Civilisation II Tactics, Tips and Strategies
Version 1.1 Copyright 1996 Edward Kenworthy.
Permission is granted to distribute as long as it is unchanged, not for profit
and I get my
I was rather disappointed at the lack of any sort of strategy guide
or faq for Civ2 - so rather whine about it I decided to write my own.
And here it is. What are my credentials ? Well I've been playing Civ
since 4000BC (or does it just seem that way) and Civ2 ever since it was
published (about five minutes ago). I've never scored over 200%
(basically because I declined to use the various "cheats" in Civ (goody
two shoes!) but did regularly score over 100% on Emperor. I seem to be
managing similar scores in Civ 2.
If you have any new tips, comments or questions please email them to
email@example.com. Good ones will be included in the next
version of this document - with a credit of course.
Early Game Tips
1. Build lots of cities quickly. Forget about building an army or
garrisons and build settlers. On Emperor level this is easy because you
don t get any discontent until your third citizen and by building lots
of settlers you ensure you don t have cities that big. On Deity level
it s harder because the second citizen is discontented. The plan here is
to still build lots of settlers quickly - but take the occasional break
to build a garrison or temple to keep the citizens quiet.
The sole exception to this is if you find yourself on the same continent as
another player. In which case the priority is to kill them as quickly
possible. Do *not* build up first - they will be too !!
2. Always build at least one road or irrigation with each settler
before building a city. Roads are important early for the trade boost
you get. Otherwise you ll run out of money !
3. Once you have 5-6 cities established begin to build roads
connecting them - both too increase the speed of response of your armies
and to improve trade.
4. Seal off your continent as quickly as possible ! Along with
destroying any other civilisations you find on your continent you should
fortify units on its land borders as soon as possible to prevent others
moving in and thereby giving yourself exclusive access to the continent.
If you re playing in the real world then Africa is one of the
easiest continents to achieve this in - simply fortify a unit (and build
fortification when possible) at the Suez canal to prevent access to the
whole of Africa. (The Americas comes a close second - because you have
an ocean to separate you. The disadvantge is a lack of opportunities to
trade technology with other civilisations.)
5. The most important early advance to get is Monarchy. Despotism is just
too inefficient for you to get far with it. Although it is OK for the
early turns because of the reduced maintenance you pay for units.
6. Be careful about switching to Republic too soon. If you have lots
of settlers around (as I suggest) then you ll quickly starve them
because of doubling of food support.
"I am playing on the King Level, and I recently switched from Monarchy
to Republic. I had a bunch of cities, ranging up to size 14 (captured
from the Babylonians), and I immediately had problems with famines.
I did not have many cathedrals (the evil Yanks had built Michelangelo's
Chapel), and popularity was a problem. I then switched to Communism,
and I am awash in food. During my brief stint as a Republican, I lost
several engineers to the famine. As a Commisar, I am building new
engineers and am growing my population. Long live Marx (Groucho, that is)!"
[firstname.lastname@example.org (B. Alan Guthrie)]
7. With the exception of one or two critical technologies I always
trade everything I can. This is because unless you have a commading lead
over all other civilisations the others will trade amongst themselves
and you ll lose out. Don t trade a techology that allows construction
of Wonder you want to build. Unless it s for a technology that allows
construction of a more important Wonder that you won t acquire for a
An Alternative Point of View from email@example.com (John Thibeault)
"Initial WoWs to get are the Colossus, as this is a great boost
for trade, cash and research. Then go for the Great Wall, then the
Great Library, as a defensive measure to keep this thing out of the
hands of the Ai civs. My latest game on Emperor level (7 civs) I have
my capital building the Wow's, and 3 cities feeding it with caravans, and
I have managed to just squeak by in building these Wow's (plus the pyramids)
before the Ai civs have. It is important to get the Trade tech pretty early,
so you can use caravans to beat the Ai at making WoW's. The Ai cheats by
'buying' Wows a little at a time each turn, and they seem to be able to
generate more cash than the human player can. The Great Library will not
help you if you are in the lead, but I feel that it is vital to keep this
thing out of the hands of the AI civs.
"Another strategy concerning the Great library is to destroy it! Find the
city that the AI has built it in, and keep attacking the city (without
capturing it) till the city is reduced to pop 1, and then destroyed. No
more library! =)
"Get into Monarchy ASAP. Then once you have monarchy start irrigating the
hell out of your land. At this point, pump up the population
with a We love the ___ celebration. Boost the luxary rate to get all of
your cities into We_Love, and let this go for a few years till they hit
the aquaduct wall at size 8. Then reset the tax/science rate, build aquaducts
and temples, etc, and then have another celebration and boost your cities
to size 12. Once you research sewers, you can have another sale.
