View Full Version : The 4 rules of Wonder addiction


Ision
Dec 07, 2003, 04:35 PM
Let me start by saying that I DO build wonders, and I think they are a wonderful part of this game. They create variety and lead to a myriad of different strategies. Having said that, had I not been a victim of ‘wonder fixation’ as a newbie I would have become a better player FAR faster. My learning curve to Monarch would have been reduced by months – my first Deity victory would not have taken over a dozen failed attempts.

New and inexperienced players (chieftain to regent) make certain common errors. High among these is “Wonder Fixation”. I too was not exempt from this common newbie mistake. In my chieftain/warlord stage I would feel angry and cheated if I didn’t pull the Pyramids or Great Library. My second city was ALWAYS a wonder city. Even in my warmonger games I would set aside 2 core cities to try and ‘hog’ the wonders. This habit has a negative 3-fold effect:

Firstly, new players struggle with worker management, happiness, military tactics, and quick city expansion. Wonder building significantly detracts from a player’s ability to master these areas. Consequently, this will lengthen the time it will take for a player to advance in level. For a new player - the time, effort, and shields it takes to build an Ancient Age wonder will never make up for the benefits of having used those 400 shields to build workers/settlers/troops. In the Ancient Age each and every city is VITAL.

Secondly, there is a ‘crutch’ effect to certain wonders that hampers your mastering the nuances of the game. Having trouble keeping up in tech? Ah, I’ll shoot for the Great Library – every time. Do your cities take too long to grow? Ah, I’ll shoot for the Pyramids – every time. Are your people always rioting and unhappy? Ah, I’ll shoot for Artemis or Hanging Gardens – every time. There’s just one problem here, the moment you go up in difficulty level, the strategy doesn’t work – and now your skill level is too underdeveloped to compete at the new higher level.

Lastly, certain CIV traits lend themselves better to building certain wonders. So once you have picked your ‘must have’ wonder(s), you find yourself picking the same 2 or 3 CIVs – every time. You convince yourself that they are the ‘best’ CIVs. But you have now cheated yourself out of 90% of the fun of playing this game. The game will bog down to - same old, same old.

My advice is simple: do not build a single wonder until you have mastered Regent level. Do this, and you will have your first Deity victory in a fraction of the time it took me.

Now it’s time for Ision to do a reality check. If 100 newbies read this post I would be surprised if even 1 were to actually take the advice. The appeal of Wonders to a new player is simply too strong. There’s something psychologically comforting about seeing that pop up window with a wonder that is ‘yours and yours alone’! That city screen just looks SO much better with that big fat building staring back at you. You just have to do it – you can’t help it – wonders are the heroin fix of all new CIVers. So if I can’t get you off the addiction the best I can do is offer a little methadone treatment.

Okay, here goes: the 4 rules of newbie wonder addiction –

1. The Great Library is OFF limits. Never, absolutely never build this wonder - not even with a SGL! The single biggest wonder crutch of CIV - is this wonder. Your skills at tech research, tech trading, diplomacy, and the use of the luxury slider will be TREMENDOUSLY hampered. This single wonder delayed my Regent to Monarch transition by months.

2. Limit your wonder building cities to just 1. This will hurt your soul. Later in the game you will want to scream! Because, you will have numerous core cities that could also be building wonders - and with a good shot at getting them. Don’t do it! Keep that heroin down to one shot (city) per Epic game. Hard to do – but doable.

3. Every time you start up a new game of CIV – purposely choose a different Ancient Age wonder to shoot for. This will help you avoid the, ‘this is the best CIV’ or ‘the best TRAITS’ crap. It also will help you avoid locking into certain strategies.

4. Lastly, repeat after me – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BEST CIV OR BEST TRAIT. Get that in your head! Say it ten times daily – repeat it every time you stare at the list of CIVs to choose from. – Repeat it every game until you reach at least Monarch.

Well that’s it in a nutshell. Keep those wonders down in your learning stage and you will truly learn to properly appreciate them later.

Ision

JustBen
Dec 07, 2003, 05:03 PM
Bravo. A concise statement of what experienced players have been trying to explain even half as eloquently for quite some time.

*misleading discussion snipped*

A well-written and thoughtful piece. Most importantly, all of your conclusions are correct. :thumbsup:

Ision
Dec 07, 2003, 05:14 PM
Just Ben,

Thanks for your kind words and positive response.

As to your critism:

I stand corrected - you are 100% correct. I have edited my post to delete this statement.

Ision

apparition
Dec 07, 2003, 05:32 PM
But every new city I build or capture instantly has

Research lab
Grainary
Hydro plant
Barracks

Easy... oh right. I see your point.

superslug
Dec 07, 2003, 08:59 PM
I hardly ever build wonders...it's much more efficient and effective to take them over from the AI.

DS_Legionary
Dec 07, 2003, 10:31 PM
Very informative Ision. Newbs really should take this to heart. It will save them alot of trouble later on. I wish someone would have told me stuff like this when I first started. I wouldn't have taken me 3 months to move up from cheiftain.

@Superslug: I know what you mean. I now almost never build any wonders until the Industrial Ages.

wilbill
Dec 08, 2003, 12:55 AM
Well said, Ision. There are probably a dozen other common "beginner" crutches that are constantly mentioned in posts here. A lot of them include the word "Always".
"I always play the (fill in favorite civ)"
"I always play (favorite map type)"
"I always use this unit build order"
"I always start warfare in the Industrial Age"
It always seems to me that playing the game over and over the same way would be boring as well as obviously limiting the ability to learn more about the game from varying the experiences and challenges.

Hawkster
Dec 08, 2003, 07:28 AM
Strange - I posted a very similar thread here recently - so needless to say I agree completely ;)

Bloodied66
Dec 08, 2003, 03:45 PM
I think it is key (both for variety and to make yourself better) to have a goal in each game and go for it. For instance, since I haven't really experienced modern warfare in Civ3, in my current game on a huge map, Im going to try to do no wars of conquest before ALL techs have been researched. Silly me, I forgot to uncheck the other victories, so I plan to win by one of them and then give all the techs to all of the AIs and declare war on all of them.
Hopefully this will help me become familiar with modern military strategies, where everyone has modern armour and MI and stealth bombers, and yes, even nukes.

CIVPhilzilla
Dec 08, 2003, 07:24 PM
I have to admit I have that habit, let's hope that I can eventually break the habit.

Deatvert
Dec 08, 2003, 07:35 PM
good advice

DruguLa
Dec 08, 2003, 08:19 PM
Well, Ision, I took your advice, and I managed to achieve a Conquer win on Warlord (I moved up a couple days ago) without building a single wonder and only building needed improvements. I was surprised on how easy it was, since I was able to afford a ton more units because I didn't have every improvement in each city :P Thanks for the help!

ongwin
Dec 09, 2003, 01:57 AM
Great advice, thanks for sharing with us. Now I know why I always cannot get past chieftian level... lol. Thanks to all you guys out there too! I've learned a new trick, trade for tech, don't research for it!

You guys are great!!!

phizuol
Dec 09, 2003, 11:53 AM
I took this advice last night and its golden. I did build the Great Lighthouse simply because I was running out of things to make and started on an island chain. The big one was passing up the Great Library. Talk about a huge crutch, now I am learning how to wheel and deal for techs with the AI. I'm also seeing how being a Scientific civ might be a lot more advantageous than I thought before. =/

As a side note I'm starting to see possible merit in the Seafaring trait. Just having the lighthouse gives me a big advantage for getting around and meeting new people. I can't wait for contact and map trading, hopefully I can make some profits. Since I got C3C I've been playing the Maya every time, but now I'm starting to wonder about Seafaring...

Brewster
Dec 10, 2003, 07:22 AM
Very sound advice. I refuse to move up a level (currently on Monarch) until I can pull off all victory conditions (not all in one game like some of the posters here) with any of the civs. I tend to miss/avoid most (if not all) of the ancient wonders and my gaming has improved quicker than I thought it would.

I am trying a game I call "The No Wonder Blunder". I started this game when I was addicted to the GL and Sun Tzu's but stopped when I had missed both due to an unfortunate starting location. The other night i fired up the game and found that I was in a position to win the game without building a single wonder.

mad-bax
Dec 10, 2003, 08:40 AM
Nice post Ision.

Wonder fixation is one of the handicaps that the AI play under. If a wonder is available they'll try to build it in their most productive city. Getting away from this fixation is a big part of becoming better than the AI.

Slightly OT, I have held the view for some time that the Great Library is a dangerous wonder to build and normally ends up hurting you, rather than helping, for a variety of reasons I won't go into here.

Unless I and playing for a 20K game I rarely build wonders. Any wonders come from capturing or leaders.

NobleLeader
Dec 10, 2003, 12:18 PM
Very good, I agree.

I only use "always" to say: I always play Random !

Random Map, Random Terrain, Random Civs, Random Barbs.

Except when I want to pratice something more specific, like to use some UU.

SirPleb
Dec 13, 2003, 01:00 AM
Ision, this is an excellent post! I hope that every new player reads your advice here and takes it to heart. I want to underline the most important statements in your post, but that would mean repeating your whole post! :lol:

I want to add a comment about rule 1, re the Great Library: Please don't think that this rule is just to deliberately make your game harder. The Great Library can have a worse effect than just as a crutch - counting on it stops you from even thinking about getting ahead in tech and thus limits your gameplay.

Also a comment about how long you should apply Ision's four rules: If you want to keep moving to harder levels then keep on applying these rules! Apply them all the way to Emperor level. When you get to Deity level you shouldn't need rules 1, 2, and 3 anymore. That's because on most randomly generated maps at Deity you won't be building any Ancient wonders anyway :) (Most of the time at Deity it either isn't possible to beat the AIs to Ancient wonders, or when possible it isn't worth what it costs you, you have to give up too much in development to be first to the wonders. But it won't matter anymore because by then you'll have learned to survive without building wonders!)

And lastly, do keep using rule 4 even at Deity! :lol:

Zer0xChan
Dec 13, 2003, 05:23 PM
Yeah, I've been playing on monarch now for a little while and could probably afford to try a higher difficulty level since I tend to find the nearest civ and declare war on him...soo much fun as the celts with those fast moving gallic swordsmen ;)

Then have everyone else on the continent declare war on him as well. helps to slow down the tech pace for the area and keep the other civs busy from expanding too quickly while I make units and settlers.

Yeah, have to be careful with trying to build too many wonders, the wonders I do manage to get in are usually from a palace pre-build. This most recent game on monarch I managed to get in the pyramids, great library, and the statue of zeus (killed the dutch who had ivory ;) ). Captured the oracle from the dutch...but it was obsolete quickly anyways.

I tend to play archipeligo maps with the most landmass option since it's a bit easier to go about doing things without other civs on every border, (although the last game was 2 continents) and not all the civs contact each other so soon to start trading with each other. just get everyone in a war on your continent then take them over one by one. Just the way I go about things...I don't really bother much leaving my continent since the forbidden palace and corruption is broken atm in conquests so I'll just wait for a patch to fix it to finish my other games.

Great library wasn't necessary, but aside from toying with the dutch for techs, it was nice leaving science at 10% for the gold.

snarko
Dec 14, 2003, 09:51 PM
I recognise myself so much in the first post. I never stopped being a wonder addict, I just stopped having time to build them. The ai keep beating me to it anyway. Like two games ago when I was beaten by two turns once and one turn twice :mad:. (I had time to do it in that game and didn't want to go kill the AI yet)

Well, I end up conquering most of them anyway when the AI piss me off enough ;)

JustBen
Dec 15, 2003, 08:11 PM
*erroneous post; sorry*

eae
Dec 18, 2003, 03:26 PM
I have to say that you are indeed correct about the entire strategy. However, perhaps you overexaggerating how difficult it is move on to higher difficulties not keeping this strategy in mind. You only need a little common sense here.

I, for instance, build every wonder I can. In chieftain that's every wonder. Period. In monarch, that's every wonder past a certain point, maybe miss the first five or six. In deity, it's only one or two in the end.

Why so? Well, I doubt there is anyone foolish enough to think that it's a good idea to try to build any wonders on deity in the beginning. The computers build faster, get free cities, and never forget wonders. Your chances are next to nothing.

So what's my point? Wonders are cool, so they're fun to try to get if there's any hope. Really. :)

Zardnaar
Dec 19, 2003, 02:12 PM
Can someone ansewer me this? What type of player am I? I started playing on Regent an am still there. I just about never build the great librtary as I'm usually number 1 in tech anyway. My 1st win was diplomatic victory and my next is heading for a cultural one. I've played 10+ gams of civ 3 but have only finished 1 so far. Each time I play I change map types and usually a new civilisation.

I've played.

Germany
Persia
America
Iroqous
Egypt
Greece
Sumerians
Inca
Maya
Scandinavia

When I was the Sumerians I went into wonder addiction. I am heading for a cultural win and had finished expanding 1st though. I usually keep my number of cities low (around 10-20) and dislike war alot. The Sumerian win was interesting as I had to beat back 2 Celtic Gallic Swordsman offensives with a smaller army. I had to strip my empire of units to defend 3 cities while my units were dying and his retreated while avoiding a GA with my Enkindu Warriors.

I figure once I can get 3-4 wins with a variety of Civs and win conditions I'll step up to the next difficulty level. I believe I have learned there is no best Civ traits although I really enjoyed playing as Greece and Sumerians. The "worst" Civ traits are prob ably Expansionist, Seafaring, and Militaristic but even then they are good dependinmg on what type of map or play style you prefer.

Have a strange feeling to play a Religeous/Commercial civ or Scientific/Religeous civ next.

Ribannah
Dec 19, 2003, 06:28 PM
Ision,

What you seem to be assuming is that Diety level is the true game, so you want to get new players to that level, in the end, and so you prepare them for the restrictions Deity is setting.

I don't agree with that assumption. Emperor level comes, IMHO, closest to how the game is intended. It offers the most variety in available tactics and strategies. In other words: it's the most entertaining level. I think new players should be guided to learn to play at Emperor level. Anything above is an extra / a new challenge to the ones that have mastered Emperor, but doesn't offer a richer game.

Now from that assumption, it is important to realize that building more than a single wonder, even of the ancient ones, is still a viable strategy on Emperor. Restricting oneself to just one (ancient) wonder at lower levels therefore doesn't quite prepare one for all the possibilities that the game is offering.

Instead, I think new players should try all kinds of different playing styles and improve their skills from level to level with all of them. In fact, more experienced players will also keep learning if they do that, instead of repeating the exact same strategy (can you say 'mass upgrade'?) in each and every game.

Ision
Dec 20, 2003, 12:44 AM
"What you seem to be assuming is that Diety level is the true game, so you want to get new players to that level, in the end, and so you prepare them for the restrictions Deity is setting."

I make no such assumption. The intent of my post is to point out 2 facts: firstly, that your learning curve to move up to any level - even chieftan to warlord - will be vastly improved if you can do so without having to rely on a wonder strategy. Secondly, that an over fixation with wonders hinders a players ability to play at the higher levels.

As to how the game is intended. The developers created this games standard setting as 'Regent - standard maps'. How many varieties of tactics and strategies a player has is not dependant on the level he is playing on but on his skill level at that level. An early archer rush by a newbie at warlord level is approximate to one by an expert player at emperor. Both players are percieving about the same amount of challenge from the game.

That Diety level changes the game dynamics to a point were the game play itself is changed - I AGREE - however, a player must have been able to reach diety level in the first place to know this. As far as an average regent player is concerned, the dynamics of Emperor level is no more than an extra challenge that does'nt offer a richer game.

According to every poll I have ever seen the VAST majority of players are Regent/Monarch players, followed by Cheiftain/Warlord players. Emp/Diety players are THE smallest minority of CIV players. My post is for those that would like to to take a crack at that smallest of minorities. Those that are happy to play Chieftan forever - hey, great - I consider any CIVer at any level a valued member of the CIV community.

Ision

Ribannah
Dec 20, 2003, 06:47 AM
Originally posted by Ision
I make no such assumption.
I was hoping you would say that (hence my use of the word 'seem'). :)
It is easy to forget that only the dedicated few will reach the highest levels, and many don't even aspire to and enjoy the game nonetheless.

How many varieties of tactics and strategies a player has is not dependant on the level he is playing on but on his skill level at that level.
For a part, yes. But the lower levels do not provide strategies that bank on the strengths of the AI rather than their weaknesses (and the human player's strengths).

My point remains that players should practice many strategies if they want to get to a higher level, that building a good number of wonders is one such strategy, and that while it shouldn't become a fixation it shouldn't be neglected either.

JustBen
Dec 21, 2003, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Ribannah
My point remains that players should practice many strategies if they want to get to a higher level, that building a good number of wonders is one such strategy, and that while it shouldn't become a fixation it shouldn't be neglected either.
The trouble arises when you begin to follow a course of action that you don't even realize is a strategy -- in this case, we're talking about a mechanical obsession with the construction of wonders.

Sure, many people understand strategically how to use wonders and what wonders to build and when to build them. These people are not Ision's target audience. If you've already figured out that you don't need any particular wonder to win a game, to quote Johnny Truant, "This is not for you."

The whole thrust of this article is that there are other strategies out there. Honestly, who plays this game for 6 months on Warlord and then suddenly thinks to himself, "Oh my gosh! I just realized there are all these fantastically expensive buildings I can make that unleash a wealth of new strategic options if only I can build them before my opponent! Wow! I can finally take my game to the next level!"

This article is about taking a step backward so you can take two forward. It's aimed at a very specific sort of player (the novice) with a very specific goal (get better at the game). While you're technically correct to claim that abstention from wonders is unnecessary, you're making the point in exactly the wrong place. Anyone who needs Ision's advice and then follows Ision's advice will come to your conclusion at his/her own pace. Isn't it better to find strategy on your own than to be spoon-fed it every step of the way?

Ision
Dec 22, 2003, 04:29 AM
Just Ben,

Thanks for saving me the trouble of another long post. Your assessment of my article's intent, target audience, and goals - are wholly accurate.

Ision

Kaboth
Dec 22, 2003, 05:16 AM
Obviously the intended audience is not trying to do a 20k culture victory under this advice but then I guess that is hard to do on the higher difficulties anyway I suppose.

Ribannah
Dec 22, 2003, 05:33 AM
The idea of going to the opposite extreme as a remedy, in order to unlearn one extreme, is often proposed in strategy games (and in RL situations as well).
The intent of Ision's well-meant advice is clear enough, it's just that I've seen it fail so many times. Instead of teaching the player something, it only gets her more confused and her game more unbalanced.

Xether
Dec 22, 2003, 09:09 AM
I think the main Tactic newbies need to follow is to be very aggresive and militarilistic in the highier difficulties.

I remember my first games i played when i first started. I would build my first military units in the late ancient age because i had "improvement symdrome" where i would only build military units when i built every single city improvement avilable.

Ofcourse this is impossible to do above monarch difficulty unless you like giving into the AIs demands making you even more weak.

i think They need to learn that they can't keep up in tech againist the computer and they shouldnt sit there and moan how powerful the ai is getting but instead rush with dozens of archers at the beginning(which are quite effective in teh beginning) and if your successful in your attack the Ai will beg in to your demands and you have all those techs for free. If you do this often you will stay with the flow(just make sure not to kill the ai but leave them a little bit of terrority so when you need tech again you just take 1 or 2 cities.)

I dont understand why you say building wonders make you weak. I had no problem in building 2 wonders at the begining because i was still capable in expanding while the 3 ai next to me were getting smaller (hoho).

the game im currently playing i was stuck on a island with 3 other AI. i now have the whole island with only 6 out of my 30 or so cities orgininally being mine.

I think newbies should focus more on building a big military and improving terrain with workers instead of building city improvements (discluding barracks and temples, which i think are the main buildings you will only need in the beginning.barracks= vetern troops, temples=no angry labourers at 3 pop).

Once you get quicker and more effective with this tactic you can start a game where you can sacifice your capital to build wonders at the start (20-40 turns after the beginning)

For me its best to have a militarilistic,religious civ to maximise this strategy. A really good choice is to be the celts as they have a ancient age UU. My personal favirote is viking(militarilistic and with a nice offensive UU which can take out any defender untill the industral age) and inca (a UU with EVIL pillage and scouting capablilties that can ambush workers and settlers/ if your lucky you can even take their undefended citys at the beginning).

SirPleb
Dec 22, 2003, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by Xether
I think the main Tactic newbies need to follow is to be very aggresive and militarilistic in the highier difficulties
...
but instead rush with dozens of archers at the beginning(which are quite effective in teh beginning)
...
I had no problem in building 2 wonders at the begining because i was still capable in expanding
...
(discluding barracks and temples, which i think are the main buildings you will only need in the beginning
Xether, I'm guessing that you are currently playing at Regent or Monarch level. The approach you describe should usually work at those levels. (And those are the levels which can maintain happiness at 3 citizens with a temple as you mentioned.)

