Walkthrough by killswitch19
Version: 1.6 | Updated: 04/07/2018
FAQ of the Month Winner: March 2018 | Highest Rated Guide
Table of Contents
- In-depth Strategy Guide for AIs & Challenges
- Overarching Principles
- Paths to Victory
- Game Length
- Political Actions
- Civil Actions & Military Actions
- Yellow Cards
- Military Units
- Blue Technologies
First and foremost Challenges require a large degree of luck, patience, and tenacity. Many of the hardest challenges require 20+ attempts, and not necessarily due to misplays. Sometimes the AI Military Leader really will have 3 Cultural Raids in Age III. Sometimes the 2 important techs you need will be right next to each other. Just keep trying. But do abandon lost causes. The earlier you are in the game the quicker you should mulligan. Alexander or Joan of Arc Aggressing you in Age I? Restart. Stuck with Moses in Age A? Restart. Didn’t get Pyramids in the opening round? Restart.
The general strategies for the game still apply to the Challenges but I will highlight where the exceptions lie.
No specific Strategies are needed, just follow the principles above.
A few modifications are needed to account for the, well, accounting, but otherwise these are not difficult Challenges.
As everything is much cheaper, Civil Actions are even more useful, Yellow Cards are worth less, and Yellow Tokens (and by extension Farming) is more important. Ocean Liner is excellent in this level as are population colonies. Happiness is harder to deal with as you have so much population so St Peter’s can be a good pick up. You can easily max out your population at the end.
The first 2 challenges are not very difficult. Age I leaders are the most feasible as it balances the downside of not having a leader while still holding out for the more powerful leaders to come. Genghis Khan with Heavy Cavalry and Great Wall works very well, and Da Vinci is all around a good pick. Michelangelo seems like a great choice but being too focused on Wonders and cultural buildings can cause you to fall behind in science and economy, and I struggled to turn a victory with him. If you can hold out until Age II Napoleon is the obvious choice, with Shakespeare a possible second.
I won Battle of the Immortals with Barbarossa by building a huge force, taking colonies, and scoring with 2 massive wars. Military focused leaders may be more useful as assassinating their leader is just about game winning. For War of the Immortals I used Napoleon with a large Air Force supported army and won 2 cultural wars against an AI that was struggling most of the game.
Battle of the Immortals
War of the Immortals
There is only one path to victory, especially in the later levels: Full on Military. You cannot make up the culture deficit with buildings. Focus on economy and capturing as many Population Colonies as possible. Colonization tech is very helpful. I used Homer + Colossus into Barbarossa to colonize like mad, but Alexander, Pyramids, even University Caritas can work. Getting all the Mine, Farm, & Science upgrades as the game goes on long enough for them to pay off. You don't need any early cultural buildings or Wonders.
Age II you need all military techs: Cannon, Riflemen, and Cavalry. You need them for Age III Tactics to ensure none of your troops will be obsolete. Constitutional Monarchy is mandatory, not for Civil Actions but for Military Actions. War Techs are also very helpful. Ocean Liner is critical to get a constant flow of population to produce the huge army you'll need to field. Transatlantic is good if you can get it. Your goal is to draw 3 Military Cards a turn to dig for Culture Wars. Napoleon as usual is bonkers but Cooke can work if you've got a lot of islands.
Age III is when you win. You'll be 200 points down. Key to winning is playing at least 3 Culture wars with a 50+ lead. Don't play any Culture wars until your final few turns, and be wary of how much time you have. Focus on getting Air Force at whatever price. Other techs like Oil are good if you have Transatlantic, but don't draw too many cards from the card row, you need to prolonging Age III as long as you possible. Churchill is fantastic to help you tech into both advanced military and extra production.
I won by playing 4 Culture Wars at almost 100+ each. I was lucky I got Modern Army early + Air Force x 3. This is really only possible if you’ve attained a lot of Yellow Tokens as it requires 15 population dedicated to military only.
Epic Game for Four
Super Epic Game for Four
This was one of the rare levels where the first level was the hardest. The strategy seems simple: eschew any culture producing buildings and go for industry, military, and end game scoring cards. But in the first challenge you only double your end points, and you can get some culture through buildings but only at 2/3s. If you focus too hard in any one direction you will likely lose.
