Civilization 5 playing it Wide w Raging Barbarians

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Finally, someone relatively sane!
Well, as long as you ignore him wearing a flower pot…



You do know how to send a guy scurrying to Civopedia! Yes, that looks super. I took Supply in preference so far as imo it's more valuable 'out and about', but Logistics will be next for sure.

I like the promotions so far, good variety to sculpt the same unit differently, and good incentive to keep them alive for later upgrading via gold.

Settler's City outline


I'm fairly sure this is part of the EUI mod I'm using. Mouseover the 'Build City' action icon for a Settler and you get an outline of the city's range if you build on the current tile. This stays working afterwards too, even for other settlers… I think, will confirm.

King, not Happy

Above game was Prince on Standard map. I'm well ahead, have ~15 cities, and can get easily the same again in uninhabited islands. That's too much, ~15 in total is fine for me, so I'm starting a new game on Small size map for Small Continents map type.

I'll try King diff this time, and of course keep playing with Happiness switched off. Sticking with the Lady Theodora as I really dig the Dromon, great fun!
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outline of the city's range if you build on the current tile. This stays working afterwards too, even for other settlers… I think, will confirm

Oh yeah, working out of the box even in the new game I started. Nice QoL thing, PITA to have to keep counting tiles in 6 directions!

Using Promotions

Mulling last game, I think I should pair units and give them different promos, maxing a specific one for each. Good things seem to happen once you get a unit to Level 3 of a particular promo.

Land Units

Max one on the Drill promo tree and the other on Shock, ending with a unit for every kind of terrain. Up to now I've focused them all on Drill, to negate the defensive buff from rough terrain.


First ranged unit to Bombardment 3 and companion to Boarding Party 3—then pair can handle anything near coast on land or water.

Gold is king

Gold is very flexible in Civ 5 BNW, you can use it for…
♣ Diplomatic bribery
♦ Purchasing city tiles if city governor is expanding in a different direction
♥ Buying units or buildings
♠ Upgrade units
…so I plan to prioritize its acquisition when there's a choice—must check out the 2nd-tier Commerce policy group, only used Exploration so far.

My main uses of Gold so far have been:
• Buying Monument to quick-start new city Culture
• Buying tiles to reach Fish—Governor doesn't seem impressed by water resources
• Upgrading highest-promo units to next level unit—eg Dromon to Galleass


I love how this has become such a key resource in Civ 5, compared to the afterthought it is in Civ 4. City expansion is much better in 5, and the whole Social Policy tech system is a great addition. Adopting Honor first is THE essential Policy with Raging Barbs, for the 33% combat buff against Barbs—a lovely aside is the Culture gained when zapping a Barb, equal to the combat strength of the defeated unit.

So Culture seems to be second to Gold and ahead of Science and Faith when prioritizing. That's a big change from 4, where Science was King, Queen and Jack.
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I can't find clear info on whether or not there's a Canal function. I've teched Engineering and am going to try building a Fort improvement in the 1-tile strip top-left. I also hope I can place a Fort beside Uluru city mid-right to allow access to the eastern ocean from the inland sea.


I settled Constantinople as a coastal city before I realized it's an enclosed sea, and I want it to produce some boats for the cities on the outside oceans so they can build buildings. I'm not rich enough yet to buy units.


Hey, clearly the Cuddly group likes me! He's either a lot grumpier this time, or maybe it's nighttime :rolleyes:



Sure are lots of Fish around. I have 3 or 4 Fish for each of my 3 cities so far, and the God of the Sea Pantheon which gives 1 Production to each worked sea resource. There's a Tech or Policy later which adds another, so they end up as 5 Food and 2 Production around mid game—very powerful tiles.


I just got Logistics on one of my Archers—so 2 attacks per turn from now on, looking forward to milking that!

I went with Scouting 1 & 2 for one of my Scouts this time, previously only used the defensive promo. He can see 2 extra tiles now, which is huge—could be enough to keep a decent-sized island Barb free once initially cleared.
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Fort improvement
Nope, Fort doesn't make a Canal—had to plop a City there to provide a canal function :(

Ashurbanipal of Assyria

And the award for best beard so far goes to…


…who seems relatively sane too and playing a fair game, just ahead of me in score at the moment.

Bad UI Example

This is pretty dire design. It's part of founding a religion, where you pick out beliefs to buff your civ. You can see from the scroll block size in the scrollbar that there are ~10 screenfuls of choices. It's almost as if an EULA designer made it so it's as difficult as possible for a reader to assimilate or act on.


