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A newbie migrating from Civ V!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by labellavienna, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. labellavienna

    labellavienna Warlord

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    Hi guys, thank you for taking the time to read my thread, Civ 5 was my first Civ game and I loved it! It was super enjoyable but got a little stale after I logged hundreds of hours into it. I decided to buy Civ 4 last night and I have some questions I hope someone can answer for me =P

    1) I understand the concept of slavery and I use it whenever the option appears, but when is the wisest time to stop slavery? And what does "whip production" mean? Can I stop it when my city is healthy? What are the repercussions?

    2) In Civ V, founding new cities means less happiness...what are the repercussions of founding new cities in Civ IV?

    3) Why do the other nations' scouts and warriors keep going back and forth on my land after open borders? I read somewhere that it is best to always agree with other civs demands...when is it wise NOT to?

    4) How much military should i have? And what are the repercussions of having too many?

    Thank you for all your help!
     
  2. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

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    Sounds like you want a how to play guide.

    I would watch some video play through online. Start on a level that suits you. Noble is probably a good level to learn the game.

    First build should nearly always be a worker.

    1. You stop slavery when you no longer need to whip. Larger overflow from whipping give bigger production boosts. So 29 hammers into a 60 hammer granary will give you 29 overflow if you whip at that point for 2 populations. I would suggest you play around with whipping in a test game to learn. Whipping away food for production is normally strong play. Slow building units and builds can be painful. Especially with a low happiness cap.
    2. On Civ 4 you should always be looking to expand. The top players can have 10-20 cities by 1ad. Realistically 7-10+ by 1ad is a good starter. Pends how much war you plan early on.
    3. Let them scout you out. Never really bothers me. Keeping Ai pleased/friendly helps avoids wars. Don't be afriad to gift resources, sign open borders, switch to favourite civics and gift techs if it means keeping a neighbour friendly. Friendly neighbours means you can tech faster and rely on less defenders.
    4. Military should be minimal in city defence but plan for large stacks to fight your wars.

    In any case can't teach the entire game in one post. DYOR.
     
  3. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

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    Good choice, Civ IV is a lot more complex than V especially at higher difficulty levels and a lot more fun.

    One of the most important lessons for the early game is REX (Rapid EXpansion) and Currency is the most important tech of the game.

    Minimal armies but when you want to war to dominate, build LOTS of units QUICKLY (whip, chop)

    Slavery becomes less useful as cities grow larger as it is less efficient.

    New cities cost maintenance, so think of it like this. Initially, building a new city will cost you in maintenance and in settler hammers, but once you can turn that city into something good, it will pay back its cost and much more! If you build too many cities too quickly, you run out of gold and your units go on strike and research gets halted. So expansion is a trade off between inital research and essentially production.

    Any more questions, ask :)
     
  4. labellavienna

    labellavienna Warlord

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    Thank you so much for your help! I did a lot of research but sometimes the information is lost as more information is taken in haha. I read the manual but it doesn't answer some of the situations I am in like:

    1) In the beginning the game says my capitol Kyoto was connected to my second city "Dallas" but in city view under the tab "trade routes" it doesn't appear there. There is no road, just a river connecting the two cities.

    Also, my third city is by the coast...from what I heard...isn't it suppose to automatically connect to my second city via trade? Or do I have to create a road?

    Why does dyes located right next to my city require a road to access it?
     
  5. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    Rivers or coast will connect your cities even from the very beginning of the game, but only if the route is entirely within your culture. If the entire route is not within your cultural borders you will need Sailing, or a road of course.

    Resources are connected in a similar fashion. If the resource is located next a river then it will connect to any city that is connected to the river. If the resource is not located next to a river then you will need to connect it with a road network.
     
  6. labellavienna

    labellavienna Warlord

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    I got it, I had to dig a little bit for the answer haha, coming from civ 5...there is no such thing as connecting resources...it just appears globally after a worker improves it.

