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Beginner Looking to Improve (Mainly with French/Korean)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Soulzityr, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Soulzityr

    Soulzityr Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
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    Hey, I'm new to Civilization by a week or two, and every game I play I've been learning so much. However, I've only really played Prince. I played Immortal for this GOTM and lost in half an hour, and lost a game of King as Spain as well.

    This made me look more carefully at my gamestyle, and of course I see a lot of wasted moves. I came here and reddit looking for strategies and found this great one for the French that I'm practicing.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/civ/comments/wmz3y/rushing_religion_or_how_i_stopped_worrying_about/

    I tried this twice, first one failed miserably, halfway through my second playthrough and this time did it right. This game, though on Prince, has taught me how to optimize my moves, though I still end up automating workers because I just dont know what to do with them anymore after the beginning.

    Overall, I was wondering what other kind of similar openings you guys had for the French and Koreans, at the moment my favorite ones to play with, with Babylon a close second. I'm not very good at Domination, still haven't won through that yet, but Cultural x2 and Science x2. I don't care much for Diplomatic, though I tried once and ended up just going Cultural (Celts).

    Any advice would be appreciated in advance, thank you :)

    tl;dr: basically I'm looking to step up from Prince to a higher difficulty, King, and was wondering about some specific opening strategies with Korean/French civs.
     
  2. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

    Joined:
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    Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.

    To learn how to make decisions in a game, you must understand the game mechanics. Giving you specific examples for these civs would not help you very much. So I will try to be a little more generic.

    France has the UA of +2 :c5culture: per city until Steam Power. What does this mean? :c5culture: does 2 things: it buys you policies (higher costs for later policies and increased costs per city) and tiles. So +2 :c5culture: is like a free monument as soon as you build a city. If you want to use this :c5culture: for a cultural win, you have a free monument in each city until Steam Power. Remember that for each city you found (and each free monument), your culture costs go up. And you need to produce more :c5culture: per city than each city increases the costs. A free monument is pretty negligible.

    But it also helps you acquire tiles! +2 is a lot for acquiring the first few tiles of a new city, and helps you recoup the policy cost of the new city. So France's UA is best leveraged going wide (also because you will have acquired all the tiles you care for by Steam Power).

    They have 2 unique units. A strong Musketman and an Infantry unit meant for attacking. These units come at a time where you can have a good base empire set up, and then go on a conquering spree (esp. Musketeer). So it may be a good idea to do some conquering mid game (and maybe late game).


    Korea plays completely differently. You get +2 :c5science: per specialist and great person improvement. Specialists are good in large cities. Since specialists do not give much in terms of yield (but do give lots of great person points!), you want to use them when you have already filled up all the good tiles to work. And you want to put multiple of the same type in the same city (to make more great people). If you went wide, each city would ideally ONLY work the good 5ish tiles around. But if you go tall, your happiness can allow you to have large cities and thus, specialists. Use your great people to make improvements on some of the many "meh" tiles in your large city radii.

    You again have 2 unique units. The Hwacha is a trebuchet that does more damage to units than cities. Essentially it is a defensive beast. Use it to set up a perimeter and barrage your attackers. The Turtle Ship is a caravel that cannot go overseas but is as tanky as an ironclad. Again, a defensive beast. Furthermore, you will not be able to find trading partners from the other continent until Frigates/Privateers, so you cannot afford to expand wide once you exhaust your resources at home.


    In general, going wide it is a good idea to take the Liberty tree for quick expansion, but if you plan on doing a decent amount of war (France should do some offense) you may want to invest in Honor (France may have enough culture to get both). Mercantile City-States are fantastic for giving you happiness, and since you are wide you probably have a lot of gold. Also most of the passive quests involving greatest yield will probably come easily. You may want to take at least the opener for Patronage if you have many Mercantile City-States. Otherwise (or perhaps in addition) try to reach Mercantilism in the Commerce tree. If you can get religious beliefs that give happiness, Piety may be a good choice, but it is likely that you do not need to produce faith for the happiness unless you are using Pagodas. Otherwise, Rationalism is strong for any victory condition. Order can also give you a huge boost to yields if you are wide.

