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Any advice on Great Plains Maps?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by JTMacc99, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    I think I fired up one of these a long time ago, but I don't remember. I'd like to give it a few tries, so I'd welcome any advice to keep my trial and error to a minimum. It looks like the general idea is to go cottage heavy, settle every city with at least one grain or livestock (but probably two in many cases) and start smacking around the neighbors and never stop due to the cramped quarters and hard edges of the map.

    Seems like I can probably skip some techs and that mounted units (and anti-mounted units) are going to much more more important than they normally are for me.

    Also, in my first attempt, I'm going to take a creative leader.
     
  2. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Get the cows. Seriously, get the cows ;)
     
  3. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Starting in the eastern grassland seems better to me than being in cowville.
     
  4. Ai Shizuka

    Ai Shizuka King

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    It's one of the most imbalanced map scripts imo.
    Some civs start in grassland heaven, some have nothing but plains cow and the unlucky ones are stuck in the middle of endless mountains and hills.

    Great Wall is good on this map.
     
  5. uncarved block

    uncarved block Prince

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    I've played more than a few, but just on Noble, so take it as you will. Remember, if you're playing BtS, that you can add world wrap-- if you want. I usually play Toroidal, because I hate having an AI declare war on me and be out of reach.

    War early. War often. If you don't, they will, so you might as well be ready for it. Sitting Bull is (no surprise) a good leader for this map, because you can get those Dog Soldiers out uber early. If you play without world wrap, develop a safe corner if you can, then work from there. If not, then expect potential war on any front. Early on, I liked to build the GW and just build military to take out the AI, but that was before I learned how to expand quickly; now, the Spy points just aren't worth the security. Remember that all the happiness resources are in the mountains, even though all your enemies will be on the plains-- managing this split in priorities is the hardest part of the map, for me. With enough population, you can develop some monster production cities.

    Oh, and needless to say, never build the Colossus or the Great Lighthouse ;)
     
  6. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    Well, I'm close to finishing off this game, and here's what happened and what I learned.

    I chose to be Hatshepsut, which I am fairly certain was a wise choice. The creative trait is more than a little helpful on this map, given that the whole thing is giant border war. Also extremely helpful was the early War Chariot rush that allowed me to destroy Genghis Khan before HE could get the horses that were directly between his capital and my capital.

    I started in the very nice Northeastern corner. GK was due west of me and then to his West (in the NW corner) was Sully. In the Southeast corner was Ragnar, whom I was able to ignore early because of the jungle separating us. Plus, he decided to declare war on his western neighbor Darius. Over in the Southwest corner was Lincoln, who took an early beating from centrally located Alexander, and has been low man on the charts the entire game.

    What I learned is that with the good grassland start, and an early rush elimination of a neighbor, you can pretty much cottage yourself right to the head of the pack around the time of Liberalism. However, the wars were frequent so it was very important to actually pay attention to the religious situation and stay on the good side of the dangerous AI civs until you're ready for them. Even more so than on a Pangea map. I founded a religion and shrined it, but it was much more important to join the Hindu faith with Sully, Alexander and Ragnar. The first two could have crushed me, but I kept them on my good side.

    Dopey Ragnar attacked me right as I was building up my army to be prepared for the Liberalism->Steel->everybody dies maneuver. I think I was 5 turns from Chemistry and then one more to complete Liberalism, so I just had to withstand a couple stacks of cats/swords/horsemen and then he was in trouble.

    Oh, I forgot, he most likely declared war on me, because earlier I had jumped in to join his war with Darius. Poor Darius was doing pretty well with research, despite being constantly under attack from the Viking. He had settled a couple cities on my border, so I went ahead and captured them with trebs and maces, and then decided to go down and take one more (Confucian holy city) before accepting his capitulation. I then told Darius to stop researching Liberalism (which would have messed up my Steel plan) and set him on Divine Right. Sucker. Anyway, that left poor Ragnar all stuck in the corner with nobody to fight.

    So, the game basically dictated that I shift into all out war mode right around when everybody was getting engineering and guilds. This is certainly different than a continents map. I'm not sure if it is even possible to go for a mostly peaceful game on this map.

    It made me use a much less hybrid military/economy research strategy from what I normally like to use. It's been all about the military. I think the end game will be to add Lincoln to my stable of vassals (Darius, Ragnar, and Alexander), get them all up to speed with Rifles and then declare war on Sully. I still have a window where it will be cannons vs. muskets or lower.

    Basically, this map would be an excellent way to get people to work on their war mongering skills. I'll probably end up suggesting it to people who ask how to improve in that area, since it sure seems unlikely that a person could avoid, or even delay, confrontation on a Great Plains map.
     
  7. Killroyan

    Killroyan Deity

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    Great plains is a map I have played a lot. Things I have learned so far (monarch player). Either the north east start or the north west start are the best ones.

