Civilization IV (walkthrough)

General Strategies and Combos for Civilization 4
by Robo-Mike

This guide supports patch version 1.09 of the game.

Latest update:

v1.3 Promotions tips
Not Researching Horseback Riding tip
Great Person City added to City Specialization

Build Red Cross and check if drafted units get Medic
Check if you can still build Chariots if Gunships are available and
Horseback Riding is not researched


s# code title
-- ------ ---------------------
-1 (DISC) Disclaimers
0 ( ) Table of Contents
1 (INTR) Introduction
2 (PLAN) Overall Gameplan Combos
A. World Wonder Hog
B. Great People Factory
C. Super Specialists
D. Cultural Victory
3 (CITY) City Specialization Combos
A. Research Facility - inland
B. Financial Center - inland
C. Financial Center - shore or island
D. Elite Military Academy
E. Shock Troops Factory
F. Industrial Capital
G. City of Greatness
4 (BILD) Initial Build Orders and Research
5 (MISC) Miscellaneous Tips
6 (FAQ-) Question and Answer Portion
7 (ABOU) About the Author
8 (MAIL) Contact Info
9 (ENDC) Contributors / Special Thanks
10 (HIST) Revision History
( ) Final Words

** To go to a specific section, search for the code including ( ).
For example, search for (CITY) to go to city combos.

Section 1: Introduction (INTR)

Greetings, thank you for reading this guide.

If you think the Civilopedia wasn't clear enough, this guide can
serve as a quick "glance" as to what technologies, improvements,
civics and other in-game options work well together to serve a
common goal.

Sure you can go for both the culture and space victory conditions in
one single game, or you can have a city that's good both at research
and military production, but it's much more beneficial to focus on a
single victory condition or gameplan, or perhaps, to make Hamburg the
Foremost Military Capital of the German Empire... with the slogan,
"One unit of Elite Panzers per year, guaranteed!" Scary, isn't it?

This guide assumes that you know what said civic or world wonder
or city improvement does. If you don't, simply consult your manual,
in-game Civilopedia, or any of the many other guides on the net
(such as the other Civ 4 guides on GameFAQs).

All of the information contained in this document is true to the best
of my knowledge. If you see something wrong about it, don't flame,
send or post a correction (preferably with proof if you have it).

Remember, games of Civ 4 can be unpredictable, cut your own path to
world domination!

Section 2: Overall Gameplan Combos (PLAN)

Because these require specific world wonders or leadership traits or
specific research paths or careful game planning, you have to think
ahead with these strategies before you even hit the Start button.
Selecting your leader is already half the battle.

* - Essential or highly recommended
+ - Extras that may be beneficial

A. World Wonder Hog
* Industrious trait
* Stone or Marble resources
* Pyramids world wonder (highly recommended you get this)
* Forge
* Engineer specialists (requires Forge or Pyramids usually)
+ Philosophical trait (optional)
+ Parthenon world wonder
+ Hanging Gardens, Hagia Sophia world wonders, etc.
+ Pacifism civic (if you can afford it)

Even if you're not going for a culture victory, taking World Wonders
for yourself gives you a tremendous advantage while denying other
factions of those advantages.

If you're going for this strategy you better ensure you have the
resources around your first towns, otherwise your Industrious people
will be building the wonders as fast as some civs with Stone or

The Pyramids are so essential to this strategy that you should
restart if you don't get it. Pyramids will help produce Great
Engineers which will help you steal more world wonders in the future.
It's also good to rush to Metal Casting to be able to build the Forge
ASAP. Caste System will NOT give you Engineers.

Parthenon will help you get even more Engineers if you build it in
a second town. But it's difficult to get two early wonders up. If you
succeed, however, then you already have a tremendous advantage over
other factions.

Hagia Sophia and the Gardens among other wonders also produce
Engineers so prioritize them.

Not being Industrious doesn't mean you can't build any wonders, but
you should be Industrious if you want to build A LOT. The more wonders
you have, the higher your final score will be. You want to look good
in the Hall of Fame, right? Riiight.

