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Choice of Technology in the beginning

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by TBM, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. TBM

    TBM Chieftain

    Jul 30, 2007
    I was wondering in which technologies you develop initiatlly in the game to get an advantage.

    I'm playing at the monarch level, but I keep falling behind technology wise so I think i'm doing something wrong.

    first I go for founding one of the first religions, buddism or hinduism, the I go for bronzeworking to be able to chub down trees, and the I focus on land development techs such as the wheel, animal husbantry etc. then I go for something like the alphabet to be able to build libraries.

    Then around year 0 or so when I meet the other players (prefer to play island worlds), they are often the ones with most technology, and I'm one of the largest civilizations, since I focus on building many cities initiatially.

    what am I doing wrong??
  2. Robo-Star

    Robo-Star Prince

    Jan 12, 2008
    Depends a lot on location i.e. size of starting land-mass, number and nature of neighbours, what resources are nearby...

    Sounds like you could be expanding too quickly, and thus crippling your economy with high-maintenance costs. Try beelining to Code of Laws for Courthouses, or build more Cottages.
  3. Refar

    Refar Deity

    Apr 10, 2005
    I would try skiping the early religion - it often does cost you more than it helps. Worker tech(s) first. BW schould be early among them.

    Overexpansion might be a problem. However - Land is Power so once you bring your big land up to speen in economy you should be able to catch up.
  4. sydhe

    sydhe King of Kongs

    Nov 4, 2001
    Norman Oklahoma
    I often start off with the wheel, which helps me hook up resources and to get people to them faster. I find I'm able to get Confucianism a lot, and since that comes with Code of Laws, it's a double advantage. However, you do need to get food technologies first so your cities will be big enough to do the research to get there.
  5. hossam

    hossam Deity

    Jun 6, 2007
    you shouldnt try and found an early religion unless you start with mysticsm and you should maybe try get caravels fast si that you can trade techs with your niegbours, because they might have a tech lead over you because they trade the techs they have.
  6. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

    Jan 2, 2007
    Other than overexpanding too much, a better idea would be to research Bronze Working first and build cities near copper such that you can start building Axemen. Use those Axemen to capture an enemy civilization's holy city and/or capital, in order for you to get a religion and to get an excellent city location.
  7. gettingfat

    gettingfat Emperor

    Nov 7, 2003
    There is no "correct" way, just do whatever you feel good, although meditation/polytheism is usually not recommended at higher levels.
  8. Greencardman

    Greencardman Warlord

    Nov 8, 2005
    I would make sure you get a galley out early, sometimes even a work boat works. It may be that the other civs are meeting each other ahead of you and tech trading between themselves. This would put you at a disadvantage when it comes to technology.
  9. paydro

    paydro Warlord

    Jan 10, 2008
    To answer it directly... I sometimes (SOMETIMES) go directly for polytheism if I have mysticism. If I have mining, however, I always go directly for bronzeworking, because that allows you to chop, and if you build a worker first (which I always do) you can immediately chop your way through an early second worker, settler, or a warrior (whatever you think you need most).

    After that (or if I don't start with mining) I usually get whatever worker tech I need for my capital resources (fishing, agriculture, hunting, whatever).

    I agree with the post about overexpansion... that was a big deal for me when I first moved up to prince.
  10. DeaExMachina

    DeaExMachina Warlord

    Sep 30, 2007
    I almost always find myself at Bronzeworking first, this is just simply because of chopping to get settlers, other workers and wonders out faster. Other techs take priority as how resources are distributed and whether I'm unable to locate Bronze (thusly forcing Ironworking before its due time). When anything essential is taken care of around my cities I then do Pottery, I'm sure a lot of people do Pottery before me but losing a few turns of cottage growth to improve the production and growth of my cities is more important for me in the early game as I tend to run WE in most games.

    As for religion I prefer founding Judaism. By founding Judaism you get the powerful Monotheism Civic which helps pump early buildings and wonders faster.

    Also make sure and cottage. This may be one of your largest issues is that you are probably automating workers and unless you set cities to focus on commerce your workers will go willy nilly and build mainly farms to let your cities grow, even though thats not what you need (unless running an SE). Additionally if like me you find yours getting to Code of Laws fairly late and still want to expand (though honestly I do that fairly easy with just proper cottaging) Sumeria may be a great asset to you as its Courthouse is moved from Code of Laws to Priesthood (and made cheaper) which has the powerful Oracle wonder and puts you in line for Monarchy.
  11. Underdawg

    Underdawg King

    Oct 10, 2005
    Wet Coast... er... West Coast, CAN
    I mainly follow Snaaty's tech order in general (I have done so even before I read his thread).

    For Emperor level at least.

    Depending on start techs, if start with mining go BW first, if start with agriculture/hunting go Animal Husbandry. If I go for one of these and not get copper/horses, go to archery asap.

    Then research any other needed worker techs and writing for early library (and run two scientists). If start with mysticism, try to make a run for oracle if industrious. Otherwise, go aesthetics for high trade value. Research alphabet a tiny bit, then trade aesthetics for alphabet, let the trade whoring begin.

    What usually follows next branches off quite a bit... go literature for GL, research currency for research boost (in form of trade routes/gold).... or go Metal Casting for very high trade value and access to Colossus. Compass can be researched if looking for a high trade value tech.
  12. ranger101

    ranger101 Chieftain

    Dec 14, 2006
    It depends on what resources are nearby and what starting techs you have. It depends on the map type, how many AI there are, etc.
    If your only food resource in your capital is pigs/cows/sheep, I usually go for that before BW.

