The Republic of India is the second most populous country in the world and the largest democracy. A land of contrasts, India contains great wealth and grinding poverty. It possesses high-tech cities and primitive villages. In it one can find beauty and squalor, hope and despair. It is one of the oldest civilizations on the planet, yet India is considered an "emerging" market. In short, India is one of the most fascinating civilizations on the planet.
For those players who prefer tall empires that are focused on building instead of militaristic expansion, India is an obvious choice. With their Unique Ability to grow larger cities without incurring as much unhappiness, they are able to create enormous, powerful cities loaded with specialists. In regards to style of play, India is a natural to win the game with a Cultural Victory.
- Key Concepts
- Unique Ability: Population Growth
- Unique Unit: War Elephant
- Unique Building: Mughal Fort
- Indian Specific Strategy
- Vertical Empire - Building a few but very large cities.
- Wide Empire - Building many but smaller cities.
- REX - Rapid Early Expansion. A tactic that India is very poor at.
- ICS - Infinite City Sprawl. Continuously building cities across the map without being hindered by a state of Unhappiness.
Unique Ability: Population Growth
Unhappiness from number of Cities doubled, Unhappiness from number of Citizens halved.
What this means: When planting a new city, India's will have 6 Unhappiness from the city itself, while all other Civilizations will only have 3 Unhappiness. 1 Citizen in an Indian city will produce only 0.5 Unhappiness. For every other Civilization, one Citizen will produce 1 Unhappiness.
Note: At King level and above, the base Unhappiness for a city is 6 and 3 for India and all other Civilizations respectfully. At lower levels, the base Unhappiness per city is scaled down accordingly.
In summary, a size 1 Indian city will have more Unhappiness than the same size city in any other Civilization. As both cities start to increase in size, India's Unhappiness will increase at a slower rate. After the city grows past size 6, Indian cities will have less Unhappiness than other Civilizations. As the Indian city grows larger and larger, the difference in Unhappiness compared to a city without the Population Growth Unique Ability starts to become very sizable.
Spoiler City Unhappiness Graph :
How to use it: The obvious use of this UA is to build a massive vertical empire with huge cities loaded down with Specialist. Another option is to go for the extremely wide empire strategy by plopping cities all over the place. This method is known as ICS.
What you cannot do with much success as India is REX. With the high levels of Unhappiness for settling a new city will greatly hinder you since you won't have the infrastructure or enough luxury resources hooked up to support these cities and maintain a positive level of Happiness.
If you are a builder, you will definitely enjoy going vertical with India. With a few well placed cities, you can easily build vertically with less of a Happiness restriction. The big restraint for the size of your cities becomes the amount of food that has to sustain the population and the growth of the city. For these, place cities in nice river valleys with plenty of land to farm or food producing Resources(but don't forget to neglect Production and Resources), construct buildings that produce food and/or befriend Maritime City-States.
With large cities you will be able to (and should) build lots of buildings for your infrastructure. The first reason is that many of your buildings will have greater benefits in large cities compared to a small city. A Library (+1 Science / 2 Citizens) will only produce 4 Science in a size 8 City while it will produce 12 Science in a size 24 City.
The second reason for the plethora of buildings in your large cities is that many of these buildings allow you to turn your Citizens into Specialists. These Specialists can produce a wide range of resources including ones that are normally not found from working the Tiles around the City. Specialists have the potential to produce Culture, Science, Gold and Production.
In addition, Specialists always generate Great People Points. The accumulation of these Points will lead to the spawning of Great People that can bring great benefits to your Civilization such as (though not limited to) Golden Ages, rushing Wonders, and free Technology. The benefits of a Tall Empire can be much further enhanced by the Freedom Social Policy Tree which greatly boosts your Specialists and Great Person generation.
Wide Empires - While at first glance you might not think that building Wide Empires is the best idea with India, you can actually do it and after awhile more effectively since each Indian City in the ICS Strategy has the potential to be larger than the Cities of all the other Civilizations. This is possible because of the benefits that India's UA offers. The drawback behind this is that because of the large hit to Happiness that India takes when founding a new City, India needs to develop its base infrastructure and Social Policies much more before they start to expand rapidly.
This will be covered more later on in the Indian Specific Strategy section of this article.
Spoiler Tall Indian Empire :
Unique Unit: War Elephant
A fast Ranged Unit Highly Effective on flat ground. This Unit has a Higher than the Chariot Archer which it replaces.
