# ALC Game 32: Holy Roman Empire / Charlemagne

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Benginal, May 16, 2011.

1. ### Bandobras TookEmperor

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Of the two Wonders, Great Lighthouse will have the more long-lasting benefit than a tech from the Oracle if you're looking at isolation, the more say because you're likely going to have to settle some very mediocre coastal cities.

2. ### yatta77Emperor

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@Benginal
Spoiler :
Take all this as a distract silly reader comment from a silly player.

I'm not really into Math approaches, but since it seems you appreciate them:
City: 2/T 1/T
Corn: 6/T
2x GrassHills: 2/T 6/T (with Mine)
2x PlainHills: 8/T (with Mine)

Total at Population 5: 10/T, 15/T

Pyramids: 6 Turns to research Masonry (from your Screen Shot)

6 Turns + ( 500 / 15/Turn ) Turns = 6 + 33 Turns = 39 Turns >> Eta Turn 89
Add few more Turns considering that:
(a) to finish the settler;
(b) grow to size 5; and
(c) Mine the two last Hills;
likely 6 Turns aren't enough.

Let's say eta Turn 90-93.

This in the worst pessimistic scenario, without Chopping any of the 9 Forests (from your Screen Shot) in the Capital CFC (9 x -20:hammers = -180 in the best scenario; I'm not doing the Math to calculate how many you can chop in time in a reasonable scenario and how many turns you would save Chopping, sorry about that).

Now, if/when I want The Pyramids in my game I definitively complete them way earlier than that on Immortal, so I don't know if turn 93 would be in time or it is already too late; anyways, it is comparable with your hammers: cheaper) LightHouse eta at least.

I guess the issue is about if it is worth for you to spend 500 building The Pyramids since you say you target to expand in the whole continent as soon as possible (and by the way, if your Research Tech Tree is confirmed, with Monarchy as first target, I also guess that in your game style an early Representation it is not one of the priorities).

Again, just my silly distract 2.
By the way: my Math might likely be wrong.
If it is, Please be patient.

Greetings,
yatta.

3. ### Riflin'JoePrince

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That dear old fractal script has done it to you again, hasn't it? Oracle - COL looks OK in itself, but I'm not sure what you might do to solve your bigger problems: bad land, bad leader, isolated. Should you try to bulb to astro early (which would mean getting to phood via poly if you want oracle, to close philo)?

4. ### OpticalThe Fall of the Eleventh

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Ouch. That's an awful start for food. Civil Service may be a useful tech to have early, I think.

5. ### vranasmDeity

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why the archery?

Oracle->CoL hears nicely

6. ### KillroyanDeity

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Start moving the warriors to the coast line. There might still be some sea food around. So the lower left warrior 1SW to the plains hill, the lower right warrior 1SE and the top warrior to the far plain tile. I cannot imagine that there would be so little food there. I like the fogbusting, but isn't it better to at least use one warrior to scout more?

7. ### Riflin'JoePrince

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What archery?

8. ### vranasmDeity

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wel bengie have there SS of future teched techs and as number 14 I saw there archery

9. ### yatta77Emperor

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No. He just selected them all to light up the turns needed to research each one.
Since the Monarchy beeline is the first target, I guess this is the only "real" Tech path is planning for (all the rest it's likely just randomly highlighted).
yatta.

10. ### Coffee MugChieftain

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What about a culture victory? You're isolated with awful land that doesn't recommend itself to cottages or farming specialists, but you do have marble. Maybe try to pick up Code of Laws (and a religion) via the Oracle, and then head up the Music line.

11. ### BenginalEmperor

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I do very much appreciate it! I'm not sure that the pyramids are a great wonder for us this game since they'll be so expensive to build. But on the other hand what else am I going to build? I don't need an army for early rush and the other cities I can settle will be quite terrible. A three city challenge until the ADs might be just fine here in which case I can pursue some wonders. It looks like the real bottle neck here is techs. Do I have time to pick up masonry? If I shoot for TGL I most certainly do, since I'm picking it up anyway. But if I head for the Oracle I don't think I will.

