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Beginner wants to learn

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by reason, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. reason

    reason Chieftain

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    Aug 26, 2013
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    Hey guys, I'm pretty new to civ5, I have played civ3 a LONG time ago but I was too young to understand all the strategy and stuff and I just didn't enjoy the whole game as it is.
    Now I'm back to civ, and, as a lover of strategy, I'm loving the game. I've played a couple of single player games in Prince, and it's not hard at all. I have some help from a friend, who's more experienced than me, but not an awesome player. I believe he's in Emperor level, or something like that.
    So, not many singleplayer games, but almost ten multiplayer games. We're always playing: me and 2 friends. 2 of us are bad (me included) and 1 is better.
    What's happening is: In every game, the AIs start balanced with us, then in the mid game we steamroll over them (except 1 of us, who plays a bit worse), and then the game becomes almost a 1v1 of me vs my friend. Then, when the lategame comes, he always wins.
    I've already tried domination victory through liberty several times, but he outplayed me militarly and scientificaly. I've already tried science, same thing. Diplomatics using tradition were ok, but in the late game he was just SO STRONG that by the time I finished the 4th SP branch he had over 2 times my points and a way too strong army.
    So, I'm here looking forward to learning, I'll begin playing some singleplayer games, trying to get to higher levels, and want general tips of strategy and how to choose victory condition, wonders, how to manage gold, how should I manage my citizens (I never put manually).
    Also would be great to have some advice about nice guides (not basic guides, please, something more intermediate/advanced). I'll see if I post some games I play here so you can tell me what I'm doing wrong and right.

    Thanks! :)
    (sorry for wall of text)
     
  2. Catan_Settler

    Catan_Settler Prince

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    Well if you're playing against someone who can consistently out tech you, and gets that far ahead, what you need to be doing is interfering with him a lot sooner. A person with a tech lead, will usually keep exanding on that lead throughout the game, making the gap wider and wider. So the solution is to hit him a lot sooner, when he has less of a lead. Now unless he's playing Babylon or Egypt (or maybe Korea) all the time then you should for sure be able to keep pace with him in the science department, by making the Philosophy tech and the National College national wonder one of your very high priority early game builds. If you're going liberty, you want to get the national college built sometime in the first 4 settlers going out. If you're going tradition, you can do it after maybe the 2nd settler, however a lot of us would actually do the national college before building a settler. In MP, this can backfire though if all the good spots get settled first.

    Beyond that, it's hard to give you much advice because there isn't a lot of specific details in your post. If you have a tech monster, you have to hit him sooner then later. A good time to go is with Composite Bows. Even if you don't have the numbers to go after his capital, if you can raze his 2nd or 3rd city, steal some workers, kill a settler, pillage all the land around his cities, for example, you can definitely put a dent in his ability to tech way past you. The other effect of harassing raids early on is it tends to make the other player lose a bit of their focus. You are forcing them to react, and often they're unprepared and have to start building defense units to stop you. This will take them off their path of pure building up the economy, which in and of itself may be enough to keep you on pace with their tech.. even if you fail at taking any cities. Ideally though, you should hit him with 5-6 compbows and a couple swords or spearmen. Trash his cities as best you can and then fall back. Or if it goes well (which it usually does against a builder type) you'll wind up wiping his civ right out of the game since he spent the first 80 turns building wonders and crap, and you spent it on units.

    If you leave him alone though, you're just letting him play out his ideal build order and crush you in science. So yeah, don't let him do that. If you wait for medieval or renaissance you'll probably find a good tech player is already way ahead of you, and you are often in for a rude surprise when you try and attack them.
     
  3. reason

    reason Chieftain

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    Thanks for the answer! And yeah, my post wasn't very clear so I'll tell some details.

