FAQ Version 1.3
By Eden Kung (a.k.a. chezypoof)
Last update December 17, 1999 2:10 AM EST
This document is Copyright 1999 by Eden Kung. All rights reserved. You
may reproduce this FAQ for noncommercial purposes as long as it remains
complete and unchanged and I am credited. Civilization 2 is Copyright
1996 by Microprose. I'm missing Pokemon right now to write this FAQ for
you people, so you better appreciate it by not ripping me off! ^_^
Civilization 2 is the sequel to the highly successful Civilization 1.
(Duh!) For those of you that don't know about it, (Which is pretty
strange or else why would you want to read this FAQ?) it is a turn
based strategy game by Sid Meier where you control the aspects of a
civilization from their humble roots to the space age. (If you make it
that far. ^_^) Great gameplay and even greater replay value make this
game my favorite PC game of all time. So without further ado, here's
the rest of the FAQ! Feel free to contact me if you have any
suggestions or if you see any typos. (I'm the King of Typos! Thank
goodness for spellcheck!)
Version 1.0 (10/14/1999)
Version 1.1 (11/24/1999)
-Finished up advanced and optional strategies
-Added Shared Strategy
Version 1.2 (11/26/1999)
-Added Note About My Tactics
-Added some things to the strategy sections
Version 1.3 (12/17/1999)
-Added some more stuff to the strategy sections
-Capitalized the letters before the titles to make it look better
I learned most of these strategies back in the day when I was playing
Civilization I, and so most of these strategies can be used on Civ I as
well as other Sid Meier games such as Alpha Centauri.
NOTE ABOUT MY TACTICS
If the game were to give me a psychological profile, I would be
Civilized Perfectionist. I am a perfectionist in real life also by the
way. Anyway, you might be wondering right now, "OK, that's good for
you, but what the heck does that have to do with Civ 2?" Good question,
this means that the strategy that follows is my personal favorite way
of playing. There are other ways of playing Civ 2, and some of them are
just as good as mine, (Not many though! ^_^) so if you want to play
another way, that's fine. Make variations to fit your playing style,
and also remember that there isn't a concrete way to play this game.
You might have to change your normal style sometimes to fit the given
situation. That's one of the greatest things about Civ. There are so
many different ways to play it!
Anyway, here are a few little tidbits about my style of play, and this
is what the strategies are based on. These are the things that many
other successful Civ 2 players may do differently.
1. I prefer defense over offense. I build tons of city improvements and
relatively few attacking units.
2. I hate winning the game by going to space. (What am I gonna do next
time? The same thing I do every time I play Civ. Try and take over the
3. I love republics/democracies. (America the Beautiful)
4. Perfectionist. (or you could call me obsessive/compulsive, but
perfectionist just sounds so much better, don't you think? ^_^) I
transform entire continents into grasslands. I build all the wonders
possible, even the sucky ones. I have this thing about making sure my
capital is the largest city, even if it means freighting food from
another city. I hate seeing land wasted. I hate it when things are
messy. I love starving or poisoning enemy cities to remove them from
the face of the Earth, and then building my own cities in better spots,
just so that everything looks neater. (I do this mainly to the messy
builders, like the Russians. They still haven't learned how to plan
cities since Civ 1!) I must admit this may seem strategically stupid
^_^, but I have developed an amazing strategy based on this which makes
this into a super powerful fighting strategy based on spies! I could go
on about how perfect I must make my civilization, but I'm guessing that
you people want to finish reading this FAQ before you die. However, you
got to admit that living my civilization would be better than living in
anyone else's! ^_^.
As I'm writing this FAQ/Strategy Guide, I'll try to not incorporate my
preferences and perfectionism, and I'll write as many different
strategies as possible.
