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Adventures of a veteran newbie [Shadow Game]

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Matty R, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Matty R

    Matty R Veteran Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Bolton, England
    Hello :)

    I've put quite alot of hours into Civ 4 over the years, but I've always ended up modding things in my favour, eventually ending up getting bored of the game. However, despite spending all that time playing the game, I don't know much about the strategies invloved in various aspects of the civilization, and my knowledge of units and buildings isn't very good.

    Well now I'm starting again.

    I want to learn about tech paths, playing to my civ's/leader's strengths, specialising my cities etc. I'd very much like to use this thread to run a Shadow Game so I can get tips and advice. I'm approaching it as though I'm brand new to the game, so I basically need to learn everything. :crazyeye: I just hope the speed and difficulty don't put people off. I've never done this before, am very curious and inquisitive, so I'm sure we could have some interesting discussions. :)

    Something I've been prone to in my other games is stubbornesss and impatience, even though I only ever play at Marathon speed. I've tried the other speeds but didn't like them. I just have to rush through to the end and do as much as possible in the time I spend playing. This needs to stop.

    I hate overlap of BFCs, I ALWAYS settle on the first turn, and I have to put my main military production city next to water so I can put all of the military boosting wonders in it to let my naval units take advantage. I don't intend to stop these ideas.

    I've also been a very peace-orientated player, a buildaholic if you will. This is something I want to stop. I do tend to go for early Axe rushes to annihilate other civs, but I don't really fight in full-on wars, I just sit back and defend until I can sue for peace.

    This is how my game is set up:

    Version: Civ4 v1.74 + Warlords v2.13 + BTS v3.19 + BUG v4.4 + BULL v1.2
    Leader: Pacal II (Maya)
    Traits: Expansive, Financial
    Techs: Mysticism, Mining
    Unique Unit: Holkan (Spearman)
    Unique Building: Ballcourt (Colosseum)
    Map: Planet Generator
    # AI Civs: 9
    Difficulty: Settler (what?!?)
    Victories: Conquest, Domination, Cultural, Space Race
    Others: No Barbarians, No Tribal Villages, No Vassals

    Spoiler Game setup and Victories :





    Spoiler Starting Position :





    The first screenshot is the save. The city won't be there when the initial save is loaded. I was going to rename cities at some points, that's why the capital is called Yucatan and not Mutal. I'll just stick with the standard names to prevent any confusion.


    I'm going to settle in place, but I don't know what build order or tech path to use.

    Build order: Worker>Settler>Warrior>Worker>Warrior

    The worker can farm the Rice and start building roads to link up the Rice and Stone to the city while a Settler is built. Then the second city can be settled, a second Warrior can be built to defend the capital, a second Worker can be built to work in tandem with the first, then a third Warrior can be built to defend the second city.

    Tech order: Agriculture>The Wheel>Masonary>Bronze Working>Fishing

    I don't know whether I should go for Meditation first though, to found Buddhism. I was going to wait until Metal Casting was available to research, then go straight to Priesthood and build the Oracle to get it for free. I'll need Meditation for that, so I'm not sure whether to go for it first and found Buddhism in the process. I was thinking of going after Stonehenge to help pop the BFCs of my cities, especially seeing as I have access to Stone to double it's production speed.

    I also don't know what to do with the city. I was thinking of putting a Quarry on the Stone, mining the grass hill next to it, putting Lumbermills in the two forests to the far west of the city, farming the other tiles until the city has the 40:food: to get it's population to 20, then cottage the rest. Obviously I'll put Fishing Boats on the two seafood resources.

    I've been looking through the War Academy and other articles, but as I saw mentioned in another thread, playing along with other people may be the best way for me to learn.

    I'm going to be really patient about this game, taking the time to understand my options and plan ahead. I also intend to play this through to the end, win or lose. :)

    I'd really appreciate any tips and advice.

    Matty
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero Settler

    Joined:
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    Hey, my preferences are very similar to yours. I always play on Marathon and almost always settle in place, and I'm a peaceful builder unless I'm doing a rush.

