Scramble for Africa – Praise the Victories Steam Achievement Guide

Boers Deity Strategy

Praise the Victories Steam AchievementIn this strategy guide you will learn how to win the Scramble for Africa Scenario for Civilization 5 playing as the Boers on Deity and getting the “Praise the Victories” steam achievement.

If you survive the first 20 turns and established your base, Praise the Victories is big fun and really straight forward: You have it in your hands to become a culturally dominant South Africa, repulsing the British Empire.

Praise the Victories in a nutshell

  • Only play with a good start location that provides lots of room for farms
  • England: DOW in turn 1, to get its cities ASAP
  • Zulu: Avoid war – don’t settle near him, he’s your meatshield against Portugal
  • Portugal: Avoid war at all costs (or see alternative approaches at the bottom)
  • Pump out culture like crazy!

Starting Location

The start location is essential for winning this game. The best combination you can have is a lot of flat land (to build your special farms with +3 food and +1 culture = 4 food, 1 prod., 1 culture on plains) or hills next to a river where you can also build farms. Helpful is being surrounded by mountains for defense. Those should be towards Portugal (NE), because in most cases you will need to conquer England to win this scenario. Yes: Conquer England.

First steps

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Boers Deity Second City

Settle Bloemfontein well away from Zulu land

Turn 1 – Don’t settle next to the Zulu. Move your 2nd Settler NW towards Germany (Swakopmund). Found Pretoria in turn 1, so your movement range is limited. Being on a hill helps to have a city cannon shoot across surrounding hills later.

Pretoria builds a cannon. Max for production, build improvements around Pretoria with both workers. When the first cannon is finished – build a 2nd one. You’ll need two cannons. Watch out for your workers. Do not lose one of them! Garrison your Foreign Volunteers in a defensible position. Do not be tempted by killing red or yellow damaged enemy units with not full health unit of yours. You might end up being surrounded the turn after and lose it.

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Boers Deity War on England

Pretorias starting location surrounded by plains

Declare war on England! In turn 1! Why is that important? Well: England gets stronger every turn. Later you won’t be able to compete with their production, so you’ll have to take down their initial army now. Bring ’em on!


Turn 11 – Citadels are defensive structures. Right. But nothing deals as much damage to enemy units than a well positioned citadel. Use your first Great General to build a citadel above the forests at the south coast (but out of range of Port Elizabeth).

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Praise the Victories Offense Citadels

Use Citadels as Offensive Structures

  • It’ll damage every passing caravan, eventually earning you some money
  • Your unit is protected from naval ranged attacks
  • Units standing in the forest can’t attack you for at least 1 turn (thus getting at least 30 dmg before the first attack)
  • Units attacking you first are out in the open and easy targets for your first cannon(s)

Using citadels offensively helps a lot with defeating the English units. As your production is very low you will have to defeat the English with only your four Foreign Volunteers and the two cannons you produce. For every single English unit defeated you will – literally – praise the victories!

Praise the Victories – 1st half: Conquest

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Boers Deity Capture Port Elizabeth

Capture Port Elizabeth

Turn 26 – I managed to capture Port Elizabeth. Now this is a gamble: When you’re at war with another power arriving with gunships (or England has privateers which can take cities), you might wanna use your cannons to take out those units. Never mind the Ships of the Line. They shoot Port Elizabeth to 0 HP every single turn. But that’s good – ships shooting at that city won’t shoot your army at Cape Town.

Turn 34 – Having placed the two cannons well out of range of Cape Town you should be able to take it about this time.

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Boers Deity Capture Cape Town

Capture Cape Town

Move an infantry in range (to see the city), unleash your artillery salvos and move your infantry out of city range. Only leave it there if a new English unit threatens your cannons.

In the meantime boost culture in your capital. I built both Musicians and Artists Guild in Pretoria and had them working from the turn they were finished. Also construct the National Epic. Creating a great person 25% faster is a MUST HAVE. I built the Writers Guild in Port Elizabeth.

Meanwhile Germany had declared war on me. But not many troops were coming from Swakopmund. The English city north of it was a bigger threat to my 2nd city. Try to make peace with England as soon as you control South Africa.

Turn 48 – I took Swakopmund using the usual tactics: Bring two cannons in range, move an infantry in sight, shoot. Unfortunately there’s hills around the city, so your Foreign Volunteers have to involuntarily stay there. If there’s not too much damage (e.g. city+frigate or city+melee attack), fortify and heal +10 for a turn. Remember: You will want to conquer the city as soon as it’s down. Make peace with Germany ASAP after that.