If you've just started playing this game, here's where to look. Lots of
this information can be found in the game when the computer suggests
actions for you, but others aren't so you might as well read this
Simple as that. In Civ, population is power! Ever wonder why the
USA, Russia, and China are the world super powers? It's because they
have tons of land and people! More people and more lands means more
people that can fight, more people to pay taxes, more people to build
Wonders, etc. This is probably the most important aspect of your
civilization in my opinion. To expand quickly, build tons of settlers
and engineers. I recommend building a defensive unit first, then a
settler, and then a second defensive unit. As soon as that settler has
built a city, make another. Every city should support 1 settler at all
times. Once your city reaches about 12, it should have 2 settlers. Keep
building cities over and over and over until you have filled the entire
continent. Then start building improvements. As your settlers move out,
have them build roads leading to their new city site. This increases
trade and makes it easier for future settlers to expand outwards. After
there is no more room on the continent, the settlers should be
improving the land. Once you get boats, sends shipments of settlers out
to colonize islands and other continents.
What's the point of having all those cities if you just lose them
to the enemy? Defense is a must. The game recommends 2 units per city,
which is good number for most situations. Obviously, a city under
attack will need more units, and cities bordering unfriendly nations
also need more units. Always use the unit with the highest defense and
upgrade whenever new technology arises. I also recommend having a unit
with high attack and movement in each city also so that you can rush
out and destroy enemy units near the city that have really high attack
power but low defense so you can get them before they get you.
(Catapults, cannons, howitzers, etc.) Crusaders, dragoons, calvary,
etc. are great for this job. City walls and The Great Wall are needed
for cities bordering strong, aggressive neighbors.
C) CONQUER THE WEAK, BEFRIEND THE STRONG
The game tells you to do this, but it's not always right. On the
easier difficulty levels, it's almost always right though. On harder
levels, the big, mean nation usually always fights, (and they'll demand
insane tributes) so you'll need as many allies as possible to defeat
them. Defeating smaller nations first will allow you to gain cities and
resources, making you stronger so that you can catch up to stronger
D) BUILD IMPROVEMENTS TO YOUR LAND
Roads and irrigation are a must. Change useless land like swamps,
jungles, etc. into plains and grasslands. Irrigation provides more
food, more food means more people, and more people means more power.
See the connection? Roads allow you to move units out faster and they
give you more trade also. More trade gives you more money, technology,
and luxuries. Roads also lets your high power, high movement defending
unit to quickly move out and destroy invading units before they reach
your city limits. Enemy units on your land will prevent you from
gaining resources from that land, and you'll be able to kill the enemy
before they get to pillage or fortify. Lastly, roads let your caravans
move faster between cities. Mines are to be used on all the hills you
see to increase shield production. Fortresses are a must on enemy
borders and should be built on hills/mountains whenever possible. Also,
try to build them within city limits whenever possible because under
republic/democracy, units in fortresses within city limits don't upset
the people. Fortresses are needed so that the enemy doesn't even get to
step on your land, thereby preventing them from reaching inner cities
or pillaging land. Take advantage of the fact that most units cannot
move adjacent to an enemy unit if they are already adjacent to one, and
prevent enemies from moving in. Once you get engineers, convert all
your land into grasslands and hills. Any land that has a special bonus
(wheat, silk, etc.) should be converted to plains instead of
grasslands, because grasslands cannot have bonuses.
E) BUILD CITY IMPROVEMENTS
You don't want to overload on units. Too many units will take up
shields for support and slow down production, so build city
improvements. Plus, your country is limited to a certain amount of
military units based on your population. The most important city
improvements are those that make people happy, and those that let your
city grow past certain limits. In other words, temples, coliseums,
cathedrals, police stations, aqueducts, and sewer systems. If you see
that the people are becoming restless, build a temple, etc. Don't wait
for your city to revolt. If you see that your city is getting close to
a size of 8 or 12, build an aqueduct or sewer system ahead of time.
Don't wait for your city to reach 8 or 12 and then not finish it in
time because all the food will be wasted and your city will start
collecting food from scratch. Other improvements that increase your
taxes and science are also always useful, and city walls/coastal
fortresses are needed on cities bordering the enemy. Never build
capitalism. If you run out of things to build or need money, stock up
on caravans/freights and diplomats/spies, which don't take up support
and are will be useful sometime in the future.
