Civ 6 Rise and Fall GUIDE

Civ 6 guide

Rise and Fall, Asynchronous multiplayer (Play your damn turn)

About myself : I am a passionate fan of the civilizations series and have been playing it ever since it started back in 1991. I really love most of the mechanics in Civ 6 even though there are still some balancing issues. I hope some of them will get addressed in the Gathering storm expansion which will get released in February 14th 2019.

I have large experience in SP and decent experience in MP mode. I have joined the asynchronous multiplayer community on “Play your damn turn” a few months ago and I am loving it, many thanks to Mike Mrosack for all his work!

About this guide : It is not comprehensive by any means, in particularly it is not going into the ramifications of the different civilizations. Its focus is more on general principals of the game that I believe are often overseen. All numerical information is given for online speed. Thanks for reading and I would love to get feedback.


About early expansion

You all surely know that settling on hilly plains is very favourable as on top of the defence bonus you will get an extra production to your starting tile. Be aware that settling directly on luxury or strategic resources will unlock them right away. On multiplayer I don’t settle on luxuries all that often as you can`t sell it to the AI anyways, but I sometimes settle on Iron if I urgently need it.

After housing and luxury/strategic resources in reach next important thing when evaluating new settling spot are the number of good tiles within range that you can work without improvements, I am looking at you Mister Forest Hill. Food is much easier to get, so each hill and forest next to a river is valuable . Furthermore, plains locations are favourable over grassland – in the former, always plan to get a couple of farms next to each other after Feudalism, in the latter this is often not needed.

The first things you should get are two scouts . Compared to single player, exploring is even more important on MP mode. Getting early envoys with city states will speed you up immensely and finding 3 cs for the inspiration towards Political philosophy is high priority. The second scout might have to stay around and help guard your worker/settler/improved tiles as your warrior will probably be busy routing those barbarian camps. Don’t forget that opposing scouts might have the movement promotion and might run through forests or hills to grab your settler or your builder. Avoid this at any cost as it will set you so much behind. In case your neighbour or cs leaves some unguarded tiles you should run in with your scout and pillage them. Most beneficial pillage target I find are quarries for early culture , pastures and camps will give you gold, plantation faith, mines science. For quick repairs always try to leave a worker with 1 remaining charge .

You can consider skipping the second scout if you quickly foresee that there is nobody around you and go for an early builder instead - but it is usually a mistake to do so. The second scout stays very relevant even after exploration. It can help you block opposing settlers from advancing or it can keep an eye on possible aggression from your neighbours.

Next comes a worker, then usually one slinger for your archery inspiration and your first settler thereafter. Again, you can skip the first slinger if you are isolated and have good barb camp control. Once you have the Agoge civic card you should go up to at least 3 slingers and 3 warriors .

From here you have to decide whether you go for early aggression or not – if you don’t and nobody is threatening you, grab the Colonization civic card asap and fully focus on settlers and builders . Don’t build districts yet, just preplace them, don’t build buildings and better stay away from early wonders. You might make an exception for the Colosseum , Pyramids or Temple of artemis as they are the strong early wonders. But only do so if you can be close to sure that you will get them through with plenty of good chops around. By the way: pyramids will not only let your workers spawn with 1 more charge but will add one charge to your all current builders as well.

On the long run, the player with more and better developed cities will generally win the game as unlike in CIV 5 there is very minor drawbacks for going wide. So try to go up to at least 12 cities if you have the space for it.

Settlers have a steep cost progression of +15 so you might not have the production the get them all out at once. In that case focus on other priorities for some time and get switch to Colonization a bit later in order those final settlers out.

I generally wait for mass builders until I unlock Feudalism. The cost progression for builders is only +2 though, so don’t worry getting some builders out early even before that to speed up your growth and production.

Before hitting Feudalism you should build workers in all cities with the Ilkum civic card and leave the unfinished production at 1 turn. Once you reach Feudalism, Ilkum gets obsolete so you can then switch to Serfdom and finish all builders within few turns. Skip this step in case you have a pantheon that reaps you lots of faith as with the help of Monumentality golden age bonus you will probably be able to faith buy most of your workers.

In new cities it is particularly important to micromanage each of your citizen. Prioritize growth at first until you hit 4 population for that second district placement. After that work all tiles with hammers, as production is king and your growth will probably soon get slowed by housing anyways. Avoid granaries early on, rather build settlers or builders and put down some improvements that provide housing like camps and pastures.

