Comprehensive Leader Guide: Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar of the Romans

Traits: Organized, Imperialistic
UB: Forum (Replaces Market; +25% GP points)
UU: Praetorian (Replaces Swordsman, but has strength of 8 and no city attack bonus)
Techs: Fishing, Mining

Julius, Julius… Basically, he’s strong because of the praetorians, but his traits being Organized and Imperialistic have great synergy with his style of play. Organized reduces civic upkeep by 50% (great for large empires) and make courthouses, lighthouses, and factories cheaper (cheap courthouses are very important because they cut city maintenance).

Early Research and Build Order

Getting Praetorians up ASAP is important. Your tech order should almost always go Bronze Working, Iron Working, Wheel (needed to connect the Iron for praetorians). If you have a landlocked start, the building order should be worker-worker-warrior-settler -warrior-settler-worker-barracks-praetorians. Notice I said praetorianS – this means you keep building them until you conquer everything or you go on strike-more on that later. The first city should be founded to claim copper if possible, but it’s not necessary. Just try to find a good production city (lots of hills and forests) with enough food to work a few mines. The second city you found must get the Iron. Send your worker to connect the Iron – it must be connected by the time the barracks is finished. It’s your top priority. In case of a coastal start, just replace that first worker with a workboat.

With 3 cities, a source of Iron, and Slavery (you should switch just before the barracks are done – don’t switch earlier to avoid slave revolts if they happen), build/chop/whip an army of Praetorians. This should not take long considering you have decent production (try to maximize production with good city placement even if just for the short-term benefit). Try to have the barracks in every city before starting on praetorians. Barracks will give them combat I and for a unit that’s already ultra strong (8 vs. an archer with a base strength of 3), 8.8 can only be better. Once you have ~10 praetorians (should not be later than 1000BC), pick your enemy and let the praets do the work. Oh and don’t stop building them… keep them coming… plenty workers will be stolen from the enemy so don’t worry about those.

Early Promotions

Your praetorians may run into barbarians as the army as assembled or as they approach the enemy. Awesome!! Kill those suckers for some XP’s and promote your praets in the following manner: 3/4 down the City Raider (CR) line and 1/4 with Shock/Combat promotions to battle any axemen you encounter. axemen have strength of 5, but with their 50% bonus against melee, they can cause unwanted casualties so that’s why you need shock on some of the praets. As your praets kill your enemies and get more XP’s, keep promoting this way. When you pop Great Generals (GG’s), it’s probably best to either assign them as specialists to give your praets more starting XP or attach them to the most promoted units in your army. An academy is rarely worth it.

Who to Attack…?!?

3 things you should take into consideration when deciding who to attack first. The first one is obviously the distance. Leave the far opponent last often makes sense to reduce maintenance costs. The second factor is defensive strength – go after Protective enemies, Creative enemies, and those with cities on hills first. The third factor is UU’s your enemies field. For example, be cautious when fighting guys like Sitting Bull and Alex (Dogs and Combat I Phalanges can cause you trouble). It’s often best to either kill these guys first before they can build many of these units or leave them until much later when you have catapults. Basically, try to kill your strongest and potentially troublesome enemies first. One other thing – if someone has Pyramids (don’t try building them yourself), capture them. They’ll help your economy very much which I will explain later.

Conquest Tactics

On your conquests, basically stay focused on attacking cities although do not hesitate to kill weak exposed units that could give you free XP. Try to head for the capital first and then simply work in a way that will let you move to your next opponent ASAP. Capture only the capital and maybe another very good city (i.e. a good wonder and excellent production) – raze everything else. That is critical because otherwise, you’ll ruin your economy too quickly to do enough damage. Take distance from the capital into account as well. If your target is very far away, raze everything!! During you conquest, don’t go out of your way pillaging resources if it slows you down. If you kill them quickly, they can’t build many axemen anyways.

