Sid Meier's Civilization V

Sid Meier's Civilization V

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Civilization V Guide for players new and old! [WIP]
By Assassin and 1 collaborators
This guide is a complete walkthrough of game mechanics and strategies starting with new player strategies and moving on to advanced strategies such as moving your settler and micromanaging your population, as well as much, much more!
Welcome to my guide for Civilization 5! With the Steam Summer Sale going on right now I figured that some newcomers could use some guidance, and maybe some old hands might need some new tricks, so heres my guide, leave a like, a comment, and thanks for reading!

This guide is a work in progress, and may launch without several features. It WILL however gain those features very shortly as I plan on making this guide as complete as possible.

I also now run a group, C5GS, which runs discussions and games regularly! Discussions will be added on topics that just couldnt be discussed here due to time and space constraints. Enjoy!
Resources in Civilization 5
First lets go over the Basics:
BNW = Brave New World
G&K = Gods and Kings

When i say Primary tiles, I mean what tiles the resource is primarily found on. There are exceptions, as well as tiles not included in the list.

Lets look at what you see in game:
In the Red Box at the top left you have your Information bar. Highlighted here is your current research, one of the options that can be shown from the dropdown menu. The dropdown menu in this picture is activated by clicking the science beaker and from there you can see what Luxury and Strategic resources you have as well as look at various other sources of information.
On the right in Green is another dropdown information menu. Next to that is the Social policy button, which brings up a screen with social policies.
In Yellow we have the Tourism button which brings a screen with several tabs relating to the tourism output of your civilization along with others that you have met.
In Purple we have the Diplomacy button which brings up a screen with a list of all the civilizations and city states in the current game. From there you can click on one of their icons to go to their individual diplomatic screen.

Food is your most important resource: Without it, gathering the other resources becomes nigh impossible.
Primary use: increasing population.
Primary tiles: Grassland, Flood plains, rivers, Cattle, fish

Production is incredibly important, allowing you to build buildings, units and wonders.
Primary use: Building
Primary tiles: Hills, Plains, strategic resource tiles.

Gold keeps your empire running smoothly. Always keep a significant surplus of this resource.
Primary use: Empire Upkeep
Primary tiles: Luxury resource tiles, River tiles(pre-Brave New World)

Faith (BNW, G&K)
Faith is useful for the creation, spread and use of religions. During the Industrial era, faith can be used to buy Great People.
Primary use: Various bonuses.
Primary tiles: Varied based on pantheon belief, certain natural wonders.

Tourism (BNW)
Tourism is your "offensive" culture output, used for achieving a cultural victory.
Primary use: Culture victory
Primary tiles: None.

Happiness keeps your empire running and also contributes points each turn towards your golden age counter. Keeping this positive and as high as possible is essential.
Primary use: Empire upkeep.
Primary tiles: Certain natural wonders.

Science is essential for the advancement of your civilization through the eras. Science is heavily dependent on population.
Primary use: Technological advancement.
Primary tiles: Certain natural wonders, Jungle (with a university built.)

Luxury Resources
Luxury resources are found on a wide variety of tiles, easily seen on the map as they are all automatically visible right from the start. Getting more than one of each is a great idea, because then you can trade them to the ai for another luxury or 7 gpt (gold per turn).
Primary use: Happiness

Strategic resources
Strategic resources are typically used by powerful builds or units. Units take a penalty if their owner does not have enough strategic resources to support them (typically 1 resource per unit.)
Primary use: Cavalry, other powerful units.
Strategic resources: Horses, Iron, Coal, Oil, Aluminum and Uranium.
City Screen
Another thing every civilization player needs to be familiar with is the city screen:

In Red at the top left of the screen is an information bar which is visible at all times (in city or not in city). The information on this bar is based on your entire civilization, not just this city. From left to right it displays: Your current science output, your current gold and gold per turn (which can be positive or negative), how many trades routes you have/how many trade routes are available, your current happiness, your Golden Age Counter, your current culture since your last social policy/cost for the next policy with your current culture income in parenthesis.

After that we have your current Tourism output, symbolized by a suitcase. Then comes your current faith with your faith income per turn in parenthesis. Beside that are all your strategic resources.

Now to the actual "city screen":

In Green we have the city's output of various resources from top to bottom: Food, Production, Gold, Science, Faith, Tourism and Culture. Mousing over any of the numbers will bring up a display showing how it got that number. Above your food output is your current population in the city and how many turns until your population increases.

Across from that in Blue on your far right is the Citizen Management and buildings area. Within this area you have dropdowns which show what buildings you have built in the city, what wonders you have built in the city, and you can fill certain buildings with specialists. Specialists are discussed in greater detail later, as is the Citizen Management screen that is currently open, also referred to as the City Focus area.

Directly in the Center in Purple is the area where the Combat Strength of your city is listed, as well as the city name (a capital has a star next to it) as well as the resource your city demands. Fulfilling this demand will send your city into "We Love the King Day" (regardless of whether you are a brutal dictator or not), which will give your city bonus food production for around twenty (20) turns.

In Orange in the bottom left is your production menu. You can see what your city is currently producing as well as what you have queued up (I have a library queued up in the picture). You can also add to the queue, change your production, and purchase units or buildings with gold (or faith depending on the unit/building.)

Hope all of that helps explain the screen! Enjoy!
Growing your Civilization and other important concepts
City Placement
City Placement is a tricky subject. It is most certainly not an exact science, and two players looking at the same start are likely to have a different opinion. In general however, players agree on a few things to look for when placing a city:
  • On a river or near a river or other source of fresh water. A start without this may be one to restart.
  • On a hill is preferable. The defensive bonus is not only massive, but the early game production boost can allow for rapid construction and expansion.
  • Adjacent to a mountain would be an AMAZING plus. The Inca (mentioned in detail in the "Civilizations" section) have a fairly reasonable chance at a mountain start.
  • Ensure you can see 3 luxuries! Sometimes you may start just out of range of a luxury.
  • For second and third cities, always do your best to get a luxury within 2-3 tiles of the city.
  • For water starts, make sure you can see resources, as basic ocean tiles are mostly worthless.

Truly judging your spawn is a difficult task as you cannot yet see the strategic resources and you could be sitting on a huge vein of oil, move your settler over a tile, and be out of place for it. A lot of this comes down to luck, but the most important thing to remember is population growth.

Be very careful when moving your settler! You have at MOST 4 turns to settle before you SEVERELY damage your civilization. I personally will only move 1-2 Turns before settling. Barbarian captured settlers can quickly end your game before it even begins.

Population Growth
One thing that cannot be overstated is the value of your citizens. A civilization who does not foster its population growth properly is a dead civilization. The simplest way to do this is to set the city focus to food production. That alone will only get you so far, as food tile yields will rarely be above 3 unless you use some workers. Farms should be built on any and every tile next to a river or lake. In addition, the civil service technology will increase the food yield of farms near fresh water. Trade Routes between your civilization's cities providing four or more food per turn are an excellent option as well.

Science Growth
The easiest way to have a constantly increasing science output is to have a constantly increasing population. Science growth also feeds itself and population growth through various technologies such as education, civil service and plastics. Good city placement will be critically important, as explained earlier in this section. Building science buildings in all cities as soon as they become available is the easiest way to feed science growth. Expansion *can* hinder growth, as each new city increases technology costs by 5%. Not a significant number, but it does force you to work harder. In addition, you need to keep your gold per turn (gpt) positive and money in your treasury at all times. Should you go into negative gpt and have 0 gold in your treasury, your science is penalized based on your negative balance. When your science starts to suffer your life will become hell and it can quickly spiral into an impossible situation. That being said, the best counter to this situation is by keeping a fairly significant treasury "safety net". This topic is discussed more in Gold Management, later in this section.

Keeping your empire running positively is a constant battle, as an expanding empire will rapdily snowball into an unhappy mess. Keeping happiness high is most easily done by building every happiness building available, building the circus maximus in your capital as soon as possible, and by getting luxury resources. In theory you should have at least 1 different luxury per city (Preferably obtained by improving a luxury near said city.) Allying with city states will also help, and smart city placement combined with a reasonable number of cities will make happiness management easy. Founding and spreading a religion that has many happiness boosts can also help. Social policy trees also typically have at least 1 policy which relates to happiness.

Culture Growth
Increasing your culture output is achieved simply by grabbing certain policies, such as the tradition opener or the liberty opener. Building monuments and other culture buildings, as well as National and World wonders will all maximize your culture output. Writer, Artist and Musician specialists will contribute 3 culture per turn each. Additional cities will increase culture per turn but also increase social policy cost.

