Rhye’s and Fall of the Khmer


The Khmers unique historic victory conditions are:

  1. Have more than 12000 Culture in 1450 AD
  2. Have an average city size of 10 or more in 1450 AD
  3. Spread Buddhism to 30%

Unique Power

Monsoon: All units may move on terrain type jungle.

Unique Building – Baray

unique building

Unique Unit – Ballista-Elephant

Rhye's and Fall Khmer Unique Unit Ballista Elephant

The Khmer Ballista Elephant is very powerful in normal civilization games. It’s special ability allows you to attack cavalry first, even in a huge stack of enemy units, or in cities. Doing so you can have these elephants kill enemy knights before your melees or crossbowmen kill the enemy melees. As Rhye’s and Fall Khmer your main opponents are China and India – neither of them builds strong cavalry armies, which renders the Ballista Elephant not very useful. At least it can cross jungle, so the way to India is a one-way street in your favor.

Khmer Strategy

The Rhye’s and Fall Khmer strategy is very ambivalent: It would be easy to have an average city size of 10, if you had only 2-4 cities. Unfortunately you’ll have to accumulate 12.000 culture, too. And then there’s the 30% Buddhism goal – fortunately there’s a trick for that…

Here’s as quick summary:

  • Bang Makok (1 S of the stones) is a MUST
  • Hanoi (1 NW of the pigs, 1 SW of the bananas) will be your 2nd city and stronghold against China
  • get Pagan, conquer Patna and Delhi
  • found Jayakarta in the very center of Indonesia

The above should guarantee you an average city size of 10+ easily, because food resources are plenty. See to improving all these resources ASAP. Researching sailing and calendar are essential. Your economy will prosper after getting those holy shrines from India and spreading those religions.

Depending on your level of difficulty you might want to conquer China. If you start that before 1450 – mind your average city size!

Rhye’s and Fall Khmer – Spreading Buddhism to 30%

Trick #1 – Spreading to Europe despite Theocratic Civs

Rhye's and Fall Khmer UHV Buddhist France 1874
Gifting missionaries to France

Most of the Europeans will have adopted Theocracy, which prevents you from spreading Buddhism (or any other religion for that matter). There a very simple trick to overcome that hurdle: Gift your missionaries to the Europeans civilizations. In their next turn, they will use it to convert (at least half of the population of) their next best city to Buddhism.

Trick #2 – Getting to Europe in 1 turn

A ship from your mainland to Europe would take 8-10 turns. But there’s a trick to make it in one: Place caravels (or galleons later) in range in the following way: #1 at your coast, #2 at the max. distance #1 can travel and so forth. This way you can build a missionary, load ship #1, travel the maximum distance, where the next ship is waiting. Load the missionary to ship #2 and continue this procedure with all your 8-10 ships waiting along the entire route to Europe.

Credits for this trick go to TriMiro, who documented it in the official strategy guides (see bottom of this page).

Using this strategy, I was able to get the UHV in Rhye’s and Fall Khmer in 1874:

Rhye’s and Fall Khmer – Beyond the UHV

Playing the Khmer and already being dominant in the 19th century, I found it exciting to see where this might lead. With ruling the entire Chinese dominion and also controlling Indonesia and Australia, you can turn Rhye’s and Fall Khmer into a very interesting alternative history of the world. When I stopped in 2022, although being predominant, the game still had loads of potential for interesting conflicts with America, the old Europe (still quarreling internally) or Russia and the Middle East:

The usual official strategy guides are still here:

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