4/22/14: Working on a 7-page Guide to Units. A Donate/Support page is up for those who'd like to contribute. Buying through links or Paypal donations are appreciated.
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 Russia, Mongolia, Celts, Morocco, Korea, Brazil, Portugal, and Poland are now available.

Civilization 5: Bismarck Leader of GermanyCiv 5 German Civilization

Civ Bonuses, AI Info, Strategies, Unique Units and Buildings

Updated for Gods and Kings and Brave New World DLCs

Civilization's Leader: Bismarck

Civ Bonus: Furor Teutonicus
Gives a 67% chance that any Barbarian encampment you clear will give you a free copy of whatever unit was stationed there and the usual 25g. Additionally, all land units cost 25% less maintenance.

Unique Unit: Panzer
Requires Combined Arms
This is a simple Tank replacement. The Panzer has +1 movement (6 vs 5) and 80 Combat Strength vs the regular Tank's 70. Overall, a powerful and mobile unit.

Unique Building: Hanse
Requires Banking
The Hanse was added in a patch and greatly improves the German Civilization. It has the usual effects of a Bank but boosts Production as well. Constructing this in a City will give that City a +5% Production bonus for every single trade route you have with an unique City-State.

Playing Against The Bismarck AI - Their Tendencies (XML Info and Flavors)
to Civs
War w/CivsDeception
CS War
Other InfoBismarck can be a powerful opponent if you get on his bad side. He has a strong tendency to keep his military well-upgraded. As you can see, he's easy to anger and will denounce Civs that cross the line. If you are going after many City-State alliances, you are likely to end up at war with the Germans.
Start Bias: None
The German Hanse boosts production for each City-State trade route.
The Hanse gives 25% with 5 City-State Trade Routes - you can make this even higher with more!

Strategies/Ideas for playing Bismarck's Germany:
First, the early-game bonus from Furor Teutonicus. This will encourage you to clear Barbarian encampments to grow your Military. This frees up production in your Cities, allowing for more infrastructure, the founding of a Religion to help your budding Civ, and the creation of Settlers. You may still want a couple of Archers, but they can come a bit later than they would with other Civs. Your converted Barbarians will protect your first Cities nicely. If you clear 6 encampments during the early game, you're likely to end up with at least 4 Brutes which upgrade to Swordsmen with Iron. This sets a theme for Germany - high Productivity and a strong Military force, along with the 25% reduction in land unit maintenance to aid your income and help you form alliances with City-States.

Begin setting up Trade Routes with City-States early and try to do as many quests for them as possible. I played with a Liberty opener to go as wide as possible, setting up Cities so that they could further the range of my trade routes with City-States. Having a Coastal City on each side of your Continent can ensure that your Trade Route range goes far enough to set it up. The Caravansary and Harbors will help extend the range later on. Germany doesn't need to rush for Banking, but should try to get it as early as posisble to get the production boost, particularly if you can have all 4-5 Trade Routes (at that time) going to different City-States and ready for the arrival of the Hanse UB. Getting full benefit from the Hanse is simple - look at your Trade Route screen and make sure each new Trade Route you set up is to a different City-State. It doesn't matter where the route originates, just that each is going to a unique City-State.

Prioritize the Hanse in each of your Cities when it is available, as the boost to Production is better than that of a Workshop in most cases. This lets your Civ stay on top of new buildings while also producing modern military units.

Germany is all about Warmongering, but doesn't necessarily need to begin this really early. It is better to get infrastructure (buildings, City Connections and a few Wonders) set up for a massive surge of Military might after the Hanse is ready. You should try to build the Forbidden Palace in one of your Cities so that you have extra Delegates in the World Congress. This requires you adopt Patronage, which is not a bad idea when your Civ is going to be doing so much interaction with City-States anyway. I merely adopted it, then moved on to Commerce to reduce road maintenance and help me have more Gold overall.

Germany stands to have the highest Production of any Civ in the game when played well. Avoid doing things like chopping down trees unless they're beside Rivers - lumber mills will work well to aid your Production mid to late-game. Mines are even better with Chemistry researched. Overall, try to have a balance of Mines/Lumber Mills and Trading Posts, along with Food to allow your Cities to work all those tiles and fill Engineer specialist slots. Trading posts are important, as you will not receive as much gold from Trade Routes with City-States as you would large Civs. Build these in open grassland, farms on plains and along rivers, mines on hills. You should definitely set up a trade route immediately when a new slot becomes available, as you will instantly get the +5% in all Cities that have built a Hanse. Thanks to the production boost from Hanse, I was able to be first to get 3 Factories very easily in my game.

When it's time to choose an Ideology, you should strongly consider Freedom so that you can eventually take the Treaty Organization (level 3) tenet. This will give you 4 Influence per turn with every City-State you have a trade route with. You'll also give yourself 2 more options aside from a Domination victory - you may be able to adopt Space Procurements to let you buy Spaceship Parts with Gold. Having all those delegates from your City-State alliances, a Diplomatic win is also quite possible. Always leave your Victory options open, but never your Trade Route slots!