However once past the first level it becomes much easier. Get 2 farms, 4 mines, 2 Labs, and use Arenas for Happiness. Focus on economy and military until Age III, then focus on whatever Age III events you've played. ie. If you've played Impact of Agriculture, max out agriculture.
Good leaders include Homer, Columbus, Barbarossa, any science leader, and of course Napoleon and Churchill. Avoid all the culture-centric leaders and never build Libraries or Temples. With some key aggressions the final levels should be straightforward.
These were easier than I expected, with Joan of Arc perhaps being the hardest. You'd think Napoleon would be hard but he only starts with a +2 Strength bonus, easily surmountable in the early Ages. The 1v1 match ups were arguably harder because the 4 player match ups — once you secured your military — usually ended up with one AI getting picked on leaving you alone to focus on your economy. Good early Tactics or Genghis Khan + Great Wall should be enough to carry you through the early game. For the late game Joan in particular becomes an ineffective culture generator.
Time Traveler - Churchill
Time Traveler - Showdown
You have to overcome a huge deficit early so you can start playing Political Actions. You get a huge amount of culture (almost double) from playing these cards, meaning you have to start playing Political Actions or you'll just fall too far behind. Ignoring Military altogether won't work, you'll suffer from too many Events. I feel Colossus is mandatory to get you at least close to parity with the AI. Military-centric leaders like Genghis Khan, Alexander, or even Joan of Arc are important to grab. Once you get to Age III you can drift to 2nd or even 3rd place in Strength, there are much fewer Strength-based Events and you want to start focusing on Culture.
I used Genghis Khan + Heavy Cavalry + Great Wall to carry me through the early game. I was fortunate to actually be first in Strength and scored tons of Tokens and Resources off the events the AI was playing. The Hard AI was weakest and suffered Aggressions which helped slow him down for Age III. Bach was fabulous for converting my temples into Operas, and Bill Gates gave me the extra rocks I needed from my under developed Science, and his end game bonus was enough to literally just squeak by.
Difficulty: Very Hard
The AI can get by with only one or two military units the entire game and dump the rest into culture producing urban buildings making it impossible to get ahead. If he takes Michelangelo or Joan of Arc it's going to be very hard to catch up, he'll have tons of military and culture that will be very difficult to over come even in the late game. Be very careful about seeding islands, they will take them easily as they can sacrifice units galore without suffering much in terms of military strength, and for strategic islands will even gain Strength! And if they pick James Cooke with even a few islands you're done for.
Fortunately in my game he focused on Science and colonies.
I did the Aristotle-Columbus combo - take Aristotle early, and Columbus when he shows up, but save Columbus for a primo colony right before Age II so you can replace Columbus quick. I went Bach into x 4 Operas &Democracy. I had no Coal/Oil/Computers. It took too long to develop them.
Goddess of War
Difficulty: Very Hard
All of these levels are tough, with the second and third Challenges requiring 15+ attempts a piece.
Firstly, do not try to take every Wonder, it's just not possible. You are better off eating the deficits and getting the good Wonders you need. The Civil Actions required for getting every Wonder are just not feasible, let alone the rock cost.
The mandatory Wonders are Great Wall, Carolina or St. Peter's, Trans-Continental, and Ocean Liner or Eiffel Tower. I built one Age III Wonder but was close to getting two (off by 2 Resources). I disagree with taking Pyramids. Code of Laws does the same thing and it’s better to take the Science hit then increase the cost of your future Wonders.
Luck is going to be a big factor. Hopefully Taj Mahal will come late in Age I, and your key Wonders will be early, particularly Great Wall.
If you’re lucky and get Khan and Cavalry you have a good chance at victory. Also the AIs really have to be fighting each other and ignoring you.
In my game, Churchill attacked Chaplin splitting Chaplin's large culture margin. Napoleon almost instantly died to Iconoclasm. Additionally I got Sid Meier very quick and built 3 Computers for very large culture and science gains. Military was very sparse but some how enough to have two successful Aggressions against a struggling AI. I picked up Republic with Maximilian but Constitutional Monarchy would have been fine.
Age of Wonders
World of Wonders
Difficulty: Very Hard