Civ 6 Diplomatic Victory

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Gathering Storm introduced the Diplomatic Victory. It's an interesting way to win and I wanted to gather together the various strategies and resources needed to accumulate Diplomatic Victory Points (DVP). In approximate order of importance, you need:

  1. Diplomatic Favor (DF) for winning votes
  2. Culture for reaching key civics
  3. Production for wonders and city projects
  4. Gold for helping other countries in need
  5. Science for reaching key techs
  6. Troops for military aid

Acquiring Diplomatic Victory Points (DVP)

Get 20 DVP and you win!

Diplomacy

  • +1 DVP: Vote for the winning outcome in the World Congress
    • At first, go with what people want. Once you have tons of DF, you may be able to just dictate the vote.
    • Popular AI choices include increasing combat strength of Ranged units and improving production of buildings in the City Center.
  • +2 DVP: Be elected leader in the World Congress
    • Tip: If you think everyone will vote for you to lose 2 DVP, vote with them and you'll lose only 1.
  • +2 DVP: Win an Aid Request or Military Aid Request
  • +1 DVP: Win any other Scored Competition

Civics and Techs

  • +1 DVP: Unlock Seasteads (Future Tech, No boost)
  • +1 DVP: Unlock Global Warming Mitigation (Future Civic, No boost)

Wonders

  • +2 DVP: Build the Mahabodhi Temple (Theology, Classical Civic, Found a religion) on forest adjacent to a Holy Site with a Temple. Must have founded a religion.
    • See the Religion section below.
  • +1 DVP: Build the Potala Palace (Astronomy, Renaissance Tech, University adjacent to mountain) on hills adjacent to a mountain.
    • Not much DVP, but the diplomatic policy slot is very useful.
  • +4 DVP: Build the Statue of Liberty (Civil Engineering, Industrial Civic, 7 different districts) on coast adjacent to land and a Harbor.
    • This is so important that you need to build a bustling city with a Harbor and lots of production early on, and drop a map tack for the SOL.

City-States

Becoming suzerain of city-states is key to obtaining DF. There are many ways to obtain and manipulate envoys, including Influence which allows you to acquire envoys for free every time you build up enough points.

  • Having a higher-tier government (see below) adds Influence and grants more envoys each time it hits the threshold. Try to beeline Monarchy (Divine Right, Medieval Civic, 2 temples) at first; see Government, below, for why.
  • Slot in the policy Charismatic Leader or (once you unlock the Ideology civic) Gunboat Diplomacy.
  • Focus on envoy-granting civics and city-state quests.
  • Look for Great Generals and Great Merchants who grant envoys.
  • Use Governor Amani early on and get her the Puppeteer promotion for stealing city-states.
  • Have Spies use Fabricate Scandal to eliminate other envoys.
    • Acquire Spies via the civics Diplomatic Service, Nationalism, Ideology, and Cold War; the tech Computers; and the Intelligence Agency building.
  • In a Secret Societies game (see below) play the Owls of Minerva and use Traders and Spies like crazy.

These wonders are key to a civ focused on city-states:

  • Apadana (Political Philosophy, Renaissance Civic, Meet 3 city-states). Adjacent to capital. Grants 2 envoys each time a wonder is built in the capital.
  • Kilwa Kisiwani (Machinery, Medieval Tech, 3 archers). Flat tile adjacent to coast. Improves your suzerain bonuses by up to +30%.
  • Országház (Sanitation, Industrial Tech, 2 neighborhoods). Adjacent to a river. Doubles your DF from suzerainty!

Protectorate War: If another civ declares war on your City-State, and you've unlocked Defensive Tactics (Classical Civic, Have war declared on you), you can declare a Protectorate War to defend it. You must do this before the civ conquers the City-State! Denounce the other civ and this casus belli should be immediately available (no five-turn delay). There is no grievance penalty for this type of war (beyond the original denouncing) as long as all you do is defend or liberate the City-State.

Diplomatic Favor

  • Alliances: Each alliance grants +1 DF/turn. Unlocked with Civil Service (Medieval Civic, City w/10 population).
  • City Projects: Winning competitions and (once you unlock the Global Warming Mitigation civic) doing carbon recaptures.
  • City-States: Become the suzerain of as many city-states as possible, preferably with the Országház wonder. See the City-State section above.
  • Diplomatic Quarter: Build this next to a city center, add a Consulate and (later) a Chancery, and accept every delegation and embassy you can.
    • Unlocked through Mathematics (Classical Tech, 3 different districts). Chancery is unlocked through Diplomatic Service (Renaissance Civic, Alliance).
  • Foreign Ministry: See Government Buildings, below.
  • Government: Always pursue and upgrade to advanced governments. See below.
  • Pagodas: See Religion, below. You want a Holy Site + Pagoda in every city you have.
  • Trading: You can sometimes trade luxury resources, gold, great works, etc. for the AIs' DF.

