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    Civilization/Leader Guide by gmims44

    Updated: 05/09/10 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword
    Complete Civilization and Leader Guide
    by gmims44
    This FAQ is my guide to all 34 civilizations and 52 leaders in Civilization IV:
    Beyond the Sword.  It began as a small project on the Civ IV message board one 
    day when I had some free time, and over the course of a couple months it 
    eventually turned into the 13,000-word monstrosity you see below.  The guide is
    based on my expertise from nearly four years of playing Civ IV, during which 
    time I'm sure I've played every leader at least twice (most of them a lot 
    more), plus way too much time spent discussing this game on message boards.
    This guide is not intended to cover all aspects of the game or every possible 
    strategy with every leader.  Rather, it is intended to give the reader a basic 
    overview of the strengths and possibly the weaknesses of each civilization and
    leader, hopefully to inform and entertain those who are looking to improve
    their game.  Keep in mind that every game will play out differently depending 
    on the map and the behavior of your neighbors, so the information here is 
    largely general suggestions on how to play to the strengths of different 
    leaders and not by any means hard and fast rules.  This FAQ is also written 
    from the perspective of an Emperor/Immortal-level player, and while most of the
    infomation here is equally true at any level, some things may be more or less 
    effective at lower difficulties (Incan Quechuas being the most notable 
    example).  I won't even mention Deity, because that's almost a completely
    different game, and the 1% of civ players who can actually compete on that
    level certainly aren't going to learn anything from this guide.
    A table of contents would be kind of pointless, so instead I'll just tell you
    that the list is arranged with the civilizations in alphabetical order, so if 
    you're looking for a specific leader just find their civ.  Ctrl + F also works.
    Hope you enjoy the guide, and if you have any questions or comments, feel free 
    to e-mail me at anamishguy@gmail.com.
    The original topic, where most of this guide can be found:
    Starting techs: Agriculture, Fishing
    Unique Building: 
    Mall- A Supermarket with +20% gold and +1 happiness from Hit 
    Musicals, Hit Singles, & Hit Movies. This a very good UB held back by the fact 
    that it comes so late in the game. Still, for a late-game war, the gold bonus 
    can be a significant help if you're rush-buying units with Universal Suffrage, 
    and more happiness is always welcome when dealing with war weariness.
    Unique Unit: 
    Navy SEAL- A Marine with 1-2 first strikes plus the March promotion. Marines 
    are somewhat of a niche unit, but if you find yourself in a situation where you
    want to launch amphibious strikes in the modern era, SEALs are a noticeable 
    upgrade. The March promotion means they can start healing right after they've 
    attacked instead of waiting a turn like most units, so stick a medic in the 
    transports with them and you'll be ready to attack again earlier than usual. 
    Good in some situations, but not a game-changing UU by any means.
    Lincoln (Philosophical, Charismatic)- Two strong traits make Lincoln one of the
    best leaders for running a specialist economy. Stonehenge is a particularly 
    attractive wonder for Charismatic happiness and early gpp. If you have stone or
    marble you might choose to build wonders to help take advantage of 
    Philosophical's bonus (obviously go for the Pyramids if you have stone to help 
    your SE), or you can build units instead and take advantage of Charismatic's 
    warmongering benefits. Or both. Unfortunately a specialist economy doesn't have
    good synergy with America's UB, but like I said, it comes too late to make much
    of a difference anyway.
    Roosevelt (Industrious, Organized)- Having an economic trait to go along with 
    Industrious is nice, because a large factor in building wonders is getting to 
    their required tech first.  Roosevelt is well suited for archipelago-type maps 
    where all or most of your cities are coastal, as starting with Fishing puts him
    closer to the Great Lighthouse, which combined with the Organized trait will 
    allow for lot of expansion without the need for many cottages.  He may also be 
    a good candidate for a specialist economy even though he’s not Philosophical, 
    since he can build the Pyramids more easily and the gold saved by Organized is 
    really useful when you don’t have cottages.  Whatever your strategy, these are 
    two good long-term traits that will help you out.
    Washington (Expansive, Charismatic)- I really love this trait combination. The 
    extra happiness from Charismatic means larger cities, and the benefit from 
    Expansive is not so much the extra health, but the cheaper granaries and 
    workers. You'll end up with bigger cities earlier, plus more workers to build 
    enough improvements for those bigger cities. That strong early game should set 
    you up well to do some always-fun Charismatic warmongering.
    Starting techs: Mysticism, The Wheel
    Unique Building: 
    Madrassa- A Library with 4 culture instead of 2 plus two slots for priest 
    specialists in addition to the normal two for scientists.  A very underrated 
    UB, especially considering that buildings double their cultural output after 
    1000 years, so Madrassas built in the BCs will quickly be producing 8 culture 
    per turn.  The extra specialist slots also mean you can set up a decent gp farm
    before Code of Laws, and it's easy to get great prophets for shrines or to bulb
    religions if you’re pursuing a religious strategy.
    Unique Unit: 
    Camel Archer- A Knight that doesn't require horses or iron.  It also has an 
    inherent 15% withdrawal chance (like a cuirassier), which paired with Flanking 
    I & II gives a 45% withdrawal chance.  That can be useful for both attacking 
    cities or as active defense against enemy stacks entering your territory, as 
    flanking damage from retreating Camel Archers will damage and eventually kill 
    enemy catapults and trebuchets.  Not a great UU, but sometimes you may be glad 
    to have it.
    Saladin (Spiritual, Protective)- Saladin is generally considered one of the 
    weaker leaders, mostly because Protective is such a weak trait.  Going for 
    Buddhism or Hinduism isn't generally recommended on higher levels, especially 
    because his second starting tech isn't a food tech, but his UB does support a 
    religious strategy, so it may be worth the risk and the slower start.  Saladin 
    is a good candidate for a cultural victory due the Madrassa and the Spiritual 
    trait for cheap temples (meaning faster cathedrals), plus the fact that he 
    doesn't offer any particular advantage for any other type of victory.  If you 
    do go the religious/cultural path, strongly consider the Apostolic Palace, 
    University of Sankore, and Spiral Minaret to make your religious buildings 
    better.  An interesting leader who may encourage you to try a strategy you 
    wouldn't normally use, but not one to choose when you've just moved up in 
    difficulty level, and not very likely to appear near the top in your hall of 
    Starting techs: Mysticism, Hunting
    Unique Building: 
    Sacrificial Altar- Courthouse replacement that reduces anger duration from 
    sacrificing population by 50%, plus it only takes 3/4 the number of hammers to 
    build.  Easily one of the best UBs in the game, as more frequent whipping in 
    the Slavery civic is a big hammer advantage.  Get high food sites and 
    sacrifice your population like mad to take full advantage of it.
    Unique Unit: 
    Jaguar- A 5-strength Swordsman with free Woodsman I (and Combat I, but 
    technically that's from Monty's trait) that doesn't require Iron and is the 
    cost of an axeman.  They can strike quickly through jungles and forests with 
    Woodsman II from a barracks, but on the higher difficulties at least, your 
    target is going to have a pretty robust defense which probably includes walls 
    and Axemen by the time you get Iron Working, so don't count on a Jaguar rush to
    wipe out a rival or even capture his capital.  A better use for them may be to 
    just capture a couple of the more vulnerable border cities then run around in 
    the enemy's forests, cutting roads, plundering, and basically choking him into 
    irrelevance so you can wipe him out later.  Even if you don't really use 
    Jaguars, save at least one for a great general super-medic, as it's the easiest
    unit in the game to get to Woodsman III + Medic III for 40% healing per turn.
    Montezuma (Spiritual, Aggressive)- Even though you start with Mysticism, don't 
    found a religion.  You'll most likely be conquering a few holy cities 
    eventually anyway, and with Hunting as your other starting tech, you really 
    need food techs asap to get off to a decent start.  Always consider the 
    possibility of an axe rush with an Aggressive leader (actually with any leader,
    but Aggressive leaders are particularly good at it), but if that's not an 
    option, I recommend going for the Oracle to get Code of Laws pretty early and 
    get Sacrificial Altars built.  Monty's Spiritual trait has great synergy with 
    his UB, as it lets you jump in and out of Slavery as much as you want over the 
    course of the game to keep those altars soaked in the blood of your loyal 
    subjects.  Anyway, with all those extra hammers from whipping twice as often 
    plus Monty's Aggressive trait, your path to victory should be fairly obvious.
    Starting techs: The Wheel, Agriculture (the two most expensive starting techs, 
    and Pottery is only one turn away)
    Unique Building: 
    Garden- A Colosseum that gives +2 health.  Not terrible, but not nearly as 
    helpful as many other UBs.  If you actually build it around the time you get 
    Construction, you’re more likely to be doing it for the normal +1 happiness 
    than the extra health.  You probably won't bother building it in most cities 
    until later in the game when health starts becoming an issue.
    Unique Unit: 
    Bowman- An Archer with +50% against melee units.  Incredibly useful if you 
    start next to Shaka or Monty, but not likely to affect your game much 
    otherwise.  Maybe you'll get better odds in a fight or two with barbarian 
    axemen or something.  Not a very highly-regarded UU overall.
