The krepost in Civilization V is one of the most simple, elegant, nearly hidden pieces of design you are likely to find. Every Civ V civilization gets a special ability and two altered units or buildings. The Roman legions can build roads, the Siamese wat combines culture and science, and the Americans are good at bombing things. The Russian unique building is the krepost, which replaces the barracks. It is a normal barracks plus a 25% reduction in the culture cost to acquire new tiles. Like the barracks, it is unlocked with Bronze Working, an Ancient Era technology.

That one bonus on one building creates a dynamic that simulates Russia beautifully. It encourages you to build a barracks in every city, even for a quasi-pacifist player like me who has no need to build troops in every city. That leads naturally to a more militaristic playstyle. The bonus also facilitates the creation of a large empire with extensive borders. Those borders will put you into conflict with neighbors who object to your taking up half a continent, but those neighbors might be hesitant to mess with an enemy who is prepared to mobilize troops in every part of the empire. And this mechanic starts in the earliest stages of the game, which gives it time to define your strategy and to let those cultural borders expand.

Add one unrelated bonus to one item and watch the entire play dynamic change.

: Zubon

5 thoughts on “Krepost”

  1. Holy eff. I haven’t played the Russians yet, so I using that as the excuse for never catching this. What an elegant way to change how you look at the game. I suspect the Civ V does not get enough credit for what it does right in the face of everything that it does wrong.

    1. I’d say the Romans and Greeks fit this as well. Because their advantages are all early-game stuff, you try to capitalize on that and expand/conquer quickly, but if you do it too fast, unrest and the trouble of managing a large empire kick in, and the whole thing can cave in on you. It’s only later on that you get the tech to make a large empire work.

  2. The Keshik may be a tiny bit OP, but it certainly does a good job of simulating the hit-and-run, never get hit back, tactics of the Mongols. Ride in, shoot, ride out, bring in the next round, never get touched because you’re constantly on the move. It isn’t perfect, as the promotions get screwed up when upgrading to cavalry, so it’s tempting to just keep them around into the modern era to supplement rocket artillery.

    The Roman trait seems to be a joke to me. Not that it is bad, it is actually quite powerful, but it is a literal joke. It makes it just that much easier for me to bring the aqueduct to the lands I conquer.

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