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Charlemagne, Always War demogame ...


War Dancer
Nov 19, 2005
Inbetween Shangri-La and Valhalla
I am back after 3 month long vacacion. Played in Warlords with these settings without a problem (but have not finished any game yet ;):
-Large map
-Always War
-No tech trading
-Diplo&Time off
-Advanced start (is to be played)

So the question to warriors: Have you ever played Always war variant on? Did you set higher diff after gaining new expansion?

So I am gonna play Charlemagne. This idea came from it's trait combo: Imperialistic - more exp & Protective - also more exp. These bonuses are multiplicative. I said once on this forum how Drill promotion works. Some reminder:
Odds (without drill): 50% - 4 exp
Odds (with drill): about 80% - the same amount (means 4 exp).
Wounded unit with drill 4 vs wounded unit (without flanking2) is great general points thief. It makes it even more powerful for Imperialistic leader.

I also focus on rexing maybe, if there is stone nearby.

Charlemagne - Imp, Pro, Rathaus (-75% upkeep), Landsknecht (6str, 100% vs both mounted and melee), techs - mysticism, hunting.

The discussion is opened. What general strat for this leader?
Nice to see you back Giaur. We'll have to start another open game in a month or so after you get used to bts :D

Charlie doesn't have any economic traits so it's rather easy to crash your economy. The Rathaus alone won't save you in the middle ages. The Bts AI also doesn't expand nearly as fast as the warlords AI. You can comfortably outrex the AI on emperor. I will probably start playing immortal soon (which I couldn't beat with random leaders in warlords) so I think the Bts AI is weaker. You should check out Snaaty's thread about that issue:


I am wary about trying AW in Bts. Wars are longer and more damaging now since the AI whips units better and masses larger number of units.

Now about Charlemagne... Protective is actually one of my more favored traits now since the drill promotions run parallel to the combat promotions. So a gunpowder unit + barracks = eligible for pinch, shock, heal I, CG2. Since I don't war until the renaissance in most games, protective becomes very powerful with drafted gunpowder units.

I don't like warring in the middle ages because castles are a serious headache. It takes forever for a stack of trebs to tear down culture defense, and the AI just whips defenders while you blast at the walls.

My general game plan is to rex peacefully, then beeline liberalism (to go MT + rifling) or go nationalism/gunpowder followed by steel and start warring with gunpowder units. I don't have the patience to war with maces and trebs against castles under the bts rules. Thus, I haven't really played with Charlemagne's UU either, since I don't really war in that time period. I prefer to abuse protective gunpowder units :D
@shyuhe: Nice to see you back too.

Liberalism is no longer popular on AW maps, cause it's no longer valuable trade tech.
I like also that Drill1 opens some other promotions like Pinch, Cover, Shock.
AI will be sending units like mad, but real fun begins around 1AD. Till then we are dominant. And let's hope that AI won't be whiping units unless it won't be forced to do it.

edit: I managed to get Feudalism from the Oracle in my pregame on some other map. The strategy was not optimal and I believe that with help of rexing&choping it could be achieved earlier than 1600BC. Reminder: Feudalism requries both Monarchy&Writing.
So here is the start. 7 or 8 civs against HRE, fortunately on Monarch level.

So what should I do?
One or two cities?
What techs? Archery? Religion tech? Agriculture? Mining?
And what is most important - what location?

In my pregames on other maps with this leader (Charlemagne) I always took Archery and in 2/3 cases Fishing, but here there is no seafood.

Should I go for the Oracle? What tech then? Monarchy (wine, HR) or CoL (rathaus)? At the moment I was beaten to the Oracle in 2500BC. That was also the reason I am attemting Monarch now.

Sorry for my bad English. Please feel free to comment this game.

i haven't played advanced starts so i have no idea how much 600 gold is: if you can get two cities, do IMO. i would go for 1SE of wine and 1SE of western cows.
Sorry for the delay. I was flooded. There are great rains over Poland right now. Fortunately water dropped. I will play turns soon ...
The first writeup is ready.

1) City placement:

2) Trick1 - started building road do defend cow (archer will be ready in one turn too)

3) First combat and 4 gg points

4) Chasing worker - finally he escaped (ran 2N1W)

5) French forces arrived (2 archers, 2 warriors) against our 1 archer and 1 warrior; Oracle completed.

