Being underdog

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by sqdtnz, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. sqdtnz

    sqdtnz Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    53
    Hey there,

    There are probably people here much better at this game than me, sometimes I still end up in a quite hopeless situation, where I am alone on a continent, without any luxury resources nor religions.

    At that point I just become the underdog of the game. I don't know if other people know ways to get out of this situation, but I wonder if there are people that would actually keep playing despite this hopeless situation.

    In some way it should be challenging to play while you are a vassal state of a bigger civ, but I think it goes against human nature to accept such role in a game like civ. Sometimes I keep playing in such situation, but it becomes a littlebit depressing after a while.
     
  2. Amao

    Amao King

    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Messages:
    735
    Location:
    Shanghai
  3. mwdowns

    mwdowns Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    26
    I know how you feel.

    I've been trying to make the jump up to Noble recently, and it seems that no matter how good a start I think I get, I end up the underdog once the middle game comes around. I think most of my problem is that I never really have a clear plan for what kind of victory I want. Not really much of a warmonger, so cultural and space-race victories are more up my alley, but often I'm behind on techs or have few if in GW and GPs.

    Also I tend to lose interest in the game during the middle. I really enjoy the buildup, but can't stick it out (that's what she said! *ba-duh-bum* I'll be here all night, folks!).

    I should probably keep playing the games, but as you say, it does feel a bit depressing. Don't know what to do about that.
     
  4. sqdtnz

    sqdtnz Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    53
    That lonely heart club series is very nice! But it still focusses on winning by evading problems, which is fine.

    Actually it would be nice challenges to think of ways how to still win after being horribly behind. When I see AI vassal states I always wonder what they could ever do to still become succesful.

    Maybe that's the only thing this game lacks, good turning points in history, as reality does have. But that's just the matter of game vs reality, in which we conclude the game is more fun :>
     
  5. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Messages:
    21,810
    Location:
    Liverpool, home of Everton FC
    Build the internet to have an amazing comeback.
     
  6. Foamy7

    Foamy7 Mmm... Donuts...

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Yeah, my first monarch game I converted to Hinduism; got DOWed by Napoleon, the only other Hindu civ in the game. I was in last place, but spammed some Chariots and took him out. Then I realized that EVERY other civ was Buddhist. :mad: Got dogpiled in 800 AD or so. Barely survived by converting. Needless to say, my relations were destroyed, my economy was in shambles, and I had next to no military left.

    I think I got eliminated around 1000 AD or so.

    Lesson? Don't convert to a religion that is shared only by an aggressive civ on your border when you have a weak army.
     
  7. JonathanStrange

    JonathanStrange PrinceWithA1000Enemies

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,306
    Location:
    TThe Dreaming
    The OPs got his work cut out for him; once you've fallen behind on an isolated continent, it's difficult to catch up: it depends on how far behind though, where the competition is, what cities and resources can be grabbed. It's no sarcasm to say the best way to solve a problem is not to let it become one so I'd have gone all out to join the world long before. I've more than once managed to grow a small toehold on a nearby continent into a major empire but it's easier to do that if you've some competitive advantage like an advanced tech or more units.
     
  8. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    26,046
    Clawing out of isolation is easier than it looks. When you meet the AIs it's discouraging because you tend to be behind. However, you've not accrued any WFYABTA, and if you beeline something you can jump eras on mass trades very quickly. The single most important thing in that situation is diplomacy, both to allow mass tech trade and to avoid war for a bit.

    It's usually helped by the fact that isolated starts = a decent amount of cities, and the ability to gun for wonders etc. w/ less cost.
     
  9. SlipperyJim

    SlipperyJim Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Messages:
    332
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I won a Noble game (my first Noble win!) as Monty on the Earth-18 map. I had warrior-rushed Roosevelt in the very-early game, and I killed Huyana Capac by the Classical era. At that point, I was all alone on the Americas.

    I survived by REXing out all of the good city sites. My economy crashed, but I had the Pyramids, so I switched to Representation for a sort-of Specialist Economy. Tenochtitlan is a great hammer site on the Earth-18 map (lots of hills), so I was able to score a number of Wonders. Meanwhile, I moved my Palace to a site in Texas with some lovely rivers & grassland, so major cottage spam. The Bureaucracy bonus turned those cottages into major commerce.

