Carl's Civ 5 Strategy Guide

for Brave New World and Gods & Kings DLC

Civilization 5 Strategies for Brave New World and Gods and Kings
8/19/14: I will occasionally update with a new Civ page. There are 10 to go, but the guide is otherwise completed.
A Donate page is available if you like the Guide.
Austria & Polynesia Civ Guides Published. Population and City Growth

About My Civ 5 Site

My goal in writing this Guide is to help players new to Civ 5's turn-based strategy and those playing on lower difficulties to improve their game and get more enjoyment out of it. The Guide is broken down into sections based on game mechanics, so information you seek should be easy to find. Total newbies to the game should find many helpful hints that will give them new ideas for playing such an open-ended game. The random maps, leader personalities you'll encounter, variety of valid strategies and fact that there's no one right way to play the game offer near-infinite replayability. This, combined with the depth offered by the Gods and Kings (G&K) and Brave New World (BNW) Expansions, means that there is no infallible secret strategy to be shared.

Conditions in the game are always changing. You must learn to plan, adapt to those changing conditions, and adjust your strategy accordingly. What Guides can do is help you by giving example strategies and introducing you to Civ 5's gameplay concepts, how they work, and how to use these mechanics to your advantage. The knowledge you gain from reading these guides, your own time playing Civ 5, experimentation with new strategies and practice with Civs that suit your playstyle will see you to more satisfying conquests on higher difficulties. Winning a game is great and good fun, but winning a game of Civ on a Difficulty you have never conquered feels like a big Achievement. Here is a list of the Guides I have to offer. Check back for new additions, as there are always new pages being published and players may leave comments to help others to formulate a new strategy.

List of Strategy Guides, Sorted by Gameplay Concept

Here is a summary of the information found in each Strategy Guide I've authored for Civ 5. The descriptions here will help newbies learn of gameplay concepts to explore, provide helpful information on them, and serve as a sitemap of the Guide to aid you in locating information.

Civilizations: Leader and Bonus List
A full list of Civilizations and their Leaders with the specials buildings, units and Civ-specific powers they receive. Links to in-depth articles about Civs with strategies and the improvements and differences between the Unique Units and Unique Buildings and the regular units/structures they replace.

There are a total of 43 Civilizations to choose from in Civ 5 with all the DLC, Gods and Kings, and Brave New World. The Civ selection screen doesn't give nearly enough information and this page will help you choose and highlight strengths of Civilizations that may not be obvious at first glance. Some Civilizations and Leaders are fit for one or two types of Victory, while others offer much more open bonuses that are suitable for any victory type - although you CAN take any Civ to any kind of Victory - use Babylon's scientific bonuses to outclass the enemy's military, for example. These Guides can help you make a decision and find the perfect Civ for you, new Civs you'd like to try, and give you ideas for utilizing the strengths of the Civ.

Civ 5 Difficulty and Game Settings
Differences in AI Bonuses on Prince, King, Emperor, Immortal, and Deity Difficulty are detailed here. Also, I provide explanations for the game's Advanced Setup options which allow you to customize your gameplay experience. Check this Guide to see just how big a bonus the AI gets on the next Difficulty you're moving up to. In general, when you're winning almost every game, you should try a harder difficulty!

Civ 5 Military Unit Types, XP, and Promotions
A 7-page feature on the Unit Types in Civ 5 Brave New World. See here for Unit stats, special Promotions, production/purchase and Upgrade Costs to help you plan ahead. Covers everything from Scouts and Warriors to Stealth Bombers, Nukes, and Missile Cruisers.

Civ 5 Unique Units
A list of every Unique Unit in Civilization 5 with all DLC installed. Features what makes each unit Unique and what Promotions are kept when Upgrading each Unit to a more modern version.

Science: Maximizing Research Output
Learn all about the factors that influence your Civilization's Science per Turn and how you can improve your Research pace to out-Tech other Civs. This Guide is comprehensive and should teach newcomers a lot about how to make a truly advanced Civ for its time.

War Guide: Warmongering and Peace Treaties
A four-page Guide to War in Civilization 5. Includes information on Peace Treaties, Resurrecting Civs, Taking Capital Cities and Battle Strategies. A companion Guide to the Military Units piece that provides a lot of information on using the game's Military Units.

