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Underrated culture civs?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by TheCulturedOne, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. TheCulturedOne

    TheCulturedOne Chieftain

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    Hello civ fanatics! Long time lurker first time poster here.

    I have always been a culture player because it suits my play style of keeping it small and turtling in. It never really gets old for me and is really the only way I prefer to play. Though I must say playing with the same three civs gets a little repetitive at times. So I finally decided to post because I wanted to inquire about underrated culture civs. I am more than framilar with the top 3 (India, Egypt, Siam) but was wondering if you guys know of any sleeper civs that have overlooked benefits for achieving a cultural victory.
     
  2. slapshot2119

    slapshot2119 Chieftain

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    Hmph... I'm the opposite kind of player, I like making sprawling, huge empires, tall and wide, and don't mind a little genocide here and there to make that happen. Consequently, most of my picks are civs that enable a wider, more aggressive empire and still pull off a culture win, which may not suit your style too well.

    1.)Think you forgot Darius, he's one of the best. You should be in a golden age, getting 20% extra culture, from the time you get the free one in piety until the end of the game. UB adds 2 happiness, which when running piety gives more culture, as well as additional gold, and since you're always in a golden age, you pretty much buy all culture buildings from opera houses on in all cities the turn they become available.
    2.)Songhai - about as good as your top three, at least close to Gandhi. Has a UB that adds 2 culture that comes relatively early. Furthermore, temples come at a time when building maintenance causes you to be in the red, or close to it, and the 1:1 ratio of faith:maintenance is deterring, Askia, like Ramesses, doesn't need to worry about this. Barb gold also helps out. Amphibious promotions and MandyCavs break up the turn-clicking monotony, but not sure if this is your cup of tea.
    3.)Rome - the very turn that a culture building becomes available, buy it in your capital and build it 25% faster in all other cities. This also frees up the capital's build que for wonders. Classical/medieval warfare acquires your fourth city for you, which is a capital class city, but not sure if this is your cup of tea.
    4.)Theodora - Use the bonus belief for a second pantheon, utilizing two out of the three map-culture pantheons (culture from 2 choices of pastures/plantations/jungle tiles). IIRC, I had 8 cities and still had a culture victory well before the 300 mark on King.
    4.)Boudicca - earliest access to religion from UA, enhanced faith from UU, and a UB that offers the most bonus happiness in a UB, that happens to be in a culture building.
    5.)Isabella - just cross your fingers
     
  3. Tachii

    Tachii Procrastinator

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    I would put Persia, Siam, and Ethiopia as my top 3. India is terribad since you can't get 3-4 cities up quickly, which is often the optimal number for a quick culture win and you want them up ASAP to keep up with science.

    As for unconventional civs that's overlooked:

    Arabia - Good for ICS, of course, but it also allows a tall civ to be filthy rich without having to hog every land up. This means money to spend on culture CS, money to rush buy culture buildings. The desert bias also allows for a Petra powerhouse, which helps A LOT to snatch Alhambra down the line and other wonders on quicker.

    Polynesia - Not unconventional, but rarely used. With the new-to-release patch that supposedly give more opportunities for coastal civs to have more coastal satellite cities, the Maoi will benefit greatly from this. Early naval exploration also means faster identification to culture CS and more RAs. Also keeping good relationships with everybody outside of your continent. They might replace Ethiopia if the patch will make for better satellite coastal cities.

    Some people like Celts better but I always pick Ethiopia over them as my top 3. Celts doesn't guarantee 6-8faith with 3-4 cities but Ethiopia do. Celidh Hall also comes a bit late for the happiness to actually matter. The legalism trick is decent on it but who's going to pick Liberty over the early growth gain that tall civs by their very nature requires to compensate for the Specialists later on?
     
  4. Hammer Rabbi

    Hammer Rabbi Deity GOTM Staff

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    Persia for certain. Golden Ages grant 20% culture boost. 80+ continuous turns of golden ages is easy. And that's without Freedom's bonus. It is really powerful.

    And to test your skills, France needs to go wide to make better use of it's culture generation. It's worth doing if turtling up gets boring. So is Ethiopia. You only lose their UA bonus if you settle them but if you go conquering for lots of puppets they prioritize steles since they replace monuments.
     
  5. seancolorado

    seancolorado Deity

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    Polynesia: If you get lucky with spawn point to resource ratio (i.e. all your resources are close to the coast but not on the coast = moai chain) then Polynesia is decent with their Moai statues. I once played a culture game where I got lucky with resources and settled 4 coastal cities. I was more prone to enemy civs but the statues bonus combined with the upgraded Moari warriors (and just better stategy) meant I was able to defend them just enough to scratch out a cultural victory. Not the easiest civ to use, but really fun, synergetic and rewarding.

    EDIT: When I say fun I'm talking about the visuals of the statues. I put a heavy emphasis on the game from an aesthetic viewpoint so I really enjoy civs that look different (e.g. Incans + terrace farms, Dutch + polders). The statues are unique as it gets
     
  6. ralph250

    ralph250 Chieftain

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    Not tried it but would envisage Korea are pretty decent. Should be working a lot of Artists and Landmarks, so extra science from those, plus the tech boosts from building science buildings, should help a fair amount in getting through the tech tree. Opening Freedom earlier, getting a headstart on the AI in terms of wonders, advancing Eras to get higher yields from cultural CS etc.
     
