Mahatma Gandhi was the famous leader of the Indian Independence movement, using non-violent civil disobedience to lead India to independence. He was the Father of the Nation, inspiring civil rights movements all over the world leading to the freedom of many by reducing poverty, increasing women’s rights and achieving self-rule.
The Tradition Social Policy is arguably the strongest of the initial policies available to Civilization 5 players, forming a solid foundation for any empire without being too spectacular. Culture and Growth bonus’ favour a tall, not wide empire. This means larger but fewer cities are optimal upon selecting Tradition, which is perfectly suited to the Indian Civilization, led by Gandhi.
Gandhi’s Civilization Bonus halves unhappiness caused by the number of citizens, offset by the doubling of unhappiness caused by the number of cities, which rewards tall empires and punishes wide ones. Our Hanging Garden’s strategy plays in to Gandhi’s hand perfectly by rapidly increasing growth in the capital city, Delhi.
Gandhi also has access to War Elephant’s, India’s unique unit which replaces the Chariot Archer. Stronger than its predecessor, the ranged War Elephant feels no rough terrain penalty and is stronger, but has a slight 1 tile movement decrease. The Mughal Fort is India’s unique building, replacing the castle and proving extra culture and tourism.
Gandhi’s Hanging Gardens Strategy
Generally when selecting Tradition, players should aim to have a 4 city empire, while with Gandhi I tend to go for 3. This is due to the extra unhappiness India feels from having extra cities, forcing us to grow our first three cities as much as possible. Since we have fewer cities, each city we do have must be self-sustainable and have the ability to produce units, science and gold to keep our civilization on par with our rivals.
Since we’re focusing so much on tall empires, not wide ones, we need a way to grow our capital city, enter The Hanging Gardens. The Hanging Gardens provide us with an extra 6 food in our city as well as a free garden and has been a powerful wonder since the initial release of the game (it used to give 10 food, those were the days…) Anyway, the quickest way to build The Hanging Gardens is to focus our technological and building efforts towards it, via The Great Library. The Great Library gives us a free technology of our choice and a Library. The technology needed to build The Hanging Gardens is Mathematics, so we must ensure that we’re able to research this the second our Great Library is complete.
Our research order should look something like this:
Pottery→Archery→Writing→Animal Husbandry→The Wheel→Mathematics
This order ensures that you’re ready to earn free Mathematics upon the completion of your Great Library.
If we aim to build The Great Library from the same turn we discover Writing, we can ensure we’re first to complete the wonder, which gives us first dibs on The Hanging Gardens, our true goal. There should be a few turns in between discovering The Wheel (unlocking Mathematics) and us completing our Great Library. During these turns, focus on situational technologies, such as Calendar if you need to build Plantations. Ensure that you can harvest your luxury resources and keep your Civilization’s happiness afloat, since without happiness there can be no growth.
There are quite a number of turns before we need to start building The Great Library, while we’re busy researching it. In this time, ensure you’ve built a Monument, a Scout and a Shrine. Each build has its own reason.
The Legalism Policy within Tradition provides us with a free culture building in our first four cities. Why should we waste such a boon on a little old Monument? If you build the Monument before you unlock Legalism, the free building is transferred on to an Amphitheater, which costs more maintenance.
An early Scout is useful for smaller empires as well as wider ones. Acquiring map information later in the game is a lot tougher with fewer cities as less ground is covered and you’ll be a little surrounded. Scouting early is a great option, especially when you consider Ruins. Early Ruins are great, whether you receive gold, enough faith to found your Pantheon (Fertility Rites is great for this tactic due to the growth bonus) or extra culture, speeding up our progression down the Social Policy tree.
An early Shrine gives a nice choice of Pantheon once you’ve built up enough Faith. I always choose Fertility Rites when using Tradition to give extra growth. In the rare event that it’s been taken by another player you should pick something situational. Having a strong religion is useful because you get to pick the terrain bonuses that apply to your own cities, while reaping a percentage of other player’s successes if you enforce your religion on them.
The Hanging Gardens Build
Start building The Hanging Gardens the very same turn you unlock Mathematics, which means straight after The Great Library. I’d turn your city on to a production focus to ensure you build it before any other player can. It might seem a little overkill but going to the effort of rushing Mathematics and not building anything but wonders for 20-30 turns could punish you if you don’t actually achieve The Hanging Gardens.
Once you’ve built them, you can keep your city on Production Focus since you have a food bonus and make up for the time lost building the wonders.
The early growth bonus provided by Tradition and The Hanging Gardens works really well. Since we’re playing as India, happiness shouldn’t be a problem which means, you guessed it, more growth. In the long term you can think of The Hanging Gardens as a Capital City that’s 6 citizens bigger than it should be, giving you lots of room to use Specialists and focus on anything you may lack as well as accruing Great People!
Upon completing the Tradition Policy, you’ll find yourself with 4 free culture buildings from Legalism, 4 free aqueducts for completing the tree, extra happiness from Monarchy and Aristocracy and a Civilization that requires less gold maintenance than it should. The extra growth is great for your research, especially when you consider the technology bonus from The Great Library. All in all, your empire will be brilliantly balanced, allowing you to adapt to any situation.