View Full Version : The Dawn of Civilization / Opening Strategies


SeismoGraf
Sep 07, 2010, 06:15 PM
It is the year 4000 before common era and you start with a handful of people eager to explore and conquer the world. I love the screenshot below, with the uniform black fog of war of Civ4 replaced by a beautilful cloud layer. While enjoying the music and atmosphere, the first challenge in the game waits: what to do with your warrior and settler.

In the opening there are few decisions to take, although with potentially game-changing consequences. I would define the opening of a Civ game, as the period from 4000 BC up to the foundation of the second city.

From what I've read there are quite a few changes compared to Civ4, for example:


Now every civ starts with a settler and a warrior, as well as the ability to produce scouts
Going settler first is no longer an option, because to produce a settler, the city is required to have at least 2 citizens
The economic dominance of a "worker first start" is moderated by several changes

What are your thoughts about the opening of a Civ5 game?

Krikkitone
Sep 07, 2010, 06:19 PM
Well there are a few options

1. Worker first->for Farms
2. Scout First-> for ruins+Barbs (they are better than Warriors v. Barbs)
3. Monument First->for faster border claiming/Social Policies

Scouts are particularly cheap, so I would guess at least one of them first.
Then Worker/Monument, depending on the goodness of your current/nearby tiles


The problem with Workers is that they are expensive, 70 compared to 25 for a Scout, or 35 for a Warrior.

Schuesseled
Sep 07, 2010, 06:26 PM
i'm thinking worker, then an extra warrior maybe a scout as well then ill build a setller followed by a monument.

SammyKhalifa
Sep 07, 2010, 06:38 PM
I'll probably go scout worker, as I like finding the huts.

Jewman
Sep 07, 2010, 06:41 PM
omg. 2 weeks. omg.

iop
Sep 07, 2010, 07:19 PM
Scout first. You get double gold (30 instead of 15) when you're the first to contact a city state, and goody huts don't spawn bad stuff anymore. Additionally, if you use terrain well, your scout will even survive against the wandering barbarians.

Next is either warrior, scout, or worker, depending on how dangerous the environment is (very dangerous: warrior, not dangerous: worker). By the time the worker's finished, you should have developed the most important techs, and have grown to enough population to be able to start building a settler.

SalmonSoil
Sep 07, 2010, 07:47 PM
It also depends on the civ your playing, a scout will be better for America. Or you could actually hold the scout off longer as America because it has less work to do.

SeismoGraf
Sep 07, 2010, 07:49 PM
Without knowing the exact mechanics, I think a few things can be said with a high probability to be correct in the release version.

As a rule of thumb, always move your warrior first to find the best spot for the capital. In case of doubt, losing a bit of "warrior time" will always be better than missing the optimal spot for the capital. Remember, the capital can't be moved.

A rare exception would be a settler placed on a hill (maybe adjacent to river), with good resources and at least 1 turn away from every other spot. Then I would probably settle in place, but only if the city borders reveal additional tiles as they did in Civ4. In some other rare circumstances it may be ok to move the settler 1 of its 2 movement points and then move the warrior.

Anyways, the worst-case loss of moving your warrior first is very small compared to settling your capital on a suboptimal tile.

In the OP screenshot the settler can found the capital immediately on 5 different river tiles. In the south-west there seems to be cattle, so I would probably send my warrior in this direction, to see if it is a good idea to settle SW.

Also as a rule of thumb, I'd say found your capital on turn 1 or 2. Without knowing your surroundings it is probably pointless to move the settler around longer; at least it was in previous Civ versions.

The cities now continue to grow while they produce a Worker. For example, if your goal is to pump out a settler exactly when pop reaches 2 or 3, then it pays off to calculate an exact timing for all previous production. Ideally the city grows by a pop and then starts the settler, thereby halting growth.

The effectiveness of early rushes, especially in multiplayer games is uncertain. Cities can now defend themselves, which means a player should be safe from losing his capital in the first 20 turns. Can a player investing heavily in economy with an early worker and settler be conquered or crippled with a single-city early military focus?

grant2004
Sep 07, 2010, 08:07 PM
I'd bet scout first would be the way to go, huts and natural wonders should be well worth discovering, and getting the double gold from city states will help you get things moving quickly in your capital.

Louis XXIV
Sep 07, 2010, 08:18 PM
I would go scout first unless my tiles clearly warrant investing in improvements right away. The problem I could see is having a city that grows so fast that it tempts me to build a settler before a worker, since that would just be inefficient overall.

