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A Congo Game

Discussion in 'Gameplay Guides' started by Fresol, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. Logoncal

    Logoncal Chieftain

    Apr 25, 2016
    Slavery is not the only tech that enables slave for European Colonists. If they have colonialism, they're also elligible for it.
    1SDAN likes this.
  2. Enyavar

    Enyavar Chieftain

    May 16, 2015
    Normal Monarch 1.15, half of my attempts was 3000 BC start, the other were 600 AD.
    How the run goes is entirely based on luck (waving hello to the recent RNG thread), but combat luck is the least of my problems.

    Okay, I have played SIX games with the Congo now, and officially give up. Can someone please confirm they made a UHV game with Congo in 1.15? Maybe on Heir?

    Spoiler The possible winning strategy that Fresol described and that I adapted to 1.15, was: :

    • Settle Mbanza-Congo (in the starting year, 1390, turn 260).
      • Build order: Workboat, Barracks, Pombos, 2 settlers, then infrastructure
      • Civics: Switch to Citizenship and Clergy once the settlers are out, and get the infrastructure 100% cheaper
      • Tech order (the ones that are relevant for science are bolded): Guilds (ready in t293), Alchemy (ready in t310), Compass, Feudalism, Patronage, Education, Paper, Cartography, Doctrine, Humanities, Printing, Academia, Optics, Fortification, Commune, Gunpowder, Scientific Method, Crop Rotation, Finance, Exploration, Geography, Physics, Geology, Metallurgy (easiest Industrial tech!).
    • Then settle Likusi and Ilebo as soon as possible at the eastern part of the core. Further expansion is, at first, contraindicated.
      • One of these cities is going to be the military training center.
    • Fight Natives, send slaves to the North for exploration. Naval exploration is out of the question, because I don't have a Compass; and military units are needed back home. Slaves are the only units that can possibly contact Europe.
    • Spread Catholicism, sell slaves, have more cities and use espionage ad nauseam.

    My first attempt of course was just playing without reading any guides. I lacked in exploration, with the foreseeable result that Catholicism never spread to me before 1650. Then I read Fresols guide here.
    My second attempt was cut short by Barbarians who had occupied a Malinese town. With enough waiting, I could sneak my slave-rangers around them, only to realize that the Moors had fallen. The entire North African coast was covered in independent and Barbarian towns, and Ethiopia wouldn't open borders
    My third attempt went pretty much like the second one, but with surviving Moors who wouldn't open borders. At least, POLAND sent a caravel and traded their map, but that was already near the deadline, and Catholicism DID spread. Finally. Just, three turns before the deadline, and 9% of the apostolic council.
    My fourth attempt was going fine. I had my slave walking all along the Moorish coast, contacting Portugal and Spain. The Malinese sold me their map for cheap, the Ethiopians swapped their extensive map for mine; and then I could swap my map with the INDIANS, when their caravels pulled up near Mbanza. I could have circumsailed the world without ever building a ship, but five columns of blackness prevented it. Two turns after getting the Indian Map, Spain connected the dots. Not that circumsailing would have helped me at all. Because, you see, 1650 AD passed without even a tiny outbreak of Catholicism in my cities.
    My fifth attempt was the most frustrating, and I did a lot of saveloading-engineering attempts to get it right there. Because, you see, Portuguese settlers were sitting at the spot of Mbanza when I started. I opened borders with them and sent my settler to settle Likusi, and two turns later, Portuguese Luanda flipped including a horseman and two crossbows. BINGO! Two starting towns!
    But things can go even better: I got the Blacksmith event that promised me a reward for building seven smithies. Believing that I'd need a large population anyway to get the Catholic UHV, I spread out like mad. I used a galley to ship my horseman to the Malinese coast, and sent him the same way that slaves in my earlier games took. Catholicism spread too late again and too little again, so I reloaded and did things differently and BINGO No.2: Catholicism spread early enough that I could rush monasteries and missionaries and had all of my seven cities converted JUST IN TIME, while also doing my best to increase the populations. 8+4+4 population in my core cities, 4+4+3+2 population in my outer cities. All of them staunch catholics!
    Spoiler Look at this Congolese Empire :


    But it wasn't enough. The Reformation event had only affected Spain, while everyone, their grandmas and their dogs chose to become Catholics! England, Incas and French all spammed missionaries, and instead of seeing my percentage rising, it staggered and shrunk each time I had successfully converted one of my cities. I did several reloadings and replays even from the marvelous start, but always with the same result (the reformation had apparently been long before my conversion). Gahh!

    I don't want to mention the fifth-and-a-half run, an embarrassing attempt to piggyback on another civilization. I tried to switch from playing Portugal to Congo, and repeat my performance with two starting cities. All I managed was founding Luanda, but not getting a Congolese Settler on the same spot.

