[Top 10] Civ 5 Best Aggressive Civ

best aggressive civs civilization 5
Defeat your enemies with an aggressive civ!

What are the best civs for playing an aggressive Civilization 5 game?

If you want to win a Domination Victory or engage in a lot of conquest, it helps to know which civilizations are suited for such aggression. Even if you prefer to play Civilization 5 more peacefully, you may still end up with an aggressive neighbor nearby to worry about.  Below are the  top ten best civilizations for playing the game aggressively!

10. Denmark

Harald Bluetooth's Diplomacy Screen

Rage war from the high seas as Harald Bluetooth of the Danish! The Danish civilization may be great for aggression under certain circumstances, such as on an archipelago map.

What Makes Denmark Aggressive:

  • Can easily launch sudden attacks from the high seas as embarked units have +1 movement point on sea tiles and only use 1 movement point for moving from land to sea . Melee units do not use any movement points to pillage.
  • Denmark’s Berserkers, which replace the longswordsman unit, automatically gain an extra movement point as well as the Amphibious Promotion.
  • Later in the game, the Norwegian Ski Infantry, which replaces the rifleman unit, can be used to beat your opponents with various movement and combat bonuses while fighting on snow and tundra terrains. 

9. Japan

Oda Nobunaga's Diplomacy Screen

Expand your empire as Oda Nobunaga, leader of the Japanese! Japan’s unique trait and various bonuses relating to fishing boats may make them an interesting choice for conquest on island maps involving embarking armies, especially during the middle and modern ages.

What Makes Japan Aggressive:

  • Units fight at full strength even when damaged due to their leader’s unique trait.
  • Japanese Samurais replace the Longswordmen as Japan’s unique unit. Samurais automatically come with the Shock I promotion which allows samurais to get a bonus when fighting on open terrain. Samurais can generate Great General points faster than Longswordsmen.
  • Japan also has a second unique unit: Zero. This unit replaces the fighter unit. Zeros can be built without any oil resources and receive a bonus when battling against other civ’s fighters.

8. Songhai

Askia's Diplomacy Screen

Fight for world domination with Askia’s interesting mix of warlord leader traits and unique units! Askia’s variety of bonuses and non-militaristic unique building makes him an aggressive leader and yet flexible for a wide variety of tactics, especially during the first half of the game.

What Makes Songhai Aggressive:

  • Land units gain the War Canoe and Amphibious promotions, allowing them to attack and defend themselves better while being embarked compared to land units without this promotion.
  • Songhai’s unique unit, the Mandekalu Cavalry, which replaces the knight unit, does not get penalized for attacking cities while still keeping a knight’s ability to move after attacking.
  • Receives triple amounts of gold from pillaging Barbarian camps and rival cities.

7. Assyria. 

Ashurbanipal's Diplomacy Screen

Overpower your enemies by using their own scientific progress against them as Ashurbanipal, King of Assyria! Assyria is a versatile civilization that can be aggressive both militarily, especially in the early stages of the game, and in the space race.

What Makes Assyria Aggressive: 

  • Ashurbanipal’s unique trait allows them to gain a free Technology that has already been researched by the enemy civ each time they capture an enemy city during warfare.
  • To assist in their early captures of cities, Assyria’s unique unit, the Siege Tower, is stronger than the catapult unit it replaces and gives nearby Assyrian units a 50% bonus when attacking an enemy city.
  • Given their unique building (Royal Library) and their leader’s trait, Assyria is the perfect civilization for conquering the world through scientifically advanced units! 

6. Rome

Augustus Caesar's Diplomacy Screen

Conquer the ancient world as Augustus Caesar, Emperor of Rome! Rome’s classical era unique units combined with Caesar’s unique trait makes them a formidable choice or opponent when it comes to building your empire and conquering the world!

