The civics are a total mess. I'll outline a few reasons why first. Then I'll look at some specifics examples, and propose a few solutions. Overview First, Civics in FfH do not do a good job of portraying specific ideas - the concepts behind them are often fuzzy. Or the concept is clear, but the civic is implemented in a weird way. Second, the Civic categories are badly mangled. This argument relies on a high school+ knowledge of political science, so I'll try to keep it simple. Finally, the Civic effects are not well-balanced. Some Civics are rarely useful. Sometimes Civic choices aren't even meaningful choices. Sometimes Civics do pretty much exactly the same thing: they're not different enough to matter. The Ideas Behind Civics I understand some people don't care about the ideas behind Civics - where they come from, what they represent, how they're supposed to work - all that. That's ok, I certainly understand that. Just skip to the third section about balance. The first two sections are for those of us who do care about what Civics are supposed represent, in the abstract. I think "Cultural Values" is a really great Civic category. It reminds me of SMAC - the first game that really expanded government/civic choices (or, as it was called then, "Social Engineering"). However, I don't think "Religion" makes sense as a "Cultural Value" - either in the abstract or how it is implemented. It seems very weird that a civilization would actually value "Religion" itself. Even more odd, non-state religion Temples provide , which sort of implies that people are free to practice whatever they choose. So conceptually, "Religion" seems to be blurring with "Liberty" - the people aren't happy just because their religion is making them happy, they're also happy to be able to practice their religion. Sure, the state provides a bonus , but every religious group apparently has freedom to worship. The alternative is that people seem to just be happy that the temples are there, even if they're not using them. Again, this is a weird sort of semi-"Liberty" concept - diversity provides happiness or something. Most importantly, "Religion" is just a bad name for a "Cultural Value". People value the traits that lead to religious worship, not the religion itself. People value faith, or duty, or devotion. As it is right now, it seems to be "our civilization values having lots of different religions", which, frankly, is sort of weird for a Civic you start the game with. Apparently your people can value something that hasn't even been invented yet - and it can cause your output to rise by 10% even if you don't have any religions! "Social Order" is also weird. The concept behind "Social Order" is sort of the whole point of every Civic. People value stability and order in life, which is why we have governments in the first place. Yet this "Social Order" seems to be a special Order brand "Social Order" since you need the Order state to use "Social Order". The idea that some Civic provides a stronger sense of duty or obedience in the population makes sense. But this is the same reasoning behind why people might value "Religion". These two "Cultural Values" are really about the same thing: obedience to hierarchical authority. We could call that "Duty". To a large extent, the same goes for "Nationhood". In regular Civ4, "Nationhood" is a "Legal" Civic, not a "Cultural Value". As a "Legal" framework, "Nationhood" might imply certain things. But as a "Cultural Value", it rests on the same foundation as "Social Order" and "Religion": it's Duty. Now, while these are all "Duty", one might argue they are in service of different entities: religious authority, civil authority, and military authority. But none of those is a "Cultural Value" - nobody talks about "obedience specifically to authority X" as a virtue. The virtue behind all of it is "Duty". Speaking of virtue, let's talk about "arete". Most people probably get look at "arete" for the first time and say "Arete? Oh well, some dwarven thing, whatever" and keep playing. But "arete" means far more than that. It is fitting that "arete" is associated with Kilmorph and dwarves, because dwarves are traditionally superb craftsmen and put the highest value on good workmanship (workdwarfship?). "Arete" makes perfect sense as a "Cultural Value" (too bad it isn't one). However, it is deeply weird that "arete" is implemented as a +1 boost to mines. Mining is a profession that is probably least suited to personal excellence as any I can think of. Similarly, the ability to "rush production with gold" is the opposite of what "arete" means: personal excellence, not mass production. Which is also exactly why the bonus to is a good way to implement "arete" (though there should be other effects, of course). Finally, I wanted to mention "Crusade" (and, by extension, "Glory" in FF). I think it is a supremely bad idea to have civilization-specific Civics. It strongly encourages the player to ignore any other options in that category. The idea of a crusading civilization is great - but it should be handled a different way - either through a special trait, or a "ritual" to mark the start of the crusade, or a spell. But again, I don't think the way "Crusade" is implemented even makes sense. "Crusade" relies on your state religion, which means that, again, we're talking about "Duty". Of course, "Crusade" has a special element of "total war" involved. But the mechanics of it are silly: you can crusade against a civilization that follows your same state religion. You can crusade against a tiny civilization to quickly build a military, then switch off "Crusade" and use your large military to "regular war" a different civilization. I guess that's sort of consistent with some of the Crusades in Earth history. Generally, "Cultural Values" Civics are ripe with possibility, and most of the obvious ones are there, like "Scholarship" (although who values "Scholarship"? Should just be "Knowledge") and "Sacrifice the Weak" (again, the name is a little off: maybe "Purge the Weak" or "The Weak Perish" or "Cull the Weak"). Instead of three and a half variations on "Duty", maybe we could get some other interesting ones? Like "Fortune and Glory" - culture values adventuring, treasure, exploration, et cetera. Or "Hearth & Home" - to replace "Consumption", with more emphasis on population growth instead of yet another that adds to buildings. And to replace the old Order religion civic, there could be one that emphasizes "Protection of the