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Old Aug 07, 2012, 03:16 AM   #1
Mystz0r
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Cultural victory - tips!

Hey guys,

With the new expansion just out, I recently got back to Civ 5 and wanted to ask your opinions on a dilemma I'm having: Whats your first 5-10 builds/researches when you go for a cultural victory? I've tried more or less all combinations, and have yet to decide on the most efficient. What nations do you find the most adept?

My main issue is how to time getting my first worker/settler at the appropriate time, compared to my research. Any input?

Situation:
Country: Any, but my most recent games have been with Egypt/France
Pangaea, standard, 5 opponents, King/Emp difficulty.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 03:46 AM   #2
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I never did go for cultural victory but to me it seems, that liberty with the cultural-discount-for-new-cities policy could be the way to go. I am interested in better answers. :-)
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 03:52 AM   #3
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Three wonder tips here you should have in mind:

1. you want Oracle (obvious)

2. Louvre is great (obvious again)

3. if you roll a coast start you can get extra super great Sydney Opera wonder to finish the game (little less obvious - which I tend to forget )
edit: yup, or build city on coast (went with roll a coast start idea for OCC)

I'm not too familiar with culture victories so I'll let others fill in the gaps.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 05:38 AM   #4
tmhantti
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Hey Mystz0r,

I have some experiences with cultural victory on King/Emperor level. So, here's my 5 cents:

- Social policy wise, I like to pick Tradition first. The reason for this is that you want to have good food surplus to maintain all your artist specialists. I normally have only 3 or 4 proper cities + (maybe) some puppets. I settle ("landmark") my great artists, plus save one for golden age when constructing Utopia project. Next social policy choice is typically Piety, followed by Freedom, and finally Commercialism + Patronage. I have yet to experiment with Rationalism though.

- Tech-wise, I beeline to Education first, and in general, to those techs giving cultural buildings (Amphitheater, Opera House, Museum and Communication tower). Also, try to pick early the tech giving you the Sistine Chapel wonder (I forgot which one was that).

- I usually don't have time/money to invest on military. I just build and upgrade units enough to survive AI's rushes. Also, walls and castles can come handy in this respect.

- Try to explore the map early on also, so you can find cultural city states and other AI's for trading.

- Civ-wise, i guess my easiest win on Emp was with Ethiopia. Pacal was good as well.

This is what comes to my mind atm, hopefully this helps at least a bit.

EDIT: I play on various map types, but not with Pangaea. So keep this in mind!

EDIT2: More specific tips. My build order really depends on the map type, but usually something like: monument->scout->worker-> archer-> National college. Meanwhile, I save up + trade money from luxuries to get the first settler. If I suspect that some AI is already planning to DOW I try to get money for walls+archer. In any case, once the second city is up, I further pile up money to buy library in the 2nd city, and then start building national college in the capital.

Last edited by tmhantti; Aug 07, 2012 at 06:21 AM.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 06:34 AM   #5
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I would imagine the following wonders are priorities:

Terracotta Army (early culture boost), Oracle (free policy), Sistine Chapel (culture boost), Louvre (two free Golden Ages), and in the late-game Cristo Redentor and Sydney Opera House.

Religion is helpful too, particularly if you have wine or incense: god of festivals and monasteries is a great combo. Otherwise, Cathedrals are a solid boost.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 07:36 AM   #6
Mystz0r
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Greatly appreciate the answers so far, I'll have at it, and return with my learnings. Keep 'em coming though - goddamn am I rusty at this game
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 07:44 AM   #7
teakbois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystz0r View Post
Hey guys,

With the new expansion just out, I recently got back to Civ 5 and wanted to ask your opinions on a dilemma I'm having: Whats your first 5-10 builds/researches when you go for a cultural victory? I've tried more or less all combinations, and have yet to decide on the most efficient. What nations do you find the most adept?

My main issue is how to time getting my first worker/settler at the appropriate time, compared to my research. Any input?

Situation:
Country: Any, but my most recent games have been with Egypt/France
Pangaea, standard, 5 opponents, King/Emp difficulty.

