My civs tier list for Deity Single Player.

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Tiberiu, Jul 13, 2021.

  1. Tiberiu

    Tiberiu Prince

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    For fun, and because I like the topic, here is my evaluation of the civilizations.
    I would rather avoid the perceived negativity associated with criticizing others, and instead share what I consider to be a better evaluation than the existing tierlists out there.

    Surely, not every player who reads this will agree and that's ok. We don't all have to agree on everything. Constructive talks can lead to us becoming better players. I am not looking on preaching a dogma, just sharing a different point of view that I consider better based on my experiences with the game.

    I have to underline that this is for Single Player Deity, standard settings. I don't want to complicate the issue further but will mention that some civs are obviously stronger on some map types than others (Polynesia on Terra for example, Brazil on Rainforest, Iroquois on Boreal, etc)

    I won't go into depth too much about the many things that have been discussed over the years and some things are well-known, like for example why Poland or Babylon are good civs. Instead small descriptions of what I like about the civs and stuff.

    My rating system is based on Need for Speed's 4 car rating system. (AAA, AA, etc). I tried to give them proper descriptions and suggestive of the idea that in some cases, the difference in strength is not very big but it still exists. (supergood vs very good)

    The ratings:

    tiberiucivlist.jpg

    Most of the stuff is self explanatory. After thinking a bit I had to separate Austria and Mongolia from the other Supergood civs where I had them initially.. Mongolia isn't near Arabia just because they lack the other economical aspects of Arabia. Keshiks and Camels are basically the same unit. And Austria just had to be separated from the other civs because of how powerful the UA is, especially accompanied by a great UB and a good UU.

    Descriptions and a few comments about each civ:

    God tier civ:

    -Poland.
    Landsknects are extra good for Poland, making synergy with the UU. A free social policy tree during game.

    Overpowered civs:

    -Arabia.
    Camel Archers are unstoppable and usable all game.

    Amazing civs:

    -Austria.
    The power of being able to outright buy fully-developed, raze-enabled CSs, and getting free units for such a low amount of gold is fantastic. You can also get prophets or great generals with this ability.

    -Mongolia. The only reason I don't put them near Arabia is that they lack the other good parts. Keshiks are just as good if not better than Camels.

    Supergood civs:

    -Aztecs.
    A great civ, but starting in jungle can hurt. All their bonuses are great but obviously force a warmongering style to fully profit.
    -Inca. Hill movement and extra hill food is great. The Slinger is not impressive but who cares.
    -America. Often underrated. The UUs are very potent and the UA helpful all game in more ways than immediately clear (scouting, spotting, surveillance, etc)
    -Shoshone. Pathfinders and UA help to secure a strong early game that leads to strong overall game.
    -Egypt. Faster chariots that require no horses make Egypt a devastating force early game.
    -Zulu. Ability also works for getting bomber units faster to the good promotions, if it wasn't obvious how good Zulu is.
    -Spain. Able to do incredible things when they're lucky, and still very strong even when unlucky. Tercio is considered a melee unit! (this is good).
    -Huns. Horse Archers get to "mini-camel archer" status quicker than normal chariots thanks to their abilities. Small head start for Hanging Gardens or Petra, thanks to the free tech.
    -Maya. A very versatile civ thanks to the great people received, and easy to found a religion with them.
    -England. Industrial Espionage is even stronger for England due to extra spy.
    -Sweden. early Honor-Warrior code allows Sweden to quickly get a CS ally of their preference. It can be Religious for founding a religion! Caroleans are very nice too. The unique lancer enables the swedish generals special maneuvres in Great Wall territory or rough terrain, a feat only the Huns enjoy.
    -Persia. Buying Artists with faith is nice for Persia, and Freedom ideology should be their natural choice for Universal Suffrage.
    -Ethiopia. Easy to get a religion and strong units all game long.
    -Korea. While not having Babylon's early game, Korea compensates with a good endgame. The UUs are of debateable utility. I don't personally like them, but they're not the main part of what makes Korea good.
    -Babylon. Babylon has a great early game tech pace and thus can accomplish interesting things like building Hagia Sophia for a religion. Not guaranteed, but a possible thing to have in mind.
    -Assyria. Conquering cities has never been more fun. I like to take Autocracy and tech the lower path using industrial espionage, the UA will tech the rest. No reason to ever <need> Rationalism with Assyria when you can take Honor and conquer cities.

    Very good civs:

    -The Netherlands. It's well known Polders are great. Sea Beggars are also very powerful units. It's just the UA that is quite disappointing...
    -The Celts. A religion is almost always quaranteed on Deity for the Celts unless you do something wrong. UA is a bit weak in the long run, though.
    -Siam. The elephant is like getting the lancer an Era earlier. The CS bonuses make Siam very versatile.
    -Iroquois. The most misunderstood and misplayed civilization in the game. The UA gives you bridge-access while in Ancient Era. The Longhouse is better than a workshop. Mohawks are good enough even though they're not jaguars.
    -Venice. The bonuses are good enough to compensate the restrictions. The social policies will come fast, and National Wonders are easy to build, including the spy agency. Good synergy with Autocracy. (Mobilization+Industrial Espionage)
    -Polynesia. A very potent civ, and Galleass can enter Ocean. Better for Continental maps, but holds their own on Pangaeas too.
    -Morocco. Desert bias and a great UI, the Berber Cavalry is a great unit too.
    -China. Their Crossbowman replacement is slightly weaker and this is what I don't like about them. But the extra great general power compensates for this.
    -Greece. Strong all round civ, and if you are Greece, you can be sure Greece is not in the game!
    -Songhai. Extra gold for conquest is always good to have, solid unit and building.
    -Byzantine. The Dromon (shooting trireme!) and the Cataphract (fortifying horseman!) are simply great units! The only drawback is the lack of any help in getting a religion, so should you fail to found one, you'll play without an UA.

