Sid Meier’s Civilization VI CreaM’s Guide to Civilization Multiplayer (Base Game)

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI CreaM’s Guide to Civilization Multiplayer (Base Game) 1 -
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI CreaM’s Guide to Civilization Multiplayer (Base Game) 1 -
The ultimate guide for Civilization 6 multiplayer base game. This guide will teach you how to face other players online with dignity and strength. From basic settings, playing fast and early strategies to strong middle game and late game.



In this tutorial I will focus mainly on vanilla civilization. That means no gathering storm expansion. This is because a lot of online lobbies still run the base version of the game. I might touch on leaders from later expansions, as you can choose them in base game lobbies, but that’s about it. As I said this is a multiplayer guide. I will explain a different mindset you need to apply to crush not only bots but also real people. 
Who is this tutorial for? 
Surprisingly, there are still a lot of new people in Civ multiplayer. Also the required experience bar is quite low. So, if you are afraid of multiplayer, don’t be. This guide should be enough to make you an above average player. Although you should have basic knowledge of the game and played some games against AI. 
Note I am not a professional in this game. Also Civ is extremely complex game, meaning that any advice or convention has it’s exceptions. So just, take from this what you will and try to apply it on your own playstyle. Also note I will assume playing on pangaea map. Who knows, maybe someday I will add a water map section. 

Setting Up Your Game

Game options -> Game -> set Quick Combat and Quick Movement to Enabled. 
This is a multiplayer must. You just can’t compete when your turn takes 1 minute, when other people can do the same in 30 seconds. Also people play simultaneously and it is a damn difference if you manage to retreat your units in time, or your enemy will shoot them first. 
Game options -> Interface -> Show Yields in HUD Ribbon 
This will help you so much. First it will show how many real people are in the game. At start you will see only your civ and some number x of question marks, meaning there is another x players in your game. Note that when someone leaves, his question mark will disappear, but when you meet their civ controlled by AI, it will appear again (showing yields). When you meet another civ, the question mark will show civ’s military strength science, culture, gold and faith (also a score, which doesn’t tell you a thing). 
Military strength is a sum of melee strength of all units. Meaning if someone is using mainly ranged units, their military score will be quite underestimated, so watch out. 
Military score can warn you before an attack or show you a weak player, not prepared to defend. anything above 150 at first 30 rounds and you should be cautious. Anything under 60 is a sign of (usually) a weak player who will get killed. 
Science income will help you mid to late game decide on who is strongest. On the other hand, mass gold or faith might mean some plan to upgrade or buy units and attack. 
Game options -> Key Bindings 
To increase your speed (this is more advanced and not needed, but a good practice) try to use keyboard shortcuts. Defaults are quite good, but its good to have these on something comfortable: 
Next Action is the most important, learn to use it instead of mouse. 
Lenses are reasonably bound. It’s good to use them, especially settler lens. (more on that in scouting section) 
Delete Unit. I add this mostly so I can write that deleting units sometimes makes sense. When you have Bombers, that Ram or Siege Tower might be just wasting gold and your attention. 
Fortify, Ranged Attack, Skip Turn and Sleep are Unit Actions Shortcuts: 
Always try to Fortify your units. It will give them a massive boost to strength. Notice how icon of a unit changes based on if it is fortified. Ranged attack is better than right clicking, as your opponent could move the unit just before you right click. You don’t want to accidentally move there, so rather use range attack shortcut. 
When there is a late game an you have 80ish seconds on round speed is essential. I usually ask do I want to command this unit in next ~3 turns? If yes just pressing Skip Turn shortcut works. Otherwise It’s Fortify or Sleep shortcut. It is also good idea to plan movement of units right after action (with builder for example – especially when you are low on time). This way an army can be controlled in seconds. 
Shift+Enter is a really underrated shortcut. 
This will end your turn immediately. This is good when everyone already finished their turns and you don’t ant to waste their time. But is also great, because it will perform all your unit move commands, you can than press enter to continue your move and might find out some units can move additional tile or two. 
Show Grid, Show Resource Icons, Show Yield. When you are in game, above mini map, you will find group of buttons. One of them is called Map Options. You should turn on everything – that is Show Grid, Show Resource Icons, Show Yield Icons. Game might seem cluttered after that, but you will get used to this, it is a must have. 
Show Player List checkbox is located in upper left corner of chat. This will show you players, their ping, who is the host and Join Code. Also if you are hosting the game, it will allow you to kick players. 
Chat settings. Both in game and in lobby there is a chat. Using /a,/t and so on will change who will receive the message. Use /a (default) for all chat, /t for team chat, /r to reply to last person who wrote to you or /nickname to write to a specific person. When doing this it is easier to use scroll down button and select it from there. 

