7/10/14: I am taking a week or so off from development, but will return to finish the project, promise!
A Donate page is available if you like the Guide. Ten Civilizations to cover before I'm done.
Austria & Polynesia Civ Guides Published. Population and City Growth
Civilization 5 Cultural Victory
Tourism, Culture, and Influencing other Nations
Civilization 5: Brave New World makes great changes to the game's Cultural Victory requirements and the entire Culture generation system itself. This Guide will teach you the basic concepts you need to know in order to win a game of Civ 5 with a Cultural victory, along with strategies you may use to boost the new Tourism stat and spread your Civilization's influence to other Nations around the world.
Culture and Tourism - How it Works and How to Win
Culture and Tourism are two metrics key to winning a Cultural Victory. The game describes them as defense and offense, respectively. That can be a bit confusing, so I'll take a stab at clarifying it. Tourism is your 'offense' in that when people visit travel spots in your city, they take your influence home with them after, for example, a vacation. Your Civ's music, style, and even Ideology will grow in popularity within their land. When total Tourism (offense) output over the years exceeds a Civ's cumulative Culture (defense) generated over time, you gain influence over them.
Culture is generated more early-game but later you can boost Tourism to pass it up. Civilizations with a high culture are hard to take over as they will have generated thousands of points throughout their history. Overcoming their Culture will requre you to employ numerous tactics that are best started by the mid-game to have maximum impact. After all, in 2050 the game ends and you lose the opportunity to win with Culture. Researching The Internet Tech will double Tourism output, by giving your Culture a new way of spreading the globe. Only the Civ that builds the Great Firewall Wonder can resist this boost, so if you build it yourself, you are stopping a competitor from ruining your bonus. Running for it as you near the end-game can help you to win a bit sooner, and may be the only way you can realistically pass a Cultured Civ to win the game.
Since Tourism is what is needed for the Cultural victory, we will focus on generating maximum tourism and the things you can do to amplify your tourism's influence on another Civ on this page. Read my Guide to Tourism to see every means I can find of boosting Tourism and the bonuses you will get for gaining Dominance over other Civilizations.
Victory Progress and Culture Overview
There are two screens that will provide ample information on your progress. First is the Victory screen (F8), where you can see your current influence standing with all other Civs. Get to 100% with everyone, and you've won the game. Next is the Culture Overview. There you will see all Great Works, their location in your Civ's various city buildings, and their Tourism output. Click Influence by Player at the top of this screen to see how your total Tourism generation stacks up against their accumulated Culture. Another way is to hover over a City's Tourism Output on the City Screen. There you will see what Civs you are getting bonuses from Open Borders, Trade Routes, and Shared Religion with and that information can help you to make adjustments - say, setting up a new Trade Route or paying a Civ to open their Borders to you.
Generating Tourism Directly & Culture that Converts to Tourism
Constructing buildings, Wonders, and National Wonders are your primary means of boosting your Civ's Tourism and Culture stats. Instead of providing set amounts of Culture and Tourism, these buildings provide lower base amounts but now have slots that can hold Great Works of Art, Writing, or Music. Each building has a certain number of slots that may be filled, each giving +2 culture and +2 tourism for each Great Work. This is before bonuses from Wonders and your interactions with other Civs boosting those numbers further.
Great Works of Writing, Art, and Music
Great Artists, Great Writers, and Great Musicians can all generate Great Works, which will consume the Great Person and produce a piece based on the Era in which they are used. Paying attention to the types of slots still available to your Civ and tailoring your Civilization's Great Person Points to push you toward those whose slots you have available can streamline the process of filling them up. In general, simply running your Artist, Musician, and Writer slots through the course of the game is the best strategy, since every bit of Tourism helps. Putting these into cities that are receiving bonuses to Culture and Tourism from Wonders is a wise idea. You could turn one city into a huge Tourism attraction by building the right Wonders to boost Tourism Output and getting theming bonuses.
Getting Required Buildings
You will need the Writer's, Artists' and Musician's Guild National Wonders to give you the ability to generate these Great People in your City. They come in that order Technologically - at Drama and Poetry (Writers), Guilds (Artists), and Acoustics (Musicians). Clearly you need to prioritize these Technologies if you want to win, for you'll need to generate many throughout the game and they cost +100 for each time you generate one of each type. I generally enter the Renaissance Era with Acoustics when going for a Cultural Victory so that I can be first there, which also allows me to build the Sistine Chapel. It's wise to save a Great Engineer for this Wonder, because it is fairly easy to attain and gives you a nice Theming Bonus that is also easy to get.