F) KEEP YOUR PEOPLE HAPPY
Cities revolting don't build stuff or provide taxes, so you should
make them happy as soon as possible. Also, under democracy, a single
rioting city can overthrow your entire government. You'll need to build
temples, coliseums, cathedrals, etc. or Wonders like Shakespeare's
Theater, J.S. Bach's Cathedral, or Michealangelo's Chapel as soon as
you see that the people are beginning to get pissed off. If you can't
build anything to make your people happy, then raise the luxury rate or
create entertainers in your city. If your cities are really happy,
they'll have a "We Love the President Day" celebration, and your city
will grow quickly, so keep those cities happy.
G) KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Science is more important than money. Set your tax rate with as
much science as possible without losing money. Better technology gives
you sharp edge against your opponents. It lets you have stronger units.
It lets you have the first chance at new Wonders.
H) TRADE THOSE TECHNOLOGIES
Now that we know how important science is, let's find out how to
get lots of it early on. When you meet new civilizations, trade as many
technologies as you can. When they offer to trade you a technology,
choose a different one so that they will offer you that technology
again. Trading also improves your relations with other civilizations.
There are 4 situations when you shouldn't trade.
1. Don't trade for a technology that you're in the middle of
researching and almost done.
2. Don't give away really crucial technologies to strong opponents.
(Gunpowder, conscription, etc.) But, it's OK if you're giving it to a
puny civilization that has no chance of harming you.
3. Don't give away technologies that would let your opponent build
crucial World Wonders. (Invention for Leonardo's Workshop, electronics
for Hoover Dam, etc.)
4. Don't trade technology if you have a bunch of diplomats/spies ready
to steal it. ^_^
Otherwise trade all you can.
I) EXPLORE YOUR WORLD
Early in the game, send out scouts to investigate the terrain.
This lets you plan city placement, locate your enemy, and get as many
huts as possible. Just use a phalanx at the beginning of the game and
leave your city empty. It won't matter since it's the beginning of the
game. After you get a few huts, you'll get some units, which can do the
exploring. And they'll find more huts with units, and so it just gets
faster and faster. You don't need to use explorers to scout out land.
In fact, by the time you can build explorers, you should have already
revealed your whole continent.
J) WHEN IN DOUBT, THE GAME HELPS OUT (yeah, I know it's a corny title)
If there's anytime when you don't know what to do and I haven't
told you how to do it, follow the game's advice. Your advisors are
being paid to make you laugh, you know. Once you get the hang of the
game, you might choose to not follow their advice sometimes. (Sometimes
their advice sucks) Heck, once you get the hang of it, you might choose
not to follow my advice! (But you'll have to suffer the consequences
though! MWAHAHAHAHA! .. .. .. Just kidding! ^_^)
These strategies are very useful and will give you the upper hand
against your enemies. Learn and master the beginning strategies first
and then incorporate these also to make beating the game on Prince a
piece of cake.
A) USE LAND EFFICIENTLY
Use up as much land as possible. Build your cities as close to
each other as possible. Expand out from your capital and do not waste
land. You want to cram as many cities as you can into the amount of
land you control so that you can increase your population as much as
possible. Avoid overlapping more than 3 spaces though. Build cities on
good land. Plan ahead and design the layout of your cities ahead of
time. If there is a large mountain range that cannot support a city,
build one there anyway! The city won't grow much, but it can still do
small tasks, and you'll still be getting something out of the land.
Also, you'll be able to change the mountains and hills into other stuff
once you get engineers.
B) PRIVATE PROPERTY
Keep everybody else off your land. You don't know when peaceful
nations might double cross you. Enemies can pillage your land, making
your improvements disappear. Also, you can't use land that is occupied
by enemy units. If any enemy troops are on your land, tell them to
withdraw their troops. (The exception to this is if you're trying to
keep a really big bad country from getting mad at you and declaring
war.) If you can keep enemies from crossing your border, then you won't
have to worry about the defense of the cities in the center of your
country. That way, you can focus all of your defense on the border,
instead of spreading your defenses thin. These strategies should be
used at enemy borders, when you can't expand in that direction anymore.