    Hammurabi (Aggressive, Organized)- Hammurabi is a pretty decent warmonger.  
    Aggressive helps you win a large empire and Organized helps you afford it.  
    What else is there to say?  This is a very forgettable civilization and leader.
    Starting techs: Mysticism, The Wheel
    Unique Building: 
    Hippodrome- Replaces the Theatre and gives +1 happiness for horses instead of 
    dye, plus an extra +1 happiness for good measure.  Even better, it also gives 
    +1 happiness per 5% culture rate instead of the usual 10%, so every notch you 
    bump the culture slider will give you +2 happiness instead of 1.  That’s quite 
    useful for dealing with war weariness.  Also, while the normal Theatre has two 
    slots for artist specialists, the Hippodrome has none, though I can't imagine 
    when this would ever matter.  If you're going cultural, then you'll use Caste 
    System to farm artists, and if you're not, then artists are the last thing in 
    the world you want (well, maybe except for spies).
    Unique Unit: 
    Cataphract- A Knight replacement with 12 strength instead of 10.  The only 
    difference between these and cuirassiers is that cuirassiers have an innate 15%
    withdrawal chance and can flank attack cannons, and Cataphracts are 10% cheaper
    to build.  Considering that a cuirassier attack can be effective even though 
    they come significantly later, obviously Cataphracts have great offensive 
    potential.  Just send in spies beforehand to be ready to start revolts and 
    you’re good to go.  The only downside is that Guilds is inconveniently located 
    on the tech tree at a time when you’re normally gunning for Liberalism, but as 
    long as you plan to use them, in my opinion Cataphracts are good enough to 
    justify the detour and possible loss of a free tech.
    Justinian I (Spiritual, Imperialistic)- Yet another civilization with no 
    starting food tech, so you should avoid the temptation of an early religion and
    just research what you need to get your food resources hooked up and your 
    empire off to a fast start.  Imperialistic is nice for cheap settlers, but 
    those fast great generals also call for some warmongering, don’t they?  Unless 
    you have a good opportunity earlier, like an obvious axe rush or a dogpile 
    situation, I recommend peacefully building and teching until your 
    aforementioned Cataphracts are ready to do their thing, then using those to put
    yourself into a winning position.
    Starting techs: Fishing, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Cothon- A Harbor with one extra trade route that is also 25% more expensive to 
    build.  Obviously this UB is highly map-dependent, but just as obviously it can
    be pretty great on some maps.  I really love how you can run State Property and
    still get most of the benefit of Free Market (besides corporations), or you can
    just have Free Market on steroids.  And it’s not like Hannibal needs any help 
    teching anyway.
    Unique Unit: 
    Numidian Cavalry- A Horse Archer replacement with 5 strength instead of 6, but 
    +50% against melee units and a free Flanking I promotion.  The usefulness of 
    this UU has been debated over and over, but in my opinion it’s just not that 
    great.  Yes, they’re better against melee units, including spears, which would 
    normally be a strong counter unit, but they’re worse than standard horse 
    archers against archers and longbows, the primary defensive units of their time
    period.  If they’re worse at attacking cities, then why would I want them?  
    Well, I suppose since they’re strong in the field they’re good if someone is 
    likely to attack with mostly melee units and catapults, but that doesn’t seem 
    like anything worth prioritizing Horseback Riding for in most games.
    Hannibal (Financial, Charismatic)-  Pretty straightforward: just use his 
    awesome traits to go for any type of victory you want.  As with any Financial 
    leader, build riverside cottages for instant 3-commerce tiles, and with 
    Hannibal’s larger cities from Charismatic, you can work even more cottages 
    earlier.  At some point, you’ll probably want to build up an army and go beat 
    up some of your inferiors, and my favorite time for that is the renaissance and
    early industrial eras, when you can really turn a tech lead into a serious 
    military advantage, like cavalry against muskets or mass cannons against, well,
    anything.  Hannibal is simply one of the best leaders in the game, and he’s 
    easy to play since you’ll probably want a cottage economy with him.  A good 
    choice for both new players and anyone moving up in difficulty.
    Starting techs: Mysticism, Hunting
    Unique Building: 
    Dun- Replaces Walls and gives a free Guerilla I promotion to eligible units.
    That only includes archery units and gunpowder units before Rifling, because 
    the Dun becomes obsolete with Rifling just like normal walls.  If you’re likely
    to be attacked and your border cities are on hills, then this UB provides a 
    little extra protection.  Offensively, Guerilla-promoted troops can give you 
    extra stack protection when moving through enemy territory if you can stick to
    hills, and any unit you get to Guerilla III gets +25% hill attack and more 
    importantly, a +50% withdrawal chance, making them pretty nice attackers.  I 
    don’t usually research Military Science for grenadiers, but doing that along 
    with Steel (they’re close to each other on the tech tree) before getting 
    Rifling could be worth it to build some Guerilla III grenadiers with Theocracy 
    or Vassalage to go with your cannons.  Still, I consider the Dun a UB that’s 
    just kind of fun to play around with, not one that gives me a really 
    significant advantage like some others.  It certainly belongs in any discussion
    of worst unique buildings.
    Unique Unit: 
    Gallic Warrior- A Swordsman that can be built with just copper and comes with a
    free Guerilla I promotion, plus access to the other Guerilla promotions, which 
    is something no other melee unit has.  If you want to attack some cities on 
    hills then it might be good to go for Guerilla III with them, but otherwise 
    you’ll probably just use them like normal swordsmen.  Like the Celtic UB, the 
    Gallic Warrior is an interesting but not particularly powerful UU.
    Boudica (Aggressive, Charismatic)- Both Celtic leaders have nice trait combos 
    to somewhat make up for below average uniques and bad starting techs.  
    Obviously Boudica’s advantage is highly promoted units, and you’re not using 
    that advantage unless you’re at war.  Once again, skip early religion in favor 
    of food techs for a faster start, since you should be conquering holy cities 
    later.  Theocracy and/or Vassalage make sense to strengthen your units even 
    further, and as your wars go on, settled great generals will really start to 
    give you some powerful armies.  At just 8 exp, Boudica’s melee and gunpowder 
    units get four promotions, something that takes 17 exp for most leaders.
    Brennus (Spiritual, Charismatic)- A more well-rounded leader than Boudica, but 
    his traits still push him towards war.  Spiritual is often overlooked as a good
    trait for warmongering, but being able to change civics at will is a useful 
    ability when building up an army.  For example, build infrastructure for a 
    while in Organized Religion, then switch over to Theocracy to build units, and 
    back and forth as much as you like.  Switching into Nationhood to do some 
    drafting is another powerful option that becomes much more attractive when you 
    don’t have wasted turns of anarchy.  Honestly, I think Boudica’s traits are 
    kind of overkill and I’d usually rather take Brennus to war.
    Starting techs: Agriculture, Mining (the only civ with this very good 
    Unique Building: 
    Pavilion- Exactly like a normal Theatre but with a +25% culture multiplier.  
    May push you in the direction of a cultural victory if you were leaning that 
    way.  Otherwise it’s just a little extra border push.
    Unique Unit: 
    Chu-Ko-Nu- A Crossbowman that does collateral damage, plus it has 
    an extra first strike.  A very good unit, so some people like to go for them 
    early by getting Metal Casting from the Oracle and running an engineer 
    specialist from a Forge to get a great engineer to bulb Machinery.  Personally 
    I’m not so convinced that they’re powerful enough to warrant a beeline like 
    that, since catapults plus swordsmen/axemen can do virtually the same thing 
    plus take down city defenses first, but it’s something to consider.  They 
    certainly make any medieval stack much better, though, and it’s worth building 
    a lot more of them than you would normally build if they were ordinary 
    Mao Zedong (Expansive, Protective)- A crappy Protective leader.  I’m generally 
    a fan of the Expansive trait for cheap workers and granaries, but it’s not 
    enough to keep Mao from being one of the weakest leaders in the game.  As 
    mentioned above, China’s UB can be helpful for a cultural victory, but there’s 
    really no specific strategy that Mao’s trait combination lends itself to.  Just
    play the map and do the best you can, and if you win maybe you can take some 
    pride from the fact that it was due entirely to your own skill.  Once you can 
    win with Mao, you’re ready to move up in difficulty.
    Qin Shi Huang (Industrious, Protective)- Qin is well suited to pull off the 
    early Machinery gambit described above with the cheap Oracle and cheap Forge 
    from Industrious if you want to give that strategy a try and see if you 
    disagree with me about its effectiveness.  Beyond that, discounted wonders and 
    a culture-multiplying UB are definitely helpful for a cultural victory.  For 
    any other type of victory his traits aren’t as much help.
    Starting techs: Fishing, Agriculture
    Unique Building: 
    Dike- A Levee that gives +1 hammer to water tiles in addition to river tiles 
    and can be built in any coastal city without having to be on a river.  Somewhat
    map-dependent, but it’s good enough that it alone arguably makes the Dutch the 
    best civ to use on water-heavy maps likes archipelago and medium & small where 
    good production can be hard to come by.  It comes fairly late with Steam Power,
    but that’s only fair, because it’s the only UB that’s like having a national 
    wonder (Moai Statues) in every city (and your Moai city will be really 
    amazing).  Consider buying them with Universal Suffrage in low-hammer coastal 
    cities that are working a lot of ocean tiles, because they’re fairly expensive 
    to build and the sooner you can get that extra production the better.
