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Old Oct 13, 2011, 04:27 AM   #1
madmenno
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Help me become a better civ player!

Hello,

I am searching for help and advice to become a better player and would love to consistently win on emperor and above. Apart from some cheesy wins on the highest difficulty levels i never really beat these difficulties. Currently i can't win consistently on monarch.

I have read a lot of strategy articles and learned a lot over time but since decision making is mostly situation based i'd like people to comment on my games through a play through like i have seen on these boards often.

I try to go into as much detail as possible, and maybe even upload save games every now and then.

So, the settings.

Monarch - I still don't feel comfortable enough on this level so i think it's a good way to start.
Marthon - Boring?
Pangea
Standard
No barbarians - more boredom but speeds things up.

Spoiler:
I settled 1S from my starting position to make my capitol a GP farm once i run caste system. The ivory showed once i settled but i still think this is a good choice. At this time i was hoping to get my hands on rice and wheat so i can get that health boost this city needs.


Spoiler:
Gandhi right next to me, this screams for worker steal, so i waited on that flood plain but he never send his worker to wine,FP or hill till his border popped.... a real shame and a waste of 30+ turns exploring.

I started stonehenge to let my city grow to size 4 and start settler production.

As you can see i found my wheat and rice which is awesome.



Spoiler:
So my first dilemma, where to settle? I could aggressively settle near Egypt with the wine and spices, this could make a good commercial city. I can also block ghandi with the yellow city this would also be a nice commercial city.

-edit-
Ok, no dilemma any more. Once bronze working was complete i whipped my 2nd settler. Gandhi settled his 2nd 1S, 2E from the ivory. Shaka settled a little above the marble, but not in range. 3+ suger patches but inside the jungle. Depending on how things go i rush one of them with praetorians.


Last edited by madmenno; Oct 13, 2011 at 04:41 AM.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 04:37 AM   #2
Radio Noer
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It seems to me you are trying to settle to far away from your cap, which will raise maintenance and early overlap can help by working cottages or other tiles in the cap. I'm no expert but I'd say that settling 2W of the west corn in your cap would be ok to start expansion as it can share corn and grab pigs and silk.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 04:44 AM   #3
ahcos
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Turn barbs on. They get you focused on the important things early on, defense, and they're part of the game.

The problem with marathon is that you won't find many people following your game over a long time... for them, watching/reading is boring because it takes like FOREVER until you make significant progress. Play normal speed and come back to marathon when you're sure about what to do with the games on higher difficulties, marathon will be significantly more easy for you by then.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 05:48 AM   #4
madmenno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Noer View Post
It seems to me you are trying to settle to far away from your cap, which will raise maintenance and early overlap can help by working cottages or other tiles in the cap. I'm no expert but I'd say that settling 2W of the west corn in your cap would be ok to start expansion as it can share corn and grab pigs and silk.
I'm no expert either, but blocking Egypt on that spot is a good choice i think. I can later settle between these 2 cities and with the 2 food tiles it can grow very quick to equal size. true about the distance, it takes an age to get a road from there, but it's a great spot if i can keep those 2 FP and have towns there eventually. I would probably have settled between the pigs and corn if my capitol had not that much food and made my 2nd city the gp farm.

I would love some more info about this placement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahcos View Post
Turn barbs on. They get you focused on the important things early on, defense, and they're part of the game.

The problem with marathon is that you won't find many people following your game over a long time... for them, watching/reading is boring because it takes like FOREVER until you make significant progress. Play normal speed and come back to marathon when you're sure about what to do with the games on higher difficulties, marathon will be significantly more easy for you by then.
You mean people really start following this threat on the go if i post progress every 10 to 30 minutes? I really should try that then on normal speed. But i like to finish what i start.

About the barbarians, by the time barbarians evade and military strength counts (+-2000BC) i'm aiming on having my first army ready to invade someone myself. I usually play with barbarians but figured i'd turn it off to speed things up a little. I definatly make my next play through on normal speed with barbarians.