Fogbusting is very good. In this case I know I'm not going to be settling a city up there right away and I'll have time to scout the area properly before settling up there. In the words of VoU that which can wait must wait. And I'd rather be assured of the barbs only being able to spawn in the northeast then getting a surprise from on 7 tiles from my capital. But as you say, now that I have an axe out and another one coming I can be a little more exploratory.

Indeed. I have no tech path at the moment, . I was just showing what everything costs.

This is certainly an option. I might even be able to use the strategy proposed on the forum a while ago by (can't find the thread). The strategy calls for Oracling Code of Laws, scientist from a library bulbing Philosophy, and then Great Prophet from the Oracle bulbing Theology giving us three religions! I have yet to try it, but it sounds fun.

We could always still go for culture using just Philosophy, but it would be much harder. It's kind of looking like this Oracle or Great Lighthouse is going to be an important decision.

12. ### BenginalEmperor

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Round 3: 2000 BC to 425 BC (turns 50-98)

Spoiler :
The big decision for the round was deciding if I should purse the Oracle, the Great Lighthouse, or neither. After reviewing the literature, in this case previous games, I decided that on Immortal the Oracle usually went somewhere between turns 60 and 70 while the Great Lighthouse went somewhere between turns 90 and 100. Obviously there are exceptions to both, but in general I think those are probably about the 95% bounds. That being said I decided I could not complete the Oracle in time, and would instead try to build the Great Lighthouse. I chose a tech path to reflect that decision.

Fishing came first to let my third city, the red city, build a workboat. Then sailing to build a lighthouse and then Masonry for the great version.

I two-pop whipped the settler in the capital and sent him down to the red city. You can also see a worker is already getting ready to chop that forest so the red city can get a monument up as soon as possible. I remembered the Bismarck game when I didn't make the city useful quickly enough and as a result missed TGL by just a few turns, I didn't want it to happen again.

The red city was settled and renamed Vienna. It started on a monument right away.

Next up was a workboat. Notice that the workboat takes ten turns to finish and the borders take ten turns to pop. I'll remedy this problem later.

The Oracle was finished on turn 59. I think this is early even for Immortal. But luckily I didn't try to build it because I would not have been close and probably would have put myself out of running for the Great Lighthouse. You can also see my axe about to tell that barb archer what's what.

That single axe continued to control the wilderness area. I made sure that he was the one doing all the barb defense and attacking so that hopefully I can get a 10 XP unit. This is very useful as it unlocks the Heroic Epic. In isolation it's especially useful to get a level four unit because otherwise, if you decide to war, you have to prepare for your first war with the HE, which is a pain.

Our valiant defender also discovered this.

An excellent little site to set up shop. It's got two seafood, a hill, and four grassland tiles. Not superb, but certainly not abysmal, like most of my other city sites.

Back in Vienna I finished the grassland mine just in time.

This way the workboat could be finished the turn before the borders pop. It can move over to the fish so that then when the borders do pop I can build a fishing net right away.

With the Great Lighthouse techs in I went for a very useful technology.

Libraries and scientists are huge always. But when isolated and therefore unable to trade, self-teching improvements are even more important. It might have been a mistake leaving it this late, but TGL is a worthy pursuit.

Just to keep you in the loop on the other cities. Aachen was working on the Pyramids. I was not going for them intently and was saving all my trees for other things, but failure gold is nice.

Prague had reached full size and was working cottages furiously. Unfortunately I have no happy. It's a real shame since that city has some excellent other tiles to work, but I just don't have the good will from the citizens.

Vienna whipped in a second workboat.

I waited until I could whip and then grow the same turn.

This way I could whip again!

(Don't mind the sea tile being worked. That was a misclick right before the screenshot.) So Vienna would be starting TGL on turn 77. It was going to be close.