But, I disagree with the parts of your note which I've quoted above.

Although your approach will work at many difficulty levels, relying on it will unnecessarily limit playstyle - many other approaches will also work. Worse, this limitation of playstyle will probably make it very hard to master higher difficulty levels, particularly Deity.

To keep moving up to higher levels I think you'd do better to follow Ision's four rules :)

Kaboth
Dec 26, 2003, 05:29 AM
What I don't understand is how anyone can play an exteme builder and survive at high lvls of difficulty I play Monarch atm and I find the need everynow and again to hurt neighboring Civs in order to gain more land/resources/cities and keep up with those Civs who kill some of their neighbours. I just feel that no matter how well you expand at the beginning you can't just sit there the whole game and never gain more territory through conquests. Civs like Persia will gain heaps of territory from AI civs and then beat you by some victory.

Ribannah
Dec 27, 2003, 12:31 PM
Hi Kaboth,

You should try and play OCC (One City Challenge) sometime, and a whole new world of strategies will open up. :)

Kaboth
Dec 27, 2003, 05:09 PM
Yes I've been thinking about doing a 5CC challenge, one sounds impossible though except maybe cheiftan. When you take enemy bases in 5cc or one cc what do you do with them. IF you raze them you lose rep but if you starve them and abandon them with one last foreign citizen you still take a rep hit right? So what do you do with captured cities.

wilbill
Dec 27, 2003, 05:16 PM
My suggestion would be "don't capture enemy cities."
Pound them down to 1 population, pillage the tiles, but don't capture them. If you're playing 5CC and capture one before you've founded your fifth city, fine - keep it. After you have 5 cities, though, to keep within the "rules" of 5CC you have to either raze/abandon that city or abandon one of your own before the end of that turn.

Kirkless
Jan 02, 2004, 02:36 PM
Thanks Ision!

This was a very helpful thread. I recently moved up to the Monarch level and would do well in expansion and leading score but would fall way behind in techs. I realized that I was building the Great Library every time. The AI didn't seem to go for this wonder and so I figured I could snatch it up every time. So I did! Then I would find myself horribly behind by the time I hit the beginning of the Industrial Age. And other civs would no longer trade with me because I had nothing to offer them. Didn't take long before their units were far more advanced than mine (due to Replaceable Parts...which was a pipe dream to me) and their armies were huge and intimidating.

This will really help me in building my diplomacy and trade skills for acquiring techs and staying with the AI. :goodjob:

Commander Bello
Jan 03, 2004, 05:26 AM
Originally posted by Ision

[...]
4. Lastly, repeat after me – THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BEST CIV OR BEST TRAIT. Get that in your head! Say it ten times daily – repeat it every time you stare at the list of CIVs to choose from. – Repeat it every game until you reach at least Monarch.
[...]


I really cannot believe that this posting is meant to be taken seriously.
With the same argumentation I can suggest to avoid to build temples, to make use of luxuries or whatever the game offers me to make use of.
As from the context I got the impression that the intention was to suggest to avoid any extreme orientation, the advise given is extreme as well.
The only helpful advise I could find was the quoted one, to which I agree. And I would enhance it by "there is no best wonder". Some replies have stated how much the Great Library would be of help. This may be true for vanilla Civ or PTW, but no longer is for C3C. Pyramids may be of help, but don't necessarily are, and so on.
In plain words: the advise "don't make use of this or that" to me seems to help as much as "absolutely everytime go for this!".

Both is just wrong. What may be the right path on a standard map with 8 other civs around may not help you on a small map, or on a huge map with 16 other civs.

So, the only essence from this article should be: don't rely on any strategy to be the right one under all circumstances. Check with your playing style every time. If you fall behind, just check, what you've done and why it didn't pay off.

Zardnaar
Jan 03, 2004, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by Kaboth
Yes I've been thinking about doing a 5CC challenge, one sounds impossible though except maybe cheiftan. When you take enemy bases in 5cc or one cc what do you do with them. IF you raze them you lose rep but if you starve them and abandon them with one last foreign citizen you still take a rep hit right? So what do you do with captured cities.

Generally you take the rep hit. 5 cities are also highly productive and you can stop expanding sooner and start producing units/building depending on what you want to do.

mintyfreshdeath
Jan 06, 2004, 09:15 AM
I posted a new topic in reference to Ision's idea of playing a game without building wonders.
Alot of people that have posted replies to this subject seem to have only served to muddy the water. I mean, regardless of what newbie players are meant to take from it or whether it will speed your progression from chieftain to deity or not... it doesn't matter.
Man.. I've been playing since Civ2 - my "progress" to Deity level on that game was helped enormously by my incessant reloading "technique". I never really tried anything new or interesting. For each game, the single purpose was to amass a new personal record score.
So now I'm playing C3C. It's a different game... a very different game in many respects.. and my old strategies don't work quite the same. I'm starting from Regent and moving up to Deity (or Sid) all over again.
My point: By not building wonders (and not reloading), I'm learning to become a more resilient player. To me, the civ without the wonders is the generic civ - no modifiers that cannot be obtained by your rivals, no special advantages or disadvantages apart from those bestowed on the civ itself.
It's not that I intend to keep on playing every game beyond this one in the same fashion... I LOVE wonders. But I've decided - as a result of Ision's well written post - to learn to adjust and become better with less, not more.
Thing is, as soon as I win a game without the wonders, the next game I play I'm going to bring down the Hammer of Thor and smite my enemies etc etc etc *with* wonders.

Ribannah
Jan 06, 2004, 10:37 AM
When that time comes, you still have to learn a lot which you could have learned along the way.

Man.. I've been playing since Civ2 - my "progress" to Deity level on that game was helped enormously by my incessant reloading "technique".
Hehe, that explains why you had to start on a low level again with Civ3. Now that you've abandoned this 'technique', I bet you won't need to repeat the cycle when Civ4 arrives. :)

mintyfreshdeath
Jan 06, 2004, 07:35 PM
Indeed, I really want an actual challenge. After all, Civ3 is my chess.

yankees
Jan 18, 2004, 05:22 AM
this advice got me from regent to monarch after so many failures!

best advice for neebs i have read, thanks isoin!

Dr Corbett
Jan 22, 2004, 10:55 PM
While I am inevitably out-mastered by you (Never beat a warlord game, though I have one that I'd have to be a complete moron not to win right now), I'd have to say that there are best traits for *playing styles.* I prefer Religious and Scientific, because I play a high-culture, beat-the-other-SOB-civs-in-the-tech-race game. However, at higher levels... sorry, it just ain't gonna happen, as evidenced by what I keep reading about Deity games. Scientific looks to be almost a waste of time in that case. I feel that as you get harder, militaristic becomes a better trait. Religious is always nice, though, since a five-turn anarchy (OUCH!) can really screw someone over.

al_thor
Jan 28, 2004, 02:18 PM
I have been playing CIV3 for a couple years, and have won plenty of times at Emperor level. I have used the Great Library (GL) as a crutch for what seems eons. I would rarely build it from scratch, but used a Leader to rush it in 1 turn. I was under the impression that it was the only way to keep up with the AI in the higher levels. That is until recently when I missed the GL and had to find other ways (trading, force) to keep up with the AI technologically. Still, I was always a few techs behind until the last age when I finally caught up. This was okay as I utilized strong defense with just enough offense to counter-attack the retreating units.

However, I have tried Diety level, and always end up frustrated because the AI is so far ahead in tech (5-6 or even 8-10 techs ahead). They want more than I have (gold or luxury), so I can't buy tech from them and they end up ganging up on me with superior forces. Not sure how you guys can compete at the Diety level. The AI starts out with such a huge advantage (don't they get an extra settler and some units as well?), and also earn like twice the shields and have a food box that is half the size of yours so it's like they have a granery in every city.

mihoshi
Feb 04, 2004, 03:23 AM
Word is "Flexibility"
When you play up to regent level you can win by repeating same routine. But on Emperor+ levels you are flexible or you are dead. To master game you must consider situation and take the best from it. You must use landscape better and most of your success lies in diplomatic screen.
And you must be muh more careful in warring. On lower levels you can just sit and wait tanks then build hundred of them and go stomp those musketeers or infantry. I'd like to do the same, but sometimes I just can't not to war early for key point, necessary resource etc.

To master civ you must play DIFFERENTLY. And playing without Wonders is just good lesson to play in different way.

P.S. About wonders... It's good variant to let other civ build it and than take it from them... Bad thing is that wonders built by anither civ don't produce culture and seems to be crippled in some other ways...

yoshi74
Feb 19, 2004, 02:19 AM
Great post. I realized this applies to normal city improvements as well. I'am somewhat to addicted to build often to much of them leaving my military to small. In my current game at monarch there was a time where i prayed the russians and netherlands keep the peace because i wouldn't had survived a war. Well, they missed my point of weakness, nevertheless i think i should build more units, and improvements when they really needed.

yankees
Mar 02, 2004, 11:43 PM
well i finally made it to monarch. this article finally did the trick! i have stopped reloading and always play my games all the way to the end.

Psyon Ra
Mar 28, 2004, 02:32 PM
the original post is sound advice to any person wanting to "move" up to the higher difs.

i would go one futher and advise to always picking random for your civ....

Sukenis
Mar 29, 2004, 11:14 AM
I am currently getting down the Monarch level and expect to move up to Emperor by the end of April. I would like to say what my problems are and ask if I should change them.

First off, I like big maps. I have only played large or huge maps. I have a good computer processor, but the end games can become unbearable at times. To help this, I never play random maps so I can select the highest water coverage. Less land means less cites and less troops (in theory). Should I change this? If so how, smaller maps or just take the increased land coverage?

When you have 12-16 civs, even on regent getting wonders is iffy. Even when out producing the AI, 11-15 competitors is a lot of competition. I try to get at least one ancient wonder (two if I am lucky), and that is it. Any more is almost impossible. I fight for them, I will kill for them, I will do anything so I can at least have one. While this fits what is suggested (getting less wonders) should I stop being so aggressive on getting a wonder (or two)?

I do save/reload. I do it a lot more when I start a new difficulty, but still do it when crazy things happen (a city flips when I had 3 armies and 75% of my offensive military in it, happened in my current game). My main save/reload is when I have a hut close to a city and not solid military there. Should I end this crutch completely or is it ok for the early stages of a move?

I always play with raging barbarians, always. I love the extra gold and having enemies to fight that does not cause wars (in the early game). Is this bad?

I try to stay out of wars until I get out of despotism. The article did not really ways when you should start attacking. When should I start attacking other civs?

I was also helped greatly when I read an article/post on how the relative strengths of civs are determine (we are strong/average/weak compared to them). I learned that having 100 spearmen is equal to about 23 swordsmen in the eyes of the AI. Even if you have not intention of going to war, a small number offensive units will deter the AI more than large numbers of defensive units. Does this stay true at higher difficulty levels?

Ision
Mar 29, 2004, 02:33 PM
Sukenis,


First off, I like big maps. I have only played large or huge maps. I have a good computer processor, but the end games can become unbearable at times. To help this, I never play random maps so I can select the highest water coverage. Less land means less cites and less troops (in theory). Should I change this?

No - change nothing. play whatever map you prefer. I would however, at least give different maps a try - you may be surprised to find that you will like them.

When you have 12-16 civs, even on regent getting wonders is iffy. Even when out producing the AI, 11-15 competitors is a lot of competition.

Use a 'Palace prebuild' - at regent this prebuild will almost assure you of the wonder you want 90% of the time.

should I stop being so aggressive on getting a wonder (or two)?

That depends on your goals - if your goal is to move up in difficulty level as quickly as possible - then yes - re-read my article and stop the wonder addiction. If however you are happy where you play now- or you don't care if it takes longer to master the higher levels - then keep building them. Whatever you do - the higher you move up the harder getting woinders will be - and the more they will hurt your early expansion and safety in Ancient Age.

I do save/reload. I do it a lot more when I start a new difficulty, but still do it when crazy things happen (a city flips when I had 3 armies and 75% of my offensive military in it, happened in my current game).

This is NOT a 'crazy thing' - it a part of the game - learn to deal with it and read some articles on how to avoid culture flips.

I do save/reload. Should I end this crutch completely or is it ok for the early stages of a move?

yes - stop the cheating as much as you can.

I always play with raging barbarians, always. I love the extra gold and having enemies to fight that does not cause wars (in the early game). Is this bad?

If you love it - keep it. It will only make you a BETTER player. raging barbs makes the game harder on you - so it helps you learn more.

I try to stay out of wars until I get out of despotism. The article did not really ways when you should start attacking. When should I start attacking other civs?

Wars in despotism are perfectly okay - and can be very rewarding. When should you start attacking you ask - when your strong enough to win - and because you want to pl;ay that way.

Even if you have not intention of going to war, a small number offensive units will deter the AI more than large numbers of defensive units. Does this stay true at higher difficulty levels?

YES -

hope this helps, ..............Ision

Zardnaar
Mar 29, 2004, 11:27 PM
Heres my $0.02. Ision has given me some advice but as you move further up the difficulty levels its harder and harder to build the wonders you want. Often you would be better off building military units instead and seizing that wonder off the AI. Although not a hard and fast "rule" On Emperor/Demi God I only build wonders if

1. I'm going for a 20000K cultural win
2. I'm having a golden age.
3. I need to trigger a golden age
4. I'm leading the game in the Industrial/Modern age
5. Seizing AI wonder isn't always possable (Island maps before magnetism)
6. One of my cities has nothing better to do (rare, build more units alot of the time).

Wonders help. You don't need them I used to love Leonardos workshop but if you learn how to save spending 5000+ gold to upgrade your army is always possable.

Favorius
Mar 30, 2004, 10:28 AM
I am playin civilization since 1995 (next year it will be a decade wow) and I am playing Civ3 for two years.I've started at regent level, and played perhaps 3-4 games then advanced to monarch.Here I recognized that the game got harder because I was not able to be the leader in score and power until the end of middle ages.I played many games in monarch and then I felt i was ready to play in emperor.(In Civ1 it took 20-30 mins to AI to defeat me :( not a good memory for a fanatic) In my initial games I had to leave the game because I had no luxuries, no stratejic resources. But in the end I decided to struggle in spite of my fate(I was Sumerians in an island with only one lux but with iron and horse) and managed to survive until industrial age as third power( I guess I would finish the game with SS-victory) but this save game was lost or deleted. Later I started as Celts again in emperor and thanks to G.swordsmen I managed to conquer large part of my continent (there were 2 large continents and 2 small ones BTW) and by the end of industrial age whole continent was mine, I was the most powerful and advanced country(I am still playing it, not finished yet-but victory is at hand).
Now I started as Germans in a pangae map, AI is several techs ahead of me,it is in the beginning of middle ages while I am in middle of ancient age-(needless to say that I am the least developed country) I have several luxuries(3) and 2 horses and I decýded to rush my neighbour with some horseman but i fear she(they are French) has some pikemen.I am not able to build any wonders because I have only 2 powerhouses which pop out horsemen. I think I need to research techs that AI didnot( such as literacy) and exchange or set science rate to zero percent and buy techs from AI or aggressive expand with horsemen against pikemen.So what is your advise to me?

Ision
Mar 30, 2004, 11:00 AM
Favorius,

I wrote a long article that is exactly about your concerns. Just click the link below:


Monarch to Emperor: the Great Leap (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=78267)

Ision

Favorius
Apr 02, 2004, 05:16 AM
Ision, I've read your article twice,(I also read my Civ202 lecture notes twive 'coz I have an exam) thanx for your kind work. The rest is my chance with randomizer.

shaddowkatmkii
Apr 02, 2004, 05:57 PM
Bulid military... in the end, you can TAKE their wonders. You'll have the military and the wonders, they'll have neither. I built two wonders, Leo's and the Colossus, and held off on a GA as China until I got my Riders. After that it was all over but the crying. A GA with the Riders swept through everyone and gave me a Domination victory in the mid 1300's

Jlewis
Apr 19, 2004, 02:53 PM
Scientific - gotta have it :)

If you are not the absolute last in the tech race by the Middle Ages, you get to trade your free tech for many others.

Cheap libraries = cheap culture, like having Religious trait for free.

OzJeremy
Apr 29, 2004, 01:59 AM
I thought early wonders were a good idea for the purposes of increasing culture; those first few 1000 years go quicker than the later ones.

But then again I haven't tried Emperor yet, only Monarch. Used to play Deity on Civ2 though.

What are the major differences between Civ2 deity and Civ3 deity?

Archbob
May 07, 2004, 04:16 PM
This is a great article, however, being a person that likes cultral victory, this is not affordable to me. If your going for diplomatic or cultral victory, the no building wonders idea is generally not that great, even when your playing on monarch or above. GL is a great wonder with a huge drawback--you must research literature, but if your playing under monarch and are 5 or 6 tech behind, sometimes its hard to trade(I've noticed in every game, every AI has the exact same tech path and sometimes it hard to trade up). Also GL can also bring you in alot of gold when you aquire it and trade some of the "extra" techs to enemy civs for per turn gold, this does wonders for both the tax and luxury slider at Monarch or above.

That being said, if your not going to diplomatic or cultral victory, then Ision is right, don't build the wonders, expand like crazy, and go for pure dominance, but if cultral or diplomatic is usuasally your way to victory, I still suggest setting aside one city(usually my capital ro build the acient later wonders) the thing is having stuff like the Pyramids or the oracle, or Hanging Garden does wonders with the luxury slider because if your have those, its less upkeep(granary) and you don't need to waste as much commerce on luxuries in the slider allowing you to pump science and taxes.

One note, always trade comps and ask for per turn gold, its much better than lump sum.

I can play all civs, but I generally favor Religious(cheap temples for happiness and 1 turn gov change) and industrious(damn good in late game) civ, Egypt.

One more thing, I like huge maps, if your playing on a standard maps, just don't build the wonders, expand, otherwise you will lose.

Actually if you analyze if, 5CC is very easy if you can appease your neighbors, generally diplomatic victory is the way to go for me with a small number of cities.

cavemanf16
May 27, 2004, 02:41 PM
Well I agree 99.5% of the way on your article Ision. However, I think that ultimately certain Civ's DO have advantages over others. UU's for instance seem to make the game slightly unbalanced for certain civ's. I think the American's and Brits are at a disadvantage for instance. But whatever. Thanks for the insight! :)

Ision
May 27, 2004, 03:53 PM
caveman,

Firstly, thank you very much for the positive comments.

I must however disagree with your assesment of the Americans and English. While the American CIV does have a very awkward and ill-timed UU, the CIV itself is so inherently strong from a great trait combo - that the UU is a near non-issue. I have added a link below my CIV reviews, there you will find the one on the Americans. As to the English, their UU is fantastic! On arch or conts map the Man O' War can be quite a fearsome unit.

Once again thanks for your positive comments and input.

Ision

Mad Hatter
Jun 01, 2004, 03:25 PM
I was reading through this thread and a few occassions it was mention that at Deity difficulty, the AI always beats the human player at building Wonders. This is why you should learn not to build them.

My question is, why does the AI always win at building them? Does the AI have an advantage at higher levels? (read: cheat). Do they get accelerated building for Wonders ? (I don't believe I read this in the AI cheat article)

Mad Hatter

fret
Jun 01, 2004, 03:31 PM
Yes the AI 'cheats' in terms of production.

At Diety, the AI will build in 60 shields what it takes you 100 sheilds to build.

Commander Bello
Jun 01, 2004, 03:39 PM
1st, welcome to CFC, Mad Hatter!
2nd, the higher the level the higher the production bonus the AI has. That is, why an AI civ will always outrace the human player on wonders, if both start at the same turn and with comparable city to build the wonder in.

As you may find on the first pages, I don't agree with Ision about to completely avoid bulding wonders, but that is just some matter of taste, I guess.

Mad Hatter
Jun 01, 2004, 04:13 PM
1st, welcome to CFC, Mad Hatter!

Thank you :) I for see many days of playing Civ 3 in the near future. This is based on having played nothing but Civ 3 on the past three-day weekend :lol:

2nd, the higher the level the higher the production bonus the AI has. That is, why an AI civ will always outrace the human player on wonders, if both start at the same turn and with comparable city to build the wonder in.

Ah ok, I see it now. I had missed the cost factor statistic from another post that talked about AI bonuses.

As you may find on the first pages, I don't agree with Ision about to completely avoid bulding wonders, but that is just some matter of taste, I guess.

Ya, I'm not sure about that either. I've been playing on Reagant level, so I'm not sure how feasible it is to have a free city to build a wonder or two. Does hording up shields by building a palace, while you wait to acquire the tech needed to build the wonder that you want, not work in Deity? As soon as you get the tech needed, you switch from palace over to wonder that you been saving up for.

