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Civilizations and Leaders

Civilizations and Leaders

Each civilization in the game is unique. Every leader has a special “trait” which gives his or her civilization a certain advantage during the game, and
each civilization also possesses unique units and/or unique buildings. Some of these appear early-on in a game, while others might show up only later.

Mastering a civilization’s strengths – and exploiting your enemies’ weaknesses – is one of the most challenging parts of the game. And one of the most rewarding.

All of the civilizations’ traits and unique units and buildings are displayed during game setup when you choose your civilization. You can also check them out in the Civilizations section of the Civilopedia and on page 174 of this manual.

Leader Traits

As described above, each leader has a unique trait, which gives it some special advantage during a game. For example, Ramesses II of Egypt has the “Monument Builders” trait, which speeds Egypt’s construction of Wonders. 

Gandhi possesses the “Population Growth” trait, which allows India to create bigger cities with less population unhappiness. It’s a good thing to keep your civilization’s leader’s traits in mind while playing – it can really improve your

Unique Units

Each civilization possesses one or more “unique units,” each of fhich is a powerful replacement for a standard unit. Greece, for example, has the Companion Cavalry unit, which it gets instead of the Horseman unit. Greece also receives the mighty “Hoplite” in place of a Spearman. Needless to say, Greece is pretty dangerous in the early part of the game.

On the other hand, Germany gets a Panzer instead of the standard Tank that other civilizations will receive. So if Germany survives Greece’s early advantage, it in turn will become quite dangerous during the later game.

Unique Buildings

Some civilizations also get Unique Buildings. These are like unique units in that they replace the standard buildings that other civs get. For example, Persia gets the Satrap’s Court in place of a Bank, giving it a significant edge in happiness and in generating wealth. 

Siam gets a Wat instead of a University, which provides it with extra culture in addition to a big science boost.


As leader of a mighty civilization, you have an able coterie of Advisors who will assist you with guidance and advice. They’ll point out things that they believe are important, or that you might have forgotten about. You can turn them off if you like, but you may want to try playing with them for a while first.

You have four different Advisors. Each provides advice on a specific area of expertise:

Economic Advisor

The Economic Advisor provides advice on building and improving your cities and territory.

Military Advisor

The Military Advisor provides advice on combat and all things related to war.

Foreign Advisor

The Foreign Advisor advises you on exploration and your relations with city-states, and other civilizations.

Science Advisor

The Science Advisor gives you advice on science and technology, as well as information on game rules.

Contacting An Advisor

During play, your Advisors will appear in “popups” when they have something they think you should know. They’ll often provide links to other information that relates to the current topic.

You can follow these links or click “Thank You” at any time to
dismiss the Advisor.

You can also press the “Advisors” button in the upper righthand corner of the screen to reach the “Advisor Counsel” screen. There you can see all four of your Advisors; if they have anything useful to say on the current situation it will appear there.

Turning Off the Advisors

You can determine how much assistance you get from the Advisors on the “Options” screen. You can set the advice level to Full, Minimal, or No Advice. If turned off, they won’t ever appear in popups, but you can still go to the “Advisor Counsel” screen to see what they’re thinking.