Brainstorming Thread: Cultural Victory vs Other Victories


Baller Magnus
Dec 31, 2005
In my current game (I am on turn 461), I am trying to prevent an AI opponent (China) from getting a cultural victory (CV).
I am playing as Netherlands; the AI opponents are China, Inca, Shoshone, Greece, Denmark, Siam, India.
My game set-up is: version 3.0.4, Prince difficulty, standard size, 8 civs, 16 city states, Continents Plus map, standard settings.
None of these are in play: random events, huts, research agreements, tech brokering, tech trading.
Some data from my game is shown in the table below. In this table:
  • the values shown for culture and tourism are cumulative totals, expressed in thousands (with rounding);
  • n(hold-outs) denotes the numbers of civs that China is not (at least) influential with;
  • n(tenets) denotes the number of ideology tenets attained by China. Note that at least nine tenets are needed to fulfil the CV requirement of two level 3 tenets.
  • since China's people have been content throughout, this CV requirement has been omitted.
View attachment 649189
maybe its because I'm used to immortal, but those numbers are very low compared to what I'm used to, so much that my first reaction is "this is an AI that is not going CV".... yet still has everyone in their pocket except the human.

Thibix Magnus

May 19, 2019
I would add one additional thought, the victory stats don't reflect the reliability. I wonder what is the share of dedicated CV attempts among lost games, because dedicated CV (as opposed to accidental) is the least flexible VC to interfere with other runaway players. Dom and diplo are obviously good at it, but science too, not only because of better units but also because science is more compatible with large empires. Which means having larger armies and easier projection capacities does not interfere with your own objective. Basically all VCs can pursue their goal and annoy others, while dedicated CV not that much.

And there is the issue of difficulty, I find CV the easiest VC on immortal and really hard / unreliable on deity compared to science/diplo.


Aug 9, 2017
Alberta, Canada
One thought I am still developing re: cultural victories is that too many CV tools are handed out for free.
The historic events (instant :tourism: boosts scaling with empire) for Trade Routes are unlocked by the Caravansary and Harbor. The events for completing a dig and entering a Golden Age are unlocked by a policy. The HEs for entering new eras, winning wars, birthing a Great Person, and building a wonder are all tied to the Palace, basically meaning they are given for free. You could tie these to later buildings that only allow the trigger to go off locally. This would at least raise the bar for infrastructure costs, put a few on time delays, and convey that tourism tools aren't handed out for free. They should have infrastructural ( :c5production::c5gold:) costs, and opportunity costs (policy choices)
  • New Eras could stay on the Palace (whatever, it's 7 triggers all game)
  • Winning wars could move to the Heroic Epic, or all the way back to the Ideology national wonders, or even made a local trigger and moved to the military academy
  • GP Birth could be tied to a local building like Amphitheater or that Scriptorium building I proposed last congress
  • Wonder construction could be tied to a new studio building, or some other dedicated cultural building like the Hotel
Holy sites give :tourism:Tourism. It doesn't make good mechanics sense, but it's obvious for thematic reasons that people would come from abroad to see holy sites. That yield does let players start on tourism pretty early though.
What if there was a building ability that converted %:c5faith:Faith from tiles into :tourism:Tourism, like there already is for :c5culture:Culture?
I could see Hotel giving a local amount, and maybe an Atomic-Era wonder could give a global conversion amount for a cap of 50% :c5faith: to :tourism: conversion on tiles?

Stupa should probably do something else. having a :tourism: tourism follower belief isn't the worst idea, because it comes with a major opportunity cost. Sacred Sites Reformation has this niche covered well, however, with a belief type that requires more investment.
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Mar 11, 2006
fyi, since domination victory was basically impossible to achieve without accidentally winning in other ways: there is now a setting for how large a fraction of the original capitals one needs to control. it's called VICTORY_DOMINATION_CONTROL_PERCENT.

used to be hardcoded to 100%, still defaults to 100%, but can be reduced now.


