Civilization III FAQ/Strategy Guide v3.0

Version 3.0
January 30, 2002
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Part I: Basic FAQ Stuff
1. A Note From the Author
2. Revision History
Part II: Game Basics
3. Spreading Your Territory
A. Settlers
B. Culture
C. Military
4. Improving Your Territory
A. Irrigation
B. Mining
C. Roads
D. Railroads Are Your Friend
5. Managing Your People
A. Making Your People Happy: Luxuries
B. Making Your People Productive: Strategic Resources
C. Making Your Cities Productive: Consumable Goods
6. Other Game Basics
A. Heathen Hordes
B. In the Navy
C. Civilopedia
D. The Ages of Man
Part III: Beyond the Basics
7. Finding a World that Works For You
A. Land Masses
B. Water Coverage
C. Climate and World Age
8. Finding a Civilization that Works For You
A. Militaristic: The Playground Bullies
B. Commercial: Win the Microsoft Way
C. Scientific: Knowledge is Power
D. Religious: In God We Trust
E. Expansionist: Where do You Want to Grow Today?
F. Industrious: Men at Work
9. Making Money Work For You
A. The Science Rate
B. Army Unit Support
C. Put On A Happy Face
D. Letting Your Friends Do the Work For You
10. If All Else Fails: Kicking Serious Enemy Butt
A. Idiot’s Guide to Self-Defense
B. A Beginner’s Guide to Army Creation
C. Tactical Invasions Made Easy
D. Apocalypse Now: Using the Big, Scary Weapons in Modern Times
11. Wonders of the World
A. Why “Gimme Gimme Gimme” Just Don’t Cut It Anymore
B. She’s a Small Wonder, A Girl Unlike Other Girls
C. Great Wonders You Should Have
D. Summary: Reinforcing the Point
Part IV: Onward to Victory!
12. Domination/Conquest Victory
A. Use the Steamroller Effect to Your Advantage
B. Patience Pays
C. Domination Taken to the Extreme: Conquest Victory
13. The Race to Space
A. The Parts Have Changed
B. Production Mobilization: Get that Puppy Off The Ground
C. Keep Your Foes Planetbound
14. The Culture Victory
A. The “One-City” Fallacy
B. Time is Of The Essence
C. The Kulturkampf Factor
D. A Reminder of Priorities
15. The Diplomatic Victory
A. Getting Invited To The Dance
B. Channeling Pravin Lal: Diplomacy Made Easy
16. The Histographic Victory
A. Be Ever Mindful of the Score
B. Modus Operandi for the Histographic Winner
C. Cheapo Retirement: Quitting While You’re Ahead
Part V: Messing with the Rules: Using the Civ3 Editor
17. Now, Before You Snicker About Map Editing…
18. Editor Made Easy
A. General Settings
B. Governments
C. Improvements and Wonders
D. Natural Resources
E. Terrain
F. Units
G. Worker Jobs
H. World Sizes
I. Citizens
J. Civilizations
K. Civilization Advances
L. Combat Experience
M. Culture
N. Difficulty Levels
O. Diplomats and Spies
P. Eras
Q. Final Notes
Part VI: Reader Submissions, Tips, and Tricks
19. Diplomatic, Military, and Other Suggestions
Part VII: Odds and Ends
20. Contact Information
21. Coming Soon

Welcome to the Civ3 FAQ and Strategy Guide! In this, Part I, you’ll find the
obligatory “welcome from the author” stuff, the revision history, and other
bits of general mayhem that all authors (myself included!) start FAQs with.
If you want to get right into the game, skip to Part II. If you want to know
some of the what’s what (what’s updated, just exactly for whom I wrote this
FAQ), read this part.


First and foremost: I don’t want anyone to think there’s only one way to play
this game. This Strategy Guide should give you enough information to master
the basics, and may even serve as a walkthrough for certain victory types and
play styles.
Secondly: I’m going to assume that all of you have read the manual. I’m also
going to assume that all of you have played the game enough to understand what
I’m talking about throughout this FAQ. If you just got the game and you’re
already looking for cheats and tricks, shame on you. Games are always more
fun and more rewarding when you figure them out yourself. And stop e-mailing
me with questions about how things work in the game. If you can’t read the
manual or the Civilopedia, or if you’re using a warez copy of the game and
don’t have the manual, I can’t (or won’t) help you. Sorry.
Third: I’m compiling this FAQ based on my personal experience with the game.
Your own civilization’s enemies may react to you differently, being more or
less aggressive from game to game. The AI’s pretty sharp in Civ3, so proceed
with caution and try to come up with the right strategy for the situation. Use
this FAQ as a guide.
Fourth: I mentioned warez and piracy already, but I’ll say this publicly: If
you’re using an illegal copy of the game, and you email me and reveal that
information, I’m going to forward the email to your ISP, to Infogrames, and to
any law enforcement authorities involved. I’m STRONGLY against software
piracy. As a creative person, it pisses me off to no end to have my work
stolen and publicized by someone else. I can only imagine how my blood would
boil if I spent months of sleepless nights, coding, and debugging only to have
some punk frat boy enjoy my work for nothing. Why don’t I come over to your
house, steal the contents of your hard drive, format it, then call it a
“victimless crime”?
Finally: Don’t be afraid to try everything that this game has to offer. If
you master all sorts of styles, you’ll be ready to take on the world when the
multiplayer version of this game comes out (according to Firaxis and
Infogrames, it will probably be next spring). The well-rounded player is the
type who can win tournaments.


Version 0.01 (10/31/01): Alpha Version. I just got this game four hours ago,
so it’s going to be real rough, but I want people to know what this game might
hang or crash on. It’s not 100% stable since it’s a fresh release.

Version 0.02 (11/1/01): Second Alpha Version. Corrected a fat load of errata,
most of which stemmed from me completely misreading everything on the screen
during my first brief run-through. The remainder of the errors stemmed from
the fact that I’m an idiot and momentarily forgot what game I was playing. Go
figure. The FAQ’s going to look a little choppy as I update, because my first
priority at this stage of the development process, so bear with me and keep in
mind that this is a work-in-progress.

Version 0.10 (11/1/01): Got slaughtered in my Civ3 game this morning, so I
decided to update the FAQ again. No more military hubris, that’s for sure.

Version 0.50 (11/1/01): Beta Version. Pretty much everything in this FAQ is,
at least, accurate (no more misunderstandings with how things work, I think),
and I won’t start calling these FAQ updates “full releases” until I can at
least say with certainty that everything in them is 100% accurate, something
I’m still not 100% sure on. If there are any major errors remaining in this
document, please point them out to me, and if you have any strategies for
using specific civs or units, please send them in and I’ll credit them fully
in an upcoming “Reader Tips and Tricks” section.

Version 1.0 (11/18/01): First Full Release. This will be the format and
framework for all future revisions. By all means e-mail me with your
impressions and ideas!

Version 2.0 (12/22/01): Incorporated the multitude of reader submissions over
the past month. “Press time” for this FAQ was December 19th, so any email
received after that will be put into the next release. In case you’re
wondering how I know exactly when Version 3.0 will be released: As a freelance
writer by trade, I’ve got all my writing projects tightly scheduled in my
studio. If I don’t set an exact date of release, the FAQ will keep getting
pushed further and further onto the back burner and eventually abandoned. So
by announcing a release date, I give myself a time frame in order to get the
work done.

Version 3.0 (1/30/02): This’ll be the last I do with this FAQ for awhile, but
I’ve got a whole bunch of goodies about the Editor thrown in. I decided
against incorporating any more reader submissions because that chapter’s
already quite long and most reader email reiterated much of the same stuff.
Maybe if I get any time to work in the next few weeks, I’ll revisit those
items and get them into the FAQ.

As many have said, “you’ve got to crawl before you can walk”. Granted,
crawling won’t get you very far in the world, but everyone needs to start
somewhere. I’m not going to regurgitate the manual (much) here; I’m assuming
that you’ve read the manual, or at least you do when you need basic game help.
This is more about understanding the game in real game terms, and getting the
first grasp on the basic strategies involved. It’s divided into three major
sections: Spreading your Territory, Improving your Territory, and Managing
your People. Odds and Ends are thrown in at the end.

The mark of any good civilization is the breadth of its borders. Think of
great nations in this, our modern world. The United States, Australia, China,
Canada, Russia, the combined resources of the European Union. Even if you’d
never seen a map of Earth before in your life, it wouldn’t take too long to
find these nations. That’s because they’re HUGE in terms of land area,
dwarfing what the Roman Empire in ancient times called “ruling the world”!
Want a big, far-flung empire with millions of citizens toiling for your glory?
Read on.


Can’t make cities without them. You Alpha Centauri diehards can continue to
call these guys “colony pods” if you wish, because they serve the exact same
function. They found cities, and only found cities. For their efforts, they
take two citizens with them from the city in which they’re created, and draw
one gold piece off the treasury for as long as they’re on their journey to the
new home they will create.

I recommend using Settlers for two distinct purposes: One, they’re great for
shipping undesirable elements out of a city approaching civil disorder. Two,
once you have a horde of Workers able to improve a city radius’s worth of
terrain in ten or twenty turns, Settlers allow you to create almost
“insta-built” marvels of urban planning, since they found a size one city and
the workers in the surrounding terrain instantly improve the land to the point
where the city has everything it needs to reach city or metropolis level very
quickly while the workers move on to repeat the process with the next settler
or even with the cities your superior culture captures…more on this in
Chapter 3B, “Culture, and in Chapter 14C, “The Kulturkampf Factor”.


I’ll introduce this concept now. After getting your defenders and workers
built in any new city, you should build (in order:) a Temple, a Library, a
University, a Cathedral, and a Colosseum. You may, if you like, pause in the
middle to build an Aqueduct or a military unit (depending on how you’re
playing the game in the first place), but these five structures are your bread
and butter…and probably a sign you should be playing as a Scientific and
Religious civilization like the Babylonians, but more on that later. The
short version of why you should build these is because they generate a base
Culture value of 14 Culture Points (CP) per turn. Culture is good. The long
reason as to why you want to build these right away is apparent in the

The game gives you a bonus for cultural structures that have existed for a
significant length of time. The Temple that produces two CP in ancient times
will produce many more as it becomes an integral part of your city. If people
have been praying at the same temple, to the same gods, for millennia, it
follows that the temple should become a revered cultural landmark, like the
cathedrals of medieval Europe have become tourist attractions in modern times.
In addition, the massive cultural bonus that these cities achieve as their
history progresses leads to major expansions of your nation’s borders. With
an awe-inspiring culture, border towns of your enemy civs will revolt and join
your regime, and it happens more often than you’d think…if you’ve got the
goods to entice your foe’s citizens into getting with your program. Once you
capture the border towns, lather, rinse, repeat with the new cities, giving
them the same cultural advantages and power, until you’ve managed to penetrate
deep into your opponent’s heartland without having fired a single arrow, swung
a single sword, or thrust a single spear. Bloodless combat will quickly
become your nation’s best friend.


The saying about Star Trek goes, “Diplomacy for Kirk was with a phaser and a
smirk”. Indeed, sometimes your $#^##@’ enemies won’t listen to reason, and
you’ll have to kick some butt. Raise an army, go into your enemy’s turf, and
make like the heathen hordes and thrash your pathetic foe! Complete details
on exactly how to do this are provided in Chapter Ten, but some quick warnings
are given here as a reminder:

Don’t let resistance get you down. The resistors calm down sooner or later,
and if you want them to calm down sooner, let your soldiers rest, rearm, and
recuperate in the newly-captured city, pacifying it as they go. It’s a
definite exercise in patience! Patience pays though, because if you’re
bringing in reinforcements from your homeland, you’ll be well-off for having
done it right.

If you don’t want to be bothered with maintaining long supply lines, you can
raze cities to the ground, but this seems to make other civs angry, the same
way the other factions in Alpha Centauri considered “faction cleansing” to be
an atrocity. You’re not going to make many friends if you engage in genocide.

Don’t forget to bring the whole invasion force to the battle. Small
detachments are good for just about nothing unless you have a head-and-
shoulders lead in military tech.

Let your elite soldiers strike killing blows whenever possible. Leaders are
well worth the effort and the risk. Armies kick ass so hard your enemy will
still be feeling it every time they go to the bathroom for centuries

Cities alone don’t count for much. You need to make the turf around them
conducive to growth. Irrigation, mining, and roads, those venerable “techs”
that every civilization since the Dawn of Sid Meier Games has started the
game with, will be CRITICAL to your civilization’s success in this one. Some


As you’ll notice, you can’t irrigate anything that isn’t connected to FRESH
water (rivers or lakes) until your civilization discovers Electricity. For
that, I offer a simple choice: Either discover Electricity as early as you
can, or make sure you have a horde of Workers on hand any time you’re not at
war, and build from the rivers toward your cities. Workers are good for
almost nothing if your civilization is wrapped up in a death match, because
the lack of Zones of Control means that enemy units can sneak into your
territory and press-gang your workers. But if you’re at peace, you’re going
to want to have plenty of guys on your side, turning the inhospitable
wilderness into a triumph of ConAgra over nature.


Personally, I rather like the fact that you can reforest just about anything.
Reforestation is how to turn terrain that can’t be irrigated (because there’s
too much stuff between it and the rivers) into terrain that can work for you.
Plains, Grasslands, even Tundra can be made productive, to the tune of one
food and two shields. Mining Hills produces three shields and one food, and
Mountains can go from virtually useless terrain to a wonderful complement to
an otherwise well-developed agricultural area. All the food in the world will
only make your citizens fat and lazy; you need shields to give them some
actual material with which to do work.


“Worker hordes” (you may know them as “mass Former detachments” in Alpha
Centauri) are good for more than just rapid-fire terrain improvement around a
city radius. They’re equally adept at getting the roads out to colony
resources in a hurry. Since just about everything has to be connected to your
capital by road in order to even function, these hardworking denizens of your
glorious nation can do amazing things as far as raising your civilization’s
power is concerned. After all, you may have the horses and saltpeter, but
unless you’re planning on connecting all your cities by road, you’ll have
quite limited military might since only certain privileged burgs can create
Cavalry, the mightiest unit in pre-modern warfare (IMO). Luxury resources,
improperly distributed, will leave some of your cities happier than John
Belushi at Mardi Gras and other cities more miserable than Eeyore. See the
theme developing? Connect EVERYTHING that matters by roads. If you expand
overseas, build harbors on the coast of the departure and landing points, and
make sure you sail some workers to the “new world” to keep the infrastructure

(Thanks to John Karakash for the chapter title)

If you thought roads were essential, wait until you develop RAILroads. These
beauties will not only shorten travel times, but make you more efficient as

Remember “farming” from Civ2? How if you irrigated a terrain twice, you’d
get a 50% food bonus? Well, guess what, Sluggo…now all you have to do is
lay a rail across an irrigated square…and you don’t even need a Supermarket
improvement. Lay a rail across a mine and you’ve ramped up the production of
shields by 50%. And I’m pretty sure that railroads confer a 50% trade bonus
as well. You’ll need iron and coal to build railways, but if you can borrow
or rent it from one of your neighbors, you’ll be able to run a railroad to his
territory, then move military units along the railway to invade and conquer!
Talk about a return on investment!

To reiterate: Don’t miss out on the opportunity to build railroads. If you
lack the resources, beg, borrow, or steal to get them. It’s certainly
POSSIBLE to create an advanced Industrial-Age civilization without using
railroads. I’ve done it. But I’d much rather use good old-fashioned iron
horses to get the job done.

I’ve touched on this before. Your citizens are the heart of the beast!
Without your people, you’re just a crazy guy sitting in a palace pretending to
be a God, and frankly, the neighbors are starting to talk. Get yourself some
citizens and establish your legitimacy, but remember, your citizens have some
ideas of their own about how things are supposed to be, so follow these
strategies or the men in white coats will come to take you away to a nice
magical candy land where Mr. Needle makes everyone feel just right!


Sadly, Sid Meier and company did not design your nation’s citizens to conform
to rigid Spartan battle discipline in their daily lives. Nor did they make
your people Amish. You’re going to have to make them happy lest they become
quite irritated with you and start running around breaking stuff. For this,
you’re going to need Luxuries.

