The Let's Play Archive

Civilization V: Gods & Kings

by Speedball

Part 45: The Pen is mightier than the Sword!

Okay, so scrolling through the list of possible proposals, it looks like a lot of people would be pleased if I passed stuff related to enhancing culture, which, come to think of it, I probably shouldn't pass because as Poland we get several free policies anyway and I don't want to give anyone else more culture than our tourism can overwhelm.

Instead I'm going to see if I can't take the piss out of Shaka by proposing an embargo against him, which would severely restrict his money options. Of course, this'll piss him off but hey, his problem.

Yeah? Well, you've got yourself a bad reputation for civ-killing in this game, Shaka, I wouldn't be surprised if this hurt you where you least expected it to.

New policy time! Let's see what happens when we finish off Piety!

I already have a temple in our three cities, so this should give us some gold, and completing Piety also makes Holy Sites give culture, too. PLUS! New to BNW, completing Piety gives you a free Great Prophet. I'm just going to burn him on another Holy Site. My goal is not to spread my religion far and wide (it'd help with the tourism, but everyone else is resisting that) but to generate a ton of faith points with which to simply buy Great Artists in the Industrial age.

Hmm. Where should I place Mr. Wizard? Somewhere near Lodz, I suppose.

Finally, I build Uffizi!

Excellent! More art slots = more tourism and culture-per-turn! Great Artist, GO!


Also, our spy in Shaka's lands has come through with a free technology, again!

Nice. With this, we are now at total Zulu technology parity. I'm going to reassign my spy as a diplomat and see if I can't use him to shake some votes out of Brazil.

Ooh. Bring it on, Shaka! Right now, I have the second-biggest army on the planet and it's probably much more up-to-date than Shaka's. He's still got Impi while I have guns and will soon have rifles. I'd love an excuse to blow him away. However, Impi gain a big combat boost to gunpowder enemies! Grrr…

Nice. Our Oxford University doesn't have a theme bonus we can fulfill, it needs Great Works from different eras and different civilizations than us. Everything else though, is doing amazingly.

Diplomat go! I want Brazil to definitely vote "Yes" on "Embargo the Zulus!"

Hmm, looks like Shaka's economy is already in the toilet. Good. The embargo will make things even worse for him.

Okay, according to our Diplomat, now that he's finally settled in, is that Pedro II is definitely going to vote to embargo them. Good. Of course, trading with the Zulus would make our Tourism over them go up faster, but right now I just want to starve the bastard. The Diplomat would also allow us to trade items for votes in the trading screen.

I suppose I could now send my spy back over to Shaka and get him back on stealing tech, according to a popup he's got just one tech we don't.

Dammit, Pedro, I was so close to finishing that! Grrrrrr.

New Policy Time! May as well open up the tree that keeps on giving, Rationalism!

Rationalism got a bit nerfed. The base upgrade is 10%, not 15%, and most of the rest of the policies got reshuffled. It's still pretty good.

I think… the time has come to stir the hornet's nest. Let's get devious, shall we?

Hey, Shaka! I got a proposition for ya!

I get you to attack my nearest neighbor and I give you some gold and a luxury for it. Okay?

I do the same to get him to declare war on three other major players. Everyone will hate him soon. Everyone. I've unleashed the fury!

No, no, friend! I'm going to attack Shaka, not you! No need to worry yourself!

I've managed to build one final wonder for this era: The Red Fort! It's the "new" Kremlin, it gives us plenty of defensive goodness. The actual Kremlin has become an Order-exclusive wonder.

I research Industrialization, which brings us to the Industrial Era again, unlocks coal as a resource, and gives us another Free Polish Policy! Yeaaah!

Now all those writers and artists in the guilds will also be doing science for us! Because they're doing anatomical artwork sketches, you see.

I generated one final Great Prophet, and I'm going to send him over to Assyria to convert them. This will make our tourism spread faster there.

Now, Industrialization is important for one other thing: to get our new Ideology, we either need to research a Modern-era technology or build three coal factories. We don't have any coal in our own territory so we need to hopefully trade for it and then build the factories in our cities as fast as possible. You see, the first person to adopt an Ideology (Freedom, Order or Autocracy) gets free policies in it.

I found out that Budapest has coal, so I'm going to send my elite spy over there to subvert it to our cause from the Portuguese. Once I'm ready, if necessary, I'll start a coup. In the meantime, bribe money is called for.