In case you have plenty of space to expand into with lots of jungles and other things to chop down, try to get the snowball combo of Ancestral hall, Goddess of the Harvest, Monumentality golden age bonus and Magnus Provision promotion. Try to chop for pyramids as well and you will be unstoppable mid to late game.

About Barbarians

Usually, barbs are mainly a problem on higher difficulties really, I am looking at you deity horsemen. On lower difficulty, as usually played on PYDT, they are not that big of an issue.

The first thing your warrior should do is walk a circle around your capital city in order to find close barb camps, attack and destroy those with your warrior right away.

In any area actively being observed you won`t get any new camps spawning altogether. So, you might consider leaving units stationed on hills and let them enjoy the sight just in order to prevent barb camps from spawning in this region.

You can see new camps appearing on the map right away. So, at the start of each of your turns, search the grey parts of the map for new camps . Also make sure you don’t leave any undiscovered tiles on the map around your cities because a new camp might spawn right there and surprise you.

You sure know that you should try and catch that barb scout before getting back to his camp. It is very difficult to do so by running after him. Better keep some units a few tiles away from your borders in order to catch the scout while retreating.

On higher difficulties you should not run towards a triggered camp without a proper army as you will start loosing units! Usually it is better to firstly delay the problem with a fortified melee and ranged unit behind it close to your border. The barbs will simply sacrifice itself into that little blockade. Wait for your army to get back from conquest to handle the problem properly. Close to the coast you might send a quadriremes to help out.

About War

Its hard to win a MP game without going to war at some stage of the game. Domination is the go-to victory condition and taking cities from other players will potentially put you massively ahead even for an easy science victory. If you see another player taking cities by force from a third player you should think about either attacking the same player and grab some cities before he can – or even better, attack the aggressor itself because doing nothing might simply put you too far behind. I think what should be done far more often on PYDT is that players communicate and potentially attack a runaway warmonger together in order to restore balance.

War is an all or nothing business really. Whether you are planning to go for conquest or you see a pending attack coming, you should focus ALL your resources on war. It is all about having the right units at the right place in the right (higher) numbers. In my experience - a few more units and better positioning will very quickly trip the balance (hopefully) in your favour. If you think you might have enough units – build a few more because for sure a barb camp will spawn on the other side of your territory or your other neighbour will see the opportunity and send troops in from the other side and pillage all your lands.

You should prepare for it right from the start as in early ages war will be common. Always go for enough warriors/slingers early on – you don’t necessarily have to upgrade them unless needed as they will start to cost you upkeep. Furthermore, always keep a small bank for urgent unit upgrades .

Upgrading units is much more cost efficient than outright building or buying them. Directly buying a unit will cost you the amount of production times four. Upgrading a unit with the Professional army civic card on the other hand costs you only slightly more than the difference in production! Considering that gold is, compared to production, so much easier to collect, upgrading military units is your most efficient way to spend your gold on ! Therefore, you should always try and prebuild any unit before it gets obsolete and then upgrade once the technology for the more advanced version has been researched. Build many units early on and upgrade them through the ages on demand. Don’t forget to also build two galleys with the civic card Maritime Industries early on for midgame exploration and the inspirations bonuses.

If going for aggression the most natural way to do so early is with a swordsman/archer rush on Oligarchy. If doing so you should go masonry and get the Battering ram even before going Iron work . The ram needs time to get built and is slow to move to the border. Your warriors on the other hand can already sit at the border and upgrade the last very moment. Expect that wall to get up anytime when attacking, coming too late with the battering ram will ruin your day.

The alternative for early aggression is a horseman rush with the Maneuver civic card. You don’t necessarily need many support archers as the horses move quicker and can snipe opposing ranged units better than swordsmen can. In medieval era the knights rush is very popular and powerful, where you should always prebuild heavy chariots and upgrade them with the Professional army civic card. Later in the game you should only go to war if you know you have the more advanced units, if a neighbour really neglects his defence or is busy with all his units on the other side attacking or defending against another player.

Midgame I find cavalry rushes very effective: B-line Military science and prebuild horsemen for upgrade. This is very hard to predict from your neighbour as your military strength will jump so quickly and the light cavalry will appear seemingly out of nowhere. A Frigates rush is very dangerous for coastal cities as well.