Luxuries work on two levels. On one hand, you can budget for them, providing
for public entertainment on the Domestic Advisor’s screen. Alternately, you
can provide your people with special luxury goods, of which you have eight to
choose from. Your people can have:

DYES: Pretty-colored clothing makes people feel a little bit better than
wearing stuff that’s the color of dead animals all day. I know SOME people
out there, notably American teenagers, can wear the same color (black) every
day, but most of THEM aren’t exactly “happy”, are they? Find Dyes in Forests
and Jungles.
FURS: Until the discovery of Animal Rights Activism (kidding! There are no
crazed youths with spray paint in Civ3!), Fur coats can provide warmth on cold
winter days, and besides, everyone knows how much rich women just LOVE their
lovely mink coats. You’ve got to get some of these to keep the preening rich
lady set happy. You can find them on the Tundra.
GEMS: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, so the saying goes, and nothing says
“I love you” to your citizens like the gift of jewelry. Your citizens know
that nothing says “Thanks, Exalted Leader!” like a “We Love the King Day”. See
the connection? Find Gems in Jungles and Mountains.
INCENSE: Your youths need something to cover up the smell in the basement!
Give them incense and the pleasing scent of burning essential oils will keep
people happy. Incense can be found in Deserts and Hills.
IVORY: Endangered species? Bah. There are plenty of tusks for everyone. This
is just a computer game! In addition to making lovely piano keys and billiard
balls, ivory makes lovely jewelry and soap that floats. Give some to your
people! Elephants are found on the Plains and in the Forests.
SILK: Personally, I think the stuff feels like latex, but some people really
like it. Find silkworms in the Forests and Jungles of your nation’s turf.
SPICE: Without Spices, your culture’s cuisine will be the ridicule of the
world. You don’t want your people to have to eat haggis, or worse, salsa that
doesn’t have chile peppers in it, do you? Spicy food releases endorphins into
the system, and that makes people happy! Find spices at…wait a
minute, we’re talking about Civ3? Oh, yeah! In that case, find spices in
Forests and Jungles.
WINES: “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” Want to make your citizens
happy? Get ’em drunk! Wine can be found in Grasslands, Plains, and Hills,
making it a natural trade good.

Each luxury good makes one content citizen happy in every city that’s
connected to the good. In essence, each luxury is like a mini-Hanging Gardens
unto itself! If you can’t get these things domestically, trade for them!
Opposing civs are pretty friendly about trading luxury resources, since their
citizens stand to benefit from what you provide as much as yours stand to
benefit for what they provide! Trade routes foster goodwill!


Happy people are great, but when it comes time to kick some enemy butt, or
when you decide, “why pay for what you can steal?” and want to just march in
and take the luxuries for yourself, you’re going to need Strategic Resources
to get the dirty deeds done.
You can’t budget for Strategic Resources, but you can trade for them. Problem
is, the folks at Firaxis anticipated in advance that the primary purpose for
which most people would trade for strategic resources would be to crush the AI
civ dumb enough to hand them over. They have thus made Strategic Resources
quite difficult to obtain. You’ll ultimately have to take them, which means
you’ll have to know the basics of what they are, what they do, and where to
find them. Read on:

ALUMINUM: Lightweight metal, suitable for alloying and making all kinds of
really neat metal gizmos, including Radar Artillery, all sorts of missiles,
any kind of advanced aircraft, and cans to put the Mountain Dew in. It can be
found in the Plains, the Hills, and the Mountains. See? “Mountain Dew”!
COAL: Can’t have a barbecue without charcoal, can’t have a power plant without
anthracite coal, and you also need the black stuff to build Ironclads. I say,
however, that Coal’s greatest use lies in the fact that it provides a built-in
two-shield bonus to the terrain it’s on, and since it’s found in Hills and
Mountains, that means you’re a mine away from having squares that produce a
base value of five shields.
HORSES: The ancient army commander’s best friend, and a key component in every
mobile unit until the invention of the tank. You CANNOT have a proper
military in the first three eras of the game without horses! I don’t care how
you get them, just get them! Horses are found on Grasslands, grazing on the
Plains, and trotting along through the Hills. Once again: if you want to have
ANY chance of winning a war in the first three eras of the game, you’ll need
IRON: Of course, wars are not won by mobility alone. Equally important are
ancient infantry, and to have infantry that won’t get carved up in ancient
times (before the invention of gunpowder), you’ll need Iron. Iron’s a key
component in any kind of sword or armor unit, including Swordsmen, Pikemen,
Knights, Cannons, most of the medieval naval units including the very cool
Privateer (you can conduct wars clandestinely on the high seas with these paid
pirates), and some civilizations’ special units. Find the heavy metal in the
Hills, up the Mountains, and in the Plains.
OIL: Black Gold. Texas Tea. And a damn essential ingredient in Industrial
Age warfare. You’re going to need this stuff for all the early motorized
units, including (but not limited to) paratroopers, tanks, fighters, bombers,
and anything else you can think of from the Second World War. You’ll also
need it for modern mechanized units like Mech Infantry and Modern Armor. If
you don’t have Oil, you won’t win wars in modern times. Simple. Strike Oil
in the Plains, in the Desert, and in the frozen Tundra.
RUBBER: See absolutely everything I’ve said above about Oil. If it’s got
wheels in modern times, chances are you’ll need Rubber to build it. Find the
bouncy stuff in Forests and Jungles.
SALTPETER: Essential ingredient in the manufacture of Gunpowder. If your
Medieval or Industrial Age unit shoots off a gun, he’ll probably need
Saltpeter in order to make it happen. Curiously, the main source of Saltpeter
in modern times comes from caves, in the form of bat poo. Bats and most birds
produce the stuff as a by-product of digestion, and it finds its way into
their dookie! You don’t have to be quite that disgusting about it in Civ3,
however, as you can find Saltpeter in the Deserts, frozen to the Tundra, and
up the Hills and Mountains.
URANIUM: Is that an Earth-shattering KABOOM I hear? If you’ve got Uranium, it
might very well be. This stuff is an essential ingredient in all things
nuclear, and you can REALLY hurt someone with those bombs! If militaristic
running with scissors sounds like your idea of a good time, put on your
radiation suit and get your Uranium out of Forests and Mountains.

Most of these Strategic Resources have nice civilian applications, since they
almost all beef up production of the squares they are in quite impressively.


There’s a class of goods that should be familiar to players of older Civ
games. Who can forget the basics? The essentials of life that allow your
citizens to prosper and eat well. In Civ3, there are six resources that exist
for the sole purpose of enhancing production. You don’t have to build roads
out to these resources, nor do they serve any purpose to any city other than
the one which has the worker working the square the resource is in. The
lowdown on these Magnificent Six:

CATTLE: Become the Burger King. Get your people some cattle, and watch your
production in Grassland, Plains, and Tundra improve by two food and one
FISH: Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Find fish in aquatic
squares (Coast, Sea, and Ocean) and he’ll enjoy increased production to the
tune of two food and one commerce.
GAME: A-hunting we will go, a-hunting we will go, and when we kill the Game
that’s there, a one-food bonus, ho! Find Game in Tundra, Forest, and Jungle.
WHALES: Thar she blows! In Sea and Ocean! A Whale, giving one food, one
shield, and two commerce! A nice all-around enhancement to your coastal
WHEAT: Essential for one-half of Bread and Circuses. Provides two extra food
to Flood Plain, Grassland, and Plains squares. In the case of Flood Plain,
that is a VERY good thing because once you irrigate the spot, you’ll have a
terrain that produces a whopping SIX food each and every turn.
GOLD: There’s GOLD in them thar hills! Mountains, too. You can raise an army
on a good Gold vein, since it provides four commerce in the square that it’s
in. Put a mine down and you’ve got possibly the best all-around square in the

Consumable goods cannot be traded because of the rules governing their
production. You can exploit the extra production to gain a leg up on the
enemy, however! If you’ve got some extra shields from high-end productivity,
you can make more military units and take all the other stuff!

Some things don’t fit neatly into packages. There are certain things you’re
just going to have to deal with as they come up, including Barbarians, naval
units and their operation, the Civilopedia, and this concept called “Ages of


Reading about barbarians in the manual, I was reminded of George W. Bush and
the War on Terrorism. The idea of barbarians in this game is that they occupy
certain camps from which they periodically emerge to wreak havoc on all your
civilization holds dear. You have to seek out and destroy the “terrorist
camps”, which will push the barbarians back beyond any place that hasn’t yet
been placed outside the realm of the fog of war. You can keep the fog away
from your people by expanding your cultural boundaries (there is no fog of war
inside your nation’s turf), by posting sentries just beyond the border,
assuming of course that you’re not in anyone else’s nation, and by keeping a
fairly constant patrol along your border waiting for the barbarians to make
the first move, at which point you find where they came from and crush them.
It’s a proactive approach, and one which should serve as a reminder to
consolidate your territory to keep your cities safe from attack. If you like,
you can look at the barbarian threat as your civilization’s own War on
Terrorism…anything that drives home the point.


A quick procedural primer:

Remember that Galleys will swamp if they don’t end their turn in Coastal
squares. Caravels will swamp if they end their turn in Ocean squares. If
you’re going to build onto more than one continent, remember that you’ll need
coastal cities with Harbors on the same body of water in order to enjoy any
trade benefits, including the distribution of luxuries. You’ll also need to
haul some Workers across the way in order to build your road network inland on
the new landmass. Remember the fundamentals and you should be fine.

On the military end, a good warship can make an excellent instrument of
blockade. Cut off your enemy’s harbor from the body of water it borders by
making an unbroken line of warships that, if they were land squares, would
make it impossible for a ship to get through onto the open ocean. This takes
some work, and you’ll want to make sure that either your ships have good
defensive capability to withstand attacks to break the blockade, good
offensive capability to intercept and destroy enemy ships before they can
attack, or (preferably) both. Cutting an enemy city off from its capital also
cuts it off from strategic resources, making it difficult for the city to
build any units that have a reasonable chance of survival, and thus making the
city a sitting duck in a siege. Isolate and annihilate using blockade.


Right-clicking on most stuff in the game brings up a Civilopedia entry that
explains what that stuff is and what it does, and on occasion what other
stuff you’ll be able to do as a result of having the stuff that you click on.
Be warned, however: At present (v1.07f), there is a bug in the Civilopedia
that makes the game crash if you try to use any of the letters on the screen
in order to bring up the big alphabetical list of all the stuff in the
Civilopedia. I hope Firaxis fixes this one soon, because being able to poke
around the Civilopedia and see exactly how things work is essential to being
able to shorten the game’s learning curve.


The short version: Everything in the game is divided into “Ages”, and you
have to research all the techs that aren’t marked with the circle with a line
through it in order to move from one age to the next. The techs that are
marked are “optional”, and even though they don’t directly affect your civ’s
advancement through the ages, they often provide other benefits (Literature,
for example, allows your cities to build Libraries, a KEY cultural component).
I usually research everything, but later on, when the research into the older
techs gets a lot cheaper. Don’t let “ages” get in the way of researching the
things your civilization needs to grow and thrive.

If you’ve read this far, you have all the essentials needed to make a pretty
passable effort at Civ-building. If you wish to read beyond this point, you
will go from being a raw acolyte to a worthy king. In this section, I cover:

· The basics of setting up a map for your play style
· Selecting a civilization that will maximize your play style’s strengths
· Managing your nation’s economy for maximum efficiency and growth
· Kicking butt with major league military tactics
· Building Wonders of the World and becoming the envy of all your friends!

By the time you read this section through, you’ll be an expert, if you don’t
run off to try some of these strategies before you even finish reading! I’ll
point out that there’s a button called “Print” on your toolbar…feel free to
use it, and make a few copies for your friends (as long as you don’t sell it,
because then we’ve got copyright issues. The short version: As long as
nobody tries to make any money, it’s all legal.)

Not all worlds are created equal. Not all players are created equal, either.
Sometimes your success in this game will be dependent on the world you choose
at startup. Some people will like the idea of playing on far-flung islands,
where naval strength decides who gets what. Others will like the idea of big
supercontinents where land warfare is paramount and sea units are pretty much
limited in scope to Inchon-style landings behind enemy lines. If you know
what you’re getting, you’ll know what to plan for. If you choose a more
random world, you’ll have a realistic time trying to explore it all and figure
out just exactly what’s there.


The Land Masses choice comes in three flavors:

PANGAEA: One big supercontinent. You’re going to want to build a lot of fast,
powerful land units to win here. Harbors and Airports aren’t nearly as
important to your success on Pangaea, but you will need a very good road
network and a willingness to use force to obtain what you need. The resources
will be there for the taking…I’d recommend Pangaea to beginners and to those
players who prefer to slug it out rather than try and finesse their way
through the game. Wars are not a question of if, but when with this setup.

CONTINENTS: The object here will be to establish control of the continent you
are given, letting the foes trapped on the other one (there are usually two
distinct landmasses in this setup) throw down and keep each other in the Dark
Ages. If you’re lucky, someone on the other continent will build a nice
harbor to allow you to trade with them. Failing that, just wait until you’ve
got your own landmass secured, then build up a supersized transport navy and
haul everyone over to the other side to cannibalize the opposition.

ARCHIPELAGO: Trade is a bigger factor in this format, since any kind of
amphibious combat quickly gets unwieldy, and Cultural boundaries don’t stretch
nearly far enough to enable you to engage in that sort of conquest. You’re
going to need lots of Harbors and Airports if you’re to succeed in a world
fraught with a great many islands. Trade networks will be far more involved
than the Pangaea-style “road to Rome” approach.

The short version: The more militaristic your tastes run, the more you’ll
benefit from having all your land in one place. Likewise, if you’re planning
on having a lot of Cultural buildings in your outlying areas, having the enemy
closer at hand may well accelerate his demise. I like a Pangaea style myself;
one less thing to worry about.


With each flavor of landmass, you can also set just how much of the map (80%,
70%, or 60%) is covered by water. More water means less land on which to
expand, so use the Landmass guidelines above and realize that if you want a
more peaceful game, you’d do very well to make sure there’s enough land to go
around. More water = less land = fiercer competition for the existing land =
lots of wars and culture battles. Your choice.


Here’s the short version: The warmer you set your climate, the more food you
can produce, but the harder you’ll have to work to get it. Warm, moist
climates yield a lot of Grasslands, but they’re often buried under Jungles,
which take a long time to clear. Cool, arid climates yield a lot of Plains
and Tundra squares, which produce little food but more shields. Depending on
exactly what you want your citizens to focus on producing, you’ll probably
want to tailor the climate to your needs. Want big cities that can support
lots of military units under Monarchy or Communism? You’ll probably want a
warm and moist climate so that you can work towards getting Grassland. Want a
civilization that focuses on production and thus has a batch of smaller cities
with higher production rates? Get the Plains and Tundra and forest them. The
cities may never even reach size 6, but at least you’ll have 12 to 15 shields
in each of them!

The other major factor at work is the Age of the World. The older the world,
the rougher the terrain, and the more likely it is that terrain types will be
clumped together. Remember, hills and mountains are your major shield-
producing regions, and have some unique resource benefits as well. Remember
to tailor this to your play style. I like an older world with a lot of food
production, because I can support a horde of Workers in peacetime and an
equally large horde of big scary army guys in wartime. I give up speed of
production on improvements and the like, but it doesn’t really bother me.
After all, with all the commerce I generate, setting my government at any one
that allows me to “buy” improvements (Monarchy, Republic, Democracy) more than
makes up for the slower base rate of production.

I talk a lot about “finding your play style”. Maybe I should provide some
help to some of you who may be wondering just how to play to your strengths as
a strategy gamer. Read my take on the six major civilization attributes, and
you too can pick the perfect civ for your tastes:


Militarism has its advantages. Civilizations that have this as an attribute
produce things like Barracks, Coastal Fortresses, and Walls faster than civs
that don’t have Militarism. In addition to the obvious effect of making it
easier to start your units out as Veterans (4hp), promotions on the
battlefield come faster as well. It’s easier to create Great Leaders when you
have more Elite units vying for the opportunity, and that leads to more armies
which leads to more wartime butt-kicking. If you want to get out there and
smash your foes, Militarism is a good way to go, so choose any of these civs
to get the most out of your style: Romans, Germans, Japanese, Aztecs, or
Zulus. The manual says the Persians are militaristic; this is an error (they
are Scientific and Industrious). Note that militaristic cultures start the
game with Warrior Code, allowing the production of archers from the start.


If your tastes run toward economic domination, you may want to try the
Commercial route to victory. The benefits here include a commerce boost in
cities with large populations, and also a reduced amount of corruption in your
cities. The practical application is that you get to keep more of your money,
and combined with a good road network and some tradable resources, you’ll be
able to devote more money to stuff like research, which will advance your
nation’s cause faster. You’ll also be able to rush-build projects more
effectively under the “cash-build” governments. For those of you who like
having plenty of money to throw around, or for those of you who always seem to
have trouble managing the finances of your empire, you may wish to try out the
Commercial civilizations of the Greeks, Indians, French, or British.
Note that Commercial nations start the game with Alphabet, which also gives
them a leg up on the development of Writing (allowing establishment of
embassies a little bit earlier than their rivals).