B. Great People Factory
* Philosophical trait
* Parthenon world wonder
* National Epic national wonder (preferably on the city with wonders)
* Pacifism civic
* Caste System civic
+ Mercantilism civic (good idea but can be messy to micromanage)
+ Other world wonders and improvements that let you assign specialists

You may need to micromanage your cities so that it won't assign
specialists you don't want. Tailor each city to produce the right Great
Person for the situation.

Good cities for Great Person production are those with a large surplus
of food.

You can't get Great Engineers and Great Prophets via the Caste System
so you may want to build wonders and buildings that earn you Great
Engineer/Great Prophet points, or improvements such as Forges and
Temples to assign specialists.

C. Super Specialists
* Caste System civic
* Representation civic
* Mercantilism civic
* Great Library world wonder
* Angkot Wat world wonder
* Sistine Chapel world Wonder
* Statue of Liberty world wonder
+ A city with a large food supply
+ Expansive trait (helps a lot)

A bit related to combo B, but this revolves around getting free
specialists and making every specialist you assign count. You will
still get Great People in the process though, so a Philosophical
leader will be able to benefit from this strategy.

D. Road to Fame (Cultural Victory)
* Free Speech civic (get Liberalism ASAP)
* Free Religion civic
* Religions, temple, monasteries & cathedrals (the more the merrier)
* Theater, Library, University, etc.
* Sistine Chapel world wonder
* Broadcast Tower (or Eiffel Tower if you can manage it)
+ Parthenon world wonder (produces Great Artists)
+ Hermitage national wonder
+ Creative trait (optional)
+ as many world wonders as you can: Rock&Roll, Broadway, Hollywood
are good wonders to have

The general goal is to have all three of your cities go up and reach
50k culture (Normal game speed) at the same time to be more
efficient. So if you feel one of your cities is lagging behind,
prioritize putting a wonder or a cathedral in it.

Since you are raising up three legendary cities, it helps to have
about nine (yes, NINE) temples of different religions around your
empire so you can build multiple cathedrals in all three target

To "collect" religions, either conquer another city with the
religion you want then build a monastery there, or open borders
with a nearby civ and PRAY that they send missionaries to you.
(I find that having Free Religion civic implemented encourages your
AI neighbors to send you their missionaries.)

Stonehenge or The Oracle helps since they're built very early and
adds a couple of culture points which can pile up. Parthenon will not
only increase your Great People production, it will also provide
Great Artists you can feed to your cities.

As for your Great Artists, if it's early in the game put them in a
city to get the + to culture. Since those religious cathedrals and
Hermitage increase even the yield of the Super Specialist, the Great
Artist may end up producing more culture in the long run. Later
Great Artists can be saved and then stuck into one of your culture-
rich cities that are lagging behind.

Why did I say that the Creative Trait is optional? +2 culture a turn
is helpful, but there may be other traits that can help your culture
victory. Industrious trait will help you get the Wonders you need.
Financial trait can come in handy when you want to pour your money
into culture. You can produce an awful lot of culture each turn with
towns and water tiles. Philosophical trait will help you get Great
Artists and Engineers to use.

Section 3: City Specialization Combos (CITY)

These can be integrated into any strategy. As long as you have the
prime land to build a specialized city, go for it!

* - Essential or highly recommended
+ - Extras that may be beneficial

A. Research Facility - inland
* Towns (towns on flood plains highly recommended)
* Library/Monasteries/Observatory/Laboratory
* Great Scientist Academy
+ Financial trait
+ Great Library world wonder
+ Free Speech civic (once towns are built)
+ Have a nearby food (e.g. pigs, wheat) or production resource (e.g.
horses, iron) if possible.

You can't go wrong with this one.
So that's why they don't have a "scientific bonus" leader trait...
makes Financial a lot more powerful than it was in Civilization 3, eh?

