[Vanilla] Vanilla - Deity guide


Dec 21, 2015
Chapel Hill, NC
Posted this in another thread but thought I would post here for visibility and for others to comment on things I missed. I expect the advice here still works on expansions though other advice might work also. Feel free to comment one way or another. May end up getting the expansions in a sale, but need to play through the endless games I have that I haven't spend enough time with along with the Yakuza games.

Won on deity in Vanilla on a standard continents map of standard size on standard speed. Was Arabia as discussed before and won by religion. Below in outline form most important insights first what I learned (starting with one that should have been really obvious). Shout outs go to the individuals in this thread and Potato McWhisky who gave me great ideas.

I. The boosts to Science and Civic determine activity order (except when they don't) (Thank you potato Mcwhisky)

a. On Emperor and above the only way you are going to keep up in science and civic is by using the boosts. ALWAYS look at what provides boosts and go for completing these objectives. Early example: You need to kill something with a
slinger to get the boost for archery so after ONE scout build at least one slinger and kill a barbarian with it. (I continue almost always to build two more slingers after that as it takes three archers to get the boost for machinery).

b. Get good at moving research that isn't boosted to another item after the halfway point reached (except when you shouldn't see I.c.2)

c. Trick is determining when a and b need to be avoided and this can be difficult examples of time I did in my deity win as Saladin and recent emperor game as brazil:
1. I had access to the Yerevan city state when I won as Saladin on first city found (more on this later) but found the Dead Sea couple turns later - so rather than building three slingers I built two then a settler to make sure I controlled the
dead sea.
2. In game as Brazil due to geography I didn't meet and wasn't going to meet three city states for the bonus to early governments anytime soon. As moving to a first tier government early is critical I researched the civic before getting the

II. Emperor and above game is a race

a. Do not attempt deity (especially with some of the weaker civs) until you can win convincingly with every civ in every situation on at least King - possibly emperor (though I can't do that with every civ consistently yet) this insures b is true for

b. You are unlikely (assuming II.a and IV) to loose by someone killing you militarily on Emperor and above - much more likely another civ will beat you to a victory condition - science or culture usually
1. On emperor turn 350 to 400 start worrying about an AI getting close
2. Deity - 250 to 300 or even earlier if you are unlucky

III. Exploration is key

a. Following the above you see early build order is only one explorer than military units usually. How then to explore - military units. Don't leave them at home but use them as scouts.
1. This allows early discovery of barbarian camps and identity and location of city states and AI close to you important for IV.

b. Still military units so keep ability for quick redeploy
1. Circular movement around capital with first warrior until scout is built then movement in concerted directions
2. After discovery of first tier items move in another direction - first tier items are city state, AI, sea, discovery of one of these don't go past it return to city area choose another direction - allows for quicker discovery of city state and AI
locations and keeps military units close for quick redeploy - after first tier discovered in all directions bring units home decide on defense or attack
3. Upon discovery of barbarian encampments - override 2 for destruction of barbarian encampments - emperor and above being overrun by barbarians puts you way to far back these need to be taken care of quickly (also gives money, and
helps with early boosts)

c. Do not neglect an early navy.
1. Early contact with civs on other continents is great as well as early knowledge of who is in the game and locations of island huts - you are unlikely to be able to settle on other continents but if great location early can try (helpful for later
military victory in the extreme)
2. Also your sea improvements (important for early science boost) will likely be pillaged so having a ship to fend off barbarians key.
3. When exploring especially early I travel with two ships so and bring back to port when damaged as barbarian ships like to congregate in large groups around barbarian encampments

IV. Game situation determines strategy:

a. In earlier Civs it was common for me to decide on a victory strategy before I even started the game - in 6 this does not work.
1. On Deity victory strategy is determined largely by city states you find around you early. Yerevan, was CRITICAL for my religious win with Saladin as was the later discovery of Jerusalem.
2. Natural Wonders can be critical - controlling the dead sea contributed mightily to religious Deity win as Saladin.
3. Science city states = science win, military = military, religious = religious, cultural = cultural but be prepared for a hard win, economic only = likely science or military but possible restart especially if one of each only

b. Your activity largely determined by who is close to you during early game and what AI is doing during entire game (seems obvious but easy for me to forget)
1. Are you buy aggressive early civs (Rome, Germany, Aztec, etc.) then you need an early defense.
2. Is the AI going for an early wonder - then you MAY be able to do an earlier than normal attack
3. Late game - someone going for a space victory? - time for spies to destroy space districts (this will likely always happen)
4. Kongo, America, or England close to you - need to neutralize early as AI can snowball with them quickly (early here being middle ages and neutralizing not always meaning military take over)
5. AI's close to you warring against each other - maybe you should attack one of them after a few turns when they are weakened and military not close to you? (can be risky)

V. Attack and Defense:

a. Deity someone will attack you likely before or at turn 100 - be prepared.
1. AI seems to often bypass outside cities run to the capitol don't leave it totally undefended unless no route to it (unlikely)
2. Early game (till about turn 150) three archers three warriors decent defense - but if by aggressive civ may need more
3. Walls imperative go for tech early put up at least in capitol, cities closest to AI - but can't rely on completely especially if AI has catapults (which you should know see IV b.)

