Using economic buying power to rule the world The goal of this post is to describe the techniques used to leverage gold production, what civilizations are particularly good at it, its advantages and disadvantages, how it can be combined with the ICS, and the endgame. Everyone knows you can produce either beakers or gold. And that there is the economic victory. but the path from A to B is risky, and hopefully I can lend some insight. First, why bother focusing on your econ? This kind of strat is a late game hitter. You won't be fighting early wars if you can help it, and this will influence civics choices. yes there is a tradeoff between science and gold production, and you will have to make allowances for that. In order to focus on gold, that city will not be producing beakers. So why go through all this trouble? for the ability to rush buy whatever you can afford, all game long. taking low production cities and plunking down walls, or paying for island cities to have a harbor so they can grow. Best of all, the more your econ develops, the faster it can grow. Millitarily, the ability to rush buy needs to be fixed and we'll look at this in a moment. It is entirely possible to produce 2 armies PER TURN from 6 cities set up in a tight core. it is nearly impossible to keep up with this level of production. Now lets talk about economic cities. These tend to be equally suited to be science cities, and must at times pull double duty. Ideally you are looking at a coastal site, with ATLEAST one preferably two bonus assets within the fat cross. ANY of the economic or food ones are preferred, less so production bonuses. So fish, whale, dye, etc are all fantastic in addition your city will need a number of buildings, plus more than usual defensive measures. in your first gold city, start with the economic buildings then go back for the science ones. Spacing is important. You will be looking at having 1 primary gold city, which needs to have 2-3 forests, lots of coast, and atleast a couple good food tiles (grasslands or fish or both) This city will cap out at about 1000gpt at the end game. you're going to also in the long run have 2-3 larger cities that will be able to produce 300 GPT or so. Using this strategy does require a defensive rapid expansion. You take territory and hold it. and I mean everything you can get your hands on. every single island you can get is a potential resource and/or gold producer. you may dismiss a 2 tile island that has oak on it.. but these are a godsend for the econ player. Before we get to the specifics about the strat, lets talk a bit about the Civilizations and Governments that work particularly well with this strategy: Republic is important, and fortunately not hard to get to. the ability to keep your pop up while in the expansion phase is critical Democrazy is the government you will spend 90% of your time in simply for the 50% trade bonus. Communism is your endgame government, for the 50% production. There are a variety of civs that can leverage this strategy, even without going for the economic win.. but once you're set its hard to justify not building the world bank. I've ranked them in rough order based on their effectiveness: America Starting: Begin the game with a Great Person regardless of which one you get, settle it. the 50% bonus over the cource of the game is amazing. Ancient: 2% interest on gold if you manage to keep your reserves up, this is between 5-10gpt. easily the total economic output of a small city in the ancient era Medieval: Rush units at half-price ahh and we come to the clincher. paying only 1/2 the gold out of your reserves to make armies in a hurry is a HUGE benefit. Industrial: +1 food from plains Modern: Factories provide 3x production both of these just improve the overall quality of all of your cities. The Aztec Starting: Aztecs begin with a wealth of gold -this makes it MUCH easier to get the free settler, and push towards free currency Ancient: Units heal after winning in combat -everyone assumes the aztec are offensive. with this they have to eliminate your defender or the attack was wasted. Medieval: Temples provide +3 science not a bad way to get some extra beakers since you'll be hurting for them Industrial: Half-price roads meh Modern: +50% gold production they get this a little late, but when it hits its worth atleast 500gpt if you've been gearing up for it. Zulu: Starting: Zulus can overrun their enemies more easily this is fantastic for skirmish defending with catapults and such. watch their entire offensive army scatter Ancient: +1 Warrior movement Find more goody huts - but thats it. ***EDIT: Having used the zulu in emperor games and online, its not just "but thats it" I've been able to rush towards the enemy and take all of THEIR goody huts. this can put them at a devestating economic disadvantage. and if you get a spy close to home they had better not settle a great person Medieval: Cities grow faster built in aqueduct? why thank you. A boomer's friend Industrial: +50% gold production Ahh another with this wonderful bonus. it truly is amazing Modern: Half-price Riflemen once leveraging the income becomes apparent, you'll realize this is REALLY AMAZING. making just huge piles of rifles for 1/2 price. Greece Starting: Begin with a courthouse -more