Civilization 5 Liberty Strategy
When you’re new to Civilization 5, the first game can be a bit daunting. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve played with someone new and they’ve no idea what’s going on or what to do. That part is all about learning the basics, but what do you do when you’ve mastered the basics?
I wanted to write a strategy on how to set up your civilization, enabling you to expand any way you please and win the game. I wasn’t sure whether to do this leader by leader or perhaps write an overall guide but I’ve settled on a format I like. This involves splitting the game in to the three starting Social Policy trees- Tradition, Liberty and Honor. I’ll be picking the perfect leader to use for each Social Policy, but you’re free to choose your own.
For our first guide, I’m taking a look at the Liberty Tree. I’ve split the guide in to four phases, built around key moments in the first 100 turn or so of the game. I’ve purposely not gone to war or built any wonders, while leaving room for you as a player to respond to the certain situational challenges posed from game to game. I’ve also not spent any gold, which should give you even more freedom to react to situational positions, whether it’s by buying troops or speeding up the development of a city. I play on Quick game pace for the purpose of these guides, which is the pace you’ll find yourself playing on Multiplayer.
Harun Al-Rashid – the perfect choice for Liberty
I’ve chosen Harun Al-Rashid, the Arabian leader to show us the power of the Liberty tree. He gets a gold bonus from trade networks and a special building, the Bazaar, which doubles his amount of luxury resources, perfect for trading. Other civilizations that are perfect for the Liberty tree include Rome, the Maya and Shoshone.
Liberty Strategy Stage 1: Starting the Game – Turn 1
First you’ll want to settle your first city and build a Monument, Granary and Scout. The monument allows you to gain the culture required to move down the Liberty tree at a good rate. The Granary allows your city to grow, which is important early on as you’ll lose a little growth while building settlers and producing enough workers and troops to keep your civilization strong. Your scout is useful for scouting the territory around you and finding the perfect locations to settle new cities. During this phase you’ll want to be focusing on growth and harvesting your luxury resources, as your civilization grows unhappy with each new settled city.
Liberty Strategy Stage 2: Gaining your free worker from the Liberty tree – Turn 30
The first thing to pick on the Liberty tree is a free worker, before the Representation policy which allows you to keep your civilization happy (therefore growing) and decreases the culture cost of the next policy required with each new city, which is important. It’s also important not to settle your second city until you’re set up well enough to do so. You’ll want to focus on researching the technologies required to harvest your luxury resources as well as moving towards Iron Mining, which you’ll find useful later in the game. You’ll also want to produce a Warrior or two because other players don’t like it when you over-expand in to all the good places – don’t give them an easy target! I always like a second worker, too, in order to work on your other cities and get those roads built fast, establishing the trade network and allowing for the quick movement of your troops.
Liberty Strategy Stage 3: Your first settler – Turn 40
You should get your first settler around turn 40, although if you’re playing with the Brave New World DLC, it may be a bit later. To compensate for this you have the option of going straight for Collective Rule and building an early worker. Try not to create a second city until you’re sure you can maintain it because Brace New World makes it harder for a civilization to financially sustain itself. You should also consider getting a fairly early caravan to help keep your empire in the positives of gold and growth.
Once you’ve chosen a free settler you’ll want to build a couple more in order to get the best spots for your cities. You’ll need your capital to be focused on production at this point because newly-found cities are often a little slow at first. You’ll want to build a granary and monument first before you work on the specifics of each city. By the time you’re done you should have 4 cities and hopefully some iron, which can prove vital. You should try and build these cities close to luxury and strategic resources, in some well-defensible positions (near choke points, opposite rivers or with some hills in the area for you to defend.)
Swordsman are a great troop to have an army formed of and can be upgraded relatively quickly. If you definitely can’t acquire iron, you may need to ensure you have some Pikemen. As you researched Iron Mining pretty quickly, though, you should have a nice monopoly on the resource and therefore a strong army.
Liberty Strategy Stage 4: Growing your cities – Turn 80
You’ll want to maximise the ability of each city and make them self-sufficient in order for them to bloom. You’ll want a Bazaar in each city which allows you to double your luxury resources and trade in order to keep your civilization happy. If you have no such problem, then there’s nothing wrong with trading for gold!
Once you’ve finished the Liberty tree you’ll gain a free great person of your choice, in which case I’d choose a great engineer, allowing you to quickly produce the perfect Wonder for your situation.
You should now be in a position to take your civilization in any direction you choose, whether you want to keep expanding or go to war. You’ll have four strong cities with the best luxury and strategic resources available at your disposal.
If you fancy picking up a copy of the game, try here at Funstock Digital, our chosen site. If you have an idea for the next guide or would like to see a similar guide focusing on the Tradition or Honor tree’s, let me know in the comments and subscribe to Spindle Gaming. If you’d do anything different or have any more tips, tell me in the comments and I’ll add them to the article. I hope you enjoyed our guide – let me know how you got on!