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The Babylonians

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  • The Babylonians

    I have decided to do a review on each CIV. My intention is to encourage debate and hopefully to help others (and myself) in their game play. For the record, I am strictly a Monarch/Emperor player with a builder/warmonger combination style of play.

    The Babylonians

    Scientific and Religious, the Babylonians are the kings of Culture. If you love a full city screen, Babylon will fill it in record time. Play this CIV enough and you will swear that you can almost ‘feel’ the pressure the neighboring CIVs are under from your relentless culture. The borders of your CIV seem like a growing spider web, ever expanding, and ensnaring rival cities with ease. The power of your culture extends to every aspect of the game – economic, military, and diplomatic.

    The Babylonian CIV traits do not lend themselves to the fastest of early expansion. Often falling behind early in total cities or military strength. There is however, a ‘snowballing’ effect with the Babylonians. Once that core is up and running it will usually outpace any CIV in the game in its overall power. The ability of the Babylonians to quickly throw up a powerful infrastructure allows them to build in depth what many other civs must try to accomplish in breath. Cheap temples and cathedrals quickly alleviate any happiness issues. Cheap libraries and universities quickly outpace even much larger rivals in research speed. Couple these with a short anarchy period, a free tech with each age, and the possibility of early culture flips, and the Babylonians will present a formidable opponent on any level.

    Peaceful builder type players may never want to play as another civ after a game with the Babylonians. The sheer ease at which this civ masses culture points is a builders dream. A 100k-culture victory with this civ is not nearly as intimidating a task as with most other civs. The half price cathedrals and universities are especially powerful. These buildings are very high shield buildings taking a considerable investment in time to build. For the Babylonians having both these buildings in virtually every city is very common Those that like the challenge of an OCC game or a 20k culture victory will be hard pressed to find a better CIV choice than the Babylonians. A Babylonian player that grabs a lot of early Wonders may find himself with the cultural victory in record time. Also, given the science advantages of the Babs, trying to beat them in a Space Race victory is usually an exercise in futility.

    As a warmonger civ the Babylonians are also quite formidable. At first glance it appears that they have no military advantages, but this is deceiving. The fast temp/cath building allows them to manage war weariness better than most civs. They also allow the Babylonian to more quickly refocus on building military units, which in turn allows him to alternate their wars against rivals at a faster pace. When a warmongering Babylonian takes a ‘breath’ in between his wars for infrastructure building, it does not take nearly as long as for most other civs. He can then more quickly get back to the business of destroying yet another rival. Also, the Babylonian quite often finds himself as the undisputed mid-game tech leader. Those libraries and universities translate out to the most modern and up to date military in the game. Whatever you may lack in military quantity, will be more than made up in quality. While, not the best civ for conquest/domination victories they are no slouches either. For the ‘balance of power’ player the Babs are an absolute dream! If your goal is not to rule the world, but to be its undisputed cultural and military superpower – Babylon is among the top choices.

    The Bab UU (the bowman) is a matter of taste. A 20 shield 2-2-1 archer unit, with 0 range bombard, the bowman is cheap, can stand in as a spearman, and available early. On the downside the somewhat slower start of the Babs often does not allow one to take full advantage of this UU in an ultra early archer rush. Secondly, its bonus is defensive in nature, making the standard swordsman a better offensive choice. Furthermore, many players do not welcome the early Golden Age this UU will trigger. Among the Ancient Age UUs the bowman is average at best. However, given a good fast start, this UU can be deadly.

    Summary: The kings of culture and a solid all around civ that lends itself to many styles of play. Arguably the best peaceful builder civ in the game, the Babs are a solid well rounded top tier civ choice for any player.

    Below are the links to my other reviews of specific civs:
    The Greeks
    The Egyptians
    The Mongols
    Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.

  • #2
    The Babs have been my favorite civ since civ1. I used to choose them so I didn't have to face the terrible green zulu hordes.

    I recently won the 1st C3C tourney using the babs, and found the bowmen extremly useful. One thing you don't mention is the 0 range bombard that bowmen have. This makes them a more powerful defensive unit compared to a spearman for the same price, but you also have an extra point of attack for a very versatile UU.

    Another good introduction Ision. You can neaten up your links at the bottom by clicking on the http:// in the vbcode box so you can display links like this The Mongols . Type the mongols bit in the first box that comes up and c'n'p the link into the second.
    Safer worlds through superior firepower


    • #3
      or, while editing or posting, type

      [ url = ] Your Link Here [ /url ]

      (without spaces of course.)

      meet the new boss, same as the old boss


      • #4
        I thought the Egyptians were the king er queen of culture? Anyway the UU got a boost in C3C with the 0 bombardment.
        I am not fond of the early GA, but the AI can use this to take over neighboring civ and become a power when not near the human.


