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An Indonesian Strategy: Kinda Fun but Tedious

Discussion in 'Gameplay Guides' started by HighFunctioningAlcoholic, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. HighFunctioningAlcoholic

    HighFunctioningAlcoholic Warlord

    Apr 10, 2018
    I actually think Indonesia is an excellent Civ with which to get acclimated to 1.15 due to the lack of external threats and the need to switch civics more often early. I wrote something earlier but will expand on it a little. I'm not going to get into much detail after the first 2 UHVs since #3 is pretty simple, but here's a semi-detailed strategy for the 1.15 version. IMO the first (and possibly second) conditions have gotten much more difficult.

    Side-note: I think the Orange Laut might need a better name, as to my knowledge that term refers to an ethnic group that happened to be sea-fairing, not an actual ship.

    First cities are Palembang (spawn point), Jakarta (1W of stone), and Sukadena (1N of banana). There's an argument for a city 1 E of the stone later, but I choose to ignore this argument. I later found Singapore in 1020. I made the mistake of founding it on the hill to ensure I covered the dye. Don't do this, found it in its normal location; the city will have awful production without a mine on that hill later.
    Immediately set your civics at Despotism, Caste System, Clergy, Citizenship, and Redistribution.

    Beeline Compass; the couple times I've tinkered with Indonesia, I've always come in second to Japan in population (by a huge margin, usually double my pop) without direct intervention. The solution to this is to get Orang Laut ASAP and blockade Japan; a land invasion won't work, I've tried. The obvious exception to this is if you can broker trades (i.e. Architecture for Artisanry).

    Following the above suggestion, I switched to Manoralism in 890 and pumped out workers in every city before switching back to Caste System in 960. Definitely a sufficient number of workers (that will run out of things to do pretty quickly).

    For gold reasons, you should time your discovery of Compass (and thus Orang Laut) with your capture of Pagan (and its Shwedagon Playa) so you can switch to Theocracy and its +2 experience points. I accomplished this in 1140. Immediately set tech to 0, switch to Republic (and possibly Slavery based on your worker situation (it'll provide economic and production benefits) and start pumping out Orang Laut to blockade the Japanese. At first, you'll need to send them in packs as not to get taken out, but eventually they can stand alone with a backup roaming around just in case. It's ESSENTIAL that Tokyo and Kyoto are blockaded ASAP. I ended up building 8 (while losing 2) by 1300. It's slightly possible Japan will withstand the blockade, in which case you need to realize you've spent too much time on this game and go outside.

    Once the blockade is secure, with 1 or 2 Orang Laut roaming, you need to focus on happiness resources (and switch back from Theocracy and Republic, the latter of which is awful).
    After 1300, set your Orang Laut mercenaries to cover one city each. Unless they're gaining $ by intercepting trade, they're not worth the cost, so it's ok if they get defeated, and you may want to delete them. Build (at least) 2 more instead (avoiding the mercenary cost) and send them to Europe; they can survive at least to 1600 and could possibly provide you with wine as your 10th resource. In hindsight, I would have sent more to prevent European growth. (I effectively neutralized Portugal (and Spain to a degree, while ignoring Britain and France.)

    Now is the time to explore the new tech tree, while making sure you get Exploration at some point for the Galleons. While I like to vassalize the Aztec and Inca in every game (because as a red-blooded American, I feel the need to control Latin American policy), I think it's almost ESSENTIAL to at least reach the Inca and Aztec first as to bring back the Conquerers. There's no real need to pursue any direction tech-tree wise after this point, with the exception of having a capable enough military to defend against the TC events. Just remember to keep looking at what everyone else has and work out trades. The Mughals (despite my eventual desire to take Azimbad for the 2 shrines) are great trade partners.

    I settled Davao (on the copper in the Philippines) in 1350 and Makassar (1W of the spice on the C-shaped island) in 1455 (though Ternate on the Spice to west 1N of the Dye may have been preferable) and captured Calcutta in 1420. At this point, you should have 7 happiness resources (cotton, tea, dye, spices, gems, gold, & silk). I'm not sure if it's a bug, but for some reason, sugar didn't contribute to my happiness resources, even with Coffee Houses in every city. So that leaves 3 left.

