late-game warfare. Plus, a free Social Policy/tenet isn't bad, either.


Castles now have negative maintenance, provide a little protection from cultural Civs with culture to combat their tourism, and provide a point of local city happiness. The gold and happiness in particular help to support conquests.

Atomic Era

Great Firewall

Like the renaissance-era wonders, the idea is to deny anyone else this wonder, keeping your Spies effective for stealing new technologies. Plus, it can free up a counterspy for spying abroad. And on top of all that, cultural Civs with The Internet get no tourism bonus against you so they can't drain your happiness as easily if they're in a different ideology.


All those Mohawk Warriors and other such units you built a long time ago can drain your coffers dry in upgrade costs. The Pentagon helps eliminate those issues.

Information Era

CN Tower

1 unhappiness-free population point for every city can make a huge difference by the end of the game. Lumber mill tiles are worth 4 production and 1 food each in a Longhouse city, and being able to work one more of those tiles can mean the difference between having a few cities viable for building the spaceship and having lots of them.

Hubble Space Telescope

The high production of the Iroquois make them well-equipped to build the spaceship (even if they're not the strongest around at researching the parts for the spaceship.) This wonder helps you build spaceship parts even faster, which should help to compensate a little for the lack of science.
Pitfalls to Avoid
No other Civ places quite so much emphasis on a single terrain type (not even Morocco and their deserts.) As such, it's central to Iroquoian strategy that you keep forests in mind. Ignore forests and jungles and you're playing without uniques. Here's a few other important mistakes to keep in mind:

Beelining Iron Working

Iron Working is an expensive technology, and Mohawk Warriors are nearly twice the cost of Warriors. Get some Worker technologies and Writing first.

Building wide despite a lack of forests or jungles

To make use of all of your uniques, you need to focus on forests and jungles, forests in particular. Making lots of low-production happiness-draining cities for the sheer sake of it isn't a great reason.

Excessive early wonder construction

You may be able to fit in one or two. But prior to Longhouses, your production is nothing special and it's important to focus on early infrastructure or founding new cities.

Over-relying on Mohawk Warriors on the offensive

A 33% forest/jungle bonus is rather situational and doesn't make it easier to take down cities. You'll need plenty of siege units. Use your Mohawk Warriors to keep those units safe, not as substitutes to those units. And remember, you don't have to launch an attack then. Mohawk Warriors take longer to obsolete than normal Swordsmen, so you can build plenty for upgrading later.

Dragging on Mohawk Warrior wars

Pikemen are stronger than Mohawk Warriors, resource free and not that much more expensive. If you're going to go to war with Mohawk Warriors, get it over quickly or have iron, science and cash ready to upgrade them.

Single-mindedly focusing on scientific victory

A scientific victory makes a decent backup for the Iroquois, but generally you shouldn't consider it your main route (unless, maybe, you get a good mix of strong jungle and forest cities for both science and production.) Production helps domination victories more than any other kind, and your UA's saved gold will help with domination more than science, too.
Ayonwentah's Anguish: The Counter-Strategies
The Iroquois defend well and have strong production, but their heavy focus on forests and jungles is a key weakness you can exploit.

Playing against The Great Warpath and Longhouses

Workers can chop down forests and jungles in neutral territory. You can anticipate where the Iroquois are likely to settle new cities, and start chopping down trees near there in order to deny them the speed, city connection, defence and production bonuses. Chopping down trees will give you a small amount of production, so it's not entirely a dead loss for you to do so, but be sure not to neglect improving your own lands!

If the city spot is one you want to settle in later, chop down the forests on hills first. Your mines will be pretty much as good as your lumber mills, but their lumber mills are better than their mines, so they'll lose out while you'll be hardly affected.

If you're a warmonger attacking the Iroquois, cut down lots of forests in any cities you capture if there's a good chance they'll take them back. Don't cut down so many jungles - they're good for you for science, and the Longhouse production bonus doesn't apply to jungles. Give your units rough terrain promotions to more evenly fight with the Iroquois on their home land.

Ultimately, the best way of weakening the Iroquoian UA and UB is prevention rather than cure. Cut down those forests or take those city spots before the Iroquois can!

Playing against Mohawk Warriors

The main threat of Mohawk Warriors is their ability to be built in large numbers without a resource requirement. Their main flaw is that they're weaker than Pikemen and Civil Service is a technology most Civs will be heading to.