    My sixth time I managed to get the First UHV!
    I did nothing different than in the previous runs, except that my slaves hadn't even got into Malinese territory when I met portugal for the second time and Catholicism spread in Mbanza. Just like that, and way early in 1460. Mbanza1460.JPG
    I tried two strategies afterwards:
    • first, don't convert, still contact and explore Malinese+Moorish territory and thus establish contact with Europe as well. Bad news: The Malinese OBed, but not the Moors. No can do, closed borders for me. Worse than modern Libyan coast guards, these Moors. In the meantime, the reformation happened, with the only option of tolerating the new sect. Guess how many religions I had afterwards in Mbanza. Yeah, this wasn't what I signed up for.
    • second: Do convert imediately. The Malinese and Moors hated me afterwards, no OB. Ethiopia at least still traded their map, but also no OB, as they were orthodox. Then, I joined the Counter-Revolution, and apparently declared war on France, England and Holy Rome. Nothing ever became of that, I could make peace later for a rather small tribute. However... that meant that they were still rather hostile when I met them later. Much, much later.
    So, good news? Yeah, good news. I cleared the First UHV threshold in 1530. Just like that, no struggle at all. I could see in the URV victory screen that catholic civs in total controlled already 6.5% of the world. My tiny civ had 2%, so I guess that the other catholics weren't that many - probably just Spain.
    So, now I could finally go up against the second and third UHV goal. I stopped my entire run in the year 1740 when I realized it wasn't going well.

    UHV 2: Selling slaves for a profit of 1000 Gold: In 1740, I had collected already 15 slaves from my combats with natives. Also, I had sold exactly 2 of them and gained 90 gold.
    I had established fleeting contact with the following civs, despite my not-so-splendid isolation: Portugal, the Netherlands and England. England was still pretty hostile, was running colonialism and had a total money of 30. I sold them a slave. Portugal was super friendly, was running tributaries, and had a total money of 60. I also sold them a slave. The Netherlands had no money. I checked after forcing contact via world builder: France had 160 gold, Spain had none. Those 5 are the only civilizations that can and will buy slaves. Also, England was the only one running colonialism. Unlike in the version that Fresol apparently had, slaves seem to be worth a fix amount of 75 Gold, and not the promised hundreds of gold. So, in the most ideal game that I can dream of, I have to establish early contact with Europe via slave explorers, then I have to convert to Christianity and make UHV 1, ideally while already selling slaves whenever one of the five colonial powers might have enough gold to afford a slave. With a collection of 15 slaves and always getting the full price, the UHV 2 is at least possible.
    UHV 3: I doubt anything can be done here.
    The thing is, I can spread my empire as much or as little as I want: In the 51 turns between 1390 and 1650 I can develop two techs, maybe 3 if I assign scientists. In the time till 1740, I can possibly reach two more technologies. The bare minimum I need for industrial age (Metallurgy), is 24 techs. Universities are only available after the tenth research option...
    Technology trade? Sounds great, but I don't have any starting techs that my neighbors don't have, and my starting amount of 300 gold will only buy me one half technology. Sure, I can sell seven slaves for a tech. So if I'm willing to fail UHV#2, I can do some tech trades.
    Research yourself: Sounds not really great. Infrastructure-wise, Congo starts from zero. You can't effectively speed up your research if you don't expand. Each new city means reduced total research until you built the complete infrastructure there, which is costly and needs time. Not to mention the military and stability costs of spreading. Eventually, with 10 cities or so, it might be possible to have enough research available, and every of these cities needs Jail, Library, Market and the Mbwadi building. Also Universities and Pharmacies, and possibly some specialists.
    Espionage research as described by Fresol: Um, that IS a great idea, but to gift a city to Prussia or the Dutch, I first need to have contact with them, and I had already problems to get past the Malinese and Moors. Getting past the Turcs means also getting past the Independent Egyptian cities, first. Yes, that was a thing in my games. The second problem is to get enough Espionage points with whomever I gift the espionage city to. All I have for that is one palace and a jail in each city. Going 100% Espionage, the base amount from these instituations can be tripled. The constabulary is not only expensive to build, but also needs the Judiciary technology, which is a research detour (+1 tech), and the courthouse even more so (+6 techs). I see that Fresol uses dozens of spies to create a total of three Great Spies, but is that enough to steal more than a dozen technologies?

    My conclusion is that UHVs of Congo are near-impossible on Monarch, because it is mostly based on dumb luck. Required are at least:
    The first two lucky events of having a) Catholicism spread in Congolese cities, and b) at the right time.
    The third lucky event of having Catholicism not spread too much, worldwide.
    The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh lucky event of having a) friendly b) contact with c) colonialistic powers that are willing and d) solvent enough to buy slaves.
    Everything else is not luck-related but down to a solid strategy - but even so, the third goal seems still unrealistic.

    (I can already imagine that the research on Heir is a lot easier. If someone can confirm that the scenario is winnable on Heir, I will give it another try.)
    Publicola likes this.
  3. Fresol

    Fresol Angry Halfling in Green

    Jun 19, 2011
    Congo game became more difficult since 1.16, UHV1 heavily depends on luck(Reformation).

    UHV3 should be possible on 1.15, if you expand into South Africa. Espionage gives you a discount, but you still need good commerce to steal techs. The Dutch should reach you by sea, and gift them a crappy desert city(for more discount) while you control all the other good city spots.

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