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A Brazil Early Game Strategy without Workers and Settlers

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by bokaj, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. bokaj

    bokaj Chieftain

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    I am experimenting with Brazil a bit and found a fun early game strategy. It is a little counter-intuitive which makes it different from my usual early game "workflows". So I thought I'd share.

    The strategy was tested seven times on Immortal, Standard Size, Quick Speed, Fractal map. I tested it for around 150 turns each game at which point I found myself in a great position for mid game (with 2 exceptions - see headline "Military").

    In a nutshell:
    Ignore improvements, happiness, city expansion and barbarians until you've researched Civil Service. From there on get extremely happy for the rest of the game in order to produce tons of Great Artists/Writers/Musicians.

    How to do it:
    Beeline to Civil Service (don't go for any other techs first) in order to get the Chichen Itza which will make Brazil's UA even more powerful. On the way build the Parthenon and the Writer's Guild. This means that you cannot build any improvements until then. You won't build any workers and settlers until shortly before Civil Service is researched.

    The downside:
    Until Civil Service you won't have much happiness and you will only have one city.

    The upside:
    You don't have to worry about barbarians until Civil Service because there are no improvements to be destroyed and they won't be strong enough to capture your cities. After Civil Service your empire will flourish beautifully.

    Out of the 7 games I've played I managed to get both the Parthenon and the Chichen Itza 4 times. The other 3 times I got the Parthenon but not the Chichen Itza (especially tough with Darius in the game). I'm pretty sure though that on Emperor difficulty and below you will get the Chichen Itza 99% of the time. The good news is that even if you don't get Chichen Itza your still well on your way to the important techs (Education, Acoustics, Architecture, also Machinery)

    Research Order:
    - Drama and Poetry (beeline)
    - Civil Service (beeline)
    - A couple of Ressource Techs (i.e. Calendar, Masonry, Bronze Working (to remove jungle)
    - Machinery (beeline; for the Brazil Wood Camps and Crossbowmen)
    - Acoustics (beeline; Sixtine Chapel, Musicians, Brazil Wood Camp culture bonus)
    - Architecture (Taj Mahal, Hermitage, Uffizi)
    - From there you should have a great base for midgame.

    Build Order:
    - Scout
    - Monument
    - Granary (or Library if Writing was discovered through a hut)
    - Library
    - Shrine
    - Parthenon
    - Writer's Guild
    - Archer (if you find yourself on a very peaceful spot you can go for the National Epic instead of the archers)
    - Archer
    - Worker (he'll have to build farms until Ressource Techs are researched)
    - Chichen Itza
    - Buy settler
    - Buy or build another settler
    - Archers/Composite Bowmen and Workers (to finally get your economy up and running)

    Now Brazil's game begins:
    As soon as your defensive military is up and you have 3 cities you can now focus completely on happiness (Circus, Colosseum, Circus Maximus, Zoo) and tourism (Great Artists/Writers/Musicians). Basically whenever you have to make a tough decision go for the one that offers you happiness, GA/GW/GM, GP rate, or tourism. I.e. if you have to choose between a building that gives you money and one that gives you happiness, pick the happiness building first. That way you will stay focussed on the main strategy.

    Social Policies:
    - Tradition > Legalism > Landed Elite > Aristocracy (should be available around the same time as you begin to build the Parthenon) > Monarchy > Oligarchy
    - Aesthetics (the golden age SP will be timed perfectly, just a few turns after your first golden age ends)

    Wonders:
    - Parthenon: for the free GW
    - Chichen Itza: If you get it then the game will be a lot easier
    - Sixtine Chapel: For the Work of Art slots
    - After that: Taj Mahal and Uffizi are both great for Brazil

    Happiness:
    You will have low happiness in the early game, which is fine. The first Golden Age (Carnival) won't trigger until you have at least one or two great works. Then however it will be a massive one with a nice early game tourism boost and Great Artist/Writer generation! As soon as you have your 2 wonders (or at least the Chichen Itza) you will focus only on happiness and Great Artists/Writers/Musicians, as well as some defensive military (Composite Bowmen/Crossbowmen).

