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See also: my current settlement plans

This strategy is out-of-date.

However, I am keeping it for now
as it still contains some useful info.

General (Culture) Strategy

The focus of the game is to gain culture as quickly as possible. Culture can be gained from various sources, but the noticeable ones seem to be:

The tasks seem to be the fastest contributor to culture during most of the game. It is therefore important to try to complete tasks where possible. In some cases, impossible tasks can be assigned, but this can be avoided. Building of settlement structures should be focused on achieving tasks (see section below on tasks).

In the modern and the future ages, the culture gained from idle population can become as significant tasks (providing The Louvre wonder has been built. So settlement building should then also focus on building lots of lodgings for extra idle population.

Task Strategy

It appears that a player can be assigned up to 4 new tasks a day (excluding the special "build a settlement" tasks, which do not count in this limit). These tasks are generally given a 48 hour time limit to achieve, otherwise they are considered to have failed. The time the next 4 tasks can be assigned always starts the same time in the day for the player, but task assignments can be delayed if conditions are not right (see below). Identifying when this start time occurs is very useful as the player can then prepare for it.

Only one of each task type can be assigned at the time, but if a particular task type is completed, then another can be assigned (providing the limit of 4 tasks for the day has not been reached).

Task Type Assignment Conditions Assignment Strategy
Build a specific level 1 structure
  • Not all construction teams are busy
  • Not already building level 1 structure
  • Don't have all structure types built
Destroy unneeded building types as soon as they have been constructed to allow continued assignments.
Build 3 specific level 1 resource structures in single settlement
  • Not all construction teams are busy
  • Don't already have 3 structures in a settlement for each type of resource structure
Have two less of chosen resource structure in each settlement (using captured tiles to supplement).
Build a specific level X structure (where X is highest level for age)
  • Not all construction teams are busy
  • Have level 1 of specific structure
  • Have researched any required technology
  • Not already building level X structure
  • Don't have level X of all structure types built
These take a long time on later ages, so avoid by not researching required technology until needed, or having other level X structures being constructed.
Research a specific technology
  • Not already researching a technology
  • Don't have all technologies researched
Can unlock high level structures prematurely (see above), so avoid by keeping research teams busy and research tasks queued (using appropriate wonders).
Capture a specific luxury tile and hold for 4 hours
  • Don't already have all luxury tile types captured
Choose one luxury tile type to not keep captured, and only capture when assigned. After task completed, return army back to settlement.
Capture or raid n tiles within 48 hour period
  • Have not captured n tiles within the last 48 hour period
Have one settlement with a fast army and one free garrison slot. Raid with half army, raid next when first half returning, and so on.

Building Strategy

Not all building need to be built in each settlement. Consider which building are needed in each settlement, and build others in a single settlement only.

The buildings needed for each settlement are:

  • Resource gathering buildings — generally needed for resources
  • Village Centre or City Centre — required in the settlement, progress quickly for faster building and culture
  • Library or Research Lab — need about 1 per settlement for reasonable research times
  • Storehouse or Warehouse — more resource storage and allow resource capacities to be adjusted
  • Market — allows resource transfer and needed for customs house
  • Customs House — needed for improved captured resource gathering in later ages
  • Parade Ground — needed for sending armies to capture resources and luxuries for the settlement
  • Lodging — needed for extra population, and as many as possible if using The Louvre

Military buildings (other than the parade ground) could be limited to some settlements as armies can be transferred between settlements. The early barbarian attack warning of the Watchtower or Aerodrome effects all settlements, so is not needed for each settlement.

Some building types do not give any additional benefit for higher levels in the particular age, so these do not need to be progressed. However, if the expansion of a building type needs research (either for a task or to unlock another research), then one option is to just progress one of the particular type of buildings in a chosen settlement.

When creating new settlements, the time to build the settlement is effected by how far away it is, so don't build too far away. However, it needs to be far enough away to have it's own resource tiles to avoid armies having to travel so far to capture or re-capture tiles.

Resources Strategy

Initially, 3 or 4 of each resource gathering building should be sufficient for needs.

In the later ages, having one of captured resource tile of each non-food type for each settlement help meet demand (but requires customs house to be effective.

There is generally no need to capture food tiles until the player starts building lots of lodgings in each settlement.

When the storehouse or warehouse has been built, the player can adjust the amount of storage allocated to each resource. When this can be done, it is best to reduce the allocation of food to about 25% of the other resources (to allow them more storage). This is possible as food is not needed in such large quantities as other resources when building. Instead, food is just needed in a steady supply that needs to exceed demand.

When about to enter a new age where one of the resources becomes obsolete, consider temporarily reducing the storage capacity for the soon-to-be-obsoleted resource (eg. to about half). This will allow more of the other resources to be carried over to the next age, and in the next age, the focus can first be on obtaining more of the new replacement resource. However, do not set the obsoleted resource allocation to 0 as this will loose the new replacement resources on the start of the next age.

Wonders Strategy

The choice of wonders can be important. When choosing a wonder, consider the long term benefits rather than the short term benefits. For example, a wonder that boosts stone production is useless in the later ages.

The wonders I consider particularly useful are: