Beginner Strategy Questions...

saabcaptain

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 28, 2002
Messages
2
Location
West suburbs of Chicago, IL
Hi everyone,

I finally picked up CivIII (having never played Civ or CivII) and am having a blast getting my butt kicked. I purchased the Prima guide and it helps a lot but I still have a problem getting my Civ ramped up to speed as fast as other Civ even on Chieftan.

My typical problem is I build far to few cities. Often when I discover other Civs they have double or more cities compared to me and very closely packed together. I had been keeping my cities to only very good terrain squares and helping my culture build till cultural boundries caused city overlap. How many cities should be built and how quickly in a typical easy game with a few Civs on a huge map?

I also have no idea how much of a defense to build at various stages. Do I build 1, 2, 3, or more spearmen etc. for each city? How about workers? What proportion should they be in versus the amount of cities I have... 3 or more per city?

What is the best way to ramp up my scientific and military knowledge? I am following the paths suggested in the Prima guide and seem to be keeping pace or be just behind other Civs but that is still bad considering on Chieftan they have a 200% increase in the time it takes for them to do everything. Do you have a percentage you devote to each cities science output... I have up till now left that as the default or whatever the governor sets it to.

I seem to have the concepts of what I need to do to be successful (at least on the easy Chieftan level) down but I have no clue as to the proportions of each I need to persue. Any suggestions for me or truly beginners guides on the 'net I could read (the Prima guide tells you what everything does which is nice but seems geared to the CivII player transitioning more than to the truly beginner players.)

Thanks so much this board is amazing (so is the game.)

Dave
 

BillChin

Prince
Joined
Jan 7, 2002
Messages
494
There is a lot of information in the articles section:
http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=55

I have an article, Three Basic Starting Strategies. Become familiar with them and you will be ready for Monarch difficulty on standard size maps.

I suggest that players take one or two turns finding the best tile for your capital. Build over a luxury icon, or on a tile next to a river or coast.

I suggest the following build queue at the start: three warriors then a settler, three more warriors then another settler. Plant these first two settlers very, very close to the capital. One square away on the diagonal or two away on the straight. Use the worker to connect all the cities with roads. This start gives you three cities and six warriors quickly and works on every type of terrain. For beginners that are struggling, this three city core start, does wonders for improving their chances. Once you win a game or two, you can adapt and find your own style.
 

Daaraa

King
Joined
Oct 5, 2001
Messages
801
Location
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Congrats on joining the fun :)

To answer your questions,


I finally picked up CivIII (having never played Civ or CivII) and am having a blast getting my butt kicked. I purchased the Prima guide and it helps a lot but I still have a problem getting my Civ ramped up to speed as fast as other Civ even on Chieftan.

My typical problem is I build far to few cities. Often when I discover other Civs they have double or more cities compared to me and very closely packed together. I had been keeping my cities to only very good terrain squares and helping my culture build till cultural boundries caused city overlap. How many cities should be built and how quickly in a typical easy game with a few Civs on a huge map?

What I usually do is build 3 warriors to explore and get the goody huts. Then I build a Settler. However, you need to time it to be built about the same time as your population goes up to 3 as a settler cost 2 population points.

Eventually you might get lucky and find a city that will grow from 1 pop to 3 pop in the same amount of time it takes to build a settler. This city I will use to build settlers for a long time usually until about 500 AD.

I can't really say that there is a set number of cities you need to build. I've seen people win with 100+ cities and people win with like 25 + cities. You do have to expand early. I usually just expand until 1 ad. I'll go to war about 1000 ad and then rest until the 1700s when I go to war again. But I'm kind of a war-monger so that's just what I do.


I also have no idea how much of a defense to build at various stages. Do I build 1, 2, 3, or more spearmen etc. for each city? How about workers? What proportion should they be in versus the amount of cities I have... 3 or more per city?

A lot will depend on how vulnerable you feel your cities are. The border towns should have at least 2 defender type units and perhaps if you can afford it an attacker type unit. However, in your cities at the centre of your empire, you might only want 1 defender (As a republic or Democracy).



What is the best way to ramp up my scientific and military knowledge? I am following the paths suggested in the Prima guide and seem to be keeping pace or be just behind other Civs but that is still bad considering on Chieftan they have a 200% increase in the time it takes for them to do everything. Do you have a percentage you devote to each cities science output... I have up till now left that as the default or whatever the governor sets it to.

The opening two or three techs have your science set to the lowest that allows some research. No matter what you do as long as you have 1 science beaker being produced in your empire, you will still research things at 40 turns (with the patches)

You might as well take advantage of the extra money. Also keep a close eye on your science rate and adjust it frequently. The best you can do for science is 4 turns per tech. The worst is 40. Thats why I'll have the first couple of techs with minimum science to grab some extra gold. I'm a micro-managing person so I never use the auto-workers or the governors.

A lot of trial and error will help the most. And sometimes it seemed to be best not to have not ever played civ 2 to figure out civ 3 quicker. I played civ 2 and I had to change a lot of my tactics.

