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[BNW] Old-school Babylon NC-first opening

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Martin Alvito, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    For the most part, BNW has killed off purely vertical openings in Deity play. While the computer no longer has the ability to spam a ton of cities, the reduced availability of early :c5gold: precludes us from purchasing multiple Settlers upon the completion of the NC. With most civs needing upwards of 60 turns to build the NC, on Deity the good land is generally taken by the time Settlers can be produced and planted.

    With that said, trading early luxuries for GPT isn't that big of a disadvantage if we're planning to spend the proceeds many turns later. If we can get the NC done early enough, we can trade luxuries for GPT and still get quality dirt before the second wave of AI Settlers hits. It turns out that there's only one good way to accomplish that in the expansion: Babylon.

    The concept is pretty straightforward: use the early Academy to accelerate Philosophy by about ten turns, buy a Settler and plunk it down the turn the NC completes, and build 1-2 more Settlers with :c5production: immediately afterward. Stealing a Worker from a city-state is highly recommended, as we aren't buying one. The hard built one comes out a little late, but that isn't a big deal since luxury techs are delayed anyway due to the Writing beeline.

    Tech order is as follows: Pottery -> Writing -> (Mining/Bronze Working) -> Calendar -> Philosophy -> Civil Service/Theology beelines -> Education
    Mining is usually a necessity before Philosophy, rather than after, to hook up luxuries and push NC completion. Bronze Working also may be necessary in a Jungle start, although at that point I think a more horizontal approach is usually wise.

    Standard build order:

    Scout -> Scout -> Shrine -> Worker -> Library -> NC

    If you get some crazy 3+ Wheat/Deer/Banana start, you can always pre-build the Worker after the first Scout, then drop the Granary and the Shrine in once Pottery completes. Strong :c5production: starts also usually permit working the Granary in between the Worker and Library.

    Social policy ordering is up to you. I'd recommend Tradition -> Legalism -> Landed Elite -> Aristocracy -> Monarchy -> Oligarchy, but you can go Liberty if the dirt dictates a Wonder and you think you can get the tech and SPs in time. The Babs are probably the worst civ to try to dabble in multiple trees with due to the accelerated Renaissance, so I can't really recommend a hybrid Liberty/Tradition approach.

    The plan after the NC is also variable. The Oracle is a strong build if you think you can finish it and aren't worried about neighbors. In a more threatened position, some Bowmen are generally indicated. Caravans are also a good move at this point; with Babylon I find they tend to be better off sending :c5food: to satellite cities early on. The one downside of discovering early techs rapidly is the decrease in :c5science: generation from international trade routes. Finally, you're going to need some more Workers for the satellites.

    I tend to go Granary -> Library in the secondary cities to be best prepared for when Education hits. Workers can be squeezed into that build order, but they're generally best sent from the capital because the satellites are so slow to build things early on.

    In any event, you should find yourself with a solid empire and early Education at the end of all this. That's not as strong as it used to be since the Caravans are such a :c5science: leveler for the more backward sides, but it still makes for a better early position than you can achieve with most civs. If you want to play a game where retro strategies still work in this expansion, this is the way to do it.
     
  2. pkf

    pkf Warlord

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    this deserves some credit. strong build that allows you to get education almost as fast as in G+K and grab the tech lead right away. also might put an end to the frustrating babylon vs korea discussion because now it has become rather hard to catch up with babs.
     
  3. Tr4shman

    Tr4shman Chieftain

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    This is very nice. But what I dont understand is how you could afford a setter at the time Nc is finished..at this point i have +2 gold and only 1 improved luxury..
    Please advice-

    Best regards Trashman:confused:
     
  4. telekinetic136

    telekinetic136 Chieftain

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    This works very well however I vote for granary instead of shrine. Religion is not that important for a science victory.
     
  5. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    Babs are amazing in BNW.

    In my last Immortal game, I had 3 cities before NC, and the Hanging Gardens. I built HG first because I had 3 copper and 1 gold hill near my capital.

    Anyway, I spammed academies like a madman and rushed to Industrialization for three early factories and Freedom. Freedom tier2 adds another +4 science to each academy quite early in the game. This wasn't possible in GnK.

    After research labs I used new GSs to bulb towards Nanotech, prebuilt some paratroopers with 3 promotions each and upgraded them to XCOM squads on turn 280. The game was over on turn 300. Have a spy ready in each capital for needed sight radius, drop 10 promoted XCOMs with cover2 and snipe one capital after the other. Pillage and move on.

    Pretty hilarious game haha. I'm sure it can be done faster than 300 but I was quite content for a first try. ^^

    By the way, I think I went worker first and teched mining. With three mined hills, you can hard-build settlers at size three in a pretty low amount of turns.
     
  6. DrZ

    DrZ Warlord

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    Take into account that you can make money by: finding city states, finding ancient ruins with money, selling embassy for 1gpt, selling luxury for 6gpt and working your money tiles.

    Also be very careful about what you build: not too many buildings and not too many units so they will not chew up your gpt.

    I would recommend if you find yourself in a place with very few resources of gold income to build a caravan early and send it to increase your GPT. A caravan to a deity AI will bring home a lot of beakers too.

    So taking all this into consideration i think you will be in a good position to save up to 500gold untill turn 60? (not sure when the op starts building NC)
     
  7. Tr4shman

    Tr4shman Chieftain

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    Hey RealHuhn ! :) nice post.. I just wonder.. how do you manage to spam those academis ? can you give me some tips ? Big multiplayer game with my friends this weekend and I need to practice :)
     
  8. Moriarte

    Moriarte Immortal

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    Boost your cities with great people buildings (garden, national epic), pick perks that enhance GP generation (in rationalism, order, freedom). Declare friendship with Gustavus Adolphus on top of that ;)

    So yeah, riverside settlements are preferred.
     
