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Catherine Cottage Spam

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Synex, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. Synex

    Synex Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    89
    Ok... i've been developing this strategy over the last few weeks, both against the AI and human players online. Here goes...

    First off, this strategy is all about expansion + cottages. Catherine (Russia) is the best leader by far for this strategy, and it has been written specifically for her.

    Upsides: HUGE Tech Advantage
    Sudden surge of power mid/end game.

    Downsides: Weak to begin with
    Takes a lot of concentration / balancing.

    Ok... to start with, you need a worker - so get your worker building straight away. While that is doing, research whatever worker techs you need for the surrounding land. (Pottery is high on the agenda). After building the worker, go straight for a settler.

    What you want to do is settle as many cities as possible. Keep ALL your cities at 1 by getting them to all spam workers. This will both keep your maintenance costs low, and also provide you with a MASSIVE army of workers to improve your land. Because of the Creative attribute you have, your borders will automatically expand. And before you know it, you have a massive area of land under your control. Get one city spamming warriors/archers (while keeping your growth to a minimum) and send them to your other cities for protection.

    Keep spamming cities until you are down to about 50% Science. Depending on how you are doing with cottages, and if you've managed to find gold etc, you should get about 8/10 cities. Keep this balance, so slowly slowly grow your cities. Focus on growing your commerce cities first, and then slowly other stuff after that.

    While this is happening, decide what cities are going to specialise as. Stuff with lots of grass should turn into commerce factories (more on this later). Stuff with hills = production centers. Commerce centers should be ALL about cottages. Nothing else. Production centers, mines and just enough farms to be able to work them all. Decide on a GP farm, cover the entire area with farms. With your ton of workers, you should be able to accomplish this fairly fast.

    Tech. Avoid religions if you are playing the AI. Try and keep all the other religions happy. My tech aims go something like this:

    Writing (Put a library in your HQ asap)
    Then Bronze Working (get ready to chop a couple of wonders)
    Literature (Great Library - CHOP it in HQ)
    Music (Free Great Artist)
    Printing Press (+1 Gold in Village/Town)
    Education (Universities)
    Democracy (Universal Suffrage + Emancipation Civics)
    Liberalism (Free Tech)

    Then head straight for Communism ASAP.

    Up until this point, only mainly concentrate on building tech improvements (libraries, universities etc) in your cities. If you have the time, build happiness improvements and micro-manage your cities growth/hapiness.
    Chances are most of your commerce cities will be USELESS for production. Most of my commerce centers only get 1 - 3 hammers / turn. Don't worry, they'll never be building anything.

    Once towns are established, they'll be pulling 8 commerce/square. 9 if there is a river. That's 160 commerce BEFORE you get any additions. Thats just from one city. Depending on how crazy i'm feeling, and the terrain etc i aim for at least 2 commerce only cities. Sometimes 4/5. 4 commerce cities and you are pulling 640C. Put a library in each of those? You get 800C all of a sudden. That's a mid-game tech (Eletricity - 4200 beakers) in just 5.25 turns. With just librarys!!

    Just before you reach communism, slow your tech slightly and concentrate on getting money in the bank. By this point, i'm usually getting techs (modern included) every 3/4 turns. So slow it to about 6 turns and you'll be pulling in ~240 - 400 gold as well. As soon as you get Communism Rush Buy The Kremlin.

    Put your science down to 0%. Its usually about 1000AD by now. You'll probably be pulling in about 1000 Gold / turn. Set up your cities to build stuff, wait one turn - then rush buy it. Aim for markets/banks to begin with to maximise your cash input. You can go through and build wonders like a mad-man. I like putting them all in my Great Person farm. The other advantage is your way ahead in tech than everyone else, so they won't be able to build them yet anyway.

    Great People - Aim for Great Scientists, their academys are great to put in your commerce cities (+50% beakers). Once those are done, Great Merchants are ok - tho their paltry ~1500 gold is only about 2 turns worth of gold if you've set up your empire properly. Great Artists are good, your likely to be churning out a lot of culture mid-game, so a few culture bombs and you might find yourself a few extra cities.

