Which are your favourite civs (in Vox Populi or vanilla)?


Sep 1, 2014
So lately, I've been playing a lot of Civ 5 with Vox Populi, trying out civs which I have not really used much before. Even though I have already played for almost 3k hours, with the changes made in VP, I am discovering new favorites. So I was wondering: which other civs do people enjoy, and why?

Here are my favourites (all VP):

Shoshone were my favourites in vanilla, and they remain so in VP. Their abilities are not dramatically different, but the impact is not quite the same. The extra land on founding a city is very helpful to get off to a fast start. The ability to choose your reward from tribal villages is a much bigger deal in VP than in vanilla, as recon units and their promotion tree is so much better. I will typically choose to reveal a part of the map in my first village. In vanilla, this would be my last choice, but in VP, it gets your Pathfinder a huge boost of XP, which you can then use to make it extremely mobile, rapidly traversing rough terrain, and even being able to traverse mountains and embark. This again makes it earn even more XP, setting it on the path towards the promotion which lets it heal every turn.

The religious beliefs in VP can be extremely impactful, and the fact the Theodora can choose any one of them is already good. But it's the ability to choose any type of bonus belief which makes it really special. So for example, you can have two Founder Beliefs, with two corresponding National Wonders. I have always liked religion in Civ 5, and no one does it better than the Byzantines.

This is another religious Civ which I really enjoy. The Celts get a unique set of Pantheon Beliefs to choose from, which sets them apart from all the other civs. Then there's Pictish Warrior, which is strong and generates faith with every kill. I enjoy taking the Authority opener, and use my UU to hunt barbarians for faith and culture in the early game.

Another very unique civ in VP. The Terrace farm is pretty much the same as in vanilla, I think, but it's a good improvement. What makes the Inca special however, is the Great Andean Road ability, which lets them not only traverse and work mountain tiles, but even settle cities on them, as well as building roads/railroads.

I wasn't expecting to like them as much as I would, but they just work for me. If you get a great forest/jungle start, the ability to move quickly and connect cities instantly is really helpful. Combine it with a Longhouse which gets you extra food and production for forest tiles as well as a bit of culture, and a Pantheon which boosts forests/jungles, and you have a very strong setup.

I have just started with this one, but as someone who enjoys gaining culture and social policies, Brazil looks like a real powerhouse. Building Brazilwood Camps spawns the Brazilwood luxury resource, and as the only one who can do that, you instantly get a resource monopoly which grants +2 culture to every tile which has it, as well as the gold you were getting for the camp. Then you have the Carnival: starting a golden age gets you a lump sum of gold and tourism, as well as 10 turns of increased happiness and culture production in all cities. Topping it off, Brazil has a unique Explorer replacement, which is stronger, heals every turn, can build improvements, and gains gold, science and culture for revealing tiles.

These are my favourites so far, but I'm curious if there are any other great ones I have overlooked. :)
I like your analysis. Thanks for writing it up for us.
I only play for domination, about 20,000 hours so for a ridiculously long time. I like the Shoshone also for the same reasons. Choosing your reward really helps. I never realized choosing the map boosted your pathfinder’s ability so I always choose a new technology first.

The other civs I like are ones that can benefit from horses.

I’m constantly being urged to update my computer to windows 11 but I don’t know if the VP version will work on it. Do you know?
No, I'm in the same boat, keep getting the upgrade prompts, but not sure if VP will work.

Choosing the map first is awesome, you should try. :) It'll get you 3 promotions right away, if I recall correctly, which is a huge boost for early scouting.
Vanilla: Egypt is good because of the +2 happiness from temples, if you want a large empire. The wonder building bonus is very tempting, although it should be used cautiously to avoid falling behind.

Finally, the Egyptian war chariot is really good for first strike attacks. Due to its high movement ability you can attack from a safe distance, before the enemy has a chance to hit back. In case you are dealing with rough terrain, a few strategic roads can help to make good use of their 5 movement points. In the end the war chariot is great for an early rush, even though its promotion tree becomes useless after unit upgrades. So once knights become available, I do not upgrade them. They may be weak against more modern units, but they can still be useful e.g. to kill units with low HP or to block the enemy with its ZOC. Even until the renaissance era it can remain a useful unit in some regards... and it looks good.
My old favourite civ in vp were the Assyrians in a very old version of the old, this was when their UU (siege towers) could attack by themselves. They were essentially turtle trebuchets that replaced catapults, making early war almost comical, then their UA would provide science for conquering cities, you could snowball eras ahead of the competition. Its different now, the siege towers can't attack anymore, they only provide provide combat and support buffs for nearby cities.

My current favourite are the Aztecs. I haven't found a way to snowball harder with any other civ, I believe their potential for turning an early game lead into a victory is unparalleled. Going authority, exterminating barbs, and attacking everyone = easy dub.
The Songhai are fun. You get the Mud Pyramid Mosque which replaces the Temple, but instead of costing maintenance it gives you Gold. Also you get triple gold from wiping out barbarian encampments and pillaging.
Well, Persia is my go to when I want to play Civ 5, but have no goals or ideas in particular as to how I want to play the game. I just think you can't really go wrong with Darius.

I can attest, like the poster directly above me, that the Songhai are fun. One of my most memorable Civ games was the time I played as the Songhai.

I never got around to playing as them, but the Mayans look like fun.
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