Theming Bonuses (Click for Full List)
Each Building with more than one slot for Great Works has a Theming Bonus. These can be slightly challenging to come up with if you do not plan ahead, as the bonuses are granted for very specific combinations of Works - those that are from the same era, differing eras, or coming from the same/different Civs. Mouse over the buildings in your Culture Overview to get a look at their requirements and click a work to move it to another available slot to get them arranged in the most efficient way for your Civ.
Timing Great Works for Theming Bonuses
If you are ahead Scientifically, or at least in Cultural Techs, you should plan ahead - just because a Great Musician is born, you might not want to use them right away. For example, the Broadway World Wonder requires three Works from the same Civ, same Era. It comes with one - if you are going to be able to build it, have just earned a Musician, and see that a second Great Musician is a little while away, you should save the one so that its Great Work will be in the same Era as the next two - making you have 3 from the Modern Era, which would fill the requirement of Broadway's Theming Bonus and give you +6 extra Tourism with Aesthetics maxed out.
Great Work Artifacts - Archaeologists
With the advent of Archaelogy, Archaelogical sites will appear on the map. Make an Archaeologist in one of your cities and send them there to build a Dig and consume the Archaeologist. When the Dig is completed, you can choose to extract the Great Work Artifact and transfer it to one of your cities or create a Landmark that generates Culture based on the Era it's from. Be absolutely certain that when your Archaeologist is done digging you have built at least one Museum in your Cities, because with no place to put an Artifact you are forced to make a Landmark. If you're going for the Cultural Victory, you never want to make a Landmark that is outside the workable tiles of a City (range 3). This is preferable to leaving it a tile improvement, which only grants Culture to a Civ working it. A National Visitor's Center, Hotel, and Airport will convert Landmark Culture to Tourism at a rate of (200%) so is always better than the Great Work Artifact, unless you need the Artifact for a Theming Bonus.
Artifacts come into play for Theming Bonuses in Museums and the Louvre and collecting a variety from around the World is best for that reason. Send embarked units and ships to scout for places Archaeologists can dig. You may find places that have not been claimed by another Civ and the Archaeologist may need protection. You unearth Artifacts in territories where you have Open Borders, but the host Civilization won't necessarily like you excavating their land for your own purposes. Two Artifacts from different Civs and different Eras are part of the requirement to finish the Theming Bonus of The Louvre World Wonder, which is the single best available and also the most difficult to complete. You will need to adopt Exploration to get this, but that will help your Ships explore the World and find more Dig Sites anyway, so it's worth it.
Religion and Tourism
If you Found and utilize a Religion, you can select a pantheon that will make certain Tile Improvements generate Culture, for example God of the Open Sky makes Pastures give +1 Culture. Cathedrals, a Follower Belief will give 1 extra Great Work of Art slot that is available earlier than any other buildings that provide them - Museums are quite far off, so only Wonders and the Capital's Palace will let you utilize a Great Work of Art in the early game.
Another means of generating Tourism with Religion that will be particularly helpful to try and win Culturally by the mid-game is to Max Piety to get a Reformation Belief and select Sacred Sites that will allow all buildings purchased with Faith to generate Tourism. If you select 2 types of Building for your Follower Belief, you can greatly benefit from this in a Wide Empire, but every little bit does help Tall Empires as well. It will just be a more impressive gain when you can build 10+ buildings. This +2 bonus would be multiplied by Open Borders etc. just as any other Tourism modifier, though it will not benefit from Hotels/Airports/National Visitor Center. Some players finish so quickly using this method that they never need those technologies, anyway. An extra benefit of completing Piety is that Holy Sites will generate +3 Culture, which makes them eligible for the conversion to Tourism from Hotels and Airports without requiring a World Congress proposal.
As you'll read below, you can also have your Religion voted World Religion in the World Congress to get a hefty +50% boost to Tourism in the Holy City.
The Importance of Stealing Cultural City-State Alliances
You will want to Ally with as many Cultural City-States as possible, particularly taking them from those Civs that will be difficult to overcome, as pointed out by a reader in the comments section (thank you Prima). I overlooked this in the initial Guide, but stealing Alliances with Gold and using your Spies to stage coups in City-States will stop other Civs from getting the +Culture per turn they would receive if you left them alone. While the Culture from these City-States does not help you win directly, it does lower the Culture per Turn of the Civ you're taking it from, which makes your Tourism overcome their cumulative Cultural output faster. This is best done sooner rather than later, given a long-term alliance between a Cultural CS and another Civ could generate thousands of Culture over the course of a game.