There is another reason for Forbidden Palace and those Delegates from City-States - you must prevent the Embargo City-States proposal from ever passing. This will completely remove the bonus you get from the Hanse, as no Trade Routes with City-States will work. This is rare, but must be avoided at all costs. You should have enough delegates to stop such a proposal, while also being able to pass Scholars in Residence or Sciences Funding to help aid your research progress - you can support a large Military, but you will also want those units to be modern and possibly more powerful than opposing Civs'

You do not have to go Freedom with the revised Germany, but it's a solid choice that also shores up some of their weaknesses. You'll have great production, but won't likely have made many Great People. Any Ideology works, but Freedom will make victory more likely by giving you multiple routes to your win. Arsenal of Democracy will boost production another 15% when making Military Units and the 50% longer Golden Ages will synergize greatly with the Hanse. Happiness from Mints, Banks (Hanse), and Stock Exchanges will also help your wide empire. The Statue of Liberty is also unlocked, giving +1 Production to every Specialist, again synergizing with Germany's bonus. Manufactories can also produce ~9 Production on a tile with Freedom's New Deal tenet, so reconsider using them to rush Wonders. After all, you will eventually control those Wonders if you go for Domination. You could see up to 50%+ production bonus with 10 or more separate City-State trade routes. Done right, this is almost overpowered and makes Germany a fun Civ to play for a massive war. You can easily take on multiple Civs at once and rule the world with Bismarck. As you can see, their unique building is better than many other Leaders' bonuses.

In my opinion, Germany has become one of the more interesting Civs to play for a Domination win. Their heavy use of Trade Routes with City-States to boost production is going to help when routes with other Civs are cut off by war.

Civilization Bonuses, Unique Units, Strategies and Openings
Sid Meier's Civ 5 is a deep strategy game. I created these individual Civilization Guides to highlight the strengths of their specials and unique units. If you have an opener or tip for playing this Civ that you would like to share with other readers, please use the comments form below. Some Guides are in need of update and will be improved to a new standard of quality or altered to reflect gameplay changes in G&K and Brave New World.
ChinaEgyptEnglandFranceGermanyGreeceThe Huns

Comments (4)

Guido says...
Actually, great civilization for any kind of victory because you do not have to bother building any units. They just come for free. Thats why you can concentrate on what you think is more important. Your army also costs a lot less money giving you the opportunity to save up and invest. Also, your army is always quite big so you never get attacked by other cilivilizations giving you the opportunity to play an entire game without beeing at war at all. Hint: set barbarians to raging :-)
Thanks for the tip. I haven't got to upgrade this page for BNW yet, but will get around to writing about the Germans eventually. I'll definitely keep in mind to mention to players that raging barbarians is great with them, just in case they miss these comments.
12th December 2013 10:36am
Brock says...
The Hanse is indeed a really good addition. Adds a lot of depth to a Warmongering only civ. Thanks for the write up. Do you have an inkling as to which one you're doing next?
Definitely a peaceful Civ as I've done my share of Warmongering lately, but not 100% certain. I will likely do Siam, assuming the game goes well. They are fairly straightforward but I would love to try them out for a Scientific Victory and share my results. I would hope that Alexander and Venice are not in that game as they were this one. I should've steamrolled Venice earlier, but they were quite far and Polynesia had built many Wonders I wanted to control.

I have intention on doing a page just on Warmongering strategies and minimizing penalties. With all this experience fighting wars lately, I should do that soon as well. Science Victory still needs a rewrite.... I'm gonna be a busy guy the next couple of months but still love the game.
10th January 2014 9:37am
MaxCleave says...
Also consider autocracy tenets for a late game panzer domination. If you get allthe XP buildings and tenets, as well alhambra and branderburg you can have level 4 panzers right from the start.
This basically means a 7 movement tank with auto repair. It will not take long until you upgrade to +1 movement upgrade for a total of 8 aswell as double attacks.

With clausewitz legacy you will tear everything apart with incredible speed.
Thanks for I meant to amend the Guide to say something about how Autocracy would work for them and how well Lightning Warfare works with Panzers (+1 movement/15% attack/ignore zone of control). Autocracy would result in a very happy Civ as well, with all the +Happiness from defensive structures and military training buildings. Puppet Cities would all build the defenses as well. It's definitely going to be the most-chosen Ideology for Bismarck, but I did see some strength in Freedom that people might not consider, primarily with Statue of Liberty and being able to quickly catch up culturally to unlock more policies. I also didn't go Honor, which could be a huge benefit to Germany. My main goal with the article was to get information about the Hanse out there and highlight how powerful it is. 

Order would work nicely too, it's just a matter of taste. I definitely like Five-Year plan for the Germans (+1 Production for each Mine/Quarry), but find that +1 Production per Specialist from Statue of Liberty is as good as that and encourages Cities to use those Specialists more often without micromanagement, resulting in many great person births later in the game. But I must say relying on a Wonder is not usually a safe choice unless you're certain you can create it. Thankfully, the Germans' productivity is so high they are hard to beat at wonderwhoring late in the game.
10th January 2014 5:56pm
Dakota says...
also if doing as you suggest and having all trade routes be with city states, Germany could easily go for diplomatic with the level three freedom tenet that gives plus four influence per turn with city states you have a trade rout with, and also allowing you to keep producing military to ward off any attacks from civs you might make angry from stealing alliances
Absolutely true. It'll give you a lot of power in the World Congress, either way. Still, most will end up picking up Autocracy or Order, and I do not blame them. The new Germany is just a lot more flexible than before.
30th January 2014 11:35pm
Page 1 of 1

Add Comment

Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form details on this computer.