    Unique Unit: 
    East Indiaman- Replaces the Galleon and has 6 strength instead of 4, capacity 
    for 4 units instead of 3, and the ability to travel in rival territory without 
    the need for open borders (like a caravel).  May save you a few hammers on 
    galleons if you’re transporting units overseas, and difficult to take down if 
    your opponent doesn’t have Chemistry yet, but really not that big a deal.
    Willem van Oranje (Financial, Creative)- Cheap Libraries from the Creative 
    trait work well with Financial to make Willem an excellent techer.  He doesn’t 
    have a military trait, but if you go to war with a tech lead then that doesn’t 
    matter so much.  Or you can just do what Willem does best and tech all the way 
    to space.  As mentioned before, the Dike makes him a beast on water-heavy maps,
    but Willem is still an excellent leader even without his monster UB.  When you 
    play him (or maybe when you play the next game after using him) you’ll 
    understand why the Financial trait is a crutch for so many players.
    Starting techs: Agriculture, The Wheel
    Unique Building: 
    Obelisk- A Monument with 2 priest slots.  This isn’t a very great UB, but it is
    an interesting one as it allows for an earlier great person than is possible 
    any other way. Great prophets are nice when settled early in the game, or 
    alternatively, you can use them to bulb religions to help with a cultural 
    victory, which should be a serious consideration with both Egyptian leaders.  
    One downside to the Obelisk is that Hatshepsut is Creative and thus doesn’t 
    need them for culture, but it’s still worth building at least one to start 
    generating some great people.  With Industrious Ramesses, building Stonehenge 
    might be a good way to get them.
    Unique Unit: 
    War Chariot- A Chariot with 5 strength instead of 4 plus immunity to first 
    strikes.  Regular chariots are already sometimes more desirable than axemen for
    rushing due to their speed, so a chariot with the base strength of an axemen 
    that ignores archers’ first strikes?  Yes, please.  Assuming you have horses 
    nearby, the odds of pulling off a successful rush go way up with this UU, and 
    that makes the entire rest of the game easier.  They’re also nice barb 
    protection except for the occasional barbarian spearman.
    Ramesses II (Spiritual, Industrious)- Everything about Ramesses (except maybe 
    his War Chariots) screams for a peaceful builder game and eventual cultural 
    victory.  Build wonders in your three culture cities, found religions with the 
    great prophets from your UB, and build cheap temples from those religions to 
    get cathedrals earlier.  Also, as I mentioned with Roosevelt, Industrious 
    leaders are good candidates for specialist economies thanks to their discount 
    on the Pyramids.  It seems particularly appropriate to build them as Egypt.
    Hatshepsut (Spiritual, Creative)- Not so bad at cultural victories herself for 
    some of the same reasons as above, but instead of cheap wonders she gets two 
    culture per turn plus cheap libraries and theatres.  Personally, I’m a little 
    less likely to play the peaceful builder game with Hatty, opting instead to 
    leverage the Creative trait and good UU to try to claim a lot of land early, 
    and settling my great prophets to help fund expansion rather than bulbing 
    religions.  Her strong early game can really set you up for success, and the 
    flexibility of the Spiritual trait helps you out down the road.
    Starting techs: Fishing, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Stock Exchange- A Bank with an extra 15% gold multiplier, for a total of 65%.  
    This UB is great with England’s two Financial leaders, as you’ll have 
    potentially more gold to multiply.  It will help you keep your research higher,
    and it particularly shines when you shut off research and go 100% gold to 
    upgrade units or rush production.
    Unique Unit: 
    Redcoat- A Rifleman with +25% against gunpowder units.  Essentially a free 
    Pinch promotion, except that you can still put Pinch on top of it for even more
    strength against other gunpowder units.  That makes Redcoats less vulnerable to
    grenadiers than normal riflemen, but it’s still probably best to bring along 
    something else for stack protection if your target has Military Science.  For 
    the most part, you’ll just use these like normal riflemen and enjoy better odds
    in some of your battles, or they’ll allow you to bring slightly fewer siege 
    units and get the same odds.
    Elizabeth (Financial, Philosophical)- Philosophical is already a great trait 
    for research thanks to earlier great people and cheap Universities; combine it 
    with the Financial trait and you have the strongest techer in the game.  That 
    makes Elizabeth one of the best (some would say the best) leaders overall, and 
    the fact that she has the Stock Exchange on top of that is just absurd.  Just 
    set up a great person farm early and try to get great scientists for Academies 
    in your best cottage cities, and watch your tech rate take off.  Elizabeth’s 
    fast research can lead you to a space victory, but as we know, a tech advantage
    can easily be turned into a military advantage, so more violent victory options
    are also a possibility.  Her UU comes at a great time for a cottage economy, 
    when most of your cottages have grown into towns and you can really start 
    taking advantage of them with civics like Universal Suffrage and Free Speech.
    Victoria (Financial, Imperialistic)- Though somewhat overshadowed by the 
    awesomeness that is Elizabeth, Victoria is still a strong leader.  The 
    Financial trait works well with Imperialistic’s cheap settlers to fund rapid 
    early expansion, so you can claim a large empire and actually be able to afford
    it.  Of course, Imperialistic offers discounted great generals as well, so it 
    makes sense to leverage the greater production from those extra cities into an 
    offensive force to ensure that the sun will never set on your empire.
    Churchill (Charismatic, Protective)- A good trait and a crappy one.  People who
    love the Drill promotions like Churchill, though, as it’s pretty easy to get 
    Drill IV units with him.  Drill IV Redcoats are quite nice, and it’s not that 
    big a deal for them that Churchill won’t get a tech lead as easily as the other
    two English leaders, because redcoats don’t get a bonus against outdated units 
    (besides muskets) anyway.  Charismatic’s higher happiness cap does provide an 
    economic benefit, so Churchill isn’t completely one-dimensional, but war is 
    still the recommended way to go with him.
    Starting techs: Hunting, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Stele- A Monument with a +25% culture bonus.  It’s the same bonus as China’s 
    UB, except it comes earlier and obsoletes with Astronomy.  A skilled player 
    could probably leverage the Stele into an early culture victory, but I don’t 
    tend to go that route with Ethiopia.  The fact that Zara Yaqob is already 
    Creative makes this UB a little redundant, but it can provide some extra 
    insurance against losing tiles to rival culture, and sometimes it can let you 
    settle right up in someone’s face and end up claiming tiles that you really 
    have no business controlling.  I’d still take most other UBs over this one, 
    Unique Unit: 
    Oromo Warrior- Now we’re talking.  Oromos are Musketmen with 
    immunity to first strikes, a free first strike, and free Drill I and Drill II. 
    That means with just a barracks and Theocracy/Vassalage or a settled great 
    general you can produce Drill IV Oromos, giving you units with 4 to 7 first 
    strikes that suffer 60% less collateral damage and have +10% strength against 
    mounted units (you’ll probably still want pikemen or elephants in your stack 
    for protection from knights or cuirassiers).  Regular musketmen kind of suck, 
    but Oromos are amazing, and even more so because their promotions carry over 
    when you upgrade them, so your Drill IV Oromos become an army of Drill IV 
    riflemen.  I recommend going for Steel first, though, as cannons and Oromos are
    a potent combination, and delaying Rifling for a bit will give you a chance to 
    build more of them before they become obsolete.  The extra first strikes will 
    keep you from taking much damage against units damaged by your cannons, so you 
    need less time to heal and can keep your attack on the move.
    Zara Yaqob (Creative, Organized)- A strong trait combination.  Creative is 
    always nice for getting off to a strong start, and while Organized isn’t quite 
    as good as Financial for financing early expansion, it’s still a strong 
    economic trait, and later in the game it can sometimes actually save you more 
    gold per turn than Financial would gain you.  The most notable thing about 
    Zara’s traits, though, is that they give him the largest number of discounted 
    buildings of any leader: Libraries, Theatres, Colosseums, Courthouses, 
    Lighthouses, and Factories are all half price.  That’s a lot of saved hammers 
    that can potentially go into other things, like Oromos, for instance.  After 
    all, it would be a shame to waste a strong UU and a trait that can finance a 
    large empire, wouldn’t it?
    Starting techs: Agriculture, The Wheel
    Unique Building: 
    Salon- An Observatory that gives one free artist.  This is 
    another UB that’s mostly just useful for cultural victories.  Fortunately, two 
    of the French leaders are Industrious, so there’s a chance that you may be 
    going for a cultural victory (especially with Louis), and there’s also a decent
    chance that you built the Pyramids to run a specialist economy with 
    Representation, in which case the artists will provide some extra research.  
    In other cases you may not even notice it, unless you build it in your National
    Epic city and end up with unwanted great artists.