B. Financial Center - inland
* Towns (towns on flood plains highly recommended)
* Market/Grocer/Bank
* Wall Street national wonder
+ Religious Shrine (optional but highly beneficial)
+ Financial trait
+ Free Speech civic (once towns are built)
+ Free Market civic
+ Have a nearby food or production resource if possible.

Quite related to the Research Facility combo, but this time, you're
seeking to get more money. If you have the extra time (you likely
don't have that since you built lots of towns and you lack production)
you can have the Financial city and the Research city as the same

C. Financial Center - shore or island
* Religious Shrine (optional)
* Harbor
* Lighthouse
* Market/Grocer/Bank
* Great Lighthouse world wonder
* Colossus world wonder
* Wall Street national wonder
+ Financial trait
+ Free Speech civic (once towns are built)
+ Free Market civic
+ Forge (for production)
+ Have a nearby food or production resource if possible.

It's a good idea to have workshops, watermills, lumbermills or mines
on land since the shore will provide almost all of the food (but
none of the production) you need. Try to avoid settling where you can
reach less productive ocean squares; the more shoreline, the better.

Since this is a focused strategy and you don't have that much
production, build ONLY the buildings you need for this. Build the
military protection and workers elsewhere.

It's really less advisable to make a research facility on the
shoreline because this financial strategy revolves more around trade
routes, so just stick with the mainland for your research facility.

D. Elite Military Academy
* Barracks
* Vassalage civic
* Theocracy civic
* Heroic Epic or Ironworks national wonder
+ Pentagon world wonder
+ West Point national wonder
+ Airport
+ Aggressive trait

This is the setup if you REALLY want to go to war. Barracks,
Vassalage, Theocracy, Pentagon can help your entire nation build
better troops. Imagine cranking out a 10-experience Mech Infantry or
Modern Armor right out of the assembly line!

Meanwhile, having West Point and Heroic Epic together in a town can
build really elite troops quickly. If you combine all the bonuses,
14-experience armies produced at twice the speed is not funny at all.

Or maybe Heroic Epic + Ironworks to pump out units at a scary speed.

Finally, add an airport to send troops directly to the front lines.

E. Shock Troops Factory
* Farms (food resources are great)
* Granary
* Barracks
* Theocracy civic
* Nationhood civic
* Globe Theater national wonder
+ West point national wonder
+ Pentagon world wonder

The main drawback in drafting is the unhappiness it causes in your
cities. Not in this hick town!

If you need military personnel in a pinch, hire those people so happy
they want to go to war with you. "Hell YES, we will go!" Draft the
city's population down to level 7 and take everyone's children to
Vietnam without the social unrest, ever.

Drafted units get 1/2 experience points from Barracks and Theocracy
among other things, but that shouldn't stop you from using the

Also, they do not gain the +10% combat bonus from leaders with the
Aggresive trait. You also CAN'T have the Vassalage and Nationhood
civics together, which is just too bad.

I still haven't tested if drafted units in a city with Red Cross
get the medic bonuses, though.

F. Industrial Capital
* As many mines and water/wind/lumber mills and workshops as possible
* Forge, Factory + power plant of your choice
* Ironworks national wonder
+ Bureaucracy civic (capital city only)
+ State Property civic
+ Have a nearby food resource if possible
+ Granary

You can really combine this with military or Wonder-building

Just don't neglect food. You need the population growth. Constructing
a Granary is a good idea since food will be really scarce.

This is one city where all the production counts, so don't chop down
forests since you will lose out on the production in the long run.

State Property civic is good to eliminate the workshop food penalty
and get free food from water mills as well.

G. City of Greatness
* As many farms as possible (flood plains, food resources are great)
* A few mines, water/lumbermills or workshops for production
(strategic resources such as Iron or Horses helps a lot)
* Pacifism civic
* National Epic national wonder
* Necessary buildings for specialists (e.g. Library for Scientists,
Market for Merchants)
* Granary
* Lighthouse (if coastal)
* Globe Theater national wonder, or any and all buildings necessary
to keep the citizens happy
+ Slavery civic*
+ Caste system civic**
+ Parthenon world wonder (in another city = OK)
+ Any other wonders you feel like putting on the city (although it's
difficult since it lacks production... I hope you have Great
Engineers from other cities...)