Thanks in advance!
Play more or less like a small science victory at first. 2 or 3 strong, tradition cities. Only big change is youll want to prioritize Oracle, but its on your tech path anyway. After getting Education, SC is your next target, then the Louvre, then Radio

On Emp at that point youll be tech leader which makes getting wonders like CR a breeze and youll reach a point probably after the Louvre where you are in a near permanent Golden Age

Oh another thing: youll want a wonder in each of your cities. This can be tough because one of them is probably going to lag behind production wise, but you can either get a wonder the AI neglects even if it limited value to you, or use a GE.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 07:48 AM   #8
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Going for cultural victory with Montezuma can be pretty amuzing, and is actually quite efficient when you get to the higher levels due to the number of enemy you will be facing and therefore the amount of culture you will suck from them. I'd say that the Aztecs are actually the easiest (and most fun) cultural civ starting at Immortal. Not sure about Emperor. There, it may still be France.

I'll suggest:

- Aztec
- Social policy progression: Tradition opener, Honor opener (you will get a lot of culture from killing Barbs in the early game), Legalism, followed by finishing Tradition and going down Honor until you reach Rationalism
- Tech: try to build the GL and then the Oracle. Terracotta Warriors comes a lot later than Stonehenge, which makes it not nearly as good. Do not prioritize, but grab it if it's there.
- Religion: whichever Pantheon belief best suits your start. The possibilities are too numerous to really discuss. Founder belief: World Church. This one is really underrated. Everybody loves Tithe, but World Church is basically the cultural equivalent. Follower Belief: Cathedrals. For the enhancer take one that spreads your religion faster, either initerant preachers or religious texts.

Do the obvious things like befriending cultural CSs, building Sistine Chapel, etc.

As Montezuma, you will want to conquer and puppet as much as you can. Simply the act of killing a lot of enemy units is extremely important for the Aztecs to keep the culture rolling in. Go forth and slaughter, spread your death cult over the whole world, build the dystopia project and swim in the blood of the unbelievers.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 08:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Le Roi Soleil View Post
- Social policy progression: Tradition opener, Honor opener (you will get a lot of culture from killing Barbs in the early game), Legalism, followed by finishing Tradition and going down Honor until you reach Rationalism

33% culture per city + 10% cheaper policies makes piety > rationalism IMO.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 08:14 AM   #10
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33% culture per city + 10% cheaper policies makes piety > rationalism IMO.
You take it as a given that all cities will have build a world wonder?! What difficulty settings are we talking here?

There is a lot to be said for teching faster, no matter the victory condition. Especially at the higher difficulty levels, the biggest difficulty in cultural victory is that the AI will beat you to a spaceship before you can seal the deal. Being able to nuke him into oblivion before it gets to that point is generally more important than somewhat faster cultural production. Getting to the techs sooner also gives you a better chance of building the necessary wonders, which at the higher difficulty levels is never a given.

At <= King, you are probably right, but my guess is that Rationalism becomes the better strategy for cultural victory starting at Emperor.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 08:17 AM   #11
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I would also suggest building the CN tower, the free broadcast towers add a lot to culture
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 08:19 AM   #12
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http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=467105

Had around 9 pages and going.

I would never pick Honor in a culture game since once you finish Tradition you should go toward Piety to get the 10% reduction like ^ said. And by that point start and finish Freedom because the 50% Golden Age and 100% specialist tiles is huge. Getting a wonder in your 3 secondary cities isn't that hard. Just kind of just need one of your secondary cities to have good production. The other 2 can simply use a great engineer to rush wonders. Actually, I didn't even get to do that in my last game since I was able to build Helicarnassus and Brandenburg Gate in my secondary cities with production only, and rushed Taj Mahal in my 4th low production city.

You could go with Honor after you finished Freedom with the Aztecs, then go on a warmonger rampage, and the +2 culture per city will be a fine addition, provided you can keep up with your happiness levels. Actually, now I want to try this out. Because the 4-5th tree is kind of flexible. I went with Commerce in my last culture game with Austria because all my secondary cities were ports.

If you are starting with Tradition, my path was: Scout -> Worker -> Warrior/Archer/Granary. After that it depends on context. If you are starting with Liberty, my path was Scout -> Monument -> Warrior/Archer/Granary.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 08:30 AM   #13
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Another civ to consider is the old standby, Songhai. Combined with the Honor opener, you'll not only get plenty of culture through barb-hunting in the early game, you'll build up gold much faster to save time on building/unit construction & focus on wonders instead (or alternately, to buddy up/ally earlier with cultural or maritime city states).

I rarely play on Pangea maps, but my initial build order would be:
Scout > Monument > Archer > Great Library > Oracle
Using the GL to pick up Philosophy so I could go straight to the Oracle. This will work almost all the time on King & usually on Emperor provided you get some decent tiles around your capital. My first worker would come from whatever nearby CS I didn't plan to buddy up with early (a mercantile or militaristic one, if possible) and my first settler would be bought with the gold I'm reaping by barb-hunting.