  7. Rooftrellen

    Rooftrellen King

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    Persia is good, but you'll probably want to play a little differently. Go with a bigger puppet empire to really get the most out of them.

    The Aztecs are interesting choices along the same line, aggressive but cultural.

    You could try the Maya. Most people think of them as a science civ, but with a good shot at a religion and free GP, you should get beliefs that help culture and a nice early GA, a GE to use for a good wonder, a small tech edge, and the ability to grab some important early techs while ignoring archery.
     
  8. Moriarte

    Moriarte Immortal

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    France is my favorite cultural civ. Having a stable culture bonus allows for more consistent approach on any terrain.
     
  9. mintcandy

    mintcandy King

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    The Aztecs.

    Their Unique Building promotes population growth for the Artist specialists you'll need to generate Great Artists.

    Their Unique Ability allows for rapid cultural acquisition in the Ancient to Classical eras, where cultural costs are low, and there are plenty of targets (barbarians) running around that you don't have to declare war on.

    The Honor opener and Raging Barbarians is lovely for the Aztecs.

    When playing as the Aztecs, it is AWESOME when someone declares war on you, and sends a bunch of meat shields straight into the line of fire of your ranged units for the culture you get when you kill them. Moreover, the Unique ability of the Aztecs is enabled for ALL of its units for the entire game, not just the Jaguar.

    Try them out, I think you'll be surprised.
     
  10. Crafty Bison

    Crafty Bison King

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    I like everyones ideas of the top 3 culture civs.
    I'd have:
    Siam
    Persia
    Aztecs

    Persia and Aztecs seem to have been done quite well (I also like them both for domination)

    If you're cramped I also like:

    Byzantium - taking 2 pantheons was mentioned earlier, but cos pantheons are hard to get quick as Byzantium, I'd also recommend taking religious texts as the bonus (take a faith pantheon to speed up your religion). Push hard for the enhancer early to get itinerant preachers, and take your founder to be world church (think thats the culture bonus one). Take HS, then let all the other civs do your work. You should get your 3 GP's (one for initial spread) nice and early.

    Sweden - bonus on GP is obviously good, extra CS purchasing power sees you dominating the cultural/maritime CS's.
     
  11. Hammer Rabbi

    Hammer Rabbi Deity GOTM Staff

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    I would also include William (Netherlands) as underrated. CSs frequently want you to trade for a particular lux and being able to trade your last one for a new one and still get the happiness and CS points is really nice. Most use their luxes for gold trades but William makes better use in lux-for-lux trades than others. Makes it a worthwhile use when you have extras and dont need the gold as much as CS points.
     
  12. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    I alluded to this in another thread and having been meaning to do it again, but I suggest Babylon.

    Once you get your academy in place, go for Drama & Poetry and time that with Legalism for instant Amphitheatres in 2 or 3 cities, whatever you have up by then. This should give you a pretty solid culture boost many turns earlier than any other civ would be able to match. Or put out 2 or 3 cities first, then research Drama and take Legalism. Then turtle.
     
  13. Mesix

    Mesix One of Porg

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    For the Legalism trick, you don't need the technology first. In your Babylon example, you could REX out 4 cities and build (or buy) amphitheaters, then take Legalism, and wait for you free Opera Houses to appear when you research Aesthetics and enter the Renaissance.
     
  14. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    Yeah, but getting those Amphitheatres for free and getting to the tech before anyone else could have because of the Academy is what will really put you ahead. Not to mention, the artist slot as long as you have the food and population.

    You could be making 3, plus 2, plus 3, plus 3 culture in Babylon itself on turn 20 or 25 or something, and a quick Greeat Artist would be 6 more. Not to mention HG give a free garden. Thats a ton of culture.
     
  15. Novalia

    Novalia Prince

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    I don't know why you'd pick civs tailored for an easier time. I would ask the opposite question and try to do it with the most unsuitable cultural civs. Especially if that's your only victory goal.
     
  16. Hammer Rabbi

    Hammer Rabbi Deity GOTM Staff

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    i dont think the OP is asking that. they already play the well-known culture civs and were looking for some suggestions for the less obvious choices.
     
  17. Syntax Error

    Syntax Error Prince

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    Rome is pretty good. You don't necessarily have to build the culture buildings to speed things up. When playing a culture game, it's more important that you just outright buy all those culture buildings the turn they are available. The production bonus helps for the other vital infrastructure in your empire, such as Markets and Universities. This also indirectly allows you to get National Wonders more quickly. It helps that you start with Liberty and go for the production bonus per city. Couple that with Guruship (since you'll be fielding an early Cathedral Artist, anyway) and you have the makings of a strong cultural civ but can adjust rather well if things go south.
     
  18. Syailendra

    Syailendra Prince

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    Why don't you try the germans?
    Early barb hunting profides you ability to build more building in the capital, and bismarck can easily have 6 swords without building 4th city, which in time give you large discount on policy price.
    Plas as a 3 city civ with tons of puppets around the world, you'll get policies very quickly.
     
  19. Syntax Error

    Syntax Error Prince

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    Now that I think about it, I think Rome is a strong contender. A puppet empire will easily be able to get ahead, especially since puppets have a propensity to build monuments.
     
  20. Halps

    Halps Chieftain

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    Aztec.

    Set 4 cities with archers+walls
    Declare war on neighbors
    ???
    Profit.
     

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