    Going tall you should probably take Tradition. Korea should definitely take Rationalism for even more :c5science: from specialists. Freedom is an excellent choice for the finisher (double yield on great person improvements!) and the happiness/food help for specialists. A religion is not necessary, but Cathedrals may be a good choice for the extra Artist slot (+3 culture is an Amphitheater, and you get +2 science as Korea). If you produce Great Prophets, you can make Holy Sites. With the Freedom finisher (you probably don't want the Piety branch as Korea) you will make tons of faith (aka great people points). Use this faith to buy Great Scientists and Great Artists (improvements for more yields!)

    Edit: Its 4am, I wasn't generic enough. But I suppose then I would be trying to explain everything in the game...

    The most important thing to note is that your civilization is already good at some things. Sometimes, you want to compound on those strengths, while other times you simply want to take the free stuff as given and spend your time on other things. Opportunity cost makes good decisions.

    If you scout your terrain early, you will learn about more factors that should affect your play. Perhaps you have such a perfect start for going Tall even though you are playing France. Then maybe you should! Your civilization is not the only important factor. Good luck and have fun! That's the most important thing :)
     
  3. Soulzityr

    Soulzityr Chieftain

    Joined:
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    "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."

    Trust me, I adhere to this. I'm not asking for strategies so I can blindly follow them, but they are examples for me to follow so that I can learn new ways of looking at the game.

    For example, the French opening I've posted did wonders for me. I learned, for example, the rate I expand cities isn't only limited by my ability to create settlers, but also by my expected happiness yield from the next city as well as future improvements. Thus, I don't build a settler until I know for sure I can keep the happiness up, unless I'm rushing for a wonder or some vital resource or something, or even territory around a choke point. I learned a new perspective too, how a big picture strategy works, using faith to supplement happiness that you get from expanding a big empire, making previous pantheon choices I thought too situational for comfort more viable to me. Basically, I'm asking for more openings and browsing these forums because this structured strategic game I had with the French taught me more than the previous Prince games where I had so much leeway mistakes usually weren't costly.

    As for going Cultural with French. When I first saw this civ I automatically assumed it was a cultural civilization, but now playing them and thinking about it I don't like them so much culturally. The more cities you build, the more culture you get from the civ bonus, but also the higher the cost of policies. It seemed counterproductive, but their civ units (musketeers) is at a good time where you have a good base and where I'm comfortable going to war, so I've been trying Domination though I usually lack the motivation to build units instead of buildings in cities.

    The generic things such as what policies I want and such I have a good mind for, I believe. I don't want to sound cocky but I think for the most part I have the basic strategy layout for Civ down, such as goals and the concept (though not practice) of balancing culture/science with military/etc. I also can somewhat adapt my strategy to my terrain, though oftentimes I find myself saying "Oh I should've improved this, or researched this first to make maximum use of my environment" and find myself delayed X amount of turns, but that goes away with practice I believe.

    Thanks for all the advice thus far though :) It's a nice summary, but to be honest, I don't want to insult your help since it was still informative, I feel like I kind of already knew most of what you said. Asking for advice, I am looking more for a precise "strategy" meant to optimize my turns rather than a general concept of goals. Again, it's not so I can blindly follow them, but gave me an understanding of how to coordinate all facets of your empire to work in unison instead of going with "Well this helps me with science, so I'm picking this". Rather, I want to upgrade to "I want to get this so it unlocks this which will help me with these"
     
  4. Tachii

    Tachii Procrastinator

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    First of all, why exactly did you lose those games?

    Second, many people likes Tabarnak's 4 city opener strategy, if you want a precise strategy on how to begin games. I myself personally don't like stealing workers or care about having to settle 4 cities in the first 50 turns so it may not be for everyone. It also makes the game loses its diversity somewhat if we always adhere to the same similar strategy each game.

