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'British Empire' strategy

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Safalra, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Safalra

    Safalra Chieftain

    Nov 30, 2002
    This is a strategy for regular Civ3. It was the first strategy whereby I won on deity mode. For a version with pictures (as a rule I don't post pictures in fora) see:


    -The British Empire

    With this tactic, you achieve a domination victory by playing the English and expanding faster than anyone else. Scores average about 8000 points.

    By playing on a map of tiny islands, computer players cannot trade technology until they research Map Making. By that stage you have already researched Map Making and have built the Great Lighthouse (triggering a Golden Age), and have conquered most of the world.

    -World Settings

    * World Size: Tiny
    * Barbarians: None
    * Land Mass: Archipelago
    * Water Coverage: 80% Ocean
    * Climate: Normal
    * Temperature: Temperate
    * Age: 5 Billion Years

    -Player Settings

    Play the English. If you don't object to choosing opponents, play against China (or Japan), Aztecs and Egypt.

    -Starting Location

    You need a location that allows you to expand quickly by building large numbers of settlers. The image below shows a perfect starting location - by irrigating the grassland with the cattle, and building a mine on one of the grassland squares with an outcrop, a settler can be built after 10 turns.

    If you don't object to retiring to find out where your opponents are, make sure they are all on separate islands. It helps if the computer players have few routes to other islands using galleys (remember that after building the Great Lighthouse your galleys can travel over sea squares).


    Research Writing and then Map Making. These are advanced for the era, so will usually take 40 turns no matter what your science rate, so keep it on the minimum needed (usually 20%). After researching these, research Bronze Working and Warrior Code, in case a computer player starts a war. Iron Working and Horseback Riding are useful, but usually you will have won by that time.


    You don't need to collect any money through tax - your military won't exceed the number of units allowed under Despotism, and the only city improvements will be a few Temples, easily paid for once those cities switch to Wealth. Because of this, you can spend all the money remaining after Science on Entertainment. This will make up for the lack of luxuries (frequently there will be none), and the happy citizens will improve your score.

    -City Placement

    Place cities close together on your main island - this means settlers become cities sooner, and as most cities will be small there is little competition for land. On the other islands place them further apart (except in the case of Buffer Islands, described below), while making sure all the land is within their combined teritory.

    -Building Strategy

    You won't meet your opponents for a long time, so needn't worry about military units early on. Build settlers as fast as you can (if a city is surrounded by tundra or desert and can't grow beyond size two, build workers). When you are close to researching Map Making, switch some cities to Granary - this way you can change them to building Galleys, which will be completed the turn after Map Making is researched. In the city with most production (usually your capital), build the Great Lighthouse - with the high luxuries rate and a supply of fresh water, the city should rapidly grow to size 8 or more, and finish the Great Library in fewer than 25 turns, after which your Golden Age begins.

    -Expansion Strategy

    As soon as your first fleet of Galleys is built, start shipping Settlers to other islands. Except in the case of Buffer Islands (described below), these new cities should build a Warrior (or Spearman, once you have researched Bronze Working) and then Wealth.

    -Buffer Islands

    Buffer Islands can prevent wars breaking out, making your victory much easier. They make use of the fact that computer players don't start wars with sea units. Clever positioning of Galleys at corners of islands, and cities and warriors inside can prevent the computer play expanding - in some cases trapping them on their original island. The image below shows one end of a Buffer Island - the Chinese Galley has entered my teritory, but cannot move round my two Galleys to get past the island, or land units on the island.

    Because Buffer Islands are near enemy teritory, it is often a good idea to build temples to avoid your cities defecting.


    If all goes well, you should win unopposed. If a computer player does start a war, you can keep them busy with sheer numbers of units - and if you really don't want a war, Despotic unit support means you can cover your coastline with units, preventing enemy landings.

    The first time I used these tactics I scored over 9000 points with a domination victory in 770AD. The Chinese were restricted to their three-city island through sea and my Buffer Island, while I overwhelmed my other opponents.
  2. The Dragon

    The Dragon Chieftain

    Oct 7, 2004
    Does philosophy give a free tech in vanilla civ? If so, I would go for it before mapmaking, as it costs less. Also, I can usually research it at max in about half to a third of the time it would take at minimum.
  3. Safalra

    Safalra Chieftain

    Nov 30, 2002
    Alas, no.

    [What kind of stupid error message is "The message you have entered is too short. Please lengthen your message to at least 10 characters."?]
  4. Longasc

    Longasc Chieftain

    Jun 18, 2003
    Safalra, by all means - your map settings and civ choice are set so that you are at maximum advantage and the AI at maximum disadvantage.

    Little islands on a tiny map, and the AI will make bad use of the terrain and suffer even more.

    I have another idea: Edit a scenario with a completely barren world except your starting continent, play the Vikings and give each enemy civ 1 tile islands to work on. Works even on SID.

    This is a bit sarcastic, but this advice is too much of a cheat / exploit. Really smart and clever world setting / civ choice, I agree, but I am just not too happy about this guide. It does not help to develop proper strategies for a more general setting.
  5. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Chieftain

    Nov 16, 2003
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    I would have to agree with Longasc. You've stacked the odds so far in your favor it is pointless to play this type of game.

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