    Good civs:

    -Carthage. The quinquereme is not impressive at all. The ability to walk over mountains is great but can't base a strategy around this random terrain feature. Otherwise, one of the best civ for the Highlands map due to it being hilly and with mountains.
    -Germany. The UA is ok but unreliable. The tank comes too late to matter much.
    -Rome. Ballista is not impressive. The civ is all right but doesn't feel strong like others. Not exactly sure why. Probably because it takes a while until UA matters, and until then you don't really have any meaningful bonus. Like -Korea in this regard, but just not as good.
    -Ottomans. It's not that Ottomans UA is bad. But their best part is restricted to watery map. This drawback earns them this rating from me. The UUs are not really best of their type, either.

    B - The rest of the civs

    -Portugal - I want to like Portugal more, but I can't. The UA is just not good enough, and neither are Naus and Feitoras. Interesting gameplay unique features, however
    -Denmark - The Berserker is cool but loses the movement after upgrade, and you are forced into a particular tech path if you want him to be relevant.
    There are redeeming things about Denmark, like the no cost to pillage for melee, but overall these bonuses are just not enough.
    -Indonesia. The Kris Swordsman is what I like about Indonesia the most. It's actually quite a potent unit, but I dislike that I first have to fight to know what I got.
    -India - I don't like the UA because it gives penalties early game. It takes a while to kick in. The elephant is great, but not on Horse Archer level.
    The unique castle is not that impressive.
    -Japan. Ability to spam Fighters is what I like most about Japan, not the other bonuses. Too bad you usually want Bombers and not Fighters. Samurai comes too late. UA feels underpowered.
    -Brazil - Jungle bias hurts. To see how bad Pracinha is, compare it to a Minuteman upgraded to Infantry.
    -Russia - The Krepost is not an Ikanda and Cossaks are not Hussars. Tundra isn't desert, either.
    -France - France is almost a civ without a UA on Deity. Riflemen come quickly after Musketeers so they are very quickly obsoleted to have a meaningful impact. Just no.


    Thank you for reading. Feel free to point out things you consider obvious mistakes of evaluations or whatever other observation you might have.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
  2. Nizef

    Nizef King

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    Hi my friend,

    With the risk of opening the famous Pandora´s box, I will comment on a few civs:

    Babylon and Korea: Science IS Deity. Their UAs alone carry them to the top of the table, at least alongside Poland if not even in front of them. With Babylon you can do things you basically can´t do with any other civ in the early (and mid-) game. Korea will shine later on, but overtaking the AIs sooner rather than later, opens up the possibility to go for any VC not just SV.
    Ethiopia and Maya: Getting a religion on Deity is massive and opens up doors that otherwise stay unaccessable. Their UBs are among the best in the game and both civs make it viable to pursue "goofy" social policy paths and still win resoundingly. I would put them a lot higher, probably along Arabia on your list.
    England: For their UA and their superb UUs, when correctly played, are up there with Austria and Mongolia.
    Sweden: Their UA is very, very strong and they are borderline amazing when you get the growth to work specialists and generate GPeople.
    Spain: Could arguably be the "best" civ in SP. My logic being that many players just quit any game without a NW start and play another one instead. Opens up the possibility for very fast finishing times when the stars align. Not really sure, if they belong in any category. In my mind they are a little like Venice: with the right start a resounding win is a given already on t50.
    Germany: One of the civs that is largely misunderstood. Their UB is among the best in the game, giving you up to a 40% production boost, which is absolutely game changing and it WILL transform an otherwise mediocre start to a good late game. In my games, I usually get a 20-25% production bonus and that is also very, very good and sets you up for a smooth mid- and late game. It is basically like playing with Golden Age production all the time. On top of that, you have a luck based UA that sometimes makes it viable to go to war already in Ancient/Classical. The only other civs I do this with are the Huns and Egypt. I would take them any day of the week before Assyria, Zulu, Morocco and the Netherlands, just to name a few that are higher up on your list.
    Greece: One of the best UAs of the game. Definitely one of the stronger civs for that alone.
    Rome: Just one of the worst UAs on Deity. On lower difficulty levels, I find this UA very useful because I can do a lot of early Simcity play before expanding. On Deity this is usually not possible (AIs will gobble up the land) nor viable (you fall even further behind in science).
    Russia: While not being great, that extra hammer is always useful. Tundra starts might be rough but usually set you up for good production (albeit at the expense of mediocre growth)
    Brazil: If you want to go for a CV, this is easily one of the best picks. You need a start with reasonable production, but after that it is all rock´n´roll. Not the pick for a warmonger but definitely better than the company in which you have put them.

    If I had to do a list with bottom seven civs, I would pick: France, Ottomans, Carthage, Japan, Indonesia, Portugal and Rome. While I also like Assyria and Byzantium, they are in my eyes contenders for a place on this list. Bear in mind that this has nothing to do with how fun a civ is to play. As a matter of fact, many of the civs on my bottom seven list, are in fact fun to play. India and the Netherlands are also near to be on this list. Don´t get me wrong, they have good abilities but the grassland start bias is just horrible.

    As you probably can read into my comments, I tend to put much emphasis on UAs and UBs, while I usually discount the UUs. The logic behind this is that only CAs and Keshiks are so crazily OP that they will win you the game in their own right. In my world most UUs are really not more than gimmicks and they will not change my style of play and other things matter more when I decide whether to go to war or not.
     
