A general strategy for France (BNW)

megabearsfan

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Continuing my series of Civ V BNW strategies, I have just published a guide for a legacy civ that received major updates: France. Please check it out at:
http://www.megabearsfan.net/post/2014/08/12/Civ-V-France-strategy.aspx

As always, I appreciate any feedback, so please comment, share, or rate the post as you see fit. I also welcome any discussion about the strategy guide or France strategies in general in this forum topic.

Additional strategies for the BNW civilizations can be found at:
Assyria the tech thief
Brazil the jungle king
spicy Indonesia
Moroccan gatekeepers
Poland the progressive warhorse
Portual borrows luxuries
Land-snatching Shoshone
Blindly managing Venice
Beware Shaka's loincloth of DOOM!


I will also be posting a similar thread on the official 2k forums.
 

chazzycat

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yay France! my favorite civ. Very good job overall, I think you captured the gist of it.

Few points:
1) I don't like cathedrals for France, you will never fill those slots because you need them for Sistine/Uffizi/Hermitage.

2) would not recommend piety tree and sacred sites at all, this is a bad idea IMO. France should not employ this gambit because they are so good at generating tourism, in a way that doesn't cost an entire social policy tree. You need tradition and aesthetics ASAP...there is just not room for another entire tree.

3) there is a pretty clear cut off point for whether you want to attempt GL or not. That point is emperor level. Emperor and below go for GL, immortal do not.

4) I think it's worth mentioning that France is absolutely amazing for OCC on emperor & below (~200 turn times are possible).

5) You dont need to wait 8 turns after hitting internet, musicians dont work like scientists.

6) I don't agree with your oxford timing around acoustics. This is far too early IMO. I would rather use it on plastics or something around there to help ramp up the great scientist slingshot towards internet. I usually go for globe theatre and do 1-2 political treatise to speed through rationalism during the world fair, so I don't have spare writers that early anyway. But that could just be a matter of play style. I prefer to rush printing press rather than acoustics, to found world congress earlier and build leaning tower. Then Sistine or Globe is free anyway (use spies to keep an eye on any AI that enters Ren. if necessary to choose between the 2 wonders). But I usually try to get both, by building ironworks in my 2nd best city and hard building LT there (since no theming bonus). This is doable on immortal.
 

budweiser

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Could you talk about how to approach an Autocratic Cultural Victory vs a Freedom Cultural Victory?
 

joncnunn

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yay France! my favorite civ. Very good job overall, I think you captured the gist of it.

Few points:
1) I don't like cathedrals for France, you will never fill those slots because you need them for Sistine/Uffizi/Hermitage.

2) would not recommend piety tree and sacred sites at all, this is a bad idea IMO. France should not employ this gambit because they are so good at generating tourism, in a way that doesn't cost an entire social policy tree. You need tradition and aesthetics ASAP...there is just not room for another entire tree.

3) there is a pretty clear cut off point for whether you want to attempt GL or not. That point is emperor level. Emperor and below go for GL, immortal do not.

4) I think it's worth mentioning that France is absolutely amazing for OCC on emperor & below (~200 turn times are possible).

5) You dont need to wait 8 turns after hitting internet, musicians dont work like scientists.

6) I don't agree with your oxford timing around acoustics. This is far too early IMO. I would rather use it on plastics or something around there to help ramp up the great scientist slingshot towards internet. I usually go for globe theatre and do 1-2 political treatise to speed through rationalism during the world fair, so I don't have spare writers that early anyway. But that could just be a matter of play style. I prefer to rush printing press rather than acoustics, to found world congress earlier and build leaning tower. Then Sistine or Globe is free anyway (use spies to keep an eye on any AI that enters Ren. if necessary to choose between the 2 wonders). But I usually try to get both, by building ironworks in my 2nd best city and hard building LT there (since no theming bonus). This is doable on immortal.