Praise the Victories – 2nd half: Culture

Push your economy, buy the necessary culture buildings in your 2nd city. You need an opera house in all cities to build the Hermitage in Pretoria (+50% culture).

Look at the ranking. If you see an unmet player being in the lead – that’s Ethiopia! That’s your enemy number 1.

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Boers Deity Zulu down

In Turn 64 Portugal conquered Ulundi

Turn 57 – The Zulu declared on me. I had to reload, as my military was really weak (because my 2nd city never really produced much) and what I had was North at the Anglo-German front. So I bribed Portugal against Shaka, who of course couldn’t stand a chance and got annihilated until turn 64.

By then – using open borders with Portugal (best friend) – I had scouted the North until I met Ethiopia. I bribed all Europeans against it. As of a thread on that might have been a bad idea: Ethiopia, just like us, gets culture per enemy unit killed. And that culture counts for Victory Points (VP). So it might be better for your culture-race against Ethiopia, if they wouldn’t be at war with the Europeans. In the end the Europeans are just too dumb to capture an Ethiopian city and limit their culture output.

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Boers Deity Ethiopia

Enemy No. 1

When you have enough money you also will want to sell the State Museums (your unique buildings) in conquered cities. Immediately buy a new one. Why that? Because the ones you conquered don’t contain a piece of art. They were built as European museums. Rebuild it and get that free great work!

Turn 79 – Eventually I allied with the City State of Mogadishu and declared war on Ethiopia myself. In the following turns I invested my last Great Artist into having a golden age, boosting my culture in all cities. Here’s the statistics of the last third of the game and the close call to defeating Ethiopia:

Civilization 5 Scramble for Africa Preise the Victories Boers Deity Statistics

Statistics on the late game

In the end Mogadishu (!!!) captured an Ethiopian city, sealing my victory. Had that not happened all those 100 turns and certainly more than 8 hours of playing the Scramble for Africa scenario would have been wasted…

Social Policies

Go for the General first (#1 in the military side of the tree). I then took #2 from the military tree, too, to support my defense against England. Then select all three culture-improvement policies. Improving your culture helps you fill the military tree faster.

Diplomacy: War and Peace

Diplomacy in Scramble of Africa is simple: Europeans hate Africans and like to declare war often and regardless of their attitude towards you. Don’t trust them if they’re “Friendly”. There are a few remarkable things though:

  • They don’t like to declare on you alone! If you get declarations of war – reload and declare war on one of them before (ideally one far far away). That can postpone the declaration by the other for quite some turns.
  • They’re less likely to declare on you when they’re already at war! This means: You can be safe when you bribe them into war with another player. Unfortunately in the late game Morocco gets destroyed by France, Ottomans and Egyptians by Italy. The Zulu can’t compete with Portugal. So it’s only you and Ethiopia left.

Here’s some remarks on diplomacy with the other European powers when playing the Boers on Deity in Scramble for Africa:


Early war – no problem, Swakopmund doesn’t produce much and he has not many gunships this early. Later, unless you took and garrisoned (artillery) Swakopmund, you want to avoid war with Germany.


In all my games I only saw three French units. One lancer (no problem) and two frigates, which can’t conquer cities. No problem.


No problem – Italy can’t send many units. But if there are still English Ships of the Line bombarding your city, you don’t want that single gunship (Caio Dulio Class) capture your city.



Alternative approaches

Check out So far I basically saw 3 alternative approaches (of which only one includes war with Portugal):

No war against Europeans in the early game

This allows you to build up your military and defend later in the game. Defending against the Zulu is easy and if the Europeans don’t declare on you, you can even conquer the Zulu.

I find there’s a high risk in this approach. Mostly because you can’t trust the Europeans. It’s highly unlikely you won’t be at war the first 30 turns to build up peacefully. Also: A Zulu who defends against Portugal is better than you doing it.

You can try to keep the Zulu alive though: Simply surround one of his city with units or workers. So no melee unit can capture the city.

The Boer fleet

Pump out some privateers in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and capture the English Ships of the Line. Use this fleet against the Europeans if they declare on you. You will depend on pillaging cargo ships though as this approach is heavy in unit maintenance costs

Both this and the above approach consider being at war with Europeans and getting culture VP for kills. Definitely better than having Ethiopia get those kills, but nonetheless a risk, since you never know when your defense is gonna collapse.

