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Can you help me get better at war/city management please? (Noble)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Silverbow, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Silverbow

    Silverbow Prince

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    Hi, I'd like to progress beyond noble, but I can't seem to get effective at the war business - when I win, it's always either Diplo or Space.

    I set up a Earth 34 Civ mods game as the Celts, with conquest as the only victory condition, for the purpose of trying to get better. I warrior rushed France, Rome, Spain and Holland, chariot rushed Portugal and HRE (had archers already so warriors weren't viable), upgraded a few warriors to axes and took England, then whipped out a stream of gallic warriors to take out Germany, Byzantium and Greece. Then I tried to take out the Vikings the same way but they gave me hell and forced me to get a few catapults there to finish them off. So by 130AD I have got most of Europe under control, plus Mali, Egypt, Ethiopia, Arabia and India all became voluntary vassals of mine. Thing is, the game is approaching a point where I don't know how to continue. Is a mob of gallic warriors + bunch of catapults + one axe and one spear reasonable assault force for the era, or should I rather improve the economy and wait for macemen? Especially since vikings were fairly tough with mere axemen...

    I'm also fairly sure I'm horrible at the city management - I either build too much units and feel left behind, or I build too few and invite an attack. I also feel absolutely lost when it comes to city specialization/focus and end up building jack-of-all-trades cities that are certainly suboptimal. I focused on building farms wherever I could this game instead of cottages, because I simply don't know where and how many cottages actually make sense...:(

    I would greatly appreciate any advice/pointers regarding the stuff I'm building, the units I have, the improvements around towns etc. Thanks!
     

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  2. stefista

    stefista Chieftain

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    Hi Silverbow-

    I am at work at the moment at cannot run your save, but I can offer you some general advice and answer some of your questions.

    It seems that your main goal this game is to get on with your war as effectively as possible. That either means massing the army with units you've got or teching something better. Again, I haven't looked at yopur save, but I can imagine that you are not running a fantastic beaker-producing economy due to war. That's ok, you can probably proceed without a major pause for economic buildup.

    To do this, try to get a sense of where your vassals and enemies are in tech. The tools to do this are the tech-trade diplo screen and espionage. The tech trade screen tells you what other AI's have got that you don't, but could research, what you've got that they could research, and also what neither of you have got that they could research. The missing pieces are what they've got that you cannot researchj because you lack a prerequisite, and what they are researching now. The former you just have to guess about, based on their units/abilities, but the latter you should determine by espionage. Spend a little on the espionage slider and concentrate spending on 1 ai, then another (but keep a little on previous ones to keep the see-research mission active). Basically, knowing what the ai is researching tells you what they have and what they are about to get.

    Once you know what you are up against, you need to decide how to beat it. If you can't do it with current tech, you need a research strategy; here is one you can use.

    Once you know what your techs your vassals have that you don't, you have to get it from them, and if you've got what they have, you can direct your vassals' research to something you want by opening diplo and selecting 'let's talk about something else'. Your vassals will always be willing to trade tech with you, but it still has to be a trade, so your research strategy should be to aquire trade techs deep down the tech tree, and you would do this by popping great people and bulbing. This is perfect because it does not require a major economic buildup; all you need is to arrange your GPPs in one or a few cities, and put the rest of your empire into the war effort.

    Once you have your tech strategy, the next issue is your war effort. As celts you ave access to some unique attack strategies because of the Gallic Warrior and the Dun. The idea is to build a lot of Guerilla III units that can have withdraw when attacking, as if they were mounted, and also move double through, and have great defense bonuses on hills. Your army should be composed of GIII Gallics and archers (yes, archers; they can run with the gallics, be sacrificed to damage top defenders, and remain as captured-city garrisson). Later, you will switch archers to mixed GIII longbows and crossbows, and upgrade you GIII gallics to maces. Still later, add GIII muskets, then grenadiers (delay rifling because that obsoletes the dun, by the time you get it, you should have a massive GIII army that can be upgraded to rifles and infantry). Using this promotion/upgrade strategy, you should use your withdraw abilities and not siege. You can bring down city defense with the "support city revolt" mission, and later with naval and air bombard.

    If at any given time you are behind iin tech, don't sweat it, because the withdrawing army can male up gor it in numbers, provided your men can wound theirs (e.g. GIII make might withdraw after significantly wounding a defending rifle, but probably not an infantry).

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    it would be better if you would offer some safe which would not involve some mod that is not that known/used... (my bad that i didnt read your text properly)
    and you didnt provide screenshots, tough to offer advice
     
  4. Silverbow

    Silverbow Prince

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    I never thought about using the guerilla III to that effect. Thanks for the tip stefista!

    Well, it's the Earth 34 Civs mod which I downloaded from this very site a few days ago. Wanted to learn expansion via combat on a crowded map.