A terrifying sight on the battlefield, often as dangerous to its own side as it was to the enemy, the war elephant could be considered the world's first weapon of mass destruction. Indians used elephants in war until the advent of gunpowder rendered them obsolete. In pre-gunpowder battle the war elephant served two primary purposes. First, their scent absolutely terrified horses, rendering the enemy's cavalry useless. Second, they could break through even the strongest line of infantry, crushing a wall of spears that no horse could ever surmount. Elephants were incredibly difficult to kill and history records them surviving sixty or more arrows. The primary problem with elephants was their tendency to go berserk with pain or rage, at which point they'd be impossible for their rider to control. Elephant riders often carried a spike and mallet that they could use to kill the animals if they attacked their own forces.
Ranged Combat: 8
Prerequisite Technology: The Wheel
Replaces: Chariot Archer
What this means: In comparison to the Chariot Archer, the War Elephant has a higher Production Cost and Lower Movement Points. In return for this, the War Elephant has both a higher Combat and Ranged Combat Strength. This means your Elephants can deal more damage and have a better chance to survive an attack by a Melee or Mounted Unit.
Another bonus to the War Elephant is that lack of the Rough Terrain Penalty that the Chariot Archer (and the Egyptian War Chariot) has. For the other Ancient Era Mounted Archery Units, moving onto Hills, Forests, Marshes or Jungles will use up all of their remaining Movement Points. Moving into these terrains doesn't use up all of War Elephant's Movement Points allowing it to be more mobile.
Lastly, like the Chariot Archer and the Egyptian War Chariot, the War Elephant has a -25% Penalty Attacking Cities.
How to use it: Take advantage of the War Elephant's Movement Points to give support to units that need help. This could be a multitude of situations including assaulting enemy territory, defending your own land or even rushing out to support a unit that has stumbled upon a Barbarian Encampment.
When assaulting enemy territory, make sure to keep the War Elephant behind your front line of Melee Units and leave enough space to maneuver into position. A double line of Melee Units will not leave any room for the War Elephant to fire. Don't forget that early Ranged Unit only have a range of 2 spaces.
Because of the -25% Penalty Attacking Cities, don't rely on War Elephants to soften up Enemy Cities with bombardment. Save that for the Catapults. If at the end of your turn you have no other target to shoot at, the War Elephant can take a pot shot at the city and get a small amount of Experience.
As for defending your territory, India's Starting Area Bias usually consists of a river valley with a few hills and forest. This area leaves you plenty of space to move your War Elephants into position to ward off any unwanted neighborly aggression. Keep in mind that moving across a river will use up all of your Movement Points.
Forests, Jungles, Hills and Mountains block a Ranged Unit's line of sight and prevents them from firing two or more spaces. Positioning your War Elephants on top of a Hill will allow them to shoot over Forests, Jungles and Hills. Being on top of a Hill does not let the War Elephants to fire over Mountains or Hills with Forests or Jungles on them. You can learn more about Line of Sight in the Ranged Attack Article.
Lastly, with three Movement Points and no Rough Terrain Penalty War Elephants can move onto a Hill or into a Forest or Jungle and fire that same turn or move a second tile. This ability can be extremely valuable when fighting in unsettled territory.
Spoiler War Elephants :
Unique Building: Mughal Fort
The Indian Unique Building that replaces the Castle. The Mughal Fort improves the city's Defense strength and provides some Culture every turn. After Flight is discovered, it provides a Gold bonus to the city as well. Building Walls is a prerequisite for building the Mughal Forts.
The Mughals were an Islamic empire that invaded India in the 15th century, and ruled most of the subcontinent until the mid-19th. During their rule they constructed elaborate forts across the countryside which served as administrative centers and living quarters for the occupiers. These forts were beautiful structures, fitting palaces for the rulers of a vast empire. Several - including the magnificent "Lahore Fort" and Red Fort of Agra - survive today and remain as some of the largest tourist attractions to India, monuments to the Mughals' power and style.
Prerequisite Technology: Chivalry
What this means: The Mughal Fort is just like the Castle that all other Civilizations can build. It’s a Medieval building that requires the existence of City Walls in the City to build. Its basic function is to provide more defense for the City against enemy invaders.
For the same production cost as the Castle, the Mughal Fort provides two Culture a turn. Also, after you have discovered the technology of Flight it provides one Gold per turn in addition to all of its other benefits.
How to use it: One victory condition that India is good at winning is Cultural Victory. In order to do this, you should build a few extremely large cities. In this situation, since your production will be mainly focus on improving your Cities your Military might be a bit lacking. By building the Mugal Fort you are able to increase your Cities' Defenses while producing Cultural to help you along your way to a Culutral Victory.
If you are trying for a Wide Empire, building the Mughal Fort can have extra benefits if you adopt Professional Army under the Honor Social Policy Tree. With this Social Policy, the Mughal Fort provides an additional +1 to Happiness along with all the other benefits.