Gold Management
Gold management can be the most challenging aspect of Civ5. A fair bit of it is dependent on your starting location. Increasing your GPT involves one or more of the following: Building caravans and/or trade ships for gold, building markets and other gold producing buildings, reducing troop count if necessary and by taking various social policies (such as the Commerce opener, which increases your capital's gold output by 25%.)
Reducing your GPT is easily done and can happen without you consciously realizing you are losing gold. Units and many buildings require gold every turn to maintain, so any building that is unnecessary can quickly shred your gpt, especially if many of them are built throughout your empire.
Other Concepts continued
Specialists are citizens who, instead of working the tiles around your city, work in buildings inside your city such as the Market, Writers guild and the University. These specialists generate a resource specific to their craft, as well as several "great person points" that add up to generate a great person. Take for example the University, a science building. Specialists generate 3 science per turn and 3 great person points toward a great scientist.

Great People and their Generation
Great People are wildly important to gameplay, as they can be expended for a one-time powerful boost of some sort, or "planted" by either creating a great work or by creating a unique tile improvement that has a very, very high yield. Great people are generated when a certain number of great person points towards that type of great person is achieved. After a great person spawns, the total points are reset to zero, and the points needed increases. Great Prophets require faith instead of great person points to purchase, and instead of being purchased automatically, Great Prophets spawn somewhat at random after the faith requirement has been reached. Great Generals spawn based on XP from Land unit combat, Great Admirals spawn based on XP from Naval combat.

On Standard speed, Great People require 100 points for the first person, and then +100 for each person after that. Note that Engineers, Scientists and Merchants contribute to each others costs, meaning that if you get a Great Engineer for 100, the cost for getting a merchant or scientist goes up to 200.
Multiple cities can have great person counters, and only the city which spawned a great person reverts to 0 points. For example, if City 1 has 100 points towards an engineer and City 2 has 50 points toward an engineer, when City 1 spawns the engineer, it reverts to 0 points and city 2 keeps its 50 points, though it must now get up to 200 points in order to spawn an engineer.

Great Scientist
Burn: Burning a Great Scientist gives you science equal to approximately your previous 8 turns worth of science output. Generally more useful late game when you get more out of it.

Plant: Planting a Great Scientist puts an Academy down which produces 8 science, which increases with later technologies. Great during the early/mid game, Scientists should be planted until you get Plastics, after which point they should be burned immediately or saved for later.

Buildings w/science specialists: University, Public School, Research Lab.

Great Engineer
Burn: Burning a Great Engineer gives you 500 or more production at once, generally to be used for getting a wonder you want in 1 turn. Used properly you can get back to back wonders.

Plant: Planting a Great Engineer puts down a Manufactuary which increases production by 4 on that tile. Improved with Chemistry. Great for cities with low production areas.

Great Merchant
Burn: Burning a Great Merchant in a City State gives you a large amount of gold and influence with the city state. An excellent use of this would be to burn the Merchant and then use the gold to buy more influence. Combine with Patronage and Commerce tree for maximum effect.

Plant: Planting a Great Merchant creates a * which increases gold production of the tile dramatically. Quite frankly less useful than burning a lot of the time, as the side benefits from the influence will be more far reaching than the gold you get.

Great Writer
Burn: Burning a Great Writer gives you a large amount of culture at once. Not usually worth the time and effort put into producing a Great Writer.

Plant: Planting a Great Writer creates a Great Work of Writing which gives +2 culture and +2 Tourism. Well worth it, and necessary for a Cultural victory.

Great Artist
Burn: Burning a Great Artist creates a Golden Age, useful late game if you dont have a slot for a Great Work of Art OR if you are Brazil you can use it to spam a lot of tourism very quickly.

Plant: Planting a Great Artist creates a Great Work of Art that gives +2 culture and +2 Tourism. Well worth it, however after Archaeology planting should drop off as no more slots will become available, and many of your slots could be filled with artifacts from Archaeologist.

Great Musician
Burn: Burning a Great Musician in another civilization's territory directly adds a large amount of tourism to the total tourism towards that civilization. In addition, other civilizations get 10% of the tourism added.

Plant: Planting a Great Musician creates a Great Work of Music that gives +2 culture and +2 Tourism. Like the Great Artist, at some point it will become more efficient to burn Great Musicians for their tourism boost.

Great Prophet
Create Religion: A Great Prophet can be burned to create a religion if one is still available. Creating a religion allows you to customize some bonuses for your civilizations based on various abilities available. Happiness boosts are always a good idea!

Enhance Religion: After founding a religion, a second Great Prophet can be used to enhance your religion. BE AWARE! The "Spread Religion" Option will appear on TOP, above this option. Make sure you click the correct button! If you click spread religion you will be unable to enhance your religion with this Great Prophet and you will need a THIRD Great Prophet in order to enhance your religion.

Burn x4: Great Prophets can be used to spread religion, and eliminate the pressure of opposing religions in doing so. This can allow you to spread your religion forcefully into another civilization. BEWARE! Make sure you dont click this instead of enhance religion, as this button is at the top of the list of options!

Plant: Planting a Great Prophet creates a Holy Site which generates a large amount of faith. In addition, various policies in the Piety tree add bonuses to Holy Sites.

Great General
Plant: A Great General can be planted to create a citadel within 1 hex of your territory. Citadels deal 30 damage to any enemy unit ending its turn adjacent to the citadel, and provide a HUGE defensive bonus to friendly units inside the Citadel. On top of that, when you create the Citadel, it steals every tile next to it from ANY CIVILIZATION and gives it to you.

Constant Use: A Great General provides a +15% combat bonus to all land units within two hexes.

Great Admiral
Burn: A Great Admiral can be burned to heal all adjacent naval units to full health.

Constant Use: A Great Admiral provides a 15% combat bonus to all naval units within two hexes.

Port change: If you have multiple coastal cities, a Great Admiral can teleport between ports at the click of a button, allowing him to be everywhere he needs to be.

When planting Great People (who create tile improvements, except for Great General) use this rule of thumb: Plant on a tile you can work, preferably a grassland or plains tile NOT adjacent to fresh water.
The combat mechanics are wildly complex equations, but the combat screens simplify it by showing your unit's health, combat strength in the current situation, and what precentage bonuses were applied to it as well as the same information for the enemy unit. What does it all mean? Simply put, were two units to go up against each other on completely even ground they would deal 25-30 damage or so to each other. Randomness has a factor in this, and values on the high and low end of the scale are possible, as can be seen in cases where what looks to be a clear victory turns into a shattering defeat.

In addition, there are two types of damage that are dealt:
- Melee damage
- Range damage

The primary difference is that ranged attacks are completed with no damage to the attacking unit as a result of their attack. During a melee attack, however, the defending unit deals damage to the attacker as part of the attack. Specific units will be discussed later, but after the attack is resolved, both sides of the attack gain experience points. At various point values (10,30,60,etc +) the unit gains a promotion. These give them bonuses during combat in various terrain types, bonuses versus specific types of enemies, and other powerful abilities. Particularly powerful abilities include March, allowing units to heal every turn regardless of their actions during the turn.

Warfare changes dramatically as the eras go on, specifically past the industrial era. As in real life, warfare became much faster, as well as heavily dependent on air superiority. I will be dedicating specific section to warfare during and after the industrial era, as well as the first section on warfare pre-industrial.

You already know that there are two types of units: ranged units and melee units, but here is a more specific list that narrows it down further, as well as a few notes about each. I do not include unique units for each civilization here, they are discussed later alongside their civilization.

Melee units - Standard
Great War Infantry
Mechanized Infantry
-Upgrade series over-
XCOM Squad

Melee units - Anti-Cav
->Upgrades to Lancer in Cavalry
<- Which upgrades to Anti-Tank Gun
Anti-Tank Gun
-> Which proceeds to upgrade to a helicopter gunship.
Yes. It is strange.

Cavalry - Melee
->Cavalry upgrades to landship, beginning the "armored" units tree.

-> Lancer comes from Anti-Cav Infantry tree.
Lancer - Anti-Cavalry Cavalry

Cavalry - Ranged
Chariot Archer
-All other ranged cavalry are unique units-

Composite Bowmen
Gatling Gun
Machine Gun

Rocket Artillery

Naval Melee

-> Privateer upgrades to destroyer

Naval Ranged

Missile Cruiser

Nuclear Submarine

-> Cavalry upgrades to Landship in this tree.
Modern Armor

Jet Fighter
-Series over-
Great War Bomber
Stealth Bomber
-Series over-
-> Upgrades from Anti-Tank Gun
Helicopter Gunship

Etc. Military units
Atomic Bomb
Nuclear Missile

Sieging a city can be easy, it can be difficult. It truly depends on your ability, your units and their units, and definitely a bit of random luck. Sieges should generally be conducted with at least 2 if not 3 siege units, 3 or more melee units, a cavalry unit if possible, and some ranged units. Steps for this siege:

1. Cavalry and Melee enter city influence first. Cavalry is to be used as a distraction, pillaging luxuries and drawing units away from the city. Melee units close on city, pillaging as necessary for hit points.
2. Ranged units move in to deal damage to enemy units and city. Siege moves into range, sets up and begins firing.
3. Melee gets adjacent to city and fortifies, pillaging as necessary.
4. City should get down far enough for at least 1 melee unit to take it within several turns.