Hosting And Joining a Lobby

When you open multiplayer you will see a list of games. Some will be white, meaning you can connect to them, some will be grayed out. This means it is a loaded save file (which you don’t have) so it’s someone private game. 
When there is a public lobby it is usually named FFA, or 2v2v2 or something like this. Don’t expect that people will join to lobby with default name usually “someonesUsername’s game”. 
In lobby settings 
Most of the settings are good left at default. if you host a lobby with some unusual settings (map is not Pangea/Playing Tech and Civic Shuffle Mode) it is a good practice to mention it in the title. There are however some things that you should always look for. 
Turn Timer should be set to static, with about 30-60 seconds per round. Dynamic timer starts out good, but quickly becomes way to slow. I have a very bad experience with letting game start with dynamic timer. Also as host you can (and should) change Turn Time (when using static turn timer) during the game. Just press escape -> Options -> Game Options and find Turn Time. I usually add 10 seconds for each 10 rounds until round 60, or when someone asks for more time. 
Turn Mode has to be set to Simultaneous Turns. Although this favourites people with better ping it is a must. Other Turn Modes will let only some players play at the same time making the game horrifyingly long and boring for people not on turn. 
Game Speed should be set to online. The slower the game speed, the more turns it takes to produce and research stuff. Civ’s games are already really long, so the standard is to play on online speed. 
Map. The most often you will find pangea, but other map types are really fun too. It is a good idea to google the map type if you are not familiar with it, just to know what to expect. When you are playing a Truth Start Location Map, it is good to find it’s image on web. This way you will get locations of strategy resources, city states and (if you remember what civs other people chosen) it will even give you idea where your enemies are. 
Difficulty. In lobby, next to your leader selection there is a difficulty selector. Standard is to play on prince, but some lobby leaders like to play on higher difficulties. This is because when someone disconnects it’s easy to kill his AI replacement and take it’s cities. Higher difficulties make this harder (by a very slight bit). 
In-lobby bugs. I have a bad experience with quickly switching slots (the game sometimes bugs and you will appear in computer controlled slot – so just beware). Also when No duplicate leaders/Civilizations is checked, sometimes the game won’t allow you to press ready even if the civs are all unique. To fix this, I recommend unchecking and checking this setting again, or changing your civ if possible. 

Victory in Multiplayer (general idea)

In practice, there is actually only one type of victory in multiplayer. It is a military victory. In my 400 hours on Civ I witnessed 2 culture, 2 scientific and about 3 religious victories. That is in more than a 100 games. People aren’t bots, meaning that if you do not invest in army someone else will and just come and take your cities. And if you have a defensive force, it would be a shame use it only for defence. 
Stop thinking about religion, culture and science as victory type on it’s own. Rather ask how can my science/religion boost my military strength? I can’t stress this enough. Civ multiplayer is all about attacking, defending and having a strong army. 
Kind of sadly current Civ meta is (more times than not, again there are exceptions): 

  • Win an early war against a weaker player and take cities/city states 
  • Snowball, research some mid-to-late game unit (like cavalry) 
  • Crush another player. Pillage his cities to get a massive boosts to gold and faith, than take his cities and snowball even more 
  • Research and buy/build tanks/sometimes planes. If there is no one else with your scientific and military might it’s basiclly gg. Most people will resign when their Musketman and Knights are getting killed by Tanks and Planes which they can’t even see. 
  • At this phase people usually call gg and leave or are crushed one by one

In my opinion it is not how efficiently you build your cities or how many heurekas you use, what makes you a good Civ player. It is knowing if, where and when to attack. 

