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General advice for those starting out

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Strategy & Tips' started by Vargas1, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Vargas1

    Vargas1 Warlord

    Sep 30, 2020
    Civ 6 is my first ever experience with the Civ series, and while I am by no means a top-tier player, I've spent quite a lot of time this past year playing it (thanks pandemic) and have advanced pretty far. I thought it might be helpful to start a thread for people to list advice, tips, tricks that looking back, would have made your learning curve easier. I'm envisioning this as targeted towards those who understand the basic game mechanics, but are just starting to put it together (beyond just randomly clicking around).

    A couple of items to start:
    • When founding your early cities, one of the most important things to look for are workable tiles within your starting radius or the second ring (i.e. tiles you could buy quickly if needed). I spent a lot of time in my early days settling cities looking at where they might eventually expand - good campus locations three tiles away, good luxuries spread out, etc. - but I've learned that at least for your first few cities, the real key is immediately workable tiles. Settling somewhere with a 2 food/2 production tile right away (or even higher - nothing like getting a spices hill with woods) lets you grow and produce things, and in the long run will be more valuable than a perfect tile further away.
    • Science is key. No matter what civ you're playing as or what victory type you're going for, you need to progress through the science tree - to unlock units, unlock improvements, and keep your military up to date so you don't get overwhelmed. You don't need to always be in front in science, but you don't want to let yourself get too far behind.
    • Also don't forget about culture. I didn't really understand culture for a long time, and so ignored it since I wasn't planning on going for cultural victories. But keeping your culture progressing is very important. You move to more powerful governments, you unlock better policy cards, and you unlock later wonders, some improvements, etc. Also, culture helps your cities expand their borders faster, which gives you more options for tiles to work and places to put districts. At a minimum, you should build a monument fairly quickly in each city you settle to help your culture grow.
    • Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I spent a lot of time in my beginning days holding off on building districts unless I found the perfect +3 or above adjacency, or waiting to settle cities until I found a perfect location for it. Next thing I knew, I was at turn 100 with 3 cities and few districts and was playing uphill. You definitely want the best adjacencies and city locations you can find, but more important is to keep expanding with more cities and keep developing the cities you have. If that means plunking down a +1 campus, then so be it - it's still better than not having science, and once you stick buildings in there it will still bring you a lot of value.
    • My personal view - play your first handful of games as a solid generalist civ, without really focusing on a particular victory condition until late in the game. I think this is invaluable for learning how the game mechanics interact and how different paths for development can change and alter your playstyle. A lot of strategy discussions on this forum are (rightfully) focused on more advanced play and how to optimally get towards a particular victory condition quickly. But when you're starting out, focusing too much on one area I think can hinder your understanding of different aspects of the game. I suggest Rome, Cree, Australia, Aztec, or Inca (though they're a little trickier) as civs that can play across a bunch of different playstyles and have some early bonuses that will help you develop.
    guto79br, Ircher, Buktu and 1 other person like this.
  2. Buktu

    Buktu Warlord

    Mar 9, 2018
    This is really important! Early culture is WAY more important than early science (even if you want to achieve a SV). If you don't get rushed by a deity AI with its 5 starting warriors right at the beginning of the game you will be able to defend yourself for a long time just with archers/crossbows and walls so you will be fine in this regard.
    On the other hand early cards and especially your first real (so your first T1 gouvernment not Chiefdom) are so impactful. With a T1 gouvernment you can not only plug in 100% more cards (well if you are not greece or germany) but you will get other huge boosts which you can choose according to your gameplan as well, like combat bonusses, more great people points or wonder construction bonusses.

    Another tip for beginners is to send delegations to all the AIs as soon as you meet them to boost your relationship with them. You can prevent wars or even get friends for the rest of the game this way. Trading open borders also helps.