Now I probably should have stopped the round here and worked out specific micro for Vienna and gotten your advice on what to do next. But sometimes I get a little into my civ. So I picked the next tech myself and picked a questionable one.

Aesthetics, Polytheism, and Literature. Remember I have marble. These techs will let me go for the Parthenon for Philosophical-lite and the Great Library. Two wonders I like very much in isolation, especially when I have marble, .

I love failure gold.

It seems to becoming something I do in every ALC game and I do it on purpose which I didn't used to do. But gold is so nice. Paris had nothing else to build (I put a library in right away when Writing finished) so I had it build a wonder -> wealth. And the 84 gold I got gave me another 9 turns at full research which is enough for an entire tech! Well worth it. If I had had stone it would have been even better, but no matter.

Vienna grew to size 4.

I spent one turn working on a granary and then two-pop whipped it overflowing into the Great Lighthouse. I then ran into happiness problems and at size 3 I worked the fish and the two hills. Perhaps I should have been more aggressive. Or not done two one-pop whips...

I'd get 150 gold for it. Which isn't bad, but it's not what I wanted. So I'm disappointed, but I'll get over it. I think a good exercise for us all would be to take over from the last save and see if you can build TGL in time. If you'd like to try I encourage you to do so and post your results, and the micro you used, here. I'm sure we'd all learn something. I would at any rate.

Here ends the round. Let's take a tour of the empire.

Aachen can't really make up it's mind about what it's trying to do. It's working specialists and kind of building wonders. You'll notice I'm one turn from Literature and have four forests pre-chopped. So the next turn I'll go all out for the Great Library and get my two free citizens. I'll be shocked if I lose it to be honest. Then I'll also try to finish the Parthenon. It's looking like Aachen is going to be my GP farm for a while and might also get the National Epic. I'm undecided at this point.

Prague's cottages are maturing nicely. It's going to be an excellent commerce center and after this worker finishes I think I will move the palace here. The scientist will also build an academy here. And when I get Civil Service and Oxford this city will be one of the best foodless cities I've ever had.

The citizens of Vienna are in disgrace, but they're seeing therapists and should be better soon. The city will be my Moai site and provide even more hammers to a hammer rich empire. The fish will also allow the city to run two scientists and not starve.

The newest city, Nuremburg, was just settled and is going to get some farms and some mines. It also has no food, but it should be fairly decent once it gets some infrastructure in place.

And finally the tech picture.

I've got a lot of options at this point. Music (Golden Age Great Artist), Maths -> Currency -> Code of Laws -> Civil Service, Optics beeline, Theocracy beeline for the AP (AP cheese win anybody?).

My current idea is to go for Music right away and get the Golden Age and build the Sistine Chapel (which will slow down the AI culture wins and give me a chance in this game, remember I have marble) and then beeline Compass hopefully in time to trade around Music and Optics and fill in the middle of the tech tree. This is nearly the opposite of what I usually do, and I think what everyone usually does, but it might be best here.

Have any questions, advice, criticisms, songs of praise? Leave them here.

13. ### BenginalEmperor

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Just for fun

Spoiler :
I have done very few interesting things in my life, but one of them was to go backpacking through Europe for 25 days. It was a great trip starting in Paris and then going through Brussels, Frankfort, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Bologna, Venice, Marseilles, Arles, and back to Paris. Turns out a lot of our trip took place in the Holy Roman Empire.

We did make a brief stop in Aachen, but entirely by accident.

The train from Brussels to Frankfort broke down and we were bussed to the nearest train station, which happened to be Aachen, former capital of the Holy Roman Empire.

Prague was lovely.

Can you guess which one I am? (Benginal was derived originally from the male name Ben)

This shot taken from the Prague Castle captures the classic red roofs of the city.

This is the Schonbrunn Palace in/outside Vienna.

I quite like the way that civ is based on some real things and some real people. However, for better of worse, this does mean that when I see the Statue of Liberty all I can think about are free specialists...