First few turns

After your game loads there is usually about an minute when you can’t move your units. This is normal and just means host’s game is still loading. During the first round there is no timer and game waits until everyone presses Next Round. This can take some time, so just be patient. 
Settling does not change much in multiplayer, so you can find dozens of applicable guides. Note that where you spawn (to some extent) depends on your civ, so you might want to experiment what suits you. Also early game is much more important in the multiplayer, so rapid development is much more important than maximizing late game tiles. Horses are a really powerful resource, which should be ignored rarely. 
As a First unit I strongly recommend a scout. More on that in scouting section. Although when completely enclosed by jungle/Forrest, with a barbarian camp or a city state in sight, I would go for a second warrior. My second unit is usually a builder. 
As a research I go usually Animal Husbandry or Mining, whatever will allow my builder add more production to tiles. When on coast, with an abundance of food Pottery and early Granary build is a reasonable choice. 
After Code of Laws civic is researched I recommend using God King (+1 Faith, +1 Gold) civic to get faith and Pantheon, just don’t forget to change your Civic once you get it. 

Building Your Cities

Builder > (Settler / Granary ) > Monument or District > Water Mill 
Always first improve tiles using a builder. In early game focus on production and food income. Plantations (gold) can usually wait. When there is a forest on a hill (and you are not Teddy Roosevelt) always chop it with your builder (you need Mining researched). You usually use this boost to build another builder. Than you can improve this hill to mine, giving you same or better production than forest. If there is a lot of production tiles you can even consider chopping forest on flat tiles (Otherwise don’t chop them and get Machinery and build Lumber Mills). 
Granary can be sometimes delayed. When you have more population than good tiles, it’s better to get 1-2 settlers first. On the other hand in a coast city Granary is very important to increase your housing. It might be a good idea to buy buildings with gold. When you have spare, the granary is a good investment to quickly develop a new city. 
I find first Monument quite important (usually to get traders unlocked or military bonuses). Later they can usually wait. 
Think about farm triangles in early game. Farms are dangerous. When pillaged they give health, so do not build them near enemy border and ideally not right next to your city center. Because of Feudalism (3 adjacent Farms grant 1 more Food) you want to look for high food yield flat tiles. This is late middle game thing, but it is good to plan this out and not to build there a district. Use pins to remind you this (third button above minimap). 
Wonders. Going for wonder at early game can be a death sentence. Unless you are sure no other civs are close, do not go for a wonder. Very often investment to military or settlers is better. Actually I would recommend never to build wonders, unless you know well what are you doing. 

Scouting, Scouting and Scouting

Scouting is one of the most important things. Scouting is a base for your offense, defense and planning. Do not underestimate scouting. Use more than one scout. You should have two scouts by turn 30 and later ideally at least one for each bordering civ. It might seem like a waste of production, but having map control is crucial especially in FFA. 
Early game scouting: 
For the first few rounds scout with your warrior. When the terrain is open (lot of flat tiles) you can just send your scouting units on roughly opposite direction, maximizing their movement. When however you have only two directions to scout, I recommend sending warrior through the more hilly/rainforest tiles as unpromoted scout will waste moves there. Of course try to collect as many villages as possible. 
First try to scout in a circle, so you can bring your warrior back if there are barbarians close by. 
The most important thing during scouting is to use settler lens. This way you will have much more range, as you will spot unsettleable tiles. 
Also when you meet a city state, check if you have an envoy in it. If not, there is an other civ which met it first, so it should be quite close. 
Quite a risky strategy, especially good for early aggression civs is to scout out position of enemy city, but avoid actually meeting them. If you move your scout slowly you might (depends on the terrain) see just the edge of border of an enemy civ, confirm it is not a city state, and then hide your scout. Now you can mass your military without enemy seeing your dangerously high military score or lure your opponent in a false sense of security, as he thinks you do not know where he is. 
Using scout as a military unit: 
One of best uses of a Scout is to protect a settler in early game. Don’t send your settler alone, unless you are absolutely sure no barbarian or other civ can capture it. On the other hand use your scout to capture or at least threaten to capture enemy settlers and in some cases builders. When you have scout next to enemy city with a settler, you basically force him to build another unit to protect it. 
Your scouts can also lure barbarians away form your cities or even (requiring ton of luck) to your enemy. Note that barbarians warriors will follow your units, so it’s a good practice not to bring them home during scouting. 
When someone is sieging a City State you can make his life harder by blocking him. Sometimes you can even get last hit on the City State and take or raze it. Last hit or steal of barbarian camps is also nice. So is pillaging strategy resources in early stages of war. 
Getting information without a scout: 
Try to check once in a while if met civs are at war (Click on leader picture in HUD Ribbon). 
HUD will tell you science income of met civs. Checking who is closest to science victory sorts people by how many technologies they have researched. A player with huge science income not being among first at science victory means he might be researching late game tech (like going for planes and ignoring rest of the research tree). 
Opening a deal menu with some civ can also give quite a lot of information. By requesting gold per turn you will know how much gold is the player getting (it’s maximum value you can ask for). You will also find list of all his cities except his capital. 