Scout early and contain Ethiopia

If you can squeeze out a fast unit early, do so. Send it through Portugal to find Ethiopia. With all the defensive promotions in the later game Ethiopia won’t lose cities. Maybe in the early game it can be contained. With both Italy (Deity) and Ottoman (Deity) I tried to contain Ethiopia early. Sometimes you’re lucky and can capture an unprotected settler, thus crippling Ethiopia’s early expansion. I doubt this is possible playing the Boers.

Praise the Victories – Conclusion

The Scramble for Africa Deity achievements kept me busy for longer than the Fall of Rome did.

The annoying thing is that you can’t rely at all on the AIs attitude towards you. They will declare on you randomly at any time. In Fall of Rome at least you could rely on always being at war – here the uncertainty drove me crazy. Also Ethiopia played by the AI is entirely overpowered. Both with the Ottomans and the Boers they are the key player to be topped in score.

Nonetheless the Praise the Victories Steam Achievement really feels like an achievement! It’s very challenging, thrilling until the end and extremely satisfying once you made it!

If you found this strategy guide helpful, please like it or Google+1 it and help spread the word! Also, you can download the initial savegame here: Boers-AutoSave_Initial_0000-AD-1881-January.Civ5Save

Further reading:

21 comments on “Scramble for Africa – Praise the Victories Steam Achievement Guide

  1. I don’t get it, it doesn’t seem to matter how many of their settlers I capture, how much of their land I steal with citadels or tiles pillaged, how many units I kill; mid 20’s the English will come at me with a considerable wave of units I can only assume they are buying and storing offshore.
    Using the autosave above I cannot work a luxury fast enough to give it to Portugal on the turn meeting them, without fail they denounce me the turn after. I’ve had varying success trying to avoid meeting them for as long as possible, but you absolutely will meet them if you put your 2nd city were recommended, just hope the English & Portuguese have declared war on the Zulu by then.

    My latest game, using the autosave & recommend spot for the 2nd city, It’s turn mid 50’s, but I’m surviving.. barely. I’ve SOMEHOW managed to avoid war with Port but the Zulu are gone & I’ve only managed to take port Elizabeth twice with it being taken back the next turn, having had to play it super defensive starting around turn 20 & not getting overrun. 5th place atm, it looks bleak but I’m going to stick with it.

    Hopefully by the time someone reads this I will have finally beaten it.

    • Woah, seems the name you provided expresses your state of frustration on this scenario, Sir.
      I wish you all the best — in barely a scenario one needs as much luck as in this one. AIs declare war seemingly at random and maybe the English are less occupied elsewhere, so they focus on you. Maybe you’re lucky that someone bothers Ethiopia enough to cripple them seriously. Otherwise they might be tough to beat in culture (rendering all these initial efforts useless πŸ™ ). Good luck!

    • Thank you, I need all I can get apparently. Turn 82ish, I’m in a Distant 3rd, Italy & Ethiopia leading, both unmet, 3k difference in score, 30 culture/turn.. cutting my losses. I’ve been able to take both English cities in a single turn only to lose them right back, if only she’d accepted peace. Jw, if you & others are declaring war on England turn 0 or turn 1?
      One tip I’ve learned, waiting till turn 1, let the English move up to your borders, buy tiles forcing them back then declare war. Again varying success, but it seems to tick the Zulu off.
      Thanks for the other guides as well, they’ve definitely helped me win conquest, vikings & renaissance.

  2. Thank you for your guide, it is very helpful. But please explain how did you get 200 culture per turn. I built a lot of farms and build Hermitage. But at 65th turn I had only 80-90 culture. In capital I have ~30 culture per turn.

    • Hi Zhartaunik, that’s very hard for me to reconstruct now, more than 3 years later, but 80-90 sounds way too little.
      How many cities do you have? They all must have

      • plenty of farms
      • Monument, Amphitheater and Opera House

      so the Culture output must be much higher!
      Check the picture with the graphs after winning: There were plenty of turns with massive culture output. I reckon that is from enemy units killed, for which you gain culture, too! Could also be Golden Ages from specialists. Looking at the Golden Age counter in the pictures there was at least 1 Golden Age.

