4/8/14: To my readers: I've come down sick with pneumonia and will not be writing for a while until I have recovered.
A Guide to Playing your Civ Tall or Wide is available.
Ideologies & Public Opinion is up. See also Freedom, Order, Autocracy
Also, Politics: Interacting with Civs and Diplomatic Boosts and Penalties is up.
New: Civ Guides for Mongolia, Celts, Morocco, Korea, Brazil, Portugal, and Poland are now available.

Civilization 5: Leader List and Civ Guides

Leader Bonuses, Unique Unit Stats and Unique Building Differences

See also the Civ 5 Unique Units Strategy Guide - Unit Bonuses and Promotions Kept on Upgrade

This list of all Civilizations and Leaders in Civ 5, Gods and Kings and the Brave New World DLC showcases the various Perks to playing each Civ - from their Leader Bonus, to the Unique Units' Stats (UU), Unique Buildings (UB), and Terrain Improvements available to them. What is unique about this list is that it shows the difference between each UU and UB and the original structure or unit it replaces. This should help you come up with ideas for how you might like to play a certain Civilization, the Victory Condition you'd best pursue with that leader, how you'll set up your Cities and when you may decide to press for War.

In investigating the Unique Units and Buildings of each Civ, I tried to be very thorough in highlighting differences, but will appreciate any additional information experienced players want to throw my way. Use the Comments system below to add a tip to the page.

There are several DLC available on Steam for Civ 5 that add Scenarios and Civilizations to the game - these are labeled DLC (Steam). Those that come from Gods and Kings are labeled G&K, and those from Brave New World, BNW. Players who own the lastest DLC, Brave New World, get all features of Gods and Kings, except for the Civilizations - so if you want to buy one of the DLC, this is the one to get - it also makes Civ 5 one of the best strategy games ever made. Go back and grab Gods and Kings when it's on sale if you wish to also own the Civilizations.

Disclaimer on In-Depth Leader Guides - Many Need Updating for G&K and BNW
I've left many Leader Guides unlinked from this page, for most of the information is outdated or not up to the new standard of quality I have set for this Guide. I feel that only those Civs linked on this list are worthy of their spot. If you go to any of those pages, you can find the navigation to the other, older pages, and will likely see what I mean. I will link new leaders to the list regularly as I get more experience playing them and understand the common strategies employed for success.

For now, this Leader Guide will help in the way it's intended - to give a list of UUs and UBs available to all 43 Civs and show the differences when compared to the original so you can see if the Unique Unit or Building appeals to you before you pick a Civilization. I hope it's helpful - I certainly learned a lot and know of some new things I'll be trying now that I've done the work to create this list.

Future Plans
New Leader Guides are being added to the list regularly, so check back for updates as I continue to play the game. Eventually, I will want all 43 Civs' individual pages linked from this list with information on AI tendencies and deeper information on the UUs and UBs. I'll also write out common strategies and ideas I come up with for how to play the various Civilizations. This project, along with the rest, will probably take me several months at the minimum given I want to play well with a Civ before I write about strategies.

