The Civilizations and their Leaders

The Civilizations and their Leaders

Hello, I am a 16year old student and for the moment I am participating in a gaming project. For those of you who have not been reading this blog before and want to learn a bit more about this project can find this in my earlier blog assignments. Today I am going to blog about the different civilizations and leaders in the game we are playing, Civilization IV.

Select a Civilization 

When starting a new game, you will have to pick a civilization and a leader who will represent you in the game. This choice decides which technologies you will get to start with, and which unique units and buildings your civilization will be able to train or construct. Your choice here is often quite important for your success. Some civilizations have more than one optional leader, like for example the American Empire. Here you get to choose between Lincoln, Roosevelt and Washington which all are previous presidents, or leaders of the American Empire (or United States of America as we call it). These different leaders have different personalities which also gives you some advantages. Roosevelt for example is industrious and organized which means you get +50% production of wonders, and -50% upkeep for your civilization.Image

Most of the empires are picked out from the history books as well as their leaders, because this game is meant to be as realistic as possible. After playing this game a while, you will most likely get an favorite civilization and a favorite leader. In my case this is the Byzantine Empire and their leader Justinian 1. The reason why is because the Byzantine Empire has one unique knight and a unique theatre which fits me quite well. The knight is a unit that I often produce a lot of so therefore, I quickly fell in love with this Empire. In addition, and this is maybe the most important reason, the Byzantine leader is both Spiritual and Imperialistic. This is in my opinion the two best qualities a leader can have in this game because with Justinian 1, you avoid anarchy and gets double production of settlers, something that is extremely important especially in the beginning.

Normally I spend the first 36 rounds on producing one settler, but with Justinian 1 it only takes half the amount of turns and you will experience a huge development in your civilization, compared to the others.

In the Real World

If I was supposed to start a real country, I probably would not have taken the same choices. The goal in this game is of course to become the hugest and most powerful country, but this can happen one of two ways; either through technology, science and civilized, well developed cities or through military power and wars.

The first way is the one mostly related to the real world while the second way, through war is the most used in this game so therefor I believe most of the gamers would have chosen differently if the game was real. I can admit that I, as well as many of other players frequently use war as my way to win games in Civ IV, but if this was a real game I would go for charismatic- instead of military power. Therefor I believe the American Empire, led by no one other than George Washington would become my favorite pretty quickly.


In the real world there exists a lot of peace fighting organizations like the UN and the EU as well as for example smaller co-operation groups like NATO that would make fighting a useless, or at least extremely difficult. Of course, there is an opportunity for cooperation with other countries in the game, but nothing as powerful as the effect of for example the EU. In addition the game, Civilization IV is operating with around 8 different countries, while we in the real world can find many hundreds. This also makes the opportunity for world supremacy considerably less likely to happen.


Since the opportunity of fighting your way to glory is blown far away, I probably would have chosen the peaceful way to glory; through science, technology and justice with the American Empire, which today is one of the most powerful countries in the world. In addition, George Washington is a man known by anyone that has heard of American history and I would choose him to lead my country because of his qualities. George is an extremely respected and charismatic leader who a lot of people look up to, so I believe that he would have been the perfect man to lead my civilization.

Which civics would you prefer?

Lars Erik Kleiven


3 thoughts on “The Civilizations and their Leaders

  1. Actually the war traits like aggressive and protective are the weakest, since winning wars is easier than winning wars and still maintaining a strong economy. Even if you want to play warmonger I’d still take something economical like financial since economy is the main limiting factor usually in civ.

  2. Justinian is also my favorite leader from Civ IV, not just because of his qualities ingame, but also because he was a rather remarkable leader in the real world as well. He was born a simple country boy, and became emperor largely through his own merit. As a fellow high school student, I think this is an interesting exercise, and hope that you had a good time with it!

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