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ALC Game 13 Pre-Game Show: Playing as Mansa Musa

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Sisiutil, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    First, a disclaimer : no strat can be failsafe without seeing the map.

    Second, an opinion : MM isn't the best leader to play. The traits are great, but there is no synergy with the UU, the UB and the starting tech. It's not easy to find a way to leverage all these.

    Third, a proposed strat. FutureHermit would love this.
    LAND IS POWER.
    I find MM's traits, UU and UB the best for an early rexing.
    Step by step :
    - You should research BW first, while growing your city (warriors!).
    - switch to slavery asap (no anarchy, yahoo)
    - switch build to a worker, tech to agri
    - whip the worker asap
    - mine and farm your capital, while growing back the city and researching pottery
    - settler (whip asap)
    - grow back while building the granary and researching hunting>archery
    - second city starts a granary
    - capital goes back to settler, cottage spamming, (start on mysticism>meditation>priesthood)
    - city 2 goes skirmisher
    - city 3 goes granary
    ...
    oracle is doable IMHO, but totaly optional. If you manage it, MC is a good prize.
    If not, the techs should allow you to build a monastery and spread a religion (with so many cities, you should get one!) and to build temples for vertical growth=more cottage spamming.
    After that, it's time for writing/alphabet or currency (if isolated, currency is better!).

    The goal is to have a large number of cottage cities, with mints and markets soon then start teching hard.
    The synergy is achieved in :
    - skirmishers are the perfect defenders
    - financial and cottage spamming + mints + cheap temples allow more gold from commerce (more happiness = more cottages worked+ more income from each cottage)= more expansion.
    This is the only synergetic strat I could think of.
     
  2. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    Skirmishers is better than chariots against all units except axemen. So if you have a neighbor without metals how about a skrimisher rush followed by heavy cottaging up 9 cities to race for cltural victory asap? You dont need much more than skrims in your cities to hold of whatever AI/barbs can come at you if you maage to settle/capture 9 cities total. Getting oracle for metal casting for mint for engineer for pyramids will give you access to US which means you can rushbuild churces with just loads and loads of cottages.
     
  3. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    the problem with cultural isn't the number of cities.
    MM is very apt for this.
    It's the religions.
    MM doesn't start with mysticism, so the only way to garanty some religions would be to go for monotheism
     
  4. dragomaster

    dragomaster Warlord

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    I'm egger to watch the start, these threeds always make me inpatient.

    Mansa Musa is a strong leader, like all finashal leaders are. Spiritual is a nice one, i prefer philosofical though.

    I think potery, hunting and BW is top priority from the start. If you ar temted to make an oracel slingshot, maybe start with mystesism then go thowards hinduism. with a little luck you could grab that one or have a greate chans on Judaism later. The defence is nothing to be worry about, archery don't take an eternity to reserch. the downside is no brons nor pottery from this point, so it's realy up to you. I think hes early unit is something that make it possible to try founding one of the two (three) early religons. buddhism shold be imposible if you not pop a mystesism hut just outside your boarder, hinduism is posible espeshaly with the finashal trait Mansa have. Finasial almost always makes it posible to catch up after a good start with mutch gambling. and if it's gold around you are ready to rock.

    Att the moment it's alot of guessing. it whod be nice to look at the start and see where we get from there.
     
  5. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    Mansa imo is one of the 4 best leaders in the game (Nappy, Hatty, Freddy). I say this on the basis of the fact that these leaders DON'T have fishing/myst/hunt as starting tech and DON'T have industrious/expansive/imperialistic/protective. They also have UUs and UBs that come early enough to be useful in all games (although Hatty's UB is arguably TOO early). Others may disagree with me, but that's how I look at it.

    Here's something I've been trying with Mansa lately:

    Start by researching (in whatever order): Ag or Fish (depending on if coastal), pottery, bronze, writing. Build (asap!!!) 2 workers, warrior, and settler with goal of having 2nd city built once techs are researched. 2nd city should be on a river and have forests for chopping in 1st ring (not always possible, but any strat is situational).

