Civilization 5: Achievement Guide (Part 2)

Back in part 1, we covered the achievements for the base game and the base game modes. Here in part 2, we’re going to go over scenario achievements. To date, there are 6 scenario/DLC packs that have been released for Civilization 5, and each of them has it’s own set of gameplay changes and achievements. The scenarios themselves can be tricky, as they modify the base game rules and have specific goals that aren’t always clear from reading the description. Not to worry – WOTS is here to bring you the strategies you need in order to succeed.

Rise of the Mongols (Genghis Khan)

For this scenario, you’ve got 100 turns to conquer at least 4 (but up to 8, depending on difficulty) other major civilizations. You gain bonuses for capturing civilizations, and minor boosts for capturing city states. Time is a major, major factor here, but there’s also happiness and your economy to consider. If your unhappiness exceeds 10, you’ll take a significant hit to your military strength.

Also in this scenario, complete kills are required. You can’t just take their capital – you’ll have to capture each and every one of their cities. Luckily, they don’t seem to build settlers and try to expand, although they will evolve militarily as the game progresses.


While the Mongols get bonuses for attacking city-states, you may wish to consider whether you can take the happiness hit first.

Here are a few general tips:

  • Play one round where you just make peace with everyone and explore the map. There’s actually an achievement for losing, and knowing where everyone is can make a big difference.
  • Early in the game, pick up the social policy that provides unit XP boosts. You’ll need high level units to make it through in time.
  • Keshiks are your fast-moving siege units. Use them as your primary offensive unit. Have them move into range, fire, and then move back out of range before ending their turn. This will keep them healthy while dealing constant damage every turn. Level them up through a single track (ie, take the “open terrain” or “rough terrain” bonus three times in a row) and you can unlock Logistics, which allows them to fire twice per turn. Even in two rough terrain tiles, it’s possible to move in, take two shots, and move back out again on a single turn, although you might want to stick to open terrain to give you a chance to move a bit further out of range should a large army surprise you.
  • Horsemen are your city capturing units. They should generally hang back until there’s a weak city to prey upon, and then you want to blitz the city in a single turn if possible.
  • If the terrain is bad from the direction you’re approaching, flank the city or the army you’re facing. You’ve got a lot of moves per-turn, so use them!
  • Workers should be building roads for the most part. This helps establish trade routes and moves you around the map faster. You will spend most of the game at negative happiness, so city growth is practically nonexistent. If luxury resources need an improvement or get pillaged, prioritize their repair.
  • You can also sucker military units out of city garrisons by leaving a worker just two squares outside of an enemy city. The AI will send a unit to capture the worker, even though it’s suicidal to do so.
  • Raze, raze, raze. Happiness is a severe problem. Whenever you capture a city that isn’t a city-state or a capital, burn it down. Even luxury resources really can’t offset the penalties. You can’t raze capitals or city states, so avoid capturing city states unless you can take the happiness hit. Often times, the bonuses (2 units, or a social policy, etc) aren’t worth the effort.
  • If you can’t raze, puppet. You don’t really need cities for production, and they’ll tend to build the happiness buildings on their own. Even with a courthouse, an annexed city brings you more unhappiness than a puppet’ed one.
  • Capture capitals early if you can. They’re usually the largest city, and the source of a good portion of the civ’s production.
  • Build or buy cheap military units (ie, archers) to be stationed in each puppet city. This adds +1 happiness for cheap, and can help you protect against barbarians.
  • You can sell resources to the AI you’re about to attack for a quick gold boost. Do this early in the game and you’ll have enough money to upgrade a couple of your horsemen to keshiks before setting out for the first conquest.
  • If the AI requests peace and are willing to give you multiple cities, it may be worth taking. If you’ve got another war you could fight in the meantime, raze their cities and return in 10 turns.

Here are some specific war orders & other tips I used. I followed this general pattern to win on Prince – on Deity, you have to defeat all 8 other civs, and this takes extreme efficiency and a healthy dose of luck.