-To continue this:
Spoiler:

I am doing well, except for not having a baracks in my cities yet but i will whip that soon. Egypt is starting to get between my cities. Shaka does have iron working and 5 cities but i don't know if he actually has iron. Should i open borders with him to find out first? Otherwise i could go for Egypt or ghandi and anger a lot of people. Ghandi would probably be easiest but is blocked and can be handled later. Egypt will be harder, they just capt there iron but i can cut them off easily.

-edit-
Crap, shaka has iron all the way in the back of his empire, lucky bastard he is . Egypt has 2 available irons as well so i guess i have to go for gandhi and gain some technology along the way.






Last edited by madmenno; Oct 13, 2011 at 06:10 AM.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 06:13 AM   #5
krikav
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There is absolutely no problem with playing marathon. I play marathon myself, and I really enjoy the focus it gives on units, movement and the flow of time.
Early game micromanagment gets more important, which I like.

Late midgame / late game is abit painfull on marathon however, but usually the games are won before that, so it's just alot of cruising.


About your current game, I can easily see that you are planning ahead alot, which is a incredibly usefull skill in this game. However I think you have to focus more on beeing practical.

Setteling a city way out there to block the egypians might be a sound long term strategic decision, but it is to far fetched.
You won't get callendar for quite some time, and you have more urgent issues to focus on in the early game above happiness resources other than hunting/mining resources.

You expand toward your enemy to the west, and now you are getting boxed in by the enemy on your east!

It is a really good idea to become the pall of shaka, you don't want to be on his shitlist, that guy is a merciless conqurer.
Be prepared to support the guy he bashes on, or at least to dogpile on the poor victim, if shaka gets to expand his empires with all of egypts empire for example (which is likely to be the outcome of this game), you will have to handle a runaway AI.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 06:36 AM   #6
Mylene
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Originally Posted by krikav View Post
Early game micromanagment gets more important, which I like.
Other way round, on normal learning how to move workers is way more important f.e.
Logical, if a turn is worth more
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 07:17 AM   #7
madmenno
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Thnx krikav,

Lol i'm stupid, it's not egypt thats boxing me in... it is shaka. And i really need to take atleast that city in between those 2 cities of mine. Can i do this by culture or should i just capture it?

Spoiler:


I'm already on bad foot with shaka and my empire is doing great, so i guess i will go after him when i'm done with gandhi.

Spoiler:

And i'm almost done with him as you see, 1 turn before he added that iron mine i invaded him with 5 prea to bombay and 1 prea to cancel that mine. When i arived at his capitol he had 2 axes in it, and i was like WTF. Found the iron at the back with a village on it. Had to sacrifice only 1 prea for it and pillaged it.



So, should i just contain gandhi now and pillage these villages to save maintenance or keep the cities?
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 07:34 AM   #8
Gwynnja
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Originally Posted by krikav View Post
There is absolutely no problem with playing marathon. I play marathon myself, and I really enjoy the focus it gives on units, movement and the flow of time.
Early game micromanagment gets more important, which I like.
You meant to say micro on mara is less important, right?
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 08:18 AM   #9
madmenno
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I kindly ask to stop the discussion of the speed and to stay on topic.


So, i think shaka signed his doom. Just after i killed gandi he went on war with me, i anticipated this and left some praetorians in the 2 most likely targets of him. The funny thing is his stack consisted of 2 impi's and 2 chariots and went for the marble city that had 1 bow, 2 prae inside it. I just attacked and it gave me my 2nd great general and will soon have a nice medic.

-the guy i want to attach him too has medic I, should i go leadership and woodsman with him so he can defend and pickup experience for woodsman 3?

Spoiler:

Anyway, i razed a silly town of him right at my border and got my city. I desperately need culture in my 2nd city (West) so i can pop those border back and start working on that cottage again.

So shall i press on into zulu land or wait till i have construction? I am on happy terms with egypt who is about to discover construction. But i doubt she will trade it right off the bat. Is there anyway i can speed this up?


