Civilization 5 Rise of the Mongols Scenario Strategy and Achievement Guide

Rise of the Mongols Steam Achievements

The Rise of the Mongols Scenario for Civilization 5 comes with only 1 playable civilization (the Mongols, obviously) and 6 Steam Achievements. Unfortunately these achievements don’t vary much, but only represent winning the scenario on different levels of difficulty. Below you’ll get an overview of the achievements followed by the Rise of the Mongols Strategy guide (which enables you to make the Ghengis Khan Steam Achievement on Deity difficulty).

Before you get cracking in this scenario, you might want to have a look at the Rise of the Mongols Scenario Map.


Khan

Khan Steam AchievementBeat the Mongol scenario on any difficulty.

Here’s the thing with all Steam Achievements for Rise of the Mongols: With 1 successful game on Deity you can get 5/6 achievements. Not very rich in variety!

Great Khan

Great Khan Steam AchievementBeat the Mongol scenario on the King or harder difficulty level.

So if you win on King difficulty (annihilating 5 civilizations) you automatically get the “Khan” achievement.

Supreme Khan

Supreme Khan Steam AchievementBeat the Mongol scenario on the Emperor or harder difficulty level.

You might as well start on Emperor, conquer 6 civilizations, which is doable, and get all previous achievements! I’d recommend coming after North- and South-China, Persia, India, Arabia and Byzantium. Even without knowing your ways around you will conquer China within 40 turns. Pull all troops west then and together with the steady production in Karakorum you should make it until Thessaloniki and Cairo.

Kublai Khan

Kublai Khan Steam AchievementBeat the Mongol scenario on the Immortal or harder difficulty level.

I did not specifically go for the Kublai Khan achievement. Immortal and Deity don’t differ much in game mechanics: Deity requires a little more research per technology and a little more culture per social policy. And of course you have to kill all 8 other civilizations instead of “only 7” on Immortal.

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan Steam AchievementBeat the Mongol scenario on the Deity difficulty level.

Here you are. To beat the Rise of the Mongols scenario on Deity you have wipe out all other civilizations. You can do it! Read below how I did it – my personal Rise of the Mongols strategy.

Khaaan!

Khaaan! Steam AchievementRun out of time to beat the Mongol scenario.

This is another reason why you might not want to play on Immortal at all: Even if you need two attempts to win on Deity, your first (failed) attempt will grant you the Khaaan! achievement!


Rise of the Mongols Strategy (Deity)

Beating the Rise of the Mongols scenario requires some tactical brilliance and deviousness and a good balance between your conquests and your empires’ happiness.

The 1st Third: China and Japan

The start is important. As you see in the screenshots for happiness I always have an archer or crossbowman in all captured cities, because that provides an additional +1 Happiness per city. Keep this up during the entire game!

  • Turn 0
    • Declare on Jin (North-China) and Xi-Xia
    • Have one worker build infrastructure at Karakorum, the 2nd builds a road to Beijing.
    • You quickly need 6 Keshiks and two Horsemen. Promote some of the Horsemen immediately, build more in Karakorum. You can worry about improving your city later.
      Edit: Gretta was asking in the comments how to achieve this. I didn’t know anymore, so I replayed. Here’s the explanation ->
  • Turn 3
    • Capture Xi-Xia
    • always leave the Horseman who captured the city in it to heal (that’s why you need two Horsemen quickly)
    • March on Beijing
  • Turn 8
    • Capture Beijing – take a look at the image gallery below: You can place your Keshiks well out of range of Beijings city defense and still shoot it with 4-5 Keshiks per turn.
  • Turn 10
    • Capture Liaoyang – I kept the city not knowing which strategy to pursue, but you might as well RAZE it
  • Turn 11
    • Declare on Korea, use only 2-3 of your Keshiks here, as the rest is needed in China
  • Turn 12 – Declare on Wu Zeitan (South-China)
  • Turn 14 – Capture and RAZE Kaifeng
  • Turn 18 – Capture Korea
  • Turn 19
    • Declare on Oda Nobunaga (Japan)
    • Use two Keshiks, enter the hill at the southern tip of Korea, shoot at Dazaifu and leave the hill. Both Keshiks will be able to fire at Dazaifu, bringing it down eventually.
  • Turn 20 – Capture and RAZE Xiangyang
  • Turn 21 – Capture and RAZE Xian
  • Turn 22 – Capture and RAZE Tanzhou
  • Turn 26
    • Capture Guangzhou and capture and RAZE Dazaifu
    • Make peace with Oda Nobunaga (Japan), demand Kamakuro, RAZE it”
  • Turn 28 – Capture Hangzhou, the South Chinese Capital

Interlude: Promoting Units

Getting more XP from combat (social policy) and again more XP for Keshiks (one of their abilities) will quickly turn them into war machines! Nonetheless you can speed this up by making some important decisions while promoting them:

Try to focus on either Accuracy or Barrage, because you quickly want to get Logistics. With Logistics your Keshiks can shoot two times per turn, which drastically speeds up any following promotions. As your Keshiks will move out of City range after an attack, you won’t need March in most of the cases and might take indirect fire straightaway…

The last part of the Rise of the Mongols strategy, especially the siege of Byzantium, relies on Logistics and Range, so here’s my preferred promotion order:

Western Armies promotion-accuracy1Accuracy I promotion-accuracy2Accuracy II promotion-accuracy3Accuracy III promotion-logisticsLogistics promotion-rangeRange promotion-marchMarch promotion-indirect-fireIndirect Fire
Eastern Army promotion-barrage1Barrage I promotion-barrage2Barrage II promotion-barrage3Barrage III promotion-logisticsLogistics promotion-rangeRange promotion-marchMarch promotion-indirect-fireIndirect Fire

The 2nd Third: Persia and India

Here’s the 2nd part of the Rise of the Mongols Strategy: You will conquer Persia and India. Also during this time you will prepare for two more campaigns:

Some worker(s) build a road from Korea to the Northeast, always at the coast. You’ll use this road to bring your 1st new army to Hokkaido and Japan: An army consisting of 2-4 Longswordsmen and ~2 Trebuchets will suffice to capture Kyoto.