This Great People City can be used with any strategy, not just a
gameplan revolving around Great People. Even warmongers and techies
can benefit...

It's simple... get your population as high as your happiness and/or
health can support. Then assign citizens to specialists.

You can make a Great Person city on great for areas poor in
production and with large areas of grassland, coast, flood plains or
plains with fresh water.

No towns! You can always get your money elsewhere. But don't neglect
production. You need to build temples and theaters to keep the
population from going into rallies when they should be farming or
reading books or rehearsing for their next musical.

* Because population grows fast with lots of food, Slavery makes good
use of the excess baggage by killing them off and funding the next
Forge or Temple.

**Caste System helps greatly to assign many, many Artists, Scientists,
or Merchants at once. But it's not *THAT* necessary. You can always
add the city improvements or wonders that let you assign specialists
(e.g. Angkor Wat lets you assign 3 Priests). Of course you can't
possibly assign say, 10 Merchants if you don't have Caste System,
but still...

Section 4: (BILD) Initial Build Orders and Research

We're assuming you're starting from the Ancient Era, since Civ is more
fun and interesting that way.

Initial Build Orders

Expanding quick or starting well can make a big difference in building
a civilization that will stand the test of time.

a. Standard/Conservative Build 1
(research a religion if desired)
1. Warrior or Scout
2. Warrior
3. Stonehenge or Barracks or Oracle
4. When city gets to 3 population, a Worker or Settler
5. What you didn't build in #4 (if worker is built, settler
is next and vice versa).
6. Resume construction on #3
7. Military units or worker or another settler as needed

b. Standard/Conservative Build 2
(research a religion if desired)
1. Warrior or Scout
2. Warrior
3. When city gets to 2 population, Worker
4. Resume #2
5. Stonehenge or Barracks or Oracle
6. When city gets to 3 population, Settler
7. Resume #5
8. Military units or worker or another settler as needed

c. Deforestation Build (posted by Softnum at GameFAQs boards)
* obiously you can have less cities if desired
(go for Bronze Working and needed military techs)
1. Worker (1 or 2)
2. Settler (worker/s chop 2 forests)
3. Settler at second city (chop 2 forests)
4. Settler at one of the cities (chop 2 forests)
5. Military units in each city, possibly Stonehenge or Oracle
in one of the cities
6. Throw your military at your neighbor

Initial Research Queues

It's important to plan your research ahead, so you can get ahead and
stay ahead. Here are some suggested research strategies.

a. Religion - You can easily get one of the early religions
especially if your civ starts with Mysticism.
Queue: Mysticism -> Polytheism
Mysticism -> Masonry -> Polytheism -> Monotheism
Mysticism -> Meditation (not recommended since computer
civs usually go for Meditation)
Animal Husbandry -> Writing -> Code of Laws
(great if you prioritized early workers or after
rushing to Alphabet for early tech trading)

b. Military - You can neglect the happiness of your people and opt
to build an army and grab the lands of your neighbor.
Queue: Mining -> Bronze Working -> Iron Working
Hunting -> Animal Husbandry -> Horseback Riding (as of
patch 1.09 you need the A.H. tech to figure out where
the horses are... if you have horses, you can opt to
get H.R. for the powerful Horse Archers)
Hunting -> Archery

c. Improvements - Early workers and improvement of 1 or 2 cities
can give a tech or population advantage instead
of having many cities and suffering a maintenance
Queue: Wheel, Agriculture -> Pottery
Hunting (gets Camp improvement)
-> Animal Husbandry (gets Pasture improvement)
Mining -> Masonry (gets Quarry improvement)

