Into the Renaissance – The Yokes on the Mongols Steam Achievement Guide

Into the Renaissance – Russia Strategy (Emperor)

The Mongol invasion of “Russia” in the 13th century significantly influenced modern history. Bottom line: Without it the Muscovy Duchy would not have become predominant in the lands Russia covers today. It was only the Mongol or Tatar “yoke” that eventually unified the Rus and its small Duchies. Actually the “yoke” wasn’t even that bad – the Mongols were tolerant (or indifferent) to religion and their rule wasn’t cruel. Nonetheless the invasion, the battles fought and won by the Mongols, and their initial pillaging of dozens of Russian cities caused the population to drop from 7.5M to only 7M people at the end of the Mongol rule.

The Yokes on the Mongols

Richard the Lionheart Steam AchievementUnlocked: 2 Nov 2014 @ 3:56pm

Win as Russia on Emperor or above in the Into the Renaissance scenario.

Now to win this scenario you don’t necessarily have to defeat the Mongols. Your main objective is to win. I’ve read of several ways to do so: Settling closer to Europe in the start to avoid tension with the Mongols and several more. None of those worked for me on Deity difficulty… Also I wanted to put the yokes on the Mongols instead of just “living in peace and harmony with them”…

Russia on Deity – Failed attempts

1st Deity attempt: Meeting them on the field

In my first attempt I built my empire as usually (compare to other Into the Renaissance strategy guides) and tried to compete with the spawning Mongols on the battlefield.

Of course I did the usual stuff when it comes to dealing with opponents before the map is fully settled: Staying mobile, scanning the map, locating settlers and capturing them before they can found another city. But even though I did my best and got several settlers, the Mongols managed to found some cities in the south and soon enough created an overwhelming army:

2nd Deity attempt: Occupying the spawn area

As you can see below, blocking the spawn area doesn’t help at all. The Mongols merely spawn further North.

Update: Finally I succeeded on Deity difficulty, defeating the Mongols and dominating eastern Europe. Check out the dedicated post -> Into the Renaissance – Russia Strategy (Deity)

Yokes on the Mongols – Success on Emperor Difficulty

After failing several times on Deity difficulty, I just stopped experimenting and switched to Emperor difficulty (I never play lower than this). In the first attempt, using the experience from the Deity games, I succeeded both in defeating the Mongols, but also winning the game.

The Russian Unique Traits

Cossack Krepost
The Russian Cossack replaces normal Cavalry and comes with only one change: It receives a +33% bonus against damaged enemy units. The Cossack is incredibly powerful in supporting your offense, backed by veteran Crossbowmen.

Another great thing: The bonus not only triggers while attacking, but also defending.

The Krepost reduces Culture and Gold “cost” of acquiring new tiles around this city by 25%. Especially in the early game this is very powerful, as your cities’ area grows much faster.

Aside of one powerful unit and one powerful building Russia is blessed with the most amazing unique ability in the Into the Renaissance scenario:

Lay of Igor’s Campaign provides all land combat units with +1 movement. It also allows them to enter any tile adjacent to a river for just 1 movement point. You have to see it to believe it: Russian bowmen move two tiles across hills and forests adjacent to a river and still have a third movement point to fire.

Altogether the Russian unique traits are really powerful and make it super fun to play Russia. Of course facing the Mongols you’ll need all the benefits you can get!

Social Policies

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Yokes on the Mongols - Social Policies
Social Policies

If I remember correctly, I followed my pretty much default path for Into the Renaissance:

  1. Liberty
  2. Republic
  3. Collective Rule (getting the free settler immediately)
  4. Citizenship (for the free worker, your second)
  5. Tradition (for +3 culture in the capital)
  6. Legalism (free culture buildings)
  7. Honor (from here: complete the Honor tree)

Step 1 – Containing the Mongols

This time my strategy guide is only a picture story. I’m doing this both due to the fact it’s Emperor difficulty “only” and due to the time that has passed (I played this in October 2014 and post this October 2016).

The first step is containing the Mongols. Peacefully there’s only two ways: Owning the land so they can not pass or blocking the land with your units. I did both:

Use everything you have: Workers, Scouts, Military. Block mainly open terrain. Lock Mongol settlers on forests, where they can only move slower.