    Chop libraries in both cities with prebuilt cottages in at least capital (add cottages to 2nd city once land cleared).

    Build 3rd city as production city and tech toward alpha then CoL for expansion.

    Downside of this strat is you will have minimal whipping. Upside is that your base research rate will be very strong.
     
  6. Torvoni

    Torvoni Chieftain

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    Thanks for playing and carefully documenting the ALC games. I enjoy reading these threads even more than playing the game.

    Just to illustrate why I'm stuck on Warlords difficulty setting ... I'm going to suggest some specific goals as opposed to any type of coherent strategy for the game.

    1. At the very start of the game open the tech tree and click on Divine Right. Let that be your research path. When you found Islam, immediately convert.

    2. Make absolutely sure you build the University of Sankore.

    3. At some point during the game, try to have a least two other civs who are good friends, and GIVE them each 1000 gold with no strings attached.

    4. Switch civics all the time to take advantage of the Spiritual trait :)lol: you do that anyway).

    5. Try to build every financial building in every city, starting with Mint as soon as it becomes available.


    - - - - - - -

    It seems like the Financial trait plus any other trait is already the strongest. Spiritual is perfect for your playing style. Even if the Skirmisher is not so great, you should at least build a few just because this is the ALC series. I never build Archers anyway -- but the Skirmishers are clearly better than standard Archers. If nothing else they can go slay a few Barbarians and bust some fog.

    - - - - - - -

    I can't recall if you have ever won an ALC match by Time. If not, maybe you could attempt it. Winning by Time is strangely difficult.

    - - - - - - -

    Reading the ALC series has helped me move from Chieftain to Warlord. Some time soon I'm confident that I will be able to move up to Noble. The comments and suggestions offered by all the thread participants are way beyond my normal game considerations.

    Mostly I debate (with myself) about whether to build a cottage or a farm on a particular tile, and then I just automate all my workers and let them decide.

    Keep up the good work!

    As always, I'm looking forward to the next round.
     
  7. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    On monarch it is pretty easy to get both Confucanism and Philo without too much trouble(even when you take Mc instead of COL of oracle). Getting 1-2 more religions spread/captured to him shouldnt be too hard and a prophet can lightbulb theology if you absolutly want it. You dont need to found any of the basic relgions to win a cultural victory. Look at ilnevs imortal wag kong game for example.
     
  8. KMadCandy

    KMadCandy giggling permanoob

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    i'm really interested in seeing a mansa game since i don't think i've ever played him, i like having him as a trading partner/friend. he was the only vassal i ever took for the specific purpose of helping me out, and he did, bless his heart. then again i don't play on levels where the AI launches in 500 AD, i imagine he's a hinderance there!
     
  9. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    I go for cultural if I can manage :
    - 4 religions (not founded, just present) early enough
    - 9+ cities, with 3 highly cottageable
    - good relations to my immediate neighbours
     
  10. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Warlord

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    For what it's worth I've been inspired by this thread to start a new game with Mansa. It's the first time I've ever played at Monarch difficulty, so I have no great hope that I'll be able to win; but it's 1980 BC thus far, and I'm at least holding my own, in the middle of the pack. I'm playing vanilla Civ with Sevomod, by the way.

    I'm not sure about the BW first strategy. It's major advantage, as I can see it, is that the player hopefully gets a jump on the AI in the early expansion phase, at the cost of infrastructure development. Thus far I've gone: Hunting-Archery-(Fishing from a goody hut)-Mysticism-Meditation (established Buddhism, believe it or not)-Pottery-AH-Agriculture-BW-Writing, and am now working on Priesthood. I just switched to Slavery and chopped/whipped my 3rd settler, having produced one other previously. I still can't build Axes because I don't yet have access to copper (it's in the second ring of my second city, which is due to expand in a few more turns). I settled Timbuktu on a river, my second city is downriver from it, and my third is about to be planted downriver again, so I do have the luck of starting out with three cities connected by a single waterway. I don't really know yet how I'm doing geographically vis-a-vis my opponents, but am pretty sure I'll be able to declare an early war and take some more terrain in the not so distant future.