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  3. Tiberiu

    Tiberiu Prince

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    Hello Nizef, you bring up good points, as usual, and thank you for taking the time to share your point of view since you have a lot of experience and many games under the belt and your word carries weight.

    Out of the things you said, you have got me thinking (and I appreciate this), I will have to research Germany more to see what's up with the hanse. I might be underestimating the hanse. And maybe also the snowballing potential of getting early free units from the camps, even if they have some luck involved. I'll try to see that in a few games with Germany soon. I will look up an edge game with Germany, for fun. I don't remember playing any "edge" game with them. I might also be underestimating Russia a bit...maybe I care too much about the tundra bias...

    The rest of the things, I think, we are pretty close with how we feel about them and I don't really think we disagree that much, it's just slight nuances more than anything else.

    I admit that I am subjective, at least partially. Because, after all, Poland's and Babylon, Korea, and many other civs could be boiled down to numbers too, but I'm not good enough at complex math to take on such a job, hehe.

    I guess I understand that somebody could say that according to my evaluations, Babylon, Maya, etc are only "tier 4" civs... but this is why I also gave them the description of Supergood. The others above I see as being too good to have in the same cathegory. It seems like a distinction just has to be made so as to separate the first 4 "better than the others" civs. I mean Austria.. just look at it. Their UB comes at the beggining of the late game and gives basically half of Babylon's 50% generation, but for all people. And yes Babylon has that early GS but Austria can buy good CSs with maybe Natural Wonders, generals, prophets, and units. I mean, as much as I like Babylon and any other Supergood civ, I take Austria any day. Just great to also get rid instantly of any annoying CS nearby ;))

    My reasoning is this: Poland can finish the Tradition/Rationalism combo so much quicker than others, that in a way is at least equal to Babylon or Korea in terms of tech pace (science), while the player also retains versatility to do many other things better than all the other good civs (including securing a religion). It's also a very automatic bonus. You receive it without any opportunity cost and without doing anything special. As such you pretty much know you will have an easy game/win, from turn 0. And they happen to have a good start bias so even the dirt is usually good. Even without the OP unit like the Camel Archer, the all other advantages outweigh this so much that I consider them better even than all mighty Arabia.

    Arabia's Camel Archers make the game so easy to win that you don't really need any more techs beyond Chivalry, even on Deity (like I did that on the game I shared as edge 134, on a horrible start). With a competent AI that could at least try to defend in some ways (with forts, citadels, not letting units die easily, etc), maybe Arabia wouldn't be so OP, but vs what we have in SP...even on Deity, I think they just make the game feel closer to Immortal at worst.

    And Mongolia is just a slightly weaker Arabia (arguably), which means it still deserve "special civ" status.

    And now a few examples of why I penalized very good civs in comparison with others:

    I fully agree on Greece being a powerful civ but there are also those annoying Coups or random quests for AI that can make you lose CSs at inopportune moment. And another example Celts- free religion, awesome, but the UA is bad after that. You have to cut the forests eventually as the benefit is bigger, and after that you no longer have a UA... sure, if we say "but the UA is a free religion", the counter-argument would be that it's not that hard to get a religion with a few small investments anyway.

    One other comment is about what you said here:
    Not sure if I understand correctly here but my assumption is - no rerolls! And as such I think more often than not, Brazil won't get that production.
    I want to like Brazil even if I am conflicted about the jungle - I hate it but we have an UI for it... so if I want a Cultural Victory, I still think Poland, Babylon, Arabia, etc, are better for it. (war assisted especially, but I don't really make a distinction between "peaceful CV or non-peaceful CV. A CV is a CV, that's what game screen says, that's what I accept. )

    Also one thing that caught my attention, you don't like grassland start bias? Could you point out what don't you like about it? I mean, I assume you like plains more, but isn't doesn't higher population translate to similar advantages? i.e working more specialists, having higher science faster, etc? So If I understand correctly you'd rather have a majority of 2 food 1 prod instead of 3 food tiles. I think I see them as about equal overall.
     
  4. Nizef

    Nizef King

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    I agree that we mostly have minor disagreements regarding most civs. I still think that a free Academy on t20 (standard speed) is the best you can get in the early game. Playing Babylon and Korea is "easy" on any start (as is Poland, Arabia and maybe 1-2 other civs). Mongolia has a huge advantage in the fact that they get reasonable production from the get go, which makes the early game easier. With Austria you need a few copies of one luxury to get the gold generation going but other than that I regard them as "up there" with the science & op UU civs. I also think that the start is generally impacting most civs severely but these OP civs will not suffer on any start.

    Coastal civs are, in my opinion, quite luck dependent because taking the first roll will many times give you completely awful starts, even worse starts than Brazil. Thus their early game might suffer. We both agreed on Portugal being bad, but let me still elaborate on it a little: just the other day I played them on a small map (12 CS). Out of those 12, one got conquered early while five (5)! had Whales as their luxury. I ended up building only 3 Feitoras, which is not exactly great. I tried again on a large map (20 CS) and the diversity was much greater. However, and here comes the catch, you can only build Feitoras on coastal tiles. This means that many landlocked CS will be just useless on larger land masses. Thus, my conclusion is that Portugal MIGHT come alive on Small Continents or Archipelago maps. But their UI is definitely not very impressive in an average game.