As you can see, it's all over the shop—Border, Religion spread x 2, Faith, Culture, Happiness, Faith—with 5 different mechanics in those 7 choices. Try and follow that layout thru ~70 choices in a small selection box :mad:

If they couldn't do the decent thing with a tab for each mechanic, then at least group like mechanics together in the list. Idiots. I love the art design of Civ 5, but someone in supervision needs to have a clue about using the output in the game.

Wonders or Settlers?

I decided to delay settling in this game until the Policy which buffs making Settlers…

…and spend my time on Units and Wonders. Trouble is, the Honor and Tradition trees have more valuable starting Policies for a wide game with Raging Barbs, so it was quite a while before I got to Collective Rule. That's probably why our Assyrian friend is miles ahead of me in tech.

I did snag a few Wonders in the Capital…

…but only half are important, so not the best use of a good resource.

So next game I'm going to get 3 Settlers out quickly so I have 4 cities going early. That should improve my Science and Culture rates, even if the Barbs make Workers and improvements unviable early on. By the time the 4th is up, there should be safe zones for starting on improvements and roads.

Ranged trumps Melee

I haven't built a single melee unit so far, and I'm nearly at Turn 200. Archery was first tech, and 3 Archers + 2 Scouts and then a Dromon started me off. Built only some more Dromons since to guard Fish and Trade Routes.

One Archer is the Settler escort, while the other 2 and a Scout are the explorers. The 2 Archers work great as a team, and the Scout is no slouch in combat v Warriors or Archers either. Give each Archer complimentary promos as per earlier post, and give the Scout the Scouting promos—kind of a 'duh' moment, that one :) The extra visibility is great for planning maneuvers.
Maria of Portugal

Met this charmer towards the end of the last game—'end' as in when I stopped playing. She lost no time cozying up to me and before you know it, Declaration of Friendship offered.
'Why not' said I, not having a DoF previously.

I'll tell you why not :mad: It involved her asking me for freebies every few turns, and getting stroppy whenever I refused. Did a quick search and apparently this is par for the course for DoF, and they're generally best avoided.


I got Converted

I was doing my usual Religion plays, getting the requirements to reap the benefits. Maria—The Pious, did you notice?—was sending her Missionaries like a swarm in my direction. Okay, a 2nd religion might help, and it'll keep her friendly, right?

She even sent Missionaries to my capital, my Holy City. Anyway some turns later I got the 'You can buy with Faith' message so popped into capital to do the usual buy a Missionary thing—you can only get them that way, can't build 'em. Got my Missionary next turn and… …and…

It was for her freakin' religion, not mine! She had swung my capital Holy City around!! "Fine' I snarled, 'This means Holy War!' Except for the little thing that she's also converted my other 2-3 cities where my religion had spread. So I had no city where I cold buy an Inquisitor to chuck 'er out :eek:

I was up my own creek, being paddled hard! It was great, best stunt AI has pulled on me in a game in a long long time—hilarious :D

City States

Despite the holy show, I was pulling ahead in that King game once I got my research running, so I started a new Emperor one. I was tempted to have zero CS, but went with 4—to match the 4 civs. They're handy for early Trade Routes, before those are safely setup with the civs—so for first half of game while the Raging Barbs are still playing pirate.

Other than that I don't enjoy them in the game. They're an added complication I'm not interested in and they often nab a pretty decent site I'd like for my civ. Kudos to the devs for providing a slider in Advanced Setup where you pick the number of CS you want in the game—default is double the number of civs.

But of course I'll check out Venice, the only playable CS.


A fixture in Civ games, she's always playing the religious game like Maria, so I'm going to have to watch myself. She also asked for a DoF very early, but I said not on the first date, what kind of boy does she think I am? Oh hang on, I'm a girl, aren't I—still playing Theodora :D


I should've checked if I lost the various benefits after Maria cuckooed my nest, but I was too busy laughing. Do you happen to know? If that happened, it'd be more than a laughing matter.
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You need a very tiny mod that changes that message to "Proved the world is a cylinder!"
I am unable to play Civ-likes without thinking multiple times, “I wish this were an actual globe”. I still enjoy them, but I would enjoy them even more if they had an option to play on a globe. It's not even hard to set up, you can just have planes of hexagons joining twelve pentagons, two of which are the poles.
“I wish this were an actual globe”

Finally! I've never met anyone from the FES before, despite it having membership around the globe :rolleyes:

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

That only applies to a few maps in Civ, ie the 'whole earth' maps—most maps are more local. I think a globe would be quite difficult for the player, since you could only ever see half the map at any time, with the edge regions visually squished.

I read up on it ~15 years ago—prob on CivFanatics—and there are a bunch of problems making a globe happen using square, hex or other similar tile shapes. The general feeling at the time was it would add very little to gameplay, so not worth pursuing.

