Shaping Your Civilization for the Long Game
Once you’ve settled your first two or three cities you’re probably 100 to 150 turns into the game. Now is a good time to start thinking about how, exactly, you want to win – if you haven’t already.
There are four ways to win Civilization 5. They are:
Cultural Victory: Complete 5 Social Policy Trees and build the Utopia Project
Diplomatic Victory: Convince other powers to elect you to be the world leader at the United Nations.
Domination Victory: Survive as the last civilization holding on to its capital city.
Science Victory: Be the first to construct a ship to Alpha Centauri
If no one has achieved any victory condition by the year 2050 AD the game will end. The winner is the civilization with the highest overall score.
Cultural victory in particular is difficult to manage with a large empire because the culture points required to obtain the new social policies is raised by 30% for each city that is added to your empire.
Diplomatic Victory is dependent on good relations with other nations and also city-states, small states that never expand past a single city. In order to obtain diplomatic victory you’ll have to play nice and woo the different powers in the game. You should begin to explore the map in order to discover the game’s many city-states. You’ll also want to work on a powerful economy so that you have the gold required to bribe city-states into loving you.
Domination Victory obviously depends on a strong military. You’ll want to focus your research and production efforts on military units. Remember, however, that you only need to be the last civilization still in ownership of its capital. You don’t have to take on the world – just take out the remaining capitals.
Finally you have the Science Victory. This obviously relies on research, which is generated by population and science improvements. This means you’ll want large cities with numerous scientific improvements. Expanding can be a good way of increasing your population and thus scientific income, but watch your economy. The buildings that improve research income are expensive to maintain.