• Civilization 7 has been announced. For more info please check the forum here .

Unusual strategies you enjoy

msw1

Warlord
Joined
Jul 23, 2022
Messages
156
Hi all,

I'm curious what strategies people have found to be fun and potentially successful that are 'unusual' in the sense that they involve making unorthodox decisions or pursuing a victory condition with a civ that isn't typically used for that victory condition. I imagine a lot of niche strategies will depend on fairly niche conditions, so strategies that only become viable on specific game/map settings (beyond just lowering the difficulty :)) or with very popular modmods (MUCs, more wonders, unique city states, etc) are welcome. However, in the interest of making it so other people can try out these strategies, please share strategies that don't entirely depend on the specific RNG of your game -- it should be something that you can set out/plan to do before you start the game.

I will start with a couple examples.

Russia's border blob strategy: This one is probably pretty well-known, but is unique because it involves mixing ancient era trees. It involves doing everything one can to maximize border growth rate and border growth yields. The bonuses that I am aware of are God of the Expanse (faith and production from expanding, slightly faster growth rate), the -20% border growth cost exponent in Tradition, the yields from expanding in Authority, the doubled border growth rate from WLTKD in Fealty, Angkor Wat for faster growth rate, and Lebensraum in Autocracy for culture and golden age points from expanding.

In my experience, this strategy starts out weak, but becomes incredibly strong when you have the tradition + authority + fealty policies. It allows you to do some fun things like pop a great writer to rush a wonder in that city, since the culture from the great writer will cause 10 turns or so of border growth, which is a ton of production. I am still unsure of the optimal policy route, but I'm leaning towards Finish Authority --> Get the doubled border growth from fealty --> Open tradition and get the reduced border growth exponent. I've also found success in using my religion to maximize WLTKD benefits. Since you already need to be maintaining WLTKDs in all cities at all times, might as well get the most out of them.

Warmongering Polynesia: Typically, Polynesia is a peaceful progress civ, but they don't have to be. This one is maybe a little more niche because it requires fairly specific map conditions. At a minimum, archipelago, ancient ruins on, MUCs, and raging barbarians. For maximum fun, high water level, huge map, and marathon game speed; with these settings this strategy becomes incredibly OP even on deity difficulty. The strategy boils down to rushing Pathfinders immediately, up until you hit your supply cap. Immediately send out these pathfinders to collect all the ruins in the world. Go Authority once you get enough culture. As you keep finding ruins, your Pathfinders will end up getting promoted to Koas. Once that happens, transition from hunting ruins to hunting barbarian camps and tributing city states. Koas can easily solo barbarian encampments due to their ability to prevent enemy healing and potentially heal every turn. Use the massive amount of gold this generates to rapidly expand and claim natural wonders. Even on deity, you will rapidly out progress all other civs in the early game. Convert that advantage to a snowball by conquering your neighbors and you're set.

Hope you all try out these strategies if you haven't already and share any others you know about down below!
 
Last edited:
Havent tried the all in on border growth but just authority+god of the expanse feels so value with Russia. I really hate spreading points between policy trees though, but here it sounds warranted :)
 
I like Russia border blob because there are a lot of variants. If you finish authority first before taking Sovereignty (the Tradition border cost reduction), you get huge buckets of production and gold once you hit Sovereignty. Sometimes a city will be at like -30 turns to grow when the cost suddenly drops to way lower than what it had already built up.
If you instead take just 2 in Authority for the base border growth yields and then take Sovereignty right away after that, borders start expanding fast in classical, which is a lot of science and faith with God of the Expanse, so you can found a religion earlier and push to medieval to up your era scaling yields earlier.
If you do 2 Authority 2 Tradition but instead of finishing Authority after that you take Progress, you get some feedback loops. Researching a tech gives you culture in your capital which expands your borders and gives you more science towards your next tech. Constructing a building gives culture towards border expansion which gives production towards constructing a building. The building construction loop is particularly strong on new cities. And Progress has the strongest happiness policy, which helps manage all the new cities you'll want to settle.
I've even done 2 Authority and then just full tall Tradition Artistry after that, using the border growth production and gold to help shore up Tradition's weaknesses. And big culture from great works and such to fuel border growth.
 
