I've decided to pursue a Venice game next so let's talk strategy! Serenissima Cannot found/annex cities. Trade Route cap doubled and all Trade Route target restrictions are removed. Receives a free Merchant of Venice after researching Trade. Puppet cities have -30% to their Yield penalties, and you can spend Gold in them. +20% Great Merchant Rate per owned Puppet City (I believe this last part is getting removed in the next patch?). Merchant of Venice, replaces Great Merchant. Can purchase City-States outright, bringing them under Venetian control as a Puppet. Is still able to Conduct a Trade Mission like the Great Merchant which it replaces. Can also construct an improved Town known as a Colonia. Colonia: +4 Food, +4 Gold, and +3 Culture. Acquires all tiles adjacent to itself when constructed, and can be constructed on unowned tiles adjacent to owned territory. The Colonia will gain additional Gold and Production if built on a Road or Railroad that connects two owned Cities. Grants additional Gold and Production (+1 pre-Industrial Era and +2 during or after the Industrial Era) if a Trade Route, either internal or external, passes over the Colonia's tile. +2 Gold at Guilds, +2 Culture at Economics, and +2 Food at Fertilizer. Piazza San Marco, replaces National Monument. 1 Culture, 2 Food, 2 Gold, 1 Science, and 2 Production. +33% Great People rate in city. Enemy spies cannot perform Advanced Spy Actions in this city. Only buildable in the Capital. Unlocks access to the Murano Glassworks, Arsenale di Venezia, and Rialto District buildings once Guilds is researched, although only one of those can be built. Choose one: Murano Glassworks: Great Person Improvements and villages worked by all cities gain 2 Food and 2 Tourism. Contains 2 Great Work of Art or Artifact slots. +5 Science if themed. 1 Artist Specialist slot. Rialto District: Cost of Gold purchases in all cities reduced by 10% (15% in your Capital). Provides 1 World Congress Delegate for every 100 Gold per turn produced (caps at 25% of all City-States ever alive. Incoming Trade Routes generate +3 Gold for this city and +3 Gold for the Trade Route owner. 1 Merchant specialist slot. Arsenale di Venezia: +15% Production and +6 Defense in this City. Naval units constructed in any City receive the Venetian Craftsmanship promotion, boosting Combat Strength by 10% and Movement by 1. Increases the Military Unit Supply Cap from Population in this City by 25%. 1 Engineer specialist slot. ------------------------------------------------------------- The UA seems to pretty clearly guide Venice toward 3 paths: tourism, diplomacy, and domination. Tourism/Culture Path: First, the trade route cap doubling and trade route target restrictions being removed heavily benefits tourism- you have twice as many trade routes to bomb a culture runaway with to get your tourism over the top. You can also go crazy with food/production trade routes to your capital which would let you more easily feed a capital full of specialists or knock out wonders quicker. One draw back for this path is that you don't have 2 other settled cities in which to place guilds, however I imagine it might be possible to get your best puppets to build guilds by investing in them to bump them in priority? I will have to test this in-game. Murano Glassworks is the obvious tourism option which adds some extra tourism/food to great person tiles. Combined with all those trade routes, I imagine getting influential with all other civs should be fairly easy. Venice might be more limited in completing a tourism victory by the 10 ideology policy requirement so scrapping for culture/policies whenever possible would be important I would think. Diplomacy Path: Extra trade routes would mean you probably always have enough to send to every CS once you get the influence/turn for trade routes policy in statecraft. Taking a CS on the other side of the world might also give you an easy way to establish trade routes to CSs you would otherwise not be close enough to. However, every CS puppet is one less available for you to ally which seems counter productive. Perhaps Venice would more quickly rely on the Colonia over puppeting CSs if this path is chosen. Rialto District essentially gives 4 votes in a standard 16 CS game as I imagine having 400 GPT by the time the world congress is founded is fairly doable with Venice while the gold purchasing cost reduction would help Venice more easily buy diplomats throughout the game to make up for not having multiple cities from which to produce them with hammers. Domination Path: The yield penalty reduction of Serenissima is pretty substantial. If you're able to gain many puppet cities through warfare I could see the reduced penalty yields becoming massive, especially if it's later combined with Imperialism's further reduction. The amount of gold Venice usually finds itself having from all of the trade routes should make maintaining a military quite easy though I imagine Venice could have issues with the unit cap. Arsenale di Venezia seems like a pretty strong building. +15% production would certainly help with producing military and the bonuses to movement/CS for naval units could be very useful. However, I'm not sure there is enough here to make warmongers as Venice plausible enough? Most other warmongers have game-changing UUs/UAs to not only reward warmongering but also make it easier to accomplish. Venice's path to warmongering seems highly rewarding but also more difficult that normal to accomplish compared to most other civs. ------------------------------------------------------------- For my game I am going to plan on the tourism path. I think it has the fewest drawbacks when considering Venice's kit. I don't like the anti-synergy of a diplomacy Venice eating up the very CSs it would otherwise ally and I think that if you are able to warmonger with Venice's limited military advantages then warmongering is just too easy (even though the rewards for said warmongering with Venice are pretty huge). Also, my last two games were a progress/diplomacy game as Carthage and authority/warmonger game as the Ottomans so it's time for something different! With that in mind, Tradition->Artistry->Rationalism is probably the best bet. I could actually see dipping into Imperialism just for Martial Law (further reduction to puppet yield malus) and maybe Exploitation (science/production on ocean tiles) even without doing any conquering at all. Freedom might be the optimal ideology due to Economic Freedom giving +2 trade routes (+4 for Venice!) and Media Culture's tourism and +20% culture. I could also see Order due to Communism's 33% building cost reduction and production toward wonders and the potentially high tourism output of Cultural Revolution (+34% tourism to other Order civs) and Dictatorship of the Proletariat (+75% tourism to civs with less happiness). I probably wouldn't consider Autocracy for this play through. ------------------------------------------------------------- For the early game it seems that Trade is easily the priority- you get 2 instead of 1 trade route along with a free Merchant of Venice. If you happen to have desert nearby then Petra would be an obvious wonder to reach for as well. Colossus would be the next most obvious wonder to grab as it is also counts as 2 rather than 1 trade route. However, that pulls you away from the top of the tech tree where you could otherwise gun for things like Hanging Garden, Oracle, and Parthenon as well as unlocking your UB part 1 with Drama and Poetry followed by part 2 at Guilds. Once you get to the Medieval era I would think a Venice tourism game would play out largely the same as other Tradition->Tourism type games where you attempt to grab the strongest culture/tourism wonders and survive. I will be sure to pay attention as early as possible to who the culture runaways might be in order to begin targeting them with trade routes boosted via Caravansary and Custom houses for the tourism bombs on completion.