Free Tech Tricks

It’s great to get a tech for free, but why settle for just one average tech? Here are some tricks to get more out of your free techs.
Note that most of these tricks work best on lower difficulty levels, where the AI won’t beat you to any of the key techs. Also, none of them work in PTW.

Republic Slingshot (C3C)

This is a simple trick to do in Conquests. Just research in order: Alphabet, Writing, Code of Laws, Philosopy, Republic. If you manage to get Philosophy first, you get Republic as your free tech! Becoming a Republic before 1000BC gives you a huge boost in research and growth for the rest of the game.

Don’t trade Alphabet or Writing, to keep the AI away from Philosophy as long as possible.

Expansionist Philosophy Slingshot (C3C)

This trick requires a Conquests game on a large map and an expansionist civ. Research Alphabet, Writing, and start on Philosophy. Trade with every civ you meet to get all their starting techs. Then go crazy with scouts, popping every goody hut you can find. After about 20 huts you will have every ancient age tech except Philosophy.

Finish research or pop Philosophy from a hut, and you can pick any of the Middle Age techs for free! Unfortunately you can’t pop Republic from a hut after you have a Middle Age tech. But if you’re planning to switch to Monarchy or Feudalism that’s not a problem.

A variation is to finish Philosophy immediately after popping Code of Laws, and take The Republic for free. This gives you a very early Republic government, often before 1500BC.

Scientific Double Slingshot (Civ3, C3C)

Does it annoy you when a scientific AI gets the same free tech as your scientific civ? Never let it happen again!

To pull this off you need a lot of gold in the bank, or optional techs from the previous age to barter with. Finish researching the last tech of the previous age, and a popup will appear congratulating you on entering the new era. Click “What’s the big picture” and you will zoom to your research screen – without your free tech!

Hit F4 to tab to the foreign minister and buy the free techs from all your scientific rivals. You may need to gift them into the new age. Pay gold, gpt, anything to get those techs. Hit F1 adjust your gpt income. You will get it all back soon.

Now exit out of the foreign minister and continue your turn. When the build phase finishes check your research screen – you have a different free tech that none of the AIs have. If you got all the first-level techs already, it will be a second-level tech like Theology, Industrialization, or Space Flight! Sell it to your scientific rivals to get your money back.

Russian Triple Slingshot (C3C)

The Russians are expansionist and scientific, so they can use both tricks! Research Philosophy as your last tech of the middle ages, and use the “big picture” to buy free techs from other scientific civs. Pick Theology or Invention as your Philosophy tech, and you have a 33% chance to learn Education or Gunpowder as your scientific tech. Now you can brag to your friends that you see Saltpeter or made the Great Library obsolete at 1000BC.

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