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Advice Needed: Puppeteering City Sprawl

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by doomdg, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. doomdg

    doomdg Chieftain

    Feb 17, 2011
    Hi all,

    This is my first post on the forums, I'm brand new to the civ franchise actually, but I'm huge on map based strat games, so it wasn't that hard for me to catch on.

    I've so far completed the following wins Cultural-Prince(Persia), Science-King(China), Domination-King(Mongolia). I know all these are the more OP civs, but I just wanted to have a much better idea of gameplay.

    Anyways, I was looking for new strats to explore and I stumbled upon this : http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread.php?98360-1-city-Puppeteering-Infinite-City-Sprawl-Strategy

    So obviously I tried this out. The difficulty is Prince with Japan(I know I know)..

    I started about 3 tiles near the sea with cows, spices and (3 squares)cotton nearby. I moved 1 square down(so I get cotton faster).

    My build was scout-warrior-worker(My plan was to take other cities XD)

    Around me were 2 militaristic CS(belgrade and budapest), Immediate neighbors are Catherine(Backstabbing ), Inca(Backstabbing jerk #1), German(Backstabbing jerk #2), USA(Backstabbing jerk #3). So warring is a must, the problem here is that Germany and USA are separated from me by a mountain, with a very narrow passage.

    Tech-wise I went pottery-calendar-writing-calendar-mining, so that I can get my spices and rush to stonehenge, my reasoning was that if I only want to have 1 city, I need to expand territory some way, and stonehenge expands borders like crazy.

    Onto the game, my initial warriors easily leveled up with the barbarians around, and I immediately became friendly with both CSs when they targeted the same encampments twice.

    Meanwhile I milked as much gold as possible by selling my luxuries and clearing encampments. Initially I planned to perform a timing attack on Catherine once I get access to swordsman, but she chose to denounce me instead, and I realized my nearest iron were in territories of the CS and in Russia.

    Around turn 65 I got 2 warriors from my 2 friends, enabling me immediately push towards Catherine, also I took warrior code 2nd(Stonehenge lets me tech policies SOOO fast) so I had a great general plus an archer I bought.

    I took 2 cities easily and coerced Catherine into giving me luxuries and a huge lumpsum, and all is well. Here I made my first mistake, there was an iron ore next to budapest and a natural wonder(slipped my mind which), at this point I was allies with Belgrade, which has iron, but they showed no signs of giving me those, so I thought I might have to take that ore before budapest does, I think this was a mistake, and I'd like some pro input on that.

    Anyway the incans started denouncing me and I managed to tech up to Samurai, I upgraded up to 4 samurais, 1 archer, 1 great general and a couple of horseman from my city states.

    At this point I already had discipline and I didn't want military caste, so I teched towards patronage, since I eventually want alot of maritime states to feed my puppets.

    I declared war on the incans after selling them all of my luxuries(he he), they were 1.5 eras behind and I easily took out everything, stopping to heal, their slingers were very annoying, but eventually made 3 of my samurai drill 3/march/blitz monsters. By the time I conquered incans I was in renaissance, I had philanthropy and scholasticism, and I thought I didn't want asceticism(which was a huge mistake IMO) and went into Rationalism.

    Anyway I was forced to stop and raze a few small cities inca had because my unhappiness was rather high. The samurais created 2 more great generals though, so I had a couple of golden ages and high income. I also thought I needed a coastal city to build frigates from. So once my happiness went to normal I declared war on catherine, taking all but 1 tiny city from her. Eventually I annexed moscow(after I got asceticism). This was where I realized how good asceticism was. Both stockholm and ragusa were very angry with me(allied with Russia and Inca respectively). But the next turn they immediately became neutral(20/60), and I immediately made them my allies, thus giving me 2 maritime states.

    Relations were getting sour with Bismark and Washington, and ottomans discovered me. Then I did something dumb, I accidentally traded 2 luxuries to Suleiman for a ton of gold, pushing me to -11 happiness, I didn't want to load, so I declared war :(

    As my happiness picked up I annexed Patakraylov(Russia's second capital) which had 6 population to start with XD. I bought a courthouse and a coliseum, and started work on some production facilities(harbor etc), in anticipation to building up a strong navy. So instead of 1 big production city, I had 3 now..

