View Full Version : Few questions about emp or greater difficulty


beckdawg
Jan 24, 2010, 07:00 PM
I felt like a challenge last night so I started a game on Emp. Normally I play on whatever is below that. The problem I seemingly always have is my growth is just so much slower than the other AI civs. I decided to try a new tactic. Only making cities that would generate good revenue. I have always have tried to put cities on a nice fat cross but in this game I decided to specifically target rivers.

Anyways, its 870 BC and I only have 3 cities. I'm kind of worried about this. On one hand expanding cities just kills your economy in the early game. On the other, if you don't control land you don't control resources and thus you're dead anyways. So my first question is what's the proper what to determine how to grow on the higher difficulties?

In this game I went with the Inca's which is a bit cheap because they are so good but i figured I needed the help. I was super lucky to get the cover event because barbarians are so cheap. I was getting attacked with spearmen when I didn't even have archers/axemen. Part of that was bad luck in not having a open source to copper. It got bad there for awhile. Had I not popped masonry from a hut I don't know how I would have survived. Walls and being on a hill tile for my capital was enough to stave off some of the endless waves of axemen they sent. My second question is how do you manage barbarians on higher levels? I've always heard fog busting but I've never felt it worked. Plus to effectively do it you have to have more units which means more gold toward keeping those around which kills research.

I tend to be a builder which maybe that's part of my problem. I've never liked having early wars because in most cases you're just so grossly out numbered by the AI. I realize a properly executed early war can neuter your biggest rival but for the most part on high difficulty levels I don't see how you can keep most of their cities which means you're just eliminating them from the game and opening up land for your next closest neighbor to take over.

Anyways, I could use a lot of help. I can pretty consistently win on Monarch(think that's the level below Emperor). But as I try to advance farther up the chain I just seem to hit road blocks.

Edit: here's a few screen caps
http://img29.imageshack.us/i/91045958.png/
http://img194.imageshack.us/i/97911986.png/
http://img197.imageshack.us/i/63399053.png/
http://img97.imageshack.us/i/20989862.png/

TheMeInTeam
Jan 24, 2010, 07:08 PM
It's hard to guess since you aren't specific.

But you are probably 1) picking the wrong techs to research and 2) choosing the wrong tile improvements or doing so in the wrong order. Possibly 3) building too many low-ROI buildings is an issue as well.

Barbs only get tougher, but even on deity a lot of starts can be handled with only warriors (non-incan warriors, too). For the others archery will suffice. Keeping up with the AI expansion rate is doable until deity if you chop workers/settlers and settle aggressively. It's probably possible even on deity but it will give a large enough hit to research that you might prefer staying a bit smaller than the AIs and expanding through a later war.

Similarly, the AI does not do a focused, mass chop ---> axes (or other early rush unit) strategy and will fall to such a thing if its timed properly. Deity AI pays 60% for units and starts with 2 cities so it is very hard there. Below that, their early bonuses coupled by non-war prioritized chops means you can temporarily overtake them if you're willing to pay the costs associated with doing so. Very good target capitols/land can be worth it. It isn't hard to pay for enemy cities if one has say 2 gems and another has a luxury or something. Turnaround on that is fast. Targets also have variable unit building chances so keep that in mind too.

beckdawg
Jan 24, 2010, 07:22 PM
My general early tech goes like this
bronze working(+mining if needed), then to cottages(+ pre reqs). Then to alphabet to tech trade. and catch up some.

As for buildings, my general focus is on terraces/gran to whip into production. If i get a copper city I try to make that a specialty axe/archer building city which will get a barracks. I then usually try to have 1 worker/settler city and 1 commerce. The worker/settler city really doesn't need much more than grain. The commerce city I tend to focus on research.

As for tile improvements, I almost always try to cottage early. One thing I've noticed in this game though is that flood plains end up being nice for food then whipping.

The problem I inevitably end up with is more about paying for units. At 3 cities you have to have 3 units to stay and defend the city plus 8-10 if you build fog busting. Then you add in workers nad you quickly get research down to 50-60% early on.

As for the barbs, should I just have warriors stay in my cities or pick out high defense areas outside my cities and hope they get attacked. It seems like the only time they ever do get attacked is when they are far outclassed by axes or whatever you throw out there. If I stay in my cities, they will romp around destroying tile improvements.