There was a glove-shaped strategy view in Civ IV, but if I recall correctly it was just a graphical treat.

ETA: found it!

ETA2: For a hex-based globe, you would have to have 12 pentagons.

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Community Contributor
Or you could not have hexagons (or squares or triangles). Just measure the distance. Even an old C-64 doesn't have any problems figuring out great circles and the like.

I'm not so sure about the gameplay aspects being not worth the trouble. I heard that (and still do) with respect to making space battles properly 3D. In this case, you've essentially got a wall around the poles. Russia, Canada, and Iceland are far apart on a Civ map, but close neighbors on a globe. Also, it's one that only opens up when the technology gets more advanced. That sounds like fun gameplay to me!
That's what I said lol

What, now you expect me to actually read your stuff???
Kids these days…

Oh wait, maybe it's to remember what I read 5 minutes ago—hmm, that's a toughie :(

not have hexagons (or squares or triangles). Just measure the distance

Ugh no, I find it considerably less fun to work out move options without the square/hex grid on screen. You'd have to click on each unit of interest to see which one was closets, farthest, whatever.

But I'm fine with a few pentagons dotted around, especially if hidden by ocean, mountain etc—just as long as the movement grid can be visible without needing to click on units.


Community Contributor
Ugh no, I find it considerably less fun to work out move options without the square/hex grid on screen. You'd have to click on each unit of interest to see which one was closets, farthest, whatever.
Huh? Just look - it should be pretty easy to see which is closest. (Well, unless you get a proper globe. Then you'll need to rotate the globe so that you're right above the target spot.) If they look to be about the same, then they are about the same.
AI Bonuses

The tech bonuses the AI gets at higher levels—starts with these:
Emperor—Pottery, Animal Husbandry
Immortal—Pottery, Animal Husbandry, Mining
Deity—Pottery, Animal Husbandry, Mining, The Wheel

There are also a bunch of other bonuses, but I failed to bookmark the CivFanatics thread :(
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Machinery Tech—wrong quote?


I assume this should be the Printing Press quote? Seems considerably off for Machinery.

Rameses II

Usually a decent guy, usually a Wonder hog in early eras.


Love Egypt's blue & gold color scheme.

I was tempted to have zero CS, but went with 4

Hmm, that didn't go so well, need more CS for the early Gold crunch—ie so I can send 'em Trade Routes before I get roads built. Roads are indeed great yokes, good income boost and faster travel.

Wonder Not

next game I'm going to get 3 Settlers out quickly so I have 4 cities going early

Yeah, like almost always in any Civ game, this is a good idea. The Oracle and Great Library sound great—free Policy and Tech—but aren't really, their benefits are less than the opportunity cost of skipping Settlers and guard Archers.

Only Wonder I target now is The Great Lighthouse, for the extra move & sight for boats, plus the free Lighthouse—I like my coastal cities and navy! I'll take the Colossus or Pyramids if I can get 'em, or the Gold compensation for being beaten to them—handy ways to keep cities occupied when I don't want anything built which adds to expenses.

England + GL must be fun, will have to try—one of their traits is +2 movement for navy, and the GL bonus stacks!
England + GL must be fun, will have to try—one of their traits is +2 movement for navy, and the GL bonus stacks!
Yeah, the Civ games strongly encourage you to hyper-specialise. As England (or Ottomans or Denmark or Polynesia), you very much want to rule the waves.

One of the things I liked about Millennia was that it rewards rounded strategies that feel more like a real human civilisation rather than being so obviously gamey.
Thanks to the esteemed Mr @Zloth I reinstalled Civ 5 and got 100 turns in without feeling the need to reroll yet. Steam says it's 7 years since I played it last, so I can't blame my memory too much that it feels almost like a new game.

Wide v Tall

Civ 5 is known to favor a Tall strategy—ie build a few mega cities, optimal number 4 or 5 if I recall correctly. That doesn't appeal to me, I like my empire, so I've mostly ignored 5 in favor of 4 and 6.

However 4's combat is poor with the 'Stack of Doom'—no @Johnway, relax, not that Doom—while 6 is a mess of complications masquerading as strategy… still fun of course for me, but only with very heavy customization. 5 doesn't get in the way like 6, and its one unit per tile combat change is a godsend. If it really is playable wide, it could be great.


Strange that a 2010-2013 game defaulted my 2017 PC with a 1060 card to generally Low graphic settings, despite Recommended specs being far below mine. Remember ATI? The graphics card company AMD bought to get into that game—well ATI is one of the Recommended cards, that's how old this game is!