Make use of the rule that enemy units that are next to your units can't
move next to your units. Make choke points at narrow land areas. You
can put a city there block off troops or put a fortress. Fortress
should be put on defensive land such as hills and mountains. Put
fortresses within 3 spaces of cities if you're playing republic or
democracy to keep people happy. Roads come in handy here so that your
troops can move quickly around your country to stop invaders or replace
lost troops at fortresses. With a full network of railroads you should
be impervious to invasions since your entire country can neutralize the
threat in one turn and then return home the next turn. Also, make sure
that each of your fortresses has two units to prevent bribery. (If
you're playing democracy, you can't be bribed so don't worry about
this.) Invasions by sea are always a possibility, but a good road
system lets you take them out since landed units can't immediately
move. But later in the game when ships become stronger (battleships,
which can bombard for 18), you'll need to put a ring of ships around
C) IN THE NAVY (Village People! Yeah Right!)
Ships are the best defenders and attackers. They are more
important than ground troops.
1) It only takes a few of them have the same power as a group of ground
units, and the less units the better because units take up shields and
cause unhappiness when they go fight (Republic/Democracy).
2) If you're expanding as quickly as you should be, you should have
entire control over the continent, with no fear of ground based
assaults. Wouldn't it be easier to kill the enemy transports before
they reach your land instead of using your ground troops to fight them
after they've landed? Plus, transport ships are much weaker than your
attacking ships and you can take out multiple units by sinking them,
whereas troops that land on your territory are generally made for
3) Bombarding ships can attack coastal cities without decreasing the
city size, which is perfect for keeping cities healthy when you take
them and add them to your collection.
Once ironclads are invented, make sure that you rule the seas! Build
lots of ships once the ironclad in invented. At first you just want to
defend your coasts with a blockade of ships, but once battleships are
invented, you should be pumping those ships out. Newer cities should
make a submarine or two to defend. The Lighthouse, Magelleon's
Expedition, and Nuclear Power help make those ships move faster. By the
time battleships are invented, you should have control of your entire
continent, and with your navy, you won't even have to worry about
D) WONDERS OF THE WORLD ARE GOOD
World wonders give you awesome special abilities that can change
the game. Make the important ones as soon as you can so keep your
opponent from building it first. Only one wonder can be built, so if
your opponent gets it first, you're screwed. Wonders that last forever
are the ones worth building. A few temporary wonders that are REALLY
good (Leonardo's Workshop, King Richard's Crusade) should be built just
because they're so darn good. If it's strategically safe, try to avoid
discovering the technology that makes these wonders obsolete as long as
E) SAVING MONEY IS GOODER
Always set your tax rate so that you have just enough money to pay
expenses. Science is more important. You'll have a slow flow of money
coming in. Save it! Don't buy anything except for 5 exceptions.
1. When a city is rioting, and you don't want to make entertainers, buy
2. When a city has like 0 or 1 shield production and you can't increase
their shield production without making them starve, buy a factory
because they won't be able to build it themselves. Sometimes you'll end
up with newly made stagnant cities that have 0 food production and 0 or
1 shield production. Build a harbor. (Most of these stagnant cities are
coastal cities with very little land.)
3. Border cities. When you make a new city that is very close to the
enemy. Immediately buy a defense unit. If you can, build the unit 1
turn, then buy it, because the price of units drops by a lot if they
have at least one shield. You can also buy city walls if necessary.
City improvements don't drop in price if they are built for a turn like
units do, so you can buy them immediately.
4. Competing with other nations for world wonders. This is the main
reason why you save money, because those wonders are expensive. If you
see the message that another nation is almost done with an important
wonder, buy it immediately.
5. With enough money, if you are a democracy, you can convert enemy
cities by buying them. Another reason to save money.
