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Strategy Guide by The Ambassador

Version: 3.01 | Updated: 02/12/07

GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS:
The Strategy Guide

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BY: The Ambassador
LAST UPDATED: 02/12/07
EMAIL: ambassador@wideopenwest.com
VERSION: 3.01

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DISCLAIMER:
If you want to use this guide, please email me first. I will let you 
know whether or not I want you to use it. Currently, the only sites 
this guide should be at are gamespot.com, supercheats.com, 
www.mogelgott.de, and gamefaqs.com. If you see any other sites with this 
guide, please contact me. Thanks for your cooperation.


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UPDATE HISTORY:

Version 1.00: Began and finished original guide.
Version 2.00: Totally revised the guide and added changes based on 
   Altarian Prophecy and updates on the original game.
Version 3.00: Another total revision based on my new strategies.
Version 3.01: Added www.mogelgott.de to the list of sites.


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction (Read First!)
2. At the Beginning
3. In the Game
4. Things to Aim For
5. Variations for Altarian Prophecy/updates for the original game
6. Endnotes


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INTRODUCTION: 

I created these general strategies for people who are struggling to 
beat Galactic Civilizations. I know it is not ordinary to advise people 
to look at someone else's guide, but if you are just looking for the 
basics, visit the other guides. This is more for those who already know 
how to use the game. Also, if you need information that is not found 
here, galciv.com is an excellent source of information as well as mods 
for those who want to update their game with custom-made items, ranging 
from technologies to ships to full campaigns. There is also a guide on 
their site. Thus, while it may be quite difficult to find your way 
around on it, it is a very good source of information and updates.

These strategies will help those who struggle with tougher opponents. 
These are not designed for players who can easily beat the masochistic 
level and want to up their score. While I still struggle on the 
nastiest difficulties, I have found my way around rather well and can 
easily help others get a rocket start into the game. Thus, I created 
this guide.


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AT THE BEGINNING:

1. Don't fully trust the manual for intricate details. Some of the 
things they say are wrong. However, the manual is good for the overall 
picture.

2. If you are just starting into the game, do not update it immediately 
(there is a version 1.2 or something out there). The first version is 
much nicer to new players, virtually eliminating space sharks and 
making planet quality bonuses much cheaper.

3. Figure out which political party you want to use. Each has their own 
abilities, and each will suit some players and not others. Personally, 
I find Technologists to be the best, but I change it up somewhat often 
to get a feel for most of them. I suggest you do the same to find one 
that really suits you.

4. Now it is time to figure out what abilities you want to use. The 10 
allotment seems to go very fast. If you are playing with the original, 
not updated version, definitely go for planet quality. It will eat up 
quite a few points, but it is well worth it. Also, even only a 5% bonus 
will allow you to colonize class 12 planets (more helpful in smaller 
sizes with fewer inhabitable planets). If you have updated or have the 
Altarian expansion, planet quality almost drops out of the picture as 
it is far too expensive when other (ie. Research, social production, 
and military production) bonuses will help your planets out more. Also, 
be sure to match up for maximum bonus. For example, I like to add to 
the three main productions (research, military, and social). I use the 
Altarian expansion to play, so research is expensive, thus I use the 
Technologists for the research and give more to production. In 
addition, I realized that the final step in military is 10% better than 
social, so while I prefer social production, I put the extra in 
military in order to receive the best bonus. The same is true for many 
other abilities: only put in as much as you are receiving the best deal 
(ie. Something has 10% for 1 point, 20% for 2, and 30% for 4; do not go 
for the third option as the first two are much better deals and there 
are plenty of other options out there).

5. As for the map, decide how long you want the game to be. In reality, 
my games hardly take longer on the larger maps than the smaller ones. 
The reason is that I generally am a pacifist and then suddenly crank 
out a large army (all fleeted together if possible) and go on the 
offensive. If you have on unstoppable fleet, the only time difference 
is just speed to get to each planet. All of the options can create 
drastically different games. For beginners, I would suggest smaller 
maps and fewer inhabitable planets, but the choice really is yours.

6. For your opponents, choose the easiest to start with and slowly work 
your way up from there. For me, I had troubles beating easy, mastered 
the game, and THEN quickly worked my way up the ladder to make it to 
masochistic. Alignments don't matter all that much, so set them however 
you want them. Also, if you are trying a new map type, such as 
increasing the size or more/less inhabitable planets, I would suggest 
decreasing the difficulty about one level. There is no reason to make 
your work twice as difficult; learn the new map style first and then 
try it on a harder setting.

7. Learn the Ctrl + N trick. If your starting base seems lacking, use 
the keystroke to quickly make a new game with all of the same settings.


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IN THE GAME:

1. There are a few noteworthy early technologies you should try to 
research; parentheses refer to prerequisites. One is Trade 
(Communication Theory - Universal Translator - Diplomacy). Another is 
Basic Environmental Control (Medical Theory). The third one is 
Interstellar Refining (Propulsion Theory - Cold Fusion + Industrial 
Theory). Trade gives your economy a huge boost. The next gives you a 
planet quality bonus as well as a population bonus. The third helps 
your starbases, but also gives you access to a quick manufacturing/ 
economic improvement. For the militaristic, note Impulse Drive 
(Propulsion Theory - Cold Fusion) as it gives you transports; also note 
Shields (Defense Theory - Deflectors) as the BattleAxe is the first 
decent unit in the game (I cannot stand Corvettes).

