An experienced player's guide to Arabia in Vox Populi. Arabia has been redesigned to be not only strong but well designed and fun to play. The civ is very strong beginning in the ancient era, and is able to continue to be strong until late in the game. Let's look at his components UA: A Thousand Tales Spoiler UA: A Thousand Tales : +1 / in the capital every time you complete a historic event, and +15% progress towards a random great person. With a bit of luck you can get 3 historic events within the first 50 turns, and I usually have around 80 when the game ends. Its a steady source of culture and science that helps you compete throughout the game, and provides the earliest source of extra great people in the mod. To maximize this bonus, let's look at how to get a historic events (in order of how common they are). Birth of a Great Person Building a Wonder Era Advance Start of a Golden Age Winning a War Great People are the most common source, and can happen very early. You always take tradition, and should use specialists immediately. Wonders: The extra culture and science from the unique ability makes beating AI to wonders much easier. Wonders that increase great people are the best. Stonehenge and many other early game wonders gives 1 engineer point which shouldn't be overlooked. Great People: Arabia should take tradition to get the extra specialist slots. You should cycle through great people, working all specialists of a type until that guy is born, then switching to another type until that guy is born, and repeat until you win. The exception is engineers, I tend to work these non-stop all game, because Great Engineers help you build wonders. Era Advance and Golden Ages: These give a handful of events over the game. Its a nice bonus, but not one you can really focus your strategy on. Winning a War: War isn’t very useful just because it takes a lot of resources but only gives one historic events. It’s generally better to spend hammers and science on wonders. Unless you get in a situation where you have to attack another civ to stop him from winning, you shouldn’t be aggressive. Keep in mind that fighting can help you produce great generals for a historic event. Spoiler UB: Bazaar : +2 science, +2 faith, +4 gold (1 more than a regular market). +50% land trade route distance Land trade routes give tourism upon completion. 1 merchant specialist Bazaars are a significant economic boost in the early game. The extra faith and science help ensure that you don't fall behind in religion or technology, and help weak secondary tradition cities provide value early on. Bazaars are unlocked at trade, which also happens to have an excellent wonder in Petra, and Arabia has a desert start bias. The extra trade route distance is quite useful, because we don’t expand very much. Early game it can let you reach a city state you have influence with, and late game it can help you connect a trade route to a tourism target. The tourism isn’t relevant early game, but it stacks with the caravansary, meaning you get double what other civs get at that stage. Spoiler UU: Camel Archers : UU: Camel Archers +4 RCS, +2 CS compared to heavy skirmisher. Doesn’t require horses, and has splash damage I and withdraw from melee promotions for free. Overall these aren’t that important, though they do get used. Not requiring horses is the best part of this unit, especially since Arabia has a desert start bias. Splash damage is pretty irrelevant on a 1 range unit, occasionally you’ll get a free 5 damage but it doesn't impact games very much. Spoiler Religion : Pantheons: Your default plan is to build Stonehenge and take Goddess of Beauty. There are other pantheons which can be useful, the most common example is Spirit of the Desert. It's extremely important you get a religion, and you capital should be your holy city. Founder Beliefs: The best founder belief is Divine Inheritance. Divine Inheritance will help you build more wonders and get more great people. My secondary choices would be Way of Transcendence (especially if I get my religion before I reach classical era), or Council of Elders. I want production. Ceremonial Burial is not a good choice. Your game is focused on building wonders and creating great people, you don’t need another reward for great people. Way of the Pilgrim is not a good choice. You don’t have enough faith to fuel this and tourism isn’t that important. First Follower Belief: I want yields immediately and I don’t want to spend my precious faith to get them. Mastery is overall the best. Wonders need production, culture, and science, this gives all three. Aestheticism can be good if your land is food light. Veneration, not really synergistic but it’s just a good belief. 4 instant yields per city and a scaling benefit. Inspiration is a good backup. The 2 faith for having a specialist is really good. Second Follower Belief, a faith building: If someone else builds the University of Sankore you should take mosques. If you build Sankore, you should take synagogues or mandirs. Don’t take both Aestheticism and Mandirs in the same game, one is enough. Don’t take stupas, don’t invest in tourism before industrial era. Don’t take cathedrals, don’t work large numbers of farms. Enhancer Beliefs: Iconography is the best choice. I would rather have iconography that two copies of any other belief. Similar to the above, I like to get my second great prophet before buying missionaries, because its important to enhance quickly. If you must take something else, dioceses and mendicancy are both alright. If you have good faith and need to fight wars, zealotry isn’t a stupid choice. Reformation Belief: Knowledge through devotion is my first choice. The faith lets us buy plenty of great people. Faith buying archeologists means you can keep building wonders. We will have a lot of great person tiles, and this often gives us an extra holy site. Holy sites are great because they are a strong tiles with science and culture (notice how I didn’t say tourism? Because you don’t need to increase tourism). Defender of the Fatih is a good choice if you are forced to war a lot. To the Glory of God is good but you probably don’t have enough faith to really fuel it. Its better if you also took ceremonial burial, but don’t do that. Don’t take sacred sites. You won’t need extra tourism. Spoiler Early Game : Build a monument and research pottery. Try to grow to 4 population before you take tradition, this will put you at 6 citizens. After that, production is far more important than growth, sometimes your capital has to stay at 6 population for a while. You need a ton of hammers to get wonders and keep the capital's infrastructure high. Try to build stonehenge, then look at getting new cities. Land isn't that important, so don't aggressively