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Can six months not playing civ really have improved my game?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Groogaroo, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Groogaroo

    Groogaroo King

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    Hi! I've been on a long break from playing civ4, due to lots of stuff going on (moving home, new job, etc). I reached a point where I was comfortable at prince but never had an easy time on monarch. Well the other day I rolled my first start in six months with Sury, (Monarch/Epic/Fractal) and actually found it really easy! :confused:

    The actual starting spot for my capital was quite poor but an early rush on my neighbour Ramses II (who had 2 golds in Thebes) helped me in the early game, I normally struggle with warring but in this game I had little problem conquering my other neighbours despite bieng roughly equal in power and with a marginal lead in tech.

    I could have wrapped things up a lot earlier with a dom win but wanted to play through the whole tech tree this being my first game in ages and won with a space win in 1952 (my earliest space win on any difficulty).

    I don't feel I played a particularly tight game, in fact pretty sloppy in some places. :mischief:

    So I guess my question is... was this a particularly easy map? or have I conquered monarch?

    I don't appear to have the starting save, but here's one from 395BC and the winning save from 1952AD.
     

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  2. Valivator

    Valivator Warlord

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    I'm thinking it could. You, theoretically, could have lost some bad habits you got into. Well, this would improve your game. Maybe to the point of increasing a level. But, my advice, is to play another monarch game. If you blow by that one, you could try one at Emperor, or take another one at monarch. If you don't blow by that one, though, well then you probably have to improve your game a bit more.
     
  3. Hsinchu

    Hsinchu Prince

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    I concur about the bad habits.

    Also, getting a new job often rewires your brain, I've found. If a job you have is sucking the life out of you, it also saps your brainpower. Critical thinking skills are sometimes sharpened at work. Some jobs, while you may not like being there, also help you with your evasiveness and overall thinking agility in trying to figure out how to accomplish the most while doing the least. This efficiency based thinking, while stemming from negative mojo, is still an integral part of the successful Civ-alized mind.

    Moving home probably helped your game, too. I know, for me, having more to do than play Civ all day and not being "directly" responsible for my roommates bills really means you have less stress when you play and when you actually have the time to play, you really have to win more often for it to be worth it.
     
  4. tycoonist

    tycoonist Deity

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    maybe i can play deity now then :p
     
  5. Rissiel

    Rissiel Chieftain

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    I have had almost the exact opposite experience. I stopped playing several months ago as I got interested in some other games, and recently started playing again. When I stopped I was winning ~60% on Emp, but now... man, I tried Emp the first few times, then went down to Monarch and STILL got my rear kicked. Fortunately, I have you fine folks on these forums to help me ease back into my game :)
     
  6. Yesod

    Yesod Warlord

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    I play this game for a month or two on and off. I just started back up two weeks ago after not playing for half a year. Every time I leave and come back, I feel the same thing happens to me. It takes a game to get acclimated, but then I end up running things smoother than before. I think part of it is that when you learn a lot at once and try to put it into play, your mind gets cluttered and you lose your open-mindedness. Not as many things are apparent to you while you focus on what you're trying to do. Once you take a minute and step back, the strategies sort of internalize, and you can do more of it intuitively.

    I'm still only on Emperor, but this time around I've been playing with Aggressive AI and still winning, militarily. I lost some on the one track mindedness that told me to do things like build a warrior first every time, and I feel like I've been able to pull myself away from the guides and games I've been ghosting to come up with my own intuition when playing. But the lessons still come to mind when I'm considering things.
     
  7. Groogaroo

    Groogaroo King

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    I think thats a fair point but I think it goes a bit further than that...

    I think I also lost most of my strategies aswell, or atleast let go of them a bit.

    I never really planned ahead too far or used many of the tips I've picked up, just played the game focussing on what was important right there and then, probably the first time I've ever really played the map.

    For example (and this sounds really bad) I never even built National Epic or had a GP farm, it was just never a priority and by the time I had the opportunity the game was pretty much won.