How to Get Higher Tourism to Gain Influence over Other Civs
Adopt or Finish Aesthetics
You absolutely want the Aesthetics Social Policies if you're going for a Cultural Victory in Civ 5. This tree will give you +25% Great Person Points for Great Artists, Writers, and Musicians and later change the modifiers below from 25% to 40% each for Shared Religion, Open Borders, and having a Trade Route with that Civ. This makes the max go from +75% to +120% of your current Tourism per turn.
You will need to first establish an Embassy with the other Civ, but Open Borders allows free trade and travel between your Civs. This allows influence to spread more easily, giving your Civ a 25% boost in their Tourism score against that Civ. With Open Borders and Roads, you can establish a City Connection between two of your Cities, although passing through another civ's land.
You only need one trade route going to a Civ to get this Tourism influence boost, but it's best if you are also using that trade route to exert Religious Pressure to get the Shared Religion boost. Extra routes don't raise it beyond 25%, but can help you to exert more religious pressure to get the next boost. To win culturally on continents, it's best if you either have a settlement on the other continent or a sea trade route to reach them. You may want to Nay any World Congress Proposals to Embargo the Civ, because it will stop you from being able to have a Trade Route with them, which is bad!
When your Civ's Religion is the dominant religion in another Civ's Territory (Most Cities or Followers converted), you will get another 25% boost to Tourism. Use Missionaries and Great Prophets to spread your influence. As such, to really do this earlier, you will want to start generating Faith early in your games and be thoughtful about where you send Trade Routes and Missionaries to spread your Religion. It's not absolutely essential, but the extra 25% you get here will pay off particularly when a nation is far from yours and you need that extra power to overcome their accumulated Culture over the Millenia.
If you simply can't beat 'em, join 'em. In some cases, I have adopted another Civ's Religion (just let them spread it) if they are proving to be the hardest Civ to dominate culturally. I'd only do this if my own Beliefs were not as important as the bonus I'd get for going ahead with the globally dominant Religion. Once you have constructed buildings that aid in Cultural Victory like Cathedrals (for Great Works of Art Slots), you have them and no longer need the belief. It may be better to encourage that Religion in your own land if it could finish off the Victory for you.
Hotels, Airports, and National Visitor Center - Tourism Boosts from Tile Improvements and Wonders
Later in the game, Hotels and Airports will come available. While their +50% bonus to Tourism from Great Works each is helpful, also is the fact that any Wonders and Tile Improvements that generate Culture will also contribute 50% of their Culture boost to Tourism. This means that any Landmark from an Archaeology Dig that you can get within your Borders will boost Tourism indirectly. Later in the game, Landmarks can provide bigger bonuses (+1 for each Era of difference) so may be the better choice unless you need an Artifact to complete a Theming Bonus. This boost to Tourism should also apply to anything else that puts Culture on a tile, like certain Pantheon Beliefs when founding a Religion or France's Chateau.
If a City had +21 Culture from Wonders and Tile Improvements that Generate Culture with Cultural Heritage Sites enacted to make it that high, it would receive +10 (rounded down) Tourism per turn with a Hotel. With the Airport, it would receive all +21 for the benefit would be 100% of that value. With a National Visitor Center, this jumps to 42 Tourism and is then multiplied by any bonuses. I observed this math on my second City, and not the Capital, so that value could be much, much higher. Cumulatively, this will skyrocket your Tourism and lead you to victory.
Having a Hotel and Airport in a City will also double the Tourism output from Great Works to +4 instead of +2 each, which is a great boost along with everything else. This doesn't impact Theming Bonuses, but is still incredibly important. The National Visitor Center can only go in one City after you've built Hotels in all Cities, but adds another 100% to this - thus, your Great Works and Artifacts will produce +8 Tourism each. It should be placed in your best City, for it also does the same for Wonders and Tile Improvements just as Hotels and Airports do. This is how you can gradually surpass a Civ making +500 Culture per turn.
Ideological Tenets that Boost Tourism
Overall, in my opinion the simplest, but not necessarily best choice of Ideology for a Cultural Victory is Freedom. Many Civs will hate you - but there are always Civs choosing different Ideologies. Its Tier 3 bonus is to give +34% Tourism Output (before other Bonuses) to each City with a Broadcast Tower. You'll also get Production out of your Specialists with this Ideology if you can build the Statue of Liberty, have them consume less Food and generate less Unhappiness. There is +25% Great Person Generation just to sweeten the deal.