Attacking City States

Now more than ever we are faced with beauty of Civ’s complexity. There is so much factors in deciding when to take the city state or to keep it. 
Generally you should ask these questions: 

  • Is the City State on good tiles? 
  • How far is it? 
  • How strong is it? 
  • Will it take more time to capture City State or to settle a new city and grow it’s population to the same level? 
  • Can I use the army later to capture another City State or a player? 
  • Is the City State close to other players, who might sent more envoys than me? 
  • Is the City State’s ability useful? 
  • Is the terrain flat, so my army can relocate fast?

Great City States. Always check what special bonus the City State has. You should know: 

  • Kumasi. (Your Trade Route Trade Routes to any city-state provide +2 Culture and +1 Gold for every specialty district in the origin city.) This is massive to the point of being almost broken. You often can get +6 Culture + 3 gold trade routes. 
  • Mohenjo-Daro. (Your cities have full Housing Housing from water, as if they were all next to a River). If you have to settle more cities on coast, it is the best bonus ever (also with Nan Madol City State). 
  • Other very good City States are Geneva, Zanzibar… And almost any City State has it’s uses. So don’t forget to check the Suzerain Bonuses.

On the other hand, don’t be afraid to capture City States. Especially if there are more of them. To give you some examples: I once spawned with 4 City States all less than 10 tiles from each other. With a horseman rush (more on that later) I had 6 developed cities (one settled) in turn 40. On the other hand I once spend around 10 turns preparing and taking a single City State. I captured it, but there was nothing to do with my army after this. I should have just eco up and possibly take it later, when creating an army wouldn’t be such a hit for my economy. 
Defeating a City State. I do not recommend rushing it. Get your scout up, get your builder and after that have at least 3 warriors. Coordinate your scout to help blockade the City State so it won’t add health. If you see more than 2 warriors close by, or the City State is further or behind forests/hills wait for swordsman or horseman. Also get Foreign Trade Civic and build and send trader to make a road for your army. Pay attention to how many production tiles City State has (more means more units). Also watch when it starts building walls, because you only have around 2 turns, after that you will need a ram. 
Form my experience: 

  • 3 warrior > 13 hp city 
  • 2 horseman > 13 hp city 
  • 2 swordsman > 20 hp city 
  • 3 horseman > 20 hp city 
  • 3 swordsman > 25 hp city 
  • 4 horseman > 25 hp city

When city has walls you need a ram. When it has even more hp you either need Man-At-Arms or a ton of Horseman. Try to pillage whenever you can. It can be an absolutely massive income of gold and faith (if you need faith that is). 

