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Old Aug 29, 2011, 06:00 AM   #1
Regas
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Question Strategy suggestions

hello, been lurking this forum for some time already, posting for the first time.
following games here is a very good source of information and helped to improve my game a lot.
recently I moved up from monarch to emperor. usually I am tech-leading until later ages, well till it matters really, because all I want is rifles + cannons to start warring although I've noticed that AI speeds up a lot in later ages, like I'm tech-leading and *BAM* suddenly I'm behind a lot in 20 turns. very strange.

got a couple of questions though, that bug my mind.

is it good to build cottages not on a riverside? or just irrigate and go for specialists?
what do you do with plains, when all you can do is irrigate (lack of food around city) ? leave it alone or irrigate after all?

one thing I've noticed is that on emperor I have to build many more units to keep up with power level of neighbours. do you make a production city and build units non-stop there or what? as I've run into problems several times, when AI DOWed on me due to lack of power.

and lastly about research path -> I win liberalism race 99% of times, but I'm a bit lost @ research choices. firstly I just research worker techs, then writing->alphabet (iron working sometimes) -> aestethics (or currency and then aes.) -> literature ( for great lib ) -> code of laws
then I have to decide what to do - CS or go for monarchy ? as happy faces are a limiting factor at this point. usually I can't trade for monarchy this early. what to do better ? bigger cities would be faster research as well.. ghm. I go for CS now, but started to ponder maybe monarchy is better..
also when you get education - how to build universities faster ? as commerce cities usually are a bit low on production, and they need unis the most. go for slavery and whip ? hmmm

ok. last one if you have a warmonger (shaka or montie) or serial backstabber like Alexander as your neighbor -> do you always rush em ? it seems I almost always have to go to war with them when I'm least prepared (don't like to war till rifles). and they have LOTS of units when middle ages start, and war = i fall behind a lot = lost cause.
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 06:24 AM   #2
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Non-riverside cottages: depends on your time window. If you need to maximize return in say 30 turns, farms are better. But you can't always irrigate the grassland, and you might as well grow on something.

Power levels, depends on diplomacy/AI. Doesn't matter what the difficulty is, there's no need to build units with peaceful/friendly neighbors. Or if you can get fairly reliable neighbors to focus on other civs.

Trade for monarchy.

A lot of people like whipping universities immediately, especially in weaker cities.

Collateral, walls, city on hills. The only earlier wars that tend to be more effective against spammers are collateral wars.
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Old Aug 29, 2011, 03:33 PM   #3
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Alexander is a full on warmonger/psycho like Shaka/Monty/Genghis/Nappy. Rush them if they are relatively close or prepare to bribe them into wars before they attack you. You can get them to Friendly if you play it right and then use them. However, if they are very close it is general a good idea to get them out of the way.

AI bonuses do get better as the game progresses on higher levels, but probably the main factor in the human losing ground is not prioritize Unis and Ox. Prepare to mass whip Unis asap. You should be letting cities grow leading up to Education so that you have the pop to 4 or 5 pop these suckers. Depending on the make-up of the Ox city or whether I have stone, I will often whip Ox as well. Another factor is simply not specializing cities and having them focus on what they are doing earlier and getting them improved asap. Lastly, a factor is great people generation and usage.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 01:45 AM   #4
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another q-> if I happen to build pyramids, the best choice should be to skip cottages at all and go for representation + specialists + farm everything in sight ?
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 02:01 AM   #5
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very much depends on land, but building Pyramids often dedicates yourself to a specialist appoach

Although Cottages doesn't per say get worse from having Rep, Specialists (more specificly aiming at getting a lot of Great Persons) gets better
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 03:10 AM   #6
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what do you do with barb cities?
get them only after there is no more room to expand, or depends on situation if it is a very good site then get it earlier ? as it costs quite a few hammers to build several units, esp. if barb city is on a hill.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 04:26 AM   #7
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depends a lot on the map, both where the barb city is for me, where it is for my enemies, if there is any enemies, how well defended it is etc.

But usually a barb city should be captured as fast as possible without blowing up your plans (suicide Catapults if well defended, or as a training area while building a rush)
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
is it good to build cottages not on a riverside?
It is a good strategy to build them only on riverside, especially if you are financial for obvious reasons - you got instant +2 commerce on a riverside tile. If not financial - in my opinion it is still better to go cottages instead of farms early on. The cottages are too powerful to be skipped. Irrigated grassland isnt a good food. In the early stages of the game you want to whip and grow and then whip again - it is a pure waste for me to use food for keeping specialists. Pyramids or/and being philosophical can help somewhat in this regard, but still the cottages are too powerful to be disregarded. Even if you manage to work trough the early ages with specialists and bulbing, in the middle of the game you will be toast when the other have towns all around and a simple tech is costing like 2 or 3 Great Scientists, then you will be in trouble.