A second pioneer corps (worker) build a road all the way from Urgench, Persias capital, to Russia. Meanwhile you’ll also build the 2nd new army consisting of 6 Keshiks and some Horsemen to go against Russia later. Use the money you accumulate during your conquests to buy buildings in Karakorum.

  • Turn 33
    • Capture and RAZE Chengdu
    • Make peace with City States formerly allied with South-China
    • I got Russia to sign a Research Treaty
    • I convinced Persia to sign Open Borders
  • Turn 34 – using open borders move your most experienced Keshiks past Samarkand into the lowlands between Samarkand and Urgench
  • Turn 37 – Declare on Dareios I. (Persia)
  • Turn 39 – Capture and RAZE Samarkand
  • Turn 40 – Capture Urgench
  • Turn 43 – Make peace with Dareios I. (Persia), demand Nishapur and Tabriz
  • Turn 44 – 47
    • Send your units Southeast towards India – don’t squeeze them through the Northwestern mountain pass!
    • Have reinforcements in place in Indias Northeastern Himalaya pass – build roads on that pass, so you can maneuver your Keshiks there!

 

 

  • Turn 46 – Ally with Abbasids as you will need this city and don’t want to fight their units
  • Turn 48 – Declare on Gandhi (India)
  • Turn 49 – Harun al-Rashid (Arabia) declares on me, fortunately he first has to fight the Abbasids
  • Turn 50 – Capture and RAZE Multan
  • Turn 52 – Capture and RAZE Lahore
  • Turn 53 – A Golden Age dawns
  • Turn 54 – Capture Dehli
  • Turn 56
    • Capture and RAZE Varanasi
    • Don’t use all your troops to take out the last Indian city. Move the main army already West to go against Arabia and Persia.
  • Turn 58 – Arabia captures Abbasids, which doesn’t need to concern you yet – move some Keshiks into the mountains east of it and kill some Arabian Camel Archers
  • Turn 59 – Declare on Dareios I. (Persia)
  • Turn 60 – Finish Notre Dame
  • Turn 63 – Capture and RAZE Isfahan, destroying Persia

The 3rd Third: Arabia, Byzantium and Russia

…and Japan actually. You have severely crippled Japan in the first third. Now with the army built over time and shipped to Hokkaido, defeating Japan is only a matter of time…

Aside from Japan the third part of the Rise of the Mongols strategy explains how to deal with Arabia and Byzantium. Russia doesn’t need much explanation: About 20 turns are enough time to defeat Russia so the declaration of war should happen around turn 80. By then you will have a new army at the Russian border via the road from Persia.

  • Turn 68
    • Capture Abbasids
    • Declare on Oda Nobunaga (Japan)
  • Turn 71 – A Golden Age dawns
  • Turn 72 – Capture and RAZE Aleppo
  • Turn 74 – Capture and RAZE Damascus
  • Turn 75
    • Capture Crusader States – this wouldn’t be necessary, but they will be allied with Arabia anyway. Unfortunately they own 1-2 tiles of land on Sinai, where you have to move quickly to shoot Cairo. So take them.
  • Turn 77 – Capture Cairo
  • Turn 78 – Declare on Catherine (Russia)
  • Turn 79 – Capture and RAZE Mecca
  • Turn 80 – Declare on Michael VIII. (Byzantium)
  • Turn 81 – 88
    • Besiege Constantinople – first kill all units Byzantium sends against you. Your highly promoted Keshiks will do the job.
    • Keep your units out of range of Constantinople – by now the Keshiks should have the “Range” promotion, so you can shoot from 3 tiles away.
    • You will still need to rotate your units to use all of them every turn: Move to the next hill (-2 movement), shoot 2 times (-2 movement) and move back (-2 movements).
    • Plan your turns here: Every Keshik needs to shoot 2 times! Some will wait on the road behind to join the rotation. If you didn’t use all Keshiks in one turn with 2 shoots each – reload and find a better rotation!
  • Turn 83 – A Golden Age dawns
  • Turn 84 – Capture and RAZE Vladimir
  • Turn 86 – Capture Kyoto
  • Turn 89 – Capture Constantinople
  • Turn 90 – Finish Taj Mahal and a Golden Age dawns
  • Turn 92 – Capture and RAZE Thessalonica and capture Kiev
  • Turn 96 – Capture Novgorod

Social Policies and Happiness in Rise of the Mongols

Civilization 5 Rise of the Mongols Social Policies
Organized Religion

Without conquering Cultured City States (which upon capture grant 1 free social policy) you will manage to get about 6 social policies. I recommend the following order:

  1. Military Tradition (+50% XP)
  2. Professional Army (-33% upgrade costs, +1 happiness from defense buildings)
  3. Apply Piety
  4. Organized Religion (+1 Happiness from every Monument, Temple and Monastery)
  5. After that I chose Liberty and tried to get to Meritocracy (+1 Happiness for each city connected to the capital) but that requires social policy #6 and #7, so I think one can’t make it on Deity.

Notre Dame (+10 Happiness), Taj Mahal (+4 Happiness) are nice to at least stay between 0 and -9 (un)happiness. This already gives you a penalty in combat, but it’s not really bad yet. Always having a Khan with your units easily makes up for that penalty.