Civ 5 Civilizations List - Leaders, Civ Bonuses, Unique Units and Buildings
Civ Name
& Leader
Civ Bonus
Civ Unique Unit Diff
vs Original Unit
Unique Building or UU
Difference vs Original
The Moroccan Civilization in Civ 5Morocco
Ahmad al-Mansur
Gateway to Africa - +3 Gold and +1 Culture for each trade route with a different Civ/CS. Other Civs get +2 gold for each route sent to MoroccoBerber Cavalry (Cavalry) - +25% Combat Bonus in your territory, +50% Combat Strength fighting in DesertKasbah (Tile Improvement) - Food, Gold, Production +1 and +50% Defense for units stationed there. May only be built on Desert tiles, after Chivalry.BNW
The Greek Civilization in Civ 5Greece
Hellenic League - City-State Influence degrades at half and recovers at twice the normal rate, also eliminates Trespassing penalties.Companion Cavalry (Horseman) - Combat is more likely to produce Great Generals, +1 moves (5), +2 Strength (14).Hoplite (Spearman) - +2 Combat Strength (13)Vanilla
The Assyrian Civilization in Civ 5Assyria
Treasures of Nineveh - Gain a free Tech discovered by the owner of the city when Conquering it through War. (Trade doesn't count, and only once per city).Siege Tower (Catapult) - Strength +5 (12), No set-up, Cover I Promotion (ranged defense), +1 sight, +200% bonus vs Cities itself and Units within 2 hexes get +50% attack bonus on Cities.Royal Library (Library) - Great Work of Writing slot that, when filled, will give +10XP to newly trained units in addition to benefits provided by Barracks, etc.BNW
The Songhai Civilization in Civ 5Songhai
River Warlord - Triple gold from pillaging Barb encampments and Cities. Land units gain War Canoe and Amphibious promotions - attack better from water with better sight and Combat Strength while embarked.Mandekalu Cavalry (Knight) - 10 less Cost in Production, -33% Penalty to Attacking Cities RemovedMud Pyramid Mosque (Temple) - Culture +2 in addition to usual +2 Faith. 0 Gold Maintenance.Vanilla
The Huns Civilization in Civ 5The Huns
Scourge of God - Double Raze speed. Uses City Names from other Civs. Starts with Animal Husbandry and earns +1 Production per PastureHorse Archer (Chariot Archer) - +1 Melee Strength (7), Rough Terrain Penalty Removed. Starts with Accuracy I upgrade - +15% against units in Open TerrainBattering Ram (Spearman) - City Attack Only so no Bonus vs Mounted. -1 Strength over normal, yet gets a +300% Bonus vs Cities. -33% Defense against attackers, so keep it safe.G&K
The Roman Civilization in Civ 5Rome
Augustus Caesar
The Glory of Rome - +25% Production in other Cities toward any Building that exists in the Capital.Ballista (Catapult) - +2 Ranged Strength (10), +1 Melee Defense (8). Simply a stronger Catapult that still has to set up.Legion (Swordsman) - +3 Combat Strength (17). Capable of building Roads and Forts, the only Non-Worker that can do this. Use them to connect new Cities and help your workers in times of peace.Vanilla
The German Civilization in Civ 5Germany
Furor Teutonicus - Defeating a Barbarian in an Encampment gives you a 67% chance they join your side. Land unit maintenance costs 25% less.Panzer (Tank) - Has +1 move and +10 combat strength compared to a regular Tank. It is merely a faster, more powerful version that Germany will be able to mass-produce easily thanks to their unique building.Hanse (Bank) - All the regular benefits of a Bank, but with a great perk - +5% production per Trade Route with a unique City-State in every City with a Hanse.Vanilla
The Celtic Civilization in Civ 5The Celts
Druidic Lore - +1 Faith per city with adjacent unimproved Forest tiles. Increases to +3 when 3 or more Forest are present.Pictish Warrior (Spearman) - Removed bonus to Mounted, but gain +20% Combat Bonus when outside Friendly territory. Also, no Movement Cost to Pillage Tile Improvements and earns 50% of a slain enemy's strength as Faith.Ceilidh Hall (Opera House) - Gives +3 Happiness, vs 0 on a regular Opera HouseG&K
The Polish Civilization in Civ 5Poland
Casimir III
Solidarity - Free Social Policy each time you advance an EraWinged Hussar (Lancer) - Heavy Charge forces defenders to retreat if it deals more damage than the Lancer. When they can't flee, they take more damage. Comes with Shock I (+15% Combat in Open Terrain).Ducal Stable (Stable) - Gives +15XP to mounted units in addition to the usual production bonus. Pastures provide +1 Gold in addition to the usual +1 Production, also requires no Gold maintenance.BNW
The Russian Civilization in Civ 5Russia
Siberian Riches - Strategic Resources give +1 Production. Horse, Iron, and Uranium give double quantity for larger armies or more trading.Cossack (Cavalry) - +33% Combat Bonus when fighting damaged enemies, so have your ranged tap them first!Krepost (Barracks) - Usual +15XP of Barracks but reduces Culture and Gold Costs of acquiring new tiles by 25%, expanding your lands.Vanilla