    • Hi Robert, thanks for your replay.
      Well, I have 4 cities with all cultural buildings. I leaved German city as a puppet, so let’s don’t consider it. Population in every city is between 10 and 14.
      At 65th turn I had all 3 culture policies. Hermitage I got at ~45th turn.
      Each city produced ~15-20 culture per turn. As one city had Hermitage – it produced 42 culture.
      I didn’t build wonders for writers, artists.. And as result didn’t have additional culture from using them. That was probably my mistake… Meanwhile please advice is there the way to move great works between cities.
      But I think even when I will do this everything I cannot imagine how to gain 200 culture per turn…

  3. Great guide. After several tries I finally won this one by over 1000 VP. I had nearly 8000 VP at the end. I got a good map for farming. The advice on getting culture up and pumping with fully staffed guilds is good, plus going for the Hermitage in the capital was good.

    Taking out English South Africa ASAP is key, too. I played one game in which I spent too much time reaping VPs out of English ships before taking Port Elizabeth (PE). By the time I took it and went for Cape Town, the English bogged me down and by turn 50 I was battling endless cannons in Cape Town that took down my cannons as fast as I could roll them in. The French had also declared and all I could do was maintain territory. I restarted back at turn 0, and played much more aggressively, mostly ignoring the English fleet, and managed to take out Port Elizabeth and Cape Town by about turn 35. Swakopmund turned into more of a battle, as English declared again, and the Belgians joined.

    The advice about the Europeans not wanting to declare war alone is good. If two nations both denounce you, you’ll be at war with both of them soon, so, declare on the furthest one, and the other one will likely not declare on you.

    At the end, I was pumping out 237 culture per turn and my lead grew every turn. Building up a privateer navy with lots of cannon support gave me a good culture boost of destroyed English ships every turn. I refused several peace offerings from them just so I could keep my culturally profitable war going. A network of roads behind Swakopmund kept my cannons in firing position every turn. Eventually I weakened the Brits enough to take Mombasa just north of Swakopmund.

    Sending a horseman inland to look for city states and wonders is helpful. Eventually, you may have enough cash to ally with one. Especially once your culture impresses a few of them and they become friends.

    • Yeeeehaa! Sounds great! Congratz! Thanks for the compliments and for outlining your approach here! πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks for this guide! I first tried to do exactly as this guide, but I lost to Ethiopia by 600 points. Then I loaded the game again and this time after taking Swakopmund, I started building naval units in the coastal cities. Maintenance costs rise, but really you need to just have positive income gold per turn, cos you don’t have to buy anything really. Then I just declared war on France and Belgium. At some point England too. Then made peace with England for a while etc. It just seems like an effective way to win cos you get like 28 culture per destroyed Frigate and stuff.

    Of course at some point you do have to build the culture buildings to get Hermitage, rather sooner than later.

    I think if you get a Great Writer within the last 50 turns, you should write a political treatise instead of Great Work, cos you instantly get a huge amount of culture instead of not getting as much over time.

    • Actually, the cutoff for Great Writer political treatise is maybe 25 to 30 turns, not sure. Before that Great Work is fine.

  5. How can you support your units? How can you earn gold if you have no trading partners? I took both english cities by turn 25 but by then my economy was ruined -20 gold per turn and under 10 units. How can you get enough to buy buildings? I don’t get it.

    • Good question. Just checked the screenshots: I assume I had maxed out every single city for Gold. In the beginning intercepting English caravans is a source of income. Later in the game some own trade routes balance the loss of Gold.

  6. I’ve tried this a couple times and I’m having a really hard time taking the English cities. Whenever I capture Port Elizabeth, the English embark a land unit and take it a couple turns later by sea. I can’t defend since the ships are keeping the city at 0 hp.

    Also the English cannons are making it impossible to even get close to Cape Town. They typically have 2-3 of them by the time I can take Port Elizabeth and are just slaughtering everything I send near.

    I might just be getting unlucky with the terrain in the English territory, but it’s frustrating to have to re-roll that as well.

    • Hey Chris, sorry to hear! But yeah, this scenario is a bitch. I don’t remember how many attempts I did. Probably 10 or more. All of them with heavy save-reload gameplay. There simply is no room for error. Either save every turn or set the autosave frequency to 1 turn! πŸ™‚ It’s a pain, but once you get good land, you’ll have enough production for your cannons, once you have those, you will defeat the English.
      On the topic of of the terrain in the English territory: The 2 tiles from the coast inward will always be the same (check out the Scramble for Africa Map). Only everything further inside the “Dark Continent” will change. And you definitely need 2 hills to bomb Cape Town and 1 hill to bomb Port Elizabeth!