Jul 30, 2010
Here are the levers you could pull for CV:
  • Push later by adding later tech prerequisites
    • My least favorite solution. Culture already has a minimum policy prerequisite so this is repetitive.
    • Diplo victory already has the main constraint of 1 super-late game tech unlock. How about we not make these identical?
    • If anything I would suggest that we take the tech prerequisite out entirely. Adding tech prerequisites is homogenizing the victories and going in the opposite direction
  • Push later by increasing the policy prerequisites
    • I'm not entirely opposed to this suggestion, but it's lazy and unimaginative.
    • It doesn't really engage with the game mechanics other than to make a number bigger.
    • I would instead propose that policies and tenets cost more overall, rather than simply increasing the number required
  • Decrease the overall sources of :tourism: cultural offense and strengthen the sources of :c5culture: cultural defense
    • This is the proposal that directly engages with the nuts & bolts of the game mechanics
    • Any strengthening of :c5culture: cultural defense will make policy adoption faster; a proposal that adds to defense should also look at increasing policy costs to prevent knock-on effects
  • Make the victory riskier by removing late game steroids
    • Involves weakening or removing powerful endgame tools like T3 tenets, buildings, wonders, and tech modifiers
    • Make stalling a cultural leader more viable, forcing them to kill cultural holdouts, switch to another victory path, or lose.
    • The current CV is faster than DiploV, but also feels less risky. Stalling a CV with cultural resistance is harder than killing or flipping CS allies.
    • This will make CV more different from SV and DiploV by making the victory path feel more frontloaded and less inevitable.
  • Raise the opportunity cost of Tourism sources, thereby making them riskier and less attractive to develop everywhere
    • Make cultural infrastructure more niche by weakening the number of bonuses they give individually, and increasing the overall :c5production: cost and :c5gold:maintenance on your empire
    • Find more ways to dislocate :c5culture: infrastructure from :tourism: infrastructure, making cultural buildings easier to justify and incorporate into your build queues while :tourism: sources remain firmly niche
    • The Hotel is the arch example of this: Only gives :tourism:, and has a relatively high :c5production: and :c5gold: burden
    • A late game source of :tourism: from tiles would also be a good idea, because tiles engender an opportunity cost every turn by locking finite tiles around a city and :c5citizen:population that could be used for other things.
TL;DR - Cultural victory is comparatively fast and easy to stop. If you want fewer of them you can either make them slower or even easier to stop. I support making them easier to stop.

Figured I'd throw in my 2c for whatever its worth again. I recently went for a CV, and managed to get Influential with everyone. I didn't realize the tech/wonder requirement and had rushed Tourism instead. I was stuck (on Marathon) in endless, pointless wars with 100+ turns to go before I could even begin progress on the wonder, due to the tech level. And I was pretty contemporary with my AI peers. Instead, I just started a new game.


Mar 4, 2018
Regarding this concern that CV is too fast:
  • Is this primarily a balance issue, or is it primarily a consequence of the way the AI plays?
  • Would it still be a concern in the (hypothetical) context of human vs. human games?
I am asking after looking through my last five games and seeing that the AI players generally don't seem to defend themselves against losing to a CV.


May 24, 2022
Wales UK
just played russia > trad>artistry>industry>order>opened 4 into statecraft god of expanse>holy law>cathedral>pagoda>Zealotry>Inspired works standard speed standard size latest communitas map chieftien(phew)

- notes Austria runaway 2nd place overall (me 1st) had 42 votes, indeed 42 votes around 2nd tier industrial, passing every single thing austria had proposed had to be at constant war to wipe austria from existance took 150 turns to kill austria off completely

I am asking after looking through my last five games and seeing that the AI players generally don't seem to defend themselves against losing to a CV.

I thought they didnt but if id of let Austria work its way to the UN austria would of got global hegmony in the first attempt. Wiping Austria from Exisitance had global consequences the 3 and 4th positions had taken freedom and austria had proposed freedom as a global ideology thus making me unhappy once id got 2/3 level tenents

everything was thrown at me proposed - sanctions, decolonisation, ban main lux, spaceship regulations you name it they threw it at me, even not allowing any wonders to be built except UN meanwhile austra formed defence pacts with Atilla(Hostile), and Harald bluetooth (Hostile) as protection both taking freedom along with Byzantium (Afraid). other players Koria (Afraid) and Siam (Worst player on score but most friendly) taking order

by turn 450 or so around getting the first spaceship parts i conquered austria completely , it was a slog.

still couldnt use cv allthough ive been ready for 100+ turns due to pop content, Global Hegemony was on and nobody won it I won on 20 turns later a Science Victory.

ive complained ive easily won a CV in this instance 1 in the last 10 games i had a unique opponant which was tough and threw the kitchen sink at me to slow my victorie(s)

Other CIVs didnt see the number of votes Austria had at industrial and didnt stop her. instead focus on my science and tourism lead only. which was stopped in congress - something to ponder
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