    One possible build order would be to start building a worker while teching Fishing, then switching to a work boat (working the 3:hammers: tile). I often do this if I don't start with Fishing, but have seafood. The clams will have better yields than the rice (3 more :commerce:).

    If choosing the build order described above, obviously first tech would be Fishing. If not, Agriculture. Or Meditation, I suppose. Given that it's Settler difficulty, you could try Meditation as the second tech, too. You still have a good chance of founding Buddhism.

    I would go for Stonehenge - you have stone, forests, and hills. And again, it's Settler. Shouldn't take too much effort.

    Lumbermills? That's thinking very far ahead. You're going to let those tiles stay at 2:food: 1:hammers: until you get Replaceable Parts? Better to chop them early on and build cottages or workshops on them, IMO.

    Also, you can only build two farms before Civil Service (on the rice and 1E of the city). Even then, I'm not sure you could get to 40:food:...especially if you want to leave room for cottages.
     
  3. Sian

    Sian Emperor

    Joined:
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    Worker-> Change to Workboat when Fishing is in -> rest of Worker -> Warriors till size 3 -> Settler spam

    techs should be

    Fishing -> Bronzeworking -> Argiculture ... or somthing like that
     
  4. Matty R

    Matty R Veteran Newbie

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    Location:
    Bolton, England
    Thanks for the replies. :)

    For the build order, I'll go Worker until Fishing is done > Fishing Boat > rest of the Worker > Fishing Boat > Warriors to city size 3 > Settlers. I'll probably go Settler > Worker > Settler etc.

    For tech order, I'll go Fishing > Meditation. Then I'll need to see how my research is going. I don't want to settle my second city until I've revealed Copper, so after Meditation I'll either go Masonry > Bronze Working, or Bronze Working > Masonry.

    The thing with founding Buddhism is that I'm thinking of expansion. If I can get Buddhism, I'll be able to add culture and happiness to my cities using Temples, and if I can get Stonehenge, I'll start generating points towards a Great Prophet. That will let me build the Buddhist special building thingy, thus generating gold to fuel more expansion.

    I know this is only Settler difficulty, but I'm trying to get into good practise. :)

    This is something else I've been prone to. If I hadn't started this thread, I would have gone ahead and left those two tiles until Replaceable Parts. I'll put Workshops in.

    Food-wise, I'm just getting confused. By my calcumulations, a Lighthouse would add 9:food:, the two Workshops would remove 1:food: each, and I'm not sure how much extra :food: I'd get from the Rice and two Clams. Oh, and a Farm would add a bit more :food:.

    As long as I can get 40:food: at some point, to work all tiles, I'll be happy. :)

    I've played this way since 2007. I originally experimented with game speeds but quickly settled on Marathon, and I've never liked wasting that first turn of research and building. I have become more warlike in recent games though. :mischief:
     
  5. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    I'm not sure how much you can learn from a game at Settler difficulty. You'll rapidly outstrip the AIs in every way due to production and tech advantages, and playing with no barbs will make that even easier. You'd be better off playing at Noble or Prince with barbarians, so that mistakes actually cost you something and the AIs have a chance to be a problem.
     
  6. Matty R

    Matty R Veteran Newbie

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    I've been giving my build order second thoughts. How about this:

    Worker until Fishing is done > Fishing Boat (Clams) > rest of the Worker > Fishing Boat (Clams) > Fishing Boat (coastal exploration) > Warriors to city size 3 > Settlers > Stonehenge (after Stone is connected)

    I'll use my first Warrior for exploration straight away, and I can use the third Fishing Boat to scout for a decent coastal production city.

    Does this seem okay? :)

    I'm using this game to learn about the empire managment systems, the options available to me and also to get experience with the various units and buildings. When I get comfortable with all this, I'll start moving up in difficulty. My aim is to get efficient enough to win almost any game at Noble from any start, with Random Personalities active. :)

    I'm glad you mentioned that about tech advantages. I completely forgot that I get free techs below Noble difficulty. I thought I only had Mining and Mysticism, but I've also got The Wheel and Agriculture.

