A guide to Civics The intention of this article is to give hints and tips about when and how to use the different Civics in Civilization 4.It is a work in progress, starting with the government column, followed by the others, which I will post over the next weeks (maybe moths, if I should be too short on time). For each civic there is a note on availability, followed by a short description of the effects/costs, diplomatic implications, comments on synergy with other game elements (other civics, leader traits, buildings, game settings, common strategies) and a final summary on the usefulness of the civic. Any Feedback is highly appreciated and the guide will be updated with comments and strategies people post here (credits will be given here in the first post).My (high) aim is to provide a comprehensive database on the complex subject of civics. Additional Credits for contributing interesting aspects, strategies and correcting inadequate information: genjiboy Heroes Krikkitone Orca Samson sylvanllewelyn VoiceOfUnreason Some general thoughts on Civics in Civ4 Maintenance Note: Roland Johansen has done a great article about civic upkeep: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=148840 Civics are devided into 4 upkeep categories: no, low, medium and high. As a very rough rule of thumb you will pay 0 for zero, x for low, 1,5-2x for medium and 2-3x for high upkeep civics.The exact values depend on your number of cities and your population. With a growing empire and increasing inflation, civic upkeep can really drain from your treasury. If you consider which civics to use, always keep the upkeep as an additional factor in mind - if you are unsure which civic is the better one, then the cheaper one is usually the better idea. Perhaps with the exception of Environmentalism, all the high-upkeep civics offer strong advantages. But if go for them, you should check if you can really use them to a certain extent - running Vassalage only pays if you build enough units, while Organized Religion is a waste if you are busy to build up your army. Spiritual I haven’t mentioned spiritual as a factor in most of the strategy/synergy sections (with Slavery and Nationalism as exceptions; for why see the civic article) for one reason - it is just plain useful to civics in general. The smooth government transition without anarchy transforms in two advantages: The freedom to change when and as often as necessary. When just means the independence of things as wars, golden age or wonder races. Without interfering anarchy, there is no need to wait with a revolution. If a better option shows up, switch (to be correct, there is still a restriction regarding minimum time between two revolutions, but that’s only rarely a real problem). The second benefit is the fact that you don’t have to think about if switching (and eventually switching back again soon) is worth the anarchy. Without the spiritual trait, you have to keep an eye on the number of switches you make in a game - if you accumulate to many anarchy turns over time, it may hurt your progress. Sometimes the anarchy just eats up the small advantage the new civic would give you, especially if the benefits are needed only temporarily (for example, “hurry civics” as Slavery or Universal Suffrage, the “draft civic” Nationalism or Bureaucracy, if you go for a wonder in your capital) - then you will either drop the switch altogether or at least delay it to make a “big revolution” (see below for this strategy for non-spiritual civs). Spirituals effect also tends to rise in Epic or Mararthon games.Not so much by the fact the anarchy period is at minimum 2 turns and can easily scale up to 4 (this is counterblanced by every turn being "less" valuable), but because unit movement isn't modified - a "quick" switch to Slavery and Nationalism without Spiritual to stop an enemy attack will need three turns(!) to show an effect; three turns in which moreover everything in your empire stands still. Organized The organized trait is the second one which has an direct impact on civics. Organized shifts the balance towards the civics with (higher) maintenance, which are usually the ones with a greater impact and stronger effect….and those suited for a more aggressive and (regarding your empires population) repressive playing style.If you compare a (war-monger) combination of Police State, Vassalage, Caste System, Mercantilism and Theocracy with for example Universal Suffrage, Free Speech, Emancipation, State Property and Free Religion (large empire going for cottages), you will clearly see the different impact of Organized. To sum up, the effect here can be significant (if you adopt your general “big plan” to meaningless (if you don’t). That’s also the reason why Organized is usually rated as the weakest trait - however, if at all, thats only partly true.For the civic effect depending on the playing style yes, but you also get cheaper Lighthouses and more improtant Courthouses - both directing to faster expansion.Not a bad thing in Civ4. When to change? (applies mainly for non-spiritual civs) The question is nearly as difficult as the one dealing with what to change. As usually there is not a single correct answer. You have to consider different situations and factors. First of all it is important to distinguish the first, initial change in a civic column from later changes. In case of the initial change, the straight advice in most of the cases is simply: Change as soon as it possible without. The initial civics do nothing for you except draining low maintenance. Sure, most of the civics you will get first access to in the different columns (Heredary Rule, Bureaucracy/Vassalage, Slavery/Caste System, Mercantilism and Organized Religion) have a higher upkeep, but the give you some advantage and the real cost for this advantage is lower (because you have to subtract one maintenance level in your calculation - the level you have to pay for the starters anyway!) Things are more complicated when changing from a “real” civic to another. Again, switching ASAP is usually not a bad idea - simply because getting a better civic sooner is better and because in a growing economy a turn of anarchy becomes more and more expensive, if the game progresses. However, some circumstances might make a delayed revolution a better idea. It is for example not a good idea to switch during a golden age (however, the mistake would rather triggering the Golden Age before the switch in most cases) or when you need every turn in a wonder race or for building units in a case of emergency (of course with the exception of a switch to something which helps especially in those situations). Even if no such special situation makes waiting worth, the concept of “big revolutions” can do so. Instead of switching only one civic in a revolution, you can change up to 5.The anarchy penalty rises too, but not in linear way. You can switch up to 3 civics at one time and will still suffer only one turn anarchy. So you can minimize the turns lost to anarchy if you wait for example a few turns to get another tech which enables a new civic. And last but not least there may be economic reasons - don’t underestimate the pressure high cost civics can lay on your economy. Especially when having the concept of a big revolution in mind, it might be tempting to make a big change - for example when going to war, switching from low cost “peace” civics to the repressive ones. Make sure you have a healty economy, a full treasury or a Great Merchant around. Otherwise you might come into trouble soon. Wars are already expensive in Civ4 without the political dimension (more units to support, units must be supplied in enemy lands, enemies eventually pillaging the land, unit upgrades, bribery for allies etc.), so those extra civic costs might lead to strikes or at least a serious drop in your research efforts.A bad move here can be devastating, since you have to wait a few turns to be able to correct it again.