Empires of the Smoky Skies Scenario
The Civilization 5 Steampunk Scenario “Empires of the Smoky Skies” comes with 4 playable civilizations and 4 Steam Achievements. All 4 can actually be made in only 1 game – I did it on Emperor difficulty. This fact actually lowers the motivation for playing the Smoky Skies multiple times – at least for achievement hunters like myself. I’m sure the achievements are also doable on Deity difficulty, although I doubt it’ll be as easy as on Emperor. Let’s start with an overview of the playable factions:
|Faction||Unique ability||Unique building|
Airship units get +2 Movement.
+15 XP for air units, just like the normal Airship Hangar, plus +10% Production when building air units.
New World Order
Adopting new Social Policies costs 10% less Culture.
2 Gold Maintenance, provides 4 Happiness, just like the normal Stadium, plus 2 Culture.
+1 Production from strategic resources, and Luboric resources provide double quantity.
Provides 2 Luboric resources, just like the normal Luboric Refinery, plus +2 Production and each source of Luboric worked by this city provides +1 Production.
+1 Gold from strategic resources, and Aetherium resources provide double quantity.
Provides 2 Aetherium resources, just like the normal Aetherium Fabricator, plus +3 Gold and each source of Aetherium worked by this city provides +1 Gold.
+25% Production towards any buildings that already exist in the Capital.
Provides +3 Gold just like the normal Tesla Coil, but instead of the normal +33% Research, the Torus Dynamo provides +50% Research.
In “Empires of the Smoky Skies” the victory conditions are very simple:
The League of Empires convenes annually to determine the most worthy world leaders and confer Honourable Titles upon them. The first leader to hold 3 or more Titles for 5 Turns will control the League and win the game.
Some of those titles are easier to obtain than others. Here’s the list of available titles and a comment on who’s the most likely AI candidate to obtain this title:
Defender of Progress
Number of Latest Landships and Airships
The only notable thing about this title is the fact that it’s got to be the latest version. So if you have 15 Landships, but one of your opponent already has the upgrade and owns 1 Land Leviathan – he’ll take the lead. This title will most likely be the first title available.
World Wonders and National Wonders
The more production, the more wonders you can finish in time. The Vedrian bonus on Research is nice to reach wonders earlier, but the bonus kicks in too late and too little in my opinion. You should always aim to get most wonders – on Emperor difficulty and below, that’s definitely possible. Depending on the order of Research, this can be the 2nd earliest available title.
Captain of Industry
Highest Production City
Pretty straightforward – more production, more better! If your capital has all those nice world- and national wonders, you almost automatically will get this title too. Otherwise the most likely candidate for this title is Orlin, with its bonuses on Production.
The titles listed so far, including the Captain of Industry will be most likely the first 3 available titles, enabling you (or anybody else) to win the game.
Lord of Refinement
Social Policies Adopted
Dalmace will most likely hold this title. Especially if the AI focuses on the culture Social Policies tree. I didn’t, which is why I hadn’t been in the lead by far on this title.
Master of Wealth
Total Gross Gold Income
Same as the Captain of Industry only with Gold per turn. The more you have, the higher your likelihood of maintaining this title for longer. But again: A concentration of wonders in your capital will guarantee you this title. Otherwise Pulias will most likely make it, with its bonuses on Gold production.
Both the Lord of Refinement and the Master of Wealth are the last 2 titles, being unlocked with the final “real” technologies before advancing to “future tech” (or its steamy pendant).
Empires of the Smoky Skies Achievements
You can actually get all Empires of the Smoky Skies Achievements in one game of max. 3 hours. Which is why I think those Steam Achievements are not very well designed. I mean just compare it to the Scramble of Africa Steam Achievements – I must have spent dozens of hours playtime over two months! Anyway: Here are the 4 achievements and some hopefully helpful remarks:
Unlocked: 10 Aug @ 3:39pm
Share intrigue with another player in the Empires of the Smoky Skies scenario.
You’ll have loads of spies – use them. I played on a Continents or Terra map. So you’ll have one or two AIs on your continent (play Pangaea, if you want to be sure to have more than one). Just place spies in both their capitals. Once one starts plotting against the other (which will happen), just spil the beans to the future victim. Done.
Unlocked: 10 Aug @ 4:52pm
Win the Empires of the Smoky Skies scenario.
Without a difficulty setting tied to this Steam Achievement, this one is just as easy as the one before. I started on Emperor and won the first Smoky Skies game I ever played.
Unlocked: 10 Aug @ 4:52pm
Retain control of the same honourable title for the entire length of the game it is available in the Empires of the Smoky Skies scenario.
Admittedly, this one is more complicated. My advise is to optimize your capital for production. Once you do this, you’ll have a high chance for building many wonders (increasing your production again). You’ll be able to hold the Captain of Industry (maybe) and the Grand Philanthropist (more likely) from availability until you finally win.
Unlocked: 10 Aug @ 8:12pm
Destroy an enemy unit with a Flyer based at a Sky Fortress in the Empires of the Smoky Skies scenario.
My first game was disappointingly easy. Again: This was Emperor difficulty, I can’t judge Deity difficulty yet. I had won before I could even build sky fortresses. So I reloaded before I had won and delayed my victory. Building some flyers and sky fortresses I realized several things worth noting for this achievement:
- Flyers basically don’t do any damage (worth mentioning) to Landships and above
- With their range of 3 you will never destroy an enemy unit from one of your cities anyways
- (I haven’t attacked a single enemy airship, so can’t evaluate the damage done.)
- My solution: Bomb down enemy artillery and finish it with a “Flyer based at a Sky Fortress”
Here’s a description of the new units introduced by the Empires of the Smoky Skies scenario:
Empires of the Smoky Skies Strategy
I chose Dalmace for my first (and only) game and as usually started on Emperor difficulty. My preference is always on Social Policies, because I find them the most beneficial factor in any game of Civilization 5.
As I’m no friend of rushing, I focused on buildings and city improvements first and only later build an army overnight (mainly because I reckon unit upgrade costs to be a waste of gold). I didn’t focus on only one Social Policy tree at first, but took the most useful tier 1 policies out of all trees. The culture tree I neglected until the very end. Economy and production were more useful in the beginning also to get the most wonders.
Start improving your cities with the buildings that are most important to your economy (production and gold). Culture is a side-effect of wonders anyway. You MUST get coal. As this is a steampunk scenario, of course everything is steam powered.
In my game Eruch built its 2nd city next to the coal in range of my capital!!! Outrageous! So I needed to get 2 artilleries first. These and the 3 initial Land Ironclads were enough to raze that city.
Later, Vedria conquered the rest of Eruch with a huge army. I joined in on the Eruch side only for the sake of diminishing the Vedrian army. Vedria drove us back though and wiped Eruch out. By then my economy was strong enough to outproduce Vedria, liberate the Eruch capital and drive back Vedria until their eventual extinction.
The scenario setting is great! The new units are nice, although I would have wished for some more (e.g. ships, actual ship-ships, floating on the ocean and such). Some terrain modifications would have been nice, as well, providing a “darker” setting (smoky skies!!!)
Bottom line it’s about the gameplay: So far the Empires of the Smoky Skies scenario for Civilization 5 seems much too easy. Maybe I give it another try on Deity difficulty. The achievements are not very challenging and should be on top of the list of anybody, who wants to make some easy Steam Achievements during one afternoon. It will be a fun afternoon playing Civ 5, but I dare say there’s little long-term motivation in this scenario.