Old World – Guide to Phases and Winning Game

This guide describes game phases and winning game’s peculiarities.

Game Phases & How to Win the Game

Phases of the Game

There aren’t actually any “phases” to the game, but mentally, you can tend to break the game into three phases while you playing:

  • The Land Grab.
  • Zone Defense.
  • Middle and Late.

Because doing this helps keep me focused and organized.

The Land Grab phase of play tends to revolve around two things:

  • Exploration.
  • Expansion against the barbarian tribes.

This is when you get an initial “lay of the land,” find out who your neighbors are, and what resources you’ve got to work with on the map.

Most of the ancient ruins get discovered in the early game (by around turn 25 or so) but every now and again, an intrepid explorer will stumble across something much later.

The early game comes to a close when there are no more “easy” expansion options for you, which is to say, when the last barbarian camp you can realistically get to, falls (either to you or to someone else).

On or around Turn 25, you start having to balance further expansion with defending your holdings. That’s when Barbarian raiders tend to show upand you need to be ready for them or they will pound your cities (causing +10 extra Discontent per attack), or pillage tiles and terrorize your workers.Rather than building a single army and using that to deal withthe threat, your best bet is tomentally break your Realm into various “zones” and create smaller forces that are designed to deal with those types of threats.

A typical Barbarian raiding group will consist of three Barbarian units.A “Raid from Distant Lands” which typically occurs on the edges of the map will usually consist of five units. Your Zone Defense forces need to be robust enough to deal with those threats and ideally, to kill at least one enemy unit per turn.

Optimally, you want those units to fight well away from your cities, intercepting the raiders before they get close enough to do any real harm, and of course, while you’re doing that, you’re busy growing your economy and building additional troops that you’ll use to defend your Kingdom from rival nations and to one day begin projecting your power.

The middle game is all about diplomacy and continuing to build up your economy. Specifically, it’s about you doing any and everything you can to keep the larger, more developed nations from flattening you while you’re building and growing strong.

The mid-game ends when you feel that you’re strong enough to say no to extortion demands, which is usually about the time you find yourself in a war (almost always as a result of saying no to an extortion demand).

And then, the late game is everything else, but is typified by your nation having access to the best military tech of the era and (hopefully) being able to beat any of your rivals on the field of battle.

Winning the Game

Old World plays out over the course of two hundred years, with each year being 1 turn (choosing the “semesters” option doesn’t double the number of turns in the game, but does have the effect of allowing you to extend the lifespans of your leaders, courtiers, etc.).

The number of Victory Points (VPs) in the game varies slightly from one map to the next and is dependent on the total number of city sites on the map.

You can win the game by:

  • Surviving to the end of the 200th turn and having the highest number of VPs.
  • Hitting the max VP threshold before the 200 turn mark.
  • Or, having more VPs than half the total amount needed, and having twice as many VPs as the Nation in second place (Double Victory).

VPs are generated like so:

  • Every city you have with Weak culture = 1 point.
  • Every city you have with Developing culture = 2 points.
  • Every city you have with Strong culture = 3 points.
  • Every city you have with Legendary culture = 4 points (and you gain +1 additional VP for Legendary II, Legendary III, etc.).
  • Every wonder you control is worth 2VP.
  • Every Holy Site you control is also worth 2 VP.
  • Every tech you research at the end of the tech tree is also worth 1 VP.

In addition to winning the game via Victory Points, you can also win the game by completing ten “ambitions.”

Ambitions are semi-random, driven by vassal family selection, and scale quickly in difficulty.

The initial ambitions tend to be quite easy. Things like, “build six mines,” or “research six techs” or have three connected cities.

As the game progresses, however, you’ll find that the ambitions get radically more difficult, and if you’re serious about pursing an Ambition win, it may see you wandering down playstyle paths you had not considered before – for that reason alone, it’s a victory path that’s well worth exploring.

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