    Military:
    On my first two games I got the strategy to work but then was attacked by my neighbour who crushed me. So it is essential to start building some defense units as soon as your Parthenon is built. Defensive Military is the only thing that should side-track you sometimes on your goal to massive happiness and tourism.

    Economy:
    Money shouldn't be a problem since you will only have a warrior and a scout until your Parthenon is built. Make sure that you trade away your Embassy for 1GPT and try to find as many CS as possible. No need to bring your Warrior or Scout back to the capital because there are no improvements to defend. Thus let them explore the world!

    Religion:
    - Sacred Path (+1 culture on jungle tiles - that means your Brazil Wood Camps will yield +2 Food, +2 Gold, +2 Science, +3 Culture after Acoustics is researched and a University is built - that's pretty awesome!)
    - Founder Belief: +1 Happiness per 2 cities with the religion
    - Cathedral: The artist slot is very helpful because you'll get lots of Great Artists.
    - Pagoda: Happiness is Brazil's friend

    City expansion:
    No settlers until Civil Service.* That means the first 70 turns or so you will only have 1 city. Reason for that is that another city causes unhappiness and without improvements you won't be able to maintain happiness (unless you buy ressources from other civs but early in the game these are rare, in BNW even more so IMO). The important thing is to save money for a settler so that you can immediatly plant a new city as soon as you have your ressource techs.

    The AI might have already picked your favorite city spot until then. That's the sacrifice you will have to make with this strategy. In the 7 games I've played I always found 2 great spots to settle that offered luxury ressources. At least one of them had luxuries that I didn't have before. You will only have 3 cities so expansion is not the focus here.

    * Maybe if you manage to get some happiness i.e. through City State quests or via trade you might be able to squeeze in a settler before Civil Service. On my first games I tried that but it hindered me more than it helped me.


    So far I haven't found any flaws with this strategy other than the sacrifices I mentioned but if you find anything that doesn't work then please let me know. :) As far as getting the Parthenon AND the Chichen Itza on Immortal difficulty I think this is the most effective way to get there. Plus it's a fun alternative to the standard early game.

    Your feedback and suggestions are much appreciated.

    Thank you for reading!
     
  2. HeraldtheGreat

    HeraldtheGreat King

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    Interesting. I'll try this with the new Brazil game I started. I'll let you know the results. Money and faith shouldn't be too much of a problem since I have plenty of gems around me.
     
  3. Petiscator

    Petiscator King

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    I'm going to try this out.

    One question: if you have 0 improvements, how are you going to build both the Parthenon and the Chichen Itza on a Jungle Bias civ? Should stealing a worker from a CS help you (with some improvements) or hinder you (now you need some units to defend the improvements)?
     
  4. That Other Guy

    That Other Guy Chieftain

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    Interesting! I never thought to farm my economy out to other civs (via their trade routes)!
     
  5. OmniPotent42

    OmniPotent42 King

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    Interesting strat - I'll have to try it out on my next game.
     
  6. HeraldtheGreat

    HeraldtheGreat King

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    I suppose you'd need good luck not to have too much jungle near by, though stealing a worker is an interesting idea. You might not be able to defend your improvements with one warrior until you get your archers up. Thoughts, Bojak?
     
  7. Petiscator

    Petiscator King

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    I'm on turn 100. The OP's timing is actually pretty accurate, things happened almost exactly as he described. Only problem is: turn 100, 2 turns away from civil service, did exactly as OP described. Rio de Janeiro has almost 12 pop, and I just got a Great Writer. Only 2 forest tiles, 1 chopped for Parthenon, the other to build a necessary mine. Other than that: jungles everywhere, grassland. 2 spices, 1 banana, 1 wheat on plains. Stole a worker from Florence, it was absolutely necessary to get some farms -> pop. Neighbour Ethiopia has been nice. Will post a screenie later.
     