    BW takes almost twice as long to research as hunting-archery. Going for BW from the start might well be the best strategy, but at this point it seems to me that going for archery first is, at the very least, playable.
     
  11. TG Empire

    TG Empire Chieftain

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    Skirms are highly underrated. Use them!
     
  12. Ashlord

    Ashlord Steeler Fanatic

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    As cabert stated, we pretty much need to see the start now to discuss more options. I think everyone discussed the logical steps as Mansa, but the start will dictate the course of action. Or at least start the debate going again.
     
  13. uncarved block

    uncarved block Prince

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    Just my meager thoughts to add to the discussion, as there's not much to say until there's a map to work with-- especially a highly variable map like Fractal.

    The key word for Mansa, IMO, is "flexible." Financial gives you a big safety net to go for early gambles, and Spiritual allows you to react to changing circumstances in a flash. lsolated start or not, close military resource or not, and you can still play a strong early game. (I've even Skirmisher rushed on the Great Plains map, where several civs start close together, although that's a rather specific case.) Whether or not flexibility is a virtue on the higher levels I can't say, and opinion here seems to be split.

    What I like about Skirmishers is that they free you from the early pressure to find a metal ASAP. Yes, BW is still on the list for other reasons, but not having the early-early game play out the same way is refreshing, at least for me. Give 'em a Drill promotion or two and they're good until Barb Swordsmen show up-- which might be never, depending on the map. Mints I've found a lot harder to leverage, as Forges aren't a high priority building for me normally. Sisiutil should provide some useful tips in that respect, since he builds them early and often, it sounds like.

    Has anyone else had Goody Huts give out Mysticism on a regular basis? I've been able to found early religions with a lot of different civs as a result of this, especially when I start with a Scout. Only four leaders (I believe) really make religion a high priority, so if only one of them is in the mix, it's worth the gamble to switch if you're so lucky. Just a wrinkle that the patch has brought on, I think, but it could happen this game. If you think Tokugawa is an anti-social neighbor normally, wait until he's the founder of Buddhism :lol: AI vs AI war before 1000 BC? This can only help the human player.

    So, first round tonight?
     
  14. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    Skirmishers are phenomenal. The early game is the most critical and skirms are very, very powerful for barb-defense (and just generally). They're not praetorians, but they serve their purpose masterfully imo. They allow you to relax on strategic resource spots and focus first on getting the best commerce spots...
     
  15. Lidjis

    Lidjis Chieftain

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    Mansa is one of my favorite leaders and I feel like I need to put in a good word here for a skirmisher rush. Lets compare them to axes for example.

    Pros-
    2-3 first strikes: These neutralize the first strikes that archers get, making it more likely that your archer will inflict even a little damage on a capital defending archer, for exmple. Generally you will have more first strikes than the archers you are attacking as well.

    Cheaper: You can have more skirmishers than axemen for the same number of shields. this is the biggest perk of a skirmisher rush instead of an axe rush.

    Better defense: A skirmisher stack is pretty hard to counterattack, especially if you stay on hills. Once you capture cities the Ai has very little chance of taking them back.

    They don't require a strategic resource: This is pretty self-explanatory

    Cons-
    4 strength instead of five: Skirmishers don't have as much offensive punch as axemen do. Fortunately you will have more skirmishers than you would axemen, and skirmishers net you more strength points per shield inveested then axes do.

    Can't learn CR promotions- This is a big deal, it means that your skirmishers will have to take combat promotions instead of CR even when attacking cities. Sometimes you should just skip the barracks and build more skirmishers.

    Upkeep- You'll have a bigger skirmisher army than axe army, so you will be paying more upkeep gold. Fortunately mansa is financial, so you'll have a little more gold to throw around.

    Basically i'd say if you have a good second city spot with bronze then do the axe rush, if you don't, go with skirmishers.
     