Diplomacy: Playing Civ Politics, Diplomatic Modifiers - Boosts and Penalties
Learn all about interacting with other Civilizations in this Guide. It covers the various options you'll get when talking to another Civ - Trades, Discuss and Demands you may make, while also focusing on what will influence your standing with them. It features a large list of things that cause a hit to relations or help your Civ to grow more friendly with others.

World Congress: Resolutions & Projects
Learn all about Delegates, Voting for Resolutions and how to manipulate the World Congress and United Nations for your own gain. Includes a full list of Resolutions and how to use them to benefit your Civ.

Trade Routes: Caravans and Cargo Ships
A full Guide to Trade Routes and how they work. Learn how Gold per Turn is factored, the maximum ranges and techs to increase them, religious pressure and Science earned from Land/Sea Trade Routes with other Civs.

World Wonders
A full list of all 47 Wonders in Civilization 5 and its DLC. Features stats for each Wonder on a single page, with all constructs sorted by Era to help players plan ahead. Here you will find links to in-depth articles on each Wonder in the game where players can share strategies through the site's comments system.

Social Policies
A Guide to Social Policies in Civilization 5. Includes a full-page Guide on each type, from Tradition to Rationalism and each individual Policy. You will find much more than basic descriptions here, rather plenty of information on what Policy Trees I personally choose and why I find they're helpful. You can share your own information, Policy/Civ combinations, and openings with other players here.

Ideologies and Public Opinion
Learn all about Civilization 5 Brave New World's 3 Ideologies (Autocracy, Freedom, and Order) and their individual Tenets. Information on Public Opinion and the various levels of Unrest Civs of Differing Ideologies will face is covered, along with how that works to produce Unhappiness and even Culture Flip Cities.

City Management: Founding New Cities, City Connections, Population, and Working Tiles
A Strategy Guide for all details of Cities in Civilization 5, covering pretty much every concept related to them from the land a City can claim to the scientific output it can produce. You'll learn all you need to know to effectively manage your Cities.

This page is the first of five sequential strategy guides that teach you all you'll need to know to manage your Cities. This first covers the concept of Citizens, population, and keeping the Empire happy and productive. City connections are also explained in detail, so that you can use little tricks like harbors and roads combined to connect distant cities without long, expensive roads or railroads connecting them. Follow the link at the end of the page to go on to the next section and learn about expanding your borders, using Citizen Management and manually working tiles, along with locking them. There's also a brief introduction to Specialists and how they fit into your Civilization. You can find a full guide to Specialists further down this page.

City Management: Food for Growth & Production for Building
Part of the City Guide; Learn the technologies and means of maximizing your Food output to achieve fast Population Growth. This Guide also talks about Production and hammers, so that you can construct Buildings and Wonders faster.

This page deserved a spot on the front page of the Guide because growing your Cities and their production capacity is so important in Civilization 5, whether you are building your Empire Tall (few cities with high population) or Wide (more Cities with lower population). You'll also learn a bit about the build queue and how you can purchase buildings with gold and faith.

City Management: Raising Science, Gold Income, Faith, Culture, and Tourism
Learn about the various types of City output that contribute to your Civilization as a whole. Learn about how you can maximize Cities' Science and Gold output along with other stats.

These Civ stats are produced by Cities and contribute to your Empire's totals. This page was separated from Food and Production because those are City-specific, while Science, Gold, Faith, Culture, and Tourism stats are accumulated Empire-wide to produce your totals. Understanding the concepts on this page, like the others in City Management, are critical to new players learning the game's features and how to get the most out of every City they control.

Food and City Growth: Making High-Population Cities
This Guide is focused on how you can use Food Focus in Citizen Management, Workers, and internal Food Trade Routes to help your Cities climb to Populations 40+ and even much, much higher depending how well you do. Overall, this is a key Guide to read if you are struggling with Science and Production in your Cities.

Defending your Cities: Combat Strength and Ranged Garrisons
As you raise the difficulty, Barbarian attacks and War both become more likely. Learn the basic information needed to defend your Cities from attack and keep your City's Workers productive. This introduces some War concepts, but doesn't go in-depth on Conquest - it's more about stopping Barbarians and invading enemy Civilizations from taking your lands.