Research

Research plays only a minor role in the Rise of the Mongols scenario, so in the initial version of this guide, I completely ignored it. Now that RMcD94 had asked in the comments, I felt like checking the research path of my game. I only loaded 6 save games, so here’s my rough research path:

  • Civilization 5 Rise of the Mongols Research in turn 21starting turn 08
    • Construction
    • Metal Casting (workshops)
    • Sailing (to buy fishing boats at Chinas coastal cities for luxuries)

 


 

  • Civilization 5 Rise of the Mongols Research in turn 40starting turn 21
    • Engineering (+movement on roads)
    • Machinery (Ironworks, if possible)
    • Optics
    • Theology

 


 

  • Civilization 5 Rise of the Mongols Research in turn 60starting turn 40
    • Education (Notre Dame for +10 happiness)
    • Physics
    • Steel (although you probably will never build a single Longswordsman)

 


 

  • Civilization 5 Rise of the Mongols Research in turn 80starting turn 60
    • Gunpowder
    • Metallurgy
    • Compass
    • Astronomy

 


 

  • Civilization 5 Rise of the Mongols Research in turn 94starting turn 80
    • Printing Press (Theaters for happiness and Taj Mahal)
    • Banking
    • Economics
    • Rifling
    • Acoustics

 

The general guideline is: Research for happiness – do all it takes to keep your empires happiness between 0 and -10. Other than that it’s not really important. You won’t need any of the units, as you’ll only attack with Keshiks anyway.

Conclusion

Once you’re successful, you will have created a Mongol Empire outshining the real Mongol Empire. Unlike the historical model, your empire will include India and Japan, which the Mongols never conquered. So playing this scenario is really fun. Sad you can not play any of the other empires trying to fight back. Or even play the scenario in a multiplayer match, so all your friends can ally against the Mongol hordes.

While you don’t necessarily have to follow my Rise of the Mongols strategy, I hope some of the things mentioned – like building those roads, or the approach on Japan – help you win your game! Please let me know what you think about it in the comments or share this post with your Civilization-playing friends.

46 thoughts on “Civilization 5 Rise of the Mongols Scenario Strategy and Achievement Guide”

  1. Awesome guide! I remember doing this scenario on Prince like maybe 7 years ago. Did it on deity today, won on turn 81. Could’ve won far earlier as I could’ve saved maybe ~10 turns in Japan due to slowness (never received Kamakuro in a peace deal). However I got super lucky and received not just two Persian cities, but also Novgorod and one Indian city in peace deals.

    I kept Laoying as a puppet for the horses and iron. I’d say it was worth it. Everything else was razed.

    Before declaring war, as mentioned, you should sell all your resources for instant gold. However, don’t stop there – try to convince your target to go to war with someone else. It made India go to war with Persia and Russia with Greece, so that their cities were much easier to conquer when they were distracted on other fronts.
    Convincing somebody else to pay you to go to war with somebody is much harder though, I only made a few pesos out of it.

    So, in my opinion this scenario can be done in 65-70 turns with a good start (I was slower by 2-3 turns for the first 20 turns or so) and the correct strategy of what order of conquest to pursue.

  2. Thanks very much for the guide.

    I’d like to reinforce your advice of not playing Immortal. I did because I failed badly in my first Deity attempt and ended the game with enough troops to take Byzantium after defeated Arabia. Oddly, I finished Deity in less turns than Immortal.

    Here goes some contribution:

    1) After take Beijing, send troops to take Xian, It will be damaged by south China and North China will be attacking them. I took in 1 turn with a Keshik and a horseman (the one that was resting in Western Xia.

    2) I kept Liaoyang for its horses. Even though in the end of the game I had 9 extra horses, it was very helpful at the begining, mainly because of the next topic.

    3) In first two times, I wasn’t able to demand Karakuro from Japan, so I continued my attack with 2 Keshiks and 1 horseman by south. It is hard to hop on the island because of the samurais, but you can do it if you put both keshiks on the hexagons nearest do Korea peninsula and a worker on the other plains hexagon as sacrifice.
    To catch Tokyo you must have two well advanced keshiks (I used the two that attacked Korea), starting with, at least, logistics and indirect fire and get +1 Range when you get the chance, so you can attack Tokyo with 4 attacks per turn (because if need to advance with the Keshik, you can only attack once if you want to go back – and you do).
    I also annexed Liaoyang and purchased a trireme to help with visibility and to attack Japan’s troops.

    4) In my last game, I managed to use money won by defeating India, Persia and Russia to ally with Almaty, during war with Persia; Abbasibs and, later, Crusader States, during war with Arabia (on my first run, Crusader States was already annexed by Arabia); and Hungary, during war against Byzantium. All of them were very useful to give units to stay on cities for extra happiness, getting rid of enemies troops and giving extra horses.

    To ally with Hungary, I anticipated my attack on Russia and used 4 Keshiks, one being well evolved, with granted me a quick conquest.

    Hope I have added some information to help other players.

  3. Thanks for the guide! I finally did it myself. Numerous failed attempts that were very close leaving one civ alive out of Russia, Arabia, and Byzantium, depending on how I split my forces. However, when I finally did it I did it in around 85 turns and was quite relaxed post turn 60, as the writing was on the wall and I didn’t really need to bother optimising.

    In my victorious game I used the indirect fire promotion on my Keshiks to simply take the first four Persian cities within a few turns instead of asking them for peace, as I could use Khans for vision and simply shoot over the hills. Then I sent a small army of 3 Keshiks and a Horseman to India and kept the rest moving west. The western army made quick work of the last Persian city and I used the resulting money to ally the Abbasids and being my war on Arabia.