  • Start by attacking the city-state to your southeast, Western Xian. Declare war on your first turn before you make contact with any other civilization. That way, you’ll avoid a diplomacy hit.
  • Fight Western Xian to capture their city and gain 2 additional horsemen.
  • Sell your excess resources to the Siamese (Jin) and then declare war. Try to route east and then south to take their capital early – they’ve got the Great Wall wonder.
  • The Chinese will be fighting Siam here, so take advantage of them. Sell stuff to them while you’re friendly, and then when they’ve committed their armies and are significantly damaged, turn on them and wipe them out.
  • From here, the next logical target would probably be the Japanese. Crossing the water is a real pain, and requires a couple of technologies. It might make sense to put this off until later, when you can split your force and invest the time in unlocking the technology to cross the water. If you’re playing on a low difficulty level, I’d actually advise skipping them. If you capture or make friends with Korea, you can assault the Japanese from the southern end of the Korean peninsula.
  • Head west from China’s territory to find India. Their capital is far to the west, but trying to cross the mountains and attack that point directly is frustrating and difficult. You might consider splitting some of your forces – send some west along the road through the desert while you send your main force through the jungle west of China. You can soften up their military by drawing them out into the desert to get picked off by your waiting keshiks.
  • From India, Persia is to the northwest. Beware their golden age bonus – their units get +1 movement during this time.
  • West of India is Russia and Arabia – by this point, you should be armed to the teeth, and if you’ve managed your happiness properly you should be able to steamroll. If you’re just playing on Prince, taking India or Persia (depending on whether you took Japan) should be enough to win already.

Apparently there’s been some rebalancing since this scenario was released, which makes it super hard to win on Deity. I found a lot of helpful advice on CivFanatics, but mostly it takes luck and an in-depth understanding of the scenario map in order to win. Good luck!

Conquest of the New World

Conquest of the New World has you playing as either a European power during the age of exploration, or one of the native American tribes during the same period. Your only goal is to get 1,000 score (“victory points”) within 100 turns. Despite the scenario’s briefing text, the game doesn’t appear to end when you reach this score total, however. I’m not 100% clear on what happens if nobody gets to 1,000 within the 100 turns. I’d be willing to bet that the high score wins in this case.

There aren’t really many civ-specific achievements – you just need to win the scenario as each of the civilizations, on any difficulty. Aside from the achievements for winning, you’ve also got to find and recover at least one treasure as a European power, and explore westward enough to uncover Asia in at least one game. This expansion pack also introduced a couple of new civs, and you can get an achievement for winning as any of the new ones by playing this scenario, or in the normal “single player” mode.

The technology tree is very different in this scenario, and there are several unique units and buildings you can create. Keep this in mind as you choose your research and military options. Also note that you can’t upgrade infantry units – Swordsmen won’t become Musketmen, who can’t upgrade to Musketeers, and so forth. Siege units can be upgraded normally, however.

As a European Power

The European powers start with advanced technology and a capital city in Europe. You must sail west and establish colonies in the New World in the early game. Mercantilism and Liberty are important social policies. Send settlers from Europe whenever you can, but don’t neglect your military presence. Establishing a beachhead in the Americas that can crank units is key early on. There’s a lot of land, though, and a lot of resources to exploit.

Do note that all the “civ-specific” units for the European powers are actually unlocked for everyone. You can field a team of Musketeers and Conquistadors as England, for instance. Also, Conquistadors do double duty as mounted combat units and settlers. Naval kills as Elizabeth count towards Ruler of the Seas in this mode as well.

As a Native Tribe

The native tribes spawn on the American continent with extra settlers and workers, and they establish cities of size 3 immediately. They also have a substantial gold reserve starting bonus. Additionally, they have their unique units and buildings available to them, while the Europeans have to share.

However, they’re further behind technologically at the start. Make sure you invest in research if you want to keep up with the power curve. Even with this many civs, though, I found it pretty easy to carve out a substantial portion of the continent without war. I mostly conquered others to boost my score.


By controlling certain naturayl wonders, you'll gain Treasure units - send it to your capital for an easy 50 point bonus plus some free gold.

By controlling certain natural wonders, you’ll gain Treasure units – send it to your capital for an easy 50 point bonus plus some free gold.

