Next game will be as India! Gandhi's kit: Font of Dharma Starts with a Pantheon and Great Prophets require 50% less Faith. Each Follower of your majority or founded Religion in a City increases Religious Pressure and Growth in that City. Cannot build Missionaries. Naga-Malla, replaces Cuirassier. +5 Combat, +4 Ranged Combat and cannot move after attacking. Does not require Horses, and is available earlier. Starts with Feared Elephant Promotion (Enemy units receive -10% CS when adjacent to any unit with this promotion). Harappan Reservoir, replaces Aqueduct. 4 Food, 2 Production. Carries over 20% of Food after City growth and +25% of the City's Production is added to current Production. +1 Production from Flood Plains and +2 Food from Lakes, Oasis, and Farms. Reduces Poverty Slightly. 1 Maintenance. When deciding how to play a civ I like to figure out what I think they do better than anyone else and then determine a way to play off of those strengths via policy/strategic/religious choices. I especially like to see if I can take their strengths to extremes to see what kind of interesting results might occur. Looking at India's kit, it looks like passive religious pressure is something they can probably do better than anyone else and it also seems like growing big via their UA and UB is in the cards. It also seems like the farm is basically their UI so benefiting from farm clusters is also a specialty of theirs. I will keep these in mind when making my following choices. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Tall vs. wide? Aggressive vs Peaceful? Victory condition? To me, the tall or wide question is pretty easy to decide for India. India is great at growing large with its UA and UB so my cities will be tall. I don't see much of a reason to go wide as I usually look for UI's or other wide synergy in the UA and I don't think India really has it. Farms are sort of their UI but having a wide empire full of cities with lots of food and gaining population is a recipe for happiness problems so I will plan to stay with relatively few cities. Something like 3-6 cities depending on my neighbors, defensible locations, and sites that have the right resources, etc. Aggressive or peaceful is also easy for me to decide. They have no real synergy with war in their kit relative to other civs. It seems like half the civs in VP are geared toward war and conquering so if I play one of the non-war civs I try to stay peaceful. There is also the role-playing aspect of Gandhi as a relatively peaceful leader. So peaceful it is! At most I might conquer an aggressive neighbor if needed but will look to be a friend to all if possible. As for victory condition, I could see arguments for culture or science. Science is a non-aggressive, peaceful seeming victory that could benefit from high population cities working lots of specialists. Culture victory could work because a huge tradition capital can be a very good wonder machine and I will have the population to support working lots of GW generating specialists. Culture victory could also benefit if I'm able to get shared religion bonuses with nearby civs. Something about spreading Bollywood to the world feels right so I'll go for a culture victory this game. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Policies! I think my opening tree is an easy choice- Tradition. I'll have high population so those extra specialist slots will be easily filled. Tradition should also help me grab some early wonders and get to my religion ASAP. The medieval tree is where the choice gets tougher. I see very strong synergy in fealty with India's religion game while Artistry is a huge boon when going for culture victory. I think I might do something unorthodox and actually complete two medieval trees and skip the renaissance trees altogether. My plan will be to open fealty first and get to 'Organized Religion' ( +50% Pressure in all nearby Cities without your majority Religion, and +1 faith from Specialists) via 'Nobility' ( +1 happiness and +3 Food from Castles, +100% construction rate of Castles and Armories). After that I will open Artistry and complete it (hopefully) in time for the finisher to give me tourism from antiquity sites. After that I'll head back to fealty and finish it off. I think this might be better than bothering with, say, Rationalism in the renaissance. I like the growth bonuses in rationalism and great scientists are useful to get to key culture victory techs faster but the other two will be of larger benefit I think. I imagine my ideology will be freedom as it is generally preferable for tall/peaceful culture victory. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Religion! ---Pantheon--- India is in a unique spot when it comes to pantheons- they get first choice so everything is available but many of the pantheons that rely on knowing the location of certain resources or have bonuses to buildings that are locked behind distance techs are probably bad choices for them. Looking at the list I think the following are reasonable choices: God of the Sun : +2 Faith and Gold from Granaries. +3 Food from Farms on Wheat, and +1 Science for every 2 Flood Plains worked by the City. You'll know immediately if you have wheat/flood plains in your capital and granaries are a very early building. Goddess of Fertility : +2 Food and +1 Faith from Shrines, Watermills, and Wells. +25% faster Growth Rate. The growth is usable from turn 1 and shrines are very early. India probably won't get wells (I think they have a river bias?) and watermills come much later. Goddess of Love : Gain 15 Faith,10 Golden Age Points and 5 Gold every time a Citizen is born. Bonus scales with Era and Gamespeed. Also usable from turn 1 without any real knowledge of resources needed. Goddess of Nature : +1 Faith, Gold, and Food for every 2 Mountains within 3 tiles of a City(capping at the City's population). Natural Wonders gain +3 Faith and +2 Culture. You'll see mountains near your capital immediately but likely won't see nearby natural wonders until a few turns of scouting. Goddess of Purity : +1 Faith and Food from Lakes, +1 Faith, Food and Production from Marshes. +1 Happiness from Cities on rivers. Lakes, marshes, and rivers are all visible right away and likely to be worked tiles early on. I think the default choice should be goddess of love as it probably fits India more than any other civ in the game but I could see the others being strong contenders depending on the start location. It also just seems to fit India what with the Kama Sutra and all... ---Founder--- I think the choice here is fairly flexible as long as it isn't a founder that relies on missionary spreading to activate. ---Followers--- India is a beast at passive religious spread so I'm planning to double down on this concept and opt for two religious buildings as my follower beliefs. Churches with their extra passive spread are a solid choice along with cathedrals with their gold on farm buff. Mandirs for extra growth and stupas for some extra tourism seem reasonable as well. I would probably prioritize them as churches, cathedrals, stupas, then mandirs. ---Enhancer--- I think this has to be orthodoxy for the bonuses to passive spread- it's pretty much tailor made to go along with India's UA. ---Reform--- Glory of God and Faith of the Masses could both work with tall culture but I'm thinking I might go for Sacred Sites. Usually I would say Sacred Sites is more of a wide strategy but I'm already going to have at least 3 religious buildings in each city (2 from follower, 1 from fealty) so grabbing some free tourism from them might be useful. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Wonders! I could see going for Mausoleum or Parthenon early on, along with Hanging Gardens which is always nice when playing Tradition. Hagia Sophia could be good if you miss out on getting churches (grants a free one) and Sankore is another obvious choice as it is locked behind completing tradition. From there, the usual culture victory wonders make sense: Globe Theatre, Sistine Chapel, Uffizi, and Louvre. Could grab Taj Mahal for history's sake since we will eventually finish fealty (though we might finish it too late). A wonder like Leaning Tower is also good for more great person generation when tall/tradition.