Civilization 2 Strategies

How to play in Deity Mode and win!
I consider myself to be a Civ II expert, having defeated the game numerous times in Deity mode through both world domination and scientific discovery. There IS a way to do it… However it requires a lot of time, patience, and energy.One important thing to remember; Deity mode is not easy. You will not win every time, even after you understand and adopt my strategies. There are some small luck factors involved and if certain factors conspire against you, such as bad starting spots or poor rolls while attacking, you very well may lose. Don’t let this discourage you. Your success will come in time.

Starting Points
First start the game on Deity mode, with a large map, seven civilizations, and barbarians set to restless tribes (anything lower than this setting will decrease your overall score at the end of the game, if you want a bonus, set it to Raging Hordes). Trust me, you want that large map! The actual map settings and terrain are entirely up to you.

If when the game begins you receive any advances other than irrigation, mining, and roads, RESTART! The game tries to make up for crappy starting positions by giving you advances; this is not good in Deity mode. Ideally your starting position would be isolated on an island that’s big enough to support your soon to be empire. If you start on an island that is less than 20×20 squares of land, RESTART! You need room for expansion and anything smaller just won’t cut it. NOTE: It doesn’t have to be a 20×20 square; do the math and if there isn’t that many land tiles then restart. I know you can’t see all the land yet, but as soon as you explore the surrounding terrain you should consider restarting if the land is too small. The only exception would be if a massive land mass is only one or two squares away, you might be able to park a trireme in the fjord and use it to shuttle units across the gap.

Once you’re happy with your starting location, immediately place your settler. In the interest of time just place your settler without moving it. The computer will typically give you a starting location near or on a resource square. With your other remaining settler, immediately scout your next city placement.

City Planning
When planning to grow your city with improvements it is important to remember the one overall problem: You only receive one content citizen. This means that any city that grows beyond the population of one will immediately have that second citizen in a state of discontent unless something is done to prevent it. So when first starting the game, build two warriors. One to explore, the other to defend (and maintain) the city. Government types such as Despotism, Monarchy, and Communism impose martial law. So every defensive unit in the city will turn one unhappy citizen content. When you’re starting out don’t bother to build anything other than settlers. The advantage of a settler unit at this stage is it will decrease your population by one. So as long as you have a couple of warriors standing guard and imposing martial law you shouldn’t have much of a discontent problem. More on this in City Placement.

When you do eventually want to start improving your city, here’s the order in which improvements should be constructed: Temple – Marketplace – Library – Barracks – City Walls – Bank – Factory. Keep in mind that I don’t start building anything until at least 1 A.D. Everything prior to that is spent cranking out settlers. If it’s 1000 A.D. and you have nothing more on that list to build then you’re building too fast. The only exception to any of these building rules is world wonders which I’ll talk about later. Don’t bother with Courthouses, Coliseums, or Aqueducts unless you have a special situation that warrants them. They take up too many city resources for the benefit they provide. “But wait!” you say. “Why no aqueducts? Won’t my city never grow beyond eight?” Yes, that’s right, you don’t need a city bigger than eight where you’re goin’. ^_^

City Placement and Resource Squares
You need to choose whether your city is going to focus primarily on science or production. If you want to go with production, surround yourself with as many of the tiles below as possible. At the very least, have one of the indicated tiles plus a good mix of forest, plains, and grassland with shields. If it’s all grassland and plains with no resources it’ll be a worthless effort.

If this is going to be a shield producing city, place it within working distance (within 2 diagonal squares) of one of the following resource types:

Buffalo 1 Food, 3 Shields, 0 Trade
Road adds 1 Trade – Irrigation adds 1 food
Always look for these as they are a good trade off between food, trade, and shields.
Desert Oil 0 Food, 4 Shields, 0 Trade
Road adds 1 Trade – Irrigation adds 1 Food
Mining Adds Shield of 1 but negates irrigation.
Because of its low food yield this square is profitable but hard to use. If its anywhere near a food resource then this is a beautiful sight indeed.
Glacier Oil Same as Desert Oil except you cannot mine it for additional resources. Avoid placing a city with too many tundra squares unless there are adequate food resource squares nearby to sustain you.
Iron Same as Desert Oil, except the addition of a road doesn’t increase trade and you cannot irrigate.
Peat 1 Food, 4 Shields, 0 Trade
Resource cannot be improved with roads or irrigation.

