View Full Version : The 'library' strategy for emperor.

Bone Crusher
Jan 24, 2006, 07:25 PM
I'm still experimenting with this one, but it seems to get me up there in the research. Maybe someone can mess with this more, improve it....

Basically I select the English exp/fin, (but phi/fin might be even better) then research wheel + pottery, while building the first worker. He is born about the same time pottery finishes or a tad earlier.

I then set about building 3 cottages, while researching Writing and building a warrior/granary etc.

I start on a library while researching Bronze, and the minute I get it I chop down to complete it.

By now my city is size 4, at the limits.
So I switch 1 or 2 scientists (depending on food resources), and soon you got yourself a GP for the academy.

By then I am chopping down settlers/warriors etc to catch up on the expansion.

The couple of times I have tried this, I ended up leading the 'Gold count" (the F9 button) pretty much all the way, and close to being the tech leader.

I played custom continents on a small map, one per continent, quick. That is risky as the opposition can end up having a greater slice of the land etc.
I did aim to get one religion, Taoism usually, as that helps the happiness. The 2 times I played like this it was no problem getting there first.

I lost the space race, as I couldn't build the units fast enough. Was first to complete it tho. Legacy of my financial aims where I ignored the production too much. It was a fun game tho with the 'library' first.


Jan 24, 2006, 08:42 PM
I'm not sure it's worth it -- I can usually snatch the tech lead shortly after researching alphabet with a "normal" opening strategy. So, it sounds like all of that advantage you got by getting your library/academy ASAP vanishes in a wisp of smoke when I can start tech trading. (I often trade alphabet around, but I suppose I could try waiting until something like mathematics/construction or metal casting and then trade that around)

Jan 24, 2006, 09:01 PM
It is a good idea to get a library in the capital somewhat quickly to take advantage of the 8 free commerce there, but I like to hire the specialists in my third or fourth city, leaving the capital for wonders/workers/settlers and second city for troops.

Bone Crusher
Jan 24, 2006, 11:28 PM
You keep up and get ahead with techs on the emperor level?
I have found it almost impossible, no matter how many cities I quickly build, and whatever opening gambit I played with chop rushing.

Maybe your 'normal' start is something I've been missing, so please share the tips if you can.

Simply I tried this in an attempt to bridge the tech gap and the advantage the AI has (besides the 2 archers, 2 scouts and the worker they start with on Emp level).

Being no.1 in commerce also doesn't mean you will stay in the lead I found out. I had like 450 to my rivals av of 330, but they caught up in the later stage also, as by some miracle (around the time of Apollo). I suspect they were trading techs with everybody but me.


Jan 25, 2006, 01:49 AM
A more powerful variant of this is to go masonry first, build the pyramids (for the great engineer) then go writing, have your GE sleep when he appears, build your library, switch to representation (+3 sci per specialist) switch to 2 scientist specialists (careful not to drop the GE % too low if you dont already have a GE), then go alphabet, then go literature and use your GE to rush the great library (the 2 free specialists also get the +3 modifier from representation). You should get a great scientist to pop for your acadamy around the same turn you build the GL.

With the above one city and active tech trading you can maintain tech parity with the AI fairly easily up to 1500AD or so up to immortal level either playing normally or on a one city challenge. On diety its a lot harder to use this strategy due to the difficulty of getting any world wonder before the ai etc

Jan 25, 2006, 10:20 AM
Being no.1 in commerce also doesn't mean you will stay in the lead I found out. I had like 450 to my rivals av of 330, but they caught up in the later stage also, as by some miracle (around the time of Apollo). I suspect they were trading techs with everybody but me.
I have similar observations from my (unsuccessful) attempts to win the space race on emperor (I was playing normal custom continents 1 per team on normal speed against 5 AI opponents, financial cottage spam + pyramids + Kremlin).

Later on I discovered that my failure to stay in the lead has nothing to do with the tech trade, since the AI stops trading almost completely after artillery/rocketry, not only with me, but with other AI civs, too. It is real hard to trade anything past this point.

The real problem was that by that time my economy reached its limit, the cities stopped growing, etc. (While the AI's economies, I am pretty much sure, kept growing).

On my last (successful) attempt I got the biology ASAP, and also paid more attention to happiness/health, so my cities were able to keep growing until the very end of the game. In this case, even when the AI stopped trading with me, I could keep the leading tech position, despite being on 4-th or 5-th position by game rating all the time.

Bone Crusher
Jan 25, 2006, 07:12 PM
Interesting Andrei.
I tend to not prioritise Biology, but maybe I should.