This strategy should work well, and is one of my personal strategies. Not every siege is the same, but this siege strategy is difficult to defend against for multiple reasons:

1. Even if the enemy kills your units, you should be able to pillage enough tiles that your assault was worth it.
2. Your enemy has to kill your melee units, but at the same time has to deal with your ranged units and siege units.
3. You can distract the enemy for awhile and do some damage, even if they are ahead of you. In this case, attacking is best done as soon as possible so that you can delay them while they are still only slightly ahead of you.

Defending a city is mostly about keeping Melee units away and trying to contain the enemy. An enemy force that is all bunched up will be easier to defeat and easier to recover from because you will have significantly less area to defend, and much easier time of killing the enemy units. Always be prepared for an attack by keeping at least 1 Ranged unit garrisoned in your city, and a melee unit covering your worker. If you are near a warlike civilization, double said units, and keep a watchful eye. Units near your border wil 90% of the time be followed by a declaration of war (DOW). Be wary of going into negative gpt when building more units, but do not skimp. As an extra note, the best defense is a good offense, so pushing forward on the enemy can and will prevent them from attacking you. Any damage you do to the enemy city and the area around it will be damage that is not dealt to your city.

Great Wall
Defense with the Great Wall comes down to speed and ranged attacks. Most of the time a ring of ranged units will allow a permanent defense of your position against attacks, as enemies will have to walk through two turns before they can even attack you. Certain civilizations however, require special measures, particularly any civilization with a ranged mounted unit replacement for the knight, such as the Arabians and the Mongols. These two civilizations, along with the Zulu's whose unique promotions give them extra speed, can run through more than 1 tile per turn inside of the Great Wall. Defense can quickly become unteneble unless you can get knights of your own to surround and destroy these fast moving units OR you can get Anti-Cav or Melee units positioned well.

Attacking a player with the Great Wall requires several things: 1. A lot of units. 2. Fast units. 3. A LOT OF UNITS.
Unique units can come in handy in this situation, anything with speed, ranged attacks, or other abilities that will allow it to either hit the city harder, faster or from farther away. Anything improving the survivability of your melee units will also help greatly. Catching your enemy unawares will also help, as you wont have to wade through a mile of troops before you can even see the city.

Industrial Era and Later Combat
The face of war changes dramatically with the advent of two dramatic changes to the battlefield. Naval ranged units get some serious range, siege weapons get extra range and Air units take the field in roaring fasion destroying units left and right.

Countering this extended range you have Paratroopers, Tanks and long range units of your own to take on enemy cities and units.

In general you need to fight fast and you need to fight hard. AI and Players will both consider this to be the final act of the game for securing your victory. Acting quickly is necessary, and so is being prepared for someone to act quickly against you. Building a large army is absolutely vital.
Victory Conditions
Against AI, a domination victory is fairly easy, as the most you have to deal with on higher difficulties is an incredible unit spam. When grabbing social policies, you should focus on policies that give you happiness, gold, as well as grabbing the Honor tree. In general I do NOT reccommend doing an honor start. Unless an enemy city is less than 12 tiles from your starting position, it will take too long to get up and running. For more information on social policies, see the social policy section. Note: You only need to grab EVERY city for a domination victory, you only need to own every original capital on the map! Any ideology works for a domination victory, but Order and Autocracy work quite well.

Against players, a domination victory is generally the fastest and easiest victory condition. Players have a nice tendency to just want to kill each other quickly.

Science is incredibly important, but a science victory is slow and generally boring. It is however a mostly defensive game to play, making it a "safe" victory condition. Social policies benefitting a science victory include the Tradition and rationalism trees, as well as the Order ideology. Anything involving increased population/science output is great for a Science victory.

Against players, a Science victory would be a longshot, given that MP games that go that long are very, very rare.

A Diplomatic victory is essentially a science victory, because in order to achieve a diplo victory you have to get into the later eras. With that in mind, the same theories for a science victory follow, but you should also run through the patronage tree. Running around and doing as many city-state quests as possible will make your life possible.

In MP this follows the same track as a science victory: Odds are you wont get that far. On top of that, many people consider this victory a cowards way out, but it is a victory.

A Cultural victory can be difficult. Not only does it typically have the requirement of endless science, though not as much as science or diplomatic victories, but it also requires you to invest in Writers, Artists and Musicians by building and manning their respective guilds. To achieve the cultural victory you have to get as much total tourism as every player in the game's culture output. Fortunately you get a TON of percentage bonuses. Social policies for this victory type are easily acquired given your extensive amount of culture available to you. Patronage opener helps, Aesthetics tree is nice, tradition tree is nice as always, and the liberty opener will give you another point of culture per city. The Freedom Ideology appeals to this victory condition well.

This would likely be an interesting victory to get in MP, as it could be done fairly early on assuming other players are getting a significantly low amount of culture. AI does not tend to have that same issue.

A Time victory requires you to have the most points when a certain turn number is reached. Points are achieved by building more cities, having more land, having a high population, building wonders, getting tech, getting social policies... All social policies help, pretty generic victory. If you need help winning a time victory, just force a victory through domination.

Combining a Domination and Culture victory can be an incredibly effective victory condition. By taking out your top competitor for a culture victory, or even the players with the most culture, you can easily create a quick culture victory.
National Wonders
National Wonders
National College
  • Tech Available:
  • Bonus:
  • When to build:
  • Victory Condition?:
  • My Opinion:

Oxford University

East India Company

Circus Maximus

National Epic

Heroic Epic


Grand Temple


National Intelligence Agency

National Visitor Center

National Treasury (Pre-BNW)
World Wonders A-B
  • Tech Available:
  • Bonus:
  • Who should build:
  • Victory Condition?:
  • My Opinion:
World Wonders

  • Tech Available: Chivalry
  • Bonus: +20% Culture output from City it was built in. All units built here gain Drill 1. Free Castle. +1 Culture.
  • Who should build: Any Dom civ, particularly the Zulus.
  • Victory Condition?: Dom.
  • My Opinion: Combine with Brandenburg Gate for best effects. If game persists for longer than an hour after getting both, see a doctor immediately. Anyways, one of the best Wonders out there, with BG you can get melee units with Drill 1-3 and March walking out your door easy.

Angkor Wat
  • Tech Available: Education
  • Bonus: Culture and Gold costs for tile expansion cost 25% less. +1 Culture. +1 Great Engineer pt/turn.
  • Who should build: Russia, Rome, America, Liberty civs.
  • Victory Condition?: Any
  • My Opinion: Not the greatest Wonder, but an oft-overlooked one. Liberty tree players should look for this, especially Rome.

Big Ben (Commerce)
  • Tech Available: Industrialization
  • Bonus: +1 culture, +4 gold, 2 great merchant points. Gold cost of purchasing units/buildings in cities is reduced by 15%
  • Who should build: Venice, Carthage, England, Arabia, other trade civs.
  • Victory Condition?: Diplomatic
  • My Opinion: Excellent wonder, especially when combined with the Commerce tree required to build it. Also a great combo with Skyscrapers in the Order Ideology.

  • Tech Available: Theology
  • Bonus: +5 faith, 3 free Missionaries.
  • Who should build: Those with religions and a religious focus. (Byzantium, Celts, Ethiopia)
  • Victory Condition?: Any
  • My Opinion: Excellent religious wonder for getting a religion spread far and fast. Build after Great Mosque of Djenne if possible for maximum effect.

Brandenburg Gate
  • Tech Available: Military Science
  • Bonus: +15 xp for all units built in the city, free Great General, 2 Great Scientist pts/turn.
  • Who should build: Domination civs, especially Zulus
  • Victory Condition?: Domination
  • My Opinion: Excellent wonder. Combine with Alhambra for best effect.

  • Tech Available: Radio
  • Bonus: 3 Great Work of Music slots, +2 culture, 1 free Great Musician.
  • Who should build: Cultural Civs such as France and Brazil.
  • Victory Condition?: Cultural
  • My Opinion: Great wonder, comes fairly late but excellent for getting a cultural victory.
World Wonders continued C-E
Chichen Itza
  • Tech Available: Civil Service
  • Bonus: 4 happiness, +1 culture, 1 Great Engineer pt/turn. +50% longer golden ages.
  • Who should build: Persia, Brazil, anyone who likes golden ages.
  • Victory Condition?: Any
  • My Opinion: Excellent wonder, particularly for Persia and Brazil who benefit greatly from it.

CN Tower
  • Tech Available: Telecommunications
  • Bonus: 1 Great Merchant pt, free Broadcast tower in ALL cities, +1 pop and +1 happiness in all cities.
  • Who should build: Anyone with a lot of cities, particularly beneficial to Order civs.
  • Victory Condition?: Any
  • My Opinion: Excellent wonder that comes far too late to truly be of much use. At that point the game is pretty much well in hand.

