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Advantages of marathon speed?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Learningciv, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Crusher1

    Crusher1 King

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    Fact-WIII scouts are superior to Battleships

    Fact-Battleships cannot pop huts

    Fact-Battleships cannot kill scouts

    Fact-Marathon is for noobs
     
  2. Phoenician

    Phoenician Tiberium Warrior

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    No, it's for people who actually want to enjoy the game and not just win for no apparent reason.

    Anyway, as to the OP's question.

    Advantages of marathon is that police state and organized religion become more powerful civics, your army doesn't go obsolete too fast, and you get the full flavor of every era.
     
  3. CoolGuyVic

    CoolGuyVic Chieftain

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    :lol::lol::lol:

    I love marathon :)
     
  4. Phoenician

    Phoenician Tiberium Warrior

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    yeah, let us marathoners unite against the non-marathoners and call them names and say they are playing 10 levels under a "normal" game just like they say to us.

    marathon fanboys/girls unite!
     
  5. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    I like this guy. Ruffling feathers :lol:. Good stuff, bro. Good stuff.

    If marathon is for "noobs" then call me a "noob". A most ridiculous word (and quite childish when you really think about it) but nonetheless fun to be called since I pay as much attention to what your saying as I did George W. Bush.

    ;)
     
  6. Aleph_Strategy

    Aleph_Strategy Chieftain

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    I've been reading all your helpful posts. As an Epic player, I recently played my first game on Marathon and I really enjoyed it! It's definatly the most fun (except the early game), especially for warmongering!
     
  7. FlyinJohnnyL

    FlyinJohnnyL You need more workers....

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    Hey I used to be a marathon player so I see no problem with it, but I enjoy the game more now playing normal and epic because it means I get to play more games and experience more map types, leaders, and traits because of that. I can get in a couple games a day on normal and epic. I'd spend up to a week playing a marathon game. That is some people's cup of tea, and that's great. But uh, how does NOT playing on marathon mean you win for no apparent reason? I still win by diplo, conquest, dom, and the OCCASIONAL cultural victory, although I rarely go for those.
     
  8. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    All those are necessary as well, but the draft is often the tool that delivers the goods better than any other military approach, given you are good enough at diplomacy, tech choices and empire management. I would argue that to make good use of the draft you need to plan for it from a very early point in the game. That is where my concept of whipping-draft cities comes in, they need to be founded in time to get the basic infrastructure in place for drafting as soon Nationhood is adopted. They can provide a decisive advantage and all they require is some scrap land usually left unused.
    There are other techniques that provide explosive growth in military power, especially those based around whipping, but I view those techniques as complimentary to drafting - I often advocate whipping and drafting together to expand the military. I often draft muskets; and if used offensively they certainly need the support of trebuchets or cannons to make any progress against longbows. But then as soon as Steel is researched (and you beeline it) your basic force need only consist of cannons, plus draft muskets and a few older troops. For a time all the normal production and whipping effort is put into cannons, meanwhile the draft muskets just consume 1 pop each cycle and they provide the backbone of the SoD and the garrison for the new cities. It's very much a combined production effort.
    :lol: I'm glad you found the fighters and carriers work well for intercontinental invasions. I've been using that tactic for a very long time, since Warlords at least and it has always worked well in every situation I've so far encountered. I enjoy the massive land-air-sea battles that can occur. Carriers are just so good at winning local sea and air superiority and from that you can land your invasion force and protect it with air strikes. The AI counterattackers will often wait and heal if you air strike them and that gives time for your land forces to become established.

    Hmmm, it is said that wars are won before they're declared; I agree and try to apply that to my games, both marathon and normal. The food:hammer conversion of drafting on marathon is a lot less attractive when you take into account the lower exp and greater unhappiness from drafting troops. On normal a rifle costs 110 hammers to build and the 1 pop used to draft would, if whipped with a forge, be worth 37 hammers; so that's 73 hammers saved by drafting or alternatively getting a rifle at 33% of its base cost. On marathon the corresponding figures are 220 hammers for normal production and 112 hammers for a 1 pop whip, only saving 108 hammers and the rifle effectively costs 51% of its base cost. It is still worth drafting on marathon but it is much less useful than on normal considering draft troops are weaker than whipped ones or those produced with workshops.

