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Old Nov 01, 2001, 08:22 AM   #1
Kev
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Some thoughts based on my first few games

Well, out of the box and without reading the manual in any great detail, I got my ass whooped twice on monarch (King) level before I decided to tone it down a bit. Playing the warlord equivalent allowed me to get a better feel of the game and gave me a better idea as to what may become usable tactics for all facets. I'll give a few thoughts, but keep in mind that 1. Civ3 is still so new that I am likely missing out on some things that could be better and 2. that this is an easier level and strategies will likely differ greatly as one moves up in difficulty and a possible 3 is that I may not be 100% accurate on things - so try not to kill me.

City Placement :

Well all know from Civ2 that the tiles your city will be able to utilize are based on a pattern similar to a knight's move in chess - two up and one over so to speak. However, in Civ3 a newly colonized city seems only be able to use the tiles in its immediate vicinity (any square that's actually touching the city itself) until an increase in culture allows its influence to reach tiles further away. This has provided for some change in strategy in my latest game:
1. Placing a city that will EVENTUALLY get to a resource (iron, horses, etc) or a useful tile (whale, etc.) may not be the best plan. At times I found it better to build right next to or even right ON a tile. It can sometimes take a while for an increase in culture, and with fewer tiles from which to choose it can take a long while to build a temple or some such thing. In the mean time, that tile can be taken away (see below).
2. This "single tile radius" can be used to your advantage where the AI is concerned. In several cases, an AI city was near a resource and would be able to make use of it once their nearby city expanded with their culture. What I did was send a settler right up to the AI's border and plunk down a city (with a warrior in tow). When any city expands, it will not encroach upon another nation's borders, and by placing my city where I did I made sure they could not expand in that direction, and I claimed that resource for myself. At times, I had an AI city surrounded on all sides so even with increased culture it would not be able to use tiles other than in their immediate vicinity. Bweware, the AI can do the same to you!
3. Jungles. I am going to assume it's the same with swamps. The "disease" factor should not be trifled with. I've had several cities with jungle tiles in their radius lose population due to disease. It was pretty annoying, and it can take a while to clear the jungle by workers. I've read that one can lose individual units this way as well.

Wonders:

I've only played up to about 1200 AD, so I can only give you an idea about the early ones so far.

First, wonder building can be pesky. Once a city begins a wonder, no other city can begin building that same wonder. Also, if you are even a single turn away from finishing and it is completed by a rival, you can no longer keep building that wonder (unless it's a "small wonder" which can be built by all civs). If there is no wonder to change to, then you have to put the shields into an improvement or a unit. There is also no announcement about telling you that a rival is about to finish the wonder - they just up and finish it.

Some wonders that I usually avoided but now seem pretty useful:
Oracle: I never, ever built the Oracle in Civ2. Seemed very useless then, but in Civ3 it could become one to shoot for. Why? Well, with culture being such a large aspect one finds themselves building temples in pretty much every city. The Oracle doubles the effect of these temples, and therefore can increase your culture dramatically.
Lighthouse: As always, it depends on the map, but galleys present the same "lost at sea" problem seen with Civ2 triremes. The Lighthouse will allow you to wander the seas, but unlike Civ2 the Lighthouse in Civ3 will allow your ancient galley to move 4 instead of 3. I thought it was a large help. One reason is that if an AI is allowed to expand unchecked on a distant continent they will build like ants! I was on a continent with the Aztecs, Iriquois, Zulus and Persians (I was the Americans). The Babylonians were by themselves somewhere and when I finally found them in 1100 AD they had about 14 cities or more. No more of the AI being content with 3-5 cities it would seem. Better to get to them and put up some borders to check their growth - or at least slow it down.

Some wonders that don't seem to be as powerful: The Great Wall merely increases the effectiveness of your walls - so you have to have them for this wonder to be helpful. Leo's Workshop reduces time to upgrade units. I haven't done any upgrading - I don't know how this is done yet - so I'm not sure how helpful this will be. Things like the Sistine Chapel, Pyramids, JS Bach's are described as only affecting cities on the same continent. It said this about some wonder in the Civ2 manual but they affected your entire Civ. But here, it seems to keep with what's written.

Combat:

Remember being in a Republic or Democracy and not being able to expel rival forces? Well, no more. At any time you can contact a rival civ and tell them to beat it out from your national borders. The diplomacy screen can be pretty funny thus far. I had the Aztecs tell me "That's it! You're on my list now, Buddy!"