  • Tech Available: Ironworking
  • Bonus: +1 Culture, +5 Gold, 1 Great Merchant pt. Extra trade route slot and free Cargo Ship. Trade routes to city with Colossus give an extra 2 gold to the city owner and 1 gold to the trade route owner. (Requires coast)
  • Who should build: Venice, England, Carthage, any Naval trade civ.
  • Victory Condition?: Diplo
  • My Opinion: Excellent wonder that is oddly on the opposite side of the tree from the other Navy based Wonder, the Great Lighthouse.

Cristo Redentor
  • Tech Available: Plastics
  • Bonus: Social policies cost 10% less, +5 culture.
  • Who should build: Anyone who wants more social policies.
  • Victory Condition?: Any
  • My Opinion: Excellent wonder that comes fairly late forcing it to be used for very few social policies. Babylon should be a contender for this, as they will focus on getting to plastics, likely being the first to get there. Grabbing this will give them a huge advantage, especially on the people an era behind. (Essentially, Babylon is likely to grab this 20+ turns before it would normally be taken)

Eiffel Tower
  • Tech Available: Radio
  • Bonus: 5 Happiness, +1 culture, 2 Great Merchant pts, 12 Tourism.
  • Who should build: Cultural civs, (Brazil, France, etc), Persia for the Happiness
  • Victory Condition?: Cultural
  • My Opinion: Excellent wonder that gives Tourism without needing a great work inside.
World Wonders continued F-G
Forbidden Palace (Patronage)
  • Tech Available: Banking
  • Bonus: +1 culture, +2 Delegates to the World Congress, -10% unhappiness from citizens in non-occupied cities.
  • Who should build: Greece, Venice, Siam.
  • Victory Condition?: Diplomatic
  • My Opinion: Excellent wonder, if you get it you can quickly establish a foothold for you in the World Congress.

Globe Theatre
  • Tech Available: Printing Press
  • Bonus: +2 Culture, 1 free Great Writer, 2 slots for Great Works of Writing.
  • Who should build: Cultural civs (Brazil, France)
  • Victory Condition?: Cultural
  • My Opinion: The 2nd World Wonder with a theming bonus, this one is significantly easier to grab than the Great Library.

Great Firewall
  • Tech Available: Computers
  • Bonus: 99.9% reduction in tech stealing rate in the city it was built, 25% reduction everywhere else. Negates Tourism bonus from Internet (from other players)
  • Who should build: Any
  • Victory Condition?: Any
  • My Opinion: This wonder is best used as a defense by players who are ahead or otherwise need to maintain their position. The Tourism negation can come in handy against a cultural player, giving you time to give them a nuclear suprise.

Great Library
  • Tech Available: Writing
  • Bonus: 1 free Technology, 2 slots for Great Works of Writing, free Library, +1 Culture, +3 Science, 1 Great Scientist pt.
  • Who should build: Egypt, any civ with high production.
  • Victory Condition?: Any
  • My Opinion: Hard to grab on the higher difficulties. Players should focus away from this so as not to become reliant on it. Just because a player gets this does not mean they cannot be beat.

Great Lighthouse
  • Tech Available: Optics
  • Bonus: +1 Movement and Sight for all naval units, free Lighthouse, +1 culture, 1 Great Merchant pt. (Requires coast)
  • Who should build: Venice, England, Carthage, any Naval Civ.
  • Victory Condition?: Dom/Diplo
  • My Opinion: An excellent wonder if you can get it, especially for England. Englands UA is already amazing enough, but giving its units this bonus and the later Exploration opener will give all English naval units a 4 speed and 2 sight advantage over every other civ. (only 3 speed and 1 sight over those with exploration)

Great Mosque of Djenne (Piety)
  • Tech Available: Theology
  • Bonus: +1 Culture, +3 Faith, 1 Great Engineer pt, free Mosque. All missionaries purchased in the city can spread religion 3 times.
  • Who should build: Ethiopia, Arabia, Byzantium, religious civs.
  • Victory Condition?: Any
  • My Opinion: Build this then Borobodur for 3 missionaries who can spread religion 3 times a piece. Great Wonder for religious civs.

Great Wall
  • Tech Available: Engineering
  • Bonus: Free Walls, enemy units spend 1 extra movement point per tile. +1 Culture, 1 Great Engineer pt. Obsoletes when Dynamite is researched.
  • Who should build: Ethiopia, India, Defensive civs, but also Mongolia, Arabia.
  • Victory Condition?: Any
  • My Opinion: This is primarily a defensive wonder, but Mongolia and Arabia can use this to great effect with their Knight replacement ranged units. They can run circles around ANYONE in their territory with this Wonder. India will also have the same advantage.
World Wonders continued H-K
Hagia Sophia
  • Tech Available: Theology
  • Bonus: Free Great Prophet, free Temple, +4 faith.
  • Who should build: Byzantium, Celts, Ethiopia, Arabia, any civ who wants a religion.
  • Victory Condition?: Any
  • My Opinion: Great wonder for those wanting to get a religion up and running quickly. A free Temple saves you quite a bit of gold (and some production). Overall a good wonder.

Hanging Gardens (Tradition)
  • Tech Available: Mathematics
  • Bonus: +6 food, +1 Culture, free Gardens.
  • Who should build: Babylon, Korea, Any
  • Victory Condition?: Any, particularly Science
  • My Opinion: One of the best wonders in the game, if you can get it the Hanging Gardens will rapidly accelerate your population growth. Though on the "Domination" path of the early tech tree, this wonder is actually most well suited to civilizations who plant few cities and want to get a large population.

Himeji Castle
  • Tech Available: Gunpowder
  • Bonus: Free Castle, +15% combat strength for units in friendly territory, +1 culture, 2 Great Engineer pts/turn
  • Who should build: Ethiopia, Science Civs, Cultural Civs, Shoshone.
  • Victory Condition?: Science/Any
  • My Opinion: Himeji Castle is a highly defensive Wonder in the Domination swayed bottom of the tech tree. This can be a problem, but is still well worth the cost. The Shoshone can use this really well as it stacks with their UA defensive bonus.

Hubble Space Telescope
  • Tech Available: Satellites
  • Bonus: 2 Great Scientists appear near the city, free Spaceship Factory. +25% production of Spaceship parts. 1 Great Scientist pt/turn
  • Who should build: Babylon, Science civs.
  • Victory Condition?: Science.
  • My Opinion: Great Wonder, should be built as soon as it becomes available. Can pretty much guarantee a Science Victory.

Kremlin (Order)
  • Tech Available: Railroads
  • Bonus: +50% production towards Armor units, free Social Policy, +1 Culture.
  • Who should build: Any Order Civ, Germany, Arabia
  • Victory Condition?: Anything, Domination
  • My Opinion: Great for any civ taking the Order Ideology. Excellent for Germany due to Panzer UU, Arabia due to extra oil deposits and a Desert start bias.
World Wonders continued L-N
Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Tech Available:
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Machu Picchu
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Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
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Notre Dame
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World Wonders continued O-P
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Porcelain Tower
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World Wonders continued R-S
Red Fort
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Sistine Chapel
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Statue of Liberty
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Statue of Zeus
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Sydney Opera House
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World Wonders continued T-U
Taj Mahal
  • Tech Available:
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Temple of Artemis
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Terracotta Army
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United Nations (Pre-BNW)
  • Tech Available:
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Natural Wonders
This is a list of natural wonders and their effects. It is useful to understand if you decide to play Spain because of their UA. Finding a natural wonder at any point in the game is useful, but the general rule is the earlier the better because they benefit you heavily early on and as the game goes on the bonuses to whatever they provide increase even more so.

Barringer Crater: 2 Gold 3 Science

Grand Mesa: 2 Production 3 Gold

Great Barrier Reef: One of my personal favorites (Bladesnite), I say this because it can be found in a chain of more than one. It's benefits are 2 food 1 production 1 gold and 2 science making it an all around boost to any coastal city.

Mt. Kailash: 6 Faith 2 Happiness

Mt. Sinai: This natural wonder provides 8 Faith and is only very effective earlier on because unlike other natural wonders which provide an income that can be multiplied by bonuses from a market or workshop depending the faith yield doesn't change.

Sri Pada: 2 Food 4 Faith 2 Happiness

El Dorado: 5 Culture and the first civ to discover receives 500 gold

Old Faithful: 2 Science 3 Happiness
The wikia states that Old Faithful is deceptively useless. I can agree with this because the bonus it provides pales in comparison to a normal tile in a lot of ways. However it acts as a mountain tile making it situationally useful.

Krakatoa: 5 Science

Rock of Gibraltar: 2 Food 5 Gold

Mt. Fuji: 1 Gold 5 Culture

Cerro De Potosi: 10 Gold

Fountain of Youth: 10 happiness and any unit that moves adjacent to it heals at double the rate for the rest of the game.
Extremely powerful if you ever get a hold of it. If you are not the one with control of it you are at a disadvantage if another player makes proper use of it.

