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How to improve my game?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by TheEndIsNear, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. TheEndIsNear

    TheEndIsNear Chieftain

    Jan 20, 2004
    I am relatively new to Civ 3. I played it a few times over a year ago and just got my own copy about a week ago, and I have devoted a good amount of time to it. My game strategy seems to be heavily influenced by my old Civ 2 strategy, and I know I have to adapt it somewhat. Specifically, my Civ 2 instincts are:

    -- not to engage in very much diplomacy (since in Civ2 they would just end up going to war with you anyways, diplomacy was practically useless)
    -- not to build a very big military until I have a big tech lead over my opponents, so I can smash down their spearmen with modern armor
    -- to put settlers on boats and go colonizing! But the AIs do a good job landgrabbing their continents and the maps don't generate as many different size islands as Civ 2 did, so there's usually no room for colonies...

    Also, whenever I build/conquer a city, I have a pretty much set routine of things I do. First I build a defensive unit, then a temple, then a library, then a settler if I'm still in the land-grab stage, then a marketplace... I know keeping this same routine isn't good for strategy, but I can't think of what else to do.

    I never was much of a warmonger in Civ 2 (except in scenarios), and I'm still just learning to crawl military-wise in Civ 3. I haven't really explored the possibilities with the units, but I find that mounted units are especially good and (like in Civ 2) tanks/armor are power machines. I usually concentrate my production on city improvements, then wealth, neglecting to build up a military. I find in the modern ages my cities are still protected with ancient warriors and the occasional spearman, because I haven't exploited upgrading much either. Usually in my non-warmonger way of doing things, I don't have many barracks and my military is not the first thing on my mind.

    I think in my next game I will try to go for a conquest victory, just for something new. Any advice for the newbie?
  2. fret

    fret Chieftain

    Aug 18, 2002
    I would spend a few sessions reading through the many Tutorials and Stratagies in the War Acadamy. Found >> here <<

    You may find reading >this thread< usefull as its concerning the initial build stratagy.

    Also, if you only ever read one tutorial, read this one by Cracker - Improving your opening play sequences -

    While it doesnt specifically address any of the points you raised, it will certainly shift your thinking into the Civ 3 way of doing things.
  3. Salamandre

    Salamandre Chieftain

    Aug 4, 2003
    this strategy, except on chieftain, will not work.

    Diplomacy works alot better than in CIV2 and you will discover the joy of it. Put your research on zero and just buy all techs from AI at the right moment, you will enjoy it (that was only an example)

    At the moment you conquer a city, think about bringing a defensive unit build in your core and buy a temple as soon as people stops to riot.

    Unfortunately you can not wait to have modern armor and still expect to find spearmans in AI cities.

    Turn off culture flipping until you master the basics of the game, then up to you to fight with the randomness of those things, like ressources disapearing, cities flipping etc
  4. Hurricane

    Hurricane Sleeping Dragon

    Dec 6, 2001
    One thing you need to un-learn from your Civ2 strategy is the building of city improvements. During the land-grab phase of the game (i.e. until all land is claimed by someone) you should focus only on settlers, workers and some military. One granary at your settler-pump city and maybe some barracks if you are a military civ should be enough.

    Second; the AI will gang up on you and attack you if you have a very weak military, so check the military advisor regularly. If you get attacked, ally with other civs agains your enemy (otherwise the enemy might ally with them against you).

    Third: corruption is very high in cities far away from your core. That means colonising is good only for grabbing resources. So it's not a high priority.
  5. redux

    redux Chieftain

    Oct 11, 2003
    New Zealand
    I had exactly the same problem... I loved Civ II, and I put off really giving Civ III a go because I found nothing quite worked as it used to.

    I used to be a peaceful player on Civ II... I would get fussed if I didn't get the pyramids, etc, I had a set plan to each game. I would reload on a bad starting position, etc.

    The best, quickest way to learn Civ III from Civ II I found, is to up the level a little. Play on Chieftan until you have worked out the basics of the game, worked out culture, resources, and how diplomacy works. Then up it a level to Warlord.. each time play on a *random* civ with a *random* map. And basically, stick to it. I found it no fun at first, because half the time I would get annahilated. Then I found, it was actually my playing strategy that was letting me down. I had to *unlearn* most strategies I learnt in Civ II. Keep playing as a random civ on on random maps again and again.. if you get screwed over, just start again.. work out what it was that got you in the poo. If you're stuck halfway through the game with a piddly empire on some small island paradise, then quit and next game encourage more expansion.