Mad Hatter

viper275
Jun 02, 2004, 12:27 PM
The basic idea of your article is good, Ision, and I see the point you're drawing. My idea on wonders, however, is that building them is okay as long as you don't depend on them. I think that absolutely no wonders up to Regent mode is going a little too far, but that's my opinion.

One thing that I did notice and confused me a bit is in your article on the civ review of the Americans, which seems to contradict all that you wrote about here. You said: As a production powerhouse, I strongly recommend the pursuit of the Pyramids for this Civ – free granaries for America accentuates their production advantage to near ridiculous levels!

I think that's wonder addiction, the mindset of "I'll build the Pyramids every time!" Again, that's just my opinion.

One more thing that I think has already been mentioned but I think is a very big problem is improvement addiction. I used to run into the problem of paying support for improvements. I'd build all the improvements I could in all of my cities and then wondered why I had to put science at 10% (this, of course, leads me with nothing to trade to the AI and caused me to fall back in technology.) And since you can hurry improvements, anything that seems "urgent" to you can be granted to you next turn. Of course, I'm not saying I don't build improvements, I just think about whether I need the improvement or not. 95% of the time, I don't if I really think about it.

yankees
Jun 05, 2004, 12:04 PM
there is no contradiction. the article is a guide and there are always exception. he said in his America review that because of the modern uu they have no choice but to try a wonder strat in order to get a GA that will matter. i am sure that if they had an early uu he would not have said that. he recommends the pyramids, recommends is not the same as sayin always. his reasons were that if you are going to go for an early wonder the pyramids will help make the trait combo of america even stronger.

his article say at the very begining that he does build wonders and that players that like to should go ahead. you miss the 2 points of the article. the point is that if your goal is to move up in level as fast as you can then building wonder will usually hurt you more than help, and that if your goal is to become a better player and learn alot more strats and ways to play not building wonders will usually make you improve faster.

before his advice i struggled very much when trying to move up in level or anytime i tried to use a new civ. after the article my game play was so much better and i began to play with all of the different civs. i have now reached a point where i can see that without his advice i never would be able to play at the level i am now. so today i do build wonder but just a few and i am very picky. now when i build one it does me more good than bad.

no higher level player that like to play a game where he might lose would ever argue against this artcile. it is too clear and correct for that. i notice that only players that are playing lower level or play at level they know they will win ever argue with it. i believe that 90% of the demi or deity players that read this article will tell you how totally correct and helpful it is. this is one of the best articles ever written for this game.

Y

Sukenis
Jun 05, 2004, 12:40 PM
before his advice i struggled very much when trying to move up in level or anytime i tried to use a new civ. after the article my game play was so much better and i began to play with all of the different civs. i have now reached a point where i can see that without his advice i never would be able to play at the level i am now. so today i do build wonder but just a few and i am very picky. now when i build one it does me more good than bad.Y

Same here. When I read this article I was able to win about half my monarch games with save/reloading about 30 times per game with cherry picked civs, not Iplay random Emperor games with random civs and no save reloads and I expect to win the game before it even starts (about to move up difficulty levels again). Ision and Zerksees (sp?) taught me more in 2-3 articles that I learned since i bought vinilla civ the week it was released. This article is civ gosple to me.

Ulyaoth
Jun 16, 2004, 04:57 PM
THANK YOU ISION!!! I just took your advice and played a game on completely random settings, rather than my usuall setup of Rome, standard size map, roaming barbarians, wet, warm, and 5 billion year map, of which I have not played a SINGLE game without that setup, in the year and a half I've had this game. So I put all random, become Japan, a new favorite civ now, and don't build any wonders the whole game, and I took it to the next extreme and didn't build any city improvements either, and I won the game with the highest score I've ever had, and having much more fun than usuall. Thanks again.

kulgan
Jun 18, 2004, 07:47 AM
This is brilliant. My whole game play has changed. Now I just build and conquer, sweet.

Metropolis Man
Jun 21, 2004, 09:10 PM
Ision — I just read your original post and really enjoyed it. But correct me if I'm wrong — isn't the Great Lighthouse Tower crucial to galleys not sinking? I tried to sail 6 galleys in a game and they all sank in open sea. But once I built the Lighthouse, no more problems. Is it considered a wonder or just a city improvement?

Ision
Jun 21, 2004, 09:18 PM
It is a Great Wonder. As in all things, there are exceptions to everything - this is one Great Wonder that whenever you play on Arch-maps, on average, you SHOULD make an attempt for it.

Ision

AngryGerbil
Jun 24, 2004, 10:25 AM
This was posted months ago (obviously) and I never commented about it but I did read it back then.

Ision, I have read alot of hints and tips and advice from multiple people everywhere on this board, many of them are very useful but this has got to be the biggest help to my game ever. I know it's a bit late, but I figured I should let you know. Thanks!

Now, when I play against my roomate (who does not ever visit civfanatics.com) he struggles to understand why he is losing more and more (he used to win almost everytime). We'll be going along, all happy and fine, then I'll get the pop-up message "Your Roomate just built the Great Library in his capitol!" And he'll act all proud of himself and call me a newbie. Then I'll say something like. "Wow! Congrats man! Good job! Hey by the way, how were you going to deal with the stack of 20 swordsmen I just moved into your core?"

Hehe. While he's wasting time building the Pyramids, I'm building an army to take it from him once he builds it, and it really is because of this article that I was able to ween myself from my newbish addiction to wonders. Thanks again Ision, you have allowed me to kick my roomates ass at Civ. For that, you deserve a medal. :goodjob:

fuzzbuster
Jul 13, 2004, 06:09 AM
I havn't played civIII that much, and it ain't going to well neither. Now I realize that it's my wonder obsession, thank you very much. I think it's because of my background as a frequent civII player, where I could build almost every wonder and crush any opponent. But the wonders are more important in civII, especially the great library and the workshop, the effects are not as great in civIII. Nr. 2, it's a lot easier to build them cause you can buy them and you know when others are close to build them.
I have to really reevaluate my need to build wonders, thank you for this article and to the other former civII addicts who recently started with civIII, try to not build a single wonder in the entire game. Works better than quit if you don´t build them all...

Siv
Jul 17, 2004, 04:02 AM
Ision, thanks for the great tip! I made may way to emperor as a wonder addict. I would strive for the bigs like GL, Michael Angelo, Sun Tsu, but I got stomped on emperor and after reading you advice, I demoted myself to monarch and started really playing the games. By not even trying for wonders I find I am more focused on the game. I have to admiot I did build the forbidden palace using a great leader. I mean I had two of these guys just laying around doing nothing. I also used great leaders to rush some of my frontier cities.

Playing the Iroquois - monarch - random map and loving it!!!

Thanks again

Pfeffersack
Jul 17, 2004, 05:38 AM
... By not even trying for wonders I find I am more focused on the game. I have to admiot I did build the forbidden palace using a great leader. I mean I had two of these guys just laying around doing nothing. I also used great leaders to rush some of my frontier cities. ...


You mean SGLs? Ok, wonder addiction is something which can hinder your game progress, but in case you get SGLs...I never used a SGL to anything beside rushing a great wonder.The scientific age is bugged and no option and rushing small wonders or improvements feels like wasting for me.I would keep them around for one of the later wonders (ok, negative side effect is it prevents you from getting MGLs, but compared it is a minor disadvantage IMO.Especially if you already have a an army which allows you to build the HE and the Military Academy).

ed1977
Jul 18, 2004, 07:53 AM
Hi,... great all those abbreviations :eek: but where can I find what the mean? :confused: Like SGL, IMO, MGL, HE, etc..... :blush:

Gumby78
Jul 18, 2004, 07:57 AM
Hi,... great all those abbreviations :eek: but where can I find what the mean? :confused: Like SGL, IMO, MGL, HE, etc..... :blush:

http://www.civfanatics.com/doc/civ3/Civ3_jargons.txt

miller4242
Jul 20, 2004, 03:10 AM
Ision, you rock...

this article has helped immensely... as a tip to my fellow newbies..

micromanage as much as possible, it has been my greatest weakness...

Ulyaoth
Jul 20, 2004, 06:18 PM
micromanage what? the cities?

jediliz
Jul 21, 2004, 02:54 PM
I read the article and I disagree about NEVER building the great library. When I play Civilization, I have no desire to conquer the other civilizations. I want to do the space race. I've gotten at times where I have to do little science so it'll take like 4000 turns to get the specific technology researched. I can't afford that. Great Library helps me stay on top so I'm not the "puny americans" or the "mediocre" english or whoever. Also, other civilizations brag to me or call me priminitive when I don't have something they have. So, Great Library is necessary. At least for me. Otherwise, the article was well written.

Sukenis
Jul 21, 2004, 02:56 PM
So, Great Library is necessary. At least for me.

So do you quit if you do not get the Great Library?

MikeH
Jul 22, 2004, 02:41 PM
The Great Library gives you nothing that you can't get by trading techs with AI, I tend to play fairly peacefully (most of the time :) ) and think it's one of the biggest waste of resources in the game. I won't even use a Scientific GL to build it.

Pfeffersack
Jul 22, 2004, 05:02 PM
How useful the GL is depends IMO on the relative difficulty level you play - more than any other wonder.As long as you play on a level you win almost always and without problems it is a waste, if you move up and must fight for the victory it is nice to have it and if you try a level at which you normally haven't got any change it can save your live (although even there are ways to win without it, I'm sure)

Longasc
Jul 22, 2004, 05:46 PM
I think the problem is to get the GL on higher levels... I get it usually... by capture. ;)

MikeH
Jul 22, 2004, 05:47 PM
Actually at the higher levels you probably won't be able to build it before the AI :) . Edit: Whoops Lonasc beat me to it. The thing is if you are playing on the higher levels you've probably got tech trading mastered and as the GL only gives you tech that two other civs that you have contact with discover I don't think it's worth the expense.

Sneakysnaga
Jul 27, 2004, 01:26 PM
Great article Ision!:)

I'm thinking that the Wonder fixation ISN'T the worst ever newbie error. To me, the worst is hitting the worker automate button. That HAS to be absolutely ruled out! You can be smarter with workers than the AI, and in a significant way too. But hitting automate surrenders the opportunity.

That was definitely my worst trait. Its pure laziness, and anyone who uses it deserves to die, nastily!:D

JackRules
Jul 27, 2004, 02:25 PM
I just got my first Regent win (on my first attempt) and Ision's article, along with a lot of info picked up from GK2 Training Day, certainly helped me to accomplish my victory. I always went for GL and any other wonders I could get my hands on, but I've found they really tie up my cities that could be churning out units. I think a select one or two wonders is fine after your expansion phase is complete, but there's definitely no need to rely on wonders to win a game.

FreeTheSlaves
Oct 16, 2004, 01:00 PM
I am in the process of getting my first emperor win by conquest (MPPs dog-piling one civ at a time) and I would have had a hard time if I had tried to pursue the early wonders.

After reading this article and giving it some thought, I came to the conclusion that I was not able to compete early on wonder-wise. That accepted, it then became a case of using those shields to build strength and developments.

A bit later on I managed leonardo's and adam smiths & techs aint gonna matter once I've got panzers. I managed to trade techs for virtual parity.

(Panzers = Golden age) Mobilized German Communists - that is the end game I'm going to have because I always had an "average" to "strong" military from the ancient age. This military was used to grasp luxeries & resources and cripple immediate rivals.

Frankly I am of the opinion that wonders are gravy. They are worth shooting for (Leonardo's for my large military) if you can time it but not one is essential.

FreeTheSlaves
Oct 16, 2004, 01:05 PM
Great article Ision!:)

I'm thinking that the Wonder fixation ISN'T the worst ever newbie error. To me, the worst is hitting the worker automate button.

That's true but I find just prior to railroads and a while afterwards that workers clog the game up. For the ancient age especially you must manage the workers most carefully.

rysingsun
Oct 16, 2004, 11:03 PM
and I took it to the next extreme and didn't build any city improvements either, and I won the game with the highest score I've ever had,

(!)

thanks for posting this. you have sparked my curiosity and i think i may give this a go. in the spirit of the original post ill stick to it even though it goes against my instincts just to see what happens. while i wont be surprised if i get slaughtered i also wont be surprised if i win big time. after all my own history teaches me that untraditional gameplay styles can often bring about surprising results. and if i have any vice in civ its improvement addiction.

rysingsun
Oct 16, 2004, 11:15 PM
micromanage what? the cities?

everything.

the cities.

the workers.

the settlers. (think hard where you will send them.)

the diplomacy. yes the diplomacy! and not just for trades. skilled diplomacy will get you out of some very sticky situations.

kulgan
Oct 23, 2004, 06:24 PM
(!)

thanks for posting this. you have sparked my curiosity and i think i may give this a go. in the spirit of the original post ill stick to it even though it goes against my instincts just to see what happens. while i wont be surprised if i get slaughtered i also wont be surprised if i win big time. after all my own history teaches me that untraditional gameplay styles can often bring about surprising results. and if i have any vice in civ its improvement addiction.

In Cheiften it is *easy* to progress to 12 cities before AD without building a single improvement.

Recently I played (generic Civ3) as romans. I research though to legioniers and destroyed the world before 100AD.

This article has been inspirational. It has had the biggest impact on my game. Micromanagement is the key no wonders.

BTW my build order is, Worker, Settler, (pop settler by adding worker back after a stint in the open building roads.),... and repeat. Depending on my barbarian threat the second city does, warrior, worker, settler.

In Cheiften you don't need a wonder unless you really need it to complete the victory goal.

punkbass2000
Oct 23, 2004, 10:27 PM
In Cheiften it is *easy* to progress to 12 cities before AD without building a single improvement.

Agreed. I have a game running at Chieftain with 20 cities, the ToA and several libraries at 470BC.

genghis_khev
Oct 25, 2004, 06:59 AM
I read and I scoffed.

I then tried and now I understand!

I allowed myself minor wonders but no great wonders and actually found it one of my easiest games!! Why I don't know.

Either way I suggest all try a limited / nio wonder game! All in all top advice Ision

Stuporstar
Oct 27, 2004, 03:39 PM
I'm going to try this advice in my next game. I've been far too Wonder reliant in all my games. Great article Ision.

Peter Harris
Oct 28, 2004, 05:06 AM
I agrre absolutely with the original post in this thread. I think the player has two choices, either get over the wonder addiction or stay at the lower levels.

I find that I do much better if I don't build ancient wonders and instead concentrate on settlers, workers and an adequate military. (but I am a "wonder addict" so I stay at regent level rather than moving up to higher levels). :D

JZ_UK
Nov 27, 2004, 03:49 PM
I'm going to go against the grain and say no... I disagree with you.

Why? Because I like building wonders (I do select them for their usefulness)... but I build them because I avoid war until its an absolute must... say when I hit Ind/Mod and need coal/oil.

Yea... sometimes I find the superpower of the game has just about enveloped me, but theres pretty much inveitably a weaker power out their that you can plunder should you need lebienstrasa (been a while since I did german...) or wait till the superpower starts eating him and pick up the scraps...

Theres a lot to be said for selective pacifism :D personally... I like being the one totally free power when the world suddenly errupts into a great big WW... means you can act pretty much freely :)

REJS7
Dec 07, 2004, 09:17 AM
Despite all that I have read here, and despite agreeing with the overall tone of the discusion, I would argue that Wonders play a crucial part of an effective stratergy below Emperor level.
Pre C3C it would be OK to maybe only build the Pyramids in the ancienct era as all the others become obsolete, but after they introduced the Temple of Artemis and Temple of Zeus it becomes critical to deny your opponent (AI or human) these two wonders. I usually still stick to the pyramids and one of the happyness wonders in my capital BUT only after sending out 2 or 3 settlers.
I know that strategic addaption is the focus of this debate and being flexable against any opponent is ey to success, but is it not better to deny your opponent the oppotunity to a key advantage (such as quick terretorial expansion with the temple of artemis)?
At the end of the day it makes a difference if you can quickly build 10 or 15 cities with temples but then your opponent is able to expand in 5 turns with any new city they get. Even a rapid conquest on opposing cities would be negated by this.
C3C seems to make a moot point of wonder feasabillity. One way to get around the tech gap is to use scouts and goody huts with an expansionist CIV (I usually manage to remain on parity through trade, discoveries and research) - the other is to rely on warfare which is unrelyable at best (no battle plan ever survived contact with the enemy) and unless you manage to overwhelm your opponent you will end relying on others to finish the task :mad:.
At the end of the day wonders provide the monach or below with a valuable tool through which they can exersise precise control of CIV weakness. Over reliance (as stated so eloquently elsewhere) leads to disaster and frustration due to player not learning to addapt.
Here are is a 5 point practical guide for using wonders that I find helps :scan::
1) Always have one wonder on the go and if the AI grabs it switch to another - this falls flat obviously if there are no wonders left, but thats what diplomacy, research, and trade are for.
2) Think strategically; do you NEED this wonder or is it just a want? Are the pyramids going to provide more long term benefits than the temple of zeus?
3) Life is like a box of chocolates; you never get the one you want. Never assume you are going to get the wonder you aim for. Have a reserve on your wish list.
4) Place wonders as the last item on your wish list. Wonders are a luxury (a fabulous one), but they will rarely bring you victory.
5) Lastly, is this wonder a pet project or a vital tool to my CIV?

Finally Ision thankyou for opening up a can of worms ;) and giving a very usuful insight in to a key are of the game.

Cataphract887
Dec 10, 2004, 07:08 AM
I think the problem is to get the GL on higher levels... I get it usually... by capture. ;)


on diety or higher,you can get it when the AI's build the other wonders so fast,the wonder cascades never happan(to the GL)

Enkidu_Warrior
Dec 12, 2004, 06:12 AM
actually, i find this article quite ironic given that most high-level (ie diety/sid/beyond) solos and SGs have an opening strategy of starting with COM or SEA so that you get alphabet and make a bee-line for GL.

of course, that irony is only at the expense of the article's main message - which isnt "dont build wonders", but rather, learn the game without wonders so that you can better understand their value when deciding whether to build any.

AlanH
Dec 12, 2004, 07:38 AM
Is this true? In a lot of high scoring, high difficulty GOTMs it seems to me that the Great Library is captured, not built. 400 shields will build lots of horses or swords and any research in the Ancient Age at Deity - even at minimum rate - tends to be a waste of good gold. If it's within reach by land or galley, and you avoid Education and capture it late, it can also provide a great slingshot into the Industrial Era.

Enkidu_Warrior
Dec 12, 2004, 05:04 PM
the tactics i've seen many times now look something like: start com/sea to get alphabet, research at lowest tech on your way to libraries, and trade for masonry so you can start a pre-build with palace. typically, this involves two core cities, one as a settler farm, the other as the GL pre-build. the AI civs will get well out ahead in tech, but dont go for libraries, since they're not required for era advancement, keeping GL safe until you get there.

i've seen it employed more often than not in the solo and SG games i've read on these forums, but i cant say i've read them all! perhaps i've just stumbled across it too often out of luck.

AlanH
Dec 12, 2004, 06:28 PM
I guess if players are choosing their own civs and starts they can get into a formula/rut. Playing and watching GOTMs as I do, you don't get to choose who you play as or against, so you have to adapt to different traits - much more interesting in my book, but each to his own :hmm:

bed_head7
Dec 12, 2004, 09:01 PM
I would agree with what Enkidu_Warrior is saying if we eliminate the word Deity. It is by no means necessary on Deity to have the Great Library to keep up. But even the masters seem unable to keep up on Sid without the Great Library, or at least in most situations. Take for instance SirPleb's HoF attempt as the Iroquios (COM) or the current attempt in the SG forum by "Sid Virgins," Bugs3, playing as France (COM). Of course Arathorn also had to build the Great Library in his SAW, but the Great Library is generally necessary in AW games even at lower levels. Since GOTM does not go to Sid, perhaps you have not observed this, AlanH?

AlanH
Dec 13, 2004, 03:52 AM
That could be part of it, plus the fact that GOTM doesn't always hand out Alphabet as a starting tech, plus I don't play C3C, so I have no first hand experience above Deity. If you didn't have Alphabet on Sid, what would your strategy be? I assume Sid is playable with other civs?

BTW I'm not saying the Library isn't necessary or desirable, just that I prefer to take it rather than build it, if the conditions are right.

Desertsnow
Dec 16, 2004, 01:50 AM
I tend to pile up wonders if I'm going for a cultural win. I don't know if this is the best idea, but it seemed obvious enough, though this might be just an excuse to be dependent on them. Maybe I am, I don't like the idea of playing without any wonders at all, but if I'm actually striving to be less dependent on them I'll still at least build them to trigger a peaceful GA. Opinions?
---DS

bouncelot
Dec 18, 2004, 07:55 AM
I tend to pile up wonders if I'm going for a cultural win. I don't know if this is the best idea, but it seemed obvious enough, though this might be just an excuse to be dependent on them. Maybe I am, I don't like the idea of playing without any wonders at all, but if I'm actually striving to be less dependent on them I'll still at least build them to trigger a peaceful GA. Opinions?
---DS

For a 20K (single city) cultural victory, they're essential no matter what level you're playing on. For a 100K (whole civ) cultural victory you get more culture out of building lots of cities with temples, libraries etc. than by diverting resources into building wonders.