    In civ v you have to build roads to connect cities in your civilization, and trade networks are through caravans. In civ 4 things are much different and complex, the cities trade themselves depending on a few factors. u do not need roads to connect one city to another...in contrast...roads simply provide faster movement from point a to point b
     
  7. vandermerwe

    vandermerwe Butt of many jokes

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    One more thing about roads. It's a common beginner's mistake to build too many too soon. The top priority is using them to connect your cities to strategic resources (ie that let you build units: copper, horses, iron, ivory). Pretty soon you'll want to connect happiness resources (gold, silver, gems, fur, wine etc.) too. Connecting food resources is less important in the early game as unhealthiness is less of a problem than unhappiness - but you still should eventually of course. Same goes for connecting multiple resources: if you have (say) one cow tile already connected, then connecting another allows you to trade the surplus cow for something else, but that's all. Nice if you can get a good trade but not essential...

    The main point is that worker time is very precious in the critical early part of the game, and your workers should either be improving tiles (ie building farms, cottages, mines and so on) so that your cities aren't working unimproved ones; or chopping down forests to speed production. They shouldn't waste their time building unnecessary roads.
     
  8. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    I always feel a bit bad when people ask for newbie tips and one of the very first things they're told about is the importance of this one specific feature among hundreds, which contains 0% of the game's fun but about 50% of the micromanagent :)

    I.e. don't worry too much about slavery, or any of the civics really, if you're just learning the gameplay basics. Yes effective use of slavery is, sadly, one of the most important "tips" to winning on higher difficulties because it's so overpowered, but it's very fiddly to use with efficiency and i think it will detract from your enjoyment if you stress about it instead of the basic mechanics like e.g roads and resources, and getting the hang of stack combat, as per above, and of course just enjoying the game which the devs, artists, writers etc. did a glorious job on!

    If you want a specific tip it would be concentrate on the different :hammers:, :food:, :commerce: tile yields, which are much more varied than those in Civ 5. E.g. An improved copper resource can multiply the production yield of a tile by 5 or more, the best food resources like pigs and corn can do the same for food yield, and say gold can do for commerce yield. This is why training workers and getting tiles improved is so important - the improved tiles are so much better than the unimproved ones. Also it means that what resources and terrains are around a city makes a huge difference to what that city will be best at doing. On the early scouting of the map look at potential city sites and think to yourself "production city there", "science city there", etc. and specialize them accordingly once they're settled.

    Anyway i hope you have lots of fun however you approach it :D
     
  9. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    There is something like a rule, that "a 1 :food: 3 :hammers: tile is about as productive as the whip" , so that means, you can whip away everything that's worse, and only grow onto those tiles while you wait to get a military key unit.

    Ofc. this rule (despite being very good) is wrong, because to really get an answer, you need to evaluate every whip in single, then simply divert the :hammers: you get from the whip through the number of :food: needed to regrow, then you'll know the value of 1 :food: . Should be something between 1 and 2 :hammers: .

    Letting cities grow bigger instead of whipping them continously is something for games where you want maximum research (i. e. a Space Race) , because bigger cities ofc. can produce more research, due to their better Traderoutes mainly, and ofc., additional tiles may also yield :commerce: . If you play for Domination or Conquest, no city apart from your capital, which always should be as big as affordable, needs to grow larger than size 8 (size for 4-pop-whip) , often 6 or even 4 is enough though (sizes for 3- and 2-pop-whips) . Your capital shouldn't be whipped at all past a certain point early in the game, because if you specialize your capital to :commerce: , found an Academy and run Burocracy, your capital makes the greatest part of your empire's :science: .

    Happiness depends mainly on the resources you have, and partly on some buildings giving Happiness. There is a very good guide on it, called "Ways into Happiness". You can find it in the Strategy Guides subsection.

    1. There are begs and demands. Begs are, when the civs is above the threshold where it can declare war on you, demands are where they actually can declare war at you. You'll get negative diplo for denying both types, but only the 2nd type is dangerous, because then, a civ can jump instantly into war-preparation-mode and DoW you 10-20T later.

    2. You only need to agree with demands if you fear war or need positive diplo. It's very wise to get a few civs on friendly, so that they're willing too trade even monopoly techs, this can be quite easy if having agreed to one of their demands and quite difficult if having negative diplo from having denied one. Be careful with demands to join their wars though, those come frequently, and when you're not ready, you must not agree to them, except if the war is with a target that can't reach you because it's far away, then you only need to be aware of getting -1 or -2 with the friends of the target, but better have some friends and foes than none of both.

