Rhye’s and Fall of China


Chinas unique historic victory conditions are:

  1. Build 2 Confucian Academies and 2 Taoist Pagodas by 1000 AD
  2. No city lost to barbarians or to Mongols before 1400 AD
  3. Control an army of 120 units in 1600 AD

Unique Power

Myriads: 1.5x Melee and Gunpowder units train speed.

This is an essential treat for making the UHV. Your economy won’t be able to maintain a big army for very long. That’s why you have to build (and then disband) this army quickly.

Unique Building – Pavilion

unique building

Unique Unit – Cho-Ko-Nu

Rhye's and Fall China Unique Unit Cho-Ko-NuThe Chinese Cho-Ko-Nu has two first strikes and causes collateral damage on enemy stacked units. As the only enemy stacks you will encounter are Mongolian and only spawn when you already (should) have gunpowder units, the Cho-Ko-Nu are not extremely useful, but still far from entirely useless.

Chinese Strategy

China is an awesome play! The Unique Historical Victory conditions are challenging but possible. Dominating the world (as real China did for thousands of years and is about to do again) is big fun.

Here’s as quick summary:

  • Research bronze working!
  • Whip and chop-whip libraries in your cities
  • Keep up your military to defend against barbarians

Expansion of Rhye’s and Fall China

Playing Rhye’s and Fall China is different from the other cradles of civilization. From Egypt via Mesopotamia to India there’s trade routes and shared technological research. As China you’re pretty much isolated. You have to claim the land before other civilizations emerge around you. First settle the south Chinese coast, to block Japan (turn 88). Conquer Korea, again to deny it to the Japanese. Expand towards Vietnam to claim the precious resources and deny them to the Khmer (turn 187). Finally build your defense in the north where Mongolia will appear in turn 240 with hordes of Keshiks.

Building your infrastructure

To build 2 Confucian Academies and 2 Taoist Pagodas there are a lot of prerequisites:

  • You need 8 cities as each Academy/Pagoda requires 4 temples.
  • You need to found these 2 religions, because otherwise they won’t spread to you.
  • The above requires an incredibly fast research of Code of Laws (Confucianism) and Philosophy (Taoism)

This can only be achieved chopping down all the forest in central China. Chop/whip your cities’ libraries (first) and temples (second). Unhappiness shouldn’t be a big problem facing the abundance of luxuries spread across China. The Pavilion, Chinas unique building, is very handy here, too.

Jump-start your military

For building your Chinese military there’s 3 phases:

First you will have to defend against barbarian units rampaging your prospering young empire. They mainly come with Axemen, so you’ll need Axemen to defend. Your melee armies should also be enough to potentially defend against Japan and Khmer units.

Once you settled the Chinese mainland you’ll have to prepare for Mongolia spawning in turn 240 with lots of mounted units. So you’ll need pikemen and war elephants (if you can trade for ivory) to defend against Mongolian hordes.

Finally in the third phase you’ll need to pump out lots of cheap units. The quickest way to do that is by replacing your iron mine with another improvement, so you LOSE the iron. This enables you to pump out warriors in no time!


The usual official strategy guides are still here:

Achieving the Rhye’s and Fall China UHV

Here’s the thing: I achieved the UHV with China (I swear!) as you can see here ->

Rhye's and Fall China UHV

Now I thought: “Hey! Let’s bring China into the modern ages!”

Unfortunately my last saved game was from around that UHV (from 1595 AD to be precise). But this time instead of creating an army big enough I faltered and had a civil war. The pest also wasn’t helpful while creating the standing army of 120 units:

Rhye's and Fall China Pest and Civil War
In 1600 AD, when the UHV should have been achieved, my empire fell to civil war.

3 thoughts on “China”

  1. I played this on monarch level recently, but had completely different run. My biggest worry here was only Japan, which despite bein same religion as me, kept attacking me from time to time. After achieving 1st UHV, JP managed to vasalize Khmer, which in the end did not attack despite declaring war with them. Mongolia spawned and started to attack after 2nd UHV achieved, but with only few Keshiks, for which I had already pikemen ready. Luckily I collapsed right after 3rd UHV, when managed to use up to big army on kicking out Khmer and started to teach lesson to Mongols.
    Summarized, important for my success were get cities on shore, even Bejing, build couples of workers to improve faster the land, get fast settlers to build cities and spread religions to build temples and focus on economy techs [besides techs relevant to UHV]. In certain cases to get some wonders.

    1. Wow! Thanks for sharing! And: So amazing people are still playing this. I love to think back to achieving those UHVs. Recent Civ games fall short on creating that immersive experience, I find.

  2. I noticed an error in the information provided. Although Code of Laws and Philosophy are the techs that yield the religions Confucianism and Taoism, respectively, in the original Civ IV, that is not the case for Rhye’s and Fall. Rather, the techs are Mathematics and Calendar, respectively.

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