        • #5
          Some previous Babylonian threads:

          Civ-Specific Strategy: Babylonians
          Orthodox opening, Babylonian (culture) variation.
          Babylonian Bowmen

          Even if I wanted to play as a late developing builder, I'd prefer to susbtitute commercial for religious or scientific. A trait that would help me get a bigger emipre to start with would be better. Now we have Seafaring for those archipelagos where there's a risk of not being able to have a bigger empire. Religious and scientific are both good traits but I don't think they are good together. If I want to do a bit of building and are scientific, I'll build a few libraries and universities. If I were religious, those would be temples and cathedrals. They may not seem interchangeable at first sight but when you adjust the sliders or are only looking for culture, they are. As the Babylonians, to get the best out of both traits, you have to build them all. Very good for cultural victory but as a builder, I'm likely to want courthouses, marketplaces etc. . inbetween and it will take some time.

          For 20k culture or OCC, the half-price buildings are all but irrelevant and I'd prefer the Sumerians, Maya or Dutch for the early advantage in wonder building.

          If you can make the most out of bowmen and an early GA, you could potentially get over some of Babylons early disadvantage but it's not easy. If you don't get enough cities up, you're unlikely to get many culture flips.

          EDIT: Link corrected.


          • #6
            I would like to thank everyone for their input.

            You guys are a tough crowd! lol Of all my reviews this one has gotten the most mixed results. Thats fine, the reviews are also intended to stir debate and educate the writer as well as the reader.

            Please keep in mind that unless I am willing to write a 'war & peace' essay on each CIV, I will be unable to cover every aspect or strat for each CIV. Also, there will be some repetition in wording from one review to another.

            No VMXA, I never said that Egypt was Queen of culture (lol), but I did focus on her excellent culture abilities. I will also do this with many others. I struggle with each review with in trying to highlight each civ in a positive manner, while also making a few of the most common critisms of that civ. The criticisms of the Babs slow start and the value of their UU are common ones, so my comments in that area tried to reflect this.

            It is easy to forget as players that have all won at Diety level, that the VAST majority of players are chieftan to regent players. Therefore many of a CIVs so-called strengths that we may declare - all but irrelevant- are not so irrelevant to a palyer that does not have the advantage of having mastered the nuances of the game. We have all discovered that certain CIV traits may lend themselves better towards acheiveing certain goals - more so that what appears to be the 'obvious' trait to pursue a particualr strat - this however, is not the case for most players. A player that has not learned to perfectly time his pre-builds and such will benifit from certain traits in a manner that an expert has long ago learned that there are better methods.

            Please, bear in mind that these reviews are primarily geared towards the 'newbie'. Because of this I will attempt to highlight a CIVs positives. Any especially harsh review can feed into a newbies habit of declaring a 'best civ(s)' or best traits. While I have played as each and every CIV at one point or another - I do have my favorites and preferences (as does everyone), and a much greater familiarity with some CIvs over others. No doubt my personal biases and expierences will creep in from time to time.

            I have edited the review to include a mention of the '0 bombard ability'. Thanks to everyone for that reminder. I also have cleaned up the links at the bottom per your suggestions.

            Once again, many thanks to all.

            Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.


            • #7
              Another excellent review.
              The greatest delight for man is to inflict defeat on his enemies, to drive them before him, to see those dear to them with their faces bathed in tears, to bestride their horses, to crush in his arms their daughters and wives.

              Duas uncias in puncta mortalis est.


              • #8
                Oh yeah, great reviews. I look forward to seeing the rest of them
                meet the new boss, same as the old boss


                • #9
                  I can comment here. I think that is a thoughtful and to-the-point review. The Babylonians are my favorite civ dating back to Civ1; I loved their music and wish it were in Civ3.

                  I prefer to not use Bowmen, so as to get a later GA. But I have C3C on order; perhaps with the 0 bombard I will try some different tactics. I like to go for insidious culture victories with the Babs, those red or blue tendrils seeping into the other civ's cracks.
                  Let Them Eat Cake


                  • #10
                    One point not mentioned about Bowmen is that they are on the Archer upgrade path (they upgrade to Longbowmen), so their usefulness as units in your military is short-lived.

                    And her eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming...


                    • #11
                      I like the Babs. Given time, they build up well. I've had some real fun games with the Babs where I've started alone on a good-sized island (but within galley range of some other civs). That's actually an excellent start for them because their religious trait will help counter having only 1 luxury type, and the lack of enemy civs on the same landmass allows them to just build up peacefully until the middle ages, at which point they can just erupt.

                      grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

                      The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.


                      • #12
                        Similarly to what Arrian said, I started a game with the Babs where I was on an island, within galley distance of a large continent inhabited by 5 or 6 civs. I beelined for mapmaking, but was unable to REX the continent in time to get much but scraps there. So I was stuck with a smallish core on my island. In the middle ages I was able to get a little ahead and expand on the continent and place an FP there.
                        Let Them Eat Cake