F) REPUBLICS AND DEMOCRACIES ARE BEST
The first technology to get is bronze working, but after that,
rush for republic and switch from despotism as soon as possible. You'll
need alphabet, writing, literacy, and code of laws to get it. Republics
let you set your science higher, get all the benefits of your food
production, and you'll get extra trade for roads. This lets your
country grow rapidly, be smarter, and be richer. Why wouldn't you want
that? The bad thing is that you'll have to deal with unhappiness, and
wars will be harder to fight. But by building temples, cathedrals, etc.
and using spies and the navy to fight, you can work around this.
Democracy is even better because you get even more trade, no
corruption, no fear of bribes, and best of all, you can convert cities!
G) CARAVANS ARE MORE BESTER
Caravans and freights may seem worthless, but they are not. Not
because they make trade routes, but because they help make wonders. On
the harder levels, it is absolutely, positively, really, really, really
important to build a lot a caravans to make your wonders faster. Also
keep them a bunch of them on stand by, so that whenever another country
is about to finish an important wonder, you can use all the caravans to
finish it first. Trade routes aren't really necessary, but you can make
them if one of your cities has nothing else to do.
H) SPIES ARE THE MOST BESTEST
Diplomats and spies rock! Especially the spies, which are much
better than diplomats. On harder levels, you'll need lots of these. Use
diplomats to steal technology and bribe units. Whenever a city runs out
of stuff to build, make diplomats/spies and caravan/freights. Spies are
my favorite unit! They let you fight wars against peaceful nations
without making war. They let you fight wars while you're a
republic/democracy without upsetting your citizens. They gather
information, blah, blah, blah, blah. (I could go on about how special
the spies are, but I'd be dead before I finished. ^_^) Use spies to
steal multiple technologies. Scout out entire nations. A good strategy
is to bribe a good defensive unit that's in a fortress in the middle of
a nation. That way, the enemy will waste lots of troops trying to kill
it, and you'll slow movement within the nation. Poisoning water supply
lets you destroy enemy cities easily. Even better is to convert enemy
cities. If you have enough money and you're a democracy, you can buy
enemy cities! Woo Hoo!
I) FUNDAMENTALISM (AKA "TOTAL WAR!")
OK, I like republics and democracies most, but fundamentalism is
also an extremely good government in certain situations. As the title
suggests, fundamentalism is the best government out there if you plan
to just kill, kill, kill. Fundamentalism is best when used on emperor
or diety. Here's why. The biggest drawback of fundamentalism is that
your science rate drops 50%. However, if you're playing on the harder
difficulty levels, the enemies are really smart, and so they get tons
of technologies quickly. Hence, drop your science rate to 20% (You
can't go past 80% on fundamentalism and there's no use for luxuries).
Then you can just steal technologies or use The Great Library. Then you
won't even notice that you have no science rate, and you'll have TONS
of money since you won't have to make science or luxuries. Thus, you
won't suffer the setbacks of fundamentalism, but you'll have the
benefits. Make tons of units (especially fanatics) and just swarm the
enemies. You'll want to direct your 20% science at good technologies
that the computer doesn't go for. (Especially espionage. For some dumb
reason, espionage only gets a 3 on the importance scale, which goes
from 1-7, 7 being best. No wonder they lose all the time. If you don't
know, there's a file that you can edit to change some game statistics
and even make your own units. I can't remember exactly what file it is
right now, but I'll find out later.)
J) DIVIDE AND CONQUER
When playing against multiple nations, get them to fight each
other. Pay them to fight each other. This makes them weaker so you can
pick them off at your dispense. The game tells you to befriend the
strong and conquer the weak, and this is good for beginners, but I
usually help the weak fight the strong. If 2 nations are fighting, and
1 is much stronger than the other, help the weak one. That way, the
weak one will deal a lot of damage before dying. You don't want to help
them so much that they will become a threat to you. You want both
nations to be hurt as much as possible, so keep the weaker nation alive
as long as possible so that they can keep fighting. Give them lots of
technology, instead of money or units, since you lose nothing by giving
technology. This strategy is to be used when you can't personally take
over the weaker nation yourself, such as when they are too far away, or
when you're busy fighting someone else. If the weak nation is right
next to you, take them over and screw helping them deal other nations
damage, because you can just take their cities and money and put them
to better use under your leadership.
