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[BTS] Cannot survive the Industrial era at Emperor difficulty

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Oaq, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    SB means Imm+

    Not necessarily that you should be playing above Emperor, but as I like to often do, SB is giving you perspective. That is your issues or points are more a result of knowledge of and experience with the game, rather than a reality.
     
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  2. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    Your game is probably fixable. However unless you get really good at diplomacy you need to give more thought to your military or you'll lose next your next hundred games.
     

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  3. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Again, post the turn 0 save, and we can make things a lot more clear for you.
     
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  4. Oaq

    Oaq Chieftain

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    Attached is the turn 0 save of the game depicted at the top of the thread: Emperor difficulty; default settings; no mods; randomly chosen leader.

    Civ4ScreenShot0000.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  5. Anysense

    Anysense King

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    Prbably just SiP, although I'd move warrior NE first - there can be some seafood or gold. Otherwise not worth moving because it will lose you river or pigs for you don't know what, that is downright gambling.
     
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  6. Oaq

    Oaq Chieftain

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    The right savegame is depicted but the wrong savegame was initially attached, 20 minutes ago. Now fixed. The right savegame is now attached as far as I know.
     
  7. Oaq

    Oaq Chieftain

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    Interesting. I used to try moving my settler in 4000 BC but almost never discovered a better spot than the settler's starting position. Therefore, during recent games, I have always built my capital immediately in 4000 BC in the spot in which the settler starts.

    I gather from your advice that my method is questionable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  8. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    I think if you are not sure what to do on T0, just settle in place. There is always some :food:-resource in that capital area and moving away from it can be very bad. Here it appears that there isn't much reason to move.
     
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  9. Oaq

    Oaq Chieftain

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    I am not being invited to play my game in this thread in real time, am I? If so, that is most generous but is too heavy an imposition on your time. Anyway, real life would probably prevent me from keeping up fast enough with my own thread, so I should decline the kind offer.

    Nevertheless, the starting position is posted and I am most interested in any advice you choose to give.
     
  10. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Thank you for the save. I’m going to bed now. Tomorrow I will win a space victory before 1700AD on this map. And I will show you how. It’s not too much of an imposition, don’t worry; any game is a welcome change from being cooped up inside twiddling my thumbs for so long.
     
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  11. Oaq

    Oaq Chieftain

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    I look forward with anticipation.
     
  12. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    While I appreciate your thoughtfulness, I recommend looking at this another way. First there are quite a few folks here that like showing newer players the game and helping them learn. We call this learner/shadow games. The main focus is on the early game. First 100 turns or so played in short turnsets from Turn 0. It's not like we will go through the whole game with you. And really, you don't even have to complete these games. The focus is on learning. Ha..this is actually something I've had trouble getting across to folks sometimes in the past as some are impatient.

    But for perspective, folks around here have probably helped hundreds of individuals in the past with these type of short leaner games. As mentioned, mastering the early portion of the game is so essential, and while there is certainly more to learn, once you do that you have a lot of flexibility in how you attack your games.

    It is completely up to you, ofc, but I assure you if you conduct one of these exercises it will totally change how you play, as well as your perspective on the game.

    As for folks' time, I guess you could consider it like we're playing a game too.
     
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  13. prettification

    prettification Chieftain

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    This would benefit another person too.
    I'd watch an expert tutorial with great interest.
    (if allowed of course)
     
  14. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    @Oaq @prettification

    As requested, here is the walkthrough of the first 100 turns or so. I went into this with the plan of praetorian-rushing our entire continent, since on this difficulty the Roman UU is entirely OP.

    This is not as detailed as I would have liked it to be. I did not explain my specific thoughts every turn, just a general overview. If you'd like me to go more in depth, however, I saved every turn, so I can go back and take more screenshots/explain more as needed. And, needless to say, feel free to ask any questions about my thought process or actions in the game.

    Spoiler :

    I walk the warrior NE. Nothing of interest, so we settle in place. Build worker first, research agriculture -> AH (deselect tech for first 5 turns in case we meet someone else with agriculture for a lower tech cost).
    Spoiler :

    20200326161737_1.jpg


    The worker builds a mine in the meantime, before turning his attention to the pigs and sheep after AH is in. The second build is a settler. This is a bit of an unorthodox play I'll admit, but on emperor barbs are no problem at all so more fogbusters are not needed, and I really wanted to be able to settle the gold ASAP. Not only to beat Saladin to our only source of iron (I knew that beforehand from peeking at your screenshot - so not a blind playthrough entirely, I'll admit), but to claim the gold, which will boost our research from 11/turn to 18/turn! The settler also only takes 15 turns or so because our imp trait + PH mine gives us in reality 7 hammers/turn when constructing it. And the worker finishes the pig just about in time for the settler to finish, allowing us to grow fast, building a warrior next.
    Spoiler :

    20200326162002_1.jpg


    Research-wise, after AH, I go to bronze working. BW is important because it allows us to chop and whip - the two major sources of production early and mid game. Then I go pottery for cottages and granaries, writing for OB and libraries, hunting to hook up ivory, and straight to IW for our UU. After IW we get math for better chops, so that every forest is worth 50% more.

