View Full Version : The Greeks

Nov 27, 2003, 10:49 PM
I have decided to do a review on each CIV. My intention is to encourage debate and hopefully to help others (and myself) in their game play.


Commercial and scientific, oh how the money and the techs roll in! In PTW the Greeks always fared better than most CIVs. Play enough epic games and you began to notice that one of the few non-Industrious Civs that the AI plays well is Greece. Greece and Korea were AI Civs that typically started slow, but if they survived, almost assuredly became strong late game threats. The dynamics of their traits was in itself a boost to the AIs problems with becoming gold depleted and technologically backward by the Industrial age.

For the human Greek player, Greece was a wonderful builder CIV. Their assets include: Cheap Libraries and Universities, tons of cash to hurry and upgrade quickly, better science research, a free tech every age, a strong defensive UU (the Hoplite 1-3-1) that may keep your military expenditures down in the early game, also that UU tends to make aggressive AIs far more leery of an early Ancient age attack. The Greek traits/UU lend themselves to a very efficient game play when ugly situations arise unexpectedly. In the late game the Greek commerce can be a game saver and an AI game breaker. Warmongering with the Greeks can also be very rewarding. The warmongering Greek typically starts very peacefully, amassing gold and preparing his infrastructure in depth, the Greek can launch a massive late middle age Cavalry rush. Correctly played Greece could mass upgrade the very turn of a major military unit improvement, which in turn will lead to the quick demise of any foe! Want to launch a Space Race victory, just try to beat the Greeks to those techs! Want to be the worlds banker, beloved by all, sitting pretty on a UN vote – just try to beat the Greeks! Want to beat the Greeks to a cultural win – even the Babylonians will have their hands full trying.

On the downside is the fact that the science trait in PTW was simply not that strong compared to other traits. Secondly, while a good warmonger can ‘war’ with any CIV – Greece, while certainly not among the worst, was also not a first choice. No one runs past China, Germany or the Vikings to play the Greeks for a Conquest/Domination game. Lastly, that UU had 2 drawbacks; you are always in danger of an AI initiating an early Golden Age for Greece, and it was an awkward UU to initiate a GA with after the Ancient Age. Another drawback is that lazy PTW Greek worker that always took too damn long to do anything! Lastly, that tremendous late game flexibility of the Greeks is tempered by a somewhat not so flexible early game.

So how do the Greeks fare with C3C? After playing a few games with the Greeks again, I have come to the following conclusions:

C3C has seen the resurrection of the science trait. The addition of the possibility of a Great Scientific Leaders for the first Civ to discover a tech makes for even stronger Greek play. The greater need to do your own research for techs also enhances Greece as a top choice. Once the ‘bugs’ are ironed out in the patch, the commercial trait will benefit immensely. The dynamics of the science/commercial combo will be accentuated to an even greater degree than ever before. The toning down of the Industrious trait alone, improves your workers ability in an indirect manner. C3C sees an already strong Greece, become even stronger. An excellent PTW builder CIV is now a hands down top 3 choice. An average warmonger CIV, is made a far more viable choice.

In summary, the Greek play in and of itself remains essentially the same. What has changed is the effects of that play are far stronger. Overall a 1st tier Civ. If you liked the Greeks before – you’ll love them now!

Below is the link to my Civ reviews:

other CIV Reviews by Ision (

Nov 28, 2003, 09:47 AM

this is just to congrat for your analysis and to confirm (to my VERY limited experience on CivIII) that it seems very correct.


Nov 28, 2003, 11:29 AM
I always found the Greeks strong, since even with 1-2 Hoplites defending your cities usually other CIVs won't attack you, so you can focus on infrastructure, rather than have to try to build military force and buildings.

I hope to hear more info on the Greeks in C3C when it becomes available and more articles on the others civs. Good Job,

Dec 01, 2003, 06:02 AM
Another confirmation about the above:

after reading your article about the Greeks, I started a new game and the 1st civ i stumped into were... the Greeks!
They did not have oplites yet and I was able to steal Athens with just 1 warrior.
Unfortunately they already had another town somewhere else (so far, I wasn't able to see it) so they weren't wiped out.
Anyway, right now in 1300AD, they're the last but one civ in the rank.