Uluru: 2 Food 6 Faith

Lake Victoria: 6 Food
Extremely useful for any civ that is able to settle near it because it is a fresh water source.

Mt. Kilimanjaro: 3 Food 2 Culture and the added benefit of Adjacent units moving at double speed through Hills and having a combat bonus on hills that is permanent.

King Solomon's Mines: 6 production
Social Policies
Starting Policy
The debate over what social policy tree you should start with is a heated one. Players prefer many different options, and no two are completely alike. Rather than say one is better than the other, in each section below I will state an argument and a situation where a person would be well served starting the tree, as well as an overview of the policies within the tree.

Tradition is an excellent tree for newer players and players planning to only have 1-4 cities the entire game. Science civilizations will also benefit from the ability to generate a LARGE population very quickly. The Tradition opener is something that could benefit all civilizations if taken early on, as +3 culture in your capital is nothing to laugh at. Personally I use Tradition A LOT, simply because expansion can be a real pain if there is very little room and/or the Civilizations near me are expanding wildly. Be aware of expanding too little with Tradition, as not having enough cities can be just as bad as having too many.

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Liberty is another good opening tree, especially for players wanting to spread cities across a wide area. Liberty includes a policy that gives you a free settler which can quickly jump your Civ into the lead. Combined with a policy that gives a free worker and lets them create improvements faster, Liberty is designed for rapid expansion. One thing to be aware of is your happiness and science output, which *can* suffer early on if care is not taken.

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Honor is a great tree to take a couple policies in or finish it out if you are a warlike Civ. Honor can be a poor policy to start with unless you are the Aztecs, Japan, Germany or the Zulus, as those civilizations will have a fairly easy time taking advantage of the extra culture from Barbarians. I would consider grabbing AT LEAST the Tradition opener before grabbing honor. Grabbing Honor against a nearby Civ is best done when they are 12 tiles away or closer, as engaging an enemy farther away than that could end badly due to distance for reinforcements. Policies in Honor are definitely geared towards creating units quickly and supporting their upkeep and advancement.

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Piety, like Honor is more of a support Social Policy tree or a starting tree for certain highly religions Civilizations (the Maya, Byzantium, Celts). In general unless playing a religious civilization, consider Tradition or Liberty first (Liberty for the Mayans can be excellent). The policies in the tree can also increase gold output of cities, give various faith based bonuses, decrease the cost of faith purchases and eventually give you an extra belief and a free great prophet.

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Patronage (Classical)
Patronage is an excellent tree to take, especially the opener. Retaining City-State allies for longer is always a good thing, as the extra culture, food, faith, happiness and units can make a huge difference. In addition, extra science can be gained from City-State, as well as bonus resources and extra happiness. The full tree even allows you to gain Great People at random as gifts from City-States. (including Khans, normally unique to Mongolia.)

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Aesthetics (Classical)
Aesthetics is essential for a Cultural victory giving you increased Great Writer/Artist/Musician generation. This not only increases your tourism, but also your Culture output, giving you a small, but still noticeable increase in your policy acquisition rate, an excellent thing for ALL Civilizations. The tree also includes various tourism and culture generation bonuses, including a free Great Artist.

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Commerce (Medieval)
Commerce is a policy tree well suited for land (and sea) trading civilizations. The opener is another policy that all civs should consider taking, as 25% more gold from your capital is nothing to scoff at. The other policies , decrease tile maintenance costs, increase Great Merchant generation, give extra happiness and increase the efficiency of trading posts and Great Merchants.

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Exploration (Medieval)
Exploration can is well suited for Naval trade civilizations, as well as Cultural civilizations with the finisher which reveals more archaeological sites. All coastal civs should grab at least the opener for the speed and sight bonus. Other policies include increased gold from naval trade routes, free Great Admiral and faster generation of Great Admirals, coastal city production and happiness.

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Rationalism (Renaissance)
Rationalism is well suited for Science civs but also every civ. The opener is one I highly recommend for all civs, as an extra 10% science is always a good thing. The other policies help to increase Great Scientist output, science output, and get a free Tech with the finisher.

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Civilizations A-B
In this section there is an overview of each Civilization, as well as strategies, other comments and my personal opinion (stated seperately) about each civ. [WIP]

Arranged like this:
Ability: Abbreviated UA for Unique Ability
Unique Units: Abbreviated UU for Unique Unit, UB for Unique building and UI for Unique Improvement.
Recommend Victory Condition (VC):
Personal Opinion:
Rating out of 10:

Ability: 50% off purchasing tiles with gold, Land Military units get +1 sight.
Unique Units: Minuteman (replaces Musketman), B-17 (replaces Bomber)
VC: Domination preferred. Most Powerful post-Renaissance.
S/C: America is a mid-late game civ, truly gaining its power through use of the Minuteman who ignores terrain costs like a scout. Later, the B-17 can be used to obliterate cities in preparation for land or sea invasions.
Opinion: I really like America as a Civilization. Assuming you can remain alive long enough to get Gunpowder and Radar you will be well equipped for victory.
Rating: 7

Ability: Caravans have 50% greater range, Double oil resources, and trade routes spread the home city's religion twice as effectively. (city the trade route originates from)
Unique Units: Camel Archer (replaces Knight), Bazaar (replaces Market)
VC: Medieval/Renaissance Domination, Diplomatic.
S/C: Arabia is an economic powerhouse throughout the game, and is capable of a great deal of luxury trading and maintenance of all it's trade routes. In addition, religion should be a focus given that the UA supports it's spread.
Opinion: Excellent Civilization, but somewhat 1 minded: Gold and Religion Focus.
Rating: 8

Ability: When conquering a city gain a technology known by the city's owner.
Unique Units: Siege Tower (rep. Catapult), Royal Library (rep. Library)
VC: Domination
S/C: Early game rush civilization. If that doesnt work, their UB gives +5xp to all units made in that city after you get a great work of writing installed, making late game wars a bit easier as well.
Opinion: Unless it succeeds early game, Assyria can fall off quite quickly. The nice thing is you can afford a TINY amount of science neglect due to their UA. Their siege UU is an amazing unit, allowing you to quickly shred enemy cities to pieces.
Rating: 6

Ability: Can buy City-States that they are allied with. (requires being an ally for at least 5 turns.)
Unique Units: Hussar (rep. Cavalry), Coffee house (rep. Windmill)
VC: Any, has bonuses geared towards Domination.
S/C: Austria is capable of truly any victory it wants, so following just about any path to victory will work. Hussars should be used when available, a 3 Hussar flank is nigh unbeatable.
Opinion: The UA is mildly circumstantial, but remains useful throughout the game. The Hussar UU is amazing if you can get two or more up just running around. The Coffee House UB is nice. Personally one of my favorite civilizations, but the UA just brings it down from a 10 for me.
Rating: 9

The Aztecs
Ability: Gains Culture for kills.
Unique Units: Jaguar Warrior (replaces Warrior), Floating Gardens (replaces Watermill)
VC: Early Domination, Science
S/C: The Aztecs are a civilization that runs well early and late game, but has somewhat of a mid-game slump due to its UU and UB coming in early. If the Aztecs can get a couple kills early game they should be fine. Their UB will give them enough food all around to get them a science victory if necessary.
Opinion: The Aztecs are one of my favorite civilizations and I really wanted to give them a 9 or 10, but that mid-game slump really hurts, hence my 8 rating. I truly reccommend this civilization however.

Ability: +50% generation of Great Scientists, Free Great Scientist with Writing.
Unique Units: Walls of Babylon (replaces Walls), Bowmen (replace Archers)
VC: Science
S/C: Very easy civilization to play, hard to mess up. Barbarians have been known to have some sneaky ways of doing serious damage right away, as when you finish Writing, your GS spawns BEFORE your turn, and immediately before the barbarian turn. As a result, nearby barbarians can steal your GS before you even see it.
Opinion: One of the "easy mode" civs, very difficult to lose with this. Get a 2-4 city tradition start and wreck everyone.
Rating: 10

Ability: +100% tourism during golden ages, + 50% bonus growth of Great Artists, Writers and Musicians during Golden Ages.
Unique Units: Pracinha (rep. Infantry), Brazilwood Camp (UI)
VC: Cultural, Domination, effective when combined.
S/C: Brazil is another late game civilization whose use of tourism can DESTROY other civilizations, especially if they can get a ton of Golden Ages for the UA. UI is excellent and works well with the Hotel, Airport, and National Visitor Center. UU is one of the last available in the game, but excellent for the crucial end game defense/offense as necessary.
Opinion: Another good Civilization, my favorite for amassing Tourism. Early game can be VERY rough, but if you can get through it, you win easily.
Rating: 7