    Regarding Plains vs. Grassland: Both tiles need fresh water to be good. A good start has, in my opinion, a combination of 3f0h and 2f1h tiles for the early game. This way I can optimize the tiles to work. This is especially true for the capital, which has to crank out the Settlers. Why is there a need to doom civs to bad early game production at all. India I can, in a way, understand because the idea is simply to put city growth above anything else. This is not that simple in reality though, because India "should" be played with a religion, and that might require early production capabilities. The Netherlands bias I refuse to understand. Why do they have a watery UU but are not guarranteed a coastal start? If Marsh tiles are more prone to be found near Grassland than Plains, why not just give them a few Marshes at the starting location? If you are lucky, a Grassland start will be compensated with a few Stone tiles. In that case, they are okay but sometimes I get flat Grassland as far as eyes can see in all directions. From a yields perspective that is as bad as a jungle start. All starts do not need to be equal, but a minimum of production is a must for me to be interested to play at all.

    It will be interesting to read about your findings regarding Germany. They are by many categorized as a "late game" civ. In a way, that is my thinking as well, only that the production snowball might (hopefully) surprise you in a positive way. The early UA is definitely only luck dependent , but once in a while you can clear 5-7 camps by t30-40. If you get 3-4 Archers out of it (Hand-Axes are also okay), you can actually attack an AI well before t50. This is perhaps not best play objectively. Combined with the Honor opener, I have had a few fantastic starts though. At least it is not mainstream and as such it might interest you just for the sake of being "unusual".
     
  5. Nizef

    Nizef King

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    I forgot to mention Russia. While EDGE#151 is a prime start (and not applicable on all starts), you could still check out what @cocis accomplished in that game. 8 city liberty into a t208SV is an absolute blast in my book.
     
  6. Tiberiu

    Tiberiu Prince

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    That guy is vadalaz-level good, honestly. I have studied his play and I have got a very strong gameplay improvement in my game! I have learned that I can get t 170 Plastics if I want to (practiced his strategy with Babylon and did it first attempt), with a 4 city tradition/rationalism combo and bulbing scientists early. It seems that continuously working scientists slots ASAP at least in the universities is a key thing that I did not prioritize even when trying for science.

    And I have finally learned to build The Tower of Pisa on Deity! And honestly I think a sub 220 SV is out of reach for me for the moment. I can get a t245-250 SV if I focus.
     
  7. Mizzenmast

    Mizzenmast Chieftain

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    Hello, I enjoyed this discussion and wanted to contribute. I agree with nearly all the top picks but wanted to make some supportive cases for civs that you guys have placed at or near the bottom. For my judging criteria, I only care about likelihood of win vs. loss, given Deity difficulty, Standard settings, random map type (of the 4 main ones which all have some Ocean), and random civs. Civs which are more prone to losing a difficult map are worse than those that are more resilient. In other words, I am judging how confident I would feel picking a given civ in a “gun-to-your-head, you HAVE to win this game” scenario. So, Spain for example would be near the bottom of my list. With that, I have to highlight one of my favorite civs which both Tiberiu and Nizef have placed bottom: Portugal!

    To me, all of their abilities are independently good, but also function together as a kind of safety valve allowing you to avoid loss, especially via Diplo victory, when the terrain, luck, AIs, etc. seem to be working against you. Rather than “win-more” abilities, they have “lose-less” abilities, especially on Deity.

    The UA: Better on Deity than any other level, since int’l routes are so powerful for science and securing friendships/avoiding war. Especially given that the UA will proportionally yield the most gold in the early game, and this is generally when you’ll have them running. A little extra gold—good, not great. Nice option for when you are struggling for happiness early-game and don't want to commit to food routes yet.

    Nau: A hugely versatile asset that is kind of like a UA/UB more than UU in many games. As a UU, it can quickly pad out your initial navy to allow for lots of high-movement, decently promoted, flanking-bonus ships to tip the scales in your first major naval battle, after scouting. But the gold utility is massive. As long as there is a good destination to send your Naus, they act as a Production ==> Gold pipeline for your coastal cities that is about 1 : 2.5 (120p/~300g), TEN times better than building Wealth. That would be a decent option to work even if you didn't get a ship out of it. This makes Naus genuinely spammable, especially if you have a good use for the ships themselves. (I think only Arabia’s double luxes are a comparable, but superior, gold source; Arabia faces less opportunity cost for the gold, but requires lots of friendly AIs; but as Portugal you can conjure comparable gold from your own production in a shorter timeframe). You can do lots of things with the gold. If not hoarding it for Diplo, I usually buy 3 Factories for ideology, or prepare to upgrade/fund a Modern army to cripple a runaway. If there is a 300g Nau route, I will often delay Steam Power as long as I can.

    Feitoria: Versatile and misunderstood. They do require the contrivance of farming lots of workers from a CS to have them in position around the time you get Astronomy/Navigation, but this is usually optimal play. Many see these as a reason for Portugal to not pursue CS’s, because you get a smaller return from alliances, and this is somewhat true, but it is independent of the concept of winning by Diplo. The subtlety is in the timing: Feitorias give you happiness from a CS lux(es) without having to spend any gold now. This saved gold will pad the hoard you are building in order to secure Diplo victory in one fell swoop, or buy your Mobilization Army, etc. And they make a HUGE difference when most of the CS’s roll Hostile and you are further incentivized to not invest in them (or, when other AIs have jacked up the influence higher than is worth trying to overcome, common on Deity). Feitorias are also best on Deity because they expand your diplomatic safety net and strategic opportunities, and abusing diplomacy is one of the best ways to gain material advantages on Deity, by getting something (widespread inter-AI wars or lots of gold) for nothing. For example:

    -You will retain happiness from a CS allied with a Civ that you want to profitably declare war on
    -You will retain happiness & Friend bonus from a CS which is close to an AI you want to profitably declare war on, and not worry about it getting captured
    -You will likely have backups of multiple luxuries, meaning you can afford to lose one temporarily due to a profitable war
    -The gold you save on alliances can be used to ally a given CS in a pinch if it's about to be captured during an AI war
    -In general, your yields from CS are less dependent on your relationships with the AIs, giving you great freedom to abuse them as you see fit.