If you generally play peacefully, and you don’t do a lot of exploring, you may never encounter a treasure. Treasures are generated when you take a capital city from one of the native tribes, or from certain natural wonders at regular intervals. If you take one to your capital city, you’ll earn some gold and a 50 point bonus to your score. An achievement, AU in the EU, will unlock the first time you do this as a European power.

The Orient

On the far western edge of the map, there are ocean tiles that are “owned” by China. If you sail close enough to meet the Chinese, you get credit for discovering a path to Asia. This unlocks the All Aboard the Orient Express achievement. Although you’d think being able to trade with the Chinese would be a benefit (that IS why Columbus et al sailed west, after all…), there’s no benefit outside of some victory points and gold. This also consumes your naval unit, so be warned.

The easiest way to do this is to found a city on the western edge of the main landmass, as you can then just build a caravel and send it westward. Since the map is randomly generated, there are sometimes water routes all the way across the map. I lucked out with this happening to me on my second game.

If you’re having trouble with scurvy, build the Navigation School, which is a national wonder unlocked by the Navigation technology. You’ll have to build a University in the city before you can build this, but you don’t have to build a University in all your cities, thankfully. Without this wonder, your ships (but not embarked units) have a 65% chance of taking a 1 HP hit every turn they are outside of your borders.

Overall, I found this scenario set to be far, far easier than the Mongols. It’s just a matter of playing and winning as each of the civs featured.

Paradise Found

Paradise Found is a waterlogged scenario exploring the rise of a dominant Polynesian culture. It’s relatively slow paced, thanks to the large expanses of ocean. The goal is a cultural one, and not particularly difficult. There’s no achievements for high difficulty levels, either.

Essentially, you want to focus on producing culture. Science and buildings are relatively limited, and your cities are so far apart that travel times are a real pain. War is also difficult, due to the lack of siege units for the first half of the game, plus the expense of traveling long distances over water.


Note that in this scenario the number of cities you have has no effect on your culture. Therefore, you should settle early and settle often. Moai improvements boost the cultural output of a tile, and the more there are adjacent to one another, the higher the cultural bonus each Moai tile produces. For this reason, 2-hex wide islands can produce some heavy cultural output if properly improved.

Some policies are better than others.  For instance, this policy makes happiness buildings and luxury resources produce culture, which is highly useful!

Some policies are better than others. For instance, this policy makes happiness buildings and luxury resources produce culture, which is highly useful!

Besides winning on any difficulty as each of the four civs, there are a few exploration achievements as well. Most can be done on the “random” map type – just build a lot of triremes and set them to Explore mode. I managed to find New Zealand, Easter Island, and Hawaii in the same game. However, to find Australia you’ll need to start on the fixed South Pacific map, and explore the far southwestern corner. Since you have to play through 4 times to get all the achievements, just make sure at least one of these is not on the “random” map type.

1066: Year of Viking Destiny

If anything, this is a purer war scenario than the Mongols’ – this is a scenario all about war and nothing else. As one of the viking nations, you’ll start with a considerable army off the shores of England, or as the English you’ll start with a tenuous grip and limited military might. The goal is to conquer (or hold) as many English cities as possible, and hold London while you construct a special building in 6 other cities. There’s no happiness, no science, no culture, golden ages, or any of that. No peace, no quarter, no negotiation. Just combat.

Periodically, the Vikings get a set of reinforcement units that is normally comprised of more Pikemen and Crossbowmen. The size of this army depends on your difficulty. You’ll have to build Swordsmen/Berserkers yourself, as well as Catapults. If you’re halfway decent at war, you’ll probably end the scenario with military units out the wazoo. The Pikemen make halfway decent disposable front-line infantry, but Catapults beat Crossbowmen hands down at laying siege to cities and providing ranged support.

Units, units everywhere.  Be ready to fight a war on multiple fronts simultaneously.

Units, units everywhere. Be ready to fight a war on multiple fronts simultaneously.