Are you like me? When I played Alpha Centauri, I couldn’t fathom how anyone
could play as any faction but Zakharov’s University. I mean, just look at all
that research! If you’re the type who assigns a high priority to climbing the
tech tree, then the Scientific route is for you. The advantages include a
free technology at the beginning of every new era, cheaper Library, University
and Research Lab construction, and a head-and-shoulders lead in technology
over your foes, not to mention the huge culture benefit of having educational
structures in your cities. Scientific civilizations also start the game with
Bronze Working, which makes possible Spearmen and the Colossus from the
get-go. If this is the route for you, try the Greeks, Germans, Chinese,
Babylonians, Persians, or Russians.


The nice thing about religion in video games is that it’s non-denominational.
If you’re a Christian, imagine your people devoting their lives to the Lord
Jesus Christ. If you’re a Muslim, imagine your people bowing toward Mecca and
sending their prayers to the Great Allah. If you’re an atheist named Dave,
imagine that the little peons on the screen worship their Lord and Savior the
Great Lord Dave. Imagine that their lives revolve around preparing for the
Coming of the Great Dave to save them from the evil clutches of All That Which
Is Not Dave. Whatever gets you through.

On a practical level, you may want to give your citizens religion if you have
any intentions whatsoever of keeping your cities out of civil disorder.
Because religious buildings are cheaper, it won’t take long to expand
culturally either. You start with Ceremonial Burial, meaning that right off
the bat, every city you found has a chance to build a Temple from the get-go.
Add to that the fact that Religious civilizations essentially have the Statue
of Liberty Wonder from Civ2 (no period of anarchy between governments), and
you have a VERY powerful advantage, maybe even an unfair one.

Get the power of God and Almighty Dave on your side by picking the Japanese,
Indians, Aztecs, Iroquois, Egyptians, or Babylonians.


Want World Maps that are the envy of all your friends? Want to be able to get
huge amounts of money from barbarian camps and minor tribes? Expansionism may
well be the path for you. Expansionist civs are the only nations that can
build Scout units, which allow fast exploration of the map. They start with
Pottery, which leaves them closer to Map Making, thus bringing them closer to
exchanging World Maps. Personally, I find this attribute to be a complete
waste, especially when compared to stuff like Religious and Scientific (REAL
expansion comes from cultural conquest), but if you want to work with those
Scouts and use your World Map as an effective bargaining chip, then try using
the British, the Zulus, the Americans, the Iroquois, or the Russians.

Of note: Several of you have written me espousing the joys of expansionist
culture. The main reason you all seem to cite is that you can gain a major-
league tech lead in Ancient times when your scout is the first one to reach
all of the minor tribe goody boxes on the map. To test the thesis, I played a
game as the Americans. To my surprise, not only did I gain a lead, I gained a
BIG lead. Trouble was, it amped up the number of turns I needed to gain techs
with my own scientists. Since the patch cranked the upper limit of number of
turns to research a tech from 32 to 40, by the time the Middle Ages hit, the
other civs had started to pull even. An intriguing test, certainly. But I
stand by my comment that Expansionist is the weakest attribute.


Even if you don’t come from a Land Down Under, you can still put your men to
work building strong infrastructure. Industrious civilizations have the
ability to extract extra shield production out of their larger cities, which
except for having a noticeable effect on the pollution risk allows for some
pretty impressive feats of construction. Workers also work faster, which is
a definite plus for the peace-seeker, as hordes of workers can clear huge
tracts of land, making way for “cookie-cutter” settlements. If you’re the
type who favors shield production and loves to build lots of stuff, then the
Industrious Persians, French, Americans, Egyptians, Chinese, or Romans may be
right up your alley. Industrious civilizations start with Masonry, and it
should be noted that Industry and Militarism mix VERY well. The Romans
possess these two strengths, and if you play as them, you’ll see just what a
shield-happy army commander can do with them.

So which civilizations do I recommend? I’m partial to the Babylonians, the
Romans, and the Egyptians myself. The Babylonians combine Science and
religion into the perfect Culture package. The Romans build cool stuff and
then use that stuff to smash their foes, and are thus well-suited to combat-
type leaders. The Egyptians combine an ability to work the land with an
ability to keep their people happy, and as such make the perfect choice for
the perfectionist who wants to build a batch of giant cities.

Gold takes on a whole new importance in Civ3. Since it pays for your city
improvement maintenance, pays for your army maintenance, and also goes toward
scientific research, you’re not going to want to fritter the stuff away. Too
much can go wrong if you don’t watch your funds. Following, I present some
ideas on just how to make money work for you:


The short version: As high as you can put it without losing money. I’m
serious. You might even want to make the occasional foray toward 100% science
in order to advance your civilization along the tech tree just a little bit
faster. Seriously, unless you’re at war with someone (and thus need the money
to pay an oversized army), keep a perpetual eye toward the advancement of
knowledge. Knowing something that the other nations don’t is key to keeping
them from getting aggressive, or punishing them if they’re dumb enough to try
to tangle with you. Once again: Keep your science rate as high as
circumstances allow!


Depending on your government type (check the Civilopedia), you’ll be able to
support a certain number of military units. This count includes Workers, and
also includes any Settlers that haven’t built or joined cities yet. In
peacetime, you’re going to want to keep the total number of units at the VERY
EDGE of the allowable limit. Why? Simple. The enemy civs will look at your
standing army and think twice about starting a war. Also, having an absolute
horde of Workers will allow you to make major terrain improvements and carve
out roads to colony sites quickly and efficiently. Besides, having all those
folks out there toiling away looks really cool on the screen. There’s nothing
quite like thirty guys with machetes making fertile grassland out of what was
once disease-ridden jungle.

In wartime, you’re going to want to spend every available cent on unit support
even if it means a slight sacrifice in science. Remember, you’re going to
need sizeable amounts of soldiers in order to dislodge a well-established foe
from his homeland. With a big city base and a massive army, this task becomes
easier and faster, allowing a quicker return to “normalcy” and a return to the
workers-with-machetes model. Of course you’re going to want to disband all of
your Workers in wartime; you’re going to need that support money for winning
the war. Workers are too easy for the enemy to capture.


Having trouble making sure your citizens have enough luxuries? Cities grown
to the point where people are complaining a bit too much? Fear not, because
you can provide a certain amount of money to be spent on entertainment. It
works exactly the same way it did in Civ2, and has exactly the same results.
I wouldn’t recommend it for anything other than staving off civil disorder in
an advanced society, but if you meet those criteria and have exhausted your
other options, then go for it! Just try and get your hands on some luxury
goods, because those don’t show up as budget items unless you’re paying one of
your opponents by the turn for the privilege of renting some of their luxury


There is a principle in economics called Ricardo’s Law of Comparative
Advantage. The Reader’s Digest version of it is that if I am the best at
producing item A, and you’re best at producing item B, we’re wasting our time
producing anything in which we don’t specialize. If I can produce as much A
as possible, and you can produce as much B as possible, I can trade my surplus
A for your surplus B and we’ll both have more of each item than if we’d tried
to split our time and resources producing it all ourselves.

In Civ3 terms, this means that if you have a civ with an excellent science
rate, you can turn your discoveries into cash cows. Make your money by
selling your discoveries to your friends and allies, then turn around and use
that money to continue to advance your scientific cause. Even better, find a
resource which is found in abundance in your territory, then rent it out to
the rest of the world. If you have what someone else wants, you can charge
them a per-turn rental fee for you to make the resource for them. In turn,
you don’t have to work as hard on making a lot of money, because your foes
will do it for you. You’ve just got to find something to supply. Likewise,
rather than slugging it out with someone just to get their item, why not trade
with them for it, then use your trade agreement as a parlay in order to enlist
the friend on your side when you do decide to go to war against a less co-
operative third party? This isn’t Civ2. The opposing civs are a lot more
reasonable this time around. They’ll be hostile if they feel you’re not
giving them a fair shake, but play nice and you’ll have some good friends.

Truthfully, I really don’t recommend trying to engage in military conflict in
Civ3. It’s more trouble than it’s worth. But if the enemy just refuses to
co-operate, or if you just HAVE to clear some living space for your people,
you can use the strategies outlined here in order to get the bad guys out of
the way so you can get back to peaceful means of expansion.


First off: Try not to anger your opponents. Trade relationships make your foe
reluctant to attack you. But if that doesn’t work, you’re going to want some
hardcore defensive units on standby in your towns. The best defensive unit is
just that, pure defense. Since a unit must abandon its current position in
order to attack, pre-emptive strikes aren’t the panacea they once were. Don’t
miss the chance to develop the defensive units you’ll need to survive, and you
should absolutely NOT think that one defensive unit will be enough to hold a
city against a determined attack. You’ll need two or maybe even three. It
will depend on your nation’s form of government.

That said, small mobile detachments will help to keep the enemy from focusing
completely on your city. Once you’ve got your defensive units in place, you
are going to want to get together a group of archers or horsemen (or their
equivalents, depending on the era in which you’re fighting). That group can
be used to carry out strategic strikes against the army groups aiming for your
cities. An army unit can be used for first-class “active defense” in this
sense, since it’s better at holding its position if left “hung out to dry” by
having stepped into a spot all alone. Read any good book on World War II for
mobile defensive tactics, and remember that in Civ3, as long as the forces in
the fight are evenly matched, those tactics will work irrespective of era. The
doctrine of combined arms (infantry, cavalry, artillery) serving purposes for
mobile attack and defense will serve you very well.


Here’s the short version. Build barracks in your cities so you’ll create
veteran (4hp) units. Get those veterans into combat so they’ll become elite
(5hp) units. Let those elites be shameless glory hounds, picking off any
enemy units they’ve got a reasonable chance of beating. Once they become
“great leaders”, get them back to one of your cities PRONTO, escorting them
whenever possible with the same units you’d use for mobile defense of cities.
Once you get back to base, have the leader “Form Army”. Load three (four if
you’ve built the Pentagon) units into the “Army” exactly the same way you’d
load a transport bound for the open sea. Get that army into a combat as soon
as it’s ready, so it can win a combat. If you’ve got the Military Academy,
you can use 200 shields to construct an army anytime you want. If not, repeat
the elite-soldier method to create more Great Leaders and create more armies.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have a hardcore group capable of kicking
maximum butt.

Of note (and credit for this is given in the Reader Submissions section):

When you create a Great Leader, he doesn’t just appear and have the original
unit that spawned him vanish. Your Leader would be quite vulnerable if this
were the case! Your Leader will have the unit as cover. Do whatever you have
to in order to get that leader back to one of your cities. I think it’s kind
of funny that leaders can be ritually slaughtered if they are unescorted…for
such great and mighty heroes they sure need a lot of babying!

Also of note: You may want to hold off on filling up that army right away.
Once you put a unit into an army, it will stay as its specific type for the
remainder of the game (or until it is killed). In other words, an army of
horsemen will always BE an army of horsemen, even if individual horsemen have
been upgraded to knights…cavalry…tanks…whatever. Armies are FAR more
effective in modern times.


Got your military units in order? Good. As any military history buff will
tell you, individual units or battalions do not win wars by themselves.
You’ll need combined groups to carry out sustained assaults against a city.
You can do this with “Army” units, which can kick butt due to their strength
in numbers. That’s the easy way. The more difficult way involves positional
warfare. Take a couple of units with high attack but low defense (archers,
longbowmen, that sort of thing), add a couple of units capable of carrying out
sieges (catapults, cannons), and bring a couple of units with high defensive
values (pikemen, musketmen), and move them together, stacked on top of each
other. If the group is attacked, the defensive unit will provide defensive
fire. If the group reaches a city, the bombardment teams will smash down the
walls and rain death on the civilians. If the group encounters enemies in the
open, the high-attack units will carve up the enemy. Combined arms can be
your civ’s best friend, and really only runs into a couple of weaknesses;
enemy “army” units (which have massive defensive and attack ability—counter
them with army units of your own), degradation of group integrity from
creation and appropriate escort of Great Leaders (not like you’ll be
complaining about having more “army” units), and attrition (once those
covering defenders get beaten, it’s all downhill from there—solve this by
not sending these groups into hopeless situations). Got it, soldier? Now get
in there and FIGHT!


Frankly, there’s not much strategy to nuclear attack. Pick the target, fire
the missile, and then watch your own civilization drop dead from the global
effects of pollution. Use nuclear weapons carefully; maybe if you have an
army group ready to march on your enemy’s capital, you can use a nuke to
prime the pump. Radiation won’t kill your guys on the way in…

Seriously, though, stick to classical military style unless you REALLY love
pollution and the wonderful things it does for your civilization’s efforts to
create a paradise in which to live. (note heavy sarcasm)

Wonders of the World have been toned down in a big way for this edition of the
game. What once were complete tide-turners for your civilization are now more
along the lines of “a little boost” in the right direction. Their prime
purpose is no longer gaining an unfair advantage; they now exist more for
their cultural benefit than anything else. They still have some pretty
powerful effects, mind you; they’re just not game breakers anymore.

Wonders are divided into two categories: Great Wonders and Small Wonders. You
will recognize Great Wonders from previous incarnations of Civilization. There
can be only one of each Great Wonder built in the world. Small Wonders can be
built by any civilization, but instead of being a one-off for everyone, each
civilization can build one of its own Small Wonder no matter if they’re the
first to build it or the last.


Simply put, there are more important things for your civilization to do than
build Wonders. The time your nation spends working on a Wonder is time it’s
NOT spending building cultural buildings, Workers, and Settlers. You’ll quite
literally have to wait until the time is right before building a Wonder, and
you may find yourself beaten to the punch, but this is not a big deal. One,
if it’s really driving you THAT crazy, you can take over the city of the
enemy that built the Wonder, and two, most of the Wonders’ effects can be
achieved by traditional means. If you want Wonders, you’ll have to either
cover your nation’s other needs, or be prepared to sacrifice growth while your
civ works on these costly projects.


Small Wonders can be chalked up to “insignificant in theory, amazing in
practice”. On the one hand, since you can build them anytime you have met the
prerequisites, they’re not all that important in the grand scheme of things,
and certainly they shouldn’t be constructed before you’ve completed all the
Great Wonders available to you. On the other hand, since some of them (Wall
Street, Military Academy) are tremendously useful, you may want to make sure
you’ve got the resources in place to get them built. Short version:
Prioritize. Build your city infrastructure first. Then, build any Great
Wonders. Finally, build your Small Wonders, taking time in between to
maintain your military and get your Workers and Settlers built for the
expansion of your empire. You should be able to have quite a few cities
running on “Wealth” by the time you get to the Industrial Age, which can be
diverted to new stuff as it becomes available.


You’ve got a basic understanding of priorities by now. But are there any
Great Wonders that you absolutely must have in order to keep your enemies from
having them? You bet your sweet bippy there are!

THE GREAT LIBRARY: This is completely self-explanatory. Get it so your hard-
earned research won’t benefit someone else.
THE HANGING GARDENS: Want to be able to grow your cities bigger and better?
You’ll definitely benefit from having this.
THEATER: Base value of 5 cp a turn. Any questions?
HEROIC EPIC: It’s a Small Wonder, but I mention it here because building it
EARLY allows it to be far more effective as a culture-producing instrument
for your civilization’s benefit. Remember, you get a bonus to Culture
production on anything that’s an ancient, revered part of your people’s
national identity. I mention it here because it should take precedence over
any Great Wonder that produces a base Culture value lower than 4.
COPERNICUS OBSERVATORY, SETI PROGRAM: If I have to explain why, you need more
help than I can possibly hope to provide.

Let me point out something here: Leonardo’s Workshop is NOT on this list…it
is practically useless. Paying for upgrades is NOT the way you want to
strengthen your military (it’s more efficient to just BUILD the new units
yourself). Add to that the fact that its base culture value is 2 cp (no
better than a Temple) and you’ve got a complete waste of your civilization’s
time and resources unless you’ve got nothing else to build. Civ2 veterans are
going to have to learn that what was the MOST important wonder in Civ2 is now
the LEAST important wonder in Civ3. If you don’t like this, don’t complain to
me. Complain to Firaxis.