    Avoiding war, 2 options to get 2 of them independently is to settle the island way to the east for the pearls and SE Australia for the silver (If you do the latter, you need to explore the entire eastern coast of Aus to create a trade route.) I found this wasteful; the Asian countries love copper, so I settled NE Aus for the copper there, leaving me with 2 coppers, 1 to trade to the Tamils for pearls and 1 to trade to Tibet for incense. This leaves 1 more resource to acquire, which is where your European Orang Laut come in. For whatever reason, trading routes between Indonesia and Europe open right around, if not at, 1500 (not sure if this is a bug, since it should have already been open having traced a route along the coast, and Optics has yet to be discovered, so it's not ocean trading). France has wine and will demand a lot, but with the number of spices, tea, etc. you have, you should be able to cut a deal. If not, suffer for 10 turns of paying them way too much gold, or go back and settle the silver as well as the copper and make trades.

    Following this, I ended up vassalizing Latin America. This may be a poor choice, as their stability may bring you down, but eh? Regardless, you should capture some of their cities for experience points, even if it means declaring peace and returning them later. I then brought back my conquerers to Capture Azimbad and its 2 shrines to revive my economy, which is inevitably in the dumps. I sort of forget, but I believe I captured Delhi and another Mughal city to collapse them (though granting them independence later).

    I eventually conquered Angor which collapsed Thailand (who had replaced Khmer), followed by Hanxy. Due to this overexpansion, I would have collapsed as well, had my unstable vassal (Inca) not collapsed first. While figuring out how to avoid collapsing was annoying and required a couple S/L, the capture of Hanxy would have been essential considering my military state for the TC event (dependent on how ambitious the French would be)... had my game not glitched and expelled the French invaders for no reason (to Tibet, I eventually learned). If that had not been the case, I could have gifted it to China and let them deal with the French. Because it's not really in the spirit of the game, I would have S/L, but... it's a long game, and I'm confident with the Chinese buffer I could have finished them off later. But mostly because it's a long game.

    I then created several Super Medics with my Conquerers which made the TC events very manageable. Just remember to garrison your cities - siege weapons help against the enemy stacks.

    After this, the game can get kind of dull. IMO opinion, the only way to make it entertaining after reaching the 2nd UHV is to settle mid-America. I didn't because I didn't plan ahead, but if you can found enough cities in time to block the Americans from reaching the Pacific, all the better. In the later eras, overextension becomes a non-factor with courthouses and jails (to a degree - it's a mess until then), so the production from these cities can actually allow you to conquer America / whatever region you prefer. Or you could just sit back and click next, as your core should almost give you 9% pop alone. (I also settled Australia for ****s and giggles.) I ended up finishing well in 1st, running 90% tech. Had I wanted to and managed my stability (or kept on playing), I imagine I could have made inroads into Europe.

    Overall, I think this is an underrated game. It might be helpful to have the TV on in the background. I suggest Bob's Burgers, Rick & Morty, or Community. On that note, I need some comedy suggestions, so leave a suggestion.
    canexpthat likes this.
  2. canexpthat

    canexpthat Chieftain

    Feb 4, 2014
    My Personal Walkthrough for Indonesia

    I'm a noob at all this, so I downloaded version 1.81 from GitHub and played that. I don't know if that's unorthodox and should've went with the official version for these guides. I played on Monarch and Epic speed.

    First UHV

    Your competitor for the first UHV will be Japan. In my runthroughs, Japan's civ pop at 1300 AD will be between 5 million and 9 million.

    The strategy is to build tall because of the way civ pop scales with city size (e.g. the difference between a city size 3 and city size 4 is 37,000 population while the difference between a city size 16 and a city size 17 is about 800,000 population). Have two main food cities for population, one on Borneo Island, Sukadana, which has 3 food resources in its initial 3x3 grid (fish, clams, and bananas) and one on Java Island, Kahuripan, on the spice, with 2 food resources in its 3x3 grid (fish and bananas). One city on the starting island, Sumatra Island, with iron and fish in its 3x3 grid, will be sort of an initial production city.