    First of all, we usually play Small Continents. So we usually are not really close to each other, and this means I can't just rush him down with an early army. I do manage to keep in pace in science, because I play fairly well in early-mid. However, this ends in lategame, where he starts to dominate us. I think he knows how to use the AI better than me. For example, I don't think I have ever bribed someone, and I don't make many DoFs or DoWs. I actually tend to be a bit passive, I think. I usually wait for the AI to attack me to defend and then counterattack grabbing one or two cities, and then maybe selling them or maybe taking them for me.
     
  4. Catan_Settler

    Catan_Settler Prince

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    Yeah well passive style only works when you're the best player, and others are afraid of attacking you. If you're behind, playing passive just guarantees you'll lose. As for small continents well, do you do much exploring? Get a trireme built early.. like turn 20, and start exploring the coastlines. ON that map type you'd be surprised how often you can get at them before navigation comes around. As for late game teching issues hmm, that's a tough one. Are you putting social policies into rationalism? Are you aiming for scientific theory and building public schools before dabbling with artillery and techs on the bottom half of the tech tree? I'm not saying you always beeline public schools, however if you're in a losing tech battle that is the first thing I'd change is stop mucking around the other parts of the tech tree and get those public schools built. On that map type, you can go straight to refrigeration after scientific theory, and get some submarines out. They cost no resources and they will completely decimate his navy at that part of the game. This'll buy you time to then backtrack adn catch up on land unit technology to complete an invasion force. In the meantime though-- use those subs! Don't leave a fishing boat in his empire unscathed. Keep him trapped in his cities and with his trade routes cut off, and once again you're forcing him to play reactively and build navy just to try and hold you back. In the meanwhile, you're building up a proper amphibious invasion and by the time he thinks he has your subs under control, he's got an even bigger problem to deal with.
     
  5. reason

    reason Chieftain

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    Thanks for the advice, it sure helped me to clarify some stuff. Btw, I'm starting a game now so I can tell my progress here and people can give me some advice. So far:

    Started a Pangea game, Prince difficulty (please don't laugh :p ), playing as China, Standard, Standard.


    Spoiler :

    Spoiler :


    Started in a nice place I guess, some hills for extra production.
    t2: Settled one tile to the southeast from where I started. Went for Scout and Animal Husbandry, since I have some Sheep, Ivory and Cattle nearby.
    t4: Got Pottery from ruins next to my city, pretty nice.
    t7: Met Warsaw. Would be nice to grab a worker from them, so I went double Scout. Found Barringer Crater surprisingly close to me. Worth making a city there, I guess.
    t10: Met Ragusa and Genoa.
    I went for Honor because of many barbarians and because I wanted domination since China is a great militaristic civ.
    t14: This start is really, really good. I've found Sailing and a citizen in 2 ruins, as well as Grand Mesa. Found Bismarck and Zurich, but still no worker (I have actually never stolen a worker before, so I don't know when exactly they spawn)
    Around t30 I had already found Genghis Khan, Kamehameha and Harold, as well as many other CS. Finally grabbed a worker, but from a far CS, so he has a long run until the city (around 15 turns :( ) Because of this delay I had already produced a worker and started clearing the only forest tile while producing a settler.
     
  6. Scarpa

    Scarpa Prince

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    Sounds like he's signing a bunch of RAs (research agreements) with the AI and you guys aren't. That alone will push him ahead of you. You also didn't mention if you run specialists or work on producing Great Scientists. That also will cripple you if he does and you don't.

    Another thing to consider is if he's selling off all his excess luxury and strategic resources to the AI, that is a big source of income. Keep an eye on the AI and sell whatever you can to them, a trade with you is not only extra income for you but income denied to him.

    Finally, make sure you're always growing, it is easy to forget and let your cities stagnate late in the game.
     
  7. reason

    reason Chieftain

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    I tend to think on the long term and use the Great People to make those special tiles, except in some cases like bulbing writing for GL or rushing some wonder with a GE. Is that not a good idea?