    To keep happiness up I burned down every city I could for the early part of the game, so I kept only capital cities and former city-states. The exceptions were Aleppo, to help with Byzantium, and Kamakura to provide a base to take Kyoto, both of which were annexed. I think optimising further would remove the need to keep Aleppo.

    Workers as sacrificial vision pawns were very useful in Russia. I also suspect they trick the AI into going for them instead of military units.

    What I find most strange is that in not a single one of my playthroughs did I see Medina. Not sure if someone was burning it down every time or if it has been patched out or something else. Also interesting was that city-states remained allied to long-dead civilizations for most of the game.

    1. Congrats and thanks for sharing as well!
      By now a good amount of valuable advice is accumulated in the comments here ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks so much for your guide! This is immensely helpful. Some additional questions for you and also tips for everyone:
    – Question: When I captured Dazaifu, Japan offered peace and Kamakuro, but when I captured Samarkand and Ugrench, Persia either did not offer peace or did not offer any cities when they did. Any idea what influences AI to offer cities?
    – Tip: don’t forget to leave weak units in cities for happiness (I know you mentioned it already but I always forget about that). Also pay attention to max unit cap, each additional unit hurts your production by -10%. I forgot about that and my capital was at -70% production for a long time..)
    – Tip: I find offering capital cities to the next enemy I was going to DOW helped a lot in managing happiness because it halves population every time I capture it. E.g. I captured Beijing, gave it to China (along with lux and everything for gold) then immediately DOW China, capture Hangzhou, gave it to Persia (along with lux and everything for gold) then immediately DOW Persia, then Ugrench+Hangzhou (again, I know) to Japan, then Tokyo to India, so on and so forth. Always try to get good timing to take capital cities. I defeated Arabia and captured Delhi at around the same time and I gave Byzantium 4 cities (Aleppo, Cairo, Delhi, Multan) then immediately DOW Byzantium. The cities would be in resistance (cannot do anything include city attack) so it’s some additional easy experience and I retook the cities within 1-2 turn. I was able to keep my happiness between -1 and -9 throughout most of the game
    – Tip: use your great generals for golden ages if need the extra happiness, once it goes below -10 the penalty is harsh. I was fighting on 3 fronts max, and you’ll generate many great generals so use them.
    – Tip: promotion: I did not follow your order exactly. I choose around 2:1 ratio for open:rough terrain. After 3 of those, the next one is always logistics as you mention, then the next one depends. I roughly have half “front-line” keshiks with march in case they get attacked (but never let them die), and the other half with range. Then I go for the +25% to cities. I almost never get indirect fire because on this map (unless it’s the last attack I need to take a city before turn ends and I don’t have enough movement point), I can almost always maneuver my keshiks to hit something without indirect fire so I only gave it to one or two “back-line” keshiks with range.
    – Tip: I used 1k gold each to ally with Georgia and Abassids. I find that helpful when facing Arabia. Other than these 2, I didn’t bother with allying any other CSs.
    – Tip: I find myself having abundant gold by the time I fight Arabia, so for my capital city, I used quite a lot of gold to buy buildings and units, and used production to build either build units
    – Tip: Aleppo is the only non-capital city that I kept for its horses
    – Tip: I did not finish Ironwork or Circus Maximum throughout my entire game (even with tree chopping) because I was constantly razing cities and a lot of them did not have workshop or coliseum. My advice is put a great person point into workshop as soon as you get 5 pop to get a great engineer some time around turn 60ish (don’t let any of your puppets get great merchant before you do), and either use it to get Ironwork or to finish Notre Dame. I used it to finish ND because in a previous unsuccessful game someone built it before I did.

    P.S. I consider myself extremely lucky because Persia actually captured/puppetted Mecca and captured/razed Medina! Gotta thank Persia
    P.P.S. Ulvgeir, you’re definitely not that last to still play Civ 5. Likewise, Civ 6 hasn’t gotten to me yet.

    1. Thanks for sharing!
      However: When you comment – can you please NOT provide such an obviously fake email under anonymous name?

  5. Playing this one again to pick up a few achievements I’m missing; currently playing at emperor level. I think it’s going a little slower than at deity because China didn’t have much gold so I couldn’t buy 2 more keshiks. I invaded Southern China first and started conquering/razing from west to east while taking potshots at Northern China for the XP. It was a lot easier to manage unhappiness that way, rather than going straight for Beijing. I took the 4 cities I wanted to keep last: the 2 capitals, that southern coastal city, and Llaoyang (sp?) because it had gold and horses. Then Korea (I was hoping Korea would declare war on me like it sometimes does so the other CS’s don’t get wary). Now what?

    It’s about turn 35 and I’ve conquered both Chinas (almost on the same turn) and Korea, and have a couple keshiks scouting a path to India; Also halfway finished building Notre Dame. I think I need to build a road thru the Himalayas near Delhi. And maybe capture Japan while I’m doing that? The southwestern-most Japanese city is easy, but then there’s not much room to maneuver on the big Japanese island. A small navy would help… I might annex Korea.

    Thanks for this guide, and especially the map.

  6. Any plans to tackle the Civ 6 scenarios? Iโ€™m finally getting around to that game and thereโ€™s a scenario similar in design to this one that I just canโ€™t crack on Deity. Best I can tell Iโ€™m about two turns late, maybe even just one.

    1. Hi Jono, thanks for the encouragement! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Your comment came before my 4 week parental leave, so I didn’t come around to reply. I’m basically “finishing up” Civ5 with a Deity Into the Renaissance game (Sweden) playing beyond victory. I’m in turn 320 and have 800 units, so things take a while. But I’m almost finished with the last opponent. After that it’s probably Steam Achievements on Beyond Earth first, before I get around to Civ6. We’ll see. Good luck for those Civ6 games!