    Meanwhile, I beelined Liberalism. (Have you ever seen the AI Monty do that? ;)) So when Lizzy's caravels came a-calling in the Renaissance, I had a few solid techs to trade. I didn't trade right away, but I waited to meet a few other folks (Mansa, Freddy) before I started trading away my techs. I also managed to hold on to Education long enough to grab Liberalism for Nationalism, and then I traded it, too.

    Even so, when it came time to invade Old Europe, I was using Cuirassiers & Trebuchets against Lizzy's Redcoats. I lost a lot of troops, but I took the British Isles, and Lizzy capitulated. From that point, I started catching up in tech very rapidly. Louis was next to fall, then Freddy, and then Julius. The endgame turned into a three-way competition between:
    • Monty (with Lizzy, Louis, and Freddy as vassals)
    • Saladin (with Mansa, Asoka, and Catherine as vassals)
    • Qin (with Genghis and Tokugawa as vassals)
    Domination Victory in 1942 AD.

    Here are the tips I learned:
    1. You can't research everything by yourself. Beeline something juicy (Liberalism is a great choice), and then backfill the rest of the techs through trading as soon as you make contact.
    2. You don't need a tech advantage to win a war. Sure, a tech advantage makes life easier, but tech parity is all you really need. Heck, you can even get by with a tech deficit (Cuirassiers versus Redcoats) if you bring enough troops. The AI is bad at war, so use that weakness to your advantage.
    3. You don't need to be on top of the scoreboard to win! I mean, you'll need to be there eventually, but you don't need to be on top throughout the entire game. You just need a plan for how to "come from behind" for your amazing victory!
    4. It's often worth moving your capital to a cottage site in order to take advantage of the Bureaucracy multiplier in the mid-game. The +50% to commerce can often do much more for you than +50% to hammers, because it's a bonus to raw commerce. That commerce bonus gets multiplied again by any +Science and +Gold buildings, so the final effect can be massive.
    I'm on Prince now, so I'm not a master of this game. I'm sure that other players will have their suggestions as well. :)
     
  10. Unconquered Sun

    Unconquered Sun Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,462
    1. Don't REX (you're alone anyway). Instead, concentrate on a superscience city.

    2. Use Hereditary Rule or Drama for happiness.

    3. Bulb for Liberalism -> Astronomy.
     
  11. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,899
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    @SlipperyJim: Awesome Earth 18 game, bro. Never played as a "New World" civ. Way to conquer the "Old World"!
     
  12. Zubbus

    Zubbus Antarctican Predator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    155
    Because techs get cheaper as they are older and more people have them, I think you should focus on making $$$ (and hammers) and buy techs if you are that much behind. And ergo, should try to buy things that make you more money first. Just a speculation.
     
  13. blitzkrieg1980

    blitzkrieg1980 Octobrist

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,899
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    This requires the killing of the tech rate (0% slider for 100%:gold:). Essentially, this suggestion means he'll eternally be behind in techs. And since the AI isn't always willing to trade for gold (or at all) I don't think this would be the way to go.
     
  14. SlipperyJim

    SlipperyJim Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Messages:
    332
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    That strategy worked well in CivIII, but not in Civ4. Firstly, some AIs will simply refuse to sell some techs. Secondly, every AI keeps track of how many tech trades you've done, and almost all of them will cut you off from trading at some point. The cut-off is also referred to as the WFYABTA limit, which is short for "We Fear You Are Becoming Too Advanced". (That's what the AI will say when you've hit the limit.)

    Beyond the Sword introduced a new concept that could work in a similar fashion to the old CivIII "Buy Technology For Cash" model: the Espionage Economy. Basically, you direct all of your commerce slider (as much as possible) into Espionage. Build all of the +Espionage buildings. If you can score a Great Spy, so much the better! Once you're building up bushels of Espionage points, then you start stealing every technology with your Spies.

    Of course, Spies have their limitations. One of the biggest limitations is that they can be caught, and spying on your neighbors will have diplomatic consequences. So make sure that you steal the military techs first.... ;)
     

Share This Page