Tibblers
Sep 07, 2010, 09:33 PM
I can't imagine not building a scout first, especially given how expensive workers are. I'd probably go Scout --> Worker --> Settler or maybe even double scouts on some maps.

iop
Sep 07, 2010, 09:37 PM
I'm not sure how long it takes to unlock the first social policy, but it might be faster to wait till the Liberty tree is unlocked before starting a settler.

Louis XXIV
Sep 07, 2010, 09:48 PM
I've heard approx 25 turns, but I can't remember from where. But it might be advantageous to build a monument in that case and wait until you unlock the bonus building settlers, you're right.

bite
Sep 07, 2010, 09:51 PM
since I plan to play as the americans, i think getting that scout first would be the best to maximize their bonus

Thyrwyn
Sep 07, 2010, 10:32 PM
I can see an early Monument being a valid strategy. Your first city only produces 1 culture/turn - a Monument increases that by +2! That drastically increases your ability to acquire early Social Policies and push your borders.

Maybe not first, but possibly second.

Another thing to remember regarding settlers - I am going to guess that you can't add one to your queue until you hit size 2.

SevenSpirits
Sep 07, 2010, 11:38 PM
I've heard approx 25 turns, but I can't remember from where. But it might be advantageous to build a monument in that case and wait until you unlock the bonus building settlers, you're right.

I know it's 15 turns on quick, so that sounds about right.

SalmonSoil
Sep 07, 2010, 11:47 PM
I think, seeing as I'm going to play Greece first, I'll go scout - monument - worker - settler.

haphazard1
Sep 08, 2010, 12:54 AM
I had not seen the cost figures mentioned by Krikkitone before. Workers expensive? They only cost twice what a warrior does; in Civ IV it was 4 times. A lot will depend on how useful the two units are -- how big are the improvements in tile yield from early techs? And how quickly will you be able to get the techs for your worker to do more than farm? And how useful is a warrior, especially if scouts are better against barbs?

More emphasis on early exploration should be interesting -- in Civ IV it was often possible, even optimal, to not bother exploring more than the very near vicinity for some time.

bernlin2000
Sep 08, 2010, 01:32 AM
The economic dominance of a "worker first start" is moderated by several changes

What are your thoughts about the opening of a Civ5 game?

Well I know that workers no longer affect the growth of your cities (which is a plus for starting with them first). Are you saying there some negatives to building a worker first? That would be my first choice otherwise, with my warrior starting exploration. Then make a scout, nice that you don't need a specific tech for it now. When to build another settler will likely depend on how good of a location my first city is in: the better it is (i.e. lots of food resources) the quicker I will get a settle out. I've never seen a huge advantage, though, to building one right when you hit 2 pop. I've played enough OCC to know that one big city is better than a bunch of weak ones.

paradigmx
Sep 08, 2010, 01:34 AM
Much of the strategy during your first few turns depend on many things, as in previous civ games. Workers and Scouts are always a good idea, but depending on your Civ an nearby hexes, each may be more or less important. I can actually see for Germany, it may be more important to get a second warrior out earlier than normal to capitalize on their Barbarian bonus, though whether it should be the first produced unit is another question.

Generally I think this would be optimal for each civ though.
America: Scout - Worker - Settler (+1 sight means you can explore faster)
Arabia: Worker - Scout - Settler (get some roads prebuilt to get that first trade route up and running)
Aztec: Warrior - Worker - Settler (culture gains from kills, start nailing Barbs)
China: Scout - Worker - Settler (no real benefit either way, but scouting is important)
Egypt: Worker - Scout - Settler (get your production tiles up to get ready for Wonder production)
England: Scout - Worker - Settler (find yourself a coastal city location sooner if your not already on one)
France: Monument - Scout - Worker - Settler (capitalize on your culture gains early)
Germany: Warrior - Worker - Settler (Your goal is barb stomping, scouts are weak, you should have an army of barbs to explore soon)
Greece: Scout - Worker - Settler (find City States ASAP)
India: Worker - Scout - Monument - Settler (India works best with less cities, get some culture flowing early instead)
Iroquois: Scout - Monument/Scout - Settler (Roads aren't as important unless you have very few forests)
Japan: Scout - Worker - Settler (again, no real benefit, but might help to find your first conquest)
Ottoman: Scout - Worker - Settler (find a coastal city location ASAP)
Persia: Monument - Scout - Worker - Settler (Get that early Golden Age sooner)
Rome: Scout - Worker - Settler - Monument (I mention post-settler because you want to get this built in Rome ASAP to capitalize on their ability, maybe even before the settler)
Russia: Scout - Worker - Settler (a resource huntin we go)
Siam: Scout - Worker - Settler (Find City States)
Songhai: Warrior - Worker - Settler(again, go barb smashing)
Babylon: Scout - Worker - Settler (maybe??? no idea what their special is)

