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Asking for your advice – Shadow game on Emperor

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by NightOnEarth, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Loaded your save to have a look. You're in a very strong position here, so can win the game any way you want really. Heck, you could probably still smack people around with Horse Archers for that matter. Knights may be a better option, especially if you can hit them before Feudalism starts going around.

    Lymond has covered quite some ground, so I'll just make some comments of my own, maybe complementing others a bit, or disagreeing at other points.

    1) Tech trades. Holding back somewhat on trading for cheap techs has merit (especially Archery), don't get me wrong. It also means you are spending turns teching unnecessary stuff, though, which you can get for free. Sure, at some point you'll run into the "We fear..." threshold, but it doesn't really matter here, especially as Mansa is on the map. The AIs are slow, you're teching like a beast, and soon enough they'll have nothing to trade anyway. Not sure how well-known this is, but there is also a slight chance each turn that an AI will 'forget' a traded tech. That means you can see them go from "We fear.." status to being willing to trade. For one trade. Then it's back.

    Both Suli and Sury are teching Calendar, but I'd just grab it from Mansa tbh. CS for Construction + Calendar. Maybe hold off a turn so you see what Mansa starts next, if it's something better you want to use CS with as tradegood. But let's say you do that trade now. Next turn you can sell Calendar to Suli and Sury for backfiller techs and gold. I'd probably just 'gift' Alpha to Louis for the gold he has too. It won't matter much at this point, despite the worst enemy status (you'll at worst get -1 :mad:). Same with Priesthood and Calendar to Sury once he gets some gold. Likewise, I'd have no qualms here about trade e.g. CoL to Suleiman for Mono + Meditation + 70g. You need the money to keep research at full tilt, or near enough.

    Another point worth keeping in the back of one's mind is what was touched upon before, about "You shared your technological discoveries with us". By selling cheap stuff like priesthood and alpha for meagre amounts of gold, that counter increases. Doesn't matter if it's Priesthood or Fusion. It's +1 either way. Eventually it will help your diplo. Very easy to get this with Mansa, but it will help in general too.

    Edit: Ah yes ofc, Once I did that mono-medi trade in-game I see that Mansa has Philo. That would be excellent to get for CS from him. More important than Construction+Calendar. Especially if you intend to have an early GAge.

    2) Courthouses. All those extra EP means you have tech view on several people now, which is nice. And they are cheap with Organized. But they do next to nothing for you in the capital and the cities nearby it. A market in the capital would make a great deal more sense (slight happiness boost, and good for binary research), or a Forge once you get Metal Casting.

    3) Gold area. I can't for the life of me fathom why you settled on top of the gold. Especially as the barbs already ruined that FP they settled on. Did the city auto-raze? Probably not unless it was founded very recently (size 1 cities that have never been size 2 will auto-raze, unless you use the option for it in settings when setting up the game). Better to use the city spot that was already there. Or if you could have settled it yourself earlier, on the hill NW of that gold you settled on. That grabs a lot of floodplains which you can farm or cottage, and could theoretically work all three golds, freeing Addis a bit (although it doesn't really have much else to do since plains tiles suck). Anyway, the point is that it's much better to work a gold than settling on it. You see the AI do it to gain the resource, like they tend to do with copper and iron, but it's pretty poor due to the commerce loss.

    4) Adulis. I'm not ecstatic about the location of Adulis tbh. Right now you have 4 FPs that can't be worked. The fish city further north will grab one of them, but there are still 3 left over. Suppose you can place another city on the plains 3E of Adulis. Won't be great without any proper resources, but it will grab the remaining FPs.

    5) Golden Age. Perhaps my playstyle is different here, but I tend to prefer to postpone Golden Ages a bit, unless I desperately need it to get to Lib or Cuirs or something, before the AIs tech a show-stopper like Rifling. For a GA, you ideally want Pacifism and a religion well-spread. The latter is tricky here because the map is pretty huge, and the founded religions far away. Less natural spread, and lower chance for a horde of missionaries from the AIs. You may have to do it yourself (but first you need OR). True, it hurts with 2 turns of anarchy to first switch civics and then the most fitting religion, but it could make sense too, at least the first move. Admittedly I sometimes kinda mess up with that in my own games. Do the double-switch to HR-OR to save a turn later, and then never go into a religion or spread it myself -- meaning I'm paying extra for the high cost of OR, but not getting any of the benefits (although in this game it helps with diplo). You can't always get the ideal situation with MoM, Pacifism and a well-spread religion though. So if you want a big boost to commerce and hammers now, then it does make some sense too. Just be aware that those GAs will be much more powerful later, when you have an even bigger empire. Perhaps mostly for space games, though, as those last a long time. Sorry if this reads like flip-flopping ( :D), I'm merely trying to offer some pros and cons.

    6) Explore-boat. Doesn't matter so much now since you have a coastal city on the 'other' side of the awkward mountains in the south, however, an explore-boat would still have been good to sail around those mountains (defog them to unlock trade routes) and to explore whatever else is along that coast.

    7) The capital. It's a great capital. However, I would have preferred to see it bigger. Lacking HR really hurts you here. With such a good capital and HR, you could have stuffed it full of warriors or archers (if you had the tech for it) and let it grow pretty quickly to 15. Right now you are hamstrung by needing happiness resources. Presumably you are running scientists there to prevent growing into unhappiness, but with HR and some cheap units, the capital could have been bigger and taken over more of those excellent tiles. Due to bureaucracy you want the capital to work them instead of helper cities, when the capital is big enough.

    8) Fish-wheat city west. This was touched upon earlier by @Undefeatable, and I agree with him that it would probably have been better to split that location up. The fish city could even borrow the capital's corn to grow very rapidly. And you could have put a city on the riverside tundra, that would automatically irrigate the wheat. A bit later when they're not required to run cottages for the capital, they can both run two scientists plus a host of other half-decent tiles, like lighthouse coast. Or pump out workers or something. The city is good the way it is, don't get me wrong, but it might have been better to split up the food in two cities.