    I noticed I made a mistake aswell. I'd get Monastaries from Meditation, but atleast I'd be closer to Priesthood and would have, hopefully, founded Buddhism.

    *** UPDATE ***

    I've spent some time playing, and am already overwhelmed with the paths I could take.

    I've scouted around my starting position and found what looks like an excellent spot to settle my (coastal) main military production city. I've also met Mao Zedong just a little further away from my capital.

    I've teched Iron Working and discovered Iron in my captal's BFC, so I'm going to get my 2 Workers on that to link it up. Espionage shows that Mao Zedong is currently teching Bronze Working, so I think I might rush him with Swordsmen once I get that production city settled, with Barracks. My capital is currently working on Stonhenge, and then it will work on the Settler for that city.

    I've got a second Warrior scouting (automated) while I control the other Warrior and the Workers myself. In my travels so far, I've realised I'm on a decent sized continent, but I've only discovered 2 other civs so far.

    I'm currently teching Priesthood to get the Oracle for free Metal Casting, then I'll put a Forge in the production city and build The Colossus. That will be after Mao Zedong's annihilation. He has 3 Clams in his capital's BFC, so I'll probably capture it for myself. I don't intend to go for all of the wonders. :D With Priesthood done, I may go for Sailing to get access to Lighthouses.

    I went Fishing first then Meditation, and still founded Buddhism. I waited to convert to it until I had Slavery, so I could get all of the anarchy over in one go. I've whipped a couple of times in my capital. I've never used Slavery before, but I already love it. This could have made my previous games so much better. Ah well. :rolleyes:

    I'll leave it there to wait, in hope, for feedback. :)
     

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  7. barbertje

    barbertje Prince

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    Your production city has no food. This means it will grow very slowly, and it will be impossible to wor more than a few grassland forests and 2 grassland hills. Every city needs at least one food source, every foodsource needs a city.
     
  8. pollock

    pollock Warlord

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    I agree need atleast 1 food resource in any early cities. Your capital is size 1 and not growing. Think needed to grow it bigger earlier so could work those improved clam tiles. :)

    West near the cows and rice looks like a decent place.

    North does get two resources and would be a fine commerce city but the lack of trees for early chopping means i wouldnt settle it yet. Maybe as a third city.

    In all honestly id put a city very slightly west and leech clams rice and iron from capital for a bit. Then chop chop and expand like a beast :scan:

    I literally have never gone for stonehenge so i dont know if have time to grow a before finshing it. Id use both workers for immediate chopping. Until it finished. Build some miltary as grow too work all special improved tiles . To size 3/4. Then settler/worker/miltary spam. :king:
     
  9. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    I agree. I haven't looked at the game at all because levels < noble really don't teach the player much.
     
  10. pollock

    pollock Warlord

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    I played for a bit :) . It was very strange playing on settler marathon cause i tend to play on immortal/diety normal hehe.

    Plan was pretty much to spam workers/settlers and swordsmen for a bit to get alot of production out of the chopping of forest. Then catapults and then take over the world :cool:.
    Trying to get all special resources improved and worked is key to early game. With lots of chopping and slavery sacrificing :)
     

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  11. Matty R

    Matty R Veteran Newbie

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    I see what you mean now. I used to edit out most of the advantages that came from pre-Noble difficulties, so I'd really just be dealing with AI and economy differences. If I'd remembered about the free techs, I doubt I would have played before Noble.

    I'll play this game a little bit longer, maybe without another update, then start a Noble game. :)

    I doubt I'll run it as a shadow game though. No need for that kind of embarrassment. :D

    I was thinking of still playing without Vassals and Goody Huts, but enabling barbarians and getting The Great Wall VERY quickly. I did once have a good game chasing barbarian Archers away from my farms with Greek Phalanx though.

