, open, arable, fresHere's some tips for making decisions for the first few turns of the game in GEM. This information is useful when deciding which policy tree to pursue, or when to build our second city, even if we haven't discovered any other players yet. (Important if we get a culture goodie hut!) If you start near lots of fantastic land like grassland, plains, and especially rivers: Expect close neighbors. The likelihood of an AI rush is high. You'll probably have few barbarian troubles in the game. There will likely be a small number of large-sized strategic resource deposits. City sites will probably have a high quality overall, but you won't have much room to expand. If you're surrounded by flat/dry tundra or desert: Expect more open space around your capital. AIs are less likely to rush you. Barbarians will likely swarm you. Strategic resource deposits will probably be numerous, with a lower size per deposit. Your cities will likely favor quantity over quality, with lots of room to expand. And here's the reason why! Civ divides the map into territories (circled) with a capital near the center of each (dots). Notice how the land area of the southwest territory is somewhat larger than the land of the south-center territory. This is because the southwest territory has lots of desert and tundra, while the south-center territory is primarily grassland, plains, and hills. In GEM each territory contains exactly 4 units of horses, 5 iron, 3 coal, 3 oil, and so on (-33% lower with the scarce resource option, +66% higher with abundant option). This means the territory (and player) can typically support 4 horsemen and 4 swordsmen. The quantity per territory is always the same between territories and games. Within individual territories, resources are placed based on terrain types they favor: Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Resource #/territory Favors Horses 4 flat, open, arable, fresh water Iron 3 opposite of horses Coal * hills *(1 per 3 cities) Aluminum 4 hills Oil 3 Desert, tundra, snow. Also appears in water offshore from grassland, plains. Uranium 2 random Citystates are placed after territory division, favor territories with few luxury resources, and are placed near good city sites around decent yields and resources. Citystates place 1 luxury resource, a few bonus resources, but do not place strategic resources. They do tend to appear near strategics because those are usually good city sites. This means some of the strategic resources in your territory might require allying with or conquering a citystate to acquire. How it works The territory division is part of why Civ 5 start locations are generally more balanced than Civ 1-4. Sirian from the Civ community did most of it, with some help from Ed Beach (I think Ed is Firaxis employee but the documentation doesn't say). Sirian's code divides the map into territories based on the "fertility" score of the tiles. Each territory's total fertility is nearly identical. This means areas of low fertility get a larger territory and vice versa. Players with poor land (tundra/desert) get more room to expand since the frequency of good city sites is lower. These are the fertility values for each terrain and feature type in GEM: In vanilla this territorial division is used for almost everything... except strategic resources! One of the big changes from vanilla to GEM is strategic resources are placed per-territory so each player has about the same amount. In vanilla strategics are scattered randomly without analyzing player density or terrain quality. This inevitably results in too few or too many strategics, which makes it fundamentally impossible to balance strategic-using units in vanilla.