Step 2 – Subjugating the Mongols

Defeating the Mongols is a different beast than merely containing them. As usually in this scenario enemy AI with all it’s bonuses will grow significantly stronger with every turn. When the Mongols founded their 3rd city at the chain of units blocking them, I attacked.

Whilst the Battle of Rostov was raging, I advanced in the south. Also: Focus on the melee units, as Mongolian unique units can not capture cities!

Eventually after the second (maybe even third?) war, Mongolia was defeated:

Step 3 – Scoring VP against Turkey, Sweden and Austria

Now Mongolia is defeated. But how about the score? Eventually one has to win the scenario as Russia to get the Steam achievement. There’s three obvious targets and no other way to score:

  1. some City States and Sweden to the west (mostly Catholic, so good for Victory Points)
  2. Austria (Catholic) and Byzantium (Orthodox) to the southwest
  3. Turkey (Muslim) to the south

Focus on Turkey mainly: It follows a different religion, so you’ll get a lot of VP and the Caucasus is a choke point from where you can finish their army and then advance into their country.

Sweden and Austria are also welcome opponents as they’re Catholic. Obviously your front will be very wide fighting them. So you’ll face much more resistance, as they’ll throw everything they have at you.

Try not to mess with Byzantium too much. In the end they follow your religion (Orthodoxy), so you won’t get VP from their cities.

Winning the game and getting the Yokes on the Mongols Steam Achievement


Yokes on the Mongols (Emperor) – Conclusion

Civilization 5 Into the Renaissance Yokes on the Mongols Expansion
Expansion of the Russian Empire

18 hours playing time, not counting the various failed Deity attempts. Playing Russia in the “Into the Renaissance” scenario to get the Yokes on the Mongols Steam achievement is a tough nut to crack!!! Dealing with the Mongols is an incredible challenge. It requires excellent city management and honed military tactics both in war and peace.

The final score was quite low for Emperor difficulty: “Only” 7800, resulting in a normalized score of 11,877. Compared to the Netherlands Deity win – nothing!

Overall getting this achievement might very well have been the biggest satisfaction this scenario has to offer. And like usually this makes up for the frustration of all failed attempts. So if you’re looking for the ultimate Civilization V challenge: Play this one on Deity and deal with the Mongols! 🙂

Update: Finally I succeeded on Deity difficulty, defeating the Mongols and dominating eastern Europe. Check out the dedicated post -> Into the Renaissance – Russia Strategy (Deity)

10 thoughts on “Into the Renaissance – The Yokes on the Mongols Steam Achievement Guide”

  1. I liked the idea of completely blocking the Mongols from entering the game so I played with it on Settler to find out what it’d take. It looks like the minimum is 4 cities and a Great General’s Citadel. Once the initial spot is blocked, the game will try to find a spot exactly 4 tiles from the edge that it can squeeze in a base city (center plus 1 tile in each direction). It will go as far north as the 2nd row down from the top and as far south as the mountain (yes, it puts the city *on* the mountain) near the coast of the Black Sea (the southern one of the cluster of 3). To block the Mongols entry you cant leave a space for a base city on that zigzag line of 4 tiles in from the edge, in other words, no more than a 2 tile gap between your borders. The southernmost tile you have to own is the tile NW of the gap in the mountains, the northernmost is 3 tiles from the top. In my test I settled a city on the 4th row down, built the citadel east of Moscow to cover that area, then 3 cities down the line with the last being 2 tiles north of the mountains. I bought tiles to shrink the gaps between cities to 2 spaces, which involved buying 3 tiles that were distance 3 from the city center, so kind of expensive. Depending on Moscow’s and the other cities’ expansion it might be reduced to having to buy just 2 tiles at distance 3. I’m not sure it could be done on Deity, you need Warrior Code so that’s 2 policies spent on Honor by turn 35ish. However, on Emperor you start with that extra settler so I’m going to try that. I’ll probably post a guide if I get it worked out, but it could be a while before that happens.

    1. It worked first attempt on Emperor, the Mongols did not spawn! (haven’t won the game yet). I got lucky in Moscow’s expansion so I didn’t even need the great general — the cities all expanded very nicely. If I had used the great general I would have had to only buy 2 tiles. It took buying 2 additional tiles to save the general, easily worth it. Policies went: Turn 0: Tradition, Liberty, Republic, 4: Legalism (used amphitheater/artist to crank up culture, city expansion and make a great artist), 11: Collective rule (settler), 19: Citizenship (worker), 27: Honor, 36: Warrior Code (great general). That order only worked because I had the extra settler at the start so I only had to build 2 settlers. The first 2 cities (turns 8 and 15) built Kreposts with max production and artist specialist (no Mongols, no need for walls). With legalism and the artist, those 2 cities ran at 9 culture/turn speeding up policies and expansion.