tiles for your capitol, makes it the primary gold producer and it has access early to the best of its tiles Ancient: Knowledge of Democracy you'll switch to republic at some point, but the 50% to science or trade is HUGE for building up your econ. having one of the best defensive units right off the bat keeps you safe. and the people I've played online tend to leave you alone if you're in a democracy. Medieval: More Great People I haven't noticed that many more great people. but every one of them helps Industrial: Half cost library meh Modern: +1 food from sea tiles useful for developing mediocre island cities as you head towards the endgame. populations everywhere go up. Spain: Starting: Begin with knowledge of Navigation -simply put, get more goodies and relics. find but don't take lost city until you are certain someone else has navigation. Ancient: Doubled exploration cash this may seem useless, but every bit of gold counts in this strat Medieval: +1 Naval combat meh Industrial: +50% gold production The last of 3 civs that get this ability. but they rank lower because of their other abilities. I think greece is stronger. Modern: +1 production from hills Very terrain dependant but helpful. Rome: Starting: Begin with knowledge of Code of Laws and a Republic government this makes the initial REX much easier, but is not ultimately a huge advantage because CoL is easy to get Ancient: Half price roads This makes it much easier to connect up your ICS Medieval: Half cost wonders There are multiple wonders that are almost nessessary to acquire, and this makes sure you get them Industrial: More great people with the increased number of wonders, this is helpful but not amazing Modern: New cities start with +1 population meh. phew.. I know we've got a lot of information here. Thanks for bearing with me now onto actual gameplay. I'm not going to give a blow by blow, but here are some key points: the first goal is to get to 250 gold, get currency for free. focus on expansion and defence. if you go beyond 1 army of archers per city and 1 army of catapults for skirmish defence you're putting too much out there. techs to prioritize: bronze working (archers) masonry for the free wall in your capitol irrigation for the +1 pop. you NEED to have 3-4 cities up by this point. mathmatics if you feel like you MUST have catapults. otherwise don't bother. hopefully you'll get currency for free. as you get non military techs, begin aggressively selling them to the AI. if you sell 1 tech make sure you sell it to everybody in the same turn. even something as basic as pottery can net you 50-100 gold beeline for code of laws. take advantage of the reduced hit to your population. then you're looking for banking and democracy. settle in for the long haul here. pikeman armys in EVERY city. walls in every city. by this point you need to have 6-8 cities. ideally with several islands covered. they will be primary science and gold centers. the 1st city you establish beyond your capitol needs to focus on production. the 2nd city entirely on science. hopefully with 1 food to keep expanding (or fish) get these hooked up by roads and keep your skirmishing defender at the center point. this can be your initial army of warriors, a squad of legionaires, catapults etc. I like to go warrior, warrior, galley, settler, colossus. take the double to your income. your capitol should have a market online asap and at 4 pop be able to reliably produce 2 food 2 hammers and 4 gold. doubled with the colossus is 8 gpt. doubled again because of your market and you're at 16. add in democracy and a settled specialist and you're looking at 32 for every additional gold tile you can work, add 8 gpt save up the money to buy your bank. rush buy it. don't worry about the 500 gold cap. we can get there anytime. spend your gpt like you've got a hole in your pocket. build up defenders, rush buy buildings and roads. but focus on improving science in your science cities, and walls to up your defence. you should ideally be broke at the end of every turn unless you are saving up to buy courthouses which are a little expensive. but get those asap as well. now we sit back and tech like crazy. we need to get to invention before everyone else. while you're teching upwards start to build your catapults or pikemen up. if I haven't made this quite clear.. you should be able to buy 1-2 catapults or pikes a turn by this point. if you rotate which cities you're buying from it makes it cheaper. this is why you need so many cities. by the point of invention I try to shoot for my capitol, whatever islands I can grab, and atleast 4-6 cities on the mainland. do not worry if they are ICS tight. this is fine we're not worried about what tiles they can work if you need to switch a city to gold that's fine. if you can actually buy 3 catapults per turn you're golden. as the population in your captol continues to grow, your gold production will increase. begin pre building any expensive wonder while you research invention. the moment you research invention start on the workshop and go for higher techs. choose either gunpowder or metallurgy. if you can hold off on making too many catapults by this point you can always buy cannons as needed later. the timing is important. you want the workshop to finish