If you want to go with scientific production, surround yourself with as many of the following resources as possible:

Furs 2 Food, 0 Shields, 3 Trade
Irrigation adds 1 to Food
Road adds 1 to Trade
Gems 1 Food, 0 Shields, 4 Trade
Resource cannot be improved with roads or irrigation..
Spice 3 Food, 0 Shields, 4 Trade
Resource cannot be improved with roads or irrigation. This is a good square for its food production and trade. Remember, he who controls the spice, controls the universe.
Wine 1 Food, 0 Shields, 4 Trade
Irrigation adds 1 food.
Mining adds 3 Shields, but negates irrigation.
If you build a mine on this square it is a wonderful square!

Whenever possible, place your city next to one of the following squares. They give an excellent balance between food, shields, and trade. It’s even better if you can build a city with one of these and another aforementioned resource square. Keep in mind that if you build on top of one of these tiles you will receive one additional food and trade. However, don’t build on top of one of these if you sacrifice your reach to another resource square.

Pheasant 3 Food, 2 Shields, 0 Trade
Technically this is an extra food square, but because it adds two more food than the traditional forest and outputs two shields, this is an overall good square to be near. A city starting next to one of these will grow fast and output fast.
Silk 1 Food, 2 Shields, and 3 Trade
Technically this has better scientific output, but because it’s on a forest square it also puts out 2 shields. This is, in my opinion, the best overall land square. It gives a little of everything. If you see one of these, build near it.
Whale 2 Food, 2 Shields, and 3 Trade
This is quite possibly the best square to be near. The food produced is good, the shields produced are good, and the scientific benefit from the increased trade is amazing. If you see one of these, build your city.

This is an example of an awesome city location. The city is in reach of four resource squares. This is uncommon, but look for spots like this and you can definitely benefit! With this city layout it’s possible to get 17 shields with a mine on the hills and a desert square with a population of eight!

All of the other resource types are food resources. While they’re definitely handy, they only make a city grow fast. In this case, you need to control your city growth or you’ll be in deep trouble with malcontent citizens. Food resources will come in handy if you’re surrounded by forest because you can make up for the lower food yield from a forest and still reap the benefit of a forest’s shield production.

Civilization Advances
When researching advances, always follow this order: Monarchy – Philosophy – Republic – Democracy. These are your primary targets. If you cannot research anything leading to this, then research towards your secondary targets which are: Magnetism, Leadership, Tactics, Monotheism, and Espionage

The reason why you want to focus on the four listed as primary targets is that you can reach them without having a lot of prerequisites. In addition, if you follow this path you will reach philosophy first which gives you a free advance. It’s worth it! You want to let the Great Library give you everything in between. More on that later…

Governmental Strategy
It shouldn’t be difficult to notice that the primary civilization advances you need to research are systems of government. As SOON as you discover them, switch to them. You want to maximize your scientific output during the beginning stages of the game. Republic and Democracy give you a significant scientific boost.

Your goal with government is to have at least one significant military advance over your enemies. The only way to do that is to lay a massive scientific foundation through government and THEN research your weapons. The Great Library will fill in the rest.

Once you have reached Democracy, built the Statue of Liberty or research Fundamentalism. Be sure that you are at least able to produce Dragoons and then switch to Fundamentalism. “But wait!? Doesn’t that decrease your scientific output by half?” Why yes it does. But it won’t matter. Fundamentalism is the ONLY way to reach your goal of world domination.

As a Fundamentalist government, you don’t have to pay any shields for troop upkeep; they take care of themselves. You never have unhappy citizens (you can sell off your temples for extra cash). You gain a significant cash flow boost, so much so that you won’t know what to do with all your money (I like to buy cities with mine, but we’ll get to that later on). Once you go to Fundie, your goal is now military production. Do nothing but build as many troops as you can and send them off for a little raping and pillaging action.

I love diplomacy. It is so easy to exploit the game here. First of all, don’t ally with anyone, it’s just a hassle. In fact, don’t even bother with diplomacy until you’re ready to conquer the world. Try to avoid trading civilization advances because you’ll eventually get it through the great library. The computer trades advances with other nations so freely this is almost always the case. Use diplomacy to get yourself the one thing that truly matters. Knowledge of geography! If you know where they are, you won’t have to go looking for them! This allows you to attack an enemy quickly without wasting time. Offer them a gift of money, as much as you can. Once they reach Enthusiastic status, they’ll usually give you their map. Sometimes they will refuse, but if you get them up to Worshipful status they’ll roll over like a dog and let you kick them.