    I've been looking at putting the production city two tiles north of where the dotmap is. That would give me Fish. With a Lighthouse and a couple of farms, I should be able to get 41:food:. I have a feeling there's a resource on that tile though.

    I'm used to playing with all bonuses revealed at the start, after too many instances of settling on Gold/Silver/Aluminium. Is there any way to predict possible locations of unrevealed resources?

    I put the dotmap on that northern city as a reminder for later on. I was contemplating putting the Moai Statues there. Would that have been worthwhile?

    I'm already regretting going for Stonehenge. I should have just founded Buddhism then used Monastaries to pop city borders.

    I really need more practice, and I need to get my **** kicked a few times to break my stubborness. :crazyeye:

    I've already made a few mistakes. I was going to follow what Sian said, building Warriors while I grow the capital to 3, but I ended up Whipping a Worker and Fishing Boat. I enjoyed that too much. :blush:

    You normally play at the highest difficulties? Am I even allowed to be on the same internet as you? :confused:

    Even though the game is still at the beginning, I'm already feeling overwhelmed and getting confused. I normally would have put Barracks in my capital by now, so I've already learnt something. I wanted to get my production city up and running, build a Granary and Barracks, then spam military units for a while. I was already planning the domination of my continent by going for Trebuchets as soon as I could.

    I think I need to feel less ... threatened.
     
  12. pollock

    pollock Warlord

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    Barracks is a good idea. Just went for warriors cause didnt know if barbs were on :). Settlers and workers do take priority early game over most buildings once safety is ensured ofcourse :) .
    Getting away from a love of buildings and wonders is a good idea. Playing a game when only allowed to build granary, monument, barracks and odd libary is interesting hehe. Itll teach you to roll over your enemys with military and weight of units :).
    good luck! :cool:
     
  13. Matty R

    Matty R Veteran Newbie

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    Well, I gave up on the Settler game, and have since started a Noble game. Oh how I hate Barbaraians. There's a tile of particularly tasty Clams they keep going after. :cry:

    I've actually got better at the game from playing that short Settler game. I'm not wonderwhoring, though I do have The Great Wall, Oracle and The Hanging Gardens, along with The Great Lighthouse that Frederick completed just before I took the city he built it in. :D

    I'm getting better with the buildings aswell, but what should I do when I'm left with buildings that won't be much use in a particular city and I want to grow that city? My military cost has crippled my research. Okay, maybe not crippled, but I've been having to keep the research slider at 40 or 50%.

    I've been putting a Granary, Aqueduct, Ball Court, Buddhist Temple and Buddhist Monastary in every city, with Lighthouses where applicable. I have two production cities: one built almost my entire military while the other (my main production city) built wonders.

    Should there be a library in every city?

    I've found the game to be a bit messy, so I'm trying to calm down a bit and plan more.

    I've attached a save if anyone is interested. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  14. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    Gold and Silver are always visible from the start, though it is possible for an Event to spawn them under a city. If you settle in place, your capital should never be on a special resource. Other than that, it is always possible to settle directly on Horses/Copper/Iron/Oil/Uranium/Aluminum before the resource is revealed. There's not much you can do about that, but in all honesty I think part of the challenge of the game is not knowing where those resources will be until they are revealed. Settling directly on key strategic resources like Oil is also sometimes useful, since then the AIs can't sabotage your improvements on that tile with Espionage.
     
  15. drlake

    drlake Emperor

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    First, the research slider position isn't what is important, how many beakers per turn you generate is the key. That will vary somewhat by where you are in the game and what you are doing, so there isn't a handy guide I can give you. However, don't have every city constantly producing either buildings or units. There are times when most of my cities are producing Wealth, or if I don't have Currency yet (but have Alphabet) they are producing Research. Those are both frequently better options than a building that won't provide you any real benefit or a unit you don't need.