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Old Oct 13, 2011, 08:27 AM   #10
krikav
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Originally Posted by Gwynnja View Post
You meant to say micro on mara is less important, right?
Clarification needed.

My point is that with extreme micromanagment, you can gain a even larger advantage playing on maraton, since you have more turns to make tweeks.

What I assume your point is, is that it is much most important to have the correct settings each turn playing on normal, since each turn is more worthwhile?

In that case, I agree with you.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 08:30 AM   #11
krikav
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Originally Posted by madmenno View Post
Thnx krikav,

Lol i'm stupid, it's not egypt thats boxing me in... it is shaka. And i really need to take atleast that city in between those 2 cities of mine. Can i do this by culture or should i just capture it?

Spoiler:


I'm already on bad foot with shaka and my empire is doing great, so i guess i will go after him when i'm done with gandhi.

Spoiler:

And i'm almost done with him as you see, 1 turn before he added that iron mine i invaded him with 5 prea to bombay and 1 prea to cancel that mine. When i arived at his capitol he had 2 axes in it, and i was like WTF. Found the iron at the back with a village on it. Had to sacrifice only 1 prea for it and pillaged it.



So, should i just contain gandhi now and pillage these villages to save maintenance or keep the cities?
Gandhi is (like you have noticed) a total pushover, a wimp of extreme proportions.

In your situation, personally I would have left him alone to build up his (soon to be your ) cities.
And I would instead have focused on the egyptian and shaka.

It's tough to know which cities to keep and which to raze, but usually keeping is superior, unless they are in a incredibly ackward position.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 08:33 AM   #12
krikav
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Originally Posted by madmenno View Post
I kindly ask to stop the discussion of the speed and to stay on topic.


So, i think shaka signed his doom. Just after i killed gandi he went on war with me, i anticipated this and left some praetorians in the 2 most likely targets of him. The funny thing is his stack consisted of 2 impi's and 2 chariots and went for the marble city that had 1 bow, 2 prae inside it. I just attacked and it gave me my 2nd great general and will soon have a nice medic.

-the guy i want to attach him too has medic I, should i go leadership and woodsman with him so he can defend and pickup experience for woodsman 3?

Spoiler:

Anyway, i razed a silly town of him right at my border and got my city. I desperately need culture in my 2nd city (West) so i can pop those border back and start working on that cottage again.

So shall i press on into zulu land or wait till i have construction? I am on happy terms with egypt who is about to discover construction. But i doubt she will trade it right off the bat. Is there anyway i can speed this up?


Might be a good time to just buildup and tech abit and wait for catapults or perhaps even trebuchets? Not sure.. The roman prets are quite powerfull and you could benefit from leveraging on their strength right now, before there is something powerfull enough to counter them.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 08:38 AM   #13
OneLeggedRhino
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You are reaching too far for cities. In particular, the red dot city in your first post is risky and not worth it. Until you have Calendar, it's just a pigs and grass city, hardly worth stretching for. And spreading your cities out is why you're having problems with Shaka settling between your cities.

Place nearby cities that are good now. The pigs / wheat immediately West of your cap, plus 2 cities N and E using floodplains, would all make good options. Compact empires are better: Less maintenance, fewer worker turns roading, less chance of getting attacked, fewer turns to move units in response to an attack. Sure, by settling a huge empire now, you have more cities to fill in later, but you need to do what's good now, and worry about later when it arrives. Having a strong empire means you can conquer someone when you need to expand. Having a weak empire (that will become strong in 300 turns) means you're the one getting conquered.

Personally, I play Marathon speed / Immortal. But if you're posting here for help on your game, I'd go Normal for now. 2 reasons:
  • Marathon is a different game. vranasm had some good insights after his shadow game in my latest game (Espionage / Gandhi in my signature links). Most players will guide you toward strats that work on Normal, which may not be the right moves for Marathon.
  • You'll get the most benefit from someone posting a shadow of your game, which is a lot easier to do on Normal than Marathon. I play marathon, so I'm happy to shadow challenging games on that speed, but not something easy just to give pointers.
By the way, one of those differences is that Shaka has a lot more turns to declare. You absolutely must have a standing army in a position to defend against him. Or at least an archer plus an axe in all your border cities. If your stack is all over in Gandhi's lands, you're in a lot of danger.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 08:44 AM   #14
madmenno
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I gave egypt a tech and he allowed trading construction after it. He now is slightly ahead in tech. I'm beelining education now so i can get universities. Till then i will build catapults and go for the capital of the zulu's.

