Octagon’s Strategy for Civ2

Octagon’s Strategy for Civ2

Written by Octagon


The start

I have been playing Civilization from the original to Civ2 ToT since the early 90’s. What is wonderful about this games is that it has continual playability like no other game I have ever encountered and that you are ALWAYS learning something new. I play all my games on Deity, Raging Hordes, 7 Civilization, in other words as hard as you can get it. I have reached the stage in the last few years where I can always pull the game around so I win, no matter what the difficulties I face. But enough self glorification, I just want to let people know what a tried and tested strategy is that will definitely work.

Your first priority in research is to go for Monarchy. This government has only advantages for you at the start of the game. Only divert to horseback riding briefly if you are in a wide open space and want to go hut hunting fully.

As for you cities, build a unit as quick as possible i.e. militia or phalanx if good production and then go settler. After the settler go temple. By then, the city has an option of building according to its advantages, Wonder if high production, settlers if high food, libraries if high trade. Always try and have a road on all the squares that you city is using that will give you trade for doing so. The amount of time that passes in the early stages means that just one extra trade can really boost your research.

DO NOT stop colonizing until you have at least 6 cities. Try and get a wonder under you belt also… Pyramids and Colossus being the two best. Of course this is only for the start of the game.

While writing this, I’m realizing this is far too complicated to condense into just one post, so I’m going to segregate into topics.

Wonder which wonders are worth it?

Easily the best wonder in the game is Hoover Dam. Following that would be Michelangelo’s Chapel and Adam Smiths Trading Comp. about equal second. Leonardo’s workshop saves you a lot of bother and time and all the ones that don’t expire are worth it if you can get them. In each stage, if I could only get two, it would be Great Library and Colossus, Michelangelo’s Chapel and Leonardo’s Workshop, Adams’s Smith Trading Company and Darwin’s Voyage, Hoover Damn and Women’s Suffrage.

That said, I normally get them all past the first stage anyways as with good usage of research to get the access to the wonders and caravans to be helping build them quickly so that you beat the cheating computer players.

All in all, try and go for the wonders in the cities were it will benefit you the most and use them to your advantage. It is no point getting Magellan’s Expedition if you aren’t going to be using any ships.

I do love wonders, but they tie up the production of a city up for a long time so shouldn’t be taken on lightly.

Diplomacy and City Formatting

Other civs can be the best way to keep abreast of the tech of the time and help your exploration and cash reserves. My favorite tactic is a well placed refusal of a cease fire/peace treaty or demand for a tribute. Do this to a wealthy civ, which the computer players normally are after you have just taken one of their cities or you are particularly powerful and they will give you a large sum of money. Then you can use it to go right on ahead and purchase one or two of their own cities with their money if it so pleases you.

Talking to civs too much bothers them and not talking to them at all make relations strained also. When you meet a civ for the first time, the way you encounter them and deal with them can colour your relations with them for the rest of the game. Meet them from a position of strength and you can tend to get the upper hand. If they stumble upon a defenseless city when they first meet you, it can spell big trouble as they can be very demanding. Don’t be afraid to pay a tribute now and then, it normally sets them to neutral if they were annoyed to start with. You never know, that potential enemy can end up an ally.

As a general rule, the first civ I encounter I try to be on good terms with if they are not the military aggressive expansionist type, so that I can have a safe border and trading partner. The second civ I find I be a real bastard to and try to draw them into a war so that I have space to expand into and spoils of war to gain.

To city formatting, keep it a constant work in progress all game. Every city should have its own settler supported by it, unless it is a weak food producer. Road first, irrigate next and mine those hills if the surplus food is adequate. Special squares should be the highest priority if they can be improved. Try and set up a highway between your cities for ease of travel and with the discovery of railroads, make the track join all your cities. It makes warfare and defense extremely easy. Railroad all you trade and production squares as it adds an extra 50% to them both. Clean ALL pollution as it appears. That stuff can really cock your game up, and it is one of the only aspects I still get frustrated at. The recycling plant and mass transit never seam to get there soon enough for my liking and I have engineers working round the clock cleaning up crap.

Military dominance

You don’t need to have the biggest force or the best units to be safe and sound in civ. I prefer to keep the minimum amount of troops in the field to do the job, and the ideal is to have 2 defensive and 1 offensive unit in each city. City walls are a must in all cities for obvious reasons and as they do not take maintenance and are quite cheap to buy, there is really no excuse for not having them. The offensive unit can attack those pesky bombarding units with weak defense and the defenders do just that…defend.

When attacking an enemy city, try and attack from defensive bonus terrain, hills or mountains that are adjacent to the city if possible. Send a high defense unit onto it, fortify and then move in the attacking units. Even better is to sit in a fortress if one is built, but don’t expect them to let a settler just waltz in a build one…I always end up using pre-existing ones as the computer loves to build them. The added advantage of the fortified defender on the mountain is that the computer tends to throw a lot of units at it, and hence lose a lot of its garrison. When the attack is finally ready, and do use as large a force as you can muster at one time, throw everything you have at it. There is no point doing attacks piecemeal as a barracks in the city will heal all the damage you have done to the units that weren’t killed. When all the defenses are gone you never have to worry about not having movement left with any of your units as you simply activate the fortified defender and claim the city.