Ability: Gains extra belief when founding a religion.
Unique Units: Cataphract (replaces Horsemen), Dromon (rep. Trireme, is a RANGED Naval Unit)
VC: Any
S/C: USE YOUR UA! Get a religion as fast as possible and let that guide your victory condition. Byzantines can get a lot of tourism through the "Sacred Sites" reformation belief.
Opinion: Byzantium is horrifically bad, as the religion aspect is unsupported, and its UUs are not helpful. On the other hand, in a game with players you might actually do really well because you dont have AI's stealing religions, and on the higher difficulties getting a religion is near impossible. Dromon UU makes melee naval warfare impossible until the renaissance, forcing you into ranged attacks. Can become a problem.
Rating: 5
Civilizations continued C-D
Ability: Free Harbor in all coastal cities, units can cross mountains after earning a Great General, but take 50 damage if they end their turn on a mountain.
Unique Units: African Forest Elephant (rep Horseman), Quinquereme (rep Trireme)
VC: Domination, Diplo
S/C: Naval Trade civilization who needs to be played as such. Play on a map with a lot of water, use your navy, get a ton of gold from sea trade routes and profit by allying with city states. Not the best civilization ever.
Opinion: Naval Trade Civilization with bad UUs. The UA is okay, but circumstantial. most of the time it works, but when you dont get a coastal start you are basically playing a civilization with no uniques. Elephant UU is slow, but at least it enforces a 10% penalty on all nearby enemies. Trireme UU is just slightly stronger than other triremes, doesnt help much however.
Rating: 4

Ability: +1 faith per city with adjacent unimproved forest, +2 faith if city has 3 or more adjacent unimproved forest tiles.
Unique Units: Pictish Warrior (rep. Spearman), Ceilidh Hall (rep. Opera House)
VC: Domination highly recommended, but anything is possible with easy religion.
S/C: Get your religion up quickly, focus on using it to assist your intended VC. The Celts drop off as the costs of religion rise, but that doesnt mean they cannot win. Early game focus is essential.
Opinion: UA works well early game but drops off. In addition, I'd say about 30% of the time the Celts randomly start in the jungle, NOT the forest, thereby nerfing their UA entirely. UU is excellent early game and can really help with getting the celts the first religion. From there they can mildly choose their victory condition.
Rating: 6

Ability: Increased Great General spawn rate and double bonus from Great Generals.
Unique Units: Chu-ko-nu (Crossbowmen replacement), Paper Maker (Library replacement)
VC: Domination
S/C: Straight up domination Civilization. Push with your UU, using it as a siege engine, support with infantry and your powerful great generals.
Opinion: China is a very powerful civilization who is powerful early to mid game and continues upwards from there. UB is one of the best in the game, giving gold and science early on.
Rating: 9

Ability: Embarked units have +1 movement, pay just 1 movement point to move from sea to land. Melee units pillage for free.
Unique Units: Berserker (rep. Longswordsman (available earlier than normal)), Norwegian Ski Infantry (rep. Riflemen)
VC: Domination
S/C: Use the UA for fast sieges by leaping from sea to land to city in a single bound!
Opinion: Decent civ, Berserker UU is superb. UA is circumstantial enough to bring the civ down.
Rating: 6

Dutch(The Netherlands)
Ability: Retain 50% happiness from luxuries when traded away.
Unique Units: Polder (UI), Sea Beggar (privateer replacement)
VC: Naval Dom. or Diplo.
S/C: UA is great for trading with players all game. Combine with Commerce tree to gain even more happiness. UU is one of the best in the game, can get double attack w/only 30xp. Use it to run it, double attack a city, and run out before it can retaliate. UI is circumstantial, but amazing.
Opinion: One of my favorites by far.
Rating: 7, 8 w/marsh/flood plains.
Civilizations continued, E-F
Ability: +20% production bonus towards wonders.
Unique Units: War Chariot (rep. Chariot Archer), Burial Tomb (rep. Temple)
VC: Any
S/C: Egypt can do both Liberty and Tradition starts well, as the UB is a maintenance free Happiness building. This could help with some minor city spam while still having an edge on other players in regards to building wonders. The UU is remarkable in that you dont need horses for it, so replace archers with these to make full use of it.
Opinion: One of my favorite civilizations, easy-mode for wonder building AND you can pick your victory condition through your choice of policies and wonder construction. Unfortunately, Egypt can become reliant on Wonders, so on higher difficulties when wonder availability is small Egypt may have a harder time than most civilizations.
Rating: 8

Ability: Naval units have +2 movement, has an extra spy.
Unique Units: Ship of the Line (rep. Frigate), Longbowmen (rep. Crossbowmen)
VC: Dom, Diplo
S/C: England should control the seas easily, especially once they get ahold of their Ship UU. Covering Trade routes should be a priority for your navy, and using your Longbowmen as long as possible should also be a priority. Longbowmen should be made in force before they become obsolete, as their +1 range is a promotion that stays with them when upgraded.
Opinion: An excellent civilization, they fight from behind well because of the extra spy, they can maintain a presence across a very large ocean with their UA. Overall one of my favorites, but dependent on Iron for their Ship UU and an ocean period for their strategy to work.
Rating: 8

Ability: +20% combat bonus versus civilizations with more cities than you.
Unique Units: Stele (rep. Monument), Mehal Sefari (rep. Riflemen)
VC: Dom, Science
S/C: Ethiopia should play on the defensive, founding few cities, going up the Tradition tree, and going for high population/science cities. Stele should be a first build for all starts, as the extra faith on top of the +2 culture for the monument will push you into the lead for religion in many cases.
Opinion: Ethiopia is a very defensive civ, one which can be very difficult to remove from it's position. The UA forces them to either not use the UA or play with a low city count likely Tradition start. UB is incredible, often giving Ethiopia one of the first pantheons and religions. UU comes later but is an excellent defense unit, having a combat bonus near the capital.
Rating: 10

Ability: Double theming bonuses in the capital.
Unique Units: Musketeer (rep. Musketman), Chateau (UI)
VC: Dom, Cultural
S/C: Push towards tourism wonders and buildings as soon as possible. Some of them are conviniently located at the top half of the tech tree near some science enhancing techs. Use the UU when it becomes available to take out any cultural competition you have. UI should be built where possible, but dont sacrifice farmland for culture.
Opinion: Like Egypt, France is dependent on Wonder availability, specifically that of the Tourism wonders. If the wonders are not available (as is common on higher difficulties), France will have to fall back on its UU for a domination victory to hopefully claim the wonders and salvage a victory. The UA only applies to the capital, which is a definite problem if your capital has low production or otherwise has wonder building problems.
Rating: 7
Civilizations continued G-K
Ability: 25% off land unit maintenance, 67% chance of converting barbarian units within a barbarian camp when captured, and getting 25 gold.
Unique Units: Hanse (rep. Bank), Panzer (rep. Tank)
VC: Dom.
S/C: Germany is a land unit power and should do what it can to avoid fighting enemies in the water. UA should be used as often as possible, though care should be taken to not lose money through unit maintenance costs. UB is helpful for producing units, UU comes fairly late but is a perfect example of what modern warfare should be like.
Opinion: Germany has had problems since the first expansion. It simply does not have the same punching ability as other civilizations. The UB helps, but does not alleviate the problems, namely that the UA does not necessarily help you as much as you'd think it would. UU comes late game and requires Oil which *could* be a problem. I want to love Germany, I really do, but at least it's better than Carthage or Byzantium.
Rating: 3

Ability: City State Influence degrades half as fast, recovers twice as fast.
Unique Units: Hoplite (rep. Spearman), Companion Cavalry (rep. Horsmen)
VC: Dom, Diplo
S/C: An early game power, Greece needs to push and take over nearby civilizations if at all possible. If not possible, gaining the trust of nearby city states will help keep your empire flourishing. Very difficult to unseat from a position of power in the World Congress.
Opinion: Certainly one of the nicer civilizations in the game, Greece has early game starting power and a UA that is useful all game. Greece is an excellent civ but does suffer militarily if it cannot do some serious domination in the early game. (On a side note, AI Greece is one of the most hated AI's in the game. Be careful around him.)
Rating: 7

The Huns
Ability: Raze cities at double rate, Start with Animal Husbandry, +1 production from pastures, takes city names from other civilizations in game.
Unique Units: Horse Archer (rep. Chariot Archer), Battering Ram (rep. Spearman)
VC: Dom
S/C: Rush everyone right outta the gate. Use your Horse archers to knock out enemy units and cities while your Battering Rams take them.
Opinion: The Huns are the Call of Duty of the civilizations. Move fast, hit hard, lose in a protracted battle. Taking over the world quickly is necessary for them, if not done properly, well, they will likely lose to a counter attack and the fact that the rest of the world hates them forever due to Warmonger penalties. Battering Ram is a horrible replacement unit as not having spearmen can make early game melee combat very nasty.
Rating: 6

The Inca
Ability: Units ignore terrain cost when moving into a hill tile. Tile maintenance costs negated in hills, half cost everywhere else.
Unique Units: Slinger (rep. Archer), Terrace Farm (UI)
VC: Science
S/C: Start bias helps the Inca immensely, as spawning next to a mountain, on a hill, next to or near a river is fairly common. Settling your capital next to a mountain is a must as the Inca, so that you can focus on late game science. Inca excel at high population cities next to mountains.
Opinion: One of the best civilizations in the game, but it does require a good start. Most of my games (probably about 80-90%) I get a nearby mountain, hill and river start, 10% of the time I get two of those. See Inca Story below for more.)
Rating: 10

(Inca Story: I did get a nice desert start as the Inca once. Desert Hills + next to mountain + river and flood plains. Got Petra and Hanging Gardens. Huge Population explosion. Outscienced AI by miles.)