The Persian Civilization in Civ 5Persia
Darius I
Achaemenid Legacy - Golden Ages last 50% longer. Units get +1 Movement and +10% Combat Strength during Golden Ages.Immortal (Spearman) - +1 Combat Strength (12), Heals at Double Rate - 20 outside friendly territory to 50 in a City.Satrap's Court (Bank) - Gives +2 Happiness unlike a Bank (0), along with an additional +1 Gold, bringing it to +3Vanilla
The Carthage Civilization in Civ 5Carthage
Phoenician Heritage - Coastal Cities get a free Harbor. Units may cross mountain after the first Great General is born, but will take 50 damage if ending a turn on a Mountain.African Forest Elephant (Horseman) - Doesn't require Horses, but costs 100 instead of 75 like a Horseman. Enemies nearby take a -10% Combat penalty. Loses 1 Move (3) but gains 2 Strength (14). Comes with Great Generals II Upgrade, making them spawn more quickly from using this unit in combat.Quinquereme (Trireme) - +3 Combat Strength over usual Trireme, bringing it to 13.G&K
The English Civilization in Civ 5England
Sun Never Sets - +2 Naval unit Movement and +1 Extra Spy when introduced in the RenaissanceLongbowman (Crossbowman) - Range +1, which is a huge advantageShip of the Line (Frigate) - +7 Ranged Strength (35), +5 Defense (30), +1 Sight - a big bonus with the native Movement of English Ships.Vanilla
The Venetian Civilization in Civ 5Venice
Enrico Dandolo
Serenissima - No Building of Settlers nor Annexing of Cities - you can only fully control one City, but get double the Trade Routes your tech level would normally provide. Your only method of taking control over other cities is to Puppet them with the Merchant of Venice UU. Venice gets the ability to purchase in Puppeted Cities.Merchant of Venice - May buy City-States for Gold. Has Trade Missions like a regular Great Merchant, but they are 100% more effective. These are spawned instead of Great Merchants, and you'll get a free one when you research Optics.Great Galleass (Galleass) - Costs 10 more than a regular Galleass at 110 Production, but has +3 Ranged Strength (20 total) and +2 Defense (18 total).BNW
The Indonesian Civilization in Civ 5Indonesia
Gajah Mada
Spice Islanders - First 3 Cities founded on continents other than where Indonesia started each provide 2 unique Luxury Resources and can never be Razed.Kris Swordsman (Swordsman) - Gets a random upgrade after Combat. Most of these are incredible bonuses, like fully healing after a non-barbarian kill or 1 extra attack+move per turn. Unfortunately, some Units may get cursed blades that reduce their effectiveness in Combat but in general, the Mystic Blades rock and you'll want to be careful not to lose Units with certain upgrades.Candi (Garden) - The usual great person generation of a Garden, but with +2 Faith for each World Religion with at least 1 follower in the City.BNW
The Indian Civilization in Civ 5India
Population Growth - Unhappiness from number of Citizens halved, while unhappiness from number of Cities doubled.War Elephant (Chariot Archer) - Loses 1 move (down to 3) but also ditches the Rough Terrain Penalty that costs a Chariot's moves should it move into rocky terrain. Its Ranged Strength is +1 (11 total) with a hefty boost to melee defense, up to 9 from the Chariot's 6.Mughal Fort (Castle) - Gives +2 Culture where a Castle gives none. After Flight is researched, it'll give +2 Tourism as well. The cost is about 8% cheaper, from 160 to 150 Production.Vanilla
The Mongolian Civilization in Civ 5Mongolia
Genghis Khan
Mongol Terror - +30% Combat Strength when fighting City-State units or City-States themselves. All mounted units get +1 movement.Keshik (Knight) - Like a Knight, but with +1 moves (5) and ranged, being unable to Melee but able to fire from 2 tiles away. Combat with these will generate Great Generals faster, while the unit simultaneously gets a 50% boost to XP earned from combat. The Knight's penalty to attacking Cities is gone, while they retain the ability to move after attacking - a very potent City raiding unit of the early-mid game.Khan (Great General) - Gets the usual Great General uses, but also comes with Enhanced Medic, healing adjacent units by 15 hp per turn. They can also move 5 hexes as opposed to the usual 2. Note the unit beneath the Khan will not be healed, so it's best to position them with units around to maximize the effect. Khans along with other mounted can retreat, wait a few turns outside combat range, and return fully healed.DLC (Steam)
The Swedish Civilization in Civ 5Sweden
Gustavus Adolphus