"Of course, to have such large cities, its necessary to have Mike's chappel
(sp?) and other people pacifying Wows.
"One great way to wage war while in a republic or democracy is to have
both King Richards crusade and Shakespear in the same city. This city
can then support quite a large army in the field. My last game (King,7)
I had both of these in a sixe 19 city, and had an army of 36 Dragoons
in the field, just waiting for the Ai civs to break those treaties!! hehe"
8. Building Wonders. The ones to go for are: Pyramids, Great Library and Great
Wall. Some people also adivse Haging Gardens and Colossus - but I wouldn't
bother - there' better stuff.
"Has anyone researched for the "Great Library" right away, then put your
efforts and taxes into producing big cities, all the while your getting
tech from the library???"
[firstname.lastname@example.org (Ryan Scholl)]
Mid Game Tips
1. Regularly insist that anyone you have a peace treaty with
withdraws their troops (if they re imposing).
2. If a civilisation regularly breaks treaties never, never, ever,
sign another one with them. They *will* break it again. (And there s a
bug, at least in 1.06, that means you take the blame if someone violates
a treaty with you !! Nice one MP.)
3. Wonders to aim for are: Michaelangelo s Chapel and Hoover Dam.
Late Game Tips
1. You really should be a Democracy in the late game - otherwise
you re going to fall badly behind in production and technology.
Fundamentalism appears to be a sound alternative but fanatics are not
good units and technology is the only way to break the stalemates that
can develop in the late game - and Fundamentalist governments lose 50%
of their research (especially if it contradicts the Bible or Koran etc
Darwin s Voyage ? Lose two technology advances ;)).
Alternate points of view:
"Once you switch into a Fundamentalist gov't, stick with it to the end.
Granted, you loose alot of sci. but you make it back with the cities you
capture. The only reason you should change back to democracy is if you
have no idea where any of the other civs are."
[email@example.com (Jacob Daniel Walter)]
"One common approach, which works too well IMO, is to use Fundamentalism to
destroy all but one competing civilization, and to reduce that last one to
a single city. Then you can gently restore your cities (using all the cash
you get from tithes, disbanding units, and selling your expensive coastal
defenses and city walls to offset the cost of raising the luxury rate and
buying colliseums) to prepare them to the switch back to democracy."
"I agree that Fundamentalism is too powerful. I've had several games on
Emperor and Deity level that I won simply by building lots of cities
early, getting to Fundamentalism quickly, then out-producing all the other
civs and drowning them in cavalry, cannons and fanatics, accompanied by
huge gangs of settlers to make roads and, later, railroads so that a
cannon can be purchased outright in one turn, then in the next railroaded
right up to an enemy city to attack."
2. Defending your cities. It makes sense to have a mix of units in
your front line cities. I.e. two good defensive units plus one or two
good attackers to take out those slow moving heavy hitters as they
trundle up to your city walls. A barracks (for the healing capability)
and of course city walls are a must.
3. Espionage. The only way that you re going to realistically win the
game by conquest is by using diplomats and spies to incite revolts in
opponents cities. Obviously this won t work against Democracies - but
that s not a problem because the computer seems to prefer Fundamentalism
4. Alternatively, concentrate on defending your territory whilst
knocking you closest competitors and aim to win by building the
5. Unless you really, really have to have a city and can t bribe it
(costs too much or it s a Democracy) do *not* send a spy in to plant a
Nuclear device ! It can be quite embarassing for the whole world to
declare war on you. Unless of course your a Fundamentalist regime and
everyone expects the worst from you anyway :) (Didn t stop the Yanks
bombing Libyan civilian centres though did it ? Perhaps there should be
an extra qualifier to this: As long as no oil is involved no-one will
6. If another civilisation builds and launches their spaceship
before your ready - don t despair. Build the maximum structure, minimum
life support etc and maximum engines and fuel. As long as you pile
enough resources in and weren t already too far behind, your spaceship
will fly faster, catch up, overtake and you ll win.
(I ve only been beaten to the launch twice. Both times by the Vikings. The firs
t time I
won anyway because of a bug in 1.0 which meant as long as you had
launched a spaceship you won regardless of who actually got to Alpha
Centauri first. The second time I won by using the above tactic.)
