"Civilization 5" Hints and Tips: City States
In previous Civilization titles, while exploring you would come across "villages." these villages often gave you money, technology or units. has expanded the idea and has separated villages into two distinct entities. The first is ruins that tend to give you technological advances, maps or money. The second and more interesting split is the City-State. Civilization 5
What Are City-States?
City-States are self-governed states that will protect themselves but do not expand their civilization. Depending on the type of city-state (cultured, maritime, militaristic) you will get different rewards. The city-states will seek protection from other major civilizations (or city-states), assistance with local barbarians or request certain luxury items. Depending on your dealings with them they can be friendly, allied or even at war with you.
Here are the city-states that can be found in-game:
- Militaristic: Almaty, Belgrade, Budapest, Dublin, Edinburgh, Genoa, Hanoi, Ragusa, Sidon, Tyre
- Cultured: Bucharest, Brussels, Florence, Geneva, Lhasa, Monaco, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Vienna, Warsaw
- Maritime: Cape Town, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Stockholm, Venice
- While in the long run it’s more beneficial to perhaps attack and capture the city-states in the early part of a game they can provide resources without the need for you to maintain a city—it helps you focus more on building a strategic position without having to super-expand.
- City-states will form friendships with many civilizations but will only ally with one, so it’s often important to gain a decent relationship with them before any other civilization can, otherwise they can become a thorn in your side. While you can continue to maintain a relationship with city-states by giving gifts this is expensive and maintaining the influence with favors such as clearing out barbarians can be a lot easier and less costly, although be careful this doesn’t divert you from your overall strategies.
- One problem that I noticed immediately was that I had to be careful not to have too many city-state friends. Often one city-state will ask you to attack another city-state thus negating any influence you may have gained—so be careful when you choose to focus on a city-state.
- Interestingly enough a city-state can actually capture enemy cities, although this seems to be infrequent, it is something to bear in mind as you plan your eventual "capture" of them.
- While you can simply ignore city-states if you want, I find them to be a very important part of the initial empire building and strategy and can really make a difference especially when you are weak. I tend to focus on Militaristic city-states as this gives me quick access to units allowing me to focus on improvements in my cities while creating a defensive force.
- Some City-States have an attitude problem! This can range from being friendly, hostile, erratic or simply neutral—while this can have an effect on your dealings I find that these attitudes don’t really change much when dealing with them.
What Is Influence?
As you progress through the game you can influence city-states. This can be in a positive or negative way. Giving gifts will increase your influence, while simply moving through their territory can make a city-state angry. This influence also decreases over time, so you need to continue to assist them or ply them with gifts.
You have to be careful when you set units on auto-explore as they will often stray into city-state territory and make them angry, losing you Influence.
What Are the Benefits of Higher Influence?
As you become more influential with the city-states and they become friends, they will often give you gifts:
- Cultured: A bonus for your culture.
- Maritime: A gift of food.
- Militaristic: A supply of military units. Note: you can set the city-state not to give you military units.
Eventually, if you continue to build your influence they will become your ally; they continue to provide the bonuses above, but also let you access their resources. They also will join you in a war if you are attacked, and will help in any UN elections.