What Makes Rome Aggressive: 

  • Rome’s most famous unique unit, The Roman Legion, is one of the strongest units of the classical era. The Legion has a strength of 17 compared to an ordinary swordsman’s strength of 14.
  • Also from the classical era, their other unique unit, the Ballista, is a stronger version of the catapult. Together with Roman Legions, these units make Rome an excellent choice for early game conquest!
  • Caesar’s unique trait, which allows for a 25% production bonus toward any building that already exists in the capital, primes Rome to become a production and thus war machine powerhouse throughout the game.

5. Germany

Otto von Bismarck's Diplomacy Screen

Dominate the landmass as Otto von Bismarck, the “Iron Chancellor” and unifier of Germany! Bismarck’s unique traits and Germany’s unique unit gives their civilization an advantage when conducting warfare on land. Germany’s unique building, which replaces the bank, also provides production bonuses to further the strength of the German war machine.

What Makes Germany Aggressive:

  • Germany can get a head start on building its armies by having a 67% chance of converting a Barbarian unit stationed inside its encampment to their side. If this conversion happens, Germany also gets 25 units of gold.
  • Germany pays 25% less for land unit maintenance.
  • Germany’s unique unit, Panzer, which is stronger and faster than the tank unit that it replaces, ensures that Germany remains a military powerhouse right into the late stages of the game!

4. Mongolia

Background Photo of Genghis Khan's Diplomacy Screen

Steamroll across the earth as Genghis Khan, leader of Mongolia! Mongolia’s strength lies with their use of horses in warfare to quickly cross and conquer a wide swath of land.

What Makes Mongolia Aggressive:

  • All mounted units have +1 movement.
  • Mongolia’s units receive a 30% combat strength bonus when fighting city-state units or while attacking the  city-state itself.
  • Mongolia has two unique units. The Keshik replaces the knight and while weaker than a knight, they are armed with the abilities to be a ranged unit, enjoy faster promotions, and generate twice as many Great General points. Mongolia’s second unique unit, Khan, is a beefed-up replacement for the Great General.

3. The Huns

Attila of The Huns' Diplomacy Screen

Repeat Attila the Hun’s historical sweep into Europe with the help of his unique traits and units! The Huns can be used for an aggressive early game expansion with mounted units.

What Makes The Huns Aggressive:

  • The Huns start the game with Animal Husbandry.
  • They also earn +1 production per pasture and raze cities at double speed.
  • The Huns have two unique units, the Horse Archer and the Battering Ram. The Horse Archer is slightly stronger than the chariot archer, the unit it replaces, and can move through rough terrain without penalty. The Battering Ram replaces the spearman and can knock down a city’s defenses while taking advantage of its Cover I promotion to protect itself from ranged attacks.

2. The Aztecs

Montezuma I's Diplomacy Screen

Rise to glory while seeking out your enemies before they can kill you! Montezuma I’s unique traits and Jaguar unit encourage a very early pattern of aggression.

What Makes The Aztecs Aggressive:

  • The Aztecs gain a certain amount of culture points for each enemy unit killed, including Barbarians, due to their leader’s unique trait.
  • Their unique unit, the Jaguar, which replaces the warrior unit, recovers from damage when it kills an enemy unit and comes equipped with the Woodsman Promotion, allowing it to cross forest and jungle tiles at double speed. 
  • The Aztecs are typically very aggressive opponents to play against. It is not uncommon for Montezuma I to backstab his allies.

1. The Zulus

Shaka of The Zulus' Diplomacy Screen

The champion of aggressive civilization leaders, Shaka of the Zulus, possesses a series of interlocking unique bonuses that make the Zulus a great choice for mid-game domination or a formidable opponent to overcome should you play against them.

What Makes The Zulus Aggressive:

  • Melee units cost 50% less maintenance.
  • All units require 25% less experience to obtain their next promotion.
  • The Zulu’s unique building, the Ikanda, which replaces the barracks, grants all pre-gunpowder melee units a unique set of promotions.
  • To further top off the warmongering bonuses listed above, the Zulu’s unique unit, the Impi, which replaces the pikeman, can make a ranged attack on another unit before taking its actual turn.

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Who knew that growing up playing Civilization and watching the likes of Rurouni Kenshin and Yugioh would lead me to learn Japanese and travel the world?
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