Needs about 8GB on disk for Vanilla + expansions G&K and BNW. Yeah, just eight, there isn't a zero missing :) Flawless install on Windows 10 22H2, playing Full Screen mode with mouse bound to screen so it doesn't wander off onto second monitor.

Graphically it looks very good, I always liked 5's art style. I'll add some screenies in a later post.

First fling

I did a bit of reading, and Wide does seem to be playable, perhaps at one Difficulty notch lower than Tall.

I picked a large Continents map and reduced player number from 10 to 6 and City States from 20 to 12 so there should be plenty of space for all—can't get Wide if space is cramped. I picked Warlords diff which is classed as Easy to learn the ropes again—but after 100 turns I'm double the next civ's score so I'll prob reroll soonish at Prince.


One of 6's best improvements is its Barbs, which are much more of a nuisance than Raging Barbs in 4. While 5's aren't as much of a threat, they're still spawning plentifully in the fog so that you can't just send Settlers off on their own—I got one captured trying to be smart :(

Main lack compared to 6's Barbs is they don't attack much, and not in numbers. Well so far anyway—they have been more adventurous with naval sorties against local coastal City States. I might look for a map type which will leave one landmass uncivilized until midgame so Barbs have a chance to develop some muscle.

Problems and Solutions

The big problem for Wide is Happiness—ie lack of same. It's a global number, and each City adds unhappiness. Answer seems to be accumulating Faith and Culture to enable Happy-making buildings, so I'm pursuing those. Of course, harvesting and trading for Luxury resources is also essential, just like for a Tall build.

Other main problem is that a lot of costs go up as your number of Cities increase. The solution is to get them productive so their advantage outweighs this—I'm not clear yet where the tipping point is, may be around City population 6… or could be 10. So each new City is a drag for quite a while.

I've run into a Gold deficit of ~minus 10/turn—disgusted to learn that Roads cost 1 Gold per turn, I think for each tile! Trade routes better make up for that, or everyone will have to whack thru the bushes from now on. A Great Merchant netted me 400 Gold with a City State, which is keeping me solvent for now.

Best Wide Civs

I picked Shoshone because of their initial landgrab attribute—they get 8 extra tiles available when you found a City, which is a pretty big bonus early on. They also have an early Pathfinder UU …Unique Unit… replacing Scout, who can choose which bonus to get from the Goody Hut aka Ruins. Free Great prophet or Tech or Culture or Gold or Upgrade—it's worth building 2 of these guys to send out and try to grab lots of Ruins. I made the mistake of choosing the Unit Upgrade freebie at a Ruin near a Barb camp—and promptly lost its magic ability… leave 'em as Pathfinders until finished scouting for Ruins, take Upgrade to Composite Bowman as last choice so you have a good Barb fighter going forward.

I'll prob try Carthage and Polynesia on water maps, and maybe India on a large map—apparently their Cities unhappiness reduces after they reach [or exceed?] 6 population… ie slow to start, but build up steam. I've seen 10-12 other Civs mentioned if the game holds my interest.


I'm enjoying it so far, now I must have a peek at some mods, especially for the UI.
It's been many years (and I've only read the original post so far, but aren't there policies and/or techs that give happiness bonuses for road connections? Maybe I'm thinking of something else.
aren't there policies and/or techs that give happiness bonuses for road connections?

Meritocracy policy in Liberty tree gives +1 Happiness for each City connected to Capital. I can't think of a tech which gives Happiness directly, nor which enables a building related to connection. Since each new city is -3 Happy, and each citizen -1, a new city is -4 minimum as soon as you plonk it down.

Raging Barbs are the main problem in my games, as they hassle workers and pillage Happiness Luxuries—most times you can't kill a Barb in one turn, so the buggers usually have a chance to pillage. I may have to capitulate and return to normal Barbs to make it work at Emperor, but I'm still futzing around trying different approaches.
Meritocracy policy in Liberty tree gives +1 Happiness for each City connected to Capital. I can't think of a tech which gives Happiness directly, nor which enables a building related to connection. Since each new city is -3 Happy, and each citizen -1, a new city is -4 minimum as soon as you plonk it down.

Raging Barbs are the main problem in my games, as they hassle workers and pillage Happiness Luxuries—most times you can't kill a Barb in one turn, so the buggers usually have a chance to pillage. I may have to capitulate and return to normal Barbs to make it work at Emperor, but I'm still futzing around trying different approaches.
I don't think I ever played with raging barbarians, so they were never more than a small nuisance at the beginning of the game. What I enjoyed was creating AI teams, so they would work together. Luring them into war was also an occasional fun thing to do just depending on my goals for the game.