    To put it all in context, I am imagining a challenging start near the tundra, with a mediocre coastal capital, few luxuries, and few expands. You know you’ll struggle to ever reach a snowball point based on the terrain, so you play a “small” game with either Tradition or Liberty in which you quietly do your best to grow, farming max workers from a CS and saving most of your gold. You get CS friendships/alliances where you can through quests, perhaps using some gold to maintain or enhance those that you fall into (Culture-states being the most desirable, of course). But, you are leaving many of them alone, because, in another bit of bad map luck, many of them are Hostile. Early on, your int’l routes give you boosted gold and science while you struggle for happiness. Eventually, the mid-game comes around and you can efficiently convert your production to gold via Naus, and get free happiness, probably 8-16, from Feitorias. (Now you might switch your TRs to internal food.) Because you’re in the tundra, therefore near one of the poles, your Naus will probably bring in their full gold potential of a little over 300. So all 3 aspects of the civ are working together towards one goal: getting and saving gold, aka, ensuring you can buy a Diplo victory when the time comes. Policies are generally not important, except for 2 in Patronage by the time of the WL vote. For most of the game, you are staying out of others’ business except for any juicy opportunities for AI abuse/stealing that may arise. Because it’s Deity, you can ignore science and wait for the AIs to trigger the WL vote on their own, at which point you snatch up all the CS’s and win. I don’t think any other civ has a built-in, streamlined path for a relatively safe victory in bad conditions like Portugal does. Poland, Babylon, etc. will do well, but even better given a strong start. Conversely, most of Portugal's bonuses fade into the background given a strong start (rich lands near the equator = less Nau gold; strong luck with CS's = less value from Feitorias; high potential cities = better off with food TRs). They have a nice roundness to their games from this, rarely doing fantastically or horribly. Of course, they are somewhat ocean-dependent. Nau play can be canceled by ice-bound seas, but I've yet to roll a standard map without at least 12 happiness to be gained from Feitorias (or 8 happiness and 240 gold, etc.) It is also easier to imagine Portugal winning as a land-bound civ than say, Carthage. Overall, for their resiliency to bad starts, I'd put Portugal in the mid-tier, along with:

    India: India is not fun to play on a “good” map because there are many things you want to do early on a good map (mainly settle the good land) while the UA necessitates a very slow-and-steady expansion. However, it is very much a “lose less” ability for a challenging early game with mediocre land or scary neighbors, where victory will likely come in the late game and you will have many turns to capitalize on the happiness bonus, which is eventually amazing, especially if you capture a nice, big capital at some point. UU and UB are underwhelming. If I roll India, I will plan for a slow but decisive victory based on great late-game demographics.

    Russia: Russia is really good, and they shine brightest on Deity, where the AIs actually have money. They’re the best at creating a truly lucrative export economy out of strategics in the EARLY game, which is invaluable in allowing you to purchase necessary tiles (including more strategics in your expands), upgrading units for a Medieval conquest, etc. Unless you end up with very few strategics to settle or true isolation, Russia UA gives you boosted production and gold from an early stage. Kreposts = buildable, even in peacetime, but not game-changing. Cossacks are pretty good because you can stack the Wounded bonus with Charge; I would place them above Hussars, both in their own era and once they upgrade to armored units. Tundra bias hurts, but it can also make your lands inconspicuous on Deity and avoid a loss through early invasion.

    To me, the bottom civs are those which stand the biggest chance to FAIL at a difficult map, due to terrain constraints or deriving their benefits from risky or lucky play. They have win-more, rather than lose-less or universally good abilities, or are pigeonholed into a VC that has a decent chance of being difficult to the point of exclusion based on the terrain/other AIs’ performance (Domination/Cultural). They are civs that you would never pick in a “gun-to-your-head” game. I would include in this list:

    Egypt. Early wonders are not safe or reliable to build on Deity. For my playstyle, the UA is only useful as a chunk of saved production on the late-game wonders. War Chariots are just OK. Their best feature is not requiring horses, but 5 move compared to 4 is not great when they retain the rough terrain penalty, and of course lack of meaningful upgradeability. You can have an incredible game as Egypt, but they are the definition of “win-more” to me. They are ill-suited for a conservative Deity game, wherein you are usually skipping both early Wonders and early wars.

    Besides Egypt, I’d include Carthage, Indonesia, Japan, France, Denmark, Spain, Ottomans, and Iroquois in the bottom. However, I enjoy playing as all of these civs.

    I would definitely agree with Nizef that Ethiopia and Maya are close to top-tier for Deity because of reliable fast religion. Celts are about the same level because they can get the Faith when it counts (getting beliefs/buying buildings before Ren) then chop/improve everything, and +3 happiness even from an Opera House is incredibly solid.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
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  8. Mizzenmast

    Mizzenmast Chieftain

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    Oh wait, I forgot about Burial Tombs...:crazyeye:

    They would lift Egypt out of my bottom tier. Especially since I don't think their presence influences AI war decision (although I actually have no idea; does anyone know?). If it increases AI likelihood of war, then I will still look on them unfavorably for a survival-oriented Deity game.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
  9. Tiberiu

    Tiberiu Prince

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    Hey Mizzenmast, happy to see you commenting. A very detailed and well written post.
    Portugal:
    You got me curious about trying to see if a Nau-spam strategy can work with Portugal, will roll a random portugal game in the next period. Until then, I would love to see you in a game with Portugal, applying your knowledge and strategy with them, since they are one of your favourite civs. Or what would happen in a strategy with Mobilization (autocracy)+Big Ben+Mercantilism? Can you buy Naus for an amount of gold and then recover the gold, buying them for free, in a way, and then just throwing them into wars? Maintenance could become a problem in that case even if the supply limit would only limit production. What do you think about this idea?