Seems like we are trying the same strategy, with the continets, which I think is actually pretty hard to win. I have won other ways on emperor, culture being by far the easiest, domination also relatively easy but I'd like to peacefully win with space. That would be nice.

I think Deity, no war would have to be the toughest combination to win. Maybe with the 1 per continent there might be a slim chance.
One day....

Jan 25, 2006, 07:38 PM
I generally do some combination of chopping and tile improvement until I have 3 cities (sometimes more), and the supporting cast of workers and warriors. One of those three cities I often intend to make money, and the other to be for production. (They can both be moneymakers, though, if my capital is a real strong production center)

I put a very high priority on settling gems and gold. I find seafood to be valuable too (since it has decent commerce to go with the food)

My tech progress is usually

(1) Bronze working, Mysticism & tile improvement techs. (Often skipping masonry, though)
(2) Wheel
(3) Pottery
(4) Writing
(5) Alphabet

Money-making cities build a library when I get writing. (Usually via slavery) I make cottages wherever applicable upon getting pottery. I often make some scientist specialists.

If I can get mathematics with it, I usually start trading alphabet around to get mostly caught up. I can then usually finish the job by researching either currency, drama, or construction. I often need to research the cheap religon techs by hand, though. :(

At this point, my GNP is usually competitive with the other civs, if I'm not in the lead. (No happiness resources can be a problem, though) I can cement this lead if I go for literature after alphabet -- it's usually easy to get the great library. (Though it's awkward to trade)

If I have gems, the great library, and room to expand, the AI usually has absolutely no chance to catch up until education. (And even then, I think that's due to poor research choice on my part) I generally don't get the great library, though, since I don't want to breed dependence on it.

An interesting tactic is that if you get drama, philosophy is only a great scientist away! The only problem is that it is ages before anyone has anything to trade for philosophy. :(

Bone Crusher
Jan 25, 2006, 09:06 PM
MyOtherName, that sounds like similar progress to how I play on pangea or if I have a friend on the continent.

But I can't say that I ever find myself in the tech lead, if I go to build 3 or 4 cities first. They are hard to bed down, but essential to secure some land in them instances.

I am trying now to ignore the Pyramids, and the G/library wonders. Not that I don't want them, but simply it would be nice to win without wonders in preparation for higher levels where wonders are very hard to come by (but you can generally chop down one even on Deity, where I am messing around with Spain for a cultural victory. Getting early religion is not a problem with Spain, and Pantheon is chopable for the Artists needed)

Do use GSs to get a tech? I am trying to work out if it's worth saving one or two for the renaissance era, on Printing press or Education, or even possibly Scientific Method in the industrial era.
P/press especially, as the commerce boost is substantial.


Jan 25, 2006, 09:49 PM
I've used GS's to get philosophy a lot. Founding the religion is nice, but it's also a lovely, expensive tech that the AI's won't research, so you can hold on to it for trading later. I often already have an academy when given the option. Otherwise, in the early game, I usually make an academy or settle. Towards the middle game, it seems to be generally more attractive to snag the tech.

Maybe the key is getting a gold/gems tile. I've attached the 275 BC save of my first Emporer win -- while I guess I'm not strictly tech leader yet, you'll notice that I'm a few expensive techs ahead of everybody else. I have two gold tiles in my empire, one in my capital's radius, and one in my third city's radius.

I've still been competetive without gold/gems, though. I'm running a Julius Caesar game where I've snared 7 cities (5 fairly swiftly) without any conflict, but no gold/gems, and I'm still competitive in tech. (I think I'd have parity in two turns... if I hadn't been barely beaten to feudalism. Guessed wrong on my research. :( )

(edit: attached the 4000 BC autosave, in case you wanted to play it)

Jan 25, 2006, 11:16 PM
Maybe the key is getting a gold/gems tile.
Yeah, gold/gems are pretty enormous when you only have 3 cities. Next time you get one, move its citizen around in the city screen and watch your tech bar. Working a gold hil can cut multiple turns off your research time. That early in the game, one gold hill can account for 25%+ of your empire-wide science. The only Emp game in which I've ever been competitive as a straight-up builder (no early wonders or wars) had a whopping 4 workable gold tiles amongst my first 3 cities. My tech rate was incredible, and I was actually in the lead on score from the very start of the game until 1AD.

Jan 26, 2006, 07:06 PM
Interesting Andrei.
I tend to not prioritise Biology, but maybe I should.
Let me explain a little. Suppose you have 1 grassland tile (2 food) and several plain tiles (1 food, 1 hammer).

