Scientific and Religious, the Babylonians are the kings of Culture. If you love a full city screen, Babylon will fill it in record time. Play this CIV enough and you will swear that you can almost ‘feel’ the pressure the neighboring CIVs are under from your relentless culture. The borders of your CIV seem like a growing spider web, ever expanding, and ensnaring rival cities with ease. The power of your culture extends to every aspect of the game – economic, military, and diplomatic.
The Babylonian CIV traits do not lend themselves to the fastest of early expansion. Often falling behind early in total cities or military strength. There is however, a ‘snowballing’ effect with the Babylonians. Once that core is up and running it will usually outpace any CIV in the game in its overall power. The ability of the Babylonians to quickly throw up a powerful infrastructure allows them to build in depth what many other civs must try to accomplish in breath. Cheap temples and cathedrals quickly alleviate any happiness issues. Cheap libraries and universities quickly outpace even much larger rivals in research speed. Couple these with a short anarchy period, a free tech with each age, and the possibility of early culture flips, and the Babylonians will present a formidable opponent on any level.
Peaceful builder type players may never want to play as another civ after a game with the Babylonians. The sheer ease at which this civ masses culture points is a builders dream. A 100k-culture victory with this civ is not nearly as intimidating a task as with most other civs. The half price cathedrals and universities are especially powerful. These buildings are very high shield buildings taking a considerable investment in time to build. For the Babylonians having both these buildings in virtually every city is very common Those that like the challenge of an OCC game or a 20k culture victory will be hard pressed to find a better CIV choice than the Babylonians. A Babylonian player that grabs a lot of early Wonders may find himself with the cultural victory in record time. Also, given the science advantages of the Babs, trying to beat them in a Space Race victory is usually an exercise in futility.
As a warmonger civ the Babylonians are also quite formidable. At first glance it appears that they have no military advantages, but this is deceiving. The fast temp/cath building allows them to manage war weariness better than most civs. They also allow the Babylonian to more quickly refocus on building military units, which in turn allows him to alternate their wars against rivals at a faster pace. When a warmongering Babylonian takes a ‘breath’ in between his wars for infrastructure building, it does not take nearly as long as for most other civs. He can then more quickly get back to the business of destroying yet another rival. Also, the Babylonian quite often finds himself as the undisputed mid-game tech leader. Those libraries and universities translate out to the most modern and up to date military in the game. Whatever you may lack in military quantity, will be more than made up in quality. While, not the best civ for conquest/domination victories they are no slouches either. For the ‘balance of power’ player the Babs are an absolute dream! If your goal is not to rule the world, but to be its undisputed cultural and military superpower – Babylon is among the top choices.
The Bab UU (the bowman) is a matter of taste. A 20 shield 2-2-1 archer unit, with 0 range bombard ability, the bowman is cheap, can stand in as a spearman, and is available early. On the downside the somewhat slower start of the Babs often does not allow one to take full advantage of this UU in an ultra early archer rush. Secondly, its bonus is defensive in nature, making the standard swordsman a better offensive choice. Furthermore, many players do not welcome the early Golden Age this UU will trigger. Among the Ancient Age UUs the bowman is average at best. However, given a good fast start, this UU can be deadly.
The kings of culture and a solid all around civ that lends itself to many styles of play. Arguably the best peaceful builder civ in the game, the Babs are a solid well rounded top tier civ choice for any player.
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