Vel’s Civ V Guide – The Ancient Era

So, you’ve seen the opening situation, and you’ll note that we got two of the “big three.” Not bad! Actually, I’m really digging this start – lots of potential here, and we should basically be able to walk all over this game with a start like that. Our first objective? Building a second Pathfinder (part of EASY Company) while our first is busy exploring the wilds.

Fast forward just a few turns, before the first “something interesting” happens. The first thing of note that happens is that we find an Ancient Ruin, and immediately use it to upgrade our Pathfinder to….a composite bowman. Bang! Just like that, we have the most powerful ancient-era unit in the game. Not bad for not really having done anything to this point!

Step on a crack

A few turns later, we hit another Ancient Ruin, which we take for the cultural boost to give us a jump start on that front, and – we discover that we have neighbors! In this case, Gandhi and Askia, somewhere to our south (we just met their units – no idea exactly where their cities are).

culture club







So over the next dozen turns or so, we just spend our time gleefully zipping about with our mighty Pathfinder/Composite bowman, busting fog and doing fun things like discovering Old Faithful (+1 happy!), meeting a city state, and gaining a point of population, courtesy of another Ancient Ruin. A busy time, but that’s the way the opening turns generally go.

Finding Old Faithful

Meeting City States

Pop from Ruin





In addition to those things, we also pop a ruin and get a free tech (Animal Husbandary – useful!), and generate enough culture to actually select the “Tradition” tree – MOAR culture – yay for culture!

Tech from Ruin







Finally, twenty-three turns later, our second Pathfinder, and latest member of EASY Company is finished training and ready to explore, and not a moment too soon, either. Looks like we’ve got company up north, and trouble in paradise, courtesy of some barbarians who have decided to come sniffing around.

Great Northern

Turn 23, Trouble in Paradise






So…the game continues on its merry way, as they tend to do, and along the way, we pop another ruin and upgrade our second Pathfinder to a Composite bowman and get another point of pop for our city. To this point, we’ve built a total of three things: A Pathfinder, a Warrior, and a Granary. We HAVE the granary, a warrior, and two composite bowmen. Note that we just let our city kill off the barbarian, and slipped the Pathfinder up and around him. We have no improved tiles to protect, and the city is more than capable of repelling a single, or even 2-3 enemy units by itself.

2nd Composite Bowman

2nd Pop from Ruins






Remember when I told you that EASY Company was going to be the most lethal fighting force on the planet? Promise kept. Two composite bowmen well before anyone has anything comparable, both cable of moving through rough terrain and firing on the same turn. They rule.

Bear in mind that right now, we have no worker, but we don’t want the Great Library to take forever. No worries. We’ll take Aristocracy as our next cultural pick, and get a 15% boost to production of the wonder. Sweet. Solving the problem of no worker in a different way. Approaching the solution obliquely. And here’s a map of the world as we know it by turn 42.

Adopting Aristocracy, T42

Map of the Realm, T42






We continue pushing back the fog and exploring our continent, and then…it happens. On turn 65, we find our nearest neighbor. England, to our north. Time to put on our douchebag face and get ready to be a total dick.  We’ll dispatch our warrior up that way to keep tabs on Wellington (to steal a worker when one appears), and be in the neighborhood, should an opportunity present itself to jump an English worker too!

England, Public Enemy 1, T65

And that’s how things go for the next several turns. We position our warrior in the neighborhood, pick up mining from another ruin, and continue knocking about the continent.

T70, prepping for war

T75, continuing to splore

Mining from tech, T 77





Okay, I admit it – I screwed up here. I should have known that London was building a settler, since they’d been stuck at size two for so long, and now that the settler has appeared, I’m going to have to scramble to try and take out the warrior guarding him before he can get to wherever it is that he’s going. Working on that, and working on re-positioning my warrior in the meanwhile!

T82, English Settler

T84, War







Using one of my mighty composite bowmen, we lay waste to the settler’s guard, and the barbarians lend a hand by capturing it before England can found the city. I’ll soon have my first worker in hand!

T86, Barbarian settler

Meanwhile, in the south, I meet the King of Siam! (is it just me, or when I captured the image, does it look a bit like he’s trying to pull something out of his butt?!)

In the north, the barbarians won’t give up their prize without a fight. Elements of EASY company are working in tandem with my standing army (a single warrior) to slog their way through the thicket of barbarians we’ve wandered into in the course of chasing the worker down. It might take a little longer than anticipated, but we will not be stopped – that worker is OURS!  (we also manage to secure Calendar on turn 94, while the war rages with the barbarians and England) – note:  aside from the one English warrior we killed who was guarding the settler, we haven’t seen so much as a single English unit.  Meh.

T90, the King of Siam

T92, Rumble in the Tundra

T94, Calendar is in hand

T94, Progress, but unhappy barbs

T97, wrapping things up in the north








And finally, on turn 98, we capture our prize!!

T98, worker captured

Now, of course, we have to get him home, so…pausing to heal our wounds, we begin the journey southward with our hard won prize. Encountering no resistance of either the English or barbaric variety, the worker is safely inside our borders and beginning construction of a salt mine by turn 114.

Four turns later, we complete the Great Library, grab Philosophy as our free tech, immediately begin work on the National College, and vault into the Classical era.

T114, worker being put to use

T118, entering the Classical Era

T118, exploration continues, england hobbled

T118, GL completed

T118, Philosophy as free tech








Analysis of the Era:
Stuff we built (and the order we built it in)
Great Library

Techs in hand:
Pottery (researched)
Writing (researched)
Mining (ruin)
Animal Husbandary (ruin)
Sailing (researched)
Philosophy (free – GL bonus)

EASY Company:
2x Composite Bowmen

Rest of the Military:
1x Warrior

Wars Started: 1 (vs. England)
Wars Won: 1 (vs. England)

Other Assets:
1x Worker (stolen from England)

I think that by any measure, we kicked major amounts of ass in the Ancient Era, and are well positioned to do great things in the Classical.

In terms of priorities, our first move in the next era will be to buy a Trireme to get a boat in the water and round out EASY company, then go harass our city state neighbors and get ready to cause more trouble with England. We’ll need to pick up Masonry to bring our marble online, but otherwise, I think we’re straight on to Mathematics after that. Stay tuned!