Old World – Beginner’s Guide

Useful Tips for New Players

In Old World you will explore the map with Scouts, expand your Nation by founding Cities on City Sites, exploit Harvestable Resources and Luxuries, and recruit armies to exterminate rival Nations and Tribes (or negotiate and trade with them). When starting a new game the map is yet unexplored, awaiting discovery.

Below is a list of helpful hints. Note that the hotkey hints may not be accurate if the control settings have been changed.

  • Units on terrain with Trees get a defensive bonus against Ranged Attacks.
  • Units of Flat and Clear terrain are vulnerable to attacks from Mounted Units.
  • Melee Infantry can fortify, gaining a defensive bonus while they remain on their current tile.
  • Land Units can more quickly across water that your Cities and Anchored Boats control.
  • Hold [B] to see your Trade Network and Connections to the Capital.
  • Training stockpiles are capped at 2000. Above this value, they will be converted to Orders.
  • Civics stockpiles are capped at 2000. Above this value, they will be converted to Science.
  • You can only use 3 of your Nation’s 4 families each game. Experiment to find out which combinations work best!
  • Unused Civics and Training in your Cities are added to your Nation’s stockpile.
  • If you don’t want to use all of your Orders, you can end your turn premarurely.
  • Your Workers can chop Wood from nearby Trees. The trees will regrow in several years if they aren’t completely removed.
  • If you don’t have enough resources to start a Unit or Improvement you can buy what you’re missing (assuming you have enough Money).
  • Building an improvement on a Hill will increase the time it takes to finish by one turn.
  • Barbarians are xenophobic tribes hostile to all Nations. There are no diplomatic consequences for attacking their Unity or taking over their land. They have no allies, including other Tribes.
  • If your territory has scant supplies of Wood, consider training military units that rely on Stone or Iron. Concentrate your limited Wood supply on building Rural time Improvements.
  • Quarries build next to Mountains produce more Stone for each adjacent mountain tile. Quarries gain a minor increase when they are built in Arid terrain.
  • Lumbermills build adjacent to Camps gain increased Wood output, as the hunters control predators and force trails through the forest.
  • Being at War against several opponents can leave your armies overwhelmed, unable to execute enough Orders to fight effectively on every front. Use diplomacy to avoid this fate.
  • Researching your way to the Lumbermill Improvement takes time. You may need to send Workers to forests and thickets outside your borders, to Chop Wood from Trees and Scrub.
  • Expect demand for Food to rise as your Cities grow and mature.
  • Upgrading Units to more advanced technology is materially expensive, but it can rapidly increase your military might.
  • Roads help Units move farther with each Orders spent, especially when the Road passes through difficult terrain. They also extend your Trade Network.
  • Ranged Units gain an extra tile of range if positioned on Hill, unless their target is also on a Hill.
  • Stationing a Unit on a conquered City Site marks the territory as yours. Failing to guard the site may result in it being claimed by a new Tribal Settlement or settled by your rivals.
  • Growing your number of Orders should be a priority. The more territory and Units that you control, the more Orders your Nation will need to function and to defend itself.
  • The power of each Law tends to increase as your Nation grows. When choosing what to research, do not neglect unlocking new Laws.
  • A City may build ships if it controls water tiles labeled as Coast.
  • Scouts can keep an eye on a large number of tiles. They can provide valuable intelligence regarding enemy strength and movements.
  • Cities with high Growth train new Settlers, Workers, and Scouts more rapidly.
  • The rate at which military Units are produced by a City is tied directly to its Training output.
  • The rate at which Projects are completed at a City depends on its Civics output.
  • Urban Specialists can be upgraded multiple times, greatly increasing the output of an Urban Improvement.
  • Most Urban Improvement types require Stone to construct. Expect high demand for Stone as the game matures and you unlock new technologies.
  • Ranged Units are efficient in battle, often attacking an enemy without having to spend Orders on movement.
  • To predict the number of orders needed for a Unit to go from one tile to another by way of a third tile, select the Unit and [CTRL+Click] on the third tile.
  • Militia and Conscript Units cannot be Promoted, but they are produced with Growth instead of Training. Cities with high Growth output may be able to train them rapidly.
  • Many Mounted Units have the Rout ability. When they slay an enemy Unit, they occupy that Unit’s tile if there is another Unit available to attack from the newly occupied tile. Although they cannot move again, routing units can chain together multiple rout attacks.
  • Consider spending Training to give Promotions to some of your Units. Units who have engaged in combat and earned Experience cost less Training to promote.
  • Tribes are not Nations. When at War with you, only their Units near your Units or territory pose a threat, unless you anger them enough for them to launch a Tribal Invasion.
  • Coastal Cities control less land than inland Cities, but they tend to be less vulnerable to attack.