  8. Petiscator

    Petiscator King

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    Tried it on King, stopped playing by turn 219. Things to note:

    -Religion :c5faith: - it is basically impossible to get if you do exactly as OP said. Shrine comes so late you get one of the last pantheons, and can't have any other faith source until... civil service, when there are either no religions available or 1-2 sucky bonuses. Also, by this time, you'll want to pump out some settlers.

    -Cities :c5citizen: - Rio de Janeiro was quite large, but lacked production because of the Jungle Bias the Brazilian civilization has. Seriously, it was only an Ok city after Bronze Working: it took around 20 turns to build the Parthenon and 22 to build Chichen Itza (because I stole a worker from Florence, which helped me to cut the only 2 forests I had). Those turn times are with maximum production available, which means less food and unemployed citizens. The other two (Sao Paulo and Salvador) were small. Sao Paulo was at 10 when I left and Salvador was at 6. They came quite late and could only have a nice production after workshops.

    -Gold :c5gold: - On the first 100 turns, I was ok. Then, I went into negative for quite some time until I could finally stick a caravan before the Chichen Itza. Even with those trade routes, I was a very poor player, reached the top at 44 gpt, on a Carnival.

    -Science :c5science: - This and :c5production: are the Achilles' Heel of the strategy. Because of the Jungle bias, you can't produce things fast enough, so your National College gets delayed until turn ~150. Also, the libraries and universities of Sao Paulo and Salvador took quite a lot to be built. By then, Maria I had reached the Renaissance era and I was losing some key wonder such as Sistine Chapel and the Uffizi. Spying helped, but wasn't enough; my cities did start rocking beakers after the university of Rio de Janeiro was bought. Unfortunately, by then it was too late.

    -Diplomacy :c5influence: - Regarding CS, I would take barb quests only, and after the archers. They can help you somehow. Regarding other civs, this strategy is quite peaceful, so I didn't have any problems and this was just fine.

    -Culture :c5culture: - I was doing quite well at this. Sacred Path was doing wonders, but, because of my lack of religion, Ethiopia's heathens decided to convert me to Eastern Orthodoxy. They got the :c5happy: belief, I couldn't do anything. They had Pagodas. I had 1 :c5faith: per turn. Other than that, after acoustics I went mad on the culture! Aesthetics was filled in no time!

    -Tourism - This was super! My first GA gave me a GWriter and +8 tourism. I had 4-5 golden ages in 50-70 turns, it was madness! Brazil's UA have a lot of synergy: get a golden age to +50% GA generation to get a golden age to get +50% GA generation ad infinitum. Quite nice, specially with Chichen Itza - I wonder how would this go with the Freedom's +50% GA lenght. I became Familiar to most of the civs I knew. Unfortunately, I could only discover the New World after turn 210, when I met steamroller Poland, OPaustria and Nethersucks. I can't complain - tourism-wise, this strategy it great!

    -Military :c5war: - Allying 2 militaristic CS was enough to keep my borders safe.


    Overall, it didn't go very well, mostly because of the Jungle Bias = Less :c5production: and because the + Wonder + Wonder - Cities - Improvements didn't go very well. I think I have a partial solution: how hard would it be to put a settler in the build or buying order? There are 3 key things missing: a settler, a worker and a caravan. The caravan is cheap and can be built. The worker can be stolen. Which leaves us with the settler. Would we get happiness problems? Perhaps. Then let's have a worker to improve some tiles! Also, Bronze Working is required for jungle starts, getting it post-100 makes for a bad bad city. To protect your tiles, you can come back with the scout and the warrior. As for a jungle start, the enemy takes some time to move on your territory. Using the Warrior on key spots will protect tiles and workers.Things I'd add:

    + Earlier Bronze Working
    + Worker Stealing
    + Production-focus Settler
    + Bought Caravan
     
  9. godman85

    godman85 Warlord

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    Spoiler :


    i turn off bias 100% of the time when i play a jungle civ. Jungle is the worse start ever. EVER
     
  10. Arksa

    Arksa Warlord

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    How so? You can get 1 culture out of each jungle with Sacred Path and 2 science from universities.

