10/24/2014: 10 Leader Guides are undone, but the rest of the guide is 95%+ complete. I will work on this eventually but have my hands full playing Civilization: Beyond Earth and writing for The Sims 4. There is a possibiliy I will try to cover at least some of the gameplay elements from Beyond Earth, but can't make any promises. If you'd like to say thanks, you can use the donate button or use EA Origin, Gamestop, or Walmart to make a game purchase.

Civilization 5: Gandhi Leader of IndiaCiv 5 India Civilization

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

Updated for Gods and Kings and Brave New World DLCs

Civilization's Leader: Gandhi

Civ Bonus: Population Growth
Unhappiness from number of Citizens halved, while Unhappiness from number of Cities doubled.

Unique Unit: War Elephant
Requires The Wheel
This wonderful unit replaces the Chariot Archer. It is quite strong, having 11 damage just like a Composite Bowman, with better melee defense than a Chariot Archer - from 6 to 9. It features only 3 move points, but it does not lose all moves like the Chariot Archer it replaces. That makes it capable of entering rough terrain and still firing, which is a big help.

Unique Building: Mughal Fort
Requires Chivalry
A replacement for the Castle that gives +2 Culture. After Flight is researched, it'll give +2 Tourism as well. The cost is about 8% cheaper, from 160 to 150 Production. This makes it a defensive building you'll want to construct in every city to help with border expansion, as well as defense. You will still need Walls in order to build it, however.

Playing Against The Gandhi AI - His Tendencies (XML Info and Flavors)
to Civs
War w/CivsDeception
CS War
Other InfoGandhi is the AI most likely to build nukes later in the game. He is also a good, loyal ally if you stay on his good side. As you can see, Gandhi is not likely to be deceptive so you can call him an honest and friendly leader. His Cities will be tough to crack due to the likelihood he builds Walls/Mughal Forts in all his Cities.
Start Bias: Grassland
Gandhi's Indian War Elephant
Gandhi's Indian War Elephant is as powerful as a Composite Bowman, but available earlier.

Strategies/Ideas for playing India:While I played Gandhi's India Tall, it is entirely possible to play Wide as well. Once a City reaches 6 Population, it is generating 9 Unhappiness just as a City for any other Civ would. At 12 Population, Gandhi's Cities would produce 12 Unhappiness, while any other Civ's would produce 15. So, while I recommend a small empire in this Guide, it's definitely not a bad idea to play India Wide if you are able to secure the Luxuries to avoid Unhappiness and grow to the point you are breaking even. Beyond that, you are doing better than other Civs with comparable City Sizes. Local Happiness is capped at half the City's Population, however, so do keep that in mind. That means a City with 12 Pop can only produce +6 Happiness from Buildings. This is not a big issue, but is something to keep in mind while playing.

To play Tall, you want to go with Tradition Social Policies, as you'll only need 3 or 4 Cities to play successfully as Gandhi. I suggest you let the Capital grow a bit before making a Settler and go for an early Wonder like Stonehenge (The Great Library is too risky), chopping down forest to speed it up if you can. You can easily go for a Cultural Victory with Gandhi as I did, for the Bollywood Achievement, but winning Diplomatically or Scientifically is also viable. Domination is not out of the question; use your powerful War Elephant to help you take Capitals on your own Continent early, along with some Warriors or Spearmen to make the capture. From there, you could dominate the world or go in another direction. Controlling many Cities with Gandhi by late-game IS possible, as the bulk of Unhappiness with Gandhi comes from the 6 per City. If a City is tall, you're actually doing better than other Civs would at 12-15 Population. It is this period between that is a problem, particularly when you capture a City, for you'll have twice the Unhappiness for the cap. So long as you only keep Cities that will grow Tall, you can actually play a Warmonger Gandhi and survive.

I do suggest you make a Religion so that you can get growth bonuses for your Cities to take maximum advantage of Gandhi's Population Growth bonus. Most will play Gandhi peacefully, which is a relatively easy game to play. You should never have Happiness problems, so long as you settle lands with plenty of Luxuries to trade to other Civs and get out several Workers early to get those Cities developed quickly. I consider Hanging Gardens a must for Gandhi, and it's certainly doable so long as you focus your Scientific effort on it immediately after getting Luxury technologies. Afterward, go in the direction you like for Victory - focusing Research on both Science/Cultural techs. You want to control a wide tract of land to get as many Luxuries/Strategic resources as you can. Later on, when your Science output is higher, dip into the bottom of the Tech Tree to go up to Crossbowmen to have Ranged to replace the War Elephant, and get Workshops so that you can put an Ironworks in Delhi for faster production of later Wonders like Broadway, the Eiffel Tower, and Sydney Opera House.

Cities should be placed at least 6-7 hexes apart, so that you can eventually work all tiles while also having every specialist slot filled (if you go Freedom). This will ensure maximum food and allow for huge growth. Civil Service, Fertilizer, and Maritime City-States will also help you immensely with growth. I'm usually focused on Mercantile CS, but in this case found the food too appealing, particularly when the bulk of it is focused on your Capital. It would not be uncommon to get to 40-50 size Delhi by the end of a long game if you can supply enough food, all with no problems on the Happinesss front.

To get some extra information on Gandhi, read /r/civ/'s India Civ of the Week thread. There you will learn a lot about mechanics on Local Happiness and other players' strategies for Gandhi.

