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[BNW] Why liberty at all?

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

  1. KiltedCow

    KiltedCow Chieftain

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    Hi guys,

    I've played a few games (both single and multiplayer) in BNW and it always seems to me like the Tradition tree blows Liberty straight out of the water for most purposes. Can you help me understand how Liberty is viable?

    I've seen it written that now Liberty's best city number is 3-4, but as long as you're in that range, the bonuses from Tradition seem flat-out better.

    There is usually enough excess happiness from luxuries and Monarchy that I can end up selling most of my luxes to other civs, bringing in enough gold to comfortably buy enough settlers for 4 cities before I'm crowded out.

    Meanwhile when I start with a Liberty opening happiness is harder to come by, so there's less gold, so settlers have to get hard-built, and I end up with the same number of cities as when I go Tradition but without the growth bonuses.

    What is the best way to make a Liberty opening stronger? (multiplayer in particular!)

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Ayestes

    Ayestes Chieftain

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    Liberty in MP grabs you your choice in where to expand usually. It also seems like it has a better mid game even if it does make you feel overextended in the early game and outpaced in the late game. Liberty also feels stronger when you are warmongery and take cities. That free Great Person from Liberty also has a wide variety of uses.

    That said, Tradition usually has a safer early game, stronger late game, and enables you to get a few more wonders. I probably prefer Tradition, but if everyone goes Tradition there is often a lot of good land out there that never gets taken. It really depends on the civ I get as well, since if I get the Mayans I'll often go Liberty. The starting spot can also be taken into account, since if the capitol is awful then Tradition isn't nearly as good either.

    Where is it written that Liberty's optimal city number is 3 to 4 now? I'm interested in that discussion. I'd think Liberty would be a city for every good spot you can get within the happiness limit although you might pause expansion at 3 to 4 to build up a National College before doing it again. ICS is a bad idea for a MP game, but a strong 6-10 city empire in the mid game with Pagodas or something would be pretty fearsome.
     
  3. KiltedCow

    KiltedCow Chieftain

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  4. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    Liberty is good for:

    *Grabbing land quickly or fast CB rushes
    *Getting a strong religion; more cities = more faith per turn
    *Civs with unique buildings or per-city-bonuses
    *Conquest! Annexing cities increases social policy costs by 33% less, more cities means more overall production and more raw science per turn later in the game (on most maps).

    With internal food trades and religious growth bonuses like "swords into plowshares" you can also play Liberty in "Tradition-style" but in general you should try to build 6 cities minimum.

    Liberty needs more micromanagement to make it work and you often need longer to catch up in tech but after renaissance and public schools in 8+ cities, you have a more flexible empire and it's fairly impossible to lose at that point. :)

    I really like Liberty, Piety -> Organized Religion -> full Commerce and rest Rationalism + Autocracy for late game warmongering, for example. Rushbuying an army and massive amounts of happiness. Or Order and rushbuying buildings tenet for science victory.

    Build/buy enough workers! Pyramids is also nice to have. You can use great writers in combination with golden ages or worlds fair to speed through Commerce and a few rati policies.
     
  5. Arcamean

    Arcamean Chieftain

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    I like Liberty when I play a civ that benefits from staying smaller or can't exapand at all in Venice's situation.
     
  6. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    Free settler, free worker, ability to build the pyramids for two more free workers and faster tile improvement, free great person that can rush a choice wonder, plant an early academy, or be the first to enhance a religion.
     
  7. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

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    If you are playing multiplayer with people with at least half a brain, you are not going to sell any luxuries. Heck, even in singleplayer it is way harder than it was in G&K, most BNW Tradition opening strategies are either 2-3 cities or 4 cities with 2 hard-built settlers and one bought.

    It also depends if you steal workers or not. Stealing workers from CS is unbalanced to the point that some (most?) people consider it an exploit. I only steal workers from other civs, which is a little bit harder at least. Without guaranteed worker stealing, Liberty has a serious hammer advantage over other policies in the early game.
     
  8. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    I think in my first BNW game, going Liberty saved my butt. I was on a small continent with only America and I needed the settler and worker quickly. In another game, I still went Liberty for the Pyramids and GE.
     
  9. KiltedCow

    KiltedCow Chieftain

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    I guess this makes me and my fellow players noobs, but how can they stop you? (I'm talking about selling to AIs - my friends' multiplayer games have a mix of AIs and humans.)
     
  10. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

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    You should check if your friends are really human. Smells like AI to me, somehow having enough surplus money to buy luxuries early game, and then happily landing that money to the hands of the gold-starved human player :lol:

    On a more serious note, I usually play multiplayer with a mix of humans and AI as well, because I don't have 5~7 civ-playing friends willing to play mp. Even then, selling luxuries to the AI is a race of who gets the luxury first, because the few AIs have limited money and they can only buy one of each lux anyway. In this case, Liberty is even superior because you are improving your luxuries earlier.
     