6) Chasing worker - part2. This time there 2 reasonable destination points, but I guess Blake's AI will fail, just click end of turn, and get free worker thx to our guerilla2 archer ;)

So that was visualized part of my writeup. Now the facts and overall strategy ... (after cup of cofee, I'll be back soon)


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Prague looks like a great commerce city. It does not even need wheat to work, but it gives me opportunity to work two scientists. Center of Prague gives addiotional 1 commerce, because it was placed on spices. Aachen looks like production city - pretender to Heroic Epic. Both cities were connected directly from the beggining through the river. You do not have to have Sailing when all river tiles are inside our cultural borders. This gave me 17 beakers with losing only one. I also gave Aachen additional citizen cause I expected it will be growing more slowly. What I've learned from previous Advanced Start games was that every citizen should work improved tile. The explanation is simple. You'll produce a worker and he improves a tile in 4-7 turns in that time city grows to pop of 2. And still it has to work some weak tile. The reason I gave Aachen only one improved tile was that I ran out of money :).
I took The Wheel&Agriculture and started working on Pottery. I thought that 17 beakers is definitely too few.

I started producing workers in both cities. When workers were in, another trick was to put cottage on wine - it gave me additional 1 commerce.

Next techs: Archery, Animal husbandry - thought that chariots are more important than axes in very erly game.
Then Mining and Bronze working. I revealed enough map to know where next cities to be placed. But - no another city yet. Settler is ready in 2 turns. Another settler is to be started after finishing Oracle. And what should I do now? Should I grab horses to north-west? Or should I grab Copper to the south? Or maybe should I block some land? It's very important to block commerce cities, cause they give AI's opportunity to unlimited pillagement.

Oracle is finished. It is the good point to start discussion, what tech is to be acquired. I'd rather take CoL, cause no religion was found by now. Also both cities reached happiness cap. Rathouses are not neccesery at once, but they will be soon. Stonehenge was built earlier, so there is small chance that Theology will be lightbulbed by some other civ but I'd rather spare GreatProphet to improve my economy a little. Monarchy is an alternative of course, but there is gold, silver nearby - happiness is not a problem. Alpha gives opportunity to build research, but with only 2 cities it could be difficult to build research in both of them and there is no HE built yet. Metal Casting - reasonable choice while seeing gold&silver, but I'd rather wait for OR and get them faster. First civic switch - I guess Slavery. Second - both OR and HR.

The strategy for new cities is simple. I always produced worker first. But I have 4 workers now and 1 is to be stolen soon. So producing Settlers is an alternative. But on the other hand I will need big cities sooner rather than later.

I started working on Math right after Writing. It opens Construction and we have ivory. Swords cannot stand against archers when city is placed on hills. Also cats are very helpful. Being imperialistic means to have GG earlier and to have lvl3 cats right away (with Accurancy f.e.).

My neighbours:
1) Gilgamesh - Pro/Cre/vulture (improved axe) - annoying neighbour
2) Shaka - Agg/Exp/impi (annoying spear)
3) Louis XIV - Cre/Ind/Musketeer - great victim for stealing wonders
4) Haniball - Fin/Cha/Numidian Cav - we'll have to cut him off the sea
5) Monti, Stalin (forgot to switch him off), Joao II - far away

I expect from myself no early wars - only aggressive blocking&scouting. It will take a lot of time to build strong military.

Feel free to add your own suggestions ... I'll leave an overall view in a while ...
Welcome back from me as well Giaur. I'll follow with the hope of learning something here--I have little AW experience and none in BTS.

What I've learned from previous Advanced Start games was that every citizen should work improved tile. The explanation is simple. You'll produce a worker and he improves a tile in 4-7 turns in that time city grows to pop of 2. And still it has to work some weak tile. The reason I gave Aachen only one improved tile was that I ran out of money :).
I took The Wheel&Agriculture and started working on Pottery. I thought that 17 beakers is definitely too few.

I'm a newb at advanced start but I'm a bit confused by this. It seems like you pay 6g/t for improvements so a farm costs 30 while a worker costs 60.
Improving a resource tile is a max of 3/turn of food or hammers. So it seems like better value to take workers and build improvements than take improvements and build workers.

