New Game-play Idea: Barbarian Germany Domination! I have searched the forums and Google extensively using keywords relating to this style of game-play and I cannot find anything—So I’m going to say tentatively that I am the first to ever do this. Some of you older players may have seen this, but as far as I know this is something I invented, and boy was it an awesome discovery! Okay, here goes, my discovered game-play style: Barbarian Germany Domination! I have just won a domination victory on a standard-sized 4-AI map, doing all of the following: Having never researched a single science Never building my capitol Opening Honor and getting the opener plus warrior code, military tradition, and discipline (the only things of use to a barbarian) Founding a pantheon Getting 5 great generals My army never costing me a cent in maintenance except for a few turns as I burned cities How is this possible? Well I’ll tell you… It has to do with a unique feature that was first introduced in civ 5, mainly the fact that none of the displays for culture, faith, science, or gold costs appear or work properly until you settle. If you’ve noticed, in the first 3 turns or so you see none of these displays until you settle. I’d thought nothing of it, but recently realized that it’s probably because they don’t want your settler/warrior start costing you gold and disbanding as you move around to select a cool city spot. This realization led to an awesome exploit with Germany though, and credit for the idea that initially led me to discover this play-style has to go to another player. http://http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=521676&highlight=unique+playstyles and user: HAIG he let me realize that you could play Germany after deleting your settler. He appeared to mean it as a fun little perk and not something that would win you the game reasonably, but I have built on this idea and made it oh-so-much better! One of the most annoying features of Germany is the fact that he has this awesome barbarian conversion ability and yet you can only do it about 5 times or so before your army is too large to support in gold early game. Later in the game the AI disperse all the barbs so it isn’t much use. So my initial ideas of building a massive super-army with barb units was sorely disappointed. Or was it… ? Simply follow these simple steps and this reality can be yours: disband your settler, be free! I experimented quite a bit with gamespeeds, sizes, maps, and what was possible. I found that much is possible including world domination, but it is hard, especially on fast game speeds. Here are the rules and goals for this gameplay style that I invented to make it fun, these settings are optimized to make it possible to win as a barbarian: Initial settings: Marathon or Epic Speed Pangaea Map Raging barbs (doesn’t help you initially, but does provide 2 quick levels of training, can’t make it too easy on you!) Select the <complete kills> option otherwise the game will say you lose without a city upon the taking and burning of your first victim. Standard is best as Huge is very hard to find/control all AI, mainly due to the large delays in healing in the wilderness between camps and exploring. I also turned the civ numbers down to make a little more barb space as I was just trying to demonstrate that you could win this way without it being something cheap like Duel-settler which would be a meaningless victory. I have beaten up to a King game this way. It was doable enough I think I could definitely take Emporer and probably Immortal too. Deity would be difficult but possible on maybe marathon. Special Rules: A. Upon contact, you must declare war on every civ you meet—no exceptions. You must do it within 1 turn of contact. If you pick and choose the time and take civs one at a time you get an unfair advantage with this playstyle as AI don't ever target you since you own no cities. You are allowed to wait until your active turn to do this where you have motions left to retreat, attack, or fortify. B. You must never make peace with the civilized heathens. No matter how much they beg or offer you juicy cities to burn. Note: I’ve never seen them do this anyway UNLESS you own a city currently (are razing one) as they seem to perceive you as weak without a capitol no matter how huge your barbarian hordes become. I went the whole game without a suit for peace even though I burned every city on the map but capitols--it was surprisingly quiet and AI-chatter free which was a nice change, but as soon as I started collecting capitols the begging began. C. You must raze every city you find, and you cannot keep them. The AI will be city-spamming on the large map with reduced civs so you must keep up your regular map-cleansing sweeps and burn them all. Note that you will have to pay gold for a couple turns as it burns so don’t let them grow large! My game I never captured anything with more than 4 population so this was pretty easy. Capitals you obviously