    Having the food resources in the city's 3x3 grid means there's no need for a culture pop to start growing food. So it probably doesn't matter which city you make your capital or gets Buddhism with the initial missionary to start (the two ways that a city can grow culture immediately).

    I had my Sumatran city be the capital and start with Buddhism. I put it one square north of the starting square (Jambi) so that it has access to two hills for the production. From there, with Buddhism, it can build a Buddhist monastery and make missionaries relatively quickly if needed for the other 2 cities if Buddhism doesn't naturally spread to them - although it does tend to spread to them, anyway. The other 2 cities don't need culture to start because of all the food in their starting grids, so they are fine without being the capital or without Buddhism initially.

    So if you decide to place the city on Borneo or Java in such a way that the food resources aren't in the city's initial 3x3 grid, I would suggest to make that city either the capital or give it Buddhism to start with to get a culture pop as quickly as possible.

    Move 1 actions/thoughts/planning:
    -War galley: the smartest move is to initially explore the immediate surroundings with it, meet China, Japan, and Korea for trade routes, set all spy points toward Japan (more on this later), and then park it on the islands square near Sumatra for the defensive bonus, as later, 1 or 2 Independent/Barbarian war galleys will probably come from the west before 1300 AD and possibly disrupt things. An aggressive chancy move instead of parking it on the islands near Sumatra is to move your war galley way to the west and park it on the islands square in the Persian Gulf, where an Independent war galley will eventually find it (the Independent war galley seems to originate from around the Horn of Africa). If your war galley can survive, then it can hope to make contact with the Turks later if they conquer the nearby city there in Persia/Iran (Siraz). The Turks (if Buddhist) and Tibet are the two main civs with which you can easily trade multiple techs from when you meet them. The neighboring civs tend to be either too advanced (Northeast Asia) or unfriendly (Khmer, unless it turns Buddhist) unless you beeline techs they don't have. So maintaining contact with the Turks and Tibet is beneficial. The Turks can be contacted from north of Tibet as well. The Turks tend to collapse later. There's also a chance that they may end up not Buddhist, which will make tech trading with them probably impossible. They sometimes go through different versions (e.g. Seljuk Turks, Turkestan, etc.) and along with that, their attitude towards you can drastically change, so keeping tabs with them is generally good to catch any chance you can trade with them.
    -Send the two galleys to the other two food city locations (Sukadana and Kahuripan) to found those cities.
    -Change civics to Despotism (for slavery), Clergy (for city production boost), Citizenship (for happiness and faster aqueduct production), and Redistribution (for faster granaries). Later when you build granaries, when they're done building, switch back to Merchant Trade for the trade route gold (I actually did my play without Redistribution and just stuck with Merchant Trade, but Redistribution should save you some turns in the opening stages.) Later, in the mid-game on our way to 1300 AD, when we don't need slavery anymore, switch to Monarchy (for city garrison happiness). Optional later is Tributaries (for faster military production when building city garrison units for happiness as your 2 food cities quickly grow). If you can micromanage it, you can switch to Manorialism when you want to pump out workers and switch back to Caste System. I didn't bother with this though and just kept Caste System.
    -All three cities make work boats. Immediately rush the work boats when the cities get to pop 2.
    Wherever you settle your capital city, three workers will pop up. Mine the iron on Sumatra, connect the bananas on Java and the bananas on Borneo. Quarry the stone on Java and mine the remaining hill on Sumatra and the hill on Borneo in the city's range.
    -Beeline for Alchemy for pharmacies (for health). So research Artisanry and Scholarship. Less important: Politics for spies and Feudalism for Tributaries. Compass gets you wharfs and the Indonesian privateer unit, Orang Laut, but IMO you don't need them for the first UHV. (Unless you want to blockade Japan with them, but I didn't think about this at all until I read the above strategy.)

    After the 3 work boats are done, all cities make granaries. Rush them when possible. After that, make candis in all cities.

    Send a galley up to East Asia to make contact for Open Borders and the trade income if you haven't yet. You should be able to get open borders with Korea if you gift 30 gold or more, I think, but this isn't necessary since later on Korea will allow open borders on its own.