Early War – General Advice

From next sections it might seem that attacking is just a lot of work and can easily go wrong. This is false. You have to be aggressive and attack weaker players if you want to win. Especially if you are new, do not under estimate military. You will learn quickly by being on the offensive. 
Short war is the best war 
When you go to war with someone, it should be quick, unexpected and with a brutal first strike. The ideal case is that defender just gives up and leaves after a few turns. Good thing about Civ is, that (quite a lot) it favours defender. You do not want to spend time under enemy’s walls getting killed by fortified units. You even less want your opponent to muster his forces and fight back. This often leads to a deadlock position, where you are both investing to military, suffer war weariness penalties and than loose to a third player. 
Should I attack? 
You should always ask how much turns will this war take? Do I have a substantial advantage? And if answers are more than 20 turns or not really, you should probably attack someone else, or don’t attack at all. There are three major factors deciding outcome of a early war. It’s a military score (or rather number of active units), technology of units and terrain. And of course, good tactics are needed too. 
Should I attack? – Military score 
This one is kind of obvious. More is better. Having military score 60 at turn 40 just begs for being eaten by another civ. 130 – 200 is quite common. Note that it might be unupgraded units and if your opponent has enough research, strategic resources and gold, score might jump up quickly. 
Should I attack? – Technology 
One of key rules of Civ is that a small difference in unit strength makes a great difference on the battlefield. If you fight Man-At-Arms with a similar number of swordsman and a few of spearman or horseman, those spears and horses will mostly just feed experience. And thanks to promotions the difference can become even greater. Do not fight someone with more advanced units. (Again unless you know what you are doing or have no other choice) You might have some initial victories, but you will loose eventually. 
Thanks to this it is much more common to upgrade units using gold, instead of producing new ones. Producing a new unit can take around 5-7 turns (a single unit and probably far from the front line) this will waste a important moment when you have technology edge. Instead it takes one turn to upgrade units and you can attack next turn. This can, and often does, mean all the difference between loosing and winning. Actually a key concept in Civ is often to build a lot of units, delay their upgrade research until they are finished and than upgrade them. So before I for example finish Tank research, I first make a ton of spare Knights. This will save you sooo much production and time. 
City strength is determined by a strongest melee score in your civ -10 and +3 if it’s your Capital (also walls add a bit). This means you can quite well say how well is your enemy doing tech-vise based on city strength: 

  • 10-13 -> Warriors, Archers 
  • 18-21 -> Heavy Chariots 
  • 26-28 -> Swordsman, Horseman 
  • 35-38 -> Man-At-Arms 
  • 40-43 -> Knights 
  • and so on… Usually, you do not need to know stats above Knights, also it gets imprecise as walls come in to play

Should I attack? – Terrain 
Open terrain and flat tiles are good for the attacker. Chokepoints in mountains can stop attack of superior army both in numbers and technology. Same to some extent works with hills, forests and rainforests. If you want to attack someone behind such a terrain send a trader first to create a road. 

Early War – Execution

Scout out your enemy. How many cities does he have? Are they connected with roads? Are there walls? Does he have strategy resources like iron and horses? (Might be a good idea to sacrifice scout and pillage them in early stages of war) where are his units? Though you have to find balance between having information and attacking in time. 
Fighting walls is hard. Do not use catapults or trebuchet, human is not AI and will focus fire them. Rather bring siege units like Ram and Siege Tower. Don’t let them be captured. They should always be on a same tile as some military unit with enough health. Ram is one unit which sometimes makes sense to buy: You can capture enemy city without walls, buy a siege unit there and then continue towards cities with walls (as producing a ram close to front line usually takes too much time) When city is surrounded, you might consider sacrificing units to attack it – when unit will die anyway from city fire, it’s better to use it’s final strike. It might even make space for another unit to attack. If city has healing, wait and surround it with about 3 units and attack at once. 
Surprise with your attack. Unless there is a unit, player can see just one tile from their borders. This means you can first gather your units two tiles from enemies borders and than attack with most of the units at the same time. It is great idea to declare war and attack at the last second before end of turn, as your opponent will have no time to react. You will therefore get one free turn to move your units. 
Pillaging is great. Again, I can’t stress this enough. Pillage what you can (especially gold and farms for health, even faith can be used to later buy new units). Horseman excel at this as they are cheap and fast. Remember, it’s better to pillage than to get just one city and it’s much better to win a war than pillage everything. Learn how to maintain proper balance by experimenting. 
Sometimes it’s better to slow down. Even though you want a fast war, sometimes throwing units at cities just does not work. Learn when to rest, heal your units (in captured city ideally) or even upgrade them if you can. Fortified healing might be better than healing by promotion as you might need an additional health boost later. 
Be prepared for the next turn. It often happens, that you (or your enemy) has a low hp unit with a promotion at the end of a turn. Therefore be prepared to promote or move as fast as you can, before enemy kills your unit even with it’s unused promotion. There is a really pro tip for you. It is that strategy view, even though it looks terrible is much faster to move units. Switch to strategy view before start of round, move your units where speed matters, and than switch back to normal view. 

