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11 Wildly Popular Strategies To Avoid

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by ndthsmdy, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. Mongoloid Cow

    Mongoloid Cow Great Khan

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    Stonehenge doesn't seem to have a downside. It is cheap, gives great border expansion and culture in all cities, and it lets you know how you face up in the world. It's seems to be always worth a shot.
     
  2. Itchdog

    Itchdog Chieftain

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    Good thread, ndthsmdy.

    I tend to stay away from wonders myself, unless they do not become obsolete. If I'm far enough ahead where I can beat a civ to a wonder and get a good use out of it before it becomes obsolete, then I probably don't need the wonder anyway. I could've used those hammers elsewhere. To me a wonder is only worth it if it has usefulness forever. That's coming from someone who usually plays conquest only, though.
     
  3. trundle

    trundle Warlord

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    In my first few games, I couldn't understand why you would ever consider passing on Stonehenge.

    Now, it's not so much that I think it's "bad," I jut don't think it's always the best option. You either have to take a break from your other production really early (at the most critical point in the game), or by the time you finish it it's not long off from being obsolete. It's pretty much always the first wonder to go obsolete, and when it does, you're left with a big, useless set of rocks.

    Centering the map can be useful, but rarely do I find it has much of an impact before I pick up calendar anyway. On an islands map, for instance, it will probably come in pretty handy as you're building early galleys and such. On most other maps, you're exploration tends to be limited to one landmass anyway; it doesn't matter at that stage where that landmass is in relation to everything else.

    It does, of course, have it's uses. If you're going for a cultural victory, for instance, it lets you stockpile a hefty amount of culture in the city that builds it. The 100 or so culture (tops) you'll pile up in your other cities is pretty useless, but Stonehenge itself will continue to provide a significant culture boost throughout the game to the city that built it. And compounded over all those turns (since it comes so early), that's nothing to shake a stick at.
     
  4. MetHimPikeHoses

    MetHimPikeHoses Unarmed Insurgent

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    One reason to pass on Stonehenge is to use the hammers to build the Pyramids instead, and then install the Representative gov't for happiness and science output... Especially if you are a creative civ and your borders are already expanding w/o Stonehenge.
     
  5. Aramazd

    Aramazd Deity

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    I wonder why he dislikes State Property? I don't what's wrong with state property. Stonehenge is decent as long as you aren't Creative, so I can see why he has that.
     
  6. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    Many of these strategies he mentions can breed dependence. E.G. if you become addicted to the free culture, you'll never learn how to play a non-creative leader effectively in situations where you're better off not rushing stonehenge.

    (Such as in a fast land grab, making the settler instead could mean one more city site! And not spending all that time researching mysticism/masonry could mean that you had time to research hunting/archery, thus deterring Genghis Khan from declaring war on you!)
     
  7. Tharak

    Tharak Chieftain

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    I don't think its that he "dislikes" anything listed so much as this is a caution not to become dependant on certain strategies. He's outlining why things that some people do over and over can actually be detremental in certain situations. Some will limit what you can do at certain time periods (like going for Stonhenge instead of making a settler/military units) and others could limit your ability to play on higher difficulty levels (like always playing HC and relying on his traits to get you through).

    The idea here isn't to say that any of these strategies are bad - they all are useful and should be used in certain instinces - just that to become completely reliant on any one or more of these will likely limit you in some way
     
  8. ndthsmdy

    ndthsmdy Warlord

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    Most of what I would have said has already been said to some degree.

    I did in fact consciously conceive of this article as an update of Ision's Wonder Addiction article. One of the things that has intrigued me about 4 is how potentially addictive behaviors have spread to other facets of the game.

    If this article sounds obvious, I would argue that as our understanding of the game improves there will be fewer and fewer articles (Arathorn's dissection of combat mechanics comes to mind) that will be useful to everyone. This article is targeted to an audience that considers one or more of these aspects highly desirable in almost all cases. If the points made seem obvious or beneath close examination, then you don't have to waste your time on it--in fact, more power to you, since you are already a good enough player to avoid these pitfalls.

    I'm sorry I have not finished this up and hope to do so in the next 24 hrs.
     
  9. trundle

    trundle Warlord

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    I agree with pretty much everything you wrote so far. The only exception I took was in regards to The Oracle.

    Not that I think The Oracle is a must-have wonder; just that I don't think orchestrating your research for the big payoff is necessarily ridiculous at higher difficulties. It's a much bigger risk, for sure, but it can also have a much bigger impact. Getting to Civil Service before the AI on Noble can be handy, but doing it on Deity can be a game saver.

    But, as you noted, the huge lag in some other area of research is going to cost you. So if you set your whole game up to do it without analyzing whether or not (according to your starting position, available commerce/production, neighbors' disposition, etc.) its actually possible, it can also be a game wrecker.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next installments. =)
     
  10. Errata

    Errata Warlord

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    The main problem with stonehenge is that calendar obsoletes it. And there are usually plantation resources all over the place, so calendar is nice to have ASAP. If I play a non-creative civ, I'll count on spreading a religion as a source of culture. But on the other side, someone mentioned that sometimes its better not to build stonehenge even for a non-creative culture when grabbing land, but if your city isn't producing any culture, it wont be nearly as effective a land grab. I find the best strategy for grabbing land is to place cities at natural boundaries so that when their cultural borders expand, they'll prevent enemy settlers from crossing your closed borders. That strategy would be much less effective without some early source of culture.