    It just so happens that a few month ago I and my friend had a series of games. Some were too easy and then at some point I "cooked" a map to be as hard as I can. I chose a continental Rainforest (for much jungle), "sparse" resourses, and... Portugal. I also chose the opponents, but the game is hard mostly because the start itself is also poor. If you find this challange interesting enough and have time for a game, maybe you can give it a try and show how you can turn the game around. Don't feel that you "have to" or anything. You can see the start and the save below the post. I was not able to win the game so I conceded in the late game. but I did enjoy having unique luxuries like Jewelry and Porcelain using Feitorias, even when I was at war, and building some Naus just to make gold.

    Egypt.
    I don't know about the things you said. The wonder bonus works for National Wonders, right? So you get to build quite a few of those easier. And not all early wonders are non-doable. I will virtually always build Temple of Artemis with Egypt since it creates good synergy for the war chariot. I see them as a good warmongering civ. And then there is always that Oracle who is quite easy to catch. And a lot of late-game wonders. Many people who focus science hard are able to build quite a few Renaissance wonders, too. So while the UA isn't good for World Wonders to the extent that you modify your game radically just to build wonders, you do get to use it and save a good amount of hammers during the game.

    Spain: I do see where you're coming from and why would you put spain on the list of civs who have trouble on unlucky map. But I still wouldn't mind Spain in a "gun to your head" game. There is extra happiness and a few extra gold from scouting, even if second and even if you can't settle the wonders. And this is just assuming worst case scenarios. And even in such cases, I find that I can always bring a settler and a great general from Honor and settle a good far-away NW if I really want to. I would surely try out an "unlucky map" with Spain and test out my theories, because until now I never had a bad game with Spain. If you know of any or discover one at some point, feel free to share.

    About the others mentioned we seem to be in the same line of thought in general. So until now I have to try and see if I change my mind about Germany and Russia and I will add Portugal to the list and try out some games to try to play to their strenghts even more.
     

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  10. Nizef

    Nizef King

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    Interesting discussion! A few thoughts from my side:

    Egypt: I think that the wonder building bonus is very helpful in peaceful games. Espcecially for getting those midgame wonders like Sistine, LToP, Globe, Porcelain and Louvre. Burial Tombs are also very useful for their happiness. I have seen a Youtube video where the presenter ranked Egypt to be among the best in the game alongside Poland, Babylon and Korea. That is obviously not the case, at least not on Deity. However, in my book I would place them (ranked among 43 civs) in a respectable place in the 10-20 range.

    Russia: Extra hammer is, especially early on, very helpful. Getting double amount of SRs could also boost your economy. I usually myself play without selling SRs to the AIs because I think it is too much of an exploit. Nevertheless, having that option will drag you out of a tight spot. In my book they are near the middle of the table (as are in fact most civs).

    Portugal: I will have to play even more with them. I liked your defence speech @Mizzenmast. I am not yet convinced though.

    America: The UUs are kind of good but the UA, while staying useful most of the game, is in my book mediocre. I place them much further down the list compared to @Tiberiu.
     
  11. vadalaz

    vadalaz Emperor

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    In my view there are two main types of civs: those that have potentially game-changing bonuses on the right map, and those that don't. To me it looks like @Tiberiu's top 4 tiers roughly correspond to what I call the game-changers, while the bottom 3 tiers are the civs whose bonuses are simple nice-to-haves. There are very few civs that are game-changingly strong on all maps (including islands) regardless of playstyle, which I suppose the God tier is for.

    With this in mind, some adjustments that I would suggest are:

    - Babylon up to the very top. UA is very strong on any map, on top of that you get an excellent UU to repel an early warmonger or punch a weakling.
    - Korea up to the very top. I'm not a fan of civs that get nothing for the early game, I don't like the UUs either, but I have to concede that Korean UA is absolutely nuts.
    - Austria up to the very top. As long as the player is okay with siphoning AI gold mercilessly, Austrian UA is consistently amazing

    - Germany up to tier 2-4. Potential game-changers in my book with the early army.
    - Polynesia up to tier 2-4. Definite game-changers on islands/small continents.
    - Indonesia up to tier 2-4. Same as above. I like the UB and the UU as well.
    - Netherlands up to tier 2-4. Sea Beggar is a game-changing UU on island maps, Polders are very pretty on the right map are ridiculously good.
    - Brazil up to tier 2-4. Great on any map if you go for a CV
    - Celts up to tier 2-4. Fast pantheon/religion can be game-changing. If Ethiopia is tier 4 then I'd bump the Celts up there as well

    - America down to tier 5-7. Decent bonuses and enjoyable to play but overall doesn't offer much that you couldn't do with any other civ.
     
  12. Nizef

    Nizef King

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    @vadalaz, your classification system reflects my thinking very well. I have come to think of it as a 3 tier (or maybe 4 tier) system:
    Tier 1 are those that always are game changing, like Poland and Babylon and 5-8 others.
    Tier 2 is where I would place most civs. On the day, they are good but they are not always consistent. To fine tune it, I could split this category into two tiers perhaps.
    Tier 3 is where I place the "do not have"-civs, as already discussed above.

