I love Civilization V. I love to sit down, tell myself I’m only going to play for an hour, bring up some mod civilization that’s ridiculously awesome and overpowered, set the difficulty to easy, and reign like the queen I am. Yet, as I enjoyed these single-player endeavors, I couldn’t help but feel I was missing out on some primo butt-kicking experiences. I decided it was time to take it online.
In doing so, I learned something. Apparently, I’m somebody you really don’t want to play against. As in, if you see I’m you’re opponent, you’re going to groan and look for someone else to play against. I’m okay with that, because using my play style is fun. It’s so fun, in fact, that I’ve just got to share with you the tips that make me so awesome.
First, make it as easy as possible for you to win. Say you’ll create the game. Don’t allow any barbarians to show up, AI opponents or City-States. They’re distractions. Set the resource output to legendary. Make everything quick and choose an easy difficulty for yourself.
Once that’s all done, choose Ramesses. I don’t care if you like someone else or have something against Egypt. Part of my glorious strategy is building every possible wonder first and Ramesses builds Wonders 20% faster than anyone else. This means you get warm fuzzies whenever you build a Wonder one turn before someone else who had just spent 30 turns trying to complete it. Not to mention his temple replacing burial tombs make people really happy. All those Wonders and burial tombs means it’s really easy to expand while keeping everyone happy, and earn culture, which can be put towards social policies. You’ll easily complete Utopia Project by mastering five social policy trees and snag a cultural victory.
Before I continue, do you know the joy of completing a Wonder before anyone else? It’s such a satisfying feeling, and it gets better each time. I’m not sure which moment is better. It could be the first time it happens, because there’s that initial disappointment and there’s always something special about your first monument. On the other hand, there’s something glorious about that moment when you chump someone for the fifth time. There’s this sense of disbelief. They’ll be stunned you already have another Wonder completed, and they’ll be enraged if it was one they were hoping to acquire.
Anyways, moving on. Now that you’ve control, setting up the game the “right” way, you start expanding. I recommend focusing on three cities initially. Start with the Liberty path of Social Policies for the culture, production and happiness bonuses, not to mention the free settler and worker. Early on, you want a force of six to seven workers. Leave five automated and directly control remaining workers. Those extra workers are the ones who will be laying your roads after you acquire the wheel technology. You want every city connected to each other via road and ideally every resource connected to the city as well. Have your warrior explore the map, searching for ruins and other players.
By the time your third city has been founded and has a couple buildings, you may start noticing a surplus of money. This is normal and you’re going to spend it only on the cities. Buy up extra buildings like crazy. Make your trio of cities big and strong for one or two hundred years. While you’re saving, have one or two cities produce scouts and send them looking for your opponent or opponents. In the meantime, also adopt the Tradition and Piety social policies. In case you’re curious, you’ll also eventually want Commerce and Freedom as well.
Now it’s time to have fun. If you’ve been playing like I said, you should be able to raise money really quickly. Take 100 years to raise funds. Don’t spend any extra money between turns and produce as normal. Play nice. Once those 100 years are over, start producing troops and buying troops. You’re not setting up a full-scale war, just enough to freak out the other players. Once you have about 10 units, send them all off to stand at the border of the neighbor you want to terrorize. Give him two turns to prepare, then dig in and attack. Raze resource tiles. Destroy his troops. Convert his workers and, if possible, settlers. Cause as much trouble as possible. Even try to take a city, if you think you have the might.
Make him waste as much money and production as possible.
You did that? Good. Now end the war. Ideally, the other person will cave first just to make you stop, but if you’d like you can offer a settlement that gets you some money, resources you don’t already have, and maybe another city.
From there, repeat that pattern. Every couple hundred years, if you notice you have a surplus of money, use it to wage a mock war. I especially recommend pulling this after completing the Manhattan Project and unleashing a nuke or two. When I recently played against my boyfriend, I was Ramesses and he was Nobunaga. During one of my skirmishes to throw him off his game, I decided to unleash a nukes on Nara and Nagoya. Five of his troops were destroyed and 1/3 of each city’s health was depleted. The next turn, I had a negotiation settlement that gave me Osaka, Nara, and Nagoya, not to mention the nuclear wasteland surrounding them.
My response? In 3,619 years that is going to be prime real estate. Besides, mutants and ghouls are valuable members of my empire and they need a place to live too.
That’s another key part. Always be happy when playing Civilization V. That will frustrate your opponent to no end. Be cordial, be congenial, and feel free to remind the other players every few turns about the wonderful amenities, services, and hallmarks of your empire. As long as you stay happy, either losing gracefully or being a horribly happy winner, you’ll be the worst person to play Civ V against ever.