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Old Feb 27, 2012, 11:20 AM   #1
dacar92
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Civ veteran finally buys Civ 5. Need advice

Hi,

I have been playing Civ for a long time and finally bought Civ 5. I could not play until now due to the system specs. But now I have a new machine that can handle the game with ease.

I typically like to play the first couple games in relative peace. I want to learn how to grow my empire, what the different buildings and wonders do, how to grow an army and my treasury and how to handle the other civs in the game. All of this without, or at least relatively little, war.

What are the best strategies for this kind of game play? I have begun to read other threads here but would appreciate a few links or tips here to make my research a bit shorter in duration. I just want to play! I installed the game yesterday and got to play one turn before I got interrupted and had to close it down. LOL.

Anyway, glad to be back and hope to have fun dominating the world!

Thanks
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 11:47 AM   #2
Heerlo
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Congrats on getting Civ 5!

I am a peaceful leader on Civ, so what you are talking about is probably about the same way I usually play.I'm sure I'm not the best at it, but I'll try to help.

The way I do is usually just minding my own business in the early game just developing my nation.Sometimes it's good to give City States gold to ally with them.If they have resources they give them to you, which can help alot with happiness.Maritime city states give you a boost of growth in your cities, and militaristic city states give you military units.

Research aggreements are also good to use.They help you keep up in tech.But if you think you might need more help with tech, consider using Rationalism.It's very good for tech.But be warned:If you're using the Peity branch to get happiness, then be very careful about using Rationalism, because those two can't be active at the same time.I learned that the hard way

I usually just be peaceful and keep a pretty small army until I need a bigger one, and I usually do pretty good like that.But I guess what size army you build just depends on the situation.

Anyway, hope something I said helped.

Enjoy Civ5!
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Old Feb 27, 2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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On harder difficulties it's close to impossible not to be dow'd. Your best bet is an Archipelago map, as with that you do not share borders, which helps a lot in staying friendly. Also: Do not declare friends with anybody. Sounds to be the opposite of what you want right? However while you become friends with one, some others will hate you. If you don't 'become friends' with anyone, no one will automatically hate you. Same applies to CS - if you got one which an AI wanted, you'll anger him. Best to ignore CS altogether or at least never get influence on one that is already allied with someone else. Last tip: Bribing someone to go to war with someone else can prevent both from going to war against you for quite some time - which can be quite useful as Civ is a war game and the AI is supposed to go to war with you, especially if they are your neighbors.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 03:20 PM   #4
dacar92
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Thanks for the advice. I will give it a go and see what happens. Probably get my butt kicked a few times but no matter. That's part of the fun. What is dow'd?

Last edited by dacar92; Feb 28, 2012 at 03:30 PM.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 03:35 PM   #5
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it's somewhat harder to avoid wars in civ5 than predecessors. The AI are predisposed to be opportunistic - if your army is weak and they are nearby, there is a good chance they will invade you (even if they say they are "friendly").

One thing that helps to determine if they are actually friendly or not is to propose open borders, and see how much gold they will give you. If it's anything less than 50, they are probably planning on attacking you.

Entering a DOF (declaration of friendship) is a pretty surefire way to know that a certain AI won't attack you for the duration of the agreement (30 turns). But that carries its own risks, such as angering other AIs, and having a needy friend that asks lots of favors.

Moral of the story - keep a strong army if you don't want to get attacked. Don't rely on diplomacy to prevent war, but it's useful in determing who is going to attack you so you can prepare accordingly.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 03:43 PM   #6
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1. Don't make friends; remember, the AI will view the friend of their enemy as their enemy. The safest way to stay out of war is to remain as neutral as possible.

2. Don't appear weak; having a small army is a surefire way to get attacked. Undoubtedly some AIs will be trying to win by conquest, and if they see you as the weakest possible target, they'll go for you first.

3. Don't expand onto resources the AI wants; you know how you feel when the AI plops down a city right next to your empire that denies you a few resources you really wanted? The AI feels the same way, and since some of the AIs are also playing the game with an eye to conquest, one can easily put two and two together and realize that that equals war.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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Diplomacy-wise, don't bother with declarations of friendships. Never denounce unless every other civ has denounced one particular civ.

