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1.16-Ethiopia UHV Strategy Guide

Discussion in 'Gameplay Guides' started by Mxzs, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Mxzs

    Mxzs Prince

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Messages:
    522
    With its mix of mechanics and its capacity for peaceful, low impact play, the Ethiopian UHV is a good introduction to UHV gaming in RFC/DoC. It doesn't hurt that it is also one of the easiest UHV games, with straightforward strategies and some very forgiving deadlines.

    UHV Conditions
    1. Acquire three Incense resources by Turn 167.
    2. Convert to Orthodoxy within five turns of its being founded; settle 3 Great Prophets; and build an Orthodox Cathedral by Turn 240.
    3. Ensure that there are more Orthodox cities than Islamic cities in Africa on Turn 281.

    Incense
    This is the simplest condition to meet: you already have the Calendar tech, so it's just a matter of planting cities near the resources. There are two Incenses in Ethiopia itself, and three more nearby in Egypt and Arabia. Note that the city of Sana'a will spawn near Aden on our around Turn 148, so if you go for that Incense you will want to get a city established there before then.

    Note that any cities you build or acquire in Arabia or Egypt will likely flip to the Arabs. That's okay, as that won't happen until after the first deadline, but it means you probably won't be able to use those cities in meeting the other UHV requirements.

    Orthodoxy
    This is a three-prong condition, and everything depends upon the first prong: getting Orthodoxy to spread to your empire.

    If you don't want to rely on luck, you can guarantee an Orthodoxy spread by generating a Great Prophet and using the "Spread State Religion" power. Because Ethiopia is "zoned" for Orthodoxy, this will cause Orthodoxy to appear in your cities even while you are still pagan.

    But you'll have to hustle for a Great Prophet. Fortunately, the Ethiopian Stele is very cheap and very powerful. Build it first in your capital, then hire Priests (the Stele lets you hire two) as the city grows to the point that it can support Priests while still growing. Unless someone generates Ethics very early, you should get the GP before Orthodoxy is even founded. If you build four cities in your core before converting to Orthodoxy, you can even spread the religion to all four without having to build a Monastery and Missionaries. (Though you'll want to do that eventually.)

    You will need four cities because you need to build four Orthodox Churches in order to build the Orthodox Cathedral. You will also need to research Architecture. This is at the end of a research chain, so beeline it while making whatever advantageous tech trading you can. (Make the trades early, when you still have techs that the other civilizations might not have.)

    Churches should be a priority anyway, because after generating your first Great Prophet you will need to generate three more, and Churches will allow you to hire a third Priest in any city that has a Stele. You should also put multiple cities to simultaneously working on GPs.

    Islam vs. Orthodoxy
    This will be the trickiest UHV condition to pull off, because the spread of Islam will be largely out of your control. Three of the other African powers—Arabia, Morocco, and Mali—will be Muslim, and if Egypt respawns they will likely be Muslim too. None of these are likely to open their borders to you to let you send Missionaries in.

    What is in your control? You can spread Orthodoxy to Congo, which will gain you ... one more city. Two Native cities will spawn south of you, and these you can conquer and convert if they do not convert on their own. If you build a Monastery and some Missionaries early, and if Byzantium gets the Egyptian cities, you can slip those missionaries in before Arabia takes them, but that's a tight deadline to make and Byzantium doesn't always spawn.

    You can also try conquering Egypt after the Arab spawn. There's a reasonable chance that the Elephant resource will eventually fall within your cultural boundaries (though you will have to keep it improved and safe from Impis), which will improve your chances of a successful conquest. You also don't have to hang on to the cities after you have added Orthodoxy to them. However, this strategy obviously requires a war, which (equally obviously) carries significant risks.

    Maybe the best way to ensure a final win is to build and hoard Settlers and Missionaries, which you can use to build and convert enough cities in the final turns to push Orthodoxy ahead of Islam in the standings. As that will end the UHV game, it doesn't much matter where you place the cities, nor will you have to ensure that they are viable or that they will not destabilize your empire by being located in foreign territory.

    Note that if pursuing this strategy, you may have to found certain additional cities early on. This is because you can only have three Missionaries of any one type at a time, so if you need to found four cities or more in order to surpass the Islam count, you will have to go ahead and found some new Orthodox cities so that you will be able to build additional Missionaries.

    Additional Considerations
    City Placement
    There may be an optimal arrangement of cities in Ethiopia, but I'm not convinced that it much matters to a successful game. So long as you capture the resources—not only the Incense, but the two Cows, the two Camels, the Fish, and (later) the Sugar—you will probably do just fine. In any arrangement of city builds, the cities will likely be only two tiles from each other, and you will have to practice your micromanagement skills, arranging tile assignments between cities and among workers in order to optimize output.

    This doesn't mean you can be careless about placing the cities: your initial placements will largely dictate where your later cities will go, and you need consider that when building. But Ethiopia can almost be regarded as itself one large city, albeit one managed through four city panels rather than one. Just as a single city can sometimes need careful worker placement in order to work, the four Ethiopian cities collectively need careful worker placement. Make sure that each city has access to at least one rich food source, and be sure to improve every tile to give yourself every possible food, commerce or hammer.

    Note that the Independent city of Barbera will spawn on the northern desert coast of the horn of Africa on or about Turn 175, and it will compete for the Fish. You can pre-empt it, rather than having to conquer it, by building your own city on the desert Incense, or directly north or north-west of the Incense on the coast. Though located in a desert, it is still a plausible location if it can work the Fish and the Camel tiles.

    Impis
    Not long after the deadline for acquiring the Incense resources, Native Impis will begin to swarm at you out of the central marshes. But don't worry, you'll have time to prepare and you've got a great weapon to swat at them with: the Shotelai, which you can build after researching Blooming. That unit comes with a Hill defense bonus, and if you promote it with more Hill defense bonuses you will find that two of them stacked on a strategic hill will be more than enough to keep the Impis at bay. City placement can also help: a walled city on a hilltop garrisoned with Shotelai will kill Impis the way a bugzapper kills bugs. Ethiopia also comes with some good bottlenecks on its western border—hills wedged between mountains and lakes—that can be fortified to protect the heartland. Do note that any improvements you have made west of those bottlenecks are unlikely to survive the Impi swarms, no matter how often you repair them, so don't premise your empire's health on being able to access farms or Plantations west of the hills.

    Techs and Civics
    After you have discovered Architecture, the research path is mostly up to you—if you even want to research anything. Nobility (with the Horse Archers) is useful for building units that can swat Impis in the lowlands. Doctrine can help you clear Islam from any cities you capture. Shipbuilding will let you build Harbors. Politics will give you Spies for exploring the hostile Islamic lands about you.

    As you are going to be running a large number of Specialists, Republic is an excellent choice for government, and you should switch to it right away. Redistribution—to help your capital grow—is another good choice, and it comes with Arithmetics, which will be an early tech acquisition. In the early game, Manorialism can give you a slight boost to production by giving you an extra hammer on each Pasture; alternately, Caste System (if you get Literature) can return some of the food that you lose under Republic. Note: When running Republic, watch out for the game to reassign specialists, replacing Priests with Scientists or Artists.

    Special acknowledgement to Orbii and Rodnok for suggestions and tips about handling Ethiopia.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
    Rodnok likes this.
  2. rmontaruli

    rmontaruli Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Italy
    The solution of the puzzle has always been here, and i played several games in vain, hoping for a self spreading of Orthodoxy in my cities.

    The key is Stele -> two priests -> Great Prophet -> wait for someone found orthodoxy -> use Great Prophet to spread Orthodoxy in your cities.


    Spoiler :






     

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