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ALC Game 18: Spain/Isabella

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Sisiutil, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    All Leaders Challenge Game 18: Spain/Isabella
    Played with the Beyond the Sword expansion pack



    Pre-Game Thread

    Starting Position (this post, below)
    Round 1: 4000 BC to 2875 BC
    Round 2: 2875 BC to 1050 BC
    Round 3: 1050 to 290 BC
    Round 4: 290 BC to 5 BC
    Round 5: 5 BC to 460 AD
    Round 6: 460 AD to 1300 AD

    The idea of the All Leaders Challenge is that I'm going to play a game with each of the Civ IV leaders. With the help of all the posters who participate, I will attempt to make the most of the leader's unique characteristics: traits, starting techs, unit, and building. Aside from the leader, the other game settings are (mostly) kept constant for the sake of comparison. I will post the saved game files, screenshots, and status reports here as the game progresses. Everyone then has a chance to chime in with their strategy ideas, or voice their frustration (or glee) when I make a mistake. ;)

    Everyone is invited to offer opinions and advice, and to make your own attempt at playing the same game. But if you do play a "shadow game", I kindly request that you refrain from posting spoilers--i.e. any facts or even hints about the map, opponents, and so on--before I'm there myself. I'm trying to play the game as authentically as possible.

    In this ALC game, I'll be playing as Isabella, leader of Spain. I'm playing the game using the new Beyond the Sword expansion pack. The difficulty level is Monarch, the map is Fractal this time, and the speed is Epic.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, when I first posted this, the very important fact that I am playing this game with Solver's unofficial patch for BtS, including the fix that prevents the building of Military Academies before they're actually functional (with Military Science). If you read through the changes in the linked post, I think you'll find that the patch makes the AI a little more challenging and some of the new game elements less frustrating--more fun all around, at least that's what I've found in my off-line games.

    Here are all of the game settings:



    A reminder of Isabella's unique characteristics (I like the new BtS start screen):



    And here is a look at the starting position:



    This is actually a regenerated map. The previous one had a gold mine, next to a river no less, right next to the Settler. The Peter game made me realize what a powerful start that could be, dare I say overpowered, especially on a difficulty level I'm one game away from leaving behind. (Yes, the next ALC will be played at Emperor level.) So I nobly--or is that foolishly?--passed on the gold mine, but I think this start is pretty darn good for Isabella.

    First off, I have a lake. Spain on a Lake (TM)! The initial 2 :commerce: from the lake could help us snag an early religion, if we decide to do so. There are several forests for chopping Workers, Settlers, and/or wonders. And, yes, there's seafood and Isabella starts with fishing. Our first build this time around could be a Work Boat. If we decide to forgo founding an early religion in favour of getting to Theology for Christianity first (an option discussed in the pre-game thread), then I could research agriculture early on in order to get that rice tile on-line. Hey, rice and seafood--if there's more around, we can think about Sid's Sushi Co. later in the game.

    But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    In addition, several people posited running a specialist economy again, and the lake will allow irrigation of at least 5 tiles (not including the one the Settler's on) before Civil Service. With CS, I'll be able to easily irrigate the rice tile. The extra food from the rice, clams, and farms could allow Madrid to become the GP farm. But that means I'll want to save several forests, rather than chop them, to have forest preserves provide free specialists thanks to the national park. That could put a crimp in any wonder plans.

    Oh well, I really shouldn't complain about being able to choose between beneficial options!

    The only worrisome thing is the lack of good production tiles. I think that's a hill 2 south of the Settler, but it's hard to tell just yet. Even if it is a hill, it would be the only one in the fat cross. Maybe there's a hidden resource in the BFC? In the pre-game thread, someone mentioned that if you're surrounded by forest except for one empty tile, that's a distinct possibility. And look what's immediately north of the Settler! Keep your fingers crossed.

    EDIT: As posts further down revealed, the apparent lack of hills is deceptive, the result of a graphics bug that rears its ugly head when you regenerate a map. Reloading the game makes the terrain appear as it should, and I have posted a more accurate screenshot of the starting position above.

    At this point the only move of the Settler and capital might be 1S in the hopes that there are more hills down there, but it would take several turns delay to find out for sure with either the Warrior or the Settler. Such a move would definitely rule out an early religion. I'm already leaning towards settling in place while the Warrior heads in a westerly direction to begin scoping out the rest of my landmass. Meanwhile, should I attempt to snag one of the early religions or focus on worker techs?