    Third, it's not simple to just suggest an optimal strategy because each Civ game is inherently different from the next game.

    Some general thoughts:
    I know being a builder have been an issue for most beginners because they obviously have more longterm benefits than a unit that can easily die or go obsolete. However, it's very, very beneficial to establish an early military and level them up throughout the eras. The basic strategy here is to get 4+ archers before you get Construction, then upgrade them and conquer your neighbours. You should also preferably have some spearmen for AI target practice.

    Having an early military is also good for clearing quests for CS, which you should not neglect by any means. An early military CS can set you up for good without having to build any units (I had one that made 2 trebuchets/pikeman which was all I needed in addition to the archers/warriors I had). An early maritime CS means you can devote your tiles to production for wonders, and so on.

    Also, never neglect diplomacy. Trade horses/luxuries ASAP to get the 180g/240g. This is crucial to establish cities early on. Sell your embassies ASAP which increases chances of friendship. Most people seem to neglect the importance of diplomacy because it isn't delivered to players on a silver platter. AI will never initially offer a luxury trade so beginners often don't know it's actually there.
     
  5. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    I'm not insulted :)

    As the poster above me said, it is difficult to give such specific advice when every game of civ is so different. That's what makes the game, well, a game. The decision making process. If our advice makes those decisions for you, what's the point?

    Obviously you don't want that, but its still hard to give concrete advice for such a game. If you are still on Prince, it is likely you are very inefficient at some part of the game (or many parts just a little bit) regardless of your civ. I don't mean you are bad, I am only saying this because the AI cheats so much on upper levels that the only way you can defeat it is with EXTREMELY superior decision-making. This is why I tried to give generic advice while still answering your question.

    I don't have a specific strategy for France, and you should not really have a super-specific strategy when going wide or conquering. The whole point of wide is that you make use of the best tiles only but over a large area, so you are affected by what terrain you are given a lot. And if you are conquering, obviously what your opponents do changes a lot.

    For Korea, I like to get the Great Library if possible. On higher levels this is much less likely, in which case I will probably build a normal Library and get the Hanging Gardens. Or the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, if you have the DLC.

    The Great Library will give you a HUGE science boost because you are Korea (I always forget that part of the UA until I play. 1 free research agreement for every science building or wonder built in your capital), as you get an RA for the wonder AND for the library. Use the GL to slingshot to the National College, and use the RAs to get the free amphitheater (assuming you went Tradition).

    If you cannot get the GL, the HG are a good choice. The free garden will help with those specialist yields and give you more great person improvements, and the +6 food will feed a lot of growth and specialists.

    Similarly, the Mausoleum's gold (assuming you have 2 quarry tiles) will let you purchase instead of hard building a lot of things, and all of those great people you produce will give you more gold!
     
  6. Moriarte

    Moriarte Immortal

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    Well, in my opinion, to be called a 'strategy', it has to be consistent. Meaning: it should not revolve around wonders or specific civ abilities. Early wonders should come into play when you have strong early production, otherwise you are looking at shaky foundation. But, enough of the criticism.

    Here is what i do lately: scout - scout - shrine - warrior* - settler - (buy worker with 310g loan, steal another one from CS) - settler (preferably bought) - worker - granary - archers.

    With tradition, France is looking at really strong cultural opening for your first policy branch. Liberty also works, depending on what terrain/situation you are facing. I favor both of these trees, yet i lean towards Tradition on Pangaea and Liberty on Archipelago.

    So why this order?

    Early scouts let me see what i'm about to deal with early. Also they will grant money from CS's, find generally more ruins and will find places where i'll will need to send archers to complete barb quests for influence. They are also good to protect homeland from barb invasions, if needed.

    With an early shrine pantheon is guaranteed, which may result in religious snowballing (or may not). I always prioritize faith producing pantheons/beliefs: faith from desert, faith from wonders, faith from quarries, etc. These are most powerful and will let me buy few great people once i enter industrial era.