    Okay, this wall of text is probably big enough. And doesn't cost a billion dollars either. Woot! :lol:
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
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  2. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    First I just gotta say that I am continuously amazed by what Mansa Musa is able to do. Right here he has god-awful land, arguably apart from his capital (plenty of food and non-tundra fur). Yet he techs like a beast. Maybe even more so in the shadow I'm playing. Good thing not everybody are teching like him, or we'd be in real trouble on the higher difficulties.
    Also wanted to make a comment on this. In my view, the Cuirs are strong enough to fight on their own without needing stack defenders. And short of the French with their 2-move Musketeers, the main benefit with the Cuirs (amongst many others...) is their fast movement. The Ballista Elephant can be nasty, but not really for Cuirs. Combat 2 Cuirs will have good odds against them.

    The main danger with Ballista Elephants is in a more traditional melee+siege stack... with an early Chariot as super-medic..... HORROR if that dude gets slayed. It has happened, and trust me, it's not fun :lol:
     
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  3. NightOnEarth

    NightOnEarth Chieftain

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    Thank you very much, Pangaea. Even more food for thought. The diversity and complexity of this game is amazing. It apears to me that - like in chess - there is no watertight best approach, but several comparatively promising approaches. Perhaps it is more about having a coherent strategy than to string together tips and tactics. Of course important decissions shall be questioned for the sake of a fruitful discussion (and for me to learn as much and as deeply as possible :)).
    With that said I have to stop now and to come back to your comments later (time-trouble).

    On with a short report of my first Golden Age: (just a summary, looking ahead later)
    I managed to trade in CS & aesth for philo & 50g with Mansa. I got 2GS. The first lightbulbed education (1628 points), the second is currently idle, because the lightbulb sequence is compass/calendar/MC/lib and I want lib. GPP in five of my cities vary between 130 and 230, some of them are loosing food (but no pop). I need ~6-7 more turns for lib once the GA is gone and about 11t for the next GS. I stopped with one remaining turn of my GA, because I'm unsure if I should return to slavery for more production (missionaries, universities(?), maybe even Oxford (?)) or if I stay in caste system for more GPP.
    My first missionary is still in progress, my next settler nearly finished (Qohaito).
    With lib I could aim for eco (GM + GS = new GA), but first I have to read the suggestions once lib is in.

    Süley shows a fist in the ranking list. What does that mean?
    Darius requested CoL from me. I gave in. Mistake? Anyhow, I'm willing to trade it in to Süley for 80g, before he gets it from someone else.
    The Hindus (unknown civ) have founded the Apostolic Palace.
    Mansa asked to trade paper for theology. I declined.
    Trading maps is now possible. Perhaps I should trade with Darius/Süley for getting a grip on the southern hemisphere.
    Süley converted from taoism (2nd religion of Mansa) to Buddhism (Louis' religion)
    I'm intending to use my second spy as scout. Is this resonable?
     

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  4. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    This means he is plotting war on somebody. Could be you btw. In fact, it almost certainly is you :run: He is pleased with everybody else, and cannot plot at Pleased :sad:
    It is possible it is somebody else, but only if he started plotting if he recently was Cautious with one of the other AIs. He's far away though, so even if he declares on you I wouldn't fret too much. He also may stop plotting at some point (if the fist goes away). And if you get him to Pleased you can get 10g or something for a cease fire. He cannot declare in those 10 turns, and may drop plotting entirely. In that case too, the fist goes away.

    Edit: You can easily check this in your savegame actually. Trade Suli Literature for his gold and world map. He becomes pleased. Then ask him for 1 gpt. You get a cease fire and the fist goes away. Problem solved :)

    This seems like a good place to mention the favourite civic bonus. In this game we happen to have several leaders that are easy to get on good terms with, because their favourite civic is something we are very likely to run in the early to mid game. The screenshot is from my own shadow, but check out the highlighted column. Had I (or they) been running with other civics than HR and OR, I would be at Cautious relations with Suryavarman and Louis. Stuff like this can really help out your diplo, as it's essentially a bonus you get for free. Other easy modifiers is "fair" trade agreements with them, which goes up to a maximum of +4 :). Especially in the early game this is fairly easy to acquire by selling them cheap techs for gold.

    This trick is a bit cheesy so I don't like to employ it, but you can check it out when you meet the last AI. Gift them 10g on the same turn you meet, and check the diplo modifiers. You will have gained +4 for fair trade. Why? Because the so-called fair trades (essentially you giving them more stuff than they give you) is relative to amount of turns you have known them. It will therefore quickly disappear again, but it can be a cheesy way to get Toku to pleased so you can open borders, if you happen to meet him post-Currency.




    Edit: Only had a brief look at your recent save, so don't really have too many comments. You're already very close to Lib I see, helped by the recent GA and bulbing I assume, so at this point it may be nice to try out the very powerful "kill everybody with Cuirs" ploy. One thing I noticed is that Sury is building MoM (we have our reasons). Will be great to capture that for later golden ages. Hopefully he gets it, and then you can kill him.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
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  5. Jarno

    Jarno Chieftain

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    Didn't look into your game so can't comment on that, but to answer a few of your questions:

    Depends on whether this was a 'hostile' or a 'friendly' request. Friendly request you can always deny (without -1 diplo hit?), however for hostile requests you should always assess what it would mean diplo-wise and how valuable the tech really is.

