June/July Patch – Civs (Winning and Losing) – part 4

Posted: June 23, 2011 in Civilization 5

This is part 4 of a really long thread.  Find Part 3 here.


The Iroquois get a major buff by having their Mohawks no longer require Iron to make.  This will make AI Hiawatha far more dangerous than a player though, given the AIs preference of early war mongering followed by expansion.  On the flip side, Mohawks won’t be as effective in forests, but they still keep their buff.  So given the LSn, they’re going to be more dangerous early in the game with a quick push to Iron Working. (which is also cheaper)

The minor % reductions for production buildings will buff Hiawatha’s UB replacement for the workshop; provided there are decent amounts of forests around.  Though, Metal Casting now requires construction, so it will delay the start of the bonus forest production a bit.  Though, given that lumber mills can be had at Construction, you’re going there anyways.  Overall, these changes might boost them to the Mid Tier, but again, we’ll wait to see what happens.


Just as with Siam, the Patronage finisher will help keep your hard earned City State allies around a bit longer.  Though, just as with Siam, too many AIs or players picking up the Patronage finisher will make City States really hard to acquire and keep.

Now that the tech pace speed will slow down quite a bit, Hoplites and Companion Cav. will get more play again.  Though, Hoplites are still a poor UU given the cheaper cost of Civil Service and the upgrade to Pikemen is a waste of gold given there’s no special promotion to go with them. (going from 9 CS to 10 CS)

Interestingly, while China’s Great General production boost has been nerfed, the Companion cavalry version will stay the same.  Though in general the GG rate will be slower due to the overall nerf to GG production.  In general, the Greeks are still a big threat in slower speed games, but I’m not convinced the changes in the patch have raised them back to the Mid Tier.


The Ottoman UA gained a decent boost to naval unit maintenance costs.  Given the sheer fleet size that you can make, this is a good change.  Barbarian Galleys upgrading to triremes will be a good change for the Ottomans, allowing an Ottoman player to maintain a better fleet earlier in the game as well as dropping the cost of upgrading them from Galleys to Frigates.  As well, getting XP from the barracks line of buildings will mean the Ottomans can get a more effective fleet up and running sooner.  An Ottoman Caravel rush will be much more effective now.  As well, the change to Harbours, allowing production from sea resources earlier, will make the Ottomans on water maps much more effective.

Janissaries and Sipahi’s will have a bit more play time now, due to the pacing of the game slowing down.  Janissaries were always the best unit in the game, but with the LSn and a slower approach to Rifles, they will definitely get a bit better.  Sipahi’s will finally drop their ‘defensive penalty’ upon upgrade, but keep their other promotions.  This will make for some very powerful helicopters in the late game.  (pillage for free and extra sight)

Overall, I think this will pull the Ottomans out of the Mid-Low tier and put them back into the Mid Tier.  Even on Pangea maps, a few naval ships will help manage coastal cities and give you some extra ranged attackers in tight spaces.


Still sucks.  Ok, their warriors might get a little extra play, but they’re only a starting unit which now upgrades into a weaker unit.  They also gain from the Harbour bonus, and the change to Naval Tradition for embarked units.  So they can get a much more expansive empire a bit faster on water maps.  So while they get very minor boosts, on water maps only, everyone else is looking better, by comparison.  This is the exact opposite effect that Russia is finding in the patch.  The Polynesians are a solid civ on water maps, equivalent to the Ottomans and English, but as this is an ‘average’ across all game types, they lose out against every civ.  As such, they will not rise above their current status.


A number of the changes help out Egypt.  With lower happiness overall, their temples are looking a lot better now.  Given that they finally have their artist slot back, the burial tombs are going to be a very effective building.  Toss in the Piety tree and they just keep getting better.

While I’m not a fan of chariot archers, the small buff to them, as well as the Egyptian war chariot, means that they’re going to be a bit more effective.  Ok sure, go build some instead of archers, but don’t complain when they get one shotted.  Of course, with the slower pacing, you can use them a bit longer.  Just remember to focus on getting to Siege, March and Cover.  That way, when you upgrade them to Knights, you’ll have some decent base units that will go on to get Blitz.