#1 is a bit of an exaggeration, Cathedrals are available before any of the world or national wonders and so you'll fill them early. (If you picked Religious Texts as an enhancer to avoid needing missionaries)
However, the Cathedrals will get totally emptied out as soon as you build the Uffizni and it pretty much takes getting beat out to both the Louve and Sistines to ever fill them again (even then takes so many arch sites nearby that you fill every museum as well).

#2 Agreed, France's UA of double theming bonuses in Paris goes against the sacred sites gambit which needs more than 4 cities to be significantly faster than normal even if you aren't France.

#3 Emperor is very starting hammer sensitive for building GL. France doesn't have any starting biases so is just as likely to have a poor hammer start as an excellent hammer start.

#5 Agreed. I'll also note that if your hosting the games you'll want to buy the Great Musicans for concert tours during the 20 turns the games are still going on even if you don't reach the Internet before then.

#6 I personally time Oxford for Radio.

More on the article:
You won't be able to bribe the 4 other AIs (standard map size) that founded a religion into voting for yours as the World Religion. In addition, by proposing it you've just made all four of them your worst enemy (until ideologies). This will make it more expensive for open borders, cause them to NOT form trade routes with you and so you'll basically lose all that tourism you would gain just by proposing it. (Not to mention the war itself causing you to need more troops and so not being able to build the world wonders)

You can win a cultural victory game before the Information Era even starts as France, so you don't want to delay the Olympics.

Jesuit Education not really worth going after (with the possible exception of Poland), you give up a lot more by simply having gone Piety compared to standard Tradition or Liberty than you get back with Jesuit Education.

In the playing against France section: Actually any AI that founded a religion may randomly propose it so it's not really specific to playing against France. 90%+ of the time you don't need to bother voting against it since it's so unpopular with all the other AIs.
 

megabearsfan

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Thanks for the rapid feedback!

yay France! my favorite civ. Very good job overall, I think you captured the gist of it.

Few points:
1) I don't like cathedrals for France, you will never fill those slots because you need them for Sistine/Uffizi/Hermitage.

Maybe not immediately, but you can fill them later on, especially once you start getting archaeologists in the field. Also, they make great storage for your art in the medieval and renaissance prior to building Sistine Chapel, Hermitage, Uffizi, and museums.

2) would not recommend piety tree and sacred sites at all, this is a bad idea IMO. France should not employ this gambit because they are so good at generating tourism, in a way that doesn't cost an entire social policy tree. You need tradition and aesthetics ASAP...there is just not room for another entire tree.

Agreed that tradition and aesthetics are higher priority, and at higher difficulty levels, France should probably ignore piety. However, I've been successful on Emperor difficulty at alternating between those three trees, taking the policies that have ealier payoffs. Even though it unlocks in the classical, a lot of aesthetics policies don't have much benefit until later in the game. So after adopting aesthetics for the faster GWAMs, I sometimes go into Piety for better shrines and discounts to religious buildings that have payoffs earlier in the game.

I'm usually late at getting reformation and enhancer beliefs when I take this approach, which is why I suggest looking at some of the less popular beliefs for France. Nobody ever takes Religious Art, so it will almost certainly be available even if you don't enhance your religion till the renaissance.

Since France has no religious perks, it will be very hard to be the first to found / reform a religion (unless you get very lucky with goody huts and city states), so Jesuit Education will almost certainly be taken. I also only really recommend Sacred Sites if you have access to more than one religious building.

3) there is a pretty clear cut off point for whether you want to attempt GL or not. That point is emperor level. Emperor and below go for GL, immortal do not.

I typically play on Emperor, but I do play on immortal sometimes. I have built the Great Library on Immortal, but doing so crippled me since I was late at building workers and settlers.

4) I think it's worth mentioning that France is absolutely amazing for OCC on emperor & below (~200 turn times are possible).

5) You dont need to wait 8 turns after hitting internet, musicians dont work like scientists.

I'll have to look into the musician. I thought their strength was based on the average tourism over the previous 10 turns. Perhaps I was mistaken...