To summarize: Wonders are CULTURE INSTRUMENTS first and effect-producers a
distant second. Building them takes a lot of time and energy, and in many
cases (especially early in the game) that’s time and energy your nation’s
really better off spending elsewhere. Don’t freak out if you can’t get
Wonders built before your foes do; it’s not the end of the world in Civ3. If
it drives you that crazy, just work toward the obsolescence of Wonders you
don’t own, or use your military to achieve your perfectionist aims. All this
having been said, don’t be surprised if Firaxis plays with the Wonder effects
in upcoming patches. They’ve hinted on the website (Ask the Civ3
Team, 11/9/01) that they’re going to be playing with game mechanics in
upcoming patches. But for now, play the game as it’s packaged, which means
don’t worry so much about Wonders of the World.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a whole cadre of players who can
go through an entire Sid Meier game without ever seeing the ending. In Alpha
Centauri, most of us just pull the trigger on an economic victory once the
turn length starts to exceed five minutes or so. In Civ2, those same people
usually play until they have something else to do, then instead of saving
simply quit out and start a new game the next time they load up the CD. I’ve
even been guilty of quitting out of many a Civ3 game in the two weeks I’ve
been playing, although admittedly much of that came from the fact that I
screwed up so badly while trying to master the learning curve!

My point in saying this is that even though the game defines certain “victory
goals”, that doesn’t mean you have to use them as your mark in determining
whether or not you’ve won. Remember that half the fun of simulation/strategy
is setting your own goals and trying to reach them. Still, since “just play
your own style” makes pretty crappy “beat the game” advice for FAQ purposes,
I’ll go over the various ways you can “win” and suggest some helpful ways to
get there. Some of this will be pure conjecture, mind you; I’m very partial
to peaceful means of victory and will be more than willing to accept any input
from all you warmongers out there. Just e-mail the strats to me and I’ll give
you full credit in an upcoming FAQ release (by “upcoming”, I mean “sometime in
the next millennium” since I’m always backlogged, but you’ll get your credit
sooner or later!)

Strap on the leather thongs, grab your whips and chains…oh, you mean it’s
not THAT kind of domination? No matter. If you manage to control two-thirds
of the world’s territory, you win! Likewise, if you are the only civilization
left standing at any point in the game, you win! It’s not as easy as it may
sound (and if you’ve played Civ2, you know how easy it SOUNDS). Following,
some ideas on how to gain the permanent upper hand:


“What’s the steamroller effect”, you ask? (see, an actual “frequently asked
question” in a FAQ! Who knew?) The steamroller effect is my term to describe
how military conquest becomes easier the more territory you conquer. The
simplest way to explain this is to point out that under the non-democratic
forms of government (Monarchy, Communism), you can support 2 units for each
town (size 6 or below), 4 units for each city (size 7-12), and 8 units for
each metropolis (size 13+), all at no cost to your nation’s treasury. In
addition, you don’t have to worry about war weariness under those two forms of
government (note that I don’t mention Despotism because frankly, Despotism
totally sucks as a government type under any and all circumstances!) So as
you gain more cities, you can support a larger army, which in turn allows you
to make ever-stronger assaults against greater ranges of territory, even going
so far as to allow you to effectively wage a two- or three-front war without
serious risk to your population. You can then steamroll over greater and
greater amounts of territory, bringing about a Domination victory faster than
you can say “Devo”.


“Patience? Didn’t you just say you could steamroll the opposition?” Keep
your shirt on, Napoleon. Just because you CAN steamroll doesn’t mean you
should try to unless you’ve met a few…conditions:

Condition #1: Make sure you consolidate the territory you have before you try
and grab more. You can accomplish this either by bringing garrison-quality
units (Musketman, Spearman, Pikeman) with you on the initial assault, or by
leaving your conquering troops in the city on guard duty until the new city
builds a garrison of its own. Personally, I like the first method because
it’s faster, but make sure your core cities are producing extra defensive
units so you don’t get pulled out of your strategy while conquering more
territory. See Chapter 10 for more information on proper assault technique.

Condition #2: Don’t start a war you can’t win. Either you have the cities and
industrial base to produce enough units to start the steamroller in motion, or
you keep the army at home until you do. If war is declared against you, you
may have to sacrifice some money while you build the oversize army necessary
to gain that absolutely critical upper hand to start the steamroller in motion
and your nation on its way to glory.

Condition #3: Remember that your enemies have friends. You don’t want to be
pressing forward only to be attacked from behind by another nation because the
target of your oppression decided to activate a few alliances. Remember what
happened to the Nazis when they bit off more than they could chew by getting
involved in a war on two fronts against three powerful nations. The United
States was able to use its industrial base to fight Germany and Japan at the
same time. Take the lesson of history to heart, no matter what historical era
YOUR war takes place in.

Condition #4: You’d better have the economic base to be able to keep your
science rate up while you fight. Your enemies aren’t going to suspend their
research, and it’s a terrible thing to be caught from behind while climbing
the tech tree.

If you can meet these conditions, swing for the fences and make sure you get
your enemy commanders’ heads so you can put their skulls on pikes at the
entrances to your conquered cities as a warning to anyone stupid enough to
resist your mighty rule! As the Military Advisor said in Civ2, “With a good
army we can take ALL that we desire!”


Feeling bloodthirsty? Here’s the deal. Get communications with all of your
opponents as early as possible. Once you are able to finagle their maps from
them (high taxes give you the buying power to grease the wheels on this deal),
get an army together and go bust some heads. You’ll be laid out on one hell
of a limb in order to do it, and I’m not entirely sure that it’s even possible
(maybe if you’re militaristic and get some luck with the commander-Great
Leader situation), but if anyone’s able to win by conquest (with more than
just 3 or 4 civs in the game…that’s just not fair unless it’s a tiny world),
e-mail me and tell me exactly how (and with whom) you managed to do it. Omit
no detail, and your battle history will be memorialized in the next Civ3 FAQ

Ready to go to Alpha Centauri yet again? Good. Pop out the Civ3 CD and play
SMAC. If that’s not what you had in mind, you could build a spaceship and be
the first nation to launch it. One of the best things about the Civ3 version
of the space race is that you don’t have to necessarily build a huge spaceship
with 40,000 colonists in order to get any meaningful score from it. All you
have to do is get the parts together and get that puppy off the ground.


Remember Civ2? You had to build a bunch of “SS Structural”, “SS Component”,
and “SS Module” pieces, then put them together and launch. The process has
been simplified in Civ3. Build 10 parts requiring various civilization
advances plus the “Apollo Program” Small Wonder (meaning that you have to
build one of your own before you can start on spaceship construction, unlike
in Civ2 where Apollo Program was more of a Manhattan Project-style “one civ
builds it and everyone benefits” wonder). Go to the Spaceship construction
screen, press “Launch”, and celebrate your victory!


This is going to sound really obvious, but once you’ve got the Apollo Program
built, you’re going to want to get your ten biggest production cities working
on the ten different spaceship components. For obvious reasons, I advise
against the building of the Apollo Program until you’ve got all the techs

If you want to add a bit of security to your efforts, beef up your defenses
with either a few strong defensive units (the strongest you can build), or
preferably a couple of Army units stationed in the cities working on the
project. At the very least, try and get eight (yes, EIGHT) defensive units
stationed in your capital. You don’t want the enemy to destroy your ship on
the launch pad, do you?


In the same vein, if one of your enemies manages to arrive at the Space Age
around the same time you do, now’s the time to start letting your friends do
your dirty work for you. Change your government to Communism (to prevent war-
weariness), declare war on the offending nation, and give every other
civilization in the game literally WHATEVER they ask for in order to sign an
alliance against the nation you’re trying to stop. Don’t mobilize for war,
though; that will commit you to actually sending your own troops in, and you
don’t want that; you only want to buy yourself some breathing room to ensure
that you get your own ship built first. If you can get away with it, you
might want to send a detachment of your best offensive troops with the sole
purpose of taking your enemy’s capital by force, but having your dirty deeds
done dirt cheap (well, maybe not dirt cheap) by your friends should eliminate
the need. Don’t forget that once the Space Race is on, it becomes the single
most important thing to your civ, and Earth be damned because you’ll be
leaving it in your wake when your spacecraft blasts off.

Perhaps the most satisfying win is the Culture Victory. I say that because as
an American, it amuses me that my nation’s culture is the model by which much
of the world draws its entertainment. American sitcoms, movies, and sports
events are followed worldwide, and places that don’t accept the American way
of life commit absolutely suicidal cowardly acts in a futile attempt to make
some kind of statement about American decadence.

In Civ3, you too can create the overwhelming culture that makes your nation
the de facto “rulers of the world”, and you don’t even have to build the
“Insipid Television Programs” Wonder to do it. Simply accumulate 100,000
Culture Points and have your civilization’s Culture value be at least double
that of your nearest competitor, and victory is yours! It’s a surprisingly
easily obtained goal, and here’s how you do it.

|=========================| claims that if you have a city with a border radius of 6 (i.e. a city
with 20,000 Culture Points), you get an automatic Culture Victory, presumably
because your city becomes the unofficial capital of the world, much like New
York City in today’s world. In theory, it can be accomplished without too
much of a hitch; simply build all of your major Culture producers throughout
the game in the same place.

There’s a big-time problem with that. Even the best industrial city can only
work so fast. You’re not doing your overall civilization any favors by trying
to concentrate Wonders (great and small) in one place, and you may end up
getting beaten to many a Great Wonder by other civilizations with more
balanced priorities. Even if you manage to concentrate all of your cultural
stuff in one place, there’s also the issue of time constraints. It’s going to
be a pretty close shave as to whether you can get your 20,000 Culture Points
before the retirement buzzer in 2050 AD.

On top of that, there’s another issue. Spreading out your cultural building
allows you to have more cities expanding borders to greater extents, which
keeps your enemies out of your way and also allows you to more easily practice
“Kulturkampf” (see chapter 14C for details). If one of your cities manages to
hit 20,000, that’s certainly a wonderful thing, but don’t kill yourself and
your nation by trying for it deliberately.


Let me put this in terms as simple as possible: The earlier you build your
cultural buildings, the more CP they generate. Not only is this true because
of the number of turns during which the buildings contribute culture (although
that’s certainly a large part of it), but also because cultural buildings
become MORE valuable as time goes on. Think about it. If people have been
worshipping at the same temple and reading books from the same library for
centuries, there’s going to be a greater sense of cultural identity from those
buildings, right? In Civ3, this is represented by an increased amount of CP
generated by those buildings each turn, which has an accelerator effect on
your nation’s cultural development.

This is also an important reason to get your cities built as soon as possible.
Not only does it let you lay claim to the space you’ll need to keep your
enemies from getting too vicious, it will also allow you to start focusing
your production efforts in all of your cities on the production of religious
and educational buildings. Decide early just where you want to draw the line
(I generally find no need for more than about 20-24 cities, but that’s just me
and if space allows you can go for more or fight a brief war to get a foe who
may be choking off your space out of the way). Once you have what you want,
establish peaceful relations with all the other civs in the game, build your
trade routes, and enjoy the chance to crank your Culture ratings through the

In addition, if you’re going for a Culture victory, you might want to play as
the Babylonians (my favorite civ to control). They’re Religious and
Scientific, and that means cheaper religious and science buildings. In other
words, it means more Culture Points achieved a WHOLE lot faster, and that
means a more likely Cultural Victory for you.


“Kulturkampf” is rough German for “Culture Battle”. If your civ’s culture is
overwhelming, and your borders begin to swallow up the cultural borders of
your enemies’ cities, those cities may defect and join your civilization. The
short version of the calculation is difference in CP between the city trying
to make the squeeze vs. the city being squeezed combined with a factor based
on the relative Culture ratings of the two civilizations involved. In other
words, let’s say your Babylonian borders begin to encroach on the outer edges
of the Roman Empire. Your city that has just expanded has a Wonder, three
religious buildings, a Library, a University, and a rich cultural history. The
Roman city is a small border outpost with no real culture of its own. The
village elders will decide they’d rather be part of the Babylonian empire,
basking in the warm glow of an artful, resourceful, culturally grand nation.
They decide to secede from Rome and join Babylon, and in the process incur you
neither diplomatic penalty nor military cost. In other words, you get a free
conquest and still manage to look like the “good guys”. Not a bad deal, eh?
Do this often enough and you’ll be able to build more buildings in the
outposts, turning them into Kulturkampf-powered cities for further cultural
conquest. The whole thing will begin to resemble the Steamroller effect
discussed in Chapter 12.


I throw this in as a separate section for a reason. Namely, I remind you all
that playing for a specific type of victory and setting goals is all well and
good, but don’t forget that your civilization may need things that are more
important than cultural buildings, things like defensive units and other non-
CP-producing infrastructure. Don’t neglect the fact that there are other
nations out there that would just love the chance to thwart your efforts to
build a greater culture, and have the military units to back up their desire
to destroy you. This isn’t just a game of “who builds the most temples and
libraries”, after all.

I finally managed to complete this for Version 2.0. I’d like to give a big
thanks to everyone who contributed a strategy. Even though the Reader section
in Chapter 17 only contains some of your submissions, namely the ones that
came first, I’d like to thank everyone who contributed. Keep those strategies


In order to have a seat on the UN Security Council, you’ll need to meet one of
the following criteria:

·Be the nation that builds the “United Nations” Great Wonder (easiest way)
·Control 25% of the world’s land territory
·Control 25% of the world’s population.

If you’re planning on becoming the Diplomatic ruler of the world, you’re going
to have to either be militarily aggressive and take the spot by force, or you
are going to need a fertile, sex-crazed population to reproduce tons of
offspring and create supersized cities. Either method is achievable using all
the strategies outlined elsewhere in this FAQ. The easiest solution is
probably the first one; Be the nation that builds the UN and you’ll have an
automatic seat on the Council.


I’m going to cover this from the readers’ perspective a couple of chapters
down. What follows here is my “official version”, based on my own experience
with the game. Your actual results may vary (and do, as the readers indicate
in Chapter 17).

When it comes to diplomatic victory, your best bet is to be Switzerland
throughout the game. Don’t get into wars, don’t get roped into mutual
protection pacts, and be the world’s bank, trading your civilization’s money
for everything from luxury items to technology.

When your UN wonder is almost complete (a turn away), contact all the leaders
from all of your opposing civs. Hand them as much as they can take. Give
them money, technology, resources…whatever, as long as it gets them to like
you. You’re aiming for a “Gracious” attitude here. “Gracious” is about the
equivalent of “Worshipful” from Civ2. Once you’ve charmed the pants off your
neighbors (and gotten Caesar and Cleopatra a room), finish the United Nations
Wonder, call for a vote, and enjoy your hard-earned cheapo victory. Because
really, what else do you call it when you can win the game through bribery?

For those of you who either prefer to quit while you’re ahead or work too
slowly to achieve victory by other means, there’s the Histographic “victory”.
The short version is that a Civilization Score is computed based on power,
culture, and influence, and the nation with the highest score wins! If this
is the method you’re TRYING to win by, there are some ideas I posit here in
order to help you achieve your aims.


The histograph is updated every turn. In other words, if you’re going for a
victory by this method, you’d better gain the upper hand early. Do plenty of
research, grow your population, and generally play a good all-around game. One
area of specialization isn’t going to make you a winner. You’ll need to play
a rock-solid overall game, one that does not aim specifically for dominance in
one area, but rather overall effectiveness in all facets of Civilization. It’s
not easy, but if you want the win, you can certainly find a way.


Two further “how-to” ideas:

1. If one of the enemy civs starts to gain a lead on you in the Histograph,
you could always send in the clowns and clip his wings a bit. Your army can
be a powerful nudge in the side to the scoring panel.

2. I’ll say it again: All-around performance is what you’re looking for. You
are going to need culture, power, cities, population, and an occasional
willingness to kick some ass in order to grab a truly dominant histographic
win. Think of a boxing match that doesn’t end in a knockout. The fighter
that wins usually establishes the jab, out-lands and out-scores his opponent,
and impresses the judges with his overall display of skill. If you don’t want
to go for the KO, fight a “decision” style of fight.


If at any point your civilization has the lead, by all means “retire”. Even
though the game will say “(Leader) is ignominiously defeated” (or something
along those lines), the Hall of Fame will say you won a Histographic victory.
If that’s how you want to win and be remembered, it’s something to keep in
mind, but if this FAQ has taught you anything, it should be that nothing short
of complete, undisputed VICTORY is worthy of the true Civilization III Master.
Now get in there, arm yourself with the best knowledge you can download, and
don’t forget to email me your battle histories, because some of the best (by
all means be creative with your stories…look at Addison Hart’s “The Historia
of a Roman Governor” posts on the Impressions Games Caesar III forum for
inspiration and ideas if you like…they’re exactly the kind of engrossing
read that also educates about the game) will make their way into an upcoming
FAQ update. Just try to be brief, because this isn’t a fanfic, it’s a
strategy guide…which reminds me, be as informative as possible while you’re
at it!

