1.16 Persia UHV


Feb 8, 2021
The Persian UHV is challenging yet rewarding: control 7% of the world, 7 world wonders, and 2 religious shrines. It's my favorite one I've played so far.

The challenge: large scale conquest starting from an impoverished undeveloped core.
The tools at hand: rich and weak neighbours, cheap archer destroying immortals, and the best cavalry in the ancient world.

  • Exploit rich and weak neighbours through pillage and worker abductions.
  • Apadana Palace accelerated workers develop resources to fuel the economy.
  • Use armies of catapults and Immortals to defeat Greek invaders.
  • Income from the Silk route, the Zoroastrianism shrine, and capturing cities funds expansion.
  • Immortals conquer the East and defend against barbarian cavalry.
  • Persia's superior cavalry demolish the Mediterranean infantry in the West.
  • Try to avoid building workers until the mid-game conquests. Abduct workers from your neighbors early and often.
  • Barbarians invade from north-central Persia. Prepare the Northern core city appropriately.
  • Generate great prophets ASAP by running 2 priests in Babylon.
  • Research priority is Mathematics (catapults), Currency (Merchant Trade & Silk Route) and Generalship (Conquest & Savarans).
  • Parsa is the commercial hub - builds infrastructure and immortals/missionaries.
  • Other core cities will be Savaran factories. Barracks, stables, and settled generals.
  • Armenian city(ies) will produce catapults - lots of production and close to the western front.
  • Early game: Despotism and slavery to whip buildings and capture workers
  • Switch to merchant trade, conquest, and vassalage as soon as available.
  • Mid-late game: Monarchy and manorialism.
Detailed opening:
  • Settle Parsa upon spawn.
  • Change civics to Despotism and slavery.
  • Turn off science slider (need gold to upgrade milita).
  • Send missionary, horsemen, and settler north to found city near horse resource.
  • I suggest tile North of horse - Neyshabur.
  • Send 2 archers to defend Neyshabur.
  • Independent Shush will flip to Persia.
  • Send Immortals and War elephant to Shush.
  • Workers to improve deer, then mine the iron.
  • Parsa to build / whip workboat.
  • Use horsemen to steal workers from independent Samarqand and India. Pillage as desired.
  • Can capture & sack cities if desired - let cities be retaken it for more workers later.
  • When iron is connected, upgrade the militia from Shush into Immortals.
  • Workers to start connecting cities and improving resources.
Mesopotamian conquest:
  • Use initial armies of Immortals to conqueror Babylonia. Try to steal all the workers.
  • Sack Babylon. Hopefully when it is out of revolt, luxury resources will keep it happy.
  • Research mathematics towards currency.
  • I recommend only razing cities settled upon resources.
Shush can build immortals to assist initial conquest. If Babylon is too strong, start a new game.

Early game:
  • Continue worker abductions when possible.
  • Core cities to build granaries, monasteries, and missionaries.
  • Parsa to build Apadana Palace when marble is available.
  • Babylon to build / whip Jewish and Zoroastrian temples. Run 2 priests when possible.
  • Shush & Neyshabur build barracks and stables.
  • Armenian cities build barracks.
  • High production cities build catapults. Other cities build immortals & skirmishers to prepare for Greek invasion.
  • Build walls as desired.
  • Barbarian horsemen will spawn in north-central Persia. Keep a few immortals in the area.
  • Build / whip a market in Parsa when available. Build Zoroastrian shrine when possible.
  • Research Generalship.
Greek invaders spawn beside Parsa and Shush. More will arrive from the west to attack Babylon. Use catapults, skirmishers, and swarms of immortals to defeat the Greek invaders.

Adopt conquest when available.

Mid game:
Research priorities: Nobility (Vassalage) and Engineering (faster roads). Later go for Law (jails) and medicine.
  • Shush & Neyshabur build Savaran non-stop. Armenian cities build catapults / immortals.
  • Send 1-2 Immortals North to take Samarkand.
  • Send 6-8 Immortals East to conquer India and defend against barbarians.
  • Send catapult and Savaran armies West to conquer the Syria, Greece, and Egypt.
  • Civ switch to monarchy and manorialism. Switch to vassalage when possible.
  • Vassalize India if possible.
  • Parsa builds harbour and pharmacy UB for additional core population.
Late game:
  • Turn off research and use culture slider to increase borders for UHV1.
  • Build settlers in Babylon and Samarqand if required. Suggest settling remaining historical area near resources.
  • Build jails when possible for stability & lower maintenance costs.
  • Finish building great Mausoleum wonder before UHV golden age.
  • Can build Al-Khazneh wonder in Jerusalem. +1 trade routes in all cities
  • Continue conquering the world.
Cheers & happy hunting.