Desertsnow
Dec 19, 2004, 10:38 PM
For a 20K (single city) cultural victory, they're essential no matter what level you're playing on. For a 100K (whole civ) cultural victory you get more culture out of building lots of cities with temples, libraries etc. than by diverting resources into building wonders.


I usually go for a large empire anyway. Maybe I'm just unsubtle. :p

MSTK
Dec 20, 2004, 12:02 PM
Thanks, Ision. I have been following this article as Law for the past half year, and it has really improved my abilities.

duranliam
Jan 12, 2005, 04:22 AM
while wonders are difficult to build, especially in early times, they can be the difference between defeat and victory in the last two era's.
i design cities for different things. for example, science cities will have the library and university. production cities will have terrain mined as opposed to irrigated. all cities have marketplace ( of course) and only money cities will have banks.But lets face it, even if you have lots of cities the computers have a distinct edge if they build hoover dam, united nations, or the internet.try winning diplomatically without un, or space race without hd. producing the one wonder that will help you win the victory you want (ie hd for space race) will help a lot. I have won on deity by using hd to build my space ship faster!
i think wonders should be included in your planning as a way of increasing your advantage and decreasing the ai advantage. i don't mean EVERY wonder, and i don't mean as the core of your strategy. don't go after wonders that don't benefit what you are doing. Manage your cities and terrain. research along a path so you can trade techs. Gang up on ai's with other ai's, and build a wonder that can help you.

Bose
Feb 09, 2005, 01:49 AM
Simply: Thank you. I've been playing this bloody game for years and have been getting nowhere for about the same amount of time. I've learnt alot of painful lessons in the past 2 weeks thanx to you mate, but good ones.

kaelas
Feb 09, 2005, 05:14 PM
I used to play just Chieftain and Warlord because the two times I tried higher, I got squashed by the AI. Tried these tactics in a Regent game last night - Standard size, random everything - and now I'm sitting as the second most power civ with a real chance of winning. And hellfire, I'm having heaps more fun! :)

Sukenis
Feb 09, 2005, 05:39 PM
while wonders are difficult to build, especially in early times, they can be the difference between defeat and victory in the last two era's.


I am not that good of a player (Emporer), but I can win without any wonders. I have had to do it from time to time as well. I can not see how anyone can claim that any wonder makes a difference between victory and defeat. If one is that important for a specific game, build an army and go take the wonder. You still get the benefit, but do not have to build it yourself. If you cannot take and hold it, raze the city and stop everyone from having it. Both work for me.

Doc Tsiolkovski
Feb 09, 2005, 08:30 PM
Luckily, I never suffered from that addiction myself.
Just want to mention I'm currently in an Emperor level 'Barbaric' (no cultural buildings at all except small wonders) + 'Defiant' (no foreign citizens ever, in other words, no capturing; no cities in peace treaties) SG, and while it may hurt to burn all those wonder cities, it shows again how unneeded wonders are.
Of course, we had to start with the Ivory monopoly :lol:.

Roxlimn
Feb 14, 2005, 10:35 AM
I think that as far as newbie tendencies are concerned, this "addiction" with wonders is more or less correct, but this is also true for automating workers, always irrigating or developing all sqaures around a city, always building Swordsmen or requiring Iron (or any resource, really) at the start of any age. Any of these can be considered newbish tendencies and the sooner you get wiser, the better for you.

I, for one, never saw the point in creating Wonders to begin with. I mean, yeah, so you get this ultra great building in your city, but in exchange for what? Lots of units and/or other cities? It never seemed like a good deal to me and I was (and still am) quite loathe to build any wonder that I haven't considered and reconsidered from many points of view. Compared to what you can build, most Wonders are simply not worth it, especially when you consider that you can simply capture the Wonder that you enemy civ just so graciously built for you. To a limited extent, the same can be said of any city improvement. You should only build what is beneficial, and no more.

Diplomacy is often the core of what separates good players from newbies IMO, and this is exemplified in many ways. Learning to always angle for the best possible deal, knowing how to estimate when to renegotiate an ongoing deal and so on. Small details make you faster and stronger.

In the same fashion, newbies will often develop 4 or 5 squares in the capital even when they will eventually 3 Settlers from it anyway, and follow the same pattern with other cities. Even though it is beneficial to develop a spare food square or an emergency produciton square for altenatives during emergencies, using Worker turns in this fashion is just as wasteful and just as newbish as building Wonders ever was, and arguably even more detrimental. If I had any advice to give to newbies, I would say that the following rules will alert newbies to the possibilities much better and more directly than simply "not building Wonders."

1. Never develop a square you don't plan on using.

This immediately alerts newbies to the reality that cities are only as good as the squares they're actually using and also secondarily alerts them to city placement values and specialist usages, as well as tile values and various trait impacts.

2. Never build an improvement that you can't see significant use of in some fashion within the 10 turns after completion.

This tells newbies that improvements are only useful if they're in the right city. If he isn't planning on building units in that city, then he shouldn't be building a Barracks in it, even if he's Militaristic. This also underscores the real value and build priority of things like Libraries and Temples and Marketplaces in different situations. This also teaches newbies to plan improvement completions to the turn and learn to plan for various production change contigencies. If a newbie thinks in 10 turn increments, he will soon learn to coordinate military movement and building timing to a nicety.

2b. Never build a unit you will not use in the 10 turns following its completion. Always consider the viability of 2 or 3 other unit build alternatives.

This is a rule even relatively experienced players can take to heart. This rules teaches the player to always have a justification for building any unit. Even if he intentionally violates the rule because he's planning on a war 20 turns ahead, the rule has still served its purpose as he will always consider which unit to build first and for what specifically. Too many players are locked into the Archer rush or Settler Factory mode or Warrior-Swordsman mode. The ability to use and switch modes to capitalize on a situation is a valuable asset, whatever the age.

3. Always access at least 3 dfferent luxury resources and 2 stratgegic resources in the Ancient Ageas fast as possible.

This teaches newbies the value of these reources. In addition, since looking for these resources often involves roads, exploration and meeting other civs, this teaches newbies the value of contact with other civs and tech trading. Invariably, they will fail to locate an Iron resource within easy reach and this segues into the next guideline.

4. Always visit each embassy twice a turn (once at the start and once at the end) and consider every deal available and possible. Always renegotiate (tinker the offer) for a better deal.

In tandem with guideline 3, this teaches newbies the power of tech trading perforce and will invariably drive them from building the GL, ever. As a new player, I was obsessed with the effect of luxury resources such that I always searched for more and traded for more at the best price. Early use of exploration and diplomacy taught me the questionable value of the GL early on. At the Chieftain to Regent level, as long as you trade techs, the GL is really quite worthless.

In addition, this rule opens players to the often surprising reality that the AI will often accept a deal far inferior to what it initially offers. Even tinkering a gpt deal from 3 gpt to 6 gpt yields you 60 gold, which can be used to upgrade or hurry an improvement. Visiting the Embassy from turn to turn also alerts newbies to the possibilities of forcing a better deal by changing the situation. You can often milk an allied AI for lots more money for a key defensive resource - like Iron or Rubber - if you declare war (and drag them into it) on a civ next to them.

Finally, the negotiating table is often a surprising form of intelligence that will offer itself quite naturally, to experienced and inexperienced players alike. If you're planning war with the Dutch and follow this rule, you will never be surprised by sudden Mercenaries, as the presence of Iron on their City Resource immediately removes that trading offer from your part of the negotiating table.

5. Expose the entire map ASAP.

This opens newbies to the idea that exploration and scouting extend far beyond the simple need to expose all maps. More than the contact and the military info, exposing enemy civ maps tells you what resources they have in what quantity and visiting the Diplomacy and Trade screen often will tell you who's trading what to whom. Keeping tabs on these civs (a natural if you already have RoPs and units in their areas) tells newbies that cities can occasionally cover resources not seen on the map. This is immediately apparent when a newbie sees a Pikeman on a civ that doesn't seem to have Iron, (or any reasonable trading partner for it). Even experienced players are sometimes surprised to find Rail where they don't expect it.

Finally,

6. Never quit a game until you're absolutely, absolutely forced to.

This rule has taught me many amazing things and has accompained me thorugh many incredible turns of fortune. This teaches players how to compensate for not building a favorite Wonder, not having Iron, even not having Coal in the Industrial Age or Rubber or Oil in the Modern Age. It teaches players how to cope when their circumstances invalidate the use of their UU completely, or when all hope seems lost. It is entirely possible to claw your way up from 7th place in the power scale to top tier even in Monarch and Emperior games, from as late as the Industrial Age. You can even survive the loss of your capital and core cities and live on to win the game.

Most of all, this last rule teaches players to fight to the very last Spearman and village, to learn how to fight the Long Defeat, a lesson that has many practical applications in real life.

Rubruk
Feb 16, 2005, 09:16 AM
Roxlimn: I'll print out your article and use it when I play.

And: I'll apply point 6 to the old GOTM with England. I didn't really quit just postphoned it.

However, the important point in Isions article is: a wonder should be the result of a concious decision. I think, one shouldnt completely abandon them. Computer games are not only solving optimization problems but (sometimes) also fun.
:goodjob: :D :devil:


Most of all, this last rule teaches players to fight to the very last Spearman and village, to learn how to fight the Long Defeat, a lesson that has many practical applications in real life.

True. and sometimes :spear:

P.S. this is the third time in two days that I find a reason to post this icon.

thx1138
Feb 16, 2005, 01:51 PM
Well, I just read through it all. :)

Adjust
Feb 19, 2005, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the well-thought-out piece. I should be committed to rehab immediately. In my last game I took every wonder either by conquest, trade or purchase. It was fun but it's time to make the jump and I'm going cold-turkey. :goodjob:

Arklain
Mar 15, 2005, 08:32 AM
Why build them when you can take them!

Lord_Denethor
Mar 19, 2005, 02:57 PM
I did what u said, and I friggen started winning!

Master Pericles
Mar 19, 2005, 07:17 PM
You have done my game wonders. As a newbie myself i confess to this addiction. Howevr you turned me around. That was about 4 months ago. Now I can express my thanks as a member. Continue with the great articles

Shujaa
Jun 01, 2005, 04:17 PM
Great advice, one of the biggest reasons why low difficulty players struggle at higher levels.

Desertsnow
Jun 01, 2005, 09:36 PM
I'm definitely addicted to Wonders myself. I can't bring myself to play without them, though I have played games in which I've been able to limit myself to my favorite ones. I don't know how much that helps, though, probably not much.

TruePurple
Jun 03, 2005, 02:39 AM
In my current emperor game I spent most everything either expanding or rushing in spearmen when the AI looked like it was prepping for a assault and I dared not say get out of my territory or declare war! Because without protection I figured it would opt for the latter:p Well anyways, I got the zeus temple wonder, which was nice because I was some distance from joining metal resource to my territory.

Thing was that through trading and being scientific (and getting a bunch of libraries) I was mostly ahead of the AI in tech. I probably could have gotten more wonders then just the zeus temple. I mean when your cities number in 20+ I could have afforded to put one extra to wonder building. Oh well, I'm running out of expansion room(many more cities then most all the AI), suppose next era I can grab a bunch of wonders with my tech lead.

One thing about the great library, even if you are in the lead grabbing that tech can help you by preventing a opponent from getting a bunch of free techs riding on your coat tails. Definitely want to trade techs with the AI with the great library first.

josephstalin
Jul 04, 2005, 09:41 AM
Good article and advice. Nice job

Calis
Jul 14, 2005, 05:15 AM
Bye the way:

Is Ision still visiting the forum?? I didn't read anything from him for quite some time now.

This thread and his "Monarch to Emperor: the great Leap" improved my gameplay significantly.

Paul#42
Jul 14, 2005, 08:41 AM
Bye the way:

Is Ision still visiting the forum?? I didn't read anything from him for quite some time now.

When klicking on his name at his avatar, you can find his most recent post (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=99398) from Spetember 2004.

This community had lost one valuable member.

Calis
Jul 15, 2005, 03:22 AM
Oh no, that's really sad.

Maybe we'll see him back some time (with Civ4??)

Drakan
Jul 18, 2005, 04:25 AM
Yes, he still lurks around ocasionally. I've seen him a lot in these past two weeks looking over at the replies of his articles/threads. I like his writing style.

He'll probably be back for CivIV.

SonicX
Aug 15, 2005, 04:42 AM
Weird, I never even liked to build wonders...
From day 1 I felt it takes way too much time and using those shield to buy markets, temples, settlers etc proved to be a lot more rewarding and useful.
Today, I still only build wonders at the moment I feel a rather large city has all buildings it needs, I'm not at war and I do not need those few "Wealth" bucks.

If I choose to build a wonder faster than the other civs, I usually start building a wonder I don't need a certain number of turns before I have the required tech for the wonder I do need and switch then. Having the wonder 2 turns after having researched the tech is surely a lifesaver at times :)

Desertsnow
Aug 15, 2005, 10:10 PM
If I choose to build a wonder faster than the other civs, I usually start building a wonder I don't need a certain number of turns before I have the required tech for the wonder I do need and switch then. Having the wonder 2 turns after having researched the tech is surely a lifesaver at times :)

True. Quite a few world-class games have been won using this technique. :)

sweeneygov
Aug 24, 2005, 10:39 AM
This looks like good advice, moving up from Regent has been a problem because i set my sights on the Great Library from the offset without realising what it costs me! Gonna try these tactics and see what happens, this information is gold dust mate!

The only thing that disturbs me is that some people say they dont move up a level until they have won using each type of victory! How long does this take to get through? Do none of you work? I barely have enough spare time to do my washing so it takes me almost 3 weeks to complete one of these massive epic games!

Sukenis
Aug 24, 2005, 10:56 AM
If I choose to build a wonder faster than the other civs, I usually start building a wonder I don't need a certain number of turns before I have the required tech for the wonder I do need and switch then. Having the wonder 2 turns after having researched the tech is surely a lifesaver at times :)

What level are you playing on with this tactic? I might be able to pull off one or two wonders with this tactic on Emperor, but that is it. Even if you start early, the computer has a building bonus (as well as a tech bonus) that will overshadow any pre-build you can do.

My tactic for wonders is to make sure a neighboring Civ has the tech for a wonder and wait for it to be built and take it. You loose out on culture, but who cares. In higher difficulty games, you do not even try to compete in culture so it is not a big lose.

My personal area of wonder difficulty is the Statue of Zeus. If I have ivory, I have to build it. Mainly because if I have ivory, a close civ will most likely have it and I do not want a neighbor with ancient Calvary. The problem is that if I ever get this wonder, the game becomes a cakewalk. Maybe as I go up in difficulty this will change.

Sukenis
Aug 24, 2005, 10:58 AM
The only thing that disturbs me is that some people say they dont move up a level until they have won using each type of victory! How long does this take to get through? Do none of you work? I barely have enough spare time to do my washing so it takes me almost 3 weeks to complete one of these massive epic games!

When I load up a game and expect to win hands down, I move up a difficulty level. Winning with every type of victory just takes too long. I might finish 2 games a month (if I am playing more than I should).

Drakan
Aug 25, 2005, 02:40 AM
Sweeneygov, take no notice. if you want to try another level just do so. I've never won culturally only because it just didn't appeal to me. When you feel confident move on up a level. It's the same game but different at the same time.

Daghdha
Aug 25, 2005, 06:26 AM
I do not need those few "Wealth" bucks. I never ever hit wealth. If the town is corrupted and "useless" build a worker or a settler or whatever that will be finished before "game over". Wealth is a waste of shields.

sweeneygov
Aug 25, 2005, 10:25 AM
Haha cheers Sukenis will do, looks like some people have too much time on their hands, haha!

The other 'win' for me is maintaining a balance of power. If i can keep weaker allies alive and eventually help them beat down rivals and vice-versa whilst staying the most powerful country all the time then thats a successful game for me.

Conquest does bore me a bit cos once the writing is on the wall for your opponents then the excitement goes away a bit. Its only a matter of time and your just going through the motions really and wasting time managing hundreds of captured cities.

Sukenis
Aug 25, 2005, 10:44 AM
Conquest does bore me a bit cos once the writing is on the wall for your opponents then the excitement goes away a bit. Its only a matter of time and your just going through the motions really and wasting time managing hundreds of captured cities.

I never win by conquest. Once I get 66% of the land, I raze every city I take until I get 66% of the population and win by Domination. Even that gets boring. When you are going to win with your military, the game gets old real fast.

Eukaryote
Sep 15, 2005, 08:32 PM
Good Guide about avioding wonder addiction/ 5 stars :)

Although I agree that wonder addiction Is a bad thing, I don't think you should never build them just do it in moderation and not while your SUPPOSED to be building your settlers :mad: (nagging tone). But if you are going to build them, use your head. Don't do it if there is more important work to be done and only build Wonders you need.
- Example of that:
If your problem is citys are growing slowly and you are at a good time then it's okay to build the pyramids or longevity. But don't choose the great wall or the manhatten project instead.

Also I think you shouldn't build the great library until you have mastered being scientificly advanced without it becuse you don't want to become dependant. But once you know how to wheel and deal you way to scientific sucsess, then it's okay to build it.

Rates of my stratagy are apprecated.

Heroes
Sep 15, 2005, 09:46 PM
Although I agree that wonder addiction Is a bad thing, I don't think you should never build them just do it in moderation and not while your SUPPOSED to be building your settlers :mad: (nagging tone). But if you are going to build them, use your head. Don't do it if there is more important work to be done and only build Wonders you need.
- Example of that:
If your problem is citys are growing slowly and you are at a good time then it's okay to build the pyramids or longevity. But don't choose the great wall or the manhatten project instead.



I agree to your main idea, but pyramids is probably not a good example :egypt: At high levels, you have almost zero chance to build pyramids, so just forget about it ... Longevity is, OTOH, very likely to be built by human, but it's too late.

Drakan
Sep 16, 2005, 03:43 AM
Longevity is something you should avoid at all costs, unless you foresee a nuclear war.

Dominus Romae
Oct 06, 2005, 04:57 PM
I am always a wonder fan, but I will cut some of my habits. At least not in my actual game, as the babs, trying a cultural 100K victory on warlord.

Longevity is something you should avoid at all costs, unless you foresee a nuclear war.

Longevity should come in the Ancient Ages.

Thanks!

SimpleMonkey
Oct 12, 2005, 08:11 AM
Longevity is something you should avoid at all costs, unless you foresee a nuclear war.

I respectfully disagree. Longevity can mess you up if you don't use it well -- producing two new citizens at the same time right when a city is at its food limit can mean see-sawing back and forth beteeen starving down that one extra citizen and then building two more. And losing your WLTK day while your citizen is starving. :( However, if you've built your cities with some overlap, then you can micromanage your tiles, swapping them between cities, so that you end up with exactly enough food for all your city's pop. Max pop means max production.

Now, many of your oldest cities will have long since gotten to max size long before you get to build Longevity anyway. So where Longevity really pays off is when you're in late game wars. Rapid repopulation with native citizens means that you can starve or pop-rush a caputured enemy civ down to almost nothing and then quickly have it back up running with a sizable population of happy natives. And of course you can be producing settlers and/or workers at an awesome rate in your core to fill up those captured cities as well, with Longevity ensuring that you're rebuilding those converted citizens almost as fast as you make them. All in all, I find Longevity pretty useful. I just with that it came earlier in the game, like with Sanitation, so that it would really pay off.

Drakan
Oct 13, 2005, 03:06 AM
. So where Longevity really pays off is when you're in late game wars.

All in all, I find Longevity pretty useful. I just with that it came earlier in the game, like with Sanitation, so that it would really pay off.

That's exactly my point. If it came before, it would be very useful. Longetivity messes up my carefully MM cities with starvation/unhappyness issues.

I find Longetivity useful should they nuke you. However most of my games are well-over before Longetivity comes in to play. You'll find that in the HOF forum, where all players who go for maximum score neglect it because it messes up the careful MM of their cities (you even have a very detailed report on why you shouldn't build it when milking by no less than SirPleb himself). By the late game they are all milking for high score and do not build this wonder.

However, a normal player IMHO shouldn't go for this wonder either unless he foresees he's going to be nuked and the late-game wars will be abundant and decisive.

Your point of using core cities to produce workers/settlers to join newly conquered cities on your empire's outskirts is good. But as I normally play with a civ that has the agricultural trait, my cities already grow fast enough I believe. It really does depend what you are going to use it for. In your case, I find it's a very valid point and useful, but almost no one bothers to do that.