    That's it - do this and you'll likely win the game. If your next to a warmonger, get a couple of cities to churn out units early on to keep the him from destroying your towns, but never let yourself be distracted from the main goal - COMMERCE COMMERCE COMMERCE. As soon as you get the Kremlin, all his production advantage goes out the window, cos you can rush-buy a complete, and modern army, well ahead of his tech-level. The other advantage of the Kremlin is it doesn't obsolete until the very end-game. So this strategy will hold true until the very end.

    Its worked for me loads of times - a very solid strategy.

    Any questions, suggestions or revisions?
     
  2. Synex

    Synex Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    89
    I started a game this afternoon:

    Catherine, Russia
    Monarch Difficulty
    Continents

    1545AD - My score is 3500 in comparison to #2 (America) who has 1267. My score is made up from:

    1178 Population
    762 Land
    846 Technology
    217 Wonders

    I am *guaranteed* ALL the mid/late game wonders, i've got Tanks protecting my cities, in comparison with the AI which has Longbowmen. At this point in time, i could easily go for domination, culture, space ship wins. Not too sure about diplomatic, but i could easily nuke them all to hell to guanrantee that.
     
  3. AmnesiaA

    AmnesiaA Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Canada
    heh, I'm giggling right now. I realized I kept doing this with the romans--except while doing it I was warmongering--and often had at least 2000 score above the others in late game. I'm going to try this with Russia now, since I'll likely do even better?
     
  4. Crimso

    Crimso ...aaaaaagh!

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    What difficulty level are you playing on, Synex?
     
  5. DementedAvenger

    DementedAvenger Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    435
    Monarch.

    I just started a game as Catherine, and I have 2 gold mines, 3 wines, a sheep, and horses in my capital city, and it's on a river. I expect over 700 beakers in modern times...
     
  6. panzooka

    panzooka Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    433
    this works just well with any other trait.
    just build stonehenge at begining, so your cities will expand without additional culture.
    such as
    elizabeth phi/fin
    qin shi huang ind/fin

    for the HOF game space race.
    i have 1600 beaker by modern age, and my modern age started about 1300, but havnt got much production, so i ended up lunch late 1700s.
    funny how AI at the time wont even trade some anciant age tech with me.
    i highlight "horseback riding" they goes, we dont want to start trading this tech yet, when i already rolling with tanks
    i played qin shi huang.
     
  7. weimingshi

    weimingshi Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    420
    you seriously needs to play at higher difficulty. This strategy is only good if your skill is way above the difficulty. And forget multiplayer, I don't know how you can survive multiplayer with so little defense your cities has early in the game. Did you turned the barbarians off in your game???? If you put raging barbarian on, you will be defeated by barbs pretty soon too.
     
  8. DementedAvenger

    DementedAvenger Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    435
    I don't know, I'm kicking ass in my monarch game right now, and haven't been lower than 2nd since 2000 BC. I usually don't do so well so early, so I expect to be doing even better than usual in modern times. I think this strategy works great as long as you don't run into too much trouble with barbs, and cave to early tech demands to prevent war. Teching straight to alphabet helped a lot, too.
     
  9. IrishBornKiller

    IrishBornKiller Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Danville, KY
    Barbs in this situation may not be as bad as you think because culture and city spamming is filling in the surrounding area that barbs can appear.
     
  10. wc3promet

    wc3promet Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Messages:
    147
    Your strat doesn't work against other Human Players on Small and Tiny sized maps.

    You are really depending on your luck.

    If your neighbours don't rush you, they deserve to lose.
     
  11. Synex

    Synex Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
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    89
    True true, tho every strategy can be played with every leader, some are just more effective than others.

    Stonehenge only gives 1 culture/turn, where as Creative gives you 2, therefore your empire expands twice as fast in the vital land-grab stage at the start. Also, it costs 200(?) hammers - meaning that you have to slow your Settler production, thus leaving areas open for other people to exploit.

    Industrial attribute is ok, but useless from about 800AD onwards, cos i always end up rush-buying everything instead of building it anyway.

    Philisophical might be interesting though less useful in the early game, where this strategy is at its weakest.
     
  12. Synex

    Synex Chieftain

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    I'll give it a go this afternoon on a higher difficulty. Up until using this strat i've only been playing on Prince, so i'm slowly slowly trying higher difficulties and adapting it for those.

