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Old Dec 01, 2011, 02:29 PM   #1
Horizons
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Why is King difficulty so hard?

Maybe I've just lost interest in Civ and don't play properly, but I've found that King is nearly impossible to beat ... the AI absolutely swamps you with units if you try to build anything or more than a couple of cities ... it gets there first to almost every wonder, it skyrockets ahead of you in GDP, it lays down a carpet of units in its territory, while your own army drains your treasury so fast that you can't afford to build any more buildings ... you can't keep up with research because the AI has enough money to sign research agreements all the time ...


This is especially bad on continents, where the AIs will swallow each other up and turn into an unbeatable entity by the time you meet them ...

And you know what the worst thing is? The AI could actually be even more difficult if it didn't just sit with its hundreds of units laying in its borders ... if it sent them over the ocean to attack you, you would be inevitably destroyed!

In theory King difficulty should be impossible to beat unless you pull off a great ploy or get extremely lucky!
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 02:34 PM   #2
Scarpa
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Look through the Strategy subforum for tips. The gap from Prince to King is pretty big, it forces you to understand the mechanics a lot better and also pay a lot more attention to what your cities and workers are doing.

I struggled with King initially, and then found as soon as I could beat King I could also beat Emperor pretty easily as well. I think Immortal is another big jump.
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 02:52 PM   #3
PhilBowles
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Originally Posted by Scarpa View Post
Look through the Strategy subforum for tips. The gap from Prince to King is pretty big, it forces you to understand the mechanics a lot better and also pay a lot more attention to what your cities and workers are doing.

I struggled with King initially, and then found as soon as I could beat King I could also beat Emperor pretty easily as well. I think Immortal is another big jump.
I've been playing on King since beating Prince, and after losing the first few games to rushes I seem to be doing reasonably well (though I have just found myself at war with two civilizations), with if anything slightly superior combat tech and a couple of economically strong cities (although right now, due to my own research agreements and city state placation, I'm short of funds to upgrade my archers into crossbowmen). The only difference in my play was that I expanded later and used the time to build up a small army to act as a deterrant to early rush attempts.
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 03:34 PM   #4
OrsonM
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Here's a top ten things you can do to make King less difficuly:

1- Don't play Pangea, Continents can be just fine, anything were you don't have to fend off 7 other Civs right next to you. If they are being too much, then take away more land (archipelago can be a fine choice).

2- Don't expand too quickly (you won't have the gold, everyone will hate you, have patience, because the machine certainly doesn't have it or has never heard about long term goals).

3- Pay close attention to who is your friend, those who have declared to be your bffs are also Civs that will never attack you. Beware if they are happy, won't friend you and do not seem to have any sort of spite for you, they are planning to attack you (denounce them if you see their units coming by, this is a huge advantage once they strike).

4- Play raging barbs and go for Honor, the AI won't know what's going on, won't milk those barbs and will lose their early cheating advantage (works better if you are Aztec, German or Songhai).

5- Play without City states, the AI will also be lost and won't be able to use the broken dynamics of buying city states (and will waste all their policy points in patronage).

6- If playing with City states, make sure you take them all quickly (whatever way possible), specially if Siam is around. The AI gets a ridiculous amount of gold so the competition is uphill.

7- Liberty is usually the best Policy tree all around, as it is very flexible. Tradition and honor are a bit more specialized (also don't get Tradition just to get +3 culture, it's not viable in the long run). Honor and Tradition have one hell of a gambit though.

8- Lookout for problematic civs that will attack you no matter what, such as Greece, Monty, Germany, Russia, Rome, etc. Strike first if you can, strike firster if they are next to you. Also know when to declare peace.

9- Scout as a much as you can, unless in Pangea the best tool is Triremes oddly enough (though scouts will get you those ruins).

10- Don't bite more than you can chew, either expand, build infrastructure or build up your military. Your early budget won't allow all 3 at the same time.

These are just out of the top of my head that I've learned from the Prince to King transition. The AI cheats so much it discourages me from trying harder difficulties.
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 03:51 PM   #5
Magma_Dragoon
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I'm not sure how to tell you this, but..... I think you might be bad at civ 5.
Here's what I do:
Examine tile edges, can I see coast? Investigate with warrior.

Am I one off the coast/river? Move there. settle

Is there a 2 1 tile the capital can work? If so, work it.

If production > 1 build two scouts
else build 1 scout

Do I have wheat or deer?
If so, build a granary

Do I have enough 4 tiles to grow my capital?
If so, build a monument.
If not, build a granary.

HG is good if you have a very high capital but very little positive tiles.
Find a spot for my second city. I like each city other than the capital to work a radius of 2 tiles. Capital needs to be big as it can be to get the most out of NC.

Go liberty, take settler, worker, republic, try to get chichen itza done in time for representation. I get away with this on emperor very often. HS->PT, I use the GE from liberty finisher on Notre Dame or occasionally the forbidden palace. Use the GS from PT to bulb astronomy or some other Renaissance tech to open the rationalism opener IF you have gold AND friendly(ish) AIs. RAs are no good if nobody can go 30 turns without attacking you.

Once you finish scouting your continent, keep that guy around. Use him to keep tabs on your rivals and look out for piles of units. Most wars I fight on emperor are totally one sided, unless Siam or Iroquois are involved. They can be though because one likes to tech, the other gets a bonus in forest movement.

Try to kill anyone going patronage before it can finish the tree.
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 04:28 PM   #6
Mesix
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I agree with most of what the above posters said. There are only a couple of things that I do differently.

I always build a monument in every city. It is one of the first (if not the first) build in each city. It is a cheap way to get culture, especially to make up the added cost to policies.

I almost always open up tradition first for the 3 . While the observation that it doesn't pay off in the long run might be right mathematically, this does not take into account the fact that you get everything earlier which can make a lot of difference...especially in the early part of the game.
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 07:32 PM   #7
civ5er
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I also find King very hard.
I really don't understand how people win on higher difficulties. I've seen Youtube videos on higher than King but their game setup is such that resources are set to extremely high (Legendary start), "allow policy saving" checked, and a Pangea Plus map (all civs on same continent) ... so basically they tweak it so that the game is in their favor. What's the point of playing a game if you're setting it up to win?

My question to those who replied with advice on how to beat King, do you consistently beat the game with 7 civs and 16 CSs on a standard settings (standard resources, no policy savings, normal barbarians)? Do you reload often?

I play on Random Civ and Random map because I find the unpredictability fun. If I can beat King 30% of the time in that mode I would think it's good enough to enjoy it.

Last edited by civ5er; Dec 01, 2011 at 07:41 PM.
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 08:18 PM   #8
Tabarnak
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Simple and effective opening :

Capital build : scout-monument-warrior-settler-settler

Research : Animal husbandry-Iron working

Don't bother with luxuries yet. Pick Liberty and free settler. Get 4th city to reach iron or another good spot. Put cities with a hill ready to be worked(settling on a hill + working hill is best). You will be at -9 . Upgrade warriors to swordmen, research luxuries techs.

Buy worker as soon as you can. Get free one from Liberty as well. Steal one from cs. Build one from capital after 4th city.

You can get 4 cities and 4 worker before turn 45. From there, you can do what you want. You can destroy 1 or 2 neighbors before Steel. Your production will skyrocket. This easy and wonderless strat can let you beat Deity most of the time. King should be a breeze.

Last edited by Tabarnak; Dec 01, 2011 at 08:22 PM.
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Old Dec 01, 2011, 10:23 PM   #9
PhilBowles
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Originally Posted by PhilBowles View Post
I've been playing on King since beating Prince, and after losing the first few games to rushes I seem to be doing reasonably well (though I have just found myself at war with two civilizations), with if anything slightly superior combat tech and a couple of economically strong cities (although right now, due to my own research agreements and city state placation, I'm short of funds to upgrade my archers into crossbowmen). The only difference in my play was that I expanded later and used the time to build up a small army to act as a deterrant to early rush attempts.
Haven't finished this game or beaten it yet, and I adopted a different strategy from most suggestions here (stayed on 2 cities to develop and work, obtained my third as a conquest - annexed it straight away to facilitate production and built/bought happiness structures), but it seems to be paying off. Declared peace with both neighbours (I was very close to taking Athens before the Greeks rebuilt their army and pushed me back, but I only had the one siege engine - oversight on my part) and am currently on course to get gunpowder (it's about 1430 AD, so fairly slow teching).

I'm on standard settings, and so far have been to war at least once with every other civ on my continent (first Babylon, then Greece, then Inca, then Greece again), but they mostly seem to stay peaceful for long enough to not be a nuisance. Not sure how much help any of this is in actually winning the game (diplo victory is probably my only chance at this point, but I have fairly good gold production - currently around +40 a turn), but surviving to the end is likely, and that's a good first step...