I just think it's one of the least useful GWs, but hey that's just my personal opinion and can be rebutted. ;)

SimpleMonkey
Oct 13, 2005, 04:55 AM
Actually, I'll have to admit that if my game has lasted into the modern age, I'll often be pushing for maximum culture at that point, and so will build just about any wonder. I'll have enough of a tech lead and have such a productive core that wonder-building is a minor sideline, say between spaceship parts or ICBMs. :)

I think that we both agree that Longevity requires careful management or it will cause more harm than good. I just think that it can be worth it, so long as a player is willing to do the necessary micromanagement and has built with enough overlap to shift some tiles around between cities. Or you can just let the AI have it and let him worry about the unhappiness issues with alternating overpopulation and starvation. We all know how good the AI is at micromanaging cities. :lol:

Drakan
Oct 13, 2005, 09:12 AM
We all know how good the AI is at micromanaging cities. :lol:

:lol: yes.

DaveMcW
Oct 13, 2005, 10:58 AM
Actually, I'll have to admit that if my game has lasted into the modern age, I'll often be pushing for maximum culture at that point, and so will build just about any wonder.

Consider building a settler and library for 110 shields, instead of Longevity for 1000 shields!

SimpleMonkey
Oct 13, 2005, 11:05 AM
By the Modern Age, if I'm working on cranking out the culture points, everybody would have already long-since gotten a library and university. (Last game I was trying to out-pace the Babylonians for a culture victory, so with hefty military in place, I was using civil engineers to put every culture producer there is in even my most corrupt border towns. It's the only reason I can think of to build a coloseum. Oh yeah, and then I captured Babylon and used bombers to turn every productive tile Hamurabi had into craters. It was fun.)

AlanH
Oct 13, 2005, 02:45 PM
By the Modern Age, if I'm working on cranking out the culture points, everybody would have already long-since gotten a library and university.
I think that's why you need the settler as well - to build a town for the library :) When you've built that one you could go ahead and do it again ... and again. Fast or high scoring 100K culture wins are achieved by building very densely and rushing culture in every town.

Holy Despot
Oct 29, 2005, 05:21 PM
Congragulations!

Your article is absolutely amazing.:)
I must say I once also had this WONDER ADDICTION when I was a beginner but now it seems I am going in the opposite direction.I am building a lot of settlers, military units,improvements so that my capitol is a huge ''settler farm''.Is there a way to grow a huge empire and also control a great number of wonders ? Mmm... Hope I will succed.

Holy Despot:Veni,Vidi,Vici :king:

SimpleMonkey
Oct 29, 2005, 07:10 PM
I am building a lot of settlers, military units, improvements so that my capitol is a huge ''settler farm''. Is there a way to grow a huge empire and also control a great number of wonders ? Mmm... Hope I will succed.

Yes. It's called using your military to take over other civs after they've so thoughtfully built the wonders for you. :goodjob:

Holy Despot
Oct 30, 2005, 12:37 PM
Simple Monkey:It's called using your military to take over other civs after they've so thoughtfully built the wonders for you.

Yes I always like when I conquer a city with a wonder and I also know how to kill an enemy AI which annoys me.:lol:
Oh and another thing, capturing a Wonder from an enemy civ DOESN'T provide you with any culture at all,it just offers you its bonus.
That is to say you can only develop your culture by building them not by conquering them.Anyway it's fun conquering them for their bonus(if they are not obsolete).

phoenix_sprite
Mar 31, 2006, 06:05 PM
thank you, I just bought civ 3 (transition from civ 4 to 3 is hard) and i'll take it in consideration

Rainbo
Oct 30, 2006, 11:57 AM
What a great forum. I too am a wonder junky.

After reading some of the posts here, I played a game where I built no wonders. I lost the game but got a score 3 times higher then I had ever gotten.

Currently I am only building wonders that might precipitate a golden age and I leave the rest alone except for one or two small wonders.

I have been playing randomized games and am enjoying the new perspective since over the years I got in the habit of only playing certain civs.

Thanks again. You got me out of the rut I've been in and I am learning/relearning things about the game everyday.

I hope to be ready to play online soon lol.

molesworth
Feb 16, 2007, 09:45 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with Ision. There are however several Wonders that are often a must have in my opinion. These are the Great Lighthouse - your Galleys can explore and meet new Civs more safely. This is invaluable. Although you could argue that you could achieve this by trading communication with other Civs but then you have to wait until the discovery of Navigation (IIRC). Magellan's - essential - could make difference between your transport going that one extra tile to unload reinforcements, or not and losing a beseiged city. Who wouldn't want Adam Smiths' Trading? And both Copernicus and Newton's? As you will see these are all Wonders that don't become obsolete except the Great Lighthouse which is nice to have but not essential. The others I would say are too beneficial to pass up lightly.

MAS
Feb 17, 2007, 09:53 AM
These are the Great Lighthouse - your Galleys can explore and meet new Civs more safely. This is invaluable. Although you could argue that you could achieve this by trading communication with other Civs but then you have to wait until the discovery of Navigation

With 400 shields, you could build 13 galleys, or 26 curragh. And chances are, you will need to sacrifice far less than that to suicide missions to make contact with the other continent.

Magellan's - essential - could make difference between your transport going that one extra tile to unload reinforcements, or not and losing a beseiged city.

Knowing your transport will move only 5 instead of 6, all you have to do is compensate your attack plan accordingly. If you are losing a city, you where doing something wrong there to begin with. You should have foreseen this, and move enough forces there to begin with.

I never lose cities to the AI, only through flips, and even then I made sure I can handle the flip, so it doesn't completely ruin things for me.

Who wouldn't want Adam Smiths' Trading? And both Copernicus and Newton's? As you will see these are all Wonders that don't become obsolete

Of course I would want these wonders if i can get them, but they are far from essential.

The only truly essential wonder is the UN.
Besides that, it is normally worth shooting for ToE and Hover, as these late game wonders are almost always easy to get.

WaterDragoon
Feb 24, 2007, 10:18 AM
Maybe i am missing something but isn't this thread alittle broad and generalized? No wonders? come on. but it's okay to build hoover dam that i see in so many posts?

If you have nothing left to build and you don't need units or want to pay for
a WHOLE mess of units then wonders are better then wealth. Plus there are serisou reprucussions to allowing a wonder to be built by the A.I. For instance i was just told that it will be difficult to defeat a foe in my current campaign because they have the great wall. Or what if the A.I builts Zsu academy and can have barracks in every city free? Game over. just some of my thoughts as a newbie, the thought process i run through when i am playing....

MAS
Feb 24, 2007, 11:59 AM
Or what if the A.I builts Zsu academy and can have barracks in every city free? Game over. just some of my thoughts as a newbie, the thought process i run through when i am playing....

This is just like an AI who builds the pyramids, if he is on your continent, then it is as if he is waving a flag with a sign that says: "please attack me and take my Sun Tzu city from me"

Don't get me wrong, I do build these wonders if I can, the idea behind this thread is just to teach new players that wonders are not essential.
If you can live without these wonders, you are a step closer to winning at higher difficulty levels.

And all that we are saying is that, yes, you can live without them, the AI building them is not "game over", not by far.

AutomatedTeller
Feb 24, 2007, 07:04 PM
On low levels (chieftain and warlord), you can build all the wonders without any trouble.

On medium levels (regent-> emperor), you can build a few AA wonders and most of the medieval wonders you want - after that, wonders are yours.

On higher levels (demigod and deity), you can get an AA/medieval wonders if you really want it, but you really need to figure out if it's worth while. You can still get the IA and later wonders.

On Sid, you need to do a lot of planning or picking the right combination of maps/civs to get any AA wonders, and you may never get one at all.

The reason for no wonder "rule" is because at high levels, trying to build 2 wonders at a time will often end up with you getting wiped out.

xSquire
Aug 18, 2007, 12:44 PM
im no expert at the game, and play at regent level. however i think there is an exception to the 'never build the great library' rule. if you start the game on an island away from the mainland with all the other civs, missing the chance to trade science or luxuries, your going to be way behind them when later you meet them. but ive found when beelining literacy and builing the GL, once you do meet them later in the game it can only be to your advantage to recieve 5+ advances in one go? perhaps there is a better way though. like i say i dont play at a high level

Kool Keith
Aug 18, 2007, 03:55 PM
im no expert at the game, and play at regent level. however i think there is an exception to the 'never build the great library' rule. if you start the game on an island away from the mainland with all the other civs, missing the chance to trade science or luxuries, your going to be way behind them when later you meet them. but ive found when beelining literacy and builing the GL, once you do meet them later in the game it can only be to your advantage to recieve 5+ advances in one go? perhaps there is a better way though. like i say i dont play at a high level

Welcome to CFC, xSquire.

Even in the situation you described, I still wouldn't build the GL. Starting on an island should not inhibit your research pace too much. On an isolated island start, just make sure you jam out a bunch of suicide curraghs/galleys as early as possible and make sure you get your contacts early. You should be able to meet plenty of civs early enough so that having the GL would be a waste of time.

IMHO, if you have a horrible starting location, that is all the more reason that you should not be wasting shields on wonders. In that situation it would be wise to simply build galleys and attackers and go wack the nearest rival. Then, if you need to, spend those shields on building a new palace.

ecuwins
Aug 18, 2007, 05:55 PM
If there is one wonder I build because of an island start it is the Great Lighthouse not The Great Library.

jdladson
Oct 21, 2007, 02:52 PM
great job ision, wonderful statements. I agree with the great library statement, and a HUGE reason that i never rely on it is that, after you get education in the middle ages, you have to worry about researching tech, and the late middle ages and early industrial is where you get your most important things, well after the great library is long and forgotten.
I tryed to get all of the wonders on my first regent, getting a massive military, and cranking science to full. Guess what? Most of my units were disbanded, i ran into a deficit, and got my major rescource cities taken over by the gauls, who used galic swordsmen and owned me.
The only thing now i focus on is my most important, the great lighthouse (gotta love the early bonus of meeting new civs), and gradually weening myself off of that too.
I see no point also in getting shakespheres theatre, okay, culture is great, after the middle ages, most of your expansion is over, and the only cities that can build it before the AI has already expanded most of what it can, and are in the core of your empire, and for just getting a metro, you are only a few techs away from hospitals, and by the time you get it done, you have the hospitals to build in like 10 turns.

Golden Fleece
Oct 24, 2007, 09:19 AM
Ah, the article that changed my Civ life. Added to the tight city spacing advice the single thing that completely changed my way of playing. I am indebted.

But here's the real shocker: I am a first generation gamer, meaning I started of with Civ I at the age of thirteen, playing each vanilla version, as well as Civ: CTP. Never once did I go further than Regent level and that only in CTP. Never occured to me to change my inherent strategies, basically playing for hours and hours for the heck of it. Thanks for opening my eyes. :D

Villainwill
Oct 26, 2007, 08:06 AM
I am a novice player, just recently getting comfortable playing at the Warlord level (vanilla). I, of course, fell in love with the idea of a wonder monopoly. As I am learning the basic early expansion strategies, I definetely look at this piece of wonder advice as crucial improvement to my gaming skills.

There is something I would like cleared up though...

Your skills at tech research, tech trading, diplomacy, and the use of the luxury slider will be TREMENDOUSLY hampered.

I understand how this wonder will DIRECTLY relate to hampering one's tech research and trading skills, as well as how to build friends through trading with diplomacy skills. However, I'm not really sure how it will effect the use of the luxury slider. (I can only assume it is meant INDIRECTLY as use of BOTH sliders will improve)

I sort of 'skimmed' through a majority of replies in the thread and couldn't find any discussions of this. Could someone help clear this up for me?

[Side Question: Is there a benefit (besides 'we love the --- day') of having happy citizens, or is it just to prevent them from being unhappy?]

Golden Fleece
Oct 26, 2007, 12:20 PM
Well, they act as equalisers to your unhappy people, the content ones staying out of the equation. So as an example, when you're Rep or Dem and want to war, and you've got the encreasing issue of war weary citizens, a higher number of happy people will prolong the number of turns the city NOT ging into disorder. The same goes for all the things that will make them unhappy, such as pop rush and drafting.

AlanH
Oct 26, 2007, 12:39 PM
However, I'm not really sure how it will effect the use of the luxury slider. (I can only assume it is meant INDIRECTLY as use of BOTH sliders will improve)
I think that's correct. Ision was pointing out that, while you are relying on the Great Library for techs, the only slider you have to worry about is the Lux one, and you may not bother to manage that very carefully either at a low difficulty level. So you won't learn some essential skills to enable you to move up the difficulty ladder if you depend on building the Library.

[Side Question: Is there a benefit (besides 'we love the --- day') of having happy citizens, or is it just to prevent them from being unhappy?]
You need at least as many happy people as sad ones in each city to avoid city riots. The more happy people you have in excess of sad ones, averaged over the turns of the game, the higher your score. If you manage to get no sad people in a city it will go into WLTKD mode, which will reduce corruption. This can be worth doing in special circumstances where you need that "one more shield per turn" to finish a project faster.

Villainwill
Oct 30, 2007, 11:48 AM
Thanks ALL! That all really helped to clear my vision of how the game should be played.

Now back to the newbie questions/quick answers thread for me :sad: ;)

Headbanger
Jan 05, 2008, 02:04 AM
From now on, I'll just hit the random button and roll with it.

I am very guilty of swearing loadly and breaking a couple of household objects for not achieving adam smith's stock exchange... but then again it pays for ALOT of stuff... :)

3Davideo
Jan 30, 2008, 09:15 PM
I focus on having FUN at this game. That's why I get Pyramids and Sun Tzu's with Germany on Warlord and fight the entire world at once with panzers, because that's the most fun.

Although that has been getting a little easy of late. I may switch to the third difficulty level soon.

Ringo Kid
Jan 31, 2008, 12:38 PM
I don't think anyone is saying don't build ANY wonders. I think the point is that your play will be stronger if you build just the one or two wonders that are most important to your overall strategy.

Zardnaar
Jan 31, 2008, 12:45 PM
This threads almost 4 years old and Ision left along time ago. Just find its funny that this thread and our civilizations thread reviews still get replies.

Nergal
Jan 31, 2008, 12:58 PM
And it totally depends on the situation. I will always build the SoZ if I have Ivory, its self defense and I like Ancient Cavalry. Some of the games I've played successfully would have been impossible without the Lighthouse because of the spacing of islands. ToE is useful because of the bounce to Hoover Dam and gives a massive leverage in tech trading. What other use is there for an SGL, I suppose I could stack them on a shelf and dust them every few turns. Overall I agree with not building them as habit. The shield investment is a lot for little return and if you turn those shields into units then the wonders are yours by right of conquest anyway.

3Davideo
Jan 31, 2008, 04:21 PM
Hmm, once I get Conquests I think I might be getting lots of SGLs! I luv science! :love:

Marsden
Feb 04, 2008, 08:54 AM
This threads almost 4 years old and Ision left along time ago. Just find its funny that this thread and our civilizations thread reviews still get replies.

This game is over 6 years old and we're still playing it like crazy. Your threads are still very relevant for Civ 3 fanatics. I have read them all and still browse them occasionally.

Zardnaar
Feb 04, 2008, 12:24 PM
This game is over 6 years old and we're still playing it like crazy. Your threads are still very relevant for Civ 3 fanatics. I have read them all and still browse them occasionally.

I don't play it so much now. Currently addicted to Xbox 360:cool:

ChaosArbiter
Feb 05, 2008, 04:35 AM
Hmm. I don't think I ever built the Great Library in any game unless I was already winning. I think the first three wonders I (used to) always shoot for were Pyramids, Sun Tzu's, and Adam Smith's. I haven't built the Pyramids in ages, though if I play a Scientific Civ I'll usually work on Sun Tzu's because I get Feudalism as my free tech. I still like to go for Adam, though I've skipped it a couple times. Course, I'm still playing Warlord because I want to get used to different starts - I'm currently playing a Pangaea as the Vikings, but got stuck on an island with the Romans. I didn't beeline and still got the Great Lighthouse ....

timerover51
Mar 27, 2008, 01:22 AM
This would make a bit more sense if my experience with tech trading were better. I cannot recall a single case of successfully trading the AI for ANY tech, and that includes the War in the Pacific scenario in the Conquest game. In theory, the Allies are in a locked alliance, but I could not make any tech trades at all. I finally gave up on the idea and now play it hot seat so that I can trade with myself to progress faster. I play the game for relaxation and fun, not to see how high I can go. I modify the units as I see fit to try for more historical accuracy, as I am a mlitary historian, and do my best to eliminate corruption as a factor in the game. Shocking though this may be, I will keep building my Wonders, and have fun doing so.

My major regret is not having a full editor for my Macs, so that I have to do editing either on my son's Windows laptop, or on the Dell desktop that I picked up cheap specifically for game editing. Then transfer to my Mac laptop and hope that it works. Roughly 90% of the time it does.

Oh, and ChaosArbiter, the problem with the flyboys is that ALL ground troops are targets, including their own side. The USAF official vehicle recognition manual for the First Gulf War did not have any modern Marine vehicle in it, so the zoomies were killing Grizzlies as well as BTR60/70. I have heard anecdotal evidence to Marine units firing as USAF planes that were attacking them. Credit the USAF public relations that more friendly fire incidences were not reported.

Zardnaar
Mar 27, 2008, 04:13 AM
I think the point of the article was that at higher difficulty levels wonders are a waste of time. I rarely build them now or only when already no 1 on the map. YOu don't need them to win the game.

I'm no major expert at this game as I tend to play on emperor difficulty and I've managed to beat the game on deity. For the price of most wonders you can add to your army and go seize them off the AI.

Theov
Mar 27, 2008, 06:24 AM
I never build the ancient ones.
I like The Knights Templar though (that gives a Crusader every 5 turns). I've never calculated it shield-wise, but I like it.
The Smith's Trading Company (pays upkeep for trade improvements) rocks. I also never calculated it, but with 20 cities and 4 builings, that's 80 gpt. Good trade.
Hoover dam: rocks. Big time. (if on a big enough continent)
Leo's Workshop: I thought it was a great deal (only half the upgrade price for units) but I see that's I've not used it as much as I would think. But then again, maybe I just didn't remember every single unit, because of the low upgrade price.
ToE - that's where you clinch the win.
.
Then in modern times, when I'm in the lead, I like to just build every wonder available. Why? Because I can.

BalthusTraveler
Mar 27, 2008, 11:16 AM
About Wonder Addiction: what if we capture the Wonder from another civilization that already built it? Does it still count as "Wonder Addiction" then?

AlanH
Mar 27, 2008, 11:27 AM
re-read the first post in this thread. It's all about resisting the temptation to build wonders.

Capturing them is an entirely different matter. It doesn't cost you shields during the critical parts of the game, and it usually happens as part of your strategic progress towards whatever victory you are planning.

BalthusTraveler
Mar 27, 2008, 11:53 AM
The reason I asked is because the Great Library is very valuable for tech research, but at least one of the AIs usually ends up building it anyway.

Aabraxan
Mar 27, 2008, 12:02 PM
Capturing the Great Library is lots of fun if you can do it before you learn Education. There are some high-level games around here where players get launched from the early Medieval to the Industrial (or maybe even Modern) Ages by capturing it.

Theov
Mar 27, 2008, 12:15 PM
About Wonder Addiction: what if we capture the Wonder from another civilization that already built it? Does it still count as "Wonder Addiction" then?
When you shake at night when you didn't do it for a day, you might reach the criterium.

BalthusTraveler
Mar 27, 2008, 12:34 PM
The thing that makes capturing the Great Library so appealing is that it can help you out in the tech race no matter what type of civ you are using. Its one of the few wonders that can potentially help any playing strategy (cultural, military, tech-based, whatever). Most other wonders only provide a very specific function (i.e. Knights Templar is only good for military, Shakespeare's is only good for cultural, etc.)

darski
Mar 27, 2008, 07:51 PM
Since I am a low level player (never above and just barely at Regent) I like the Pyramids if I can get them.

I just had a very early war and got a Great Leader - instant Pyramid power.:king:

I admit to a certain wonder addiction but I have also learned not to care if I don't get them. C'est la vie.

European
Mar 28, 2008, 09:06 AM
I must disagree with your statement, i'm an Emperor-Deity player, and i always play one civ, cus` i do believe it has the best traits (French, Commercial Industrious) c'mon you wont tell me expansionist trait is better? in what? killing barbarians? ~.~

Also i always shot for the Great Library since its the base of my core strategy i use most often ;o

Spoonwood
Jun 19, 2008, 11:18 PM
1. The Great Library is OFF limits. Never, absolutely never build this wonder - not even with a SGL! The single biggest wonder crutch of CIV - is this wonder. Your skills at tech research, tech trading, diplomacy, and the use of the luxury slider will be TREMENDOUSLY hampered. This single wonder delayed my Regent to Monarch transition by months.


