This thread is updated periodically. It was last revised on June 4, 2004. The major change is the addition of paragraph 11. This site contains a wealth of information. This post is my effort to make it a little more accessible to all players. When I first found the site I had no idea of its depth and breadth. Here are some tips to make your navigation of the site more immediately productive and to point you to some areas that will definitely increase your enjoyment of the game: 1. Strategy Tips: Everyone wants to know how to play the game better. The best place to find out is in the War Academy. This is a collection of articles written by some of the best players. The articles are posted in various categories. Some of them may be a little out of date or be written only for Civ/PTW. But most have universal application. Go to the Main Page and in the left sidebar click on War Academy or go here: http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/strategy/ Pay particular attention to the two articles written by cracker. The Japan Campaign gives thoughtful advice on how to wage war. However, the most important article is the one on Opening Plays. One of the major differences between a new player and an experienced player is how they each play the early game - the time from 4000 BC to 1000 BC. If you get off to a good start it lays the framework for the ultimate win. Cracker's article tells you how to get off to that good start. It may be technical, but keep studying it. Nothing will improve your game more. Find the article here: http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/strategy/cracker/civ3_starts/index.htm Another great article that will help you in getting off to a good start in the game is Bamspeedy's article on Settlers. Find it here: http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/strategy/deity_settlers1.php 2. Patches: Get the latest patches to the game you are playing (Civ III, Play the World, Mac, Conquests or your particular language version) it makes the game much more enjoyable. The latest patches can be found in the Patches area in the left sidebar or go here: http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/patches/ 3. Abbreviations: One thing that will drive you crazy are all of the abbreviations that are used by people in their posts. To find out what they mean go to: http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/reference/Civ3_jargons.txt Then if you want to know how to use a particular tactic, you can use Search in the upper right hand corner of each page. 4. Forums: The interaction between the users of this site takes place in the Forums. Obviously if you are reading this you found them. However, to post a comment you must be registered. To register go to the top of the page and click on the Register button. After you are registered you can click on User CP (User Control Panel) to subscribe to various Forums or Threads in which you are interested. You subscribe to a thread by going to the "Thread Tools" at the top right hand corner of the first post in any thread. 5. Improved Graphics: Everyone thinks they can do it better than the other person. Well, in this game that is true. A lot of people have developed customized modifications (mods) that improve many aspects of the game. I particularly like the mod that improves terrain graphics and vegetation. You can finds various mods in the Downloads section in the left sidebar on the Main Page or go here for those recommended by Thunderfall, the CivFanatics site administrator. http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/graphics_modpacks.php Dont be afraid to install them. They come with their own installation instructions and do not change the play of the game. They just make it look better. One of the best terrain graphics package has been created by Snoopy. If you have Conquests, go here to select the latest mods to improve the terrain in that game: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=68702 6. Combat Calculator: One of the things that drives us all crazy is when our Knight loses to a Warrior. The outcome of battles is all based on mathematical formulas. Dont you wish you had stayed awake in algebra class? The problem is that there are a lot of variables that go into each formula. Several people have developed calculators to do the grunt work for you. I like the one by CivLackey because it is a pop-up that floats above the Civ screen. His Combat Calculator easily tells you the odds of winning a battle or being able to defeat that attacker. This is a really useful little program and I suggest that everyone download it. It can be found in the Creation and Customization Forum, under Utility Programs and in the thread entitled Civ Assistants Utility. I also updated the units so that all of the new units in Conquests are included. The file to update the units is at the end of the thread. You can find the Combat Calculator here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=34114 7. Beware of the Easy Solution: By now you undoubtedly know that this is a complicated game. Because of that there is no one way to play each situation. Therefore, beware of Forum posts that tell you This is the way to do it. Be especially sensitive to the difference in advice that is needed to play on the harder levels as opposed to the easy levels. There is a tremendous difference in strategy between playing Deity and Chieftain. Most posters forget to tell you what level they are playing on and therefore their strategy may not be appropriate for your level. Read critically. 8. Difficulty Levels: The Info Center in the left sidebar on the Main Page contains lots of essential information that is not in the manual. It is also kept fairly up-to-date. For instance, if you are wondering just how the game makes it harder to play on upper levels in Civ 1.29 and PTW, go here to see: http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/infocenter/#levels The advantages to the AI in Conquests are different and can be found in the Civ Editor. 9. Frequently Asked Questions: Even if you havent thought of them yet, they have already been answered! There are currently 3 basic places to go. However, since the answers are chronological you must realize that older ones only apply to Civ or PTW. One is in the Reference section of the left sidebar on the Main Page, which can be reached here: http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/reference/ Another is in the General Discussion Forum which has a thread for Newbie Questions which can be reached here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=38945 The third is also in the General Discussion Forum and can be reached here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=52360 10. Part of the fun of this site is participating in the various contest or cooperative games. Don't be afraid to join in. Even though some of the best players participate, most of the players are only average. For a long time I read the posts for the Game of the Month (GOTM) and even played the games, but I didn't submit because I never got close to the best scores. But then I realized it is not about score, but about participation. So put aside your concerns and join in. No one knows who you are anyway. All of the games have instructions on how to play on the first page. Most of the games have their own thread on the main Forum page, but some of them are buried within threads. Therefore, I have provided these links to make it easy to find the various games: a. Game of the Month: http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=49 . This game also has its own website at: http://gotm.civfanatics.net/gen/1st_visit.shtml b. Succession Games: http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=67 c. Play By E-Mail (includes the Republic Game): http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=87 11. The Conquests game has a lot of significant changes from Civ/PTW. There are two places you can go to read strategy guides to Conquests. One was prepared on June, 2004 by SirPleb and can be found here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=1887523&postcount=70 The other was prepared approximately in September, 2003 by Chieftess and can be found here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=71831 I hope this is helpful to you. Let me know if there is other information on the site that has been particularly helpful to you and I will add it to this post.