I know a lot of people like the Koreans, but for me they're not the best. I personally enjoy playing with the Goths- they're very fast when rushing and creating an army and the huskarls are hard to counter. Although, I'm not sure if they're the best or not.
Different civs have different strengths. It's hard to truly define a "best" civ. Vikings, for example, are a stronger low-resource, water/land brawl than they are in a high resource land war. The economic boom they can receive is much more beneficial when in a low resource map.
Some, like the Byz, have an incredibly strong Post-Imperial game, but their weakness is how easily they can fall before they get there.
However, you can usually distinguish between upper-tier teams that succeed in most conditions and lower-tier teams, after a while. There isn't much of a gap between them, really, that it should limit two players who know how to play the game, but there is somewhat of one.
I tend to think of the Saracens, Byzantines, Turks, Spanish, Koreans and Chinese as "upper-tier" (I only really play two of them out of that list) But that's just my opinion.
I like playing the Turks, Franks, Saracens, and Goths the most.
^Agreed. 'Best' can differ depending on what type of game you're playing and what age you start in. Also accounting for the fact that a civ can be better or worse depending on what civ they're up against, I can't really say what really is best.
Though, my personal favorites are the Mongols or Saracens.
Yes, I realize that the term 'best civ' is very subjective based on the situation. I'm just wondering if anyone thinks one civ stands out among the rest no matter what the match-up.
BUM, it's interesting to note that you mention the Vikings as a strong civ because based on all of my experience and talking to others, they appear to be the overall worst civ in the game (although they are fairly strong on water maps). Another interesting point is that 4 of the 6 civs on your "upper-tier" list are very technologically advanced. They all have the 'gunpowder' upgrade, giving them bombard units and such. Do you think that is a necessity in order to do well? One last question; what is your reasoning for giving the Chinese such a high ranking?
Saracens, Byzantines, Turks, Spanish, Koreans and Chinese As I'm not BUM, I won't be able to give his reasons, but Saracen and Korean I *think* are accepted as being top-tier civs, and I seem to recall topics about the Koreans being banned in Deathmatches or somesuch. Spanish get a *lot* of techs, and have a dangerously fast build-speed, which, particularly early in the game, can make a huge difference. Byzantines get counter-units for everything, and their only real disadvantage (that I can think of) is that they don't get Blast Furnace. Dunno about the Turks, though Janissaries are pretty awesome.
As for the Chinese ... I'm curious too :). Their biggest bonus is the doubled villagers at start, the Farm increase isn't *that* great, and their other bonus is extremely reactive. UU isn't that great, either.
I am the Sabre of Quiet Reflection. Not even a samadh in your honor.