    Unique Unit: 
    Musketeer- Identical to Musketmen in every respect except that they get two 
    movement points.  So they can get to the front quicker, but the problem with 
    Musketeers is that when it comes to combat, they’re no better than the unit 
    they replace, which unfortunately isn’t especially strong.  You’re not going to
    capture any cities with these guys without siege units, and bringing those 
    along pretty much negates the double movement.  The best use I’ve found for 
    Musketeers is to send them along with knights to do some plundering, as they 
    can keep up with your mounted units and protect them from pikemen.  If that 
    doesn’t sound like a terribly useful UU to you, well, you’re right.
    Louis XIV (Industrious, Creative)- A strong contender for best leader in the 
    game for a cultural victory (it’s between him and Ramesses) due to his traits 
    and UB.  As always, that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to go that route, 
    and sometimes you can’t depending on how the game is playing out, but there’s 
    really nothing about Louis himself that pushes you in any other direction.
    De Gaulle (Industrious, Charismatic)- For starters, Stonehenge is a huge 
    no-brainer with a Charismatic leader who can build it for half price.  You can 
    play the peaceful builder game with De Gaulle just like with Louis, but 
    Charismatic is also there to help you out should you feel the need to 
    “liberate” some rival territory.  That’s the way I usually like to go, so I 
    just use De Gaulle’s Industrious trait to grab a few of the more helpful 
    wonders when I’m not preparing for war.  I haven’t mentioned it before, but 
    the Industrious discount on national wonders is nice as well to save you some 
    turns and hammers that can be used on other things.
    Napoleon (Organized, Charismatic)- Napoleon has excellent traits for playing 
    like Napoleon.  Organized is great for funding a large empire, and Charismatic 
    is great for getting you one.  In my opinion the strongest warmongers aren’t 
    the leaders with all-out war traits like Boudica or Tokugawa, but leaders like 
    Napoleon with a war trait and a good support trait.  If you like playing the 
    peaceful builder game for a space or culture victory, choose one of the other 
    French leaders.  Napoleon is meant to conquer the world.
    Starting techs: Hunting, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Assembly Plant- A Factory with four engineer slots instead of 
    two, and you can build it 50% faster if you have coal.  That second bonus is 
    particularly nice with Frederick, who already gets double production on 
    Factories from his Organized trait.  This isn’t a great UB by any means, and 
    it’s one of the latest in the game, but Factories are still powerful buildings,
    and getting them up slightly earlier is nothing to complain about.  If you’re 
    at war they’re particularly good, because you can build them quickly after 
    getting Assembly Line and start cranking out infantry sooner.
    Unique Unit: 
    Panzer- A Tank with +50% vs. armored units.  This unit looks great on paper, as
    it destroys regular tanks and even gets winning odds against modern armor.  In 
    practice, though, how many tank vs. tank battles do you usually get in a 
    typical game?  Unless your games are a lot different than mine, probably not 
    too many.  It’s worth it to build a lot of Panzers, but mostly just because 
    tanks are so good, not because their bonus is likely to be decisive.  Just use 
    these like normal tanks and be pleasantly surprised when you actually get 
    another tank to fight.
    Frederick (Philosophical, Organized)- Two good traits make Frederick a solid 
    leader.  Philosophical may encourage you to go with a specialist economy, and 
    as mentioned before, the discount you get from Organized is helpful if you do, 
    since commerce is less abundant with specialist economies.  Frederick is pretty
    versatile, but personally I like to go for a military victory unless I’m pushed
    in a different direction, and he’s not bad at all for that.  One nice thing 
    about specialist economies is that war weariness isn’t a problem because moving
    the culture slider doesn’t affect your research nearly as much as in a cottage 
    Bismarck (Expansive, Industrious)- Another leader with solid but not 
    spectacular traits.  As with any Industrious leader, Bismarck can build wonders
    and go for a cultural victory, though he’s not as well-suited to that kind of 
    game as some other leaders.  A better strategy may be to use his Industrious 
    trait to grab the Pyramids or Great Lighthouse (depending on the map) as well 
    as other useful wonders like the Great Library, and just leveraging the bonuses
    you get from those help get yourself into a winning position.  His Expansive 
    trait is particularly nice with the Great Lighthouse for cheap harbors to take 
    advantage of your extra trade routes.  Also, since cheap granaries and workers 
    are useful for getting your cities up and running earlier, you may have a 
    better shot at some early wonders than you would otherwise.
    Starting techs: Fishing, Hunting
    Unique Building: 
    Odeon- A normal Colosseum gives +1 happiness and +1 happiness per 20% culture 
    rate.  The Odeon adds another +1 happiness, +3 culture, 2 artist slots, and +1 
    happiness from Hit Singles.  Any UB that gives extra culture is useful for a 
    cultural victory, but extra happiness and stronger borders are helpful in any 
    game.  If you do go cultural, the Odeon along with a Theatre will let you 
    generate great artists pretty easily even if you’re not in Caste System.  Also,
    while culture-producing buildings like Libraries and Theatres are always 
    destroyed when you capture a city, Colosseums can survive and automatically 
    turn into Odeons, giving you instant culture in conquered cities just as if you
    were Creative (Pericles already is, but it’s a nice little bonus for 
    Unique Unit: 
    Phalanx- An Axeman with +100% defense against chariots, which cancels out the 
    +100% attack that chariots get against axemen.  While it’s kind of nice to have
    axemen that aren’t ridiculously vulnerable to chariots, especially when 
    rushing, it’s not like it’s so difficult to just build one or two spears for 
    protection, especially since Greece already starts with Hunting.  So basically,
    Phalanxes gain you 1 strength on a unit or two when axe rushing, but only when 
    your target has horses.  Not the worst UU out there, but pretty weak.
    Alexander (Aggressive, Philosophical)- A good specialist economy warmonger.  
    The main weakness of a specialist economy is that it’s not as good as a cottage
    economy by later in the game when cottages have all grown into towns with Free 
    Speech and Universal Suffrage, but it’s stronger earlier in the game before 
    those cottages grow.  So let your neighbors grow some cottages for you while 
    you use your strong early game to build up an Aggressive army to go and claim 
    Pericles (Creative, Philosophical)- Possibly the strongest non-Financial techer
    due to both cheap libraries and universities, and of course Philosophical’s 
    earlier great people.  The half-price libraries are fantastic with 
    Philosophical to let you generate some really early great scientists to speed 
    your research along.  You can use your strong early game to play like Alexander
    if you want, but going cultural should also be a consideration with these 
    traits and Greece’s UB.  Pericles is a very strong leader and probably the one 
    I would recommend for anyone trying out a specialist economy for the first time
    (him or Gandhi).  
    Holy Roman Empire
    Starting techs: Hunting, Mysticism
    Unique Building: 
    Rathaus- A Courthouse that reduces maintenance by 75% instead of 50%.  This is 
    many people’s choice for best UB in the game, and it’s easy to see why.  The 
    Rathaus will save you a ton of money over the course of the game, allowing you 
    to fund a large empire while keeping your research going.
    Unique Unit: 
    Landsknecht- A Pikeman with +100% against melee units in addition 
    to the normal +100% vs. mounted.  This is another UU that looks a lot more 
    powerful on paper than it actually is in practice.  The problem is that if you 
    want to use them on offense, they’re going to run into longbowmen, in which 
    case you’re better off with mostly macemen to go with your siege units. As 
    stack defense, they’re decent but not quite as good as crossbowmen against 
    macemen, and you still need knights or crossbows/longbows to protect your stack
    from enemy crossbowmen.  Your primary use for the Landsknecht will still just 
    be for defense against mounted units.
    Charlemagne (Imperialistic, Protective)- A strong contender for weakest leader 
    in the game based on his traits.  One thing that he can do well, however, is 
    claim a large amount of land with his cheap settlers from Imperialistic, which 
    works well with his UB that can pay for it all.  The danger, though, is 
    over-expanding and crippling your research before you get to Code of Laws, so 
    to prevent that, I strongly suggest grabbing the Oracle to get CoL early.  
    Mysticism is a useful starting tech in this case since it starts you closer to 
    Priesthood for the Oracle, but as I usually recommend, get your necessary food 
    techs first instead of going for Buddhism or Hinduism.  Charlemagne does not 
    have a very strong early game, and the Rathaus is a fairly expensive building 
    (Courthouses without the Organized trait are 80% of the cost of the Oracle!), 
    but once you’ve got them built they’ll help you come back, and they’ll keep 
    helping you for the rest of the game.  Your best path to victory is probably 
    war since Charlie isn’t much good at anything else, and happily, Courthouses 
    are among the most likely buildings to survive the capture of a city, in which 
    case they of course turn into your UB and help fund your conquest.
    Starting techs: Agriculture, Mysticism (unique)
    Unique Building: 
    Terrace- A Granary with +2 culture.  A Granary is almost always the first 
    building you want in a new city unless you need a Monument for culture, and 
    with the Terrace you obviously don’t.  That saves early hammers and helps you 
    get off to a faster start.  Also, like the Greek Odeon, a Terrace can provide 
    instant culture in a captured city if its Granary survives, which it usually 
    does.  It's almost like having a mini Creative trait.