    Anyway, a few screenshots:

    My southern lands:
    Spoiler :


    The northeast:
    Spoiler :


    The northwest:
    Spoiler :


    Diplomacy:
    Spoiler :


    Cities:
    Spoiler :


    Military:
    Spoiler :


    Tech tree:
    Spoiler :


    Tech trade screen (no one can/will trade me anything, and all they have is Literature, Horseback riding and Theology):
    Spoiler :


    My civics:
    Spoiler :


    Hope that's more useful.
     
  5. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    it was helpful, I hope i will be help for you too...

    1. I would say not enough cottages... too much riverside farms.

    2. could use a bit more workers, but overall since the land is generally improved i think you built plenty of them so just a few more, some island cities will be tricky to improve if you dont have galleys to move workers there

    3. techs seem a bit weird. With such big empire you should have get CoL (Code of Laws) soonish. courthouse with that ammount of cities should be great, just out of curiosity how big maintenance you have there in cities?

    4. I would get some money from chinese and ghandhi for priesthood, should do you good for deficit research.

    5. you run hindu as state, but all your cities are budh (almost), why OR which is high upkeep civic?

    6. builds from what i can see... Hanging gardens are not considered too strong wonder, parthenon is good (interesting that it's not long gone), SoZ is so-so more denying AI then actually improve you a lot
    I wouldnt build markets when you have not enough cottages, better to straigth build wealth instead

    What are your plans with techs generally? I see you tech MC now... what you plan next?

    Did you make some GP farm (something that has 2 food resources running at least 3-4 scientist under caste eventually suffices)?

    In your place I would improve land (overbuild some improvements to better ones) and streamline a bit techs (the usual path col->cs->paper->edu->lib)
     
  6. Silverbow

    Silverbow Prince

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    Yeah, I said in the OP that I focused on farms when possible because I'm at complete loss as to when build a cottage instead.

    I've built a grand total of two workers, I captured the rest. This meant more workers early on which helped me develop the land at pretty good pace. Thing is, unless I'm going to change some farms into cottages now, even those I already have will soon be out of work until railroads, and I will certainly capture more as I can go only for conquest.

    Largely 6 to 9 gold per city. CoL founds confucianism so I was iffy about getting it first, didn't want the hindus (aka potential volunteer vassals) to turn into confucians or something.

    That's true. I can also pawn off Meditation which is just as much trash. I have the ugly tendency to wait for triple digits in AI gold before selling techs, though. Guess that's silly though.

    Well, I conquered almost the whole buddhist bloc, so that's why I have buddhism everywhere. I went for hinduism to get relation boosts and make the asian civs more likely to submit willingly. As for OR, I was planning to spread hinduism, but didn't get to it yet...

    How many cottages do you think a city should have to make markets worthwhile?

    The HG I'm building to boost my population (which can be promptly whipped away for buildings/units), I guess it could be worth it with the fair number of cities I have.

    Machinery, then I wanted to go for CS (macemen and farms) and eventually education and liberalism.

    No, I didn't. As I said, I'm horrible at the city micromanagement. Specialists especially so, the only time I used those with some resemblance of coherent thought was when I played OCC.

    Any examples on where would you overbuild? The tech path I agree with. :)
     
  7. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    paris, berlin, hamburg, prague, vienna (not vienne!), with moving capital to berlin

    was thinking a bit about bibracte, but since madrid needs those farms and the land around is not good i would left everything as is, you will have good hammers and with building wealth here and there should be good in techs too (building wealth helps to have research slider up)

    the northern part (norwegian and swedish in rl) i would probably make farms+workshops and tech guilds, then every workshop would generate 1f3h.


    Gp farm is tricky...i dont see resource bubbles so it's tough to direct somewhere...
    I downloaded the mod wil try if i get it running and check ingame

    edit: hmm it seems it's incompatible with 3.19 bts...well bad luck...
     
  8. v8_mark

    v8_mark Prince

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    Looks to me like you're fine at war on Noble, the problem is that it takes a while to conquer 34 other civs.

    Also, you say you want to conquer more, but only one city out of 20-odd is building a unit?
     
  9. *Svart*

    *Svart* Icecream Vendor

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    I think the problem is 34 civs... are far more than too much... Maybe you should decrease the number of civs. You are doin pretty well, but 34 civs to kill are enough to annoy me. I would quit.
     
  10. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    How does getting machinery before civil service help you?
     
  11. Silverbow

    Silverbow Prince

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    Windmills/watermills I guess.

    Anyway, I abandoned that game. Played Rome on Earth 18 civs for more early war stuff, and while easy I still abandoned expansion once I had whole Europe and just sat back to diplo win.

    To be honest I find that the Earth scenarios don't highlight the problems much - it's easy to find the right spots for cities, early war success is almost a given etc.

    I started a fractal game instead. Here's where I am as of now in that one. I rushed Saladin with two warriors right out of the gates, and am just trying to grab as much land as I can. I wonder about my city placements and improvements though... what would you do differently?