Ability: Half unhappiness from population, double unhappiness from number of cities.
Unique Units: War Elephant (rep. Chariot Archer), Mughal Fort (rep. Castle)
VC: Any
S/C: Tradition start, few cities, but VERY Large. With Monarchy from the tradition tree, you can get 4 population for 1 unhappiness. Though this does require you to have almost two luxury resources per city, you are well equipped for a 2-4 city tradition start.
Opinion: One of the better civilizations, well equipped for any situation. Domination can be a workable VC simply due to the UU.
Rating: 9

Ability: First 3 cities on continents other than where Indonesia started gain 2 unique luxuries and cannot be razed.
Unique Units: Candi (rep. Garden), Kris Swordsman (rep. Swordsman)
VC: Dom?
S/C: Play on a map with islands and place cities on good island locations. Make good use of your UA. If you can get Iron, the UU *can* be useful assuming you randomly get the good promotions. Get them into combat as soon as possible.
Opinion: One of my two "1" ratings in this guide, Indonesia honestly is a horrible civilization. The UU is Iron dependent and then proceeds to randomly be great or horrible. The UB is counter-intuitive, offering you bonuses for not having complete religious control. The UA is circumstantial and dependent on island based maps. On your standard continents or Pangaea map, this UA will NEVER get used.
Rating: 1

The Iroquois
Ability: Move through forest/jungle in territory like road. Can be used to create city connections. Caravans treat forest/jungle like road.
Unique Units: Mohawk Warrior (rep. Swordsman), Longhouse (rep. Workshop)
VC: Dom
S/C: The Iroquois should keep as MUCH forest as possible, with the exception of fresh water adjacent tiles. Farms should be placed there of course. Start a rush with your UU if you can, follow it up with a ton of production from sawmills + your UB, and you win easy.
Opinion: A strong domination civilization, well suited for wonder spamming (or anything spamming) after you get the UB up and running in your cities. Note: this is another civ that the AI plays really well!
Rating: 8

Ability: All units fight as though they were at full strength regardless of health.
Unique Units: Samurai (rep. Longsword), Zero (rep. Fighter)
VC: Dom
S/C: Japan needs to get a push going right when they get Samurai. Rushing with their UU and just throwing their units into combat with reckless abandon is the best way. What you cannot take with your Samurai you should take for sure with the relentless air cover of Zero-spam.
Opinion: Excellent combat civilization who has an unfortunately poor start bias combined with a dependence on Iron. They got a buff in the fall patch, but still fall short of other civilizations.
Rating: 6

Ability: +2 science for all specialists and Great Person tile improvements. Tech boost whenever a scientific building or wonder is built in the capital.
Unique Units: Hwach'a (rep. Trebuchet), Turtle Ship (rep. Caravel)
VC: Science, Dom
S/C: Go for the science buildings and wonders as soon as possible! Your UA depends on it. The UUs are very defensive, but they are fairly reasonable. Play similarly to Babylon, just get every gram of science you can gather.
Opinion: I like Babylon better, but Korea's UA doesn't drop off quite as much as Babylon's does.
Rating: 8

Civilizations continued M-P
The Maya
Ability: After discovering Theology, get a great person every bak'tun.
Unique Units: Atl-atlist (rep. Archer, available immediately), Pyramid (rep. Shrine)
VC: Any
S/C: Rush Theology as quickly as possible, using your UU to quickly combat enemies. Building your UU over a scout is an excellent idea. Your UB should be built as soon as possible, giving you a science boost necessary to quickly get to Theology.
Opinion: The Mayans are an excellent civilization, being one of the first to get a religion up as well as rapid science. Their UA falls off late game, but it is still an excellent ability allowing you to get Great people at excellent times. These "free" GPs however do add to your counter, meaning that if you grab one, the cost of actually getting a not free one will go up.
Rating: 8

Ability: +30% bonus against city-states and their units. Mounted units get +1 movement.
Unique Units: Keshik (rep. Knight), Khan (rep. Great General)
VC: Domination
S/C: Mongolia just needs to survive long enough to get Keshiks. Once they get Keshiks they need to unleash the full on Mongol horde. A group of 5 or more Keshiks can easily destroy several empires, gaining strength each turn. The Khan heals all adjacent units +15hp per turn whenever they would normally heal, in addition to the standard great general bonus.
Opinion: The Mongols are an excellent combat civilization, being able to take the field and destroy everyone from the Medieval all the way into the renaissance and part of the industrial. Their UU is well suited towards city sieges through strike and return tactics, and any damage dealt to your troops can quickly vanish.
Rating: 7

Ability: +3 gold and +1 culture per trade route with another civilization (or city state) (must be a unique trade route, you only get bonus 1 time per civilization). Trade routes to Morocco give +2 gold to the owner.
Unique Units: Berber Cavalry (rep. Cavalry), Kasbah (UI)
VC: Dom, Diplo. cultural
S/C: Getting trade routes up as quickly as possible is absolutely necessary. Pushing towards a diplo victory should be easy with trade routes, the army needed to maintain them, and the gold from said trade routes.
Opinion: Excellent trade civ on land or sea, their desert start bias can work in their favor IF they can grab Petra. Combined with maybe getting Hanging Gardens they will be a force to be reckoned with, though their true power isn't shown until the late game where their UU rears its murderous head. On Defense in the desert their UU will destroy even units that are far more powerful than them normally.
Rating: 8

The Ottomans
Ability: All melee ships gain Prize Ships promotion. Pay 1/3 maintenance costs for naval units.
Unique Units: Sipahi (rep. Lancer), Janissary (rep. Musketman)
VC: Dom, Diplo
S/C: Focus on a navy as soon as possible, particularly so that you can get a lot of naval trade routes up and running. The large gold income can be used to fund diplomatic efforts, combat efforts or both depending on your chosen VC. Sipahi is the picture of a raider, useful for fighting from behind and pillaging every tile around a city. The Janissary works well for sieges, as it heals when destroying a unit AND has a bonus on the attack. Push hard with your Janissaries and Navy combined to quickly overwhelm enemies.
Opinion: The Ottomans are a fairly well balanced civilization, but it is the combination of good land UUs and a good Naval UU that make the Ottomans above average at everything while not really excelling at anything. In the right hands, a combined arms strike of land and sea should begin an endless steamroll.
Rating: 7

Ability: 50% longer Golden Ages. +1 movement and +10% combat bonus during golden ages.
Unique Units: Immortal (rep. Spearman), Satrap's Court (rep. Bank)
VC: Dom
S/C: Persia needs to push towards happiness buildings and wonders as soon as possible, particularly Chichen Itza, Notre Dame and the Taj Mahal. One problem with this is that Civil Service, which allows you to build Chichen Itza, will also obsolete your UU. Ensure that you have a bunch of your UU built before then, as the double healing carries over. Otherwise, Persia should push every time they golden age, as sieges go a LOT faster with the UA.
Opinion: Persia has the unique distinction of being very good at combat, but also requiring a great deal of happiness, two things which truly do not go hand in hand. UU is great, double healing is amazing. UB is great. UA only really helps you if you get golden ages often, which you will likely only get between 4 and 6 golden ages in a given game.
Rating: 6

Ability: Get a free social policy whenever you reach a new tech era.
Unique Units: Winged Hussar (rep. Lancer), Ducal Stables (rep. Stables)
VC: Any
S/C: Your ability allows for incredible versatility, so science is a massive priority. Mounted units are your mainstay, a group of units which should be used whenever possible given that the UB gives them extra experience. Your UU is great for pushing back an enemy force, forcing them to retreat whenever possible. Keep pushing and use your UA to determine your VC.
Opinion: Poland is an excellent civilization that is well equipped to handle any challenge thrown at it. One of the most powerful if not THE most powerful civilization in the game.
Rating: 10