settle someone you could be peaceful to, and think about defensive city locations. You should scout a lot and try to meet as many city states as possible. As tradition, you can easily complete many of the early quests, such as a great person request for a big chunk of free culture. You should consider purposefully not finding a neighbors land, because city states will give a very easy to complete quest to find it for a big chunk of science. Whether you build the hanging gardens usually depends on finishing an early quest. Later in the game, your science should move towards whatever the next wonder you want, or buildings that give specialists. DO NOT INVEST IN TOURISM BEFORE HOTELS. You plan to win a cultural victory, but you do this by maximizing culture, production, and science, and getting out of control with wonders. Don't hurt these yields for tourism. Spoiler Social Policies : First Policy: You always take tradition. I usually take the engineer before the the artist and work the specialists immediately. You want those great people ASAP. Artist makes a great work, which has +1 faith from your pantheon. At least one of your first two great engineers should make a manufactory, long term they are really important. For the 5th policy, I always take the writer before the merchant. Second Policy: Artistry is the default. Golden ages and extra great people play directly into your strategy, its just perfect for Arabia. If you are extremely concerned about an aggressive neighbor, you can consider fealty; the food and faith is useful but your culture and science will be much lower. Don’t take statecraft. Third Policy: Rationalism is the best choice, the science is key for building wonders in late game and the food is really valuable in your capital. Industry is okay. Broadway is a good wonder and the production/gold can go towards wonders. If you really want your secondary cities to be decent, industry helps, but you win the game with your capital. Imperialism might make sense if you are losing and need to try and take someone's cities, but I’ve never had that situation. Spoiler Great People : My general plan with great people is to plant them until late game (after I have an ideology), though there are exceptions. Planting like this puts you in a position to get really out of control in the late game. Engineers: the best great person. In my last Arabia game I didn't have a single turn where my capital did not work all possible engineers. You need to use at least 1 of your first 2 great engineers on a manufactory, and a manufactory should be your default choice until the Renaissance, you need long term production. Usually if I get to choose a free great person, I pick an engineer. Tradition let's you faith purchase these later on. Scientists: plant them as academies until you have an ideology, maybe later. You can bulb one in the medieval/renaissance if you are racing someone to a wonder. These guys are great, but your priority is still engineers and culture. Merchants: Keeping constant WLTKD is really valuable especially if you have Halicarnassus or synagogues. You should plan ahead if you will need a merchant to get WLTKD going in your capital, and remember you can use the circus once if you get stuck on a luxury. Towns are okay but I rarely have more than 1; the instant gold bonus and WLTKD are great bonuses. Diplomats: The most irrelevant great person, but you still make them because they give historic events. If my capital needs a luxury for WLTKD and a CS has that luxury, I use him there. Grabbing an alliance in the classical or medieval era can be a big deal. I find faith and culture the strongest, though the other types can be good too. Remember that a mercantile CS gives happiness, and if you are already very happy will be worth +15% growth in your capital. You can use a great diplomat for a vote if you really want but I think just grabbing yields is a better move. The AI love to pass the proposals that help us, like world’s fair or heritage sites, and usually you won’t get sanctioned because you are peaceful. Artists: The first one is a always a great work. After that, its just about if you need more golden age points or not. Writers: The second best great person. Make great works, patience gives a lot more culture. I start bulbing these after the industrial era, try to pair them with golden ages and the world’s fair. Musicians: These make great works. In theory you can do a concert tour, but it’s so irrelevant most games. They take years just to walk across the world and your open borders can end or war be declared by the time they arrive. Spoiler Wonders : Stonehenge is the first wonder, you should build Stonehenge and take Goddess of Beauty. After that all wonders have +2 faith, and +1 culture/science from your unique ability, and give extra person points. Try to get 1 other ancient era wonder. In classical era, the best options are Hanging Gardens, Parthenon, and Oracle. In medieval, the best wonders are University of Sankore, and Hagia Sophia. I usually direct my science towards trying to get these wonders. In classical, the best wonders are Leaning Tower of Pisa and Porcelain Tower. You can also try to build Chichen ITza, Globe Theatre, or Uffizi, but generally if you can get 4 Renaissance wonders it means you'll win. Late game, Louvre is very important. Anything that deals with great people is good too. Spoiler Secondary Cities : Your capital will win the game, other cities exist to help it. This means that beyond the initial settler, and maybe a worker, those cities should give resources to the capital, not the capital give resources to them. Internal trade routes should usually go the capital. Gold should usually be spent in the capital. Pick religious beliefs that benefit the capital. These cities should produce yields like faith and gold, which the capital can use, or build military and trade routes so the capital doesn’t have to. Sometimes they can build infrastructure so the capital doesn’t have to, such as the East India Company. You can try to get great people out of them, but they struggle to produce that many. Spoiler Alternate Strategies : Science Victory: Arabia does have strong science and extra great scientists. However, I’ve never made it to the information era before I won via tourism. Let me know if you do. Authority: People have tried to take authority and use wars as a source of historic events. It just doesn’t work, you get 1-2 historic events from each war. You’re allowed to declare war with tradition. Arabia doesn’t really want to be aggressive, as you want to spend science and production on wonders rather than military. Going Wide with Bazaars: Its just worse than going tall and focusing on great people. The UA is your strongest aspect, maximize it!