    Yes, raging barbs are a problem, but then they are for most tech-based strategies. Fortunatly, because of your tech level, you are usually way ahead of them in terms of tech, therefore you'll be fighting their archers with swords etc.

    I've tried this in multiplayer and it DOES work. If someone does rush you early on, then sure - you might have a problem, but unless you've concentrated on building military units anyway, then any strat would. Usually by the time people rush me with horse archers, i've already got spears, and sometimes i make a move for swords early to defeat and axemen.

    Because of the high culture generated by Catherine, the city defense bonus is usually high as well which is a plus :D
     
  13. panzooka

    panzooka Prince

    Joined:
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    200 shield is only 134 base shield with ind trait,
    so 2 worker chop is good enough
     
  14. Khaim

    Khaim Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
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    394
    Stonehenge is 120, actually, which is about 3 chops + production for a non-industrial leader. Still, I'd prefer just being Creative.
     
  15. Asterothe

    Asterothe Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
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    Location:
    San Diego or Istanbul
    This looks very interesting. I'll try this on my next game.
    Thanks Synex.
     
  16. mutax2003

    mutax2003 Rider of China, 4-3-3

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Canada
    I have several questions:

    (1) You mentioned spamming workers, how many do you usually create? About twice as many as number of your cities?

    (2) Ever tried this strategy with raging barbs and agressive AI option? If so, what was your experience and how would you modify the strategy?

    (3) Do you go for early game wonder, such as Oracle, pyramid, Parthenon, Great Library?
     
  17. Dikaioma

    Dikaioma Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Messages:
    116
    This strategy works very well with Catherine. I have tried this with other financial civs, and it doesn't work very well because you have to rush stonehenge. Barbs are hardly an issue because you cover so much land mass so quickly that they only appear in the north/south caps. I haven't tried this online, but all I know is that if I started next to you and I saw what you were doing, I would spam warriors and start taking you out. The score is a good indicator too. You get more points for cities than military. So if your score is considerably higher than mine, and I know you haven't founded a religion or built a wonder, I would know what you were doing and I would respond accordingly.

    But this is all just theorycraft... on the flip side, more cities almost always means bigger military. So I guess, in theory, if you have more cities than me, and I went after you, even if I managed to capture a city, you can still potentially create more troops quicker than me. Too many variables, and like I said, I haven't tried it online, so... yeah...
     
  18. Asterothe

    Asterothe Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    San Diego or Istanbul
    I started to try out this one. It's 500 AD now and
    I'm slow at techs. Since our cities are small the
    cottage sare not becomign hamlets. I don't have a
    GP factory. How should I determine this? even HQ?
    I have 9 cities. %50 science rate (22 turns !),
    no wonders. I'm isolated in an island but soon they might visit me.
     
  19. Synex

    Synex Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
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    Post a save-game and i'll have a look at it for you.

    City micro-management is the key to this strat, you always want your commerce operating at maximum efficiency, and taking full advantage of your Commercial trait. In the early stages, you're trying to minimize growth, so often i will chose for a city to work a cottage rather than a special resource. As soon as your cottage turns from a cottage to a hamlet, it jumps from 1C to 3C. Then move your city to work another cottage square, leaving your new hamlet alone. This may seem counter intuitive, but you'll reap more benefits, quicker if you do. As soon as your city reachs size 2, it'll have two hamlet squares with 3C each, rather than one cottage and one hamlet (4C).

    I'll do a nobel game and post some saves as an example.

    Please note, like any strategy, it has its counters - early rushes by warriors/horse archers might be a problem, as are raging barbs etc. Its a bit slow to get going, but once it does and you get the Kremlin, you are close to unstoppable.
     
  20. Synex

    Synex Chieftain

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    It may just be that i've only found noobs to play with or something, but i often find that people are quite guarded at the beginning of a game. You could try a warrior rush, but chances are this strat will have given you a load of cities, so loosing one ain't a big problem. It's also a good idea to have one city with a barracks in it, churning out upgraded Archers to send to all your border cities. Because of the culture you are generating, your cities tend to have good defense bonuses as well.
     

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