Innocent" or "Justice" or something - a more obvious counterpart to "Sacrifice the Weak". I picked those three as ideas because they all fit well within a fantasy universe. "Liberty" - not so much. I know "Liberty" is implicated in fantasy in some ways - there's not a lot of liberty in Mordor (or New Crobuzon, or Cthol Mishrak, or Gormenghast). But "Liberty" is never really the central issue. A more interesting replacement might be "Prudence". "Prudence" shares a degree of pragmatism with "Liberty" while still retaining a medieval/renaissance tone (and thus, somewhat more fantasy appropriate). The Civics Categories More Broadly Civilization 4 had five Civic categories: Government, Legal, Labor, Economy, and Religion. Each of these categories asks a specific question: Government: Who is in power? Or, who makes the laws? Legal: How does power exercise control? Or, what ARE the laws? Labor: What is the relationship of the workers to their work? Economy: What is the role of the government in the economy? Religion: What is the role of religion in the government? Each Civic directly answers the question the category poses. This is pretty obvious, with the notable exception of "Legal" and "Government", which can be confusing. In Civ 4, for example, "Bureaucracy" itself isn't a form of government - it's just the means by which any government would carry out its laws. In FfH2, of course, we only really have four categories: Government, Cultural Values, Labor, and Economy. It's ok that there's no "Legal" category - it just means we shouldn't have "Legal" Civics in the mod. "City States", is, essentially, a "Legal" civic. "City States" doesn't answer the question the "Government" category asks: "Who is in power"? Now maybe you think the answer is "Duh, the cities are in charge", but that just begs the question of who's in charge of the cities. "City States", as a concept, is perfectly compatible with every other "Government" Civic. A God King could appoint mayors to rule on his behalf. Aristocrats could have a high degree of independence in ruling their fiefs (cities), as could individual bishops in a theocracy. Thus, "City States" is a method of governing (a "Legal" civic) not a form of government (a "Government" civic). Along the same lines, I think "arete" is in the wrong category. "Labor" is a set of rules and methods which govern production and the division of labor. The concept of "arete" does not fit into that category. "Slavery", yes. "Guilds", yes. "Apprenticeship", yes (although that should be encompassed by "Guilds"...). "Arete" does fit into a category of "Cultural Values", as a motivation for laboring, but not for determining who is laboring and who keeps the profits of the labor. Similarly, "Military State" doesn't really fit either. None of the effects of "Military State" seem to be something that works to the exclusion of the others Civics - you could have apprentices in the military (and historically, civilizations have). You could have a warrior caste in a caste system (samurai anyone?). (To pick on FF again, "Industry" is supremely guilty of this as well. The concept is on the right track: something to do with the increased productivity of the workers. But the productivity itself isn't a set of rules under which labor operates). In the end, I am going to blame this all on "Membership". What. A. Waste. An entire Civic category devoted to the Fantasy United Nations? And in order to get this, from a design standpoint, we have to give up the entire "Legal" category of Civics? It boggles the mind. A "Legal" category would be the perfect place for things like "Military State" and "City States" and maybe unique Civics for Council of Esus, Empyrean, and Octopus Overlords. Or, in the absence of a "Legal" category, there could be something different. I'll bring up SMAC again. There were four Civic categories: Politics, Economics, Values, and "Future Society"."Future Society" Civics were all powerful, late-game Civics. In FfH2, the fifth category could be reserved for unusual Civics: "Crusade", or some of kind of Necromantic central mind-control, or OO terror-reign, or whatever. "Lost Lands" in FF would be another example. (Civ 4 does have a fifth "Religion" category, but I think this is adequately covered in FfH2: either you have a "Theocracy" Civic; a state without a "Theocracy", or no state . On the other hand, there might still be some interesting options. At the very least I could imagine an "Ecclesiastical Courts" options in a "Legal" category.) Balancing the Civics I know I have passed well in to TLDR land at this point, so I will keep this part brief. Suffice it to say, the Civics don't really seem balanced. More to the point, they're so similar that's it's generally obvious which ones are mathematically superior to the others, even if you're playing the game the same way. For example: "City States" versus "Aristocracy". Either take the extra and lower your slider, or take the maintenance bonus and keep the slider higher. (Maybe you work less tiles from the food hit, but that's just part of the equations). It's an accounting problem. Accounting is boring. Sure, the whole game is sort of an accounting problem: increase here, increase there, et cetera. But "City States" versus "Aristocracy" is literally a matter of bookkeeping, not game-playing. The two Civics cater to exactly the same play-style, yet one is inevitably better than the other in a given situation. The "Cultural Values" are guilty of this as well. Half of them do highly similar things: +. Frankly, it almost doesn't matter which you pick between "Social Order" and "Consumption" and "Religion". If you actually have problems, either you have Order state , or you have a lot of other s, or you raise your slider and take the extra from "Consumption" to compensate. There isn't a lot of decision-making: there are a lot of choices, but in any situation it's utterly obvious what to choose, so there's no way to use them in different strategies. Not much nuance in Cultural Values. In general I would just say the Civics are fairly stale and uniform. It would be far more interesting if Civics added specific, unique bonuses - sort of like "Can build missionaries without Monastery" or "People eat 1 food instead of 2" or "Military Units Use Food to Build". Conclusion Even if everyone thinks I'm a long-winded moron, hopefully people start a discussion based on what I've said, generating some more interesting and coherent Civic ideas, for what is otherwise a great mod.