This is an archive where older Polytopia strategies are stored. It is no longer updated.

These strategies may not be as helpful or effective as the ones in the "Strategies" article. (Some of the points made by the strategies in this document may now be considered outdated or incorrect.)

Naval Focus

Most effective in games with lots of water, while playing as Kickoo or Imperius.

After leveling up your city at least once, research the Navigation branch entirely. Place a port as soon as possible, and expand outwards quickly, but do not forget to research Navigation before it gets expensive. Get at least one Battleship to explore, but you do not really need to buy more until you meet an enemy. Shields are useful, but not entirely necessary. However, please note that a Warrior Battleship gets one-hit by any other full-health Battleship.

Keep building outward. You will eventually meet an enemy at some point too. You can put up a wall of riders or defenders alongside the bodies of water with a 2nd layer of archers/Mind benders

Roads + Trade will become useful techs in the late game for the monuments as well as the Customs House, a very powerful economic building.

Rider Rush

Most effective in games with very few opponents, or opponents on the same landmass as you, while playing as Oumaji, Vengir, Aquarion or Elyrion.

If done correctly, this strategy can overwhelm anyone from bots to skilled players.

The strategy relies on you mass-producing units from an early standpoint to quickly destroy enemies before they have a chance to build up. Research Riding first. When you upgrade your city, get Explorer rather than Workshop and claim as many nearby cities as possible. Then, send as many Riders as possible at your enemy. Remember to always use the escape ability to explore new territory. If you keep up enough pressure and kill their units faster than they can spawn them, you may see their downfall. 

Riders can be substituted for Polytaurs or Swordsmen for Elyrion and Vengir. If playing as Aquarion, try to rush Spearing as well. 

It is possible to get a 100% rating almost every time against 1 opponent with rush, especially with Vengir. Their starting tech is Smithery, so their Swordsmen can quickly defeat enemies with only Warriors. Thus, the rush strategy is the best plausible strategy for defeating within the turn limit and getting 100%. The basis of this strategy is to pour all your resources into unit production, and overwhelm your opponents' primitive defences by sheer numbers/power.

Empire Focus

Most effective when alone on a large island, or in a game with few players, as Zebasi, Luxidoor, Bardur, Kickoo or Imperius.

The point of this strategy is to focus on upgrading cities as much as possible during the early game, and build a huge economy instead of concentrating on units. Eventually, you will have a large economy and several Giants, which will form the backbone of your army. In the late-game, you want to use these giants to press your advantage over the square, dominating the map with your giants.

Despite focusing on upgrades, do not forget to expand outwards as well as upwards. Sailing/Navigation are key techs, as well as whatever you need to upgrade your cities.


Most effective in games with up to 4 opponents and/or land-based flat maps, like Oumaji, Zebasi or Yadakk.

As the name implies, German for "lightning war", the aim is to cover as much land as possible with roads, then strike faster than anyone can react! This strategy utilizes Knights and Roads for a massive movement combination. Essentially Rider Rush's late game variant, this strategy requires you to send in as many Knights as possible. Not even Veteran Swordsmen can withstand more than 2 Knight blows.

This strategy can be carried out with scary precision to quickly move armies to the battlefield from their spawn cities as fast as possible. As soon as you capture a city, place in some roads. Never stop to heal or bunker down, just rush the enemies. The roads will ensure replacements get to the front lines as fast as possible.

This is especially effective in the late game after all the cities have finished growing and the giants are all dead.

Useful Combat Tips

  • A Swordsman cannot one-hit a Mind Bender, Archer, or Rider with a Defence Bonus (in forest, mountain, city, etc.).
  • A full health Swordsman cannot one-hit a Veteran Catapult.
  • A non veteran Knight can take a hit from a Catapult with 1 health left and still be able to kill Catapults.
  • Four full health Battleships can kill a Giant in a Battleship (without Aquatism shield).
  • Two full health Battleships can kill a 15-hp Battleship.
  • One full-health Battleship can kill another 10-hp Battleship.
  • Retaliation damages does not reduce if you have a defence bonus.
  • Mindbenders and dragon eggs cannot enter cities.
  • Tech costs increase for each city in your empire. For every city: tier 1 tech cost +1, tier 2 tech cost +2, tier 3 tech cost +3 

Early-Game Strategy (Turns 0–15)

Starting the Game

One of the key objectives of the few starting turns is to quickly level up your city and thereby increase your Production. Increasing stars per turn early on can be crucial in pulling ahead of your opponents or having the upper hand when you meet one. Everyone starts the game with 5 Resources; however, the AI does receive starting income bonuses of up to +5 at higher difficulties.

