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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:09 PM   #1
Gamgee
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Newbie Question. Plains what are they good for?

Okay I want to try and play Mongolia, but I find I get saddled with a lot of plains. Perhaps I just rolled bad but I had no hills or forests anywhere and only a marble and 2 elephants near my starting city. The other time I tried to play him something similar happened. I also got hemmed in early and couldn't build any cities to expand due to culture and I also didn't get iron and only one horse (of 4). This was all within the area of my 3 cities.

At any rate what do i do with plains? They don't let you grow as fast and the tiny amount of production they give just doesn't seem to matter. Do I need to have the entire area as plains for it to work out? Because a lot of the time I'll be bordered on something else like a river/flood plains and then plains on the other side.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:12 PM   #2
DaveMcW
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River plains are great, farm them and head for Civil Service.

Non-river plains are bad, ignore them until Fertilizer.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 08:18 PM   #3
Gamgee
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I only had a few river plains compared to non river plains. I mean very very little. I then got hemmed in to the east by a desert with NOTHING in it. It was this vast gigantic wall of death for any city to settle out there. It went on and on and on and then Germany was on the other side with a tiny pocket area for himself.

Then to my south it was more plains (no river) and then jungle. To the west was more plains with no river and the horse + yet more elephants. And some fish since it was near the coast. Then to the north was the ocean. I was stuck in this tiny corner.

I am second to last on the score board and its been 200-230 turns. My two human players are hitting Renaissance and I am struggling to even get into Medieval. This was because a. cities couldn't grow b. no strategic resources to expand c. I got declared war on by Babylon and 2 city states and they took one of my cities I was just building up. My second largest.

I think this game is done for. Sound bad?

Edit
Germany has access to 18 steel.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 11:24 PM   #4
Matthew.
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Unfortunately plain plain tiles (heh) are not that great until you have a massive population. The 1 hammer is better than just plain food once you reach the point where food isn't as needed. The catch is you need food to get to that point.

If you can snag Hanging Gardens, it really helps. It essentially turns 6 of those plain tiles into grassland tiles with an extra hammer. Granary/Watermill of course. Also try and pick up a maritime city-state or two.

As long as you place enough extra focus on food, plains are not that bad. Alternatively, you could just accept food is going to suck and push your empire wide. Keshiks are more than enough to allow you to go as wide as you want, regardless of whatever is in your way.
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Old Jan 20, 2013, 11:34 PM   #5
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Plains are useful for building farms in, because you get both hammers and food. Sometimes useful resources (such as horses) appear in plains tiles. They also have the advantage of not slowing unit movement or hindering line-of-sight. It can actually be much better, early on, to be surrounded by plains and at least have some hammers than to be surrounded by grassland or jungle and have none. If you are near a river, build farms on the river plains and trade posts on the non-river ones. Try to build cities on hills when possible (plains often have hills). This provides you with more starting hammers and better city defense than if you settle on the flat plains. Just be thankful you're not constantly starting near empty tundra, snow, dense jungles, or empty deserts. Desert sites with hills, oases, and floodplains are actually fairly useful if you get the Desert Folklore pantheon and/or build Petra. Plus, deserts often have oil.

Edit: To make up for the lack of food from plains tiles, prioritize building a granary. If most of your available terrain is going to be plains, consider taking Feed the World as a belief. If you can settle next to a river, do so and build a waterwheel.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 02:01 AM   #6
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Is that means for tile improvements, we should target +food as pirority?

I know more population equals more science. And with more population, you can run more specialists for GPP. However, more population will consume your happiness. I know with the religion system implemented in G&K, happiness is not an important issue as you can always get +happiness buildings or +happiness beliefs.

Personally, I trade-posted all plain. I am not sure I am doing right or not. But for me, I normally go to commerce in social policy and more trade post for me means tons of gold. With these gold, I can buy buildings, army, or pay to city-state. Without these tons of gold, I think I cannot handle the tons of spending. Maybe that's different style of playing? Any comment?
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 06:38 AM   #7
cmorganuk
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Flat plain starts can really leave you in no mans land early on. Not enough food to go tall, not enough hammers to meaningly produce anything.

Playing on the higher levels its almost an instant reroll for me, its a long way back to be competative.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:04 AM   #8
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Plains : More hammers but less food than Grassland
Farm the river tiles along with any Wheat Tiles.
Hopefully the capital started on a river so you can build both the Granary and the Water Mill.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:39 AM   #9
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Well, plains starts make more food than hilly starts, so I dunno why plains have been singled out. They're fine, but you could very much do with a river or a few granary bonus resources. If the OP only had a couple tiles of river maybe move before settling? Depends on map obvs. You want a good balance between food and hammers so you can grow, but still build workers, watermills, libraries etc. I like to split mine between food tiles and production tiles (rather than have tiles with a bit of both) because then you can redistribute your output between happy and unhappy times, GA's and WLTK turns, but having it all spread out isn't a very big issue at all really.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:47 AM   #10
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If you are on a river then you're good, otherwise the RNG just hates you. I'd go liberty and settle in better terrain as soon as you can, though. Definitely food resources then farm the river tiles. Play pottery if you have deer/wheat, then I'd recommend Mining/Masonry/Trapping/Math for lux then waterwheel and then go for the Hanging Gardens with marble buff. You should get it unless you're on Immortal+

If you get HG and pop free settler from Liberty you'll be cruising. Plains cap especially with HG will be a hammer beast. Focus on building keshiks and win easy no prob.

As an aside, if you're seeing elephants and horses that can be very good for expanding as it opens circus at multiple cities.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:52 AM   #11
Gamgee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmorganuk View Post
Flat plain starts can really leave you in no mans land early on. Not enough food to go tall, not enough hammers to meaningly produce anything.