This isn’t half as difficult as it seems. But I’m going to go over it in
brief to make sure everyone’s clear on it.


Map editing may or may not be cheating, depending on how you do it. There’s
nothing in the world wrong with creating your own world maps. It can be an
enjoyable hobby, and if you have a broadband connection, you can trade maps
with your friends over the Internet. Firaxis says they even encourage the
scenario and modpack community because it means more replayability, enjoyment,
and (most importantly) higher sales figures for their game.

Where it becomes cheating is when you start messing with the figures to create
an environment where the AI can’t get anything going on the map. Having all
the enemy civs prefer Despotism as a government, making Settlers only
available to the civ you intend to use (a dirty, dirty trick that essentially
makes Civ3 a single-nation game…and probably crashes it too since the game
generates a settler and worker at the beginning for all civs)…stuff like
that, THAT’S cheating.


Making the maps themselves is the simple part; just point and click. If you
can’t figure that much out, you shouldn’t be doing this.

If you want to change the rules of the game, you have to disable the default
rules, which can be done under the Tools menu. This will enable the “Edit
Rules” option under, appropriately enough, the Rules menu.

Anyway, the rundown on things:


Does what its name implies. You can mess with the basic values of the game in
the Editor. Want every civilization to start with a tank? Want the computer
to fight an uphill battle by using a sharper AI default difficulty? Or, put
another way, want to change the difficulty level at which it’s a fair fight?
You can also make “Wealth” function like old-school Capitalization (an even 1-
1 shields for gold trade), or make it even harsher than the 8-1 shields-to-
gold ratio the game gives you. Have some fun with this, but remember that you
can do nasty things to the game if you mess with this one too much.


Want to screw with the corruption figures? Like the idea of support-free
units? Want to make Democracy the “Transition Type” (so during revolutions
the people use a democratic government instead of anarchy?) Even better, want
to remove that “more than 2” penalty on Anarchy and Despotism? (irrigate some
grassland under Despotism and you’ll get why this is cool) You can do
whatever you want in this menu. Bend those little peons to your will…but
again, watch out because this is a powerful tool that can haunt you if you
don’t plan for the effects.


Why is this such wonderful fun? Simple. The little marker called pollution.
Remember those old “Woodsy Owl” commercials that said “Give a Hoot, Don’t
Pollute”? Toss the old owl a friendly gesture. Then you can industrialize
without too much fear (shields still pose a problem, but if it bugs you that
much, simply give EVERY improvement the “Reduces Bldg Pollution” property so
once you build one improvement, you’ve got a de facto recycling center). The
“production” number is in +25% increments (so if the number is 4 it doubles
production, see “Iron Works” under that drop-down menu for a good illustration
of the point). Pretty much everything here is very self-explanatory.


Of note: I’m not sure exactly what sort of “percentage” is under discussion
when they talk about “appearance ratio” and “disappearance probability”. I do
know that a higher number for the latter makes the resource a lot more
exhaustible. Not good. Want your hard-earned resources to stay put where
they are? Set that figure to zero for any strategic and luxury resources you
may want to keep.


Self-explanatory, but remember this cautionary note; The computer gains these
bonuses too. Worth remembering if you aren’t very good at expanding…the
mchine IS. So you might even want to tighten these numbers up. Want to gain
a LOT of possible strategic resources on a random map (if you chose “No Map”
from the Tools Menu, that is)? Activate ’em.

|18F. UNITS|

What are they, what do they do, and what can you tell them to do? Want to
create a de facto “Caravan” unit? Give some unit the ability to “finish
improvements”. If you want to be nasty about it, close the unit off to the
enemy (one of the pre-existing civ-specific units may work well for this, just
remember that you’ll have to keep it from becoming obsolete). You can goon it
up pretty good with this one.


Create (or remove) prerequisites for stuff like “Plant Forest”. You can also
make Workers work a LOT faster, like an overclocked Industrious civilization.
Bend this one to your purposes based on your needs. Just remember as always
that anything you change here affects ALL civilizations, not just your guys.


Self-explanatory. Define the terms the machine will use to create its world,
stuff like Cities for Forbidden Palace and spacing at startup. Nice and easy,
and if you like, you can make a TON of “optimal” cities to REALLY cut down on
the corruption factor. This may be the solution for those of you who complain
that even Democracy doesn’t cut it as an anti-corruption measure.


Great fun. Want your ordinary citizens to entertain themselves? You can make
Laborers come with a one-smiley bonus…or more smileys if you want to ensure
“We Love the King Day”. You can also amp up the effects of Taxmen, Scientists
and Entertainers. Make ’em ridiculously talented, like the Transcendi in
Alpha Centauri. This can make the game insanely easy, especially if you
choose something like a Scientist for your dirty tricks (because I’ve noticed
the AI hates to use specialists).


Here’s where you screw with the national properties of you and your enemies.
Want to make a seafaring civ called the Vikings? Want to create the
“Terrorists” with leader Osama bin Laden, so your Americans (or whomever you
play) can give him a good thrashing? You can do literally anything you want
here, including create Star Trek modpacks, Simpsons modpacks, anything your
mind can dream up. You name it, it’s possible.


Simple, no? Don’t mess with the X and Y unless you’re redrawing the tech tree
for a modpack (and test OFTEN). Don’t mess with the cost unless you’re
redrawing the tech tree for a modpack or trying to make the game easier by
accelerating the science rate. Everything else, mess with as it suits your
needs. This is the single easiest way to completely screw up the game. You
have been warned.


Got a strong distaste for the two-through-five hit point arrangement? Want
Elite units to be a lot more powerful? Set up these hit point counts any way
you see fit. You’ll change the combat dynamic. If you want, you can make
Conscripts have MORE hit points than Elites, in essence simulating an aging
process (in practice, it’s more like you’re discouraging the building of
Barracks and disemboweling the Militaristic civs). Have fun and find
something that works for you.


Make Kulturkampf easier if you’re planning for a big culture that’s the envy
of the world. Crank up the Propaganda and crank down the Resistance. Lo and
behold, you’ve become the United States, bully to the world. Easy, no?


Or, “How To Prevent the AI From Cheating”. The AI cheats. These numbers will
give you an inside look at HOW the AI cheats. Changing the rules around will
allow you to even the playing field even on Deity. Whoop. If you want a fair
fight, play on Regent. Want something bent to your will? Use the editor.


Make Diplomats more powerful, or Spies less so. This defines what you’ll need
a simple discovery of Writing for, and what you’ll need the Intelligence
Agency for. Screw around with it as much as you like depending on just how
much you miss the dirty tricks in Civ2.

|18P. ERAS|

A bit of idle semantics, really. Mystics, Sooth Sayers, Scientists…define
who researches when here. Big fat whoop. You can change “Ancient Times” to
“The Beginning”, “Middle Ages” to “Dark Ages”, and “Modern Times” to “Life of
Brian” if you want. Whatever…perhaps this is best left to the modpack
designers who actually NEED to change the flavor. I’m looking forward to what
the designers come up with for a “Fantastic Worlds”-like expansion. Mars Now!
was my favorite Civ2 scenario. John Possidente should be commended for his
brilliant design scheme on that one.


Remember, all these mods and changes to the rules will only affect the map you
created (or loaded) into the map editor. It won’t affect the broader game in
any way. My favorite way to screw around with this one involves finding the
World Map BIC file in the Civ3 directory and making my changes directly to it.
It’s one really good way to create modpacks for your family and friends,
because the map is easily known and the start positions predictable. Enjoy!
Some notes before we proceed to Chapter Seventeen:

—These emails are posted exactly as I received them. Everything in this
section came in via email…nothing here is written by me, unless I’ve made a
specific notation.

—Some of the readers have noticeable trouble with the English language. If
this bothers you, tough. It’s a small world.

—There’s some REALLY good stuff in here, especially about military strategy.
You can learn a LOT from some of the bloodthirstier readers. As a culture/
space race advocate, a lot of these military tricks would never have come to
me through actual play.

—When submitting your own tips and suggestions, try and compose them in a
text editor, inserting carriage returns as necessary to make each line 78
characters or shorter. It saves me a lot of labor as a writer, and I LIKE
people who save me time and work.

—If you want your name and/or email withheld, make sure you say so when you
email me, otherwise I’m going to put your contact information in with your
submission (I believe in giving credit where it’s due, and I also want to
deflect praise and/or flames to people who deserve them.)

These are arranged in chronological order as they arrived in my Hotmail inbox.
The contributor and what he/she is describing is on the first line.
“Zen Thirteen” ( with a Mini-FAQ of his own:

Well,before I go rambling about my own discovery and experienmentation of the
game, let me first congrate you on faq well written. Even though I consider
myself a veteran of Civ3 by now, I still managed to read through all of your
works.. must be all those sarcasm.

Well, allow me to fill you in on diplomatic victory. I had the chance of
getting a diplolamtic victory in my first game (not by choice of course). The
computer built UN first and I had little clue how voting works and by the time
he finish building it I was too late to retrieve an earlier save. Anyway,
what I did was pretty simple, I was France and pretty much had 1/3 of the map
under my belt in a 8 player medium map. Russia was long dead among English,
Germany, Greece, Egypt, and Rome. And I was on my way of killing China.
Through much of the game I’ve been very friendly w/ English (I guess I was
role-playing a bit of the history there) and had the relationship all the way
up to Gracious Status. And I was forced to trade w/ everyone since I got no
coal, no allumnion, an no oil in my territory!

When Egypt finishing building the UN. I was pushed to vote. Guess myself was
the obvious choice. Greece, English, and Germancy voted for me. China
obstined his vote because all of us were attacking it. With Eypt’s only
supporter being Rome, I easily was select to the chair person and wan with a
Diplomatic victory. I have no clue what happens if there is a tie, probally
select again the next turn I presume. I will cover my hypothesis on how to
effective reach a diplomatic victory later.

(for the following passages, “you” is used to address anyone who is playing
the game not specific you 🙂

Let me sneak an personal finding in bartering and dealing with other
civilizations or my following expeditions may not make any sense.

Diplomatic Gestures.
a. if you always accept what other civilations offered to you and never
bargain, you will make them happy. (all the way to gracious)
b. but if you haggle with every thing, and to the extent of 1 gold. you will
end up getting a lot from the deals, but you will increase attitude towards
yourself slowly. (and never passes polite)
c. if you continue use the diplomatice button to call out a civilation and
never setter a deal, they will become bothered (more often seen from
Cautious to Annoyed)
d. if there seems a fair offer offered by AI, NEVER TAKE IT. chance are you
can get a better one by asking a counter proposal and ask them to put
something on the plate.
e. if you are in war. it is harder to bargain with diplomatic treaties, so get
them settled before going to one.
f. if you betrayed one civilization once, it will be harder for you to sigh
the same deal with other civilization. (eg. you use right of passage to
destroyed one civilizaiton in one turn, and try to use the same trick again..
fat chance)
g. if you want to attack a nation with mulitple mutual protection allied with
it. go sigh mutual protection plans with those excat nations (if not more) and
declare war on the nation you wish to attack (do not atually attack that
nation though. pass your turn. if your opponent attacks you on your turn, he
will be surprised to know that he will be swarmed with attacks from what he
thought were his allies.
h. trade luxory with caution. I have yet find a way to cancel my trade lest
attacking that bloody nation.
i. it is harder to please expansionist civilizations. if they ask something,
please give them what they want (after bargaining) to avoid a full out war.
j. tips on trading technology. general rule is that a civilizaiton will pay
more for the more apporiate technological advances to their 2 attributes. you
can also use the amount of settlement they are willing to put down to judge
how advance they are in researching that technology. (the less they are
willing to pay, they more likely they are almost ready in researching)
k. last note on trading. you can only trade for a resource that civilization
has researched the proper technological advancement to treat it as a
stragticial one. imagine you wanting to trade a bar of soup from a tibetan who
baths only twice a year, chances are he will be baffled by your concept of
“soap” and probably ending up give you a wad of his grease. (not a good a
example, but at least a visual one)

During my 2nd actualy game (those small ones which I quit to enrich my leaning
curve or lack of patience not counted), I picked Germany in a 16 nations Huge
map with average on most of the settings. Though I struggled a bit, I believe
I might have found the emprical formular in breaking the game (at least in a
16 player huge map). Here is the break done (I only performed most of the
tasks followed, but I believe the following is the bare bone of what I had

1. After you found your first city, you should immediately build a skirmish
partyj. (the excact depends on the civilization you picked, but in general it
should consisted of 5~8 units mixed with good defencive abilities.) After you
find 2 or 3 cities around your capital, you should move out your skirmish
party to scout a civilization and pound on it. Spend all your research on
Monarch. (you will know why soon, if that means make it 100%, do so, it won’t
matter in the beginning) Keep an eye on the Histograph to pick the weakest and
closest civilization around to attack first.

2. By now you should be half way killing the single civilation you have picked
on. With the rest of your settlements, try to settle them far and secure
either limited resource or luxories. Try to fomulate a circular formation
with your culture pattern. Make peace with all other civilization and if you
can trade map.. do so. If any one wish to butt in and settle among your land,
by all means allow them to do so. They are simply giving you a free
settlement by settling in the culture trap you planned for them.

3. You have researched Monarch and your civilization is under transition to
Monarchy (for those of you did not choose religious civilizations) Try to
finish off that nation, if it plead for peace treaty, let it by all means have
it (after giving you the proper technologies. By now you probably realized
that you are the under dog on the chart, your people haven’t bought you piece
of the lumber for your palace, your cities are small and lack of wanders and
your empire is hollowed out with other civilization settling between your
culture influences. Don’t worry, you are doing fine. at least you have the
Monarch. Now it is time to kick some butts.

4. Start trading and trade like a mad man. Don’t bother about luxories now,
you don’t need them now. Try to empty your opponent’s pocket with Monarch and
what every others technological advances you bargained off with and do that
with all the civilization they have contact of. If you haven’t empty their
pocket yet, don’t worry, there is always next time. If you have done it right,
you should have ~100 gold even with 100% in scientific research. Keep in mind
the best you can get in researching is 4 turns so don’t bother putting more
money than you need once you can research sufficient at 4 turns. Building
more settlers now and start a colonizing race with your neibhors you want to
secure a big base for your empire.

5. By now you should be trading tech for luxories/resources and still making
200~300 on tribute alone. If the average time to research a technology in
middle age is 6~8 turns, and if you can get your own down to 4 turns with
every other civilization paying all of their income to you as tribute,
wouldn’t that decreased their rate of scientific discovery? If you done this
right you should get at least 1 advance for you while selling one more to ALL
other civilizaions. It grows exponetially. Also if you done this right you
will make all of your opponent’s time in researching wasted as it reset each
time they or their neighbors buy it off it. Keep your eye on the diplomatic
tap every 5 or 6 turns or so. if someone ended up with a technology you
haven’t market it yet. Traded it to everyone so he has no one to market it to.
The only one is suppose to make money is you and your only. Evil, ain’t I?

6. By the time the game rolls around between 1300~1400, you have to make a
choice, you can either trade rapidly and make grand treasury in your vault
(make sure you only trade when you have money) or starve other civilization
and trade only when you need the luxory/resource. Keep in mind if you trade
rapidly, you will bring every one to industrialization before the turn of 1400
if not sooner. I went with the 2nd route and was average 1000 tribue a turn
with 90% in research and netting 700+ in treasury per turn around 1450. If I
had not sacrificed some technologies for luxories, I would have ended up with
more gap between myself and others civilization besides a puny 4 technologies
gap from Babylon (the leader of the race). You should realize you are the top
of the histograph now. Money do wonderous in the world, you can hurry almost
one production per turn with that much per turn and can make your once back
water cottage into a power house in no time.

7. At 1600, I had vaulted 27564 gold in my treasury and net gain 1424 a turn
with 1148 from tributes. My score is only 976 on the scale and I went into
modern era 25 turns later. (theory of evolution does wanders)
I am sure all of your bright souls can do a better job than I had both in
money and reserching. I set a goal to obatin 100k and accomplished that before
the turn of 18 century (+2237 a turn!) Here are what one can perform to obtain
those six goals from this point.

1. Domination. Too simple. When you are rampaging Panzer through homelands of
pikemen and riflemen, when you are sending stealth bomber through when they
bearly have fighters and bombers, when your battleships rain terros upon
galleys. My friend, if you are having a problem with this.. then we all do 🙂

2. Conquest. See above. What is the difference between conquesting a small
portion of the world and the entire world? Diplomacy. Use those diplomatic
tips I have given and you should be able to take out your opponents out one by
one. If diplomacy fail, then race through to modern era and pound on those
infantry with modern armors. Two things to watch out. One, make sure you turn
off dominaiton victory and probably culturn victory too to make sure you don’t
trigger those first.
Two, patience. The game become very slow……………….. once you get 1/3
to half of the map in a huge map. AI governor suggested to speed through.