6) I don't agree with your oxford timing around acoustics. This is far too early IMO. I would rather use it on plastics or something around there to help ramp up the great scientist slingshot towards internet. I usually go for globe theatre and do 1-2 political treatise to speed through rationalism during the world fair, so I don't have spare writers that early anyway. But that could just be a matter of play style. I prefer to rush printing press rather than acoustics, to found world congress earlier and build leaning tower. Then Sistine or Globe is free anyway (use spies to keep an eye on any AI that enters Ren. if necessary to choose between the 2 wonders). But I usually try to get both, by building ironworks in my 2nd best city and hard building LT there (since no theming bonus). This is doable on immortal.

Yeah, if you're only thinking about the free tech from Oxford, it might be better to save Oxford for Architecture or Archaeology at the earliest. However, if you are looking for the tourism boost, then the earlier the better, since being influential with other civs early can pay off when it comes time to adopt ideologies. At least, that's been my experience.

Could you talk about how to approach an Autocratic Cultural Victory vs a Freedom Cultural Victory?

I generally try to keep these strategies focused around the aspects that are unique or specific to the civ, and I didn't really see any ideological strategies that were particularly potent with France. So players should feel free to adopt whichever ideology matches their play-style / victory goals.

Did I miss something though? Are there any ideologies that you feel work particularly well for France?
 

tetley

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I don't know that any ideology is particularly better for France, but autocracy has a very specific strategy where you pick futurism and then rattle off all the GP you can.
 

megabearsfan

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I don't know that any ideology is particularly better for France, but autocracy has a very specific strategy where you pick futurism and then rattle off all the GP you can.

Hrm, you know ... that actually fits pretty well into the militaristic strategy that I wrote. I have added a paragraph about this tactic to the end of the "Enlightening the world by force" section.
 

joncnunn

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Thanks for the rapid feedback!

Maybe not immediately, but you can fill them later on, especially once you start getting archaeologists in the field. Also, they make great storage for your art in the medieval and renaissance prior to building Sistine Chapel, Hermitage, Uffizi, and museums.

It's the other way around, you will fill them immediately, it's just that after you construct Uffizi the game is likely to be over before you fill all possible theming bonus slots. It would take being beat out to both Sistine & the Louve to even have a secondary window of before Hermitage.

I also only really recommend Sacred Sites if you have access to more than one religious building.
I've already run that experiment, Sacred Sites doesn't work well going tall even with 2 sets of religious buildings. It appears to require self founding very wide (in addition to 2 sets of buildings), and the descriptions of those following the gambit very early cultural victories are skipping guilds entirely to build more cities to build faith buildings all the quicker. Since that approach is skipping Guilds it's not using the French UA at all.

I'll have to look into the musician. I thought their strength was based on the average tourism over the previous 10 turns. Perhaps I was mistaken...
That one is a flat 10 times current output. I wish that Great Scientists & Great Writers were also locked.

Did I miss something though? Are there any ideologies that you feel work particularly well for France?

The interesting thing on France is that if your at a low enough level you might be able to win culturally before your chosen ideology gives you any tourism bonuses towards your victory. Other than that it depends upon the exact same situations any other civ would face seeking a cultural victory (or whichever one you are after)

Freedom's is a level 3 tenet, which as France is likely to be too late to do much good unless you missed out on several national wonders.

Order has one with a level 3 tenet for those you have more happiness than, again it is likely to be too late. Order also has one for other Order civs, unless it's either level 1 or 2, it would also be too late. But even if earlier then would only work if the civ that has the most culture reaches an ideology soon enough (and also adopts Order, which while being the most popular among the AI is by no means assured.)

Autocracy has one that gives +250 tourism whenever a guild great person is born. If its level 1 or 2, it's the most likely to actually see some use.
I'm fairly sure the other one giving 50% bonus for common enemy is a level 3 and is therefore likely to be too late.
 

budweiser

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Did I miss something though? Are there any ideologies that you feel work particularly well for France?

Why Napoleon as leader?

The role player in me wants to try Autocracy cultural victory through conquest. A la Nappy's conquest of Egypt, Austria, Russia etc. All of them were cultural treasure houses.

In your article you talk about the strengths of the Musketeer, so can you combine that with cannons, and lancers etc to make late Renaissance early industrial war which seals the victory?