    Second, you'll develop a feel for what to build in your cities, but here are some of my "rules":

    Every city should have a granary.
    Cities only get Aqueducts when they need the health, which can be quite late in the game depending.
    Cities only get a Ball Court when they need the happiness.
    Cities only get Temples when they need the happiness and culture, except if it is the Apostolic Palace religion (every city gets that one), or is in the state religion with certain wonders like the University of Sankore and Sistine Chapel.
    Cities only get Monasteries when they are my top research cities, I need the culture in that city, it is the AP religion, or is otherwise boosted by wonders as above.
    Every coastal city will eventually get a lighthouse and harbor.
    Virtually every city will eventually have a Forge, but generally not until they'll get 4-5 more production out of it.
    Virtually every city will eventually have a Library, but in the early stages of the game they only go where I have decent base commerce, can run specialists, and need culture.

    As for the mess, get used to it. I'm struggling with going to Emperor right now, and one of my main problems is the tendency to get distracted from my plan (such as it is) by new opportunities. You can afford to be somewhat scattered at Noble, but as you go up from there focus becomes more and more important.

    I hope this helps.
     
  16. pollock

    pollock Warlord

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    Nice game :)
    Where are the enemys tho ? I think you should play on a smaller map with more contact with foes. You'll have no idea how your doing until contact some ai players. Spamming river citys with cottages is a decent way to continue with expansion.
    Id advise playing on small maps :). These days i play on standard sized immortal difficulty games. I tend to quit when hit the top on score hehe cause i love the simpler beginning and not so much the chaos of latter :)
     
  17. mabalogna

    mabalogna Warlord

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    I'm new to the forum, and have been a Noble level player for years, so I know what you're going through; my leap from Warlord to Nobel was hard for me to get used to.

    My first reaction to your game is that you've got to much going on all at once, and it's overwhelming you. You're trying to wonder race, warmonger, develop your cities, and expand all at once. You've got to stop playing this session, start a new one, and get back to the basics. Work on your early game so that by 1AD you're already on your way to victory.

    I think you need to start a new session, post the 4000BC start location and go from there. Try and avoid island maps, because isolation starts present a whole different world of challenge at higher levels, and its much better to start next to other civs so you can get to learning the finer points of warmongering, and trading (diplo).

    As it stands, I think you've taken too long to settle the whole island (probably from warmongering/wonder-whoring), and when you eventually meet the other continent, you'll be behind in tech because you'll be trying to finish expansion.
     
  18. Matty R

    Matty R Veteran Newbie

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    I meant Uranium/Aluminium. I don't know why I put Gold/Silver. :confused:

    It's this kind of discipline that I need to work with. It makes so much sense, even to someone like me with little experience in efficient empire management. I'm going to follow your rules, and yes, you have helped. :)

    I know exactly what you mean about getting distracted. I've started using that dotmapping utility and the caption system alot more, so I can take atleast something from my thoughts.

    Yep. I know. I'm isolated. :( I met Frederick before I completed my first tech, so at first I assumed I was on crowded continent. I'm a bit disappointed to find myself alone, with the exception of the clam thieves. :mad:

    I enjoyed whipping alot in the settler game, and now I seem to be quite good at extortion. I managed to get three techs out of Frederick in exchange for Peace Treaties, then cancelled them at the first opportunity and went after him again. Maybe I've got a bright future as a politician. :rolleyes:

    I've got a Caravel carrying a Buddhist Missionary venturing into the unknown, with a second not far off. The Demographics worries me, especially the bit with the soldiers. I bet one of the main warmongers is in this game.

    I'll move down a map size for my next game, maybe playing a Pangea map. There was a time when those were the only map scripts I'd play.

    I don't ever expect to reach Immortal, but I would like to handle the difficulty a couple of notches above Noble.

    Hi. :) Welcome to CivFanatics.

    You've described what I've been wondering myself: whether I've been doing too much. I realise now that I should have got more Settlers and Workers out early on, and then started building my military for war.

    I think my main problem with how I play, in general, is that I try to do a bit of everything at the same time, instead of focusing my efforts into few goals.

    I'll keep playing until I've met all of the other civs, and then I'll decide what to do. :)

    Thanks for the advice. :)
     

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