    That is to be contrasted with cost of upgrading a mace (for example) to a rifle; on normal the cost (140 gold) seems high compared to 260 gold on marathon. Given that there are 3 times as many turns to raise that gold, this is equivalent to a cost of 87 gold on normal or 62% of the cost. These are the reasons why military production is so different at the two game speeds, marathon gets much less benefit from drafting and much more from upgrading troops than the corresponding use on normal. Both are powerful techniques for leveraging military power that can change the game radically.

    Marathon is sufficiently different in many respects, not just warring and unit costs but diplomacy and events, that it should be treated as almost a different game from normal. Different games but with many similarities. It certainly "feels" like a different game to me with enough time to make use of a military or economic advantage when on normal I always feel hurried. Comparisons between the difficulties at each speed are largely meaningless.

    Perhaps marathon games should be kept separate from other speeds for the HoF? In fact there is strong case for having a HoF category for each of the 4 game speeds since they are all different from each other to some extent.
     
  9. Crusher1

    Crusher1 King

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    Fact-I played a Marathon game last night

    Fact-I shift moved my stack 12 spaces

    Fact-When I woke up this morning my stack had only moved 10 spaces.


    @OP

    Keep it simple. If you have the "time" to play a marathon game take advantage of your military. It doesn't matter if you are a builder or warmonger. Builders do better with more land so simply war your way to enough land to settle 12-20 cities then go in peace.
     
  10. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    With regards to drafting: isn't it better just to have 3 :hammers: cities that constantly build military and get full promotions rather than whipping/drafting away population and :mad: and getting 1 or no promotions with drafting?

    I always thought drafting was kinda useless because it gives more :mad: and kills your XP promotions.
     
  11. Crusher1

    Crusher1 King

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    Drafting and whipping from the rest of the cities produces units much much faster than 3 lonely cities in a short period of time. Drafting under the Protective trait is powerful. Raise your culture slider to 100% while your Draft/Whip an insane amount of troops (CRE shines with cheaper buildings) and let the happiness subside as you take over the world. FE works well here since you can still power research with scientist.

    I'm surprised you don't place a huge value on Drafting and Whipping because if my memory serves me correctly you play exclusively with a FE or FE hybrid. Both have scary success with the topic at hand.
     
  12. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I thought so as well, but then I played a game as the Ottomans, where I created a draft army of Janissaries, and it was pretty impressive.

    The key to drafting is you spread out your drafts. Set up properly, it can be great. You still need 1-2 military cities to crank out the Trebs/cannons, but drafting gave me a lot. I drafted in Theocracy, so each unit got 1 promo out the door. And since a barracks gives 2 happy faces, drafting really only gives you +1 :mad:.

    Playing epic, each city could draft once every 15 turns without stacking anger. My Globe city could draft roughly every turn to twice every 3 turns, and still stay at size 10 (ie. it could regrow in just under a turn). So basically that city drafted every turn, and my other 5-6 cities ended up drafting a unit each every 15 turns. So from that, I end up with about 20 or so units in 15 turns. My production cities ended up building some more Jans which could get the 2 promotions, as well as some cats and Trebs. All in all, I could probably get about 30-35 units in 15 turns throughout my empire, and that's really without diverting anything away from science. Had I optimized, cranked my culture slider up, and gone crazy, I could have had twice that many units.

    But the key to the draft army is that you get a lot of cheap units fast. Sure, they may only get one promotion each (instead of the 2), but you can get a lot of them. I was lucky that I even had extra happiness, so while I was drafting Janissaries, I had enough happiness to also be pretty regular with whipping trebuchets (and other Janissaries). And since they are cheap and weakly promoted, I didn't mind attacking with 60% odds. So even if it came out the door with 2 XP, after one win, he's now up to 5, which is what he would have started with had I built it outright. Sure, I'll lose 1/3 of them, but even with that, it's worth it.