Defending Against Early War

Best way of defending is preventing war at the first place. Have at least decent military and scout a lot. Especially when other civ is nearby. Walls and visible military camps also work as deterents. 
If someone is too close and you don’t want a war (for example you plan to attack a different player) try to get declared friendship early on. Write them private message to notice the deal. 
When already under attack, build walls. Find a place where to gather your units. Use choke points, hills, forrest and mainly rivers (attacking over river gives big penalties). 
If you want to make life harder for your conqueror, describe your bad situation in chat and settle a city as far away possible. Without peace, those occupied cities won’t be very useful. 

Trench War

Trench War is when two players have close borders, are at war (or arming heavily) and neither one has enough advantage to push the other one. It is the last thing you want in FFA. So what if you have no other choice? 
First ready up your defense. It’s just like defending. Build walls, units, military camp(s) on border and hold rivers and hills. Do not build improvements that can be pillaged. Make sure you can’t be attacked from behind, or at least have a scout there. Seeing a single unit behind your defenses, pillaging tiles and keep escaping is a devastating blow to morale and resources. If you are behind in tech, focus at getting unit tech upgrades. 
Slowly expand. If you have at least slight advantage try to settle new cities to surround your enemy, get as much map control as you can. Ranged units become very powerful in this situation. You must get them. Going for Cavalry is too slow and it can be easily countered by Pikeman. Use melee class instead. Watch your enemies military score often. You do not want to overexpand and be surprised by 2 to 1 unit count. 
Try to get a great general. In relatively balanced war unit-wise generals can easily decide who wins. 
Lure enemy. You might let your enemy get close, just before you upgrade some units. 
Be calm and try to win a mental war. A lot of people won’t last long. If they can’t push, they are surrounded or it just takes a long time to win, they often leave. Try to show your map control, make enemy feel you are everywhere, even though your units can’t do much. 
Communicate. Sometimes it’s the best solution. Asking for peace actually works quite often. Just do it after some small victory so you do not look weak. Remember it takes 10 turns after war declaration just before peace is a possible to offer. 

Choosing a Research Path

When you select your research path, you mostly care about what units and unit upgrades are unlocked. The key is a good sense of when you will need what unit. It’s important to learn how to merge these needs into a reasonable research plan. 
This can be easily demonstrated on early units. If I spend 6 turns researching Archery and Horseback Riding it is a bad idea to suddenly research and use Swordsman. And if I go for Horseman and I don’t scout, I might get punished by a close player who went for Heavy Chariots and killed me before I was ready. 
There are also some other technologies, which you should include in your plan. For example education, which will give you ability to build universities, thus massively increasing you science income. 
Here are some simplified research trees which are often used: 
Horseback Riding -> Education -> Machinery -> Military Science (Calvary) -> Tanks -> Flight -> Advanced Flight 
Horseman is great in open flat terrain. When there is a lot of city-states or a another civ about 20 tiles away. This strategy is weak to super early rushes as you start producing Horseman after turn 21. Education and building universities is usually a must (In rare cases with an absurd amount of cities you can go straight to Cavalry. And if you than can immediately attack all competing civs). Flight and Advanced Flight is good, but usually it’s better to go Combustion first and use Tanks instead. Planes research path takes a long time. 
Heavy Chariots -> Knights -> Education -> Calvary -> Tanks 
Heavy Chariots are a strong early game unit. You can take just one or two City States and expand more when you research and upgrade to Knights. Rushing Tanks and Pillaging everything in your path is a decent plan. 
Heavy Chariots -> Knights -> Education -> Planes 
As knights are often quite competitive even in late mid game you might get away with forgoing Cavalry research path all along. When you are far from enemies, or they fight each other and not you, rushing planes can work very well. Scouting and map control is key though. Watch out for surprise Cavalry attacks. 
Swordsman -> Man-At-Arms -> Education 
This is a very flexible path, favoring a slow push or a defense with consolidated cities. In hill and forest terrain Man-At-Arms are quite good and can be used to push well defended City States. 
I am not a big fan of going for Musketman and Field Cannons. They are really slow, not really suited for a surprise war and later often outmaneuvered by Cavalry. Also the research path doesn’t lead to any unit which would redeem them. Good use for them is in emergency when under a long, continuous defensive war (which you really don’t want in FFA). 
Last thing is to utilize your civ’s powers. Sumeria will probably go War-Carts and than Knights. Scytha will go for Horseman and Cavalry. Russia for some faith buy of Cossacks. America and it’s science and culture bonuses is unpredictable. Sometimes you can pull of some really crazy stuff like Greece going for Hoplite -> Pikeman or Nubian with their ranged units. 

