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Asking Advice on 100 turns: Normal vs Fast expansion.

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by NoAnswer, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. NoAnswer

    NoAnswer See You Space Cowboy...

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    Hi guys! I've been reading more on REX and I decided to try to play a game from 2 separate approaches up until 1000BC. (Disclaimer to all you pros: I do NOT play as good as you nor do I claim to. I'm just trying to improve my play).

    I was wondering if you guys could give your input as to which game led to a better result.Game info: India, Deity, Standard, from COTM 84. Overall goal: Either Domination or Space.

    Attempt #1:
    This is what I played first. I took the approach that I normally would. I followed my natural urge to to get to Philosophy first and get something like Literature if the AI already have map mapking. This meant Roads before Mines/Irrigation in most cases, as well as keeping cities at 2 population and the capital at 3 minimum while building settlers and workers. i.e. not the fastest expansion. I also saw a lot of bonus grassland and once I found Iron I saw an opportunity for a fast Military build-up.

    Attempt #2:
    I wanted to try to play differently from what I'm used to, with an emphasis on quick expansion. I 50-turned writing and didn't care as much about Commerce.



    Results from Attempt #1
    See first attached Screenshot:

    Score: 411
    Workers: 6
    Income: +48
    Military: 5 warriors, 6 swordsmen and many more on the way.

    Pros: Very good financial situation. Succeeded in free tech, traded for mid-tier Ancient techs, small Gold reserve. Republic much sooner.
    Major Pro: Small force of Swordsmen which will take first Scandinavian city next turn. 4 Towns with Barracks producing Swordsmen at a beautiful rate. I can have a force of 10+ within a short time and make it all the way to Scandinavias next 1-2 cities as well. Once I demand techs from them I'll be able to be nearly on par technologically. I will have republic soon.

    Cons: less cities, less improved tiles, weaker infrastructure, 2 workers less.


    Results from Attempt #2
    See 2nd attached Screenshot:

    Score: 407
    Workers: 8
    Incomes: +44
    Military: 7 warriors.

    Pros: Lots of cities, many improved tiles, strong worker force, and a larger number of cities. Republic much later.
    Cons: No military, failed free tech, far behind in Tech. Had to dish out big money to get a few more techs. Completely weak to the AI. No chance of any kind of military advance in the near future. VERY far behind in Tech with no leverage to catch up with.


    Small note: I think my placement of the SE city was wrong on both tries. IN the first one, that city (Calcutta) should have been 1 tile closer to the capital to be able to use the Wheat tile. I don't know why I would screw that up. Big mistake. IN the second try, the mistake is smaller, but I should have moved it 1 tile farther away. That river plains square would have been a nice asset. I probably did this because of my instinct to plop on a river tile for the 160 shield bonus. In this case, unnecessary.

    So my question is: Which is leading to a better start?
     

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  2. justanick

    justanick Chieftain

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    As i understand it the term slightshot refers to researching Code of Law before Philosophy and catch republic as bonus tech. That, if sucessful, is a very strong move that likely outweights any other considerations. Unfortunatly republic is not in your possesion in either case.

    If you dare to try a real slingshot you should aim at more aggressive expansion than in in Attempt 2 and more aggressive research than in Attempt 1. You can achieve this by skipping barracks. Building barracks at the expense of workers and more importantly settlers is usually a big mistake. You can build baracks once you are a republic. Baracks donnot pay off before producing units worth 120 shields like 4 horsemen. Also gtp costs of barracks and units favour to not use any barracks before leaving despotism. As republic however minizing gtp on units by delaying units in favour of baracks works well.

    I notice that you built temples in both attempts. Donnot do that. Your trait may favour temples but in terms of maintenance they are way too expensive to be useful before having built more important buildings such as libraries. By building more settlers instead of temples you can cover the territory aswell and secure the +2 food from the city tile itself. That is a good method to maximize food output in favour of growth in despotism.
     
  3. NoAnswer

    NoAnswer See You Space Cowboy...

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    Wow you're right I totally missed that. What I had gotten was a free tech, but it wasn't the slingshot. I'm going to correct that right away. Not sure why I wrote slingshhot haha.
     
  4. NoAnswer

    NoAnswer See You Space Cowboy...

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    Thanks for your input. Which approach do you think turned out better?

    I agree with you on temples. In the case of the 2nd attempt I was forced to build a temple because of my bad choice in where I founded the city for Iron. In the first it was just because I hadn't played a religious civ in so long tthat I got excited but it was not optimal in either case. I'll have to train myself to produce settlers even more aggressively.
     
  5. NoAnswer

    NoAnswer See You Space Cowboy...

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    Sorry for double post one more correction: This is Deity not Demigod.
     