Order is the second choice, and while its bonuses are not so direct, it can gradually build to huge levels of Tourism output. Its Tier 3 grants +34% Tourism (without Broadcast Towers) to Civs with less Happiness than you. Their unique Wonder is the Kremlin, which helps build Armor units but is not Cultural at all. It does, however, help with defense, which is important if you have close neighbors with large armies. Going Order, you should probably have one of your own to counter that. This can be a wise choice if you have very high Happiness because you can also get +34% Tourism to other Order Civilizations, and that will gradually happen over time if Civs switch Ideologies to get out of Unhappiness from the difference. There is also Great Person generation here, and a lot of boosts to Production and Happiness.
Autocracy is the most difficult choice for a new player in my opinion though a lot of Civs do get powerful late-game Unique Units. It is interesting how it works and could make for a fun play - it would be harder to pull off, for sure given you must engage in Diplomacy and possibly pay other Civs to wage War with you. Still, the Tourism bonuses will help you gain influence over Civs and result in easier Conquest, meaning you can take down the Civs that are giving you trouble. The +250 Tourism to all Civs when a Great Artsy-type is born is nice, but not large as that will not happen often. You can buy a few, however, with Faith and probably see a spike, particularly if they are Great Musicians. Their big bonus to Tourism is +50% to Civilizations you are fighting a common enemy with - so you can form an axis and go to war with a Civ with high cultural output and steal their works while plundering their Cities.
In a way, I feel that writing how Autocracy works points out the great changes that came in Fall Patch 2013, which gave Tourism and Influence over Civs other purposes aside from the Cultural Victory. Unrest and Population loss are reduced the more Influential you are with a Civ and there are other bonuses which are explained below. This sounds like a fun game, so I'll have to give it a try.
Great Musician Concert Tour - The 'Culture' Bomb of Civ 5
Great Musicians do not only create Great Works of Music, but can also go on a Concert Tour and this is a great use of them to break through a Civ whom your Influence is rising slowly, particularly when you've almost won. Simply get Open Borders with another Civ and send the GM into their territory. The strength of a Great Musician's Perform Concert Tour Ability is determined by your current Tourism Output and is 10x that value, so those born later and after you have completed some Theming Bonuses will be stronger. While inside the other Civ's Borders, select this option to inject a lump sum of Tourism (10 Turns worth) into their Civ and deliver 20% of this amount (2 turns worth your Tourism Output) to all others. Later in the game, toward the Modern Era and once theming bonuses for buildings like the Sydney Opera House and Broadway are completed, Concert Tours are your best option. Broadway and Broadcast Towers both contain slots for great works of music that will become available by the Modern Era, but it's likely these should remain empty as you'll get more Tourism using the one-shot Concert Tour than you could through per-turn Tourism gained from a Great Work of Music when less than 200 turns remain in the game.
If you are having difficulty passing a Civ's Culture, you should save up Faith for late in the game so that you can purchase Great Musicians in multiple Cities at once, then head to their borders and deliver a huge amount of Tourism all at once, while affecting other Civs as well. They would start at 1000 Faith, then 1500, 2000, and so on. It is worth it for it can ensure you win the game, particularly given how strong they are by the late-game. Don't ever use an early Great Musician for a Concert Tour unless you've done an amazing job at all this and it will win you the game, for they will make more Tourism by producing Great Works of Music for your Empire to go in Opera Houses.
World Congress: World Religion Grants Holy City a Massive Tourism Boost
If you've founded a Religion and can get a World Congress Proposal passed to name it the Global Religion, your Holy City will get a hefty +50% Tourism boost.
World Congress Proposals: Convert Culture to Tourism
There are four other World Congress Proposals that interest a player seeking a win Culturally in Brave New World. First is Arts Funding. This will raise the boost to GPP for Great Artists, Writers, and Musicians by +33% while reducing Scientists, Engineers, and Merchants by the same amount. Given you need more of the former, this is worth it.