d. Tech Trading - If your scientists have become lazy... trade the
techs from your neighbor. "Screw Bronze Working,
I can get it from Gandhi anyway."
Queue: Wheel, Agriculture -> Pottery -> Writing -> Alphabet
also Writing -> Mathematics -> Currency (if needed)
* You can then trade your Writing and Alphabet out to as many
rivals as you can to gain the early tech lead and pick up
any early techs you have missed. In addition, you can
immediately start on Code of Laws (after getting Alphabet
you can either pick up Priesthood from a rival civ or go
the Mathematics -> Currency route) to pick up a religion.
* Note that the AI may be reluctant to trade out some techs:
Example, your nearby rivals may be afraid to trade out Iron
Working because they fear being attacked. Or if Caesar is
building The Oracle he may not offer you Priesthood.

Section 5: (MISC) Miscellaneous Tips

A. Unit/s with March promotion + Unit with Medic promotion
You can continue moving between multiple cities to conquer, healing
damage on the way.

B. Railroad + Mine, Lumber Mill, Water Mill
It isn't clearly stated on the Civilopedia, but here it is. The rail
gives +1 production for the listed improvements above.

C. Sistine Chapel "glitch"
If you own the Sistine Chapel and you conquer an enemy city, the
non-working citizens stationed inside (excluding the tons of unhappy
ones) will produce +2 culture right when the revolt ends, so when
the city returns to peace you will have a nifty border, helping
prevent riots in the future.

This puts Sistine Chapel right up there with the Pyramids as one of
the more useful World Wonders in the game.

As of Patch version 1.09, it's still in effect.

D. Oracle Strategy (first posted by Heatsink at the GameFAQs boards)
If you're going for a religion, and want a Great Prophet, you can
research Priesthood and start on the Oracle rather than build
Stonehenge. Good expensive free techs to pick include:
1. Machinery - have Metal Casting researched
2. Engineering - have Mathematics researched
3. Metal Casting - have Pottery and Bronze Working researched
4. Theology - have Monotheism and Writing researched
Consolation Prize: Monarchy - It is always available with the Oracle.

Notes: Theology can exert pressure on other (human) players in
multiplayer games since it founds Christianity and it could give them
a false sense of how advanced you really are.

You may need to ignore more basic techs if you wish to grab Machinery
or Engineering, but it's well worth it. This may be difficult to do on
higher difficulty settings, though.

E. Mining for Ore? (posted by Archaos)
Since all mines have a random very small chance to discover new ore
resources every turn, it may be a good idea to put mines on all the
hills that are not within your city radius to maximize your chances
of discovering new resources.

F. Promotions tips: Getting skills that some units normally can't get
Ever dreamt of Uber(TM) Infantry with City Raider 3? Training begins in
the early ages... power up your Axeman/Maceman's City Raider promotion
and when you finally upgrade them to a gunpowder unit, the promotions
don't disappear even if gunpowder units can't get City Raider in the
first place!

This also applies to any promotion that future units can't get... here
are some ideas:
Archers with First Strike -> Machine Gun, Infantry
Knights or Cavalry with March -> Gunship
Knights or Cavalry with Mobility -> Gunship
Knights or Cavalry with Medic -> Gunship (haha)

G. Not Researching Horseback Riding?
Isabella will be laughing at you while her Conquistadors go on parade.
Without Horseback Riding, you will never be able to build Horse
Archers, Knights, and Cavalry.

But there IS an advantage for not picking up Horseback Riding.
Chariots cost only 25 production (Normal speed). In later years you
can still build a Chariot in 1-2 turns, perfect for stuffing into an
undefended new or inland city that is demanding protection while
keeping your upgraded troops in the border or front lines.

Since Aggressive leaders don't get a +10% bonus with horses, it's not
a big loss... with exception of the Mongols since they lose their
unique unit, Keshik. Also if your civ's unique unit replaces the
Chariot (e.g. War Chariot, Immortal), all the better...

Also, I wonder what happens if you build those chariots in a city
with the Red Cross in it... hmm?