  6. justanick

    justanick Chieftain

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    Well, in that case the first approach was the better one. But that is mostly because you got lucky. 2 early MGL make a difference. Usually i would not waste MGL on FP as even more armies can easily outweight the effect of the FP that can easily be built by regular means.

    In general i advise against any war in despotism. The primary goal is to leave despotism ASAP. Many small cities help with that and small cities also help with anarchy. Anarchy and bigger cities donnot mix well unless you already have luxuries in abundance. Small cities allow to grow even in anarchy and as a republic growing fast is important. But is more total population that counts and not having bigger cities per se. The later is mostly relevant for an efficient build up of military. For barracks to pay off you need to build much military in those cities. Be it 4 horsemen or 120/70 = 1.72 knights after building barracks.

    Declaring war early may have some downsides in diplomacy. Proper diplomacy allows to progress faster in tech and net economic output. Early wars are relatively expensive, especially when you still have land to found new towns. And one reason for you to start this war is because you expanded so slowly in the first place. Had you expanded more aggressively the war might have been even less worthwhile. It depends on many circumstances. I am somewhat reluctant to wage war when this comes at the price of slowing down to utilize the land you already have. In the given case waiting till chivalry is researched might be convenient. Spamming out your strong UU combined with some proper military alliances is a strong move.
     
  7. NoAnswer

    NoAnswer See You Space Cowboy...

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    Thanks for your input justanick. I appreciate your taking the time, but I'm really hoping to get advice from people who perhaps have a bit more experience in very successful games. As stated before by templar_x (whose games I've looked at and are absolutely brilliant), when it comes to game knowledge one can usually get a good indication of a player's proficiency by their HoF or GOTM result games and scores. Unless you're using a different name for those I haven't seen your name in any results,.

    Please don't take this as an offense. I'm not the best player here but I know enough to determine that I don't see a lot of basis to your ideas about declaring war in Despotism and such things. =) Once again, I do appreciate your opinion, it's always nice to hear someone's thoughts.
     
  8. NoAnswer

    NoAnswer See You Space Cowboy...

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    Really looking forward to more input from you guys. Vielen Dank!
     
  9. templar_x

    templar_x usually walks his talks

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    that is true for everyone i know but justanick. i have never seen a game from him but he is the guy i would trust in to answer a question like the one you put down here.

    still, i will try to give you some feedback myself as well. only do not have the time now.

    t_x
     
  10. templar_x

    templar_x usually walks his talks

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    well... how shall i start. to be blunt, and that is the only way to really help you, both results are not very impressive, given that strong start. is this continents or archipelago? anyway, two FP wheats is WAY more than what you can expect from an average start. your qsc stats thus look good for a normal game, but they are rather poor for that situation.

    one important issue may be that REXing on this site is by many taken as a given, just like everyone knew what it means. the opposite is true. REXing is a very general term, saying no more or less than that you are trying to grab a lot of land early. it does not say you could not also emphasize commerce, or get the slingshot, or keep an eye on any other balanced approach. that would rather be a strategy of its own, like "extreme REXing", which is regularly necessary on Sid, sometimes on Deity, but not with such a great start position. other situations seem possible, but this appears like you try to achieve just a good result in a standard game.

    why this start position is so strong:
    4 early luxes :eek:
    rivers
    2 wheats
    AIs in only one direction
    iron, at least

    everything justanick said is 100% correct. you were rather lucky in one try, but both lack a few details of gameplay to get you really ahead of the situation.

    -slingshot: not an easy task and never guaranteed on Deity, but if this is arch. and with this start, you should be able to make it. however, REXing and getting the slingshot is no contradiction (production vs commerce rather is!). you need to get your pop factories up asap. and build roads, roads and roads, and grow pop and plant towns.

    -REXing: what is best for each start does not stand anywhere on this site. you need to calculate it. if you want to get the very best out of your start position, get acquainted with the use of a spreadsheet. the learning curve in using of of these is steep, even if you later again choose to skip that for your normal game. you can easily see from different approaches to your start and worker actions, which turns out best for what.
    just as a gut feeling, i believe this is a start for "settler first". you want to put to use that 2nd wheat asap.

    -Pop factories: the most efficient way to transform food into pop. Pop=Population and means settlers and workers. you can have 2 factories here easily: a SF in the capital and a WF in the 2nd wheat town. the position of that town could be like in your 2nd try.
    (however, i do not understand the 160s-bonus?!? a duct is only 100 shields... i guess that is what you meant)
    thus, a calculation would tell you, like, after 50t or 100t, did i fare better by building a worker first, a settler first, the gran first, or a worker and a settler first? (my bet is the last, but without a ss, i would not know either...
    Karachi in your 2nd try would give another pop factory if you wanted one.