14. ### yatta77Emperor

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Spoiler :
If I understood it correctly, before playing an ALC as a Roman Empire Leader, you have to visit at least the Italian, Iberian, and Balkan peninsulas, the French Region, the British Islands, the whole North African Coast, and a quite vast part of Asia around Turkey.

Losing the LightHouse might be a little sad, but I guess you still have your destiny in your hands (well, you are never sure, you are isolated and it's Immortal after all, so keep being concentrated on your next choices, of course).

I like the Great Library and the upper path solution Aesthetics >> Literature. Music it is really expansive (at least compared to the more generic Currency for example) I research it myself only targeting a Culture Victory and The Sistine Chapel.

I like the cities placements: I likely would do exactly the same for the first 3. The 4th city position I didn't think about it, but actually seems the best deal on this map. The other spot with 2 seafood tiles seems also ok: too much desert of course, but as you said there are also enough good tiles to work.

As always, just my silly 2

Greetings,
yatta.

15. ### BenginalEmperor

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Round 4: 425 BC to 50 BC (turns 98-113)

Spoiler :
A short round this time as I'm very uncertain about the best way to proceed. Before I get to my conundrums I'll catch you up on what's happened.

Literature came in soon after the round started, but I decided that getting Mathematics for better chops would lead to a faster Great Library. And if not it's certainly more efficient and we need to squeeze all the efficiency we can out of our limited resources and land.

I faced an important decision with my first great person, a scientist. I could have bulbed Maths which was actually something I almost did, and looking back probably should have done, but instead I had him build an academy in Prague, the cottage city. Check out the before and after.

Up in the northern territories I got my axeman to level four by having him beat up on barbarians.

I quickly retreated him to safety, but with the mission accomplished. The Heroic Epic was unlocked. I was okay with going for maths because not only did it allow for better chops but was also a prerequisite for a super technology.

Currency would give each city another trade route which is 4 gold right there plus multipliers. It would also let my super hammer capital build wealth when it wasn't building wonders or settlers.

Turn 106 one was a big turn in the Holy Roman Empire. Prague finished the worker it was working on and began on a Palace. I don't move the palace a lot, but in this case I think it's a good idea. We have an academy there as well as great cottage land. Not only that, but Prague is even more central in our empire than was Aachen. Overall it seems like a good idea.

Also on this turn, since maths was in, I chopped down some trees in the beautiful countryside of Aachen.

Not quite a one-turn Great Library but pretty close. I'm pleased with that result. I chopped two more trees and continued using my marble to get another wonder five turns later.

Currency came in the next turn and I stopped the round unsure of how to continue. To confuse matters I set another axe to explore the northern part of the island and discovered that more land lies beyond the sea.

I wish I'd sent something up there earlier, but it's not really a huge deal. It's not too late to trade if there are more civilizations up there and if there aren't it means I have more land to settle. A workboat is already on the way. Although barbarian galleys have been spotted which will undoubtedly complicate matters.

Here's the empire:

Should Aachen get the National Epic? The Heroic Epic? Both epics?

The tech tree looks like this:

The options are;
1. Music which gives me a Great Artist since I'm almost sure I'll be first to it and the ability to build the Sistine Chapel (and I've got marble).
2. Code of Laws -> Civil Service is also an enticing tech path since I can then build my unique building, the rathaus, adopt Bureaucracy and spread irrigation.
3. I want to get Alphabet since I have a great scientist (hopefully) coming in six turns and he will bulb Alphabet unless I get it out of the way. Then I can use him for either Philosophy for Taoism and Pacifism or Calender for improving my silks and letting me attempt the still unbuilt Masoleum (remember I have marble, ).
4. I could also tech Priesthood and Monarchy since my lack of happiness is really annoying and HR is always a good way to solve that problem, especially when isolated.
5. Or I could beeline Optics and get some caravels for meeting people.