Edit: Oh and I don't usually have an issue with keeping up with the AI in terms of building the settlers. My issue is being able to afford 5+ cities because the penalty for corruption just starts to hurt more and more as you get 5+ cities.

Berkobob
Jan 24, 2010, 08:27 PM
Crashing to 0% after you have writing and the basic economy techs is very common, at least for me. You can then pause while you add Library/(ies) and get your cities up and running.

dirtyparrot
Jan 24, 2010, 08:35 PM
I'll answer some points you've raised. For spawnbusting, outside of barb cities (that can spawn wherever there is fog) and barb events, barb can't spawn in 2x2 radius around any of your or the AI units. So find your warriors/archers good cover (ideally forested hills) and cover as much area around your territory as you're willing.

As long as you know what you're doing (i.e. how to pull yourself out of an economic hole), you can easily expand 6+ cities, but make sure that they're worth (no sense settling on garbage land other than maybe for blocking purposes). I would suggest digging up strategy guides about recovering from REXing as they're like to encourage you to expand more. Forget about how high the science slider is and focus on the amount of beakers you are pulling in.

As long as you choose an appropriate tech path, build enough workers, develop your resources in a timely manner, you should have no problem on the average start of out expanding the AI on Emperor should you choose to do so. Sure, they might be able to build their 1st city quicker, but I'll usually beat them to the 3rd, 4th, or 5th city.

beckdawg
Jan 24, 2010, 09:31 PM
Early on, how many workers should I be shooting for? Like say I've just built my third city. Is 6 workers not enough, good, or too many? 2 per city would seem to be about right to me to quickly build tiles in the early times.

I've started to try and keep an eye on locations with at least 1 good food resource to quickly get population to 2-3 people. In the past I've just eyed cities with 3+ good tiles. The problem though was that some were resources that helped like say gold/marble/stone but growth seems like a more important thing early game on high levels because you need the population to whip and you need to get cottages worked so they grow.

TheMeInTeam
Jan 24, 2010, 09:58 PM
My general early tech goes like this
bronze working(+mining if needed), then to cottages(+ pre reqs). Then to alphabet to tech trade. and catch up some.

Food before chops on most starts.

As for buildings, my general focus is on terraces/gran to whip into production. If i get a copper city I try to make that a specialty axe/archer building city which will get a barracks. I then usually try to have 1 worker/settler city and 1 commerce. The worker/settler city really doesn't need much more than grain. The commerce city I tend to focus on research.

Terrace first is a good call in new cities. The issue here is the city count then.

As for tile improvements, I almost always try to cottage early. One thing I've noticed in this game though is that flood plains end up being nice for food then whipping.

Cottages are good. Too many are bad. If your expansion is suffering, consider building more workers/settlers and using more farms. Not ALL farms mind you, but more of those kinds of cities rather than commerce.

The problem I inevitably end up with is more about paying for units. At 3 cities you have to have 3 units to stay and defend the city plus 8-10 if you build fog busting. Then you add in workers nad you quickly get research down to 50-60% early on.

Oy, it hurts just reading this.

1. Are you playing huge? If you are on a standard map 8-10 units to spawn bust (not fog bust, the game lies to you. Barbs can't spawn within 2 tiles of another unit) is a ridiculous amount. I seldom go over 4, if that.

2. And why do you need 3 units/city?! If you need it for HR, fine. If not, don't do that.

As for the barbs, should I just have warriors stay in my cities or pick out high defense areas outside my cities and hope they get attacked. It seems like the only time they ever do get attacked is when they are far outclassed by axes or whatever you throw out there. If I stay in my cities, they will romp around destroying tile improvements.

Use them to prevent barbs from even spawning. If you are seeing axes and it isn't a garbage random event, you are doing something very wrong generally, or you're playing on a map large enough to merit archers.

Edit: Oh and I don't usually have an issue with keeping up with the AI in terms of building the settlers. My issue is being able to afford 5+ cities because the penalty for corruption just starts to hurt more and more as you get 5+ cities.