  7. I may be the last to still play Civ 5 but Civ 6 has yet to catch me. Especially this scenario is a favorite of mine. Thank you for your helpful guides. I have used them for other scenarios too but have a few suggestions for this one. Based on your guide, and on the good comments from others below it, Iโ€™m able to complete the scenario in as little as 70 turns. This is what I do.

    Social policies as you suggest.

    Research sailing early. As no 1 or 2 science. Optics can wait a bit longer, but not too long. Must be completed before India is killed. Rest of the science in top of screen, I do with the free science from killing civs. Religion and Education from killing Jin and China. Then I can start building Notre Dame at around turn 30. (Buying the workshop when that becomes available). Then the rest all the way to frigates, which I use to deal with Japan. I do not DOW them early as you suggest, but let them wait until frigates ready at about turn 55. I annex Liaoyang, build 1 archer then some triremes โ€“ and buy more. Need 7-8 of them by the time I DOW Japan. Then upgrading them to frigates and adding a few melee units.

    Changing focus in Karakorum to production. Ordering horsemen not keshiks. When horseman ready, moving it a few steps along the road, but still inside my own border, then upgrading to keshik. I donโ€™t choose the promotion before the upgrade. If buying I choose keshik from the start.

    Whenever a city is likely to fall this turn, I donโ€™t move keshiks back after attacking if possible. I wait and see if a forward move should become possible instead. All the small moves saved will add up in the end.
    Turn 1 as you suggest but I offer Jin horses and open borders too, and get 335 gold coins. I use both workers for the road. It will take many turns before Karakorum needs more land improvements than it already got. Before turn 30 I will have more workers than I need.

    Turn 2-5. I take Western Xia. I make sure one unit gets south enough to meet China. I sell Western Xia to China together with horses, silver and open borders and get about 1000 gold coins. China do not always have that much. If not then I start new game. I then retake Western Xia.
    The building horsemen and buying, will give me an army of 8 keshiks and 4 horsemen by turn 20. Half the keshiks with barrage and half with accuracy. Always working in pairs with one of each. Using the right one for the job when possible, will make the kill faster. Promotions for horsemen goes to healing. But horsemen donโ€™t have to be healed to do their job = taking a city already shot all the way down.
    Turn 9-10 taking Beijing. 1-2 turns later taking Liaoyang. By now I will have 6 keshiks in Beijing/Liaoyang area and 1-2 near Western Xia. 2 horsemen.

    Then I split my army.
    A) 1 horseman and 2 keshiks go for Korea.
    B) Other part, at first 1 keshik, later joined by another and the last horseman, I build, will defend Western Xia, then attaking Xian, then Chengdu. The Korea group will join in the attack on Chengdu and then together these 2 horsemen and 4 keshiks will go to Persia. The attack on Samarkand will start about turn 30. That is about 10 turns earlier than if I first take Dazaifu as Japan is always reluctant to make peace.
    C) The other half of the army will go from Beijing/Liaoyang to Kaifeng, Xiangyang, Xian. Done by approx. turn 20. Continue to Tanzhou, Guangzhou and finally Hangzhou. Done by approx. turn 30, probably a bit earlier.

    The gold from finishing off China goes to ally with Abbasids. I have not yet met Abbasids, but I save the gold until I do.

    Quite early I send 2 workers west to Persia to be there when the army arrives. I use workers as expendable scouts and to stop attack. A bit later I send 1-2 workers to build road in the passage south of Almaty. To connect India to the road net. They get a Korean crossbowman as protection.
    The Persia army deals with Persia the way, you suggest. I find it easier to start with Urgench and then take Samarkand, but I guess that is a matter of taste. Both will have to be taken before Persia is ready for the peace treaty, we want. Then move to Arabia. Damascus, Aleppo, Mecca and then crossing the sea to attack Cairo from the south. Then Constantinopel and finally Thessalonica.

    The China army goes to India by the small passage south of Lhasa, north of Dali. Yes, it takes time but once through the open ground is much better. Varanasi, Delphi, Lahore and Multan. By then the 10-turn peace with Persia should be about finished. Taking Isfahan. Moving to Russia. Vladimir, Kiev and finally Novgorod.

    At around turn 60 I get a great engineer. Using him to get Circus Maximus. +4 happiness.

    I annex Urgench and buy some pikemen. They are very handy both in the attack on Russia (4-5), who have some nasty knights that can kill a keshik in one shot, and against Byzantium (1-2) when attacking from the east. The hills in Anatolia makes movement very slow and sight very short. Sending a pikeman or 2 in front, makes it much safer to move ahead. Pikemen moves much slower than horses. I buy them as early as I can afford to get them moving.

    Thessalonica, Novgorod and Kamakuro should all fall in same turn โ€“ last turn. Else unhappiness will make attacks slower. General note for all game: If a city is ready to be taken, I let it wait until all fighting elsewhere is done or the unhappiness may cause delays.

    3 points to observe when using frigates on Japan: 1) Frigates gets very weak if unhappiness is above 9. 2) Japanese troops around Kyoto will try to take it back and if ignored they might succeed. 3) It takes about 3 turns to move all the way around Japan from Kyoto to Kamakura. To hasten the attack on Japan, one might choose to research compass the slow way. If so, it should not be done too late. But I find it hard to spare the gold coins needed for buying triremes and upgrading them to frigates that early in the game.
    I hope these notes will be of help. Thanks again for your guides.

    1. Loads of valuable tips, which are actually valid for ALL games of Civ5!
      (Movement optimization, taking cities after all fighting is done before end of turn etc.)

      Thanks for extending the guide!

