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Civ BTS Leader Trait Analysis


Jul 15, 2012
Shanghai, China
Lord Leo's Civ BTS Leader Trait Analysis (for learners)

This is a trait guide for civ players who are looking for nice leaders and the purpose is to inform and entertain the vast civ players. However, being a monarch player, maybe most immortal and deity players aren't going to learn anything from it... Just have fun!

Free Combat I promotion for melee, gunpowder units.
+100% production building barracks, dry docks.

Well, this one's simple. If you want to grab the main advantage of this trait, you should consider a war with your neighbors from the very start because early fast barracks can save you a decent amount of hammers so you can build better units earlier. It's really a pity if you don't have a neighbor to attack at early or middle stage. However, this situation is still not hopeless because in late game, free combat I gunpowder units are still nice.

+1 happiness per city; +1 happiness with monuments; +1 happiness with broadcast towers.
-25% XP needed for unit promotions.

My favorite war mongering trait. -25%XP required for units is quite nice so you can get highly promoted units easier and earlier. Moreover, the happiness points from charismatic can really help you out when dealing with war weariness. If you are a peaceful builder, this trait is also helpful because you can have more population due to the happiness points. So, unlike aggressive, charismatic not only provide advantages in war but also in peace.

+2 culture per city.
+100% production building libraries, theaters, coliseums.

This is a popular trait among civ players. It's nice in early times. You won't worry about the culture of new cities because they are able to control the 20 tiles in no more than 5 turns. And fast libraries are also nice to have. Personally, however, I don't think it's a very strong trait because in middle game or later, there are few benefits from this trait. The +2 culture isn't that useful because that's only a very small amount compared to the total culture in your city. And fast theaters is not so good because theaters only cost 50 hammers. A fine trait, but not that wonderful unless you want a cultural victory.

+2 health per city.
+25% production building workers.
+100% production building granaries, harbors.

Doesn't look spectacular at the first glimpse, but expansive has its uses. +2 health is really useful in late games. However, +25% production building workers is just so so. Faster workers are nice indeed, but there's only 25percent faster. The best thing with expansive is fast granaries because your new cities can pop much faster. A mediocre trait overall, and is also an assistant trait.

+1 commerce on tiles with 2 commerce already.

The best trait overall (it's among this and philosophical). Just run the so called cottage economy (CE), which means to build cottages about everywhere. 3 instant commerce from a riverside cottage? Ridiculous. Strong economy is most important because you can do what ever you want if you have strong technology or money.

+100% great general emergence.
+50% production building settlers.

It's not a very strong trait but fast settlers is always nothing to complain about. This indeed save many hammers in early game. Double amount of generals is nice in wars and if you build the Great Wall, you can get three times generals than normal. But after the medieval era, imperialistic loses most of it's advantages. You will build less and less settlers after this era. So just fight with your neighbors and expand quickly in early times and push yourself into a winning position.

+50% production building wonders.
+100% production building forges.

A good choice if you like wonders and want faster production. It's generally considered a strong trait because you can also build national wonders faster and forges which are double sped in this trait always take longer time to build than other buildings. But when you have stone and marble nearby, industrious can't save you too many turns building wonders. Let's assume that one of your cites have 15hammer per turn and you are building a 350hammer wonder which discounts with marble. 350/[15*(1+1+0.5) ]=9.33. When you aren't industrious, it's 350/[15*(1+1) ]=11.67. So industrious can only save you 2-3 turns building an early wonder. And the more hammer your city have, the less turns industrious will save you. Industrious is only better for building wonders that don't discount with any resources.

-50% civic upkeep.
+100% production building lighthouses, courthouses, factories.

An underestimated economic trait. You can save money without much efforts. The halved civic upkeep really helps running a huge empire and in late games, organized can even save more money than financial. Plus, it doesn't block you into a CE or SE(specialist economy, which will be mentioned later). Moreover, there are decent amount of cheap buildings when you are organized. Sometimes you may firstly build lighthouses in a coastal city and the building time is halved; Courthouses are among the most expensive buildings in classical and early medieval era; and fast factories in big cities means you can build other things such as infantry earlier and fast factories in low hammer cities can make them develop up quickly. In conclusion, organized is a very strong trait.

+100% great people emergence.
+100% production building universities.

Ah, philosophical. You must have heard about the specialist economy. That is to build more farms instead of cottages and use the surplus food to run specialists. Also remember to adopt caste system, representation and mercantilism. In early times, build libraries and run early scientists, or build temples to run profits. In middle games, running merchants is also nice. If you have stone or marble nearby, it will be good to build some wonders for there're 2 great people points for each... It's really a delicate little trait.

Free guardian I, drill I promotions for archery, gunpowder units.
+100% production building walls, castles.

Worst trait overall for offense is always the best defense, but not useless in multiplayer games or there's Shaka or Monty nearby. There's few I can talk about this trait. However, there's one thing it helps waging wars. After you captured a city, you can send garrison III units into it and your enemy won't be able to take the city back without many sacrifices.

No anarchy.
+100% production building temples.

This is a trait that requires some understanding of the game. Some people say that this is a trait that sucks because usually there are no more than 7 turns of anarchy in a whole game. Wrong. This is true that usually we don't switch civics that often but with spiritual, you can change civics whatever you want anytime. For instance, when you decide to build armies for a while, you can switch to theocracy and back to organized religion again in 5 turns. When someone declares war at you, you can quickly switch into war mode and back to original civic again whenever you want. In addition, fast temples are nice to have because they are the buildings that can be built more than once in each city.

Here are some trait combos that are easier and more fun to play:
-financial, charismatic
-financial, expansive
-financial, creative
-financial, industrious (generally considered the strongest combo)
-financial, organized
-financial, aggressive (a quite interesting combo)
-financial, imperialistic
-philosophical, spiritual (among the best combos of SE)
-philosophical, creative
-philosophical, charismatic
-philosophical, organized
-expansive, imperialistic (rexxing)
-expansive, charismatic (if you like large cities early, give this a shot)
-aggressive, charismatic (3 strong war mongering combos)
-organized, charismatic
-charismatic, imperialistic

Well...that's all. And the more you play the game, the more your opinions on these are going to change. I hope it will be a useful information.
Happy civving!


Jul 11, 2008
I'd like to see some more in-depth analysis. For example, we could compare financial and philosophical, which are both primary economic traits and active (as opposed to organized which is passive). I find financial more powerful with more land and it lends itself to a REx, which is why it is good when combined with things like imperialistic or creative. Philosophical gives you the most economic output with a small empire due to the huge diminishing returns of multiple GP farms. You can stay small but powerful with philosophical, and/or you can get a huge tech lead with bulbs.


Jul 31, 2014
Very informative, thanks!


An aberration of nature
Dec 30, 2013
Within the realm of impossibility
You are right in that neither imperialistic or creative alone are powerful traits but they work together to create a monstrous combo in Catherine. She is hands down the best rexer in game. That is because imperialistic helps get out those settlers faster, and creative helps with the border pops. Not only that, it is a pretty good combination for warmongers. Imperialistic nets you great generals faster, while creative gives you culture in your newly conquered cities and allows for faster libraries for more culture.


May 27, 2006
Jakarta, Indonesia
I agree with jackelgull. For me, Catherine is my favorite leader... So much so that when I finally forced myself to play other leaders, I just couldn't make up my mind and choose "Random" every time.
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