EDIT: PS In terms of tech (assuming you're using DLC), I always tech to Archery first, since the Temple of Artemis may be the strongest of the Ancient Era wonders - it gives you a not insignificant food boost when you need to pump your population, but of course its key advantages are that you can start it very early, since it comes with a vital very early-game tech, and it gives you a big boost to producing the units you need to fend off that early rush or (as in my game) dissuade the other civs from launching it (in which case you can farm Barbarians for food and culture more quickly).

Last edited by PhilBowles; Dec 01, 2011 at 10:28 PM.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 02:03 AM   #10
bozosmithy
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Sadly I agree with Magma Dragoon,

I have not been playing long (since i started this account) and the dynamics are very simple look at tiles make sure you scout well so you know what they are doing and rush techs that are in your fav such as swords or hourse dont try and build wonders unless vital these building are better when taken off the AI

I agree with Mesix i get Tradition for the +3 cult just so you get them faster then go lib or honor.

Have a game plan aswell once scouted and stick to it you will not win if you start expanding and then decide to get culture wonders when its not going to help win.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 02:09 AM   #11
The_Quasar
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned science... I always try to get a Library in each city, buying one if necessary, and the National College going as soon as I can, this can make a huge difference on the higher levels. If you don't get this done fairly early, you'll likely fall behind in science because of the bonuses the AI gets.

Last edited by The_Quasar; Dec 02, 2011 at 02:16 AM.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 02:38 AM   #12
Mesix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by civ5er View Post
I also find King very hard.
I really don't understand how people win on higher difficulties. I've seen Youtube videos on higher than King but their game setup is such that resources are set to extremely high (Legendary start), "allow policy saving" checked, and a Pangea Plus map (all civs on same continent) ... so basically they tweak it so that the game is in their favor. What's the point of playing a game if you're setting it up to win?

My question to those who replied with advice on how to beat King, do you consistently beat the game with 7 civs and 16 CSs on a standard settings (standard resources, no policy savings, normal barbarians)? Do you reload often?

I play on Random Civ and Random map because I find the unpredictability fun. If I can beat King 30% of the time in that mode I would think it's good enough to enjoy it.
Yes, I beat King and Emperor consistently without reloading (as do many people on these forums). I generally use standard settings, but will occasionally mix it up for variety or to try something new (not to stack the deck).

On higher settings, Immortal is kinda a coin flip (50-50) and generally comes down to getting a good start. Not the initial city location (although that helps), but more to do with getting my initial 4ish cities out and secure my part of the map. Deity is all about gaming the flaws in CiV (i.e. rush the Porcelain Tower with a GE from Liberty/Haiga Sophia and take advantage of the broken research agreement mechanic) because the human player has to do something to compete with the ridiculous advantages that the AI gets.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 02:45 AM   #13
Tabarnak
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The Strategy and Tips forum has a lot of useful informations for all levels. Don't be afraid to consult them!
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 03:08 AM   #14
Ickey
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I find King the best level to play on.

On Prince, all things being equal, the AI's utter stupidity (mainly its inability to wage war effectively) really gives you an advantage that means you should win easily every time (if you half know what you're doing).

The advantages the AI gets on King more or less cancel out its stupidity. SO you get a bit more of a challenge.

But: King does not force you into very rigid ways of playing. The AI's advantages are not so ridiculous that you can only beat it if you strictly follow a given path (evidence of this is in the thread above - you can go several different ways).

The one thing I found helped me the most in making the transition from Prince to King is an early focus on science (focus on getting the Great Library, National College, and Porcelain Tower as soon as possible), and selling open borders to AIs. This alone should be enough to get you over the hump.

Once you've won a couple, you can start experimenting with different starts. For example, I'm just trying out an Immortal rush strategy with Persia (focus on early aggression rather than science).

Good luck!
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 03:16 AM   #15
wannabewarlord
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Originally Posted by civ5er View Post
My question to those who replied with advice on how to beat King, do you consistently beat the game with 7 civs and 16 CSs on a standard settings (standard resources, no policy savings, normal barbarians)? Do you reload often?
Ok, I had this whole answer written on how different skill levels find different things difficult and how grasping certain key concepts are more important than learning standard opening sequences and had encouraged you to play the level you enjoy (still giving you a challenge though) and on how to consult these here forums. I even had a funny joke about tommynt in there but then the stupid "Server too busy" swallowed it all. So I am not gonna repeat that.