Subdividing into Classes

Imperius, Bardur, Kickoo, Zebasi "Upgrade Class" - These tribes have a great likelihood of being able to level up their cities on Turn 0. You should then choose Workshop instead of Explorer to increase your income to 4 resources per turn, since your Capital City has a base income of 2.

Oumaji, Vengir, Hoodrick, Aquarion, Yadakk. "Expand Class" - These tribes like to rush, depending on the resources and cities of their nearby victims to thrive. Their homelands are quite barren (Hoodrick is an exception), so training a second unit to quickly overwhelm any unsuspecting neighbors is generally the way to go. These tribes also have some sort of military advantage (Oumaji has swift Riders, Aquarion Amphibians can travel on water, Vengir starts out with the powerful Swordsman, Hoodrick starts with ranged units).

Xin-Xi, Ai-Mo, Quetzali "Isolate Class" - These tribes all start off with some kind of military bonus geared towards defense, and no resource-gathering technology. Their natural resources are also very diversified, sometimes requiring lots of technology to achieve high levels. The general strategy is to isolate yourself from nearby enemies who could potentially overwhelm you early on. Ai-Mo can easily get Altar of Peace if left alone and upgrade their city, while easing tech costs in the future with the Literacy Bonus from Philosophy. Xin-Xi could rush Smithery for Swordsmen while using the mountains to isolate themselves. Quetzali could be used for offense by mass-producing Defenders while using a couple stronger units like Knights scattered throughout to help out. While weak early on, these tribes tend to be stronger in the late game.

Luxidoor - Starting with a good economy and decent spawn, Luxidoor is very versatile in the opening stages. Their City wall also provides a good safeguard against overeager neighbors, so they can be played to whatever focus you want. However, they do start with no tech, so that is always a good way to start.

How to get 100% in Domination


This first bit is a slightly modified tutorial that comes from a Reddit user by the name of airgibbo. The original text can be found at: [1]

This strategy is heavily luck-based, but you're guaranteed a win if you spend enough time trying. Without further ado:

Playing Domination on Crazy can be quite frustrating, especially when you're shooting for that 100% mark. However, never fear, for Reddit has given birth to a tutorial that functions in the New World update quite nicely.

Your game can honestly be played using any tribe, but certain tribes such as Vengir can win much easier than others. The recommended size for a game should be one opponent, so go right ahead and disregard me if you want a challenge.

Your starting position is EVERYTHING, and determines if your game can be won within the required 10 turns at all. I recommend that your borders be touching the opponent's from the start if you want an easy-ish win.

Assuming you have a good starting position, you should move your starting unit diagonally from your base, and immediately train whatever special troop you can, or normal troop if your tribe doesn't start with a special troop.

Advance your troops toward the enemy, taking advantage of any mountains to block the enemy, ruins to gain resources, or civilizations along the way. By Turn 1 you should be able to research your preferred skill for utilization of natural resources, and by Turn 3 you should be able to upgrade your capital using your said skill.

1 versus anything else

In Polytopia culture, 1v1 is regarded as somewhat easy to get and most players would not count that under their belt of 100% scores. However, the concepts here are essentially identical, but with slight modification.

NOTE: Some things might occur to lower your score that are completely out of the player's control (another tribe getting destroyed, someone rushed catapults when you still had defenders etc.), and resetting is highly recommended in these scenarios.

In larger games, the largest difference is that you will prefer a bit of isolation so you can focus entirely on development. All you will need in terms of technology is the Navigation branch, Organization and Shields. Acquisition of other tech should be delayed unless it is needed to upgrade your city. Even so, try for an even split between Economy, Technology and Military. Try to quickly build up an economy and explode onto the main scene relatively fast. If you are quick enough, you will be able to destroy all the tribes before someone else does. Control 2-3 core cities and level them up, this will keep production high but tech cost low. Navigation and Ports are of the utmost importance, try to get at least 1 battleship by Turn 15.