  8. Tried this at least a dozen times and I keep falling behind trying to take South china. By the time I get to sneaking past Samarkland and declaring war Im TEN(10) turns behind the guide and I’ve reloaded at least 50 times over the New Year weekend and am just astounded you guys aren’t running into the AI resistance I am. Even with 4+ promotions and happiness below -15/20 I can not plow/ignore the units and take the city. I gave up and just tried winning and by turn 100 I still hadn’t attacked Greece or finished off Arabia :/ am I just that much of a noob after 1.5k hours on this game

    1. Nice to hear Im not the only one left still playing Civ 5. ๐Ÿ™‚

      After Beijing/Liaoyang, you divide your army. Half stay to finish China. Other half go to Persia. Kalle suggests you use half of the persian half to attack Japan first. I prefer to do Japan with frigates later in the game and get to Persia early.
      I use 2 horsemen, 1 khan and 4 keshiks for each of the 2 armies.
      This way Persia will sue for peace at about the same time as you finish off China.
      To get this army early, I sell Western Xia to China right after I get it – then retake it next turn. China should pay about 1k coins for the city, your silver, horses and open borders. If China dont have that much coin, I restart game. I order horsemen when building then upgrade to keshiks right when they finish.This way army is complete about turn 20.

    2. Hey! I’m also still playing, so that makes 3 of us ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Also: Thanks for explaining the army-split in more detail!

    3. Don’t give up! Ulvgeir posted some more valuable tips for the necessary micro-optimizations you need in this scenario.
      Also: In doubt try winning this scenario on 2 difficulties lower, then 1 and optimize and then go for Deity again. I’ve done that several times until I got it right.

  9. Turn 99. Just about gave myself a heart attack, but I finally got Japan to go down. This guide was incredibly helpful.

  10. I just won on Deity at turn 74. This guide was incredibly helpful, but I will add some advice of my own.

    -As others have mentioned, two keshiks, a great general, and an embarked horsemen are all that you need to conquer Japan. Split these units from the rest of your army after you conquer Beijing or Liaoyang.

    -Up until the capture of Korea you really only need one horsemen in your amy. After the Japanese bound units split up, buy another horsemen in your capial.

    -Trade away all of your luxuries and resources for gold before declaring war on a civ. Use this gold to buy an armory and keshiks in your capital. I finished the game with 21 keshiks down from probably about 25 after I stopped caring if they were killed.

    -It is hugely beneficial to conquer every city-state that possesses horses. With a team of veteran keshiks the city-states will fall in one turn anyways. Use your gold to buy keshiks in the capital at every opportunity you get.

    -A peace treaty with Persia in exchange for his cities is wishful thinking. Don’t hesitate to roll right through him if he refuses to negotiate peace at first.

    -On my first few play throughs with India I struggled due to their knights. However, on this most recent game I was able to conquer them with 5 non-veteran keshiks. Perhaps I got to them before they developed the tech for knights. I split my army between an Arabian/Byzantine front and an India front after the conquering of Persia.

    -In my opinion, happiness is largely irrelevant. You will be suffering from the unhappiness combat effect anyways, so why worry about it? The only resources that require protecting are horses, so garrison crossbowmen in your furthest horse-possessing cities and leave the rest unguarded. On my final turn my happiness level was -54.

    -This guide should not be taken as an instruction manual that is to be followed turn-by-turn. Instead, read it is a vague road map that allows for many routes and deviations to your final destination. Every game is going to throw different challenges at you.

    -Finally, I found it very helpful to use constant saves and reloads. If you lose a keshik, immediately go back a turn and avoid the loss on the second time around. You should also utilize reloads when you feel you wasted an additional turn or two capturing a city. The difference in one turn wasted towards the beginning of the game can easily compound into 5 turns lost in the later levels.

    Thanks again Rob for all your help. I really appreciate all the time you put into these guides.

  11. As an alternative to the Hokkaido move, I ended up taking 3 keshiks to Honshu, plus one of Korea’s crossbows. After Dazaifu, I don’t raze it right away for the two tiles on Honshu and plug away at Japanese units until I can get a peace treaty with both open borders and Kamakuro. Then I raze both cities and walk my army over to Kamakuro. From there, three keshiks and a cross bow make short work of Kyoto. The crossbow stays behind and the three keshiks form the basis of the northern army to attack Russia while the “Western/Southern Army” goes after Persia, India, Persia, Arabia. Of course, this means building a road from Uigur, particularly over the hills to speed up late builds heading to Russia. Then the northern and southern armies just about link up for the final attack on Constantinople and Thessaloniki.

    I pulled this off in 99 turns on my first try (big hattip to this guide that that was remotely possible, although running about ten turns behind your pace until around turn 85) but was alas only playing Immortal!

    Now, i’m repeating, faster, on Deity for real this time.

    Many thanks for a fantastic guide.

    1. Actually, on the latest play through I used my three keshiks to just take Tokyo, although I did take March as a promotion before indirect fire or siege on the least experienced Keshik because i kept getting dinged. I took Tokyo by turn 54 and Kamakuro on turn 57, and then set sail for Kiev

    2. Whooohoooo! Happy this works for you and thanks for your feedback + sharing your way! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. After looking at this guide and making some improvements, I did this on deity within 60 turns. I think it can be fairly easily done in under 50 after adding some efficiencies. As an experiment, I played with some of the initial decisions and was able to get defeating Western Xia down to 2 turns and defeating Beijing down to 5 turns (in my original run it took 3 turns and 7 turns, respectively).

    If anyone would like, I can make a youtube video on this. I’ll do it if there’s sufficient interest.