2. Now that you have set your technology, it is time to build. I almost 
always start off with Soil Enhancement and Habitat Improvement. I also 
build the Fusion Power Plant ASAP, as well as a Manufacturing Center. 
All four quickly boost production, which allows you to build future 
items faster. Afterwards, I go for the trade goods, like Aphrodisiac 
and Diplomatic Transmitters. Don't go for Neo-Composition Hulls (or 
something like that) or Frictionless Fabric on harder difficulties as 
those are generally the first two built by the AI.

3. To jumpstart your economy, on your first turn crank out your output 
to 100%. I do this instead of buying ships/improvements. Your economy 
can last several years on 100% before going into the red or getting too 
close to it. Also, I crank up the emphasis on military production to at 
least 70% in order to build those colony ships and constructors to be 
first out to colonize.

4. Exploration is up to you, whether you want your ships to auto-
explore or manually control them. Micromanaging will help you out as 
the AI that controls the game is not extremely smart. However, it does 
a good enough job so if you want it to be done automatically, that's 
okay. Also please note, that if you have updated your game with a patch 
or are playing Altarian Prophecy, BEWARE of the space sharks. They come 
from anomalies that either look like giant boulders or a spike ball. 
The Space Shark will utterly destroy all early ships, as well as 
knocking out a number of defense-upped starbases before finally being 
killed. They really know how to destroy things, so only explore a 
space-shark anomaly if it is in your opponent's territory.

5. Watch your minimap. It is your friend. Put on all the options and 
keep an eye on it. It is a good way to quickly learn everything that is 
going on. Become allergic to any enemy's colors to immediately repel an 
invasion.

6. Soon into the game, you will need to research some defensive 
technologies so that other, militaristic groups will not destroy you. The 
BattleAxe is a decent defender, so two of them on each planet should be 
enough to thwart any early attempts to launch a surprise attack on a 
planet.

7. Keep an eye on your money. Once it reaches 100bc or so, redo the 
slider so that your spending is about equal to your income. Do your best 
to stay out of debt as it hurts nearly everything in your civilization, 
especially morale.

8. As soon as all inhabitable planets are taken, put your planets on 
making constructors and trade vessels to expand your economy and claim 
resources. Over half the time I build a ship, I build constructors as 
they are so handy. However, as soon as the resources are taken and 
starbases begin to grow, you should turn your economy around, focusing 
more on social improvements and technology (ie. 30%, 35%, 35%).

Congratulations. You should have a working economy by now. At this point, 
you should focus on how you want to win the game and research/build 
accordingly. My strategy is generally to build up research, 
manufacturing, and my economy. I also try to research the governments as 
the bonuses are pretty good (20%). After researching the easier techs 
(ie. Before TerraComputers), I aim for Defensive Phasers. By then, I have 
researched enough so my battle hammers, mixed with some transports, can 
start taking on the universe. If necessary, wait and research more. One 
of the worst things you can do is to start a war without knowing that you 
will be the victor. If you attack someone, be sure to finish the job, or 
at least to the point where they are no longer a threat.

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AIMS (I am sure I will forget quite a few):

Wonders/Trade Goods:
Aphrodisiac
Gravity Accelerators
Eyes of the Universe
Trade Monument/Ultra Spices
The Terraformer (except in the original game)

Improvements:
All Capitals
Soil Enhancement/Habitat Improvement/Terraforming
Trade Center
Stock Market
Teleporters
Bank
Fusion Power Plant/Manufacturing Center/Anti-matter Power Plant
All Research

Ships:
Battle-Axe
Transports/Battle Transports
Battle Hammers
Dreadnaught
Ranger
Avatar
Overlord
EXCALIBUR (Just one will rule the entire world)

Research:
Trade
Basic Environmental Control
Impulse Drive
Transporters
The Better Way
Brain Wave Mapping
Terracomputers
Terraforming
4D Techs
Near O's
Excalibur Technology


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VARIATIONS:

When you download an updated version or Altarian Prophecy, the game 
changes drastically. Changes include:

More good political parties
The need to watch out for space sharks in anomalies
More events and council ideas that are more powerful
Logistics (which limits the amount of starbases you can have and the 
number of improvements on starbases you can create)
The Terraformer (a wonder) now works (the most powerful of ALL wonders 
(you can now colonize 11+ and perhaps 10+ planets)
You now have a campaign to beat, if you want (it is not well-done, in 
my opinion)
Two more civilizations and the opportunity to turn races on/off


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ENDNOTES:

Thus closes my guide. I greatly welcome any questions or comments (my 
email address is ambassador@wideopenwest.com), such as:

Ways to make my guide better
Knowing the names of things I have forgotten
Aims and strategies you have found that are good
Questions about the game
Anything more

Please keep the emails clean, and please do NOT email me about Galactic 
Civilizations II. This guide is for #1, and while there are some 
similarities (the Master Strategy ought to work for both), they are too 
different for me to answer questions about it when I don't have #2. 

Also, if you need something that is not on my guide, please email about 
it, but also check out galciv.com. It is the official site for Galactic 
Civilizations and it is a relatively good site. It even includes 
instructions for customizing the game through modding (I am not a 
programmer, so I cannot help in this area). 

Other Guides:
Mario Tennis: Power Tour
Monopoly Tycoon
Cossacks 1
Gallop Racer 2004


Good luck and God bless.

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