  11. Catan_Settler

    Catan_Settler Prince

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    Who told you liberty is for 4 or 5 cities? Liberty is for 8+ cities. On a small map, maybe you stop at 6 settlers if you're boxed in, and get the extra cities with comp bows. Regardless if you're making 3 or 4 or 5 cities only, you shouldn't be in liberty. That means you're playing liberty like it's tradition, which is not. And you should stop doing that. Why are you blaming liberty for the fact that YOU just don't have a clue how to use it. It's for Rapid Expansion. Not sitting on 4 cities and wondering why their cities grow faster. No , they get free aquaducts. You want MORE cities than a tradition player, or you're guaranteed to fail and post threads on the forums about it. :eek:
     
  12. renton555

    renton555 Warlord

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    IMO the people who say "don't go liberty unless you plan to go really wide" are kind of wrong. I think liberty can be the best choice even if you're only going 4 cities. The way I look at it, liberty is about reducing early game variance. You give up the growth benefits of tradition in order to make sure you settle at least 4 good cities. With tradition you're often expanding so slowly that you can only settle 2 good cities and a 3rd sub par city.

    I have absolutely no issues getting the tech lead with 4 city liberty. Like clockwork I'm 1st in tech at turn 160. I think absent any unforeseen problems with expansion, this can probably be achieved opening tradition, but there are rarely unforseen problems.

    With regard to expanding wide with liberty. I find that going past 5 cities always delays the NC and there aren't usually 5 good cities to settle anyway. I think the best way to go about liberty expansion is to settle 4 good cities, get the NC then MAYBE send a second wave of settlers after that, but usually thats not possible anyway cause you're unhappiness is a problem at this stage of the game and because all the good spots are taken.
     
  13. Catan_Settler

    Catan_Settler Prince

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    Well that's where we differ, because to me wide STARTS at like 6 cities. 8 cities is not really a lot in the scheme of things IMO, to me that's like.. the beginning of wide. I've had games with 30+ cities before so.. past 12 I'd call super wide. That's when you get to the point of absolutely needing ceremonial burial, or protectionism from the end of the commerce tree and whatnot.
     
  14. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    Had a thread about this recently in the BNW subforum. On Immortal/Diety, you can't rapidly expand to 8+ cities; the AI will eat your face. Liberty still works for a 4 - 6 city opening with some expansion (through warfare) in the early midgame bringing you past 8.
     
  15. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    What size/speed/difficulty? With the BNW science nerf for more cities, that seems. . . bad. There's just no way your 30th city is raising your science output by more than the 5% penalty it incurs.
     
  16. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

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    This thread made me want to play another game with Huge map size. Last time was still on G&K and on Emperor, as Rome, with Epic speed. By the information era I had 45 cities total (8 mine, 37 puppets), 4500 science per turn and 1500 gpt. Funny thing is that even though it was an easy science victory, there were still 2 AIs with more cities, land and population than me :lol:

    To stay on topic, I mostly agree with Keirador. Early expansion past 6 cities makes the NC waaay too hard, and NC is still important with a wide empire (hint: food routes to the capital). The second wave of expansion, which 90% of the time will be through warfare because the land is all taken (this is why I hate pangaea; late settling on islands is so much fun), should be only after Colosseums, Liberty's roads of happiness and maybe Circus Maximus are up, else you are slowing everything down with unhappiness.

    Egypt is an exception, of course, and that is why I love playing them so much ;)
     
  17. kb27787

    kb27787 Emperor

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    I have trouble getting coliseums in all my cities in a timely manner if I go 4+ cities (by that time I'd want ironworks) unless on a salt spawn, it's really hard... :lol:
    and even with circus maximus, by the time the cities hit their teens, it's not enough.
    Here, unless you got Notre Dame, you're going to NEED CS allies (and some particular neighbors simply won't let you get them)
     
  18. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

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    Workshop vs Colosseum is always a hard decision for me. I usually build workshop only on cities with good production to really make use of the +% hammer bonus, while on low production cities I build Colosseums first, and I only get Ironworks really late, like turn 190+. Dunno if I am doing it right :p

    And yes, CS allies are a must. If I am not seeing a porcelain/jewels CS nearby, I may beeline Physics and use the free Liberty GE for Notre Dame.
     
  19. Tabarnak

    Tabarnak Pô Chi Min

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    Another Liberty vs Tradition thread :p

    Really depends of starting position. You can go with 1 city NC, 2 cities NC, 3 cities NC, 4 cities NC, etc with both trees.

    Land, proximity of neighbors, Capital position's strength(mines/forests favourise Tradition) and player's skill will interfere on how good can you play the first 60 turns. Liberty is less constraining. Newbies will prefer Liberty and Tradition is more tricky and need more tweak and knowledge to make it worth in mp games.

    Tradition>Liberty if you end with same number of cities.

    But i'm with the op here. Tradition seems stronger even in mp(i play 90% of my games in mp and use 90% of time this tree and Liberty players always have hard times around mid game).

    Edit : Ironically, i find the Trad tree easier to work with for a CB rush because you caN skip monuments and work 1 extra hill form your capital if you reach landed elite fast enough. Then you can get out enough archers and bully 1 cs or 2 before upgrading. I really hate building monuments!!! Really.
     
  20. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

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    I think in mp it depends more on locations of the players on the map. Because in single player, while the AI is very fast in cranking out settlers, their city locations suck, and sometimes they will go for that useless extra copy of a luxury in the middle of the jungle instead of a hill+river+mountain+stones location. In mp, a Liberty player can snatch first the really good land between himself and the Trad player, and start to build archers for defense in the new cities asap, with the +1 hammer from Liberty.

    In singleplayer I agree that Tradition is objectively better in the majority of conditions, but I disagree with the op that the difference is big enough for Liberty to never be considered. Liberty is not Honor, the differences are small enough that if you think Liberty is more enjoyable (it is, grabbing land quick is fun :lol:), you can go for it and you will not be crippled if you use the tools you got; far from it.
     

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