Again, these are just generalizations, your situation may require a change in presidence. If England is already a coastal city you may want to forgo scouting for a few turns for example)

bernlin2000
Sep 08, 2010, 01:38 AM
More emphasis on early exploration should be interesting -- in Civ IV it was often possible, even optimal, to not bother exploring more than the very near vicinity for some time.

Certainly at the higher levels, when goodie huts are more bad then good, it seems. I usually play Noble or below, so early exploration is very important: I've had times where I've gotten 2 settlers and a worker, that's an advantage that has huge effects throughout the game.

SeismoGraf
Sep 08, 2010, 02:55 AM
Workers expensive? They only cost twice what a warrior does; in Civ IV it was 4 times.

In contrast to Civ4, the excess food continues to grow the city while it produces the worker; so no speedup from converting food into hammers.

Well I know that workers no longer affect the growth of your cities (which is a plus for starting with them first). Are you saying there some negatives to building a worker first?

Yes, not halting growth of the city could be viewed as an advantage in some or most circumstances. A worker first start can still be attractive, but it no longer dwarfs all other (economic) options, like it often did in Civ4. After what I've read, there could be two main reasons: improvements don't yield as much and the other options (scout, warrior etc.) have been made a lot more attractive, also economically.

I've never seen a huge advantage, though, to building one right when you hit 2 pop.

Probably building a settler at pop 2 will be the exception. Some examples: 1) playing without barbs on archipelago - here worker followed by settler seems very plausible 2) your scouts have found a choke point with a nearby enemy and settling that choke point quickly secures a whole subcontinent for a long time 3) you already got a worker from an ancient ruin (only on easier difficulty levels).

Certainly at the higher levels, when goodie huts are more bad then good, it seems.

Quote from the Civ5 Analyst: "According to 2K_Greg's list on the official site, the goody options are all positive".

remconius
Sep 08, 2010, 05:13 AM
Dont forget all units move 2 tiles, so the first moves will show more terrain. And exploring with the warrior will also go faster.
And the fact that cities can grow to radius 3 also takes a bit more planning.

I guess the first trade-off is around exploring the map with a scout and getting all or most one-off benefits
OR
improving your city with a worker to get long term benefits.

In civ4 worker always paid off, where in civ5 it might be worth to explore a bit more.

SalmonSoil
Sep 08, 2010, 05:22 AM
Probably building a settler at pop 2 will be the exception. Some examples: 1) playing without barbs on archipelago - here worker followed by settler seems very plausible


Considering that two civs UPs are based around barbarians I don't think you will be able to turn them off.

drowzyus360
Sep 08, 2010, 05:24 AM
i would think that it would also depend on what civ you start with.
i think germany is one of the civs that profits alot from goody huts and killing barbs...

craig123
Sep 08, 2010, 05:39 AM
I guess that scout - worker - settler will work best most of the time.

2. Scout First-> for ruins+Barbs (they are better than Warriors v. Barbs)

Is this confirmed (scouts better than warriors when fighting barbs)?

Edit: 100th post :w00t:

SeismoGraf
Sep 08, 2010, 06:06 AM
I guess that scout - worker - settler will work best most of the time.

With the initial warrior, this is one unit of each type. In ascending order of cost 25, 70 and 90 hammers. Good intel and strong economy. Maybe this will become one of the bread and butter build orders.

I like how the new rules in Civ5 seem to make the opening much more interesting and highly dependant on the game settings, the civ and its UU and UA, the land around you and more factors.

Other decisions also appear to be more challenging and nuanced than in Civ4: what to reseach first, which tiles to assign your citizens to, where to expand, whether to construct an early building in the capital or not, etc.

DeepQantas
Sep 08, 2010, 06:38 AM
How about completely foregoing the early settler? Second city is going to make social policies more expensive.

Build a worker to boost your city. Then a monument to capitalize on cheap social policies. Tradition should help your single city even more. After that, scouts and an army to get to know your neighbors.

rastak
Sep 08, 2010, 06:44 AM
How about completely foregoing the early settler? Second city is going to make social policies more expensive.

