With the newest addon to Civilisation V just another few sleepytiems away, many people will find themselves coming back to the game after some absence.
Since you’re already experienced, why don’t you try doing it again one difficulty level higher? I’m sure you can manage to still spread your beliefs of free hugs and death across the world.
If not, try my personal top 5 tips you probably didn’t know for a more efficient empire.
5. Don’t start a fight you can’t win
Whether or not you like it, you’ll have to go to war eventually. It’s fun and profit too; There’s no easier way to slap the dude who kept demanding tribute and grow your empire in the process. However, know when to start a war and when to end it. Unless you have overwhelming forces (in which case it’s time to ramp up the difficulty) it will be extremely tough to break the last bastions where your enemy is hiding. In some cases, it might not even be worth it.
Ending a war before one side is eliminated can save you a lot of time that you would have spent fighting otherwise, freeing up resources that would be spent on reinforcements. Not only that, but being in a war reduces happiness across your empire even if nothing happens, so you’ll be sooner to start another Golden Age. Besides, if you did anyhow but crap during the war, you’ll already have both spoils of war and a crippled opponent who won’t be able to launch retaliation against you even if she wanted for a while. Take what you can and spare the rest.
4. Contre la bourgeoisie!
This is an easy mistake to make and you can technically work with doing it, which makes it all the more devilish. Build workers! They are a central unit throughout the game and constantly needed as your tech advances. Early game, their production cost can be tough (though buying them circumvents that) but mid and late game, they’re basically free and there’s no reason not to have plenty. As a rule of thumb, I’d say to use 3 or 4 workers for an average size empire, adding on more and selling them as the workload shifts, like with railroads or a new city.
Also, don’t put them on automation. You should know what the empire and the city which works the tile needs and build accordingly. There’s no shame in rebuilding either; Grab resources whenever possible and adjust to the growth of your cities.
3. Home ownership ain’t as easy as it seems
Assuming that you have a general idea of how many cities your emprie needs, you can still build them in the right and the wrong places. Rule of thumb, prefer Hills terrain over nearby luxury resources over rivers over coast tiles. Hills provide a strong production boost especially in the early game, contain lots of resources that will be automatically mined, and provide some sweet combat bonuses. Luxury resources are always lovely to have, rivers give some synergy with certain buildings plus a gold boost, and coast tiles are, well, coasty. Keep in mind when picking the spot that water tiles can’t be improved unless they hold resources, so a coastal city’s output can be underwhelming in the late game. Plus, one dedicated naval city is usually enough, unless your strategy involves many naval units.
2. Don’t work, give peas a chance instead!
Okay, we’ve all left cities on automatic management at one point or another. It’s beyond convenient, but unfortunately it’s not always effective either. The management AI heavily favors production even in fresh cities, meaning that they’ll never get off the ground. Do yourself a favour and set a fresh city to food (you can still use the focus options, but not auto management), then come back and be convinced. While it’s true that production is valuable most of the time, sometimes it’s better to focus on people with which to tend to all that land. Of course, other resources are an option too if needed. Experiment around; Setting a few cities to another focus for even a few turns can help power out an important tech quickly, for example. Just remember to set them back afterwards, or they’ll blast science without any time gain.
1. Sharing is free hugs. And death. And free hugs.
Ever sat on a pile of silver and didn’t know what to do with it? You should try to avoid that. At any time in the game, trade all resources that you don’t need, and I mean all of them. Luxury resources are completely redundant if you have more than 1 unit of one particular resource, so ask around for trades with any player whose face you aren’t currently mashing in. You don’t have to take ripoffs, but try your best to convert anything that isn’t of use to you in the immediate future into something that is. On that note, gold is more powerful than one would expect, if only to make more deals to allow yourself access to more luxury resources. Just don’t give Uranium to Gandhi.