    1. Hi GG! My 2 cents on this: THIS is one of the most popular posts regarding Civ5 guides. But people still don’t comment like crazy. My suggestion would be: If you want to create a youtube video – please do! I will then embed it in the original post to give it some prominence! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Sorry for the delay on this! When I did this the first time, it was under 60 turns. I hypothesized that some efficiency improvements would lead to sub 50. Let me try in the next week to do a new run and I’ll post a youtube video ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay tuned!

    3. Wow under 60 first run? That’s nuts! In my game, I was extremely lucky because Persia captured/puppetted Mecca and captured/razed Medina. Even then I only beat deity on turn 86.

  13. Great guide! I struggled with happiness (and thus production for the Japanese units) until I varied it slightly. My 2 units+horse that conquered Korea, continued and slowly plugged away on Japan until conquering, well before the end of the game- they had enough time to conquer then go start on Russia. I also razed the two gifted cities from persia’s peace treaty, and dealt with massive unhappiness while maneuvering over to India- but once cleared never had another issue with it through the end of the game. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Depends – check out the last screenshots. There you can see quite well on the mini map which cities I kept and which I had razed to the ground.

  14. So I have been so confused trying this wonderful strategy because Civ 5 went back at some point and renamed Beijing to Peking – which after I looked it up- its totally historically correct and I felt like an idiot but I spent a good 5 saves driving south into China looking for Beijing ๐Ÿ™‚ Its quite funny now that I look back!

    Thanks for this guide!

  15. Hi, I want to thank you for this guide! It really helped me while I was learning to use the Keshiks properly, even though by the time I was going for Deity, I actually used a different plan than yours; still, you did help me a lot to learn how to beat the game!

    Here’s what I used to beat the game on Deity. My approach is a little bit different than yours, so I hope someone could make use of it:

    – After you take Western Xia, it’s best to go directly for Wu’s city located on the road from Central Asia to China (Chengdu). That way, you’ll benefit from the city connection much earlier than if you go straight for Beijing. Then you can go, city after city, east and then north, for (eventually) Beijing.

    – It is great to use both workers to build a connection with the existing trans-Asian road, and after it was finished, I used them to build a road to India (which is built while you conquer both Chinas, and after I destroyed both empires, I had a road through mountains and jungle to India almost finished, so you don’t have to spend time attacking it from SW)

    – Conquering Korea is vital. For that, I only needed two Keshiks, which were the only troops going for Japan for the whole time, which I split off the main army, which then easily finished South China. It is important to use these two units to destroy Korean units first, and only then take the city (so you start your Japanese campaign with more XP). Given you have only two units, the Korean ones don’t die as fast, which again boosts the XP producing. The two would go for double tap — 3-range — shooting over obstacles (which is super useful on Honshu) — healing in action.

    – Don’t raze the small Japanese city! You can burn it to size 1, but a couple of tiles on Honshu it has are very useful for healing.

    – When your Keshiks land on Honshu, they first kill units (again, gaining XP, you’ll want to take +25% vs. Cities if you stand a chance), and then they try to go after Tokyo. Don’t ever have peace with Oda (unless he gives you his easternmost city, then you raze it and attack again). It is useful to bring a worker (which you conquered in China) there, so he chops a few forest tiles (so movement costs less). Eventually, I got city HP to zero, and (since embarked units only move two tiles per turn) got an embarked horseman into city’s range. I also got two triremes there for distraction, and it worked — Tokyo and nearby units destroyed both boats, but didn’t hurt the horseman, which then took the city. (This happened around turn 60. You’ll make it eventually. Even turn 90 would be fine, too.)

    – Conquering India is trivial once you’ve built a road there. Conquering Persia forces you to make a decision: which two cities you should take first (after that, you can have peace for the other two non-capital cities, so it matters which city is his capital at that point. The AI priorities are: Urgench, Samarkand, Nishapur). I found it best to leave Darius’s original capital to him: that city is easy to take later.

    – At this point, you split the army into the more and less trained parts. The rookies aim for Russia (who I didn’t even meet by that point! she didn’t know about my atrocities! so she gave me Open Borders easily, which I used to scout her land; then I crushed her.) The veterans go for Arabia (don’t forget to ally the Abbasids), annihilate it, and then go for Byzantium. The last Persian city can be taken with Keshiks you buy in Karakorum (you have so much gold by this point anyway).

    – And presto, you push with the veterans from Anatolia, destroy Byzantine units there, take Constantinople, then from the north comes the healed army that took Russia and helps you finish off units in Greece, and at turn 96, I took Thesalonniki and won!

    The downside is, I couldn’t keep my Happiness above -10. I had to bear the -33% penalty (easily compensated for by other bonuses and double tap). When I got peace for two of the three remaining Persian cities, my Happiness was even fell below -30. Luckily, the Unhappiness barbarians spawned near Guanzhou. That city and territory was trashed by them, and I could do little to counter that, as my troops were busy conquering everybody; but I didn’t really need the city, so it was okay. When the units from the Japanese front came back, they took care of that, but the city had too little time left to matter in my game anyway.

  16. Massive thanks for this guide! I wouldn’t have gotten the achievement without it. In my playthrough, I think I got lucky and the Western empires were a breeze. I had killed them all by turn 90. But taking Japan was a total pain. I just barely got it in time.

  17. Almost peRfect guide !!!! really a goRgeous woRk…. only a think … if you wont , tRy to annect Korea and staRt to build a ships…. when possible , upgRade and then you’ll find an easieR way to destRoy japan

  18. Very nice guide with visual images as a bonus. I followed your guide and it worked very well and I got the deity win right at the 100 turn mark. Thank you for your time to write this up.