  16. johnny_rico

    johnny_rico one more turn addict

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    That sounds pretty good to me. Since it's an ALC, I think you should try a skirmisher rush. It would be pretty interesting to see the drill, combat, and guerilla promotions at work very early in the game.

    If you can live w/o chopping and slavery (since you're going for a CE), you could research hunt, archery, ag, AH, pottery (order?) and delay BW. Skirms and chariots would be a nice early combo. Axemen get no bonus vs. archery so skirms should hold up pretty well, especially with drill.

    This should be a fun game; I've never played as mansa either.
     
  17. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    My take on forges (and by extension, Mints) is as follows.

    A forge increases production in a city by 25%, and keep in mind that this applies to hammers gleaned from whipping and chopping, too. That in and of itself is huge early in the game, provided the city is producing enough base hammers to take advantage of it; or in the case of slavery, it can be advantageous even in a low-hammer, high-food city. On top of that, if you have access to one or more precious metals, you get a double happiness boost for each one, and we know how important that is in the game. You can also run a Engineer specialist. This can be handy in a low production city (and the Engineer's 2 hammers may get multiplied as well, if combined with 2 more from somewhere).

    I usually look to see that the city is producing at least 8 base hammers per turn before I build a forge there, or that it's producing a lot of food for the whip. I'll build forges before a lot of other buildings, because all those other buildings will be cheaper. Military units too, don't forget, and wonders, and anything else you care to build (like culture, research, or wealth). Forges have a terrific synergy with Organized Religion, one of my favourite civics; together, any city with a forge and your state religion gets a 50% boost in production.

    A couple of relatively minor points: A forge in a coastal city also means I can build the Colossus, which I'll usually do if I have the seafood tiles to justify it and copper to accelerate it. Later on, the forges allow me to build the Ironworks as soon as it's available, as well as the Eiffel Tower and/or the Statue of Liberty (two of my favourite late game wonders).

    Overall, then, forges are one of the most worthwhile buildings in the game. We all know how important hammers are. How can you not love a building that gives you more of them?

    The Mint contributes an additional 10% wealth beyond these benefits. Woot! While that's not commerce, it's still revenue, and that may allow me to up-tick the science slider and shave a few turns off research here and there. Like I said, Mansa's UB is one of the best buildings in the game made better.

    Anyway. I'll begin the game and post the start tonight.
     
  18. johnny_rico

    johnny_rico one more turn addict

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    Agreed. That's one of the reasons I like the MC slingshot so much because you can get your forges up early and reap the benefit for the entire game.
     
  19. ratrangerm

    ratrangerm Prince

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    It's been interesting to read comments about how Mansa's starting techs don't really go with his traits or UU. The truth is, a lot of Civs are like that in some form.

    In playing as Hatty, you get tech that allow you to get a jump on your UU, but not to found an early religion (and Hatty is Spiritual). Play as Alex, and you get a leg up in your UU race, but still need two more techs on top of that. Those are just two examples.

    To me, prioritizing techs is all about knowing what the lay of the land is and going from there.

    For those who say Wheel is meaningless early on, what should happen if the starting spot does not have a river? Answer: Only Roads can get resources to the capital. And again, Wheel is half the Pottery equation, and you bet you want Pottery for a Financial civ.

    It's also important to note that Sisuitil always tries to play to the traits of the civ in his challenges. Sticking with the same strategy over and over means he isn't doing this. As good as "produce, produce, produce" can be for an early strat, if it's the same thing done in every ALC, then what's the point in doing it? We all know then what to expect. A little variety can be a good thing.

    Maybe one of these days somebody needs to take up a challenge of "you can't enact slavery at any time, no whipping allowed." I wonder how many people are game for that at a high difficulty level. ;)
     
  20. Galileo44

    Galileo44 Great Scientist

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    Check RBCiv Adventure 14- King of India. Several players elected to take this Emperor game on with the special challenge of no slavery in addition to the origional varient.

    http://realmsbeyond.net/civ/c4tourney/adv14.html
     

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