After the early wars, always additionally bring a siege tower along. Many people actually don’t know that it stacks with the battering ram – as you will now do full damage to the city AND the wall. Furthermore, you want to have a second siege unit as backup in case the first one gets taken out.

On the defence : get those walls up quickly. Don’t just get them on your border city but also one rank behind. You can often chop walls in one turn with the help of Magnus and the Limes civic card . A mistake I see frequently is keeping a ranged unit in the city during an assault as ranged units don’t add to the city combat strength. So, when you are expecting your enemy units to hit, keep your strongest closed combat unit in the city and keep your ranged units further behind the city on hills. The same applies to the encampment districts – only keep your ranged units in there if you don’t expect any direct assault on the district itself. Another important factor for defence is city placement. Try to hide behind mountains and rivers, place your city on hills and try to avoid lots of flat terrain in front of your border as this will make it easy for enemies to advance quickly. Best thing you can get is a lake tile next to the city as this will fully prevent a siege .

The enhancer belief Defender of the Faith virtually shuts down all opposing mid to lategame aggression. It is the strongest of all beliefs and might be a reason you want to go for a quick religion (which you usually shouldn’t).

Check the Military Strength of the other players regularly under the domination victory menu in order to keep track of the amounts of units the other players currently have. Ranged units by the way add their ranged strength to this number.

Move all your units next to the unit you want to attack before actually hitting it in order to get the full amount of support bonus . This is harder to do with melee but very easy with cavalry type units. For the same reason don’t forget to grab the Military Tradition before you go to war as it unlocks the support bonus in first place.

Don’t forget that Fortification builds up over two turns, adding twice a combat bonus of 3.

Better diplomatic visibility adds to combat strength . The factors you can influence directly are: finishing a trade route with that player, creating a Listening Post with a Spy and researching Printing technology before your opponent. Always try to get those bonuses, they are very relevant.

About district placement

As you sure know, district cost scales with the number of science and civics you have already researched. As a rule of thumb each science adds 4, each civic adds 6 production to the district which adds up very quickly. This is not cumulative, it depends on whether you are further ahead on science or civics. As in classical era you tend to be quicker with science. Therefore, don`t spam science early on before putting down most of your cities and their districts in order to keep that production cost down. For the same reasoning you want to preplace you districts quickly as this will lock in the production cost. Sure, you should try to chop forests before putting down your district on the tile. However, if you wait too long for that builder to appear you might altogether loose production instead as the cost of the district has gone up. The same holds true if you had to wait for more gold in order to buy a tile further away of your city. Instead you might consider putting your district down on a less ideal spot with less adjacency bonus. Keep in mind tough that high adjacency is enhanced by some civic cards and some give dedication points.

About economy and production

The commercial or harbour districts are still the most important districts to get early on as traders and internal trade routes are still amazing , so either should usually be your first district to place down. They are generally easy to place down just next to the city without the need to buy a tile. The gold income will help you buy the right tiles for more production and for your next districts. Especially the good campus spots are often 2-3 tiles away from the city and their adjacency bonus is the most valuable one.

The amazing Free inquiry golden age bonus is quite easy to get in medieval era and will net you similar science as a campus PLUS the gold and production on top of it.

I try to always find a spot for city on the coast and on river with commercial district AND harbour next to each other where I will put Reyna`s Harbormaster ability . This will not only net you LOTS of gold but it all stacks with the Free Inquiry bonus netting you amazing research in that era as well.

Furthermore, great merchants are amazing and relevant throughout all stages of the game.

Try to build one city with all the districts that add production to the trade routes. The Governmental-, Harbour-, Commercial- and Industrial- Encampment districts that is. Let run all your trade routes to this city in order to maximize production output. Midgame you might consider taking Magnus` Surplus Logistics ability and station him in there for additional growth boost. Early game you should shift Magnus around for his chop ability though.

About Science

You get 1 Science out of every two population, so early on growth is your main source of science. In my experience early and midgame your production can hardly keep up with the science – meaning you can’t build all things that you are unlocking anyways, so that’s, beside the district cost progression, another reason why you should not rush science early but prioritize growth, production and units instead.

