peaceful Venice game strategy


Jul 17, 2014
Is it possible to go for multiple victory conditions at once or is it better to concentrate on Venice's gold generation and city state overtaking?

From what I understand gold is Venice's most powerful weapon of all, since you can buy CS, rush buildings, buy military units etc. I think diplomatic victory should be easy to achieve. However, my first experience with Venice didn't go so well because I didn't generate enough gold and was too late in the game to produce a great merchant.

What is your favorite way to play Venice?


Sep 20, 2010
I play Venice a good bit on Immortal level. I don't consider myself an expert by any means, but I've had some success with the following approach. I don't take a rigid approach of first build this, and then build that, etc. However, here are my rules of thumb. First off, I'll say that you can have a pretty hard time if you don't have a number of nearby city states on decent land. Until you come up with an approach that works for you, I would suggest that you abandon a game if you don't have nearby city states on good land.

Pretty quickly I research sailing and optics for two reasons. One, you obviously want that Great Merchant (GM). Second, if at all possible you want to build the Great Lighthouse for two reasons: 1) It gives you one point per turn toward the generation of another GM; 2) That +1 movement for your ships is of value. About 50% of the time, an AI civ will beat me to the Great Lighthouse, but I think it's worth trying for the chance of getting a second GM earlier.

I usually do not send out that first GM to buy a city state until I have researched bronze working. My reason for that is that you usually don't get iron near Venice, so if a city state has it, I might buy that city state, unless it is one of those all or almost all tundra city states that don't grow well. Once you research currency be sure to send a specialist to your market since that will give you +1 points a turn toward a GM. Also build the national wonder that gives you extra points toward great persons. (The name escapes me right now.) If you're on a river, be sure to build a garden for the extra great person point production it gives you.

As for policies, I work all the way through the Tradition tree. I then start working the Commerce tree, starting with the policy that gets you liebknechts, followed by the one that reduces the cost for purchasing buildings and units. From there I sometimes finish Construction, or switch to Science. It depends on my situation.

Early on, you want to grow as quickly as possible so concentrate on working those tiles that will increase your food production. After founding your first two cities, if possible start a trade route from each one to Venice that will deliver food. That will fuel the growth of Venice. You also want to generate as much gold as possible. That means getting your trade routes going as soon as possible. I almost always send ships in preference over caravans because they give you more gold.

I don't claim that this approach is optimal, but I hope it helps.


Senior Java Wizard
Retired Moderator
Mar 17, 2008
As everybody, in Civ V the optimum tech path actually is identical for all victory conditions up to and including modern era when it will diverge for which tech to enter the Atomic Era with. In fact Venice doesn't even change it much given the need to hook up a couple of luxuries before buying a city state. (While you will want Optics before NC as Venice you still want the techs to connect your luxuries and see Horses & Iron first)
A key note on Venice is that your science will suffer compared to generic civ due to shared counter between GMOV and GS. So while Venice is fun to play, victory takes longer.

On the policy trees, as above Tradition works best for growth & happiness.

Rationalism will somewhat improve science situation with it including policies that give +2 science for all the merchant specialists your puppets run and +1 science for all the trade posts you'll construct for your puppets to work.

Exploration though actually has significant economic advantages: The left side will get you extra hammers for all your coastal cities and with most city states being on the coast... Then an additional boost in your capital as soon as you build East India, and then every one of your external cargo routes with provide extra gold. Top right will provide happiness bonuses to buildings your puppets want to build anyway. It's only the bottom right that's not useful.

Right side of Commerce also has economic advantages (including cheaper buying of buildings), but the left side doesn't have anything much to offer. (You'll use harbors to connect to the city states, cargo ships instead of caravans, and your puppets will actually generate a bunch of GMOV without help)

If you are seeking Cultural victory, Aesthetics is on the must have list, but otherwise skip.

Patronage actually has less use to Venice than most civs since you'll be buying city states.

The first few city states you buy should initially each run a food cargo ship to Venice.

For diplomatic victory: Each city state you buy decreases the requirement to win by one vote. While an ally is worth two votes. So late in the game you can strategically use GMOV to buy city states that would take 100+ influence to become an ally while if you only need a few points instead use GMOV to become an ally.

For cultural victory: A lot of arch sites are placed near cities that started the game as city states, so you'll have more of them nearby than usual for use as landmarks & artificats. The downsize though is that only Venice can actually build archaeologists and so you may have to wait until Airports are built to have easy access to all of them.

For science victory: Venice has the cash to cash buy more space parts than any other civ could. Unfortunately though the real bottleneck is science.


Oct 13, 2010
Patronage actually has less use to Venice than most civs since you'll be buying city states.

Definitely disagree here. You shouldn't be buying more than like 2 CS, its not enough to make a difference. Science is Venice's weakness and you will have tons of allies, so that policy for extra science is a really good fit.
Aug 12, 2013
Venice is a late game powerhouse because of the gold. With 14 trade routes leveraged, you should be able to buy your way to victory either through military or diplomacy. I think gunboat diplomacy might be interesting as Venice, I have never tried it. Autocracy for a diplomatic victory? sounds different.

Opening Patronage is very useful because it allows building the forbidden palace, but also for the cheaper influence from gold and later on the extra science from CS. After that, placing policy points into rationalism might be a better idea.

in fact, if you think you can get wonders at all then FP is worth it, so is Big Ben (Commerce), but just the opener. The gold you save on buildings goes toward CS bribery or units.

I like to Go Freedom with venice. If Freedom, then I spend only a few policies in Freedom (just 2 sometimes!) and get more in other policy groups. In this case I usualy only have 3 puppets. having lots of GMOV saved for the end game can help.

I am now tempted to try autocracy and see if I can get to gunboat fast enough to have it make a diplo victory easier....


King of the Beers
Jun 18, 2003
Hidden Underground Volcano Lair
The Maritime CS tend to make tons of ships. If you focus the MoV on them you might do well on Gunboat Diplomacy.
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