    I wouldn't say drafting is right every game. But especially if you can get a draft army of a powerful unit (Janissary, Red Coats, Oromos), I think it's worth it to try. I wouldn't draft a normal musketman, but especially if you just got rifling in a normal game, you can immediately get 1 rifleman out of each of your cities. 10 rifleman right the turn or 2 after you get rifling can be a big boost to a military campaign.
     
  13. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    Ur right, I usually try to use a specialist/hammer/cottage hybrid heavy on the specialist (if the map serves me to that end). I guess I always figured that whipping/drafting away population and happiness would take away from my specialists and therefore ruin my research ability. But with the kind of economy that I run (whenever possible), I guess I could lower the :science: slider a bump or 2 and increase the :culture: slider.

    At this point, I'm still getting a handle on the whole idea of trading to tech parity (and eventual superiority). I'm still adjusting to Prince and the need to trade more with AI and get strong diplomatic allies.

    Thanks for the advice, though. I'll definitely look into drafting more openly.
     
  14. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    A well laid out argument for drafting :). Like you I spread my drafting out over time and distribute it to all but my largest cities and I agree with all you've written - apart from not drafting ordinary musketmen. Why ever not? they're not as good as janissaries, but if that is the best unit you have at that time, draft them. A musket drafted with Theocracy can be a CG1 defender or a strength 9 combat1 attacker. Now, I wouldn't build / whip an ordinary musket for 80 hammers when I could build a longbow for 50 hammers for a solid CG2 defender or a mace for 70 hammers as an attacker that can have CR2 out of the barracks. But the drafted musket only costs 37 hammers (assuming 1 pop whipped with forge) effectively and that makes it a bargain. Once you have access to cannons, if you're fighting against longbows it really doesn't matter too much what your attackers are and draft muskets are just as good as maces and they can defend your gains as well capture more. Muskets can perform either the role of longbows or maces depending on the promotion you choose and are a cheap and flexible troop type when drafted.

    I followed a similar path that you seem to be on. I started drafting mass riflemen in games and was pleased with the result, then as the Ottomans 30 drafted janissaries were wonderful and won the game. A game with Toku convinced me that drafted muskets with free promotions from Agressive and Protective are to be feared (probably the best muskets in the game and better than samurai) and I stayed in Nationhood the rest of the game drafting muskets, rifles and infantry to great effect. Then as Izzy with her amazing cannons (Citadel +5 exp) I needed troops fast to garrison the rapid gains and drafted muskets performed that role admirably and I graduated to the realisation that muskets are excellent troops providing they are cheap enough and before Rifling they're the best value there is.
     
  15. Crusher1

    Crusher1 King

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    @ Blitz

    You are definitely going to lose some beakers but you pick up a lot of production. Check out my last post in the current Monarch Student with Sitting Bull game and you can see it applied. I draft/whipped over 50 units in 100 years, from 1190ish to 1295ish.

    When comparing it to a cottage based economy the advantage is you already have a huge amount of troops about the same time they have just researched Democracy. After the draft and switch back to caste you fuel your research from your major cities while the others grow back and then contribute as they can.

    Sacrifice some beakers for much greater production and Land. I'm usually heading up Biology and Communism as I'm conquering new land so that I can grow quicker, run more specialist, and run SP asap, which is really a life saver with so many new cities.

    Hybrids can be a bit tricky with a FE because when you have a decent amount of cottages your production will suffer because you lack farms and mines. Then you end up in a situation where whipping and drafting provide a much weaker payback. Likewise, your cottages won't gain the benefits of US or rushbuy either. You'll be stuck somewhere in the middle with both ends of your hybrid offering mediocre results. Sure hybrids seem to be a necessity at some point in time, but if I can avoid them I will.
     
  16. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    Well, usually in my hybrids, I'm using cottages as both a booster for research (40-50% of :commerce: going to :science: with the slider), but also as a gold generator (30-40% going to :gold:).

    That's mid-game. In the late game (if I switch off of CS), only a limited # of specialists are providing :science: and :gold:. Hammers end up making up for the lack of CS specialists and some gold as well. Usually, my science slider only goes up 10% from what it was thanks to the partial :hammers: economy. Gold still coming in from cottages allowing for US rush buying.
     