When going after a civilization, go after the closest enemy to save time. The only exception to this is if your nearest enemy is a technological wasteland, if you’re rolling out dragoons and they’re still cranking out legions, then pass them over for a more advanced foe. You can always roll over them later.

While not a necessity for global domination, a certain degree of subterfuge can greatly speed your conquest. The most important roles of Diplomats and Spies are to steal technologies and incite revolts. The effects of stealing technologies is obvious. Why waste good science production on something you can get for the price of a single Diplomat/Spy? Once you have Spies, you can effectively buy cities right out from under your enemies. With the extra cash provided as a Fundamentalist government, this actually becomes quite practical. For around 2500 gold, you can take over a city of 13 with no loss of troops. The only caveat to this is that it is impossible to buy cities from a civilization with a Democratic government; on the upside, civilizations with Democratic governments usually can’t defend themselves too well.

The secondary role of spies is the sabotage of defenses. Use them to blow up city walls to aid in the capture of a city. It may help to investigate the city first. It is a free action for the spy, and the information provided may influence your strategy (i.e.: knowing that there’s 10 Alpine Troops defending a city might change the attack plans you had for those 4 Riflemen). You can use them for other purposes, but the effects are minimal and you risk losing the spy. Poisoning the water supply is rarely more effective than to reduce the population by 1 point, and establishing an Embassy just wastes a turn.

World Wonders
This is a very critical element. There are certain advances that are absolutely necessary, and others that are worthless. Here is the list of advances you MUST get at all costs!

  • Oracle – Doubles the effect of temples. Necessary when you switch from Monarchy to Republic. You need something to make up for the lack of martial law.
  • Great Library – If you don’t get this, RESTART. Seriously, this is the absolute most critical wonder in the game. Sell everything in your cities and buy it outright if you have to.
  • Adam Smith’s Trading Company – Essential to reduce your capital costs during your period of Republic and Democracy
  • Michelangelo’s Chapel – This will keep your people happy before you become a Fundie.
  • Statue of Liberty – Allows you to instantly switch to Fundamentalism, you don’t even need to have researched it!
  • Darwin’s Voyage – The only reason why you need this is because you don’t want your opponents to get it. Typically this is a good thing to get when you’re a Fundie because it’ll let you get some important military advances.

Do not deviate from this if you can help it. There are times however when you have a city with the resources and ability to produce other wonders. If you do, here are your “Wonders of Opportunity”.

  • Pyramids – Be careful with this one though because it could make your cities grow too quickly.
  • Colossus – Doubles your trade, which increase your science output. Good to have, but not necessary.
  • Copernicus’ Observatory – Again good to have, but don’t get this unless you really have extra time.
  • King Richard’s Crusade – I almost put this on the necessary list. Out of this whole list of extras this is the most important. It doubles your shield output in the period before factories. Put this in a city with 10 or 11 shields already and you’ll have a world wonder assembly line!
  • Magellan’s Expedition – Adds two to your ship movement. This is nice if you don’t have transports yet, but again, not a necessity.
  • Marco Polo’s Embassy – This a nice one to get the map of an opponent if you don’t know where any of them are. If you know where one or two of your opponents are already, don’t bother, but if you’re totally isolated this may be an important one.

Don’t bother with any of the other advances. They’re a waste of time unless you’re so far ahead you don’t have to care. But that’s rarely the case on Deity mode. “But wait? What about Leonardo’s Workshop?? Don’t you need that one to upgrade your units?” The short answer: NO! This is the most deceiving wonder ever. First, you need a barracks in each city to produce veteran troops. A veteran unit has a 50% bonus to attack and defense. Leonardo’s Workshop will upgrade a unit to the next class, but eliminate their veteran status which could produce a unit that isn’t as good! The only thing it is good for is changing your settlers to engineers.

Here’s the bottom line… If you’re a Fundie with a technology advantage you’ll be unstoppable. Just don’t deviate from the plan or you’ll fail. Any questions? Email me.