City-states can be bribed with gold to ally with you, and they’ll immediately give you control of any units they have. Sadly, if you gift them units while at neutral or better relations, there is no improvement in your relationship. Also, any units they get after they become your allies will still be under their control. When your influence drops to the point where you are no longer allies, their armies will revert to their control again. However, if you become allies again, you can get control of any new units they may have built or been gifted.

In order to win the scenario, you must build the Domesday Book in London. Make sure you leave enough turns to get your courts built, or you’ll run out of time and lose. If you’re down to the wire, don’t forget that you can shift London’s focus to production, and that you can chop any forest tiles around it to rush the book.

There are a few non-obvious achievements included in this DLC as well. For Pillage, then Burn you’ve got to pillage 9 farms on the same turn. You can only pillage improvements when they are not in your territory. In the scenario, there aren’t many farms to start with. The AI players will build them when they conquer the English cities, but they do so relatively slowly. As you’ve got a time limit and there are limited numbers of farms, do note you can do this outside the scenario if you wish. However, there’s a glitch that makes this easier – the game doesn’t reset the count if you load the game, only when you click “Next Turn.” You could conceivably do this with just one farm, if the loading delays didn’t annoy you to death. I did this with 4 farms and 3 loads.

For Fetchez la Vache! you’ve got to build a Motte and Bailey improvement. William the Conqueror’s Swordsmen units can do this. The improvement is similar to a fort. He starts with a couple of Swordsmen, so getting this doesn’t take long at all. You can’t build a Ski Infantry unit in this scenario, so you’re going to have to play a normal game in order to get both Where’s the Biathlon? and Hands Free to Victory!

The Motte & Bailey improvement is exclusive to William.

The Motte & Bailey improvement is exclusive to William.

Deity Strategy

This is another scenario where winning on Deity is key to an achievement. I consulted this guide but found it a bit confusing, so I’ve adapted the strategy a bit and presented it here.

The guide and I both found this to be easiest as Norway.

Norway starts with several cities, with a capital in the northeast. Don’t worry too much about producing land units here, since you can’t afford the ~10 turn delay as they cross the water. Your starting cities should be focusing on cashflow with a couple of exceptions. Produce Harbors in any of the starting cities that don’t have them, and then perhaps a cheap (non-Iron requiring) military unit to fight off barbarians, and a worker. When the workers become idle, send them to York.

Right from the start, make sure Tunsberg (and only Tunsberg) has a specialist in a Workshop, as you’re going to need a Great Engineer in order to finish the book in time. Have Trondheim and Tunsberg go Production Focused on the city screen, and start cranking out on Triremes. In these two cities, you may wish to build Armories so that your Triremes immediately get +1 movement, which is important to get them into position and to chase fleeing embarked units. Any other cities should produce wealth after their initial production run.

The initial military goal is to capture and hold enough cities to build the Shire Court building. Divide your invading forces into two teams, with one team being the Great General, 4 Berserkers and 2 Pikemen, and the other being the Catapults, Crossbowmen, and the leftover melee troops. Whenever your unit can take an upgrade, use it to heal if you need to.

The Berserker team is going to capture York, then move west to Nottingham, and finally Stafford. Leave the Pikemen behind at York, to pillage the road north and defend against any potential allied city state counter attacks. Meanwhile the Catapult team is going to capture Lincoln, then Stamford and Warwick. By this point, you’ve probably taken some damage, so let some of your units regroup and heal while the remainder take Chester.

These are the key cities to hold prior to taking London.  In this game, I had 37 turns left when I got to this point.

These are the key cities to hold prior to taking London. In this game, I had 37 turns left when I got to this point.

Whenever Triremes are ready, send them just south of Tunsberg, and you’ll find Denmark. Station your Triremes to kill or severely wound any units crossing the ocean here. They will not fight back with naval units, although they might take pot shots at you with Crossbowmen from the shores. If things are going well here, going further south around the southern end of England’s territory will lead you to Normandy. Do the same here. Every 10 turns, massive reinforcement waves will cross the water in both of these locations, and they are ripe for assault. Remember that Triremes require Iron, so you’ll have to balance your Trireme production with your Berserker/Catapult needs.

Press the attack until you control the six cities where the Courts must be built. You’ve got some breathing room between this and the fight for London, but delay the construction of the Courts and you’re going to run out of time.