I want to wait and see if there are any AIs on that northern bit of land. So I think it's option 1, 2, or 3. Actually if there are other AIs up there 1 or 2 looks to be the best option as I can trade for Alphabet, Monarchy, and the bottom of the tech tree. But, if there aren't any AIs up there 1 is my worst option. So that would suggest 2 as best, but then what to do with the scientist? Therefore I'm thinking that self-teching Alphabet and then bulbing Calender with the scientist is the safest option. Then I can decide between Music and Code of Laws -> Civil Service. Also I can probably put Music off for a little bit and still get it first since I almost surely got Aesthetics and Literature first.

16. ### Bandobras TookEmperor

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Maybe there will be food on that other island!

17. ### Um the MuseKing

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Benginal:
Spoiler :
I noticed that you say, "remember, we have marble" a lot I think that, though marble does help you get the wonders you would have tried for anyway, it doesn't have much of an "income effect"--ie. if you wouldn't have gone for the technology anyway, marble doesn't change the equation all that much. With a shortage in both food and happiness, every point of commerce is precious; you can't really afford to get techs that are simply "nice to have." This is especially true if you don't have representation. Maybe I'm way off here, but I don't think even the Great Library is worth the diversion of research into Aesthetics and literature until you expect to meet several AIs.

I hope that I'm not just arguing against what I just said, but I think you should look into getting forges soon. Has the collosus been built yet? That is one of the best investments when you have a lot of crappy land (and the sea to use it, of course).

Also, you pooh-poohed half price castles, but that cheap means that they're cheaper than libraries. Given that you've discovered a couple of islands to settle, that means every castle is worth 2 commerce, once you've got them online. Something to keep in mind for later. I wouldn't quite beeline engineering yet, but Notre Dame will be helpful, too.

For now, I like your option 2, but get forges first. As for your scientist, you're about to get a city with two seafoods and nothing else. Why not build a second academy there? Or even plant him in the city; that extra hammer will be a god-send there until you start working the hill.

18. ### vranasmDeity

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If confu is not gone maybe CoL? You have GS in 5 so then Philo at least.

I like the music line idea too.

19. ### yatta77Emperor

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@Benginal
Spoiler :
I thought so! This was the most logical choice for me here (you couldn't even trade for Currency, which is quite common going for Music, since you are isolated). I would just add to your analysis the Currency useful ability to build . You still not late for Music btw, since Mathematics is a common requisite of both the Technologies.

Again, I would play differently and I wonder if you'll really do that Alphabet-Calendar thing: Alphabet is often my first beeline, but in the games it is not, I hardly research it myself after few other Civilizations already discovered it, since Aesthetic, Currency, ... (maybe with a bit of from my side in the deal) are usually enough to Trade for it. Besides, I wonder what Alphabet would be good for you? (all the following is just IMO )
• Train Spies: no. You are isolated, no use of them.
• Build : no. The built and built doesn't multiply. You have more multipliers (Libraries) than multipliers (Markets), so you'll better build and run a +10% the slider (or in a SE run an extra Scientist instead of a Merchant). Build would make sense to me here only if already running 100% .
• Trade Technologies: no. You are isolated, and as said above, when you meet someone else, then you'll likely trade for it.
• Bulb Calendar: not worth it to postpone Code of Laws >> Civil Service >> Paper >> Education (or even Music >> Sistine Chapel, if this is your target) in name of burning a GS on Calendar. And for you'll be quicker with Drama and Theaters.
I would research either Code of Laws or Music, depending on how much a Victory it is the target. If it is, an Early Great Artist is a handy boost (as well as an earlier Sistine Chapel, of course), otherwise I'll pick up the Code of Laws path.
On the GS destiny: either Settle him, trigger a Golden Age, or Keep it to Bulb Philosophy or do anything else. In any case, sounds better than a Calendar bulb to me.

Again, just my silly distract opinion here.
I could very well be completely wrong!
But now I'm really curious to read the next update, since I would bet my 2 you'll research Code of Laws.

Greetings,
yatta.

EDIT
(note: I started to write up this post before vranasm post ^_above_^. Sorry if it is somehow redundant).