I find it funny that Ision writes this and then SirPleb says

I want to add a comment about rule 1, re the Great Library: Please don't think that this rule is just to deliberately make your game harder. The Great Library can have a worse effect than just as a crutch - counting on it stops you from even thinking about getting ahead in tech and thus limits your gameplay.

But then a little while later SirPleb DID build the Great Library in his Hall of Fame Sid game with the Iroquois. Then he gave the thing away and took it back for more tech. Did it "limit his gameplay"? Not at all. If someone here really thinks so, they should try and beat his hall of fame score. Even miss Moonsinger says she benefited from his tactic. She also says that it may be that her score benefited from building J.S. Bach's Cathedral in 90 A.D. Don't build a wonder until you've mastered regent? Your scores will go down if you have less happy citizens... and don't you want a higher score usually? I also find it interesting that Ision says

My advice is simple: do not build a single wonder until you have mastered Regent level. Do this, and you will have your first Deity victory in a fraction of the time it took me.

Except that the Deity-strategy for Deity Noobs by Drakan relies on the Great Library. Sure enough, someone here will come back and say that you can do tech-trading on Deity intelligently and keep up. But, that works out as the whole problem... tech-trading speeds up the tech pace and on Deity and from what I've read Sid-level also, it seems that you generally don't want to speed up the tech pace at all... people often play archipelago on Sid to slow down the tech pace as it already goes so fast that you'll need more time to build infrastructure and/or train units before you can do all that much. Also, The Great Library, has economic benefits, since you can shut off research.

Certain civ traits, do NOT lend themselves to building certain wonders. And one last thing... in order to build the Great Library on Deity, what do you need to do? You need to mine a bunch of tiles around your selected city and add in workers at the right time. Pre-building can also help, though it doesn't come as necessary. In order to do this, experience with the 20k game or building other wonders in non-20k games helps. So, this article works as fairly useless for Deity Noobs, since they probably want to know how to build *a* wonder when in hot competition for one in the first place. The wonder they want to build interestingly enough comes as the one called "off limits" in this article.

Believe it or not, I think the article actually addresses Emperor and "below" players better, since on those levels you can whack the AI early and keep up in tech much easier. I don't have a good feeling as to where demi-god fits into all of this... I do play it, but it seems hard to say.

timerover51
Jun 20, 2008, 02:47 AM
I guess that I am puzzled by the view that building Wonders is bad. They are part of the game, yet a fair number of people argue that they should not be used. In my view, that is like saying bombers are a part of the game, but you should never use them, or cutting down forests for a shield boost is part of the game, but you should never do that. They are there, I will use them.

As for racing to get to Deity level. so what? I could not care less if I NEVER play at Deity level, and I probably will not. I play for fun, which some of the posters seem to have forgotten in their bludgeoning of me over the head to play in the same way that they do, or in a very similar way. I enjoy playing with the Wonders, tweaking their specs, changing what they do, making them into what I would view as a more accurate portrayal of their effects.

For those of you who do not like to build Wonders, and think that no human player should build them, I have a simple proposal. PUT YOUR EFFORTS WHERE YOUR POSTS ARE AND ELIMINATE THEM FROM THE GAME, TOTALLY. NO WONDERS FOR ANYONE. No Great Library, no Statue of Zeus, no Theory of Evolution, no Hoover Dam, no Manhattan Project, no Apollo Project. NOTHING. Then see how much fun the game is to play. Otherwise, quit telling people how they should play. You want to tell me how you play, that is fine.

DO NOT TELL ME HOW I SHOULD PLAY.

Chamnix
Jun 20, 2008, 05:54 AM
Please stop taking posts intended to discuss how to win more consistently/on higher levels for people who do care about such things as a personal affront.

eldar
Jun 20, 2008, 06:02 AM
Firstly, this article is primarily aimed at new players - those who've just started playing the game, are trying to move up levels, and are wondering why they're not doing so successfully. Wonder Addiction - in particular over-reliance on the GLib - is only part of any number of reasons why a new player may be struggling. However it is still a valid point worth addressing.

Second, Ision is not by any means advocating abandoning all Wonder builds. He is suggesting two things in particular: 1. don't use the GLib, ever. 2. Limit Wonder-building to a single city. In other words what this article is trying to do is encourage players to invest in worker management skills, trading skills, etc. in order to further their research (rather than relying on the GLib - and below Monarch human players can easily out-strip AI research before the GLib even comes into play, in other words, it actually SLOWS the human research rate), and prevent "Wonder Spamming": having 2 or 3 or more cities all churning out Wonders, which is inevitably to the detriment of their empire as a whole.

Third, I believe that both SirPleb and Moonsinger had long "mastered Regent" by the time they played their respective Sid games ;) . So they can do whatever they want! Besides, Sid Level is often described as a totally different game to Civ3, so as far as the human goes, all bets are off. Do what you need to win. I've not studied SirPleb's game in depth, but in Moonsinger's, she was pulling the Sid AI's strings throughout - pretty darned impressive, really.

Fourth, for the experienced player who has found their comfort level and who is interested in playing the game for their enjoyment, not in a competitive/HoF/GOTM style every time they start up a map, what, when, how, and where they build Wonders, units, buildings, cities, how to mod the game, and so on - this article isn't aimed at them, so please quietly ignore it.

Spoonwood
Jun 20, 2008, 08:04 AM
Concerning wonder spamming and such: Ision's article seems to forget one victory condition open to *all* players... the 20k game. Perhaps it works out better that newbies at Regent should master the 20k game before thinking about a Monarch game. After all, in a 20k game you have fewer cities, slower expansion, less military, etc. When you move up a level the AI has more cities, faster expansion, more military, etc. In other words, playing a 20k game at say Regent in some ways might behave more like a Monarch game than a non-20k game, in that you might have a similar *relative* power position in a Regent 20k game than you would in a non-20k Monarch game. Of course in a good, non-OCC, 20k game you build tons of wonders... and not just in your 20k city.

Having 2 or 3 cities building wonders in a 20k game (at least on Monarch on up) does NOT function as a detriment to the empire as a whole. It actually helps the empire, since it can lock out the AI from completing a wonder at the wrong time and causing a wonder cascade, so that your 20k city misses say Copernicus's Observatory. Here your empire ends off better, because it lies closer to its victory condition this way.

eldar
Jun 20, 2008, 08:26 AM
Except in a 20K game, you generally only have one city building Wonders. You might turn another city or two over to building some of the low-culture Medieval wonders (specifically Sun Tzu and Leo's) to prevent the cascade tripping and you losing out on Coper's/Bach/Adam Smith, but such cities won't be building those wonders until after the Rex phase of the game, and will have reached a decent size. Often your FP city if your 20K city is the capital.

Particularly in a 20K game, where unless you really luck out with food bonuses your Rex phase will be 1-2 settlers or more behind the AI, you definitely can't afford to have a second city building a Wonder whilst your 20K city focuses on culture. Besides which you want as many Ancient Era Wonders as you can stuff into a single city for the culture doubling bonus and (in C3C) the tourism cash. Except at the very lowest levels, or when SGLs come along, you really have to decide on one vs another - Pyramids or Oracle usually - because the one Ancient Wonder you definitely want ASAP in a 20K game is the GLib.

Aabraxan
Jun 20, 2008, 08:38 AM
I'm not a Deity-level player, nor even Demigod. But I am a pretty solid Emperor-level player. I'll admit that I'm one of those players around here who tells new players not to build the Great Wonders, at least until they've mastered some basic skills.
1. The Great Library is OFF limits. Never, absolutely never build this wonder - not even with a SGL! The single biggest wonder crutch of CIV - is this wonder. Your skills at tech research, tech trading, diplomacy, and the use of the luxury slider will be TREMENDOUSLY hampered. This single wonder delayed my Regent to Monarch transition by months.
I find it funny that Ision writes this and then SirPleb says
My advice is simple: do not build a single wonder until you have mastered Regent level. Do this, and you will have your first Deity victory in a fraction of the time it took me.
But let's look at Ision's opening to this article:
Let me start by saying that I DO build wonders, and I think they are a wonderful part of this game. They create variety and lead to a myriad of different strategies. Having said that, had I not been a victim of 'wonder fixation' as a newbie I would have become a better player FAR faster. My learning curve to Monarch would have been reduced by months - my first Deity victory would not have taken over a dozen failed attempts.

New and inexperienced players (chieftain to regent) make certain common errors. High among these is "Wonder Fixation".
I don't think this article is advocating a complete absence of Wonder-building at all. I do think that it's aimed at getting new players to learn to live without them until they've reached a point where they can make a decent evaluation of the risks & costs vs. the reward.

The Pyramids & the GLib are great examples. They some relatively early in the game, carry a pretty high shield cost and are very powerful. They're also lots of fun. The problem comes when a new player, struggling at Chieftain or Warlord, has crippled their own REX phase by building 3-4 Ancient Age wonders in their capital (for example). It's not that their Wonders aren't doing them any good. It's that they've failed to understand what those 1000+ shields have cost them. The Pyramids just aren't that powerful when building them has limited your REX phase to 5-6 cities. The GLib still gets you the free techs, but the economic benefits that come with being able to shut off research just aren't that great when the same thing has happened.

But then a little while later SirPleb DID build the Great Library in his Hall of Fame Sid game with the Iroquois. Then he gave the thing away and took it back for more tech. Did it "limit his gameplay"? Not at all. If someone here really thinks so, they should try and beat his hall of fame score. Even miss Moonsinger says she benefited from his tactic. She also says that it may be that her score benefited from building J.S. Bach's Cathedral in 90 A.D. Don't build a wonder until you've mastered regent? Your scores will go down if you have less happy citizens... and don't you want a higher score usually? I also find it interesting that Ision says
I want to add a comment about rule 1, re the Great Library: Please don't think that this rule is just to deliberately make your game harder. The Great Library can have a worse effect than just as a crutch - counting on it stops you from even thinking about getting ahead in tech and thus limits your gameplay.
First, let me admit that I don't play for score, but I do have a basic understanding of the scoring system. With that caveat, if you're struggling with Regent, I'd venture to say that improving your gameplay skill will help your scores more in the long run than building the GLib in every game.

There are some games in which the GLib is almost (if not entirely) essential. While there may be some DG/Deity/Sid games played and won without the GLib, I can't think of a single one that I've read where getting it (either by building or conquest) was not in the game plan. But those are players who understand the game well enough to understand the cost of tying up one of their cities long enough to complete the GLib and the risks of: (1) getting caught in a cascade; and (2) having their empire's production & expansion hampered by having that city tied up.

Again, I think this article is aimed for new players. At Chieftain and Warlord, a human player really shouldn't need the GLib. Want it? Maybe. But need? No. The human player can out-tech the AI at that level pretty easily, once basic empire management skills have been mastered. At Monarch and Emperor, even I can out-tech the AI most of the time. I think it's important for new players to understand what they can accomplish without wonders. I think it's important for them to learn what to do when they don't succeed in building them.

Also, I agree with eldar: I think it safe to say that Moonsinger and SirPleb had both "mastered Regent" by the time they played the games to which you refer.

Except that the Deity-strategy for Deity Noobs by Drakan relies on the Great Library. Sure enough, someone here will come back and say that you can do tech-trading on Deity intelligently and keep up. But, that works out as the whole problem... tech-trading speeds up the tech pace and on Deity and from what I've read Sid-level also, it seems that you generally don't want to speed up the tech pace at all... people often play archipelago on Sid to slow down the tech pace as it already goes so fast that you'll need more time to build infrastructure and/or train units before you can do all that much. Also, The Great Library, has economic benefits, since you can shut off research.
As I said above, at DG/Deity/Sid (from what I've read), the GLib is often in the game plan. A "Deity Noob," though, has probably mastered Regent. ;)


Certain civ traits, do NOT lend themselves to building certain wonders. And one last thing... in order to build the Great Library on Deity, what do you need to do? You need to mine a bunch of tiles around your selected city and add in workers at the right time. Pre-building can also help, though it doesn't come as necessary. In order to do this, experience with the 20k game or building other wonders in non-20k games helps. So, this article works as fairly useless for Deity Noobs, since they probably want to know how to build *a* wonder when in hot competition for one in the first place. The wonder they want to build interestingly enough comes as the one called "off limits" in this article.
I don't think this is aimed at Deity Noobs. This article isn't really meant for the player who: (1) understands how to use workers; (2) knows when to start a prebuild (where necessary); (3) can time adding of workers to the wonder city; (4) has the skills necessary to build a wonder when the AI is competing for the same one.

I guess that I am puzzled by the view that building Wonders is bad. They are part of the game, yet a fair number of people argue that they should not be used. . . . .
I don't think anyone is advocating playing without ever building any wonders ever, nor arguing that they should never be used. The Great Wonders are lots of fun & a benefit to the empire. What I do see some people advocating is capturing wonders rather than building them. If you're playing for a culture victory, that's a bad idea, as captured wonders don't generate culture. For a conquest victory, though, capturing the Pyramids puts a granary in every city on my continent as surely as building them does. Is there a cost? Sure, but the shields go into military units rather than the Pyramids. Is that, in part, a matter of playstyle? Of course. If that's not what you enjoy, that's fine.

. . . . For those of you who do not like to build Wonders, and think that no human player should build them, I have a simple proposal. PUT YOUR EFFORTS WHERE YOUR POSTS ARE AND ELIMINATE THEM FROM THE GAME, TOTALLY. NO WONDERS FOR ANYONE. No Great Library, no Statue of Zeus, no Theory of Evolution, no Hoover Dam, no Manhattan Project, no Apollo Project. NOTHING. Then see how much fun the game is to play. . . . .
I don't think that anyone's advocating completely giving up Wonders for human players (except maybe as a variant). I'm sure that there are players who could win a high-level "No Great Wonders" game, but I don't know of any high-level players who have completely given up wonders. The Great Wonders are fun. I don't deny that. But this article, and the "don't build wonders" posts aren't aimed at high-level players.

Otherwise, quit telling people how they should play. You want to tell me how you play, that is fine.

DO NOT TELL ME HOW I SHOULD PLAY.
You're not struggling with basic empire management techniques, so I don't think the "don't build Wonders" statements are directed at you. However, when new players show up looking for tips, as they routinely do around here, the question they're asking is: "What should I do?" The answer to that begins with "You should . . . "

Spoonwood
Jun 20, 2008, 08:41 AM
I usually have my non-20K cities build Sun Tzu's, Leo's, Smith's and Magellan's, at least. If I ever got a leader in the 20k game (I haven't yet), I'd probably have a non-20k city build the military academy, since leaders come as a bit expensive for my 20k city to train them. You will have your 20k city building wonders during the ReX phase of the game... and that slows down your expansion.

You can afford to have a 2nd city building wonders whilst your 20k city focuses on culture. You can win 5 city 20k challenges on Monarch, and I suspect emperor. Hey look... the Great Library no longer comes as off-limits, it comes as the one Ancient Wonder you definitely want ASAP (in a 20k game).

Ision should have at least confined his comments to players who NEVER, EVER, EVER want to play the 20k game. The same goes for SirPleb. For "wonder fixation" I suggest playing the 20k game and forget other victory conditions. Don't fight it... use it.

eldar
Jun 20, 2008, 09:08 AM
For "wonder fixation" I suggest playing the 20k game and forget other victory conditions. Don't fight it... use it.

Why do you think 20K is my favourite VC? It lets the builder in me out with abandon... I don't have to care about squeezing every last penny out of every last city, ICSing until my eyeballs pop, or capturing vast chunks of territory before AD1.

Also because of borking effect on the Rex phase, it does notch up the difficulty by 1/2 to a full level.

Spoonwood
Jun 20, 2008, 09:10 AM
Redundant post deleted.

Spoonwood
Jun 20, 2008, 09:14 AM
Aabraxan,

I said I found Ision's comments funny, because he thinks that avoiding all wonders will lead to a faster first victory at Deity level. I disagree. Knowing how to build the Great Library, leads to a faster first victory at Deity level (in terms of real-life time and number of games played... not time played in a specific game or victory finish date). Currently, I have a game almost surely a few turns away from my first victory on Deity (I'll post my current save). I've NEVER played a game without building wonders... and I'd have to think hard to remember when I last didn't build the Great Library.

The problem comes when a new player, struggling at Chieftain or Warlord, has crippled their own REX phase by building 3-4 Ancient Age wonders in their capital (for example). It's not that their Wonders aren't doing them any good. It's that they've failed to understand what those 1000+ shields have cost them.

How in the world will NOT building wonders get newbies to understand ReXing better? Wouldn't an article on settler and worker factories work better? Wouldn't screenshots from the retirement replay of games with settler factories vs. those without work better? I simply don't see how abstaining from building wonders helps with understanding ReX better, as players who don't build wonders might just train units or build temples and such instead of settlers and workers.

The GLib still gets you the free techs, but the economic benefits that come with being able to shut off research just aren't that great when the same thing has happened.

At Emperor and below it at least seems not. In some Emperor-level games though, one might even argue that it works out better, since you can run high-deficit research in the high middle ages after Education. Maybe not though. Still, at Deity and Sid, and perahps Demi-God, it certainly does have significant benefits.


While there may be some DG/Deity/Sid games played and won without the GLib, I can't think of a single one that I've read where getting it (either by building or conquest) was not in the game plan.

This contradicts Ision's assertion that

Having said that, had I not been a victim of 'wonder fixation' as a newbie I would have become a better player FAR faster. My learning curve to Monarch would have been reduced by months - my first Deity victory would not have taken over a dozen failed attempts.

I don't think miss Moonsinger captured or had plans to capture the Great Library in her 80k game... at least she doesn't say anything about it in her write-up, and shows us some of her excellent trades.

At Chieftain and Warlord, a human player really shouldn't need the GLib.

For which victory condition?

I don't think this is aimed at Deity Noobs.

I have to disagree. Ision says:

My learning curve to Monarch would have been reduced by months – my first Deity victory would not have taken over a dozen failed attempts.

SirPleb added

My learning curve to Monarch would have been reduced by months – my first Deity victory would not have taken over a dozen failed attempts.

In the comments Ision says

The intent of my post is to point out 2 facts: firstly, that your learning curve to move up to any level - even chieftan to warlord - will be vastly improved if you can do so without having to rely on a wonder strategy.

Ision also says in the comments

Emp/Diety players are THE smallest minority of CIV players. My post is for those that would like to to take a crack at that smallest of minorities.

No... simply put, making building the Great Library off limits for Deity players doesn't make much sense... esepcially for Deity noobs. The four skills you mentioned I more or less learned from playing lots of 20k games, where I built tons of wonders. Those skills help a lot for a Deity attempt, in my opinion.

eldar
Jun 20, 2008, 09:26 AM
Ision didn't advocate abstinence from build the GLib to win at Deity. (Incidentally, go look at SGOTM12 - admittedly a contrived set-up in terms of cities built but I think you'll find that in that game not one single team built or used the GLib to gain a significant number of techs.)

What he is doing is slotting another piece into the "what can I do to improve my game?" puzzle often posed by new players.

At some point, those new players will get to a point where they are confident that they can play the game on their own terms at a level that they are comfortable with. Wonders such as the GLib, Pyramids, etc. are understood not just as being a fun toy, but as a means to an end. An investment that must be properly thought out before committing to it. At which point the player has learned their lesson, and this article has served its purpose. The player now moves on to play Civ how they wish, and the GLib or whatever other Wonders they choose to build become a part of the overall strategy that they employ to win by their chosen VC - rather than "ooh I can build the GLib it gives me loads of techs omgfh I MUST HAVE IT IT WILL BE MINE!11!!!"

Aabraxan
Jun 20, 2008, 10:33 AM
. . . . Currently, I have a game almost surely a few turns away from my first victory on Deity . . . . . . . .
:woohoo: Congratulations! :woohoo:

How in the world will NOT building wonders get newbies to understand ReXing better? Wouldn't an article on settler and worker factories work better? Wouldn't screenshots from the retirement replay of games with settler factories vs. those without work better? I simply don't see how abstaining from building wonders helps with understanding ReX better, as players who don't build wonders might just train units or build temples and such instead of settlers and workers.
The problem is that new players often build Great Wonders at the expense of REXing. (Obviously not a concern for OCC games.)
. . . . You will have your 20k city building wonders during the ReX phase of the game... and that slows down your expansion.

If a new player can pull off a successful REX and build the Great Wonders, that's a different story. If you pull some of the old "help a noobie out" threads, I think that what you'll see is that players posting those threads frequently have one or two cities that have been building wonders, but they suffer from: (1) too few workers; (2) too small of an empire; and (3) too small of a military. Even if you don't plan to war early, having enough military to defend oneself tends to be useful.