    The saved game file is below.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. KMadCandy

    KMadCandy giggling permanoob

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    loaded the save, 2 hills already, but not easy to tell in that screenshot. i had show tile yields on tho. grass hill south of the warrior, plains hill south of the rice.

    edit for saturday update: learned in post #30 from the all-knowing ori (my hero!) about why your screenshot looks so screwy. so ok, i'll put mine here, with tile yields on, so people can see it early in the thread. because the more discussion about where/how to start the better *giggle* this shot shows the hills, your screenshot was bugged and they looked flat (because of the regeneration, it goes away when you load the save).



    original post was:
    omg you passed on the gold? :crazyeye: *giggle* how's that for typical useful advice from moi?

    actually, edit: "The only worrisome thing is the lack of good production tiles" another worrisome thing: those forests won't have copper, iron, or horses under them by definition as far as i know. uranium maybe, big whoop i doubt this game will last that long. so you have a total of one square in your fat cross to land a strategic buddy. and at least a few in the next culture pop ring that have no chance either.
     
  3. Sisiutil

    Sisiutil All Leader Challenger

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    When I get to Emperor level, there's no way I'm passing on gold. But come on, I totally pwned in the previous game, and having gold in the BFC was a huge part of that. As several people keep reminding me, it is called the All Leaders Challenge. ;)
     
  4. KMadCandy

    KMadCandy giggling permanoob

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    i had fun watching you pwn, but that was different, i was gone so i just read the whole thing catching up after the fact. might have been boring reading along and waiting :p. but yeah you did kick arse, grats! and i'm soooooooo glad you listened to futurehermit and didn't go 1N of the gold btw, i wasn't here to add my own additional two pages to that six pages of discussion.

    oh, and a friendly *knockwood* that i'm not jinxing this game from your local superstitious permanoob, of course!

    edit: moved map stuff to post 2 for better visibility, and since it's, like, important.
     
  5. Validator

    Validator Prince

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    Sisiutil,

    Are you using Solver's patch? You didn't make any mention of it. And are you using the the revised UnitInfos.xml file that fixes the Military Academy bug? (It's available on the Solver patch thread on Apolyton.)
     
  6. tazpn314

    tazpn314 Chieftain

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    Forests will do well for a while and two? hills will be nice. That big fat empty space 1N is more than likely a resource for the same reasons you mention. I like settling in place. There might be something in the plains to the north but far more likely 1N. The massive number of forests will be nice for chopping.

    I like building workboat from turn 1 and then driving toward BW to setup some chopping goodness.
     
  7. Mesousa

    Mesousa -8.38 -6.67

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    I'd move the Warrior 1 NE to see if there's one more seafood that would justify settling 1N of the Settler. It'll probably come to settling in place though. And since so much is covered by forests, any hidden resource is likely to be in that 1N tile.

    I'd also go chopping-crazy to get both Stonehenge and Oracle indeed. Forest preserves and National Park are a long way off, better to seize the advantage now.
     
  8. OTAKUjbski

    OTAKUjbski TK421

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    I vote to start building a Work Boat and go for the early religion ... two Work Boats should keep you busy long enough ...


    -- my 2 :commerce:
     
  9. kniteowl

    kniteowl Pirate Captain :P

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    I'm crossing my fingers and hope your warrior pops masonry from a goody hut, meaning 1 step closer to Theology.

    I say if there is any Stone or Marble nearby you should settle that location first, save as many hammers as possible by building a quarry, and also the fact that you need Masonry for the Theology beeline anyways.

    I'm the kind of guy who's a bit unlucky at getting the early religions so I Ignore them even if I have Myst and go after worker tech and capture the holy city is possible.

    But since this is a ALC and you have some nice early commerce to work, go for the Poly tech 1st, as it's part of the Theology beeline. Besides you'll be growing your Cap and be building Workboats which will take a while if you're working a commerce tile, which means 1 Hammer per turn and that'll take 30 turns for the build to complete which mean you'll get poly before the workboat is complete.

    After Poly, Mining and BW to chop those forest and Slavery.

