Civilization V Changes and Tips from Civilization IV

Civilization V Changes and Tips from Civilization IV

Here are changes in Civilization V from Civilization IV, and some tips on how to handle the changes.
  • Specialize Your Cities. Specialize your cities. Divide them into gold cities/production cities/culture cities. Build happiness buildings as needed (Colosseum, Circus), it doesn't matter where because happiness is empire-wide now; you don't want your happiness to drop too low. Once it's at -1, your growth is reduced to 1/4, at -10 your military effectiveness drops -33%. Not good.
  • Gold is key because it helps with everything but tech, tile improvements and wonder production. Always sell off luxury resources you have more than enough of, especially early on - that's 300gp a pop if your trade partner holds you in decent regards.
  • Don't neglect building an army, even if you were a culture-turtle-kind-of-dude in Civ4. The AI has changed - people complain about that a lot. The truth is, however, that there's not that many blunders; it's just unusual in comparison to Civ4, where the AI tried to simulate the world leader which doesn't really try to mess you up, because hey, you're the player.

    Those days are over - the AI plays to win now. Imagine the AI as behaving as a random guy in Multiplayer - if you outlived your usefulness, it'll attack you. If it doesn't think you can defend yourself but have 5 wonders, it'll attack you.

  • Be careful who you trust. It doesn't matter if you have been friends for 2500 years with them, just as it wouldn't if the roles were reversed. The AI is the one lying in your conversations about how awesome the both of you are and then stabbing you in the back two turns later.
  • What else? Oh, you will most likely not drench the map with the color of your civ. Rapid expansion will be the death of you. Before you build another city, see if you can take the happiness hit and let it pop to 4 citizens before you even think about building the next one. If you conquer a city, make sure to make it a puppet state and build +production improvements near it before you annex it and build a court house.

    Take this into consideration before going to war as well. Can you support yourself financially? Do you have the happiness required to annex other cities without your own growth dropping to crap? Sometimes it might actually make more sense to raze those cities.

Civilization V Changes and Tips from Civilization IV Image 2
  • Bigger cities aren't necessarily better cities. There's an "Avoid Growth" checkbox in the Citizen allocation screen, use it once you feel that you struck the best balance between the tiles the specialization of your city requires and how much food is available in the vicinity.
  • Don't build roads everywhere. In Civ4 I pretty much had roads on every tile. You don't want that here, because they cost maintenance and that takes from your precious gold reserve.
  • When you see a Maritime city state, make them your ally and pledge to protect them. They provide +food in all your cities and double of that in your capital. Easily the most useful CS.

Some more tips:

Connect your cities to your capital for a gold boost. Roads and railroads require constant upkeep, so a web of roads around your cities is no longer viable. Cities with a harbor don't require a road connection.

Whenever you fight, do it with a Great General around. They're harder to protect since they can't be stacked with 10 other units, so the bonus they grant appears to be stronger.

Tech, tech, tech. Rush for Writing and build Libraries and the Great Library if possible. Writing is so good that I expect something about it to be nerfed in the future; rushing to it can slingshot you into a permanent tech lead.

City states. Depending on the victory you're going for, you'll want EITHER Cultural or Militaristic city-states on your side. In either case, befriend Maritime city states, as they provide your empire with free food, which means you can keep your cities growing even with more specialists.

The best way to befriend them is to make friends by completing their task, then STAY friends by paying them.

If you would like to submit your own hints, tips, strategies or guides for Civilization V, please post them in the comments below. Thank you for visiting!