Build a worker to boost your city. Then a monument to capitalize on cheap social policies. Tradition should help your single city even more. After that, scouts and an army to get to know your neighbors.


Very true about social policies. I guess if there is some prime real estate that could become contested it might be worth the hit to grab it early.

ErichRommel
Sep 08, 2010, 06:59 AM
Well there are a few options

1. Worker first->for Farms
2. Scout First-> for ruins+Barbs (they are better than Warriors v. Barbs)
3. Monument First->for faster border claiming/Social Policies

Scouts are particularly cheap, so I would guess at least one of them first.
Then Worker/Monument, depending on the goodness of your current/nearby tiles


The problem with Workers is that they are expensive, 70 compared to 25 for a Scout, or 35 for a Warrior.

Where did you get the info that scouts are better then warriors vs. Barbarians?

craig123
Sep 08, 2010, 07:07 AM
How about completely foregoing the early settler? Second city is going to make social policies more expensive.

Build a worker to boost your city. Then a monument to capitalize on cheap social policies. Tradition should help your single city even more.

I hadn't thought about that - certainly seems like a valid strategy.

After that, scouts and an army to get to know your neighbors.

Nice euphemism! Don't get to know them too well if you don't want a second city. (Having said that, puppet cities don't add to SP cost do they ;))

SammyKhalifa
Sep 08, 2010, 07:13 AM
Much of the strategy during your first few turns depend on many things, as in previous civ games. Workers and Scouts are always a good idea, but depending on your Civ an nearby hexes, each may be more or less important. I can actually see for Germany, it may be more important to get a second warrior out earlier than normal to capitalize on their Barbarian bonus, though whether it should be the first produced unit is another question.

Generally I think this would be optimal for each civ though.
America: Scout - Worker - Settler (+1 sight means you can explore faster)
Arabia: Worker - Scout - Settler (get some roads prebuilt to get that first trade route up and running)
Aztec: Warrior - Worker - Settler (culture gains from kills, start nailing Barbs)
China: Scout - Worker - Settler (no real benefit either way, but scouting is important)
Egypt: Worker - Scout - Settler (get your production tiles up to get ready for Wonder production)
England: Scout - Worker - Settler (find yourself a coastal city location sooner if your not already on one)
France: Monument - Scout - Worker - Settler (capitalize on your culture gains early)
Germany: Warrior - Worker - Settler (Your goal is barb stomping, scouts are weak, you should have an army of barbs to explore soon)
Greece: Scout - Worker - Settler (find City States ASAP)
India: Worker - Scout - Monument - Settler (India works best with less cities, get some culture flowing early instead)
Iroquois: Scout - Monument/Scout - Settler (Roads aren't as important unless you have very few forests)
Japan: Scout - Worker - Settler (again, no real benefit, but might help to find your first conquest)
Ottoman: Scout - Worker - Settler (find a coastal city location ASAP)
Persia: Monument - Scout - Worker - Settler (Get that early Golden Age sooner)
Rome: Scout - Worker - Settler - Monument (I mention post-settler because you want to get this built in Rome ASAP to capitalize on their ability, maybe even before the settler)
Russia: Scout - Worker - Settler (a resource huntin we go)
Siam: Scout - Worker - Settler (Find City States)
Songhai: Warrior - Worker - Settler(again, go barb smashing)
Babylon: Scout - Worker - Settler (maybe??? no idea what their special is)

Again, these are just generalizations, your situation may require a change in presidence. If England is already a coastal city you may want to forgo scouting for a few turns for example)

Interesting ideas. I'd say that France probably wants a second city more than they want a monument, though--get the benefit of another monument without having to build one.

iop
Sep 08, 2010, 07:26 AM
Interesting ideas. I'd say that France probably wants a second city more than they want a monument, though--get the benefit of another monument without having to build one.
Depends on how much culture the palace generates, since each additional city increases the SP cost by 30%.

If the palace produces 2 culture, you gain 50% culture for the second city, and 33% culture for the third city. Thus, you have a net gain of 20% culture for building a second city, but a net gain of 50% for the monument.

If the palace produces more culture, building additional cities is worse, if it produces less culture, building additional cities is better. Given that the monument requires no tech, the palace might actually not give any culture, which would make build order quite a bit more challenging.

However, with France being able to unlock the liberty tree faster than others, I'd probably try to get a second city set up quickly and beeline for Stonehenge if I was going for huge culture.

SammyKhalifa
Sep 08, 2010, 07:30 AM
Depends on how much culture the palace generates, since each additional city increases the SP cost by 30%.