Policy-wise, finish liberty tree then try to time your entry into renaissance era so you can move right to rationalism as your next pick.

Military-wise, research archery very early on and build some archers (3~6), which should really be enough to win defensive wars all the way into the renaissance, provided you upgrade to crossbowmen. Once you hit the industrial era, a few artillery units are highly useful for both offensive and defensive wars.

As for technology and buildings, hook up luxuries, build national college, then tech to education for universities. Aqueducts are crucial if you want to have any chance of growing your cities fairly big. But you should probably build markets before that as your economy will likely take a dive during the medieval era from other building maintenance.

For wonders, the ones I pretty much always go for even at the highest difficulty levels are Hagia Sophia, Notre Dame, and Porcelain Tower, which is easily doable with the 2 great engineers you can get from finishing the liberty tree and hard building the hagia sophia.

Lastly, if you want to play a peaceful game, I'd suggest going small (~3 cities) and focus heavily on research agreements so you can still keep up with even runaway AI civs.
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Old Feb 29, 2012, 06:03 AM   #8
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I disagree slightly with all people saying never use Declaration of Friendship. Maybe for your very first game it might be better to ignore it, but it can be useful. The thing to remember is that underneath diplomacy is just + and - numbers like Civ 4 except that you can't see the numbers. If you have enough + numbers you can stay friends for a long time.

The way I do that is to pick one Civ as my 'best friend', make a DoF, trade with them on generous terms, give them stuff when they ask (but not always join in a war when they ask you, unlike Civ 4 you can stay friends without doing that). Picking the right Civ is important, and it depends on their personality, e.g. Washington loves spamming cities, so if you are going to be competing for the same spots he will hate you, no point trying to making friends, but if he is far enough away he could be a good friend. Wu loves wonders so if you are wonderspamming she will hate you. Siam guy likes city states but if you don't try to ally with 'his' city states he can be a good friend.

Once you have made a friend the important thing is to get as many + numbers as possible, by looking at the diplo overview (F4) screen to see who they like or hate, and building a list of shared friends (and shared enemies). Accept a DoF with anyone your friends DoF with, UNLESS one of your other friends has denounced them. Denounce anyone your friends denounce, UNLESS one of your other friends has a DoF with them. Each shared friendship/denouncement gives + numbers.

In this way you can build a 3 or 4 civ alliance that will last some time. Sometimes it will last the whole game, but sometimes 2 of your shared friends will drop below the magic + number that keeps them friends, the denouncements start flying, and it all falls apart The idea is that by the time that happens you are in a strong enough position that you can either ignore them all, or pick a side and join in the carnage.

Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacar92 View Post
What is dow'd?
DOW = Declaration Of War

Last edited by LegionSteve; Feb 29, 2012 at 06:07 AM.
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Old Feb 29, 2012, 02:18 PM   #9
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I also agree selective DOFs can be beneficial. It takes some experience getting used to when it will be helpful, but completely writing them off is unwise.
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Old Feb 29, 2012, 03:27 PM   #10
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The problem is a dof request comes unexpected and you can not check upon who is friends/at war with who when they engaged you with that question. On larger maps/with more civs you'll have a hard time to actually remember all the dependencies even if you look at them every few turns (Diplomacy Overview < Global Politics).

Just the same bad game design as when you get a good peace offer and don't know which cities to take/ask for as you do not have access to the map to make your decision.

Last edited by FeiLing; Mar 01, 2012 at 04:15 AM.
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 03:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeiLing View Post
The problem is a dof comes unexpected and you can not check upon who is friends/at war with who when they engaged you with that question. On larger maps/with more civs you'll have a hard time to actually remember all the dependencies even if you look at them every few turns (Diplomacy Overview < Global Politics).