    I'll leave Arg after BW, Because you'll be build 2 Workboats then the worker, IF you time the completion of the worker with BW you can use him to chop while you tech to Arg for him to Irrigate the Rice.

    After Arg but no copper nearby, AH tech for Horses, You'll need them eventually for your UU anyways, After that Wheel to hook them up.

    If neither well... leave that for another post...

    Poly => Mining => BW => Arg => Wheel &/or AH

    You'll probably stop playing at this point but after this point you can either go for Pottery for Cheap Granaries or Priesthood => Masonry=> Monotheism => Writing =>Theology. Depending on Map and Opponents.
     
  10. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    Seconded on all counts, with some additions (apologizing in advance for long post):

    Unless you have stone or marble, it is going to take a lot of chopping and whipping to get both wonders. I agree with the previous poster who said that doing both wonders before settling is a bad idea, though -- you're going to have a hard enough time catching up in the REX race after completing both wonders. My suggestion is therefore to pop out a settler in between Stonehenge and the Oracle -- you should have the time to do so, because it will take you 25-35 turns to get through the techs to Priesthood. I strongly suggest creating military units out of Barcelona while Madrid is working on the Oracle.

    Here's my two cents on a tech order:

    1. Mining
    2. Bronze Working (start chopping/whipping Stonehenge)
    3. Agriculture
    4. The Wheel
    5. Pottery
    6. Meditation
    7. Priesthood (start chopping/whipping Oracle)
    8. either Hunting + Archery, Animal Husbandry, or Iron Working

    You'll have plenty of food between the clams and rice to put off AH. It's going to be critical to get Priesthood quickly to get going on the Oracle, so I'm suggesting going through Meditation which is slightly faster (Meditation is also on the great prophet bulbing path before Theology, so you need to take it eventually anyway). You could even skip the wheel and pottery if you wish, but you'll want to get pottery before the Oracle finishes so you can get Metal Casting -- otherwise, your best available tech choice would be Monarchy.

    This is all presuming that you will use your first great prophet to lightbulb Theology. Repeating my comments in the pre-game thread, I think a Oracle/Theology slingshot is risky -- it's likely you'll be beat to the Oracle if you try to tech up to Monotheism and Writing first, especially if you take necessary detours into worker techs. The safer route is to crank out both Great Prophet wonders (and wait for the Prophet for Theology) and take Metal Casting with the Oracle freebie tech, which dovetails nicely with your coastal start for some Colossus goodness. Without being Philosophical or having a National Epic/Parthenon, you'll just get 4 GPPs per turn, which will result in a long wait to get Great People (especially the second and later great people) on Epic. There will be a significant wait between your first and second great prophets, unless you crank out even more wonders in Madrid, which of course may dilute your GPP pool. So it may be a good idea to save the first great prophet for bulbing Theology as soon as it's available.

    Madrid build order idea:

    1. Workboat
    2. Workboat
    3. Worker -- your main chopper
    4. Warrior -- assuming your first warrior is dead or scouting
    5. Stonehenge -- chopped and whipped asap
    5a. Granary, if you have time
    6. Warrior
    7. Settler
    8. Oracle

    (one nice thing about the coastal starts ... your city grows nice and fast without waiting for the first worker ... :) )

    ... and a Barcelona build order:

    1. Worker
    2. Warrior
    3. Granary
    4. Archer/Chariot/Axe (depending on what military tech you took)
     
  11. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    If he gets polytheism first, it will be either because he's lucky (no opponents starting with Mysticism) or because he works the lake tile to pump up his commerce at the cost of substantially delaying the first work boat. If he gets Hinduism, though, I suppose he could build a temple (after finishing Stonehenge and the Oracle) and run a priest specialist to hurry the arrival of the first great prophet. The priest specialist will be especially handy for the second prophet, to build the Christian shrine.

    However, if Sis fails to get Hinduism, he has delayed his path to Bronze Working for no gain. I haven't worked out the timing but it's possible that his 2 workboats and first worker would appear before he finishes Polytheism + Mining + Bronze Working. Remember, Izzy starts with no worker techs ...

    Bronze Working ASAP is key to our early wonderspam strategy and to this start in particular. Going for Polytheism first loses us 18+ turns of chopping and whipping.
     
  12. kniteowl

    kniteowl Pirate Captain :P

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    I did say I generally ignore the early religious techs even if I Started with Myst, but it seems a bit of a waste to not go after them with early commerce and Myst tech to boot. It's was always a risk, it's up to Sisiutil if he's willing to take it.