    Funnily enough, the Tier list would be, if not upside down, at least very different, if I set the cirteria to FUN instead on GOOD.
     
  13. Bruhmoment

    Bruhmoment Warlord

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    So Austria beats literally plenty of powerful civs in SINGLE AND multiplayer play...
    That ain't right. What is so good about them? You can buy out city states, but will you have the happiness and gold to do that? UB is just a Windmill, which requires a lot of production, not that good. You can give them some credit for the UU, it's a cavalry replacement just like the Cossack.
    What about the Ottomans? Their UA requires naval combat, which is at the TOP of the tech tree, but their UU's are at the... bottom half?
    Russia could be one tier higher, they have a cavalry replacement so that's an automatic +1 tier raise because.. cavalry.
    Why is carthage so high? In your point you say they're great in Highlands, but that's about it. There's not much reason to rank them that high
    China is a bit of a gamble, their library encourages wide play (gold) and warfare, but those two things really strain your happiness. Their UU is really good though, you can even use it in SP. Also - UA, again - encourages warmongering. Very nice
    Also - byzantium. You say you play on deity but you do know how hard it is to get a religion, right? Plus, I'm not sure if there's any good stuff to pick from the bonus belief. Dromon is good if you have coast and early neighbor, but if you don't - useless
    Cataphract - meh unit, can fortify though which is pretty nice
    Poland is obvious, but plains give bad growth
    Arabia's also good, but - UU comes at chivalry and although it is powerful, will you have enough to spam the A.I? They're useful until one of the A.I's get castle on hill or something like that, so you CAN make an exception for the Camel Archer
    UB is good, duplicates luxuries.
    Other than that, nice list
    Edit: Why is babylon on the same tier as SWEDEN????
    Science is really important in deity, so why would you not rank them higher?
     
  14. Mizzenmast

    Mizzenmast Chieftain

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    I happen to have some saves from a Portugal game I played a couple months ago that fits some of my points, so I have uploaded a summary in a separate thread if you want to check it out. As for the Naus, I would not buy them (unless I really needed one now to scout) just because all early purchases are pretty inefficient, prefer to hard-build them or upgrade from Triremes. Assuming you had all those discount policies and hadn't researched SP yet, though, you might be able to profit by purchasing Naus, but probably not majorly. Usually there is a sweet spot after building 5-8 where they are a strong support force for your navy, which you should supplement with Privateers and Frigates. Depending on your goals, you can re-invest the gold in them or other units, or use them as a purely economic tool by gifting them, especially with Freedom influence policy (in which case you're spamming)

    Thanks very much for this save, I will certainly try it out and post my results in that thread. I am also in the middle of the latest Songhai EDGE game and hope to post that soon.

    Good points, I forgot about Nat'l Wonder %. I usually don't attempt any wonders until Industrial unless I'm certain I've reached a technology first, but that is playing it safe. And the later wonders are the best sinks for Engineers, which I like to generate in wide games at least.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
  15. Tiberiu

    Tiberiu Prince

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    Hello and thank you for participating and your observations, Bruhmoment.

    I specified, that this is for Single Player. In human multiplayer games, I think there are many differences. Even there, I would still put a lot of weight on Austria, but that is another discussion. Maybe we can start another thread for multiplayer discussions.

    In my opinion it is right, because it is a very snowballing and versatile ability. You do not need happiness more than you would need otherwise. You do not need to keep the cities, you can sell them for profit. If you keep some, the CSs will provide it for you with the luxes they possess or maybe Natural Wonders. Gold is extremely easy to get as they are very cheap to buy. Here are a few sources:
    -get DOFs and sell iron/horse/luxries. If possible, tribute the CS before Marry and then if you don't keep there is the option of selling the units, the buildings and selling the CS to the highest bidder (sometimes for 70-100 gold per turn)
    -trigger golden ages and have some trade posts around to be able to get some loans from friends.
    -Patronage tree is one of the best for Austria and helps you save big quantities of gold during the game. Commerce is also nice.

    UB is a windmill, yes, but it can be built on all cities and acts as an extra garden. As such, Austria has +1 production advantage in their capital for free compared to all other civs. The UB also helps to produce units faster, which the normal Windmill does not do (even though the normal windmill boosts production for buildings with 10%). It is a very strong building and it guarantees that cities will be able to work 4 engineer slots while keeping the advantages of a hill. I don't think many UBs in the game are at this level of utility, the only better one that comes to mind is Aztec's food boosting building.

    I am not sure I understand your question. I think they have potential especially for archipelagos and insular map types.

    Noted. I might have punished them too much because of tundra start. Maybe Russia is better than I gave them credit.

    Well the elephant is cool and free harbors if you put your cities on the coast seem cool to have. I wouldn't say they are exactly "high", though, they are closer to bottom than anything.

    I completely disagree here, my friend. I would think I get a religion with a probability of 90% on Deity on Pangaea/Continents - standard settings. The other 10% are games where many faith-based civs are in the game (Celts, Ethiopia, Maya,etc), where you need tons of luck and huge investments to even have a chance. And I have good beliefs like 95% of the time. (That is, if you consider Tithe+Feed the World + Religious Community - good beliefs) There are rarely cases where a religion is so bad that it was not worth to get it. Most of the time I do not even take faith pantheons like other people take, but food/production/happiness ones. I used to take Liberty finisher for Prophet but recently I have started to abandon this practice and went back to a more traditional "full Tradition" I am able to do this just because I put a very high value on religion and will maximize chances for it in the early game (do quests for Religious CS, or even pay them gold, build the shrine asap while starving, and things like this. And the units are a matter of taste. I just think Dromon is OP and I take Cataphract over Companion Cavalry any day since it is a 30 str unit in a citadel and you can farm xp and generals really well with it because of this reason. No other horse in the game is able to use forts or citadels.