Tall vs Wide Empires in Brave New World
Learn about the differences between Tall and Wide play, as well as the definition. This Guide features a list of Civs that are suited to each playstyle, and provides tips to playing the game with each layout.

A seven-page guide to Religion in Civilization 5 Gods and Kings and Brave New World. Introduces you to Faith generation and getting enough for a Pantheon, birthing Great Prophets to found your Religion, and an explanation of Religious Pressure and how you can use this gameplay feature to convert other Cities to follow yours. Includes detailed lists of all Beliefs, separated by category and providing tips on the best to choose depending on your goals.

Religion - Converting Cities with Missionaries/Great Prophets and Religous Pressure
This page is focused on helping you understand the Religious Pressure game mechanic and how you can use it to spread your Religion passively over the years by utilizing Trade Routes, Beliefs, Missionaries, Great Prophets, and Inquisitors.

Happiness Guide: Golden Ages & Countering Unhappines
By knowing sources of Happiness and where Unhappiness comes from, you can better manage your Empire and plan ahead. Get tips on managing Cities and learn the best ways to increase Happiness. Also covers Golden Ages.

City States - the Minor Civilizations of Civ 5
Learn about City States, a new addition to the franchise in Civilization 5 and how they've been expanded with the Gods and Kings and Brave New World DLC. This guide will teach you about the various types (Religious, Militaristic, Mercantile, Maritime, and Cultured) and how they will help your Civ to grow and become more powerful. Alliances with City States are critical for Diplomatic Victories for the votes they provide toward World Leader, while also helping you pass other World Congress proposals that can benefit your Civilization or cripple others. City States are helpful in every Victory type because of the bonuses they provide to your Civilization - from Culture, occasional military units, to Happiness and even Food to help your Cities grow faster. Friendships provide small bonuses, and Alliances typically provide double that. City-State bonuses become more powerful when your Civilization reaches the Medieval and Industrial Eras.

This Guide will teach you all about Barbarians in the game. Learn about preventing Barbarians from spawning new camps near your territory and dealing with them when they do.

Early-Game Beginner's Guide & Gameplay Concepts
This Guide seeks to inform newcomers to Civilization 5 or those looking to raise the Game Difficulty about the various things one has to think about when starting a new game and progressing through the first 100 or so turns. Utilizing all the tools at your disposal is key to winning higher-difficulty games, and this gives a rundown of those concepts with gameplay strategies to help you out. Use this page to share situational build orders and aid your fellow players.

Not Yet Updated for BNW/G&K
A list of resources in Civilization 5. Learn about tile improvements, luxury and strategic resources. This guide will help you to see what resources are really worth going to war for, and how much production, happiness, gold, and food each will bring to your cities.

Specialists and List of Buildings with Specialist Slots
Learn about the six types of Specialist in Civilization 5 Gods and Kings & Brave New World. These are used to generate resources for your Civ and create Great People, powerful additions to your society that carry with them a variety of special abilities.

Great People, Increasing GPP, Great Person Tile Improvements, & Special Abilities
Learn about the nine varieties of Great People in Civilization 5 and how they can help your Civ to flourish. Learning how best to use their specials can go a long way when attempting to play on higher difficulties. Mastery of these along with the Specialists that generate the GPP to birth them is vital information if you're going to master this deep strategy game.

Spies - Espionage Guide
Learn all about Civ 5 G&K's Spy gameplay feature. Upon entering the Renaissance and each Era after, your Civ will be granted a Spy. They may be used to Steal Technology, Stage Coups in City-States, or simply Rig Elections to help your Civ's standing with a CS. Spies are also used as Diplomats, which can get you votes for World Congress Proposals. Learn all about this feature in my Guide.

Gameplay Tips
You can catch some of the most important advice without reading all the in-depth strategy articles listed here. You'll find a long list of Tips for Civ 5, broken down by category. This is very broad, and new players will likely learn all kinds of game mechanics and bits of info that they did not know before that should help them improve at playing Civ. Add your own tips by using the form at the bottom of the page to help your fellow gamers.

Ways to Win: Victory Types in Civ 5

Here you'll find information that will show you options for how to win a game of Civ 5. Each guide contains the requirements you'll need to meet in order to score a victory and tips on doing so efficiently. Provide your own victory strategies to Civ newbies by sharing tips through the form at the bottom of each page.