If the palace produces 2 culture, you gain 50% culture for the second city, and 33% culture for the third city. Thus, you have a net gain of 20% culture for building a second city, but a net gain of 50% for the monument.

If the palace produces more culture, building additional cities is worse, if it produces less culture, building additional cities is better.

However, with France being able to unlock the liberty tree faster than others, I'd probably try to get a second city set up quickly and beeline for Stonehenge if I was going for huge culture.

Yeah, true. Nobody will know anything for sure until we actually play the game for real, eh? :)

Krikkitone
Sep 08, 2010, 08:00 AM
Where did you get the info that scouts are better then warriors vs. Barbarians?

Arioch's site
Scout 4 +100% v. Barb
Warrior 6


and Culture-> Golden Ages, Happiness does, so there is no point in Persia building an early monument.

Szpilman
Sep 08, 2010, 10:03 AM
Given how improving tiles generally only gets you one more yield, I'd think Scout -> Monument -> Worker to generally be more useful, since the earlier you can start adding that extra culture, the more you'll capitalize on the cheap SPs before you build your second city.

And two Scouts first might be even better, to double (or 50% more if using the Warrior as well) your findings of Natural Wonders (faster golden ages), barbarians (gold, promotions), City States (gold and diplomacy) and ancient ruins.

Krikkitone
Sep 08, 2010, 10:05 AM
Yeah the extra culture might get you Better tiles (ie getting a Grassland+Wheat is just as effective as putting a farm on a blank Grassland.)

iop
Sep 08, 2010, 10:50 AM
Given how improving tiles generally only gets you one more yield, I'd think Scout -> Monument -> Worker to generally be more useful, since the earlier you can start adding that extra culture, the more you'll capitalize on the cheap SPs before you build your second city.
I agree. The 30% increased SP cost per city does hurt unless you're France or have Stonehenge.

Wolle68
Sep 08, 2010, 01:05 PM
Arioch's site
Scout 4 +100% v. Barb
Warrior 6


Where did you find that? This is what I found under scout in the units section:

Movement: 2; Strength: 4; Ranged Strength: 0; Cost: 25 hammers; Requires Resource: none

Technology: (none)

Abilities: Not slowed by rough terrain.

Notes: Looks like the Scout has access to promotions that increase sight range. It's not clear whether the correct Movement rate is 2 or 3; some screenshots show 2, and some show 3.

Krikkitone
Sep 08, 2010, 01:26 PM
Where did you find that? This is what I found under scout in the units section:

Movement: 2; Strength: 4; Ranged Strength: 0; Cost: 25 hammers; Requires Resource: none

Technology: (none)

Abilities: Not slowed by rough terrain.

Notes: Looks like the Scout has access to promotions that increase sight range. It's not clear whether the correct Movement rate is 2 or 3; some screenshots show 2, and some show 3.

Hm, I remember it having that bonus... maybe that was earlier. Oh well.. I guess Warrior if you want to bust barbs twice as fast, Scout if you want to find things (and you can use your 1 Warrior to bust barbs)

SammyKhalifa
Sep 08, 2010, 01:29 PM
Does Scout have the "ability" of not being able to attack this time around?

Krikkitone
Sep 08, 2010, 01:32 PM
No indication of that (and they are weak so they need to stick to good Terrain)

Ahriman
Sep 08, 2010, 01:52 PM
Note though that a scout probably won't die from being attacked by a single barbarian warrior unit though. So scouts are likely to be able to survive much longer, because they can run away from enemy infantry that they happen to stumble across. Whereas in Civ4, ending a turn next to a barbarian unit basically = instadeath.

Szpilman
Sep 08, 2010, 02:16 PM
Note though that a scout probably won't die from being attacked by a single barbarian warrior unit though. So scouts are likely to be able to survive much longer, because they can run away from enemy infantry that they happen to stumble across. Whereas in Civ4, ending a turn next to a barbarian unit basically = instadeath.

Very well noted, the hp mechanic might prove to be a great thing especially on early game, with scouts and cities. No more losing perfectly good stuff within a single turn's passing.

Dark_Jedi06
Sep 08, 2010, 03:33 PM
Worker is still the best option I think...though if Scouts if the ability to be offensive then as Germany I might train an army of them and rape and pillage barbarians for early gold so I can rush buildings and buy lots of hexes. :king:

Also, may I just add that the fog of war is beautiful in this game. I almost don't want to explore for fear of ruining those pretty clouds. :lol: