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Advice on Noble game? Victoria/Noble/Continents/Standard/Normal

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by GGracchus, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    @GG: Any chance of a save please? It'll make it easier to offer advice. :)

    @AR: That’s a nicely focussed turn set...you picked the wonder you wanted, chopped it out and didn’t go for any superfluous builds. :goodjob: I think you’re right too about the fish / corn / gold site; based on the land we can see, it’s probably the best available candidate for a GP farm. (Don't worry GG, there are other options. :)) And I think you’re right about astro too...are you sure you're a noble player? You have very good insight. :)
     
  2. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    Sorry, here's the save
    FTR, 3.19 BTS, no mods(I plan on trying to install BAT/BUG)
     

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  3. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    @GG: Took a quick look at your save and there are a few things that really stand out. Firstly, you have a great tech rate – the demographics screen tells me that you’re #1 in GNP and you’ve a healthy tech lead over Izzy. :goodjob: You’ve also settled a few good city sites and are growing your cities.

    However, there are a few things you could be doing that would really help your game. Firstly, you’re still working unimproved tiles in alot of cities. This is because you only have six workers. You’re even working unimproved clam tiles when you have fishing as a tech. Therefore, the first and most important order of business IMHO is to build / whip more workers and some workboats for those clams. Remember the mantra: at least 1.5 workers per city, 2 per city if in the jungle. As I mentioned earlier, the sooner you start building workers whenever you find you’re about to work an unimproved tile, the sooner you start dominating noble. The secret’s really as simple as that. :)

    Your cities have oodles of infrastructure in them but much of it isn’t providing you a huge benefit right now. (Take a look at how much your courthouses are saving you as an example – and ask yourself if all the hammers it took to build them could have been better spent building something else.) With this in mind, looking at the demographics screen tells me that you have the smallest army of the 7 players on this map. This matters because, although Isabella is pleased with you, there is a slight possibility that she will DoW you. So the next order of business IMHO is to build some troops. Only when Izzy becomes friendly with you can you be sure that she will not DoW you. Talking of Izzy, how about you use one of your military units to scout her out? Remember, exploration is key.

    I notice that you were given a quest – have you any plans to complete it? If so, what are your plans for your tech path? I notice that Izzy already has axes – do you want to be teching to something like maces and trebs or catas to DoW her? Or do you want to tech more peacefully? In either case, you have a number of cities which would grow if you could farm a few grassland tiles that don’t have access to fresh water. As a result, you’d benefit hugely IMHO from teching civil service here. Of course, now that you see that you’re isolated with Izzy, getting astronomy so you can trade with other AI is also a big deal. You can make a case for both tech paths, but note that going civil service makes bulbing astronomy harder. However, because civil service will allow you to farm tiles and grow your cities, it’s probably what I would go for next – and then perhaps look to pick up astronomy from liberalism.

    Talking of bulbing techs, IMHO, you want to be looking to run two types of specialists right now: (i) scientists to speed up your research (and compensate for the lack of tech trading you can do in semi-isolation); they can also bulb techs along the path to liberalism (which you can do with your current scientist, or maybe settle him for an academy) and (ii) a priest – to give you a chance of popping a great prophet so you can put a shrine into your Confucian Holy city for some gold. Reassign those specialists accordingly.

    Look forward to seeing how you go. :)
     
  4. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    @learner gamer
    My one true flaw: I seem to always have the smallest army...unless i'm going for diplomation or domination
    Hoping Izzy wouldn't declare at pleased, cause I plan on doing a peaceful space race...unless I use tanks to kill her and then win space.
    Definitely CS next...followed by...maybe Music-Optics-Lib for Astronomy? Or should I screw Music and just grab Astronomy ASAP? Definitely chop out/whip out workers in my core cities, start improving everything.
    Don't remember the quest, so no, I don't.
    I've picked up one major piece of advice: In the early game, generally screw infrastructure and pump out workers/settlers
     
  5. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Update to 700BC (although I’ve played further):

    @GG: Note Izzy is dead in this save, so you may want to avert your gaze until you’ve explored your landmass.

    Spoiler :
    Initial plan was to simply REx and block off Izzy whilst building the ‘mids, having gotten the other early stone wonders. However, all that changed when my warrior scouting in her borders revealed that she was still defending with warriors, d’oh! As a result, I faced two choices: (i) continue the REx or (ii) kill her. So I hit upon a (not so as it turned out) cunning plan – hope that Izzy founds a religion (which she tends do try and do), hope that my first GP would be a prophet from Stonehnge (which the odds favoured), kill Izzy and build the holy shrine for the religion she founded.

