In Civilization II, minor villages, also sometimes known as goody huts (according to the manual), are the locations of small tribes that have not reached the level of "civilization", that is, they do not build their own cities.

What this means in terms of game play, is, that if your unit, or the unit of another civilization, should happen upon the square, the people there will react in some small way to the incursion. This reaction can be either positive or negative, usually the former.

The reactions are:

  1. The people of the village are impressed by your unit, and decide to join your civilization as a city. this happens fairly rarely.
  2. The village may posses some form of knowledge ("scrolls of wisdom") explaining some technology that your civilization does not posses. This happens fairly often, even later in the game, when you come upon ancient scrolls of wisdom explaining the railroad, or something along those lines.
  3. Inside of the village, treasures of some rare metal are formed, and you get a bonus of gold in your treasury. This is one of the more common outcomes.
  4. The people of the village decide to join your civilization as a military unit, and you gain a free unit. Oftentimes this unit is more powerful then anything you currently have. This outcome is also fairly common.
  5. On the other hand, sometimes the people of the village are horribly offended by you stumbling across them, and turn into a barbarian horde. These hordes can often be quite threatening, and this outcome is fairly common. It is why some people shy away from going into the village squares.
  6. Sometimes the village is abandoned and nothing happens when you go into it.
  7. And finally, sometimes the people of the village wish to join your civilization, but being nomadic, they choose not to turn into a city at that point. They become a settler or engineer unit that you can do with as you will.

On large game maps in Civ, the importance of the village squares can totally transform a game. It seems that on larger maps, the villages tend to turn into cities more often. By sending out two fast moving units such as horseman early on in the game, it is easy to get anywhere from a half dozen to a dozen cities early on. Since this normally would take twenty or more turns to build a single settler unit, this can effectivly speed up the game time by a factor of ten or more, especially when the fact that all your cities can begin to send out settlers fairly quickly is factored in. Together with the money and science that can be gained, skillfully seeking out minor villages can set your game thousands of years ahead of schedule.

Just watch out that you don't stir up on barbarians...since early on in the game, when your cities are often poorly defended or not at all, a three or four barbarian chariot units can quickly take over several cities at once.

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