India Specific Strategy
If you are planning to go vertical, one thought for Map Settings for India is to go on Small Continents. This will probably give you enough room to set up your base Cities, while still remaining isolated. The main disadvantage to this is that you won’t be able to make money selling items to the AI or sign Research Agreements. The plus side is that you can get set up peacefully without being harassed by a Warrior Rush (that’s you Oda!).
Peaceful Cultural Victory
Probably the victory condition that India is best suited would be the Peaceful Cultural Victory. Cultural Victory requires the completion of five Social Policy Trees followed by building the Utopia Project. Policies are unlocked through Culture which is mainly produced through Culture producing buildings and Cultural City-States. With each City that you build or annex, the cost of the next Social Policy increase. In order to win a Peaceful Cultural Victory, a low number of high quality Cities are needed. This is where India’s UA shines.
In this guide, we will be following the requirements for the Bollywood Steam Achievement in which Gandhi wins a Cultural Victory with three Cities or less.
For City placement, there should be plenty of space between each city. Hopefully you will not have any overlapping tiles. Your Cities probably will not be using all 36 tiles in the three rings around your City. The goal of this strategy is to obtain as many Luxury and Strategic Resources within your borders. Be careful when placing your Cities, for if they are too far apart, an opponent may plop a City in between. Also, the further apart the Cities are, the more vulnerable you may be to an enemy attack.
The main goal for your Cities is to have them produce as much Culture as possible. This is achieved with buildings that produce Culture. Since you will not have a puppet empire to provide you with Science and Gold, it is also important to construct buildings that also increase these aspects of your society.
For the 5 Social Policy Trees to Unlock, the following will probably help you the most in a game as India.
Tradition - There are many reasons to adopt these policies. The major benefit that Tradition has is to boost your Capital. In a vertical empire, a strong Capital is more beneficial than in a wide empire since your Capital makes up a larger percentage of your empire. Through this branch you can increase the amount of Gold, Food, Food Growth, Gold and Culture in your Capital while at the same time decreasing the amount of Unhappiness in your Capital. Also in this branch, all cities get a boost to building Wonders. With the finisher, all of your Cities will have an increase in Food and Food Growth, letting them grow into giant, extremely productive Cities faster.
Legalism vs. Finisher - With Legalism, you can time it correctly with your technology advancement to get a free Opera House or Museum, provided that you have built the proceeding Cultural Buildings. By waiting to use this, you are delaying the Finisher which provides extra food and growth for all of your Cities. With faster growth, your Cities can become more productive, produce more Gold, Science and Culture and start producing Great People Points faster.
For India, Monarchy's true effects are a little bit different. It should read: "One Unhappiness for every 4 Citizens." The Gold bonus still stays the same.
Liberty - While adopting Liberty may seem counterproductive at first, there are many benefits for achieving a Cultural Victory. The major reason is the -33% Culture cost per City. In the long run, this discount really adds up. Other benefits include a free Settler and Worker with faster improvement speed. This gets your three Cities established and land improved early on. The free Golden Age is a wonderful bonus to help give you an early lead. The Finisher of a free Great Person is a great boon. With this you can rush a Wonder, pop a Free Technology, or build a Great Person Improvement to boost your Science or Culture.
Piety - Right off the bat when activating this branch, all Cultural Buildings cost 15% less to build, helping you get Culture out faster. The major theme of Piety is increased Happiness and Culture. While you may not "need" all of the extra Happiness due to India's efficiency of supporting large populations via Happiness, it can lead to many Golden Ages. The greatest benefits to this Tree is the free Policy at the end and the -10% Culture Cost for all future Policies. Finishing this Tree early can get you a Cultural Victory much quicker.
Patronage - While there are lots of different benefits from Patronage, the biggest reason to go down this road is to keep as many City-States in your good graces. By having plenty of Maritime and Cultural City-States allied with you, you can speed up the growth of Cities and the acquisition of Social Policies respectively. Also, if you have a Militaristic City-State on your borders, they can build your defensive military for your while your Cities focus on Culture and infrastructure. Finally, due to the limited amount of territory, City-States can provide both Luxury and Strategic Resources that aren't within your borders.
Freedom - This Branch greatly helps Vertical Empires. With large Cities, the number of Specialists available is much greater than with small Cities. Each Specialist is producing Great People Points that lead to the spawning of a Great Person. Opening this Tree will increase your Great People Points by 25%, increasing this spawn rate. Also, Freedom decreases the amount of Food needed and the amount of Unhappiness produced by Specialists. This allows you to grow your Cities even larger. When you finish all of these Social Policies, Great Person Improvement output is doubled. Your Science and Culture can get a nice boost if you are creating Academies and Landmarks with your Great Scientists and Great Artists.
There are many routes to a Cultural Victory with many different opinions. This strategy is just one of many that works quite well with India.
