The Empires of the Smoky Skies is a scenario featured in Civilization V: Gods & Kings expansion pack. This one is quite different to other previous scenarios in Civilization V, featuring a randomly generated, Victorian-themed "steampunk" world where the industrialist great powers are in a constant struggle for the power of resources, prestige and progress in a world with low industrial resources.
In this scenario, you will command huge war machines as seen in H. G. Wells' "The Land Ironclads," and incredible airships like the flying machines of Jules Verne's Robur the Conqueror. The tech tree has been altered to adapt it to the steampunk scenario, introducing fictional and strange technologies like Subterranean Exploration, Eruptives and Noblesse Oblige, all unlocking new, strange buildings, like the Philanthroporium, the Difference Engine and the famous Tesla Coil. The new technology tree is born from the Steam Power technology.
The scenario also comes with its own steampunk-themed national wonders (the Subterranean Colony, the Carnegie Hall and the Analytical Engine), while the World Wonders are the same (the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House and even the CN Tower). Some resources and buildings have also been renamed to fit the scenario. In this scenario, Aluminum is renamed Aetherium and Uranium is renamed Luboric.
The social policies are altered too. There are only five policy trees (Labor, Culture, Industry, Commerce and Military). All of them mix social policies from the normal policy trees to avoid anything related to religion. None of them require previous "era-up"s (advance to the next era) to unlock them. The eras have also been modified. Now, you start at the end of the Industrial Era and the beginning of the Steam Era and you can research new technologies in the new Airship Era and a Future Era that ends with the repeating technology "The Grand Idea" (Future Tech).
The factions in this game only have a unique trait and a unique building. This is because they share the same steampunk units, but not the same buildings - for example, the Dalmace's Grandstand replaces the Stadium. Also, the barbarians are renamed the "Luddites". They no longer have the Brute or the Galley, but now they can train dangerous Riflemen and Dreadnaughts in their encampments.
The scenario rules are similar to the Paradise Found scenario. The only difference is that you must earn a number of Honorable Titles in order to achieve leadership of the League of Empires. Each title is earned in different ways and becomes available as the game progresses. The titles are:
- Defender of Progress - Have the most of the latest Landships and Airships
- Grand Philanthropist - Have the most World and National Wonders
- Captain of Industry - Have the highest city Production
- Lord of Refinement - Have the most Social Policies
- Master of Wealth - Have the highest Gross Gold Income
To win the scenario, you must earn at least 3 titles and hold them for five consecutive turns - once the fifth turn ends and you still hold the titles, you win.
The religion features (including the religious units) are disabled in this scenario. In addition, Militaristic and Religious City-States are omitted in this scenario.
- Eruch (uses Mongolia's colors and German city and spy names)
- Leader: Cyrus Rotheram
- Unique Ability: Tireless Watch (Airship units get +2 Movement)
- Unique Building: Aerodrome (Replaces Airship Hangar)
- History: The Eruch Empire began as a series of impassioned debates between long established noble families about the growing chaos in the world and what could be done to stop it. The debates soon reached a critical mass for action, fueled by the nobles’ fear of an uncertain future as well as their desire to protect their wealth. A secret council was formed, drawing on the leadership and military prowess that had been their inheritance from previous generations. It mobilized a small but well-equipped army. With it, the nobles carved out a large territory that would become the core of Eruch, and seceded from the old kingdoms. Outwardly, leaders of Eruch profess the glories of civilized life, and seek to spread their ways to the ends of the earth. They act as gentlemen in diplomatic affairs, but always have a rigid structure of military might ready to respond at their first call.
- Dalmace (uses Maya's colors and French city and spy names)
- Leader: Clinton Alderdice
- Unique Ability: New World Order (Adopting new Social Policies costs 10% less Culture)
- Unique Building: Grandstand (Replaces Stadium)
- History: Dalmace arose out of necessity. The turmoil of old kingdoms collapsing and new empires emerging left many people of the lower and middle classes marginalized. Some stayed in their homelands but many fled as refugees, not knowing where to go. They gathered in the country estates of nobles that did not have the heart or the force to deny their presence. Soon leaders arose from the ranks of the refugees, calling for organization, protection, food, and resources. Some nobles saw opportunity and joined their ranks, sharing their wealth. Others refused, and their estates were ransacked. These were the first Dalmace compounds, which would grow into cities that rivaled those of any other empire. Dalmace is founded on ideals, and its strength comes from the tight camaraderie and evolving culture of its humble citizens.
- Orlin (uses Germany's colors and Russian city and spy names)
- Leader: Ignace Curnow
- Unique Ability: Optimized Extractors (+1 Production from strategic resources, and Luboric resources provide double quantity)
- Unique Building: Luboric Factory (Replaces Luboric Refinery)
- History: The steady advance of science brought great changes to the processes by which products were manufactured, transported, and sold. Many otherwise shrewd businessmen could not contend with the changes and faded away, leaving room for the more adaptable. Orlin had no political existence when it began, and no desire for empire. It was a collection of ambitious industrialist that banded together for mutual benefit. They parceled out markets like territories, and together came to dominate industries throughout the old kingdoms. When the kingdoms began to fade, the Orlin tycoons clashed in a contest for power. They encroached on each other’s ventures, and delved into blackmail and assassination. A tight oligarchy emerged which controlled nearly all the means of production. With their industrial capacity, and the riches it brought, they formally entered the world stage as an empire.
- Pulias (uses Russia's colors and English city and spy names)
- Leader: Octavius Cutler
- Unique Ability: Frontier Markets (+1 Gold from strategic resources, and Aetherium resources provide double quantity)
- Unique Building: Aetherium Factory (Replaces Aetherium Plant)
- History: The exact origins of Pulias are shrouded in mystery even to this day. It seems to have emerged out of nowhere, yet its power and wealth seem too large to have been easily missed. Most sources posit a single leader who saw the opportunities of new science, commerce, and most of all politics, and manipulated affairs from the shadows. This leader sold sensitive information to rivals at a premium while using it to further the objectives of Pulias. In the early competition between empires, many opportunities were left unexplored as rivals focused on short-term gains. Pulias was the first to send expeditions to foreign lands, and established trade that brought riches to its citizens. Its spies were placed in key positions across the world, gathering intelligence and ready to act.
- Vedria (uses Babylon's colors and Swedish city and spy names)
- Leader: Luther Griggs
- Unique Ability: Inventor's Guild (+25% Production towards any buildings that already exist in the Capital)
- Unique Building: Torus Dynamo (Replaces Tesla Coil)
- History: When the old kingdoms weakened, the growing class of academics and inventors saw the opportunity to create a new kind of nation, one that was founded on principles of reason and embraced scientific advancement. They found allies in many of the old monarchists, who were looking for a way to preserve their influence, and together they became Vedria. Their ranks mixed quickly, and before long every prominent leader was expected to be familiar with scientific processes, if not involved in research personally. Vedria is marked by optimism for the future to come, and its citizens believe that the noble pursuit of science is the clear path towards it. Scientists are consulted on matters of state, and given generous for their research.
The players start with all the normal technologies up to and including the Industrial Era, but after that the technology tree has been changed significantly, and there are some two dozen technologies to research in the Steam Era, the Airship Era and the Future Era.