    Some things I found, basically, don't count on having a tech lead. I currently play on Monarch and I find it hard to get anywhere more than 3-4 techs ahead of my opponents even. At the start of each game go on a *massive* land grabbing binge... if others badger me at this point for the sake of a few gold coins, I may give, just so I can extend my land occupation. I know, if you have one city with good resources, (cows, wheat) are good, build a granary in it while all the other cities are producing settlers then *pump* them out from that one.

    Playing on anything but warlord, get rid of the idea of "perfect city spacing". Overlap your cities to at least half the area (ie, fit in 2 times as many cities at least than you would have by "perfect placement").

    Look at units "upgrade paths" (speamen->pikemen->musketmen->riflemen->etc). ALthough, there's a time and a place for everything... if you're strapped for cash and resources, or just plain have no horses, then a good D-Day landing worth of Longbowmen will freak the living hell out of the enemy. The same attack value as knights, but half the price, and don't require a horse resource. At this stage of the game, if I really can't afford knights for a while then I might sell my *only* horse resource off to another player, thus denying myself the resource.. but if I'm not going to use it for 20 turns, then might as well get paid for it.. and I get the resource back 20 turns later!
  6. stivomali

    stivomali Chieftain

    Oct 15, 2003
    Hancock, MI
    I used to be a peacenik in Civ II, too (it was much easier back in the day when you could just buy cities outright). Once you've explored the different concepts (culture, corruption, etc) of Civ III, I highly recommend broadening your approach. It's funny how you can feel squeamish about being the aggressor ("I'm such a nice guy in real life..."), but usually you can figure out ways to piss off one of the AI enough that wiping them out is quite satisfying.

    Until you reach this phase, however, there are three things that will help you avoid war almost indefintiely if you prefer to focus on peacenikery (even on higher levels).

    1) Build embassies with your neighbors as soon as possible. Often the AI will avoid doing so (you get the same benefit if the other civ puts an embassy in your capitol - you just don't get the free peek at their capitol), and it may cost you dearly at a critical point where you're saving to buy tech from the AI, but the attitude boost normally will keep the AI from being annoyed.

    2) Get right of passage agreements with everyone. A RoP will additionally boost the AI's attitude, with 1) above it should be enough to push them from cautious to polite.

    3) Keep building your defenses at a decent pace. With 1) and 2) above and a more powerful army than the AIs, they will almost always gang up on lesser rival than mess with you. Check the power histogram often to make sure none of the AIs (particularly a close neighbor) is out pacing you.

    Even if you start to become a war monger, careful attention to the AI attitude can help you with alliances and decrease the chance that your enemies will be able to turn your allies against you.
  7. skisphereo

    skisphereo Chieftain

    Jan 12, 2002
    I play in Monarch, I find it essential to go to war early in the game. My research level is usually low, 0/10%, I find I can't compete with the AI; its easier to keep up by buying or demanding techs in peace treaties. I'll usually get ironworking asap, and build up about 12-15 swordsman, and then take 2-3 of the nearest civs cities, and then make peace for all the tech I'm missing. The civ you attacked will be severly weakened, and I'll usually finish them off later in the game, maybe when I get knights. If you seize enough territory from this one civ, you are generally large enough to be able to survive for the rest of the game. One trick I do is pick the nearest powerful civ and trade to them exlusively GPT for techs. That way they can never attack me or else they'll lose hundreds if not thousands of gold.
  8. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy Drinking with Obama

    Dec 18, 2001
    Amish Country, Wisconsin, USA
    I recommend these things to improve your game:

    1. War Academy- you can find it from the CFC home page. Some of the articles may be out of date (uses tactics that no longer work or are advisable because of patch changes), but there still is many, many good articles that give strategies that can still be applied.

    2. Succession Games- The forum on this site has a group of players who play the game together as a team. You can join a group, or just read through them to see how others approach their game and strategies they use. Each person plays so many turns, so the time-line is pretty detailed. If you join a group, then be sure to ask what kind of rules the group is following, because some like to disallow some tactics/exploits.

    3. Game of the Month here on CFC. Participate and then read the spoilers (after you've played up to that point in the game or finished your game) to see how others played the game and compare their decisions to the ones you made. Even if you don't play, you could still read the spoilers to gather some strategies and thought processes. Some people go into more details than others.

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