It's possible to lose DF, mainly via Grievances and Pollution, but the worst penalty is from occupying another civ's original capital. So don't start unnecessary wars and avoid burning coal and oil.

Government

Higher governments produce more DF directly and more envoys (via Influence). Always slot the highest tier government you can.

  • Tier 1: Autocracy, Classical Republic, or Oligarchy
    • Classical Republic offers the best overall, but switch to Autocracy when building wonders
  • Tier 2: Merchant Republic, Monarchy, or Theocracy
    • Monarchy has amazing Influence generation and (as of Feb '21) it and its legacy policy card grant +2 DF per Renaissance Walls, making it a must-pick
  • Tier 3: Communism, Democracy, or Fascism
    • Democracy's improved alliances gradually give a marginal DF boost, and (as of Jan '21) its trade routes combo well with suzerainty
  • Tier 4: Corporate Libertarianism, Digital Democracy, or Synthetic Technocracy
    • Both Corporate Libertarianism and Digital Democracy are slightly helpful; the choice is situational

Government Buildings

The only key decision to be made when it comes to Government Plaza buildings is at Tier 2, where you have two equally good options. Which to choose will depend on your civ and situation.

  • Foreign Ministry: As of Aug '20 this grants +3 DF/turn (as good as 3 suzerainties before Országház!), plus it makes levying City-States for defense cheaper and more effective. Good if you need to protect yourself and don't want to build an army. Compensate by having your Spies do a few Siphon Funds or Foment Unrest missions first to build experience.
  • Intelligence Agency: Grants +1 Spy capacity and improves the success chance of your Spies. This makes it much easier to Fabricate Scandal, which is the best way to maintain suzerainty in a specific, hotly contested City-State. Good if you have no hostile neighbors or if you fear an opponent going for a science victory (since Spies can attempt to disrupt that).

Key Civics (and Wonders)

Below, ★ means the benefits are a must-have while ★★ means it leads directly to DVP.

  • State Workforce (Ancient, Any district): Corvée policy.
  • Defensive Tactics (Classical, Be the target of war): Limes policy (to get to Renaissance Walls for Monarchy).
  • Political Philosophy (Classical, Meet 3 city-states): Tier 1 governments, Charismatic Leader policy, and Apadana. Built adjacent to capital. Grants 2 envoys each time a wonder is built in the capital.
  • ★★ Theology (Classical, Found a religion): Temple and Mahabodhi Temple (+2 DVP). Built on forest adjacent to a Holy Site with a Temple. Must have founded a religion. See below.
  • Civil Service (Medieval, City w/10 population): Alliances.
  • Divine Right (Medieval, 2 temples): Monarchy government (best early Influence) and Gothic Architecture policy.
  • Guilds (Medieval, 2 markets): Craftsmen (and optionally Traveling Merchants) policies.
  • Medieval Faires (Medieval, 4 trade routes): Aesthetics (and optionally Merchant Confederation) policy.
  • Diplomatic Service (Renaissance, An alliance): Spies, Chancery building, and Machiavellianism policy.
  • ★★ Civil Engineering (Industrial, 7 different districts): Skyscrapers policy and Statue of Liberty (+4 DVP). Built on coast adjacent to land and a Harbor.
  • Colonialism (Industrial, Astronomy tech): Raj policy.
  • Nationalism (Industrial, Use a Casus Belli): More spies.
  • Ideology (Modern, No boost): More spies and Gunboat Diplomacy policy.
  • Cold War (Atomic, Nuclear Fission tech): More spies and Cryptography policy.
  • Social Media (Information, Telecommunications tech): Collective Activism policy.
  • Cultural Hegemony (Future, No boost): Non-State Actors policy.
  • ★★ Global Warming Mitigation (Future, No boost): +1 DVP and carbon recapture project
  • Information Warfare (Future, No boost): Rabblerousing policy.
  • Smart Power Doctrine (Future, No boost): Diplomatic Capital policy.

Key Techs (and Wonders)

Below, ★ means the benefits are a must-have while ★★ means it leads directly to DVP.

The focus on Walls is a direct result of the Feb '21 buffs to Monarchy (see Government, above). Note that you want to actually hold off on researching Steel until you have Renaissance Walls in all of your cities (and don't anticipate founding any more).