can't burn so just raze everything and move on. D. You must delete every unit you capture. It doesn’t much matter as you can’t use them much, but as a barbarian without encampments this is what they do. About the only use civilian units are is making tons of roads to screw with the AI's economy but it’s way too easy to bait and kill the archers garrisoned. I found it a little exploitive to keep them, and decided against it. Plus if you nerf their economy with road spam they can never support any units which takes the fun out of the battles. To play: Realize that settling is for the weak and disband that starting settler as a traitor to Germany’s barbarian roots. Move your warrior around and find a barb tribe. Convert that unit (careful, don’t die and lose!) and look for more. Realize at this point that your unit(s) are costing you no gold to maintain because you didn’t bother to settle and so you are still under gold-free maintenance pre-settling rules! Begin to build the massive barbarian army you always dreamed of, free of maintenance cost, and harass the heck out of every civilized fellow you find. Burn cities! Disband those worthless settlers/GPs/and workers! Raze every improvement! Basically be the giant pain in the ass that real barbarians are but this time you’re having the fun! It is loads of fun and very freeing as you don’t have to worry about gold, happiness, or any of that tedious crap. Gradually build your armies and split them off until you have every capitol surrounded and subdued. Then strike at all the capitals at the same time. If you can take them all the game will end (confirmed, you do not need your own capitol to exist). By no means take the capitols before you have every one found and ready to conquer, though, as you cannot burn capitols and the large army you have built will start costing you a LOT of gpt upon the taking of a permanent city. You may have 50 turns or so of gold to support your troops so you have some time to finish everyone. Unusually civilized things that are possible and that I have accomplished: You can collect culture from ruins and open honor for a permanent culture income. Most of the tenets are worthless to you, but a few of the honor tenets, and especially the opener are amazing as a barbarian civ. You can found a Pantheon (not that it does you any good) You can get great generals You can Ally CS’s and receive units from them! You can receive barbarian units for techs that you have never researched (confirmed) Things you will never be able to do with this playstyle (as far as I know): Ever research a tech Produce anything with cities Upgrade any units Get off-continent (hence pangeaea being a requirement) Receive any special (non-barb) units Be sure to keep those AI down or they will outstrip you and start removing your barbarian friends from the map; then you will lose. Your biggest problem will be their tech, but as barbarians get some of the new units too it is possible to keep collecting new units for your army, however, the longer you wait the worse and more outdated the bulk of your army will get (because you can’t upgrade without tech, I wanted too but there is no way to make those super-warriors upgrade! ) so strike early and cripple your opponents’ expansion and science as much as possible. My story and my game are told below, along with the path of discovery that I traveled, from just having fun to realizing that I could conceivably win playing as a barbarian, many pictures included in spoilers if you want to see how this plays out in a real game: Spoiler : I started on marathon to see if domination was possible (gives you an advantage since you acquire units at the same rate regardless of game speed) My initial starting position, boy was it beautiful! But I must be strong and exterminate the dissenting population. Bye, bye settler! Spoiler : my first ruin, what luck! Spoiler : First contact DoW: lol! Attila thought he got lucky with that thing…too bad, battering rams aren’t much use against the cityless hordes of unwashed germany! Spoiler : …cornered and destroyed Oh, another warlike civ? Perfect! Handle this warrior! Note, you get 1 score point per military so I kinda suck there… Spoiler : Oh baby, I am just so lucky this game! Look what I found! This thing greatly increased my mobility as the terrain was extra rough on this map. I took to taking regular pilgrimages to the holy mountain as the movement bonus made attacking hill-fortified cities like Gao and Karakorum so much easier. Shaved about 50 turns of exploration off at least as well. Spoiler : So you got archers did you? So do my little friends… Spoiler : …and handaxes Spoiler : lol, you got to be kidding me, a pantheon? I searched the list for something of use but no luck. Every one was geared toward cities. I picked faith-healers which is the only one of remote use. Maybe while I’m razing cities I’ve taken I can get a few turns of bonus-healing to quick-recover my army? (unconfirmed) I thought this