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Basic Trading Tips

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by zagnut, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. zagnut

    zagnut Monarch

    Jan 28, 2002
    Randolph, NJ, USA
    Basic Trading Tips in the Ancient and Middle Ages

    Trading is one of the most important aspects of the game. You must know how to trade effectively in order to advance to playing on higher levels. These tips are valid for all levels and hopefully they will help you. Please treat them as tips and not as absolutes. I fully realize that there are many ways to play the game.

    If you trade poorly you don’t always know it. It is not like losing a battle where you can see your unit die. Trading poorly results in giving away more than you need to in order to obtain those items which you desire.

    Ancient Times:

    Two strategies to keep in mind during Ancient Times have to do with contact with other civs and the trading of your World Map which becomes available with Map Making.

    As you expand you meet other civs. Try to trade with new civs for communication with civs they know without having to give them contact with the civs you know. The more civs with which you have contact the better because techs are cheaper to buy the more civs have them to trade to you. It is generally a good idea to trade your techs before you trade your contacts. By denying contact with your civs to the AI you make the techs for which the AI is trading more expensive for them.

    On the higher levels, Emperor, Deity, etc., the only way to keep up in the tech race is to trade for techs. It may sound counter-intuitive to a new player, but on those levels you don’t do any research (or perhaps only the bare minimum at 10%) and save all of your cash to trade for techs. It works.

    The major opportunity for trading in Ancient Times comes when you discover or trade for Map Making. Map Making is a key tech and it is worth hoarding some money to buy it early even if it may cost you a lot. When you have it you should try to trade World Maps with the other civs. Trading World Maps will show you the world known by the other civ but will not give you contact with civs you have not yet met. In order to trade with a civ you have to actually meet the civ or trade for contact with another civ. The same rules apply to the AI. The AI will pay a high price for your WM, often giving techs in addition to money and their maps. You should try to trade World Maps with all of the other civs a couple of times in the first turn you obtain Map Making. You will probably be able to make back whatever money it cost you to buy the tech.

    Neither Republic nor Monarchy are needed to advance to the Middle Ages. However, it is generally wise to research one of them yourself because the AI values them highly and is reluctant to trade them. Monarchy is usually a good tech to research yourself because you will probably be at war a good amount during this time period and Monarchy is much preferred over Despotism, but doesn’t give you the war weariness penalties you get with the Republic.

    Middle Ages:

    The techs available in the Middle Ages are generally divided into the upper level and the lower level techs. After the first row of techs the upper level path goes through Theology, Education, Banking, Astronomy, etc. The lower level path includes Invention, Gunpowder, Chemistry, Metallurgy and Military Tradition. The AI seems to prefer the upper level most of the time.

    One strategy is to take the lower path and trade for all of the techs on the upper path. During this time you will probably undertake some extensive wars and will also get techs from your victories. Sometimes it seems a little risky to just ignore an entire level of techs and hope that you are able to trade for them, but it is not. If you build your cities and are able to keep the money flowing in, the trading possibilities will definitely be there.

    An extremely valuable trading lesson can be found in this thread started by Moonsinger. Just click to go directly to it.

    If you have some trading tips that you think would be valuable as general rules, please post them here and I will periodically update this article with new tips.

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