Culture/Tourism Victory
Brave New World updated Civ 5's Cultural Victory requirements and relies on a Tourism system to overcome Culture of other Nations, granting the victory. Learn all about Boosting Tourism, Great Works of Art and Artifacts, along with Wonders you should build to make Victory arrive earlier in a game. I also have a guide to Theming Bonuses to help you boost your Tourism even further.

Diplomatic Victory
Diplomatic Victory is available fairly late in the game, requiring the formation of the U.N. from the World Congress. Learn about Delegates, the importance of City-State Allies, and how you can be elected World Leader and win the game through Diplomacy.

Domination Victory
The Domination Victory has been updated with Brave New World. You must now control all original Capital Cities to be declared the winner. This is a big improvement on the old system. Read this Strategy Guide to learn more and see tips on what Wonders to build and how best to pick your targets, and when to stop and declare peace before moving on to your next war.

Scientific Victory
Learn about the Space Race victory condition. Your goal is to be the first to leave the planet, which implies technological superiority. To do that, you'll need a load of science to be the first to get the tech, and production cities to make your space ship parts.

Cheats and Mods

Firaxis did not release Cheats with Civilization 5, but the powerful Ingame Editor mod can be installed easily and provides far more power than many games' traditional cheats. This Cheats page details your options for tinkering most any detail of a game in progress. Many thanks to the creators of this powerful tool for cheating, testing and exploring the game. The Cheats page also shows how to enable debug mode and where to get the Civilization 5 SDK which includes the World Builder.

Civ 5 Gameplay Walkthroughs

The following Walkthroughs show my gameplay on Immortal+ and may help players who are struggling, as I provide tips and highlight my mistakes.

Babylon Scientific Win on Immortal (Turn 377)
A game in which I was cornered and limited to 2 Cities with Babylon. Mongolia ate up most of my Continent and prevented expansion. A third City would have made all the difference in the world. The close proximity of this warlike neighbor resulted in defensive play that slowed my Civilization's Scientific progress.

Siam Scientific Win on Immortal (Turn 379)
A late Victory with Siam. You generally want to complete a Scientific Victory faster than I did here. We'll learn the mistakes I made that resulted in slow growth, but also some solid Diplomacy tips for dealing with a potentially nasty neighbor.

Comments (37)

c0mmanderKeen says...
Great site, just stumbled upon it yesterday. It's that time of the year where I revive civ5 yet again :)
Well written & comprehensive, good job Carl! Thank you.
You're welcome, thanks for complimenting my work! I put a year into this site, so it means a lot to me.
28th August 2014 3:55am
Arthur says...
Your guide is almost required reading if you want an informed understanding of the game. Well done and thank you!

My only complaint is that right now, it can be tricky to navigate. If I want to go right to your list of wonders, I'll have to realize there's a link somewhere in the game concept section.
Yeah! I need to make that list expandible. Will do ASAP! Great suggestion!
28th June 2014 4:36pm
Pete says...
Just wanted to say thank you for your guides, I'm disabled and spend a lot of time with strategy games to keep my mind active because my body has given out on me.

Civ 5 has a seriously addictive property to it. Your guides are amazingly well written.

So again I say thank you for such well written material.
Happy to help a fellow fan get a little more enjoyment out of the game. Cheers!
20th June 2014 9:36pm
Rich says...
These are really great guides, so much more informative than the mess that the wikis seem to be in. I've completed a few games now & the info here has really helped clarify a few concepts.

I was wondering if you'd be able to do an "idiot's guide" to playing wide? I seem to end up running into trouble when I try building a wide empire, usually running out of money or finding myself dropped far, far behind in the science race. Your writing style is very clear & concise, I'd love to be able to see your tips/hints (if you have time!).

Thanks again!
Thanks for letting me know your thoughts on my work so far. Yes, I do plan a Guide on Wide and Tall play, but want to get better at both before I publish. I'm still learning myself, and this Guide is essentially me putting what I've learned up on the web. 

If you're running out of money, you probably aren't making enough use of Trading Posts and keeping all your trade routes active. With Wide play, you don't plan on having super tall Cities so don't need as much food. If all those Cities grew huge, you'd just have Happiness problems. More gold can solve that dilemma by letting you trade for more luxuries, buy city-state allies (focus on Mercantile), etc. Also, don't build everything in every city because it's unlikely you need barracks etc. everywhere unless you specifically need a National Wonder. 