b. Deity you are going to have to take AI cities but do not over reach - long wars kill your economy
1. If someone doesn't attack you by turn 100 or you are surrounded by peaceful Civs (Brazil, India) you are going to need to declare on someone.
2. If someone declares on you better to take their cities unless they have walls - and another civ near you does not (unlikely but can happen)
3. Unlikely in first war - or even at all unless going for a military victory to be able to take capitol from AI - on emperor and below I sometimes start a war with archers and warriors above need catapults as AI will almost always have walls or
put them up VERY quickly after you declare. I build at least three to start - sometimes 6. Either way war needs to be quick unhappiness caused by war will kill your economy if you wait to long for peace you will destroy the civ you are
warring against but be bypassed by other civs. I usually take at most two cities maybe 1 unless planning on a military victory situation.

c. Pillaging is incredibly strong - especially pillaging enemy districts. Hurts the AI and gives you science, gold, or culture. Often I pillage districts of cities I then take - until the end of the war they will not productively use districts anyway and
boost you get from pillaging can help you extend war. Early horse units/knights best pillaging units I like to have three (so if paying attention A+ attack force for me early game (here defined as before turn 150 to 200) is three
warrior/swordsman, three archers/crossbowman, three horses/knights, and three catapults).

d. Early units kept alive and upgraded are much more valuable than later built units - can't decide what to build early worker/military unit good choice
1. Early built units have experience that later built units will not have
2. Early not as many choices on what to build so more likely to have time to build units than later when may need to be building other things - also easier to get production bonuses (see VI)

VI. Government and Civics (thanks McWhisky)

a. Despite what I am going to say about money later - God King is a trap. Urban planning almost always better

b. Until early military is built (at least three warriors and three slingers) civic that gives + to early ranged and land units key - this allows the important building of the large military early I recommend above

c. waiting to build settlers and builders until have civics (and government that can use them) likely a good idea (first I buy with early money while building military)

d. Autocracy usually a trap - early governments meritocracy best for early war otherwise classical republic (with + to builders and settlers in economic slots)

e. Great people plus civics usually a trap - AI pluses here just to large on deity to overcome almost always a better civic to put in.

VII. Cash is King

a. As in real life cast is fungible so incredibly powerful
1. Need to quickly improve military? upgrade already built units or purchase new ones using cash
2. Need to quickly build city improvements - buy them using cash
3. AI about to launch a spaceship part 2 to three turns before you launch - buy military units attack and destroy city (say it with me) using cash (how I won once on emperor)

b. Cash is so powerful I build a commercial hub in nearly every city at some point during the game

c. An argument can be made that Merchant Republic is a better government than Monarchy even if you are warring because cash is so powerful (thanks McWhisky)

d. Cash is so powerful an argument can be made, though it is situational, that an early trade unit (as early as when you have only two cities) can be a good idea

e. Keep yourself at the highest number of trade units you can have at all times as much as possible - the extra money is incredibly key

VIII. City States

a. As mentioned before strategy you use to win is largely determined by city states close to you as such at Emperor and above I never take them over - to strong and not worth the loss in resources the bonuses from allying with them much
more powerful.

IX. District and City planning

a. Emperor and above you are going to have to plan ahead where you are going to put cities and districts as playing more than two hours at a time you are likely to no longer play effectively due to mental stress using the map to indicate where you want to put districts is incredibly helpful.

b. Even if you don't war (and you should) you are going to have happiness problems - assume at least every other city is going to need an entertainment district and plan for it.

c. City placement you want to look foremost for luxuries you do not have - secondarily bonuses and strategic resources, then good district placement (note I consider myself weak at this McWhisky, and Arumba have good videos on city
placement but expansions changed the meta here so tread carefully McWhisky early how to win on prince and emperor videos great source)

d. Coast cities are very strong
1. Harbors with a close commercial district generate an obscene amount of money - especially early
2. Several early boosts require costal cities - I try to have two to three

Ok there you have it. I hope this helps people let me know anything you think is incorrect and what your experiences are. I certainly don't hold out that this is all good or even correct. You likely notice I left out religion entirely. This is because really at emperor and above unless you are specifically going for a religion you just are not going to get one. Also the bonuses there are incredibly situational. I can say that the pantheon bonuses the ones that give extra culture, food, and production are superior - divine spark especially is pretty weak as you are just not going to get great people before the AI at this level.
You are unlikely (assuming II.a and IV) to loose by someone killing you militarily on Emperor and above - much more likely another civ will beat you to a victory condition - science or culture usually
Not sure I agree with this, the most common way to die, especially on Deity, is to a warrior rush on turn 30.

I thought the standard opening these days was two scouts but that might just be me and the folks I follow.
If you build two scouts then yes I expect you will die on Deity is by someone rushing you with warriors. The early military build I suggest above is the way to consistently avoid this. Can still happen if you start next to an incredibly militaristic civ. Also may have changed on expansions - which I feel made the game easier by making the game more complicated to the point where the AI can't keep up.
If you build two scouts then yes I expect you will die on Deity is by someone rushing you with warriors.
The Game Mechanic is one of the best Deity players in the world and he consistently uses the 2 scout opening.
hmm, 2 scouts is in my opinion the worst opening of all. cannot build anything and no attack/defence. to survive the sure dow before turn 30 slingers and warriors are needed.. they can scout too...
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