Galactic Civilizations IV – A Journey to the Unknown
Seilore’s Strategy Guide to Rule the Galaxy. (Beta 0.81.280177) Full disclaimer prior to version .81 I’ve only been playing on normal. I just started playing on bright, and you must be careful to not get too far behind in military after turn 50 or chances are AI will declare war too early. However, this strategy has worked for me on bright taking a commanding lead by turn 100.
Chapter 1: Starting the Game.
We’re going to start like everyone else. New Game.
For my purpose I enjoy playing as a custom civilization, however, as of Beta 0.80.279796, true custom civilizations are not currently present in the game. So I will start the game as the Torian Regime, and modify them from there. I choose them as my custom faction I’ll be creating is Aquatic based. So we’ll customize them.
The great thing about the game to this point, is even though true custom civilizations are not yet present, the game will remember your customizations to the factions as your last settings.
Now I’ll go through my customizations. Please note my faction logo is custom designed by me. The faction background and portrait I have to thank the Internet.
We’ll start with ‘Abilities’. I focus strongly on research, so for that ‘Xenophobic’ is perfect. Research is doubled, but I do take a 75% influence penalty, however, one can make up the influence quickly in the game. Next I don’t want my leaders to hate me, as I want to quickly expand. For this I go with ‘Loyal’. My leaders will have a +10 loyalty bonus and cost 25% less to recruit.
From there I go to ‘Ideology’. I can’t speak to all the benefits of the ideology at this point, but for even play I chose ‘Equality’.
For the ‘Civilization Traits’ I work on the traits to my strengths. ‘Clever’ +10%, a nice bonus to research, strengthening my ‘Xenophobic’ ability. ‘Productive’ +10% manufacturing, helps me build improvements faster on my planets. This will come in handy building my empire quickly. ‘Influential’ +10% will help make up some of the game ‘Xenophobic’ took away. ‘Veteran’ should be giving my ships +40% experience. This will help my flagship or other survey ships gain experience. Allowing me to quickly strengthen my ships. ‘Courageous’ I don’t worry about invasions, as with my research ability, I should be dominating by the time we get to that point in the game. ‘Intimidating’ same. So both of them are reduced to the minimum. ‘Rich’, I need my money, +10%. ‘Militant’, I need +40 control to start the game. This will help jump to a quick start. ‘Fast’, the faster I move, helps get me places as fast as possible +2. All the others I’ll sacrifice to the minimum level to get the above bonus’s.
From here we’ll customize the Galaxy.
For this guide I’ll be playing on ‘Bright’. This is a little more difficult than normal, giving the AI a slight advantage. I don’t like other civilizations near me so they will be ‘Far’ away. I also am all about the long game, so game pacing and research rate are both ‘Very Slow’.
As far as the actual ‘Galaxy’, let’s go with the biggest possible. This means ‘Sectors’ set to ‘Galactic’, ‘Sector Size’ set to ‘Huge’ and ‘Stars’ set to ‘Abundant. Next we go to ‘Worlds’, I like my worlds so this is easy. ‘Planets’ abundant, ‘Habitable Planets’ abundant, and I like extreme planets, but I don’t like all my planets being extreme, so ‘Extreme Planets’ to ‘Rare’.
I continue to like to meet new civilizations, so moving on to ‘Encounters’. ‘Minor Races’ are set to ‘Abundant’, but I very much dislike space monsters and pirates, so ‘Hostile Entities’ are set to ‘None’.
Anomalies, I need a lot of, so they are all set to abundant, except ‘Ascension Crystals’ as when these are set high there are way too many of them. So I place them at ‘Occational’. Resources, one needs, so they are ‘Abundant, with all the others set to ‘Occasional’ to not overwhelm that map.
Advanced Settings, I dislike the trading of traded techs, so brokering is disabled, but I may need to trade techs from time to time, so they are left on. (I have not traded any techs so far in any of my games.) FOW is also turned off in my Territory.
‘Victory Options’, I only include Conquest, Influence, Alliance (although, I don’t ally), and Prestige.
‘Opponents’ are all of the core civilizations in the game. The more for the taking.
Chapter 2: The First Turn
I begin my journey on my home world. I will look for a home world that has at minimum a +3 manufacturing next to the capital. This will allow me to get a nice manufacturing boost right off the gate. I will then rush the ‘Industrial Center’. I will queue the ‘Capital Mainframe’ to build, with the plan to rush this the next turn to aide my research goal. I will then queue all the others to fill in with artifacts queued last.
Research I always start by researching ‘Space Elevators’. This allows the possibility of researching more research options.
I will then purchase a couple citizens. Looking in specific for loyal citizens or citizens 10 or higher in a specific category. If a citizen is higher in a specific category, specifically research or social, I’ll then assign that citizen as a minister right away to get that boost.
From there I will go to policies and choose ‘Heart of the Empire’ to receive my +10% influence, and +10% gross income. I then reduce my tax rate to ‘Normal’, from ‘Medium’, to give myself more boost on production and research.
My colony ship will colonize the nearest planet in my home system, unless I’m able to see a class 20+ planet in the galaxy. If I’m able to see a higher class planet it will go there instead. I will choose two executive orders right away, ‘Print Money’, and ‘Draft Colonists’. I will then use my extra colony ship to colonize the other planet in my home system.