Before the biology, you have the choice: either build a farm + cottage and wait until the city grows 1 pop more, or just build a cottage on the grassland. The result is almost exactly the same (1 cottage vs 1 cottage + 1 farm), but in the former case you have to wait until the city grows 1 pop more (and most likely face happiness/healthiness problems).

Of course you choose the latter, leaving plenty of unclaimed land behind.

After the biology the things change quite a bit: the farm on a grassland gives 1 more food (total 4), and a single farm can support 2 cottages built on plains. Or a farm on the plains (3 food) can support a cottage on the plains. Now it makes a perfect sense to let the city grow over the plains, since every pair of plain tiles lets you work one cottage more.

Not a big deal it seems like, but still quite profitable. Maybe that tiny difference is exactly what you need for staying in the tech lead. :)

Bone Crusher
Jan 26, 2006, 09:31 PM
Yeah, seems like I'm missing some basic ideas alright, which is good, as it will prepare me for higher levels, leaving room to improve. The irrigation, plus biology asap is one. Another is watermills & workshops, which I have never used also.

It was only the other day I realized that the financial trait gets only one extra gold for tiles giving 2 or more, instead of the 1 free for every 2 as I thought. What a rookie mistake. I'm now re-evaluating the fin trait as a 'must'. I'm doing fine in my current game as Peter (phi, exp), 'growing by acquisition' due to my 'friends' declaring war.

I am also starting to think that the phi trait might also be overvalued, unless going for a cultural win. They used to be a 'must'.
So it's great to learn and discover, experiment. Soon I hope to get the official Civ 4 so I can get the patches, as the non functioning Ironwork is a real late problem.


Jan 27, 2006, 07:25 AM
Another is watermills & workshops, which I have never used also.
Consider windmill + cottage instead of mine + farm as well. Note that when the cottage becomes village/town, and you have adopted Universal Suffrage, it produces 1 extra hammer. So you lose little or nothing productionwise. :)

Jan 27, 2006, 08:19 AM
A few comments about the 'specialized' cities.

I do agree that some cities must stress production, while the others, commerce. I disagree, however, about certain buildings.

If I have a commercial center with 1 or 3 hammers, I still need a forge in it, if I have access to gold/silver/gems. In this case the forge increases happiness (at the expense of -1 health, though), even if it adds nothing to production.

Likewise, if I have a production center with little or no commerce, I still need grocers (+1 health from bananas, spices, sugar, or wines), markets (+1 happy from ivory, furs, silk or whales), and many other things.

Also, after the biology again, when the farms around a production center become more efficient, it makes sense to replace a few of them by cottages, and maybe build a few windmills instead of mines. After a while, when the cottages become villages, they'll provide 1 extra hammer, compensating for the lack of production, not to mention the extra commerce.

Mar 03, 2006, 02:00 PM
I haven't tried this but I think you're better off using the forests for the pyramids. Maybe a good strategy if you know you can't build them for lack of stone or forest. In my experience, the other AI's always get more land thatn me no matter what I do. I'm happy when I can get 15% with my initial settlers.

Mar 03, 2006, 11:21 PM
this is why Ive settled on playing Qin. Ind gives me half production time on wonders. And I dont think I can beat emperor at all without the Fin trait. Also the starting techs work a bit better for me than elizabeth's. Agriculture over fishing especially can help with early health problems from chop expansion if IM not able to squeeze in Agriculture with elizabeth. If I have stone or marble nearby I can crank out a LOT of early wonders with Qin. Not quite as good as the POhi double GP points, but having hanging gardens, parthenon, pyrmaids, stonehenge and the oracle if im lucky. Im working on skipping stonehenge as sometime si get swamped by barbarians if im not heavily wooded, but if i get it up and pop a great prophet i get a religion. Sometimes I have to choose between the pyramids and stonehenge, and i dont want to, and try for both and really screw up. Sometimes IM slow with the library as if im spreading wonders to two early cities the capital has to share some military cranking duty. I am playing continents, not custom conts, which might be best as I dont have to worry as much about a war by religious conflict early on if im alone on a continent, but i do want to tech trade, and diplomacy works best if i have a good friend(biggest factor in actually winning a game was finding an AI partner to help in war) ive converted and traded with. I loved spreading christianity and conquest with the chinese allied with the mongolians against the germans and french.

Bone Crusher
Mar 05, 2006, 09:03 PM
I got to agree with you there mattspoker. I have settled for Quin also now, and win pretty comfortably on emperor, especially if in epic speed.

I have long forgotten about the 'library strategy', I'm trying to get the G/lighthouse and Colossus instead, together with Henge but mainly Oracle.
All specialists are then added to the city to fund expansion.

Might not be so easy on Immortal, we'll see.