    You could do that, but spies in AI territory can get caught. Also with only 1 movement point they're quite slow. What is you intended use for the spies? Don't think you have enough EP for tech stealing (and most AI are behind you in tech right?), but in warfare they can prove really useful. Use them to monitor enemy units, or to 'revolt' an enemy city before attacking, this will get rid of all defensive bonuses. Or when an enemy city has a castle, use the spy to destroy the walls, this will render the castle useless. I think either Lain or Imploding used this in one of their YouTube videos, watch them and learn from them!
     
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  6. NightOnEarth

    NightOnEarth Chieftain

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    Thank you, Pangaea, for taking your time to play through my game from the very beginning and for sharing your thoughts. I was coached very well and very extensively regarding my own play, but to follow a pro-player and to compare the approaches/results adds a valuable component to this shadow game.

    Let’s see what I’m learning from it. I’ve stopped at turn 51 and 77, so this gives me an opportunity for a straight comparison. A pity that I currently have no access to the game (to load the save). Therefore I have to rely on the screenshots only.

    Turn 0/1:
    Fog-gazing: it didn’t know it before, but coanda introduced me to it. Great advice! The first move of the scout was the same, but I’d better continued immediately - like you - to the western peninsula to reveal the fish. We’ve had the same considerations about SIP or 1N. I’m glad that they concur.
    I’m not sure but I guess you went straight for a worker. This was the approach in my game, too.

    Turn 50:
    You already have three cities, whereas my 3rd city was founded at turn 53. Writing will be in t55 vs. t60 with other techs researched so far being the same. I believe that cottaging early is the reason for your advance in tech.
    Interesting that you put BW behind TW-AH-pot. As a consequence chopping/whipping was neither possible nor necessary early on, but instead cottages (and pigs) were. Beside other considerations I hoped for copper (and axes) when I went BW, but maybe this was a bit of gambling. Contrary to you I chopped a lot early on with all pros and cons: accelerated production early vs. health reduction and no possibility to chop later. Forests were quite sparse.
    I’m baffled how your single worker managed to timely work the important tiles.

    Your approach works, this is the main thing. I’ve read somewhere in this forum/war-academy about the 1,5:1 ratio of workers to cities, but currently even my own ratio is far below. Maybe it’s because of the vast amount of poor tiles (plains).

    Unfogging the coast in connection with sailing and trading routes, this is something lymond taught me this game, too. Great advice!
    How did you get a Woodie-2 scout this early? Scouting, okay. But after fights he had to recover, no? Early on, I used this guy solely for fogbusting (see below).

    City placement and settling sequence was a main point of my planning. As AH was available only late, I settled first E (wheat), then S of Aksum. Your tech order allowed the reverse order, benefitting from the S pig. Regarding the placement overlap and helper cities were one of the main points in my game. You put Lailibela four tiles apart of Aksum. Is it because the 2 FP S of Aksum can be worked by Gondar? In your game Gondar is placed 1E of my placement. You get the wine, a grassland forest and a plain forest in trade of a grass hill and a plain hill. I’m curious about your consideration for this.

    Also noticeable is our different approach to fogbusting. If I see correctly you weren’t overly concerned about barbs at this stage. But

    As I’m short of experience on barbs at this level, I was fogbusting quite early, especially as I had only warriors available. At t51 three warriors and my scout were fogbusting to the E/SE, and another warrior was exploring/fogbusting the very N.
    (By the way, how can I get the green bar above units in my screenshots?)

    I’m glad to see that our thoughts were similar. I went for the gold/wine spot next. In message #23 I marked three city spots to the west/north very similar to yours. Again, the main focus was to install helper cities, which could work the FPs for Aksum. Another point was to keep the empire compact to keep the maintenance low. But I have to confess that I was very keen of the sweet spots E/SE.

    Yes. I had a race with him for a spot to the south that eventually was won by barbs. :mad:


    Turn78:

    Okay, I can’t suppress another lame joke: perhaps it is a pangaea? :blush:

    How do you see this? Is it because of the lack of EP towards us as you wrote about Sury? In my game I had built two chariots in between to secure my empire against barbs. One of them went exploring the map. This was nice because of the 2MP.

    You’re still ahead tech-wise. Alpha is six (net)turns ahead for me at t77. Currency was next, too. At this moment I also have five cities and a settler heading for the PH W of Aksum. I think our main difference at the moment is the selection of cities to the west. As mentioned I was considering your spots, too. But we (that is Undefeatable, lymond, coanda, Fippy adn Jarno) had a thorough discussion about it, and eventually I changed my decision to the current arrangement for the most possible overlap with Aksum. Glad to see we share the very same reasons for settling Addis.

    I’m not experienced as you and the other contributors to this thread, but I had an eerie feeling about the map, about the absence of other civs and about IW missing. Eventually I was able to get it from Mansa as well.

    I hope my summary makes sense and that I haven’t overlooked something that I should have addressed. I am looking forward to reading your comments and write-ups.

    (edit: ) I forgot to mention your comment about auto-irrigating tiles. lymond pointed me in a similar direction. Such seemingly small details are very valuable for players like me both directly and indirectly. Beside saving some worker turns they make me aware how all things in civ iv are linked and intertwined.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  7. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Lucky to get a Woodie2. He almost died to a lion near the golds early on, so healed up down there while fogbusting. Later he ran into 2-3 wolves, and probably another lion or two. The wolves are easy enough, but lions can be rough, even in forest. I chose to explore the coast with him instead of parking him as a fogbuster, though. That ultimately was his demise, as he came across a barb archer. Wasn't even in a forest there as there was nothing but desert, so he died easily.

    If I recall it was partly to gain more forests, and to gain the wine for later. I also figured that the capital would mostly work those floodplains anyway, while helper cities to the north, west and south could grow the others. It may have been better to put it 1W though. Sort of the same with the pig city. It could have been placed 1W as well. Probably pretty marginal decisions, but there are cases for putting them where I did and where you did.