My Experience with Gandhi - a failed Bollywood attempt: I played a successful game with Gandhi on Emperor and enjoyed Gandhi's bonus, because it results in very high population Cities. I started with Scout > Warrior > Worker > Stonehenge, then proceeded to build my first settler. I delayed my cultural growth a bit by going with the +15% production to Wonders first, but caught up quickly, taking a Pantheon that provided Culture from tiles after Stonehenge got me to the 25 Faith I needed. As Gandhi, War Elephants can replace Archers early in the game and give you great mobility for protecting your lands and completing City-State quests. It's also great to level them up, just in case you end up in a war. I was lucky enough to get both Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the Hanging Gardens in Delhi, setting it up for amazing use of its Population Growth. This is a Wonder that is a must-have for India, along with the Tradition Social Policies, giving a reduction to Unhappiness for every 2 Citizens in the Capital. This kept Happiness in the positive, and eventually rose to 30+ by mid-game. I set my sights on Cultural victory, keeping my Cities growing at all times (except to build a Cultural Wonder).

War inevitably happened, because of a Religious struggle I got myself into, trying to share religion with other Civs for the Tourism bonus modifier. During the game, I was often behind in tech, but only because of the total number of techs researched. I had an edge in Cultural research and got almost every Wonder that has Great Work slots. By mid-game, Gandhi plays like any other Civ you would play Tall. After putting just 3 points in Piety (Adopt, Faith from Shrines/Temples then Gold boost from Temples which is better than the Commerce opener. I went with Aesthetics next, and maxed it. Unfortunately, War Elephants upgrade to Knights, which causes you to lose Ranged capability if you have many of them. I replaced them with Crossbowmen and found myself in a good position as far as Military goes. Having a good Military deters war, after all. The times that I was attacked, I was able to fend off the attackers. Eventually you can build Arsenals on top of the Mughal Forts to add even more life and Combat Strength to your Cities.

Building at least 4-5 Trading Posts per City was helpful to keeping income up. I wanted plenty of farms, along with some dedicated production tiles (mines) to enable me to buy Military Units and Scientific buildings at times, while producing other buildings at a respectable rate. I was quite wealthy as Gandhi and able to buy 2 of the 3 Factories needed to take up an Ideology immediately, which helped those Cities immensely. Delhi was awesome, capable of putting out Wonders in 6-7 turns at times. A Trade Route to Delhi supplying food helped the Capital to grow while having all the Specicalist slots active. With just 3 Policy points in Rationalism, you can get 2 Science per Specialist. Having the National College along with all other Science buildings in the Capital with your Artistic Guilds, will provide a massive boost in Science Output. Take Freedom as your Ideology to allow for faster Great Person birth and make them consume half food.

Going for the Bollywood Achievement means having 3 Cities or less, so I never expanded to 4 at any point. That meant getting Open Borders with everyone, and trying to send at least one Trade route their way. Getting shared religion was difficult, and my Religion never did fully overtake a Civ. The Aesthetics finisher to double theming bonuses, while making each Tourism modifier +40% (as opposed to +25%) helped. That meant with Open Borders and a lone trade route, I was able to give off 180% of my tourism. Later, Hotels and Airports double this as well, so that you can overtake Civs that have a Cultural history.

If you want the Bollywood Achievement, paying attention to Theming Bonuses is important, because you have few Cities. You'll also need to swap great works through the cultural panel to get arts you need to fill those Wonder slots. You must also get Archaeology to excavate Antiquity Sites (your territory and City-States if you do not want to anger other Civs). If possible, build the Louvre by taking 1 point in Exploration. You can possibly buy a Great Engineer or two to ensure that you get all Wonders. If you beeline for Radio, it's entirely possible to get both Broadway and the Eiffel Tower. I didn't get them in the same city, but had 2500 Faith and was able to rush build both, finishing them in 3 turns each. I wanted a Wonder in all 3 Cities to get the +33% Culture bonus from Flourishing of the Arts (Aesthetics).

Getting Hotels, Airports, and the Internet by pushing for those and keeping Specialists active to get more and more Great Works, I was gradually able to overtake all Civs but one. Spain proved to be a problem, but they were a very hated Civ so it was easy to get others to declare war. War losses set them back, but I could not overcome them with Culture. Eventually, I was able to finish Scientifically, thanks to high populations in my cities along with plenty of food so that Specialists boosted by Rationalism and Freedom could be used to synergize with the Universities and Research Labs in my Cities. Using the Freedom Ideology and being wealthy, I eventually bought spaceship parts when possible, and manufactured the others. I ultimately won a space victory, and will have to reattempt Bollywood thanks to a very Cultural Spain.

If I had it to do over, I would have gone to war with Spain earlier and possibly even nuked her Capital. You can keep a look out for what Civs will be difficult to conquer Culturally and know beforehand, but I did not pay enough attention to the Influence by Player screen (Culture tab) early enough in the game. Positioning of those Cities is important - ideally you want to be on both sides of the Continent's coast so that you are able to send Trade Routes, which along with other boosts for shared Religion and Open Borders, make a massive difference.

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.
GreeceThe HunsIncaIndiaIndonesiaIroquoisJapan

Comments (2)

David says...
I've found that the Temple of Artemis is a good early wonder for India. As you point out on the wonders page, ToA actually provides extra food, rather than reducing the food required for growth, which is much better. The +15% to ranged production is nice, especially given their unique unit.

My game is still in progress, but I'm happy with my opening choice of ToA over Hanging Gardens. I build HA so often, I'm trying to wean myself off of it. I got a desert start and so built Petra, which I would have gone for even if I had HA instead. This is on Immortal.

Thanks for making all these -- it encourages me to try out many different civs.
29th August 2014 2:23am
JR says...
Great guide, Carl! Thanks to your write up on India, as well as all your other pages, I was able to achieve a Bollywood victory on Immortal - my first win at that difficulty level!

Your guides are tremendous, and really add to my enjoyment of the game! Donation sent!
1st September 2014 1:31pm
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