View Full Version : GOTM 2010-02: Emperor+1
Feb 14, 2010, 03:39 PM
In response to this question (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=353516) about how well we can do at Emperor+1 (level 5, one tougher than Emperor), why not find out for sure, by doing a GOTM?
Here's the scenario: I started a random game, and set difficulty to Emperor, 7 civs. I pressed ESC to get a random civilization, and happened to get the Egyptians. I played the first turn (you're not allowed to save in 4000 BC), and just plopped the city down, since the site looked OK. Then I saved and edited the save file to increase the difficulty a notch. Loading the save, where it would normally say "Emperor Ramesses, Egyptians/3980 BC", it says " Ramesses, Egyptians/3980 BC", since there's no name for this level of difficulty. Further confirming that I did it right, the first bulb box fills at 16 light bulbs.
I don't know much about the scenario, since the most I've played it was to confirm the size of the bulb box. It looks like there are only 10 tiles south of us, so we're pretty close to the south pole. Top 5 cities shows we're up against the Romans, Indians, Babylonians, and French, with Americans/Chinese and English/Greeks unknown. We've got no free advances and only 1 settler, so there's a good chance we'll be on our own for a while. On the other hand, a lack of neighbors indicates no barrier for Barbarians. There's a sad lack of shielded grassland around us, but there could be some 2N1W, 1N2W, 2S1W, and 1N2E.
I'm not going to be picky about cheats, as long as you say which ones you used. The Civ 1 GOTM never ends up that competitive anyway. What I do want is discussion and fun, so go ahead and play it again after you're done, even though you have foreknowledge.
Feb 14, 2010, 04:20 PM
Great idea! I'll give it a shot and let you know what happens.
The 3 forests look good.
The beginning plan:
-work a forest square, build 2-3 militia, look for quick kill targets & more city locations
-research Wheel, Bronze Working, Map Making
-crank out as many cities as possible
And reevaluate at that point.
Cheat-wise, first time through I'll restrict myself to only the buildings-units buying swap.
Feb 18, 2010, 02:17 PM
well, here you go:
conquest in 420AD
I'd be interested if anyone else tried the game...
quick run through:
teched up to Map Making, continued until I stole Navigation from the French
killed civs in this order: Babylon, Indians, French, Greeks, Romans
All were surprisingly easy, except Greece & Rome killed a ton of my chariots/knights... if I didn't know better, I'd say the odds were stacked.
A bit disappointed it took so long, but oh well.
Feb 20, 2010, 05:32 PM
I've tried twice (sort of) now, and haven't succeeded yet. First time, one lonely Barbarian cavalry survived out of a hut and went on a rampage, winning five straight battles and destroying my young civilization.
The second time was more interesting, but still a failure.
I picked up Wheel and MapMaking and sailed around, and quickly found the Babylonians. They had obviously just discovered Bronze Working, since the first city I found didn't have even a phalanx. So I went on to the second city, but had an incredible string of bad luck, losing about ten straight battles with superior or even odds. My army was destroyed, my gains lost, and the Hanging Gardens I took were destroyed.
I kept trying to beat the Babylonians, but being so far behind in production from my losses, it was impossible to get a foothold.
I did explore most of the world though. The enemy develops so much faster at this level, it's not much at all like playing Emperor.
With the empty, rich opening continent, it may be better just to exploit it and play the economy game. I may try it that way in the future.
Also, I made the mistake of beginning to build triremes from the capitol, which is close to nothing but the south pole. I should have known better, and I could have saved several turns from bad planning at other stages too.
I used the same tactics as I would typically use in Emperor for an easy 1000 BC world conquest, but I was making no progress. Obviously my luck was horrible, but you have to survive anyway, and I no longer had a good chance.
hellas, I'd appreciate any insights or details. Have you played much on Emperor, and do you play this level any different?
Feb 21, 2010, 06:07 AM
A barb cavalry won 5 battles!?!? Wow, that is incredibly bad luck. Sounds like I was lucky when you were unlucky: I lost a combined 14 units against the Babylonians, Indians, and French.
I play Emperor level a lot (versions 1 & 5), mostly going for quick conquest wins. Emperor+1 is different in that tech is so slow compared to the computer, there is no point in continuing it once you get several techs. In Emperor, you can out tech the computer; in Emperor+1 you have no chance (or, I've never figured out a way to do it - I'd only ever try playing on Earth as the Americans or Aztecs in version 1).
It sounds like you're very close to what I do.
The trick is setting taxes to 100% and mass buying chariots. It is easier to buy temples and switch to chariots to make it cheaper. Version 1 is easier than 5 because you can have as many cities as you want as big as you want without super unhappy people. I played version 1, btw.
You're racing against 2 targets:
-computers building city walls
-computers building musketeers
Both cases change your strategy a bit.
Until then, build lots of small cities, buy barracks, then buy temples/chariots, and attack. Chariot groups of 2 are better than sending them 1 at a time.
Don't build buildings except barracks. Don't leave despotism. Don't build anything else unless you have to build some tirimes. Some settlers for more cities are good too (for settlers & tirimes, you can buy temples and switch too).
Once you get to the point where you have enough tax revenue per turn to buy a chariot every 2-3 turns, then you're ok. About $30/turn is the minimum - by the end of this game, I was at $60/turn.
You'll need The Wheel, Bronze Working, Map Making, and Writing. If you're unlucky and there are no enemies within tirime distance, you'll need to tech Navigation (I've never had to do this, but I imagine you'd have to change to Republic, tech it, and switch back to despotism - shudder! - I almost thought I'd have to do this in this game).