    As for fogbusting, I did pretty well with that in this game actually. Maybe it doesn't show so well in screenshots. Eventually some invaded though, perhaps partly because Louis built the Great Wall. Therefore glad I traded for Archery and soon after IW from Mansa, otherwise I would have been in trouble.

    Think this is one of the options in the game's options (not BUG). Show health bar or something like that. Btw, a neat trick with that is that you can sort of figure out the strongest unit in the game, because the width of the health bar is relative. Early on a warrior or archer will have a wide bar, way later a warrior's health bar will be very narrow.

    I didn't pay attention to this super-early, but at some point I noticed I had 100 EPs on him or something like that, and he 70-ish on me. The absolute minimum we get each turn is 4 EPs. So this means he must have met somebody else, and put EPs on them. For instance if you see early on that an AI is putting only 2 EPs on you, this means there are at least one more AI on the continent. You haven't met him yet, but the person you have met have found others.

    From what I could see from the games you posted you had played really well, and had the game in your pocket basically. Just about going through with killing off AIs, if that's what you want to do. Due to the early Golden Age you probably got to Lib faster than I did tbh. I played sloppily after 1AD and got somewhat into the habit of building stuff and founding more cities, so only went for Lib with 14 cities, after claiming the horse-cow site quite far east. If I recall correctly I went to war in 1000AD with 20 Cuirs or thereabouts. That was after launching a GA of my own, but that was mostly just to save turns on switching to Rep (I got Constitution, not Pyramids) and Theocracy for another promotion. Oh yeah, and I had spread Buddhism to all cities. Don't often do that, but figured I'd do it here.

    So overall you could probably be ready for warfare with Cuirs (if you prefer that) earlier than I did.

    Probably the main difference in my faster teching in the early game was that I went for early Pottery, and got the third city a little earlier. Things in the early game really cascade, or what some call the "snowball effect". But as said you also did really well here, so we're just talking marginal differences.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
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  8. NightOnEarth

    NightOnEarth Chieftain

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    On with my current game. In message #63 I summarized my play during the golden age. Time to plan ahead.

    This is easy to answer now. In all but two games I have won so far I went for a space race. I am eager to learn and go for domination/conquest this time. I have to get rid of old habbits.

    But if I understand you correctly it may be too early for lib, because the tech I am aiming for (like nationalism) isn't researchable yet. I see three options e.g. if I go for Curs:
    1) Hold lib, tech nationalism first, finish lib and select MT for free.
    2) Finish lib, select nationalism, tech MT.
    3) Finish lib, select eco for free, start a new GA with GM and GS, tech along/lightbulb nationalism and MT

    Curs are fast, but maybe not in Khmer territory. OTOH cannons with collateral damage could make it much easier to win. But I have to confess that my military experience is very, very limited.

    Great advice and a great opportunity to learn about vasselage. I mishandled it once and avoid it since then like the plague.

    I didn't even notice the terraformed fp until you made me aware of it. It's too late, but maybe it would have been better to keep the city (sparing one settler, working the city earlier).

    Yes, thankfully it worked.

    Great advise and great teaching how to think ahead. It worked. Yes, Aesths was part of the deal, but 50g from him were as well, allowing my slider to stay at 100%.

    Perhaps it is a non-issue, but my main concern (question) currently is: how important is a second golden age and how shall I trigger it?

    Does this include Oxford? The requirements are high: several unis in several production-weak cities.

    And last but not least: Shall I stay in caste system for GPP or shall I switch back to slavery for whipping units/unis?
     
  9. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    If you plan to use Curs here, I would use Lib on MT.

    However, I should point out that the idea here was to put a bulb into Lib. Unfortunately, you started teching Lib directly. Instead, you should have teched Compass and MC to open the Lib bulb. Lib will later be finished in 1t when you are ready to use it.

    I would replay the last turn set.

    In addition, Aksum very easily got the first GS. This is my fault for the advice I gave, but it is not so easy to guess the gpp until the GA starts. Aksum could have worked as many FPS as possible even taking some fps from other cities nearby that would be on starve mode during GA, and still received the first GS with only 2 scientists running in like 3 or 4 turns. After Aksum spits out that GS, it will go full commerce mode..no expectation of further great people in Aksum, its duty now being super bureau cap and research hub.

    Curs should work fine here. Sury is teching slow and may not even have LBs by the time you attack. Also, as you prep for war, you could send a small stack ahead through Khmer territory to sit just outside his border before declaring near his ivories. Then swoop in after DOW and cut off his ivories, which would prevent him from building more Balistas. He'll likely have a few you have to deal with, but Balistas may likely be his best unit at the time you attack.


    Well, regardless of what some think about vassalage, it is a mechanic in the game and it can be utilized wisely. It's also simply a faster way to conquest or domination in many cases.


    Well, do note that I had advised keeping the barb city. It was still not a bad location. Additional, you stalled Debra growth for some time as well as its builds - LH and wbs for Matara - in order to get a settler for that spot. Debra could have very well netted you a 3rd GS here with more growth leading up to the GA. What's done is done, of course.

    Very much dependent on what you decide to do here. The first GA is always the most critical as it facilitates Lib path bulbing and resulting strategies. For Space games, possibly Diplo, getting a second golden age or more can be advantageous. Taj Mahal gives a GA, of course. You don't have marble here, so that Taj may be a tough call. Yet, AIs are teching slow this game, so no clue when anyone might get Nationalism, although Mansa could at any time.

    Communism may be a good tech to pursue later for State Property. The tech give a free Great Spy which can be used for a GA with another great person produced later. Econ gives the free GM, although I'm more inclined to use that for a trade mission (note: City with Temple of Artemis always gives an extra 200g)

    (If I go Communism, which I often do, I usually do want a second GA then for civic switches)

    If you are pursuing conq/dom though with Curs, that will likely be your priority the rest of the game, so really not much else matters after you get the war machine going, except possibly upgrading units at some point.

