Let's talk buildings


Jan 8, 2021
It's fantastic, though actually significantly more difficult than the base game at the same level, so it's typically recommended to drop at least a difficulty level from what you're comfortable with normally. It also plays at a much slower pace, but you might find that desirable. (A BtS game normally takes about 3-5 hours for me, and these usually go about 20-25.)

The difficulty stems much more from the cohesive interplay of actual game circumstances which are dynamic, malleable, and clearly derived from decisions made rather than from aiming to work around flat bonuses the AI gets. More to the point of your comment, though, I find the strategic challenge to be much more rich (even when it already was to begin with, admittedly) and rewarding, because you're simply not able to neglect certain things to the extent that you are in BtS.

Rant, spoilered out of propriety for this section of the forum:
Spoiler :
Think all buildings but the precious and cherished OP 50% guaranteed rebate on instantly converting food into hammers are all but rarely not worthless? Of course, I'll just grow my cities up with surplus unhappy and unhealthy population and convert them to instant hammers later like rolling a ball uphill, and I'll just let go when I'm ready. Other than a few turns of lost productivity for storing some firewood, there's no penalty for this. Only skilled players can see to play the game this way. Well, have fun watching your empire roil in plagues which reduce production and commerce and kill your people anyway, because you thought it was strategically obvious to neglect infrastructure. Lol, I'll just let my cities be unhappy while my stack is forcing 3 capitulations in one march while my WW goes through the roof. I have enough failgold from wonders and conquered cities to pay for the lost commerce, and I'm going to win the game with my stack anyway. Whoops, my noncore cities have seceded and my angry population has rioted and destroyed my buildings. Yes, there's challenge, timing, logic and math to timing your whips or your chops, and how large to make your stack relative to tech, etc., but it's sine quo non in nearly every game with very limited alternative, and you can't get away with half the things which are necessary in high level gambits. (Also, have fun trying your failsafe 60% siege army composition SoD for a near-guaranteed conquest. It's not going to work. :) ) While a more immersive and realistic feel isn't everyone's priority for this game, a lot of stuff in Civ 4 feels really cheesy, and it really doesn't at all in this mod.

I would read the whole manual or at least the quick start guide before diving in. And, with about a solid year of regular play in this mod under my belt now, a few things which aren't immediately obvious from both which you might want to know to look out for, if it helps...

Spoiler :

- If you go with the last official release of 3.55, IIRC barbarians are excruciatingly difficult. Like, worse than raging barbs in vanilla. Beware if you go worker first! Unless you can defend whatever improvements you build and the worker himself, they're likely going to get pillaged and he is going to die. Unless you start on a narrow landmass, you likely won't even have enough hammer output (or it won't be worthwhile, at any rate) to try and fogbust. Realistically you're going to have to fight a brutal early war against the barbs, so use your grace period when it's just animals and they can't enter your borders wisely to prepare.

- Karadoc AI was merged in to this mod, so be prepared for it to be a lot more competent. If you select "AI plays to win" it basically just erases leader personalities entirely and they will become complete psychopaths. I don't recommend this setting, as things like predictable behavior and leader personalities (fully detailed in the pedia, by the way) will cease to matter. Be fully prepared for someone to rush you in the bronze age. Also, no more "Lol, you can't DoW me at pleased! " (Or even friendly! If you're weak and lucrative enough, there's still a good possibility that you'll get attacked, though it is still less likely at higher relations, and I'm not talking about just the Catherine bribe.):backstab:

- No more colonizing your production city(ies) with great generals for ridiculously powerful units right out of the gate. Instead, you found military doctrines and traditions to access special promotions which are unlocked with techs and eventually expire with their era of warfare. It's overall much less overriding of the individual units' intended functionality.

- Until gunpowder, siege exists strictly to reduce city defenses and provide a small stack aid bonus when attacking them. Even with gunpowder, collateral damage is initially significant but not overwhelming. (Also, starting with bombards, artillery is able to do ranged attack barrages at adjacent foes.) Heavy cavalry also inflicts small amounts of collateral damage in the pre-gunpowder era. Don't expect to just be able to build 40 siege weapons and then wipe out your target with anything else you happen to mix in as a mop up force.

- Nukes are really devastating, but also a lot harder to get. With separatism, use them very cautiously as WW (especially with liberal late game civics) from them will generate a lot of domestic problems. You have to have a nuclear silo to launch them from cities, you have to spend a GS or a GE to establish nuclear expertise, and you have to have assembled rockets and refined nuclear fuel. Manhattan project was changed to "first nuclear test" which unlocks them subject to these requirements for everyone, and gives the founding civ a silo in all cities.

- Cities with a high enough threshold of culture have a percentage chance of generating partisans when an enemy attempts to walk into them after defeating the garrison. When this happens, the city's culture is reduced somewhat and one population unit is drafted into an irregular unit. The percent odds of this happening are displayed in the pre-combat menu. Also, all successful battles generate a small amount of culture for the victorious civ. This system slightly levels out the culture disparity in newly conquered lands, so that if you have a huge army taking down a major enemy city, your victory will likely entail that you have cultural dominance in some of the surrounding tiles, making complete conquests not often necessary for individual cities to be worth taking. Take note, though, that if you do decide to completely kill an opponent, it doesn't eliminate their culture as it does in the base game. Those formerly patriated citizens will keep their national allegiance until they get weeded out by your own culture, and can secede and reform the previous civ if you don't keep them happy enough or can't suppress their desire for independence.

- Until the renaissance/industrial era, specialist slots are fairly hard to come by more than one or two of, and the opportunity costs of running them are greater. Caste system does not let you just spam all the specialists you want anymore. Also, a new specialist has been added, which appreciates significantly in value by the time of the industrial era: the craftsman. It is like an engineer, but its yield scales with industrial infrastructure and it does not generate GPP. This way, production is not strictly tied to hills and watermills, etc., such that an industrialized civ generates a strong core of production from its cities themselves. Electrical power is not just a flat production boost for factories anymore, but a strict prerequisite for many critical buildings in the late industrial/modern era. Force someone into a blackout, watch them suffer. :devil:

- Transports cannot enter enemy territory and unload troops on the same turn. Prior to this, interturn landings were possible; but now, you have to properly escort an invasion force or the enemy navy (provided that it is within range) will have the chance to intercept (just as it is with air units). As it worked before, you could just sneak in and drop of an invasion force with zero challenge from the enemy navy, however strong, as long as you had enough move points from the DoW to being able to hit their shore, which is totally silly.

These are just a few things that come to mind off hand and which I wish I'd known before starting which aren't clearly detailed elsewhere. The real meat of the changes are in the manual. Hope it helps, and that you enjoy the excellent mod.
I am loving every single aspect of these changes. It feels like I need to do actual strategic thinking rather than simply spamming a few broken strats


Nov 19, 2006
One reason why you shouldnt build many buildings is because it is easy to not have a gameplan and only build buildings and press end of turn. You have to realise that because of the bonuses the ai gets it will only get stronger if you sit on your but and build buildings and press end of turn.
So you should always have an idea when you will attack next guy and with what and build towards that goal.


Jun 5, 2018
Northwest Zealand, Denmark
It's fantastic, though actually significantly more difficult than the base game at the same level, so it's typically recommended to drop at least a difficulty level from what you're comfortable with normally. It also plays at a much slower pace, but you might find that desirable. (A BtS game normally takes about 3-5 hours for me, and these usually go about 20-25.)

20-25 hours??? Well I count it in weeks. 3-4-5 or even more weeks.

But of course, I play on very big maps (from 160*100 tiles and up to 200*128) with 18 starting nations. Normally Monarch level - never higher.
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