Mar 15, 2020
How about the Roman conquerors? They pack quite a punch whenever they spawn at around 50 B.C.


Feb 8, 2021
How about the Roman conquerors? They pack quite a punch whenever they spawn at around 50 B.C.
Savaran (correctly promoted) and catapults. Ensure you are on the offensive, as it is hard to defend cities against Rome's legions.

The difficulty is managing catapult logistics. Savaran are mobile and can be redeployed between Anatolia/Greece and Egypt as required.

Unfortunately there's no magical trick - practice makes perfect.


Mar 12, 2010
It's technically possible to avoid conqueror spawns entirely by surrounding your cities with units, either civilians or military. They will declare war, but no units will spawn. (The only exception to this that I can think of are Mongolia's conquerors which don't spawn next to cities but somewhere in the target region.)
Apr 16, 2011
Le mighty motherland France
I haven't succeeded yet at UHV1 but my gut feeling is that you're better off using no cav/skirms, just immortals nonstop. A few Archers to defend cities where Greek/Roman conquerors will spawn.
Five Immortals (80 hammers) will deal much more damage than a Savaran (72 Hammers), even against units that counter the Immortals. In Civ4 it always hurts losing units, but these are cannon fodders.
Besides, it also means you can skip stables.
I also build no infrastructure except Granary-Walls (for Conqueror/Barbarian-exposed cities) - Barracks - Immortals. You don't need more science and your tech slider will be low for almost all the game. Possibly I should reconsider the Libraries for the 2 culture, but that would slow Immortal production a lot.
Culture slider also doesn't seem like a possibility to me - I am constantly running very low Science slider. Maybe right after I recieve a lump of conquest gold...
Split your Immortals between +CityRaiders ones for conquests, Combat+Shock ones to defend against Conquerors, Combat2+Formation against barbarian horsemen.

My main issue is that I eventually collapsed - so many cities are producing Overextension even though they're in my Historical Area... I was at 6.49% before the collapse.
The other 2 objectives are very easy as you've pointed out (I already have 6/7 wonders and my second shrine in a dozen turns... and I have 200 years to spare)

It's unfortunately a very start-reliant RNG UHV1. If Babylon has Skirmishers you can pretty much give up (mad respect if you win through it), also if Babylon built Ishtar Gate it's much easier (though in my current game they did not and I still cruised well enough)

I'm 50:50 on the cost/opportunity of 1) Conquering Egypt very quickly and defend conqs or 2) Conquer India instead and sweep Egypt once Rome has lost a few troops here

Other things I did differently: 1st Settler goes to the Indus valley, between the Marble and the Horses. This ensures you can get Apadana even if conquering Babylon takes too long, and it's overall a very good location. 1st Settler will go north + capture Samarkand with just a few immortals.
I didn't use Slavery but you're probably right to. What I did was build Workers with my non-capital cities (Capital is Barracks + mass immortals with Military Instructors) then switch to Caste System + Conquest when I have both techs.
Oh and as I implied, I didn't use Catapults either. Mathematics is good for the Bridges, though
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Apr 16, 2011
Le mighty motherland France
I eventually pulled it off. Border Growth is underrated indeed - I panicked and thought I couldn't pull off the remaining 0.4% ish, but a few border pops with a slider maxxed out (thanks to the cash after a fresh conquest) surprisingly closed the gap.
Then I almost failed the 3rd goal... Years per turn are actually fast even there! I had to rely on a random GP for the second prophet. My 7th wonder was Al Khazneh in Jerusalem, but I still had the option of Mausoleum, or Gondeshapur with a bit more tech.

I have no idea how I didn't collapse (maybe the Golden Age prevents it?). It was hellish, my overextension was like 60:120.
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