Horseman Rush

Horseman rush is brutal. You just have to know how to play it, how to spot it and how to defend. If you learn just one thing from this guide it should be this. 
When to do a horseman rush: 
When there are two Horses resource in reach of your Capital and terrain is open go straight for horseman rush. You will (most likely) find City States or a player to kill quite soon. 
How to do a Horseman rush: 
Basic principle is easy. Get who horses resource, research Horseback Riding and maximize production. When there are two Horses resource in reach of your Capital use this build (numbers are approximate turns): 

  • ~1: Settle in reach of two horses. Research Mining (if there are forest tiles or hills or forest on hills). Start building Scout.
  • ~5: After scout, produce a Builder. Scout in circle to know if there are Barbarians. Research Animal Husbandry and Archery and Horseback Riding after that. 
  • ~8: Build a Monument. After Code of Laws go for Craftsmanship. If you spot enemy civ/City State and it is behind forest / hills / a lot of rivers change to Foreign Trade. Use builder to maximize production (build improvement on horses and mine. If there are a lot of nice tiles use last charge to chop forest and get another builder). Use God King civic to get faith for Pantheon. 
  • ~12: If you went for Foreign Trade start building trader and send it towards enemy. Otherwise build builder/warrior/settler (watch out, finishing settler will remove one population in your city). 
  • ~15: Choose a pantheon to maximize production. Best is God of the Forge or God of Craftsmen. Do not forget to change civics from God King to Urban Planning after you get pantheon. 
  • ~20: Start pumping out Horseman and do not stop. As soon as you get Military Tradition use Maneuver civic to boost Horseman production.

If you start pumping out Horseman before turn 25, I would consider it good. 22-23 is optimal. After that you want to get like 2-3 Horseman and attack at once. 2 Horseman can take down 10 strength city in one turn. When you have enough Horseman use Conscription to lower their maintenance cost. 
When defending against horseman rush you first need to spot it. Use a scout and beware of a close player with double horses and a single city. Military score is one turn behind. Also you can get from 50 military power to 120 in just 2-3 turns. So do not trust someone, just because his military score is low. Build military and try to upgrade at least one unit to Swordsman to boost your city strength. 

Civics You Need to Know

Ancient Era: 
You should be familiar with all of them. Each has it’s uses, and they are all quite powerful. 
Classical Era: 
If you use an army a lot, especially if it’s melee class (Swordsman, Man-At-Arms) rush Political Philosophy and use Oligarchy. 
Recorded History -> Natural Philosophy (+100% Campus district adjacency bonuses) is so strong with a good campus adjacency. 
Military Training -> Raid (Yields gained from pillaging improvements are doubled). Pillaging is already very strong. This makes it almost broken. 
Medieval Era: 
Mercenaries -> Professional Army (50% discount on all unit upgrades). This is often a must-have civic. You really often want to upgrade units, not build them. Using this you can basically upgrade two times more units. 
Renaissance Era: 
Merchant republic can be great in late game for buying Fighters and Bombers. 
Theocracy allows for buying units with faith. Even though you might not have any faith income, you can pillage an absurd amount of faith from tiles. Than you can immediately spawn a new unit using faith. 
The Enlightenment -> Rationalism (+100% Science Science from Campus district buildings) is almost always used to massively boost science. 
I won’t go into later eras. later civics cards really depend on what are you doing and every civic has some kind of a build which will make it incredibly strong. Also early game is much more important. 

