1.16-Tamil UHV Strategy Guide


Aug 16, 2003
The following is hardly an original strategy for the Tamils. In fact, it is only a variation on jorissimo's 1.16 strategy (here) with a little more detail. I'm posting it here rather than in Fresol's original thread mostly so that the version number—1.16—will be plainly visible.

UHV Conditions
1. Have 2000 culture and 3000 gold in Turn 200.
2. Control or vassalize the Deccan and Srivijaya on Turn 220.
3. Acquire 4000 gold in trade by Turn 240.

Taking these from easiest to hardest:

Turn 200
Earning all that gold and culture sounds very challenging, but in fact it is very easy. It's just a matter of two things. First, of generating a Great Merchant; and, second, of turning up the culture and tax sliders after you have researched the only two techs you will need all game.

You will actually need two Great Merchants for the Tamil UHV, and to get them in time you will need to build two Marketplaces. And the best way to generate your GMs in a timely manner is by whipping both Marketplaces and having them work on the GMs simultaneously.

So your three orders of business are: (a) research Currency (for the Marketplaces); (b) on getting Currency, switch to Despotism and Merchant Trade so you can maximize your income while whipping out the two Marketplaces; (c) max out your Marketplaces with two merchants each.

But even a GM sent to a high-yield city won't get you to 3000 gold, and it definitely won't get you 2000 culture. So after you've researched Currency and Generalship (more on that below), turn off your research. First, generate the culture by turning your Culture rate up to 80% or better until you've collected 2000 (a matter of 30-40 turns, likely), then drop it to zero and turn all your commerce into taxes to build up your treasury.

You will probably not have to wait long for your 3000 gold if you've generated the GM in a timely manner and if you send him to a high-yield city (1800 gold or more). The Persian capital is probably the nearest and safest destination—send him by sea with a War Galley escort.

You should not need any additional techs in the UHV game, so even after you have 3000 gold, keep your taxes at 100%.

Turn 240
If you have been building him in a second city even while you were generating the first (which is exactly what you should have been doing), you will generate a second GM long before this last deadline. This GM too you should send to a lucrative destination. Persia again will work, but so will certain cities on the Ganges and in China if Persia has collapsed. If you get 1800 for each GM, that is 3600 of the 4000 that you need for this UHV. The other 400 you will have to have generated through other forms of trade, but getting 400 gold thru trade over the course of the UHV game will not be a challenge if you've kept your taxes high. Note that the 4000 is not reflected in the state of your treasury, which includes money generated by other sources. Instead, check the Victory screen to see what your actual score is for this goal turn by turn.

Turn 220
This goal comes in two parts: dominate the Deccan and dominate the Srivijaya. The second should be quite easy. It's Indonesia that you need to conquer or vassalize, and they don't spawn until late in your UHV game. That means they will only have 10 turns to prepare for your attack (if you're on the ball about it), and their cities might only be protected by a single archer, and maybe not even by that. Generalship (the other tech you should research) will give you War Elephants, which are extremely powerful and can move through unimproved Indonesian jungles. Descend on Indonesia with an army of 4 or 5 War Elephants (for which you will need a navy of 2 or 3 Galleys for transport plus 1 or 2 War Galleys for protection), and you can quickly bring them to heel, either by conquering them outright or by forcing them to capitulate.

It's the first goal—the Deccan—that is going to be the tricky one in this UHV game, the one that is dependent on luck and the state of the game when you generate. Unless India is extraordinarily weak, you will not be able to vassalize them, which means you will have to fight them to control the Deccan. (That is, the southern half of the Indian subcontinent; mouse over the tiles to see which ones are in the Deccan.) To this territory you must have all the cities in it; no one else can have a city located in it (though their culture can extend into it).

India should not scare you too bad, but you yourself will spawn with only a weak army, so there's not much margin for error; and if they are strong, you may have a ticklish time of it as you build up an army capable of taking them down while also dealing with barbs and your other jobs.

