Steam Bollywood Achievement:

As Gandhi, win a cultural victory with 3 or fewer cities in your empire.

I wish to do this achievement on a Pangaea Standard map size or larger and on Prince difficulty or higher,

What tactics do people recommend to achieve this. Any tips on the use of, Social Policies, Wonders, Diplomacy, City States and Military.

4 Answers 4


I gained this achievement last night soon after joining gaming.stackexchange :-)

I focused on building improvements that made the biggest impact on culture (monument, temple, Mughal fort, etc.) and built as many wonders as possible (especially those that provide cultural boosts and affect the acquisition of social policies (Cristo Redentor, Hermitage).

I allied with as many Cultured city-states as possible (earning enough gold can be challenging) and picked the following policy trees (roughly in this order):

  • Piety
  • Freedom
  • Patronage
  • Order
  • Freedom

As others have said, gold is a problem. With all the wonders that I'd built and the bonuses you get for playing as Ghandi (less unhappiness for larger populations) Golden Ages were more easier to start. I boosted the duration of Golden Ages by building the Chichen Itza and Taj Mahal wonders and applying the Organized Religion and Reformation (Piety) social policies. Sometimes, I also used Great Artists and Great Generals to increase their duration. The additional gold helped a lot with winning over city states, buying buildings and negotiating with other civs.

One point that may not be obvious from the achievement's requirements: you can have more than 3 cities during your play through (though you may suffer penalties in acquiring social policies) - just make sure you raze or give those cities to other players before you complete the Utopia project.


Piety and Freedom are the most important social policies for a cultural victory, tradition is very useful for such a small empire and I personally find Patronage always useful.

For wonders start with Stonehenge, and then everything that gives culture boosts. Build a wonder in every one of your 3 cities, the constitution policy from the Freedom track doubles the culture in every city with a wonder.

Cultural city states can give you quite a lot of culture, if you can afford them.

With so few cities you'll certainly have a weaker military than the AIs, it is almost certain that you'll be attacked at some point. Use the terrain to your advantage, have some defensive artillery, maybe build citadels with excess Great Generals. The military AI is pretty weak, you should be able to hold out against superior numbers.


didn't play on quite those settings but:

From what I recall the main issue I had until quite late in the game was money, with so few cities your income will be very low which actually makes allying with city states very hard, so personally I felt the culture I spent on patronage was wasted.

Military will be more or less of a problem depending on terrain and agressiveness of neighbours, I had a lot of mountains nearby and one border with a city state which helped I think.

  • initially i spent most of my money purchasing normal building for my cities as they were usually building wonders, only in late game did i make a concerted effort to ally with city states - and only with culture producing ones
    – jk.
    Nov 18, 2010 at 16:31

Culture trees:

  • Freedom: provides, among other things, double culture per turn in cities with wonders and reduction in culture cost for additional policies
  • Piety: 2 free policies, happiness to culture.
  • Tradition: increases capital growth rate, wonder build speed
Situational (depends on where you spawn)
  • Commerce: Good if you're on a map with lots of water.
  • Patronage: If you have lots of gold income (e.g. in a place with lots of gold/silver and can throw down mints), you can burn it on city-states.
  • Order: Increases production, a good fallback otherwise

On the Pangea map you are almost bound to have some sort of an army. I attempted this on Archipelago-style map and I was never attacked by anything but barbarians, let alone wardec'ed. I ended up losing to the time limit, 10 turns away from completing Utopia wonder.

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