After that i see who i take out, i might backstab egypt or work my way around them since they are nice trade partners.

@OneLeggedRhino
Thanks for the tips, after this i will be posting normal speed games. I should not say this before i cap his capitol but Shaka is laughably easy to handle somehow. I had good units in my cities, 1 prae +warrior(with enough gold to make axe) was the least defense on my border. I got rid of him now within my lands and pressing on as soon as i have 4+ catapults. I have lots of CRIII units and a warlord medic I + Woods II and a warlord CII,CRIII both with leadership. I feel this will be my most easy monarch game ever, but i felt confident before and lost in the end .

Last edited by madmenno; Oct 13, 2011 at 08:56 AM.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 09:29 AM   #15
Gwynnja
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krikav View Post
Clarification needed.

My point is that with extreme micromanagment, you can gain a even larger advantage playing on maraton, since you have more turns to make tweeks.
50% cheaper units on Marathon are far more advantageous than extreme micro tweeks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by krikav View Post
What I assume your point is, is that it is much most important to have the correct settings each turn playing on normal, since each turn is more worthwhile?

In that case, I agree with you.
Yes. By "less important on marathon" I mean "more important on standard settings."
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 11:16 AM   #16
Regas
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don't think that choosing civ with imba early UU will help you to improve your game a lot
i almost always settle cities nearby, due to maintenance costs. you can try searching for perfect spot or block some land somewhere, but it can just kill your early progress very quickly. it's just too expensive imo.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 11:34 AM   #17
madmenno
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don't think that choosing civ with imba early UU will help you to improve your game a lot
Agreed!

Now since this thread is more of a discussion about game speed and is pretty much hijacked i'd like to start a new game.

So what settings?

Normal speed?
Just pangea or won't help me that either and should i go something like continents or big and small?
What leader should i take? Would be nice to do a game towards my quatromasters. So i'd like to pick from:
Monty
Hamurabi
Justinian
alex
celts
ethiopia
france
holy roman
inca
japan
khmer
korea
mongolia
sitting bull
Mehmed
rusia
Isabella
Shaka
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 11:40 AM   #18
MarigoldRan
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Stick with Marathon. But your settings are too easy. If you'll play Rome, try Marathon/Diety. Otherwise, Marathon/Immortal.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 12:03 PM   #19
Gwynnja
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If your goal is to become a better player, then marathon is not the right setting. It's a niche setting that most players dislike.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 12:16 PM   #20
Tempesta13
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Absolute zero's videos would help http://www.youtube.com/user/Chris67132

He plays (usually) on Pangaea and, if you are willing to spend a few (or countless) hours watching vids, his games would help you out a lot i think.

Pay attention to:
1. How he chooses where/when to settle.
2. Early tech choices (how he'll skip techs to get important techs faster)
3. What infrastructure he puts where.
4. How he expands over AI - when he uses HA rush, when axe rush, cats, trebs etc... and how he whips armies quick. (you don't have to match his dates or army size - if you follow his thought process/plan then on Monarch/marathon you should have no trouble having successful early war)
5. How he can have a good economy when it looks like he shouldn't (bad land/war etc..)

You just won't be able to expect to get all the tech trades you want if you have a high commerce start because monarch AI's are slower. Also you can't expect AI's to get currency and be able to trade/beg for gold from them like on immortal or especially deity so you have to be more careful w/ economy if you are doing early war. Also, if you don't have close neighbors and can get 10-12 decent cities from expanding normally you'd want to read/watch other strats. His vids would still help you though as obviously he understands the core concepts of this game really well.
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