Muschamp Rd

Muskie’s Civilization 3 Complete Maxims

March 26th, 2008
Civilization

One thing I’ve done a lot of since my MBA finished was play Civilization 3 Complete. I spend too much time in front of the computer. I’ve blogged about it before, even attempted to rank the Civilizations for my playing style which is that of a peace-nik builder who devotes a lot of resources to culture and science. While trying to beat the game on Emperor I scribbled down a few notes which I guess I’ll share with the blogosphere now.

Civ III is an old game and it’s sequel has been out for years but it required basically a new computer for both me and my friend Dave so we’ve stayed stuck back in time. If Alpha Centauri (SMACX) had been completely ported to OS X or even if it and MOO2 worked better in emulation I might still play those. I think Alpha Centauri did a better job of balancing aggressive militaristic play with peaceful building. And only MOO2 allowed you to customize your race/civilization. Civ III and Alpha Centauri did allow you to muck with some text files and many players did, but MOO2 has the race and ship editors. MOO2 diplomacy had the Non-Agression Pact, the closest thing to that in Civ III is the Right of Passage agreement. Hopefully in Civ IV they have better diplomacy and plenty of options for those who choose not enslave their people and attack their neighbours at their earliest convenience.

Civ III Maxims

  • Always play a religious civilization. Even if you plan to be aggressive towards your neighbours it helps to be religious. Many religious civilizations have excellent unique units. And once you get used to being religious, anarchy and riots become even more annoying when you play a non-religious civilization.
  • Build barracks on your front-line too. I always have one or two cities that I try to optimize for production. But the barracks also helps your troops heal faster when they are attacked so it is very useful in cities bordering aggressive enemies.
  • Don’t build a diamond mine, especially on a mountain, early in the game. It is more important to grow your population and add additional cities.
  • Dirty Trick: Go back a few turns and change which wonder you are producing even if it requires you making a desperate trade for tech. It is so frustrating to lose all that production.
  • Research tech that leads to easy wonders.
  • Always try to get a port per sea and send a token curragh out to explore.
  • It is worth fighting over iron.
  • Research construction before republic and possibly before literature.
  • Don’t forget the resources and techs needed for unique units.
  • Always check for trades when you have a new tech or excess resources and luxuries.
  • Always build the Forbidden City before becoming a republic.
  • Remember to use the end of turn money grab when you are one turn away from researching a new tech.
  • Watch the power graph, the weakest will get attacked by the AI.
  • Always maintain a positive cash flow.
  • Pollution be damned you need a city that can build wonders quickly. So factories and even a few coal plants are necessary.
  • If you are on a continent with just you and one other civ, it’s you or them.

The top 5 Civilizations I’ve had the most success with

  1. The Celts: Agricultural and Religious for growth, good starting techs and an excellent unique unit.
  2. The Babylonians: Religious and Scientific for maximum culture. I think you don’t get double the benefit from being both Religious and Scientific and the Bowman isn’t that great of unit, but Babylon can build a lot of cheap city upgrades, despite this I’ve won at a higher percentage with other civs.
  3. The Indians: Religious and Commercial is a surprisingly powerful combination. Commercial is more subtle that some of the other traits. You get some cheaper city upgrades which lessens your money worries. The War Elephant is an awesome unique unit and the fact it doesn’t require Iron or Horses can be a major advantage.
  4. The Arabs: Religious and Expansionistic, the best and the worst of traits. I never played with the Arabs much until I tried to beat the game on Emperor. There is no doubt in my mind Expansionistic is the weakest trait. Scouts and bonuses against barbarians and to find treasure isn’t much use past the beginning of the game. What makes the Arabs tolerable besides being Religious is they have good starting techs, an Unique Unit that moves three squares and you can sometimes get a golden age unexpectedly by building a less popular Wonder of the World.
  5. The Byzantians: Scientific and Seafaring, the funnest civilization to play because their Unique Unit is a boat that breathes fire. Having the only navel bombardment until late in the Age of Sail is a huge advantage, even if you don’t play on an island map. You can really annoy an opponent and get a really easy Golden Age by sinking a single ship. Scientific helps with culture and Seafaring helps with growth so this is a slightly weaker but funner Celts. For the longest time my highest score was a really early Diplomatic Victory with the Byzantians. I never exceeded that score with them and it took hundreds of games to beat it with the Celts and Babylonians. That’s why they are the only non-religious Civilization in my top five.

Posts on Muskblog © Andrew "Muskie" McKay comments not necessarily so...
CFA Institute does not endorse, promote or warrant the accuracy or quality of Muskblog. CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.