    Unique Unit: 
    Quechua- A Warrior with a free Combat I promotion and +100% vs. archery units. 
    This unit alone can virtually win the game for you in the early BCs if you find
    a rival capital close by (slower game speeds make longer distances possible), 
    though it should be noted that it’s only effective on Monarch and above when 
    the AI civs start with archers.  You can either work a hammer tile and start 
    producing Quechuas from the first turn of the game, or get a worker first and 
    give your initial Quechua more time to make sure there’s an available target, 
    though you’re going to need more Quechuas that way because you’ll be attacking 
    later.  Don’t mess with Protective leaders or anyone with their capital on a 
    hill, and make sure to capture their worker or workers before you wipe out 
    their civilization.  If you can pull it off, a Quechua rush can net you a 
    second capital before anyone else has even built a settler, and that’s a huge 
    advantage that will make the rest of the game easy and can potentially lead to 
    a really high score.  Even if you can’t rush, Quechuas are still excellent 
    barbarian protection, and unlike normal warriors, you can still build them 
    after getting Bronze Working and Hunting, giving you a cheap option for 
    garrisoning cities and increasing your happiness cap in Hereditary Rule.
    Huayna Capac (Financial, Industrious)-  You might think that with such a 
    potentially game-breaking UU the Inca should have a fairly weak leader, but 
    instead they have one of the best in the game.  In fact, when you also consider
    his uniques, more experienced players rate Huayna as the best leader in the 
    game than any other leader.  For starters, it’s easy to grab the wonders you 
    want with Industrious when you also have the Financial trait to get you to 
    their appropriate techs faster.  So Huayna can easily play the peaceful builder
    game for a culture or space victory, but with strong teching and help from 
    wonders, you won’t have any problems taking him to war either. You can even 
    potentially go for an early religion without slowing yourself down too much if 
    you have corn, wheat, or rice in your capital, since your other starting tech 
    is Agriculture.  The only problem with Huayna is that if you use him too often 
    you’ll probably develop bad habits, since playing with him is almost like 
    playing at a difficulty or two lower.  
    Starting techs: Mysticism, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Mausoleum- A Jail with +2 happiness.  Usually you won’t build Jails unless 
    you’re dealing with war weariness or trying to increase espionage, but the 
    extra happiness from Mausoleums makes them well worth building regardless of 
    your situation.  And of course, if you are dealing with war weariness, the 
    Mausoleum is excellent at dealing with it.
    Unique Unit: 
    Fast Worker- A Worker with 3 movement points instead of two.  Fast Workers 
    don’t actually work any faster, but the extra movement point lets them do 
    things like move into a forest and start chopping or building a road on the 
    same turn in addition to being able to quickly get wherever you need them.  The
    turns that they save you are especially significant in the early game and will 
    help you get off to a faster start, and all those saved turns really add up 
    over time as well.  So this is a very good UU, but one thing to note if you 
    like to play on marathon speed is that it’s far better on normal speed, because
    while they move the same on any speed, that one turn of movement saved on 
    normal is equal to three on marathon.
    Asoka (Spiritual, Organized)- You may not suspect it, but Asoka is actually a 
    very good warmonger—perhaps one of the best in the game.  Organized is a great 
    economic trait for warmongering not just because it can help pay for a large 
    empire, but because unlike Financial you still get its full effect even when in
    full production mode, i.e. working hammer tiles instead of cottages.  I’ve also
    mentioned before with Brennus how the Spiritual trait is very useful for 
    seamlessly switching in and out of war mode.  Combine Asoka’s traits with a UB 
    that eats war weariness for breakfast and you have a leader who’s more than 
    capable of taking you to domination.  Quicker chops from your UU make both 
    Indian leaders good at pulling off an early rush as well.
    Gandhi (Spiritual, Philosophical)- Gandhi can run an excellent specialist 
    economy with the Philosophical trait and the ability to change civics as often 
    as you need without penalty.  Don’t let the fact that he’s a 98-pound weakling 
    fool you into thinking that he can’t smack some people around almost as well as
    Asoka, though he’s perfectly well suited for a peaceful victory as well.  If 
    you want to role-play a bit and go diplomatic, Spiritual is unquestionably the 
    best trait for it, as it lets you easily manage diplomacy by switching 
    religions or civics whenever you need to (don’t underestimate favorite civic 
    bonuses).  Whenever another leader asks you to change religion or civic, you 
    can just agree and switch back a few turns later, and still keep the diplo 
    bonus for having agreed.  Gandhi is a well-balanced leader whose traits can 
    help you with whatever type of victory you choose.
    Starting techs: Fishing, The Wheel (unique)
    Unique Building: 
    Shale Plant- Replaces the Coal Plant and gives a +10% hammer 
    bonus, plus it doesn’t require coal.  A production bonus is never something to 
    complain about, but like the German UB, the main problem with the Shale Plant 
    is that it comes so late in the game.  It’s really nice in the rare event that 
    you don’t have coal, though, and you can build it in your National Park city 
    where normally a Coal Plant would be useless, so overall it’s not a terrible 
    Unique Unit: 
    Samurai- A Maceman with 2 first strikes and a free Drill I promotion, plus 
    access to the Drill promotion line.  Considering that these guys also get 
    Combat I from Tokugawa’s Aggressive trait and can easily get two more 
    promotions from a barracks and Theology/Vassalage, this is obviously a powerful
    UU.  Warring in the medieval era is usually pretty difficult because longbowmen
    are such good defenders, but Samurai can really level the playing field or even
    tilt it in your favor. Plus, they’re easily the coolest-looking unit in the 
    Tokugawa (Aggressive, Protective)- There’s certainly nothing subtle about 
    Tokugawa’s trait combination, but unfortunately there’s nothing too good about 
    it either.  His only real strength is promotions on his units, so war is the 
    only thing he can do remotely well, and whenever you’re not at war it’s 
    basically like playing without traits.  Toku gets much better once you reach 
    Gunpowder, as his gunpowder units will get three free promotions, but the 
    challenge is reaching that point and still being in a competitive position 
    since he gives you zero economic help (other than the tiny bonus of cheap 
    Castles once you get Engineering).  You should definitely go to war before the 
    gunpowder era, though, especially since you have samurai, because basically 
    your only hope is to conquer enough good land to overcome your weak traits.  If
    you can win peacefully with Tokugawa, you’re playing at a level below your 
    ability.  Actually, if you can win at all with him, it may be a sign that 
    you’re ready to move up in difficulty.
    Starting techs: Hunting, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Baray- An Aqueduct that gives +1 food.  This UB is a little boring, but not 
    terrible, considering that food is the basis for everything in a city.  The 
    most obvious benefit is faster growth, but that one food is also half a 
    specialist, or maybe a watermill instead of a farm.  It’s far from the best UB 
    out there, but it’s still probably worth building earlier than you would 
    usually build aqueducts, at least in cities with decent production.
    Unique Unit: 
    Ballista Elephant- A War Elephant that targets mounted units first when 
    attacking, but only outside of cities.  This is almost universally acknowledged
    as the worst unique unit in the game.  First of all, ivory is one of the rarest
    strategic resources, so there’s a good chance that you won’t even be able to 
    build it.  Second, since you only get the ballista elephant’s bonus outside of 
    cities, it’s really only useful in your own territory, unless you get lucky 
    with a stupid AI who parks a stack of units right next to you while you’re 
    invading.  So if you have an enemy stack in your territory with horse archers 
    or knights, but not other elephants, then and only then is the special ability 
    of the Ballista Elephant actually useful.  It’s just an incredibly niche 
    ability, and the result is a UU that’s barely different from the unit it 
    replaces (war elephants are still good, though).
    Suryavarman II (Expansive, Creative)-  Sury comes flying out of the gate with 
    perhaps the strongest early game around.  With Creative’s free border pop and 
    Expansive’s half-price, easily whipped or chopped granaries, every new city you
    settle will be up and running in record time.  Besides giving quick access to 
    your fat cross and being good for blocking off other civs, Creative’s cheap 
    Libraries are also nice for running scientist specialists and keeping your 
    research going during the early expansion phase.  True, Sury’s traits kind of 
    fade by later in the game, though he does get four other cheap buildings, but 
    making the most of them for a strong start will have long-term effects.
    Starting techs: Mysticism, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Seowon- A University with an extra 10% research multiplier for
    a total of 35%.  It probably won’t be in any conversation about best unique 
    buildings, but it’s still a nice little bonus. Another nice thing is that you 
    don’t have to change your typical strategy or build order at all to take 
    advantage of it, since Education is a priority tech on the way to Liberalism 
    and Universities are buildings that you always want as early as possible 
    Unique Unit: 
    Hwacha- A Catapult with +50% against melee units.  Since archers and longbows 
    are typically the best defenders in their era, you probably won’t get to take 
    advantage of the Hwacha’s bonus much on offense.  By the time you weaken the 
    non-melee units in a city enough with your Hwachas to actually get to the melee
    units, they’ll likely be weakened enough by the collateral damage that regular 
    catapults could do just as well against them.  In the field, unless you get a 
    lone melee unit or a stack of nothing but melee units, all the Hwacha’s bonus 
    means is that they’ll attack the non-melee units first.  There are some 
    situations where that could be at least a little bit useful in getting you 
    slightly better odds, but it’s far from spectacular.  I don’t really like 
    medieval warfare with Financial leaders anyway, since I’d prefer to be growing 
    cottages, so I’m not a big fan of this unit.