the turn gunpowder finishes. if your entire homeland is defended by rifles behind walls you've practially won the game by this point unfortunately you'll need to replace the colossus with Trade Fair of Troyes the East India Company is your next economic target I should take a picture and upload it. a 14 pop capitol can work a lot of tiles. if you can work 10 ocean tiles with both wonders you'll be producing a STAGGERING amount of gold 3 gold per tile with EIC. x4 for bank x2 for trade fair +50% for democracy +50% for settled specialist. at this point your city should easily be approaching the 600-900gpt mark somewhere in there you might fight a war, if they go to war with you just rush buy as many armies as you can. I mean realistically if your capitol can produce 600 gpt that is the ability to purchase 1 unit per turn from 6-9 different cities. very quickly it becomes impossible to invade you. I try to save up the 2500 or so to rush buy the atomic bomb, just to stop someone from using it on me. all of your gold producing cities need to have these improvements: bank, walls, courthouse, aqueduct, harbor -at the minimum. buildings get expensive but you've got the money to burn unless you're going for world bank. now a couple of the civs get 1/2 priced rifles or if you're rome 1/2 priced everything. for the warmongers out there its VERY easy to mass disgustingly large stacks of offensive weapons. let someone else waste hammers on the military industrial complex. The Endgame: From here there are several paths to victory. These include: 1. military domination through leveraged rush buying power -this is the american, russian, zulu way to victory 2. play defensive and shoot for world bank 3. play defensive and shoot for a spaceship The first is by far the easiest and can be the most gratifying. Even without an ICS, by this point you should be able to rush buy a unit every single turn. a toehold of 3 cities only 1 tile apart can generate an army per turn. Islands can rush buy fighters/bombers/ or navy for attack support even with military industrial complex and a factory, its nearly impossible to produce a single tank every turn. the crazy thing about this is.. for a cannon odds are your city can produce it in a turn anyway. so every turn that city will finish one and you'll rush one. to make this clear. if you have 3 cities that can do this.. you can produce 2 armies a turn from those 3 cities. if the enemy can keep up with this kind of crazy production more power to them. if you do decide to go for the world bank, it should take about 10-15 turns of all of your cities switched to gold to make it to the 20k. if you can produce 1500-2000 gpt then you're ready to go. again pre build whatever wonder you can. it doesn't matter. the moment you hit 20k you can switch and keep those hammers towards the world bank. if you cant do that, rush buy a factory in your highest production city, make sure you have a settled engineer, and switch to communism. from here you need to be spending that money as fast as you can. you'll be able to switch cities back to science. unlock mobile infantry and artillery. you should be rush buying a unit from almost every city in your empire every turn by this point. If you decide to go for the space race instead of the world bank, it does have some advantages. components can be rush bought, so you should be able to finish the entire space ship in 2 turns then launch it. components are expensive though. I'd try to save 7-9k in gold for the turn you unlock the tech. this one isn't as hard as it seems. if your financial cities have the science buildings, you can switch on the fly and be generating a couple hundred beakers per turn notice the entire game you didn't go on the offensive unless you wanted to. (or someone attacked you) CAN THIS STRAT BE COUNTERED? well of cource it can. if you are extremely aggressive with them you can force the boomer to spend his gold on units rather than buildings. this avoids the magnifying factor that those buildings provide. use cruisers to block off sea tiles if you have to. it'll be more effective than trying to take his city outright I assure you. now I did an online game today, using this strat as the french. any civ can do it.. some are just better than others. its a silent game. you want as little conflict as possible. but they're doomed if they don't stop you or realize what's going on. if you manage a signifigant tech lead and can get metallurgy and gunpowder before finishing the workshop the game is over. if you think you can do that mass catapults before hand. I hit an opponent today in a different game as rome doing that. I stayed passive, but was able to upgrade across the empire. 2 turns later my first target was hit with 4 armies of cannons backed up by 4 armies of rifles. they were still using pikes and knights. after he lost 4 cities in 10 turns he dropped. the game was down to just me within 10 minutes. so for the builders out there, I hope this is helpful and insightful. I'm sorry its not all pretty formatted and more in a discussion format. I've had a lot of success online and offline with this strategy. I encourage you to try it, provide feedback so we can all improve. woe to those on xbox live who aren't dedicated civ fanatics like the rest of us!