Use Religion & Espionage to Build an Empire in Gods & Kings

written by JMatula on June 21, 2012 in Tips, Tricks, and Guides

Welcome enthusiastic Civilization V: Gods & Kings players! We hope everyone’s been enjoying this rich and detailed expansion. If you’re outside of North America and shaking your fist, don’t worry, only a little while more to go, so chin up.

Whether it’s planning for your first game in the future or some insight into a current game, we’ve tried to dig in and give you some advice and tips that should help you in your quest to rule the new world of Gods & Kings. First some insight into the game’s two big new aspects, then some general advice for gameplay and strategy.


  • Religious Fast Track: Ethiopia is quickest on religion path. Others may establish a pantheon first but more often than not Ethiopia will be first to solidify an official religion, so if you want a faith based game, they’re a good pick.
  • It sounds obvious, but use your Pantheon to take advantage of your starting terrain.  A faith based pantheon can get you first pick of the religion options.
  • Religion based buildings cost about the same as a missionary or inquisitor.  Using your enhancer belief to increase the automatic spread of your religion frees up faith for Great People or buildings.
  • New ages increase the cost of religious buildings and units.  Be sure to spend your faith before finishing up that key tech.
  • Spread your religion to city states to slow influence decay.


  • Capitals are often the best place to steal techs from, but are also usually the most defended.
  • Level up your spy by defending your capital and killing enemy spies.  Then, send him out to steal techs or influence city-states.
  • Use your spies to view enemy cities when building a wonder to determine if you’ll complete it first.

General Advice

  • Double-check the Wonder and Policy descriptions.  Quite a few of them have subtly changes in the expansion.
  • Get more out of your Academies. Since Research Agreements and Great Scientists work off of produced research from Academies, they are definitely worthwhile to invest in.
  • Take advantage of your Civ’s unique abilities.
    • Austria’s Diplomatic Marriage  ability can become crushingly effective against your opponents as you annex City States. Or if you’re in a game against Austria, you better make friends with city states, because once you enter intowar with Austria, they will use DiplomaticMarriage to grab every city state they can to keep war going, even if you think you’ve beaten them.
    • Atilla’s Battering Rams are extremely powerful against cities in the early game, but cannot attack units.  If necessary, you can block their path with workers or other units.
  • You can now pay city-states to develop resource tiles you need.
  • Strategize placement of your standing armies in peaceful times. They’re no good to you just standing around the city unless an army is already on the way towards you. Put them on outlying roads that lead to your capitol or by fortresses and citadels to maximize their efficiency. Make sure other civs and barbarian hordes don’t even get the chance to come near your cities!

Have any other words of wisdom and advice for Gods & Kings players? Share them with the world in the comments section!