    I took a change of plans at this point of the game, and built a settler in kyoto, sending it to the top far right, where there were whales, fish and cows, this was to be my second naval city and will be used to bomb german/american cities and protect landing troops.

    At this point ottoman was at war on his continent, and he made a peace deal with me. But American and Germany joined forces(WTF?@!?) and declared war together. my scouting horseman realized Germany built a great wall, which I would LOVE to take for myself.

    The passageway between my empire and my opponents was a mountain valley that was 2 tiles wide, the initial units got massacred by my samurais and nothing else came. But germany chose to attack stockholm instead, which had pretty good tech, I thought about it and started giving it units from belgrade and belfast, meanwhile I thought I would position myself in stockholm and mount an assault on Germany.

    At this point I had to stop and saved.

    I apologize the wall of text, but I would like some advice on how I could do better.

  2. vexing

    vexing knows

    Dec 24, 2010
    you weren't following the strat of mass puppets. the point is to get massive income while maintaining very low social policy cost, you mention annexing a city and razing others (after puppeting i assume). you can raze a city when it gives you the inital option but after that you can only raze by annexing first, and annexing increases policy cost.

    other than that, i'd recommend you go do piety branch for theocracy, its -25% unhappiness from population will allow you to have a massive empire without happiness issues.
  3. doomdg

    doomdg Chieftain

    Feb 17, 2011
    Policy wise, I realize my mistake now, as for new cities, I was under the impression that I needed to get iron for samurais, and I needed a port city to build frigates.

    As for razing, the AI builds last min cities in an effort to not die, which only have 1/2 population and no buildings, so I just burn them since my happiness is taking a hit.
  4. ChuckVader

    ChuckVader Chieftain

    Jan 18, 2011
    I didn't realize it made a difference on your SP cost if you immediately raze a city vs razing it later. I thought the SP cost just went back down once the city is completely destroyed, but I admit I haven't been keeping track.

    If you raze a city but then stop the razing later, does your SP cost go up then?

    I've often held off on razing cities so I could use them for protecting and healing my units, I may need to change my strategy.
  5. vexing

    vexing knows

    Dec 24, 2010
    whenever you annex a city, even if it's just to raze it, your cost goes up. they changed it so the cost does not drop when the city goes away to nullify the exploit where you could just build up a massive empire, save policies, get rid of all your cities and get a near immediate culture win.

    it keeps track of the most non puppet cities you've had to calculate cost, ie if you annex one city to raze it, when it is done razing you can found another city or annex another city, and your post does not go up again.
  6. doomdg

    doomdg Chieftain

    Feb 17, 2011
    It is now turn 328.

    Last I left off USA, Germany DOWed me on the same turn, but the hard to attack geography made it hard for them to progress. They instead had to push on stockholm(located at the choke) instead of coming straight for me. As I slowly moved my samurais into the narrow ridge I gifted several steel swordsman and knights(courtesy of militaristic CS) to Stockholm, hoping they would hold the line.

    As I pushed germany back I lost a few units to America's reinforcements, and in the end I had 1 trebuchet, 1 Great General and 4 samurais left. All 4 having blitz and march, with 2 having medic. Nothing even came close to making a dent on them. I took 3 of Bismark's city until he decided to give me a peace treaty. I took it as I was very unhappy, but I rejected Washington's offer because I thought defensively I could take out his units one at a time and they trickled over.

    Things went relatively stable for a long time after, as I teched towards rifling, and tried to get my happiness under control. I managed to do so by trading one of germany's city to China for a ton of gold and silk. It was rather puny by the side, and I was pretty sure nothing would come out of it.

    Just as I completed rifling USA,Germany and Siam DOWed me on the same turn. With my happiness in positives and lots of gold saved up, I upgraded all my samurais to rifleman, I used a great scientist to get Replacable parts the next turn and upgraded all 4 again(almost bankrupting me).

    But it was well worth it, they were mauling everyone left and right, and with blitz they could easily destroy formations. There was a point in time where it went awry, when Siam landed 4 units from an allied CS behind my position, and they came into my territory in force. I brought my cannon back to defend, garrisoned in the city, where it was able to pick up the Logistics promotion. Allowing it to 2-shot elephants and 1-shot pikeman/musketman.