The next proposals are only relevant once you have built Hotels, Airports, and the National Visitor Center. The Cultural Heritage Sites Proposal will give each World Wonder +3 Culture. If you have a workable Natural Wonder, Natural Heritage Sites will give +5 Culture to that. Historical Monuments will make Landmarks generate +4 Tourism no matter their age, and every other type of Great Person tile improvement - from Citadels to Manufactories, will give +2 Culture. These are converted by 50% each for Hotel and Airport for a 100% boost in every City with those 2 buildings and another +100% in the City with National Visitor Center, which should be put in the City with the most Wonders. Getting these passed will have a huge effect on your Tourism output and can be an important part of your victory, particularly if you have failed to get many Theming Bonuses or even Wonders - your Academies could help generate Tourism this way.
Be aware that if you get these proposals passed and another Civ has many Wonders or other means of benefitting from this in a big way, it will slow your Tourism's progress against them. These are useful when you are the one who will be benefitting most. See the Diplomacy tab in-game and check out Global Politics to see who controls how many Wonders, for example, to know who will benefit. If you have no Natural Wonders and another Civ has several, you would want to vote against Natural Heritage Sites.
International Games - 100% Tourism Output for 20 Turns
Once the World Congress convenes and Radio has been invented, the International Games resolution becomes available. Should it pass and you produce the most toward the project, your Civ will get double Tourism for 20 straight turns. This is an excellent time to buy Great Musicians with Faith, for their Concert power will also be doubled.
Spies as Diplomats for Civs of Differing Ideologies Offset the Penalty
Only works with Civs of different Ideologies. Install a Spy into another Civ's Capital to get to select between Spy and Diplomat mode. Spies steal tech, while Diplomats will conduct propaganda that will boost Tourism in the target Civ, and eventually makes it easier to get them to switch to your Civ's Ideology. The penalty to Tourism for a different Ideology is -34%, while a Spy conducting Propaganda can offset this by +25%, resulting in only a -9% loss for different Ideology, making it easier. So long as you can get (at least) a Trade Route with them, you'll be well into the positive.
Important Wonders for Tourism
Wonders & National Wonders
The following World Wonders and National Wonders are great for Civs seeking a Cultural Victory, although this list is not exhaustive. 80+% of Wonders generate Culture, which can be converted to Tourism with Hotels/Airports and amplified with Cultural Heritage Sites. The following list of Wonders with Works slots should be handy in helping you spot those you'll definitely want to pursue, although none are essential to victory so long as your Tourism output is high enough or you're willing to go to War in order to crush another Civilization's Culture. World Wonders are linked so that you can learn more about them. Here is another link to Theming Bonuses so that you can see all the requirements.
- Great Library - 2 Great Works of Writing Slots
- Parthenon - no Theming Bonus, but comes with a free Great Work of Art in its lone slot that may be helpful in completing other Theming Bonuses.
- Globe Theatre - Free Great Writer, 2 Great Works of Writing Slots
- Oxford University - National Wonder that requires University in all Cities. 2 Great Works of Writing Slots
- Uffizi - Requires Aesthetics Social Policy - Free Great Artist, 3 Great Works of Art Slots
- Hermitage - National Wonder that requires Opera House in all Cities, 3 Great Work of Art Slots
- Sistine Chapel - 2 Great Work of Art Slots
- Louvre - Requires Exploration Social Policy, Free Great Artist, 4 Great Work of Art Slots
- Sydney Opera House - 2 Great Work of Music Slots.
- Broadway - Free Great Musician, 3 Great Work of Music slots
- Eiffel Tower - +12 Tourism
- CN Tower - Free Broadcast Tower in all Cities, which each have +1 Great Work of Music Slot. Do not wait on this, the clock is ticking. At least put some Broadcast Towers up in Cities that have lots of Great Works, Wonders, and Theming Bonuses if you go Freedom to get the +34% Tourism from these.
- Leaning Tower of Pisa - +25% Great Person Generation in all cities
- Grand Temple - National Wonder that requires Temple in all Cities. Must be built in Holy City. Doubles Religious Pressure emanating from this city. Good in a coastal city for sending your religon to other continents to earn the Shared Religion Bonus, but only if you work hard at spreading your Religion. Thankfully, Open Borders and Trade Routes are generally enough.
- National Visitor Center - National Wonder that requires a Hotel in all Cities. Culture from World Wonders, Landmarks, and National Wonders are added to Tourism output for this city. Additionally, it doubles Culture Output of the city from Great Works. A massive late-game boost that can push you over the edge with difficult-to-influence Civs. Buy Great Musicians with Faith just after producing this to get the ability to drop massive bombs of Tourism on your opponents.