Be aware though that science gets increasingly more important the longer the game goes . The campus should therefore be your second district to put down unless you have a strong industrial district spot to go before it. It is the district where adjacency bonus matters the most as the civic card Natural Philosophy doubles the adjacency bonus and Rationalism enhances the science buildings 50% in campuses with +3 bonus adjacency bonus. You should be running both cards a lot in mid to late game.

The early focus of your research should be: First unlock the techs for the tile improvements you need around your first two cities – Archery is next unless you are totally isolated – then Bronze working so you know where you can find Iron – and that’s where you should settle your third city . You might skip this if you have 2 horses in reach of your first two cities though – Iron working or Horseback riding comes next – then masonry for battering ram in early aggression – then Writing, Currency and Celestial Navigation for district pre placements. Now its time for Machinery for lumber mills on rivers and crossbowmen. Then Apprenticeship for the industrial districts and the better production from mines. In case you are planning a knight rush you should obviously B-Line stirrups. Later you should prioritize Printing press for better diplomatic visibility and the amazing wonder Forbidden city.

I am repeating myself but it is just so pivotal to only unlock those science that you really need. Only start building libraries once your expansion phase has finished and most of your districts are preplaced. Often it is better to build another settler or builder or another military unit before the library. Don’t worry if you are loosing great scientists early on, many just unlock inspirations that you can get otherwise anyways. They only start getting important on later stages of the game especially on a science victory as the inspirations late game will be increasingly harder to get without great scientists.

When going for science victory you should B-line Industrialization. Then select a production house city with plenty of hills and a good spot for Ruhr Valley , which is a very important wonder to get. Incorporate all surrounding mines from your own neighbouring cities into its territory. Once you unlock the wonder let all your trade routes go out from this city and B-Line Rocketry for the Spaceport. It is enough to get 1 primary spaceports in your production house and 1 backup spaceport . Don’t forget to put Pingalas Space Initiative ability to work as well and to protect your spaceport by a spy.

About Culture

Early game, Culture is much more important than science – it will turn the other way around the longer the game goes though. One reason is the border expansion, the other one is that the advanced governments and some of the civic cards will boost your early progression heavily. A healthy culture income will lets you switch policy cards more often which makes you more flexible as well.

As in science, only finish those Civics you really need in order to keep district production cost low. Be aware that population generates culture as well (1culture/3population) so growing your cities early helps with border expansion too. Apart from that the monument is the best and most efficient way to generate culture so build one quickly in every city!

It is often a good idea to buy a Monument in your second city right away in order to unlock new tiles as the capital already gets culture from the palace. Furthermore, it speeds up hitting political philosophy which is so pivotal early on. If you get an envoy with a cultural CS you might skip the monument and buy a second builder instead. In case you get into an early war you obviously need your gold elsewhere though.

You should build a theatre square in cities that already have an commercial district or harbour and a campus but no good location for an industrial district. I usually get two theatre squares each game in order to get some great writers and for the inspirations they provide.

After Political Philosophy you usually want to rush for Feudalism for the serfdom policy card. Mercenaries is needed in a knight rush for professional army and Exploration for Merchant republic which is all on the upper branch of the tree.

After that the Enlightment with the Rationalism civic card is another milestone as it is very important for science generation. Then, Nationalism is important for domination as it unlocks formation of Corps. After that the importance of culture drops drastically. I have never been able to achieve a cultural victory on multiplayer, please teach me on how to do it if you have. The problem is that your opponents will not allow you to have open borders and can declare war to prevent trading routes as well.

The colosseum by the way I still consider one of the best wonders , not only can you virtually ignore amenities way into late midgame. But its culture output will make you hit Merchant republic so much faster as well.

About Faith

It is often a mistake to go for early religion , but if you can sneak one in - go and get it. Be aware that it is very hard to achieve religious wins on multiplayer unless your opponents fully neglect it - as it can easily be blocked by declarations of war and inquisitors. Furthermore, the beliefs are generally quite underwhelming in supporting your other win conditions. However, a religion is a great way of era points for golden ages.

The primary purpose of faith generation is builders and traders purchase through Monumentality golden Age effect. Faith generation should primarily come from Pantheons, so you should generally get one Holy district max and no more… except you play Russia obviously.

Always rush for 12 Faith on online speed with the civic card God king as some pantheons are very strong.

God of the forge is still very strong especially on a horsemen rush.