In each captured city, build Walls, and then the Shire Court. In Chester, after building the Court, build or buy a Harbor to get the trade route gold per turn bonuses. If these two things finish, focus on cranking out units. If you have less than 3-5 Berserkers and 3-4 Catapults, build more of these. Otherwise, build whatever is cheap – Pikemen are fine as backup infantry. Crossbowmen are good for garrisoning in cities that are far from your main force. You can also move garrisoned Crossbowmen around to reinforce an area if a major battle breaks out. Don’t bother with the Barracks – you want your units to gain levels quickly so you can keep them healed.

As you go along, pillage roads you don’t need. Anything that is heading towards a city-state is good for pillaging – the English will ally with these city states and flow units down them otherwise. The more roads you can remove, the more likely it is that they will prioritize other targets rather than your cities.

Workers should start by mining any Iron resources, then creating paths to the shore for new units to follow as they reinforce your existing army. Past that point, chop forests like mad. This will speed up the construction of the Shire Courts and the production of your new units after that is completed.

After you have the 6 Court cities working away, it’s time to work towards London. Regroup at Oxford and restock any units you may be missing. Be ready for counter attacks across the border cities. By about 20-30 turns left, you should be ready to take London. When the Great Engineer spawns, immediately send him to the island, keeping him as close as safely possible to London. You must have London in time for the resistance there to end, so that you can rush the Book with the Great Engineer.

Most of my original Berserkers and Catapults survived the assault, surprisingly.

Most of my original Berserkers and Catapults survived the assault, surprisingly.

There are a lot of variables here, since there are a ton of units and 3 other AI players at constant war with everyone else. It takes a bit of luck and a bit of skill, but you should be able to do this on Deity if you follow this strategy.

The Samurai Invasion of Korea

This is another “always war” scenario, and it’s quite different depending on which civilization you choose. The Japanese are right at the start of a full-scale invasion of the Koreans, who are allied with the Chinese. The Manchurians are poised to launch an attack when the time is right. Japan starts with a massive army on Korea’s shores, and China holds many cities but it otherwise not really ready for a large-scale war.

The Koreans get reinforcements that appear in certain locations periodically near their original cities, and can’t be eliminated from play even if they lose their cities. Meanwhile the Japanese get reinforcements in forts that are on the southern side of the peninsula. The Manchurians can found new cities (and are the only civilization who can build Settlers, for this reason), and the Chinese start with a pretty significant set of cities that form a powerful economy.

The overall goal for the Japanese is to conquer Korea and China’s capitals, while Korea and China are trying to take all of their cities back after the initial invasion. If the war draws out into a stalemate, the highest score wins.

What’s weird about this is that it is possible to both lose and win at once. For instance, I played the Koreans on Deity and managed to hold the Japanese back. My score was sufficient to beat out the Japanese, although the Chinese had a slightly higher point total at the end. When the game ended, I lost, and got credit for both Taekwon-DOH! and Fear the Turtle.

This is also one where I was able to win the first time out on Deity. My strategy was to fall back, although I was still surprised by the strength of the Japanese invasion. I was cornered and down to just Uiju, but a combination of siege units and a formidable turtle boat navy kept the Japanese at bay. I would suggest using excess Great Generals to create citadel improvements, because this game is all about defense.


Level up turtle boats and you can pick off the Japanese army, which tends to follow the coastline. Upgrade your siege and naval units with extended range, logistics for two attacks per turn, and indirect fire so that you can hit enemies past the hilly terrain to the east. Social policy-wise, take all the Honor track policies. This will give you gold for every kill, in addition to combat bonuses and a Great General unit. With all the kills you’ll be getting, you can afford to purchase units and buildings in Uiju to keep your defense afloat.

I attempted several times to retake other cities, or to route around and pillage the forts the Japanese were using for reinforcements, but I was not successful. Part of the problem is that, while you can establish limited naval superiority around Uiju, Japan gets Caravel units that can enter ocean tiles, and they get more of these on a regular basis. They tend to destroy embarked units and any Turtle Boats that stray from the pack. Also, establishing defenses while on the move is quite tricky. Even if you manage to retake another city, chances are good that you’ll lose it a turn or two later.

The Korean land reinforcements are pretty worthless. They’ll drop a couple of Archers and Pikemen right smack dab in the middle of the invading Japanese army. I found the best tactic is to just pillage whatever tile they’re on, and then delete them. Otherwise, the Japanese get a score boost for wiping them out. On the flip side, the fresh infusion of Turtle Boats every so many turns is a huge benefit.

Okay, um, well.  That's a lot of units...

Okay, um, well. That’s a lot of units…

I expected China to be a better ally – they rarely managed to get units to me. They were fighting Manchuria pretty hard, but the AI is so bad at war that they were essentially at a stalemate, with the entire region clogged with units. Even when they did manage to get over towards me, they tended to just run suicidally into the fray and get wiped out by the Japanese. Expect attacks from the Manchurians to your north periodically.

Wonders of the Ancient World

The final (to-date, not including Gods & Kings’) scenario is a wonder-full (hah!) race to the finish. Four civilizations duke it out for wonder-based supremacy. Building wonders increases your score by a crazy amount, and once all the wonders are built, the top scorer wins. The twist here is that wonders aren’t tied to technologies, as they are in the base game. Instead, they are tied to certain milestones – economic, cultural, technological, and military.

While most of the wonders are untouched from the regular game, the Oracle has a special purpose. A great person from any civilization may approach the Oracle, and when they do, the Oracle will reveal the progress of the top civilization towards each of the wonder milestones. While the great person isn’t consumed by this, they can only do it once, and the effect only lasts 5 turns per use.

The progress screen always shows your current progress, but will only show other civ's if you've consulted the Oracle.

The progress screen always shows your current progress, but will only show other civs’ progress if you’ve consulted the Oracle.

This isn’t a particularly hard scenario at reasonable difficulty levels, as the AI doesn’t seem to have been tweaked very well to make sense of the new goals. For instance, the military goals practically require that you declare war. You can get at least part of the way there by killing barbarians, but the game is tracking XP gain by your units towards Great Generals. Barbarians can only level your units up so far, and they’re in relatively limited supply. The AI seems oblivious to this, and made little progress towards the military goals in any of my games.

The rest of the goals are fairly straightforward. For the economic goal, the game seems to be primarily concerned with your gold per turn income, and gold intake from trade deals doesn’t seem to count. Culture is straightforward – just build cultural buildings (and wonders, if you can) to boost this score. Likewise, just keep researching technologies like you would in a normal game to unlock the technology milestones. Do note that a couple of the wonders require you to settle along a coast – both the Great Lighthouse and the Colossus are featured here.

Besides the standard achievements for difficulty and winning as each civ, yet again there are a few unique ones associated with this scenario pack. For Wonderwall, you must build 3 wonders in the same city. This is fairly trivial at low difficulty levels. Bolt and Arrow could conceivably be done at the same time, but do note that it is not tied to this scenario, and you can do it in a “normal” game with normal wonder rules if you so choose. Rest in Gold Pieces just requires that you build the Mausoleum and then use up great people afterwards. This can be done in a single game – it counts no matter how you use up the great person. You can rush a building, build a unique tile improvement, start a golden age, etc, and you’ll get gold and credit towards this achievement. Note again that this is not tied to the scenario and can be done outside of it.

Know Thy Enemy requires that you consult the Oracle twice in the same game. This is made worlds easier if you’ve built the Oracle yourself. If you build it where you’re likely to generate great people, you’ll get prompted as soon as they spawn. Just have two of them consult the Oracle, and you’re done. Remember that they’re not consumed, so unless you’re really concerned with the progress of your competitors, you might as well use up your Oracle credits early.

For Reverse Engineer, you must gain control of 3 wonders in the same game by conquering cities that built them. Do note that it doesn’t count if you gift a city to another civ and then conquer it back – it only counts if they built it, and you claim it. Playing on a moderate difficulty level is advised – you don’t want to have to wait around for the AI to build Wonders, but you don’t want them to completely dwarf you in terms of production. Otherwise, war to capture the wonders will be painful.

