In the following paragraphs, I will try to explain to you how to achieve:
- A Cultural victory
- On Deity level
- Playing with Alexander (you see, I’m Greek, so Alexander is my only choice)
Now, I can hear you say: “I am not Greek/don’t want to play with Alexander” or “I don’t care for a cultural victory. Do I need this guide?”.
Yes, Sir, you need it.
Most of the tips in this guide can apply to players who aim to achieve a Technologic or Economic victory. But if you are a militarist, I don’t think my strategy can really help you.
In the beginning of this journey, winning the Deity level was out of the question for me. After playing several times I can now say, it’s doable. But yet, before you start playing on this level, make sure you have achieved many victories on the previous ones.
A good start is half the work
If the most demanding levels leave you a sense of unfairness in Civ, I’m with you. On Deity level, the opponents seem to always be one or several steps ahead no matter how you play the game. So let’s cheat: Start the game again and again and again until you get:
A decent terrain
You definitely need a very powerful Capital: a city which will be fairly big and ultra productive. So you need Forests, you need Hills, and you need Mountains. Forests are fine in the beginning, but without Hills and Mountains (at least 2 tiles of each other) your Capital will decline by time. As a result, good terrain is absolutely necessary.
Since the Deity level is demanding, you will need at least one more strong city. This won’t be so hard though. Soon enough you will have an idea of the terrain around your Capital.
Also, look for tiles with useful resources: Gems and Wheat are great in the beginning of the game, since money is sparse. Incense and Silk are also great especially if you go for a cultural victory.
Not many opponents around
Your opponents start a war with no reason and there’s nothing you can do to stop them. The AI of the game needs work here. Although all leaders are not the same, their aggressiveness is intolerable. I hate a few of them, including Gandhi, Shaka, and Mao.
So you need not to have too many of them around you. You can cope with one. Maximum two. Fighting against more opponents is simply impossible on this level.
As I wrote above, it is no shame to begin the game again and again until you have these criteria met. This will be your little cheat.
Your strategy in the early stages
Found cities as early as possible. How many of them? Four should be sufficient for the beginning. I have won on the Deity level with only five cities, but most of the times you will need six or ideally seven in the end. The first four are crucial though.
By the moment I found my Capital I go for two Pikemen. Please skip Warriors, they are pathetic. Let your Pikemen explore the world. Explore as much as you can. By eliminating Barbarians they will become stronger (don’t forget to attack Barbarians on a Hill, so you will avoid a defeat) and they will get valuable rewards such as money, Horsemen, a Galley maybe etc.
Right after the two Pikemen I start building a Settler. I found my second City somewhat close to the Capital to gain time. By that moment the game will have offered you the chance to reach a new mini achievement. If one of the tasks is to explore 30 land tiles or 100 coast tiles, don’t miss that chance. You will soon have a new Settler with no sweat. The fourth Settler will come by gaining 100 gold, which is not difficult.
When you get a few Horsemen send your Pikemen home to defend your cities. While one Pikeman in each city should be enough at the early stages of the game, a Horseman must be around. Your opponents will already have attacked you by now. (More on that soon.) Help your Horsemen move fast by building roads. Yes, roads are important. Then focus on Libraries and Temples. Next stop: Workshops, which is a must.
[Update, Summer 2016:
If you are already in a war and you have at least two armies of Horsemen, don’t hesitate to attack an opponent’s city. Don’t aim for the Capital, but for a small city close to your borders. Your armies are capable enough and if they are upgrated to Veterans, they have good chances to take the city. If they’re also equipped with the Infiltration upgrade it’s a shame not to attack.
You may also want to use up all your available Spies in order make the defenders of your opponent less efficient.
A few Pikemen can also help: they will support your attackers when your enemies will counterattack you.
Also, never stop searching for Artifacts. The Court of Camelot turns your Horsemen into Knights. And if you do have Knights you can capture more than one city of your bellicose opponents. Knights are the most powerful units at this phase of the game and the truth is you can’t have enough of them.
End of update]
Technology and Artifacts
Most of the Artifacts lie on deserted islands far away from you. Your Galley (most probably gained by a Barbarian village) can help you reach them. Go for them, there’s no question about that, but don’t worry too much if in the end someone else finds them first.
Not all Artifacts are of equal importance. If the School of Confucius (Great People for free) is somewhere close to you, do whatever you can to get it. You also want to have the Ark of the Covenant (Temples or Cathedrals automatically built in your cities), the Court of Camelot (Horsemen become Knights with no effort), and of course the Lost City of Atlantis (free Technologies).
During the early stages of the game focus your scientific research on only one thing: how to reach to Leonardo’s Workshop (all units are upgraded) first. Trust me, nothing else matters. Let the other civilizations build whatever they want, you have enough time to reach them.
By the moment you discover Invention, so you can build Leonardo’s Workshop, make sure your Capital city has already built a Workshop so your production is tolerable. Or let your Capital start building another Wonder and turn to Leonardo’s Workshop when you’re ready. Then go for Gunpowder (a.k.a. Riflemen). Without it Leonardo’s Workshop is pretty useless, since your defensive units won’t be upgraded.
Remember, Alexander, you already have the best Government, Democracy. You need no other Government. Stick with Democracy.
Technology is a priority of course. Yes, we’re going for a Cultural victory, but culture and technology go hand in hand. Don’t let the game fool you: you need science as much as culture.
You don’t like wars and so do I. But we can’t avoid them. So we must defend our cities well. If one of your cities stands very close to an enemy one, make sure you will have an Army of guarding Pikemen inside. At the same time make sure this city, or a nearby one, has built Barracks so new units will be Veterans at once. If an opponent is too aggressive, you will need to pause producing other buildings in order to protect that city. That means one thing: Walls. Walls make a city much more stronger against enemies. If you add a unit which can attack from distance e.g. a Cannon, you can feel safe and move on.