    • Well I managed to take the English cities on another try, but Portugal is constantly declaring war on me no matter what I try. They’re still fighting the Zulus, too. It’s actually kind of funny how it went down last time:

      They first declared war (along with Germany) a couple turns after I took the English cities. So I did the standard trick where I reload and declare war on Germany first. That’s perfect since it more-or-less follows your guide.

      Then after I took Swakopmund, Portugal did it again with Belgium. The crazy part is that it was the exact same turn that I discovered Belgium. So I see Belgium’s DoW message, and then I see their greeting message immediately after. I’ve never seen that before!

      The worst part is that I couldn’t pre-emptively declare war on Belgium in that case. So time to roll a new start!

      What did you do to manage to keep on good terms with Portugal?

    • Holy crap, I finally beat it. I’ll give a brief summary since things went down a little bit differently than in your game:

      Turn 6: The English get a settler through and found Mombasa halfway between Pretoria and Swakopmund. It’s in very defensible, hilly terrain. This changes quite a bit about the strategy.

      Turn 21: Mombasa captured.

      Turn 26: Port Elizabeth captured.

      Turn 32: Cape Town captured.

      Turn 34: Portugal captures last Zulu city.

      Turn 45: I take a writer as my free great person. I stockpile these for a massive culture boost at the end with a golden age. In retrospect, this first one may have been better spent on a great work. I haven’t run the math on it.

      Turn 53: France and Germany declare war on me. From here on out there is a constant naval war just off the coast of Cape Town. Germany, France and (later) Belgium send endless hordes of Privateers supported by occasional frigates and ironclads. I almost lose Cape Town a few times, but my cannons on the coast wreak havoc and get tons of XP.

      I form a defensive line and defend Mombasa against Germany. I tried several times to take Swakopmund, but every time I took it, Portugal declared war shortly afterwards.

      Turn 61: Portugal becomes friendly to me. I’m still not clear why. I had been giving them lots of strategic resources as gifts, and they became friendly after asking me to renew one of those deals. I use this attitude to get some sweet deals on luxuries.

      Turn 68: Writer earned. (I stockpile these for a massive culture boost at the end with a golden age)

      Turn 70: Belgium and Portugal declare war. I reload and pre-emptively attack Belgium. They join the massive naval battle off the coast.

      Turn 72: Portugal denounces me. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

      Turn 91: Writer earned. (I stockpile these for a massive culture boost at the end with a golden age)

      Turn 91: Great Artist Born. I start a golden age and will burn all three writers at the end for lots of culture.

      Turn 96: I burn all three writers for a little over 600 culture each. I’m 200 VPs ahead of Ethiopia and should win given culture rates. But then…

      Turn 96: Portugal declares war!!! There’s nothing I can do except try to hold them off long enough. But they have so many units that they are literally filling up my entire territory. My first attempt was to hunker down and try to wait until the end. I lose some cities and ultimately lose to Ethiopia by 80 points.

      I reload and try a much more aggressive strategy. I use my admiral to repair my ironclad fleet and aggressively tear into the European fleets. I focus on destroying Portuguese units rather than holding territory, but still cause a lot of damage and delay them. This earns a ton of culture and I ended up a fair bit ahead of Ethiopia. A couple more turns and I probably would have lost everything, though.

      The last few turns in this game were probably the most intense of any game I’ve played. But I really agree with your assessment of this scenario – the AI is such a pain. I had a blast going for Pax Romana Aeternum, but this one was just painful. I think I’ll play on Settler for a while.

      Anyway, keep up the good work! The guide here was very helpful.

      Post-game VP graph:

      (You can see the hopelessly massive invasion in the background)

  7. I this this ach. pRobably is the haRdest one….and youR guide is Relly GREAT !!!! GoRgeous!!!!

  8. Hey, to anyone who reads this, just a tip: the AI won’t attack workers with thier cities. What I did was kill all his units around Port Elizabeth and then send in one of my captured workers (I had a lot!) to give me line-of-sight on the city so I could bombard it. I wasn’t playing on Deity though, so it might be different then.

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