    3. Don't hand out military key techs, unless you know exactly what you're doing. You don't want someone to become strong, unless he's your ally and you have nothing to fear from him and also don't plan on invading him nevertheless.

    Open Borders are neither demand nor beg btw., they're just a normal trade from both sides, and you should always agree with them, unless someone who is the worst enemy of several others asks you, because you cannot have Traderoutes without open Borders (except for very late when the UN is available) .

    You should have as little military as needed, so keep peace via diplo, and only guard cities that would suffer from too much :mad: if unguarded with a Warrior or Archer.

    Then once you got your desired military key-tech, whip / draft out as many units as needed to conquer your opponent or also as possible if playing for Domination / Conquest.

    Every unit above a certain limit costs you 1 :gold: , so don't build unnecessary military. Also don't have your troops standing around, except for the City Garrisons I talked of. Expensive units must conquer, otherwise, they're a waste of resources. If you get DoWed unexpectedly, whip a Walls in the city that gets attacked, this forces the AI to bombard the defenses down, which gives you enough time for reinforcements to arrive. Even if he attacks directly (because he has no units for bombardement) , retaking the city is better than to have spent xy(z) amounts on unnecessary unit maintenance.

    You're welcome :) .
     
  10. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    As you say, Civ4 is more complex than 5, and the bolded part isn't necessarily correct. Once you have the Sailing technology, all your cities are connected via rivers and coast, even without a continuous cultural border. However, inland cities that are not connected to others via rivers, still need to be connected with roads. It is enough to connect the city to a river, though.

    Looking through some of my recent screenshots, here is one such city (happens to be an AI city).



    This city isn't right next to a river, nor coastal, so it must be connected to the trade network with roads. In this example the roaded tile east of the city would suffice, as that connects the city to the river (assuming that river is connected to your other cities ofc).

    Founding cities next to a river (or freshwater lakes or oases) will get it fresh water btw, which means an additional 2 :health:. Not hugely important as happiness is usually a bigger problem than unhealth, but having cities riverside has trade network benefits too ofc.


    The main thing is to have fun, however, and learn the basics of the game. Food is King basically, so don't settle cities that don't have food (unless in special cases to grab a crucial resource). Improve the food first, then other resource tiles (gold, silver, ivory, and so on).

    Try to get a decent grasp of the tech tree. It looks daunting at first. Important things in the early game is to research what we call worker techs. You start with two. You need Farming to improve e.g. Corn, Fishing for Fish, Mining for Gold (and normal mines), Animal Husbandry for Pigs and Sheep (and it reveals Horses), and Hunting for Ivory and Deer.

    Furthermore you need Bronze Working to be able to chop forests and run the Slavery civic. This also reveals Copper, which allows you to build Axemen, often a crucial early unit. To chop jungle, like in the above screenshot, you need Iron Working. This also reveals Iron, allowing you to build Swordmen, and other later units.

    Sorry if this was too basic :o
     
  11. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Btw, one big difference between the games, if I recall the shortlived experience with 5 correctly, is that in Civ4 happiness and health is on a city by city status, not automatically empire-wide. This is where the trade network plays an important role, because for instance Gold will get you +1 :) in all cities right from the start. So you sort of have a mix between empire wide and per city happiness and health. Buildings and certain traits or civics can boost this further. For instance, a Forge means +2 :) from Gold instead of the default +1 :). This is on a per city basis, however, so you need a forge in every city to get +2 :) from Gold.

    Hopefully not too confusing :lol:
     
  12. Rhavanna

    Rhavanna Chieftain

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    Woot, another Civ4 player! I've got about 500 hours in civ5 and easily over a thousand on civ4. I think you've made the right choice. Civ5 was much improved with its expansions, but it is still very shallow by comparison. Civ4 keeps me coming back years later.

    Anyway, don't worry about the super specific hammer overflow you've got to manage to compete on diety. Focus on enjoying and learning the game for now! There's just so much you can do in civ4! Depending on your civics you can have drastically different empire structures and still compete with the AIs!

    1. So slavery is a cool (and sadly very necessary at higher difficulty) mechanic that lets you turn population into production. It is most useful early game or when cities are small. It turns I believe 1 population into 30 hammers. Since growing from size 2 to 3 happens very quickly, but growing from size 18 to 19 takes a long time, slavery is best used early on when you can easily regrow the population.