As noted above, you must build roads which will connect your cities, so Horsemen and Knights can be more effective. Here’s a trick: let the enemies stand close enough to your cities and then attack them with Horsemen and Knights. They are powerful and they win most of the times. After a successful attack let them return to their cities. On the other hand, Horsemen and Knights are not reliable defenders. You can’t really protect a city without Pikemen.
By all means, create Armies. If you have only two units, spend a few rounds or some money to get a third one. You absolutely need it, especially since you are not a militarist — this sounds funny, doesn’t it?
If an opponent asks for money to pause a war, say no. Personally, I never ever give in. Even when things seem pretty dreadful. Same with technology: I never exchange technology. Why so negative? Because I have a certain strategy and I count on it. If I give in, I betray it.
Needless to say that at this level you must never lose a city. Even if you take it back you will have lost valuable time. You just can’t afford it.
So far our tactics is pretty defensive. We couldn’t avoid it. Now it is time for things to change. Now you can check the “How to Win” screen of the game from time to time. It won’t be as disappointing as before.
Let’s assume you have made it to build Leonardo’s Workshop first. Now all your guards are Riflemen. However a single Rifleman is not enough. Your enemies are powerful, much more powerful than you. Remember the city with the Barracks I mentioned above? Let this blessed city build more Riflemen. Lots of them. Create Armies of these great defenders and you have nothing to be afraid of. For a while of course.
Time to convert enemy cities
In the meanwhile invest on more culture. Build Temples and Cathedrals in all cities and you will be rewarded. If other civilizations dare to found cities near to you, these cities will soon be yours (the feeling of converting a city is the best one) thanks your cultural achievements. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to found a city close to an enemy. Your culture will soon provide you more space to breathe. Of course, you need to guard it the best possible way.
A converted city is very weak in the beginning. Since you don’t expect too much from it, start with a Temple, then build a Cathedral and let culture flourish.
Greeks produce Great People with ease. So let these wonderful guys live in your cities and help them evolve. Their name is “Great” for a reason. Don’t sacrifice a Great Person for a temporary merit. It is foolish since they are a tremendous help in your way to the victory.
At the same time, don’t lose your focus on technology. Make sure you have built Libraries in all your cities (Libraries are cheaper for Greeks) and start building some Universities soon. The Lost City of Atlantis should be still available. Go and get it.
Don’t waste time to build Wonders yet. At least no more than one or two. The levels of production are still low and Wonders can take lots of time. If you can, build Markets (you will soon need that money), Harbors (if a city is too small) and maybe a few Courthouses.
Generally speaking, this is the time for the Greeks to be amongst the best ones in every level. Don’t worry if you are not the richest or the most scientifically advanced, but try to be competent. Recovering becomes harder as the game moves forward.
Walking the road to victory
As we’re moving on your cities must be in top shape. From now on every wrong decision counts. You might discover that a nation is fast approaching the victory so you must be in a position to turn the tables, something really hard on Deity level.
Productivity, productivity, productivity
Even if you think everything goes as planned, it is easy to be left behind. Your once productive cities can become obsolete regarding production. So take precautions: research Railroad. It will give you access to Iron Mines which can be built faster than Factories and they boost productivity. Now you know why a city needs mountains so much.
Right after that you need to start building Factories. A city with an Iron Mine can reach to a Factory relatively fast. But how about cities without Iron Mines? Do spend some or even all your Gold to build Factories. All new buildings and units require lots of work and things are a lot more complicated than before. A city without a Factory is problemetatic — you can’t depend on it.
Also, now is the time to build Wonders. And Wonders cost.
Start with Wonders which help Culture, e.g. the Syndey Opera House, but the more you have the best for you.
By now you must have known well that your enemies are ultra aggressive. And very very powerful. Defending a city is harder than ever before. Play wisely: combine different types of units in order to hassle the bad guys and don’t lose your focus.
For example, a veteran Army of Tanks can cost lots of Armies of Modern Infantry. You need to be ready to counterattack with a more robust unit quickly so you won’t lose your city.
A wandering army of enemy Riflemen is no problem: they can never take a city. Don’t waste time and resources to combat them. Instead invest in a Wonder.
Or don’t try to take a city because an enemy leader frustrates you. Even if you have lots of time and resources, it is very very difficult to capture a city. If you are still determine to go for it, create several armies of Spies and ask them to sabotage the defensive units of your opponent. This trick works.
Artillery and Stealth are the most powerful units. They cost much but when combined they can do miracles. If you can, do use them together. Don’t hesitate for a moment. Attack your cruel enemies up to the moment they will offer you peace. Peace is always a good thing and your Government remains Democracy, so you can’t say no to peace offered by others.
When things go wrong
It happens very often: a nation is closer to a cultural victory than you. What to do now? You have an ace up your sleeve: sabotage.
Create Armies of Spies and try to steal Great People from the opponent who has the advantage. Of course a Spy alone will be soon get caught by the enemy. This is why you have your Artillery and your Bombers. Do whateverer you can to open the road for your Spies. Then move them to the enemy city and steal that Great People. Yes, Spies often fail, but I guess you have many of them who are eager to help, right?
At the same time don’t stop building Wonders and don’t stop supporting weaker cities with your money.
If all goes well, soon your Domestic Advisor will call upon you to build the United Nations. And you will eagerly follow her advice.
As you can see, this level requires many skills: balance, agility, guts, presence of mind, and determination among others. Knowing how to make money or how to fight is simply not enough. But as a great leader, you already know this, don’t you?
I hope this article will help you achieve the ultimate victory.