Another feedback loop strategy is using Byzantium. You spend the early game just focusing on getting as much faith as possible and founding a religion as fast as possible. And then you take two founder beliefs: One that gives science on unlocking a policy, and one that gives culture on researching a tech. And both give faith to help you spread faster and increase the yields they give. When I did this I was the last to reach medieval but the first to reach renaissance. Just zooomed through medieval with the science culture feedback loop. However, you'll hit the cap on the yields pretty early so it starts falling off in renaissance, so you'll have to make the most of it while you can.
 
The strategy boils down to rushing Pathfinders immediately, up until you hit your supply cap. Immediately send out these pathfinders to collect all the ruins in the world. Go Authority once you get enough culture. As you keep finding ruins, your Pathfinders will end up getting promoted to Koas. Once that happens, transition from hunting ruins to hunting barbarian camps and tributing city states. Koas can easily solo barbarian encampments due to their ability to prevent enemy healing and potentially heal every turn. Use the massive amount of gold this generates to rapidly expand and claim natural wonders. Even on deity, you will rapidly out progress all other civs in the early game. Convert that advantage to a snowball by conquering your neighbors and you're set.
I play this but with progress, koa is really powerful for this strat, doesn't even need authority. I didn't really think of the tribute yields but progress & MUC marae UB seem to pair nicely too. As an added twist, I'll usually late found with poly by a few more turns than normal, enough to determine whats going on nearby -- on communitas, if it looks like there's a good island chain nearby, settler will turn into extra recon eyes for a bit, searching both for perfect capital spot and ruins -- its critical you make the right call, but about 25% of the time poly starts near significant islands that can really boost ruins found. In recent game I founded capital on turn 45 on immortal/marathon and was 2nd religion founded. I also crashed the game a few times collecting too much faith before founding capital :D but this is fixed now

By mid-game I try to have a few cities setup that block all others from reaching various spots near the poles, where there's lots of ice and limited ways in -- these then become barbarian farms
 
Last edited:
Yeah! Settler is safe in ocean and there were so many island ruins it didn't even matter -- ended up getting capital on NW in premium location, had about 1000 gold ready to go... Not saying you should expect to go to turn 45 as a regular play, maybe more like turn 20 IFF poly is in island chain. You gotta make the call by like turn 5, if there aren't enough islands or if they're at the pole, gotta play more conventional. I was also on huge map so there were +++ruins
 
Last edited:
Russia's border blob strategy You can also try this as Celts with Epona, the Great Mare. Also Greek Acropolis generates border points from waring, another nice synergy.
In general Celts can do all sorts of strategies based on the pantheon. I like coming up with a different style each time I play them.

You can do a lot of quirky things with India by getting that super early Pantheon. Examples are the ones that give +GPP like Goddess of Beauty. Also anything with early culture can really kickstart you. Craftsmen with +2 science on Palace also impactful if you have that monopoly.

Playing Korea as a warmongerer feels odd, but actually makes a lot of sense. Extra Science is really helpful for warring and the Hwacha feels great. You get some more great works, and Generals and Admirals to trigger even more GA points.
 
> Unusual strategies you enjoy
Trying to create very large city-states. Cities I don't want and I don't want to burn things, or they are just in bad locations or to far away from my core etc. Is there a friendly allied city-state close by or one I can coax along I bombard the enemy cities down to nothing and then let the city-state take them over. So it's sort of a strategy or just something that enjoy doing. Creating very large city-states.

They will control a lot of land, resources etc. That can then easily be gifted to me via a sphere of influence. They also become a lot less vulnerable to AI rival aggression since they are larger, have more units etc. Also time for me to come and intervene, or for me to have a buffer state between me and my foes.
 
> Unusual strategies you enjoy
Trying to create very large city-states. Cities I don't want and I don't want to burn things, or they are just in bad locations or to far away from my core etc. Is there a friendly allied city-state close by or one I can coax along I bombard the enemy cities down to nothing and then let the city-state take them over. So it's sort of a strategy or just something that enjoy doing. Creating very large city-states.

They will control a lot of land, resources etc. That can then easily be gifted to me via a sphere of influence. They also become a lot less vulnerable to AI rival aggression since they are larger, have more units etc. Also time for me to come and intervene, or for me to have a buffer state between me and my foes.
That is really interesting. Makes me wish there was a way to gift cities to city states.
 