    The moment you meet Japan, set all spy weight to Japan. If you have spare income/research, feel free to raise the spy rate a little bit. (Not that important.)

    After the granary is built in the Sumatran city, make a scout. Ideally, one galley can take it west to pop the hut on the east coast of India, then southeast to Australia (1 or 2 huts there), then take the scout up to East Asia and send it to around Tibet to maintain contact with Tibet as well as the Turks if the Turks are up there. You may need to make multiple scouts if they die.

    Next for the 3 cities is Buddhist monasteries, aqueducts, and harbors (monasteries should go first for the culture growth. The order of the other two doesn't matter too much). I semi-rushed 2/3 of these buildings (wait for the city to grow a bit or grow past its happiness limit and then rush the building). The two food cities want the monasteries for a culture pop. Sukadana wants access to all the hills (for production) on Borneo Island and the gems to the east. Kahuripan wants access to the hill tile (for production) on Sulawesi Island in its fat cross and the islands square to the east (also for production). As the cities culture pop, have the workers mine these hills and connect the gems. Don't forget to connect the Sugar on Sumatra.

    When the capital city has "free time," after you research Politics, make a spy and send him up to Japan, and go to Kyoto and poison the water supply as many times as you can to slow growth.

    The capital city (or the food cities if they are at their unhappiness limit, but ideally they should totally concentrate on growing and building the above 3 buildings) should make settlers and Buddhist missionaries (for the new city's culture) to settle the Philippines (on the forest tile that has sugar, bananas, and gold in its initial 3x3 grid. Copper and silk eventually in its fat cross) and one city on the western tip of New Guinea Island for the spices and dye. All these resources (and trading them) will help the food cities' growth. One or more additional workers will help with connecting all these resources.

    Around this time, or whenever the food cities start to hit their happiness limits and no longer need to rush the above 3 buildings, start thinking about switching to Monarchy for the city garrison happiness. Once in Monarchy, build archers (the cheapest military, I think) for city garrison happiness.

    Make baths and pharmacies in the food cities for health. Personally, I think it's a judgment call whether you rush these while still in Despotism or switch to Monarchy for the city garrison happiness and build them slowly the normal way. I think I built baths and pharmacies after Monarchy. (As mentioned before, I didn't even need wharfs.)

    Trade with other civs for more health and happiness. Beware that the Turks are very likely to collapse. China and Tibet may also collapse, but less likely. When Mongolia arrives, be friendly with them in case they have resources that you can use or if they replace China.

    Don't give Japan Alchemy (pharmacies) or Compass (wharfs). Don't trade resources with Japan - Rice can be obtained from China/Mongolia, and Silk from the Philippines as well as China. No reason to help Japan with its population growth.

    India has other health resources that are unavailable in Southeast and Northeast Asia, but it may be hard and unnecessary to make contact with them after they arise (India is initially all Independent city states) as they arise pretty late for the 1300 AD deadline in my experience.

    If you can get your two food cities to around population 16, you are safe for the 1300 AD UHV.

    Second UHV

    Get 10 luxury resources by 1500 AD (doesn't have to be at 1500 AD - any time before 1500 AD will win it as well).

    I thought this UHV would be easy after the first one, and while it doesn't take that sort of optimized long term play, it still may not be that easy. In my experience, there's a decent amount of RNG.

    The luxury resources you always realistically have a chance of getting:

    -In your core region: gems, spices (multiple), dye. (Sugar doesn't seem to count.)
    -Around your core region that you can settle and connect yourself: gold and silk (Philippines), silver (Australia). There are also pearls in Polynesia that I missed in my play through.
    -So that's 4 (3 if you connect the pearls) left that you need to trade for or conquer, from usually: incense, cotton, tea (Japan and Khmer have it but are unlikely to trade them), pearls (southern India), and ivory (India. Khmer has it but is unlikely to trade it).

    Bad RNG: plague in the late 1300s (this usually always occurs, so you can plan for it), Spanish arrive in the Philippines in the late 1400s with bombards and arquebusiers (the Trading Company event), Tibet collapses (incense and tech trading gone), both Mongolia and China collapse (incense and cotton trading gone), Mughals and Chola either never arise or are too late to arise in India to give you a chance to trade for their luxury resources or they exist but are too unfriendly with you (try giving an unfriendly civ at least 30 gold to see if it helps their attitude), the Turks collapse or are unfriendly, Khmer are strong and cannot be easily invaded for their resources.

