My new effective strategy (got a 118 Domination V in first try)


Feb 29, 2020
I've tested a new strategy and I decided to share it. I tested it with Brasil and got a turn 118 Dom V out of first try. The planet was Taigan and primordial biome, standard size and standard settings.

edit: It seems somebody else also has a variant of this strategy and I decided to post this link here to compare the strategies.

note: This strategy is for maps that have some water, not for only land-based maps. For land maps you would have to focus on getting a lot of Combat Rovers while they are still cheap. So no affinity 3 in the early game or they will be too expensive. And you would add Repair Facilities in the buildings.

I usually try to increase my affinity as fast as possible by trying to get to Progenitor Ruins and Devices quickly.

In this new strategy, I decided to focus on excavating Crashed Satellites and things that give production, while at the same time avoid getting even 1 affinity in any of them. Yes, stay on 0-0-0 for a while.

The reason is very simple... Units are cheaper when you are on low affinity. With 0 affinity, I wanted to produce a few cheap Patrol Boats (85 production) and get as many pods as possible with them.

The key concepts of the strategy:

1) Research.

- Engineering for Titanium > Chemistry for Recycler and maybe Laboratory (extra module) > Phisics for Drydocks in all expansion water cities. > Biochemistry for Water Refinery.
After you take care of these or when you think it is a good idea, also get Ecology because you;ll need the Ultrasonic Fence. Use caution if you use Trade Convoys before this point, it is a big setback to lose a trade convoy.

The main thing is to NOT get 1 affinity in anything and especially not to lvl 2 because Gunboats will upgrade and become more expensive.

2) Virtues (their priority and order)


The free Colonist from prosperity is the first priority.
The second priority is getting the 3 modules for explorers. So first the free worker and then the modules.
Prosperity remains at 5, no more virtues here!

Knowledge: IF there are a lot of expeditions that you know you will be able to make (at least 15) then taking 2 virtues in Knowledge for the expedition science is OK. If not, Skip Knowledge completely and go to Might directly. Knowledge remains at 2, no reason to get more.

Might: After Might opener avoid the temptation to take the bonus against the aliens. Instead, take 15% more production for units, this is more important. It is not really needed to even continue taking virtues in Might after these 2. Might remains at 2!

Industry: take whatever you feel helps you the most, especially anything for extra production and happiness. Energy isn't a problem. Keep taking virtues in Industry until the game ends.

3) Artifacts usage.

- If you find Pristine artifacts that give Culture or Production, use them early! It pays off to have boosts of 76 culture or production this early in the game. Be sure to use them so that you are sure you will not be losing production, I am not sure all of it always overflows correctly so before you use an artifact, (Let's say you are 1 turn away from finishing Trade depot - Switch to a Patrol Boat and put the production into it).

- KEEP all the other artifacts, stockpile them until you have many of them.

Try to get :

- Tesselation Foundry wonder.
- Drone Command building
- Warp spire / Old Voice Archives/
- Tidal Navigation (+100% defense vs ranged for naval units).

Do not get stuff like worker speed, spy speed, unessential buildings, or whatever. Only things that help production and units to fight better.

4) Health

- Ignore health, just don't go lower than -20 before you get to 7/7 affinity for Hybrid Gunboats.
Build clinics, pharmalabs, etc, only to avoid staying below -20 for a lot of time.
After that go as low as you like even below -100. (Once you have your army - around 6-8 melee boats and 6-8 ranged ones, for example, you won't care about anything else)

5) Traits. (taken in this order)

- Militaristic: Efficient
- Domestic: Cooperative or Industrialist
- Political: Generous

6) Aliens.

- Leave aliens alone until you finish exploration and have your army ready. Careful with your worker / colonists.

7) Improvements.

- Farms basically, you won't have workers to improve the land unless you can get the Free Workers agreement. Do not waste production/energy for building workers, just improve the land in the capital with the free Prosperity worker and get buildings to improve production in all cities. (Trade Depot, Recycler, Autoplant Drydocks, Water Refinery), For Recycler and Water refinery quests get +1 food.

8) Excavation sites.

After you got as many crashed satellites/sunken vehicles as possible and Derelict Settlements (use focus culture before finishing Derelict Settlements),
it is time to get any remaining Skeletons/ Progenitor ruins and any other site you find.


- After you get your production buildings and build 6-8 melee boats and 6-8 ranged boats, it is time to skyrocket to high affinity. Get 7-7 in whatever you like the most and conquer the world. I prefer Purity/Supremacy. After having 7-7 in anything, also get 5 in the other one for the health benefits.

- If there are inland capitals, try to get to 8-8 and get some levitating unit to capture them.

A few screenshots from the game in the turn of domination victory.
savefile added.





  • Rejinaldo de Alencar_TURN 118.CivBESave
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Thanks! So much to consider here. I have found the initial Patrol Boats to be super-fragile when encountering alien Sea Dragons. I have been cornered a few times by 3 aliens (dragons, rippers) and couldn't get away. If you're careful, about exploring, I could see this working.

Overall, a "hockey stick" strategy; go along relatively flat in affinity for 50 turns or so, then a sharp rise to 8/8. <strokes chin thoughtfully> Very creative use of artifacts; I keep the "list of good results" in the back of my head, and take one when it pops up, rather than collecting artifacts to maximize my choices.