  17. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I like to combine drafting with whipping on marathon. That solves the happiness problem if you have a 2 or 3 pop whip. Say you draft a rifle and whip a cannon for 3 pop in a size 12 city. That removes 4 pop and introduces 4 unhappiness. The city can regrow to its happiness cap and then stall growth with specialists until the unhappiness wears off (30 turns on marathon).

    When I build my cities I take account of the whipping and drafting unhappiness I'm likely to pick up later in the game and prioritize enough happiness buildings to counter it. For drafting to be effective you need a barracks and a state religion (for Theocracy) and together they will give 3 happiness under Nationhood. Then for the whipping of units to be effective a forge is a good investment and that usually adds 2 or 3 happiness with gold, or silver and gems.

    The other thing to notice is that drafting and whipping is better in smaller cities so don't let them grow too big, just work the good tiles and draft. Cities working weak coastal tiles, plains farms and grassland woods don't (usually) add as much to your overall economy as drafting those citizens away can. In my biggest and best cities I often don't draft as they're better at research or normal production but still get the benefit of +2 happiness from the barracks.

    I often found cities with main reason for their existance is to become whipping-draft cities once I get to that stage of the game. This becomes easy after Civil Service allows chain irrigation and junk cities can fill in between my main cities founded on the good resources. They only need 3 grasslands to farm. Also coastal cities with a single seafood make good sites. A good whipping-draft city needs a food surplus of 5 or 6 and little else. If they have good hammer resources or more food develop them as a normal city producing units or running specialists for GPPs and only draft occasionally. But if you have a city with +6 food and few hammers then they are excellent for this purpose and not much use for anything else. On marathon I'd aim to have the city producing a draft and 1 whip every 30 turns and keep that up for maybe 6 or 7 cycles. Size 6 or 7 is all they need. Then over 30 turns a food surplus of 5 can regrow from size 4 to 7 taking 42, 45 and 48 food with a small surplus. That enables a draft and a 2 pop whip plus a few specialist turns every 30 turn cycle, quite impressive for a bit of scrap land that is usually ignored.
     
  18. Crusher1

    Crusher1 King

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    Blitz,

    Yea, I can see where whipping and drafting would seem a bit confusing for you. A purer form of a FE with very few cottages works best because it isn't slider dependent and therefore happiness is a non issue and Farms regrow much better from whip/drafting cycles. Simply bump up the culture slider and you can whip draft as long as the food is there to regrow them. It also makes a smooth transition into a Hammer E or a FE/Hammer hybrid.

    Once you have biology tightly packed and overlapping cities can do wonders with 6-8 specialist or 6-8 draft/whipped units in a few short turns. I noticed you said you use US and rush buy? If you prefer the Democracy US route maybe a FE Hybrid isn't the best choice to follow?

    Edit:

    When I happen to be running a FE my :science: slider normally ranges from 0-20% and my :culture: slider usually ranges 0-30%. Of course when I get gold surplus that I don't have a specific plan for I run my :science: slider as high as possible. I'm mentioning this because slider use is not only more important in a FE but as we already know it also offers great versatility.
     
  19. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

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    I see. This is great! Founding cities just for whipping/drafting sounds a lot better to me than what I was picturing. By the time nationhood is researched, I've usually built up most of my cities to near their happy cap (if not right up to the happy cap) and have good tiles working along with specialists. So I'm hesitant to lose their population. Now I know to found cities specifically for that purpose! Awesome. Thanks.

    I don't follow the Democracy US route, but once the rest of the AI have researched it and are switching to Emancipation, I usually trade or research it. If I'm going for a domination win, I'll often drop my science slider low and use the :gold: to purchase units in my economy cities while my :hammers: cities still pump out units.
     
  20. Crusher1

    Crusher1 King

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    Gotcha ya.

    Myself, I'm either in Representation or PS. I don't find much use for cottages when Im playing with a FE. Matter of fact, captured cities with cottages - I destroy the cottages and replace them with some combination of farms and work shops :) and then they cycle between research or units. Ok, I might keep one or two good cities to help fuel some needed gold but the rest get bulldozed.
     

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