I'd loathe to call this a guide, because I'm not good enough to be an authority on this game, but I thought it might be fun to look at and rank the city states in each category. Cultural: 1. Kumasi: Trade routes to any city state generate +2 culture and +1 gold for each district in the origin city. 2. Nan Madol: Your districts on or next to coast tiles produce +2 culture. 3. Vilinus: receive a random civic inspiration each time you enter a new era (in that new era). 4. Mohenjo-Daro: Your cities have full housing from water. Thoughts: Kumasi seems to be the best from a raw culture standpoint. Nan Madol might be good for England or island maps where more coastal districts are going to exist. Coast would include harbors I believe. Might be a playstyle thing, but I rarely settle cities without fresh water, so Mohenjo-Daro's bonus wouldn't usually help me except for 1-2 cities. Vilinus's bonus is okay: not sure how many turns that would save a cultural player, and you can get bad luck and have inspirations for irrelevant civics. Industrial: 1. Toronto: Regional effects from Industrial zone/Entertainment districts reach 3 tiles further. 2. Brussels: Cities gain +15% production for wonders. 2. (tied for second) Hong Kong: your cities get +20% production towards city projects. 4. Buenos Aires: your bonus resources now count as luxury resources, providing 1 amenity per type. Thoughts: Toronto is obviously the strongest of the industrial city states. I personally seem to space out cities a little too much by accident (preferring nicer resources and rivers > getting cities closer together. Might be a thing that doesn't work in Deity), so this bonus would help players like me especially. The rest are pretty situational: I've had a game where Buenos Aires's bonus helped a little bit (only 1 amenity seems weak; regular luxuries provide 4 or 6), I do have some wonders I try to build every game so Brussels would help me eventually; would help wonder spammers on lower difficulties more. Hong Kong would be good for a late game science victory, helping with space projects. I rarely seem to do the district projects. Militaristic: 1. Carthage: your encampments provide +1 trade routes 2. Kabul: your units provide double experience from battles they initiate 3. Valletta: city center buildings and encampment buildings can be bought by faith. You can buy walls with faith at a reduced cost. 4. Preslav: light and heavy cavalry have +5 strength fighting in hills Thoughts: Carthage is the big winner here in my opinion, particularly in a domination game. Valetta could be good, I don't usually emphasize faith so would love feedback on them. Kabul is consistently good, if not amazing, and Preslav is way too situational. Religious: 1. Yerevan: your apostles get to choose any promotion (instead of a pick from two random promotions). 2. La Venta: you get a new colossal head tile improvement (+2 faith, +1 faith for adjacent woods, +1 for adjacent rainforest, +1 culture after Humanism). 3. Kandy: you get a free relic whenever spotting a new natural wonder. +50% faith from relics. 4. Jerusalem: Automatically converts to your founded religion, and exerts pressure like it was a holy city. Thoughts: Really think Yerevan's bonus is quite good. Some apostle promotions are much better than others. La Venta seems decent. Kandy depends on timing (when did you discover+suzerien Kandy?) and of course is really good for Kongo. I don't know enough about religious pressure to speculate on Jerusalem's bonus, but it doesn't seem strong. Scientific: 1. Geneva: Your cities gain +15% science when not at war. 2. Hattusa: Provides you with 1 copy of each strategic resource you have revealed but do not own. 2. (tied) Seoul: Random tech eureka each time you enter a new era. Tech is from that new era. 4. (#1 for a cultural player) Stockholm: your theater square district buildings provide 1 extra great person point for their type (i.e. great artist for the art muesum) EDIT: This bonus is for all districts, not just cultural ones. So it's either tied with Geneva or better. Thoughts: these are all really good, and are good options regardless of your victory type. Geneva seems fantastic, Hattusa can really help you out if you miss a key strategic resource, Seoul's isn't bad, not spectacular (very luck based). Stockholm could mean 5-10 extra great person points per turn for a dedicated culture (edit: any district) player. Trade: 1. Zanzibar: Receive Cinnamon and Clove luxuries that provide +6 amenities. 2. Amsterdam: Your trade routes to foreign cities gain +1 gold for each luxury resource at their destination. 3. Jakarta: Your trading posts in foreign cities provide +1 gold to trading routes passing through. 4. (just very situational) Lisbon: Trader units are immune to being plundered on water tiles. Thoughts: On island maps, I could see Lisbon being very good. However, I haven't played enough to know how smart the AI is with plundering on water tiles. England and Lisbon would be very good together. I think Amsterdam is objectively better than Jakarta. Most cities have one luxury resource, many capitals have two. With Jakarta theoretically you could stack a bunch of +1 bonuses if you keep sending traders further and further away. And Zanzibar seems the strongest to me, unless you have amenities already dealt with. Could mean you could skip a couple entertainment complexes. Tier lists: In general: 1. Scientific and Trade city-states get my envoys the most, and are useful in all situations. 2. Cultural: culture isn't useless in games where you aren't going for that kind of victory. Not a priority for me though. 3. Military and Religious. Good if you are going for those kinds of victories, but you can ignore if not. Maybe not Carthage, but I generally only build 1-2 encampments per 5-10 cities if I'm not going for a domination victory. If this is useful or interesting at all, maybe later I'll try a giant tier list of all 24 city states.