So I am playing as the Byzantine's and I have a 214 player score. I am next to Russia who are on 439 points. They declared war on me early game and I fended off their attack, but the score gap is just increasing. Is it possible to come back from being at such a disadvantage?

If so what tactics can I use?

I have difficulty setting on Prince (4)

  • What difficulty setting?
    – Amy B
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 20:29
  • Edited question. Prince.
    – theorise
    Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 20:30
  • 1
    I suspect the answer to this will be heavily dependent on your skill level and the games difficulty settings. I don't have civ5, but in Civs 2-4 I rarely had trouble recovering from an underdog start at moderate difficulty levels; but generally ended up getting crushed in the end on higher ones. the cutoff point moved upwards as I got better at the game. If you're playing at a level you can normally win without much trouble recovery is easier than at a level where the AI is able to give a run for your money. Commented Jul 27, 2012 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


The tactics for winning as an underdog are not that different from the tactics for winning in general. Check out agent86's excellent general advice for beginners.

All advice should be put in perspective with the difficulty level. At 3 and below, you can sit on 3 to 5 cities and focus on food and happy to just outgrow the AI. At 4, the AI plays fairly - the main deficiency in the Prince AI is unit management. At 5 and higher, the AI's get extra everything and cheat! It can be very difficult catch up against King or better AI's.

Some civ's are early peakers. Germans, Russians, Mongolians will expand as much as they can at the start.

Fortunately, score only matters if and when time runs out. There are four other ways to win the game (military, cultural, science, diplomacy).

If you are truly behind, cultural victory is a great equalizer. You don't need to grow cities, just try to keep up in tech and focus on art. Cultural victory is so fast that the only two ways you can lose are: lose your capital or lose to another cultural victory.

If you're just behind on score, but still ahead on hammers (and player brains), you could go for military victory. You could have the lowest score, but if you have all the capitals, you win.

Diplomacy and Science victories are usually a way for the score leader to win (shortly) before time runs out, I wouldn't recommend going for those.

If you do decide to catch up through conquest, it may be better to absorb (or raze and replace) the cities of a weaker civ than to directly attack the leader.

  • I am having a real tough time. Constantly fending off settlers from Russia (to my left) and now two city states to might right allied with Russia and declared war on me. I expanded into 3 more cities then I will pump my army and hope I can get some peace offers! Thanks for the answer and advice, I am just hoping there isn't a great deal of uranium around them when the time comes to it :)
    – theorise
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 15:21

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