Sid Meier’s Civilization series is best known for two things: Addictive one-more-turn gameplay; and lengthy matches. Civ 6 is the newest installment in the franchise and when asked how long a game might take the answers were … telling.
Civilization Revolution, on the other hand, was released in 2008 and can be played on console or mobile. Sid Meier explained that the aim of this title was “to recreate the Civ experience in an afternoon,” effectively halving the length of the infamously long matches. Despite shortening the games, Civilization Revolution boasts an astounding level of complexity and strategy, particularly for players new to the game series.
For our part, we’ve sunk hundreds of hours into Civilization Revolution, and it might be our favorite game in the franchise. This guide will be going over beginner and intermediate tips on how to succeed in this game and truly craft a civilization “to withstand the test of time.”
1. There are four ways to win
There are four ways to win a match in Civilization Revolution: Domination; Technology; Economy; and Culture. The first thing to remember is that while all matches can be won in any of these ways, you’d be wise to form a game plan as the match progresses. There’s typically a path of least resistance.
Domination: Capture all enemy capitals OR have the highest score by the time the year 2200 rolls around.
Technology: Be the first to build a spaceship and arrive on Alpha Centauri
Culture: Acquire a total of 20 wonders, great people, or converted cities
Economy: Acquire enough money to build the World Bank
2. Don’t neglect the other three paths
Probably the most useful tip we can give is to keep your bases covered. Don’t laser focus on one victory path so much that you’re leaving the other paths in the dust. A civilization steeped in culture can be cut down by one with a heavy military in the mid-endgame. And a civ that focuses on domination can be stopped in their tracks when the come face to face with a more technologically sophisticated civ.
Researching techs means unlocking new wonders for culture and new units for domination. Wonders upgrade your units (Leonardo’s Workshop) and increase your research speed (East India Company). Great people can instantly build wonders, convert cities, or level your troops. Money can buy you techs from other civs, or to rush build both wonders and units. Every road connects with the others in some way.
3. Stack your units into armies – all of them!
Unlike Civ V, in Civilization Revolution you can place multiple units on one tile. Place three of the same unit type (ie three cannons) in one tile and you can lump them into an army, tripling its attack and defense scores.
A great way to do this quickly is to build the same unit type in three different cities. Then they can travel to the same spot and become an army much faster. Roads help with this, too.
4. Plan according to your civ’s strengths
Everything we’ve said so far applies to all civilizations equally. Who you are playing as and who you are fighting are huge factors in the game, though. Each civilization begins with two (mostly) unique bonuses, unlocking more every time they reach a new era. Many of these bonuses encourage a particular angle or style of play, even the most likely victory type.
We find that most civilizations are best suited for two kinds of victory. While that is not to say they’re incapable of winning in other ways, there’s a typical slant. For example, France and England both excel at culture/domination, while Spain and Egypt might be better suited for tech/economy.
5. Research with a goal in mind
Technology in the Civilizations series is all about researching the prerequisite techs. Crawl before you walk. You can’t learn masonry unless you know pottery; you can’t write without an alphabet.
Does your civ have a special unit or bonus that’s dependent on learning a tech? The Arabs have bonuses for knights, for example. If you want to take full advantage of that, you’d better chart a course for feudalism, hitting all those prerequisites on the way. Don’t forget that certain buildings and wonders can only be built if you’ve researched their corresponding techs!
6. Specialize your later cities
The first two or three cities you build should be largely well-rounded. That means they’ve got a good balance of trade (money and science), food, and production. This will ensure that your early game doesn’t leave you lacking in any area.
As the game gets going, though, it’s good to build a “tech lab” city or a “gold mine.” These cities have a specific focus, providing you with unparalleled research, gold, or even production. Settle on an island, slap on a harbor and a courthouse, then choose between a library/university or market/bank and you have a city churning out tons of science or money. Don’t forget to manage your workers accordingly.
7. Attack an enemy’s capital first
If you’re going for a domination victory, or if you’re just trying to get an annoying enemy civ out of the way, be sure to attack their capital city first. If it’s behind a bunch of other cities, no worries. Simply pile up your armies onto your most defensible naval unit(s) and sail around and surprise attack them from behind.
Slogging through an enemy’s cities means that you’ll arrive at the capital weakened and that you’ll be giving the enemy civ extra time to fortify his defenses by the time you get there. In short, you’re lowering your chances of winning that fight. It’s rare that an enemy civ holds their own once you take their capital city, too.
Usually, your new palace culture emanating from their stolen capital will be enough to flip their nearby cities. Remember, too, that all you need to win the match is to hold all the capital cities! The others aren’t needed for a domination victory.
8. Save the game, try from a different angle
One weird tactic we found especially useful in the early game is to attack from different tiles. The battles that we lost again and again from one angle we then won when we attacked from a different side. Sometimes it’s because you’re attacking from a hill or defending from a forest, but other times the terrain was the same.
Before any battle with a questionable outcome, save your game. If you fail the attack, it might be worth reloading and trying again from a different adjacent tile. You might be surprised to find you win now.
9. “Walk-in” on one Civ at the start of the match
At the start of the match, rather than planting your city, try instead running with your settlers to the nearest enemy capital. If you rotate the map just right you might even catch a glimpse of where they’re located. You can see this in action here:
Once you spot the enemy civ, plant your city right next to it, then rush build (set your city to custom production) a warrior unit and attack before he can get his defense up.
Congrats! You now have two capitals right from the start. Be sure to dodge barbarians if you try this, though.
10. Change your government to suit your current objective
The last tip we can give is to make sure your government type best suits your immediate goal. That one turn of anarchy that occurs when you switch really isn’t as scary as the game makes it out to be. If you’re playing as India or China it won’t even affect you at all. As you unlock new government types, be sure and switch to them to get that little extra advantage:
Despotism: No bonus, but switch to this when using nukes
Republic: Switch to this when you’re trying to expand
Democracy: Our favorite. Use this when you’re pushing tech or economy
Monarchy: Use this when you’re trying to culture flip cities close to your capital OR when trying to attract more great people
Communism: Use this when you’re trying to build quickly
Fundamentalism: Use this for an extra edge in a battle. Trust us, it does make a difference – especially when you’re up against units that are the same as yours.
There’s a lot more we could talk about – unit upgrades, wonders, naval blockades, spies … but these ten tips should keep you alive long enough to do some experiments of your own. Let us know what’s worked for you!