    _________

    I'm having some issues with gold as well. I think my cities aren't growing as well as they should be, and I'm not evolving fast enough. Take a look at my situation in this game:

    Spoiler :


    As you can see, 0 gold per turn is an issue. I don't even have a large army... just 1 warrior, 1 archer. 2 workers and a scout as well. Maybe I should have built Granary earlier? I went for double Scouts to try to snipe a worker, but I didn't get one quickly so I produced 1 worker as well, then one settler and finally the Granary.
     
  8. Catan_Settler

    Catan_Settler Prince

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    The rule of thumb is to make academies up until you have built public schools everywhere, at which point you bulb a tech with them instead of building an academy. Typically this means you should have ~3 academies in your capital, after which you bulb them all to power through the later eras. If you're at public schools with less than 3 academies, you may need to work on the micromanagement of your scientists better as Scarpa there has alluded to. Also yeah, just reread your posts and noticed you have AIs in your game? First suggestion is to turn them right off. AI is stupid in a multiplayer game because it is so easy to exploit. He's probably getting massive amounts of free gold off them from trading them spare iron, or furs, or whathaveyou. So yeah if he's cheesing the AIs like that you only have two options-- do it too, or turn off the AI. Really, AI has no place in MP. It's just there to be manipulated for free gold. So you either do that too or you will fall behind.
     
  9. reason

    reason Chieftain

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    The main issue is that we are only three, so it gets a bit boring to play a FFA game with 3 players.

    Btw, about my current game: I'm sure I missed something. I didn't evolve fast enough to make a nice attack over Bismarck, which was my plan. Actually, he DoFed Genghis Khan, so I didn't dare touching him. Instead, I made a small but efficient army and started expanding towards the 2 natural wonders I had found. I'm now at t91 with 3 cities. Bismarck has DoWed me because of my expansion, but I have managed to defend without losing any unit thanks to the citadel from my GG. He is backing right now; not sure if I should attack him or just back off, because his army is still bigger than mine. I'm trying to correct my gold issues by building paper makers in my 2 main cities, while the new one is working on a granary.

    update: t112, captured Munich. New GG helped me a lot. 3 CBs plus Spearman was enough. Now I'll march to his cap.

    Spoiler :


    PS: that stolen worker isn't mine, I swear :)
     
  10. Scarpa

    Scarpa Prince

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    Ouch, your science is really really low. You should pause the warpath here and get Civil Service ASAP and get your cities growing (That lake is awesome!). Use some internal trade routes to shore up the food situation and aim towards Education. Get those cities to 8 pop minimum (cap can be bigger, especially if you have NC there) and then build Unis and try to have enough food on hand to run two science specialists as soon as they are done.

    Derp, ignore the trade route advice, forgot this was GnK
     
  11. kb27787

    kb27787 Emperor

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    my god man... 225 turns to grow even if your empire is happy...
    You, see, this is why I hate early expanding. A single well grown capitol with NC blows your science out of the water.

    You are lucky enough you play GnK (I see river tiles still give gold), that's probably the only saving grace of going wide.
     
  12. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    I'm an emperor player. Moved up from Prince a few months ago, and been winning about half the games on emperor.

    This is an OK start. Absolutely Petralicious but tough gold-wise. You actually have quite a lot of food since the lake counts as fresh water for civil service, the water gives as much as a FP tile, and there's a sheep/oasis. I would've settled Shanghai on that razed barb encampment, and Guangzhou more north.

    Sorry to be harsh, but you did EVERYTHING wrong that a beginner would. Only 1 worker? AT LEAST 2 is good; up to 4 is better. Your cap should be at 12 pop, all your other cities at 8. Not only are they half their required size, but also NOT GROWING - which is why you should've built them elsewhere and gotten Petra (it's easy to do so on Prince). Your tech rate is really slow, which is because of 5 things: you didn't build GL (again, impossible on Immortal+ but ez on Prince, so you should get it), you don't have paper makers, you didn't get NC because you didn't get paper makers, you don't have free GS academy from finishing Liberty, and you SHOULD HAVE UNIVERSITIES/EDUCATION BY NOW. Oh, and your pop 50% normal = bpt 50% normal.