The new era also makes city-states important and brings them to the congress! From now on, having as many allies as possible will be key to getting our way. Time to choose a new host, too. Naturally, I pick myself, but I only tie with Brazil for delegates, so I don't win.

Alright! Time to build some factories! …as soon as they connect the resource, anyway. I'm leaving the spy there, he'll keep out any unwanted foreign influence.

The time has come, I think, for a quick strike!

Oh, I hope I know what I'm doing…

New policy.

Formerly Humanism gave us happiness for science buildings. That's been moved to an Ideology in, I think, Order.

Great artist, go!

HOT DAMN! Sure, this doesn't actually give us any more points than any other work, but hey, it's the work of art that is itself synonymous with art. So I'm taking this as a good sign!

Over here, the war is going…slowly but interestingly. He's got a lot of firepower and a lot of bad guys on the west side, but they're trapped behind that lake. He's also got riflemen, damn! I knew I should have gone for that next! Well, anyway. The point is, Venice is attackable from the east so that's where I'm having my troops swim to and I'm trying to beach them all at the same time, so the city can't kill them one by one.

Over here, I've actually run out of places to put musical great works into! So I can either tell this guy to wait it out, or I can move him into rival territory to play a song. Say, there is an achievement for literally rocking the kasbah. let's see if I can't send this guy over to Morocco. They could use a stiff dose of tourism.

The war is going terribly. Shaka has Himeji Castle, which makes his units fight stronger in his territory. He's got the Great Wall which makes it hard to invade his territory. He's got riflemen who were upgraded from Impi, which means they have a combat bonus against gunpowder troops. In short, he's way, way tougher than I anticipated. So:

I'm taking this peace treaty. I'll find another way to get my revenge, Shaka!

Winged Hussar, you are entirely too late to the party! Argh! But you do look cool.

Hahahahaha! Soon, soon you shall feel the sting of poverty! And if I really wanted to make it impossible for him to make money I'd also embargo all city-states, but that'd cut me off too.

Time for another proposal. This will piss off some people, but it's the key to getting our religion spread around and our tourism boosted: World Religion: The Cult of Personality!

I get similar messages from some other players. Their problem, not mine.

Over here, I saw a Morocco Musician (guarded by that pikeman) play a song in my territory. I'm not worried. His tourism output is pretty low, he's not going to do well against me that way.

All of science shall be MIIINE!

Say, Pedro, what would it take for it to be worth your while to vote yes on making my Cult of Personality the official religion of the world?

Stiff, but totally worth it!


Time for something new. Archaeology has been totally reworked from how it worked before in the game, as it allows us to go digging for more artifacts for culture and tourism! If we unlock Exploration as a social policy, we can also build the Louvre!

Hit it boys! I want our tourism to jump up!

Hahahaha! I'm calling this band "The Culture Clash!"

Nice! According to this, we'll be fully influential over Morocco in only 43 turns at this rate. Ssssoooon…

Museums are slotted, and we need to build Archaeologists to hunt down artifacts, preferably from other countries. They can also turn artifacts in home territory into culture-generating landmarks. This is a new, huge thing to make the late game more interesting. You can't rush-buy archaeologists, either, you need to build them the old-fashioned way. So let's get cracking, shall we?

The reason we want to steal the artifacts from other countries is to prevent them from turning them into defensive culture structures, you see, with their own archaeologists. Sneaky-sneaky, huh? Heh heh.

I really want the Louvre, and I could use the extra gold from exploration, so I'm unlocking it now. Still no coal for factories. Dammit! We really might have to wait to the modern era to unlock our Ideology.

See, here I've moved one archaeologist to Indonesia, where he will start digging up the ground, messing up their farm. Sorry, Gajah Madah!

A few turns later, my other Archaeologist in Morocco hits pay dirt!

Sweet! Thanks!

Er, sorry! (Not!)

Ahahahaahaha! YESSS. I had to make a lot of deals and grease a ton of palms to get enough delegates for it but...Our proposal passed! That means our tourism just jumped way, way up and it'll spread even faster if we can get our religion spread around the globe. The other proposal passed was one for the World's Fair. Which means we'd better get cracking on contributing production points to it, the last thing we want is for one other country to get their culture doubled.

New proposal. Let's piss off the Zulus even more!