But if you rush India at the start you stand a good chance of catching them with their pants down; the longer you wait, the stronger they will become, so it's a good idea to be aggressive from the very start. Take any cities they have that are located in the Deccan (some of them may even flip to you). If after this there is still territory in the Deccan where they or someone else can settle, stay at war and daunt them at a distance (while avoiding battle) until you can build whatever Settlers you need to claim the territory for yourself. Also, when you turn up the Culture slider, that will extend your borders, so you may need to settle fewer cities than you think. But after you have secured the Deccan, feel free to become India's best friend, because you won't need anything more from them except, perhaps, a destination for a Great Merchant.

Various notes
Your starting cities: There's some debate about where to settle your capital at the start. Building on the starting location will allow you to mine the Gold for money. But if you build on the Gold you will have two fish resources, which is useful for recovering the population from whipping and the plague. (And you almost certainly get hit with the plague during this game.) Building one north of the Gold, though, will likely bring your capital closer to the rest of your empire, which is good for shuttling defensive units around. All that said, I'm not sure it really makes a difference. There's a lot of slack in the Tamil UHV game, and your choice of starting location is not going to make the difference between winning and losing. But your second city should be on the Iron hill on Sri Lanka—good starting production, lots of food.

Production: Your capital and Sri Lanka will be the best places for your Marketplaces, as they have access to good food sources. Maximize their early growth with Work Boats, then shift to Marketplaces (unless you need one of them to build a Settler for a third city), and build the Marketplaces with a whip. Any other cities that you build or acquire should prioritize military production, first with defensive units, then with Barracks and Stables before resuming military production. Build War Elephants, Spearmen, and Archers. Swordmen should not be necessary, as Elephants are ideal for subduing Indonesia.

Techs and Civics: Currency and Generalship are the only two you need. Trading for either of them would be plus; getting Literature in trade would be another win, because with it you get Caste System, which will speed up your infrastructure. (You should switch to Caste System ASAP if you get it; don't wait for a second civic to materialize.) Once you have Currency, switch to Despotism and Merchant Trade.

Infrastructure: Barbarians will be your worst enemy in the game, so it's a good idea to get a road network built and opened so you can move your early units around to stave off threats. For the same reason, I'd advise building your cities 2 tiles away from each other; failing that, build some extra defensive units and station them at strategic points on the road network so they can rapidly move between threatened cities. You will not need to cottage any tiles for the commerce; prefer resource development and then farms to help with recovering from the plague.

Bits and Pieces: After settling, move your War Galley west to make contact with and open borders with Persia and others. Some close management of your GM-generating cities may be called for as you recover from the plague. Be aware that with your very narrow margins early in the game, when you will only have one Archer, likely, to protect your capital from a barbarian Axeman, you might want to indulge in Save/Reload shenanigans when very critical battles are about to occur.

The Tamil Game in Summary
The most exciting and stressful parts of the Tamil game come at the very start, when with a very small army you will have to push India out of the Deccan while also putting down barbarian units and settling and improving the landscape. After you have stabilized your frontier and relations with India, have connected your cities, and have built enough units that (by shuttling them from place to place) you can keep your cities well garrisoned, the game will settled down quite a bit; mostly you will be checking the game turns and the state of your treasury and the progress of your various builds—military units, Great Merchants, and infrastructure. This is a UHV game that is likely to be won or lost in the first twenty to thirty turns; after that, it's a matter of not screwing up, which means cautious play and a certain amount of baby-sitting. If you press the core strategies—generating two Great Merchants, filling your culture and treasuries, and building an army for the conquest of Indonesia—you are likely to win the Historical Victory thirty or more turns before the final deadline.
So easy that even the AI could win.

The cultural target comes with spreading Induism, a monastery, a monument and the UB, in 4 core cities.
The money target comes with two GM. I was able to get both before 800AD, but one is enough for UHV1, and money cumulates for UHV3.

I send first GM in Delhi, with 2000 gold income.
The second GM in Parsa, because Indians collapsed, with 1800 gold income.

About land control, India as usual collapsed before 1000AD (in my games always happened), otherwise when barbarians capture an Indian city in Deccan, then recapture.
Indonesia capitulated easily thanks to War Elephants...