Team Games

When you play with a bot, you are seriously hindered. Bots usually accept peace and thanks to unbreakable alliance to their teammate it will also force peace with him. This means that if you want to go to war, you have only ten turns, before an enemy can peace out with bot, holding your attack for another ten turns. Also if you loose some cities, they will be ceded automatically, loosing penalties for occupation. This is why I recommend playing team games on immortal difficulty. This is also a reason you should never leave a team game, unless you have no cities. On the other hand if an enemy leaves it’s better (even thought it’s not polite) let the bot live in some undeveloped city. This way you can always set peace. 
Communication is key. If you want to attack someone, it’s good to say so beforehand. If you need gold, or just might need 50 gold in some 10 turns, you should say it. Always trade luxuries if you have more than one of the same type. When you propose a deal, write to your teammate as noticing deals is hard. Thanks to possibility of giving resources you can almost always do a great horseman rush or get iron to upgrade units. When you want to become suzerain of City State tell your teammate so he won’t kill City State or competes against you. 
Try not to get in war with multiple teams. If your teammate is fighting a war and he is too far away to help, it’s better to turtle up and try not to get in any trouble. Also Try to feed him (send him gold). 
Switching citis is a game breaking bug. Do not use it. Everyone who does this (especially again and again) does deserve being kicked. The principle of this is that you can give city to your ally, resetting his health and pulling enemy units away. Again, shame on you if you use this. 

Recap and Test 😉

Let’s recap very quickly the most important dos and don’ts: 

  • Scout a lot. 
  • Don’t have a weak military. 
  • Punish those with weak military. 
  • Pillage. 
  • Buy units only in the dire need. (Rams/Siege and Planes are exception) 
  • Build spare units (that you want to use) before finishing their upgrade research. 
  • Upgrade units by gold instead of building them. 
  • Use -50% gold cost of upgrading units and +50% to pillaged yields civic cards.

Again, remember. It’s a complex game. A good player knows the principles and a great one knows when to break them. 
Now. Let’s look at this pixelated image (China knows that Germany is about 5 tiles north-east from Lahore): 
Sid Meier's Civilization VI CreaM's Guide to Civilization Multiplayer (Base Game) 
What does China player obviously want to do? 
He wants to finish swordsman research, upgrade units and march towards Lahore and possibly Germany 
Is this a good idea? 
Well, it is not a terrible idea. But it is very risky. If Germany is a decent player (he is probably not, based on his low military and lack of scouts) China will loose military and won’t gain anything and will slowly loose to snowballing Germany. 
What should China do before he has chosen this plan? 
He should scout more. China’s scouting is terrible. There should be one scout going west, one scouting Germany (the most important) and one scouting east. 
Let’s assume Germany is a good player, he has a scout and sees upgrade to swordsman and the trade route. What should he do? 
Build up military quickly. Wait for China to weaken his units fighting Lahore, than strike, retake it and continue south. 
What would be a more solid game plan for China (deciding in turn 10 let’s say)? 
To be more solid and not risking, China should have settled north sea. He shouldn’t have killed Mohenjo-daro – Remember it’s bonus is that your coast cities have housing like a city with fresh water. Marching on Germany without scouting and trough rainforest is crazy and relies too much on Germany being bad at the game. That said, Germany was a bad player who disconnected and I could take his cities and snowball. Again, being aggressive is often not that bad… 


Thank you so much for reading this huge thing. I hope at least something will be useful. In future I might add a few sections about leader specific things, water maps, 1v1s and some advanced niche tips. Have a good games and see you on the battlefield 🙂 

Written by CreaM

Here we come to an end for Sid Meier’s Civilization VI CreaM’s Guide to Civilization Multiplayer (Base Game) hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!

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