Quote:
what do you do with plains, when all you can do is irrigate
Generally speaking, just dont settle a city if it must be feed on plains only. Later irrigated riverside plains with levees can be decent, or State Property plain watermills/workshops, but if you have where else to settle, just avoid settling in the plains.

Quote:
on emperor I have to build many more units to keep up with power level of neighbours.
Not building decent army is a sure way to get yourself killed or at least crippled. Just build army - it does not matter too much in the evaluation formula, as it matters when the bad guys come for you. If you have army to defend, then you are ok despite the DoW, if you dont - then you are screwed.

Quote:
do you make a production city and build units non-stop there or what?
I dont, or very rarely do this. It just requires very specific terrain to do this. Even this city will need granary, it will need some happiness if you are not running the Hereditary rule. it will need forge, it will need aqueduct to keep growing, it will need courthouse to half the corruption, it will be one of the most productive cities, where you will most probably build an university and a bank to make those 8 for Oxford and Wall Street, it will need to build the national wonder for increased military building, it will most probably because it is a high hammer output to build some crucial wonder, while the other high hammer cities are building other important wonders, etc, etc... Of course you will have few cities that produce more units than other, but not super-specialisation is needed.

Quote:
firstly I just research worker techs, then writing->alphabet (iron working sometimes) -> aestethics (or currency and then aes.) -> literature ( for great lib ) -> code of laws
So far, so good.

Quote:
then I have to decide what to do - CS or go for monarchy
Monarchy is the way to go.

Last thing I will say is I am more MP player than a SP player - although I win 50:50 my immortal SP games, multiplayer is where I feel myself most confident, so all those advices may not work spectacular on a SP game
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 08:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 2metraninja View Post
It is a good strategy to build them only on riverside, especially if you are financial for obvious reasons - you got instant +2 commerce on a riverside tile. If not financial - in my opinion it is still better to go cottages instead of farms early on. The cottages are too powerful to be skipped. Irrigated grassland isnt a good food. In the early stages of the game you want to whip and grow and then whip again - it is a pure waste for me to use food for keeping specialists. Pyramids or/and being philosophical can help somewhat in this regard, but still the cottages are too powerful to be disregarded. Even if you manage to work trough the early ages with specialists and bulbing, in the middle of the game you will be toast when the other have towns all around and a simple tech is costing like 2 or 3 Great Scientists, then you will be in trouble.
I don't agree, the SE is extremely powerful early on, especially with Representation, since with Rep one scientist (2 food) will give you 6 beakers, so 2 scientists with a library will give you 15 bpt, much better than cottages. Check the SE vs CE discussions with MadScientist on the forums, they are quite are interesting and show that even in mid-late game the SE can keep up with the CE!
Bulbing is usually sub-optimal unless it unlocks a specific tech (Currency, Philo, part of Edu, etc), you'd be better off building acadmies or settling them
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 03:30 PM   #10
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Bulbing is usually sub-optimal unless it unlocks a specific tech (Currency, Philo, part of Edu, etc), you'd be better off building acadmies or settling them
One of the strong points of the SE/GS's is that you can bulb monopoly techs(CS, Philo, etc.) and trade it around for things.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 03:54 PM   #11
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This is my opinion that the cottages are the way to go. Anyone can argue how strong SE is, but I will accept this if this one beats me 3 times in a row using SE while I use CE. Yes, I know it is boring to use cottages, but this is how it works.

The example you are giving is some specific scenario, which is not always possible. What if you miss the Pyramids? You restart the game or wait for Democracy to start teching serious?
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 04:09 PM   #12
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This is my opinion that the cottages are the way to go. Anyone can argue how strong SE is, but I will accept this if this one beats me 3 times in a row using SE while I use CE. Yes, I know it is boring to use cottages, but this is how it works.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 04:22 PM   #13
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This is my opinion that the cottages are the way to go. Anyone can argue how strong SE is, but I will accept this if this one beats me 3 times in a row using SE while I use CE. Yes, I know it is boring to use cottages, but this is how it works.