Nobel Prize - Gain 90 Influence gifting Great People to City-States. Declarations of Friendship give Sweden and the friendly Civ a +10% GPP boost toward Great People.Hakkapeliitta (Lancer) - Great Generals give +30% combat bonus if in the same tile. This is easy to accomplish, as a GG stacked with the Hakkapeliitta will inherit the same moves (4).Carolean (Rifleman) - Starts with March, which will heal it every turn, even if it performs an action. Keep a Medic nearby for maximum effect, so that it can get larger heals every turn, helping it last longer in combat and when attacking Cities.G&K
The Ethiopian Civilization in Civ 5Ethiopia
Haile Selassie
Spirit of Adwa - +20% Combat Bonus to all Units when fighting a Civ with more Cities than Ethiopia.Mehal Sefari (Rifleman) - Costs 200 vs 225 for a Rifleman. Starts with Drill I, giving a bonus in Rough Terrain and good opportunity for upgrades straight out of a Military Academy. Gets a +30% Combat Bonus while fighting from inside the Capital, which diminishes in power as it gets a few hexes away.Stele (Monument) - Gives +2 Faith in addition to the regular +2 Culture of a Monument.G&K
The Denmark Civilization in Civ 5Denmark
Harald Bluetooth
Viking Fury - Embarked units gain 1 movement and pay only 1 movement to move from sea to land. Melee units do not lose movement to Pillage, providing them ample healing near enemy Cities.Berserker (Longswordsman) - Gets +1 Movement (3 total) and begins with the Amphibious promotion, eliminating combat penalties for attacking from sea or across a river.Norweigan Ski Infantry (Rifleman) - 25% combat bonus in unforested Hills, Snow, and Tundra tiles. Also moves double through those tiles.DLC (Steam)
The Arabian Civilization in Civ 5Arabia
Harun al-Rashid
Ships of the Desert - Caravans gain +50% extended range. Land/sea trade routes spread the home city's religion at double effectiveness. Get double Oil Strategic Resources.Camel Archer (Knight) - Ranged unit replacing the Knight. Gets -3 defensive strength (17) but has a ranged combat strength of 21. Removes the penalty for attacking Cities while retaining the ability to move after attacking.Bazaar (Market) - Gives 1 extra copy of each Luxury Resource near the city. Oil and Oasis provide +2 Gold. Bazaars give +1 base gold as well.Vanilla
The Iroquois Civilization in Civ 5Iroquois
The Great Warpath - Units and Caravans move through forest/jungle in your territory as if they were roads and these tiles can be used to establish City Connections (build roads in between).Mohawk Warrior (Swordsman) - Gains +33% Combat Bonus in Forest/Jungle (even if on hill) and doesn't require iron unlike the Swordsman it replaces.Longhouse (Workshop) - Gives the regular bonuses of a Workshop but also provides +1 production to each worked Forest Tile. Even better with Lumber Mills.Vanilla
The Spanish Civilization in Civ 5Spain
Seven Cities of Gold - Gold Bonus from discovering Natural Wonders. All tile yields from Natural Wonders doubled if you can get one within workable range.Tercio (Musketman) - +50% Bonus vs Mounted Units. Has +2 higher Combat Strength than Musketmen, at 26 vs 24 but costs 10 more Production (160).Conquistador (Knight) - City attack penalty removed. Double defense when Embarked, +2 sight range and can settle Cities on other Continents.G&K
The Polynesian Civilization in Civ 5Polynesia
Wayfinding - Units can Embark over Oceans immediately. +1 sight when Embarked. +10% Combat Strength if within 2 tiles of a Moai.Maori Warrior (Warrior) - Haka War Dance Upgrade makes all enemies in adjacent tiles suffer -10% Combat Strength penalty.Moai (Tile Improvement) - Build on land along coast. Gives +1 culture, up to +3 if adjacent to other Moai. When Flight is researched, Moai receive +1 gold each.DLC (Steam)
The Portuguese Civilization in Civ 5Portugal
Maria I
Mare Clausum - Resource diversity grants double gold for Portugal in each trade route, which can amount to a lot of extra Gold.Nau (Caravel) - Can use Exotic Cargo ability to generate gold and XP, more the further it is from the Capital. You may only use this ability once per unit.Feitoria (Tile Improvement) - Build along a City-State's coast in a spot without a resource. This will give you a copy of each Luxury resource the CS has connected, but can't be traded. Units defending in the Feitoria will get a +50% defensive bonus as though using a Fort.BNW
The Austrian Civilization in Civ 5Austria
Maria Theresa
Diplomatic Marriage - Allows you to spend gold to Annex or Puppet a City-State that has been an ally for 5 turns. This will cost you about 1500 gold or less.Hussar (Cavalry) - +1 Movement, Flank Attack bonuses increased +50% and gets +1 Extra Sight.Coffee House (Windmill) - Loses the flat terrain requirement and the +10% production toward buildings, but gets 5% flat production and provides +25% Great People generation in the cityG&K
The Aztec Civilization in Civ 5Aztec