    4-6 Archers before turn 60-70 is a good thing to have for quests and general protection.

    NC is usually finished around turns 70-90, depending if i want an early wonder or not, and, of course, depending on production.

    First tech priority is Pottery. The rest is situational, but i tend to discover two technologies for luxuries fast so i can afford 4 early cities without going negative happyness. Animal husbandry comes next in my list, followed by either philosophy or construction (or a mix of the two), depending on situation.
     
  7. Soulzityr

    Soulzityr Chieftain

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    Thanks for the informative responses! I hope I won't make an extremely long and boring reply to all of you guys. I appreciate all the info.

    As for why I lose, primarily because I don't build a strong enough early military. I find myself invaded with only two units to defend my 2-3 cities very early on and it usually costs me the game. Sometimes I just quit because I feel like I wasted too many turns and am very inefficient.

    And don't worry. I play on Prince and it's easy there, but I struggle on King, so I know I suck. On Immortal I lasted 90 turns. I'm still learning some things to help strengthen my gameplay, like selling luxury for gold (Never thought of doing that til I saw it on Youtube).

    As for 4 archers/some spearmen, thanks I will keep that recommendation in mind. When I ask for like specific instructions, I know it's not a "follow to the letter" type deal. I guess I should mention before Civ V I have a strong strategic background in other games so I understand the necessity of being adaptable and not single-minded. I also know sometimes you just have to abandon something you wre really set on because the map demands something more.

    Btw, I play all my games on completely random map settings because I don't like picking biased maps, like playing Celts with Forest world or England on Archipelago. I guess I don't even know what I'm looking for when asking this question as I really appreciate more of the answers like "going scout-scout" etc. build order and things like "if i cant get Great Library, regular one and hanging gardens". It gives me ideas of HOW to respond.

    My main problems that I notice on my own game is
    1. dont make enough military units
    2. dont know how to efficiently use workers
    3. my scouting is probably wasteful on turns

    Thanks for all the advice so far :) I was planning to record my games once I finished building my computer, if anyone is interested :p But overall thanks for the advice because I feel like I have a better idea now.
     
  8. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    The game seems to have been designed and balanced for Standard size 8 civ 16 CS Continents, Standard speed. No other special options selected.

    A few tips for ALL unit movement:

    1.) Move 1 tile at a time. This will help avoid the pathing screwing you over. This will also help if your first move brings you in sight of an enemy and you still have your second to retreat.

    2.) Think about where your ultimate destination is, and the most efficient way to get there. If multiple ways tie, then think about how many tiles you can scout on the way (reveal on the way by) and how many turns you can end on defensive terrain. For scouting, try and pass over hills so you can see more terrain. Unless you have a scout, this might be too expensive in movement points, and you should try to use your last movement point (or fraction!) to get onto the hill (also because it ends turn with defense bonuses). If you are using workers, it is important to improve the best tiles first, but aside from that try and use your workers as efficiently as possible. If you have to improve a hill and a flat tile, it is possible to move 1 space and start on the flat immediately. When you are done, use your last movement to get onto the hill. This wastes less turns. Also if you are traveling exactly 2 flat tiles, start 1 turn of an improvement on the middle tile. It doesn't change when you get to the ultimate destination, and saves you a turn later!

    3.) Pay attention to your unit types and upgrades. Put mounted units on flat terrain and give them flat upgrades (in general), put melee units on rough terrain and give them rough upgrades (in general), and put ranged units safely behind them with open fire promotions (again, most of the time).

    4.) See if you can get to your final destination with leftover movement, in case you need to make a new decision.

    5.) Sometimes the most efficient route is through a CS, on the coast (embarked), or zig-zag down a river. Don't forget roads!