Social path would be Tradition opener > Honor opener, and then it varies depending on game circumstances; I absolutely want to have Aristocracy in place when I start the GL, but if I've popped a culture ruin or gotten ahead of things otherwise I'll grab Legalism first. From there it's just sucking up as many other Tradition policies as possible until Piety becomes available. Fourth tree is up in the air--if I'm struggling with money then I'll go Commerce, but generally I'd rather take Patronage to help with my CS allies. Fifth tree is obviously Freedom.

As far as religion goes, with your settings it doesn't need to be an early priority (all but one empire will be able to found one), and with a bit of luck you can even get to a pantheon without having to build a shrine. Ideally you'll find a faithy NW nearby which you can settle, but otherwise you can make up the difference once you're through the initial build order by pounding out shrines in all your cities & allying a religious CS. Note that it is important to get strong faith production going by the mid-game so that you'll be able to purchase those extra great people after the Industrial (and with Piety closed out, creating Holy Sites with your extra prophets is almost as good as landmarks). The World Church recommendation above would be solid with more AIs in the game, but with this setup I'd go with either Tithe or Ceremonial Burial (more happiness = more golden ages + more population; alternately, more puppet cities if you're going that route). Follower beliefs are varied beyond the obvious Cathedrals--Pagodas, Monasteries, or Mosques are strong in combination, or you can't really go wrong with one of the food-based beliefs (Feed the World or Swords into Plowshares). Agreed with picking an enhancer which will spread your religion more effectively without having to buy lots of missionaries.

One other thing--I find France a bit underwhelming when going for a tall culture win. The +2 per city is nice, but not really a huge boost when you're only founding 3-4 cities in the entire game. Egypt can be a solid choice, especially given the flood plains start bias, as are Songhai, the Aztecs, Ethiopia (the Steles make a huge difference early), or any of a number of other civs. Babylon is actually a decent dark horse contender, as the UA allows you to keep up in science more easily without having to "waste" citizens as scientist specialists.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 08:30 AM   #14
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I would also suggest building the CN tower, the free broadcast towers add a lot to culture
The game will likely be over by that point.

The broadcast towers come a LONG time before CN tower, and after getting Arch, Radio should be beelined. The tech before CN tower gets you Sydney Opera House, which will almost definitely end the game if its not over before then.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 08:32 AM   #15
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You could go with Honor after you finished Freedom with the Aztecs, then go on a warmonger rampage, and the +2 culture per city will be a fine addition, provided you can keep up with your happiness levels. Actually, now I want to try this out. Because the 4-5th tree is kind of flexible. I went with Commerce in my last culture game with Austria because all my secondary cities were ports.
If you're going cultural with the Aztecs, you're pretty much warmonger raging for the entire game. The cultural bonus from military caste allows you a net cultural gain from puppets even though they otherwise won't build culture, and trust me, having a terrifying and highly upgraded army in this strategy is very important. Culture from killing can end up being a very big part of your total cultural generation if you're good at fighting. Complete Honor second if you want to play cultural with Montezuma, and just kill, kill, kill.

It's also a lot more fun than just building 3 big culture cities and pressing Next Turn until you either win or the AI launches a spaceship/builds the UN.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 08:59 AM   #16
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I should probably clarify:

The Aztec cultural strategy which focuses on Honor and Rationalism is not for the faint of heart, because it basically hinges on the idea that you are constantly fighting aggressive wars with your neighbors, killing their units and reaping the culture from doing so. I will elaborate on this idea a bit:

- the Honor opener is a large culture generator early in the game. Don't underestimate it's value. It allows you to more effectively defend against barbarians by knowing where they are, and lets you barb farm. Getting 12 culture from each dead barbarian warrior is a big deal early in the game. If you do it well, this policy will help you race through the rest of Tradition.

- the rest of Honor is just necessary for the construction and maintenance of a murderous army, which you will need for culture generation as the game progresses. Also, Military Caste is superawesome, allowing you a guaranteed net cultural gain from your puppets.

- Piety is a terrible Social tree. Yes, it helps generate more culture than Rationalism, but it doesn't actually make you more likely to win the game, especially at the higher levels. Going Rationalism will slow down your raw, city-based culture somewhat, but you will make that up by producing more culture from killing the enemy with your shiny new guns! Also, going Rationalism and having a fearsome military gives you the ability to be proactive and smite any enemy civ that looks like winning rather than saying, oh shucks, he's about to build a spaceship...guess I was too slow this time.