    Also try to work high food (at least 2) tiles first at least in your first cities. Growth is important not only to work more tiles and generate more yields this way but the number of districts a city can build is also related to its population number. Population also helps to prevent loyality issues (if you play with R&F or GS). Sure the 4 science and 4 faith fountain of youth tile looks nice with all those yields but it is not worth to work it right at the start since you wouldn't have any growth at all. You can always switch back to such tiles when the city hits a decent size or its housing cap.
  3. intellectsucks

    intellectsucks Chieftain

    Jul 18, 2014
    I posted this in a different thread but figured it would work here too:

    Some tips that I've learned:

    1. Diplomacy with the AI is INCREDIBLY important. Send delegations right away, sell them open borders right away, send trade routes to the ones you want to maintain friendships with right away. Declare friendship with any AI that is green and is not a short term war target ASAP. Declared friends cannot declare war on you, so they can't be part of World Congress emergencies or be bribed into a joint war against you. Being friendly will also make favorable trade deals more likely.
    2. Trade a LOT. Offer open borders for gold, sell your diplo favor (unless going for diplo win), sell your excess strategic resources (horses, iron, etc). Gold is an extremely important resource. Trading not only maximizes how much of it YOU are able to use, but also takes some from your rivals.
    3. It's generally better to try to settle your early cities near the borders of the territory that you want to control. For example if your nearest AI neighbor is 20 tiles from your capital, settle at least a couple of early cities as close to their empire as you can without getting crushed by loyalty issues, then get them growing. Afterwards you can fill in the territory in between. The AI tends to settle their cities near each other and is unlikely to settle into your territory unless they have no other choice. Forward settling also makes it difficult for them to encroach on your territory as they will be surrounded by your loyalty pressure.
    4. Before doing a single action in your game, take time to read and understand your civ and leaders unique bonuses, units, buildings and improvements. Try to think about what things need to happen to make those things synergize together, this may lead to you taking a different path than you normally do: I tend to favor domination victories so usually tech towards early military units and resources but if I was playing as Russia I would lean towards getting early Lavras up and running.
    5. Be very mindful of which policy cards (and world congress effects) you are running and try to maximize the benefit you get from them until you are ready to switch. For example, when building military units, try to have the appropriate policy cards in place that give production bonuses; once you are done with building your army, swap out the card to something that will benefit your current priority.
    6. Be mindful of early defense. When scouting, make sure that you still have at least 1 or 2 units near your empire to fight off any surprise wars and to protect against Barb invasions. Keep an eye on where barb camps pop up and try to get a couple of units out there to take it out before it starts pumping out units to harry your empire. Even if the barbs aren't able to take out your city, they can still pillage improvements and districts, setting you back significantly.
    guto79br, PiR and Buktu like this.
  4. walkerjks

    walkerjks Prince

    Oct 29, 2005
    Don't obsess about eurekas and inspirations, but pay attention to them. Not every one is critical. But not paying attention to them leads to some really sub-optimal play as well. Don't finish off a tech or civ without the bonus if you are going to get the bonus in a few turns. Certain things are worth building just for the bonus (particularly if there are also envoy bonuses).

    Pay attention envoy quests. If 3 different AIs say they'll give you an envoy for a horseman, well, maybe build (or buy) that horseman even if you weren't already planning to do it. The calculation on when to go out of your way for quests is complicated. That horseman may cost you 320 gold (or 80 hammers) right now. And 3 extra gold/turn for 100 turns (I'm assuming at some point you add the 1 gold/envoy card and run it nonstop - that isn't a great assumption) basically pays for the cost right now, but do any of the envoys make suzerainty easier? Does that particular suzerainty matter? Are any of them getting doubled due to the first envoy is worth 2 card? And, of course, how valuable is that horseman to you right now? Sometimes it's completely superfluous and sometimes it helps both with meeting the 8 land unit mercenary eureka and helps dealing with an immediate barbarian camp problem.
  5. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

    Apr 11, 2011
    Getting new cities is the highest priority so settlers/conquest are the vital approaches early.
    Using 50/100% discount cards when building things is in essence speeding you up. The AI tends not to slot such cards. So slotting a 50% military units card and build units in every city is quite efficient.
    Do not build too many districts early. This is a noob mistake. They will suck you dry of gold.
    Sell everything you can for gold early and spend it on vital things like monuments and granaries or upgrades.
    Link at my link below on chopping example, it is a bit out of date but the concept is key.

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