Ability: Can embark immediately over oceans, +1 sight while embarked, +10% combat bonus when within 2 tiles of Moai.
Unique Units: Maori Warrior (rep. Warrior), Moai (UI)
VC: Cultural, Dom
S/C: Scout the map as soon as possible, grabbing ruins and good city locations whenever possible. Prioritize Moai building and science, and work towards hotels and airports for a cultural victory. For a Domination victory, no one is safe from you on the map, hunt them down.
Opinion: Polynesia is a great civilization all around, though the mid-game slump is much larger than for most civilizations. Polynesia requires a lot of happiness and science to keep running, but they can quickly become a runaway just on good city placement in places no other civilization could go. UI is excellent, UU is great because you start with it. No need to research your UU, it just comes standard.
Rating: 8

Ability: Double gold from resource diversity for trade routes.
Unique Units: Nau (rep. Caravel), Feitoria (UI)
VC: Diplo
S/C: Get your navy and naval trade routes up and running as soon as possible. Make sure to build your UI where possible to keep happiness high. Spam UU and use its exotic cargo ability to get a ton of gold AND experience for the unit. Delete old UUs if necessary to keep getting gold income. Use your gold from that to buy out city states for an easy Diplo victory.
Opinion: Heavily dependent on a coastal start, but an excellent civilization in regards to gold income. UU is spammable and will almost always make your money back. UI is circumstantial, but UA is always useful.
Rating: 7
Civilizations continued R-SP
Ability: +20% production towards buildings already built in the capital.
Unique Units: Legion (rep. Swordsman), Ballista (rep. Catapult)
VC: Dom
S/C: Rome should prioritize quite a bit of empire building and the start and then proceed to churn out military units. The UA allows 20% more time to be spent building units than would normally be possible, though it does force you to spend a lot of time building buildings in your capital.
Opinion: Great all game with a nice early rush set of units. Iron dependent for one UU, but still excellent.
Rating: 7

Ability: +1 production from strategic resources, double Horse, Iron and Uranium resources.
Unique Units: Cossack (rep. Cavalry), Krepost (rep. Barracks)
VC: Dom
S/C: Go for your UB as soon as possible, get all techs relating to strategic resources. Expand as quickly as possible, getting a city outside of the tundra you tend to spawn in is essential. Your production is your greatest asset, use it well. Use you UU to great effect against injured enemies.
Opinion: A poor start bias truly brings Russia down, but it is still one of the better civilizations. Your massive production will rival even those civilizations with extraordinary starts.
Rating: 7

The Shoshone
Ability: Cities start with extra tiles, units gain a bonus when fighting in Shoshone territory.
Unique Units: Pathfinder (rep. Scout), Comanche Rider (rep. Cavalry)
VC: Any
S/C: The Shoshone UA should be used to take as much territory as possible, while still being careful about expansion. Liberty would be great for this, but Tradition works as well, both play styles work. Be cautious about happiness levels. Use your Pathfinder as much as possible, grab Population, Culture and Technologies (in that order), as it resets after every three ruins or so. This can quickly give you a HUGE population advantage.
Opinion: I love the Shoshone, they can pick their VC, they expand quickly and have an excellent early game. The Shoshone particularly have a knack for lucky starts, partially because you can work almost all of your best tiles from turn 1 as opposed to not having those tiles in range for quite some time.
Rating: 8

Ability: +50% culture, faith and food from city-states.
Unique Units: Wat (rep. University), elephant (rep. Knight)
VC: Dom, Diplo
S/C: Siam should work towards pleasing as many city states as possible to use its UA to the fullest. This necessitates gold and time spent garnering influence with city state. UB is excellent and should be built as soon as you get it (as the normal building it replaces should be.) UU is
Opinion: Siam has some great things going for it but falls short in regards to retaining City-state alliances for which it has no bonus. Greece is simply better, and capable of holding onto city states long enough to reap the same or more benefits from the city states.
Rating: 5

The Songhai
Ability: Receive triple gold from barbariance camps and capturing cities. Land units get the War Canoe and Amphibious promotions.
Unique Units: Mandekalu Cavalry (rep. Knight), Mud Pyramid Mosque (rep. Temple)
VC: Dom
S/C: Get your UB up as soon as possible. Your UA is excellent for cities across rivers, giving you a massive bonus towards attacking or defending cities near rivers. The enemy will still be subject to the penalties but you will not be. Your UU is excellent for attacking cities as it does not have the penalty against them that the unit's line has.
Opinion: Overall a good civilization with a circumstantial UA. UB is excellent, one of the best in the game. UU is also fairly good, one of the two knight replacements without a penalty against cities.
Rating: 7
Civilizations continued Sp - Z
Ability: Gets gold when discovering natural wonder, double tile bonus from natural wonders.
Unique Units: Conquistador (rep. Knight), Tercio (rep. Musketman)
VC: Dom, Any
S/C: Find a wonder. Get an extra scout up ASAP, find a natural Wonder, and profit heavily. Use your money for finding the wonder to buy a settler and get it over there. Use your Conquistador to get rolling on other continents quickly, and also to take out enemy cities quickly. Tercio is more expensive, but it is more well equipped to handle mounted charges than most units.
Opinion: UA is so circumstantial, but when it is in effect, other players should watch out. Conquistador is excellent, Tercio is more expensive and not worth the extra cost.
Rating: 4 or 7, UA dependent

Ability: Can gift a great person to a city state for 90 influence, when making a declaration of friendship, both parties gain +10% great person generation.
Unique Units: Carolean (rep. Riflemen), Hakkapeliitta (rep. Lancer)
VC: Dom, Cultural
S/C: Get your Great Person producing buildings up as soon as possible. Make many DoFs (Declarations of Friendship) in order to use your ability to the fullest. In the Industrial era make a HUGE push with your Caroleans.
Opinion: Great UUs, horrible ability. Wont work with MP due to players knowing your ability. Versus AI, they might just hate you too much to make a DoF. Ability is just too circumstantial.
Rating: 6

Ability: Can only found 1 city, cannot annex additional cities. Gains Merchant of Venice with Optics. Double normal number of trade routes.
Unique Units: Great Galleass (rep. Galleass), Merchant of Venice (rep. Great Merchant)
VC: Any, Diplo
S/C: MAKE YOUR FIRST CITY PLACEMENT COUNT. You will need a Coast for sure. If nothing else, get that. Use your massive number of trade routes to get a ton of gold for a Diplo victory. Use your Merchant of Venice to expand if needbe, but also for gold.
Opinion: Okay UU, Merchant of Venice is excellent. UA is amazing, but heres the problem. Venice is HIGHLY susceptible to a bad start. Non-coastal and/or just an unreasonable spot.
Rating: 7

The Zulus
Ability: Melee units cost 50% less unit maintenance, all units need 10% less experience to get their next promotion.
Unique Units: Impi (rep. Pikemen), Ikanda (rep. Barracks)
VC: Dom
S/C: Rush with your uniques. Send a horde of Melee units into combat, destroy anyone who stands in your way. Fortunately for you, your UU comes in with Civil Service, which is an essential tech anyways. Keep up an endless wave, you will get through eventually. Use siege units to assist, of course, but an endless wave of Impis is very difficult to deal with, and you can keep it up into the Industrial era.
Opinion: Excellent combat civilization, my personal favorite. The XP bonus combined with Alhambra and Brandenburg Gate (if you can get them) will create absolutely terrifying combat units.
Rating: 9
From Settler To Deity
(Include the general differences between the difficulties and how one has to approach each difficulty differently aka on deity don't expect to get a wonder etc.)
To Do:
Settler to Deity

All sections

Anything else random
I would like to thank a few people/places for their contributions:
Thank you Bladesnite for your many contributions and thank you helping me with this guide!

I would also like to thank everyone who worked on Civilization 5 for their AMAZING Game that has taken almost 700 hours of my life, and yet I still thank them for it!

Hope you liked my guide, please leave a comment! Let me know if I missed anything! Just know this guide is a work in progress!
< >
Korgrath May 27, 2017 @ 9:43pm 
No offense, I use this guide constantly and I've only started to even see whats missing, but the last update was last year in Febuary
I really appreciate the guide for what it is, still
Assassin  [author] May 27, 2017 @ 8:25pm 
The guide is a work in progress. If you are looking for general help, I personally prefer Freedom or Order to Autocracy. Order is amazing for empires with over 4 cities. If you have 4 or less cities, freedom is probably the way to go, assuming you are going for a culture or science victory. If you have 4+, Order is better for science/domination victories.
Korgrath May 27, 2017 @ 10:49am 
Settler through deity?
Korgrath May 25, 2017 @ 2:22pm 
ethereal Feb 4, 2017 @ 7:17am 
a great guide. loved the civilizations a-z overviews!
charliebuck64 Sep 6, 2016 @ 8:27am 
This seemed a little helpful, though it could have a tiny bit more added to it.
kcdupont Jun 10, 2016 @ 2:29pm 
kcdupont Jun 10, 2016 @ 2:29pm 
they both do future teck but they work together and for you cheaters theres a cheat mod on that web sit but dig deep
kcdupont Jun 10, 2016 @ 2:27pm 
EpicKingdom_ May 21, 2016 @ 11:48pm 
I still suck at this game after 160 hours, I'll cry.