Galactic Civilization

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Victory Conditions Explained

by Brad Wardell (Designer)


Galactic Civilizations provides four paths to victory.

  • Political Victory

  • Technology Victory

  • Cultural Victory

  • Conquest Victory

Most players will employ a variety of strategies to win through one of these paths. This document is designed to spell out what these victory conditions mean and some strategies on how to achieve them.

Political Victory

The manual states, "If you and your alien allies are able to conquer all opposition you win.".

In the diplomacy screen you can see the diplomatic relations you have with other players. At the start of the game they'll be neutral. But with the proper encouragement, you can get to "close" relations. At that point, you can negotiate an alliance treaty with them on the negotiation screen. If you do this will all the the surviving major civilizations, you will achieve a political victory.

Of course, how do you get foreign governments to like you? The short answer is - you make it their best interest to like you. In Galactic Civilizations, that means trade combined with sufficient military power. But trade is the key. By building freighters and sending them to other star systems you can begin to make their economy dependent on trade with you. Over time, their relations with you will improve.  The more powerful you are compared to them, the easier this can be.

That said, there are other factors. For instance, if you play the role of an "evil" civilization, then things get a lot tougher. Good civilizations don't want anything to do with you, even if you do trade it will be a hard case to make them like you.

Technology Victory

The manual states, "If humanity can research enough technology that it transcends to the next level of existence, you win." What the heck does that mean? In short, if you manage to make your way through the technology tree you will eventually reach a technology called "The Final Frontier". Research this and mankind moves to the next phase of its existence and wins the game.

Of course, doing this is very challenging since it will require massive technology investment. The best way to achieve this is to make sure you control as many of the technology resources as you can. I have found that the best way to do that is to try to stay out of wars and keep constructors near starbases owned by players who are currently at war and hope that that starbase gets destroyed. Be wary though, the alien civilizations don't take kindly to this so make sure you are ready for the consequences of that.

Cultural Victory

The manual states, "If you dominate 7/8thís of the sectors culturally, you win the game via cultural domination."  Well yes and no. During gamma testing we did make a change to this. If you get 7/8th's of the sectors to be under your influence, you will get a message letting you know that you are on the verge of victory. But the actual condition is met sometime in the following 2 game years.

This is something we'll be making more clear in the BonusPak update of GalCiv as well as allowing players to turn off as it does make conquest more difficult. The reason we did Cultural Victory was to help keep players from having to mop up every last planet. But we don't want to take away the right of players who really want to kill off that last Drengin from doing so. We plan to change this to 9/10ths of the galaxy in Galactic Civilizations 1.1.

So how do you do this? Culture. If you control the cultural influence resources (blue cubes on the map) and build them up this will get you a long way towards that goal. Then build star bases in sectors you don't currently have influence control over and build them up with cultural influence modules. Be wary, the alien civilizations are aware of this tactic (since they'll try to do it to you) so unless you are prepared for war, don't be too blatant about this at the higher intelligence levels.

Conquest Victory

The manual states, "If you conquer all of the alien civilizations, you win." 

Specifically it means all the major alien civilizations. You don't have to kill off every last minor civilization if you don't want to. But you do have to conquer all the major civilizations (Drengin, Arceans, Yor, Torians, Altarians). Odds are though that the minor races will fall along the way.

This path is the most traditional and straight forward so I'm not sure what I can add as advice. Let's about, build really powerful ships and destroy the other side's really powerful ships? Then build transports, load them up with troops and send them over to undefended star systems and invade them.


So there you have it. The four paths to victory.

During development we played around with other paths such as having a United Planets resolution that would allow players to vote for a winner. But we felt this would be a hollow victory and took it out. 

Another path we had well into development was an economic victory. That is, if trade by and with you represented over half of the economies of all the surviving players you would win. The problem we found with this is that it made trade too powerful. Trade already gives you money which allows you to go towards any of the other victory conditions better. We wanted to make sure that all the victory conditions had a downside towards their pursuit. Going for tech, for instance, means not spending money on a military. Going for cultural conquest means not putting money into tech, and so forth. Whereas an economic victory wouldn't have a down side. Trade is a central focus in the game for any victory path.

If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions, please feel free to join us on the message boards.

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