Playing on the higher levels its almost an instant reroll for me, its a long way back to be competative.
This is the exact problem I am having. I have these very bad cities that can just do nothing.

My score hasn't moved in ages. Every single wonder has been gotten to before me. I can't outproduce my nearest neighbours. I'm much more of a specialist guy when it comes to tiles. So grassland and hills or even grassland and forest. This city just can't do anything. Hell I am having problems just managing happiness because I have only a few luxury resources near me. So my empire is growing even more slowly.

Edit
Also can anyone give me some tips on warmongering and managing happiness/cash for prince level. I typically go with the honor tree, but find it harder to manage my empire if I take that. The gold and happiness costs are just astronomical when out conquering. Do I want to raze all of the cities?

Last edited by Gamgee; Jan 21, 2013 at 09:09 AM.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:25 AM   #12
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These tips include ways that I manage happiness on Emperor level, but they should work on Prince.

1) In the early game you should give potential city sites with new (to your civ) luxuries a higher priority. The same goes for potential conquests.

2) Puppet captured cities if you intend to keep them, you can always annex them later when your happiness situation is more stable. Cities you've just captured are in "resistance" and useless for micromanagement anyway.

3) If you are playing wide (5+ settled or annexed cities), take Meritocracy from the Liberty tree and connect all your cities with trade routes. If you are playing tall, take Tradition and get the Monarchy policy.

4) Unless you have a specific reason to choose Honor, I would recommend taking Commerce or Rationalism as your second policy tree. Each of those trees contains one policy that will improve your happiness. Honor does have policies to improve happiness, but these are reliant on maintaining standing garrisons and building lots of defensive structures. If you are going a warmonger route, this may work well for you; if not, you might want to use a different policy tree.

5) Befriend Mercantile City States. You don't even need to ally them (although that helps because they always have luxuries). Just being Friendly with them gives extra happiness per turn.

6) If you have a wide empire and make the Industrial age, taking the first policy of Order as soon as possible is always a good idea. 1 global happiness per city really adds up if you have 20 cities, and the bonus applies to puppets too.

7) Build circuses wherever you can and whenever appropriate. +2 happiness for no maintenance fee is more helpful than it looks. Also build stoneworks wherever you can, as appropriate.

8) Choose beliefs such as Ascetism, Ceremonial Burial, or Pagodas that can be used to generate additional happiness for your empire. In fact, Pagodas are an awesome, maintenance-free way to increase happiness while also boosting faith. Some Pantheons, such as Goddess of Love can be helpful in generating happiness as well (although GoL is better for empires where most cities can be expected to reach 6 population).

9) If you are going to annex a large number of captured cities, you may want to consider Autocracy to reduce the cost of building/buying courthouses. I'm not sure the benefits outweigh those of Order, though.

I hope something in this list is helpful to you. I find it helps to think of "Happiness" as "Stability", and to try not to do things that might destabilize your empire (e.g. annex 10 cities at once).
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 02:20 AM   #13
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Plain tiles grow slowly, so make sure you farm them.
They are very good ics city tiles, and often with wheat/salt will give you the best chance of getting the stonehenge. Uluru wonder also spawns in plains so scout well.

If you see miles of flat plain tiles, get a religion made for wide. rush stonehenge, scout for uluru or get hagia sophia whatever is fastest. Plain tiles need a religion but does make the best ics land.
2food 1 production makes for a nice mix. also the tendancy to get wheat/salt helps alot. Just make sure you ignore gold. deficit only matters for your science. so build libraries/markets and universities after you get enough happiness.
I would recommend egypt with a plains start. The UB does miracles for ics on plains tiles and helps to manage gold. The UA helps you to get the stonehenge.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:25 AM   #14
Halcyan2
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I think that Plains should not be unduly penalized by disallowing Stoneworks! (Oftentimes, the hammers provided by plains is not enough to offset the lack of food, so I don't see why they need to make plains even worse by not allowing Stoneworks to be built).
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:44 AM   #15
Gamgee
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What exactly is an ICS play style? Taking a quick look around it seems to use massive amounts of cities, but is there anything more you could tell me about it? I am generally a tall player, I have a hard time managing wide empires.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamgee View Post
What exactly is an ICS play style? Taking a quick look around it seems to use massive amounts of cities, but is there anything more you could tell me about it? I am generally a tall player, I have a hard time managing wide empires.
In Civ V, ICS refers to founding any open city spot even if it doesn't have any luxuries nor strategic resources nor natural wonders.
I tend to play semi-tall myself (5 or 6 founded cities, all big and all bringing in key tiles.)
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:53 AM   #17
Gamgee
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What would the benefits of this be?
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:54 AM   #18
Browd
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For ICS, check out this thread: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=473168

And this one: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=482769
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:20 PM   #19
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they're like half a grassland and half a hill.... not sure how grassland or hill would be superior.

you should start next to a river, which'll fill your early population needs. once that's done, instead of mixing hill/farm, plains mixes it for you. after you fill out your river, if you're expanding properly, you should start having some growth-happiness cap issues anyway, so you're not just doing pure growth. the mongolian capital won't grow to be huge, and it won't be good for running specialist. mongolia's goal is really just to not be too far behind by the time you get to keshiks/khans.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 04:15 PM   #20
Gamgee
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Alright this time I got a good start with them. I'm 4 turns from getting Chivalry. I have 7 cities, almost more than all other players combined. Let's see if I can do this. Your tips have really helped out, thanks a lot. Granted my start this time was much better by getting 3-4 rivers all in one area and tons of plains/river.
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