    I was happy to play a slow game, since I was era's ahead in tech, and I had a GE waiting to be blown on Oxford university so I could hit electricity.

    I took over Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, which had 6 wonders between them, including the Kremlin and Great Wall, which was all the better when I try to play passive aggressively.

    But bismark the sneaky managed to slip a couple of settlers and settled in the mountains in between my main empire and germany(i.e. at the ridge opening).

    So I have something like this in a chain

    My 15+ cities from russia and inca : germany's 3 cities : 6 cities I took over from Germany.

    I eventually moved some of my gifted units near them and started grinding XP off them.

    Meanwhile, I made an oxford with a GE and hit electricity, and all hell broke lose. I didn't realize blitz let you make MULTIPLE attacks. With FOUR movement on the mech infantry, I could attack FOUR TIMES, which was often times better than two. With siege upgrade, great general, policy bonus and bushido. Each mech infantry was more than capable to decimating a city on its own. Common sights of -(13-15) on cities to my -1 per attack soon resulted in the complete blowout of USA's minuteman(YUP, with FOUR movement I got to kill FOUR units).

    I took out Washington with relative ease, annexed 3 other cities, and razed LA. I gave him a peace treaty though, as it was getting a little too unhappy.

    With USA down and Siam not being a threat, I set my sights on the other continent, and started moving gifted units towards the shore, where I had my port city, and I would buy 1 frigate every 2 turns, trying to get up to naval superiority(or at least parity, since ships-of-the-line are samurais of the sea) in order to invade UK.

    After 5-6 turns of settling and getting Cultural Diplomacy, which is was a gamble at that time. I was fully ready to save and reload if it did not go well, but it turned out to be really good. As I had 5 different CS allies now, giving me 4 luxuries, this translated to 10 happiness directly, and more as I make more allies. Note this applies even if you already own the same luxury.

    Back to the game, with my massive income I started upgrading my frigates into destroyers, aiming to nuke london for long enough and send a few mech infantry up, and immediately take it out the next turn. What I didn't realize was how good ship-of-the-lines really are. 2 of them + cannon + city bombardment easily warded away my destroyers, and whichever pity troops I landed got decimated by the inland artillery.

    The good thing was rushing so many units bankrupted her, and her units were very unhappy. No longer able to pay off city states I became the ally of both florence and brussels, hoping they would conquer a city and weaken UK enough. I also started gifting them units from other CSs. They can't really seem to attack cities though, as they would park tanks by a city with no more health left :( and let them die.

    With my direct attack on london plan failed, I moved on to attack oxford, a smaller city by the side, out of range of bombardment, I took that out easily, and another city, using my imba destroyers with logistics and range+1.

    Back on mainland I managed to take out Siam's capital, and running him backrupt too, and buying over vietnam, oslo, hanoi, vienna and edinburg. I blew a couple of great people, when I got louvre and with the accelerated GG generation of samurai tanks. Each turn in golden age would net me almost 300 gold.

    Also educated elite gave me to great merchants, which I used to get almost 800 gold on average + alot of influence. I would suppose my continent to be well settled.

    As a I slowly mauled my way towards london I picked up satellite, just about when ottoman took out the entirety of india, and china was the buffer between england and Turkey.

    I rush bought my first battleship, sent an entire army across the sea, along with some obsolete knights/cavalry. This was because I took up military caste, which I realized was really good when all this CS keeps giving me units, essentially I would be using maintenance to gain happiness, a trade I'm willing to make any day.

    I completed my conquest in england, when I annexed 6 cities from elizabeth and gave her a break. To tech up and go head on with suleiman, which had quite the modern army.
    In fact, he completed manhatten project shortly I started on my nuclear missle. And I was generating over 600 science each turn.

    I also thought the AI was quite y, and would ask for very unreasonable peace treaties, like 6 luxuries for their 1, or 6 luxuries for open borders. Which I need to get from elizabeth in order to take out china.

    Main land I tech-switched from giant death robot to missile cruises, in an attempt to nuke ottoman out fast and dirty. Although with the amount of influence I hold I should have no issues with getting a UN victory.

    The time is now 6 am, and I started playing at 10pm. I'm going to class, and I'll see you guys next time.

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