3. Space Race. Hmm.. since space race is all about speed in techs. I have
confidence that some of you will be launching spaceships anywhere between 1700
to 1800 if not sooner. If would be funny to see that one of your more under
developed brother (Middle Age) saw your shuttle going away to alpha centuri.

4. Culture. Don’t have a clue. Follow Simulord’s advise in culture vicory.
My approach has always been if you build a wonder then I will go and still it.
And if you have a culture city better than mine, then heh heh…

5. Diplomatic. I think this should be cake, since you are constantly trading
with all other civilizations. They love you! Odds are they would be more
than willing to select you as the appropriate chair person. Make sure you cut
them some slacks in deals later so they won’t complain that you aren’t a bean

6. Histograph. Too simple. So long that you expand once you get the
technological gap between you and your rivials, you should be fine.

*7. Spy Game. This is not really a winning condition. But if you have 100k+
and the Espionages are so darn expensive… wouldn’t you have a little fun
with other civilizations? (too bad they removed plant disease due to the
recent Anthrax threat) (can someone confirm me why doesn’t propaganda works
for me?)

Well, that wraps about most of my finds for now. I think I am going to take a
break of couple days for now. I need to catch up some work I have set aside
due to the game 🙂 The next time I play I will probably try either Zulu or
Iroqois for some early military conquest victory. Oh, here is my personal
opinion on the wonders one should have.
(on a scale from 1 to 5)

Colossus (5)
Probably one of the best wonders. Cheap to complete and its effects stays for
more than half of the game. The 3 culture value adds up pretty fast.

Copenicus Obsevatory (4)
You might call me crazy on this, but it is just too darn expensive to build.
The effects of it is good, but by then your colossus is racking up at least 5
culture a turn.

Cure for Cancer (3)
Good Wonder but way too late. Unless you are going for a Histograph victory
through the bitter end, by the time you can build this, you should be winning
already. Your temple should bringing more CP than this.

Great Library (5)
Though I never have the chance to build it, but 6 CP is too much to dismiss.
The only drawback besides the cost to build it is its effect goes away shortly
once you get into the middle age.

The greater Lighthouse (1)
Unless you plan on playing in a map with a lot of sea, don’t bother. I much
rather just expand 2 more cities during the span of building this joke.

The greatwall (1)
Don’t bother, if you really need wall to survive.. then you should rethink on
your battle strategy a bit.

The Hanging Garden (4)
Great effect and early avalailbility. All in all a top notch GW but I
wouldn’t give it 5 yet.

Hoover Dam (5)
In my opinion one of the best. One Hoover Dam and all your cities can grow
50% faster than normal. Wow.

JS Bach’s Cathdral (5)
Very good especially in higher difficulties.

Leonardo’s workshop (1)
Eventhough I upgrade quite often. But I have 100k! This GW’s purpose
escapes me.

Longevity (4)
Greate GW if you plan on have a late conquest victory. It helps you to
rebuild your cities back to their feet faster.

Magellan’s Voyage (3)
Yes and No. Yes it is somewhat early and kind of cool. No I really hate sea
combat (no leaders)

The Manhattan Project (1)
Since I am always the one who is tech crazy. Why do I want to someone esle be
able to build nukes in the stone ages?

Newton’s University (5)
Now this is piece of art, it is twice as good as Copenicus’s Observatory.

The Oracle (3)
If you can built it, it is good. Too bad it doesn’t stay long enough for you
to truly unitilize it well.

The Pyramids (4)
The only ancient era GW what will stand through the ages of history. Though
its effect is a bit weak, it can guanrantee the growth of all your cities early

SETI Program (3)
If you play it that far, call stuff. Otherwise.. so so.

Shakespear’s Theater (4)
Yeah, culture. Pretty much useless besides that.

Sistine Chapel (5)
It is like a Oracle, only with power beyond your imagination, seize this will
guarantee your success through the hardest difficulty.

Smith’s Trading Company (4)
I really want to give this a 5. One of my favorite biltz is after my landing
party has seized the city, build an airport (or buy one) then ship all my
forces from main land to that city. (each air port can tranport a regular
combat unit to a fellow city with airport once per turn)

Sun Tzu’s Art of War (2)
Frankly, Barracks aren’t that a great neccessity to most civilizations.
All you need are just a few.

Theory of Evolution (5)
The best GW IMO. research atomic theory and you will ending up getting geting
electronics and radio for free. you will be only 2 advancement from modern

The United Nation (-)
Only avaliable if you had turned on Diplomatic victory in the beginning. But
if you had been a bully the whole time… then, the effect may be be what you

Universal Suffrage (5)
I assume we are democratic goovernment. Cool effects.

Heroic Epic (5)
This small wander should be the top on anyone’s build list.
Brian Mardiney ( on Diplomatic Victory:
Hi I’m writing to give you my story of how I won civ 3 diplomatically if it
helps. I was playing on continents and it was me (greeks) and romans…my main
tactic was expansion and pretty soon i had 80% of the continent to me with
rome on the very edge…i left them there and decided to be as non-violent as
possible. When i finally made contact with the rest of the world, i found that
they had totally covered every other piece of the world. I also saw that i was
the biggest. Rome continued to be pissed at me and tried to make embargos and
alliances against me but since i was greek and therefore rich, i made a
donation of around 200 gold to each civ every 8 turns or so to keep the
gracious…eventually i smashed greece and from then on i just kept bribing
the other civs until i built the UN and everyone voted for me…one thing
thats FATAL for diplomats though is getting involved in other people’s wars…
mutual protection pacts are very risky if you want everyone to like you…you
can theorectically go through the whole game without anyone ever getting even
annoyed at you but if you go to war because of a protection pact, you are
automatically at odds with the rival nation…whether you want to be or not…
hope this helps
Zen Thirteen ( on which civ to choose:
Dennis, sorry for addressing you as simulord the whole time in the message
this morning. I guess I must be real tired.

I sneaked a couple short games to prove my empirical formular in higher
difficulties (Emperor & Diety) today and these are what I find.

1. It might only work for sceintific civilizations with Babylonion, Persia and
Germany been my top three choices. I tried Iroquise couple times and it just
doesn’t quite cut for the chase in Tech.

2. It works when you have majority of the civilizatoin in trading with you
(10+ in a 16 civilization game) This way you can stun their growth by
limiting the amount of total gold other civilization have for research.

3. You have to attack at least 1 or 2 civilization in the beginning and bum
off the ealier technology advances by forcing a peace treaty on him. That way,
you can get gold from the big guys.

Here are some other findings I have to see if any of them can arouse your

Aztec (miliaristic & religeous)
I must say Aztec is the strongest civilization to use on all difficulties
especialty in higher difficulties. The Jaguar Warrior is actually the first
mobile infantry (1.1.2) not the Impi. And you don’t have to research for it in
the beginning. While the expansionist are running around with scouts, you
would be running around with Totem Warriors. Their cheap cost also helped in
higher difficulties since you could forget about your citizen’s happiness and
just build a hord of them and watch them ramage over your opponent’s land. You
will hit Golden age about the time when others are still quibbling over meagly
trades of infant technologies. Current my favorite civilization in use to get
a conquest in either Emperor or Diety difficulties.

Babylon (scientific & religeous)
I must concur with you. Even though I played only a little bit with them,
they are strong. Their bowmen are probably the best militant unit in the
ancient era due to avaliability and strength. (2.2.1)

China (militaristic & industrious)
I think China deserves your special attention since you like that combination
and they have Riders which kicked too many asses.

England (expansionist & commercial)
Here is something I found out, the strategic resource are somewhat correlated
with the civilization you picked. England tend to get at least 3 coals no
matter the size of map I picked once Steampower is researched. Which
guarantees your success in the industrial age as you need not wait on others
to start building railroads. The special unit of England is weak in my
opinion as men-o-war will quickly be replaced by ironclad.

France (commerical & industrious)
Good all around civilization in my opinion. You WILL enter the golden age the
first shot your musketeer fires, so you might wish to strategicly place your
troops in its participation. Please confirm this with me. With me going to
industrial age three times with France, not once did I get coal despite the
fact I have a huge empire consisted mainly of mountains and hills. The same
seems to be true for AI as well.

Germany (militaristic & scientific)
Another one of my favorite. The golden ages is guaranteed in late industrial
era/moderan era or until the first victory of Panzer. You can really catch up
in 20 turns with an army of Panzers. Besides, what more can you ask for panzer

Greece (scientific & commercial)
Best turtler. Greece starts out with the best defensive unit in the game as
Hoplites are just, how do I put it, godly in the ancient and half of the
middle ages.

Iroqois (religious & expansionistic)
I don’t know about this one. Maybe it is the fact I don’t know how to use
expansionistic civilization all that well. But I continued to get slaughtered
over and over again in the higher difficulties. Totem warriors are cool but
by the time I get to it… Maybe you can give me a second opinion on them in
higer difficulties.

Roman (militaristic & commercial)
You addressed them as industrious in the FAQ.

That’s about all for now. Tell me what you think on it.

(author’s note: I pulled the civilization attributes from the manual. That’s
why there are errors in the FAQ.)
Wayne Louvier ( forwarded me this message he sent to
Firaxis about bugs and errors in v1.07f (note that the patch may have fixed
some of these bugs):

Dear Civ Team,

I hope this is the proper e-mail address for “bug”/design issues. I’ve
just completed my second full game and acheived a space victory. I noticed
a few things. First, I was never allowed to trade strategic resources. My
warehouses were full of all kinds of extra strategic goods, but that option
never came up on the diplomatic screen, only luxury items.

I also noticed that upon completion of the final piece of my spacecraft, I
was taken to the spacecraft screen and forced to launch. I had no choice.
Frankly, I had hoped to be given the option of waiting, if I wanted to, and
perhaps pursue another avenue of victory. I had 72,000+ culture points and
really just build the space ship as an emergency victory in case something
got in the way of culture. Now knowing that I just have to hold off on the
last piece. Seems kinda silly to have to do that.

Same idea with diplomatic victory. I created the U.N. and it asks me,
“Wanna have an election?” I say, “Sure, why not. What the worst that
could happen?” Well, as I’m sure you know, the worst is I lost the
election and the game in one fell swoop. Quite sudden and unexpected. I
guess there is no other way to handle it, but I didn’t appreciate that it
was an all or nothing choice. Also, I had no idea who would vote for me or
how to determine that, other than by checking their attitudes about me.
But then what guarantees me a yes vote? “Polite” or is some other level
sufficient. Also, the question about selecting a Secy. Genl every turn
after the UN is built is quite annoying. Maybe the first time is OK, or
every 10 years after, or even create a little button for the main screen
(on the left side there’s room) or put it on the diplomacy screen.

I’m sure you already know about the crash from activating two units from a
city screen. Also, the problem with inability to sort cities (for more
than a second or two) on the domestic advisor screen.

It would also be sweet if we could find cities in civil disorder through
any means other than hunting around the screen. I haven’t been able to
find any other way. Even just putting them in red on the domestic advisor
screen would be nice.

The military advisor screen has some nice features, but there don’t seem to
be any group actions. Lets say I want to upgrade all my hoplites to
infantry. As I understand it, I have to find a hoplite (military advisor
screen is easiest), activate one, press shift-U. It would be much easier,
if along with “activate”, “fortify”, “upgrade to infantry” in the right
click menu, you had another choice of “upgrade all to infantry”. This
should appear in both the advisor and main screen right click options.
Next, after I upgrade them all, they are all “unfortified”. Then I have to
spend 5 minutes next turn refortifying them all. It would be great if,
from the military advisor screen at least, we could have a “fortify all
this type unit” right click option. Better yet, in addition to that
option, we could select (with a single click on a unit in the military
advisor screen) multiple units for group instructions. This way we could
select certain, but not all infantry to fortify all at once. Or we could
select certain workers and assign them all to automated pollution clean up.
Also, it would be nice to have buttons or right click choices for all of
the specialized worker activities. It you don’t read the manual carefully,
someone would not even know they could do anything more than what’s shown
on screen. Same issue with shift-U group upgrade. Just one incidental
mention in the manual. Nothing in the TOC or index. Also, is there no
“build road (or railroad) to [square or city]” feature? Or “build roads
(or railroad) in all city squares of nearest city” option? Both would be
monumental in removing micromanagement. Maybe I just missed those…

I noticed that building a railroad in an irrigated square increases the
food production by one. I could not find any documentation anywhere
(civopedia, manual, strategy guide) to that effect. Its a nice result and
makes fully developed desert squares have 2 food and 1 shield thus making
late development (after railroad) of desert cities quite viable. This fact
should be publicized.

I sure wish there was a way to display the top 5 cities throughout the
game. The demographics would be nice too. They both only show at the end
of the game.

From the histograph page, it would be swell if when we switched to power
and culture, we were shown comparable stats explaining numerically (not
just graphically) our relative ratings. I.e. in culture, we would see each
civs total culture score.

Finally, my last game ended in about the 1940’s. Somewhere along the way,
my palace, after being build up with about 4 or 5 improvements, reverted to
beginning stage. Then, it would never advise me when it was due for an
upgrade. No “The people love you and want to juice up your palace”
message. However, I would periodically check and it would let me do one,
two, sometimes three upgrades all at once. I still never fully caught up
to where I had been though.

That’s all for now. Thanks for your consideration. I look forward to the
first (and hopefully last) patch.
Johnnie Shaft ( reiterates my point from Chapter 15B:

Also, I won my first game on Chieftan via the Diplomatic method. I built the
UN and decided to try the vote… I had never been in any wars throughout the
entire game and my relations with the other Civs were pretty good. I lost
miserably (4 to 2 I think). I reloaded, paid off every Civ but my opponent
(the English) with 500 gold, and this time I won the vote 4 to 2. So there
you go, I became the diplomatic ruler of the earth through sheer bold-faced
Julio C. Rodriguez ( on We Love The King Day:


I’ve being playing Civ3 and noticed some squares looks like exploding.
this happens when my troops and workers and everyone is moving.

Can you tell me what’s that?

(Author’s note: Some people seem stuck on the notion that WLTKD is an ongoing
process until the trigger that caused it is no longer valid…in other words,
the simulator “tests the event” every turn. It’s not a “one-time event”, as
if the people just throw a big party and then forget about ever doing it again
…consider cities’ annual “Founder’s Day” parades or things like that, then
consider that a turn in Civ3 is always at least a year long and can be as long
as 50 years.)
Paul Hood ( on Diplomatic Victory:

Hey, I just wanted to drop you a line and say kudos on
the walkthrough! Lots of good information in there.

I saw that you were having problems with the
walkthrough for the diplomatic victory. I just won a
diplomatic victory last night for the first time, so I
don’t know if it was a fluke or not. Also, I was in
“Chieftain” mode, so I might be playing on a mode too
easy to be of any use to your FAQs. But here’s what I
was doing…

I only attacked one city outright. I was playing on a
Pangea map, and my capital and Tenochticlan were way
too close for comfort. I beat them before their city
was at 3 and then just beefed up my defense.

I didn’t control a massive amount of land, and I only
had about ten cities. I was actually going towards a
space race victory; once I had my cities with banks, I
started pumping 70% of my cash into science (I was
getting most discoveries in about 5 turns). Then once
I developed Wall Street, I was pumping more like
80%-90% into science (much like your walkthrough
states, I was putting as much as I could into science
without “shrinking”).

I was keeping my cities and my neighbors happy with
cultural improvements, luxuries, and wonders. My
culture was waaaay off the charts compared to theirs,
but my power was, at best, equal. They were all
approaching me as “polite” or “gracious” and I usually
gave them what they wanted, unless it was a
I set up one mutual protection pact with the Germans,
and that got me into a war, but I never attacked, only
defended, and as soon as I was able to, I signed a
peace treaty with the attacking country.

I kept 2 to 3 of the most up-to-date defense units
garrisoned in each city, which kept the hoardes at
bay. (I was only attacked once, and they were coming
at me with horsemen, so results may vary in a higher
difficulty mode). I was almost finished with the
improvements for the space race (all that I had to get
was the discovery for the space lounge or whatever and
some uranium) but I was running out of time. I got
the UN and we held a vote, where everybody but France
(who was at #1, scorewise) voted for me.

So short version, I think that UN votes are counted
mainly on culture, but the power probably has to be at
least comparable to others. I hope this helps!

Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

Thanks again for writing the walkthrough!
Mike ( on Minor Tribes:

I just read your FAQ on Excellent work
for the most part. Your writing actually made me
smile, a rarity in this age of dry, purely informative
FAQs. Thanks for the entertainment. One important
variable in the early game you neglected to mention
are the minor tribes that initially dot the land. A
unit that “captures” these undefended settlements
(that look like mushroom patches or adobes) can get
one of several bonuses (in order of goodness):

A random tech
A conscript (2hp) warrior
A limited area map

I have yet to get gold or have hostiles spawn from a
minor tribe in Civ3, but I have only played 4 games as
of yet. I’ll let you know if I get any other effects.

Feel free to quote or paraphrase anything in the above
email, but please do credit me for my hours of
fastidious research (kicking Rome’s butt)
Bruce Buckman ( on Kulturkampf:

Fox – a strategy based on your mention of using a strong culture to make
border towns join your civilization.

When building your civilization expand your borders first, leaving terrain in
the center of your land free of cities (unless of course it is too good a spot
to ignore). Later, sign a Right of Free Passage agreement with one of your
less culturally strong neighbours. They’ll likely send settlers through your
turf looking for settlement spots. If you’ve left a clear zone in the middle
they’ll plonk their tents down there and start building – in a zone where
their cities are doomed to feel the sway of your culture all around them. No
need to invade – most cities created in situations like this will come over to
your side in a fairly short space of time.

I soaked up no less than 5 cities from 2 neighbours in the space of 10 or so
turns doing this. Given the loacations I’d left these cities will never be
huge, but they cost me nothing to create!
Cesar Mendoza ( with a few strategies:

I’ve just red your Civ3FAQ (I think that’s obvious from the subject). Been
playing the game for just a week but have a couple of comments about it.
(They all come from my own experience and maybe not true to your playing

– Some civilizations do get angry (very angry) when you conquer one city by
cultural means. Lincoln declared war almost immediately (one turn after) and
took the city back. And we were in good peacy before that.

– One can make LOTS of money by trading technologies. The trick here is to
have contacts with EVERY nation and research very expensive technologies. I
one time had like 300 gold per turn from other Civs in exchange for techs.

– Also, if you get some tech from another civ trade it immediately, don’t
give that other civ the opportunity to exchange it with others. I mean, if
they gave it to you then they are willing to trade it with everybody else so
why don’t you do it.

– When negotiating always put the items on the table and then ask what the
other Civ would offer for them, you’ll be surprised with the offers (if the
item is good for them, of course).

– When negotiating always offer lump sums rather than gold per turn for the
goods you want. The contrary is true when offering goods. Always prefer gold
per turn than lump sums (this helps avoiding war, because the other civ will
not want to risk their supplies).

Finally I got a question (not directly answered in your FAQ of course): I
always end up with 6 to 8 metropolis but never more (in consequence I never
win the game before 2050, but I do win the space race 20 years later) how do
you manage to build 20-24 cities? I don’t understand how the computer founds
so many cities so fast. Not only that, they have like hundreds (I’m
exaggerating maybe) of workers while my towns suffer to create them. How do
you play the first 2 millenniums? Because after that there is almost no room
left to build new cities. Also when do you build granaries? Inmediatly?

(Author’s note: In my reply to him, I told him to play on a bigger world. I
think he may have run out of space because his world was too small and his
enemies too numerous…and it goes against my nature to recommend that someone
go to war.)
Jason Coates ( with a Frequently Asked Question:

I am actually playing very well – however, how do you begin espionage? After
researching espionage and then building the Intelligence Centre, I still
can’t do anything more than investigate a city or steal a technology?

(Author’s note: This isn’t covered very well in the manual. The city that
builds the Intelligence Agency Small Wonder will have a little pentagon next
to the city databox (y’know, where it says how many turns until growth/build
complete on the map screen). Double-click on the pentagon icon the same way
you’d double click on the star icon in your capital to initiate diplomatic
overtures with other nations. Your options will be open to you there. Just
remember where you built the Intelligence Agency!)
Bane ( on my use of German:

Well, I guess I am being picky, but as I am fairly fluent in English as well
as (not surprisingly, heh) in my native tongue Swedish and have a dad who’s
from Austria, I’d bet that a more accurate interpretation of “Kulturkampf”
would be “Culture Fight” or “Culture Struggle”. “Kampf” is a word that can be
translated into various words in English, depending on in which manner it is
used. For instance, “Fight” or “Struggle” is probably not the best
translation when trying to interpret “Panzerkampfwagen” – the best translation
I can come up with in this case would be “Armoured Combat Wagon/Vehicle”.
In Swedish the literal translation would be “Pansarkampvagn”, which is quite
similar to the German term, although a more appropriate term would perhaps be
“Pansarstridsvagn”, which in turn is shortened to “Stridsvagn” (i.e.
“Combat/Fighting/Struggling Wagon”) which is what a tank is called in Swedish
(“Strid” and “Kamp” basically share the same meaning in Swedish, yet “Kamp” is
slightly more archaic in nature and thus most likely more related to German).
Anyway, I’d go for “Culture Struggle” – that’s probably the most appropriate
term in this case.

Well, I _warned_ you that I’m probably being picky here – this is what usually
happens when I read stuff while having a few glasses of whiskey 😉
Travis, Ammy Tucker ( with another Frequently Asked Question:

Hey is there any way to get the game not to end at 2050? I have searched the
manual and all over the internet and have heard nothing. It frustrates the
heck out of me when I have one advance in the modern age and that screen comes
up telling me that game will end in 20 turns. Please help I know I am over
looking something.thank you

(Author’s note: Sorry…you can’t override the time limit. All I can say is
try to work faster. The developers threw the limit in there as just one more
Bigfoot01 ( with another reiteration of Chapter 15B:

I got a diplomatic victory, and it’s a piece of cake. All you have to do is 1
turn before the UN gets built, you do whatever necessary to make over half
the civilizations gracious toward you.

I do this by raising my tax rate about 10 turns before, and then just sending
gold aid like MAD. 1000 to you, oh, you like me now? well that’s good, as
long as we’re all on the same page.

Piece of cake. Good FAQ BTW. very helpful.
Victor.Fuller ( chides me for ethnocentrism:


Like the Civ III FAQ very much. Learnt a lot from it. This is one clear
mistake I found you will want to correct.

14A. THE ONE-CITY FALLACY claims that if you have a city with a border radius of 6 (i.e. a city
with 20,000 Culture Points), you get an automatic Culture Victory, presumably
because your city becomes the unofficial capital of the world, much like New
York City in today’s world.

Surely London is the Cultural capital of the world.

I’m playing on the Regent level and haven’t beaten the AI yet, great game.
Mike Weaver (email withheld by request) on Diplomacy and Great Leaders:

A good way to make the vote go your way is to eliminate anyone who doesn’t
like you. That’s what I did, anyway. And then, if someone seems more
powerful than you, pay everyone whatever to declare war on them just before
the UN is built. It’ll sway their vote.
Another thing I noticed is you give no credit to the best ability of
leaders: hurry improvement. They can cause any improvement, even wonders,
to be instantly built. What I did to get a one city culture victory is to
just throw all my leaders as a militaristic civ (ummm, Aztecs I think) back
at my capital to build wonders. If you can build any wonder in one turn, it
really helps, plus an early Heroic Epic helps as well. Just stay at war
throughout the game, unless you don’t have any wonders to build. Even then,
I’d recommend hitting barbarian encampments a lot to keep some eilte troops
in the field, since once you disperse them they show back up pretty close to
where they were before.
Hope that helps. Happy gaming.
John Karakash ( on Railroads, Military Strategy, and
“continent-reach” Wonders:

Good show… some useful info in there!

Some minor hints and strategies:
Railroads are your friend. They greatly reduce the need for workers and
troops due to the ‘zero movement’ cost. In fact, when I have a decisive edge
over a civ during wartime, I’ll move in with fast troops to take a city,
build railroads behind them (in what is now friendly turf), garrison with
slower troops, and then repeat with fresh units on the next-closest enemy
city within a single turn. This can be repeated yet again when very fast
troops are available and the cities are close enough together.

Despite what you said about Wonders being a bit useless for their effects,
I’m still a fan of the Pyramids when playing on continents or Pangaea. Ditto
for Hoover Dam. Because they give a boost for ALL your cities on a single
landmass, their effect is much greater than would otherwise be expected. I
normally ‘sacrifice’ one of my early cities to build the Pyramids, forgo
granaries and concentrate on other priorities.

One wonder I like to wait into late in the game to build is Forbidden
Palace. Once my empire is far-flung enough, I am supremely grateful to have
its corruption-reducing properties at a great distance from my home city.
Another take on this is to make FP early and somewhat close and then
leapfrog it by moving the main palace to a more congenial and distant
location. Once a portion of a continent is already built up and pumping out
culture, you can transfer the palace to a new locale and watch the
corruption plummet in an otherwise useless batch of cities. This is somewhat
expensive since you are moving the palace to a place with LOUSY production,
so have some gold stockpiled!
John Olson ( on the Anti-Diplomatic Victory:

Good FAQ.
I would add one warning about diplomatic victories. If your civ is not
popular for whatever reasons, build the UN just so you can prevent a vote for
Sec-Gen. It’s a pisser to be ahead in the conquest game and have the myriad
nations vote for the Other Guy.
I know it’s otherwise a waste of resources, but in it’s way it is deadlier
than losing control of the Great Library.

(Author’s note: You warmongers out there, take notes.)
Glenn Gardiner ( on how he won a Domination Victory:

This was a quick-start world, and medium size I guess, with 7 other civs. I
played as the Americans, but I used the Civ3 editor to give them the
advantages of the Babylonians. (This isn’t cheating, it’s simply that the
Americans are more recognizable to me.) Anyway, I built up a huge culture
lead, but got no points for it, so about 1832, I cranked my economy into war
mode, and halfway through the war I was taking out two cities per turn with
my modern armor defeating their pikemen and musketmen. I can send you the
save-game if you like, but it ended about 1960, when I was only 1 turn form
building the United Nations, and 2 turns from completing my Space Launcher.
Frankly, I don’t see how a military elimination is possible: I tried, but
when the enemy had one city left, the game simply terminated with a
Domination Victory. Well, I’ve had fun playing Civ3, and I need to step up
the difficulty for the next effort. (This one took 2 days) Thanks again
for the excellent FAQ and advice.

(Author’s note: He played on Chieftain level for this first win. Glenn, if
you’re reading, let me know if you were able to duplicate your success on a
higher difficulty.)
Mike Weaver (email withheld by request) on Diplomatic and Conquest:

Yes, I felt dirty for doing the Dippy Victory, and will never do it again.
It’s horrendously cheese.
As for the military/culture plan: I didn’t adequately describe it. What I
did was a sort of schoolyard bully tactic: I found the weakest civ near me,
surrounded him, wailed on him, burned his cities to the ground until only
his capital remained, and then let a peace treaty happen, he re-expanded, I
smacked him down, lather, rinse, repeat. If you have enough units wandering
around, you can very effectively corral a civ exactly where you want it,
since they don’t seem to really care where they build their cities. I would
try to keep him stripped of strategic resources that he could use (if he
stayed stone age, there was no sense playing keep away with saltpeter unless
I needed it), and just occassionally attack him at my leisure, yielding
leaders like they were going out of style. Meanwhile, this massive standing
army whose only purpose was making the Greeks miserable also dissuaded
others from being mean to me. It’s important to use troops and not culture
borders for this, since otherwise you may end up inadvertantly taking the
cities you want to burn. And I can’t turn down people who want to be mine.
You can get crazy amounts of gold and stuff from civs who just want you to
stop laying the smack down on them. That is, if they have it. This is a
tactic I use whenever I get cavalry: isolate, attack, sign a one-sided
treaty, and so on. Armies do rule, and I no longer try the one city culture
style, but it’s helpful to know it CAN work.
Btw, the graphic/text for the dippy victory is almost the same as the
culture one, which irritated me a little.

(Author’s note: “Dippy victory”. Appropriate description. I like it.)
Mark Nelson ( calls me on a science error:

Thanks for putting your Civ III FAQ together. I have one small comment: in
the section on coal you say: “Can’t have a barbecue without charcoal”.
Charcoal isn’t coal; it is made from wood.

(Author’s note: He’s right, of course…Alton Brown covered the same subject
on an episode of Good Eats. But I’m going to leave that section alone because
it helps to drive the point home about the importance of having coal in your
Wayne Louvier ( with another forwarded message that he
sent to Firaxis:

Dear Civ Team,

I’ve included my previous message for reference as needed.

Re: strategic resources: In my current game, I am able to trade them. In
my prior game, my opponents and I must have just the same things. Anyway,
it works fine.

Bug: When I raze a city, I sometimes get a worker with a bunch of “9’s” as
his title or description. Its happened in a couple different games.

Re: railroad benefits: I reread the manual and did find a non-specific
mention that railroads improve the food situation on squares where they are
located. But I don’t think the same information is in the civilopedia.
Likewise, the exact benefits of railroads are not in the manual appendix
charts. They show the benefits of roads, irrigation, etc. I know you
won’t be redoing the manuals, but maybe these specifics could be added to
the civilopedia in the patch.

I was disappointed in the Limited Edition I purchased with respect to the
tech tree foldout. There is at least one error (Radio, I think) as to what
benefits come with a tech. I don’t suppose those will be replaced…

Its a great game. I’ve been playing Sid games since Pirates. I still have
an original Pirates game on 5.25 floppies. I’ve played Civ1, Civ for
Windows, Colonization, Civ2, SMAC and now Civ3. All very enjoyable. I’m
looking forward to the patch and the multiplayer version.
Michael Woodhams ( with a few pointers and some
interesting commentary about past Civ games compared to Civ3:

I’ve not yet finished my first game (just got to the modern era) but
there are a few points I think you’re missing from your FAQ.

(1) The value of mounted units. Because they will withdraw just short of
dying (if fighting a slow unit, like all those pesky defensive
units) you can keep fighting with minimal attrition. Because they
survive so much better, you have so much more chance to get and keep
elite units. They are also so much more flexible during invasions, as
they can often move two spaces compared to a normal unit’s one space.

(2) Care and feeding of barbarians. I admit I haven’t really tried this,
but instead of eliminating barbarian villages, you can deliberately
leave them. Ever few turns they send you a sacrificial victim to
practice your martial skills on, to grow elite units and great leaders.

(3) Most important missing point: corruption. This is *hugely* more
important in this game than previously. Even as a democracy with
courthouses in my distant cities, they would have (e.g.) 15 shields from
the countryside, and loose 14 of them to corruption. I eventually solved
this by building the Hidden Palace, but it took ages, as it is getting
built in a city with lots of corruption. I maximized production for that
city (planted forests etc.) and bought a factory and power plant (by the
time I needed to do this, I was almost at this level of tech, so I held
off starting to get these first) but it still took about 35 turns to
build. I could (and likely should) have parked a huge hoard of workers
by the city alternately planting and harvesting forests.

(4) There seems to be a limit of one new technology per 4 turns – no
matter how much you spend on tech, they don’t come any faster. Once
you’re good enough to get tech at this rate, you should adjust your
science spending rate to the bare minimum required to get the next tech
in 4 turns. You can stockpile gold while researching an easy tech, and
then run deficit spending to research a hard tech in 4 turns.

You could also do with a list of key technologies. I’d have gone for
‘replacable parts’ much more directly if I’d realised it doubled the
productivity of my workers.

I appreciate your emphasis on culture, but putting a high priority on a
wonder just because it gives 5 cp per turn doesn’t make sense. It is
cheaper to found a new city and build the 5 standard culture buildings,
and gives you more than twice as much culture. The ‘city’ doesn’t have
to have useful surrounding territory – it can be size 1 and still give
you your 12 cp/turn.

In my game, taking Washington early on and getting the Great Library
saved my bacon. Even at moderate difficulty level and standard Civ
agressive investment into expansion and science, I was falling behind in
tech. I’m going to make it a high priority in future games to build the
great library.

In Civ 1 and Civ 2, I often played ‘single city’ games. You play about 2
difficulty levels below your normal play level (generally the most
difficult for me) and only ever build one city. The point is that the
game is about 10 times faster to play. If it goes well, I generally
loose right at the end when the big civilizations are able to
out-space-ship-produce me despite my technology advantage. Anyway, Civ 3
looks very difficult to play single city because of the strategic
resources and inability to stockpile caravans for building wonders.

