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Muskie’s Civ III Civilization Rankings

July 20th, 2006

As overanlyzed before, here is an attempt to rank the best civilizations in Civilization III Complete based on how I like to play.

I like religious civilizations, I like to work towards Writing right away so starting with Alphabet is a bonus and I like defensivly strong Unique Units that are available as early and with as few resource requirements as possible. Lastly some Civilizations are more enjoyable to play or fit my ancestry or world views better.

The recent score is the one I got while making this table, it may not be my most recent score and I may have to keep updating this assuming I continue to play Civ III and update my blog…

Civilization Starts with Attributes Unique Unit Recent Score Best Score
Celts Pottery & Ceremonial Burial Agricultural & Religious Gaelic Swordsman 3/2/2 1103 pts 2325 pts
India Ceremonial Burial & The Alphabet Religious & Commercial War Elephants 4/3/2 332 pts 1961 pts
Carthage Alphabet & Masonry Seafaring & Industrious Numidian Mercenary 2/3/1 1336 pts 1336 pts
Greece Bronze Working & Alphabet Scientific & Commercial Hoplite 1/3/1 979 pts 1791 pts
Babylon Bronze Working & Ceremonial Burial Scientific & Religious Bowman 2/2/1 1786 pts 1786 pts
Byzantine Bronze Working & Alphabet Seafaring & Scientific Dromon 2/1/3 782 pts 2606 pts
Japan Ceremonial Burial & The Wheel Religious & Militaristic Samurai 4/4/2 501 pts 1481 pts
Iroquois Alphabet & Masonry Agricultural & Commercialistic Mounted Warrior 3/1/2 151 pts 2211 pts
Netherlands Pottery & The Alphabet Seafaring & Agricultural Swiss Mercenary 1/4/1 266 pts 1021 pts
Rome Alphabet & Warrior Code Militaristic & Commercial Legionnaire 3/3/1 735 pts 735 pts
Arabia Pottery & Commercial Burial Expansionistic & Religious Ansar Warriors 4/2/3 442 pts 513 pts
Spain Alphabet & Commerical Burial Seafaring & Religious Conquistodors 3/2/2 664 pts 664 pts
Scandinavia Alphabet & Warrior Code Militaristic & Seafaring Berserk 6/2/1 199 pts 199 pts

The civilizations not in the table are not necessarily not worth playing, but the above are the best civilizations to play as a peacenik builder with an emphasis on religion and culture or at least that has been my experience. Here is another person’s rankings, he wrote his rankings before any of the expansions were released, the expansions change a lot of things including which civilizations are the most effective.

Having played a lot of games of Civilization, Colonization, Civilzation II, Alpha Centauri, Civilization III, and Civilization III Complete, I’ve lost a lot of games, far more than I’ve won because I like to try out the different options and methods of winning. In losing so much I’ve built up some animosity towards some of the other civilizations. In the original game the worst AI neighbors were Shaka Zulu and Josef Stalin by far. In Colonization I continued my hatred of the Spanish which was a hold over from Pirates!. Civilization II didn’t change all that much, though perhaps they removed Stalin from the game. Funny enough there has never been a Hitler or Hirohito though both Germany and Japan have been the game many if not every single time.

Alpha Centauri may be the best of all the Sid games and I wish it was fully ported to Mac OS X and it is deserving of a sequel. I didn’t enjoy being neighbors with the Believers, I never played as them. The Spartans and the Pirates were not the nicest of neighbors but they were fun ideologies to play. The aliens were not nice neighbors to have and I’m not sure if I ever got around to playing as them.

In Civilization III after many losses, I think the Romans are the most aggressive. I play as a lot of fertile crescent civilizations so I see a lot of them. The Zulus even the Mongols don’t seem to attack me as much as the Romans nor do they seem to do as much damage, the Impi aren’t so powerful and the Mongols don’t get their Keshik till much later. Though anyone can stab you in the back, something I’m painfully aware of.

I also should uncheck the culturally linked start option to get more variety I suppose…

I’m still in the process of finalizing the order of the top eight civilizations, but I’m pretty sure these are the eight I do the best with:

  • Celts
  • India
  • Carthage
  • Greece
  • Babylon
  • Byzantium
  • Japan
  • Iroquois


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