Hahahahahaha. Peace and poverty will reign!

So, even though I'm only a few turns away from producing factories, I absolutely need to shift all three of my cities to producing for the World's Fair. So close…in ten turns it'll be built and we'll know.

Mary Shelly, Great Writer, what you got for me?

Ah, I love Frankenstein!

Oh, it's only been a few turns and it's already half done. Oooh…

YES! YES! YES! Hahahaha, I may have overdone it a bit, but I don't care! WE WON! In your FACE Brazil!

Free policy!

SCIENCE MONEY! Our profession is applying for research grants! And next turn we finish it all for a free technology! (Nerfed from getting two free techs)

Joke's on you if you accept this, pal, I've got a policy and a Porcelain Tower that'll give me way more science out of this than you. And I'm not sharing my homework notes!

Crap, Brazil has gone Order. Well, no matter, I was going to pick Freedom anyway. And our tourist influence over him is more than his over us, so we should soon force him to reconsider his choices…

Two turns later

Okay, here we go! You'll note that all three types have different versions of the culture win. Order is based around appealing to the unhappy working class people: they have a high tourism rating over less-happy Civs and a high base Tourism with other Order Civs. Autocracy's tourism gets a boost whenever they produce a great Writer/Artist/Musician in general, because thanks to Futurism all their forward-thinking world-conquest media sounds wicked-awesome to armchair generals, and they get double tourism when fighting alongside a friendly nation against a common foe, because they're showing off their guns. Freedom's culture win is easier for smaller, more focused nations, you just get a big bonus to tourism by building Broadcast Towers; beyond that it's the same focus on Specialists and Great People as before (and more great people means more artists and so on!)

Freedom also has some surprising asskicking added to it, with a major production boost to military units (that we can also gift to city-states for a huge influence boost). Now, let's choose Freedom and get our free policies in it!

It works off an inverted pyramid. Unlike regular policy trees we get to choose which we get first, but they come in tiers. We need 2 tenets of the first tier to unlock a Level 2 policy, and two Level 2s for a Level 3. Fortunately, our culture is kicking off like mad so this won't take too long.

I'm taking Avante Garde and Civil Society.

Just 2 turns later:

Also all good. I'm taking Universal Suffrage. The next Level 2 I'm taking is definitely Arsenal of Democracy. I love the idea of blowing the shit out of our enemies and arming our allies.

Gauguin, whatcha got for me?


This is where things stand now. I have culturally influenced Assyria and Indonesia, and most are soon to follow. The tough ones are going to be Brazil and Portugal. I'm probably going to send a lot of musicians their way, though. Heh heh heh. With all the spare faith I'm generating each turn this is a simple matter.

Skip ahead a few dozen turns…build hotels and broadcast towers to boost our tourism...

By this point in the game, I've managed to grind up my tourism to overwhelm everyone except Brazil, who have been fighting me culturally every step of the way. They're the last holdout. Physically there have been altercations between the Zulus and Everyone, and Assyria and Everyone, but nobody's declared on me, as I have the second-largest army in the world (and much more up-to-date, now). It should only take a few more turns, but just to add a clincher to it I'm going to send a final musician to Brazil to invade them with pop music!

Cultural victories are still mostly defensive, but they require you to be more proactive in pursuing that defense. I had to trade and or steal a lot of artifacts and arrange them just so I could get so much tourism.

And this would clinch it if not for the rest! Yeaaah baby!

You can see here that I've got so much influence over Brazil and the Zulus that their people are revolting because they don't have the democracy we have. Not enough to make them completely lose their shit and start flipping cities (they need to be at -20 overall for that), but enough to put a serious dent in both of them.

Modern musicians! Yes, the bassist is a girl. Hit them with your stuff!

VICTORY! Everyone's buying King Casimir T-shirts!

What I'd Do Different: Not too much. This was an almost textbook culture win: have a big enough army to scare off the bullies (and it worked, Shaka never invaded me once) and do everything you can to score all the culture-wonders and make friends. Our mere three cities were properly built to go tall for research, and by the end we had finally eclipsed everyone else, tech-wise. By the end I had tons of city-state allies, too.


Now I just need to finish Smoky Skies. After that, we're going for a win the diplomatic victory…as Shaka, using Autocracy. No, that is not a joke.

Might take a short break first, though…this has been a lot...