Summing it Up: Deploying your Strategy
There's a lot of information here, so let's summarize what one should do: prioritize Research of Cultural Technologies so that you are first and can easily build Wonders and get your Writer, Artist, and Musician Specialists active faster. If you're playing on Emperor or higher, don't worry too much about the Parthenon unless you are sure you can finish it; other Wonders are better and a strong start to get your Science up is more important. Know what Wonders you'll build and the requirements for their Theming Bonus before you use your Renaissance and later era Great Musicians and Artists. Remember that Great Works come from the Era in which the Great Person is used, not born, so you should often save them for the right time. You should pretty much use all Writers immediately for a Great Work of Writing, but may want to save Musicians and Artists until a later Era if you need 2-3 generated in the same Era and have high Research output. Watch for those that come with a free one, as this will help.
Read my Guide to Great People in Civ 5 to learn more about generating Great Person Points for each type. I list all the different means of getting bonuses to GP generation, which is going to help you get more Great Works over the years.
Take advantage of the Bonuses to Tourism vs each Civ by getting Open Borders if you can, sending one Trade Route to them and possibly sharing Religion. Use your votes in the World Congress to get the Proposals you need passed to aid in Tourism output, being mindful that you need City-State allies to do this - Cultured is a good choice, for you will take away other Civs' Culture boosts from these types of City-States. Research Archaeology and go on Digs to get Artifacts for your Museums. Throughout all this, do not neglect your Military for if you are ahead in Tech and Culture, but have little defense, you will get steamrolled by an angry backstabbing neighbor Civ.
Adopt Aesthetics to be able to build Uffizi, which takes Great Works of Art, and one point Exploration will help you explore the World while also allowing construction of the Louvre. You should absolutely finish Aesthetics if you expect to win, because you need the increase in % Bonuses from Open Borders, Trade Routes, and Religion along with the doubling of Theming Bonuses.
Remember, inventing the Internet will double your Cultural Output, though it works for others as well. Run for it after Sydney Opera House (Ecology) to take advantage of this bonus and finish off those last few Cultural Civs. Again, the Great Firewall blocks this bonus to protect your Civ from others' Influence and the resulting Unhappiness. Building this World Wonder will also prevent other Civs from acquiring this protection.
There are 2 Wonders that absolutely require you to either Conquer Cities to get Great Works or, preferably, swap them, to complete Theming Bonuses. You will need to swap two Great Works of Writing and get two from Different Civs, different Eras to complete the Theming Bonus of the Oxford University National Wonder - this can be done through the Culture Screen (Swap Great Works). Put up a Great Work of Writing from your own Civ and get one of theirs. The same is true for Great Works of Art for the Louvre. It's easiest to use one Artifact from your Civ, another from a City-State or Barbarian, and trade 2 Great Works of Art from Eras different than your Artifacts to get that one completed.
Put all this together into your Strategy and you will likely be able to win a Cultural Victory unless there is a Civ that has really high output. In that case, War is an option, along with a Scientific or Diplomatic Victory if you've been playing well.
Tourism and Influence Level Impact on Other Civs and Your Own
If you are not setting out to win Culturally, you may be leaving it as an option or generating it passively by creating Great Works, Wonders, Hotels, and Airports. There are a few benefits against Civs that you have achieved a medium to high level of Influence over. Here are the bonuses along with what each level will do for you.
Influence Levels Defined
Civ 5 uses several descriptors for your current level of influence over a Civilization. At 10%, your Civ is known as Exotic to them, 30% Familiar, 60% Popular, and Influential at 100% - your victory requirement. Gaining 200% of their Culture through Tourism will put you at Dominant.
Exotic (10%): This just means the Civ is aware of you and there is no benefit to being an Exotic Civ, it's just a show that you have made some progress against them.
Familiar (30%): +1 Science per trade route, Spies establish surveillance in just 1 Turn when moving to that Civ. Any Unrest and Population loss through conquest of their Cities is reduced 25%. Population is usually cut in half when Conquering a City, so this would make a 24 pop City fall to 15 instead of 12 Pop. Unrest would be 12 Turns on that City as it is equal to what the City's Population would be, but with this it would in theory be reduced to 9 turns of unrest. I am unsure if it's basing it on the new population or not, but someone can clarify this. Regardless, this bonus gets better and can eliminate Unrest and Population loss...