(Sacrificial Captives) - Gains culture for the empire for each enemy unit killedJaguar (Warrior) - A great UU. Heals 25 damage when it kills a unit, gets a +33% combat bonus in forest/jungle giving it freedom to choose the open terrain upgrades for versatility, and moves through forest and jungle at double the usual rate.Floating Gardens (Water Mill) - Allows construction in cities near lakes in addition to rivers. Provides a whopping +15% growth to the city, reduces gold maintenance from 2 to 1. A great UB all-around that you will want to try to slip in early for maximum effect.Vanilla
The French Civilization in Civ 5France
City of Light - Museum and World Wonder theming bonuses are doubled in their CapitalMusketeer (Musketman) - +28 instead of +24 Combat Strength. Perhaps the most straightforward UU bonus out there.Chateau (Tile Improvement) - May be built adjacent to luxury improvement, but not another Chateau. Acts as a fort, but must be built in French Territory. Starts with +1 Gold/+2 Culture to the tile when worked, rises to +3 Culture/+3 Gold with Flight.Vanilla
The Babylonian Civilization in Civ 5Babylon
Nebuchadnezzar II
Ingenuity - Free Great Scientist at the invention of Writing. Even better, earn Great Scientists 50% faster.Bowman (Archer) - Bowmen have better stats over the Archer they replace. 9 Ranged Strength vs 7 and 7 Defensive Strength vs 5 - nearly the defense of a Warrior. They're great for clearing Barbarians and even waging early war thanks to their cheap cost.Walls of Babylon (Walls) - Gives a City +6 Defense (Combat Strength) as opposed to 5, 100 HP instead of 50.DLC (Steam)
The Japanese Civilization in Civ 5Japan
Oda Nobunaga
Bushido - Units fight at full strength, even when damaged, a very powerful Military bonus.Samurai (Longswordsman) - Starts with Shock I (open terrain bonus) and the Great Generals II upgrade meaning using them will raise the GG spawn rate. They are also able to build Fishing Boats when embarked, which can help when settling new Cities or developing around newly conquered Cities.Zero (Fighter) - Gets a +33% bonus vs other Fighters and does not require Oil.Vanilla
The Maya Civilization in Civ 5The Maya
The Long Count - After researching Theology, get a free Great Person of your choice every 394 years. You may choose only one of each type throughout the ages.Atlatlist (Archer) - Costs 10% less than a regular Archer at 36 Production and does not require Archery, meaning you can start the game with Archers.Pyramid (Shrine) - Gives +2 Faith as opposed to 1 and a nifty +2 Science!G&K
The Inca Civilization in Civ 5The Inca
Great Andean Road - Units ignore terrain costs when moving into any tile with Hills. There are no maintenance costs for improvements in hills, meaning roads, and half cost elsewhere.Slinger (Archer) - Has 4 Defensive Strength as opposed to 5, but may Withdraw Before Melee if there is room to escape and the enemy is not fast (horseback)Terrace Farm (Terrain Improvement) - Build farms of hills without fresh water. All other Civs can do this so long as the Hill is next to a River or Lake. What's unique about this is that it also gives +1 Food for each adjacent Mountain tile.DLC (Steam)
The Brazilian Civilization in Civ 5Brazil
Pedro II
Carnival - Double Tourism output during Golden Ages. Earns Great Artists, Musicians, and Writers 50% faster during Golden Ages.Pracinha (Infantry) - Kills grant points toward Golden Ages, allowing Brazil to boom Tourism late-game if they choose to go to WarBrazilwood Camp - Can be built on Jungle tiles only. Gives +2 Gold, +2 Culture. Brazil can use these Jungle tiles for Science as well, with Universities. All other Civs must either chop them down or go for Science/Trading Post. This is much, much better.BNW
The Shoshone Civilization in Civ 5Shoshone
Great Expanse - Founded Cities start with additional territory. Units receive a combat bonus when fighting within friendly territory.Pathfinder (Scout) - Native Tongue lets you choose among benefits when discovering Ancient Ruins, also has 8 strength making it as strong as a Warrior - however they also cost nearly double at 45 vs 25. Still, worth it.Comanche Riders (Cavalry) - Costs 200 vs 225 for Cavalry. They gain +1 Movement, also. Just a little cheaper, just a little faster .BNW
The Egyptian Civilization in Civ 5Egypt
Ramesses II
Monument Builders - +20% Production towards Wonder ConstructionWar Chariot (Chariot Archer) - Gets 5 moves instead of 4 and doesn't require Horses to be built, leaving you free to trade them away or save them for Horsemen later.Burial Tomb (Temple) - Gives +2 Happiness in addition to the +2 Faith, while eliminating the Gold maintenance of a Temple. Additionally, any enemy that conquers a City with a Burial Tomb will get double pillage Gold.Vanilla
The Siamese Civilization in Civ 5Siam
Father Governs Children - 50% more Food, Culture, and Faith from friendly or Allied City-StatesNaresuan's Elephant (Knight) - +50% bonus vs Mounted units, killing its own kind. They lose 1 move, falling to 3, but get 25 strength, up from 20 - a 25% increase.Wat (University) - Gives +3 Culture in addition to the usual University Building benefits.Vanilla