My explorer ship will explore the galaxy, set to explore. My flag ship T.C.S Eel will survey the nearest anomaly.
Chapter 4: Turn 20 – 100 (Expanding and hopeful for no war.)
By this point I have explored several nearby star systems. I maybe have found a subspace stream, but haven’t researched the option to use these, as I don’t have any intention to use them until sometime well into the 100’s. At this point I will be last in ‘Military Power’, but I should be 1st in research, high in economic and near the middle at worst for production.
During this time I’ll get my first ‘Culture Point’. I always choose ‘Self-Governance’ assuming the ‘Liberty’ tree is open. This will allow me to get an extra leader and make another planet a core world.
Chapter 5: Turn 100+ (A huge head start.)
Now that I’ve been top of research for most of the game, I’ve taken a nice lead. I’m still ranked 9th in military, but I’m in the top 2 for manufacturing, income, and approval.
From here I run away with the game. My key is to avoid an early war. If I avoid an early war, victory is almost given every game.
Thank you for this., and I especially love the screenshots.
Your strategy is generally similar to mine in gameplay. I do some deviation with printing money, which I generally don't do. Instead if I'm playing a faction with a survey commander ship I usually get that out as quickly as possible to get that sweet sweet anomaly money.
The big change you did here that put the game on "easy mode" was combining Xenophobic (massive research bonus, massive influence penalty) with pushing all enemies away from you. You effectively gave yourself +100% Research with no penalty. And, since Research is a Turtle strategy, pushing the other civs back gave you lots of time to take advantage of it.
I'm of two minds about it. On the one hand, it's your game, if that how you want to play then go for it. I like to push civ abilities as far as possible, even knowing that they can be combined in exploitative ways (finding those ways is kinda fun).
But, it also makes the AI look bad because they are playing well, but without the exploited combos.
So I don't want to fix the "exploits". My recommendation would be if you want to switch the customization to give you advantages that's totally fine, keep increasing the AI difficulty to compensate (if you want to keep the AI competitive, there is no shame in just enjoying an evening of comp stomp either).
That's the great thing about this game, is there are many ways to play the game. I choose the peaceful path, and avoid war, unless forced in to a corner. I want to conquer the galaxy by influence, and use my superiority to keep those who don't like the way I do things, scared into silence.
If you want war, you can focus on other things. This is the way I play, and I do like SimCity (well except for the last two).
This is what I say has always made Galactic Civilizations a good game. It's customizable and you can play how you want to play. My strategy doesn't work on the small game with many civilizations. You get pounded before you can ever get your advantage working. It also diminishes on effectiveness on harder difficulties. It does great on normal, okay on bright, but on godlike you typically don't get enough time before someone is declaring war. (This is especially true if the drengin or yor are near you.)
I don't mind the war, I just want to build my empire before war starts. I don't like jumping into war, and you still have most of the galaxy yet to colonize. I'd rather colonize then war, not war then colonize.
What is there to "push back on"? Like he said, one of the great things about Gal Civ is you can make a sandbox game the way you like to play. If somebody prefers the war before you even step past your front door style, they can play that type of game. If somebody prefers to have a chance to make a flourishing space faring civilization before getting into war, they can play that type of game.
If somebody wants to play SimCity in space, more power to em. If somebody wants a gank fest right out of the gate, more power to em.
You do you.
While the way I play does not always guarantee a win, it usually gives me superiority on my research, which then in tune gives me the upper hand as I approach turn 100. However, should an overly aggressive AI spawn near me, usually my military is not strong pre-turn 100 as I don't focus on military strength. Thus, should they invade, I'm on my heals and will not survive. This starts to happen more as you hit the bright difficulty level, although I still win more than lose.
Personally I'm glad not everyone plays the way I do, as that would be a boring game. For that matter, I'd like to see 100 different strategies portrayed by the AI to mix it up. This makes it feel like your playing against someone versus, just the same player over and over again. Curious what is your strategy. I'd like to see it. Create a separate post and link it. Maybe in beta 3 when then introduce full customized civilizations I could base one of my custom civilizations on your game play ect...
Good luck on your galactic adventures.
Just pinned this one as it's the most recent guide written
Here is my own take on a strategy guide. I don't have screen shots for this.
A few caveats:
The most important turn in the game.
Things to do:
Game Type 1: Militaristic
Most games seem to go in this direction. About half of the factions are militaristic and will look for any reason to declare war on you so it is survival of the fittest. The key techs are:
War would require its own page but here are a few pointers.
Game Type 2: Strategic
You are lucky enough to have relatively peaceful neighbors. You want to maintain peace with them as long as possible until you are strong enough to wipe them out. The key techs are:
In theory, as long as you keep out of the fray, you will hopefully become strong enough to take out your neighbors. Beware of your strongest competition though. If they start snowballing, you're going to be in big trouble because:
Sorry this is a bit brief because I have struggled to come up with a set of map parameters that would create this scenario reliably.
Game Type 3: Sandbox
Congratulations, you're alone. You get to play sim-city in space. This is essentially the game that the OP designed. The key techs are:
What is the best way to get Prestige?
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