But to simply answer your question:

I play Immortal, all settings standard, no "cooking", no reloading and have a 90% success rate.

You say you've seen YouTube videos where those people "cook" their settings. There are at least as many videos where no "cooking" takes place and people still win Imortal/Deity. King is not that impossible, many players here can testify to that.

In the end it is about how much you are willing to invest in learning/practicing the game and its concepts. Those who do more, will be better players. I do, a lot, and I find myself comfortably beating Immortal. Deity is another story, but I am not sure I am willing to go through the frustration that I find Deity to be, so I'll stick to immortal.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 08:13 AM   #16
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In the end it is about how much you are willing to invest in learning/practicing the game and its concepts.
This about sums it up.

I'm a n00b to TBS games, never played Civ 5 until a bit this summer, and now a lot.
Thanx to these forums and lots of failure, i'm learning slowly.

My current game i'm surviving just fine on Emperor, though i might not be winning at the end, i don't know.

I was only able to manage Prince not that long ago, but the strats/info/tips and abundance of infomation in forums like these have improved my play immensely.

Last edited by ense7en; Dec 02, 2011 at 11:28 PM.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 10:23 AM   #17
The_Quasar
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Originally Posted by civ5er View Post
My question to those who replied with advice on how to beat King, do you consistently beat the game with 7 civs and 16 CSs on a standard settings (standard resources, no policy savings, normal barbarians)? Do you reload often?

I play on Random Civ and Random map because I find the unpredictability fun. If I can beat King 30% of the time in that mode I would think it's good enough to enjoy it.
To answer your question, I beat King and Emperor most of the time (very occasionally I get cocky, and suffer for it)... Immortal and Deity I win usually, provided I have a reasonable start. My problems usually come at Immortal and Deity when I have multiple DoW against me early on, which puts me too far behind to catch up later. I do have over 1,000 hours playing time though.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 10:56 AM   #18
RedRover57
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The best way to improve your game is to try specific strategies that are well documented on this site with a top tier civ. For example, play Babylon and try a Bowman rush (domination victory) or Education beeline (science victory), or play Mongolia or Songhai and try a Chivalry beeline for a knight unit based rush, or play Japan and try a samurai (longsword) rush. Once you learn all of these possible strategies and hone your game to the point where you can adapt on the fly based on the map, then even Deity is not too difficult provided you survive the first 100 or so turns. You may need to reroll maps at first when learning these strategies as the random map you get may not support that particular strategy very well (e.g., trying a samurai rush but no access to iron).

Whatever victory condition you are going for it is important to not neglect science. You need to catch up to and eventually exceed the AI in tech. Also, if you are going for a domination victory and you think you have enough military units - build more.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 10:59 AM   #19
OrsonM
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This is sadly a bit of a bad rap I think Civilization had had for the longest time: that it's too gimmicky if you want to play well, sort of discarding a creative approach in harder difficulties.
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Old Dec 02, 2011, 11:17 AM   #20
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Yeah, I worked my way up from Prince to Emperor fairly easily but for a while Emperor gave me headaches. After one of the patches Emperor wasn't nearly as awful but Immortal gives me fits still to this day. I believe with all the rash of tips that have come out it is quite easy to move up a difficulty or two with a little studying and patience to practice it. I've been playing a lot of Immortal but I only cook my maps one way. I can't play on anything bigger then small with out having crazy turn times late in games so I play on duel-small with increased AI players and zero city states. This helps curb AI as well by limiting their growth, and if one starts getting to big they usually get put in check by the rest of the AI and then I can pick my spots joining in all of the 'World Wars'. It also eliminates a lot of RA's because they don't make nearly as much gold if left to expand as much as they want.

I think once you get in touch with how the computers make decisions you can find ways to do it better then them at king at least if not higher. Setting up your citizens yourself really does wonders for my playing now. I think on any difficulty if you can survive the initial bullying and kill their units they will hand over all of their gold and resources to save face. So learn how many of what troops will do that in any situation with any given Civ and you can start buying workers and settlers fairly early on with the spoils of defensive superiority, I tend to sell off archers that don't get upgraded from combat enough as their upgrades don't carry on well in future promotions. Gives me more money to upgrade the melee troops that do.
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