The Korean Civilization in Civ 5Korea
Scholars of the Jade Hall - Each Specialist produces +2 Science, as do all Great Person Tile Improvements. Each time a scientific building/Wonder is built in the Capital, Korea gets a Research boost similar to a Research Agreement's completion.Turtle Ship (Caravel) - Gets 36 strength, up from 20 but with some drawbacks. They can't enter deep ocean, meant to be coastal defenders. They also lose 1 sight and cannot withdrawal from melee like a Caravel.Hwach'a (Trebuchet) - Gets 26 ranged strength as opposed to 14 and gains 1 sight, but loses the 200% bonus against Cities. This makes it a Unit killer, though not entirely useless against Cities compared to a Trebuchet, it's about 33% weaker (roughly).DLC (Steam)
The Zulu Civilization in Civ 5The Zulu
Iklwa - Melee units cost 50% less maintenance and all units require 25% less experience to earn promotions.Impi (Pikeman) - Gets a spear throw attack before engaging in melee combat, which weakens the enemy before the real combat begins. This often results in them dealing much more damage than stated, although the spear throw will diminish in power as opposing units gain Combat Strength - it seems to be about half the unit's usual damage.Ikanda (Barracks) - Gives the usual experience of a Barracks, but also a unique Promotion line for pre-Renaissance Melee units. All units coming from an Ikanda start with Buffalo Horns, which give +1 Movement, +25% flank attack bonus and +10% ranged attack defense. You can then immediately choose to upgrade these when promoted, giving further flank attack bonuses and more Combat Strength.BNW
The Ottoman Civilization in Civ 5The Ottomans
Barbary Corsairs - All melee naval ships have the Prize Ships promotion, allowing them to capture defeated ships. Naval unit maintenance only 1/3 the usual cost.Janissary (Musketman) - +25% Combat Bonus when attacking, gets 50 healing if it kills a non-barbarian Unit.Sipahi (Lancer) - Gets +1 Sight, +1 Movement and no movement cost to Pillage.Vanilla
The Byzantium Civilization in Civ 5Byzantium
Patriarchate of Constantinople - Choose one more Belief than normal when you found a Religion.Cataphract (Horseman) - Penalty to attacking Cities reduced from 33% to 25% and these units can get terrain bonuses unlike Horsemen. They lose 1 movement but gain +3 strength, putting them at 15 vs the Horseman's 12.Dromon (Trireme) - Costs 56 instead of 45, but is a ranged attacker that may not melee. Their 10 melee defense is reduced to 8, and gain 10 Ranged strength with a range of 2.G&K
The American Civilization in Civ 5America
Manifest Destiny - All land military units have +1 sight. 50% discount when purchasing tiles.Minuteman (Musketman) - This is a better Unique Unit than first meets the eye thanks to its mobility and that any kills made with Minutemen will grant points toward Golden Ages. Gets Drill I, giving them a bonus in rough terrain and starting them out with great promotion opportunities. They also ignore terrain cost - literally nothing can slow them down except Mountains.B17 (Bomber) - Gets +70 Ranged Strength instead of 65, but more importantly starts with the Evasion promotion, which gives it 50% less damage from air interceptors. They also start with Siege I, giving them a 33% bonus vs Cities and enabling some great promotions for newly produced units.Vanilla
The Dutch Civilization in Civ 5The Netherlands
Dutch East India Company - Keep 50% of the Happiness benefits (+2 out of 4) from a Luxury Resource if your last copy is traded away.Sea Beggar (Privateer) - Comes with Coastal Raider II, giving it another +20% strength vs Cities. Their Supply upgrade allows them to heal outside friendly territory unlike other Ships (+15/turn). Additionally, defeated enemy ships may join your side after combat.Polder (Tile Improvement) - Gives +3 Food on Flood Plains or Marsh, something not possible with Farms until Civil Service. This nifty improvement also picks up +2 Gold and +1 Production for the tile when Economics is Researched.G&K
The Chinese Civilization in Civ 5China
Wu Zetian
Art of War - Great Generals give +30% instead of +15% Combat Bonuses and their spawn rate is 50% faster.Chu-Ko-Nu (Crossbowman) - Loses 4 Ranged Strength, down to 14 from 18, but that hardly matters for their ability to attack twice in a single turn so long as they have not consumed a move. The Chu-Ko-Nu is easily one of the best Unique Units in the game and its double attack upgrade is kept when you later promote the unit.Paper Maker (Library) - This is a pretty great Unique Building. Gives +2 Gold in addition to the usual benefits of a Library, as opposed to costing 1 per turn in Maintenance.Vanilla