Post-Conquest Economy

Ok, so by now you’ve likely conquered all of the known world and/or are at 0% science losing money because you did what I told you and you can’t continue because your valuable praets are disbanding. While you were building all those praetorians, your research path should have been focused on techs that can get you out of an economic slump. The 3 main ones are Writing (essential for Libraries and assigning Scientist specialists), Currency (unlocks the UB and allows you to build commerce), Code of Laws (unlocks courthouses). Of course, you should have picked up some essential worker techs you could use right after Wheel (Agriculture, Animal Husbandry come to mind). You likely won’t have all 3 of Writing/Currency/Code of Laws. Writing you must have by now so build/chop/whip Libraries everywhere and assign Scientist specialists. In cities with low beaker production (likely small size), just build commerce once you get Currency. Once you get Code of Laws, whip/chop/build courthouses everywhere and following this, switch from Slavery to Caste System so you can run more Scientists. The forum is better than a regular market and should be built in your largest cities (with most specialists) as it will help you make Great Scientists. If you are behind in tech, you can lightbulb some techs and trade them to the furthest away AI’s (you should be killing the ones that are close). If you are not really behind in tech, make academies in your cities with highest science output. If any religions spread to you or you found one with Code of Laws, adopt Theocracy if you have researched Theology for more promoted units. If you have the Pyramids (you should really try to capture them), adopt Representation and you’ll be researching pretty well. 🙂 You may also choose to run merchants in 1 or 2 large cities where you’ve built forum to produce Great Merchants. You can then either settle these in you highest gold producing city or send them on a trade mission for lump sum of gold.

On to the Medieval Age

Once your enemies discover Feudalism and have longbowmen, your praets are not invincible anymore, but are still useful and simply need catapult support (this needs Construction so make sure you get that). You can use praets until your enemies have riflemen. Only then they are obsolete and should be upgraded to riflemen as well. Your praets are better than macemen – they cost 45 hammers to 70 hammers for macemen and are likely much better promoted. Your shock praets should be able to handle a few AI macemen without too many loses. Since praets do not obsolete once macemen are unlocked, build one or 2 macemen and upgrade them with shock to fight other macemen while mostly building praets otherwise. Praets are only inferior to macemen against other melee units, but are equivalent in other categories and much cheaper to produce. As you go deeper in the medieval era, you may want to also give a few praets Combat I and II followed by Formation to counter knights and later cuirassiers. If you are facing hordes of mounted units, consider getting Engineering and training a few pikemen. You may want to switch to promoting units in a 3:1:1 ratio of CR:Shock:Formation as you’re likely to be seeing more melee and mounted units as time goes on. Adjust this ratio accordingly if you’re seeing more or less mounted and melee enemies.

Strategy in Isolation

If you are isolated, consider that Julius is excellent at rapid early expansion (REX) since he’s got cheap courthouses as well as cheap settlers from Imperialistic. Iron working is still a priority although not nearly as much. Research worker techs (i.e. Agriculture, Animal Husbandry) if needed and then Wheel, Bronze Working, Iron Working. Of course, the building order here should be much more flexible and depends on the starting situation since you don’t need to rush praets. Praets do still come in useful as barb defense though. Since it is optimal to run a Specialist Economy (SE), you may want the Pyramids so include Masonry with the worker techs as an early research option and then simply chop/build the Pyramids. If you decide to run a Cottage Economy (CE), research Pottery and lay some cottages early. After those techs, your priorities are once again Writing for Libraries and Scientists and Currency/Code of Laws to fund expansion. Since you have no significant bonuses to research, beeline Optics and try to contact other civs ASAP.

Other Pointers

1) Promote 1 or 2 praets down the Medic line so they can heal your units and minimize time lost due to healing.
2) Attack the siege weapons before they attack you to prevent collateral damage.
3) Pillage Ivory!! Once your enemies have Construction, those pesky war elephants can give you a bit of trouble although you’re enemy is unlikely to mass produce them. Also give a few praets Formation.
4) Do build forums – they are a good UB and have great synergy with a specialist economy (SE) you are running.
5) Ancient and Classical Era UU’s That Can Cause Problems
– Phalanx
– Dog Soldier
– Vulture
– Numidian Cavalry
– Ballista Elephant
6) Most medieval era UU’s can cause problems because the AI will tend to build many of them. If facing such problematic civilizations in the medieval era (i.e. Spain, China), build counter units to avoid catastrophic casualties.
7) Watch for crossbowmen and especially Chu-ko-nu’s. Wipe China out first if you can.


With Julius, you get praetorians with Iron Working which are practically maceman that cost 25 hammers less and come ~2000 years earlier. Praetorians are extremely powerful until Construction, very powerful until Feudalism, very dependable until Rifling, and obsolete afterwards. All you need is a city and preferably a barracks. To quote CivCorpse, “I thought the Roman UB was the barracks the praets come out of”. Augustus pretty much needs the same guide except I would build the Pyramids and more medieval and late game wonders with Augustus since he’s Industrious assuming the game is not already over. 😉 Hope many players find this guide helpful. It’s been my pleasure.

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