  • Masonry (Ancient, Quarry): Ancient Walls.
  • Mathematics (Classical, 3 different districts): Diplomatic Quarter and Consulate.
  • Castles (Medieval, Tier 2 government): Medieval Walls.
  • Machinery (Medieval, 3 archers): Kilwa Kisiwani. Built on flat tile adjacent to coast. Improves your suzerain bonuses by up to +30%.
  • ★★ Astronomy (Renaissance, University adjacent to mountain): Potala Palace (+1 DVP). Built on hills adjacent to a mountain. Adds +1 diplomatic policy slot.
  • Printing (Renaissance, 2 universities): Forbidden City. Built on flat land adjacent to a city center. Adds +1 wildcard policy slot; use it for the policies above. Very competitive.
  • Siege Tactics (Renaissance, 2 bombards): Renaissance Walls.
  • Sanitation (Industrial, 2 neighborhoods): Országház. Built adjacent to a river. Doubles your DF from suzerainty! Needs Skyscrapers, not Gothic Architecture, to build quickly.
  • Computers (Atomic, Tier 3 government): More spies.
  • ★★ Seasteads (Future, No boost): +1 DVP.

Religion

  1. Found your first (or an early) Holy Site next to a forest. Drop a map tack on the forest so you don't accidentally chop or build over it.
  2. Go for whatever pantheon fits your situation. See the priorities at the top of this page for suggested buffs.
  3. Found a religion with the Pagoda belief (+1 DF/turn).
  4. Build the Mahabodhi Temple (Theology, Classical Civic, Found a religion) on the forest. Then use those two Apostles to further enhance your religion (the Religious Unity belief is a good source of envoys) and/or launch an inquisition to protect yourself from other religions.

Be sure to build a Holy Site and build or buy a Shrine, Temple, and Pagoda in every city as early as is feasible, to get that bonus DF accumulating. Also, after launching an inquisition it's worth garrisoning an Inquisitor in each city center to avoid letting opponents convert them; this both protects your religious bonuses and prevents an opponent's Religious Victory.


Game Modes

Certain specific game modes add additional quirks or opportunities.

Barbarian Clans: "Snow States"

On most landmasses, Clans will get destroyed or discovered by everyone, but the Clans who spawn in the snow (at the upper and lower edges of the map) tend to go undiscovered until long after they evolve into City-States. As such, when playing with this mode, be sure to explore the "poles" of the map as early as possible, to ensure that you get the free envoy for being the first to witness each such "snow State's" creation.

Heroes & Legends: Himiko

When playing with this mode turned on, prioritize obtaining Himiko. Of course, you have to discover her first, which can be done via the following:

  • Running the Heroic Tales city project (100% chance)
  • Becoming the Suzerain of a City-State (100% chance)
  • Discovering a natural wonder or a continent (50% chance)
  • Visiting a Tribal Village (15% chance)
  • Sending an Envoy to a city-state (10% chance)

As several of these are things you're likely to do naturally, you may not need to run Heroic Tales, but if you haven't discovered Himiko by the time you have your first few cities up and running, switch to Heroic Tales for a bit. She is that important.

Aside from Himiko, you don't need any warlike heroes but the following are extremely useful in their own right. In approximate order of utility:

  • Hercules: Finish any district instantly. Extremely valuable!
  • Anansi: Free Science and Culture. Cannot be used on an ally's resource, so use him on a neutral civ's hexes or send him swimming (the water has lots of neutral resources).
  • Sinbad: Great for exploration early on. You don't have to rush Cartography if you get him. Especially nice with Barbarian Clans mode (above), as you may be the only civ to discover the "snow states."
  • Maui: Amazing if you can get him early on. Once you've settled all the cities you plan to, and every city is at a 3-hex radius, his utility ends.

Secret Societies: Owls of Minerva

The Owls of Minerva can be unlocked by sending an envoy to a city-state (80% chance). Afterward, they grant bonuses based on the era of the world (not your civ). Each costs a governor slot to unlock.

  • Ancient Era: +1 economic policy slot. Each trade route to a city-state creates 1 free envoy there.
  • Medieval Era: "Gilded Vault" is a Bank but also adds culture equal to the Commercial Hub's adjacency bonus, and grants +1 trade route capacity if you also have a Harbor (with or without a Lighthouse).
  • Industrial Era: +1 wildcard policy slot. +2 Spy capacity. Your cities with one or more defensive spies get +4 Loyalty and +1 Amenity.
  • Atomic Era: Each offensive Spy mission grants gold, faith, culture, and science. Your gold treasury earns 3% interest per turn.

Strategy: Build Scouts early and meet as many city-states as possible. Then build Galleys and find more. Once religion is locked in, focus on Commercial Hubs and Markets. Wherever possible, found cities next to lakes or coast so you can build a Gilded Vault and Harbor as well (remember to designate a spot for the Statue of Liberty).


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