Hope this answers some of your questions.
 

Bamspeedy

CheeseBob
Joined
Dec 18, 2001
Messages
8,894
Location
Amish Country, Wisconsin, USA
Stategy for a huge map with few civs on easier levels (especially chieftain-warlord): Just build units and settlers at first. Send the first few units out exploring (you can just hit the 'e' key on your keyboard to let the computer auto-explore for you). On a huge pangea map, the 'dense build' isn't really necessary on the lower difficulty levels, but might help. It might be needed on continent/island maps, if you start on the same island as another civ. Otherwise 4-5 spaces apart from each other is usually best. Even though the culture borders extend and overlap, it's only the 21 squares around each city (after the first culture expansion) that you have to worry about overlapping, because these are the tiles you will actually use to get production out of. You don't need to worry about a few tiles overlapping, because most tiles won't get used until the industrial age (until then, cities will only use 12 of those 21 squares), so a little overlap isn't a big deal. You don't want the cities too far apart, because of distance from the capital corruption.

You don't want a specific pattern like I used to do, because you may be hurting yourself more. Place cities on rivers when you can (free aqueduct), don't place cities directly on cows (you don't get the food bonus from them when in Despositism).

Keep building cities until you start running near your neighbors territory, you have settled the whole continent/island your on (if you have an island to yourself, that is) or you get cities 20-30 tiles from your capital. Cities more than 20-25 tiles will be pretty useless, anyways because of corruption (unless those cities will get you resources/luxuries). Then make sure each city has 2 defensive units. Preferably spearman, so you can upgrade them easily throughout the game. With 2 defenders in each city, at least on the easier levels it seems you have an adequete army and no city is considered 'an easy target' for the AI to sneak attack you.

You should easily get 30 cities on a huge pangea map, if you started on a large enough land mass, that is. 32 is the optimal number of cities for a huge map, so if you exceed this by a huge number, you will start experiencing more corruption. If I get 50 cities built without any warfare (on a pangea map), I will stop and start building my infrastructure, even though I could have built a few more cities.

Number of workers needed depends on if you have an industrious civ or not. I usually have 1 worker/city, regardless.
Research and/or trade for Iron working and the Wheel, so you can make sure you can claim a horse and iron icon. Have roads built all over the place. I usually just automate the workers.

Build Libraries and temples in your capital and most, if not all, of the other cities. The higher corrupt cities should probably be building courthouses (after a temple), so later they might start being somewhat productive. After the temples and libraries, the next step depends if you want to start waging war or to continue building. War=barracks + military units to start attacking. Builder=marketplaces, colleseums, cathedrals, etc.

On Chieftain, it's pretty easy to build wonders. If you are on a large continent you especially want the wonders that have a continental effect (Sun-Tzu's, Pyramids, JS Bachs, etc.) You can beat the AI to almost any wonder, on almost any level (Diety is pretty hard) by having a city building a palace, then change production to the wonder when you get the tech for it.

If you are a peaceful builder and want a huge tech lead, go with republic. If your a warmongerer and /or you feel war is going to happen soon, stick with Monarchy.

If you want a tech lead, buy any techs you can from the AI that you don't have. Set science to 60-70% if you want a faster tech lead. On chieftain, the computer is usually so slow to research, that if you don't do the researching yourself, no one may get to the modern era before 2050 A.D. They jump to an early tech lead because of goody huts and tech trading. In the middle ages they slow down in research, and in the industrial age, science is non-existant it seems.

Sorry, this was a long post:eek: , but those tips should help you out on Chieftain to at least beat that level. Just keep reading these forums and you'll learn alot of different strategies to try out and see what works for you.
 

BiatchGuy

Warlord
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
Messages
128
Location
the ghettos of Baltimore
In the early stage of the game, nothing is more important than expansion. Build those settlers and keep building them, until you can't expand any further. Then start building up your land with the Workers.

I usually don't go for Temples right away because they cost money in upkeep; because of this I tend to fall behind in culture and consequently, land area. I just wait for Libraries to become available because they give more culture than Temples and much more importantly, add to your science.


Once you've got your empire up and running, the sky is the limit.. What strategy you use is dependent on how you want to win, and with so many types of victory there are a ton of strategies to use!



But like I said.. at the beginning, Expand Expand Expand.
 

shdwlord

Warlord
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
290
I would also suggest reading through some of the succession games at http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=47 especially some of the early RBD and all the LK games, they offer many tidbits of strategy at different stages of the games, explaining turn by turn in most cases what happened, as well as players discussing why they made the choices that they did. Personally, I have learned more about the strategy of the game from that forum than this one, as you can see specific examples of what works best when, while this forum is more of a general advice forum. For instance, one of the games (I can't remember which one) offers a long discussion on whether it is better to mine or irrigate bonus grassland/plains squares, players usually put in their turn descriptions when they adjust the sliders for science and luxuries, and until there are too many cities to worry about, what each city is building.
 
Top Bottom