Spoiler :



  • TAM UHV gold0000.JPG
    TAM UHV gold0000.JPG
    159.7 KB · Views: 638
  • TAM UHV gold0001.JPG
    TAM UHV gold0001.JPG
    147.1 KB · Views: 632
  • TAM Indonesia vassalized0000.JPG
    TAM Indonesia vassalized0000.JPG
    152 KB · Views: 623
  • TAM UHV accomplished0000.JPG
    TAM UHV accomplished0000.JPG
    150.4 KB · Views: 623
  • TAM Victory0000.JPG
    TAM Victory0000.JPG
    200.1 KB · Views: 77
  • TAM Score0000.JPG
    TAM Score0000.JPG
    147.2 KB · Views: 622
Hi, I just made a DoC 1.16.2 run with the Tamils on Monarch difficulty. It went swimmingly for me as I took the route of a Harappa precursor civilization, and went with an optimal city placement in terms of expansion stability.

I'm keeping it short:
First I founded three Harappan core cities, then four more Tamil core cities for the flip. Balancing the Harappans took some effort, but with despotism I could whip the Tamil cities into some basic shape, but not create nearly as much infrastructure as I originally intended. Due to the Harappa precursor gig, I started with a decent-sized army that made my start highly unprofitable but was very helpful in quickly acquiring the barbarian+independent cities that Indians and Harappans had dissolved into.

But once I had established contact with Persia and China and downsized my army, things went better. Achieving the 800 goal: 3000 Gold was hard, but after researching markets and jails, I stopped almost all research and began selling resources to anyone with more than 2 gold per turn. Also, I sent a ship to hold contact with Korea+Japan, and also settled Burma and the Malay peninsula in preparation for the 1000 goal. (Being a builder by nature, the culture goal could have been 4000 and I'd have reached it). I controlled India entirely, improved all the land and whipped my cities mercilessly for better buildings. And, of course, troops in Delhi/Dilli to meet the constant danger from barbarian spawns who prevented all the fertile suburbs of Delhi from improvements.

The barbarians already forced me to build up a (comparatibly) huge military, meaning a bowman in every city and a mobile intervention force of 10 elephants in the North, promoted with anti-melee and anti-light-cavalry promotions. Other units I hadn't researched yet, until I could start teching after 800 AD. Even before the Indonesian spawn, I shipped some of them to my Malayan outpost 1N of Singapura, and kept a Galley there. The 1000 goal, taking control of Srivijava, took 3 turns after their grace period was over: Landing six elephants in Sumatra, conquering the capital and then waiting for their worker garrison in the other city say uncle. Indonesia was my vassal from around 850-1150, when they collapsed, never getting away from Sumatra.

The 1200 goal, and final UHV condition, was a buildup through the entire game; and in 1000 AD I already gathered 2200 gold by conventional trade deals with all my neighbours. I sold out lots of tech to everyone way under value, often for a mere 40-60 gold. In fact, I didn't get a merchant thanks to bad luck (in combination with running too many non-merchant specialists, but really, there were two times I had a 50+% chance for GM but still some other guy appeared. Also, I switched to Monarchy+Monasticism pretty late. I only made the 4000 gold goal with +1 gold to spare, after having researched Cartography and Caravels, rushing to Ethiopia and trading my complete Asian for their complete African map, and then selling THAT map to all my acquitances. And also some good techs for a pittance, including my Arabian archenemy.

Spoiler However, in 1230 (!) a Great Merchant finally spawned... :
and I sent him to Kyoto (size 17) where he earned me 1300 gold.

So in total, I judge the Tamil game as a rather fun one, although not the conquesting kind of fun. Also fairly easy: If you play on regular difficulty and have better luck and focus with GMs, this should be a lot easier than I made it for myself.
Hi, I just made a DoC 1.16.2 run with the Tamils on Monarch difficulty. It went swimmingly for me as I took the route of a Harappa precursor civilization, and went with an optimal city placement in terms of expansion stability.

This was the 120,000 DOC post! [party]

However, in 1230 (!) a Great Merchant finally spawned..."]and I sent him to Kyoto (size 17) where he earned me 1300 gold.

Sending Great Merchant to a holy city should give you maximal gold (2000 on normal speed) in most cases.
Top Bottom