    1. Thanks a lot for the compliment, Gilbert!
      Happy you made it in time. Turn 100 is a close call ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Very nice guide. I did it on my 3rd attempt, did some variation on your strategy, and surpisingly had 12 turns (maybe was even faster possible, was a bit sloppy vs india in the end) left when winning.

    Some things ร think are important/nice to keep in mind:

    – Don’t bother too much with killing units, go for the cities. In my first and second try i focused to much on units and lost too much time this way. just bombard the cities and kill units the are blocking the way for your horseman to capture the city/in range for attacking you next turn, otherwise ignore them. When you wipe out a civ all the units dissapear, very useful, did this with russia and Byzanz, they had up to 7-9 units left when i killed them.

    – Never build Keshiks form your capital, build horsemen instead and upgrade them, you’ll have gold anyway and they are way faster to build. But be careful, immedeatly upgrade them in own territory when they are finished building, because otherwise you would waste one (or 2 with armory) promotions on the horseman the Keshik can’t use, and it will take so long to get logistics. This is the reason why this trick doesn’t work when buying horsemen, since the game doesn’t let you click next turn when there’s a promotion to do. Buy the Keshiks instead if you need more.

    – You probably know it, but gefore declaring war to a civ, sell all your stuff for all the gold they have. If they have more left, you can try to demand it/part of it, they will often give it to you if you have military near their borders anyway (Japan eg. gives you his remaining gold when you demand it).

    – Keep in mind that you have the great wall nearly from the beginning, so when capturing an enemy city, all enemy units around it will suffer the movement penalty.

    – watch out for persia, he could be in a golden age when you attack him, which gives him +1 movement and eventually allows him to surprise attack some units you thought were save.

    – As for research, I start with construcion. I time my final capture of siam when it ends, so as the free tech i can choose engineering (bridges are very useful in chinas land). Then i go for optics (to capture the small Japanese city, it will be perfectly timed). Then metal casting. Shortly after I finished of China, and did choose machinery, so i got insanely fast road movements on like turn 30. Buying a workshop and a armory in Kakaorum is very useful. After that it isn’t really important what you go for, some AI (in my case byzanz) will build Notre Dame anyway, no way i could’ve gotten it, capturing is easier. You probably can head straight for metallurgy to get a lancer in the lategame, who is more tanky than a horseman, but it’s not that much of a deal.

    -Social policies: obv. the xp policy first, after that finishing honor, then it depends, i made some strategic cs allies, so i went for patronage, you can go piety down to eventually get some hapiness. not that important.

    For the the general strategy, I did it similar to you, although I didn’t go for india early. After I temporarily peaced with Persia i did send 3 Keshik which had indirect fire/range/logistics promotion already east to Japan. Japan didn’t want to give me their second city in a peace deal, so i had to take 2. It was actually quiet easy to conquer Japan, first I removed the units on the south east coast, shooting from the 2 tile island, then i landed with the 3 keshiks, and thanks to the indirect fire promtion i could attack kyoto 6 times a turn, and eventually killing units coming towards me (http://i.imgur.com/Nk0dCV6.jpg). I only had to be careful about the embarked keshiks, since Japan can have some triremes. I lured them out with some embarked crappy units and shot the triremes with the keshiks. The remaining army marched to Arabia/Byzanz (did this because in my previous attempt i went for india first, but arabia declared war on me and was allied with that citystate blocking the way and already had tons of units built up when i arrived after finishing india, no way i could beat him in time). So now with a quiet big army I quickly wiped of Arabia and Byzanz. (they finished Notre Dame 3 turns before I conquered Constantinopel, got lucky there). After that my army marched east again, finishing of Persia (no big problem) and splitting afterwards between russia and India. (4 Keshik were enough for russia, they have accessable land, and i spammed it with roads anyway). I then did send the now insanely promoted Keshiks from Japan (Japan was eliminated at that point now) back west to go through the hole in Himalaya and help with india. I had like 23 turns left at this moment, so although india now had a huge army and tanky cities (up to 20 pop) with my whole army of Keshiks (i had 15 left) they didn’t stand a chance. http://imgur.com/a/Cl8s4

    1. Hi RMcD94, good question! I had totally ignored that. I mean: It’s not super important, but I loaded some savegames and provided my rough research path in the guide above. Thanks for asking! ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. AnotheR way to get Japan ..could be inteResting (I tRied it ,and it’s quite good) to use korea to build boats (and also buy) ,and them upgRade to attack japan …if you do this quite early in the game , pRobably you can defeat japan easieR (and eaRlieR ๐Ÿ˜‰ )…but your guides aRe amazing!!!

  20. How do you already have 5 Keshiks by the time you are attacking Beijing?
    – You start with one
    – You can afford to upgrade two more on turn zero (after meeting Xia and getting gold) – total of 3
    – You start building another immediately but it’s not ready yet

    Where do the other two come from?

    1. Hi Gretta, good question. I didn’t know anymore, so I quickly replayed the first 3 turns. Please see the updated post above (incl. new screenshots). In a nutshell:

      • Sell North China your Silver (I got 225, 250 was too much, so maybe even try 240)
      • Upgrade all initial Horsemen to Keshiks except one of course
      • Capture Western-Xia in turn 3 – don’t bother with their units
      • You’ll get 2 free Horsemen after doing so (even on Deity)
  21. Thank you for your great guide.

    I love this scenario, and played this scenario again today, and I found very interesting early-stage strategy never seen on the net before. ๐Ÿ™‚

    After capturing Xi-Xia (on turn 3), you can sell the city to China soon for more than 1,000 Gold. And (Of course ๐Ÿ™‚ ) DOW china to capture the city again. It’s turn 4. By this way, you can get +1,000 Gold and +2 Happiness by making city smaller in very early stage.

    Hope this help players. ๐Ÿ™‚

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