Dec 01, 2003, 11:44 AM
The souped-up Hoplite in the Rise of Rome scenario is quite a force. After winning the game easily with the heavily weighted Romans (the legions just slaughter everything in their path), I gave Greece a try. More challenging, but the 3-3 Hoplites pack quite a punch en masse.

As far as commercial civs go, I think Seafairing (with the extra gold for coastal cities) has taken away some of their luster... at least for me. My stubborn strategy is to get a great starting location by a coast with either gold and/or spices/silk within range. The Colossus is an imperative to double the commerce and I try like heck to double that with CO and again with NU -- there's the tech race in a nutshell for me.

Dec 06, 2003, 03:24 AM
Qucik question to any forum moderator.........

Which forum should be used for a specific Civ review?

Dec 06, 2003, 04:20 PM
As a new player I`d like to say Thank You for doing these profiles on the CIV cultures.

They are immensely helpful and well writen.:)

Dec 06, 2003, 09:00 PM
Thanks for the kind words Old&Slow,

I have another review of thr Egyptians on this same forum. I will be doing my next review on the Mongols.


Dec 06, 2003, 09:00 PM
Thanks for the kind words Old&Slow,

I have another review of the Egyptians on this same forum. I will be doing my next review on the Mongols.


Dec 07, 2003, 04:44 AM
First of all, i want to say that your style of play is EXACTLY the same as mine. Monarch, continents, large map, and builder/warmonger, is the most accurate description of my typical epic game although I've been playing more Emperor lately. Anyway, I played with the Greeks, and the commerce bonus isn't that great in C3C, but the Hoplite is still great, and can be used early in the game against barbarians, since they seem to have an urge to attack hoplites. With 3 defense, you'd only need to fortify on a mountain to defend against Barbarian Cavalry. I can, however, confirm the fact that in some epic games the greeks are the only ones that I attack late in the game, for the sole purpose of being the tech leader again.

Dec 11, 2003, 12:11 PM
Thanks for the wonderful analysis Ision. (I enjoyed the Egyptian analysis too!)

I have a small question though. You mentioned that the industrious trait has been "toned down". Can you explain what you mean by that?


Dr Elmer Jiggle
Dec 11, 2003, 12:18 PM
Industrious workers are only 50% faster now instead of 100% faster. They're still incredible, but the first time you play an industrious civilization, you'll probably be surprised by how slow they seem compared with what you're used to.

Dec 11, 2003, 05:37 PM
I tried the Greeks out on a huge map with 16 civs on the regent level. I was actually impressed. I got up to the early modern ages and lost my savegame though.

Back to Conquests again. Might try out the Maya or Incans.

Dec 11, 2003, 05:47 PM
keep up the good work these reviews are very good

Dec 11, 2003, 10:18 PM
The Greeks are pretty slick for surviving the ancient age unscathed -- in my opinion not a bad expansion civ, as you will rarely incur the wrath of neighbors nor will you lose units to barbarians. It feels weird in the late game playing them to try get a conquest win, but is definitely doable.

Pampant Chief
Dec 27, 2003, 07:47 PM
yo the greeks r awesome !!!

Their cheap libraries and universities always allow me to get a cultural victory. Their military is quite competent but not quite that good.

a cultural victory is pretty easy with the Greeks

Dec 27, 2003, 10:00 PM
Ision you've convinced me to play the Greeks in my new Emperor game.:)

I'm not really an aggressive player. It was either Greece or Babylon to take for a test.

Are you doing America next or a Maya review anytime soon?

Pampant Chief
Dec 27, 2003, 10:04 PM
even though i tried all the civs, the english seem a mystery to me ...

i dont seem to understand their strengths or weaknesses..
they seem quite weak so i rarely choose them.