    Good RNG: basically the opposite of everything above. No European colonizers and no one collapses and everyone's happy to trade.

    While the Thais, who will be Buddhist and friendly with you, will arise near you to the north, in my games, Khmer held on to Pagan and never gives you Open Borders, so contacting the Indian civs can be tricky. Either send in a scout through China and slip to the west below the Himalayas or the surest way is to build a spy and just walk him through Khmer (although a spy has a chance of getting caught). You can also send the privateer replacement unit through the Khmer waters, but everyone will try to kill it if they see a privateer, so you may have to send a small navy of them. Or, just declare war on Khmer just to get a ship across to India and peace out with them later when possible (protect your galleys from Khmer war boats in the meantime). The goal here is to park a unit in India to maintain contact with them to grab the chance when they suddenly become willing to trade their resources. When the chance is there, take it. If not, they might trade it away to someone else and won't have it later.

    You will have a big fat population after winning the first UHV. When the plague comes around the late 1300s, change to Despotism and then rush build buildings or whatever you want instead of just losing your population. During this time, I like to build forges (happiness and production), markets (happiness and gold), lighthouses (gold), and barracks to prepare for a possible invasion of Khmer. Build walls and a castle in the Philippines in case the Spanish come there. Once in Despotism, you don't need your huge city garrisons for happiness in your food cities, so move some (or most) of them to the Philippines.

    In the worst case scenario, you only have the 6-7 luxury resources you connected on your own, which means you have to invade for the other 3-4. Khmer has tea, and India has cotton, pearls, and ivory.

    After you beelined Alchemy in the first UHV, for the second UHV, you want Feudalism for the Tributaries civic, Foritifications for Trebuchets, and Commune for longbowmen. Trebuchets, longbowmen, and a few spearmen (vs. elephants) can be your invasion force againt Khmer. You can also put all spy weight on a neighboring civ to steal their technology.

    Third UHV

    The biggest things to look out for are: Spanish and especially the Dutch Trading Company invasions, plagues, and keeping up with technology. Build walls and castles in your main 3 cities to prepare for the Dutch. Make lots of longbowmen. Get Commune, Gunpowder, and Firearms. After the Spanish come and you've survived that, move your archers in the Philippines to your main 3 cities. When the Dutch come, go to 0% science to upgrade those archers or have a stockpile of gold the whole time.

    Have lots of extra health and/or use Despotism whipping to deal with the plague.

    In my experience, if you grow your two main cities up to 16 or more (which you already are capable of with the first UHV), you can easily reach around the 9% goal. If you just "grow naturally," maybe invade the mainland, settle Australia, you'll have a hard time not going over 9%. Just watch out for the Dutch and the historical plagues. After the 2nd UHV, it really becomes a free play situation because as long as you survive the Dutch and you play a normal RFC type endgame, you will be above 9% of world pop.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  3. MagnificentMOFO

    MagnificentMOFO Chieftain

    Aug 22, 2018
    Here's what I did on Paragon.

    First, switch to Despotism, Clergy, Redistribution, and Citizenship. For cities, make your capital on Borneo (1N of banana), settle on the dye on the mainland, and where your settler starts. Make your capital Buddhist and put all cities on food emphasis (saves you some time micromanaging). Your build order (some of these should be rushed) in the Borneo and mainland would be: work boat(s), granaries, harbors, aqueducts, amphitheatres, baths. On your spawn point, go: settler->barracks->swordsmenx4. Drop research to 0 and put the cultural slider up a bit (I think I put it at 20%), so I could get early border pops (Buddhism will spread too slowly to be reliable). After I got necessary border pops, I put all the slider towards gold.

    The next settler should go to Java on the stone (you get quite a bit of production from building on it). Do the same here as you did in Borneo and the mainland. The 4 swordsmen (city raiders) should do an amphibious assault on Pagan. Pagan had a crossbow, but the 4 were enough (luck was probably a factor). Keep it. This city has two main benefits. The first is that it gives you access to tea (happiness resource) and the second is that you'll be able to sail across India (once the Tamils spawn) without having trade connections cut off from declaring war on the Independents. You also get all the religious civics.

