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China - Can't reach compass in any good time

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall - Dawn of Civilization' started by BaneFire, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Mxzs

    Mxzs Prince

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    Thanks for the Manila tip.

    Actually, on reviewing my notes, I see that it is possible to get nine Great People to set off three Golden Ages. I generated ten GPs, actually, by the deadline. Only you can't use them to get techs. So if you don't want to use the Taj Mahal strategy, you have find a teching strategy that doesn't use Great Scientists to pop technologies.

    EDIT: And you know what the game told me when I had won the UHV game? That I had demonstrated the leadership qualities of Dan Quayle.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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  2. BaneFire

    BaneFire Warlord

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    You need a diversity of GPs, and since GP generation is chance-based you either reload, over-generate to guarantee, or just get unlucky. For example I made like 4 GPs which was far too many for my needs.
    Taj Mahal is therefore helpful as it gives you some wiggle-room with the GPs.
    In theory I reckon you could get compass-paper-gunpowder-printing with just two Great Scientists, and then enough GPs afterwards could get you UHV3. Thing is it's too risky when you can pretty much guarantee yourself Taj Mahal.

    EDIT: 4 Great Prophets, to clarify.
     
  3. Mxzs

    Mxzs Prince

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    Yeah, the diversity of Great People is a huge pain. It's hard enough getting nine GPs, but the chances of getting a good mix is low enough that it's not worth gambling the game on getting it.

    I've posted a strategy guide for China (Regent/Normal) using what I learned and what others have suggested in this thread. It's fairly vague because it seems clear that there's no single route to the victory, though all the routes are going to be hard. I did follow it up, for illustrative purposes, with a summary of the game that I won with.
     
  4. Hickman888

    Hickman888 Chieftain

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    I came to the same conclusion. Maybe have a couple more resources spawn in around the year 1500, when it actually became the largest city in the world.
    I also agree about more cities in eastern China needing a bit more production.

    What difficulty do you play on? I'm on Monarch, and I lost the race to the technologies more times than I'd like to admit, until I got my strategy down.

    Huh. Although it's been awhile since I last played on Normal speed, I would've thought that everything would just be 2/3's faster to acquire than on Marathon, and the same general strategies can still be used. Maybe the strategy just doesn't translate well. Were you trying to get a Statesman for your first Great Person, or your second? I would imagine you might lag behind the tech race more if he was going to be your second great person, as that takes longer to acquire, and thus longer to hold off on using scientists.

    As another quick tip, as far as maximizing commerce, another fun strategy that I used in my second game to great effect was settling Luoyang on the plains tile, building a Palace/Grand Canal in it, adopting Regulated Trade, and letting Luoyang steal nearly all the tiles from nearby cities. This city became an absolute commercial powerhouse, as Luoyang is a better location for the Grand Canal (and Palace, if running Regulated Trade) than Xi'an is, as it has no mountains in its vicinity, and can work 4 plantations.
     
  5. Mxzs

    Mxzs Prince

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    Well, here's what I noticed:

    My strategy (which I describe in detail here, is to build four cities quickly, get three of them a Taixue ASAP, and stock them with as many scientists as possible without starving. (That's typically 6 scientists to start with, ramping up eventually to 8.) At the same time, I send a Scout to the Middle East while building a road to India to ensure a trade connection. With that strategy I generated an early Great Scientist who got me Calendar and Mathematics, and I tech-traded with the other powers, gaining such tech as Alloys, Arithmetics, Literature, Priesthood, Generalship, Nobility, Cement and Shipbuilding, because I was discovering Construction, Contract, Mathematics, and Currency before they were.

    When I tried running a Statesman instead of scientists, I was not teching at the same rate, and they were discovering those techs before I was and so I had nothing to trade with them for.

    But maybe I wasn't following your strategy correctly. Don't you build only two cities? Perhaps with my four I was crippling my tech rate by overexpanding.

    I follow three of those tactics: Luoyang as capital, with the Grand Canal, encompassing everything except the production hills to the west, which go to Xian. It's huge even without Regulated Trade. I'll have to try it with RT. (I tend to stick with Merchant Trade out of habit.)
     
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  6. JHLee

    JHLee Prince

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    China is a snowball civ, your first 50 turns will decide the rest of the game.
     
  7. BaneFire

    BaneFire Warlord

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    I disagree with your assessment because getting too ahead early game will result in you either annihilating your economy, or being forced to produce things that provide no bonus, and chopping trees you don't want to.
    China is really an anti-snowball, it's all about managing expectations in the first 100 turns, then hopefully deploying all your various abilities (some wonders and civics along with a decent army and worker-force) so that you can get a rapid jump up... then another 600 years of not much after beating the Mongols.
     
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  8. mingming99

    mingming99 Chieftain

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    Yeah ok so I tried to run China on epic/Monarch and it took me all of THREE rolls, distracting Babylonia and some chopping to get Oracle and get writing from that > fast taixues in 4 cities.
    not getting a jumpstart is the very reason why you're struggling to keep up with byzantines/persians in the tech race. China needs all plantations up and running ASAP in order to have good commerce and happiness for growth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  9. Hickman888

    Hickman888 Chieftain

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    Correct. In my second Chinese game, I stuck with only two cities for as long as I could, in order to maximize my tech rate. With the tech rate so high, my statesman's +2 :commerce: would be converted mostly into :science:. It wasn't until I was getting ready to build the Great Wall that I settled my next three cities in short order: Hangzhou for the stone, Beijing to grow out its borders, and Shenyang, to pre-empt the barbarian city that spawns there. I also tech traded for maybe half the technologies that you ended up trading for, as I didn't have a discernible tech lead until I used my two great people to bulb. So it sounds like we had two different approaches (wide/bulb early/trade vs tall/bulb late) that both ended up working (at least on our vastly different gamespeeds). That's why I love this game, there's so many different strategies and play styles out there!