    Wang Kon (Financial, Protective)- The best trait and the worst trait.  
    Obviously the key is to just to take advantage of the Financial trait for 
    strong teching, which as always can open up a lot of options for victory.  Wang
    Kon is particularly well suited to just turtle up and go for space, as his UB 
    works best with a high research slider (usually meaning a smaller empire), and 
    his Protective units can fend off attacks.   That doesn’t mean that’s always 
    the best way to go, but if that’s the way you tend to play then Wang will work 
    fine for you.  Kind of a boring leader, but still a Financial leader.
    Starting techs: Mining, The Wheel (unique)
    Unique Building: 
    Mint- A Forge with a +10% gold multiplier.  Though that’s less of a bonus than 
    England’s UB, the fact that the Mint comes earlier makes up for it.  Forges are
    also buildings that you want basically as soon as reasonably possible in every 
    city anyway, and they come at a time when your economy may be struggling from 
    early expansion, so that +10% gold bonus is particularly helpful.
    Unique Unit: 
    Skirmisher- An Archer with 4 strength and an extra first strike 
    chance.  Skirmishers make you virtually invulnerable to barbarians and much 
    less vulnerable to an early attack from an aggressive neighbor.  In some 
    circumstances, they can even be used for an early rush. They’re weaker than 
    axemen and slower than chariots, but they’re available earlier and without the 
    need for a resource, and they’re cheaper to build, so you can strike earlier.  
    Something to consider if you find a vulnerable target nearby.
    Mansa Musa (Financial, Spiritual)- A very strong techer with the Financial 
    trait, a gold-multiplying UB, and no lost turns of anarchy.   There’s not a 
    whole lot I can say about him that I haven’t said about the other Financial 
    leaders; your strategy should be to grow cottages and use your strong economic 
    base to propel you to victory.  As usual, the Spiritual trait makes for a 
    versatile leader, as it’s helpful both for maintaining the peace with good 
    diplomacy and helping you prepare for war when the situation calls for it.
    Starting techs: Mysticism, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Ball Court- A Colosseum with +3 happiness instead of +1, and 
    the normal +1 happiness per 20% culture rate.  This UB comes right at the time 
    in the game when your cities are usually bumping up against their happiness cap
    and you’re looking to increase it, so a single building for +3 happiness is the
    perfect answer.  Bigger cities are better cities, so this is an excellent UB.
    Unique Unit: 
    Holkan- A Spearman that doesn’t require copper and has immunity to first 
    strikes.  I haven’t really found a good use for this unit.  Despite the fact 
    that they’re resourceless and slightly better than normal spears against 
    archers, in my opinion they’re just not strong enough or fast enough for a 
    good rush.  If you have copper or horses, you’ll be better off building axes or
    chariots to rush.  Holkans are good barbarian protection for a while, but 
    if/when barb axemen start showing up you’re going to need something else.  I 
    suppose if you don’t have metal they’re nice to have, but this unit doesn’t 
    gain you much over ordinary spearmen.
    Pacal II (Financial, Expansive)- Another strong Financial leader, so most of 
    the things I’ve said about other Financial leaders apply here as well.  Pacal’s
    cheaper workers and faster growth due to cheap granaries will let you start 
    growing more cottages earlier, which is a nice economic benefit, and with more 
    happiness from your UB you should have even more cottages to work.  As usual 
    with Financial leaders, ride your strong economy to victory.
    Starting techs: Hunting, The Wheel (unique)
    Unique Building: 
    Ger- Replaces the Stable and gives +4 experience instead of 
    +2.  While a normal stable is already enough to give your mounted units a 
    second promotion, the Ger does put them closer to a third promotion either 
    through combat or with civics and settled great generals.  It’s not a great UB,
    but it’s purposeful, as it has direct synergy with the Mongolian UU.
    Unique Unit: 
    Keshik- A Horse Archer that ignores terrain movement costs and 
    gets one first strike, though it loses immunity to first strikes.  If you’ve 
    never done a Keshik romp, you’ve really been missing out.  They’re better 
    against melee units than normal horse archers thanks to the first strikes, and 
    about the same against archers since their first strikes cancel out.  Further, 
    the fact that they ignore terrain means you can get them wherever you need them
    in a hurry, either to strike at cities or plunder the enemy’s metal to keep 
    them from building any more spears than they already have.  Give about half 
    Combat I & II, and the other half Flanking I & II, plus one medic.  For battles
    with low odds, send the flanking Keshiks in first and there’s a good chance 
    they’ll survive, then send the combat Keshiks to finish them off.  When playing
    as Mongolia, it’s worth it after getting the basic worker techs to make almost 
    a direct beeline to Horseback Riding to get these guys and conquer a neighbor 
    or two.  You will definitely crash your economy with them, but once you recover
    you’ll usually be in a great position.
    Genghis Khan (Aggressive, Imperialistic)- A completely one-dimensional leader. 
    Imperialistic’s cheap settlers aren’t such a big deal because you should only 
    build one or two settlers before you start claiming your cities with Keshiks, 
    but the earlier and more abundant great generals are nice, especially for 
    attaching the first one as a Medic III keshik or chariot.  Speed is your 
    greatest ally in a Keshik war, and faster healing means less time for the enemy
    to build more defensive units before you can recover and continue your attack. 
    Like Tokugawa, you’d better conquer some good land, because you won’t get any 
    economic help from your traits.
    Kublai Khan (Aggressive, Creative)- I usually play Kublai just like Genghis, 
    and I find the Creative trait more useful than Imperialistic when doing so.  
    The main advantage is cheap libraries so you can more easily run scientist 
    specialists and keep your research going after your keshiks have crashed your 
    economy, and free border pops in conquered cities is also nice.  Annoyingly, 
    the Khans’ Aggressive trait has no synergy with their UU, but it can be useful 
    to you later in the gunpowder era.
    Native America
    Starting techs: Fishing, Agriculture
    Unique Building: 
    Totem Pole- A Monument that gives +3 exp to archery units.  
    This UB is more like three additional UUs than a building, as your archers, 
    crossbowmen, and longbowmen will all be stronger.  Since Native American 
    archery units already get two free promotions from Sitting Bull’s Protective 
    trait, with the Totem pole you’ll easily get City Guardian III or Drill III 
    units, making Sitting Bull the ultimate protective leader.
    Unique Unit: 
    Dog Soldier- An Axeman with 4 strength, but +100% against melee 
    units, and it doesn’t require a resource to build.  This unit is nice for 
    defending against barbarians and enemy melee units, and it’s great to have when
    you don’t have copper or iron, but its big downside is that it can ruin the 
    opportunity a perfectly good axe rush, since its lower strength means it sucks 
    against archers.  I’m not a big fan of this UU as a result, but maybe I’m 
    biased because I love to axe rush.
    Sitting Bull (Philosophical, Protective)- The Protective trait’s synergy with 
    Sitting Bull’s UB still doesn’t keep it from being the worst trait in the game,
    but Philosophical is good. As with any Philosophical leader, the key to Sitting
    Bull’s strength is generating great people early and often, so if you don’t go 
    with a specialist economy, you at least need a good great person farm.  
    Stonehenge might make sense to get your UB everywhere and get some gpp going 
    early, since it’s not like you need the hammers for an axe rush.  If you want 
    to take advantage of his strong archery units for a medieval offensive war, 
    Drill III longbows and crossbows along with catapults/trebuchets make for a 
    pretty strong stack, as long as you bring along something to protect against 
    mounted units.  A below-average leader overall.
    Starting techs: Agriculture, The Wheel
    Unique Building: 
    Hammam- An Aqueduct that gives +2 happiness.  Like the Mayan Ball Court, this 
    UB comes at a very convenient time in the game, when you’re usually looking for
    any extra source of happiness you can get to grow your cities.  The Hammam can 
    really save you in games when you’re hurting for happiness resources, or it can
    turn a strong position into an even better one.  An excellent UB.
    Unique Unit: 
    Janissary- A Musketman with +25% against archery, melee, and mounted units.  
    This is a strong UU that can hold its own pretty well until grenadiers and 
    rifles start showing up, and the fact that it’s draftable means that you can 
    build up significant numbers of Janissaries pretty easily.  In my opinion, the 
    best way to use them is to go straight for Chemistry and Steel after Gunpowder 
    and use them along with cannons.  Janissaries may be better in their time than 
    Oromos, the other good musket UU, but unlike Oromos their bonus doesn’t carry 
    over when you upgrade them, so you have to make the most of it while it lasts.
    Mehmed II (Expansive, Organized)- Mehmed’s traits give him almost as many 
    half-price buildings as Zara Yaqob, and probably more useful ones, since cheap 
    Granaries are better than cheap Theatres or Colosseums.  All those saved 
    hammers are a major source of Mehmed’s strength, but the quicker start from 
    Expansive plus the economic benefit of Organized would make for a good trait 
    combination anyway.  Add very good uniques on top of that and you have one of 
    the best non-Financial leaders in the game.