Battleships are the centrepiece of your domination, try to get as much as possible to blast enemy coastal forces to pieces and exploring. You should quickly gain the naval upper hand, because having enemy boats constantly bombarding you in large numbers can be deadly to units with no defence bonus.

Once you have encountered most or all of the enemy tribes, try to see if any are warring amongst themselves. Pick a side, this will keep one tribe on your good side and allow you to spend more on economy.

Trade and Customs Houses should also be used as much as possible in the mid- to late-game to give that extra drive to your economy. Often this bit of extra production is what pushes people over the edge of their opponents, allowing for a big domino effect throughout the square.

Also, two other things I should mention are Battle Skills and Speed Skills.

Battle Skills is based on how many units you lost/disbanded versus how many you killed. This is not a direct ratio. If a unit is injured, try to let it pull back and heal while your other units cover it. This will drastically reduce your death rate. Also, try to place Giants at the forefront, so they can tank damage for your lower-health units.

Speed Skills is based on time. I would suggest doing 5 or more enemy tribes (if you have purchased them) to increase your time, because no matter the number of enemies, you are only really going to start being able to push into their territories at around turn 25 if you are lucky. After that, it takes maybe half that time to destroy everyone, but either way, you will not usually be able to defeat enemies fast enough on lower tribe counts.

Good luck out there!


Most effective in games with fewer opponents.

This strategy is focused around the idea of isolation from other tribes. The strategy uses the Xin-Xi because they tend to have lots of mountains surrounding their starting territory, but other "mountainous" tribes such as the Ai-Mo can also use this strategy. Use these as barriers to the outside world, and build up your economy. Once you have obtained Smithery, start mass-producing Swordsmen and expand outwards. Make sure you don't go into complete hiding, though, as the conquest of independent cities is important for your economy.


Ai-Mo Isolation: Do not attack until you have Altar Of Peace. Get Philosophy, and then rush Smithery.

Vengir Isolation: Slowly level up your cities until they can support multiple Swordsmen. Then, move out.


This strategy was from late 2016 from when you could not fight players, and is no longer found to be effective. In fact, it is found to be very ineffective in practice against actual human players. This strategy was made by Polytopia Gaming.


Most effective in games with connected bodies of water.

The Imperius Naval Strategy is based on two techs, Shields and Navigation. It uses Imperius in the video because they have direct access to Shields. Depending on your starting situation, you can prioritize Shields or Navigation. Shields costs just 6 stars from the start, and defenders have a great health level of 15. After getting these two techs, start to search throughout the world. If you find a village, settle on it. If you meet an enemy (not an ally), make sure to surround their land as much as possible with defender ships. If the tribe is on another strip of land and you conquer one of their cities, it delivers great momentum. So it is very important to go after their cities not only fiercely, but with thought. If your opponent has an inland city, though, once you have secured the coastline, you might have to start producing other ground-warfare troops like Swordsmen to break through enemy lines.


Kickoo Naval: Here, Navigation is not as important, as the Kickoo have lots of shallow water. Go for Sailing, and then Shields, and then Navigation.

Quetzali Naval: You already have Shields, but not much water access. Push for the Navigation branch while advancing towards the water. Try to stay passive, and if enemies are encountered, play defensive.


This strategy was devised when Boats automatically upgraded to Ships when Navigation was researched, Ships had 3/3, and Battleships did not exist. Now, with naval units requiring individual upgrades for stars, this strategy has paled. This strategy was made by Polytopia Gaming.


The Bardur Superweapon strategy was released on January 2nd, 2017. The strategy can be found HERE.

Effective in most games.

This strategy brings the use of Catapults to a new level. First, focus on economy and complete the Forestry tech branch. Once you get Mathematics, start training a lot of Catapults. Also, build a wall of cheap Defenders to block knights from instantly wiping out your force. After this, your Catapults can pretty much destroy any army in a matter of turns. The strategy uses Bardur in the video because they have a head start on the Mathematics branch. Use your wall units to advance your army and seize other cities. Be sure to watch out for Knights: even though you may have a wall of units, they can easily rush in and eliminate weakened defenders before moving on to your Catapults.

