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Social Policy: Autocracy (vanilla)

A closer look at the social policy branch


Autocracy, available in the industrial era, is for militaristic civilizations, dreaming of world conquest. It is a great policy branch if you want to end the game on a dominating note as you will be able to field a larger army, gain bonuses to combat and get extra happiness from courthouses as you annex your way through the world. Autocracy cannot be active at the same time as Order or Freedom.

The PoliciesGeneral Use

The Policies


Adopting Autocracy reduces Unit :c5gold: Gold Maintenance costs by 33%, allowing an empire to field a larger military.

The Autocracy Opener is one of those policies that gets better with time. As the turns go by, unit maintenance costs increase. Near the end of the game, you can end up seeing maintenance costs of over four :c5gold:/unit. The Autocracy opener reduces that cost down to a more manageable level, allowing you to either field a larger army for the same price, or use those savings to increase your gpt and thereby have more money for building or unit purchases, or for maintaining City State allies.


:c5gold: Gold cost of purchasing units reduced by 33%

With all of that extra gold you saved with the Autocracy Opener, why not buy more units? Late game units become much more cost effective to purchase with Militarism. If you have managed to 'acquire' Big Ben, then you will have a 43% discount on all unit purchases. You can also add Mercantilism to the mix, but it is a multiplicative modifier with Militarism. With all three, you are looking at a very nice 60% discount on your unit purchases. This allows you to buy that nice shiny nuclear missile you were always wanting for the low low price of 960 :c5gold:. It's easier to 'find' 960 :c5gold: than it is to sit and hammer it out, at 1000 :c5production:/missile.


Wounded Military Units inflict 25% more damage than normal.

Tired of the buzzing sound you hear when enemy fighters give paper cuts to all of your units? Still clearing your head after that Atomic Bomb landed next to you? Populism will help make the enemy pay for not killing you outright. With the added bonus you overcome some of the reduction in damage for being wounded, but you will never go above what a full health unit can give for damage.

Instead of a 10% reduction in damage given, per 2 hit points lost, Populism changes it to:
  • 10-7 HP: 0% reduction
  • 6-3 HP: 10% reduction
  • 2-1 HP: 20% reduction

This also means that the popular myth of 125% damage giving Japanese units is not true. Japan is the only civilization that should avoid Populism (unless trying to finish Autocracy) as it will never benefit them.


Quantity of Strategic Resources produced by the empire increased by 100%.
Requires: Militarism, Populism

Need three Atomic Bombs, but only have two uranium? How about sixteen helicopters? If you happen to be unlucky enough to miss out on the treasure trove of Coal, Oil, Aluminum or Uranium, Fascism will at least double your supplies on those necessary late game resources, provided you can find some. Maintaining a massive high tech army take resources, and this is a good way to get enough to ensure you can 'liberate' more (as well as allow you to still build late game resource-based buildings).

For Russia, this policy is extremely beneficial if you only have a small uranium supply. While Russia's Unique Ability doubles the uranium supply, Fascism allows for a 4x multiple of those uranium deposits. So if you happen to be stuck with only 2 uranium, it will be doubled to 4 via the UA and then to 8 with Fascism.

Arabia gains the same 4x multiple benefit from Fascism as Russia does, though for Oil instead of Uranium.

Police State

+3 :c5happy: Happiness from every Courthouse. Build Courthouses in half the usual time.
Requires: Militarism

One of the major drawbacks to 'acquiring' a massive empire via 'aggressive diplomacy' is that your unhappiness skyrockets when you add new high population cities. Adopting Police State will allow you to negate the 3 unhappiness/city penalty when you annex the new cities and build, or buy, a courthouse there. Since the city is now annexed, you'll have more control over the cities build plan, and therefore can manage the population and cities happiness as needed.

Note: Courthouses are still bugged. By buying/building a courthouse in an annexed city, the unhappiness/city disappears. So with Police State, you're actually gaining 3 :c5happy: towards the populations unhappiness, and zero unhappiness/city. Gandhi abuses this bug like no other. (9 happiness 'gained'/city)

Total War

+15% :c5production: Production when building Military Units and new Military Units start with 15 Experience.
Requires: Fascism, Police State

Missed the Brandenburg Gate? no problem. With a Barracks, Armoury and a Military Academy, you can now have units that start with 60 XP (75 XP with the Brandenburg Gate) to spend on three promotions. This will give your units a great head start on hitting those key fourth and fifth promotions. (Air units can start with Logistics or Air Repair)

Given that this must be your last policy choice in Autocracy, it also effectively gives you two policies in one (the second being the Finisher).


Adopting all Policies in the Autocracy tree will grant a 20% attack bonus to all Military Units for 30 turns.

One last push to be able to dance on the graves of your enemy. 30 turns of +20% attack bonus should be more than enough to end a game with a 'bang'.

General Use

Autocracy is obviously only a good choice when you are preparing for a massive military campaign to end the game with a Domination Victory. Even then, it should only be considered when fielding 50-100+ units on large or huge maps. If you happen to have your gold and science requirements under control and are only worried about the happiness hits from taking cities, (and keeping highly promoted units alive) then Autocracy is a decent policy branch choice. As well, it can be a better choice to annex cities that are far from your core to keep the fight going, meaning that both Police State and the unit booster policies here will help.

If you're looking for a fun all war scenario, then a late era start (Industrial, Modern, Future Era) can jump straight into Autocracy. As all policy branches are available, there's no need to only rely on Honour for your fighting skills.

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