    If I'm going after a religion anyway, I'll make an effort to go after oracle. Its very cheap to build. Metal casting is a fairly expensive early tech, worth unlocking with oracle, but without so many prereqs that the AI will build oracle before you're ready. Its also not too much of a stretch from priesthood to get to the point where you have theology opened up for research, which is a fairly expensive mid game tech but with low tech requirements. While the oracle isn't essential, its a nice leg up in the tech race. I'll admit that in a recent game another civ built it when I had 1 turn left to go, and I cheated by loading an old saved game and boosting commerce production. If you're not going after religions though, oracle has too many prereqs to pursue.

    The Kremlin and Three Gorges Dam are definitely important (I build the Kremlin early, so by the time I research plastic, I can rush build Three Gorges). If you're comparable in tech the AI usually wont prioritize these enough to get them first. Taj Mahal is also a nice boost.
     
  11. GenericKen

    GenericKen Not at all suspicious

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    I think one of the most important strategies to avoid that you're inadvertently encouraging is having no strategy. You can't just meander around, you need to do something with your first 20 turns. Often it's forest chops, often it's wonder rush, but sometimes it's not.


    There are a number of reasons to not build stonehene, imo.

    1) Civ is already creative.
    2) You already plan on building libraries/temples/whatevers in every city and have the military to handle the slower border expansion.
    3) A large number of your happiness resources require calendar.
    4) You found a religion and are planning to capitalize w/ missionaries.
    5) Shield-poor start.
    6) Military-style strategy is superior.
    7) Lonely start.

    These are obviously weighed against the advantages of building stonehenge, for the culture, GP, and often just the opportunity.
     
  12. Oggums

    Oggums King

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    Which is still after you've popped a Great Prophet and built a shrine. All that for a couple of quick chops. It could go obsolete with Mathematics, and I'd still be happy.
     
  13. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    It's not like the choice is not to do the chops. The choice is to spend the resources on something else: a settler, a different wonder, more research (in various ways), more units. How many cities do you expect to build before Calendar? At reasonably high difficulty levels, it's just not all that many, and a few obilisks are going to be even cheaper than Stonehenge. And some of them may have no particular use for obilisks anyway (e.g., they are going to build libraries or temples instead).

    Indeed, I think I'd usually rather have an extra 120 beakers than have Stonehenge. So building 95% of Stonehenge, and then waiting for someone else to build it so that your production is converted into gold (which then you convert into beakers by raising your research rate) is, in my view, usually going to be better than finishing the wonder.
     
  14. Meatbuster

    Meatbuster formerly Robo Kai

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    ndthsmdy: I can't wait to see your thoughts on State Property. I personally feel it (like Stonehenge) is highly overrated although I can't really justify it...

    Impressions:
    1. By the time State Property would highly benefit my empire (Monarch level) I had almost won the game via domination.
    2. S.P. gives the illusion that you're doing more research by letting you increase your research rate. However, Representaion+Mercantilism or even Free Market by itself...
    3. Placing the Forbidden Palace and/or Versailles properly or relocating the capital, lessens the need for State Property. Said overrated civic just becomes a "cheap and easy way out" for people who do not feel the need to learn the proper placement of the Forbidden Palace.

    Another downside to Stonehenge and Oracle (to me) is that you are gaining Great Prophet points which may be better allocated to getting that early Great Scientist. Academy > Shrine any day. Plus building a shrine ensures getting more Great Prophets in the future...

    Sometimes if I ever get a prophet I just have to get the priest super specialist for +5 cpt without needing to do the missionary-building crap. +2 hammers a turn never hurts too.
     
  15. tempuraki

    tempuraki Warlord

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    darn, i was hoping that you would list the statue of liberty somewhere. i need help breaking that addiction...
     
  16. Cort Haus

    Cort Haus Warlord

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    Interesting to see that poprushing is not on the list. The OP must think that one is always good...

    Also, I don't see anything difficult about getting the Oracle on Monarch level, nor even being in a position to grab a good tech from it. It won't always work, but then no-one has posted a strategy that always works. Playstyle has a lot to do with it too. Two players can take the same start, and the same strategy, and one player can make it work and the other can screw it up.

    If the OP is making the point that there are many ways to play this thing, and there is no 'always right' solution, then yes, of course. Terrible thread title, though - it suggests that all these approaches suck, rather than just being options.
     
  17. colony

    colony Slow Typer

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    I actually agree with a lot of what the OP said so far, even if I have fallen into some of the bad habits listed. I am surprised that the Romans aren't on that list though. Over a period of abouit 5 games I only used them, and got far too used to having Praetorians that didn't have to worry about anything except axemen until the AI got longbowmen. Then I tried playing as a different civ on emperor and ended up moving back down to Monarch to learn how to play without such an overpowering early UU:blush:

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to see what bad habits the Kremlin can get you into...
     
  18. Cort Haus

    Cort Haus Warlord

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    Well, like relying on too much nearly-free stuff, basically!
     
  19. ndthsmdy

    ndthsmdy Warlord

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    I haven't been posting on this site long enough to know all the ins and outs--is there a way to change the title of this thread to "11 Wildly Popular Addictions To Avoid" or do I have to ask a mod to do it?

    New additions forthcoming in a bit.
     
  20. Aramazd

    Aramazd Deity

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    No, you can't change the title of a thread. A mod might be able to, but I'm not sure.
     

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