    I think 6-8 camel archers supported by a few other units are enough to wipe out the opposition. Castle on hill? I don't know how much defense is that but I think CAs are effective even after Arsenal on Hill (around 60 def). Of course the siege lasts a bit longer but the city is bound to fall. The worst enemy will be a civ with both Great Wall + Red Fort, but even that one will not hold forever if you focus hard on it. The first real danger are Great War Bombers, I think. Conquest should be well finished by then with Arabia, though.

    Look at it another way: only 4 civs are better than Babylon in my rankings. Not that bad for Babylon, I would say. I think Sweden's ability is good enough to be on Babylon's level. Sweden is maybe worse in MP. It's not impossible to have 3-4 friends if you play your diplomacy right with Sweden, maybe even more. Thus all great people generation will be high, not only GS. Babylon has the early game advantage but Sweden can found religion more easily thanks to being able to secure a Religious CS if they want to (this possibility is affected by RNG a bit, not always possible but I think 90% of the time there will be a religious CS around). Otherwise you can always use useless Admirals/Prophets/etc for CS influence with big impact. Caroleans are very, very good and the Lancer enables special tactics otherwise unavailable.

    About science: no doubt about this. Science is great. But it's not everything.
     
  16. Tiberiu

    Tiberiu Prince

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    Aren't The Celts just Ethiopia without a combat bonus, basically? Ok this is a bit simplistic way to put it, since they also get 12 extra happiness on 4 cities because of the UB, and also get the pantheon slightly faster/easier. But both will have religion. I would argue that a 2nd or even 3rd religion isn't that much worse than 1st religion. There are enough good beliefs for the first 3 to take (mosques, pagodas, religious community)... No?
     
  17. Nizef

    Nizef King

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    @Tiberiu and @Mizzenmast are indeed very creative and experienced Deity players. As for @vadalaz, he is among the absolutely best in the world and, being experienced myself, I still learn a lot from him. Have you had a look in the Strategy & Tips section in the thread Enjoyable Deity Games? We have played more than 150 games together and I would say that not getting a religion is a rare exception. I am slowly approaching 100 Deity wins on standard sized maps in the Hall of Fame and I must say that I can´t even remember the last time I played without a religion. If your land has no logical faith generating pantheon, you can still get a religion by taking 2 social policies in Piety. It is many times worthwhile and if nothing else, it makes the game a little bit more exciting.

    But that aside, I agree that Byzantium is not among the easiest civs to play on Deity and missing to found a religion is indeed detrimental (because you basically play without your UA).
     
  18. vadalaz

    vadalaz Emperor

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    I'd say getting your pantheon faster can be a pretty big deal if it's a highly contested one like DF, or if it's something like a 3-4 tile Sun God and you want its yields to start snowballing as soon as possible. You also get to delay the monument or even skip it entirely if you get an early culture ruin and go Tradition, something that doesn't make much sense as Ethiopia.
     
  19. Bruhmoment

    Bruhmoment Warlord

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    Ok come on you can't rank babylon at the same tier as sweden
    Byzantium is dependent on RNG, you don't even need religious civs to have all religions taken by I dunno, turn 70 - 100. If this does happen, it literally just negates the UA entirely. Plus - Religion is good, but not game changing, so you don't necessarily need one. Pretty much just Nizef's comment, difficult to play
    Austria still doesn't appease my appetite, why would you have a cs ally, buy it, and then sell it?
    Castle on hill definitely gives a challenge, IIRC it's like 40 or 42 strength, so camel archers will be pretty much be at the point of damage irrelevancy, if you don't have them fully promoted, that is. They're still good though, so I'd say keep them at that rank
     
  20. cocls

    cocls Chieftain

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    There is a very famous player in the Chinese community, caesarfox, who wrote a very long analysis about the performance of each civilization on deity level on different maps and victory types.
    an make a lot of video displaying different strategy of each civs. Most of my strategies and skills are actually learned from his video series.
    here are some note:

    Austria: caesarfox list his UA as the single best UA in the game on deity level. the most important advantage of Austria is always his science, as population is the most important way to improve your science and Austria has the cheapest way in the game to increase your total population. Austria also have a very special millitary advantage as you can gift your unit to CS and let them upgrade for you at a very cheap cost, without even need to research the required tech, and you can also gift unit to far away CS to "teleport" them, which is very useful for DomV, especially on continents maps. (Austria also help me win my first sub-200T SV and I'm also a big fan of her)

    Egypt: his UB is alway one of the best UB in the game. because it provide happiness when you are still founding cities, which usually means founding (or conquering) at least 2 more cities without happiness problem. It is a very important for late game victory. because at late game, population growth in big cities becomes harder and harder, and more cities basically means more population and more science.

    Carthage: one of the best civ for SV on island maps, because of the free harbor. (happiness from policies, science from Messenger of the Gods, and a lot of gold)

    Rome: His UA is very powerful if you are familiar with liberty playstyle.

    The Celts: God King at 5T or 10T is very game changing. Not to mention that you sometimes have even better pantheon choice. This is an advantage that Ethiopia never have.

    German: if you are familiar with the mechanic of his UA, snowbowing unit is not hard and did not depend much on luck.
     
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