      Even though this went better than I expected, still not sure it could be done on Deity. Getting the Tradition policy early really helped as it not only grants the 3 culture, it speeds up border expansion. It might be doable if you don’t need the great general. Founding the cities would be about the same time frames (or a little faster if you chop a lot of trees) but the cities might not expand fast enough depending on how quickly you get Legalism — and if they don’t expand fast enough, you’ll need that great general and a lot of cash.

  2. Excellent guides as always. I did a similar, but also different approach for this:

    I focused instantly on science, (building the NC right away before settling the first cities, my initial settler went far west, so it timed up perfectly) so I would reach Crossbows very fast, which helps so much against the mongols. Also I started to fill liberty immedeatly for the settler and finish it, then I went to finish honor, then finish commerce, and I actually got the order opener (which is quiet insane, 1 happiness per city) by the end of the game. It hurts the early culture a bit without tradition and the free culture buildings, but once you have many cities, your culture is skyrocking, and you basically didn’t “waste” those 2 policies into tradition.
    Focusing on science also got me Cossacks and frigattes really soon, so I was able to stomp Austria and Sweden. Once I got my army highly promoted, I was easily able to completely roll over the whole continent (the Russian ability is insane in that point, basically you are waring at least 50% faster than any other civ).

    I managed to reach Gibraltar before the 200 turn limit, I wasn’t able to fully completely conquer the celts by then (though my army was on their doorsteps after finishing England) and I dind’t touch Byzanthium the entire game.

    I definitely want to try it again to get protestantism this time (which i sadly failed at that attempt, since wittenberg flipped to soon :/), just to see how powerful that huge Russian empire with that insane religion would get ^^.

    Here some pictures:

    1. That is impressive!!! Which level of difficulty? Emperor or Deity??? Either way: Great stuff!

    2. It was on emperor, played it for the mongols achievement. I haven’t tried it on deity as Russia yet, but conquering Europe like that will be really difficult/impossible there I assume, at least in 200 turns.

  3. Ausgezeichnet! Kalle is finally back to post this one! I actually got the achievement quite early, together with flawless strategy, and my technique is pretty much the same as Kalle’s However, in later game I did not focus on the Turks, but the Swedish and Austrians, for they are also infidels, and both their populations and city numbers will also grow quite large in late game. One more reason is that in my play through, Byzantine did not fall and I did not annihilate the whole Mongol Empire, so I did not get too close to the Turks, which t makes targeting the Turks not so profitable. (Just want to point out that heading west and bullying Sweden is the best way if you are not too close to Turks. :-D)

  4. To answer Andrew’s question I did a bit of both. Mainly my decision was based on both location and whether or not the i would need reinforcements. Some cities i simply burnt to the ground because they neither had luxury resources nor strategic resources. The cities were just simply there. I remember several of the Turkish cities were like that with no real benefit(at least that I saw) to them being there other than of course extra VP for me when i conquered them. I suppose i also didn’t really look to stop my cities from growing since i figured i could use the extra science that came with more population.

  5. Greetings, I had recently viewed your guide and utilized it; which by the way thank you it certainly helped me snag victory. While i was looking at the various pictures i noticed how in the latter half of the scenario- lets say post defeating the Mongols- your happiness was always positive. Now, in my game I had tremendous difficulty keeping my happiness positive and even dipped to negative ten at one point during the campaign against the Turks. I was just wondering, and the way may have been forgotten so forgive me if it is a difficult question to answer, what happened to allow your happiness to stay positive?

    1. Hi John,
      first of all: Andrew’s question goes in the right direction. I never annex, always only puppet cities. Once my Happiness can cope with it, I annex the biggest captured cities. Mainly for stopping them from growing past 10 or 12. Also: I repeated the Yokes on the Mongols on Deity difficulty and succeeded. I dedicated another blog post only to this topic and I also address Happiness 🙂

      Check it out: Into the Renaissance – Russia Strategy (Deity)

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