(Author’s note: I stand behind my comments about 5-cp wonders, if only because
the AI civs don’t get them. Also, you can found cities, but you’re creating
some NASTY corruption issues there. Civ3’s corruption model is based in part
on the number of cities your civilization controls. You may be getting your
culture points, but you’re screwing up everything else in your civ.)
John Olson ( on airpower and modern weaponry:

By the by, I know you aren’t a fighter, but you might want to add a note about
the huge reduction of combat utility airpower has gone through. No more
attacks on a specific unit, just bombing runs on a hex which seem to have as
much chance of putting craters in the autobahn as hulking the panzers making
use of it. Take that and the general disability of bombardments to finish off
cripples really changes the combat flow. Oh, how the crews of the Prince of
Wales and Repulse only wish that had been the case. I don’t want to kvetch
too much, but the idea that surface ships are never supplanted in combat roles
by airpower is just plain (pardon the pun) nuts. And would someone like to
explain why, if I can have jet fighters, I can’t have modern bombers unless
they are stealth? Grumble, grumble, grumble.
Wayne Louvier ( points out another bug to the developers:

Civ Team,

I have noticed that creating scientists does not seem to change the science
output of a city at all. I created 4 in a 12 size city and nothing.
Entertainers work great and, I think, so do tax men. But nothing from the
scientists, even at very high (80 or 90%) science settings. Am I doing
something wrong or is this on the fix list for the first patch?
Jeremy Black ( on Military Strategy:

Some comments about your FAQ guide. You mention that war is extremely
ineffective, but I have to disagree, especially since I notice your military
strategy is only in theory a good one. The most sure fire way to take down
enemy cities, and keep on moving, is by using Blitz units, that can retreat.
When you attack cities/strong points, they don’t die as often because they
retreat, so you will often take cities without losing a single unit. Now, the
real bonus you have there is sheer efficiency. If you take the time to build
up a large group of mobile units, pre mech inf era, then you can often lay
into an enemy civ, taking whatever you want, after breaking their standing
offensive strength. Whenever a unit is badly hurt, pull him out, and heal
him. I would also like to add, I have done this strategy using a combination
of Sun tzu, and Leo’s work. Worked wonders, I entered a newly conquered city,
and upgraded my 24 knights, into 24 cavalry units, in the middle of the other
guys empire. (cost 240). Oh, and just to point it out, I am playing on king
Nathan E. Litton ( on the Emperor Level:

Dennis, this E-mail is in response to your game-FAQ on CIV3. I am writing to
bring up that I have defeated the game both diplomatically and conquest (with
eight civ’s) on emperor. However deity is crazy, mad, nutz. Diplomatic is
actually probably the easiest victory in the game to get. Simply put stay
very, very passive, spend an immense amount of time finding resources that
others might want, clime the tech tree the fastest (or at least trade your
goods to stay with the top guy), and build the United Nations. If you make a
point of trading with other nations almost constantly (this usually works by
having several excess luxuries you trade for at a lower price than you
should, and selling a knowledge to every civ. in the world, all the same
turn, so that they don’t sell your knowledge to their friend for profit you
could have any way you then become Switzerland) you are capable of being on
almost every civ’s good side. Then by doing so you are the shoe in for their
vote when you hold elections for secretary-general of the U.N.. Once held
game over. I actually stumbled upon this the first game I played into the
modern era. I was going for a space race victory, but I try to build all
wonders so they don’t have them anyway, so I built the U.N.. The game
prompted me if I would like to hold elections, I answer yes, diplomatic
Now domination victory on monarch or below, rather simple, emperor, now
that’s another story. First I don’t even try to get in any wars until the
modern age. I build my cities, and try to control just enough land that I
don’t have a major corruption problem. I concentrate on getting straight to
republic then democracy in order to be able to climb the tech-tree faster
than anyone else. Once the advent of automated-warfare comes about the
battle preparation begins. You build about three transports full of tanks,
and one full of marines. In your coastal cities you begin building
battleships and never stop. Fill about three carriers full of bombers (from
experience I have noticed that NPC’s normally don’t build fighters until they
have been bombed before, also I normally try to have my first strike hit
before they have flight). Also by this time all your cities should be to the
point where they have nothing better to produce but wealth. So once you have
an airport in every city on your mainland, the said number of transports,
carriers, and about ten battleships. You pick your first foe, and don’t
forget from this point on you may never stop producing military units. It is
also necessary that you are a religious civilization. You will need to have a
communist government when your main force is tearing apart the continent you
are hitting, but a democracy is a must for the first strike. Why because you
need to “BUY” an airport the second you take one of their cities, this will
make your transports useless until you are ready to go on to the next
continent. All right back to the initial assault. You go to your target,
bomb out any railroad around it, bomb the cities defense as low as you can,
then take the city with your marines (try to hit a relatively small city).
Next you unload your tanks and raise hell. I have found armies are only good
for first strike capabilities on metropolises, other wise you lose the
ability to hit a city several times because your army can only attack once
but your tanks broke up can hit several times) If the Germans are in the game
you are playing hit them first. Once you have learned modern warfare and can
build modern armors you no longer need worry about any other knowledge.
Upgrade your forces and its just a matter of time. Just never, never, ever,
stop building military units!!!! The second you do could be sealing your own
Greg Cyr ( dissects my FAQ and comes up with a few
questions and comments:


With regards to your Civ3 FAQ:

8E: In complete agreement with you – expansionist is about the weakest
characteristic there is. I suspect they will be modifying this in the patch.

9D: The AI likes you more if you trade with them.
9D: I disagree with you in selling tech. I NEVER sell tech unless I know
it’s already out there, and I am pretty sure I won’t be giving an opponent
(or potential opponent) the ability to get a valuable upgrade. Besides, if
you are into the wonders building race, the few extra turns it takes your
opponent to discover the technology may be what you need in order for you to
beat him to the punch.
9D: I never trade away my strategic resources. Never. I was beating on the
Romans in one game, and was only able to do it because I took away their
iron early in the war – which meant that they couldn’t make their Legionary
unit. Would you really want to give horses to the Japanese or the

10B: You should note that the army functions as a whole one bigass unit.
First unit gets sent in and stomps around until it gets reduced to 1HP then
runs away, when the second unit comes in. And so on till there are no more
units left to attack in the army or the army has eliminated the opposing
unit. Note – your big badass army can only kill one unit per turn – which
makes it not so great if you are facing an opposing swarm that’s intent on
going around your units to get to your soft underbelly.

General addenda for armies:
Armies cannot be upgraded. If you put a knight in your army, you can’t
upgrade the knight to cavalry. Currently there is no way to take a unit out
of an army. Think twice before dropping units into your armies. If you are
pretty close to a tech advance, you might want to hold off on dropping units
into the army.

10B: I think you are mistaken here on the leaders. I believe a leader pops
up if you win the battle. The unit isn’t “turned into” a leader. The
difference is in whether or not you have the attacking unit to celebrate
your victory. Suggest clarification.

10C: You should add a note here indicating if you are referring to an army
(in Civ terms), or a stack of units. Your choice of wording is a little
confusing to the skim-reader.

10 (no subsection appropriate): It looks like killing off an opposing
civilisation (ie: the Romans, French, etc) gives them a freebie new capital.
They seem to pop up somewhere close by. This is especially annoyng if you
jump an opposing civ early in the game, where taking out someone like the
Romans or Egyptians quickly is a very appealing option.

11C: I don’t agree with you on the Leonardo’s Workshop wonder. I think it is
quite useful, especially if you a war-mongering bastard like myself. Paying
for upgrades may be distinctly not cheap, but it’s danged useful if you are
on the war-path and have a bunch of knights which chould be upgraded to
cavalry in one fell swoop. I think its value depends a great deal on what
size of a map you are playing on, as that will determine to a great deal the
size of military you have. The bigger your military, the more valuable it
is. As an additional note, you can’t upgrade to your specialist unit. For
example, the French can’t upgrade their old spearmen to musketeers.

12B: The documentation on “war weariness” is severely lacking. I don’t know
how/if this builds up or how/if it goes down. Perhaps you could expand on
this? I have no idea how it works. You might put in something about how to
get someone to declare war on you if you are democratic or republic, and
don’t want to take the war weariness hit. But that depends on how it works –

Bomber: Heard something about invulnerable bombers. Will have to look into
Settlers: The docs say you can capture these, but every time I have tried, I
seem to end up with workers. Perhaps there’s a bug in the code which changes
settlers to workers? Or is it as designed?

(Author’s note: Manual states that a captured Settler automatically becomes
two workers.)
Harry Patel ( on winning at Emperor:


U asked if anyone won by domination conquest? I just won it on the emporer
level. I have discovered a couple of things.

I started as the indians. and built my 1st city. I quickly realized that the
english were in the area because their scout passed by the area. I decided to
send a party of archers out and I found some enlish cities and systematically
conquered them 1 by 1. At this point I sacrificed citizens for military
units. I took a few english cities then negotiated a treaty and obtained all
their tech. I then fought again and took a few more cities and this time a
treaty gave me 1 or 2 tech and a city. I continued and eventually I had tech
that was equivalent to any other civ + 10 or so cities with creating only 1
settler and discovering no tech by myself. In the midst of the battle I
created a great leader and I used him to build the forbidden palace in london
which was far from dehli but close to a lot of the newly conquered cities.
Then I thought I was good in shape and tried to start building science and

But I soon learned I was being blown away. The French who built some cites
very close to my capital seemed like a reasonable target. I put 100 % of tax
to gathering money and I attacked the French. I conquered the French cities
nearby with some difficulty. However, Paris and other main French cities were
on a nearby continent, but no land route. So I negotiated treaty and obtain
some more tech. In the peace time I gathered a very large army and then
crossed over to the other continent and attacked paris. Again, a struggle but
victory and I had obtained paris which had already built a few wonders. I
again negotiated peace for some tech. Then back and forth with wars until I
had obtained all their tech and then all their cities.

At this point it was me, the chinese and japanese. All with approximately the
same size empire with the japanese slightly ahead of us in tech. In this
peace time I built some cities in the area between my capital and the
previously conquered English cities. I still have only aquired 1 or 2 techs
myself, the rest being in negotiations or I bought them for 400 or so gold
pieces. Because the japanese were getting stronger quick, I signed a mutual
protection pact with the chinese. I then instigated the japanese to attack by
being on their territory and refusing to leave. Then it was a war between the
japanese vs indians and chinese. I filled border cities with units and
allowed the chinese to flood through my territory and fight the japanese. It
took a while but slowly the chinese advanced. I followed and started to take
some smaller boarder cities. I greased the chinese to being gracious towards
me by giving them gifts. I continued to buy tech from the chinese( my tax
continued to fill my coffers and produce no science). We continued to fight.
The chinese did not seem to be interested in conquering cities, so i did.
Slowly I had a number of smaller japanese cities and negotiated peace for
peace and tech. Then back and forth with war. Then instead of tech, I
offered lump sum and a high per turn gold amount in exchange for cities which
the japanese took. I would cycle through peace and war and after prolonged
war, I emerged the victor. By the time i was down to 1 japanese city, I was
declared victor by domination conquest.

key points:

1) I used taxes to build coffers so I could build military, buy techs or
cities. I built only 5-6 cities and discovered on 2-3 advances on my own.

2) Mutual protection helped a lot

3) When negotiating for peace, give gold lump sum + per turn for cities. It
costs more (time wise and gold wise) to build the military to take one of
these cities. Also, u will attack them in a few turns after which the per
turn is cancelled. The computer calculates the per turn x 20 turns which is
not what u plan on delivering.

4) U can build your empire by conquering as opposed to building settlers.

5) In the higher levels, the computer builds cities and acquires tech so
fast, that u cannot keep up. U can take advantage of the fact that a
computer city rarely has more than 2 defensive garrison.

Interesting, I thought I would have to build culture and science, but I
essentially went 80-90 % military and I won and before the 18th century.

Because of constant fighting, I had a lot of problems towards the end with
civil disorder, and had to switch to communism for a while

Also because the japanese and chinese presumably had the same problem. They
were communist governments and that slowed their productivity and aquisition
of sciences

I hope u can get some good tips from this
Jeff ( on Conquest Victory:

Using this principle, I managed to utterly destroy the Americans, who were
living on the other side of the continent, and who had the utter gall to
declare war on me after making some rather rude demands. Luckily, I had not
engaged in armed conflict of any kind, and so I maintained very, very good
relations with my neighbor and world superpower Russia. I used the mutual
protection pact to my advantage (it was activated automatically as soon as
America declared war on me), and soon the entire continent had declared war
against them.

I am currently on a path toward a conquest victory: that is my goal. I have
just recently secured the destruction of one of my neighbors, the Aztecs.
First, a little history: the Aztecs had been crossing through my territory
for centuries along with the English, French, and Russians, who were my
neighbors, in order to wage various wars against each other. I, of course,
being very diplomatic let this pass as a sort of unofficial right of passage,
as no units ever pillaged or attacked any of my cities or citizenry.
However, it was something of a nuisance as production is immediately lost when
a unit occupies a square, so I decided to form my own Maginot Line. My
Maginot Line was a stationary line of spearmen that stood in the usual path of
my neighbors’ expeditionary units. It’s purpose was hardly defensive, as it
consisted of only one-unit squares, but only as a measure to keep them from
pathfinding through my territory. Needless to say, the Maginot Line served as
a massive reserve force–eventually, they were upgraded to riflemen.

Now here’s the catch! Since the Aztecs had foolishly passed through my
territory for centuries without me saying word, I finally decided to use this
to my advantage. Since I was a democracy prone to war weariness, I decided to
use their illegal passage as a reason for a declaration of war! I went to the
diplomacy screen with the Aztec ruler, and I demanded that he remove his units
from my territory at once. Eventually, an insult of his led to me declaring
war in so-called self-defense. By this time, I had developed nationalism, so
I mobilized my civ for war.

And luckily, I still had my mutual protection pact with Russia who just
happened to be allied with the French, with whom I was very peaceful with. In
short, the Aztecs soon found themselves caught up in a two-front war with the
Russians in the west and me in the south–while the wily French took forever
and a day to mop any escaping Aztec forces. While I can hardly commend the
French for doing anything decisive (I can’t recall any significant battle
involving them in this war), they did manage to claim the ultimate victory of
actually striking the killing blow for the Aztecs–wherever the bugger was.
You see, I had actually moved my massive war machine in a juggernaut that
endlessly assaulted the Aztecs until I had captured every one of their cities.

So there you have it. You need to manipulate other civs through diplomatic
negotiations. Unlike Civ 2, diplomacy is absolutely key to survival–
especially to a conquest victory, it seems. Way back in Civ 2, I would just
expand like crazy, research democracy, and crush the entire world in no time
flat, always making and breaking peace treaties to buy time for another
assault. I once made my own map for Civ 2 that included all of Asia and the
Middle East–and it was a huge map! I played the Chinese and somehow managed
to tame the entire map–mind you that, China was very accurately made with
about 80% mountains and lots of forest and jungle. Of course, my methods were
the hardest method of conquest: genocide. I would poison cities ruthlessly
(I had several dozen spies for the job) until they had were down to 1 point of
population. Then, after making sure I’d destroyed their city walls, I
attacked and razed the entire city! I then put my own city in so that I
didn’t overlap with my other cities. Ladies and gentlemen, this was the most
anal form of perfectionist conquest–and it took a lot of work!

But you can’t do that Civ 3! Firstly, it’s way too slow between turns, so I
don’t have the patience for that kind of genocidal perfectionism–especially
on my huge map with all 15 civilizations. Secondly, being diplomatic is key–
so you can’t keep betraying every civ when it suits you, or you’ll soon face
the might of their AI, which is, by the way, a force to be reckoned with.

This FAQ’s a work in progress (pretty much every FAQ ultimately is, because no
matter what that little blue dot says on GameFAQs, every FAQ has room for more
information and ideas), so here I’m going to give a rundown on the what’s what
for the future:

Get in touch with me in order to contribute and ask questions, but don’t ask
any question that has its answer within the text of this FAQ, or I’ll delete
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I’m amazed at the popular support of this FAQ. Keep those emails coming,
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Hey, have you read my award-winning Tropico FAQ? If you have the game, get on
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Next up in the pipeline; a couple of quick and easy EA Sports FAQs for
PlayStation2. There have been numerous requests for Madden and NBA Live, and
I think I can be of service on both counts.

This FAQ may or may not be revised again…it depends on whether I get the
time to get back to it. Truthfully, I don’t really play Civ3 that much since
I got Tropico, so it’s going to be a bit of a reach for me to get back to this
one. Maybe later.

Anyway, this concludes my Civilization III FAQ/Strategy Guide. Thank you, and
drive through.