BTW I concur with your city placement.
I am wary about trying AW in Bts. Wars are longer and more damaging now since the AI whips units better and masses larger number of units.
I would add that nerfing the cats makes it more difficult for the player, as the basic strategy of the suicide cats is substantially more expensive.
I don't like warring in the middle ages because castles are a serious headache. It takes forever for a stack of trebs to tear down culture defense, and the AI just whips defenders while you blast at the walls.
Have you tried the spy takedown? Pretty effective IMHO and doesn't cost too much. 2 spies is normally around 90% to get a 1 turn revolt.
@ungy: I'm a newbie to AS too. I am just seeing workers idle after doing their job and this thought annoys me. Also I usually head to Pottery. For Charli it's difficult to get it right away. So while I'am producing my workers, Pottery is being researched. But you brought some good points like: 1 worker action (turn) equals 6 pieces of gold. It's definitely too much and worker is definitely worth his price ;).
So here we stand ...

Shaka grabbed stone, soon after that he completed Pyramids, but still he is at the bottom of the score ...

Louis took horses and there was nothing I could do about. At least he settled in the right place. There were runing Summerian archers and they made troop movements more difficult. The scout was rescued and soon after he became Medic3 unit ...

I limitied Summeria to only 3 cities, but there was no chance to block any land. Now I now Gilgamesh has both Copper and Iron, but no horses. Look at the shape of the borders beetwen me and him. It would gave him advantage if he was strong, but now 3 of my cities can send troops toward his capital in 4 turns. I will wait for his next move and then try capture his capital. Of course there are many other priorities. I hope you will help me to chose the right ones.

1N to Aachen are two of my units: Spear vs chariots and Axe vs archers. It was risky move but I needed to chop that forest. One turn later 2N1E to capital forest grew and both Louis&Haniball forces moved east toward that forest. I expect them to do circle (1E1S and 1W1S) to get good location for sieging city (unlesss there are no cats yet ;)). When archers move, I will end choping and move axe back to the capital leaving spear to defend worker from chariots.

Confucianism spread to my new cities without my help, so moved my missionary back seeking for another opportunity to use him. Some rexing in Vienna to spead up Construction ...

Great Prophet finally was born and he is waiting for orders. At the same turn Horseback Riding is in and War Elephants are ready to whip. Axe you see on the screen is idle. Perhaps he will cut off Sumeria from Copper. Sword to the east of him is escorting a Settler desperately looking for an opportunity to settle, but our settler is already waiting for orders, escorted by missionary and archer. In that case this new city will borrow wheat from Prague, but not immediately. There are two scientists assigned there right now.
btw. no free worker this time. There is also one fortified archer ;)
My best unit was axeman, so most battles vere defensive ones. Archers, even protective ones are crappy, but those cheap walls helped me a lot.
I have 5 cities now, strong military, still do not know if there is iron nearby. But initial plan was to take down Sumerian capital. It will be difficult to settle to the north, cause that direction is the line of fire. So first Gilgamesh, next Shaka - easy choice. But things may turn black soon - that's why it's good to have more cities - especially to make use of HRE UB.

Tech path was: Math->Masonry->Poly->Mono->Monarchy->Construction->HR I guess.

Sorry for so short and obvious report, but I do not feel good today.


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Disbanded Gaul and soon after settled 2N1E from that.

My warrior won combat and soon after that was upgraded to Spear.

Uruk is being sieged. Hatty appeared taking lead in the score.

Haniball softened the defense of Aachen, but Joao resigned from combat. Axe is ready in one turn.

Urak finally was captured and I gained some gold. My forces moved south.

Stalin attacked and I noticed that there is no strong unit in those woods. I moved defenders of Aachen 1N1E trying to provoke those units - successfully, but some forces remained.

More words in a while ...


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The facts ...

1) HRE takes 3rd place in GNP and production - that's not good. Soon AIs will send more advanced armies - Louis has cats now and ivory is inside his cultural borders.
2) HRE has only one happiness resource bound with Calendar
3) HRE has no Corn and no Rice, but it's a very close goal to get them. Prague will suffer unhealthiness soon
4) Great scientist is to be born in 5 turns
5) Aachen is HRE capital now and my idea was to move capital to Prague
6) HRE has one settler and there are two ideas what to do with him: first is grab Silver, Gold, Copper and Sheep to the South-West. The second idea is as follows ...