  • Colder air forces clouds to drop their rain as they gain altitude to move over mountains. Most mountains have a lush band, where the rain falls, and a rain shadow on the opposite side, depending on regional wind patterns.
  • Consider dealing with Events early in your turn. Some Event options require you to spend Orders.
  • A Tribal Alliance allows you to found Cities peacefully next to your Ally’s Settlements.
  • Damaged Workers take an extra turn to build Improvements.
  • [CTRL+Click] to Force March a Unit to move past its Fatigue range.
  • If your Leader is not able to complete an Ambition before death, it becomes a Legacy. Legacies count towards an Ambition Victory but are worth less Legitimacy.
  • Tribal Strength, chosen under Advanced Setup, affects the number of empty City Sites near your Capital.
  • Non-coastal Urban Improvements must be adjacent to the City tile or to two other Urban Improvements.
  • Urban Improvements on the coast need only be adjacent to one other Urban Improvement on the same coast or the City tile.
  • With a Worker selected, hold [CTRL] and move the cursor over a tile to see what Improvements can be built there.
  • Scouts are Hidden while on a Trees tile in neutral or friendly territory.
  • Hold [SHIFT] or [MIDDLE-CLICK] to Freeze Tooltips.
  • With a unit selected, hover the mouse cursor over enemy Units to preview combat damage. Hold [ALT] to preview even for non-enemy Units.
  • Hold down [SHIFT] when moving a Unit to assign a multi-turn destination. The Unit will move (to the edge of its Fatigue range) towards that tile each turn.
  • Pressing [ESC] will close the topmost tooltip or window.
  • Family Classes determine what effects a Family has on its Cities, as well as what Laws, Luxuries, and other conditions keep them happy.
  • Scouts, Settlers, and Workers can Harvest Resources for a quick supply of Goods.
  • A Forced March permits a Unit to continue moving on the current turn when Fatigued, at the cost of 100 Training and twice as many Orders per additional Move.
  • A Fatigued Unit can only Move again on the current turn through a Forced March.
  • Flank an enemy Unit by attacking it while another friendly Unit is on the opposite side.
  • Governors can be appointed in Cities with a Garrison. Their stats apply a multiplier to the City Yields and their traits can add other bonuses.
  • Shrines provide various benefits and can help to spread Paganism.
  • Legitimacy is obtained by achieving Ambitions and acquiring better Cognomen (such as the Great). Higher Legitimacy improves Family Opinions and produces more Orders per turn.
  • Tribal Mercenary Units can be hired from Tribes by Carthage and by Nations with Orator Leaders.
  • A Disciple can spread your State Religion to other Cities. With the Orthodoxy law, they can also purge other Religions from your Cities.
  • Establishing a Theology grants additional bonuses to a World Religion. Theologies are established using Disciples.
  • A Hamlet and its upgrades, Village and Town, produce extra Money if brought into your Trade Network.
  • The Trade Network consists of all tiles connected to your Capital City.
  • Cities and their Urban tiles can be connected with one another over Roads, Rivers, or open water.
  • To find how many movement steps a Unit requires to go from one tile to another, select the Unit and hover over the destination tile with the mouse.
  • Urban Improvements require extra Stone when built on Hill.
  • Workers take an extra turn to build Improvements outside their Family’s territory.
  • Your Nation can build its unique Units in Cities with Developing Culture and a Stronghold.
  • Beware of the map edges. Raiders could be lurking beyond!
  • Any given Character can have a maximum of three good traits like Vigilant, and three bad traits like Greedy.
  • Character’s Attributes like Courage, Discipline, Charisma, and Wisdom can be changed by events and affect a Character’s abilities as a Leader, Governor, or General.
  • Keep your Family Heads happy! Influence them directly, or have other important Characters Intercede on your behalf.
  • Angry Families can rebel against your rule, spawning Rebel Units around their Cities. Your Units from that Family are not as effective when fighting against their own Rebels.
  • Family Opinion is directly influenced by Family and Religion Head Characters.
  • It may become difficult to keep all Families happy if they follow different Religions.
  • You can improve your relations with Leaders of other Nations by conducting Trade Missions with them.
  • Scouts can establish Agent Networks in Foreign Cities. Subsequently, you can assign Characters as Agents to gain visibility of the City and its territory. Agents can also perform Treachery or Insurrection Missions on their Cities.
  • Don’t forget to assign Councilors. They perform essential Missions for your Nation, and they raise their Family’s Opinion of you.
  • You need an Ambassador to conduct diplomacy with other Nations and Tribes. Ambassadors can also perform the Trade Missions and High Synod Missions.
Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 494 Articles
Being a big gaming fan, I believe that I have a lot to share with other gamers. I got my first official job in the game industry in 2005 and continue to develop there. It's a true blessing when your passion, hobby, and job combine into something one. My favorite console is the Nintendo Switch. I think you can all guess why. Because I just bought a Steam Deck. I love playing on PC, but my main love for me will always be Xbox. Anyway, it's complicated and simple at the same time. After all, I'm back in the days of the ZX Spectrum (1994)…

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