I had a very unconventional style, naturally. Never once looked up strategies or anything. I very rarely created a religion, ignoring it entirely, for instance. But I always managed to win, even on the highest difficulty (only played my last 2 games on that difficulty). But I often changed directions mid-game and just went for the easy tech victory. Was great to finally launch into space, especially if the game was coming down to the wire.

Obviously, I was a much more casual player than you. I had no interest in learning the game inside and out once I found a strategy that I could win with, which basically happened early. My overwhelming concentration was usually on money and science. I won my first game via culture. My second game via points. And all the rest of them by launching my spaceship :) Probably played maybe 20 games with a handful of those being co-op. Naturally, those first few games were not on high difficulties. I would have no clue how to win a culture victory on the highest difficulty.

I knew the game so poorly that once I decided to go for a religious victory, and spread my religion everywhere. When the game didn't end, I looked it up and was shocked to discover there was no religious victory, so I went into emergency mode and ended up launching my ship again :ROFLMAO: I beat Korea to it by a turn. Was the victory I enjoyed the most. One of my favorite all-time gaming experiences. Was so tense at the end. And I owed it all to cluelessness--trying for a religious victory when there wasn't one (I had been talking to my brother who was playing Civ 4 or 6 at the time, not sure which, and he had just won a religious victory)

I don't remember now how I did it, but somehow I had started working well in advance to make sure the launch was going to be in the most central city, so that as spaceship parts came came in from the other 3 cities it would take the fewest possible turns to assemble the ship. I don't know. There was more to it than that, but my declining cognitive situation seems to have lost most of it (there's no way I could be as successful at the game now--I had the research tree memorized. Now I can't figure out crafting in Nightingale). The thing I remember most is refusing to nuke Korea to insure the win, as they had been my closest ally the whole game.
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Raging Barbs

raging barbarians

I mostly need to get better at managing the Gold cost of units. Oligarchy policy in Trad tree zaps maintenance cost for the garrison unit, so I must prioritize that. Raging means camps spawn units very quickly—I've often had a ranged unit kill the camp defender in 2-3 turns, and another defender immediately spawn to take its place… this going on for ~5-6 units.

Mind you, not complaining on the global Culture front—with Honor policy enabled each kill provides some of it, which is great early game.

I also need to get better at placing my cities to create safe zones so I can get Workers and resources running with little danger. I'm guilty of going 'the extra mile' to get a resource-heavy site… Barbs love that extra mile, the badstars! :D

Chap on Steam says…
"Normal barbarian in the BNW are almost as bad the raging barbarians in the G&K. Barbarians are spawning much faster in the BNW and they have randomly better units early (handaxe, horseman)"
…so it sounds like they buffed the Barbs in BNW.

I never play with anything but Raging Barbarians. I find it so boring otherwise

My excuse is I usually setup fairly isolated starts—I don't want to deal with other civs or extra systems while trying to fine tune the basic economy and other foundation systems. So I need a credible military threat so I can't sit around with a Warrior or two, which would of course distort economy and build orders.

But yeah, they are fun too and of course useful for learning combat in the 1UPT hex system. I use a mod which removes the XP cap from Barbs, which makes up for missing out on early wars—ie should have some units of similar veterancy to any stroppy UI later on.

Tips welcome! :D


Civ 4 or 6 … religious victory

That would be 6, wasn't in 4 either.

I very rarely created a religion, ignoring it entirely

Some of your games were probably Vanilla, Religion wasn't introduced until the first expansion Gods & Kings. I let it accumulate naturally, grab the 'God of the Sea' one, and when I eventually found one, I take 2 of 3 benefits—100 Gold per city converting, 15% Food growth, 15% border growth… the latter 2 unless I'm still hurting for Gold.

But yeah, I ignore it otherwise. To see how well that works out, check my eulogy on Maria the Pious above :D
I also switch off Espionage and disable the World Congress victory type—no interest in dealing with them.

no clue how to win a culture victory on the highest difficulty

Pretty sure you'd need a Religion strategy for that, but that's only from reading, not practice.

I found a strategy that I could win with

Nice when that happens early on, and is your goal. Winning isn't my goal—I haven't progressed any of the earlier games pre-Emperor where I drew ahead easily beyond mid-game. I will try and win an Emperor game tho, if I get into a viable strategy—I need to see the later Techs, Policies and Ideologies to better understand how I should shape the earlier game.

I knew the game so poorly that … I had the research tree memorized

Eh what?! o_O
Aristotle was right, I need to realize that I know nothing!

Anyway, it's still fun, so there's that :)