    Spoiler :

    20200326162728_1.jpg

    I walk the first worker to the site of the second city to immediately start mining the gold. After building the warrior, at size 2, the capital immediately starts with another worker. There are a lot of tiles needed to be improved, and as such the worker is needed.

    Spoiler :

    20200326171405_1.jpg

    I switch into slavery after the worker is out, and start on a barracks until size 3, when I switch production to another settler. That settler is partly chopped, and goes NW to claim the cow, flood plains, and copper. Meanwhile, the first worker, having finished the gold and rice, is roading back to the capital. After that settler, progress on the barracks continues before another settler is whipped for 2 pop - claiming the ivory, corn, and gold further north. This is the last settler we will build for quite a while. The overflow goes into a granary, which is then completely with more overflow from worker whips. Meanwhile the other cities build granaries and barracks.

    As soon as IW comes I start whipping and chopping praetorians like mad. This is where the barracks and granaries we built come in handy - each praetorian I build starts with one promotion, and every whip takes half as long to regrow from. The workers, besides chopping, help with roading to Saladin, our target.

    By t90 I have about a dozen praets, and declare. By my calculations I have built about 12 units in 15 turns with mostly whipping popuation and chopping forests - something that is not only possible but a skill necessary on difficulties above emperor where just raw hammers will never outproduce an AI (again, this require a bit of finesse so if you want turn-by-turn analyses of when I chopped and whipped, feel free to inquire further).
    Spoiler :

    20200326181022_1.jpg


    Saladin is caught completely off guard, and his first 2 cities fall easily. Praets are so strong because their high base strength makes them almost as powerful as a maceman for only 65% of the price - meaning they can completely steamroll through anything, including axes, with city raider promotions. So we do just that, gobbling up his capital next, and then 2 other cities.
    Spoiler :

    EDIT.jpg


    Then, we take peace for several juicy techs.
    Spoiler :

    20200326223630_1.jpg


    As you can see, early war pays far greater dividends than just sitting back and building random buildings. With under 10 turns of conflict, I have over doubled the land I have to work with, completely crippled a rival AI (he isn't coming back from that with just 1 crappy jungle city left), and extorted 4 techs for free. In return I lost: a handful of units, and a potential trading partner (who won't be teching anyhow after this, and whose resources all belong to me, so...did I really lose anything?). It is now not even t100, but I have about 10 cities and am probably top in both score and military. And there are plenty of people left to kill ;).
    Spoiler :

    20200326224109_1.jpg


    Now, I know what you are thinking. "But...the economy!" I know you brought up the issue that you seem to run out of money to expand, and I imagine you are mortified knowing that I now barely break even at 0% science. But fear not - that is all part of the plan! You see, now that I have alphabet, I can build research, which enables me to tech even without putting any commerce into science. The gold I accumulated from setting my slider to 0% for the entire war as well as looting cities will get me through currency - after which I can build wealth to gradually turn my slider back up, and also get an additional trade route per city which is not insignificant now that I have about 10 cities. And even though new cities past #4-5 cost more than they give in return initially, it is an investment that pays off as the cities grow, very soon contributing far more than they take! At the same time, I have started placing down cottages which not only give commerce but also will grow in time to give even more!

    This last part, I think, addresses one of the core problems you are having with this game. You are afraid of expansion because you are afraid of costs and don't know how to handle your economy. But keep these tips handy and you will more than be able to hold your own in terms of research.
    1. Cottages will be the backbone of how you research for most of the game, generally speaking. Place them down on every non-resource, riverside tile, work them, and you will find your beaker rate far higher than if you just farmspam everything.
    2. Cottages are also how you keep up with increasing costs. In case you haven't caught on - you aren't building enough of them.
    3. DON'T build useless buildings! If you're not building the essentials (granary, forge, library, barracks if unit-building) OR military to attack someone, build research or wealth! That is how you keep a large part of your economy going during and after conquest.
    4. Don't be afraid of turning your slider back or even having to stall research for a bit to expand, whether peacefully or by the sword. The new cities will pay off very, very quickly. To show you just how quickly, tune in next time and you shall see.

