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Domination Victory – Tips, Hints and Tricks

Civilization 6 Domination Victory

I’m not new to Civilization by any means, already have well over 300+ hours in Civ 6 alone. But, I have only won domination 1 time in all the games I’ve played. And, that victory was cheap. I was Gilgamesh on a Duel map on Settler and I beat the game by turn 30 with 10 warcarts.

Everytime I try and start a new game to play it and win as Domination, I end up giving up before midway through, either because it gets boring or because I underestimated a city-state and they demolish my army.

So, I’m wanting to know of any tips/hints/tricks that I must be completely overlooking.

I have played Alexander and got pretty far with him, but most of the other Domination-heavy Civs, I just don’t get. —

Should I just build armies all the time? – Early game I tend to build a bunch of slingers and station them around to where I’m putting future cities, and then a couple warriors to keep barbarians at bay. But, I don’t understand how you can build up your city and also have a strong army at the same time? Especially higher difficulties where the AI starts with an extra city!

Are Encampments worth building other than the defense it gives when building walls? – I know it gives your units some extra XP or Attack, but it seems like its a waste of a district space to me. And, should I be building one in every city I have?

When is the right time to attack and should I be attacking city-states or other Civs? – I know some Civ’s have a stronger early game than others, like the Aztec Eagle Warriors. But, but the time I get a strong enough supply of them, it’s nearly time to upgrade them. And, harder difficulties, city-states have already built walls, so it’s not easy taking them down without Catapults, which require some science to get to.

Do I have to take over every city, or just take control of the original capital city? – Sometimes other civs have WAY more cities than I do. It would take a really long time to get all of the cities down, plus having to then take control of those cities is even more management I already can’t do lol.

Basically, my strategies for Domination victories are extremely weak. I’m used to playing peaceful and having an big enough army to defend my borders and I can’t seem to find the right adjustment of using an army to attack as opposed to defending. At what time in the game is good to attack?

Domination Victory

Not all civs are suited for Domination, and some have abilities that are centred towards conquest. I can only provide tips for Domination-centric civs, but generally you want to have as much advantage as you can, be it terrain, support bonuses, fortification, etc. Bait your enemies to attack you by defending on a hill/forest/rainforest tile. Stick multiple units together to take advantage of the support bonus. Another tip is to use cavalry as much as possible as they are both strong and mobile.

As for your questions:

  • It’s a balancing act between waging wars and using production for settlers. In the early eras, it is recommended to do surprise wars to steal unescorted settlers from your rival civs. Some civs like the Aztecs, Sumeria, and Nubia encourage you to wage war early on while their uniques are relevant.
  • Build at least one Encampment, preferably in a city where enemy units will have to pass through to your territory. I usually build them in my frontier cities, and late in the game when other civs like to Recruit Partisans to hinder my progress. If you are aiming to get Great Generals, then those frontier Encampments can help immensely.
  • Don’t rely on catapults too much. Practice taking a battering ram/siege tower or two when you go conquering. If you want to bring catapults, make sure to put them on hill/wood/rainforest tiles for the extra defense.
  • On higher difficulties, you would be focusing more on spending your production on military compared to the lower difficulties. Attack when you have around 5-8 units near an enemy city — maybe less if you have Corps and Armies. Think of conquering that new city as a way of getting back that “lost” production that you’ve spent on military expenses.
  • You don’t have to take every city. But for a military victory, capitals are required. It’s easier to rush to the last capital as you don’t have to mind loyalty issues as you win the moment you conquer the last city. However, I do keep cities that have wonders, districts that I am in need of, and excellent positioning. (Canals, access to mountain ranges, etc.)

As mentioned though, different leaders have different strategies that you want to take advantage of. Keep playing and you’ll get to know them and win with them easily. Domination is understandably difficult to work for, but will snowball as you conquer more civilizations. (Easy > Medium > Difficult)

  1. Alexander – Seems like you already got this down pat. Keep making Encampments, then Basilikoi Paides, then churn out units. Prioritize cities with wonders. (M)
  2. Amanitore – Make 5-6 Pitati Archers, 1-2 Horsemen/Heavy Chariots then go to town. It’s imperative that you conquer early, preferably before the AI put up walls, then you’ll have to bring catapults/rams/towers. (E)
  3. Chandragupta – Beeline for the Varu then Military Training. Use the Casus Belli War of Territorial Expansion on your neighbours. (D)
  4. Cyrus – Keep going for Surprise Wars. Beeline Iron Working to get Immortals. (M)
  5. Frederick Barbarossa – Prioritize city-states. (Except maybe the production ones) Use the extra military slot for military production. (D)
  6. Genghis Khan – Can’t stress the “build cavalry” part. Focus making Commercial Hubs as well, since you’ll be sending out traders to potential conquests. It also builds roads where your military can use. (E)
  7. Gilgamesh – Build at least 3 War-Carts, declare war, keep spamming War-Carts until they become obsolete. Do NOT upgrade to Knights until you have a comfortable economy that can support them. (E)
  8. Gitarja – Build Holy Sites to fuel your faith, then beeline Mercenaries to unlock Jongs. During the beeline, prepare your armies that will be information with the Jongs. Once ready, buy as many Jongs as you have land units, then conquer coastal cities. (M)
  9. Gorgo – Make sure your Hoplites travel in packs. Prioritize units for her ability to gain culture on kill, which in turn can help you beeline Nationalism and Mobilization. (Corps and Armies) Your additional Wildcard slot can help with whichever situation arises. (D)
  10. Harald Hardrada – Build naval melee units against coastal cities and use faith on Berserkers for other cities. Bring cavalry. (D)
  11. Lautaro – Prioritize civs that are on Golden Age. Prioritize killing units in their cities. (M)
  12. Montezuma – Build 4-5 Eagle Warriors then start conquering. Prioritize cities with luxuries. You’ll get stronger the more you conquer cities with luxuries. (E)
  13. Philip II – Conquistadors are your lynchpin, beeline Gunpowder for them. Prioritize civs that are not following your religion. Don’t forget Wars of Religion military policy card and Oligarchy wildcard and your Conquistadors will be unstoppable. Until they’re available, defend as much as you can. (D)
  14. Saladin – Not really a militaristic civ, but the Mamluks are very strong for their time, you can conquer with them. Guaranteed religion can also grant you beliefs that can aid your conquest, and increased science output means that you have a higher tech than your rivals. (M)
  15. Shaka – Beeline Mercenaries, Nationalism, and Military Tactics. Use Impis to last hit cities, as they get stronger information. Takes a while to get everything ready, but can snowball hard. (E)
  16. Tomyris – Build light cavalry and watch your economy. Saka Horse Archers can be used to guard your cities, but the Horsemen, Cavalry, Helicopters will be the ones doing most of the conquering work for you. Use faith to buy units. (E)
  17. Trajan – Build Warriors while beelining Iron Working to push with Legions. They are pretty strong for their era, and you should be able to conquer a lot. Don’t be afraid of walls with them. (E)

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