    Besides he can't build temples until he researches priesthood, and even if he completes the worker before BW, he can always switch to another build 1 turn before the worker is complete (probably Barracks) and he'll have 10 turns (on normal speed anyways not sure about epic) before the worker he's building decays and time the worker completion and BW tech easily.
     
  13. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Deity

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    Last time I checked it was 10 turns at all speeds.
     
  14. kniteowl

    kniteowl Pirate Captain :P

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    Thanks... I always thought everything changes turn wise and cost wise when you play at different speeds.
     
  15. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    Either way will be fun. :)

    I prefer the workboat first, while working a grassland hill forest for 1 F 2H. Get that first workboat out early, then work the clams until size 2, then he could also work the 3H plains hills forest tile for boat #2. But doing the fast boat strategy will mean less commerce at first and no shot at Hinduism.
     
  16. IPEX-731BA5DD06

    IPEX-731BA5DD06 Deity

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    I'd settle in place, why?

    1. I usually settle in initial starting position, unless something jumps out at me

    2. 2 Seafood start, work boats allow growth during building faze.

    3 You have 3 hills 2 west, 1 NW, and 2 SOUTH (covered in fog, but can see the rise of its slopes)

    4. 3 tiles north is coast, so your on a jutting peninsula, settle inland for 2nd city.

    5. 3 hills to chop, 2 hils are in 2nd border expansion, but by time you get bronze working and workers, would have easily expanded there.

    6. Start with Mysticism and fishing, Early religion only has benefit with Organised religion *Jewdaism*, techs should be mining/polothesim/bronze working *chop stonehenge*/Preisthood *mine work oracle*+chop/writing + Monothesism = 2* 268 Beakers = how many turns?? Maybe poly then mining

    Definately writing first, chop/whip a libriary, and 2 scientists with 2 clams...and you'll have Mono quickly...

    Note (Beeline brings up Meditation, though going by lines you can miss it and grab with Oracle...then tech and bulb Code of laws 783 and Philosophy 1794 beakers with Great profits..

    Hopefully you'll have min 3 religions, 4? build 9 cities catherdrals and Cultural victory if not Apocoliptic palace

    Build the Apolistic palace and gain your religious win.

    Now me, I couldn't maintain focus long enough...I"d tech off left and right...

    I'm going to try this methodology in a shadow game, try to stick to your pace and post on out come AFTER you do...Its my crazy idea..I'll see if it blow's up in my face no or little worker techs...rely on fish/chop/mining of hills..2/3 cities
     
  17. karlkrlarsson

    karlkrlarsson Chieftain

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    The ACL challange has thaught me how to go from warlord to prince over the summer. For the first time I feel qualified to say: Settle in place..

    KKL
     
  18. stuge

    stuge Emperor

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    WooOOooo! New ALC! I'll finally stop shaking!

    *ahem*

    Settle in place. Not to chase a religion but because there seems to be no pressing reason to move. Go for BW as per slobby bear. (God I'm obnoxious.) Two workboats and a worker etc. Don't hesitate to chop for the 'Henge and Oracle. This will probably be your GP farm but like someone said, National park is ways off. If you're good, this game won't even last so long.

    Ten euros/dollars/pounds/whatever says that there's copper 1N of settler.
     
  19. scy12

    scy12 Deity

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    You are playing with Isabella rather than a new leader. Consider me uninterested.
     
  20. Scaphism

    Scaphism Boondoggle

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    I'm with kniteowl, pretty much to a T.
    Settle in place.
    Workboat Workboat worker warrior.
    Tech Polytheism first - if you get it, there is no reason to bother with Stonehenge, which frees up a lot of hammers. Hindu Priest + Oracle GPP is much better than Stonehenge-Oracle. With 2 seafood and a rice, even unirrigated rice, plus cheap granaries, you are going to grow like a weed and you will want all the happiness you can get, so getting an early temple would be nice.
    Poly-Mining-BW. You might even skip Agriculture for now - you'll have a lot of surplus food working 2 clam tiles from the start. Your worker can stay busy chopping and hopefully mining, then roading. You will grow regardless of whether you have that farm built or not, and building a farm takes ~8 turns.
     

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