7. You really should be aiming to gain the following Wonders: SETI
project and Cure for Cancer. Don t worry if someone else beats you to
Apollo Project or Manhattan project because you get all the benefits
anyway ! The only problem is if you re not ready to take advantage of
these - you can be sure the other civilisations will be !
8. Waging Nuclear War. One short answer: don
t. Enemy civs do sometimes clean up
pollution - but don't count on it. If you've managed to build SDI in all
vulnerable cities and need to then go ahead and try a limited surgical strike.
Here's a tip:
"I have noticed that if you build an airbase 2 hexes from
your city and station nukes there, the Ai does not seem to be able to
detect them. Wala! Missile silos."
9. Dealing With Partisans. Guerilla Warfare really bogs the game down. If
your opponents have this then you can probably forget about a quick
military victory. Conversley if you have it then you're unlikely to be
knocked out before you finish building your spaceship.
"I think I have found a strategy that helps limit those pesky Partisans.
Partisans only appear on empty land squares within a cities zone of control.
If you fill up all available land squares then take the city you do not get
any partisans. If you can't fill all of the squares you can at least
determine were the partisan will go. That way you can kill him quicker. I
like using bombers or fighters to fill up the squares. With fighter I send
them to the square they will occupy then press 'W' to have them wait. Take
the city then move the unit. The computer player has placed a lot of rail
around his cities. With Rail you can send a land unit to occupy a square then
Press 'W' then take the city. You can use all of the units you have Waited
with to take the next city."
[firstname.lastname@example.org (Blair Nowakowsky)]
10. AEGIS Cruiser. The earlier versions of Civ2 had a bug in it that meant thes
did *not* intercept attacking missiles and aircraft. This was fixed in 1.07.
by email@example.com (William R. Brickles III)
1. Republic - This is the most versatile and usually the one I stick with.
Can punish weak civilizations while still keeping up in science.
2. Democracy - This is purely a mind-your-own-business government. The best
economically, but I'd rather go to war in Anarchy.
3. Fundamentalism - Sure science is low but you can put Luxury at 0% and
Science at max (I think 70%) and still grow a huge bank account. War
is the focus here. I still remember the time I sent 20 tanks to crush
the Chinese and backed them up with 20 more in very few turns... Or
how about that Celtic town I attacked with 4 nuclear warheads just for
4. Communism - Not good for much actually, but better than primitive
5. Monarchy - I usually skip right to Republic.
6. Despotism - Better than Anarchy
7. Anarchy - It
s better to hear your advisors argue than listen to the terrible
Wonders of the World
1. Must haves: Pyramids, Great Library, Leonardo s Workshop,
Michaelangelo s Chapel, Women s Suffrage, Hoover Dam, Great Wall.
2. Nice to haves: King Richard s Crusade, Oracle, Copernicus s Observatory,
Magellan s Voyage, SETI project, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Cure
for Cancer, United Nations.
3. Not really bothered: Hanging Gardens, Lighthouse, Shakespeare s
Theatre, Marco Polo s Expedition, Apollo Project, Manhattan Project, Sun
Tzu s Academy.
4. This may alter slightly depending on the environment. For example if
you have lots of small continents in your world the Magellan s Voyage
and Lighthouse become more important.
5. Of course by having a Wonder yourself you deny anyone else from having its b
This is particularly important for certain Wonders, like United Nations. It s
incredibly frustrating to have to stop fighting because the other side
has this Wonder !
6. Be careful about the technology you chose in order to avoid
accidentally making one of your critical Wonders obsolete too early.
Metallurgy for Great Wall and Mobile Warfare for Leonardo s Workshop are
the critical ones.
7. If you have the Great Wall - remember to prepare for it s
obsolescence. There s nothing quite so unpleasant as being attacked by
another civilisation only to have all your cities lose their walls
because some SOB discovered metallurgy !
8. A note on Leonardo's workshop. It does not immediately upgrade all
your troops - that only happens when you gain a technology. So when you
build Leonardo's workshop all your units get upgraded. And when you gain
a new technology Civ2 checks to see if your units should be upgraded.
But if you gain control of other units (except by building them) - for
example through bribery - these are not upgraded until the next time you
gain a technology advance. Another effect of being upgraded by
Leonardo's Workshop is that any veteran units lose their veteran status
- even if they're in the city with a barracks.
My best score so far is 83% on Emperor level
- without cheating. I'm currently playing a Divinty level game and doing
quite nicely ! And this is all on a version of Civ2 that still has the
auto-production bug !
My favourite starting position used to be America - but your just too isolated.
So now my favourite is
Zulus, default starting position and the real world map. Just the right balance
between isolation and access.