"Risky" Opening Strategy - Settlers before Defense


Jan 13, 2024
I've been using a new (at least for me) strategy when I start new games in Civ 2. Instead of going for a phalanx-Colossus in my capital, I'll start by building two settlers before building defensive units. If I start with two settlers, I'll do this with the second city I found.

So, basically, I'll have 5 cities before going for defense/Wonders. I'm playing on King difficulty, and this allows me (with lucky huts) to win the game and put a spaceship on AC before 1870 AD.

Has anyone else tried this strategy? What are your thoughts?
You shouldn't waste resources on defences unless there is a known threat. If you're playing at a level that needs martial law in the early game, use warriors, not something more expensive. If the level is low enough that you don't need martial law to keep order, you should be going for early republic. This means you'll have writing and diplomats early (a bit later if you're going monarch->trade first). Don't try to defend your territory. If something gets captured, send a diplomat to bribe it back. This will be much cheaper than defending all the cities you build.

You might find this thread interesting. We were playing "classic" Civ II, not Multiplayer Gold Edition, so the AI isn't super hostile in that version. Note that "hostile" doesn't mean "competent." The AI isn't very good at coordinating an attack in either version, but the MGE AI isn't likely to trade techs with you on turns after you establish relations with them, and the known threats have to be taken a bit more seriously.
I do the same thing. If I run into Barbs or an unappeasable AI civ, I didn't invest much time in that game before I have to give up on it.
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