You may also consider specializing some Cities in Gold production, giving them just enough food and the basic buildings they need (Culture for border expansion and any +Happiness buildings), along with your banks, markets, etc. Set that to focus on Gold and it'll help, especially when you can produce wealth through the build queue. 

Stop growth on some Cities so your others with more science output can grow larger, since population is so important to Scientific output. 

For now, some of those tips might help until I am able to get out a full Guide.
16th December 2013 9:39pm
Dakota says...
You can not liberate pupated cities by venice, I tried before but it appears you can not because the game mechanics treat them as venice's own cities and not conquered city states, I believe the same would hold true for austria as well.
Sounds logical. Thanks for clarifying that.
11th March 2014 11:30am
Aidan says...
Hi! I love the site, some great guides. I'd consider myself a good Civ player but a little extra help is good. I am struggling playing the Celts and would love if you could please do a Celtic guide!
Ok then, I sure will! Morocco is up next, then the Celts.
14th March 2014 12:17pm
Aidan says...
Fantastic, thank you. I am greatly looking forward to the Celt Guide!
18th March 2014 1:44pm
Carl says...
You can find my Guide to the Celts now. I hope you find it helpful, this is my own strategy and worked well for me on Emperor. They're a pretty nice Civ, so thank you for the request. I enjoyed my game with them.
21st March 2014 11:46am
Aidan says...
Thank you very much for the guide. I love playing the Celts, I think they're fantastic, I just wasn't sure what to do with them. I shall use it as soon as possible.
Another player posted a tip on that page for a good method to use for a Cultural Win with them as well - playing wide you can get Tourism out of Faith-bought buildings :)
22nd March 2014 4:02pm
Joe says...
Hi Carl,

Do you mod as well? I know Theodora is considered garbage in her current state and I have a suggestion to make her UA better.

In addition to the extra belief when founding a religion:

"Start with Pottery technology. Each city connected to the capital produces 2 Faith."

What do you think?
I use some mods, but don't mod myself. I think that's a great idea to improve her UA though - it is definitely underpowered when compared to other Civs, and that's one reason I haven't tackled her yet. I would only use her for a wide empire and perhaps with Sacred Sites for a Cultural victory - that way you can get 3 faith buildings and get 6 Tourism from all Cities. That would work out pretty well, and possibly end the game very early compared to most Cultural Victories depending on the difficulty.
7th April 2014 11:52am
Desaxman says...
Get well soon!
I'm much improved now, thank you. Although it still has me behind on my work, I'll resume writing very soon :)
10th April 2014 1:11pm
Pacal of the Maya says...
I just wanted to chime in here to thank you for contributing these well written guides to the community.

Glad to hear that you've recovered from your illness!

I'm already anticipating your guide to the new Civ game coming in the fall.

Thank you, and...

Keep up the good work!
I will try to cover Civ: Beyond Earth, but Sims will take priority as I work with a team. Once that is done, I can start covering it. You can be sure I'll play it when I"m in need of some downtime, so that might help me to get good enough at the new game to write some strategy guides :)
21st April 2014 1:11pm
Richard Courtier says...
I just wanted to thank you for all of your work. It has been a great help. I would love to help with anything in my share time if needed.
You're welcome, happy it's helped. I only have 13 Civ Guides to go before the project is completed, along with some miscellaneous pages that are already in the works. The best thing people can do to help me now is to aid others - contribute information through comments on pages where I may have left out a good strategy (synergy between a Civ's UA and other game mechanics) or general tips for gameplay to help newbies improve at the game. Many people are reading the comments and gain useful information from those, which helps the Guide's catalog of knowledge on the game :)
3rd June 2014 11:28pm
KiM says...
Hi Carl. It has been awhile. Civ: Beyond Earth is on the making. We are hoping that you will make a guide for it, just like this one. Thanks and more power! :)
Hi KiM! While I'd like to do that on day 1, it's going to be impossible with a Sims 4 Guide planned. I have a team and commitment to them, so have to put that first. I will definitely be playing Beyond Earth in my free time, which will help me when it comes time to develop it as that will help me play on higher difficulties and learn more to share with others. If I'm able to do so while the game is still popular, I will definitely cover it. However, I expect to be tied up a good six months after release of TS4. It was a major bummer to me to see them come out at the same time, but I'm glad that I will at least get to play and enjoy the next Civ when it gets here.