Egypts UA is slowly getting better, though their usual bias of having a starting marble resource is getting worse.  The nerfs to wonder production are annoying, but as the Stoneworks also boosts marble, Egypt gets a minor production buff.  You’ll have to fight to get to some of the wonders early, but with the boosts to the effects of the Wonders, especially the happiness boosts, Egypts UA might get you a key wonder before the AI.  As such, I think it’s time to pull Egypt out of the bottom group and put them back into competition for the Mid Tier.  Though, likely, due to the situaltional aspect of their UA, they won’t quite get that far.


Rounding out the bottom of the list, again, is England.  Ok, on water maps they’re going to rock with their Ships of the Line owning the naval world until Battleships come in. The harbour boost and XP for navies plus moving Destroyers to Combustion is great for England.  With the Naval Tradition boost, their embarked units will be faster than everyone elses normal fleets. (Englands UA stacks)  While, sure, most pangea maps have water surrounding them, you’re not generally going for a fleet there.  If you spend too much on the fleet, you can’t keep up on land units.  Not to mention that a lot of the cities and fighting will happen far from the coast.  Which just leaves you with Longbows.  Given the length of time that it will take to get to Machinery now, you’re going to have to ensure not to take the Range promotion before upgrading.  Even still, unless you’re on defence, horse units will still give you some trouble.  They’re no doubt useful, but given the UU is exactly one promotion that you can pick up by the time you get there, it’s not that useful.

So, on water maps they can be the best.  On every other map they’re somewhat less than useful.  They are in desperate need of a UA adjustment along the lines of the recent German and Ottoman changes.

New Rankings

Given all of the changes, and the relative value of each of them to the various civs, we’re going to end up with the following list.  Frankly, to be fair to Polynesia and England, given their water map domination, I’m just going to remove them from the common ‘average strength’ list.  They’ve got basically nothing on every other map type, so why beat them up even more than they are already.  Of course, that still leaves some civs worse than the ‘average’ civ.  Finding where that ‘average’ point is might be a bit hard until we play the new patch a bit.  So do take the following with a grain of salt.  Given the patch changes, Science bonuses are still the best, but gold bonuses lose a little lustre due to not being able to convert them to free techs with the old RAs.  Certain unique units give better results, and the length of how useful it is determines its overall help to the rank.

Siam, Persia, Babylon, France

Arabia, Aztec, Songhai, India, Russia, Rome

Denmark, America, Mongolia, Germany, Iroquois, Spain

Greece, China, Japan, Egypt, Ottomans, Inca

Water Maps only
Polynesia, England

  1. Anonym Anonymous says:

    Hi, I am following your videos and they are really awesome but I disagree on some aspects of your ranking. To be specific – I think after the patches (from June onwards) the Inca-civ has become a lot more powerful. Some reasons:
    If the map allows it you can set up long trade routes from which you gain a lot of gold without facing maintaining costs. Every piece of gold may matter in the beginning if you’re not lucky to start on a river.
    The UA (not paying movement costs to cross hills) can give you a significant military advantage.
    Their UU (slinger) was buffed in the new patch and their UA to jump back a tile if attacked by another unit is really great if you’re able to keep some of these slingers alive until late game. I have just played a deity game in which some of my slingers survived for quite some time and having mech infantry with the UA of a slinger (and all the promotions) is a pretty powerful combination.
    my 2 cents.

    • MadDjinn says:

      The problem came down to a question of other civs rising, vs. the Incans falling. In most games, you’re not going to have mass hills/mountains, so while the UA/UT is solid, it’s not happening all the time, unless you cook the settings. (which I’m not dealing with)

      So yes, they’re good, a nice ‘mid-level’ civ, but requiring hills and/or mountains to be everywhere is a minor problem. I’m likely to reset the rankings at some point under new conditions, and maybe they’ll rise. The real problem is that ‘mid-low’ tier is still ‘mid’ really, since there’s very few actual negative ‘bonuses’ int he game. If everything is positive, it’s just a question of ‘how positive is it?’ and finding a mid-ground on that ranking system (let alone defining tiers) makes it a bit hairy.

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