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A little help w/ starting position?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by mattkaru, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. mattkaru

    mattkaru Chieftain

    Feb 25, 2008
    Hi guys! I've been playing Civ 4 off and on for some time. I bought BtS not too long ago and I've been an avid reader of several story threads and as of late the ALC Series.

    I notice that my biggest hurdle to overcome is to pay attention to small details. It's in my nature to see the bigger picture, but at the beginning of the game (without using world builder..) there isn't a bigger picture to see really..

    Here are two screenshots:

    As you can see, I chose Willy because I wanted to play a (mostly) peaceful game and I also wanted to be able to utilize his UU to a great degree for defensive purposes. I've played as him before and enjoyed it. You'll also notice the difficulty level..yeah, it's not much, but I haven't played CIV4 quite enough to master all the game's technicalities. I've fiddled with Noble here and there but I need to learn to understand the game so that's why I'm playing at Warlord.

    I have several questions:

    1. Is this a good starting position? I seem to think it is, if not a little overloaded with health resources. My fishing/agriculture start does a lot of good with the corn and the clams, so that's a plus. I was thinking about researching AH to take advantage of the sheep, but I'm not 100% sure..

    2. I want to move the warrior 1W because it looks like the east is short on land. The goody hut will be popped on the 2nd border pop if I settle in place so I don't need to worry about getting to it. Also, unless I'm mistaken, there is an ice patch to the northwest of the warrior, but the more obvious sign that I'm WAY up to the top of the map is the ice island/peninsula. :p So should I explore what is bound to be tundra to the west or see if there's something more useful to the east? Not that it's a big deal but still..

    3. Overall, is this a good start? To my unexperienced eyes, it seems as if this is an excellent starting position even if I'm overwhelmed with healthiness. I know that with a Financial trait that a cottage economy is likely to be optimal, but with all those coastal water tiles with 3 gold leave me confused as to whether I should farm (if it's possible?) all around or cottagespam. I also think the hills give me a good production base which is definitely necessary.

    Anyway, I was just interested to see opinions so I could have some sort of feedback on my ideas and see whether I'm headed in the right direction of thought. :)
  2. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

    Aug 6, 2003
    One step ahead of the authorities
    Don't worry about the sheep. You have plenty of food and there are lots of thing which are more important than AH, Mining and BW in particular. Depending on what's in the BFC, mining the sheep is probably the best option, probably for quite a while.
  3. mystyfly

    mystyfly Knight of Cydonia

    Aug 29, 2007
    This is a great GPFarm. Plan on finding a site where you can move the palace to (and cottage up) if you plan on using Buerocracy.

    Also plan on using caste system. I doubt you'll be able to get that many specialist-enabling buildings in a decent amount of time ;)

    I don't see how you are planning on using the UU defensively. It's a great unit for attacking though :hammer:. Seriously, good choice on willem :thumbsup:

    I'd neglect AH and tech probabely sailing, mining and BW first. You have 3 more hills so there is plenty of production, no need to mine the sheep. I'd probabely chop out the GLH, a great wonder on this map.

    As you see, you have lots of health resources. The only thing holding you back is happiness. You should make monarchy and hereditary rule a priority in order to grow your cities as large as possible.

    Good luck :goodjob:
  4. eewallace

    eewallace King

    Nov 1, 2005
    It looks like a fine start. Given the abundance of health resources and starting with fishing, I would prioritize getting some work boats out while growing the city and focus on getting slavery and a granary. Then, this city--particularly with a worker who chops some forests and puts in a few mines, will be a very nice early powerhouse.
  5. JBossch

    JBossch King

    Apr 16, 2006
    Washington, DC
    It is a great start, GP farm for sure. Tech mining->BW and then chase the GLH as others have said. Maximize hammers (not food) until you get a WB or 2 then whip as much as possible while working the seafood.

    More importantly though, I think that if you are trying to learn how the game works then playing below noble won't get you anywhere. Anything lower and the mechanics that penalize the player for mistakes like over-expansion, lack of internal improvements, poor tech-path, building unnecessary wonders, etc. don't really function or are so diminished as to be negligible. Warlord is great if you want to build every wonder and kill AI archers with modern armor and stealth bombers but not if you are trying to learn the game.
  6. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

    Feb 12, 2007
    Your observations are astute. Get the irrigated corn up first, get bronze working, then maybe sailing. About animal husbandry, well, with bronze working you can chop and mine 3 grassland hills. Where as with bronze working, it'll keep your worker for a whole 7 turns.

    Scout west, the first border pop will tell you if you need to scout east.
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

    Jan 26, 2008
    You've been good for too long ;).