    Ox is really only a must for Space games. If not going Space, I see no reason to build it here.

    You'll want to be in slavery for whipping units once Curs are online.
     
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  10. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    This is basically just an "I agree" post, but nevertheless... If you decide the war strategy of Libbing Military Tradition for Cuirs, you don't really need any more teching. Cuirs is plenty enough to kill everybody with here, even if they get Longbows. Of course you will still keep teching, and you can for instance go up to Rifling and upgrade Cuirs to Cavalry.

    The other main military option is slower but results in fewer losses: Cannons + whatever. Then you lib Steel. Chemistry can be part-bulbed if you have a spare GS at the time. Cuirs is often preferred though, because it's a huge upgrade on whatever comes before them, and they are very fast as two movers. If you haven't tried it yet, it will open your eyes to just how powerful (and fun!) they are to wage war with. Often easy to "fork" cities, meaning the AI isn't sure where to reinforce, and you may even see him sending defenders OUT of a threatened city. It's pretty fun to kill or capitulate an AI before the first city you took has had time to come out of revolt :muahahahaha: :devil: Also easy to capture workers with two-movers after you have taken a city and removed culture.

    As Lymond said, Oxford isn't really needed unless you go for Space, or maybe something else late-game like UN victory. Without being Philosophical or having stone, getting up Oxford is a *lot* of hammers. Not worth it here if you're going to kill everybody with Cuirs anyway.

    Definitely go out of Caste and back into Slavery though. Before mass-whipping in a Cuirs war, it's good to get up Forges and Barracks. Few hammers on this map, but good amounts of food, so you need to rely on whipping to get those out in a decent time-frame. Preferably with OR-boost too, if you happen to have a well-spread religion. Grow your capital some more too, so it can work all those juicy floodplains. That's why you settled all those helper cities. They're meant to be a crutch for the capital, not the end solution. The whole idea is that a big capital works all those tiles itself, gaining much more mileage out of the +50% :commerce: from Buro (which is again multiplied with Academy +++).
     
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  11. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    ^^^yep, all good stuff there from pangaea

    Coupla other things I meant to mention as well, which can apply whether you replay or not:

    1) Consider putting some hammers into Shweggie Peggie. You have the gold bonus, so hammers are doubled. Many cites are building wealth but have bits of OF reserved. You could switch Shweggie around in cities to put the OF plus the base hammers into the wonder, then maybe just continue building in a city for a while. Eventually you will get a lot of fail gold for it. Wonder itself is not important.

    2) Not sure at the moment what old units you have lying around, but you might considering building at least a couple of cheap chariots - Addis probably good for this. Chariots can be used for some extra MP in Aksum to grow it. Yeah, you will likely get more happiness at some point via resources or something, but this city is hitting its cap very soon. It would be nice to grow it larger to work all the cottages
     
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  12. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Indeed on all of that. Good to get some practice with failgold. Maybe all the tips here is just overload as we're dumping a lot of info on you, but try to implement some of it :)

    A lot of turns between your last save and my shadow in 1000AD of course, so plenty of time to grow it, but below is a picture of a size 18 capital that is working all those villages and towns. Despite having a pretty big empire, the capital probably stands for 50% :science: or something like that. Purely because it's a wonderful Buro spot with well-developed cottages.

    I've blacked out the minimap since I met the last AI, and don't want that spoilered, nor the lay of the land. It's from T166, where I stopped playing.
    Spoiler :
    I had to get out some happiness buildings as it struggled when I lost resources upon declaration on Sury, plus some war weariness. And I see I forgot to remove some MP units, as they're not needed now due to having Rep instead of HR.



    Also, just to give a little glimpse into how strong and fast the Cuirs are: I declared war in 1000AD. In 1060AD 5 cities are captured and Sury has capitulated. The rest wasn't really worth taking.
     
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  13. NightOnEarth

    NightOnEarth Chieftain

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    Thank you again, lymond and Pangaea, for your reviews. In fact there's a lot of strategies/concepts/tipps to absorb, but I'm here to learn.

    Yes, now I understand your tip, that bulbed points don't carry over, and especially that it was too early for lib. Lesson learned.

    I replayed my last session and stopped again after the golden age, because I feel that I need your feedback.The main difference is that I put Aksum in full control of its BFC and tried to advance GPP in the other cities as much as possible. I also altered the tech order as adviced by lymond (MC - compass - calendar) to put the second lightbulb into Liberalism.

    Spoiler Aksum - t129 :

    Aksum t129.JPG


    The golden age is gone and I'm back to normal. Unfortunately the next GS is 33 turns away (in mishandled Debre). Perhaps I can build/whip a university here for a third GS.

    Cities are growing again, Aksum's size is currently 13 thanks to some chariots. My first missionary (Lalibela, the only city that has Confucianism) is still not ready. After he will be out, things will accelerate for a religious +1 :) . What about temples for another +1 :) ?

    Spoiler t129 - My Empire :



    t129 the South.JPG the south t129 the North.JPG the north


    I see. Forges also add +2 :) due to gold and gems, too, But would you advise to build forges and barracks in all/most cities or only in selected ones?

    All in all production-wise my focus will be missionaries, forges and barracks. OTOH the Khmer are expanding to the NE and will cut me off, if I don't settle soon at the whale/wheat/iron. Probably the wheat is lost for a long time, unless stele/lib/theatre shift the borders in my favour. I think the curs shall settle this issue.

    I'm still able to run my commerce slider at 100% due to some trades of old techs for gold, but this is nearly exhausted now. How should I approach map trade, which is available now? Shall I sell my map or trade it in e.g. with Darius, who is far away and whom I nearly don't know? After calendar I see that the complete eastern hemisphere of the world is unknown. Maybe I could trade maps with Mansa for this part of the world. I also dare to consider optics for a caravel scouting mission (westward).