And perhaps chop there The Statue of Zeus. It would be risky move. Most of enemy's troops come from that direction.
7) Aachen has 5 superspecialists altogether and Shaka has Pyramids. Aachen has 4 great military instructors which gives its city ability to produce level4 units. All archery units are promoted to CG1 and Drill1 immediately. So Aachen could produce units as follows:
a) Drill4, CG1 (great general point factory - but works with better units than archers)
b) Drill3, CG1, Formation vs Elephants
c) CR3
d) Combat2, Formation for melee
e) woodsman3 for some mess
f) guerilla 3 for some tactics
8) 12 turns to Civil service, 10 turns to Feudalism, 6-7 turns to Metal Casting
9) No war weariness yet
10) the population counts 44 and overal view on HRE Kingdom:

11) Heroic Epic will be ready in one turn

The research is not bad now, but I expect it to rise a lot. How? By letting my cities to grow. Prague is the center of the world now and I hope it will give HRE enough commerce. So no more whiping - at least no in this city. Taking Mids is another step. The third step is constructing Academy as well as starting to work decent gold and silver mines. 4th step is building research in all cities, but I wonder if it will work with 8 opps. It will be difficult to force myself not to whip, but it's definitely too erly to abandon Slavery. I wonder if there is need to run Beaurocracy without foreign trade routes. Maybe path - Feudalism->Guilds->Banking is the way to go. Uruk constructed Miliary Academy thx to unpatched game I guess, so I won't be pretending there is no Military Academy, but this city is definitely too small.

Quitet before the storm - summarizing. I hope game to be more interesting from now. However giving Military Science monopoly for Blitz and Commando is an idiotic idea.

edit: sorry for wrong info. HRE has both incencse and spices :)

See you soon. Feel free to add your own suggestions.
Things go slow but in the right direction. Soon AI's will send more advanced stacks (maces, longbows), but on the other hand - more expensive (less units). It's a good news.

HRE march elephant moves SE towards Medic3 unit. Han Solo has elephants too. His elephant will be taken down by our C2-Formation Elephant. Kerkoune will be razed but soon after that Haniball settles again.

Some luck. The best way to destroy catapult is to use elephant in this case

Guerilla3 longbows are even better for the purpose of generating great generals. We can see iron ;)

Some prechopping. Haniball destroyed our rice ... again.

After winning 11 combats HRE longbow has 28exp and is granted next level. Aachen produces lvl5 units now. Now it's time to assign GG's to units. HRE dropped in the score.

First swordsman - it was worth to wait for this moment. Engineering almost known. Next target: Guilds->Banking, I guess. Still no knowledge of Civil Service, but Halbardiers are nice and lvl5 trebs can get any city. GG you see on the screen will be assigned to some unit - maybe spear - we will get Combat6 Halbardier.

Next target Shaka, and next civic switch: Merchantilism, Representation.

The space on the accout is shrinking, but I will handle this. Rest of HRE report - today.


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Using mounted unit to end war faster. Sumarian people were destroyed.

At the same turn Shaka gets Feudalism. Ulundi has defended for a long time. Troops are moving in several divisions.

Fort 1N from Nuremberg.

Promoted to Amphibious for this one-time use. Imagine swiming elephants.

Halbardiers are nice units for purpose of destroying siege weapons, unless there are no crosbows in the stack.

Rexed about 550 pieces of gold from 3 cities (thx to Shaka and his stone).

Bad news. Nuremberg was captured.

Next civic switch.

Great Prophet was born and constructed Kong Miao.

We started sieging Rheims.

I found the solution of destroying stack with crossbows.

How could this be? 66exp longbow. I guess it's thx to Drill4 ability.

Joao's stack was completely destroyed by offensive meaning, but on Zulu land and soon war weariness striked all my cities.

Not so bad. Han is weak, but has enormous GNP.

Rheims finally losed it's defenders (almost).

Military science in. I stopped in that moment. Any suggestions would be very nice.


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The game is won. Not in a direct way, but I decided not play further. Carthaginians - the real threatening civ was destroyed completely. And domination is to be decided in next 40 turns, Conquest - in next 60 turns, I guess. This is the last entry.

Rifling in. Guerilla2 longbow enter the city and upgrades to rifle in the same turn.

Nationalism stolen from French.

Combat3 rifle defeats maceman, then upgrades to march and he is fully healed next turn thx to medic3 grenadier.

Last civic switch. OR for both leeves and universities. Nationhood for happiness mainly. Also some cities have no troops. WFOOS penalty is bigger than 'Hell no, we won't go' penalty. There was heavy battle near Ulundi: 6-7 rifles against 30 units (Knights, Trebs), but city held.

GG was born and was heading to Uruk where Military Academy was built, but I changed my plans. I can have military tradition in 5 turns and Uruk is situated far from the front line, so it would be better to produce there mounted units.

Utica was captured. Second golden age triggered. End of the game.

All other inmormation concerning this game (replay, history, promotions, economics) can be achieved from the save. Thx for small interest.


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