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Need Help Understand ICS Strategy Please

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Aleenik, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Aleenik

    Aleenik Deity

    Jan 14, 2007
    I am very new to Civ 5 (Just started today) but I read about the ICS strategy and it looks like the best route to go, even if it almost seems like cheating its part of the game and if the devs were too dumb to fix those issues then so be it I guess.

    So anyways, does anyone know where I can find the full details of an ICS strategy? I've seen many threads talking about it, sharing their ICS stories, and laying out a few basic rules, but I can't figure out the actual strategy from that. I'm looking for the full details of it. Basically all I know so far is that I build cities as close together as possible (Not sure if that means I should build cities on the coast first and then build cities in the interior in order to use up the most tiles possible) and I know I need to get colosseums in all my cities (Not sure if I'm allowed to build whatever else I want to besides that or not). I also read stuff about limiting pop growth to 2 until I get certain things, then 3 until I get certain things, etc... but seen people vary on even if pop growth should be halted at all. So ya basically I don't understand the ICS strategy at all. Links or even info here is appreciated.:)
  2. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

    Sep 23, 2010
    ICS is an older strategy. The devs have made a number of changes since release to make it much more difficult to pull off until later on in the game.

    The idea is to pack your cities in as tightly as possible, which is four tiles apart. The theory is fairly simple. Adding more cities gives you more base tiles (which improves the tile), :c5food: from Maritime allies, opportunities to build cheap, efficient buildings and more rapid population growth overall. All of that should translate into more of the outputs you want from your empire: :c5production:, :c5gold: and :c5science:.

    The Colosseum has been repeatedly hit with the nerf bat and is much less essential to the approach than it once was. The main solution to the :c5happy: problem these days is social policy choices. Most policy trees have solutions to that issue; of them, Liberty, Honor and Piety are probably the most universally effective for a civ with a lot of cities. Whether you want the right side of Freedom or the base policy in Order depends on the difficulty; as you increase it, the right side of Freedom gets much better.

    The most contemporary discussion of the strategy is probably here:


    but you should realize that the game is being played at Settler. That permits much more rapid expansion than you could pull off at King and above, so you'd need to adapt some things.
  3. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

    Jan 28, 2011
    random shameless plug -

    You can just watch it in action:


    The first part of the videos is a 'timing' push with Rome to get Legions, but after that I switch to an 'ICS' (it's never infinite) approach and spam cities. Likely not as fast had I ignored my neighbor, but it basically shows you the 'easy' route to getting the right happiness to allow for repeatable global happiness bonuses in every city.

    effectively, take Meritocracy and build a trade route, plus Organized Religion and build a monument/temple in every city. That takes care of the 3 unhappiness/city. After that, coliseum/circus/theatre/stoneworks/etc buildings as you need them to grow each city.

    A lot of cities will be trading post spam cities, but ensure to leave space around your core production cities. ~6 pop is good enough for the spam. Libraries/Universities where needed (for Great Scientist cascades) and markets/banks everywhere.

    It also helps to grab the Notre Dame wonder for the +10 happiness, which covers the initial unhappiness from the cities until they can get their happiness running.
  4. RedRover57

    RedRover57 Emperor

    Nov 1, 2010
    Also, there are civs that are geared toward "wide" empires such as Rome (faster to build monuments, libraries, etc. in new cities after building them in the capitol). France (extra culture per city), Arabia (increased gold from trade routes, copies of lux), etc, so it would be better to choose one of these civs if you are planning to "ICS".

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