Levels - Part 1
The level structure in Civilizations Wars is kind of strange. I’ll do my best to identify the levels by their landmarks on the map.

The Canoe

What do you need me for? It’s the tutorial. It practically plays itself.

The Mask

The only real change in strategy here is the addition of Level 2 Houses scattered about the map. There’s also a Small Tower at the map center, but it’s not a real change in strategy, as its puny range means it’s effectively irrelevant. Take it to deny it to the enemy, but otherwise you should be good.

The real strategic prizes are the two Level Two Houses in the top left and bottom middle – these allow you to launch large attacks into enemy territory. The Medium Shrine west of your starting position would be helpful for a magically inclined player if they had spells other than Fireball at this point.

The Spider

The towers here are marginally more important, in that they can prevent a simple straight-shot-across attack through the middle of the map, but most of the fighting will be concentrated in the south, as you race for the Houses down there. Therefore, you should prioritize the southernmost tower.

And you should really prioritize it, because it’s a lot closer to the enemy than it is to you. Taking the tower in a blitzkrieg offensive will be difficult – you’ll need to get a lot of troops across a large gap. You may want to build up a bit first, so long as you get there before the enemy does. Take the tower and the game is yours.

Should you fail to take or hold the tower, you are going to have to fight a long war of attrition in the eastern houses. You will be aided in this by the AI’s inability to know when it has the advantage and launch wild, madcap assaults, but don’t expect it to be easy.

The Aqueduct

Why are the things they show on the icons never intact, anyway?

This level sees you with a tempting prize – the lone Shrine on the map, flanked by two towers. I’m going to spare you my usual comments on the obvious route through the level and say go for it. At this point, controlling all the Shrines on the level really is a big advantage, and the access to heavy infantry and cavalry will do good for you.

What you really need, however, is the Level 2 House in the northwest. This will be the key to cracking the Chinese lines – the center is merely an opportunity for you to launch a flanking assault.

The Sword

Our first melee a trois puts you against a pair of enemy civilizations. It is nominally a free-for-all.

Actually, on this particular level, it really is a bit of a free for all – you’re pretty remote from the two main combatants, so they’ll be more eager to fight each other than you. You can pursue an isolationist strategy at first, securing the central tower and your corner of the map and building up your resources at your leisure.

Unfortunately, you can’t sit this one out forever. In the constant struggle of the Sino-Roman War, somebody is eventually going to win, and once that happens you’re in for the messy situation of fighting off an AI who owns more of the map than you.

Daunting, I know, but your best bet is just to not sit quietly and do nothing for hours. Stay secure, and move out when you feel like it. Move against China first – that Level 2 House on your borders is the most valuable prize on the map. With both of those in your possession, the game is hardly even fair.

The Crocodile Head

The first experiment in branching mission structure. Because of the way the mission structure is set up, this one is basically entirely optional.

Also, that really doesn’t look that much like a crocodile at all. What the heck is that thing?

Don’t even bother with the towers on this map, they’re entirely useless. Simply work around them (something you’ll be doing anyway due to the relative distances) and focus on the Level Two Houses. The level layout naturally forces you west, at first, which can be a problem as good buildings are sparse out there, so you might want to take your tower just for an unimpeded route north.

The Buddha

Another three-way level. Considering that you start with a truly unfair advantage – a Level Two House and the pick of the litter among the powerful central buildings - you really should not need my help for this one.

The… Compass?

No, I guess it’s more of a sundial.

Now, you could play this level the way it is obviously intended and work your way around the outer circle, but why? Screw that. There’s a lovely Large Tower at the top of the map. If you haven’t got the Attack to take it, grab a few more Houses first, build up your forces, blitz the Tower, and use that as a staging point for a heavy infantry assault on the enemy stronghold.

After that, you own two Level Three Houses and a Large Tower, while the enemy has maybe half your power. Your primary challenge for the rest of the level will be tedium.