    Regulated Trade is very attractive for China, as it provides extra stability with Meritocracy, that huge capital commercial bonus, and +1 :commerce: for plantations as the cherry on top. Also, I don't know how you feel about this, but whenever I am planning a crucial civic change, I'll save my game and run through a couple of civic setups, and see which one benefits me the most.

    This was also my experience. You want to use your forests to give you something useful, but you also want to get them chopped ASAP to get your mines/plantations/cottages down.
     
  10. BaneFire

    BaneFire Warlord

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    Interesting to read this, since I was also on marathon gamespeed like yours. I meanwhile went for 3 cities very early on, and captured Shenyang when it spawned and founded Guangdong shortly after. So I would easily have had spent far more time with more cities than yours.
    So yeah, anyone still reading this thread:
    There's no one tactic for China, just keep playing and experimenting til you both get lucky and git good.
     
  11. Mxzs

    Mxzs Prince

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    I think what JHLee means is, The first 50 turns will determine what the rest of your game looks like, and whether it will be a success. It's the core that the rest of the game accumulates around, like packing a bigger snowball around a smaller one.

    I think that's a good metaphor. If you start wide, with four cities or so, you will have to follow a specialist strategy or else you'll crush your economy. If you start narrow, you'll have to go tall with lots of workers on an improved landscape that turns coin into bulbs at a very high rate. You can't switch from one strategy to the other, and you can't improvise. And if you don't push your starting logic ruthlessly, building on it, you'll fail.


    I think this is more true of China's UHV than it is for other civilizations, where the path to a win feels more circumscribed. (There's only one way to win the Polynesian game, I'm sure.) That's one reason why, in the guide I posted in the Gameplay subforum, I kept it very general, and appended a description of my own game only as an illustration of the kind of choices one might make in the face of the Chinese challenges. I'd love to see and read there an even more detailed description of your narrow-and-tall strategy.

    I do the same thing quite often. I figure it's not cheating, I figure it's a workaround for the info screen we'd get in an ideal world: a screen telling you the budgetary consequences of making certain civics changes.

    This was actually the main reason I started experimenting with a wide, specialist-early strategy. I couldn't bear to see all that lovely wood go to waste on buildings that weren't going to help my UHV win.
     
  12. Hickman888

    Hickman888 Chieftain

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    I think sometime in the next week or two I’ll redo my China walkthrough. I made that after my first game, and I learned to be even more efficient in my second game. Also, I left out a few key points in my strategy, like showing why I waited to expand. As soon as I figure out how to beat Phoenicia, I’ll return to China for another game!
     
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  13. Hickman888

    Hickman888 Chieftain

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    So I went back to try another China game, with the intent of really detailing my original Chinese strategy.. And I have come to the conclusion that I was not playing as efficiently as I could've been. In fact, after re-evaluating my game, I now think that your strategy, more or less, is the superior way. I do not see any need to get a Statesman to bulb out some techs, and the scientists are just too good to pass up as a specialist in this first third of the game. Further, I think you were onto something when you mentioned Despotism as a strategy for China..It just synergizes too well with the Chinese unique ability to be a coincidence. So I just played through the first third of a China game, adopting Despotism and expanding quickly, as opposed to adopting Monarchy and taking my time expanding. I whipped Taixues in 4 of my cities, and just hired my citizens as scientists when I didn't have anything important to produce. The result? I am roughly 2-3 technologies ahead of where I would've been had I been using my original strategy. Although I didn't finish this game, I think it is fair to sum up my new Chinese strategy as follows:

    • 1.) Beeline Writing (adopting despotism, slavery, and deification in the opening stages).
    • 2.) Plant 2-3 additional cities (the sooner the better), whipping out Taixues as you go.
    • 3.) Run scientists in your cities when they don't have anything meaningful to spend production on, and have your Great Scientist(s) dual-bulb (micromanage the cities!).
    • 4.) Capture Pyongyang, or find a comfortable spot for an 8th Chinese city.
    • 5.) Whip temples, markets, cathedrals where you want them...
    • 6.) ...And then China shifts gears into a specialist economy, adopting Monarchy (more :)=higher population), Monasticism (increased :gp:), and Meritocracy (more :commerce: from specialists, among other things), and Regulated Trade (My preference for China).

    It's crazy how much this mod teaches you about all styles of playing Civilization IV. :crazyeye:
     
  14. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    That's the biggest compliment I could possibly get. I always loved about baseline RFC how it forces you to play in a way that you'd never choose in BtS and I always try to design UHVs in a way that are both historical and also offer a novel way to play.
     
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  15. Mxzs

    Mxzs Prince

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    150% agree. I know so much more about Civ IV overall because of playing the DoC and tackling its various UHVs.

    Not that I play Vanilla or BTS Civ IV. It feels so lacking next to RFC. And I don't play original RFC because it feels so lacking next to DoC. It's a real frustration turning to an otherwise interesting mod like RFC Classical World and find it so much less textured and interesting than I'm used to in a Civ IV game. DoC has spoiled me.
     
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  16. Hickman888

    Hickman888 Chieftain

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    Well I think you’ve really created something special with your mod. Every civilization brings its own unique challenges and, in a way, is like its own puzzle to solve, requiring different approaches and strategies.
     
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  17. TsarAndreas

    TsarAndreas Chieftain

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    This. This is exactly why I love this mod.
     

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