I've found, at least on easier levels, that sometimes NOT fighting with civs that are on your own continent can be the best policy. At least not right away. I spend my time sending settlers up to borders and eating up territory as best I can and trying to improve my culture right away. This has proven to be sound on this level as my tech levels rise quickly, I am able to spread out with increased culture, and I have absorbed SEVERAL cities who joined up due to my high culture. Eventually, I'll blast the rest with steel, but don't undestimate war weariness in the Republic and Democracy.

Combat itself can take up another huge post, and I probably don't have enough experience in it right now. But some things you should keep in mind:

- Barbs can be very annoying, but not too difficult to deal with on easier levels. A warrior is fine here while on King they did not seem to do the job as well.
- Fast-moving units will retreat if they are about to lose. Very handy. As others have mentioned, you will move into the square occupied by the defender if you are the one attacking. I attacked a unit with a knight and ended up moving right next to the rival city once. Easy pickings for the swordman stationed there.
- Also mentioned before: I don't think that there is an attack penalty even if you only have 1/3 movement left. Nice - especially since there are always roads all over the place.
- Combat between galleys looks cool. They pull up side-to-side and tons of arrows shoot at each other. The loser then slowly sinks into the sea/ocean.

Diplomacy:

OK, last thing for now. The AI, so far, has been very obstinate when it comes to negotiations. This was true in my King games where I was very weak and my warlord games where I was probably the strongest. Unless it's maps, very rarely will the AI agree to a one-to-one trade (tech for a tech or luxury item for a luxury item). It's always something along the lines of Hiawatha offers: Alphabet, Hiawatha wants: Ceremonial Burial and 50 gold. I've yet to have a trade where I came out with two vs. the AI with one.

The cool thing is, everything is open for negotiations. Cities, trade items, gold, tech, you name it. You can ask for gold in a lump sum, or ask for gold to be given on a turn basis (5 gold per turn, e.g.).

You also don't need to be right next to a rival's city or unit to begin talking to them. That's a big help.

OK, probably too much to digest, but hopefully it's helpful information and at least RELATIVELY accurate. I'll try to post more as my games progress - unless you all think that this has all been futile
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Old Nov 01, 2001, 08:32 AM   #2
Malys Faisent
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I've gotten better deals with the AI, I think it comes down to military and cultural power. I've been able to demand all sorts of things for peace treaties because I am giving the nation a good whuppin, plus you can continue to negotiate. I've gotten 2 techs for one before (though the one I traded was higher on the tech tree than the 2 offered)...also I've traded up the same way, or offered a lower tech and some gold for a higher tech (what might be happening in your case)...

Generally when I first meet another civ we trade all of our starting techs with each other straight up, or I buy them cheap (25 gold or somesuch) if they already have mine, helpful and allows you to take those 20 turns of reseaching bronze and dump it quickly into something else.
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Old Nov 01, 2001, 08:35 AM   #3
Kev
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Will he ever stop writing?

Well, I thought I'd include a quick thought on the tech tree:

In my first game, I made my usual Civ2 beeline to Monarchy. This meant the process was Ceremonial Burial, Mysticism, Polytheism then Monarchy. I learned very quickly that this was a tough road to hoe.

The reason: As one progresses deeper into the tech tree with undiscovered techs still in the first few rows, the time to discover is very time consuming. I think that it took me 32 turns with EACH tech by doing this.

In later games, I just decided to deal with Despotism for a while and found it a better plan for a few reasons:

1. I was able to discover more techs in the same time period, and therefore had more to use for trading with other civs.
2. More techs earlier meant more Wonder choices. Rather than having to abandon a wonder that was completed by a rival and build a temple or library, I could switch to a different wonder.
3. More techs earlier also meant more improvements and units to choose from.
4. Having a tech advantage - or at least parity - seems to have an effect on how the AI treats you.

Despotism is tolerable all things considered. Discover some of the early techs, trade some techs, and get some from huts and Monarcy and Republic will not be far away. At least that's my $0.02
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Old Nov 01, 2001, 09:14 AM   #4
Malys Faisent
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I did the same thing, I think switching out of Despotism too early makes a mess of things...7~10 turns of no production really hurts in the AT, plus I think your observations are pretty dead on, it only took me 4 turns to go back and research pottery last night (I'd already done everything but the pottery - mapmaking side of things and Republic). The higher level techs take longer than the lower level techs...it no longer seems that the amount of technologies you have makes a difference to the amount of research you need, instead it is where they fall in the advancement chart. I got to the middle ages and was able to research engineering in 16 turns, that was nice, I wonder if the base cost is 32 in AT, 16 in MA, 8 in IA, and 4 in Modern? That would simulate real world advancement a bit better.
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Old Nov 01, 2001, 09:46 AM   #5
Kev
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Malys:

I think that perhaps if you finish a "row" of techs, then the next row will become the "first" row and therefore possibly cheaper.