    I like to whip out settlers, workers, or very important buildings. Also units if I need to go to war. In the early game also, chances are you don't have a lot of happiness resources, so your cities will start to get unhappy at around 6 population anyway, so you'd might as well whip them down to keep everyone working until you get religion/temples/calendar resources up. Slavery is very powerful.

    2. So instead of a global happiness system, in civ4 every city you found requires a maintenance cost. This cost increases as you found more cities, and also increases the further away a city is from your capital. City maintenance requires gold, which forces you to turn some of your commerce into gold, decreasing your research capabilities. If you expand too much, you will not be able to research effectively using the slider.

    In general, expanding is very useful and necessary! If you see good city spot, grab it before the AI does! But if you spam too many cities early on, (and those cities are not yet producing much gold), you can bankrupt yourself. Working good commerce resources, (gold, gems, etc), and hooking up foreign trade routes can help you recover. Building coastal cities for water trade routes helps as well. Or, you can expand like crazy, and run a bunch of scientists in your cities for a while to help you research while you recover!

    3. The AI is... special. They will randomly roam around your territory for no rational reason. In general it's a decent idea to appease a powerful neighbor, as giving in can give you solid diplomatic bonuses and help maintain friendly relations. My biggest gripe with civ5 was that even after being BFF JILLS with another civ for 3000 years, they would 100% attack me if I was weak enough. This is not the case in civ4! You can maintain very friendly relations with other civs by trading together, fighting wars together, giving them help, or sharing religions/civics. These alliances can last through an entire game.

    4. You pay upkeep per military unit just like in civ5. So spamming a huge army and not using it is a silly way to waste gold. What type of game are you going for? Are you going to conquer a neighbor? Then spam an army! Are you just looking to defend yourself? Then focus on solid defensive units. Is Isabel next door and you don't share a religion with her? Prepare to get attacked!


    As far as roads go, they are needed to hook up inland cities that aren't on a river. Same with resources. You can see a little dock on some tiles or roads when they touch a river, which means that road or resource can then follow the river and make it back to your cities. Keep in mind there's no upkeep for roads in civ4, so by mid/late game you probably want to spam them everywhere so your units can move around quickly. There's nothing more frustrating than getting DoW'd unexpectedly and struggling to move an army to defend in time!

    So again, work on enjoying and learning the game for now! Don't worry about super complicated deity strats! Try picking a financial civ, spamming cottages, and running your cities with universal suffrage! Or try going state property and running an economy based on mills and workshops! Or go for a pacifist/philosophical strategy and run your economy with specialists! Maybe rush the great lighthouse and go crazy with coastal cities for that sweet sweet trade route commerce. There's just so much you can do in this game that every playthrough feels unique!
     
  13. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Welcome to the real Civ! ;)

    Yeah, Slavery is a pretty complex concept within the game, but also probably the most important and powerful feature of Civ IV. It will take quite some time playing - plus reading and discussing here - to grasp the nuances of how to use Slavery optimally and effectively. As mentioned, there's no need to dive headfirst into. Use it some now to get a feel for it, but I'd advise not just whipping every time you see the option available in a city. Best thing for now is to 2 or 3 pop whip workers and settlers (size 4 to 2 or size 6 to 3). Another option is whipping units while prepping for war in cities - generally as a 2 pop whip - but otherwise don't ...for now..don't just whip a military unit for the sake of whipping it. (Note: Whipping Wonders is not efficient so try to avoid unless for whatever reason you feel you would lose it, although that is probably not something you can gauge anyway at present)

    As mentioned, slavery is most efficient when cities are smaller due to the way food and growth works. There is a parallel to Civ V here, as cities in both games simply take longer to grow to next pop the bigger they are. However contrary to what some others have mentioned, it by no means precludes using slavery later in the game....mainly for fast armies. Some cities you may grow for just such a purpose. Regardless, the key is always having a least one good research city like your capital eventually growing large and providing a good bulk of your research needs (not that you don't whip your cap early while expanding or early rushing)

    with that said...Granary is hands down the most important building in the game (fairly important in V as well as food is very important in both games for different reasons) However, the IV granary works different than in V..equates more to the Aqueduct in V. The Granary's mechanics are key to using slavery and growth to turn food into hammers (production). In IV, Food = Production. In V, Food = Science.