To specific units and stages…I believe that cities are up for grabs all the way up to gunpowder. After that it is very hard to break through 3 or more musketeers in a city as there just isn’t the firepower in the units. Conscription makes it highly impossible.

Sea power is a great way to limit the computers ability to wage war on you if you are on a different land mass to them, and all the coastal cities of your enemies are easy prey with a good fleet. Even Ironclads can do some good damage, although cruisers (AEGIS especially) and battleships take the cake. Air power can be good, especially if they are too heavily entrenched with ground forces. Bombers can be used to surround a city when attacking to limit the amount of partisans that appear when it is taken and stop them movement of enemy ground troops through the squares they occupy.

I cannot stress this one aspect enough though….make sure your units are veteran!! They stand little or no chance if they are not. One way to ensure that your force is well trained is to leave the building of your army to a few select cities with good production. I even do this very early in the game, so that all my city defenders are veteran and will not lose to barbarians that frequently appear. This makes the military producer suffer from lack of infrastructure, but I compensate for this by buying its needed buildings. One thing is for sure though, it is better to defend and choose the terrain than to be the attacker.

After conscription the advent of armour and especially howitzers make cities up for grabs once again on land. Even mech. infantry cannot stand up against a howitzer assault on a large scale. Even a dozen turns where you have armour and your opponent does not can be enough to decimate his empire. A good reason to go for the tech and then guard the technology for as long as possible.

Get rich quick

Lots of money is wonderful in civ, in fact it is the gateway to a sure fire domination of the game.

Surplus cash enables quick reaction to ALL situations, by lieu of the fact that you can purchase that needed unit for defense, buy that hostile force or subvert that enemy city into turning sides. Large amounts of cash make it more difficult for diplomats to buy your cities when not in a democracy and let you sneak that wonder in just before the computer was about to build it.

Cash really doesn’t start flowing in large quantities until the Republic or Democracy stage, but an effective ground work in trade routes to far away foreign cities that demand your product make the change of government have a huge impact on your surplus cash and hence ability to support more structures in your cities. Roads take no time at all and should always be built on plains and grassland squares in the radius of a city so that the trade is garnered and not wasted. I usually keep as high a science rate as I can throughout the game until I become a republic. Then it is good policy to go for highest tax possible, buy banks and stock exchanges if possible for all your cities. These structures are always worth buying, as long as they have a little production in them already so they are not at a premium price, as they pay for themselves and their maintenance by increasing your surplus cash and making more luxuries enabling less entertainers.

When I become a Democracy, I frequently go on the defensive and cease all military action, make peace with my enemies with the aid of the United Nations and then subvert the computer players to oblivion. This way you gain even more score as there is a longer period of total peace and your population is increasing all the time.

Having no money sucks.

Happiness is the key

One of the greatest difficulties in Civ, especially on Deity level is keeping your people happy. As the number of cities you have increases, so does the difficulty in keeping out of riot. Always try and keep at least 2 units in each city, preferably one defensive and one offensive, like a phalanx and a catapult. You can have up to 3 units in the city to keep the citizens content under a monarchy without slowing production. Happiness of your cities is the key factor in enabling you to progress to a republic/democracy, which is essential if you wish to accumulate a decent wealth and stay ahead with a good research time. The way to change to a rebuild/democracy safely can be achieved 2 ways; you can get the happiness wonders or if that is not possible or in addition to, you need to build banks in all your cities followed by cathedrals or coliseums. In order to aid this, set up at least one trade route in each city. When you change governments, up the luxuries rate to 20%, 10% if you are lucky on the wonders.

Keep the people happy and you are half way to having won the game already.

To summarize…

There are still many little strats that help a lot in the game, like disbanding obsolete units in cities for production boosts or using capitalization to save your production if you were building a wonder that got built and you don’t want to waste it till the next wonder is available, but hopefully I have given a good overview of the general aspects of the game and the best strats to use.

My games normally now go as follows:

  1. Straight to Monarchy.
  2. Quick expansion to around 8 cities and temples all round and a ratio of 2 libraries to 1 marketplace.
  3. Build banks and switch to Republic having obtained Michelangelo’s Chapel (along with Great Library as it’s a good safety net if you fall behind).
  4. Get trade routes in all major cities start the cash rolling in.
  5. Start buying all the enemy cities, especially in a Democracy with a little help from the United Nations to stop them going to war if YOU want them not to. At some stage I have normally worked out who is the most powerful civ beside me and I concentrate on breaking their power, as the rest are easy.

If anyone would like to ask any questions, have a chat or just comment please don’t hesitate. I would love to hear some other opinions and strats, or help anyone that is having any difficulties.

Have fun playing Civ.