    I remember back when I started in Jan. I was playing warlord (even lost a space race by a couple turns once there), and was only on par with the AI in tech - at first things aren't so obvious in terms of what to do! Now of course I can blow out the AI pretty easily on Monarch (infantry vs muskets please :p)...although I somehow stop playing intelligently on immortal and suicide :cry:...but at first I couldn't even fathom how winning monarch + was possible...

    There's definitely a progression in terms of getting good at this game - although if he feels like he can win easily on warlord he should be on noble ;).
  8. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

    Dec 7, 2004
    Neither. It will be a long time before this city will ever have a citizen doing something other than:
    . Working a food tile
    . Working a mined hill
    . Being a specialist

    So, the #1 best possible use of those flatland tiles is to contain a tree to give you a free healthiness boost. There might be a point in the game where it pays to chop those trees to make way for farms or workshops, but that will be a long time in the future.

    It might also (in the future) pay to chop for cottages... but it seems very unlikely that your capitol will best serve your empire as a commerce-gathering city. It's role is most likely to be your primary great person farm. Since you're on Archipalego, it might also need to be a production city as a secondary task. This city will receive many unique benefits -- e.g. you'll probably put the national epic here -- and the most likely purpose for your improvements will be to maximize these unique benefits.

    Yes, cottages may be very useful -- but this is not the place for them.

    Others have already touched on this, I just want to elaborate. You need to think about what you have, and what you need, and take actions that satisfy your needs. You don't need more food -- in fact, you might not work a pastured sheep, or need the health bonus, for hundreds of turns! But a mined sheep would be useful soon.

    Incidentally, have you thought about what your needs are? You will probably need fishing boats to go exploring' military units for protection, policing and exploring; and galleys to reach other islands. In other words, you need hammers. Bronze working fulfills that need in several ways: it gives you access to slavery, and allows you to chop the trees that are preventing you from building mines on your hills.

    You also need specialists slots in order to take advantage of your masses of food. This suggests that you need to head for writing to get libraries, and/or code of laws to get caste system.

    You need happiness. Happiness resources are hard to find on archipalego maps, and you can't exploit your food resources unless you have a lot of happy citizens. This suggests you should aim for Monarchy for hereditary rule, or maybe seek out religion to pacify your people. Colosseums and theatres are good too, but their full power would conflict with the commerce-based economy you expect to build.

    You need healthiness, again to let your capital and other cities grow large. This may require going for masonry & mathematics to get aqueducts (maybe even hanging gardens!), or compass for harbors.

    There may be other things you'll need too.... Once you've identified your needs (which will be refined when you explore the area around you), you'll be better placed to select a good tech path that best tries to fulfill your needs.

    One option that looks good at the moment (but that could easily change) to get bronze working, sailing, then aim for priesthood, thus opening up Writing (specialists and research), Monarchy (happiness) and Code of Laws (specialists and religion), and then pursue Mathematics and/or compass.
  9. mattkaru

    mattkaru Chieftain

    Feb 25, 2008
    Wow, thanks guys! A lot of your advice was very helpful.

    I did in fact play it last night a few hours after I made my initial post and gathered the opinions I could. I haven't quite finished the game and I'm not sure it's really going anywhere, but that's my fault for not sending out a little settling expedition earlier than I did.

    However, it going nowhere has nothing to do with all the help I got for a strong start. And boy, was it ever strong. My biggest mistake was going on a chopping spree once I got BW (I went Mining -> BW -> Pottery, etc.) because the health bonuses I got from the clams and corn were negated after I chopped nearly everything around the city. Happiness was also a huge issue as Amsterdam was in a perpetual state of being ticked off.

    My scouting with a galleon led me to believe that a TRUE archipelago map is certainly not for me. My own island was perhaps the worst I came across as half of it was ice and tundra (to the west, as I said I expected) so I had to go island searching for my next city. My two nearest neighbors (Churchill and Tokugawa) both had two cities on their islands before I had my second city.

    Regardless, my economy was extremely strong from the start and Amsterdam turned out to be a great GP farm. I was well ahead in tech parity and culture and I built military units when I needed to in order to keep up with Tokugawa so he wouldn't go nuts on me.

    I don't plan on finishing the game because I'm more than halfway through it and I still haven't mastered a significant game plan. I'm going to try a different map with Willy and maybe move up to Noble as Warlord actually proved to be too easy in this case..

    Thanks for your advice.

    Oh, and @MyOtherName, even though I read your advice after I'd played the game, I found it valuable. You were right about the happiness resource shortage and the chopping issue. I found myself researching techs I would have rather waited for in order to keep my people happy with theatres and colloseums. I also founded Judaism for that reason (the temples).

    Thanks again! I think this one experience on the forums will do tons of good for my future games. :)

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