  9. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    Looks like time to take some questions:

    In general you should have traded away two luxuries for 12 :c5gold:/turn. That plus the roughly 300 :c5gold: you earn from general exploring should be enough to push you over the top.

    If you're in a purely Trapping start, GPT can become a problem. Potential options include selling embassies for GPT (at the probable cost of future DoFs), taking AH immediately after Writing and hoping for some Horses to trade for GPT, hard building initial Settlers after the NC and gambling on a DoF for a lump sum of :c5gold: to get the last Settler down after Trapping completes, and abandoning the plan altogether to go horizontal and hard build Settlers early.

    It's certainly one way to play it, but you're either foregoing a lot of accelerated growth steps in the satellite cities or some late game Great Scientists by doing that. I tend to find that the Granary is only worth prioritizing early on if it buffs a lot of local tiles. Keep in mind that Aqueducts close down the growth differential quite a great deal later on, so if the extra :c5pop: isn't saving turns on techs via :c5science: or builds via :c5production: in the early game then the investment isn't worth the lost turns in the build queue.

    While you can go horizontal with the Babs, it seems to me that doing so wastes the synergies that early Philosophy can provide. The Hanging Gardens usually aren't an option on Deity, because someone will often build then first even if you go Writing -> Math and aggressively chop. I'm also of the opinion that the +10 :c5food: version of the HG was well worth prioritizing, but the +6 :c5food: version is a little dubious.

    I don't think Worker-first is viable on Deity, especially with Babylon where the sane approach is to delay the Worker to land around Mining. Unless you're playing high sea level or a sea map, the continent will probably be crawling with Barbs and failing to build Scouts either means utter isolation or pillage and a ton of lost Worker turns.

    This is somewhat less important than it used to be, as the GPT variance is much smaller. At worst you end up either shafting yourself out of the last GS or delaying its production by several turns. I tend to see the problem as follows: if moving off the river is going to improve outputs by more than the value of a Water Mill, it's probably worth doing.
     
  10. adwcta

    adwcta King

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    Has anyone done the math on the second scout's EV re: gold?

    I'm almost entirely sure it's not worth it in terms of gold upkeep (although clearly if you luck into a good rune, it could be a huge difference maker) and you can find most other things with just one scout. That's not even counting the hammers.

    Could start: Scout - Start Worker - Shrine - Finish Worker - Granary - Library - NC
     
  11. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    Bowmen are extremely good, and the second Scout greatly enhances the odds of getting one. Early CS camp quests are one of the bigger weaknesses of this approach, but a single Bowman can easily roll camps.

    In a strong Wheat/Deer start, I do as you describe but start the Granary the moment Pottery finishes. Banana starts vary, as they can be a bit starved for hammers for the extra pop to work early on.
     
  12. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    Yeah, Hanging Gardens are a mixed bag. I settled on a hill one tile off a river though, so the free garden also came in handy.

    I think it's problematic to dismiss early worker builds. Not everyone uses exploits like worker stealing from CS. I personally don't do that. It's fishy, random, luck based and eliminates a lot of the early decision making.

    On a hill start with Wheat or Stone nearby, a worker can be built in 12 turns I think. Enough time to build a Scout to defend against the first barb, easily. Or simply continue to build monument/shrine and buy a scout for 140 gold.
     
  13. qhash

    qhash Chieftain

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    it is first time someone here wrote that CS worker stealing might be problematic. Many times it happened to me that my early meet CSs did not have a worker for a dozen of turns...
     
  14. neilkaz

    neilkaz King

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    On the highest levels of play, the CSs build up quicker so that on Deity you're more likely to encounter a CS with an early worker, than on Emporer where I usually play. I've even read a Deity guide here where the author says to remain at war with the CS after DOWing and stealing the first worker so that you can steal the second worker when they soon build it as well.
     
  15. Falconiano

    Falconiano Prince

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    Just did this my last game (it was actually 2city NC), it gives you an amazing advantage.
    By classical you're leading in techs -_-
     
  16. qhash

    qhash Chieftain

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    I play on Emperor as well so the outcome from your posts and my experience is that worker stealing should be treated not as a planned strategy but rather as an opportunity.
    EDIT: back to the thread topic
    I have tried to replicate that strat twice, each time it was like I had to wait several turns for Philo. I went Trad opener, then liberty ( to get the free settler). Actually the free settler was waiting for the Philo to kick in :/.
     
  17. skip11

    skip11 Chieftain

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    What do you do with GS? Build academies until public school? And what's the BO for the 2-4 cities?

    Sorry noob here, still trying to get a quicker win on Prince level (got a win in 428 turns), maybe move up to King next game.
     
  18. homegrown

    homegrown Missionary of Sorenism

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    Yes, academies until public schools. then you save them to bulb after you have research labs.

    My cities 2-4 almost always start monument, shrine, granary, library, archer.
     
  19. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    Right, the rule of thumb is settle Academies until Public Schools, then save for bulbs.

    I didn't give anything past Granary -> Library in the secondary cities because Education is generally on you so fast that there isn't any time to build anything else before Universities, except maybe in the second city. Assuming Tradition start, you already have Monuments; if you went Liberty, you're going to have to work them in.
     
  20. Chee

    Chee Warlord

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    Been trying this out on Deity (usually play Immortal) and one thing that amazes me is how quickly the AI settle right in your face! Washington had settled two cities that were touching my borders before I had even built the NC!!

    I literally had only one other space for a city (Continents map / standard size).
     

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