    Jungle is way better than just grassland IMO.
     
  11. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak Cut your lousy hairs!

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    No workers don't make any sense. Steal at least 1 from a cs, get tech luxs and sailing before moving to Philo. You also better build the NC before CI. You can have both around the same time.
     
  12. Falconiano

    Falconiano Prince

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    Why not just stealing 2 workers with scout and warrior? Or at least the one from city state, if you dont want to DoW the civ you steal worker from (since your army is weak).
     
  13. bokaj

    bokaj Chieftain

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    Thank you for your great input everyone! I will try to test this strategy more in the next days and I'll definitely try some of your suggestions.

    To clarify some things:

    The main goal of this strategy is tourism and thus the cultural victory.

    It is a very extreme approach, meaning that you will sacrifice anything as long as you get more tourism. If you don't get tourism or happiness (which turns into tourism) then it is not as important as other stuff.

    The thing with Brazil is that the first Golden Age usually doesn't trigger their UA because no tourism is generated that early and no GW/GA/GM growth is happening. With this strategy I want to squeeze every bit out of their UA in order to become a massive tourism empire. Therefore sacrifices have to be made in the early game so that the mid and late game can flow more smoothly.

    This is NOT how Civ 5 is usually played. Normally it is best to get a great economy running as early as possible and to take advantage of early benefits. This strategy does the opposite. It lets you suffer for the early part of the game so that you can reap the benefits later.

    This thread was originally titled "Suffer now so you can live the rest of your life like a champion." - a quote by Ali
    That's what I'm trying with this strategy.

    First of all, Petiscator, thank you for trying out the strategy and giving me detailed and helpful feedback. I appreciate it.

    There are usually at least a few production tiles around your capital. Because of the monument + tradition + landed elite + parthenon + writer's guild your borders should grow extremely fast. Maybe I was just lucky so I will try to play a couple of games with an extreme jungle start and after that I'll report back. Hopefully I'll find some time tomorrow.

    I like the worker stealing idea! It's something that I always forget when I play. It will be tempting though to research a ressource tech when you have a worker. If you do so then say "Good bye Chichen Itza!" :) The worker should only make farms except you find a tech through huts.

    I play on Quick speed so for me Civil Service takes around 70 turns. I tried to get to Civil Service faster with a "normal" build order (more cities + improvements etc.) but it took me a lot longer to get to Civil Service. There is almost no chance of getting Chichen Itza by then (on Immortal).

    12 pop is great considering that you have sacrificed so much to get to civil service that fast. Again, that's what this strategy is all about. Early sacrifice. You can focus on city growth, production, etc after the Chichen Itza is built. The real benefits will start to show as soon as your first carnival troggers. It needs patience and persistance to make it through the early game. And not getting side-tracked (i.e. with caravans or ressource techs).

    Sacred Path is the only pantheon you need and the chance of someone else getting it is very slim. It's not a problem if you don't get it early. If you can NOT get it then you can take the plantation +1 culture or the +15% growth or the Heal quicker next to cities or the city strength boost. These are all nice bonuses. However, none of the pantheons comes close to the Chichen Itza + Parthenon + Brazil UA combo benefit.

    Religion doesn't play a major role in this strategy. It's a nice to have but not a must have. If you can get Pagodas and other goodies from a different civ religion then that's fine!

    Rio being only an OK city after bronze working is fine! It's only logical because you haven't improved anything yet. :)

    From Civil Service on you'll have the rest of the game to turn it into a great city but then you will have a massive culture victory head start by gaining +50% of your UA and early tourism.