    With this in mind, I whipped in a few axes whilst my warrior contined to scout her out to check if she was building archers. This was necessary since I didn’t build a barracks for the axes – and so I probably would’ve abandoned any rush (and used the axes as fogbusters) if Izzy had built archers. When (i) I still saw no archers and (ii) Izzy finished The Oracle, I hoped she’d take CoL and found Confucianism. As a result, I DoW’d shortly afterwards in 875BC. Unfortunately however, Izzy didn’t choose CoL as the free tech – so I went on to start self researching CoL instead. A few turns later Izzy was gone though, her warriors no match for my axes. The value of exploration to ascertain her defences was proven once again.

    Although Izzy is no more, I said the plan though was not so cunning: the reason being that I subsequently (unexpectedly) popped a GSpy rather than a GProphet. Of course, the GSpy would therefore have been able to steal techs from Izzy had she lived. Oh well...so I settled the GSpy and, now that the ‘mids have been built, will at least get the beaker bonus under representation. The plan now is to cottage and library up, explore and settle the rest of the island.


    @GG: Do really need music? You have stone, so you can get more than enough wonders and GPs IMHO for golden ages. IMHO, liberalism and astro are far better techs for you to pursue. Although you’ll doubtless find the artist handy (and may use the fact you can settle the artist under representation to justify a detour to music), ask beforehand: how do his / her benefits compare with extra trade routes and resource trade that astro offers.
     

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  6. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    Nice rush there learner:goodjob: Can't believe Izzy still was defending with warriors...maybe I should have scouted out the AI's land. Another useful tip!
     
  7. Anomander Rake

    Anomander Rake Warlord

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    I didn't have time to play much yesterday PM - will do another turnset later
     
  8. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    Update: I've played to 1180 AD.
    Spoiler :
    As per suggestion, I put London on mass producing archers and putting them in Nottingham, I've got 13. Try and break through that, Izzy, I dare you.:lol:

    I am and have been teching really fast, easily outpacing Izzy and the rest of the world.
    860 AD: I'm the largest civ in the world...ok...

    Beelined Optics after CS, now going after Liberalism. Finally met all our neighbors in 1100 AD, with 2 caravels. Crap diplomacy with Freddy and Justinian, so I need to explore their land.

    I'm totally owning in the Lib race, as far as I know nobody has paper yet.

    What should I do? Should I backfill techs and attempt to grab something awesome, or should I just grab a tech?





     
  9. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    @GGracchus: Nice turnset by the looks of it. Well done on getting to liberalism with what looks like a nice tech lead. :goodjob: FWIW, I’d recommend taking astronomy with liberalism here – assuming that (i) your relations with overseas AI are good enough to OB with them and (ii) you won’t overly annoy anyone by OB with an overseas AI. If OB overseas is going to be very complicated, by all means consider grabbing another tech (although be aware that astro’s observatories are pretty nice buildings anyway) – just keep an eye on when the AI get education and then finish off liberalism. It’s difficult to give specific advice because your tech path likely depends on (i) what your chosen victory path is – (eg. military techs if you plan on going to war, others if you plan on playing peacefully eg. space as you mentioned) and (ii) your diplo situation (which I don’t see any screenies detailing). BTW, although you mention having built archers to dissuade Izzy DoWing, remember that Izzy will not DoW you if you can get her to friendly.

    Talking of your status with the AI, what do the other AI that you’ve met (which I’ve also done in my shadow that I’ll post tomorrow) think of you? The reason I ask is that Mao, Mehmed and Gilgamesh (and Justinian to some extent) are all pre-disposed not to like Vicky too much. By contrast, Freddy and Izzy are pre-disposed to like Vicky. Of course, this can change in any game due to factors such as religion spread (which is probably why Fred and Justinian hate you) – but what do the other AI think of you...and have a think about how you might plan to deal with a DoW from them in the post-astronomy era – and how that influences your tech path. For instance, do you need a navy capable of destroying their ships before they arrive, or do you plan to consider a defence pact? In thinking of these things, be aware too that there is a small chance that Mao and Gilgamesh (as well as Izzy) can DoW you even if they’re pleased with you. IMHO, if you can manage your diplo situation here, you’re well on your way to winning your game.

    BTW: A brilliant reference guide that provides all this handy information about the AI is here, if you want to read it:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=236346

    Look forward to seeing how you go. :)
     
  10. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    Most of the AI's are cautious (with the exception of Izzy, who's pleased). I think either Justy or Freddy are annoyed and I think another AI is as well. Here's my current save, 1180 AD.
     

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  11. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Thanks for the save.