    North east start. Grassland heavy, often marble/fur/corn present. Concentrate on the marble wonders. Take out 1 or 2 AI there since that part is often cramped with like 3-4 AI there. You can get cornered in really quickly. It is however the easiest part to get the economy going. Health is not much a problem over there but normally happiness is a problem.

    The north west start is my preferred start. You will start at a river with 4-5 cows normally. Meaning your capital is a production heaven. Settler spam/worker spam/wonder spam/army spam, everything is possible. Your cities will propably grow pretty quick with all the cows present there. Population caps will be reached quickly. The best thing of the NW start are the goodies in the mountain range farther to the west. There stuff like gold/silver/fur/deer/sheep/dye can be found. Easy resources (except for dye) to increase the pop. If you cannot found some good cities close to the luxury resources then you will have a hard time getting the economy going since the capital often looks something like 5 cows, 3 hills and maybe a cottaged flood plain. Very little commerce over there and all the plain tiles will not help.

    SW part of the map. Lots of floodplains but also desert corn. No cows whatsoever, but more hills, some luxury resources like gold and incense and more plains. Hard start to be honest.

    SE part of the map. The only sea is there. When you are unlucky there is like 1 sea food resource over there but you will be sure you can build the great lighthouse and the collussus there. (small comfort)

    If you are stuck in the middle you better hope you have some good city sites close since everybody will work towards you. No possibility of sealing stuff of. Lots of wheat in the middle and cows and gems as only luxury resource.

    Overall tactic for me are normally cultural victories since it is easy to get 3 good production cities going for the wonder spam and overall religion spread like wildfire on this map. Or just go conquest style and spam a big army from out the NW start. Hardly can go wrong.
     
  8. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    Yes, I did notice the ability of some cities to wonder spam. The Mongol cities, (Northern Central region) especially his former capital are fabulous production sites, with food from wheat and cows, fresh water and lots of hills.
     
  9. Divaythsarmour

    Divaythsarmour Adventurer

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    The middle is great for playing Cyrus. Research AH first and look for horses. Great production from cow cities. Expand to the maximum quickly and build TGW. AI's will definitely attack. There are lots of choices to make in how to use all of the GG's you'll get. I like to build a super medic first. Then start settling GG's in best production city. Put HE there. Have one really well promoted stack that can survive counter attacks and heal quickly. It's a fun way to play. :)
     
  10. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    Even without the great wall, I think I've generated 5 Great Generals by the mid-1600's. Lots and lots of war.

    Alexander has the Cyrus spot you are talking about in my game. He was the top dog for quite a while. Even after I took three of his most ancient cities from him (wanted the one with the pyramids and the really nice looking production one which happened to have three settled great generals in it) he still controlled 16 cow resources when I accepted his capitulation. He will make an excellent attack dog when I make my final push for the conquest victory.
     
  11. uncarved block

    uncarved block Prince

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    If something I said helped, I'm glad for that. Good to read that I wasn't completely misplaying the map for all these years . . .
     
  12. bestbrian

    bestbrian Just this guy, ya know?

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    Completely agree. The N/E or S/E corners are key for they have the best combination of food and commerce potential; this map also plays out like an old board game. If you start near one of those corners, secure the edge, and then advance along the edge. Once you control one whole side of the map, you can focus on expanding west with a secure rear area (gotta love a flat map).

    My best Great Plains game was in Warlords. Played as Shaka on a Huge/Marathon/18 Civ. Domination win in the 18th century with 80+ cities. Freakin' blast.
     
  13. Killroyan

    Killroyan Deity

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    I have to say that the NW starts are always the easiest for me. I usually have a heavy production capital and I can get all the extra happy resources in the mountains. Whenever I start in the east part of the map I always have way more problems with the AI there.
     
  14. Bostock

    Bostock King

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    Flat maps in general are reminiscent of Avalon Hill's Diplomacy.
     
  15. JTMacc99

    JTMacc99 That's a paddlin'

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    The war early, war often part was dead-on for me. I also quoted you but forgot to mention that it wasn't until my game was well in hand when I figured out the Great Wall stuff. I will probably do that if I play this map again. All I could think about the Great Wall was that I was going to have almost no Barb issues, being all cozy up in a corner and with so many other civs running around fogbusting. I've never played a game where the Great General component of the GW would have made a difference. On this type of map, it would have made a difference.


    Now that I completed the game, I will once again stand by my assertion that the great plains map should be a standard suggestion to players looking to improve their warmongering and diplomacy skills. I'm having a hard time seeing any other way for a game on this type of map to go other than: 1.) Choose sides. 2.) Fight.
     
  16. Killroyan

    Killroyan Deity

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    Culture is way easy on this map.
     

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