Popular (60%): +2 Science per trade route, Spies establish surveillance in just 1 Turn when moving to that Civ and work at 1 level higher than the Spy's actual Rank when attempting Coups in City-States that Civ is Allied with. Spies don't yet operate better in the other Civ's Cities, but will with the Influential level. Any Unrest and Population loss through conquest of their Cities is reduced 50%, so our 24 Population City falls to 18 with 6 turns of unrest.
Influential (100%): +3 Science per trade route, Spies establish surveillance in just 1 Turn when moving to that Civ and work at 1 level higher than the Spy's actual Rank in both the Civ's Cities (for stealing tech) and Allied City-States (for Coups). Any Unrest and Population loss through conquest of their Cities is reduced 75%, so a 24 Pop City falls to 21 with 3 turns of unrest.
Dominant (200%): +4 Science per trade route, Spies establish surveillance in just 1 Turn when moving to that Civ and work at 2 levels higher than the Spy's actual rank in both the Civ's Cities and Allied City-States. Any Unrest and Population loss through conquest of their Cities is eliminated. Taking their City by force will result in 0 Unrest and the 24 Population City stays size 24.
So, as you gain Influence you will benefit more from Trade with that Civ and your Spies will be both more effective at stealing technology and City-State alliances. When a Civ likes you well enough to the point you are Dominant Culturally, they will not be mad at all to become a part of your Empire and the only thing you'll need to do is Annex and build/purchase a Courthouse. If your Cultural Victory is going to fail because you just can't get past, say, Popular, with that Civ in time, you can more readily take over their Cities.
Your Civ's Ideology is later 'Marketed' by your Tourism. The populace of other Civilizations will want a life like your Citizens'. When you are Culturally Dominant or even just Popular with another Civ, you will be exerting pressure on them to change Ideology if it is different than yours. This can result in a LOT of unhappiness, and may even affect your empire and force you to change to another. With high Tourism output, you can gradually force all Civs in the game to change to your Ideology and make the negative Diplomatic Modifiers from differing Ideologies into positive Modifiers for having the same.
Keep in mind that while you have an Influence level over another Civ, they too have one over you. This means that they could be gaining some of these benefits or generating Civil Unrest because of a differing Ideology. If you are Dominant over most Civs, you will have no Unhappiness hit. You may use Great Musicians to change Influence levels, for theirs is compared against yours in determining how unhappy each Civilization is becoming - you being Exotic to them while they are Popular against you, you'll take a hit. Get yours up to Familiar and you reduce this Unhappiness hit.
When your Tourism isn't Enough: Waging War Against Cultured Civs
War will cost you Open Borders and Trade Routes, causing your Influence over a Civ to be reduced. In the long run, a War can net you great works and Wonders to boost these stats if you take over the city. You may even choose to Raze the city but move any Great Works out before it is burned to the ground. Do so through your Culture Overview screen. Taking a Civ's major Culture producing city can give you an edge as well, for this defensive stat will be reduced for them, allowing your Tourism to overcome Culture output much faster.
If a Civ just won't bow to your Culture through Tourism, you could always attack their biggest cities or enact/repeal World Congress Proposals that benefit them to slow their Cultural progress and help your Tourism catch up. If you additionally take over any Cultural City-States they are allied with through quests or gifts of gold, you can do this without engaging in War but the Civ will not like you stealing their alliances. Still, once victory is near you may need to get desperate to finish them off - maybe even take on their Religion in your lands to get that boost, while ditching your own in every City but the Capital!
If you are the one with a higher Influence level and going to War with another Civ that is unhappy because of their Ideology being different than yours, their Empire may be unhappy or very near it. You can make this so by using mobile units to take out their Luxury resources in just a few turns. Doing this will put them deep in the red and Rebels may even appear, possibly helping you with the War effort if they spawn in the right place. Regardless, each -1 Unhappiness will result in a -2% Combat Strength loss for their Units and Cities for the Empire being Unhappy. You can seriously exploit this when you have stronger units and easily take their Cities (and steal Great Works/Lower their Culture in the Process).
Share your Civilization 5 Tourism & Culture Victory Tips with other Players!
This Guide should help many new players learn how to win Culturally. There are many Civs and different ways to do this, so share your Tips for winning a Cultural Victory in Brave New World below.
Korea's not so bad either - Their Artists, Musicians, and Writers will generate Science (as will all other specialists) so there's more encouragement to keep them active throughout the entire game while also remaining up to par or surpassing other Civs in technology.