The example you are giving is some specific scenario, which is not always possible. What if you miss the Pyramids? You restart the game or wait for Democracy to start teching serious?
One thing that confuses me that maybe SE players can explain. I usually use cottages with a GP farm or two to get me the great people I need. But I think that beyond that SE loses some lustre because you get the GP's you need from the GP farms. I would think that using mostly cottages in commerce cities would work better than trying to get GP cities everywhere. Let's take riverside pre-biology. Cottages are food-neutral so you grow at a normal rate. If you farm that riverside to get more specialists you get 1/2 of a specialist. I don't think that's worth it if your GP farm will be producing your Great Scientists and Engineers.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 05:43 PM   #14
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Any preferred settings?
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 06:24 PM   #15
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SGOTM14, you are already in this challenge. I bet OSS will farm all the riverside tiles!
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 06:25 PM   #16
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A spiritual leader would be nice
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 06:25 PM   #17
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SGOTM14, you are already in this challenge. I bet OSS will farm all the riverside tiles!
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 07:09 PM   #18
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Early game, cottages win

In general, early game, cottages win.

First, my assumptions: No rep / bio, and you're limited by happiness. Let's also assume you want a research city, since if you want a production city, obviously you want farms + mines.

Here's why cottages win: Say you have 10 happiness cap. You could have 6 farms + 4 specialists = 12 commerce, or you could have 10 cottages = 20 commerce after the first upgrade, 30 after the second. Cottages = win.

Another scenario: Let's say you have a weaker city: 4 grassland, the rest is scrub. You can have 6 cottages or 3 scientists. Cottages still win.

2 caveats:

-In the cottage city, make sure you have at least +4 food, so you can grow. If you need to build farms, build them. Then swap off them when you're done growing.

-You should have at least 1 great people city. Why? Because bulbing = win even more than cottages. 100 GPP = 1 tech = 300 or so beakers. So in the city that makes a great scientist, each regular scientist is really making 12 beakers/turn (3 actual beakers, plus 3 GPP each worth 3 beakers). But this only applies to the handful of cities good enough to run a lot of specialists (typically, ones with food resources), not the hypothetical "lots of grassland" city.

Late game is entirely different. Farms are worth 4 food, and depending on your civics, you can have towns = 7 commerce + 1 production, or specialists = 6 science (or 8 from spies), but not both. So you need to make an empire-wide choice, commerce or specialists.

(Why not take Rep + Free Speech, and just miss out on the production? Because, unless you're happiness-limited, specialists beat cottages without the +1 production. So you wouldn't get much use out of free speech, and you'd be missing out on other good civics).

Most of the time, which way you go depends on how you're expanding: Cottages take a lot of turns to mature, while specialists are good right away. So if you're still conquering and inheriting poorly-maintained cities, go for specialists (Rep, maybe caste, maybe pacifism). If you've mostly got your ancient cities with mature cottages, probably doing all the town-boosting civics is better.

I usually go for specialists late game because of the flexibility to switch to production as needed (workshop the scrub, you can pull specialists off research and onto production, while a cottage-heavy city is locked into commerce). Knowing that, any cities that won't have time to mature to a 3-commerce cottage go for specialists, not commerce, and when I swap, most towns get ripped out and replaced with farms.

By the way, I mostly play single player, immortal, aggressive AI.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 07:50 PM   #19
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In general, early game, cottages win.
It depends on the terrain. Completely. If you've got a wet-grass-corn + grass-cow city which can already work 4 specialists just off those two tiles plus the city tile, you might as well add another pair of farms and start working 5 specs. at size 9 - you'll probably get an extra GP or two eventually even if it isn't your NE city. On the other hand, if the city has absolutely no food specials (like in all the examples you worked out), you'd have to be crazy to try to make it into a specialist city before Bio.

Most non-GP farm cities fall somewhere in the middle - they've got 4-6 food surplus from resources plus the city tile, and you need to decide whether to add farms to fill up to happy cap or go with cottages (or just run a hammer econ).
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Old Aug 31, 2011, 01:58 AM   #20
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ok. last one if you have a warmonger (shaka or montie) or serial backstabber like Alexander as your neighbor -> do you always rush em ? it seems I almost always have to go to war with them when I'm least prepared (don't like to war till rifles). and they have LOTS of units when middle ages start, and war = i fall behind a lot = lost cause.
War bribes. You can rush a single problem neighbor, but more than one will require diplo. The warmonger can be your client or your victim, but keep him in a war when you're vulnerable. An AI will never declare war on you (or anyone else) if it's already involved in a war. Also, if someone is at war with you then the cost of bribes against him goes down. Defensive war bribes are not preferred (because being at war is not preferred), but if you can whip your way to short term survival then they often provide the long term cover you need to exit the war safely.

Learning war bribes is a bit annoying because each leader has different diplo criteria for both you and your target. They're expensive though, so you only have to check if you have techs to sell and your client isn't at war. When you have techs to sell, you probably already look for techs to buy; just start looking for wars to buy too.
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