4th June 2014 10:02pm
KiM says...
Thanks! I will be reading your TS4 guide, as soon as I have the game. Civ 6 is one of my anticipated game this year. And I have not even uninstalled my civ 5. The game is profound that letting go of it is difficult, because there are a lot to learn and discover. With your intelligently-made guide things have become more interesting. May this site stands the test of time. More power to you and your team.
Let's remember it's not Civ VI, but Civ in space! We will get to enjoy Civ 6 in a few years, too! 

I think Firaxis have their hooks in us, and aren't letting go... it'll be hard to play any other games with all that to conquer! I hope to at least be able to start the next game right on "prince" or its equivalent thanks to all this experience with turn-based strategy.

Myself, I am still nowhere near done with Civ V. After writing all these guides, I now seek to improve my play. Focusing one one topic at a time kind of kept me from working on my grand strategies, so I'll publish more playthroughs as time goes on to demonstrate the improvement in my play :)

Off to start a game right now!
5th June 2014 10:38pm
Rudel says...
Hey Karl,

I also want to thank you for this great source of information. This is hands down the best Civ 5 strategy site on the net! :)

Very very happy to help, thanks for the compliment.
27th June 2014 6:47am
John says...
Whoa! How long has this site been around! I've been looking for thorough explanations since forever! I need to get some info so I can finally man up and move up from prince. Thanks for this site!
Happy to help! I've had the site about two years, but began working heavily to cover BNW a year ago.
31st July 2014 6:37am
Serge says...
Hi Carl,

Love the site and the guides, but do you by chance still have the guides prior to the recent renovations for BNW? I, like many new Civ5 players, picked up Civ5 gold during the steam sale, and only have the DLC that came with the gold edition. Since a lot of the game mechanics changed from G&K to BNW, I'd love to see what tips and strategies you had for G&K. Thanks!
I never wrote for G&K. I wrote this for Vanilla originally, and patches + Gods and Kings totally ruined most of my information. When BNW came out, the Guide got a load of attention overnight and I scrambled to catch up. I picked up BNW plus a G&K bundle during a steam sale and chose to write for what I own, rather than try to sort out all of the differences. Sorry if this is an inconvenience or renders the guide largely useless to you.
4th August 2013 4:26pm
John says...
This is the first time seeing this site and it's great, just what I've been looking for to flesh out my knowledge of the game. I have both expansions now, and thing BNW is really the icing on the cake.

I have 2 questions/requests that I couldn't find answers to here (if they are covered here my apologies, and could you direct me to the right section? ).

Is there any way to defend against Venice puppeting a City State you are allied with?

I play on epic (I think that's the name) play speed, slower than the standard game pace. I find standard too quick, once I've unlocked a unit and built a few it's time to updrade already. Is there any way you could discuss how, if at all, your strategy suggestions would change at this slower pace? Thanks.
There isn't much to do about Venice, but the AI tend to be horrible at playing that Civ. If you see the Great Merchant coming, you are not sure if he's doing the trade mission or puppeting, but either way the situation may be ripe for you to declare war and kill the great merchant if you can stop it. That is the only means I am aware of. You could DoW Venice after it's taken, not sure if you can Liberate the CS if it's been puppeted that way.

I am not very experienced at Epic game speeds. In a way, I have been forced to stick with standard speed games to complete them at an acceptable pace to be able to write these Guides in a timely manner. I know that costs and such are multiplied based on how long the game is, but am not really sure how to answer this question. There may be things I would not do on Epic that I can get by with on Standard, like hoping for a +20 culture hut and skipping a monument as an early build in my Capital, because you'd go so much longer without that first Policy. I myself might be tempted to more often steal a worker from a City-State on Epic, given the relative time it would save.