    Final word. Don't go honor. Ever. The opener is OK if you get a culture ruin AND you're on deity w/out barb bonuses, but get tradition or liberty for infrastructure. One reason your friend wins is because you focus too much on warmongering and too little on infrastructure in early game.

    For more info on build orders, policies, research order, etc. ask some more experienced players here. But these are all the tips I can give you.
     
  13. kb27787

    kb27787 Emperor

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    I agree... but when you expand that much, having a size 12 capitol without taking tradition is just asking to be hit with unhappiness... you see he is already on the brink with just 2 pts left. His income is exactly breaking even, more workers will drain his gold. I don't know how people make honor (and full blown liberty without tradition) work well...
     
  14. reason

    reason Chieftain

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    Don't worry about being harsh man, I want you to be! Thanks for the advice.
    To be honest, I never go honor, and never focus on warmongering. I did it for the very first time in this game just to try something different. As you pointed out, things didn't work really well: infrastructure is terrible and my cities are growing way too slowly. However, I'm still managing to stay ok thanks to the terrible war strategy of Prince AI, which let me capture all but one city from Bismarck then signing peace. Now I'll try to sell them for nice gold/luxuries and make a comeback in science and growth.
     
  15. joshua43214

    joshua43214 King

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    With liberty you get plenty of happiness and gold from cities connected by roads. You just have to build plenty of them and micro manage them to keep population in line. You can easily grow a 20+ cap and 15+ cities.

    Liberty means many closely spaced cities so you get max from roads and plenty of happiness.

    no one makes honor work I think. Opening honor is almost always terrible until you have finished tradition or liberty
     
  16. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    It's all in the city placement, man. If he had settled on the razed barb camp he would've gotten plenty of gold from the river, an extra spices (+4 happy), lots of food/production, and +50% science from observatory. Same for settling a better place up north, with a (as a rule, make sure a new city always grabs at least 1 lux, unless you're sure it's in a GAME BREAKING location). With a colosseum in every city and some circuses, that amounts to enough happiness to grow cities sufficiently. Then provided you tech/BO correctly and NOT TAKE HONOR, the gold/science problems will solve themselves.

    Another thing: aim for education by t110, scientific theory by t175, and plastics by t215.
     
  17. reason

    reason Chieftain

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    That's nice, I like having some numbers.

    Btw, when you guys say micromanagement, I assume you're talking about manually choosing the tiles worked by the citizens, as well as buildings, right? I never do that. I've always thought the automatic management was good enough, but the way you guys say it makes it look important, so I'll try to check some guide about it.

    edit: Also, I've read someone saying "that lake is awesome for growing", can anyone tell me why? I know each tile gives +2 food but you can't improve them, so wouldn't grassland be better?
     
  18. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Lake counts as fresh water, so civil service gives lakeside farms +2 food instead of +1.
     
  19. MarshalN

    MarshalN Prince

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    Shanghai was a bit of an unfortunate placement. Like someone said, the razed barb camp is a good location for a city. Also, even if you moved Shanghai one tile down, you would get more food producing tiles and less desert. Desert with no river is death, and there's only one Petra.

    I also see you're producing no faith. Given your desert start, you should've tried to get desert folklore, which will help you get an early religion. The bonuses from religion is a huge boost in this game, and by ignoring religion you're basically giving up a good chunk of growth.
     
  20. reason

    reason Chieftain

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    When you guys say razed barbarian camp, you mean between Genoa and Munich? I thought it was too far away from my cap for a second city :/

    Can you guys say what are your priorities when choosing places to settle? I went for the natural wonder and placed on a hill for production, but it didn't end well. I think I'll load the t1 save and try to replay the game in a better way.

    Oh, and about stealing workers from a CS: when do workers spawn? It's when the city gets to 3 citizens, or is it random?
    And I noticed Germany thinks I'm a warmongering menace (even before the war), is it because I stole a worker?
     

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