    Having a few gold minus until monarchy is okay. That's the deal of the strategy: You suffer in the beginning in order to get unique benefits for the rest of the game.

    44 GPT doesn't sound too bad considering that gold should not be your focus at all with this strategy.

    I don't think that after the university is built it's too late. Remember you have the Parthenon AND the Chichen Itza. The game has just started. You'll catch up on science.

    Losing wonders can happen - even the Chichen Itza. It's a high risk - high reward approach. Losing one doesn't mean the loss of the game. It just means you'll have to adjust your strategy.

    Yeah, nobody is angry because you didn't settle near them. Fun stuff. :)

    There you go. Use their religion to get you happiness.

    Yep. Chichen Itza + Freedom = Brazil UA x 2!

    Now I'm wondering. How did you ally the CS? Through quests?

    And because you sacrifice these 3 things your tourism, culture and golden ages will be massively better than everybody else's. These things are missing for a reason. Your GA/GW/GM output will be unstoppable by midgame.

    I don't think it's as valuable as any of the other build options for this strategy. I don't mind having a bad economy for a while if it's for a good reason.

    First it's not a bad city. It's a bad city with two amazing wonders! 30 turns later it'll be a great city with two amazing wonders. :)

    Earlier Bronze Working = No chance for Chichen Itza (on Immortal at least)
    Worker stealing = agreed, to build farms (Mining or Animal Husbandry could work if it only takes a few turns to research, but it increases the already high risk of not getting the Chichen Itza)
    Settler = can work, but as far as I can tell it's not beneficial to the main strategy of getting the most out of the Brazil UA and getting tourism
    Caravan = IMO not necessary for this strategy (in the early game)

    I agree. Especially with Brazil!

    If you get Sailing and luxury techs and Philosophy before Drama & Poetry then you won't even get the Parthenon and I'm pretty sure you won't get the Chichen Itza (on a higher difficulty). Thus you are going for a completely different strategy...
     
  14. Petiscator

    Petiscator King

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    Hey, thanks for the clarifying answer! :) I tried your strat with some inputs I made on King and it worked fairly well. I didn't change many things, except I bought a settler and stole a worker from a CS, by then, Sao Paulo could build some useful caravans. I won't quote the whole post because it is huuuge :crazyeye: but I'll try to answer with my opinions!

    - I checked my start again, and it was quite sucky, hammer-wise. Very few production turned it a pain to build the Parthenon + Chichen Itza. My problem with this is that most of the brazilian starts I get are like that. I have an idea! Why don't we get 5 or 10 starts randomly generated as Brazil and try this strategy? We can see the general amount of jungles we'll be getting!

    - Perhaps deviating from the proposed tech tree might be a bad idea. I usually played on Immortal on GnK, now I'm adapting to BNW step by step, first game on prince, second on King, then Emperor, then Immortal. As I said, my game was on King, so I could still get the Chichen Itza without major problems, could be much harder for Immortal. It is very hard to try fitting Bronze Working in this strategy, but in some starts it is essential. In my second attempt, I got some plains and hills alongside with the jungle, so I could mine them with the stolen worker and everything went just fine. Perhaps this strategy is limited to the amount of jungle around the capital? :confused:

    - I figured you were playing in quick speed. On my both attempts, I got Civil Service around turn 100. In the second one, I went Philosophy first for the National College and I got almost the same time and a bit more science. Perhaps fitting the National College is possible?

    - 12 pop was good indeed! :) Few things beat the population of a jungle heavy capital. I found it necessary to rush buy a Water Mill on my first attempt, as I literally had 0 more production available.