    Suleiman (Philosophical, Imperialistic)- Both faster great people and great 
    generals make Suleiman a pretty good specialist economy warmonger.  Cheaper 
    settlers from Imperialistic make it slightly easier to build the Pyramids 
    without crippling early expansion too much, because it’s a really expensive 
    wonder without stone or the Industrious trait.  Not the strongest leader 
    around, and the weaker of the two Ottoman leaders, but Suleiman can hold his 
    Starting techs: Agriculture, Hunting
    Unique Building: 
    Apothecary- A Grocer that gives +2 health in addition to the 
    normal health bonuses from resources.  Far from a game-changing UB, but you’ll 
    rarely play a game where health doesn’t start to become an issue, so it’s 
    helpful.  It’s particularly nice to have all those health bonuses on a single 
    building, rather than the +2 health on a separate building, like the Babylonian
    Unique Unit: 
    Immortal- A Chariot with +50% against archery units that also gets defensive 
    bonuses.  This is an absolutely frightening early unit, and my personal 
    favorite UU in the game.  As long as you have horses, Immortals are easily the 
    best unit for an early rush due to their speed and strength against archers, 
    and the fact that they get defensive bonuses on top of that is just crazy.  
    I’ve even had spearmen lose to my Immortals when they tried to attack them on 
    a forested hill.  If you get unlucky and don’t have a rush target, Immortals 
    are still useful for taking out barbarian cities.
    Darius I (Financial, Organized)- As if Immortals weren’t enough, Persia also 
    gets one of the best leaders in the game.  The commerce bonus from Financial 
    combined with the gold discount from Organized gives Darius an amazingly strong
    economy that will keep your research going almost no matter what.  As a result,
    he’s almost as strong a techer as Elizabeth--usually even better by the late 
    game--and he’s an excellent choice for anyone moving up in difficulty.  Another
    leader who’s easy to form bad habits with and who will make you think you’re 
    more skilled than you actually are.
    Cyrus (Charismatic, Imperialistic)- I would use Cyrus more if Darius wasn’t so 
    good.  His traits definitely call for a lot of warring, and Immortals are a 
    great way to start that off.  The combination of more great generals plus 
    Charismatic’s faster promotions can also give you some highly-promoted armies 
    down the road.  I’ll still take Darius’ economy any day, but Cyrus can be a 
    fun leader.
    Starting techs: Fishing, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Feitoria- A Customs House that gives +1 commerce on water tiles.  
    Unfortunately, the commerce boost you get from this UB isn’t very noticeable by
    the time you get to Economics, and (non-seafood) water tiles are still the last
    tiles you want to work in most cities anyway.  Plus, it’s a fairly expensive 
    building, and depending on your relations with other leaders and whether 
    they’re in Mercantilism, you may not even have foreign trade routes in all of 
    your coastal cities.  Of course, every little bit is helpful, but other UBs are
    way more helpful than the Feitoria.
    Unique Unit: 
    Carrack- A Caravel that can carry 2 units, but more importantly, any kind of 
    unit, like settlers, workers, and military.  Obviously having Carracks is a 
    huge advantage on maps where there’s overseas land to claim, as you can get 
    your settlers there long before the AI gets Astronomy.  The only potential 
    problem is that even though you can settle overseas cities with just Optics, 
    you won’t get overseas trade routes until Astronomy, which means that the 
    cities you settle will be a huge drain on your economy and you can really 
    cripple yourself if you’re not careful.  What I recommend is sending a settler 
    and military unit for protection to each spot you want to claim, then just 
    camping there until you either get Astronomy or an AI galleon shows up with a 
    settler of their own.
    Joao II (Imperialistic, Expansive)-  With both discounted settlers and workers,
    Joao is great at rapid early expansion.  It’s really easy to over-expand with 
    the Imperialistic trait, but cheaper workers for faster tile improvements and 
    faster-growing cities from cheap granaries help you handle it somewhat.  Joao’s
    main strength is his ability to easily claim and improve land, so I recommend 
    peacefully settling as much as possible and developing it before you start to 
    think about war.  Land is power, after all, so when you do finally go to war 
    you should have an advantage.
    Starting Techs: Fishing, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Forum- A Market with +25% great person birth rate.  Getting 
    more frequent great people is never something to complain about, but it’s 
    really not such a huge bonus.  It’s also the only UB that may only be useful in
    a single city, assuming you have a decent National Epic city.  You never know, 
    though.  You may be in a tight Liberalism race one game and a slightly earlier 
    great scientist is exactly what you need.
    Unique Unit: 
    Praetorian- A Swordsman with 8 strength instead of 6, though it 
    loses the +10% city attack.  Praetorians are so powerful that it’s actually 
    kind of surprising they haven’t been nerfed since the original game like 
    Redcoats and Cossacks were.  On any difficulty below Deity, they make classical
    and medieval-era warfare child’s play, and they have a very long window of 
    usefulness, as their first serious counter unit (crossbowmen) comes pretty far 
    down the tech tree at Machinery (shock axemen also work, but the AI usually 
    isn’t smart enough to build many of them).  Just get Iron Working early and 
    build up a stack of these to smash through a neighbor, and later get catapults 
    to go with them if you want to keep going.  The biggest danger with Praetorians
    is crashing your economy with a huge early empire, but that’s a nice problem to
    have.  Though I really love Immortals, I have to admit that Praetorians are the
    best UU in the game.
    Julius Caesar (Organized, Imperialistic)- Use your Praetorians early and often 
    and you’ll be rewarded with more great generals and a larger empire than you 
    could normally afford.  It’s wise to go for Code of Laws before you conquer too
    much and your research suffers, so you can build half-priced Courthouses and 
    recover quicker.  Julius has an excellent trait combination for warmongering 
    even without Praetorians, but since you have them, just use them to put 
    yourself into a winning position early in the game and never look back.
    Augustus Caesar (Industrious, Imperialistic)- Both Caesars are equally good at 
    beating people up with Praetorians, but with the Industrious trait instead of 
    Organized, it may be better to show a little more restraint with Augustus than 
    with Julius.  You still shouldn’t pass on an early war with a close neighbor to
    strengthen your position, but instead of pressing on like you might do with 
    Julius, you can slow down and build a few wonders if you want.  A strong 
    Bureaucracy capital full of wonders has nice synergy with Rome’s UB.  
    Praetorians are still the key to Rome’s strength, though, and honestly your 
    path to victory is about the same with them regardless of what your traits are.
    Starting techs: Hunting, Mining
    Unique Building: 
    Research Institute- A Laboratory that gives two free scientists.  That’s a nice
    bonus, especially considering all the cities you could have and all the science
    multipliers you should have by then, but wow does it come late.  If you’re 
    going for a space race victory and you beeline Superconductors, then this UB 
    may shave a couple of turns off your launch by getting you to the last techs 
    you need a littler earlier.  For other victory types you may not even reach 
    Superconductors, and even if you do it won’t make much difference. 
    Unique Unit: 
    Cossack- A Cavalry replacement with +50% against mounted units.  While Cossacks
    dominate all other mounted units in the game, the problem is finding situations
    where you can actually use that bonus.  Before the enemy gets Rifling, normal 
    cavalry dominate everything anyway, and once they have rifles you need cannons 
    for their collateral damage, in which case they’ll damage any mounted units in 
    the enemy stack, and normal cavalry could again take everything out.  In both 
    cases, Cossacks’ main advantage is getting you higher odds in battles where 
    you’d already have good odds, hopefully so you take little or no damage.  
    That’s not nothing, but like the British Redcoats, for the most part you’ll end
    up using these exactly like the unit they replace.
    Catherine (Creative, Imperialistic)- With cheap settlers and fast border pops, 
    Catherine can claim territory faster than any other leader.  As I’ve mentioned 
    before, the Creative trait is good for rapid early expansion not just for the 
    border pops, but also for cheap libraries to run scientist specialists and keep
    your research going when you crash your economy from settling all those new 
    cities.  With the larger empire you should be able to claim, you’ll be well 
    set up to do some Imperialistic warmongering later after your economy recovers.
    Peter (Expansive, Philosophical)- Faster great people, cheap workers, and a 
    handful of cheap buildings make Peter a solid leader.  As with any 
    Philosophical leader, you might want to go with a specialist economy, though as
    I’ve said before, that’s not always necessary as long as you set up a good 
    great person farm.  Honestly, even though he arguably has the best traits of 
    any of the Russian leaders, I find Peter a little boring.  His traits are 
    helpful, but they don’t really push you in any specific direction, so just play
    the map and let it the way the game is playing out determine your strategy.
    Stalin (Aggressive, Industrious)- Is he a builder or a warmonger?  Even though 
    Stalin’s traits don’t seem to go together that well, it’s completely normal to 
    switch between peaceful building and unit production several times during a 
    warmongering game, so go ahead and build a few wonders to help yourself out 
    whenever you’re not at war.  Curiously, Stalin is the only Aggressive leader to
    start with Mining, making him an excellent axe rusher.  And with a successful 
    axe rush you’ll usually get a strong second capital, which will allow you to 
    build a few wonders while still expanding in the early game.