I have always prioritized Ecology for the Ultrasonic Fence, precisely to protect my trade convoys. Good to see it's still on the list, but not necessarily the 2nd or 3rd tech.

Questions about this game: Did anyone get angry (sanctioned) with you? Any declarations on you? Who was your closest neighbor?
I have found the initial Patrol Boats to be super-fragile when encountering alien Sea Dragons.

Do you play with Frenzied Aliens on? I think I read one of your comments in a thread mentioning this If I am not mistaken? If so, it might change things pretty much. Do Frienzied aliens attack you even if you never attack them?
Because otherwise, so far I can't say I've had nasty surprises with Aliens against my non-civilian units. I think Aliens like to move each turn, so I guess they will attack a military unit if they are cornered somewhere and have no other valid action to make.
I still try to never end a turn in range of where a Kraken can kill the unit and they still cause me to worry when I've seen them near my cities, but so far even them never attacked unless I was the one who attacked them first. Siege Worms are an exception, they might raze cities/outposts when they find them even if you never attacked, but at least they appear only on Land...

I have always prioritized Ecology for the Ultrasonic Fence, precisely to protect my trade convoys. Good to see it's still on the list, but not necessarily the 2nd or 3rd tech.

A small comment is that I've found that the agreement for convoys - Military Convoys - that you might be able to make with somebody can be useful. It is available from any colony that has the Profiteering trait. There is usually some AI who has it. It adds 8 / 12 / 16 Strength for the trade convoys, making them harder to pillage even by other colonies in the early game. The best part is that it costs only [ 25 and +3/turn ] to sign, which seems like a bargain compared to risking losing Trade Convoys. This agreement might be quite useful until we can get our Ultrasonic fence quest.

The unreliable thing about the Ultrasonic Fence is that sometimes you're just unlucky and the quest takes so long to trigger... That's why I tend to not make it a high priority because it's not very reliable. But I agree it is needed... I just try to get all the +production buildings first.

Questions about this game: Did anyone get angry (sanctioned) with you? Any declarations on you? Who was your closest neighbor?

My closest neighbour was Polystralia, with a Land capital which required me to wait a bit long before I could capture it (had to make a levitating unit). Hutama disliked me very quickly after I settled 2 cities close enough to him and he warned me that those colonists should have been lost to the miasma instead of founding outposts. Hilarious!
He then sent units, it became obvious he wants to attack. It was when I was still on affinity 0 and I only had 1 Gunboat in my base, and 4 Patrol boats were coming back home after having explored the map. But he only had affinity 2 so no Combat Rovers with 18 str. The cities managed to defend without a problem especially because my area was filled with Aliens that were attacking his units each turn.

My other neighbour was Al Falah and they were friendly all game. I felt sorry that I had to betray them at the end and attack as I had no reason to invent to see it as having been a moral action to make.

The 2 other factions that made declarations of war were Chungsu and ARC (also had land capital). Chungsu declared war but didn't even send units. And I was already 7/ 7 by then and stormed his cities in a few turns. He had his units destroyed by Kavithan Protectorate while trying to capture their capital. At a point, KP had their capital on 0 HP, but was never captured.

The other 2 factions in the game which were far away were friendly, INTEGR and African Union. I've also felt sorry for having to attack them without a reason. KP was neutral to me so still no reason to attack them, I ended up as a Villain I guess.... :mischief:

Overall since there were 3 Land capitals the game took longer than it should.

I want to try a game and see if I can get an under-t100 victory. Maybe with Chungsu because they have the advantage of starting on water (faster boats + faster virtues), and also because they have 1 spy that can gain science right from the start (almost). NSA is also an idea, just to make sure that they will not be in the game themselves, which might make things difficult if they spawn nearby and try to attack early. However NSA sometimes have problems because of the Aliens who take out their water cities so I don't fear them much.
Alien Aggression: I will need to check. I haven't changed the default setting, but I've seen the aliens much more aggressive near their nests. If my newbie patrol boat ends up near a nest, I have been attacked even when I haven't attacked them first. Yes, I will sometimes escort my settlers to found an aquatic city but rarely choose to escort land settlers. Unlike my Civ3 and Civ4 games, where I never send settlers unescorted.

Fences and Convoys: I wouldn't call it "unreliable" so much as "delayed." When I'm not following your strategy above, I usually follow this pattern.
  1. Get Pioneering from the loadout, research Ecology as the first tech
  2. Build the Ultrasonic Fence as soon as the tech finishes, shuffling the build order to move it to the top
  3. Finish building the Trade Depot after the fence is built
  4. When the quest comes through for "Station near you", wait to construct the Trade Convoy until the Fence quest (to protect convoys) activates. If I've been fortunate with resource pods, I may be able to buy the convoy rather than hard-build it.
Yes, I know that stations will "withdraw" if no one trades with them in X number of turns. But in my experience, X is always greater than the number of turns (5, 10 or so) that it takes for the Fence quest to activate after the station appears. As you note, the cost of losing your first convoy (whether built or bought) is relatively high in the early game. That cost seems higher (to me) than the loss of revenue for a few turns from an unprotected trade route. Moreover, in these first 20 turns or so, I will have met only 1 or 2 AI that I might want to trade with. I am saving my DC for purchasing a personality trait; my rate of accumulating DC is not high at this point. I don't have a compelling reason to rush towards establishing the first trade route before the Fence quest kicks in.
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