would work but apparently you need the pantheon in it for the city to be considered friendly. At least I presume because it never seemed to work. Spoiler : Would’ve been an awesome boost though, as the main slowdown in this game was healing without cities around to speed it up. In the beginning I was wasting 9 turns to heal after every encampment…it was ridiculously slow. I took to putting on all my melee the healing promotion second and moving them in 2’s or 3’s to get the +15 hp healing rate and it sped up the recruitment process by about 50%! You need to get exp from real AI to get the 3rd promotion for +20 hp but it’s worth it to have about 1/5 of your army be these. Really speeds things up! I chose my warriors as this promotion as I knew they would be worthless taking cities later and it gave them a permanent use—it got so that I regretted every one I lost later. I kept them out of reach near the city attackers for the extra healing and set up healing spheres: Spoiler : The army is growing—my first city victim! Muuuwahaha! Spoiler : This is when I realized something amazing, see all the display metrics that have been blank the whole game have appeared! I have 10 faith after the pantheon, am now losing gold (of course), and WHAT!? I have enough culture to open a policy! This came from a lucky 2-culture strike on ruins and is the only way this will ever happen. Yay! I just randomly noticed this, I almost didn’t and would’ve just moved on with the game as when you surpass the 75 culture it doesn’t alert you without a city active. (confirmed on 3 games) Opening honor baby! Spoiler : Doing this really turned the game around, I went from monkeying around to being a real powerhouse over the next 100 turns. Not only did I earn culture for every barb killed from then on, allowing me to keep opening policies during the few turns I was burning cities, (cuz they count as yours while they burn), but the most useful thing is it alerted me to every new barb encampment and my recruitment rate literally increased by about 5x-10x! check out that long list of 20 encampments it told me about with opening! City number 2 down the tubes, this is getting fun! Spoiler : After killing everything he owned, disbanding his worker, and razing every improvement and extra city I moved on from the hapless Ghengis Khan, a victim of his own style of brutality. Next I find Attila, the guy had several units and 3 cities already! Time to shut this runaway down! I had to lose 2-3 elite troops to his horse archers! Spoiler : Note the turns. Recruiting, building momentum, and razing Ghengis’s accomplishments to the ground took a lot of time, but I was by no means playing optimally, I have no idea how quickly you could achieve this type of domination, but on a map like mine it takes a while as I’ll show you. Camping Attila to make sure he doesn’t come back in power: Spoiler : I took to splitting my army with each subduing, and leaving a couple troops to tend to things: disband the occasional foolish worker, kill the occasional unit produced, and of course, cap all the settlers. They would also periodically go recruit from nearby encampments that spawned to rebuild the army that had moved on and prepare for taking their pet city in the future. (takes a good-sized force with these ancient units) It took forever to find everyone as I had a huge, Pangaea, snaky landmass. Songhai and Indonesia had ages to prepare for me, as true to my rule I DoWed their scouts ages in advance of my forces. Here’s Songhai! A beautiful starting empire to destroy! This is my elite expeditionary force that I took to sending to find each new civ. Each group had barbarian pawns they picked up along the way but the elite have 5-6 upgrades at this point and they all have cover promotions. Spoiler : The fall of Songhai: Spoiler : Oh look! Full honor! This is about as far as you can get policies that actually help the barbarian playstyle. Most others require cities. Spoiler : If you can finish honor then you get gold on kills which helps accumulate a mass of it for supporting your units upon the taking of the capitals (means more time) but I found I had plenty from encampments. Check out mah stash! Spoiler : By the end of the game I had 3500 or about 70 turns of support for my burgeoning army to take all capitals. And that’s disregarding the steady income from more encampments. In reality I had enough to last me 80-90 turns. Germanys other UA 25% reduction in land unit cost really synergizes with this playstyle. 3 out of 4 civs subdued and camped, where is the fourth? Freaking Indonesia was way away and through a mass of jungle. Spoiler : Note the loads of generals accumulating. I got one from a policy, then realized I had enough backed-up points for 2-3 more currently. They all popped into existence when resistance ended in one of my being-razed Songhai cities. If you can’t get this to happen I found you can just halt razing one turn and they all pop in-game. Pretty useful for city-taking.