    Starting techs: Fishing, Mysticism (unique)
    Unique Building: 
    Citadel- A Castle that gives +5 exp to siege units.  Though 
    Castles are among the least useful buildings in the game and become obsolete 
    fairly quickly at Economics, the Citadel is well worth building in your 
    unit-producing cities and good enough to warrant avoiding Economics for a 
    while, even if you could have grabbed the free great merchant.  That exp bonus 
    is really huge, and it means that with just a settled great general or 
    Theocracy/Vassalage you can build City Raider III and Barrage III siege units. 
    Definitely go for Steel before Economics to build some Citadel-strengthened 
    cannons, since even regular cannons can dominate the battlefield in their era. 
    The unusual tech path that this UB encourages makes Spain an interesting civ to
    Unique Unit: 
    Conquistador- A Cuirassier replacement with +50% against melee units and the 
    ability to get defensive bonuses.  Before you go for those super-cannons, make 
    a quick detour to Military Tradition so you can start building Conquistadors 
    first.  A large percentage of enemy armies before Rifling will still be melee 
    units like pikemen and macemen, and Conquistadors eat them for breakfast.  Add 
    their defensive abilities on top of that and you have a UU that really excels 
    at the standard cuirassier/spy blitzkrieg.
    Isabella (Spiritual, Expansive)- As the only leader with the Mysticism/Fishing 
    starting combination, working a two-commerce lake or coast tile and going for 
    an early religion is a possibility here.  Isabella’s traits are solid, but her 
    real strengths are her UU and UB, as they both help you out in that renaissance
    to early industrial period that’s already so good for warfare.  I like to take 
    Nationalism with Liberalism then get Military Tradition straight after that for
    Conquistadors (you can almost always trade someone for Gunpowder) and go on a 
    romp with them.  In the meantime I research towards Steel, and by the time 
    riflemen start appearing, my CR III cannons are usually ready to go and the 
    romp continues.  I tend to do pretty well with Isabella as a result.
    Starting techs: Agriculture, The Wheel
    Unique Building: 
    Ziggurat- A Courthouse replacement that’s available at 
    Priesthood and only 75% the normal cost.  Obviously you can fund some pretty 
    aggressive expansion with cheap courthouses available so early, and if 
    anything, you have to avoid the temptation to build Ziggurats too early, when 
    your greater needs are still settlers, workers, and military. Also, an extra 
    benefit that some people might overlook is that during all those turns with 
    your Ziggurats before the AI gets Code of Laws and builds their own 
    Courthouses, you’ll be building up a substantial lead in espionage points and 
    likely seeing everyone else’s research, which is a big advantage in planning 
    your own research paths.  Like the other two Courthouse UBs, the Ziggurat is 
    Unique Unit: 
    Vulture- An Axeman with 6 strength instead of 5, but only +25% against melee 
    units instead of +50%.  No other unit in the game has this much base strength 
    this early, and while they’re weaker than normal axemen against other axemen, 
    their higher strength makes them better against archers and thus a great 
    rushing unit.  Games as Sumeria with no copper or no close neighbors are a 
    real shame.
    Gilgamesh (Creative, Protective)- The Creative trait combined with Sumeria’s 
    UU and UB give Gilgamesh one of the strongest early games around.  Definitely 
    Vulture rush someone if possible, and in any case, grab as much land as you 
    can, because with your Ziggurats you should be able to avoid a crash.  
    Gilgamesh doesn’t have much to offer later in the game, but as I’ve mentioned 
    before, a strong start has long-term effects.  If he only had a better second 
    trait than Protective, he could be one of the best leaders in the game.
    Starting techs: Fishing, Hunting
    Unique Building: 
    Trading Post- A Lighthouse that gives a free Navigation I promotion to naval 
    units.  The Trading Post is another map-dependent UB that ranges from 
    completely useless to kind of nice.  It’s at its best on archipelago maps in 
    the first half of the game when you’re constantly shuttling units around on 
    galleys, as that extra movement point is a 50% bonus when you only have two 
    movement points.  If you manage to win the circumnavigation race as well (and 
    the Trading Post gives you a boost toward it), you’ll really have some fast 
    naval units.  This UB really isn’t a big deal, but at least it has some synergy
    with a UU built for amphibious strikes.
    Unique Unit: 
    Beserker- A Maceman with +10% city attack and a free Amphibious promotion.  
    Besides looking pretty badass, Beserkers make great city attackers with that 
    extra bonus plus a free Combat I from Ragnar’s Aggressive trait.  They also 
    allow you to role play as the Vikings by putting a bunch of Beserkers on your 
    fast galleys and attacking enemy cities directly from the sea, or you can just 
    enjoy their strength in more traditional warfare.  Even if you’re not in a good
    position for a medieval war, it’s still worth it to build a lot of Beserkers 
    (in Theocracy/Vassalage so you can get City Raider II) so you can upgrade them 
    to riflemen later, as they’ll keep the Amphibious promotion and give you 
    riflemen with the City Raider promotions, which you otherwise can’t get on 
    gunpowder units.  Samurai may still be the better maceman UU, but I’ve had a 
    lot of fun with these guys in the past.
    Ragnar (Financial, Aggressive)- Highly-promoted armies due to the Aggressive 
    trait are even better when you have a strong economy to back them up.  The 
    Financial trait is great for funding early expansion, particularly if you axe 
    rush a neighbor and thus have lots of extra land to fill, but a potential 
    downside is that the cottage spam it encourages means you may not have enough 
    production in the medieval era to fully take advantage of the Viking UU.  If 
    you want to truly play like the Vikings, then fight the urge to build too many 
    Financial cottages and sacrifice some of your tech rate for more production and
    bigger armies.  Or you can just play like most Financial leaders and wait until
    later in the game when more of your cottages have grown into towns and you have
    civics like Universal Suffrage and Free Speech to really start taking advantage
    of them.  Ragnar is a solid leader, and thanks to his uniques he can be a fun 
    one to play.
    Starting techs: Agriculture, Hunting
    Unique Building: 
    Ikhanda- A Barracks that gives -20% maintenance and is also 20% more expensive
    to build.  In practice, though, it’s actually less expensive than a normal 
    Barracks due to the discount from Shaka’s Aggressive trait.  Other UBs have 
    their fans, but the Ikhanda is my pick for best unique building in the game.  
    Combined with a Courthouse, the 70% maintenance reduction you’ll be getting is 
    almost as good as the 75% from the Holy Roman Rathaus, and in my opinion the 
    fact that the Ikhanda is available from the very first turn of the game more 
    than makes up for that 5% difference.  Before Code of Laws and for only the 
    cost of one chariot or work boat per city, you’ll be getting five cities for 
    the cost of four, ten cities for the cost of eight, etc.  The Ikhanda allows 
    Shaka to expand like mad and is a big part of his strong early game, and just 
    like with the Rathaus, the amount of gold this UB will save you over the course
    of the game is quite significant.
    Unique Unit: 
    Impi- A Spearman with 2 movement points plus the Mobility promotion.  Impis are
    the ultimate early game harassment unit, as they can move around in enemy 
    territory with ease, plundering resources and roads and generally choking your 
    unfortunate target right out of competition.  While they’re not the greatest 
    units for attacking cities, due to their speed you can usually catch at least a
    couple of AI cities under-defended and raze or capture them.  Rather than 
    commit the hammers to finish off the enemy like I usually would with an axe 
    rush, I like to just keep a few woodsman-promoted impis running around in their
    forests to keep them bottled up in their cities while I do some Ikhanda-fueled 
    expansion into the land that they would have otherwise claimed.  A civ you 
    cripple like that will be easy to finish off later anyway.
    Shaka (Aggressive, Expansive)- While not such great trait combo on its face, 
    Shaka is loaded with synergy.  As I’ve already mentioned, he’s one of the few 
    leaders who gets a discount on his UB from his traits, and the free Combat I 
    from Aggressive also makes his already-good UU even better.  In addition, as if
    he needed any more help in the early game, he also gets cheap workers and cheap
    granaries from his Expansive trait to get him off to an even faster start.  Due
    to all this (mostly his UB), I almost always have more cities by 1 AD with 
    Shaka than I usually would with other leaders, which is a great setup for 
    success.  Also, as any veteran player can attest, one of the best things about 
    playing as Shaka is that there’s no chance of having to play against him.
    And that's it.  Thanks to the people on the Civ IV board who read my topic and
    encouraged me to keep going.  I know this game is probably past its prime and 
    Civ V is coming out soon, but this was a fun little project, and it was nice to
    see that some other people enjoyed it too.
    Legal stuff
    I guess I'm supposed to have a section like this.  If you want to use this FAQ
    for another website or anything other than personal use, please e-mail me at 
    anamishguy@gmail.com.  I'll probably say yes, because it's not like I wrote all
    of this just to keep it to myself.  Just give credit to gmims44 from GameFAQs
    and don't try to claim it as your own work and I'll be happy.
    Happy Civving!

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