I think a lot of the information here is valuable no matter the game speed, as I don't often say specifically you must do X then Y to be successful. I think mistakes (like the monument, or waiting a few turns on a Library to do something else) would take much longer to correct.
8th March 2014 3:18pm
Dakota says...
Great guide, thanks for all the info, was wondering though why some updated civs have AI info at the begging while others do not. I really like that part as it gives you some clue as to what to expect when you see various civs on the map
That is the new format, and eventually all 43 Civs will be in this format. Some were written when Civ 5 was just out, hence the misinformation. I was also not as dedicated to the project and not putting as much time into each individual Civ. This new policy makes it harder to write the Guides, but they come out much, much better. I'm sure you can see the difference in the old and new :)
12th December 2013 11:40pm
Dakota says...
Ya the new updates are great man. I'm trying to work my way through a victory with all the civs and the updates really help. I play on prince and since that level is still pretty easy I'm working on trying to play with an actual strategy. I was wondering though who do you consider to be the hardest civ to get a win with because i might bump down the difficulty level on that one.
I can't really answer that yet - I've had success with all of them so far, winning iwthin a couple of games or with some thinking on my strategy before trying. You do need to have something in mind before going up to Emperor and higher, while lower difficulty it feels you can do almost anything you want and succeed so long as you get an early edge. I think Venice is easiest for when you want to move UP in difficulty. I plan to take them as my first Civ for winning on Deity. I haven't played Polynesia, Indonesia, or Sweden yet because they do look more difficult to take advantage of ... it'd be hard for me to give up those great people for Sweden's bonus!
15th December 2013 11:35pm
Dakota says...
Speaking of polynesia when you say they can embark over ocean immediately does that mean deep ocean or shallow because if its deep I could see that being a large benefit
Ocean is specifically deep. The other tiles are called coast, so yes. This is the benefit to playing them :)
18th December 2013 8:42am
Momo says...
I already played and won with Polynesia although it was just in Prince difficulty :p and in Vanila version because I just bought my BNW expansion 3 days ago.

I stop at Prince level for now because I try to win the game with all of the Civilization one by one and by maximizing each their own special trait and I did it with nearly all the civ before I decided to buy the expansion and starting all over again.

Eventhough I'm not as dedicated and so helpful like you, Carl :-) I just wanna say Polynesia is really fun to play culturaly. Just build as many as Moai can be built in the coast.
Thanks for the tip! I'll get around to covering Polynesia in the Guide eventually! It sounds like they will play similarly to other Civs that rely on Terrain Improvements to get a boost to their Culture. Once you are out of Vanilla, you'll need Hotels/Airports to convert that Culture to Tourism. Hope the Guide is helpful to you in learning the new mechanics :)
22nd February 2014 12:41pm
Audren says...
Are any features from Gods and Kings included in the Brave New World expansion? I remember that the second expansion for Civ IV added in a lot of the stuff in the first expansion, but I don't know if that is the case for Civ V.
Those Gods and Kings additions sure are in Brave New World, making it THE Expansion to get. It's wonderful. I got mine on Steam and couldn't be happier with the new features.
23rd August 2013 2:59pm
Audren says...
Ah, thank you! I wasn't sure how these new expansions worked. I'll have to go find Brave New World, then! (I have the retail Civ 5, so I'm afraid I can't use Steam to get the expansion. Unless I can. I'm not sure)
You can use steam to get the Expansion, as it seems that Civ 5 explicitly requires steam. You've probably already got it in your steam library so that if you lose your disc you can continue to play. These days, physical/digital downloads mesh well together because companies made sure we can all buy the product no matter which we started with.
24th August 2013 9:43am
Dakota says...
Was wondering can you win a game in more than one way, say you win with science can you then proceed to win with culture and would it still count as an achievement or no
I don't think it counts as an achiement, though you can continue to get victories after your initial one. I have done so with a Science Victory after a Cultural win but of course had those two types already unlocked.
9th January 2014 3:32pm
Desaxman says...
These guides rock...just started playing Civ V after years of living off of IV. These are really helpful. Can't wait for more:)
Glad they're helping. I'm trying to publish new pages as often as I can to make the Guide more comprehensive. When complete, it'll be around 175 pages. At present, it's at 129.
12th January 2014 1:55pm
Creek says...
Hi, Carl. I've noticed you haven't done an update for a while. I trust you're still working on these?
Yes I am, I've just been busy and had some family with health issues lately, which has dramatically slowed things down as far as Guide development. Have to put that kind of thing first in life. I'll be back to regular updates this week :)
28th January 2014 12:39pm
Orange Dragon says...
In your opinion is the best civ (civ5) in all the expansion packs.
No one Civ stands out as best to me. Venice is a ridiculously easy play, but I love Shaka for Domination, Korea (DLC) for Science, and find Poland really well-rounded and easy to adapt. I'll soon push guides to the latter two.
28th January 2014 8:08pm
KiM says...
hello carl. your guide is a masterpiece. i played many strategy games before, but civ V bnw is the 1st game i made online research for tactics, strategy and economic guide. this guide really help. i hope things will be okey asap with regards to your family health issue. i'll be monitoring the updates here..take care :)
Things are improving, thank you. I managed to release that guide to UUs and will now work on creating a more comprehensive Guide to boosting Science for newcomers and those looking to move up in difficulty.