In higher difficulties it may be necessary to resort to multiple
chariots + Hereditary Rule + Vassalage to keep your people happy
especially during a shortage of happiness resources or religion/s.

I do not yet know, however, if you can still build chariots after
researching gunships.

Section 6: (FAQ-) Question and Answer Portion

Common, common questions. And others.

Q1. "Why should we keep forests? They give some production when cut
down, helping early game builds..."

Yes, you can get the early advantage, but remember the intro to the
game, we're here to "build a civilization to stand the test of time".

Forests produce 1 hammer so think twice before cutting them down
becuase you might need that 1 production instead of the gold bonus
of towns or the food bonus of farms.

Lumbermills are almost like workshops but without the food penalty
(unless you enable the State Property civic).

Having the health bonus from the forest is a definite plus. Forests
within your city radius give +0.4 healthiness each (so 3 forests
would be +1 health while 5 forests give +2 health).
(Thanks for the info.)

Did I say they reduce the chance of global warming?

Finally, forests (along with hills and rivers) are your only hope to
have a bustling city in the tundras. Plus they make nice obstacles
for your ski resort's Expert-level course.

This is the game of Civ, you're not supposed to make the same mistake
as all the city builders of real history. Have foresight. Be smart.
Save the trees.

If you really want to join me in saving the trees, please don't
automate your workers until a lumbermill can be built. Also turn on
"Automated Workers Leave Old Improvements" under options.

Q2. "What does a granary do?"

When a city grows in size, the food bar goes to zero before rising
again. With Granaries, the bar only goes down to HALF. Granaries
effectively double the city's population growth, while providing
additional health bonuses from some food resources.

Expansive leaders build granaries at 1/2 cost. Along with the +2 to
health (and other bonuses provided by the granary), they can afford
explosive population growth early in the game, making Expansive a lot
better trait than at first glance.

Q3. "The intro music is great, where can I get it?"

The intro music is entitled "Baba Yetu", and the lyrics are basically
the Lord's Prayer in Swahili. You can download a free full version
sample from the composer's website:

Section 7: About the Author (ABOU)

Project 8, Quezon City, Philippines

About me:
I prefer the online alias Robo-Mike. Robo comes from Robo-Ky, a
character in the fighting game Guilty Gear XX.

Thank you for reading this guide. Do you notice that all my guides
look the same? Yeah, I'm lazy to make a new layout for each one,
but the layout is good, right? If it isn't broken, why change it?


Section 8: Contact Info (MAIL)

e-mail: hidden for now

Post at the Civ 4 board at GameFAQs, if you have any questions. We
need more board activity, really. I plan to add the good questions to
the Question and Answer Portion.

Section 9: Contributors/Special Thanks/Links (ENDC)

Special Thanks to:

GameFAQs board members
Some of you have posted great tips. I can't let them go to waste!

* Heatsink - Tips on The Oracle
* Softnum - Deforestation initial build strategy
* Archaos - Putting mines on all unworkable hills tip

For FAQ hosting, a great interface and a big collection of cool

Your info sheets have made this guide possible.

Has an online tutorial I highly recommend. Detailed screens and
details on uses of great people, wonders, and other stuff.

my job
For taking up most of my time and giving me money for my gaming

Section 10: Revision History (HIST)

v1.2 New Tip: Mining for Ore
Fixed required tech for Forge.
Fixed notes on drafted unit experience gain from Barracks,
Theocracy, etc. OMG I am a total moron.
Improved Oracle tips and strategy

v1.1 Grammatical fixes.
Some new tips: Oracle
Railroad bonus list fixed. OMG I am an idiot.
More detailed info on forests and their health bonus.
Removed sample cities. (Sorry, this caused a few problems.)
New section: Initial Build Orders and Research

v1.0 First release.

Final Words

(Display "Cartoon Network Studios" logo on white background.)

(A radar-like laser beam sweeps the screen.)

Julius Caesar: "Care for some salad? I made it myself."

(Display "Cartoon Network" logo and copyright message on black
background while playing the Cartoon Network ditty.)

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