Just the same bad game design as when you get a good peace offer and don't know which cities to take/ask for as you do not have access to the map to make your decision.
Very true, and very annoying. There is no excuse for this either on gameplay or realism. It's not like real world leaders wouldn't have advisors whispering in their ear "by the way our most important ally hates this guy."
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 11:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LegionSteve View Post
It's not like real world leaders wouldn't have advisors whispering in their ear "by the way our most important ally hates this guy."
Ha, well said. All the more poignant in today's political climate, where many leaders actually need / have needed said advising...
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 12:25 PM   #13
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yeah let's rely on advisors, that sounds like a great idea...everyone knows civ advisors are super useful...

Fact is, it's your job to remember the diplomatic situation. That's part of the game, and part of your responsibility as the leader of your civ. If you can't keep track of who is your friend or not, that's not the game's fault.
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 12:45 PM   #14
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Well, previous versions of Civ would have let you check your diplo screens for a reminder.

What also can be a reason to refuse a friendship proposal is when a civ is broke, if that is the case they're more likely to ask for financial assistance. There will of course be very few players that check their diplo screens on a turn-to-turn basis to run down this info for every civ, so a bit more interface functionality here would be welcomed by most.
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 12:52 PM   #15
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It being hard to check who your allies are is just the result of a horrible interface and the whole "Less information=good" vibe they're going with now, if you have this problem, get infoaddict, far more available information on EVERYTHING, and it provides a link from any leader screen to itself so if you want to see if civ X is a warmonger before you engage in a DoF, most essential mod ever.

And if you like to play Civ peaceful, this game is probably not for you, the AI is programmed to be completely homicidal to compensate for the fact that the AI could'nt strategically think itself out of a wet paper bag.
Perhaps Gods and Kings will change this but religion there seems more like another policy tree then the diplomatic tool it was in CIV.
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 01:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazzycat View Post
yeah let's rely on advisors, that sounds like a great idea...everyone knows civ advisors are super useful...

Fact is, it's your job to remember the diplomatic situation. That's part of the game, and part of your responsibility as the leader of your civ. If you can't keep track of who is your friend or not, that's not the game's fault.
All it needs is to be able to view the F4 info screen from within the leader diplo screen. You would rather have to check and memorise the diplo situation every turn in case a leader pops up asking for a DoF or whatever? I can't see the fun in that, seems like tedious micromanagement to me.
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 01:10 PM   #17
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I guess my point is that you shouldn't have to check. You should know already.

- Have they ever DOW'd me? - not my friend
- Have they denounced me recently? - not my friend
- Do they have DOF with my enemy? - not my friend
- Have they DOWd or denounced my ally? - not my friend
- Is there any chance of them winning any time soon - not my friend
- Do they pay full price on trades? my friend (for now)
- Are they useful to sick on other civs (good strength, far away) - my friend

These are thing a good player should know off the top of their head for any AI.

If you don't want the responsibility of diplomacy, you can always play on a lower level where it's not as important.
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 01:38 PM   #18
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Altough I think you are fundamentally wrong Chazz, the game should really have a diplomatic information screen you can access from the diplomacy screen, you are practically correct, those rules work pretty well to determine who is or isn't your friend, only problem is that 95% of AI's will do those things, coming back to the homicidal AI.
What I find most practical is just to assume everyone is my enemy, I'll like some more then others but at the end of the day they only live for as long as is useful for me. And altough this works very well it has the rather bad side effect of making the AI's seem even more mechanical and boring, which is why I play CK2 now.
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 01:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Derpy Hooves View Post
What I find most practical is just to assume everyone is my enemy
Now we are talking realistic diplomacy
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Old Mar 01, 2012, 01:59 PM   #20
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The kind of realistic diplomacy where England should have expected France to backstab them the moment they moved their armies to Iraq right? Or the kind of diplomatic situation where Hitler was busy becoming best buds with Poland before the invasion?
The problem is for it to truly be realistic we need both ends of the spectrum, coldblooded backstabbers and deep involving alliances. Currently we only have the former. (And the whole friend -> backstab routine is more fitting for a kindergarten playground then politics, not that there should be no backstabbing, just not the AI declaring best buds right before, since the AI almost never does this, it's like wearing a huge "Ima backstab U" sign)
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