Culture based Pantheons: God of the Open Sky, Oral Tradition: Situationally very strong as early culture is so important!

Production Pantheon: Lady of the Reeds, God of Craftsmen, God of the Sea : situationally strong, remember: production is king

Divine spark I find is being overrated, on multiplayer I never pick it.

Faith Pantheons: Earth Goddess in case you have lots of coast and mountains on your lands , Goddess of the Harvest in case you have lots of things to chop, both can be very strong, skip Stone circles as you usually want to harvest all stones from hills.

The Strongest Follower beliefs are:

Jesuit Education is situationally fantastic if you have a great faith based pantheon, Zen meditation is consistently good, Work Ethic: is mediocre, Divine inspiration can be decent too if you got your religion out of Stonehenge and have time to build a few other early wonders too.

Strongest Founder beliefs are: Church Property, Stewardship, Tithe but none of them are all that impactful.

By far strongest Enhancer belief is Defender of the Faith, which consistently very strong. Crusade is situational – but can be very good in later aggressive wars.

About dedications and golden ages

Be aware that each golden or heroic age you hit will make EACH golden age you are trying to achieve later 5 points more expensive . On the other hand, each dark age will make it 5 points cheaper . On top of that, each city you own will permanently add 1 to the cost as well.

So technically if you can help it, try to go either golden (heroic) or dark Age . Only aim for a normal age if you can`t reach golden but are hard pressed by loyalty issues. The best time to get a dark age is the classical era as this golden age is not all that useful unless you have an amazing faith generation pantheon and hitting heroic age in medieval is amazing as you can get Monumentality AND Free Inquiry.

It is generally much easier to achieve a golden age compared to single player mode against deity AI. Read carefully through the list of moments that give the era score points:

It is sometimes possible to hold back or accelerate points depending what you need. Some moments are difficult to influence – here are some I find you can influence to some degree:

All the Religion based ones: adopt all beliefs, enemy city adopts your religion, first inquisition…


First Suzerain, worlds circumnavigation, trading post in other civilizations, splendid districts completed, great persons lured by faith/gold, first civic/science of new era, first armada/army/corps/fleet, promote unit to forth level, pacify city state with envoys, declare war with casus belli, all governors appointed, city state army levied, City with pop 10/15/20 (chop food), artefact/shipwreck excavation, first neighbourhood, first master spy, first Flight, national park founded, encampment/entertainment complex /water park fully developed.

Another way you can actively harvest era points is advertently leaving a certain region close to you cities unobserved for barb camps to spawn there and then go and clear them.

On top of that, getting a religion is a great way to unlock dedication points whenever needed by enhancing beliefs or starting an inquisition.

The good golden age bonuses to get are:

Monumentality if you have a faith generation pantheon, from classic to renaissance.

Free Inquiry get on medieval – very strong if you prioritize commercial districts and harbour early on as you should. Be aware that the civic cards Naval Infrastructure, Town Charters and Reyna`s Harbormaster ability also doubles the science through free inquiry, I actually consider this insanely OP.

Heartbeat of Steam on industrial and modern – very strong if you prioritize campus districts mid game as you should.

A dark age civic card to look out for is Isolationism which boosts your trade routes without real drawback after the expansion phase.

About Exploits (asynchronous multiplayer only)

There are three possible exploits I am aware of on hotseat mode

The map creating exploit: The player setting up the map on “all random” can reroll until he gets a favourable CIV and a favourable starting location before uploading. On top of that he can scout the whole map in advance. The advantage resulting from this is almost insurmountable. In order to mitigate that – in my opinion - the player creating the map should upload a screenshot of all starting locations and let all the other players select their priority CIV`s first.

The scouting exploit : Just scout in all different directions with your units and reload – take screenshots if needed. This can help you to find CS or goody huts quicker early on. It is also very valuable in war as it will help you position your units right. Later in the game you can station scouts on the border of your neighbour, declare war and run into his territory just to get a better overview on what he is doing and reload. Quite tedious to do but it can be quite impactful.

The goody hut selection exploit : Sort of hard to explain and I only found this one recently. Let’s say you stay right next to a goody hut with a scout. Depending on whether your scout takes just one step right into the hut or takes two steps through the goody hat onto another tile behind it, you might get a different result out of the hut. This way you can halfway select what you are getting out of the huts.