See also the Civ 5 Unique Units Strategy Guide - Unit Bonuses and Promotions Kept on Upgrade

Comments (16)

Jeremy Howell says...
Amazing outline, I wish 2k had something this in-depth in the actual game. I've had a lot of races I just don'tplay because they look nerfed but you really have to pay attention to the civ and use the help file to get all this info!

I wanted to note that Conquistadors have the ability to found cities. Huge advantage while exploring. Almost as awesome as the Legions ability to build road.

Also, something to ponder--- I believe Iroquois's 'forest as road' ability only functions within owned territory. They treat jungle/forest tiles as regular ones outside of that. Its been awhile since I tested but I recall a game (pre BNW) where I did have to build a road outside of a territory to join one city to the Capitol!

Keep up the awesome work!
I'll be playing the Iroquois soon because their bonuses sound great, so I'll be sure to double check that mechanic. Thanks for the corrections. I got them all in and am off to play Alexander so that I can work on him and take notes to update City-States at once :)
23rd August 2013 4:42pm
Mat says...
Do you have any favorite maps you like to play? I'm still pretty new and would be interested to know if there are any factors that make some maps better than others in your opinion?
Sorry for the slow response. It depends on the Civ I'm playing. Some of their bonuses are very powerful depending on map type - like early warfare with Alexander or Genghis is easier on pangaea, while some of Elizabeth's bonus would be diluted and Indonesia's completely wasted. Still, I don't go out of my way to make it too easy as I like a challenge. I was stuck on smaller maps because of my processor, but with a recent upgrade can now enjoy standard/large maps without really frustrating turn times. I play on Emperor difficulty and hope to move up soon.

I used to prefer pangaea but I've got a growing love for continents, so have been playing standard size map with continents to get better at settling and establishing a presence overseas. I have yet to play a Huge map but will very soon now that my CPU is not hitting 92C and overheating...
13th September 2013 10:08am
Mat says...
Thanks for the comment, I have also found Terra is a nice combo of both pangea and continents. Every civ starts on a pangea like continent but there are large and small islands populated with city states for later in the game. That has become my favorite.
I'll give it a try myself, thanks :) There are plenty of things I still have not done in this game, so much replayability!
10th January 2014 9:32am
Matthew says...
I suck at civ and have to get all my tips of my friend John who is superior to me in everyway. I really am bad at civ 5 and so is my friend ben.
Read about the game, play, and you will surely get better. There is a lot to learn and everyone starts out needing to learn the strategies and develop the wisdom to know what victory to pursue and when.
30th September 2013 6:44am
Steve says...
Great guide, love the info. One thing I noticed is that you say that the Polynesian Moai are limited to +3 Culture bonus. I haven't tried them yet in Brave New World, but I used to get the Moai up to +5 or +6 Culture each on Archipelago maps - it gets the +1 bonus for each additional Moai surrounding it. With the change to culture now this is purely a defensive bonus and not as powerful as it was in Gods and Kings at obtaining a culture victory.
Well, not only defensive, just gotta point out you're going to get a lot more Social Policies as well, which you could turn right around to offensive if you adopt the right ones!
2nd October 2013 9:08pm
Huw Thomas says...
Which civ is the best in all victories like cultural domination and science wise / wich civ is the most likely to win
This is an unanswerable question, based on what other Civs are in the game, what your starting conditions are, and how high the game's difficulty is set among other factors. Babylon is a shoe-in for Science, Zulus are great for Domination, and France Cultural, but none of these is the be-all for that victory type and can in fact switch up. Many players have to alter their strategy mid-game to score a win, based on the circumstances in the game.
28th October 2013 6:17pm
mat says...
China is a dominating Civ. With the papermaker to get early science bonuses along with extra gold you can develop key techs and build up a strong army at the same time. If you follow the tradition policy and get the +15% wonders bonus to build more wonders as well as some of the policies that aid in city state relationships you can use China to dominate in any way. Their weakest victory condition would be a cultural victory but you can still pull it off, especially if you take your biggest competitions capital city early on in the game.
Yes, let them build some of those Cultural wonders for you if you want to go that route. I do love China - the Chu-Ko-Nu carrying over their double attack when upgraded is very powerful. Do not bother getting Logistics (extra attack per turn), but rather get the +1 range because with 2 moves, the unit will never be able to carry out 3 attacks. You will have gatling/machine guns that shoot twice with 2-hex range, very powerful defensively and offensively as well :)
14th January 2014 3:51pm
stolec says...
This is a great reference and I use it very often. However an update with the latest patch changes would be lovely :)
Here are the changes:

Germany: Added the Hanse (instead of Landsknecht) unique building (Replaces Bank, includes Bank bonuses, and +5% Production per City-State Trade Route across your civilization, not just cities that have a Hanse).
Germany: Boosted camp conversion rate to 67%.
Germany: Reduce Bismarck's desire to conquer city states from 7 to 4.