This is something I would like to try and it seems like the kind of thing you could achieve by the usual t250 mark.
 

tetley

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If you move your conquest earlier, you can spam chateaux on the puppets. Lets you finish Aesthetics earlier.

You can set up a war by building chateaux next to the OTHER guy's luxes. Beats the heck out of forts.
 

chazzycat

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Thanks for the rapid feedback!



Maybe not immediately, but you can fill them later on, especially once you start getting archaeologists in the field. Also, they make great storage for your art in the medieval and renaissance prior to building Sistine Chapel, Hermitage, Uffizi, and museums.
This is true, it's not that cathedrals are bad per se. Just not really a priority. The tourism from the city of light dwarfs any +2 tourism you're getting from individual unthemed great works. So typically if I have filled all my wonders I will use them for golden ages instead. Only if you miss all the wonders and have to go for a wider archaeology/chateau approach, would cathedrals be good.


Agreed that tradition and aesthetics are higher priority, and at higher difficulty levels, France should probably ignore piety. However, I've been successful on Emperor difficulty at alternating between those three trees, taking the policies that have ealier payoffs. Even though it unlocks in the classical, a lot of aesthetics policies don't have much benefit until later in the game. So after adopting aesthetics for the faster GWAMs, I sometimes go into Piety for better shrines and discounts to religious buildings that have payoffs earlier in the game.
in general I agree early aesthetics isn't that great. But, for France specifically, if you think you will be getting those Renaissance wonders, that quadrupling of theming bonuses is a pretty huge leg up in tourism. and increase in open borders/trade route modifiers are good too.

I'm usually late at getting reformation and enhancer beliefs when I take this approach, which is why I suggest looking at some of the less popular beliefs for France. Nobody ever takes Religious Art, so it will almost certainly be available even if you don't enhance your religion till the renaissance.

Since France has no religious perks, it will be very hard to be the first to found / reform a religion (unless you get very lucky with goody huts and city states), so Jesuit Education will almost certainly be taken. I also only really recommend Sacred Sites if you have access to more than one religious building.
I just think spending policies on piety is a bad idea overall for france. Tradition, aesthetics and rationalism are too important, there's just no room for more policies. For cultural victory you don't necessarily NEED a religion. If you get good dirt for a pantheon, go for it. If not, ignore religion until later and just get a bit of faith output so you can buy GP later. World religion is really good for France, but not strictly necessary and I really don't think it's worth the opportunity cost in policies.

I typically play on Emperor, but I do play on immortal sometimes. I have built the Great Library on Immortal, but doing so crippled me since I was late at building workers and settlers.
Yeah, its generally a bad idea on immortal even if you can pull it off. The AI expands faster so they will take the good city spots. On emperor you can get away with waiting a bit longer to expand. Or, just OCC it if your land is decent. OCC/France/emperor is actually incredibly easy with decent land. If you are curious, check out this thread. http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=529524

I'll have to look into the musician. I thought their strength was based on the average tourism over the previous 10 turns. Perhaps I was mistaken...
This one I'm pretty sure about. Musicians values are fixed to 10X the tourism output of the turn they are spawned.

Yeah, if you're only thinking about the free tech from Oxford, it might be better to save Oxford for Architecture or Archaeology at the earliest. However, if you are looking for the tourism boost, then the earlier the better, since being influential with other civs early can pay off when it comes time to adopt ideologies. At least, that's been my experience.
I do consider the great works and theming bonus on Oxford to be important. I will always fill it prior to the end game musician spree. But popping a couple political treatise during the world fair to power through rationalism policies is a better use for them at that point in the game IMO.