    (oh, and the save is plain BTS, so it should work, unlike the mod save which apparently was problematic)
     

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  12. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    i will look into it... but 800AD is a bit too late.

    best return you can get after initial exploration before settling next 3 cities, when you make dotmap and your thoughts about the map and how you want to play it...it's ideal point where you could discuss map strategy (something like T30-40 on normal, if you want rush then much sooner around T20).
     
  13. Amao

    Amao King

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    loaded the game and had some quick points:

    1. 11 cities with 17 workers, this is pretty good ratio. and you can actually get more if you plan to continue your expansion.
    2. you are over cottaged. lol. as a result, your eco is very good in a way. you can afford many more cites, say assimulate Joao. However, on the other hand, your cities are growing slow, really slow, way below your happy cap such as capital.
    solution: build some farms along with cottages so that cities always near that happy cap.
    3. no city specialization: you should get an academy in your cap, but you haven't. because you were not running any scientists, which means you have no GP farm in plan. you should have one military base, which should simply building units all the time.
    4. civic choice, you stay in vassalage/serfdom rather than bureau/caste system. bureau enables your super science capital and caste system makes any high food city a GP farm as well as cashier for the early expansion expenses.
    5. other stuffs, build monument +1 :); you should start expanding to south and east into juggles. 11 cities is not a lot for HUGE maps.
     
  14. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    basically what amao said.
    This game seems won and you should probably win it any way you want. I would consider move level up so you begin to feel the difference on higher levels.

    What basically surprised me much is your capital. The cottages are really not grown enough, look at cottages around mecca what you could have, at least 2-3 of them i would expect as towns, happy cap you have.

    Bagacum and Gergovia should be production cities, such cities dont get cottages around! FP south of Bagacum should have farm, Gergovia should be chain irrigated through that plain NW from capitals corn, and please no markets in prod. cities.

    to the north you work unimproved tiles -> that's bad, the most northern (casomething) i would turn to GP farm since it's your best food city. the other northern city should build work boat and not lighthouse... and make somewhere else trireme or at the north.
    I would switch to slavery to use whip.

    Next game you should try standard map size.
     
  15. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    My point is that windmills and watermills aren't as powerful as bureaucracy. At this point in the game they aren't even as powerful as the ability to chain irrigate. The only time I can see a reason to research machinery before civil service is as china, and even then I'm hesitant, just because civil service is such a powerful technology.
     
  16. Silverbow

    Silverbow Prince

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    This is something I can never seem to find the right balance in. I tend to build farms on plains if possible, and cottage grasslands, but I guess I should farm some grassland/FPs as well?

    Agree on the military point, but wouldn't working scientists early stunt my growth/economy? It always seems more worthwhile to work improved tiles than a scientist, though I guess getting great scientists turns it around in the long run.

    Hm. To be honest I never really considered bureau outside OCCs. The benefit in one city is huge, but no benefit in 10 other cities... though seeing as I've been basically building for defense against barbs/surprise attack from Joao all the time vassalage wasn't exactly useful either. Serfdom seemed like good thing while I was expanding, as I was building improvements galore.

    I do have monuments in each city, courtesy of Stonehenge.
     
  17. Silverbow

    Silverbow Prince

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    Allright, I'm gonna start a standard size prince game. Would you guys be willing to help steer me along the way?

    Well Mecca's cottages were built earlier, the capital worked as production site with the mines early on.

    Gergovia I get, but why Bagacum? 4 hills, but also 3 FPs, 3 grasslands and 8 ocean tiles which won't produce much.

    As for the market, not even when the city has gold mine and not much else to build?

    North has been settled very recently, and the workers simply haven't made their way up there as they've been busy working around the earlier cities. The lighthouse I started to build before the border pop, but you're absolutely right there.
     
  18. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    well it's your best hammer coastal city and you eventually will want to build ships don't you?

    we will definitely help you as much as we can/know and more will come if you do it right (nice screenshots, providing saves etc)

    you have to wage the lost hammers how long it will payback what you get...gold is not enough commerce, there is also big discussion that you dont build markets even in cottage sites until you need that happy, the 25% out of the rest of commerce that let's slider come through is usually not enough. Considering you want slider as high as you can (usually after crash you want above 50% - that is not "rule" just observation, sometimes i have games where i hold it at 70% with 1k beakers in modern times) the 6 gold commerce gives something like 2-3 gold and that you improve 1/4... it depends on rounding but it can come you dont get anything...

    then just building market you could have build wealth the turns calculate gold you got through building wealth and then you know what has market outproduce...i am affraid the repay would be veeery long.
     
  19. Silverbow

    Silverbow Prince

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    OK here's attempt at prince with standard world size. Here's the starting position:

    Spoiler :


    I moved the scout and revealed rather unappealing coast nearby.

    Settling in place would seem to make sense, there's two food and two commerce resources...
     

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  20. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    would be better if you make it new thread, it's easier for people to orient between games

    edit: ah nice...you're from slovakia? nice i am from czech republic...
     

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