Jan 05, 2004, 03:18 PM
I like Greeks. And I think its good civillization to atack in ancient times. The combo swordmen and hoplites is great.

And I usually make another war with knigths. The hoplites are so efective as spikemen, but costs a half. So, greeks have another good combo with hoplites and knigths.

jm chen
Jan 06, 2004, 09:45 AM
When I'm playing aggressive early game (goal: conquest by 0 A.D.) I always cringe when I see a light green border. Hoplites are tough to kill, even with swordsmen, which guarantees them a golden age, which means they can build defenders more quickly... you see the problem.

Thanks for the analysis Ision!

Jan 08, 2004, 10:25 AM
Good review. For Greeks or Carthaginians, I will not build their UU until I want a GA. So I may not build a hoplite until the middle ages and If I build Leo's, I get cheaply built/upgraded defensive units all the way up to mech inf IF I do not GA.

Jan 09, 2004, 07:13 AM
One more thing about the Greek is to my opinion THE CIV to play for an OCC.
Start with Bronze and Alphabet, allowing you to build the Colossus (providing you are costal) and research Writing/Map making and Literature for the Great Light and/or Great Library(Golden Age).

Feb 19, 2004, 04:56 PM
Don't forget that the greek is actually a very good warmongering civ!

No kidding!

Read this interresting game report:

Sirian even went as far as calling "using the hopitle to pillage" tactic an exploit.
But then again, he has these "this or that is an exploit" fits more often. So it doesn't have much meaning when he sais so.

Jul 06, 2004, 06:57 AM
Yeah, Greece has one of if not the best UU in the game, and as a Civ definatley deserves to be in the top Civ group- Horse and hoplites are the best one can offensively muster early in my opinion but its not a bad force and too kinda mimics alexander the great's army- that early Ga never really bothers me with ancient age UU civs, i use it as a time to expand and build even if at war - Mounted Warriors, Legions and Gallics -the biggest threats-can be repelled by ol Hoplites. (Emperor/Huge/continent)

Pampant Chief
Jul 11, 2004, 09:19 PM
What i often do with Greeks is builid a lot of hoplites early and attack a strong nations best city by surrounding the city and blocking all the squares around it especially the important ones. Then i pillage the improvements and cuz of high defense the enemy has a tough chance counter-attacking until i bring more troops or cause a lot of damage. Tell me what you think about this tactic...


Mar 15, 2005, 08:02 AM
Yes in my mind the Greeks are the best civ out there! You get a good defensive unit to protect your cities! I usually build 3 a town and don’t build any more units until knights and then gorillas or infantry! This way I am not stuck with a bunch of old units! Then a pump all the extra money into my science and before you no it I am researching at 10-20% in 4 turns! I can most of the time (on Monarchy) beat the computer in the tech tree by a whole age some time more! So they are still building knight when I am building MArmor, MInfantry, NSubs and Stealth Bombers!

Jul 17, 2005, 12:35 PM
Greeks are good. No problem with science usually. Almost always in my games they were among richest.

Sep 06, 2005, 03:02 AM
Yes Thanks for the analysis indeed...great job
I allways prefer to play as a


Mar 31, 2006, 06:54 PM
I agree- but even great civs like Greece need size for power. No, really, a small Greece isn't a powerful Greece. I discovered this in a recent game. It was standard/contintents/8 civs/Me playing as Vikings/and I don't remember the other game specifics, but that doesn't really matter. I discovered a less-than-ten city Greece on the other contintent. When I discovered them, I was almost in, if not in already, the Industrial ages- and Greece was just getting out of Ancient Times! Even though I'm a fairly new player that's still on Chieftain, this could probably happen on higher difficulty levels, too. They need cities for scientific research. And it is possible to beat them at culture when they aren't very big, at least, it is on Chieftain. I know, I've done it. My point is, for the Greeks' style of play, size matters.

Apr 14, 2006, 02:40 PM
Greece is sweet, with my two of my three favorite traits and a UU that saves it from Korea's dark fate, there sweet!

100 posts w00t.