    OK diplo has spread pretty much as would be expected given these AI. Mao, Mehmed and Gilgamesh are all pre-disposed to like each other and their shared religion cements it. They may prove a tough bloc later in the game. Fred and Justinian won’t exactly like each other – and their opposing religions makes them dislike each other even more. That they both dislike you is because you have traded with them both.

    FWIW, I’d expect Justinian and Fred to go to war at some point, likely against each other but Fred could target you. The winner of that war could then go on to target you, assuming you stay Hindu. Meanwhile the Taoist bloc will likely blissfully co-operate with each other.

    Ideally, I’d say you want free religion here to ease religious tension with everyone, but your problem is that’ll likely drop Izzy to cautious – and you still have very little military to speak of. If I were playing from that save, I’d actually be looking to tech to cannons or rifles and take Izzy out, then revert to free religion and tech to space (assuming that’s how you still want to win). However, your ability to do that depends in no small part on (i) what tech you decide to take with liberalism and (ii) whether your next GP is a GS (who could help bulb a tech on the way to rifling or steel) – but you’re still running a GSpy, despite my earlier point about running scientists. As an alternative (or maybe also somewhat in part), I’d consider closing borders with Fred and Justinian until I got free religion and – if I took astro from lib - benefit from overseas trade routes with the Taoist bloc. I’ll leave the choice to you.

    Other things you may also want to look at BTW are:

    (i) You’re still working unimproved tiles :mad: As I've mentioned twice previously, if you want to enjoy the feeling of dominating noble and higher levels, you need to address this tendency.
    (ii) You have workers building roads whilst cities are working unimproved tiles – why?
    (iii) Some of your cities are unhappy and / or unhealthy – consider whipping in some infra and / or resource trades.
    (iv) We talked earlier about growing cities and the need for farms to do that – especially in the capital. Yet you’re cottaging the capital, preventing it from growing.

    Hope to see some of these things – and the others like specialists - addressed in the next save. The good news is that I can see universities going down for Oxford...now that is infra worth building. :)
     
  12. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    I've tried to fix some of the things that learner gamer suggested, let's see how my attempts hold up to his scrutiny.
    Played to 1700 AD
    Spoiler :

    I decided to kill Izzy with Redcoats and Cannons, so I teched Engineering-Gunpowder-Chemistry-Lib(took steel)

    -beelined for Rifling.
    At that point, I started massing cannons and redcoats.
    In 1595, grr...

    Gilgamesh declared a few turns later as well, Mehmed didn't declare.
    Mao landed 1 SOD, mainly catapults. Not really an SOD, more like a SOF(Stack of Failure)

    Easily defeated with my SOD massing in London
    Few turns later, he sues for peace and gives me money for killing 2 Cho-ko-nu, a Knight, and a few Cats.

    Gilgamesh hasn't sent anything over yet, but I'm ready.


    I've continued teching and building up troops in the two cities. Here's the situation:









     

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  13. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Much better! :clap::clap::clap:

    I'll have more to say tomorrow, but for now two things stand out:

    (i) Is it worthwhile asking Izzy if she'll join the war against Gilgamesh? She is your friend, so you may not even need to offer her techs to join you.
    (ii) How about building some frigates in your coastal cities, so if anyone shows up in galleons (now that most seem to have astro), you can kill all their soldiers and their ships before they even land on your shores.
     
  14. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    I was planning to kill Izzy, but that may not be necessary as she is friendly and I've got a good tech lead over everybody. I'll see if I can bribe Izzy into declaring, probably stop Redcoat production and turn my cities over into building more infrastructure, and flip civics while building drydock in Cantenbury and putting out some frigates and privateers to patrol the seas.
     
  15. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    @GG: Ok took another look and have a few pointers for you. :)

    Firstly, well done on correcting some of the things in the earlier save – I’m glad to see in particular that you’ve managed to avoid working unimproved tiles. :goodjob: Many apologies BTW if I sounded harsh earlier. As you’ll hopefully see from my shadow (posted to 1000 AD), working improved tiles can really make your empire grow larger, tech faster and produce more.

    Having looked at your cities, the other issue you now need to look at is that a number of them are operating at well below their happy and health caps. One of the keys to getting better at Civ IMHO is, where possible, to try and grow (and / or accumulate whip weariness if you’re trying to whip an army together pronto on the higher levels) your cities as close as possible to their happy and health caps. Admittedly, this is not something that should be done all the time – it depends on the quality of the tile that the city is growing onto for instance. However, this is actually why we discussed the concept of food surpluses and deficits earlier – so that you know how many farms to build in each city to keep it growing – and working more tiles. Now that you have mature cottages in some cities, you may not want to farm over them all to grow your cities; so as an alternative, consider windmilling over a few mines, now that you have replaceable parts.