The basis of a Science Victory is similar: Go Vertical. Unlike Social Policies, the cost of new Technologies doesn't increase with each additional City in your Empire. Therefore settling (or conquering) more cities can definitely benefit you. By expanding though, you will have less surplus Happiness, therefore sacrificing the amount of time you spend in a Golden Age. While Golden Ages directly affect Gold and Production, they don't directly affect Science. However, with more Gold you can purchase more Research Agreements, and more Gold and Production will allow you to purchase and/or construct (respectively) more Science Buildings. The key thing is that your cities are large enough to support plenty of specialist to fill in the Scientist slots of your Science Buildings.
Instead of opening the Piety branch, under a Science Victory, you should go for the Rationalism Branch instead (Piety and Rationalism cannot be active at the same time). This allows you to benefit more from Research Agreements and receive two Free Technologies later in the game. The main benefit is the increase in Science throughout you entire empire. What works really well with India's gigantic population and an unlocked right side of the Freedom branch, is that every Specialist produces +2 Science.
Lastly, with a strong Vertical Empire with a great infrastructure, India will be ready to build those costly Spaceship Parts. Smaller Cities in a Wide Empire will not be able to compete with a few strong large Cities when it comes to the production section of the Space Race.
Vertical Empire Wonders of the World
There are three Wonders of the World that India can benefit from greatly with their Unique Ability.
The Hanging Gardens
Initially, the Hanging Gardens will help whichever City it is built in to grow faster. As long has India hasn’t set up too many Cities, it will be able absorb these new Citizens without falling into Unhappiness.
In the long run, the Gardens mean that this City can support 5 more Citizens via food. For everyone else, that equates to a base cost of 5 Unhappiness, but for India, it's only 2.5 Unhappiness.
The Hagia Sophia
+25% generation of , free Great Person of your Choice
With India able to support large populations, the number of Specialists in your Cities will be tremendous, along with the number of Great Person Points being produced every turn. This increase of Great Person Points is much larger since you are able to maintain more Specialists than all other Civilizations. You will be pumping out Great People at a rate your opponents can't keep up with.
The Statue of Liberty
+1 for every Specialist in all Cities
Again, with India's natural ability to support a plethora of Specialists, this Wonder will benefit India more than other Civilizations. This will help you pump out end game Buildings or Military Units. Also, if you are going for a Science Victory, this can give you the edge to finish building the Space Ship parts before someone else does.
Wait. Isn't India suppose to be Vertical rather than Horizontal? With the ICS (Infinite City Sprawl) Strategy, India is able to go Horizontal across the map. Because of their Unique Ability, they are actually able to do much better than everyone else. The only downside is because of the high cost of settling a new City, India cannot start its ICS until it has set up enough Social Policies.
If going for a Wide Empire, the Pangaea Map Settings might be the best for India since you don't have to worry about the Ocean stopping your advancement in growth.
All other Civilizations can start their ICS early and pump out size 5 Cities. Once India is ready, they can start turning out size 12 Cities. With a size 12 City, India needs to have each individual City produce 12 Happiness (6 for the City, 6 for 12 Citizens). With the following Social Policies, each Indian City can sustain itself. If each City can sustain itself, then you can keep on expanding without worrying about falling into a state of Unhappiness.
2 Points in Tradition
Aristocracy - +1 Happiness for every 10 Citizens in a City
3 Points in Liberty
Meritocracy - +1 Happiness for each City you own connected to the Capital.
4 Points in Honor
Military Caste - Each City with a Garrison increases Happiness by 1.
Professional Army - +1 Happiness from every defensive building.
2 Points in Piety
Organized Religion - +1 Happiness from every Monument, Temple and Monastery
In addition to these Policies, the following should be in every city:
- One military Unit garrisoned in the City
- City Walls
- Mughal Fort (India's Unique Building)
With all of these, each City is producing 12 Happiness, thus supporting itself. Unfortunately a few of these buildings don't come until the Medieval and Renaissance Eras. This list of requirements does not include Luxuries, World Wonders or other factors increasing Happiness or decreasing Unhappiness. Later in the game if you build the Forbidden Palace or go into Order, you can increase every City size by 2 for the Palace and 2 for Order. Once you reach the maximum City size, you should switch your Cities to Avoid Growth.
As you can see, India doesn't have any great direct benefits to Military, Economy, Culture, Happiness or Science. What it can do well is produce raw population better than any other Civilization in the game. With the conditions, they can build Cities larger than anybody and support large numbers of Specialists. Through these Specialists, India can develop any part of their Civilization to match those who have a natural or direct advantage with their Unique Abilities, Units and Buildings. Come later in the game, India is a Civilization that you do not want to compete against.
Patch version of this article: 184.108.40.2063
Civilization Guide: India (vanilla)
Civilization Guide: India