Emperor Difficulty Help


Dec 3, 2022
I really need some help with the early game on Emp diff. It seems no matter what I do I am usually last or close to last in every demographic and atleast 2 or 3 civs are attacking me really early like within 75 turns. Playing on standard speed, small map, 6 civs, 12 city states. If anyone can suggests some strategies or direct me to any good guides on the internet. Thanks.


Sep 13, 2022
One thing that helped me with the transition to Emperor, especially with recent updates, was putting more of an emphasis on army. Even friendly civs start to smell blood in the water if you don't have a standing army. You can try fitting in a few units out of your larger cities as you build up infrastructure.


Feb 8, 2020
I've never played below Emperor but it's pretty normal to be last behind all the AIs even if you totally neglect your army. Maintaining a decent army is a necessity, there is no way around it, unless your city locations are very easy to defend. You will eventually catch up to the AIs but very early in the game it's not really possible.

Beside your army, one way to lower the chances of getting attacked early is to allow the different AIs to be neighbors to each other by avoiding settling between them. For example, if you have Napoleon north-west of you and Montezuma north-east of you, you really want to leave some room for them to fight each other north of you.


Apr 9, 2008
Leeds, United Kingdom
I play on Emperor and used to have difficulty as well, and can definitely say that getting a bit more of an army up early has really helped. Playing the diplomatic game in general, which means as well as having an army so that people don't attack you, you should commit to friends and enemies. Figure out who you can't be friends with, and stop wasting time with them. Denounce them, especially if other people already have or if they don't have friends. Even accept a joint war if it's offered, unless you really can't afford to. People will pile on, and in doing so become friendlier with you. Friendlier AI means certain directions you won't get attacked from, better deals and safer trade routes.

It might feel weird that it's not a build order or economic advice, but making sure you don't have to go to war if you don't want to - or that you know where the war is going to happen when it does - is one of the best ways to build and keep a strong economy. Your trade routes won't get pillaged and you don't have to scramble to build units at a bad time or defend in a bad place. And you'll have friends showering you with gifts in the mean time, which is nice.

That early game, first 75 turns or so, even an extra warrior can help deter an attack. And if you've got really aggressive civs or a lack of space, consider exactly where you're settling - defensive terrain for a slightly worse city is better than losing a city, and helps a small army to fight off a bigger, technologically advanced enemy.
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