29th January 2014 10:10pm
Stefan says...
Hey Carl,
I've been playing civ since civ3, but due to lack of time I forgot a lot of the mechanics and especially the new mechanics in the civ5 dlc's. Reading your guides is like rediscovering the whole game and seeing things I never knew were in the game. I've been reading your guides the last two days and they are brilliant. Thanks a lot for putting so much effort in them!
Glad you're putting them to use, Stefan. It's a great game so it's been my pleasure.
10th February 2014 5:51pm
Screp says...
Hey Carl,

I just want to congratulate and thank you for these brilliant guides. Not having played the game for a while and being new to BNW it has been great to being able to use your guides while playing the game. Aside for being well writting, I especially like the way you give your personal opinion on what choices are good in which circumstances. This helps me understand the mechanics of the game so keep them coming. I'm looking forward to any updates that may come in the future!
Thanks! I just finished my first Immortal win with Poland, so they're definitely the next article -- tomorrow or the next day, actually. They are a really versatile Civ, but particularly powerful if you put them into a direction, because you can nail all the Policies you need for your strategy much faster than other Civs. Anyway, with this victory, hopefully my advice will get a bit better :)

- Carl
11th February 2014 2:55pm
Scobie says...
Hey man, just wanted to say thanks for the great guide. It was instrumental in my first BNW victory. Keep it up.
Happy to help! I'm still learning the game myself and wanting to move up to Immortal Difficulty soon, but gotta improve my game. The result will be better guides, as I'll know more to help people playing on lower difficulties like Prince to Emperor.
4th December 2013 10:47am
Anon says...
Hey dude thanks for the guide, you did a lot of hard work.
I recentrly bought BNW expansion and was wondering if you could write something regarding the new social policies (I'm not sure if thats how they are called, i'm talking about the ones you get to pick when you hit industrial era and have 4 factories built), when i had to pick one for the first time, it turned out the people didn't like my choices and ended up having tons of unhappines, ruining my empire growth.
You're referring to Ideologies, and I will definitely be covering them. I was waiting on the Fall patch to come out, as I knew there would be some balance changes and did not want to give myself too much work in going back and changing things. Now that it's out, I'm free to develop once again :)
28th November 2013 3:53pm
Dakota says...
The only way I have found to prevent unhappiness from ideologies, is a high culture output so your civ does not succumb to influence from other civs that differ in ideologies, or only allow your civ to be influenced by another civ that has the same ideology as yours does
Yeah, culture will protect from Tourism causing that. Anything that improves culture will help. If it's later in a game, using great writers to write political treatise will cause a boost in culture that will help overcome that. Shut down open borders with that Civ and any trade routes as well, for those will increase the other Civ's tourism output on your Civ.

Look at the Guide to Cultural Victory to better understand how tourism overcomes culture.
21st January 2014 9:34am
Smits says...
Just like to say that I think you´re doing a great job! Keep up the good work because it really improves the game of newbies like myself!
You're very welcome. I have to take breaks in development here and there, but hope to have this thing totally finished by March of 2014. Still, it seems to be helpful in its current state, just don't have info on *everything* as I wish.
3rd December 2013 1:37pm
Manta says...
Absolutely love your Civ 5 guide.I have become a much better player from reading them.I would love if you could make a PDF file for the whole guide and make it a download.It would be great for travelling with a tablet or just to read anywhere with internet.
Kind Regards
5th October 2014 6:49pm
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This site and all original strategy guides created by and © Carl Ratcliff. This is an unofficial Civilization V fansite and I am in no way affiliated with Firaxis Games, Developer of Civ 5 Brave New World and Gods and Kings.