Are there any ideologies that you feel work particularly well for France?
Likely freedom is the best for the tall/wonder approach and order would be best for the wider/archeology/chateau approach.
 

chazzycat

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#1 is a bit of an exaggeration, Cathedrals are available before any of the world or national wonders and so you'll fill them early. (If you picked Religious Texts as an enhancer to avoid needing missionaries)
it's true they are available. but +2 tourism just doesn't really do a whole lot. the gap in time between your first artist and building Sistine or Uffizi is not that long, so it's just not a priority under the tall/wonder approach. IMO France is all about the theming bonuses first, only if that doesn't work out should you try the other approach. (or you're on deity). if you have crap land and don't see yourself getting the wonders, then yes cathedrals would be good. But you also might want to consider another victory option in that case...

#3 Emperor is very starting hammer sensitive for building GL. France doesn't have any starting biases so is just as likely to have a poor hammer start as an excellent hammer start.
True, you wouldn't want to go for it on a very poor start. But in general, it's gettable in most average-ish starts.
#6 I personally time Oxford for Radio.
Yep I have certainly done that too, it depends on various factors. Some time around radio/plastics (they are pretty close) usually makes sense.
 

joncnunn

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True, you wouldn't want to go for it on a very poor start. But in general, it's gettable in most average-ish starts.

Yep I have certainly done that too, it depends on various factors. Some time around radio/plastics (they are pretty close) usually makes sense.

In my own games Plastics is quite a ways further into the future than Radio because I tend to be missing the other line that Plastics depends upon entirely when I reach Electronics to unblock Radio. (I don't even have half the Industrial era techs discovered when I unblock Radio)
 

chazzycat

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that's true. I usually would open modern with radio as well then catch up all the way from metallurgy on the bottom. so they would be like 5 techs apart. My point was mainly that acoustics is too early.
 

reddishrecue

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Machinery is often bulbed before acoustics so getting great artists before great musicians can have you generating great artists way earlier than obtaining museums. Great musicians do come early though since there really weren't any religious buildings that could hold great works of music.
 

Memoryjar

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Oxford for Acoustics can be good for it's thematic bonus. But, you can have Oxford on low level. And on low level AIs have great arts of writing later than you. So you can have this two arts from AIs many times after have Oxford up.
Reach Acoustics (rationalism opener and secularism, then go to Aesthetics) after Education then Guilds then Oxford for PP during teching Banking can allow you Global Theater thematic bonus as it's up.

Budweiser : I tried Autocracy cultural victory on high level. It is not a good deal. Emperor and below, yes, but on those you'll nearly have win when you reach Ideologies.
 

budweiser

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Budweiser : I tried Autocracy cultural victory on high level. It is not a good deal. Emperor and below, yes, but on those you'll nearly have win when you reach Ideologies.

It may call for a different approach. I'm thinking a heavy investment in Honor and movement along the bottom of the tree then start grinding down all the culture leaders. Hold off on guilds until the Autocracy tenet is in place and then pump GAWM. I need to look at the numbers and figure out how fast you can make them.

It may want a 3 Factory opening to Autocracy and 3K in the bank.
 

Memoryjar

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Futurism doesn't make it, if you're thinking about it. It can help to minor resistance when you take a city.
Cult of Personnality is better, but need a particular strategy : find potential runaway and fight with him (if he fights).
Cultural revolution seems better for me on high level.

I didn't think about a full honor. I stand on Tradition-Aesthetics-Rationalism. Interesting. On which difficult level ? Immortal ?
 

budweiser

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Futurism doesn't make it, if you're thinking about it. It can help to minor resistance when you take a city.

I'm thinking it might be worth between 1K and 2K points.

Cult of Personnality is better, but need a particular strategy : find potential runaway and fight with him (if he fights).

This means they have to also take Autocracy, or at least one of the other culture leaders needs to take Autocracy and you are friends. Its hard to get a civ to pick up your ideology, you need lots of early culture output.


Cultural revolution seems better for me on high level.
This would be an Order tenet, right?


I didn't think about a full honor. I stand on Tradition-Aesthetics-Rationalism. Interesting. On which difficult level ? Immortal ?

Yeah Immortal, and possibly very situational. I'm going to give it a try and see. There seems to be synergy between Autocracy's higher happiness and Aesthetic's culture per happiness tenet. I'm just a little burned out on playing games right now. Your policies path is more for peaceful Freedom, obviously.
 
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