Deity Strategy

This is a tough one to give a detailed Deity strategy for, since it is somewhat randomized each time you play. In order to win on Deity, you’ve got to beat the AI in some combination of culture, technology, gold per turn, and/or military victories. This is incredibly difficult to do, and it requires a healthy dose of luck and a legendary start location.

The Egyptians have a couple of advantages. One of them is that they are fairly far away from the other civs, so war isn’t really a problem. They also get a small culture boost versus other civs, although this is relatively slight in the grand scheme of things. They’re disadvantaged, though, in that their start location is absolutely terrible. I’ve seen people recommend that you re-roll the map until there is Marble in the hill two turns to the east of their start location, but this is a painful and time consuming process that does not yield very good results, in my opinion. I would instead focus on building your capital up as much as possible early in the game, and preparing for the late-game wonders.

The mythical Marble hill - although you're going to have to roll some really good tiles to go with if you've got any chance of winning.

The mythical Marble hill – although you’re going to have to roll some really good tiles to go with if you’ve got any chance of winning.

You might also consider the Hittites. They get a much better starting location, and bonuses to strategic resources. However, they’re a lot closer to the Greeks, who are notoriously aggressive. The Persians also have a good starting location, and I’ve had good luck finding Marble nearby. Their civ bonus isn’t nearly as useful, as you likely won’t see many golden ages on Deity. They’re also close enough to the Sumerians that you’re likely to end up in a war early on.

The basic elements for success are the same across all the civilizations, however:

  • Maximize gold per turn. For this, sell everything, and build trading posts where you can. You can sell open borders and 13 gold for 2 gold per turn over 30 turns. You don’t need open borders from anyone else, so any time someone approaches you with an open borders treaty, take the gold per turn instead of their open borders. You can also sell lump sum gold for gold per turn, at a slight markup. Put a “fair” deal on the table, and then ask them to suggest something that will work, and they’ll add the markup.
  • Maximize culture. Here you’re going to have to get particularly lucky. Ruins can give you a healthy dose of culture, and the best early-game cultural gains are found from social policies, such as the starting bonuses for Tradition and Liberty. To get over the initial low cultural output, you’re really going to need some ruins that give you a culture boost.
  • Maximize military wins. As I mentioned above, you can kill barbarians for this, up to a point for each unit where they stop gaining XP. You can also declare war on a city-state, and let them bombard you over and over again. This never stops working, although it can get dangerous once the city states start building more serious military units.
  • Maximize technology. This one is going to be near impossible. The AI players get a major boost to their technology early on, and it’s not surprising to see them 5-10 techs ahead in the early game.

Building the Oracle gives you a culture bump, in addition to a free social policy. However, to beat the other civs to it, you’ll have to pretty much neglect everything else – your capital will be unguarded, you’ll have no workers, and you’ll likely have to both settle on a Marble deposit and take Aristocracy early. Given that its benefits aren’t that exciting, I’m generally inclined to believe that it’s not worth the trouble. However, it is the first wonder to unlock, and the further you are in the game the harder it is to unlock and build the wonders. Thus, it might be worth considering in your early game. If you can chop some forests to speed things up, or lay down some mines, you might have an advantage.

You can also grab an early worker from a city state. This causes you to declare war, but you can turn right around and make peace. Don’t do this too many times in quick succession, or you’ll end up in permanent war with the city states, and potentially damage your reputation with the other civilizations.

Don’t bother settling a lot of cities, this is doable with only a few, as long as they are allowed to thrive. Obviously Marble is an important resource, but frequently you’ll also find clusters of luxury goods that you can sell to your competitors for more gold per turn. Strategic resources can also be sold, so be on the lookout for excess horses and the like. You’re also going to need significant production capability if you want to build the wonders faster than everyone else. Keep all these things in mind when considering potential settlement locations.

As you can see, this scenario requires quite a bit more luck than some of the others. If you build just a few wonders, you might win, so long as someone else doesn’t go around hoarding the rest. Then again, you might have a near perfect run and still get shut out completely. The random nature of this one means you’re going to be restarting early and often.