    -other towns: often build curraghs, warriors for MP and additional workers (until the WF starts operation at least). early military often weakens your start already mid-term

    if you want more detailled advice, you should post a save, a spreadsheet, town pics.

    hope this helps. you definitely look on your way.

    t_x
     
  11. templar_x

    templar_x usually walks his talks

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    looking at the pictures again, you surely can alternatively have a 6t-SF without a gran quite easily, or *may* also be able to manage a 6t-combo-SF without a gran in the cap, using both wheats! of course, the wheat cannot be shared then short-term, and Karachi most likely will step in as a WF asap...
    doesn´t look shabby to me, either.

    Edit: however, NEVER let your pop factory grow to size 7, as this empties your food bin.

    t_x
     
  12. justanick

    justanick Chieftain

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    One should specify that growing to Pop7 is no problem if that population is removed immediatly by either settler or worker. Food is calculated before production but when production is done population must be below 7 to not lose the food bin later when population goes below 7. :crazyeye:
     
  13. templar_x

    templar_x usually walks his talks

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    further specification: "immediately" = building of a worker or settler IN THE SAME IBT when the pop factory would reach 7. technically, it *does* reach 7 and falls back to size 5 or 6, BUT you never see the town on size 7, plus only that way you avoid the emptying of the food bin.
    i believe this took me longest to really find out and understand years ago, on my way to solve the mysteries of Civ3. ;)
    t_x
     
  14. NoAnswer

    NoAnswer See You Space Cowboy...

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    THANK You very kindly for all of this advice. I'm going to process it as soon as my head unexplodes from the current COTM.
     
  15. NoAnswer

    NoAnswer See You Space Cowboy...

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    It's continents. Hm I tried to get the slingshot but it just doesn't seem possible. This is a start from a COTM by the way. I wonder if anyone who played that was able to succeed in the slingshot? I mean it's Deity it seems a bit unlikely doesn't it?

    Which spreadsheet? That sounds interesting! I usually just calculate Food/Shields/Commerce/and turns in my head, relative to worker turns. If there was an easier way to do this that sounds great haha. Yeah I mean if it's helpful then I wanna do it, I don't really play "normal" games anymore it's boring. Once you get the lead the motivation is gone.

    Yeah I meant aqueduct. For some reason I remembered it as 160 haha (maybe Civ5?).

    I think military was basically a gift in this start. With 4 luxuries and strong production, there was really no reason NOT to build swordsman while waiting for cities to grow and make settlers. I can see how in some situations this can weaken your early/mid game, as you say, but this also allowed me not only to weaken my neighbor significantly for an easier future war, but also to catch up on techs by demanding them. I even got Rome to ally with me, thus making a powerful friend as an additional bonus to all of this.
     
  16. justanick

    justanick Chieftain

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    I argue to the contrary. The better the starting position the lower the need to expand by military means. Not building barrracks and swords had allowed to expanding faster by the means of settlers and workers, increase research a lot and give your superb UU ASAP. Spamming out Warelephants gives you a real army both strong and fast.
     
  17. NoAnswer

    NoAnswer See You Space Cowboy...

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    If you examine the starting location you will see that space is very limited. It would be wasting production to produe settlers in these cities that have no food bonus, keeping them at size 1-2 instead of 4 and building a military.

    Once again, I'm sorry that you haven't noticed but this easly military advance has far more benefits than drawbacks.
     
  18. justanick

    justanick Chieftain

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    As usual it very much depends on circumstances. The ample availability of luxuries adds a bit to your claim because any additional citizen increases research output instead of only increasing the needed luxury rate. But any new town increases the net output of food and thus total net growth. Thus you can research faster and possibly even make the slightshot which gives a huge advantage.

    Also you need to consider corruption. Without the forbidden place and courthouse a commercial civ at deity can found 15+1 cities with less(or equal) than 50% rank corruption. As a republic that figure increases to 16+1. The available space suffices for more than 16 cities. The map does not create any urgent need for military expansion. Waiting for the UU can be a proper strategy.

    It took me some time to release it but i have arrived at the conclusion that extorting the AI for techs in exchange for peace is no good strategy. Usually it is possible to get techs at lower net costs than a peace treaty. If you go for war do it for real: Kill them all. Donnot let an AI survive after you have fought any meaningful war against it.
     
  19. templar_x

    templar_x usually walks his talks

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    i uploaded one very simple spreadsheet, just to show you what i am talking about. no commerce in this spreadsheet. you would want that for such a game.
    here you can calculate variants to the slingshot in advance. may give you surprises.

    i am not at all fond of early swordsmen on Deity. not with so much space to build towns. i would prepare on raxes and probably libs and markets and preferably HORSES. if no horses are available, a few swords may be ok as well. but they are slow.

    t_x
     

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  20. NoAnswer

    NoAnswer See You Space Cowboy...

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    What is raxes? Remember I can't build Marketplaces without Currency. Part of going to war is to be able to catch up sooner on Tech.
     

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