been playing a bunch of Kupe games


Mar 14, 2018
large map, archipelago, corporations, disasters at 1. i've been able to squeak out wins on immortal, haven't tried this on deity. everything else standard, going for science victory.

some thoughts:
  • obviously with Kupe, start location is critical. from what i can tell it usually starts you at cold weather areas near the top or bottom of the map. you need to be patient and search out warmer weather start locations. i'm sure it has been discussed, but i don't know what the limit on turns you can wait to settle your first city is with Kupe before it puts you too far behind. i think you should have 10-ish turns but barb galleys show up fast on immortal and you can lose right off the bat.
  • i love corporations, and i think the best start for Kupe is a location with at least two turtles. for my first two cities i try to build a city that will be huge population to be a science/culture city with Pingala, and i try to build a high production city for Magnus and ancestral hall to crank out settlers. either one can be first, but the turtles should be in pingala's city. i hate losing pop to settlers, maybe too much so.
  • if no-go on turtles, growth luxuries like sugar are my second favorite. you can build a huge city fast. next is gold luxuries like diamonds or silver, early game money is always good.
  • pantheon wise, if the free settler is gone (it always is) i always get +1 production from fishing boats, seems like a no-brainer. divine spark might be good too. after the pantheon i don't usually play for faith because on archipelago tiles to build districts on are limited most of the time.
  • after early campuses i prioritize harbors. i want internal trade routes to my Magnus city to increase growth and productivity early in new cities. try to put reyna in a city with a really good harbor, and promote her to contractor because we want to buy spaceports later.
  • typically, i am going to keep up in science early and then fall behind for a while before i come roaring back later in the game. but there are two tech's that i think need to be prioritized in this game type, caravels and eventually computers for floodwalls. if cities start getting flooded you are probably screwed. nefariously, this might be helping me comeback against the AI's but i haven't tried to quantify how much it might be affecting them. often i am bee-lining computers before i am even getting oil, especially if i find coal.
  • i haven't had many AI's declare war on me, but you still need to have at least some competent military because the barbs are relentless and you will not be able to expand. that is the importance of caravels, if you get behind early and the barbs swarm you...galleys and quadriremes get trashed by caravels. early on you can explore carefully with galleys because the barbs can't go in deep water for a little while. usually get to caravels fast and then go back to the bottom of the tree and get to niter because you can't upgrade with frigates without it anyway.
  • as far as city states to try to suzerain, non madol is really good because you will have tons of districts on coasts. same with cardiff as you should have a harbor in every city. geneva is always good, as are many of the yellows for trade benefits...such as the no plunder traders on water tiles.
  • i don't usually go for land wonders because space is at a premium on archipelago maps but i am happy to try for collosus under the right conditions. mausoleum at halicarnassus is like a must get if you can, the extra engineer charge is great for space race later. a fun thing to try is to settle a desert island and go for petra and mausoleum in the same city. the AI does not tend to prioritize mausoleum from what i can tell.
  • as you near the late-game it is good to build some encampments in secondary cities where you have space. you want to stockpile aluminum and uranium for the final push at the end.
  • generally i will probably prioritize science and gold, then production, then culture and faith not at all.
i don't what else, that is it for now i guess.
Nice post
I play Kupe a lot, especially on Deity, SV's can be very quick if you are very practiced at it but a lot does depend on Reefs and mountains. I feel SV is the hardest victory with Kupe.
The below is more general but much is also relevant for an SV
Another good start is next to another civ when you have 3 fish. Kupe can afford to hold off on science a bit because you gan get a strong pop early. A strong pop also allows you to spam early settlers which allows you to avoid using Magnus and allowing you Pin instead. This means you can ramp up culture/science very fast if you want that approach. There are many reasons for this like rushing Toa's but if you rush your culture, you tress start producing a lotta production... if you have enough tree's. Nan Madol is great but Auckland is OP. Sometimes getting too much culture / science early makes your districts too expensive. I will typically play a Harbour then campus game but HS/Harb/marae is awesome. There is just so much flexibility in Kupe's play. A real owning game on deity is Kupe/heroes/large terra map. It is really your game to lose but too easy.
So the very eary pop growth allows flipping even a capital
The early pop also allows a very early Toa rush or even naval on an island map and a nice fun different dom victory or SV. Not as fast as horses but great for contemplating your naval.
For RV's and CV's you are very strong, especially with your harbours,trade routes to all early and early map ownership
If you want to be declared on, plant yourself near their cap or block off their expansion.
The Hunza CS is good but surprised you do not mention Auckland. If I find auckland I will go god of the sea over a free settler which is not worth so much to a fast start Kupe.
I settle ideally within 5 turns, the sooner the better. 2 fish and trees is what I want. That allo0ws me to get to harbours early, especially if I find a wonder with my warrior or last charge builder.
Nan Madol is great but Auckland is OP.
Other way around imo. Nan Madol frontloads the hardest resource to get early on, at no cost (City Centre benefits as well), whereas Auckland takes time to ramp up and requires fishing boats. And unless you have plentiful resources enabled, a city can often just have 2-5 tiles that benefit from fishing boats (which is usually what you work sea wise early on, because land tiles are generally better early even with Auckland), which is... Not much.