There are bomb shelters to help reduce population loss against a nuclear attack, but if a Civ is going to use nukes you'd best clear the areas around your Cities so that units are not killed and go on the offensive. You can tell where nukes/planes are stationed from the number above the City. Surprise attacks could be devastating, so it's always wise to know your situation with other leaders and try to determine when a nuclear power is being deceptive and planning an attack. It is good that the game informs us when Civs complete the Manhattan Project. You can look to their terrain (if explored) to see if they have access to much uranium as well, though they could be trading with others.
Using their ability to gain culture immediately raises your total culture gained throughout the game, making it harder for other Civ's to gain the lead on you. Still best used late game, and can even help in getting that social policy you need.
I'm glad the Guide has been helpful. Cultural Victory is definitely one you need to improve upon after your first experience, which will let you complete it much, much faster. It's very dependent on what Civs are in the game and how quickly you can rein in those Cultural CS to stop others from getting that Culture per turn. The sooner you start generating Tourism, the better, so get on those Guilds and send Food to the Capital to keep it growing despite all those Specialists!
"They would start at 1000 Faith, then 1500, 2000, and so on." I believe the costs are 1000, 1500, 2500, 4000, 6000 ...
Perhaps you should read the new Guide I linked about starting the game and make sure you are taking advantage of all the different gameplay subsystems that help your Civilization to grow and advance.
It has some secret to make these things easier?
Is there any advantage or reason to play "little" (invert of wide?) like 4 cities.
There was somes before BNW but now i see none . Excuse my poor english .
On a standard map, I have won Scientific with only three Cities, and it can certainly be done with only one or two so long as the City is in a great spot. It all depends on who you are playing and the size of the map (the definition of wide on a huge map is far different from that on a small-standard sized map).
With Cultural, I would generally go somewhat wide to have plenty of slots for tourism-producing great works and help me extend the range of trade routes to distant lands. Cathedrals are excellent for giving you another place to put great works of art (and early in the game, before other buildings for art are available). To win culturally with tall, you should certainly know about theming bonuses and utilize those, along with open borders, trade routes and shared religion. It is less imperative that you have many cultural wonders with a wide Civ, for you have room for more great works and artifacts.
I know i gave a little more info than you asked for, just hoping to highlight some of the differences. I will eventually get around to a guide to just those two playstyles and summarize the strengths/weaknessses of tall vs wide.
Early game: Religion can be of huge benefit to getting an early start in a Cultural Victory by utilising the Sacred sites Reformation belief. Each Pagoda, Cathedral, Mosque and Monastery produce 2 tourism, and completing the tree adds culture to holy sites. You should select your policies carefully to ensure you have completed both the Piety and Aesthetics trees by the time you select an idealology. My normal start would be Tradition, Peity, Organised Religion, Aristocracy, Mandate of Heaven, Religious Tolerance, Reformation, Theocracy. Adopting Aristocracy earlier may help you race for Stonehenge, I tend not to attempt this and generally aim to get this at the time I build the Theocracy wonders. A correctly timed Great Engineer for the building of an early Stonehenge could also be used to snag a second Religious wonder.
I grabbed the Internet after building airport/hotel in all 3 of my Cities, putting up a couple of Landmarks and getting +2 Culture from all Great Person tile improvements (World Congress) while having several Holy Sites along with plenty of Academies from focusing on Great Scientists throughout the game. This resulted in 500 Tourism/turn being sent, and it got to that point from +20 probably within 50-80 turns.
After raising my influence, a couple of Civs flipped to Freedom and I had less to worry about. I sucked up to the strongest Civ Militarily (oddly a Babylon with not 1 academy that went super wide and on a warpath). I kept Open Borders, sent Trade Routes and Spies as Diplomats to a variety of Civs, and had my Religion elected World Religion (through my own delegates plus buying Babylon's vote) which gave me even bigger boosts with all Civs. When I reached the same level of Influence with them as they had over me, things got better and Unhappiness vanished - it was a break even on the big Civs and the little Civs that were easy to flip became their prey, now having different Ideologies. They left me alone the entire game and allowed me to lift off to space for my Victory.
Tourism isn't all about that victory condition, but also helps your people feel comfortable with your Ideological choice, because their Civ is 'cool'. :P
For open borders: do I need to give open borders both ways? Or only give open borders to other civs, or only take open borders from other civs? To clarify: if there is another civ generating a lot of tourism: can i stop him getting a 25% bonus by only giving or taking open borders? and still get my own bonus? thanks! hope my question makes sense
Edit: Oh yes, when another empire is incredibly unhappy, their Cities may also flip to yours if you're dominant.