K) CUT OFF YOUR OPPONENTS EXPANSION
Remember when I said population is the most important strength in
Civ? Well, a good way to reserve huge amounts of land for yourself to
colonize at your leisure is to stop your opponents from ever reaching
L) KEEP EARTH BEAUTIFUL
Pollution is bad. Global warming will turn good farmland into
swamps, etc., so try to clean up pollution as soon as you can. Also,
land with pollution on it will produce less resources. Your
settler/engineers should be able to use your nice network of roads to
quickly get to and eliminate the pollution though. Build mass transit
and recycling centers in towns with heavy pollution. Combined with the
Hoover Dam, that will eliminate all pollution in a city. If someone
beats you to the Hoover Dam (try not to let that happen), solar plants
actually work better than the hydroelectric power of the Hoover Dam.
These strategies don't have to be used, but are really useful on harder
difficulty levels. Lots of them involve saving and loading the game
until you get what you want.
A) THE WORLD REVEALED
Save the game, use the cheat menu and reveal the whole map. Use
this to gather information about other nations, but I find that it is
most useful for planning where to put cities. You can design the layout
of entire continents by doing this. You can click on enemy cities to
see what they're doing and how well defended they are. Load the game
afterward so that you aren't penalized for cheating.
B) SAVE BEFORE EXPLORING A HUT
If you save before getting a hut, you can load if you don't like
what you get. You can get more money or better troops if you do this.
C) FIRST TURN KILL
Okay, it isn't really a first turn kill, but it's darn fast. If
you're playing on a really small world with lots of land, you can just
collect troops from the huts and take over the world with that, since
it's the fastest way to get troops in the very beginning of the game.
Just load until you get a strong unit. There must be no water blocking
you your enemies in order to use this. A fun thing to do is to set the
size of the world at 33 by 33, put land mass at large, number of
civilizations at 3, continents, little rain, cold, and 3 billion years,
and then set the difficulty at diety. Reveal the world to find out
where the huts and enemies are. Go straight for the huts and get all
fighting units. Then take over the enemy. And congratulations, you beat
the game on diety! Woo Hoo! Your enemy won't be able to grow fast
enough in the harsh conditions, and you'll swarm them! Afterwards, feel
free to show your friends your hall of fame and brag about how you beat
the game on diety. ^_^.
D) BOND, JAMES BOND
Too bad your spies can't fight as well as super-spy 007, but you
can make them almost as good. (Here's another reason why spies are the
most bestest unit!) Whenever you're about to do something like steal
technology, destroy buildings, poison water supply, etc. save the game
before hand. If your spy gets caught, load and try again. 100% success.
It don't get much better than that. Eat your heart out Bond.
E) SUPER SPEEDY CITY SYNTHESIS (say that 10 times fast)
This strategy is extremely useful on harder levels. What you do is
build a city far away from the rest of your country. This is best done
by finding a city in a faraway hut, or finding a settler in a faraway
hut and making a city there. Load until you find one. Have that city
make nothing but settlers. Concentrate only on shield production. Pump
out tons of settlers and occupy the entire continent before your
opponent can flutter an eyelash. Most of the time your settler
production city will not be located in the perfect place to use your
land wisely, so build around it and plan cities that will go in its
area. After you have the entire continent covered in cities, make extra
settlers to improve the land, but make sure that they change their home
city. Give each city a settler or two. Then starve the settler
production city and make it build a settler at size 1, which will
disband the city, so you can use the land more wisely. If the city is
in the perfect place for maximum land usage, let it grow.
Okay, that's all for this update. Next time, I'll put in a detailed
instruction on how to beat the game on diety (without using the cheap
method listed above) and I'll rank which wonders, units, and
improvements are the best. But now I'm going to sleep! Zzzzzzzz++