Venice Warmonger.
You will never ever get to control a city outside your capital ; this mean any instant yield is more valuable since you don't get penalized by empire size.
You puppet are also extras compared to other civs' puppet.
Start authority for those juicy yields on kill/city founding/capture. The Great Lighthouse is very strong, allowing your Liburnas to come into contact to cities, bombard, get out.
Then hunt percent-based bonuses because they are extra-valuable for your puppets, which get a native strong percent penalty so any bonuses works double in comparison.

I usually go Artistry second, for the numerous good bonuses :
  • -1 unhappiness from urbanization,
  • Free Great People Merchant
  • +10% culture whilst in golden age
  • Additional tourism (you will never get maluses from too much cities, because Venice)
Then of course Imperialism for that sweet sweet +20% to all yields to all cities but the Capital.

And you can use for extra trade routes to send massive production to your capital so you can cram out units, buildings and wonders very quickly.
 
Another feedback loop strategy is using Byzantium. You spend the early game just focusing on getting as much faith as possible and founding a religion as fast as possible. And then you take two founder beliefs: One that gives science on unlocking a policy, and one that gives culture on researching a tech. And both give faith to help you spread faster and increase the yields they give. When I did this I was the last to reach medieval but the first to reach renaissance. Just zooomed through medieval with the science culture feedback loop. However, you'll hit the cap on the yields pretty early so it starts falling off in renaissance, so you'll have to make the most of it while you can.
Yes holy law + teocratic rule is a great combo for wide, holy law is good for catch up, the science you get when behind includes a rebate on techs, it tends to falls off around industrial and teocratic pumps your empire with faith and culture, nice to double dip with synagoges.
 
There use to be some strong strategies around Sacred Sites with Byzantium and getting as many religious buildings and expanding super fast. At one point you could sort of break the game and get influential tourism with everyone very quickly and win (back when you didn't need a policy count or a specific building for a culture/tourism victory).

No idea if it's viable now, though you certainly can't win super fast with the added culture victory requirements being late game. But would be interesting to see if Sacred Sites could still power your tourism enough even if you aren't wonder hoarding or have particularly high numbers of great works.
 
I'll also add some others:

America early wonder hoarding is a fun opening strategy. Their tile purchase = production kit can net you most of the Ancient era wonders even on deity. It helps a lot if the luxuries you have come on line early and don't force you to stray from techs with wonders (mining luxes might be the best for this) so that you can sell them for more gold=production. Timing your tech path and policies takes some practice but it's fun when it comes together!

Shenanigans with Maya's UA is a fun opening too. The mini game of trying to unlock Writing as fast as possible is fun, especially because each turn is many more years in the early game so unlocking it a few turns earlier can be the difference between an extra early GP. The early GPs, especially prophet for enhancing, can open up interesting early choices but even other early GPs can really change your early game (great admirals can cross oceans, great diplomats can give a crucial early alliance, GE gives a wonder, Academies early are relatively huge science).

I also enjoy Japan's kit. Not sure it qualifies as a strategy per se but Japan is such an interesting web of interconnected perks around experience, war, and culture that it feels like you're playing the game differently with them.
 
I'll also add some others:

America early wonder hoarding is a fun opening strategy. Their tile purchase = production kit can net you most of the Ancient era wonders even on deity. It helps a lot if the luxuries you have come on line early and don't force you to stray from techs with wonders (mining luxes might be the best for this) so that you can sell them for more gold=production. Timing your tech path and policies takes some practice but it's fun when it comes together!

Shenanigans with Maya's UA is a fun opening too. The mini game of trying to unlock Writing as fast as possible is fun, especially because each turn is many more years in the early game so unlocking it a few turns earlier can be the difference between an extra early GP. The early GPs, especially prophet for enhancing, can open up interesting early choices but even other early GPs can really change your early game (great admirals can cross oceans, great diplomats can give a crucial early alliance, GE gives a wonder, Academies early are relatively huge science).

I also enjoy Japan's kit. Not sure it qualifies as a strategy per se but Japan is such an interesting web of interconnected perks around experience, war, and culture that it feels like you're playing the game differently with them.
On a similar note to America (easier and probably not that unusual) you can go egypt with raging barbs and get all the production in your capital.
 
Top Bottom