    Mansa proposed trading construction and 30g for compass. I'm reluctant. If I do so, I could sell compass to Süley and Louis for 70g and 30g, too. Tech-wise, I'm far ahead now.

    I go gunpowder (5 net turns) - nationalism (7 net turns) - lib (one turn remaining) and select MT, if I understand correctly. This would enable curs with horseback riding. Are Oromos considerable, too? I After that I also contemplate researching construction&engineering for siege units and for advanced movement on domestic roads. Or I could prioritise Edu for the great trade mission (Mansa?). Your feedback on this would be highly appreciated.

    Concerning this spot there is a curse on me and my ill-fated quest. First I lost the race to settle there during several replays, then I nearly failed to conquer the city with two swords and a chariot against two archers. After that I razed the city, because I was so fixated to settle on the gold. Thereby I forgot to bring at least a settler along. That put me to another race for this spot. Finally I even missed that the ground of the razed city was terraformed. :hammer2:This was not my brightest action.

    Clever! It's great to string together two things that I didn't know before - the carry over of an OF through wealth and the intentional exploit of building a wonder that will never be completed by me, but has a x2 bonus due to the gold. I tappears to me that this is a real pro tip.

    I'm really curious about this guy and his location. All I know is that he is the founder of hinduism and the apostolic palace and that he is building WWs in his capital as if there will be no next morning. He has founded hinduism so fast that he must start with mysticism. My bet is on Huayna Capac.
     

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  14. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    (Loaded your save) You've had Paper for a while but not traded for maps yet. It's a good idea to get those in when trading/selling techs, and the AI will always chuck it in if they otherwise can't offer a reasonably fair trade. I forget exactly what trades I did in your save, but I got two maps and know most of the world. It's nice for planning the warfare and suchlike. And you can then sell it to other AIs for more gold. Depending on the map, just be careful about giving away your map when circumnav isn't secured yet. You don't want to accidentally give it to another AI. Unlikely here, but it can occur in other maps.

    You may also consider trading Metal Casting to Mansa, for example in exchange for Construction and whatever else he can throw in (typically gold + map). That enables Mansa to build his unique building, which helps him tech faster, which enables you to get more useful trades from him. If you are lucky he does Machinery -> Guilds, although Divine Right for yet another religion is probably more likely.

    And as mentioned before, you can try to beg gold from Suleiman so he stops plotting (on you).

    Since you'll be gearing up for war soon (Cuirs), it would be okay to stop running so many scientists and instead whip out forges and whip/produce barracks.

    I'd do Nationalism next. Probably slim chance of being able to trade for Gunpowder here, the AIs are too far behind and too slow, but with Nationalism you can then choose whether to build Taj. You don't need it and it will be very slow (even more so because you cottaged the green hill in the capital), but it's an option. Once you have Nationalism + Gunpowder you one-turn Lib for Military Tradition and...


    :whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped::whipped: :rockon:



    The borders may change before you're able to attack, but this is a great spot for the initial attack. With enough units you can grab Angkor Wat too (my guess is Sury is very lightly defended, even if he gets his pretty plain elephants). Scout out his defences prior to the attack, so you know what's where.
    Spoiler :


    If you attack from the north as well (for instance for logistical reasons), attack from NW of the sheep barely visible in the screenshot. But instead of moving into the forest (Cuirs get no defensive bonus anyway), move onto the hill. That way you can move faster (on roads) once the city falls.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  15. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Yep, you can get maps easily as part of other trade deals. You can also trade maps for gold.

    Calendar is something I recall that you should have been able to trade for directly soon after the last turnset. Likely with Sullie. I did not expect you to have to tech it directly. If I recall, something like CoL+Aeths to Sullie for his map and gold would have worked back then.

    hmmm...what is Sury up to here? Technically, you could be a target.

    A few thoughts:

    1) Nationalism probably best to start teching now.
    2) Mansa will give you Construction+Map+40g for MC. Definitely worth it
    3) I think empire should mainly be focused on lead up to war. Not sure even bothering with settlers right now is worth it. Forges and Barracks everywhere.
    4) OR bonus would help so I would try to get Mishes out asap. Mishes make a good 2 pop whip, although current one in Lali is past that point. One pop that into Forge for a turn. Then put turn into another Mish and 2pop it into Forge again. <9H without forge for 2pop. 2H or less with forge. Once Conf spreads to a couple of cities those cities can help build them. With OR you will finish/whip Forges much faster. ( I would send next Conf Mish to Debra..good place to whip more into its forge)
    5) One pop Lib in Matara. Give horses to Yeha for a turn. Forge next in Matara.
    6) HBR you might be able to trade for at some point before MT/GP.

    7) As you get near to complete MT/GP, you can start building mounted units like chariots, HAs or even Elephants (if you get HBR at some point) All them will convert to Curs in the queue.

    8) At least right now in Gondar, the forest PH is more hammers than unimproved mine.

    9) You could beg that 70g from Ottos

    Note..with Mounted warfare the idea is to stick strictly with mounted units in your stack. In this case that would be Curs. Purpose is for speed and tactics. However, a couple of Oromos following behind later for city defense may not be a bad idea. But your first prerogative will be to produce as many Curs as you can.

    Stables you will not need, but they don't hurt if you have the time. Really depends on the speed of getting up barrack/forges/spread Conf to when you might get HBR. Even then, I would only build a Stable in one or two strong cities, not everywhere.
     
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  16. NightOnEarth

    NightOnEarth Chieftain

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    Again two excellent reviews by you! To follow your ideas is profitable and rewarding.

    You are guiding me well through this part of game, and I'm already internalising some parts. But a lot of things are quite new for me and I'm getting uncertain here and there. Yesterday I played some turns. Spreading Confucianism and building forges is in progress. A few barracks are already in the queue. I try to whip a forge only after OR is in to get the bonus. A pity that OR only helps with buildings, not units. I'm just a few turns away from gunpowder/horseback riding/1t lib>MT, so I stopped to get your feedback on some questions.