    A problematic start is if the above scenario occurs and all you have a bunch of forests, as you will have slow teching. If you have stuff like mysticism and fishing to start, it might take you a while to get your copper mined with a road, and if there is no copper nearby, you will have problems, especially on raging barbs.

    If you have hunting to start, in certain positions you need to go for archery if you don't find the horses or bronze nearby.

    Founding an early religion can be difficult on monarch; an early one costs too much in terms of time and you will often lose the race unless you have mysticism and some accessible commerce tiles in your starting city. try to have the oracle and then grab code of laws (mysticism, med. or poly/priesthood (start building) and then writing. Masonry if you have marble nearby. If you can't build the oracle (e.g. need to reach iron because no copper and possibly horse nearby), the trick to to use your first great scientist to pop philosophy. You can try to create a great prophet with temples, but at that point I usually build the ankor wat to guarantee the great prophet, unless I feel I can get one without it (have a religion already in one of my cities).
  13. Rvil Plum

    Rvil Plum Warlord

    Oct 4, 2007
    Depends on location - resources - leader and strategy you are using, but here is a typical example on Emperor using Elizabeth - normal size world - continents.

    Found Capital city
    Research Bronze
    Build Warrior (sometimes 2)
    Build Worker
    Research Masonry
    Chop second Worker
    Both workers now chop settler

    Research Road
    Settler + one warrior go settle close to bronze
    The 2 workers chop Great Wall
    Research a Health tech

    There should be resources in the above 2 cities that will double the building speed of specific wonders, (stone, gold, ivory, marble, etc). Work out what those resource are, what wonder they build quickly and aim to build whichever wonder best fits in with your long term strategy.

    Ideally, you should be researching tech that plays to the strengths of the resources you have in your cities, and you must research those techs as fast as you can. That means you don't have time for all the religious techs or health techs, and may have to go in a straight line along the tech tree. The tech line along the top of the tree that gives you, "Writing, Aesthetics, Literature" also gives you 4 excellent wonders to choose from and is a great line to follow, especially as you also collect the two "Must Have" techs Pottery and Libraries. In fact you can not maintain an early tech lead without these two "Must Have" Techs.

    I often ignore something as useful as say "Alphabet" or "Agriculture" as I am in such a hurry to secure a wonder for my empire.

    Once you have Literature and are building your wonders, go back and research Alphabet, and when you trade you will find that you are so far advanced, that you can pick up all the early techs you missed, plus a few that are equal to your present level.

    I rarely need more than 3 or 4 cities when doing the above, and by the time I am ready to trade, I have built circa 4 key wonders, and have a tech lead as the game enters the medieval period, and I am already planning on the next tech route that will continue to play to the strengths of my resources.


    N/B: Following a single tech line at light speed and building wonders during the early / classical period will make you small and weak, so you will have to buy off military AI leaders when they start making outrageous demands. If they want fish, or cow, or 500 gold, etc, then I just bite my lip and give it to them.

    Regards - Mr P
  14. Ad Hoc

    Ad Hoc Prince

    Nov 12, 2006
    Norwich , England
    This is most probably one of the most asked and debated questions on these boards and i think the honest answer is that there is no "correct" answer.

    if you are falling behind in tech then i would suggest that one of the techs you prioritize is pottery, a few cottages started early can make a large difference to your overall wealth and consequently research ability.

    If the terrain doesn't lend itself to cottaging ie hills/plains then alphabet allows the "research" build which will keep you in touch tech wise.

    One thing i think most people would agree on is that if you're are playing on Monarch and don't start with Myst then an early religion is not worth chasing
  15. Vladesch

    Vladesch Warlord

    Nov 22, 2005
    Adelaide, Australia
    I usually make my first tech to take advantage of whatever food resource I have nearby. Going for a religion on monarch usually loses out on larger maps.

    I fins that usually Im ready to settle my second city before I have BW researched, so my third city is often the bronze city.

    You usually need roads to hook up bronze, so its often better to get that first so your workers have something to do while youre researching BW.
  16. DrJambo

    DrJambo Crash-test dummy

    Dec 27, 2001
    Athens of the North (Edinburgh)
    With the exception of Mysticism for Stonehenge and monuments, my advice is to stay well away from the religious tech route and the lure of an early religion (particularly on high difficulty levels). Since having a holy city no longer provides city visibility into all cities with the religion, the bonus of an early religion is often not worth the religious grief that can result.
  17. Wodan

    Wodan Deity

    Jun 3, 2005
    In transit
    I agree with those recommending against the religious route. I don't usually do this because it's a crapshoot and the AI often beats you to it, so what's the point? So, I would either plan on capturing a shrine, or getting one of the "later" religions (such as Taoism). Getting Theocracy (possibly via Oracle) isn't a bad idea, but if you do this you'll do it AFTER you get BW and other early techs such as Ag, Wheel, Mining, Pottery, etc.

    A lot of times I prioritize Theocracy so that I can chop the AP. The +4 hammers in every city from whipped temple and monastery are simply too huge of a benefit.

    Overexpansion is frequently the culprit of slow tech. If you aren't building and working a lot of cottages, MAKE SURE you get Libraries and force scientists. No matter how bad your economy goes you'll always have a decent tech rate. Then, when your research slider gets to 0% or 10%, that's the sign that you need to be thinking about going for Currency and CoL before getting any more cities.

  18. pxpdoo

    pxpdoo Ninja Burger Fry Cook

    Jul 1, 2003
    May be a mistake on Monarch (after reading these posts lol), but always start off founding Hinduism, then worker techs, then sit back and evaluate the situation before deciding further...
    I don't know, I just like the blue Hindu symbol lol

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