    Think of it as an investment - if you had $100,000, you would be understandably hesitant about parting with half of that, just as you may be hesitant to create 4 new cities which requires you to halve your research rate for the time being. However, if that 50% is into Microsoft stock in 1975 that will soon exponentially compound in value many times over, then you'd be more than happy to throw your money into it. Just as, right now, I am more than happy to eat the extra maintenance for both cities and units to have a far stronger economy than I ever would've been able to have without the war, in a very short while.
     

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  15. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    @King Younk This playthrough may be of help to you as well.
     
  16. Oaq

    Oaq Chieftain

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    I was indeed thinking, "But...the economy!"

    I am amazed at how you have chopped an army. I had mistakenly believed that forests were to be saved to be chopped to build wonders, and incidentally for health and later preservation.

    I admit that I do not yet quite understand why farms are unneeded. I will experiment and ponder.

    This answers another question I had had.

    Your display is most interesting (especially to me, since the map was already familiar). I thank you.

    Message understood. May I take some time to digest @Fish Man's demonstration? If so, then I might return another day, if the offer is still open then.

    Meanwhile, it looks as though @prettification might be ready to accept your offer now in my stead!

    Incidentally, while awaiting @Fish Man's demonstration, I tried playing at Monarch difficulty. Didn't win because the game was too boring to finish. (Maybe would not have won, anyway. Maybe would have won. I have no idea.) Once Emperor is seriously tried, I find that the game seems to lack tension at Monarch difficulty. The Emperor spoils the Monarch! It would seem that one must either beat Emperor or not win at all.

    For all I know, Immortals might feel the same way about Emperors. That is a disquieting thought.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  17. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Wait, I'm not done with the demonstration yet! This is just the beginning. Though if you need time to digest I can keep posting updates tomorrow and you can read them at your leisure.

    To go on about how specifically I built the army...

    Chopping, yes, but also whipping. Let's consider an example:

    Should I finish building this praetorian?

    Spoiler :

    20200326174022_1.jpg


    Well, the answer is yes, right? One more unit for the rush? But oh, 4 turns is such a long time to wait for just one more unit! Surely there must be a better way?

    As it stands - there is! If you whip, for 2 population, as my mouse is helpfully highlighting in the pic, you can get the praet immediately next turn, AND almost enough overflow to complete another one. Basically almost 2 praets for 2 pop almost instantly, where it could've taken 6-7 more turns to build them otherwise!

    Spoiler :

    20200326174032_1.jpg


    What are we losing here? At first glance it seems like a lot, but as it stands, not really. You lost, from the whip:

    1. About 10 turns of having your 7th citizen productive. A moot point if you keep whipping semi-frequently where just as the previous whip has almost worn off and you've grown to unhappiness, you whip again, such that you never have more than 2-3 whip anger at most by keeping small enough and whipping strategically enough to avoid it - like I have here (this is the principle of whip cycles).

    2. 4 hammers, which is absolutely pointless compared to the 60 INSTANT ones you gain by rushing production.

    3. 2 food, which is pretty useless considering you're about to grow into unhappiness (EDIT: not in the next turn because 1 :mad: is about to wear off but certainly soon with that decent food and a granary in the capital).

    4. 4 commerce, the only really "substantial" loss from this. But remember - having new, juicy cities, including a captured holy city capital, will net you far, far more than 4 commerce/turn in short order. And you will only have these cities if you have the troops to take them. So a worthy sacrifice? Judging from the speed of my war, certainly.

    That is the power of the whip.
     
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  18. Anysense

    Anysense King

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    @Fish Man, you actually gain 6:food: because cottage is food neutral, mine is -2:food: and you grow 3->4 rather than 5->6 (costs 4:food: less). Otherwise that's fine analysis.
     
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  19. Fish Man

    Fish Man Emperor

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    Oh, I was talking more about yields per turn sacrificed. But otherwise, you’re right.
     
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  20. Jellybug

    Jellybug Chieftain

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    This game makes you see with the gray gaze of the pragmatist. Rome has three power tiles and five population. This early in the game that's two poor souls = 60 hammers at your service. Basically turning your cottage dwellers into praetorians right away. Bonus points if you sing, "Let's get down to business."

    Woods are similar. Lungs of the earth? Nah. Just a thicc 20/30 hammers depending on how well your civ did on the algrebra test.
     
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