Expansion can still be worth it. You have a lower % but more total commerce.

beckdawg
Jan 24, 2010, 10:10 PM
Well I realize part of my problem is I'm playing on the largest map with the the second slowest(IIRC) growth. So, my guess is that's not helping things as it pertains to barbs. As for the 2 by 2 area, are you just putting them in places barbs are attacking from? Because if you have 3 cities that aren't totally overlapping(usually i only have 1-2 tiles over lap at most) you're talking about maybe a 5 x 15 area or 65 square area roughly. To surround that with 2 x 2 people you're talking 8 for top and bottom and maybe 2 for the sides depending on the shape. which seems like quite a few units.

Barbs usually seem to come from certain areas thanks to the AI being some where near you. If you're just saying to deploy them from the direction they are attacking from and build from there than that I can see.

beestar
Jan 24, 2010, 10:34 PM
Yes, in the directions toward the AI lands, the AI will be fighting the barbarians (and spawnbusting) for you.

There are some screenshots of barbarian spawnbusting - these are quite useful. It only takes a few to give protection.

Note that you don't need to bust tiles that are fully visible due to your cultural expansion.

Cities with very low population (e.g. with low food, or immediately after a chop) can go without garrison altogether for a long time, saving you some maintenance. The sentry net of barb spawnbusters will give you warning of intruders before they can threaten your cities.

raxid
Jan 24, 2010, 10:45 PM
Well I realize part of my problem is I'm playing on the largest map with the the second slowest(IIRC) growth. So, my guess is that's not helping things as it pertains to barbs. As for the 2 by 2 area, are you just putting them in places barbs are attacking from? Because if you have 3 cities that aren't totally overlapping(usually i only have 1-2 tiles over lap at most) you're talking about maybe a 5 x 15 area or 65 square area roughly. To surround that with 2 x 2 people you're talking 8 for top and bottom and maybe 2 for the sides depending on the shape. which seems like quite a few units.

Barbs usually seem to come from certain areas thanks to the AI being some where near you. If you're just saying to deploy them from the direction they are attacking from and build from there than that I can see.

its 2 tiles in any direction. meaning one unit covers a 5x5 square of wilderness where barbs can't spawn.

TheMeInTeam
Jan 24, 2010, 11:03 PM
^ That, and you only need to block spawns that are closer to you than the AI.

beckdawg
Jan 24, 2010, 11:03 PM
its 2 tiles in any direction. meaning one unit covers a 5x5 square of wilderness where barbs can't spawn.

Ah thanks for the clarification. I was thinking something like this instead

XXXXXX
XUXXUX
XXXXXX

instead of

XXXXXXXXXX
XXUXXXXUXX
XXXXXXXXXX

vicawoo
Jan 25, 2010, 12:14 AM
Use the img forum tag to display images.

Easy way to deal with barbs, make sure your 3rd or 4th city grabs a strategic resource, and have a strong hammer city pump out two to three unupgraded axes/chariots to react to barbs. Then build a barracks/granary in the city and alt-queue axes. Then go on your builder ways.

If you don't want to crash, you need a commerce source when you settle your 3rd city. That is, riverside cottages, seafood, gold/gems/silver/fur, or some collection of horse/sheep/marble/ivory/riverside mines. Don't rely on non-riverside cottages until you have monarchy or alternative happiness sources; scientists are preferable. As you rapid expand, switch citizens from non-riverside mines to riverside cottages until your average tech rate is at least 8 bpt.

oranje willem
Jan 26, 2010, 07:27 AM
The easiest way to win a game is to have a lot of land. A tactic that is very powerfull, but not always possible is to block a decent piece of land with 2-3 cities (sometimes 1 will do). This is easiest with a creative leader (one of the reasons creative gets better on higher difficulties). Once you have blocked your land you will have 3-5 cities with room for more, but you don't have to settle them right away which would otherwise drain your economy heavily. If you have currency/code of laws settle the rest of the land and work it up asap (make sure you have lots of workers). I had this game yesterday where i managed to block 2 sides (east and west) because one side required only 1 city and the other 2. I then had room for 10(!) good cities. Easiest game i have had on immortal for a long while. I was attacking musketman with infantry.
Note that this isn't always possible, but worth to try a couple of times to see if it works for you.