Japan: Give Japan an Ocean start bias
Japan: Japan: Samurai can build fishing boats.
Japan: Samurai upgrades to Rifleman instead of Musketman (also obsoletes later).
Japan: Bushido has a new additional effect: +1 Culture from fishing boats and +2 Culture from atolls.
Japan: Zero no longer requires Oil

Indonesia: Indonesian Candi no longer requires Fresh Water.

America: American Minuteman now has an additional promotion to earn points toward Golden Ages with kills.

Thank you. I use it myself when I'm choosing what Civ to play next, and am noticing that a lot of people must as there are many repeat visits to this page. I'll get those Fall patch edits in within the next week and your notes will help me with that, so it's much appreciated. :)
12th December 2013 12:20pm
Carl says...
Got this list updated when publishing a revised page on Germany. Thanks for making my job a little easier by listing the changes here :)
10th January 2014 5:35am
Caleb says...
Just wanted to say thanks for the great guide on the Nations. My wife and I use it extensively on our games together.
I'm glad this is as helpful to you as it is to me. I hope to have all these done someday, but it'll take months to complete. I'm glad the list is at least more helpful to choosing a Civ than the in-game interface.
18th December 2013 6:41pm
George says...
Thank you to whoever made this great table of what separates the civs in an easy to understand way. I've been having to open many tabs to compare civs until now. I enjoy reading about the game just about as much as actually playing It and this graph makes it all the more enjoyable. Thanks again!
You're very welcome 

- Carl
24th December 2013 8:32pm
Dakota says...
Does anyone know if Kris swordsmen get to keep their mystery blades after upgrading?
Yes, they certainly do, along with any who have not entered combat. After upgrading, they can still get the unique Promotion. See my new guide to Unique Units for all that type of info :)
29th January 2014 10:35am
BugCatcher says...
Maybe add start bias for each civ.
Or have I just not looked hard enough?
Otherwise great as always!
As I add each new Civ Guide, their start bias will be listed at the bottom of the table about the Leader's tendencies.

Eventually, all those will be compiled into a different list that has key tendencies that will help players with information about the Civs they are facing in a current game - how likely they are to be deceptive, war-like, and how easy it is to sign a declaration of friendship for example.
17th February 2014 7:30am
james says...
Love the post, opened my eyes to a few strategies I haven't seen before. I think you may have forgot a unique unit. The Germans have access to the landschect, a pikeman that might be a little stronger but is just sooooo cheap. It's easy to mass produce and create an overpowering army that, if used properly can be a major portion for hundreds of years..
so long as you rotate your troops when they're wounded instead of just letting them die
This would be vanilla (or G&K?) Germany. The Landsknecht is now a Social Policy in the Commerce tree, while the Germans get the Hanse UB. Check out my Guide to Germany and Social Policies to learn about the changes. Hopefully you get your hands on BNW or update your existing copy for the changes in the most recent patch were excellent in execution and improved the game overall.
20th February 2014 12:11pm
Civilian says...
is there any way i could get a printer friendly copy of this, with only the main table?
It'd take some time. I would need to reformat it and eliminate things like navigation and ads. I may do so, but it'd be a little while. I'll let you know if it becomes available through email, assuming you used the real one when you made the comment (some don't). Most of the time I browse this page and pick my Civ, then go in the game knowing what I plan to do.
26th February 2014 2:13am
Auto Tragic says...
More great guides. Thank you again.

Have you made any recent progress on Byzantium and the Mongols? Two great civs that I'd love to hear your insight on. If not, keep doing what you're doing because these are kickass. Cheers.
Byzantium I have not even tried yet - they do not appeal to me much, but I may perhaps enjoy them once I give it a shot. Overall I consider them a weaker Civ - one more religious choice, and on upper difficulties it gets harder to get to pick the best beliefs. They do not seem to have a bonus to get them to Found that religion, so someone like Bouddica might get better picks overall!

I have recently tried the Mongols but the game didn't go well. Not a big fan and would much rather use Attila, but the Mongol Great General is excellent. I need to work on my opener with them, but I played one of the worst starts I've ever had.. awful terrain, so that affected my game with them. Keshiks are on par with Camel Archers. What I don't like is tha their UA in getting attack bonus vs City States is only useful for a few conquests. I do not want EVERY City-State, and unfortunately taking over too many can lead to an endless war with CS. I would have to pick some to ally and take only those that have the best land/positions. Thankfully, City-States typically get more Natural Wonders nearby (ever notice that?) I will enjoy that benefit and hope to exploit it.
28th February 2014 9:01pm
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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.