I have a current game where i suzerained Man Madol in the ancient era, and Im just ridiculously ahead of the AI now in nearly all ways, and can completely ignore culture as a resource for the rest of the game and instead just focus on other yields.

It does make district costs a bit more expensive, but that's honestly a first world problem and solved through chopping anyway.
but that's honestly a first world problem and solved through chopping anyway.
For Kupe it can Be a tough decision. I agree Nan is strong, it’s just that I never have a culture issue when Nan is not there but I can have a production problem. And it is not later, when you get 4/2 tiles early you are up with the deity bonuses before you make better decisions how to use it. Culture is great but it is one path while production is multiple.
But let’s not quibble too much, getting either benefits Kupe more than most and is Enough.
Personally I chop in a limited window with Kupe unless I have Auckland
I'll add that I usually play on slower speeds as well, which means I get a lot of mileage out of district buying with moksha and/or Reyna. Those get less and less worth it the faster one plays, and I'd argue somewhat worthless on online speed.

My current game on Deity++ and extended eras mod is absolutely disgusting with Norway having Nan Madol, because with all the faith pillaging I can essentially buy whatever district I want, wherever and whenever I want.
I love how with Kupe you can swim units around immediately. By the time Barb Galleys appear you can usually keep a lane to deep water, or know where to beach and get serious about inland exploration. I start with my usual 2 Scout open (bigger maps), usually swimming the 1st Scout and Warrior. Initial Warrior may never come home unless very early trouble. You can scout some great city sites and meet lots of civs and CS on watery maps.

I really enjoy the 7 Seas map with Kupe. After many, many games played with and finding Kupe - he seems to spawn in the largest body of water. Which gives important intel either way. I prefer to crank up the civs and CSs on 7 Seas as there is a really large amount of land spread everywhere. There will always be snaky peninsulas or island chains to settle and hunt Barbs. I prefer to use the mod that gives XP to Barb battles - Exploration and Barb Hunting are some of the main features of my games since I typically only play to about t130-150.

Nan Madol is crazy good, but I actually prefer Auckland because I always want more production, especially because I love settling small islands/chains. My current games had neither CS, but I did take God of the Sea, naturally. I have suzed Johannesburg, which I really love as well. Extra production for improvements somewhat works against Kupe, but is always welcome.

Current game I sailed several turns along a coast to settle, and ended up right above Persia. My 2nd city was not a forward settle, which is my normal habit, and so he never DOWd (lucky). But Monte did come at me over land and sea. Chopped Walls shredded him, and my new navy kicked butt. I must have killed 8 Eagle Warriors and 5 Galleys. This REALLY slowed down my expansion. I have 2 core cities, 3 on an island 12 tiles away, and 3 city sites ready and fog-busted like 30-40 tiles away lol. Just sailing Settlers now, they would be thriving by now without the war.

Every new game is an adventure with Kupe!
It's amazing the difference between Kupe in the hands of a regular human player vs. any level AI player. Chalk and cheese. AI Kupe is shall we say - lacking in intellectual vigour. I'm comparing this because of the number of times when I have thrown Kupe into my mix of opponent AI players, and he ends up with some half-arsed polar hovel as his capital, when realistically he should be off to a flying start. Oh well. All the doomsayers who think AI are coming for our jobs might be able to breathe easy for the moment.
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