    Roads actually are often required for trade routes and, depending on map/start, will often be your first means of connecting trade routes internally and/or externally. The major difference from V, other than the fact that resources do need to be connected by a road or river, is that roads don't cost maintenance. The issue here often found with newer players is that they will build roads everywhere they can early on. Problem with that is an important concept of worker management within the game. (worker management simply is less important in V) Worker turns are highly valuable in the early game and should not be wasted, so it is important to learn what the important actions workers should be doing first. Your first goal should almost always be bringing food online asap (in V it's always the luxes first), then head for mines/production or chopping. Road to connect your cities if needed for trade routes to boost commerce (gold/research) and hook up of a key strategic resource (copper/horses,etc.)...if needed. You don't even need to hook up a happy resource very early until you really need it as you will be whipping away pop generally.

    Anyway, as mentioned, enjoy yourself for now. IV is complex game that makes V look like Bejeweled, so prepare to have a lot of fun and to learn a lot with the game for a very long time...if you indeed like more complexity and pushing to higher levels. Some don't and that perfectly fine as well. You can have a lot of fun with the game playing on lower/mid levels without getting to into the finer points of the game.
     
  14. labellavienna

    labellavienna Warlord

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    Thank you so much for clarifying, no matter how much research I do I can't get a clear picture of how roads work. In civ 5 cities are connected by a triangle symbol below the name, in civ 4 it is 3 arrows in a triangle (or something)...both my cities are connected by a river...but when i open up the trade window...it doesn't show it? Here is an example:





    Why are they trading with France instead of their capitol??


    2) I know this is a weird question but when I try to google nothing comes up: Where the heck are my military unit's health bars? Is it that little green thing under their portrait? Because for some reason that stays green even when my units need to heal:



    Sorry for such noob questions, google can't seem to answer them for me!
     
  15. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

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    They are trading with France because you get more commerce from foreign trade routes. The trade routes will automatically adjust to give you the best yield, no need to worry about that.

    Health bars can be turned on in the options.
     
  16. labellavienna

    labellavienna Warlord

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    Thank you everyone for your help! <3
     
  17. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    Just quickly looked at the screens again:

    1. To get a resource, you must connect it with a road, the Iron and the Gold in the SW of the first screen show they're unconnected, don't know if this is on purpose.

    2. Build more Cottages. 50 :science: at 100% from your capital is incredibly bad, it should be more like 300-500 at that time. Farms give you growth, so production, Cottages give you :commerce: so :science: or :gold: . Specialize your capital fully on Cottages on the Grasslands, Mines on the resources and Windmills on the hills, that way you'll become a lot faster in research and have less economical troubles. If you hire 2 Scientists somewhere on top, and use the GS to create an Academy, all that's left is that you run Bureacracy as a Civic, and you've mastered one of the most important concepts of CIV.
    This may be detailed, but it's really worth the effort, it alone can probably make you jump two levels of difficulty on its own.
     
  18. labellavienna

    labellavienna Warlord

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    1) are you talking about the iron and gold by the coast? Or the gold next to the mountain. The ones on the coast i didn't have time to build a road yet...i wasn't sure if my priorities towards workers were to build roads or build tile improvements.

    2) See this is the dilemma...i never know when to build a farm or a cottage on a tile...usually it's a toss up and i just go with whatever i feel at the moment. thank you for pointing this out, i don't really understand how to hire scientists or how to "specialize" cottages....all new and helpful information. thank you!
     
  19. labellavienna

    labellavienna Warlord

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    " Build more Cottages. 50 at 100% from your capital is incredibly bad"

    Btw..could u please tell me how you got this information? I am still confused at how you found this lol. Thank you
     
  20. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    The first screenshot shows that you're making 40 :science: from the city (which is your capital as can be seen on the 2nd screen) at 80%. 40 at 80% is 50 at 100%. The screen also shows that you built all Farms. What Cottages really do unfortunately isn't well explained in CIV. It's enough for now if you understand, that most of your :science: or :gold: comes from them, and not from buildings. Buildings only multiply the :science: or :gold: from Cottages, but you need Cottages in first place to make the buildings useful.

    To hire scientists, you need to build a Library or run Caste System, then you find them at the right side of the city-screen.
     

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