    As for making military, remember you do not need every building in every city. Furthermore, your cities will still grow from food naturally, and the tiles will get improved. So if you simply hold off on a building to build 1 or 2 units, the building will be decently easier to build by the time you bother, and you actually end up completing it at the same time. The same is true of early wonders. Just because you CAN build the GL immediately in 37 turns doesn't mean you should. Take the 12 turns on the Water Mill, your city will grow anyway, and improve a mine or a farm (and use the food from that farm to feed a new miner). By the end of the 12 turns, the GL will only take 25 or something, and you didn't lose any turns on it! But you got a "free" watermill :)

    You can do the same with units. And with G&K, you can try to bully the CS to pay for that army + some. And you can pillage for gold. And eradicate barb camps for gold and CS influence! And maybe culture :)
     
  9. Lay_Lay

    Lay_Lay King

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    You probably are not knowledgable on how to best defend against an early rush at your capital. Most attacks can be squashed with only 2 defenders on hand - you just need to practice different tactics after getting steamrolled. You might be surprised at how differently the war could go if you reload it and try something else.

    You probably don't take advantage of selling your luxuries and horses for cash to buy archers or settlers. This alone will advance your level past King. You are probably missing out on tons of gold throughout a game.

    It is the year 1955 and you are probably building buildings even though you intend a Domination victory. The game ends much later than it should have, with you having a lot of super cities full of buildings covering the globe.

    You probably have not found the Diety Let's Play videos on youtube.
     
  10. Soulzityr

    Soulzityr Chieftain

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    You are right. I think I have luckily defended off invasions with 2 units before, but usually it's because I was coincidentally in a good strategic position. I've started selling my resources as much as possible. I believe 240 is a good selling price for luxuries and 25 for embassy right? Is there any advantage to embassy at all? It seems not necessary to me at all.

    I guess I should see a Let's Play domination victory to know my priorities because youre right. My fear of dropping behind in science makes me a lot less aggressive, I think.

    Also, managing happiness is REALLY HARD. Thanks for pointing me towards Diety Let's Play. I'm watching it the Babylon one now, another Civ I really like.
     
  11. Tachii

    Tachii Procrastinator

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    As I said already in my last post, selling embassies grants DoF more often. And you will need all the gold you can get to get settlers/archers/upgrades ASAP for early game optimalization. Friendships and fast expansion have a lasting impact through the entire game. It will decide who you will war with, where you will expand to, improve science quickly (both in terms of more population and RAs later on), and so on.
     
  12. Moriarte

    Moriarte Immortal

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    On emperor you can completely neglect science at start. Try setting up 4 cities, build/buy workers, 6 archers and only then start on your first library. But don't keep them in towns, wander around, find something to do. Its a common mistake to neglect early armies. Unlock construction (another source of happyness), upgrade your army, kill somebody. AI will be slow in science at these levels. You can even set up national college around turn 100 and still you will be one of world leaders in science.
     
  13. Priah77

    Priah77 Chieftain

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    Ive always considered France to be kind of an overrated civ. Or at the very least, its far better on lower levels than higher. On higher levels, I rarely go more than a 2 city NC... more than 2 cities prior to turn 60 is just asking to be invaded and overrun early on (on deity at least.) France really excels in a liberty pick and expanding everywhere earlier, on lower levels you can do incredible things.... on higher levels, you just get invaded and screwed.

    Another issue with France, generally, you want to complete your first tree as quickly as possible, but then you want to get as few extra policies before rationalism becomes available. In fact, I really spend a lot of time trying to time my researching of Renaissance with the gaining of a policy. Basically, gaining a policy 5 turns before rationalism becomes available can really screw you over long term. Usually this strategy involves me gaining two policies in the patronage tree. With France all your timing can really be thrown off due to the huge amounts of extra culture.

    It is kind of funny/cool that with entering the "Renaissance" period, that is really the turn that I try to double my culture output... turning on as many artists as I can and trying to get to that +3 science specialist bonus as quickly as possible. I just dont know that the +2 culture for France at that point in the game is all THAT helpful.
     

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