    My scouting chariot is currently visiting Sury's cities. He's got ten so far, and I know eight. The two recently founded/conquered must be located in the south. He's got 2-3 units per city - axes, swords, and bowmen with one promotion in most of the cases - but no elephants yet. He has horses and has just researched horseback riding. He's got one copper and one iron in locations close to my borders, and four ivory and one horse far away. As advised I'm planning to send a few troops ahead across Sury's territory to cut off his ressources.
    My main concern is to attack without weaken the city defense. I have close to zero experience in warfare, because I avoided war in my previous games. Which loss rate could I expect? How many troops have to stay after a city is conquered? All in all, approximately how many curs do I need?

    I think I missed a good chance to exploit the advantage of my many courthouses. I should have focussed my EP solely on Sury to make his cities visible. Now it will take me 7-8 turns, but I will do so.

    Another concern is my trade with Sury. Currently I get ivory and sugar from him, +2 :) . But maybe I can get along by whipping my pop accordingl for more curs.

    Attacking his cap first - as advised - seems to be a very convenient strategy, cutting his empire in two parts. In addition, his cap will be the city with the biggest cultural impact. Maybe this will help me to work the tiles around conquered cities earlier. When I got his cap and "see" his other cities I may fork my attack (as proposed). In general I'd like to split his territory to make aggregated counter-attacks more difficult.

    Which promotions should I pick? One medic1+2 is obvious, city raider, too. Do you have different suggestions?
     
  17. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Oh man. With that kind of defence and outdated units, quite possibly no losses on your end :D

    Typically Cuirs have good winning odds against Longbows, at least when the city doesn't have 60-80% cultural defence and on a hill with monstrous city defender/hill longbows. Against Bowmen and Swords? You'll swipe over him with no problems. Is he getting close to Feudalism? I would assume he's teching it now or soon, but you have tech view on him, right?

    Produce and whip out Cuirs from every city in your empire -- but hold off on whipping down the capital. Let it carry your war costs on the back of Buro. Most/all of the others can be whipped hard. The main thing now is to get out an army fast, and keep adding units to it. You may not lose many here if he has such pitiful defences when you attack, but it's still good to keep adding to the army and resupply it.

    How many you need for the initial attack depends a bit, but if you can get 15-20 you'll storm over him pretty quickly with little need to rest after city captures, as the healthy or barely injured units can continue right away.

    In case you don't know, one of the many great benefits to Cuirs is that they ignore Walls and Castles. A city looks to have 100% defence? No worries. If it only ha 40% cultural defence, that is what the cuirs will face (plus fortification, hill, etc of course). This also means you don't have to worry about bringing siege to bring down the walls and castles. Would just slow everything down. You probably wont' suffer many losses here anyway, but in a more typical Cuirs attack where you may be up against Longbows, Maces and worse, you will suffer casualties. So the idea then is to keep mass-producing Cuirs in your empire and bring them to the front.

    And because they are so quick, the AI won't have time to properly reinforce cities (especially when you fork them), or whip out (many) defenders.

    About promotions, Cuirs don't have access to City Raider. That would have made them hilariously imbalanced, and they're already very strong. The most typical promotions will therefore be the Combat line. It can also be wise to use some Shock Cuirs to deal with melee units, especially Pikes (if they are around). Just be aware that it can be hard to cherry-pick defenders. Lets say you have a Shock Cuir. He must fight a Longbow. Then you pick a Combat2 Cuir and he has to fight a Pike. Argh! Especially Shock can definitely be worth it though. Way later in the game, when the AI gets Muskets and suchlike, you want Pinch (anti-Gunpowder) on at least some units.

    Then a good idea to have a super-healer or two, preferably a weak unit. You can use a chariot or Horse archer, and not upgrade it to a Cuir. You don't want to risk him defending attacks. I like to pick extra movement too, so he has 3 :move:, but you need 26XP for that. Easy enough if you get one with Barracks+Stable, and he farms an almost dead unit.
     
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  18. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Keep in mind that Curs are very popular "go-to" unit on higher levels. For perspective, think of it this way, many of us shoot for Curs on IMM and Deity and face far more advanced AIs than you are going to face here. You should have no problem here. Expect to lose some Curs, but you are going to keep building them.

    Following up on Pangaea's stuff, my first bit of advice on promos is do not promote units out of the gate. Promote as needed. Promoting heals units some so you don't want to waste that before you even attack. Then you must assess the defenders that you face. However, keep in mind that the AI will always lead with its top defender based on odds to attack unit. Therefore, you may approach a city with a couple of spears, archers, and likely WE. But let's take the case of ..say..just spears and archers. Archers have high city defense so you might see that your Cur is face the Archer (note: think Lbs/Pikes as well). Although it could very well face a spear that has been fortified in the city for enough turns to give the 25% fortify bonus. You opt to promote your first Cur to Shock to face that spear. Wait..what?!! Now you are facing an Archer instead. The AI adjust based on the odds so the Archer took precedence over the spear against a shock Cur.

    Point is, Combat line is often your best choice choice for promos until you are certain you will face the counterpart to another promo. And Combat definitely best against WEs..at least until you can select Formation.

    Oh..on that note, since Sury is likely to have WEs roaming around, you might indeed promote a couple of Curs to combat 1 or 2 for some defense.