20. ### BenginalEmperor

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Round 5: 50 BC to 680 AD (turns 113-144)

Spoiler :
Choosing techs was difficult. In the end I picked the following order: Code of Laws and Civil Service, then Metal Casting, and finally Music.

I settled the settler right away and founded Augsburg.

This turned out to be a bad idea. In the future, before I build a city like that with absolutely nothing in the small cross I'll wait until I'm either in Caste System so that I can run an artist or until I can build culture. As it was it took twenty-five turns for the city to do anything meaningful and in the meantime it significantly slowed my tech rate by costing much and contributing nothing.

With the capital finished its Great Library and Parthenon I had it start on its next wonder.

A national wonder this time. The national epic is nice to have in the Great Library city as those scientists themselves can produce a couple of great scientists.

My axeman was fogbusting up north and saw this.

I made the choice to put Metal Casting in the front. Triremes are so much better against barbs than galleys that I thought it was worth it. Also forges are pretty good buildings.

With the Palace finished in Prague I was able to grow it one pop.

I also started on a market. I do have fur so the market will give me a happy face. And I have a shortage of gold so that I'll be running the tax slider at full enough of the time a market will pay for itself.

Because I made the choice not to research Alphabet, I settled the great scientist in Prague.

Also notice that this was a good call because the Mausoleum had just been built.

Prague was looking pretty good.

With Metal Casting in I went back to my original techs of Code of Laws and Civil Service.

Just a few turns later at the hand of the whip I had a decent little flotilla going.

Those three should be able to deal with the barb galleys and protect the fishing boats I was just about to build in Augsburg.

Unfortunately I had spent too long teching to leave off Music for much longer so I made the choice to start on it after Code of Laws and put Civil Service on hold.

And thank goodness! I met somebody.

Unfortunately he's pretty far ahead of me. But at least so far Music is safe. I won't trade anything with him until I discover if there are any other AIs over there. I want to avoid unnecessary trading with worst enemies and make the most out of the few numbers of techs I'm going to have that they're not.

Another great scientist and still nothing to tech.

So I settled him.

The next AI I met messed everything up.

Gosh dangit. I just had to deal with this guy last game. And as anyone could have predicted he already has Music and has already built the Sistine Chapel. I think I'm going to have to take it from him.

Oh goody. A backwards AI.

He's at war with Qin at the moment. And they're each other's worst enemy. So I can only trade with one of them. But it's looking like I'm going to be able to get the most out of the American.

Oh and another one!

And she's founded Buddhism and spread it all over the place. So it's looking like as soon I get Buddhism spread to me I will adopt it right away. No reason not to as far as I can tell.

Time for some catch up.

Catherine is Pacal's vassal. I can't tell quite what happened, but Catherine only has one city so it's not an entirely pure peace vassal. Somebody put a beat down on her and saved me some trouble.

Here's where the round ends. A state of the empire follows.

Because of happiness concerns my cities have stayed small, but I've traded for some resources with my new found neighbors so the cities can grow now.

Aachen does have some room to grow. But there's still some room on the northern continent and I want to try and settle a few cities up there.

Prague is becoming much better. It's growing as fast as I can grow it so that it can work more cottages.

Here's an upcoming city. Not yet settled, but I think it's going to be alright. As per usual, it has almost no food, but it's got two gems. My cities already have forges so the happiness will be great and hopefully I'll be able to trade the extra gems. You can also see some more land further north. Again no food, but it's better than nothing. And when I take down Pacal it will be nice to have some cities on the continent to serve as a base.

Because of the Buddhist lovefest everybody is pretty much friends. This game is not going to be easy. Luckily the tech situation is okay.

It's really annoying how far everybody else is from Music. Sometimes Pacal really bugs me. It's alright though. He doesn't build too many units and his vassal only has one city. I think I'll be able to take him down.

I think I'll wait until Steel to strike. Collateral is amazing. So I'll go in with maces and cannons. Does that sound okay with everybody? Any other ideas?