    The second point is that you have a couple of resource trades you could do (eg. with Izzy) that would net you gold and deer. How about offering her ivory in exchange, now that she’s friendly with you and can’t DoW you? Talking of Izzy, now that she’s friendly with you, do you really need all those trrops in your cities near her borders – or would they be better placed in / near your coastal cities in case Gilgamesh comes calling?

    As I see it, you’re in a great tech position – are you thinking of assembly line next for factories? If so, you might want to use some of your gold to help speed up research. Although infantry would be nice to have BTW, your redcoats should do OK yet, given their bonuses against gunpowder units.

    Your tech position also means you're in a great position to tech to space if you want. Assuming you maintain defences (especially against the Taoists who will likely continue to work as a team IMHO), the main challenges that I can see at this stage involve the Taoist bloc. It might be possible for Mehmed to do well at a UN vote if he can persuade Justinian (with who he’s pleased) and the Taoist bloc to vote for him. I haven’t done the maths to see how many votes that might net Mehmed – but I thought I’d mention it just in case. Aside from the other possibility of maybe one of the Taoist bloc vassalizing his neighbours and then DoWing Fred or Justinian to secure domination, just be aware that Justinian looks as if he's going culture.

    Look forward to seeing you win this one. :)

    BTW @AR: How did you progress?
     
  16. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Update to 1000AD – I quit shortly after this because, with this kind of tech lead, the game’s already won.

    Spoiler :

    Basically continued doing the very simple things mentioned earlier:
    (i) Avoid working unimproved tiles
    (ii) Make sure I had enough workers to fulfil (i); and
    (iii) Explore.

    Got rewarded for exploring when an axe walking through the ice found marble. :woohoo: As a result, I chopped out a settler whilst I finished teching calendar (which I was researching for the happy boost) and IW (to unlock dye) before heading to literature. Then targeted liberalism and optics (making short detours for music – since I had marble – and theology to open up The AP). Took astro from liberalism, a choice made easy once I managed to chop in (a late) TGLH in my GP farm.

    That aside, all I’ve been doing is growing my cities and improving my resources ASAP. Keeping infra limited largely to libraries, universities, forges, courthouses and AP buildings (aside from some wonders) – and avoiding happy or health buildings unless absolutely necessary, has helped propel research to 439 BPT. Building the odd market as and when I needed one to maintain the slider has also enabled me to spam twenty cities to cover virtually the entire landmass. Every city has a role to play in the empire, some to provide resources (like a fur city), others can, for example, build missionaries and / or spies after getting the basic infra. Filling the land up like this enables me to avoid building infra in each and every city to raise happiness and / or health in that city alone – instead I settle another city and simply raise the happy and / or health caps for all cities.

    Just to illustrate the difference that following these basics can make to your game @GGracchus, I put together a couple of metrics from our saves (comparing yours at 1180AD listed first with my save at 1000AD listed second):

    BPT: 277 vs 439
    GNP: 477 vs 887
    Production: 129 vs 210
    Number of cities: 8 vs 20

    Now let’s be very clear, I’m not doing this to gloat. :) After all, I’m certainly no expert: there are loads of players on this forum way better than I am. :) Instead, the point I’m trying to make @GG is that by simply following some very basic principles, such as those mentioned at the top of this post (and discussed in this thread), you can manage to put together an empire that's larger, techs faster and builds more, very easily. Rest assured, if you can manage to employ the three points mentioned above in your future games, I’m certain it’ll be no time at all when we see you thrashing the AI on monarch and above. :D I look forward to seeing you bring your game home. :)
     

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  17. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    If Mehmed might win UN, I'll get to transports, upgrade my stacks to infantry, send them over, and own Justinian and/or Freddy, vassalizing. Hopefully then Mehmed can't win UN, and I'll take Justy's 3rd culture city, just in case.
     
  18. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Sounds like a plan. Admittedly there is the risk that the Taoist bloc works against you – either diplomatically and / or militarily – but I think your tech lead means you have things well in hand. :)
     
  19. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    Actually, I was playing along, got to assembly line, and had flipped to free religion when I checked the diplo screen and Izzy was annoyed. I guess I kinda am going to have to kill her or stay with religion.
     
  20. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Ouch! Yeah, that's the point I was making earlier: keeping Izzy around increases the need for you to stay Hindu. That said, she has some decent land - and infantry are very powerful units...especially when paired with artillery. :D Do you think you can take her with rifles / cannons...or have you just found a use for some of your gold (to upgrade a few rifles to infantry)?
     

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