How will not building wonders help them? By teaching them how opportunity cost works in Civ. IMO, part of the problem stems from the fact that these new players don't really understand how all the pieces of the puzzle (shield cost, unit support, improvement upkeep, research, luxes & the benefits of each) fit together. What I tried to make clear in my last post & I apologize if I did not, is that once a player puts those pieces together, then you start adding wonders into the mix.

Articles on Settlers and worker factories? They're already there.
Cracker's Opening Plays Site (http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/strategy/opening_plays.php)
Tutorial: Babylon's Deity Settlers (http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/strategy/deity_settlers1.php)
Spotting Settler Factories (http://www.civfanatics.com/civ3/strategy/settler_factory.php)

Yes, players might "just train units or build temples and such instead of settlers and workers." But building military is part of that equation. Let them lose a few settlers or have a few towns sacked and they'll quit doing that. Temples vs. Military, that's a different debate, IMO.


. . . . Ision should have at least confined his comments to players who NEVER, EVER, EVER want to play the 20k game. The same goes for SirPleb. For "wonder fixation" I suggest playing the 20k game and forget other victory conditions. Don't fight it... use it.
I disagree. I would simply submit that players winning 20K games, already understand both the value of wonders and the various costs involved in building them.

At Emperor and below it at least seems not. In some Emperor-level games though, one might even argue that it works out better, since you can run high-deficit research in the high middle ages after Education. Maybe not though. Still, at Deity and Sid, and perahps Demi-God, it certainly does have significant benefits.
I'm not disputing the value of the GLib. I know that it's especially valuable at higher levels and for culture games. I think that new players need to understand how to function without it.


While there may be some DG/Deity/Sid games played and won without the GLib, I can't think of a single one that I've read where getting it (either by building or conquest) was not in the game plan.
This contradicts Ision's assertion that
Having said that, had I not been a victim of 'wonder fixation' as a newbie I would have become a better player FAR faster. My learning curve to Monarch would have been reduced by months - my first Deity victory would not have taken over a dozen failed attempts.
I don't see how my statement contradicts Ision's at all.

I don't think miss Moonsinger captured or had plans to capture the Great Library in her 80k game... at least she doesn't say anything about it in her write-up, and shows us some of her excellent trades.
You may be right. So Sid-level can be beaten without the GLib. But just because Moonsinger can do it, doesn't mean that new players need to build every AA wonder at the expense of REX.

For which victory condition?
To keep up in tech. It's very handy for culture, though.

I don't think this is aimed at Deity Noobs.
I have to disagree. Ision says:
My learning curve to Monarch would have been reduced by months – my first Deity victory would not have taken over a dozen failed attempts.

First of all, the Deity Noobs (or most of them, I suspect) have completed the learning curve to Monarch. The trip from Monarch to Deity usually comes after Chieftain to Monarch.

Second, take a look at the whole paragraph:
Let me start by saying that I DO build wonders, and I think they are a wonderful part of this game. They create variety and lead to a myriad of different strategies. Having said that, had I not been a victim of 'wonder fixation' as a newbie I would have become a better player FAR faster. My learning curve to Monarch would have been reduced by months - my first Deity victory would not have taken over a dozen failed attempts.
(Emphasis supplied).

I think the point is to learn to manage the game without having to rely on one "indispensable" wonder.
. . . . No... simply put, making building the Great Library off limits for Deity players doesn't make much sense... esepcially for Deity noobs. The four skills you mentioned I more or less learned from playing lots of 20k games, where I built tons of wonders. Those skills help a lot for a Deity attempt, in my opinion.
OK, but, again, you already have the basic management skills necessary to get to that level.

DWetzel
Jun 20, 2008, 11:23 AM
I guess that I am puzzled by the view that building Wonders is bad. They are part of the game, yet a fair number of people argue that they should not be used. In my view, that is like saying bombers are a part of the game, but you should never use them, or cutting down forests for a shield boost is part of the game, but you should never do that. They are there, I will use them.

As for racing to get to Deity level. so what? I could not care less if I NEVER play at Deity level, and I probably will not. I play for fun, which some of the posters seem to have forgotten in their bludgeoning of me over the head to play in the same way that they do, or in a very similar way. I enjoy playing with the Wonders, tweaking their specs, changing what they do, making them into what I would view as a more accurate portrayal of their effects.

For those of you who do not like to build Wonders, and think that no human player should build them, I have a simple proposal. PUT YOUR EFFORTS WHERE YOUR POSTS ARE AND ELIMINATE THEM FROM THE GAME, TOTALLY. NO WONDERS FOR ANYONE. No Great Library, no Statue of Zeus, no Theory of Evolution, no Hoover Dam, no Manhattan Project, no Apollo Project. NOTHING. Then see how much fun the game is to play. Otherwise, quit telling people how they should play. You want to tell me how you play, that is fine.

DO NOT TELL ME HOW I SHOULD PLAY.

Timerover, don't take this the wrong way. I preface everything I say with "I think it's great that you have fun playing the game you play, and frankly, if playing a different way is more fun for you, you SHOULD do that."

That said... I frequently (and by frequently, I mean like 90% of your posts heading in this direction) see you post something similar to your second paragraph above.

You tweak the wonders, change the effects of buildings, and so on. That's great. But at the point you are making all of those changes, in my opinion, you aren't playing Civ. You're playing "Timerover's variant game based on the Civ structure". For which none of us have a reference, and for which, quite honestly, the "normal" conventions of the game probably don't apply. Just as your discussions of your variants, from a purely strategic perspective, are meaningless when discussing out of the box Civ.

I fully encourage you to start www.timeroversvariationsofcivfanatics.com though. Again, I'm glad you enjoy it. Someday, perhaps I'll ask for some of your variants and try them out. But, purely from a strategic perspective, you're talking about a different game entirely. And it's really, really annoying.

Spoonwood
Jun 20, 2008, 04:34 PM
Timerover,

You probably should qualify *all* your comments by saying that you play modded games a lot. I wouldn't put like DWetzel and say you aren't playing civ... but you play a different sort of civ in general, so your comments come as less relevant and the analyses you make don't quite have the same force, since you think of a different sort of civ. More power to you for creating and playing your own games... but keep in mind you play your own sort of game.

Aabraxan,

If you can't think of a single demi-god/deity/sid player who doesn't capture or build the GLB, then it at least appears that the most common strategy for beating those levels involves the GLB... it doesn't come as off-limits... it works more like a core strategy for many, if not most players. This sort of suggests that for one's first civ game, knowing how to build the GLB works out as best... especially since capturing a Deity-level AI town doesn't work out as so simple as capturing a Monarch-level AI town. Consequently, one actually slows oneself down in a transition to Deity if one ignores the GLB as Ision suggested. Since we have a suggestion, not an actual implication, we don't have a contradiction exactly... but it comes close to such.

How will not building wonders help them? By teaching them how opportunity cost works in Civ. IMO, part of the problem stems from the fact that these new players don't really understand how all the pieces of the puzzle (shield cost, unit support, improvement upkeep, research, luxes & the benefits of each) fit together. What I tried to make clear in my last post & I apologize if I did not, is that once a player puts those pieces together, then you start adding wonders into the mix.

I certainly don't think you need to understand all that to win a 20k game on Monarch or below. I simply don't know how many 20k games, OCC or many cities, I won where I didn't trade for a single technology or trade away a single technology. I certainly didn't understand research for those games. I know I also won 2 emperor 20k games where I didn't trade tech either. In almost all those games I didn't have much military either. I've even I've won a 20k game on Monarch where I didn't have freshwater near my capital... well technically I launched the spaceship, but in 2 or 3 turns I could have cultural victory in that one.

I think going for the 20k game actually accelerates one's learning curve to Monarch, because then one almost surely starts thinking about building the highest culture wonders in one city.. and it actively encourages one to check the civilopedia for information about shield costs and cultural value of wonders, what they do, how they trigger golden ages, as well for culturally and shield cost information for city improvements. A newbie also learns that the Babylonians have cheaper temples than the Germans, and wonders why... oh... it's that religious thing. But, why would you check the civilopedia for wonder information if you won't build them? Why would you check the civilopedia information on city improvements like temples and cathedrals and banks, if you plan to mostly build military and conquer? You wouldn't. Also, the 20k game encourages you to use the luxury slider, since even a newbie can figure out that you'll probably end up with fewer shields in that one city if you use an entertainer or tax collector. Additionally, the 20k game teaches you about corruption, since if you try to build a 20k city in your non-core, the newbie will wonder why it takes so darn long... and might actually look at the city display screen trying to figure it out.

DWetzel
Jun 20, 2008, 04:47 PM
One further semi-relevant point there: in a 20k game... at least you're confining building all those wonders to one city (hopefully). Which leaves a few other cities with no wonders to build... and thus, hopefully, SOMETHING else to do. ;)

Chamnix
Jun 20, 2008, 05:23 PM
If you can't think of a single demi-god/deity/sid player who doesn't capture or build the GLB...

The Great Library is very rarely part of my strategy in demi-god or deity games.

Spoonwood
Jun 20, 2008, 08:59 PM
I fully believe you Chamnix and that you do it well. But, how many other players do so at those levels?

In a 20k game confining building wonders to one city in the middle ages doesn't make sense. You want to build Leo's and Sun Tzu's to kill the wonder cascades.

Aabraxan
Jun 20, 2008, 09:03 PM
. . . .
Aabraxan,

If you can't think of a single demi-god/deity/sid player who doesn't capture or build the GLB, then it at least appears that the most common strategy for beating those levels involves the GLB... it doesn't come as off-limits...
The Great Library is very rarely part of my strategy in demi-god or deity games.
Well, now that Chamnix has spoke up, I guess I do know of one high-level player who doesn't use the GLib as a critical part of strategy.

With that said, I still disagree with your analysis. I don't think this article is really aimed at DG & above players and I still think it more helpful for new players to learn to play without the GWs. It's far too easy to let the GLib or other Wonder become a crutch.

Chamnix
Jun 21, 2008, 03:30 AM
I fully believe you Chamnix and that you do it well. But, how many other players do so at those levels?



I think that when players first move up to those levels (possibly when players first move up to almost any level?), they are fairly likely to rely on the Great Library to get their first couple wins, but as their game keeps improving, they start to manage without it. I think that most players who play on demigod or deity regularly probably do so without going for the Great Library (variants like AW excepted).

The problem with relying on one wonder like that is what if you don't get it? I have seen posts in these forums from players saying they restart games if they don't get the Great Library. If your goal is to beat a level consistently (and I'm not saying that is or should be everyone's goal), then I think you have to be able to do it without one particular wonder - there's just too much that can go wrong if your game is based solely on that.

timerover51
Jun 22, 2008, 04:23 AM
Dwetzel, Doug.Lefelhocz, I played straight, unmodified Vanilla Civ3 on my various Macs, and did not enjoy it very much. I found the time it took for workers to make an improvement ridiculous, resource bonuses slightly better than nothing, and unit combat rating bordering on or utterly ludicrous. Ancient galleys damaging and in one case, sinking, an ironclad! I have designed a very detailed naval miniatures game, using the original Rules for the War Game: 1898 edition, by Fred Jane, originator of Jane's Fighting Ships, which hopefully you have heard of, Fighting Ships, not the War Game. I am not that naive to assume that of computer game players. If I had an ancient galley appear in the game, and damage, much less sink, an Victorian-Period Ironclad, not only would I be laughed out of a convention, but even the Fantasy War Gaming guys would be wondering what I was smoking or popping when I did the rules. I will not even get into the rest of the naval units or the land units. I also grew very tired of dealing with AI demands, and continual attacks, being basically a builder by game style.

Note, I teach history using gaming every summer for 3 weeks, one of the requirements for game use is that it promotes long-range thinking, keeping focused on your objectives, and in some cases, building a strong economic base to eventually wage war if needed. I modify the rules in those games to a greater or lessor degree to achieve the desired class goals. As these are HUMAN PLAYERS for all sides, anyone who continually attacks very rapidly finds their team the target of every other team in the game, and vanishes rather quickly. The Civilization 3 computer game style of attacking early and often would not be terribly successful.

When playing the un-modified computer game, I built Wonders, mainly to get some sort of an edge on the AI, after also going to archipelago maps, to give me time to build things. The editor that I did have on the Mac, from MacSoft, was and is the most unstable piece of software that I have ever used on the Mac, and rarely gave me the same map set-up with respect to any modification twice. I could hit the save button three times, changing the save title every time and get three different situations, including having no Bronze Working, desert with no resource and 0 movement cost, ships that could not load, carriers that could not activate planes, Wonders that did nothing, etc. The main use for the editor was seeing how maps and starting positions were laid out. Based on the headaches from all of this, I QUIT PLAYING CIV3 AS A VERY POORLY DESIGNED GAME IN SOME RESPECTS AND ONE THAT WAS NO FUN TO PLAY AT ALL. If I had tried to follow Ision strategy, I would have terminated playing Civ3 MUCH SOONER.

After finally getting a Windows Box, bordering on abomination for a Mac user, and multiple copies of Civ3 Complete for both Mac and Windows, and the Civilization Chronicles, I started editing the game. I now enjoy playing it. I have yet to obtain a single tech from the AI, however, and do not even worry about that, figuring that I will do all of my own research.

I notice that much of your comments have to do with either getting techs from the AI or taking Wonders that they build. It would appear that the idea of doing your own research is not very well liked by the purists of the game. You play it that way, fine. I will not. I understand that makes me an extremely poor player by your standards, just as I view you as extremely poor players by my standards. You do not like my comments, tough. You do not like me modding the game, tough. Civ3 is a good game, marred by some hideous unit combat ratings, ludicrous times for completion, a biased and bizarre RNG, an extremely simplistic corruption model, and a real overkill of a pollution model. You want to play it that way, go ahead. I will not. I will encourage other players not to put up with the headaches, and thereby increase their enjoyment of the game. Considering that the Creation and Customization Sub-forum has the most viewers at any given time, I would say that a lot of people do not play the pure, unmodified Civ3 that you are so zealously pushing.

DWetzel, I will make very sure that I continue to offend your sensibilities and continue to post on the forums.

Spoonwood
Jun 22, 2008, 10:14 AM
I do like your comments timerover... I just wish it came out as clearer that you play mostly modded games when you start talking about civ III. I probably would think you a much better player, in the fullest sense of the word, than many of the regular civ III upper-level players around here. You use your creativity to make the game better for you to play... and I consider that part of playing the game in the fullest sense of the word. Some people don't do that and simply won't dream of it.

SirPleb
Jun 25, 2008, 09:54 PM
A voice from the past chiming in here :)

It is great to see the activity on threads like this and that CivIII is still being explored!

I'm chiming in here because I think there are a number of posts which are at a tangent to Ision's original post. For those talking about Ision's advice and the merits of building wonders at Deity, please reread the core advice in Ision's post:

"My advice is simple: do not build a single wonder until you have mastered Regent level."

I'd like to add my voice to the comments made recently by eldar and Aabraxan ( :thumbsup: )

The beauty of Ision's post is that the advice is simple. Yes he could have said things like "study REX techniques", "study trading articles", etc. But that is not simple advice. His advice is a very useful one liner for the relatively new player who wants to move to more difficult levels and has the simple question "what should I do differently?"

By not building wonders the player will be forced to learn other techniques to win, and will then be able to bring more skills to bear at higher levels.

Ision correctly identifies The Great Library as being the #1 "off limits" wonder for the player who wants to advance levels. The reason for not building this wonder is that not having it encourages a player to improve a number of important skills. Skills such as savvy trading, carefully targeted and managed research, tradeoffs in construction (libraries), and learning to get ahead in tech or to play from behind. All of these are skills which are invaluable at the highest difficulty levels and which will be learned at a much slower rate by a player who relies on the Great Library. Without mastering these skills a player won't have a chance at even more advanced techniques such as controlling the overall tech pace of a game.

I think it goes without saying that Ision's advice doesn't apply to people focused on the 20K goal. There are probably other specialty cases where it doesn't apply. Ision started by saying "New and inexperienced players (chieftain to regent) make certain common errors." I think the vast majority of these players are not devoted to special case goals. They may already have a tendency toward warfare or building, or toward particular Civs. But they usually still want to learn to pursue multiple paths through the game (vs. say a strong focus on 1CC or 20K culture) and in that case Ision's advice is well worth taking.

BTW, though Ision said "Regent", please see my post at #18 in this thread. For players who do want to progress to higher difficulties, I suggest taking his advice farther than that.

timerover51
Jun 26, 2008, 01:46 AM
I guess I do not understand why the Great Library is such a huge bugaboo for some people. I built it before I started modifying the game, but not with the expection of getting any free techs, more for the culture boost to expand my city borders faster. I play on huge to huge+ (larger than 160 x160) archipelago or continent maps, with no more that 4 to 6 civilizations as opponents. As such, depending on other civs for tech advances is a waste of time. I do all of my own research, with research slider at around 60%, entertainment at about 20% if I have a few luxuries, 30% in an emergency. I do not use CxxC or even CxxxxC spacing, preferring to try for optimum city location. Great Lighthouse is a must to boost exploration rate. Generally, I was ahead in tech by the time I discovered other civilizations. Trading for techs, I have had zero success with, including in games where I am in a locked alliance such as the WW2 in the Pacific scenario. Only way I could get techs traded in that was to play all the Allies in a hot seat game. Knights Templar gets built for the Crusaders, which make nice combat engineers. Other Wonders get built to keep citizens happy, so that I can keep a high level of research. I am curious as to how someone expects to win the Space Race without building the Apollo Project, but I guess that might be an exception to the rule, although from some of the posts, that is viewed as an undersirable way to win.

With respect to winning at very high levels, I have no interest whatsoever. I play for fun. I modify the game now, and am enjoying it far more. As for the blathering about Wonder Addiction and other types of addiction, I will ignore it, and no longer worry about commenting on it.

Spoonwood
Jun 26, 2008, 09:41 PM
The beauty of Ision's post is that the advice is simple.

I disagree. His advice tells you what NOT to do. Simple advice tells you WHAT to do.

Ision started by saying "New and inexperienced players (chieftain to regent) make certain common errors." I think the vast majority of these players are not devoted to special case goals.

I would identify that as perhaps the greatest weakness of newbies. They don't overcome this weakness by not doing certain things, they overcome such a weakness by playing a few games with a certain goal in mind.

BTW, though Ision said "Regent", please see my post at #18 in this thread. For players who do want to progress to higher difficulties, I suggest taking his advice farther than that.

Well I can say from personal experience that I've now won demi-god and deity level games, having built the great library in all of them. So, your advice doesn't work as a requirement. The Great Library can certainly work as allowed and players can fairly easily advance levels if they learn things like ReX, worker management, etc. Still, that all doesn't work as all that necessary... or necessarily as all that helpful for advancing levels. One can advance to and beat Emperor level without trading a single tech ever, building a settler factory, having much military, or having 2 workers per city. I did it myself before I moved up to demi-god. In my first Emperor-level victory I won with 10 cities (no captures), and in my second I won with 5 (no captures). Again, I didn't trade a single tech, have a settler factory, or have all that much military either.

The 20k game gives you a special case goal perhaps more simply than any other victory condition: have your 20k city building a wonder as much as possible, max out its shield output, and have it build higher cultural wonders. Conquest games don't work quite so simply, nor diplomatic games, nor spaceship games, nor 100k games.

Spoonwood
Jun 26, 2008, 10:25 PM
For newbies who want to move up levels, if I had to pick one article, I would suggest T-hawk's first Deity victory article here http://dos486.com/civ3/solodeity/

DWetzel
Jun 27, 2008, 06:02 PM
Dwetzel, Doug.Lefelhocz, I played straight, unmodified Vanilla Civ3 on my various Macs, and did not enjoy it very much.

(multiple paragraphs of tripe snipped)

DWetzel, I will make very sure that I continue to offend your sensibilities and continue to post on the forums.

First of all, relax. Please! :crazyeye: Don't worry, you won't offend my sensibilities. I am truly trying to be constructive here. So, truce? :)

You seem to have missed my point. So, let's be clear about what I am and am not saying.

1. I make no claims that you are a poor player of Civ. Honestly, I don't particularly care if you are or not. Either way, I have no evidence one way or the other.

2. I make no claims that you are playing an inferior game. I know that you feel that you are playing a superior game. And for you, you are certainly correct in that assertion. For the general public, you may also be correct--again, I have no evidence one way or the other.

3. I applaud you for taking what must have been a substantial time and effort on your part to make the game more enjoyable for you. I know I have done that with various tabletop games over the years (on, I would guess, a much smaller scale). I freely admit to not having the time, inclination, or expertise to do so with this game.

4. I DO claim that your repeated discussions of heavily modified versions of Civilization are counterproductive in cases where it is clear that the original poster:

a) has no knowledge of your modifications,
b) is clearly discussing unmodified Civ, and
c) is getting a number of replies which DO discuss the unmodified Civ game.