That's to say, once you discover Alphabet, Ceremonial Burial, Warrior Code, Masonry, etc then the next row becomes a quicker study (with mysticism, etc.). I'll have to test this out, but it seems a clever way to keep people from staying to one side of the tree for the whole game.

I'm going to guess that it will take the true strategists here and at Apolyton about 2 weeks before they have a mathematical progression formula for tech studies.
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Old Nov 01, 2001, 10:11 AM   #6
moof
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Thumbs up

Kev,

Just wanted to say Thanks for your post.

We found it informative & interesting.
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Old Nov 01, 2001, 03:03 PM   #7
Il Mafioso
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You're right! We did have almost identical experiences!!!

That's pretty wild!

Let's see if this works to link the post (I never tried it either)...

http://forums.civfanatics.com/showth...&threadid=7494

if it did, then all I did was open the post and highlight the whole address in my browser and then paste it here.

Hey, if you take our two posts and blend them together you get an excellent "We had no clue, but we had fun" primer! I completely forgot to cover Wonders (and yep... I did same as you... gotta get those temples pumping with the Oracle!) and had no combat experience outside of barbarians... now I'm really looking forward to seeing a galley fight!

Kev is absolutely right about disease!

I haven't had anyone die in the jungles yet... though I *thought* I had a few more workers down there clearing it out... I wonder if any of them silently kicked the bucket!

But I did make the mistake to build a city in a flood plain.

What the heck did I know... looked like desert to me, and there was a nice river nearby for extra trade... plus I was containing the Romans.

Well... ever since I founded the city, it gains two pops and one dies off like a fly, gains two, one dies... I'm thinking of having the mailrooms checked for suspicious envelopes.

Forget about Sanitation and Hospital... I need to research "NBC" so I can build the Great Wonder "ER: The Show"


My vote, at this point is still...

There are some improvements (other than the oft-complained scenario and map stuff) that I would like, that would make our job easier, and I mentioned in the thread that I hope I linked above. Other than that this ROCKS!
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Old Nov 01, 2001, 04:18 PM   #8
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City granularity

I've found that the new commerce rules and the vital importance of superior culture in diplomacy is increasing the number of cities I place, and decreasing the distance between them.

In the good old days of Civ and Civ II, I spread my cities out, at the very least assuring little or no overlap between their wide-X control zones.

When I read about the "expanding area of influence" of cities under Civ III, I figured that if anything I might be placing even fewer cities, while taking advantage of colonies to grab the odd resource.

Well, with the benefit of about 40 hours of more or less constant play, doing just the opposite appears to work better in the opening. Rivals routinely stud normal continents with 10+ cities, and not keeping up really hurts your accumulation of culture.

Anyway, a very early observation.
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Old Nov 02, 2001, 10:10 AM   #9
KingSponge
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Re: City granularity

Quote:
Originally posted by 9 ECAC Titles
When I read about the "expanding area of influence" of cities under Civ III, I figured that if anything I might be placing even fewer cities, while taking advantage of colonies to grab the odd resource.

Well, with the benefit of about 40 hours of more or less constant play, doing just the opposite appears to work better in the opening. Rivals routinely stud normal continents with 10+ cities, and not keeping up really hurts your accumulation of culture.
Hmm, I kinda do like your original idea: fewer, stronger (culturally) cities. Meanwhile the AI plops down bunches of new towns near my borders (near my much longer standing cities) in practically every unclaimed spot they can find. At first it pushes my borders back a square or two but given a little bit of time my culture simply overwhelms these smaller towns and they join me eventually...
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Old Nov 02, 2001, 04:24 PM   #10
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Is city defection based on the difference between the cultures of the adjacent cities or of the entire civilizations?

I just had a city of mine defect (to the French of all people -- I mean, cmon, they ought to be surrendering to me...), and it was just as you say: a deliberate blocking move of mine to stabilize the border as far from my capital as I could. The Fr put cities on three of the cardinal points and mine fell like a debutante after the prom.

Stupid game is *highly* addictive. Other than PG, I haven't been a true victim to "one more turnism" since I started messing with Imperialism II a year ago.
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