    - Religion-wise, I didn't get one on my second attempt either, and I know it isn't necessary, but my problem is that the AI will spread their religion to you and you'll lose Sacred Path :( It happened on both attempts

    - Tourism wise, both games rocked! No complains about that, this strategy does wonders for tourism spreading. The best part is the synergy of the brazilian UA! In a :c5goldenage: , you get more great artists, who are able to get :c5goldenage: , to get more GA, ad infinitum. :lol:

    - 44gpt was kind of good, but it lasted 2 turns only. Mostly 12 gpt near Civil Service, less before, a bit better later.

    - I did have the Parthenon and the Chichen Itza, but I was quite behind and got kind of sad. I know the game shouldn't go exactly as I plan, but on my first attempt, I was VERY far away from Portugal and the Ottomans mostly. Portugal got Uffizi, someone got Sistine Chapel (I think it was Maria I too!), another one got the Globe Theater and the Ottomans founded the World Congress. I checked the demographics, Portugal 9-10 techs ahead of me. Got a Spy in Lisbon, still too far away :( I could keep playing, but I had a big capital with little production and two cities still developing whereas everybody else was ahead, had big cities and all those cool stuff. I was generating many great works, but it was hard to find places for them. The second attempt did much better! The start was a bit production-friendlier and the bought settler was a nice idea, as I could focus on things my capital couldn't, such as a Caravan, an extra worker, an archer for barb hunting and maybe a third settler for Salvador.

    - I allied those CS because of Barb Quests, I think. IIRC one of them asked for culture, and the Parthenon did the dirty job. They were easy thins like "Find the Ottomans!" or "Find a new natural wonder!".

    - Still, those three things are quite necessary. It is hard to catch up if you don't have the production necessary for quickly building a university or the gold necessary to rush buy it. Meanwhile, BAAM there goes the neat cultural wonders :( I could blame it on my 1st start, though...

    Before I forget, when I said about the National College: it was useful for me. At least on king, it was possible to get the Chichen Itza in almost the same time as my first attempt. Building a library at Sao Paulo also helped. All in all, tourism and culture wise it is a quite good strategy, but depending on the start it can get you fairly behind. You should take ~5 or ~10 randomly generated starts, literally the first 5/10 you create, and try the strategy out. If you want the save file from my attempts, I can sure provide you! Also, thanks for sharing this, got me interested in Brazil :)
     
  15. HeraldtheGreat

    HeraldtheGreat King

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    I had some left over time after building a shrine since I didn't have drama and poetry yet, so I built a caravan.
     
  16. EEE_BOY

    EEE_BOY Deity

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    Why Pathenon? I don't think it is as important as CI.
    Why not took liberty? and use the free GE to rush CI?
    If you did not grab at least three cities, how can you catch up production later to win International games?

    Edit: if jungle start, take liberty!
     
  17. Nicasen

    Nicasen Chieftain

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    As Brazil jungle will give you +2 science, +2 gold, +2 culture, and +2 food in the mid game and beyond, 3 culture if you go with sacred path. Brazilwood camps also build as fast as flat land improvements (instead of taking 10+ turns like trading posts).
     
  18. tat501

    tat501 Warlord

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    I just find it impossible to get Chichen Itza using this strategy. I get Parthenon fine, but I seem 20 turns too late for CI most of the time it seems.
     
  19. EEE_BOY

    EEE_BOY Deity

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    National college should definitely be in somewhere.
     
  20. Dai

    Dai Warlord

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    Without having tried it, I feel like stealing a worker with your scout or warrior would certainly be an advantage. The only drawback is that you're paying upkeep on the stolen worker and you put yourself temporarily in the hole with one city state, but the benefits seem just beyond tremendous. Yes, barbarians will potentially break your improvements, but so what? You can fix them when the barbarians are dead. Having improvements up some of the time is way better than having improvements up none of the time. Having even a small number of farms/pastures up seems tremendous. You get Animal Husbandry reasonably early, since it's on the path to Civil Service, so it can potentially be your fourth tech. Trapping is also on that path, and can potentially be your fifth. Jungle starts aren't typically that rife with pasture/camp resources, but they're at least potentially there.
     

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