Ayutthaya offers its best benefits to cultural players who have either highly productive cities or an abundance of Gold. If they focus on constructing or buying buildings throughout their empire, the Culture benefits from this city-state can add up to a meaningful amount. However, this city-state should be a low priority compared to more powerful cultural city-states, such as Antananarivo.
Overall, Ayutthaya is somewhat similar to Fez in that their Suzerain bonus only offers a small amount of a secondary yield at unreliable times. However, while Fez requires incredible timing, for the player to have achieved multiple contradictory goals such as having a religion and high Faith output while ultimately focusing on Science, and being lucky enough to have many nearby unconverted cities, constructing buildings is something that all empires will simply do anyway, making Ayutthaya a helpful city-state for anyone to control. Ayutthaya typically produces less Culture than Fez does Science each time their bonuses activate, but Ayutthaya's bonus generally happens more often and is much more dependent on the player's choices rather than map generation.
Ayutthaya is probably best utilized by scientific civilizations trying to keep up in Culture as they peacefully construct buildings in their Campuses and Industrial Zones, as a scientific focus requires the most amount of Districts and therefore buildings amongst all the Victory types. Similarly to Fez, this catch-up strategy works best in the first half of the game when passive Culture output is low, as finishing a single building with Ayutthaya's bonus can equal multiple turns' worth of Culture. However, as players and AI generally build more Campuses than they do Theater Squares, this strategy stays relevant longer. If you are making use of this strategy, it should reach its peak around the late Ancient to mid Medieval Era, or Turns 60-165 in a Standard speed game.
Some buildings you may be constructing around this time and Ayutthaya's reward for constructing them include:
- City Center
- Theater Square
- Holy Site
- Government Plaza
- Industrial Zone
- Entertainment Complex
- Commercial Hub / Harbor
As the Khmer Empire declined in the 14th century, the lands that it dominated started to assert themselves. In the Chao Phraya valley, in modern-day Thailand, a series of Theravada Buddhist city-states called “mueang,” populated by Thai-speaking and Lao-speaking peoples, began to split off from the Khmer, asserting their own linguistic and cultural independence while retaining the religion, royal traditions, and many other cultural and legal features of the Khmer. Mueang were “mandala states,” kingdoms without defined borders but centered on a city that stressed beauty, artistic achievements, and cosmopolitan outlook – think of countries in that time not as the bounded puzzle pieces we see on a map today (or the bordered civilizations in your current game), but as magnets, drawing in people and power from the landscape. Power and profits came via royal monopolies on certain goods – especially porcelain or incense (the name of Vientiane, a Lao “mueang” from the same time, means “city of sandalwood”).
Once the mueang were free of the Khmer, they made war on each other. And, through the course of the 14th and 15th centuries, one became dominant. Ayutthaya, named after the city in the Hindu epic Ramayana [Ramakien, in Thai], became first the center of the Chao Phraya river plain, and, later, a significant power in mainland Southeast Asia, one that European travelers compared with India and China. In the course of its rise, Ayutthaya struggled diplomatically and militarily with its neighbors, especially the Burmese, who conquered Ayutthaya in the 1500s, but were rebuffed by the ambitious warrior-king Naresuan. Ayutthaya could also be the aggressor: at its height, Cambodia, parts of Malaysia, and Laos were controlled by the kings of Ayutthaya.
The city flourished in the 1600s, and the kingdom was called by some travelers a name we might find more familiar – Siam (itself derived from a Khmer word, or possibly a Chinese term). The kings of Ayutthaya were curious about the world and open to it, and employed Japanese, Arab, and European councilors to help them navigate the tricky realm of international diplomacy. The city itself, situated on an island in the middle of the Chao Phraya river, was large for the time, with about a quarter million residents, and had a cosmopolitan, polyglot nature – communities of Japanese, Chinese, and Europeans were established in the city and mingled with the locals. Gender roles, too, were relatively progressive in comparison with East Asia, South Asia, or Europe. One Chinese traveler remarked that “it is [Siamese] custom that all affairs are managed by their wives,” and Alexander Hamilton noted that the “Women in Siam are the only Merchants in buying Goods.”
Ayutthaya did not decline; it crashed. Specifically, it crashed against the Burmese army, yet again. In 1767, the Burmese sacked Ayutthaya and destroyed it, carrying off the gold of its temples, many of its skilled artisans, and putting most of the city to the torch. Siam reformed some years later further south, in a city called (in part) Krung Thep, a city known to foreigners as Bangkok. Today, Siam – Thailand - remains the only country in the region not to be formally colonized by a European power.
- The symbol of the Ayutthaya city-state is based on the Wat Chaiwatthanaram.
|Civilization VI City-states |
|1 Requires DLC|