    Medic is something you can opt for on one unit as needed, but likely your first GG will go to a super-medic. An old Chariot is a good option for a super-medic. (you definitely don't want upgrade super-medic while still facing Sury, but once he is done, there is no issue giving it the free upgrade to Cur...just try to keep clear of the combat line after C1M3..go for Morale after than and then anything like flank, visi, whatever..non-strength promos so that it doesn't defend stacks. But you can use the super-medic to clean up injured units as needed)

    Forking is definitely a good mounted tactic. Looks like you won't get a fork on your first move, but I would likely have a smaller stack aimed at another city. Scout those cities before hand to see what you face and have sufficient units to take each city the turn after DOW. Main stack heads to Sury's cap, while a smaller stack takes Ankor Wat. If you have Feud at that point, you may cap him fairly quickly.

    Again, remember you can start building mounted units before getting MT/GP, just don't finish them and then will convert. (note: they will not convert on turn you use Lib on MT, so any units 1t from finishing the turn you Lib MT, you can stall by building wealth or something. But don't remove unit from queue as the second you select MT that unit is not available anymore.) But if you haven't teched GP and HBR yet that doesn't matter.
     
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  19. NightOnEarth

    NightOnEarth Chieftain

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    This time I'm late. Mainly because I'm currently rather occupied, but I also replayed my entire last session because of a foolish mistake. When I was nearly ready to attack Surya I asked him for 50g, thereby completely forgetting the 10t peace treaty. Okay, let's see how far I got.

    After Lib/MT/Gunpowder I had to select the next tech among Printing Press, Constitution, the path to Eco and Chemistry. My choice was PP to get the most out of my cottaged tiles (eventually +42 beakers). I felt that my military lead made chemistry less urgent and that Rep would be most benefitial when running specialists, which I stopped for a while for further growing my cities.

    After trading some maps I noticed that the last AI - Mr./Ms. Hindu-WW-builder - is isolated, because I can now see the entire continent. Therefore I considered optics for a moment (Mansa has it since 660 A.D.), but have other fish to fry.

    Finally my continuous trading with Louis got me a -1 penalty from Mansa, his worst enemy. But I can live with it, because my relation to Mansa is a ridiculous high +16 in total.

    I traded in Nationalism for Machinery and 310g with Mansa, mainly to keep my slider at 100%, but also to get improved movement for my troops. In retrospect I feel this was an ambigous decision.

    In the meanwhile I researched feudalism-guilds-banking on my way to Eco. The GM could help me to keep my slider at 100% or maybe to pay some unit updates. I think I'll send him to Mansa's cap. Does he need an escort?

    I put nearly all my EP on Surya and soon caught up. His cities became visible. But although I have an even more ridiculous high +19 relation to him, he seems to get suspicious. He finally built three Ballista Elephants and a couple of cats. In addition he put many EP on me which diminished the visibility of his cities. In the meanwhile I can see six out of ten, but the most important ones in the core of his empire. On a sidenote, he is rather unfortunate this game. As already mentioned he is severly hampered to develop his empire and was trailing for quite a while. Currently he is at war with Darius (Süley's friend, far away) and more severely with Süley. With whom he is sharing borders. I cannot see if this is a formal war after the war declaration of Darius or a real one.

    lymond, your hint regarding failgold paid off. I got 233g when Mr./Ms. X finished Shwedagon Paya. Currently I'm trying to build a WW myself, the Taj Mahal, after having assembled my invasion army. I hope it's not too late after trading in Nationalism to Mansa some time ago. A golden age would allow to switch smoothly to pacifism/free market/caste system.

    980 A.D. and I completed preparing war. My army is ready to invade Surya. I have 14 cuirs and a chariot and six cuirs more in preparation to reinforce my army. Beside this 2 cuirs and a chariot are waiting at the other end of the Khmer empire to cut Surya off of his horses. One or two units of my invasion army will try to branach and to pillage iron and copper.
    I'm uncertain how many troops have to stay in his cities to keep them. Hopefully I can conquer his core cities fast to diminish his cultural influence. Shall I go all in and try to destroy him in one wave?
    I hope it's not too sentimental when I say, that I have a bad conscience attacking someone (even an AI) who's relation to me is a +19. Of course this is just a game, but it feels weird.

    How shall I go from here? I could imagine to try another golden age with a huge leap forward. But should I just hold my empire after conquest or should I expand further? I could focus the production line replacable parts/steam power/assembly line or the military line chemistry/steel. But I'd favour scientific method that opens such formidable techs as communism(state property/free spy), physics (free GS) and biology (growing cities).

    I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for your formidable coaching, especially thanks to lymond and Pangaea. You are guiding me trough my first (okay, second) game on emperor, and it feels like it's a breeze. In parallel I'm learning not only a bunch of useful things, but also a new way how to approach this game. I'd like to emphasize that the latter is the most valuable aspect of this shadow game.

    Tomorrow I'm on vacation for a week. I am looking forward to resuming this thread afterwards.
     

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  20. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Good to see you back (only to leave again ;)). I took a quick look, but don't have time to really respond in detail. Maybe tonight, but likely not until tomorrow. Natio to Mansa was not a good idea, unless he was teching it. You have a tremendous tech advantage right now on this group.

    I'm okay with Grocer in Aksum since is relatively low production, and you don't want to whip it, but the rest of your empire should be focused on military. And Aksum still could be build units regardless.

    A bit concerned to see Curs in production at 1pop whip level. Whip Curs as soon as 2pop or 3pop is available. OF from that into new Curs for 1t, which usually means 2pop whip the following turn. Rinse repeat.

    Nothing else really matter now, including marbleless Taj that Mansa will likely finish before you, or any other buildings.

    Keep eye on power ratio to Mansa. He is peace vassal candidate at 1.5 or higher relative to his size. He won't when you are at war, but he may offer it at some point or it will become and available option.

    Keep eye on tiles worked (Debra)

    Temple of Artemis always gives and extra 200g to trade missions. Not sure who build it. Otherwise go for large cities, usually caps. If you get optics in near future you could send it on a caravel to the unknown AI. Overseas should give a lot of gold.
     
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