Am I Just Unlucky ... ?

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Nov 14, 2012
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Trying to play Byzantines (Monarch/Continents/80%/Standard) and I keep getting (what I think of as) ridiculous maps ... on several attempts, I find myself at (or near) the end of a very narrow peninsula, and by the few turns it takes to get a warrior to the end of it, there's practically nowhere left for me to expand into. I can get a couple of towns (usually), but no matter which Civ (all non-expansionist) they always cut me off. I rarely even get a resource/luxury or two (usually just one). I've played Byzantines once before (Regent/Continents/70%/Small) and had no such problems at all. I mean, I expect to be on the ocean (Seafaring and all), but not so isolated I cannot get anywhere. Any thoughts?
 
I hear it said that 80% water maps can throw out the balance a bit. I tend to agree once I used the editor to generate a stream of such maps and observing what it comes up with. There's usually at least 2 atrocious starting locations on each map (continents or archipeligo seem to make little difference).

Starting from Monarch, AI players start with extra units, although I don't think they gain additional settlers until Emperor maybe. Others would be able to clarify that.
 
I hear it said that 80% water maps can throw out the balance a bit. I tend to agree once I used the editor to generate a stream of such maps and observing what it comes up with. There's usually at least 2 atrocious starting locations on each map (continents or archipeligo seem to make little difference).

Starting from Monarch, AI players start with extra units, although I don't think they gain additional settlers until Emperor maybe. Others would be able to clarify that.
I didn't really think about the AI starting with extra settlers. My starting locations have been so bad it didn't even enter my mind.
 
Even at Monarch they have production and research bonuses (90% cost from memory) so you are not going to match their early expansion pace unless you play an expansionist civilisation and luck a settler or two from goody huts.
 
As a general rule I give a game 15mins to check out the land before deciding whether to continue or restart. Poor maps and starting locations are really commonplace. I think the default settings to place the starting locations a certain minimum distance apart are a bit too large, and this pushes starting locations out towards peninsulas in lower land mass maps.

60% ocean archipelago is my usual go to map these days.
 
by the few turns it takes to get a warrior to the end of it, there's practically nowhere left for me to expand into.
If you're stuck on a peninsula as a Seafaring-Civ, especially on an 80% water map, you might be better off building Curraghs for exploration.

Seafarers start with Alph, so you can start doing that straight away at Monarch (where 2 citizens are born content) because you won't get riots until Pop3. Conversely, at Emperor+ (where only 1 citizen is born content) you will probably need to build a Warrior first for MP at Pop2.

Although a Curragh will take a bit longer to build (8T at the 'standard' 2 SPT, instead of 5T for a Warrior), a Seafaring Curragh's M=3 will make up that 'lost' 3T within its first 2 moves (moving 6 tiles, when a Warrior, though finished more quickly, would still only have moved 5 tiles). And if a Curragh is your second build (after the MP-Warrior), then you might even be able to get an extra 1-2 SPT at Pop2 which could shave 1-2T off the remaining build-time.

And if you send out 2 Curraghs (30 shields) from your capital to map your own continent/island's coastline (one going north/west, one south/east), once they've met up at the other end, then they can also start looking for potential routes to visit the neighbouring islands/continents — which an exploring Warrior(s) obviously can't do!

Of course, you should certainly also send out your first Settler ASAP — but since you wouldn't be able to complete it until Pop3 at the earliest, then it could be your third build (10T at 3SPT at Pop2-3) after the Warrior + Curragh. Once the first Settler is on its way, your first Warrior can go with it — or explore further inland (depending on landform) — while your capital starts over with another Warrior + Curragh (+ Settler?) sequence.
 
You might want to play a map with more land. If the exemplar 80% continents map is crowded, play with less water or fewer opponents.
 
80% water (=20% land) is quite crowded unless you cut down on the number of opponents. There is twice as much land if you pick 60% water (=40% land). Unless you are trying to play crowded maps, with no room to expand, don't pick this setting.

Yes, I think you've been unlucky, but you are also stacking the deck against yourself. 80% water continents have a lot of long, skinny peninsula for you to get stuck on.
 
80% water (=20% land) is quite crowded unless you cut down on the number of opponents. There is twice as much land if you pick 60% water (=40% land). Unless you are trying to play crowded maps, with no room to expand, don't pick this setting.

Yes, I think you've been unlucky, but you are also stacking the deck against yourself. 80% water continents have a lot of long, skinny peninsula for you to get stuck on.
Thanks. I'll see what 70% does first, then 60% if that doesn't help.
 
20% land is like rolling a dice for everyone. Civilizations that start on their own island or with plenty of room, will prosper. You don't know which one you are until after some exploration.

Three towns and one luxury sounds pretty normal to me. After that it's either preparing an invasion, or finding and settling islands which the AI is not nearly as fast doing.

The reward comes later in 20% land maps, when you've expanded and the AI is still at half their normal amount of cities compared to 40% maps.

I like 20% because of the choke points it can create. You don't have to worry as much about barbarians or enemies coming from every direction.
 
Finally won Byzantines at Monarch! No Golden Age, either. Very resource-poor map. Three wars with the Aztecs - two of which were just so I could take Tenochtitlan to get the Uranium ... I lost it after starting the Fuel Cells, then took it again later for the Stasis Chamber, only to have it run out almost immediately (but enough to get it started). No Coal anywhere nearby (didn't get until very late in the game), never had Oil or Saltpeter - couldn't trade for them & they were nowhere nearby for a quick war (only the Uranium qualified for that). All I really had of my own was 1 Rubber and between 1-3 Dyes (borders with the Chinese fluctuated, which wreaked havoc with my citizen moods).

I really expected to get close to winning, only for the Chinese to beat me to the Ship, but for some reason their construction stalled at 8 parts (the Maya also ended there), allowing me time to finish the Third Aztec War.

Speaking of which ... this never happened before: the Inca roped me into an MA against the Aztecs, then a whole turn later they signed a peace treaty. Highly annoying, but I was getting ready to DoW anyway in another turn or two. And I only needed Tenochtitlan for long enough to start the Stasis Chamber, after which it wouldn't matter.

My 4th highest score overall. Not sure which one I'll try next, but hopefully with more resources. This one was tough.
 
You should always have one rubber.
No pun intended? Careful that could be denounced as "toxic masculinity" which these days can get you cast into Outer Darkness. But seriously, yeah, with rubber you have Artillery and Infantry. That's enough to deter aggressors or even attack, as you apparently did (think of Infantry as slow but nearly invulnerable Cavalry).
 
But seriously, yeah, with rubber you have Artillery and Infantry. That's enough to deter aggressors or even attack, as you apparently did (think of Infantry as slow but nearly invulnerable Cavalry).
Yes, the Infantry made the big difference. It turned out the Aztecs were slightly less advanced than I, and were not any better resourced. I ended up with two additional Aztec towns (plus two that had, much to my surprise, culture flipped earlier in the game).
 
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