    Once you get the amphitheatre in your capital, start using the culture slider to create happiness. This really allows you to push up your population. You will have to deal with unhealthiness, so you should also try to trade for rice from Japan. You'll also want to build another settler (on your spawn point) and send it to the Philippines. Same protocol, but I didn't really get to develop city much before 1300. Also, begin focussing on growth oriented buildings on your spawn city, to maximize growth in the remaining time. I can't guarantee this will work, but it did for me on both emperor and paragon. The main reason being that your capital will be huge (I believe it reached almost 6M, even with the plague having slowed its growth down). If you finish all the necessary buildings early, begin building barracks and archers & catapults, except Pagan where you should focus on culture (you cannot risk losing this tea to Khmer or Thailand).

    As soon as you hit the goal, you'll need two settlers ASAP and you should also turn off the culture slider (you'll be near broke at this point). Send one up to Russia. There's a spot not far from the water which is 1SE of a fur resource. Settle that and immediately build a camp on the fur. This works because it's on a river which feeds into the ocean. Only keep this city until you get the goal, after that, give it independence. The other one should go to Australia. I build so the silver was right in my immediate border. It's not that great of a city, but you won't have time for a border pop. Again, mine the silver right away. You'll also need to meet the Tamils and Tibet. Tamils should trade you pearls and Tibet should trace you incense. If they don't, just hope you meet the Ottomans, who will trade wine or incense.

    In your main cities, begin focussing on building up a lot of units, libraries, and markets. Once you can afford it, begin researching towards fortification and basically you'll just keep upgrading military tech whenever have enough money to do some research. You'll be very backwards technologically, but it doesn't matter. A large enough force can deal with the Spanish and Dutch, even if you're flinging stones at their guns (you'll burn through siege weapons). You'll also be using scientists and merchants. If you can survive colonization attempts, the 3rd goal is easy. Just build a few more cities in Australia and New Zealand (which can grow really large, which may compensate if you lose a city or two to the Europeans) and continue to emphasize growth, don't collapse, and you'll win. Just remember that a large enough stack can deal with any technological gap, especially when you're on the defensive.

    Out of curiosity, what difficulty did you play? I can't ever seem tech fast enough to even think about getting to the Incans or Aztecs (or even compass to get the pearls), so I just gave up on tech.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  4. canexpthat

    canexpthat Chieftain

    Feb 4, 2014
    I played on Monarch (although my strategy doesn't contain the American invasion as that's from the previous poster's).

    I forgot about using the culture slider for culture pops... Much better than having to build Buddhist missionaries or monasteries for every city.
  5. Fresol

    Fresol Angry Halfling in Green

    Jun 19, 2011
    The game stretches too long, I've never really finished a game as Indonesia. No fun towards the end of game.
    Orbii likes this.
  6. jorissimo

    jorissimo Warlord

    Jan 31, 2008
    Swapped cheese and windmills for cod and wine
    Just did a quick run of Indonesia on Heir (Regent actually, mixed the two up) using MagnificentMOFO's strategy. Worked like a charm, but I ended up missing the second UHV due to GNR shenanigans. The Tamils hadn't even hooked up their pearls yet. So I guess that for the second goal, low difficulty levels may actually be a handicap. Also the Turks didn't want to trade their cotton under any circumstance. I also sent a spy through Europe and met France only one turn late, in 1505, (having taken the shortest route to them), who were willing to trade their wine for my sugar after I gave them a heap of money and my world map. However, something I realized was that on Australia's NE coast there is actually a whale resource. So I guess to be extra sure to get the resources, a spy should be whipped out the moment one researches politics and sent to Europe, and a second city should be settled in Australia next to the whale (the third one in total when you include the Russian city). Also, my Pagan tea ended up falling under Khmer culture after their core area shifted to Vietnam coinciding with the spawn of Thailand, but luckily the Khmer (Vietnam by this time) were willing to trade it to me.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

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