The French empire in the video game Civilization 5 is one of many different types of civilizations in the game. This guide will give cover the benefits this civilization receives along with their leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, the Ancient Regime ability and their special units like the Foreign Legion and Musketeer. There are no unique structures for the English in Civ 5.
Civilization Leader: Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte is highly regarded as the greatest conqueror that France has ever known, being an excellent general and responsible for numerous victories that expanded the French sphere of influence considerably during his rule from 1804 to 1815. Eventually he met a significant defeat at the hands of the Russians, after an ill-fated attempt to conquer their lands was mostly halted by the unexpectedly harsh winter. As would be expected, Napoleon as an AI player will always try for a conquest type of victory, being highly likely to declare war and expand his empire considerably, falling back on a culture win if his attempts at the former are halted.
Special Ability: Ancient Regime
The Ancient Regime ability is set up to benefit France’s secondary victory goal of achieving a cultural win, granting +2 culture per city up until steam power is discovered by the French empire, when the ability becomes obsolete. This is an unfortunate drawback to the ability Ancient Regime, since generally, special abilities never become completely useless at any point in time, with this being an exception. For this reason, choosing France as your empire might mean thinking twice if you decide to start a game in a later era. Otherwise, at least it should be noted that the benefit of culture is progressive over time and never truly loses its value. Early expansion will net you the largest bonus over time, however, also offset by the increased amount of culture needed to gain a new social policy.
Special Unit No. 1: Foreign Legion
The Foreign Legion is very similar to the Industrial era unit that it replaces, being the Rifleman, with only one, yet significant difference. The Foreign Legion receives a +20 percent combat boost in all of its engagements when fighting outside of friendly territory, backing up France’s pension for a conquest victory. Obviously, the Foreign Legion is best put to use on the offense rather than as a defender for your own territory, but since there is no extra cost or drawback when compared to the Rifleman when used as such, there is no real reason to actually rule it out as a defender.
Special Unit No. 2: Musketeer
The Musketeer is a Renaissance era unique unit, meant to replace the Musketman by having similar stats with the one exception of a significantly higher strength of 20 versus the latter’s 16. This bonus essentially translates to a +25 percent combat bonus for the Musketeer, mimicking the Foreign Legion which eventually replaces it, however having said bonus in any territory.