I'll try to give you a specific example, so we can be clear.

When discussing the Great Library, I believe (and please correct me if I am wrong; I am doing this from memory) you mentioned in some context the increase in your research rate from having it. Another poster questioned this, at which point it came out that you had modified the Great Library (for perfectly reasonable historical reasons which I stipulate to).

Now, the reason for my disappointment in this is that, for a newer player reading your response, they might be misled to believe that the Great Library actually provides benefits IN THEIR GAME beyond what happens in "out of the box" Civ. And then build the great library, and then wonder why their research rate isn't going up.

It doesn't specifically bother ME, because I've figured out that this is your modus operandi. But, in situations where people are asking about advice about "out of the box Civ", advice about the game that you play isn't necessarily relevant and could be harmful--and they would have no way of knowing the difference.

And that's all I'm saying. I'm not casting aspersions on your ability as a Civ player or on your game modifications. I'm just saying, be careful about how you're saying things, and if you are planning on giving advice, be careful to do it in the context in which the person is asking for it, okay?

Spoonwood
Jun 30, 2008, 03:17 PM
Yeah... for most freshwater, coastal starts a newbie almost certainly can win a 20k game on Monarch with little trouble whatsoever. I seriously think most people could jump into Monarch level their very first game and win or at least come close enough that they'll win their second or third game... for a coastal start perhaps even without freshwater, if they read my Sumerian report. They'll start learning the trading system from this advice also. The best evidence I have perhaps consists of the games here http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=6982961#post6982961
http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=6978070

No doubt Bamspeedy probably has the best article to read in general for newbies, but warmongering and settler factories work out so much more complicated and time-consuming than a simple 20k game. The game should feel simple when one starts it I'd think, since there exists plenty in it to learn.

OscarM
Jun 30, 2008, 03:31 PM
Yeah... for most freshwater, coastal starts a newbie almost certainly can win a 20k game on Monarch with little trouble whatsoever. I seriously think most people could jump into Monarch level their very first game and win or at least come close enough that they'll win their second or third game... for a coastal start perhaps even without freshwater, if they read my Sumerian report.


You know what, your ignorance and obstinance has gotten irritating. Ision's post was fantastic, simple advice that helped many players I'm sure, but myself in particular. I was wonder addicted and reading this article both helped stop that addiction and helped propel me upwards. I was having trouble getting past Warlord. And before you start in on I don't know what I'm talking about, I've been playing since 1993 with Civ I. I couldn't get to Regent until I focused more and the article on Wonders helped greatly with that focus.

Here's some simple advice - don't jump off any bridges, don't chew with your mouth open, and don't be so condescending.

And yes, even though it's a negative, those all qualify as simple.

Chamnix
Jun 30, 2008, 03:34 PM
Yeah... for most freshwater, coastal starts a newbie almost certainly can win a 20k game on Monarch with little trouble whatsoever. I seriously think most people could jump into Monarch level their very first game and win or at least come close enough that they'll win their second or third game

I think you either dramatically overestimate the ability of newbies or have a different definition of newbie than I do. I don't think I could have reached 20K before 2050 on any level when I was starting out.

Drakan
Jun 30, 2008, 03:40 PM
Newbies would do well heeding SirPleb's advice, arguably the top-player in innovating strategical thinking in terms of C3. He showed us new unexplored paths: FoD, FoDe, GLE, Leader Farming etc..

Ision's article is right on target and full of common sense. The Great Library is the number one crutch that must be avoided at all costs by newbies because of the huge opportunity cost on the mid to lower levels. The GL will hamper your learning curve by months. Once you have mastered these levels with ease without recurring to the GL you are free to build it on the higher levels. It is common sense really and sound advise.

When I wrote my article on winning on Deity it's devised for deity noobs. I am the first one to admit that resorting to the GL may become a huge crutch that might prove immensely detrimental to your gameplay skills. On the higher levels there are no set paths, you are free to innovate as you please, just use whichever tool pleases you to pursue your goals. Ision was thinking only on beginners not advanced players when he wrote his excellent article, specially The Leap from Monarch to Emperor, another excellent article of his.

My 2 cents. ;)

Spoonwood
Jun 30, 2008, 10:34 PM
Ision's post was fantastic, simple advice that helped many players I'm sure, but myself in particular. I was wonder addicted and reading this article both helped stop that addiction and helped propel me upwards.

There exists no such thing as wonder addiction... never did. There only existed a misunderstanding of how to use wonders. The misunderstanding lies in trying to do too many other things while building wonders. A 20k game *creates* focus in a more simple manner and that's the main point of my so-called "obstinancy". I simply don't see how not building wonders and instead training workers, units, improvements, managing the whole trading system from the get go, moving units, improving hundreds of tiles, founding tens of cities, etc. creates focus. How in the world can anyone think there exists more strategic information in a 20k game than in a regular game?

Here's some simple advice - don't jump off any bridges, don't chew with your mouth open, and don't be so condescending.

And yes, even though it's a negative, those all qualify as simple.

I still don't know *what* to do.

I don't think I could have reached 20K before 2050 on any level when I was starting out.

Did you *focus* on building wonders?

Ision's article is right on target and full of common sense. The Great Library is the number one crutch that must be avoided at all costs by newbies because of the huge opportunity cost on the mid to lower levels. The GL will hamper your learning curve by months. Once you have mastered these levels with ease without recurring to the GL you are free to build it on the higher levels. It is common sense really and sound advise.

Here's my history. I played civ III vanilla back in 2002, 2003, and maybe 2004 for a bit... not all that much. Maybe something like 6 or 7 games. I don't think I ever won on Monarch and only won on Regent a few times. I don't recall how much I built The Great Library, but I can say that I don't think I can say I had "mastered" Regent at the time. Back in January or so I started playing Civ II:Test of Time. Around the middle of April I started playing Civ III Conquests. I remember reading T-hawk's article on the 20k game, although not all that closely in retrospect. I started out with a few regents and then some monarch games, all of which went unfinished for a week or two. I didn't have a focused strategy or VC in mind.

After that, I played mostly 20k games on Monarch and won well over 10 of them barely trading at all, nor building any settler factories, nor much military. This includes quite a few OCC 20k Monarch games where I severly trailed in tech after Education, as I didn't research all that intelligently, and only in rare instances bought or traded for tech. I won two Emperor 20k games, one with 10 cities with the Egyptians and one with 5 cities as the Sumerians where I used island block. Still... I had tons of culture in the 5 city game and lots of defensive units where I could have rather well defend my 20k city for quite some time. In all these games, of course, I built the Great Library. Now, of course, what follows rather clearly falls well out of newbie territory in my opinion.

I read some good articles around here including Bamspeedy's (I had read it before, but didn't really understand the settler factory idea, nor about getting gpt for tech), and I've scanned through Cracker's opening plays. I doubt I follow all his strategies to a T, and perhaps I disagree with him in spots even... I don't know. I also read your article, Drakan. So, I tried it on Monarch with Carthage and raging barbarians and took the spaceship launch in the 14th century. No sweat, even though I stupidly ruined my reputation in that one. Then, I tried it on Emperor and easily won with the Maya getting a diplomatic victory in like 1310 after I popped an SGL towards the end. I did in on Emperor again with the Byzantines and won diplomatically in something like the 15th century this time. I did those all on standard sized maps. I tried in on demi-god with France on a huge map and won a decisive diplomatic victory in 1405... I had a good enough of a lead that I feel confident I could have easily launched. Then, after finally learning how to manage the barbies in COTM48, I did with the Byzantines and launched the spaceship on a standard-sized map.

Around the 20th of June or so I finished my Iroquois Deity game. You'll find the final save in your strategy article. I took a 10k diplomatic victory in something like 1185 without ever having spawned a leader. I had Scandinavia as my neighbor, who of course wanted a war. I had the Zulu as half a neighbor. They passed me right up at least twice, even though I had a pitiful army. I couldn't even trade for horses until sometime in the middle ages... I think around the time theology came in.... maybe a few turns before that... I feel rather confident I already had monotheism and I don't think that came up as the AIs free tech. So, I couldn't even train mounted warriors until then. I didn't train spears either... I trained 3 pikes. Nor did I upgrade *any* warriors to swordsman. I don't think I have a save around here from then exactly, but I can point you to a save and some screenies of my pitiful army in the early industrial ages... I think I actually gifted the scientific AIs and traded around tech for the referenced save below. I *eventually* upgraded my warriors to medieval infantries when the Hitties came demanding Electricity and I told them "no"... some 10+ turns later at least. I built and built and built and built all sorts of improvements, two juicy medieval great wonders (and of course, The Great Library, and the Forbidden Palace earlier). Here's the link:
http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=6928291#post6928291


I finally acheived an Emperor-level spaceship victory without the Great Library in a sort of succession game *after* I had won this Deity game. That one played almost pure builder as we couldn't attack outside our cultural borders. In this game, we still did build an ancient-age wonder, plenty of medieval wonders, and lots more wonders where pretty much when everyone builds them... or tries to do so... from the industrial age on.

Now, how in the world does all this come as relevant? Well, if you don't build The Great Library or ancient age wonders as SirPleb and Ision suggest, what do you do with those shields? As you've said Drakan, you'll probably build swordsman. After that, you'll probably want to go on a rampage. I suppose you could build a marketplace and/or the Forbidden Palace and some defensive units. Sure enough swordsman can work very well. But, to get things clearly, Ision and SirPleb and pretty much everyone else has implied warmongering or perhaps more gently speaking... militarism... by negatively rating wonders so much.

As a builder, it seems extremely hard to fathom that any builder would really want improvements over wonders (that's the general "choice" as a builder, as you only train units in case of emergencies). Some exceptions may exist to this general rule, but it goes rather deep. I'll take Sun Tzu's over a university *almost* any day, as barracks everywhere gives me simple upgrades. I'll take The Oracle over a marketplace almost any day, since I need a temple for a cathedral, marketplaces require more shields, The Oracle works empire-wide for a while I have to build marketplaces everywhere, and The Oracle might kill a wonder cascade (O.K... the ToA comes as much more of a problem... still that's the point... I'll build Leo's to kill a wonder cascade anyday in a builder-style game).

Now, on the harder levels which works as easier... militarism or builder style? Drakan's strategy article indicates builder style. How does one learn builder style well? By practicing building. And what does that really entail? Building wonders... having the ability to estimate when one might succeed in building them and when one might fail *and the cost of failure of building a wonder vs. the cost of building a settler/worker or improvment*. I don't see how building swordsman/barracks or... pick a unit... helps with this all that much.

In light of my history I'll review your statement Drakan:

The GL will hamper your learning curve by months. Once you have mastered these levels with ease without recurring to the GL you are free to build it on the higher levels.

Since I had played Vanilla some years ago and learned something about how improvements in Civ II:Test of Time (the sci-fi game taught me to pay attention to improvment building closely actually, since I could go broke on workshops... the factory equivalent early on) let's say I "started" playing in Februrary instead of early April. Do you mean to say that avoiding the GL in Civ III would have taught me enough about the game to have beaten Deity in two weeks when I pretty much still ranked as a civ III newbie and hadn't started playing 20ks yet? 2 weeks after that even? I don't think so. Hampered by months... I doubt it.

Thanks for everyones comments :)

Spoonwood
Jun 30, 2008, 11:13 PM
Ision's article basically implies that one avoids the 20k game (goes without saying). But, in the 20k game you only really have to manage one city half-way well as opposed to a whole empire. From what I've seen, non-militaristic 20k Conquest games (Ision didn't write this for Conquests... that's perhaps the biggest change here), go a lot faster than your normal militaristic game. A player doesn't feel like he/she has spent a lot of time on a single turn and consequently probably won't rush to the next turn... or at least that seems less plausible. Again, the 20k game focuses on one city... less that needs managed well. There's quite a bit to learn for a newbie, and quite a lot to think about. Doesn't it benefit a player to play a simpler, faster game with less information and focus on certain aspects of it, than having to learn *and think through* multiple new things/strategies at once? Doesn't Ision's article advocate... FOR CONQUESTS... playing a much more complicated game for newbies? Doesn't playing a simpler game allow one to practice/hone skills?

Drakan
Jul 01, 2008, 01:11 PM
Hi Doug. From the time Ision wrote that article I remember he had a hard time making the transition from one level to another. Because the beauty of this game is that it plays differently as you move on up the echelon of difficulty, the strategies that worked fine at Monarch will no longer be useful at Emperor level and so forth. A Sid game for example is crazy and you are almost forced to play on archi maps. I don't like that level because it doesn't feel like C3C anymore taking out the joy. The last level I'll play and enjoy is Deity because it still feels like Civ3 although very fastly paced.

Back on topic. Ision wanted to do a nice writeup for civers who were struggling to move on up the ladder like himself. I think his advise is excellent for a Monarch player striving to play on Emperor or Demi. He learnt from his past mistakes and realised that his fixation on building great wonders had meant a lost cost of opportunity at many levels.

Not everyone is the same Doug, some people such as yourself come across as bright and have no need to take months to learn the nooks & crannies of this TB strategy game. Some people -counted- have the ability to just move on up levels easily in a couple of weeks without much of a struggle. Others, the majority, need much more time. It is this broader collective in which Ision was thinking when he wrote this article on Wonder fixation and the Great Leap from Monarch to Emperor.

The higher levels as you write Doug are more prone to warmongering, the earlier the better. I wrote my article on winning on Deity as a builder because at the time there were few strategy articles on winning at Deity level and all were exclusively focused from a warmongering angle. In fact all the new paths that top-players opened for us on these levels involved to some extent or other warlike strategies: FoD, FoDe etc..I wanted to do a write up on this levelf from a different point of view, one that actually pivoted and took advantage of the AIs deity bonuses leveraging on them turning them against the AI. The broker or pope strategy had been written long before me. I just blended the broker strat with a use for the GL creating a competitive advantage over the AI which helped to offset the huge AI bonuses. That was my innovation, blending the two at that level.

In fact my strategy just doesn't work on lower levels because the AI lacks these bonuses and doesn't research fast enough or make enough gold to allow me to broker techs funelling all their gold and making them stagnate technologically as captive clients.

As you mention the cost of opportunity of building wonders earlier on such as the GL on Deity would be to build instead fast attack early units, such as horsemen (upgradable to knights) or some nice UU. Picking the right civ for the right reasons/goals on this levels is very important. On the higher levels you really sit down to think on the cost-effectiveness of each unit (shields vs attack, movement points), on the marginal revenue a unit will actually produce you.

I remember this german player (Kronic IIRC) who won on Sid regularly from a builder-style peaceful approach (no military units built). He was of course an exception. I guess that on the higher levels the top-players cherish warmongering because they feel the game is under their direct control whereas playing as a builder you are relying or banking at one point or other on how well the AIs are faring.

Don't take these articles as absolutes Doug, merely as useful hints on new approaches that perhaps you might not have considered before.

Congratulations on your first win on Deity as the Iroqouis !:goodjob: I'll look at your save.

Regards,
Drakan

Drakan
Jul 01, 2008, 01:39 PM
Nice game for a first-time victory on Deity. I see you went for a diplo win. You have deployed no spies at all, impressive. Nice timeline as well, 1170 AD.

You built the GL on Niagara. I see you don't like mining tiles much. Niagara is only producing 21 spt (minus one due to corruption), very unproductive considering you have a factory and Hoover's. Why ? I guess you wanted to boost population to up your beaker base/research.

All in all a very nice game indeed for a first-time victory on Deity. You've placed your cities following the CXXC city pattern, nice. A truly Builder-Style victory Doug. ;)

Spoonwood
Jul 01, 2008, 02:11 PM
Drakan,


In fact my strategy just doesn't work on lower levels because the AI lacks these bonuses and doesn't research fast enough or make enough gold to allow me to broker techs funelling all their gold and making them stagnate technologically as captive clients.

It works at Monarch, as already noted. I played a Regent game 5CC space game where I made enough cash from gpt that I had my science slider at 100% (or the least for N turns) from at least the industrial ages on if not earlier. I don't think I stopped reseraching in that game, but I did build The Great Library, and brokered tech for gpt... perhaps the main point of your article. Maybe brokering doesn't work on Warlord... but so what? A newbie might struggle there, but he/she outproduces the AIs, so I think that will make up for any war difficulties eventually... if they stick it out.

There exists no question in my mind that Ision's article implies militarism and that militarism slows down one's learning curve. Not that it really matters, but I have NO conquest or domination victories and I've beaten Deity, so you don't need to really know militaristic strategies all too well to win on that level (maybe I underestimate my knowledge here, I don't know). I don't think of myself as cleverer than most... I think I just happened into a faster way to learn the game and advance levels than the standard warmongering... some of it came from thinking the 20k game impossible from when I played Vanilla (I NEVER tried for one back then). I would feel surprised if many people around here actually would think builder-styles a fun way to play... that's the problem.

I know what FoD means... what does FoDe mean?

Concerning your strategy article... and maybe I should table this over there... I wonder how much picking the right traits really comes as all that important. Granted, you don't want militaristic or expansionist traits... but other than that every tribe I think very well possible for that strategy (maybe a few execptions), though of course not all equal. Play on a 60%, wet, warm map, and find your food bonuses start and I think you can do fine if you add on one more thing.... once you've settled all the way out use your capital (and probably some other cities with granaries) to train workers before they hit size 6. Then, use those workers to take as many other cities up to size 12 as possible (thank you Chamnix!). Sure, that's even more strategy to handle, but it can work quite effectively.


With religious tribes you can build temples and cathedrals faster and perhaps even a quick revolt to democracy well enough (I haven't tried it, so just a guess). For the Babylonians, you might even not need the GA war... for Korea and Greece for that matter also... of course that might work out as trickier since it requires *carefully timed* pre-building. The Ottomans might seem harder, but just wait until MT and cope with it. England also... but you'd probably play archipelago with them anyways, so you've got more infrastructure by then. So, if I got it right that really leaves Greece, France, India, The Iroquois, England (archipleago, of course), Korea, Egypt, Babylon, Spain, The Celts, Persia, Ottomans, Carthage, The Maya, The Byzantines, Sumeria, The Dutch as fairly viable with your strategy... of course not all equally easy to pull it off with. Plenty of choices there though.

Oh... and I simply don't get why the moderators didn't place your article in the war academy Drakan at some point along the way. Since you can now do this yourself, I think you should place it somewhere there... I'd think under empire management... definitely an advanced strategy there.

Drakan
Jul 02, 2008, 12:51 PM
FoD= Funnel of Doom
FoDe= Funnel of Deception
Both strats are courtesy of SirPleb.

Really ? I had no idea you could now place you own article on the War Academy, it's been a while since I was more active on this site.

Yes with other civs it's more difficult to pull off but not impossible. Granted there is no need to be a warmonger to win on Deity or even on Sid as Kronic has proved time and time again. That's why I wrote the article, to prove you could win on this level as a builder, as at the time I wrote the article there was a general impression that if you weren't a warmonger you could not win on the higher levels which was untrue of course.

I'll see if I can post it Doug. ;)

Regards,
Drakan

Aabraxan
Jul 02, 2008, 01:14 PM
Directions for posting in the new War Academy System can be found in this thread (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=274535).

Drakan
Jul 03, 2008, 12:30 PM
Thanks Aabraxan, wish I had seen your link before posting the article. ;)

timerover51
Jul 06, 2008, 12:45 AM
Having peroused this discussion at length, with occassional comments, I have come to the following conclusions.

Have no interest in settler and/or worker factories. Normally have 2-3 workers per city, if in poor terrain, more.

Really dislike CxxC spacing, prefer something more open than CxxxxC spacing. Do not want to road and mine every possible tile.

I do like to build Wonders, even in the unmodified game. Not necessarily shooting for a culture win, just like to build them.

Normally build a reasonably strong military to keep AI from bothering me. Sometimes even successful. If I am doing unit mod testing, then a different story, but still think that wars are a time-consuming business that is not a lot of fun.

Do not play on maps with maximum number of civilizations, normally no more than 6, prefereably as far from me as possible. Normal map size is huge, never smaller than standard, but prefer huge or larger.

Do not plan on changing how I play, assume that I will never reach Deity level, much less Sid. No interest in doing so. Might not ever get past Regent, if I even get that far. I do have fun though.

Hope you individuals have fun as well.

SimpleMonkey
Jul 10, 2008, 09:09 AM
@timerover51:

You're right, you're not likely to move past Regent using those tactics, BUT if you're enjoying the game your way then I think that that's great. :goodjob:

timerover51
Jul 11, 2008, 03:18 AM
Given some of the changes that I have made to the game, I suspect that between my style of play and the benefits that the AI gets, that some of my games are considerably more difficult than the normal lower level game. I plan on posting one of my modified maps, and I will be interested in seeing how well people do on it.