    Maybe I should wait another six months then try an emperor game. ;)
     
  8. champ82

    champ82 Immortal Ruler

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    I’m just gonna throw this out there – I could be totally off. If you weren’t a rushing type of player before and now you are after your break, that could have something to do with it. I remember when it used to be, say starting next to Shaka or Stalin, “oh no, some day those big bad guys are going to invade me, I’ll have to remember to be prepared for when this inevitably happens” and now it’s more like “who’s getting a beat down?”
     
  9. Fetch

    Fetch When in doubt, reboot.

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    The real question is "were you on these boards during those 6 months". If you were, that's what did it.
     
  10. Kwibuss

    Kwibuss Warlord

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    Heh indeed. A combination of factors. By not playing for 6 months you actually got rid of bad habits and if you were reading this board in the meanwhile you picked up a ****load of great tactics/tips/advices.
     
  11. Fluxx

    Fluxx Mr. Almost There

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    Actually, it is scientifically proven that any new idea's/concepts has time to sink into your brain.

    If you even went to college for example you'll recognize what I mean.
    You follow a hard course for the first time, and all the new concepts and idea's are hard to recognize in the beginning.

    If you follow the same lecture next year, or try the course about a half year later, youll notice that you suddently catch up much quicker.

    Same thing goes with civ, and any other game.
    Some things you can not learn over day, and needs time in your brain to rewire :D
     
  12. Groogaroo

    Groogaroo King

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    Its true that I've never been a big fan of the rush, or warring in general. Rushes always seemed to be a big gamble for me and a failed rush is almost game over before its even begun. However in the last game I played it was the rush that won me the game. I wonder without a viable rush target whether I would have faired so well.

    Well... maybe now and again :mischief:
     
  13. Monsterzuma

    Monsterzuma the sly one

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    Keep in mind there are several map- and game settings that can make your games considerably much easier. You may simply be playing with different ones than you used to.
     
  14. CivIVMonger

    CivIVMonger Emperor

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    I've ponderd this very much myself... And asked the very same questions. Yes, I think it does, the same thing happend to me but at a lower extremedy. Just don't wait too long, then you'd lose the good habits along with the bad ones.
     
  15. mica8911

    mica8911 Warlord

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    I feel the same way. Taking a break from a game improves my game. Old bad habits gone away? Yes I think that holds true but I also think when you play a lot you get into a state of boredom and maybe don't think as clearly and when you come back you focus more on every move you make. I have always done better at Warcraft 3 when I have taken a month break or longer and it is true for Civ4 as well.
     
  16. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    If you take time off it could improve your mental health. The subtle improvement in health could contribute to better problem solving skills, making the game seem easier to play.

    If you stayed away long enough your brain would either forget or archive your knowledge of CIV (because it's no longer important to you) and your game skill wouldn't be as strong.

    The bottom line is if you want to perform better at anything, get and/or stay healthy, but also keep the skill-set sharp enough to be effective.
     
  17. framserv

    framserv Chieftain

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    I think that there is some merit in all the above posts, however I also think that map type makes a huge difference at the higher difficulty levels.

    IMHO Fractal is the easiest as you generally only have direct contact with 2-3 civs but you eventually aquire trade awareness with most of the others. + natural choke points etc

    Others such as Pangea and Archipelago (for almost exactly opposite reasons) are much harder.
     
  18. troytheface

    troytheface Deity

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    i would suggest yes-

    initial play on Civ4 (Vanilla) one hits Code of Laws and builds a wonder or two that seem good and without knowing what resources are sees them as something or they wouldn't be there and build whats on there and you are greedy and over expand but greed keeps you from going broke.

    further play allows you to experiment with variation and reading leads to confusion of insticnt and intuition which are better than an article about cottages.

    the evidence is clear- superior play diminishes with duration and endurance may be overrated.
     
  19. Amao

    Amao King

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    Welcome back, Groogaroo.:goodjob: I just had a break as well with similiar situations, and also due to my loss of interests for the game. (this had happened many times. so i knew i'd be back again.) and you know what, i'm debating on dedicating my focus on monarch rather than prince as well. :lol:
     

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