To speed city and unit building, only build cities on plains and bonus grassland squares (preferably plain - no need to irrigate grassland). Those give you 1 shield on the city square. When your cities are working all the bonus grassland squares, you can work 1-2 forest squares to speed building chariots (and make buying cheaper).
When you capture a big city, stave it down to a manageable size. Build 2 phalanxes for defense and militia to keep people happy.
When the computer cities have city walls, build diplomats to sabotage them; only use them in groups of 6 in case they sabotage other buildings first.
If the computer gets musketeers, start using catapults with your chariots/knights. You might want to pillage land to cripple the cities to make them easier to kill (and slow the computer's tech rate).
This same strategy worked on Emperor+2 the 1 time I tried it, but I used shift-56 to see where all the other civs were (and beelined to kill them - otherwise I would think it's impossible to win). We were all on 1 super continent, and I got a game square in my capital. I built a barracks and only chariots.
If you want an interesting experience, create a game as Emperor +3 (or 4) just to see what happens - at 1520 BC the computer had nukes and was building spaceships. They had size 100+ cities. Interestingly, they built few cities, barely improved the land (they had no need, maybe?), and the big civs didn't kill the small civs.
Feb 21, 2010, 06:14 AM
Well, I gave it a try but this level seems to be beyond my skills.I took lessons from you and developed the wheel and mapmaking and then go for babylonians.I managed to take 2 cities but then I coudn't take more. It's incredibly hard to play this game when size 2 cities are unhappy and if you have enough cities they are unhappy at size 1. I gave up my game around 1500 BC when I realised I just can't compete other civs.
btw, Awesome job hellas!
Feb 21, 2010, 01:49 PM
I was wondering whether you were using patch 1. I and hannurabi (apparently) are using patch 5. I was already seeing problems from losing contentment, even at five cities. Another problem: you talk about building barracks, but on running an experiment, that proves to cost $2/turn before gunpowder in the patched game, the same as Emperor. For this reason, building barracks has never been part of my quick conquest strategy.
My approach to techs is a little different from yours. On Emperor, my strategy is to quickly pick up Wheel and MapMaking, then continue during my conquest to Navigation. You can usually steal Writing before it becomes useful. Bronze Working isn't really necessary.
At this level, I think I'll have to agree about reaching Wheel and MapMaking, then switching science to tax. I was caught off guard by the AI aggression I saw after I'd taken some cities, so phalanxes might actually be useful here. They also build walls far faster, so early diplomats will become essential. In any case, I should be able to steal Writing and Bronze Working. As for Navigation, the AI is likely to get that before I need it too, so it'd also be better to steal.
My patch 5 Emperor approach to expansion is to build ~4 cities, then do the rest of my expansion by war. I don't think building many more cities than that is appropriate early on when contentment is lost so fast. Later, I'd imagine everyone will be double-unhappy anyway, so it won't matter.
About even higher difficulties: Maybe you could make Emperor+2 more interesting by using CIV$, and sticking the Cure/Hanging Gardens in your capital city, for at least a little contentment. As it is, you have to jump through hoops just to make your first city function.
And above that? I tried setting up Emperor+3 once. The moment I opened a city view, the game crashed with a divide by zero error. I suspect the patched game's red shirt formula is to blame.
And... one more thing I'd like someone to confirm. I had a barbarian attack in my last game, and they landed without guards, just a leader/diplomat. Later, I saw a lone barbarian leader on a distant continent. (I figured shore bombarding it with my trireme would be a freebie, but the trireme lost. :confused:) Has anyone else seen barbarians landing parties without guards at Emperor+1?
Feb 21, 2010, 04:28 PM
I played version 1, btw.
I used version/patch 1. Using v5, I imagine you'd have to starve most conquered cities down to 1 and then build a settler to kill the city (to avoid super unhappy people). I'll give it a shot, but I'm stretched to win on emperor with v5 - emp+1 will be scary.
I have seen barbs land without leaders (rarely). Trying to remember if I'm seen a leader without guards... if I have, it would have been only once or twice in more than 10 years of playing... any chance the lone barb has his guards killed by the computer civs?
Feb 22, 2010, 12:34 AM
Sometimes the barbarian leaders lands alone.More rare is to see him sabotage your production after his legions are killed.
Feb 24, 2010, 01:55 PM
OK, I'm in the middle of trying it out with patch 5. Here's the scoop, about 1/2 way through to 880 BC (save attached). Would be interested to hear your thoughts.
9 cities (about to be 7)
killed (in this order): Babylonians, Indians, French
just captured Athens and put Greece in a civil war
captured Great Library, Michaelango's Chapel, and the Oracle from the French
I think America is north of Paris (have seen a settler wandering around), so only 4 left:
Greece (crippled; no palace)
America (non-threat, small & probably boxed in)
Greece's spin off civil war civ (unknown, but probably non-threat)
Rome(unknown, possibly dangerous if left alone)
have cities specialize: 3 are building barracks & chariots (and buying temples for chariot switch), 2 built marketplaces and are building & immediately selling barracks for $$$.
I'm only keeping the best cities I capture. The rest, I starve to 1 and build a settler to kill the city. This is the only way I know to keep people content.
I got lucky and stole a ton of gold (like 500-600) from Babylon & France. Helped buying units a lot.
So, the question now is should I kill the Greeks & their civil war civ, or go for the Romans, who are quietly teching away. I'm afraid if I leave Rome for the end, they might run away tech wise, although a few lucky bribes and/or tech steals may give us a leg up. Greece is out tech-wise, and America is a nonthreat if they have only 1 city and are boxed in by Paris. But the Roman island is so far away and I don't have sails :(
Feb 26, 2010, 01:28 AM
version 5 result:
conquest in 220AD