But until then, ranged units will be good at dealing with them as they're not particularly fast. Place your ranged units on hills or open terrain so any Mohawk Warriors that attack them will be without their forest/jungle bonus. If you've got a highly forested city, clear a few trees on forested hills to prevent Mohawk Warriors stacking defensive bonuses.

A point about America

America's UUs are both excellent at disregarding rough terrain, making the Iroquoian defensive advantages less effective. Minutemen ignore terrain movement costs and have a bonus in rough terrain while the range of powerful B17s aren't reduced by rough terrain, like all air units. But that's not all, as America's ability to quickly buy tiles puts them in a great position to cut off forests for Iroquoian City Connections and deprive them of Longhouse production.

Strategy by style

Early and Mid-game Aggressors - Promote your units with rough terrain promotions (Drill or Barrage) and go for the throat - their capital. Despite a forest start bias, their capital will often have only a few forests compared to their other cities, as generally Civs don't move their first Settler much.

Late-game Warmongers - Late-game siege units generally ignore rough terrain (Artillery and Battleships have the Indirect Fire promotion, Bombers' range isn't restricted by hills or forests either) meaning the Iroquoian defensive bonuses won't be too much of a problem. Rush in a few fast units to pllage their improved forests if their production is likely to be a problem.

Cultural Players - The Iroquoian strength with production makes them good at taking lots of wonders, and as a result they may be one of the tricker non-cultural Civs to overcome with tourism. Cutting down a few forests in heavily-wooded areas before the Iroquois arrive will help lessen that problem.

Diplomatic Players - Be careful about pushing through projects (the World Fair, International Games and International Space Station) in the World Congress as the Iroquois will have an advantage there. Push an embargo if their warmongering gets out of hand, or get a boycott for one of their key luxuries, but generally the Iroquois won't threaten to compete with you for diplomacy.

Scientific Players - Keep your tech rate up and defend well. Aside from the small bonus of free City Connections in jungles, the Iroquois lack an advantage to science generation and have to rely on fast spaceship building if they want a scientific victory. You shouldn't have too much to worry about.
Other Guides

These guides cover every Civ in the game and can be used as quick reference guides.

Civ-specific guides, in alphabetical order

All 43 Civs are covered in in-depth guides linked below. In brackets are the favoured victory routes of each Civ.
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Zigzagzigal  [author] Aug 20, 2017 @ 3:07pm 
Eziowicked Aug 20, 2017 @ 2:50pm 
If you have cites near each other within the same border and there is forest or jungle tiles connecting them but there is 1 or 2 tiles without forest or jungle can you build a road on those tiles and it will still work?
Zigzagzigal  [author] Jul 16, 2015 @ 6:34am 
Okay, fixed that.
Bragior Jul 16, 2015 @ 2:59am 
On the obsoletion of the UA, it still mentions losing the production bonus from railroads.
Zigzagzigal  [author] Jul 10, 2015 @ 3:07pm 
Thanks, I knew I was missing a mention of "and jungles" somewhere.
lewosch Jul 10, 2015 @ 2:25pm 
at a glance => unique ability: the great warpath => second clause => insert "and jungles" between "forests" and "in friendly territory..."
Zigzagzigal  [author] May 26, 2015 @ 9:44am 
You're right, thanks for that.
Bragior May 26, 2015 @ 5:13am 
You can still actually get the 20% production bonus of railroads from the UA. It's just that you still can't get the increased movement from them.
rhchil Jun 27, 2014 @ 6:13pm 
One downside I found while starting a number of Iroquois games is the computer tends to treat forests and jungles similarly in terms of a start bias. While this starting position may not seem terrible, you have to consider the entirety of their UA: "Forests (and jungles) in friendly territory can be used as roads for purposes of City Connections after researching The Wheel" (emphasis added). If you start with either jungle or a mix of forest and jungle, try to expand away from jungles, as the AI places jungle tiles at the low end of city border expansion priority. This penalty can force you to buy too many tiles at a time when gold is scarce, thus negating the economic benefit of low-cost or free city connections.
NOLA_Saints May 21, 2014 @ 3:04pm 
You write some excellent guides. I was having trouble with the Iroquois and this really helped me out, keep up the good work!