- Autocracy is the perfect and obvious modern Social tree after Rationalism. The cultural plunder (in G&K, at least) ends up being quite valuable in the late game. Screw Freedom. That's for girls.

You haven't played Montezuma until you've tried this strat. If you do it well, you end up sort of racing yourself to finish culture before you win a domination victory.

Last edited by Le Roi Soleil; Aug 07, 2012 at 09:05 AM.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 09:18 AM   #17
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The game will likely be over by that point.

The broadcast towers come a LONG time before CN tower, and after getting Arch, Radio should be beelined. The tech before CN tower gets you Sydney Opera House, which will almost definitely end the game if its not over before then.
They need to modify this, I think. The only reason anybody would actually benefit from CN tower is people who aren't gunning for a cultural victory, kind of like the free broadcast towers are for those with a large empire already, which is kind of silly since the 33% is barely meaningful. And I've not seen a Wonder that is so late to offer free buildings than the building itself in tech order.

@ Le Roi Soloei: I'll try it I guess. It sounds very interesting. But I'll likely just go full warmonger and finish domination by that method. Skipping Piety and adopting Rationalism and Honor... this is too unique to pass up. I want to see when I can finish Utopia Project. But going for Autocracy is a bit... extreme. When's the optimal time to finish Rationalism? Honor? I'm also guessing you won't be getting any RAs either by being a warmonger so much unless you have Genghis Khan or somebody.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 09:31 AM   #18
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They need to modify this, I think. The only reason anybody would actually benefit from CN tower is people who aren't gunning for a cultural victory, kind of like the free broadcast towers are for those with a large empire already, which is kind of silly since the 33% is barely meaningful. And I've not seen a Wonder that is so late to offer free buildings than the building itself in tech order.

Its a wide empire wonder. +1 Happiness per city is a bigger draw than the broadcast towers, especially that late in the game when you are just plowing through whatever cities happen to be left.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 12:13 PM   #19
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Yeah, the most fun I've had by far with a cultural vic game, was with the Aztecs on the war path. Your capitol and 2 core cities - puppet or raze everything you conquer. Make sure to extend the wars if it fits into your overall strategy - kill as many units as possible -> more culture. Ally with a couple of military city states down the road to supply you with basic units you can upgrade - that way, your core cities can mostly focus on building whatever works best for a culture win.

Also gives a much higher end score (if you win) than just staying with a tall 3-city empire for the whole game.
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Old Aug 07, 2012, 12:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Le Roi Soleil View Post
I should probably clarify:

The Aztec cultural strategy which focuses on Honor and Rationalism is not for the faint of heart, because it basically hinges on the idea that you are constantly fighting aggressive wars with your neighbors, killing their units and reaping the culture from doing so. I will elaborate on this idea a bit:

- the Honor opener is a large culture generator early in the game. Don't underestimate it's value. It allows you to more effectively defend against barbarians by knowing where they are, and lets you barb farm. Getting 12 culture from each dead barbarian warrior is a big deal early in the game. If you do it well, this policy will help you race through the rest of Tradition.

- the rest of Honor is just necessary for the construction and maintenance of a murderous army, which you will need for culture generation as the game progresses. Also, Military Caste is superawesome, allowing you a guaranteed net cultural gain from your puppets.

- Piety is a terrible Social tree. Yes, it helps generate more culture than Rationalism, but it doesn't actually make you more likely to win the game, especially at the higher levels. Going Rationalism will slow down your raw, city-based culture somewhat, but you will make that up by producing more culture from killing the enemy with your shiny new guns! Also, going Rationalism and having a fearsome military gives you the ability to be proactive and smite any enemy civ that looks like winning rather than saying, oh shucks, he's about to build a spaceship...guess I was too slow this time.

- Autocracy is the perfect and obvious modern Social tree after Rationalism. The cultural plunder (in G&K, at least) ends up being quite valuable in the late game. Screw Freedom. That's for girls.

You haven't played Montezuma until you've tried this strat. If you do it well, you end up sort of racing yourself to finish culture before you win a domination victory.
The cost per policy is dependent on number of cities, no? I would think with a wide empire, the culture increase from policy to policy would grow too steep to make the victory viable. I'm still playing King so perhaps at this difficulty level, the AI civs aren't creating large enough armies to crank culture via unit destruction.
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