Combining it with Archery can be useful not only to be able to attack on the move or to combat flanking maneuvers,, but also for the defense bonus inside forests to strengthen your Defenders or whichever units you use to shield your Catapults. Archers can also help build up a formation before Catapults can be built.

If it is affordable, Roads can also increase the effectiveness of this strategy, especially in PvP situations, because Catapults have very limited movement. However, this is only useful if a lot of resources are attributed towards conquest and there is enough space to build roads.


Imperius Superweapon: Get Shields and build the defender wall before the Catapults.

Hoodrick Superweapon: Use Archers and Warriors instead of shields for early-game superiority.


This strategy was created when Catapults were much better and obviously overpowered (6/0, 5 stars) and Knights did not have Persist. Nowadays, Catapults do not dominate the map due to several counters emerging. This strategy was made by Polytopia Gaming.

 Clouded Siege

Effective in most games.

The "Clouded Siege strategy" involves pouring all of your resources into Fishing, then Sailing, and finally Navigation. Use battleships to scout out the coastline undetected and identify the location of enemy cities. Next, send a single rider or knight to explore the area and remove the clouds. This strategy relies on the fact that if you attack enemy ranged units like ships, they will only be able to retaliate if they can see you. The goal of the strategy is to use your battleships to kill enemies without them seeing you, so your navy remains basically untouched. After the coast is secured, simply walk a unit into the city after clearing out the army. This can be used with virtually any tribe.

When using this strategy, keep in mind that in late-game there may be a need to switch to another strategy, because more of the square is scouted.


This is common sense. This strategy was made by Polytopia Gaming.


As explained in the video, the point of this strategy is to focus on a huge economy early game. It states that the AI will be hesitant to attack such a huge economic powerhouse, at least for the early game, allowing you to advance your infrastructure uninterrupted. The video uses Zebasi because their abundance of farms means that Zebasi land can produce some of the highest-level cities in the square.


Luxidoor Empire: Use the Luxidoor City Wall and high income to build your economy. Play defence for a bit, get Organization > Shields since fruits are common and Defenders are cheap. Forestry is also good.

Kickoo Empire: Exploit your water-blessed terrain and rush Trade and Sailing. Use Customs Houses early on to jump-start your economy.

Bardur Empire: Not as effective, but since the Bardur usually spawn with a lot of forests, research Forestry immediately when you get the chance. This allows two good things: first, the construction of lumber huts and sawmills for increased population, and secondly, the Mathematics tech, which paves the way for the Bardur Superweapon Strategy.

Oumaji Empire: Explore outward with Riders and get at least 2-3 other cities. Then, rush Organization and Farming, as Oumaji typically has a large amount of farmland. This results in a huge economy early-game. With this income, rush Chivalry and Navigation to conquer first your own continent, then opponents on other continents.


This strategy was made by Polytopia Gaming, again before the days of PvP. Also, it's also quite common sense and not very effective against non-AI, since they do not obey the mechanics of "peace if enemy is more powerful".


Most effective in easier difficulties, mostly used as a challenge.

Did you know there is a way to win in Domination without attacking? Once you get Philosophy, you can use Mind Benders to 'peacefully' convert units to your side, and the Literacy Bonus can let you advance your military quicker than everyone else! The video (not included) uses Ai-Mo because of their proximity to Philosophy.

If you consider defense not to be offense, as the game does, then you can use Defenders to shield the vulnerable Mind Benders.

NOTE: This strategy is extremely difficult to pull off, and is best reserved for Easy matches or hard challenges.


Imperius Enlightenment: Research Shields first and construct a perimeter around your area, then research Philosophy.

Xin-Xi Enlightenment: Research Meditation and camp on the mountains. Research the Philosophy branch, and then Smithery so you can create a Swordsman vanguard for your Mind Benders.


This strategy was not made as a real strategy. It was also made by Polytopia Gaming.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Old Strategies

  • What counters what?

    11 messages
    • Dis was a month ago but...A giant in a Battleship with mindbenders for heal gets the job done. Use the giant and other Battleships to block th...
    • well it depends.  If you two are on opposite sides of the map, I would suggest building up military and enconomy and not worry about explorat...
  • Strategies

    16 messages
    • yes but if the enmy is entering in city and you c an t defend it the better choice
    • Inventor51 wrote:that can sometimes backfire if you aren't careful, though Maybe?
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