civ 4 co-op mode guides and tips

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by NetGear, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. NetGear

    NetGear King

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    After getting bored of civ5 once again, my friends have suggested we play civ4. We've played various MP modes before, but this time we'd like to try co-op mode agst AIs. Instead of competing against each other.

    Ive searched for coop in the forums but theres only few info on the subject due to lack of popularity, but i did find this lil coop series from the old days.
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=360452

    There's 4 of us, so having us all on same team would be way too OP. Probably split to 2 groups of 2s instead and 'compete' economically. So I've been thinking what would make a good synergy as a duo. Does anyone have experience with this mode and can share ideas on what i can specifically do to make co-op playing better? Ideas like picking civs with 4 diff starting tech for instance that you wouldn't consider in solo play and etc.
     
  2. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse King

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    Hi, NetGear. When I play co-op like that, I do try to get four different techs to start with. In a co-op game, techs and stuff cost twice as much as normal but both of your research can be pooled together. That means, basically, that it's a good idea for you both to research the same thing to get it done faster.

    That's fair for the most part, but in the beginning you might have different goals. So, it's good to have your bases covered.

    Another thing to consider is that golden ages only affect one of you, making them far less potent than in single player. That means that at least one of you should probably be financial. I've found it's a good idea to have one person bankroll the other once you have your empire straightened out.

    Sailing becomes a bit more important in co-op if you can trade back and forth. Not only do you get a few more commerce from co-op, but you also get friendly resource deals.

    Lastly, I'm not sure if this is a co-op thing, but espionage seems to be especially good. I think that it's because you can keep civs at cautious if one of you is the major religion and the other player uses the religion that you two found and carefully spread (for max espionage points).
     
  3. coanda

    coanda Emperor

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    I've only played co-op a couple times long ago, so I don't have experienced advice. But a few things I would consider were I approaching a co-op game myself for the first time in years:

    If GP generation isn't pooled (each player generates GP independently), then early bulbs could give a frightening tech lead very quickly. Civil Service is normally like an 800 beaker tech, which means 1 GS bulbs it. If you double the cost... it's still basically one GS to bulb it (and maybe 50-100 beakers of research left over).

    Similarly, Oracle should be roughly twice as useful unless they doubled the cost. Since it was already a solid wonder, this makes it superb. Of course, if you're playing with competing humans it starts to look a little iffy.

    You should be able to get by with just one copper/iron/horse for the team if you coordinate your builds.

    With two players to work together, I'd expect good odds of being able to use coordinated blocking cities to secure a lot of land on most map scripts.

    If civics are individually set, it could make sense to have one guy go military and another econ, so you can pick your civics to synergize with your main focus. E.g., one person goes Pacifism and gets very few units, while the other goes Theocracy and builds almost twice as many. Might not be practical depending on how the land is laid out and what sort of cities you each get.

    If you're playing on high difficulty, barbs could be a serious issue. Usually the (cheating) AIs fill in the land pretty quickly, which means you only have to cover a relatively small area to get the barbs to stop spawning. But with two (slow-starting) humans next to each other on the same continent, that continent could have a major barb swarm.
     
  4. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse King

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    GPP is a common pool, sorry. So are espionage, but AI's get extra points to compensate (I think. I am still new to BUG and I could be wrong. They combine them on the demographics graph as well).

    I play co-ops on huge maps, so we don't start all that close to each other even though there's noone in between us. I'm not sure if a smaller map would benefit us more, but Coanda's probably right. One thing to consider though is that it's one less direction that one of you can expand into. Depending on the start, that can be game-changing right there.

    I really like the idea of specialization like Coanda suggested. It works really well after Currency or so.

    Oh, there's a bit of a cheat, too. When you give someone a generic unit or building (I think building works, haven't tried it) that corresponds with their unique unit/ building, they get the upgrade. For example, if Tokugawa builds Riflemen and gives them to Victoria of the English, she gets Redcoats instead (but keeps the promotions). Not sure what happens if the other person can't build their unique (like if Shaka gave Tokugawa Macemen, do they turn into Samurai even if Toku doesn't have iron?).

    Something weird happens to experience points when going bqck and forth between Char and non-Char leaders, but I can't tell you whether it's exploitable or not.
     
  5. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    I remember teaming with AIs a few times and it was frustrating trying to get them to do what I wanted. Basically that was either turtle up and concentrate totally on tech from behind the military machine I would set up, or do the same in reverse with me turtling, wonderhogging etc. Much easier said than done - Ghandi turns all Mr Unitbuildprob when you don't want him to :rolleyes:

    Anyway that seemed the most efficient thing to do in theory because each empire could concentrate on the right improvements and buildings and civics as coanda was saying. Presumably with 2 humans you could do that pretty efficiently.

    On a standard map a good combo might be a small teching industrious civ shielded by a large city spamming organized warmonger. Julius would be good as he could build a few cities for his wonderhogging buddy. On the other hand a better way round would be the small civ being IMP and building settlers for the large civ :crazyeye:

    Making use of cheap early builds and gifting cities back and forth might be a good idea too. E.g. non-creative civs gifts all its cities initially to buddy for 5 turns to get border pop, then gets them back. Or non-EXP civ gifts its cities to get granaries built then takes back etc. etc. Probably cost more in distance maintenance and roads than it saved though :lol: Not much different from what you said about building units for each other anyway.
     
  6. CreeDakota

    CreeDakota King

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    Culture only needs three cities per team so you can use the two capitals as the Legendary cities then have one member focus on the third city while the other member takes care of all the other stuff for him.

    Diplomacy can be alot harder against teamed opponents since they can have different religions/favorite civs etc but you need to get both to like you to get the team to like you. On the flip side only one part of team has to agree to peace for a war to end, so if you kill one of Gandhi's stacks you can likley get peace even though his furious teammate SHAKA is about to take one of your cities.

    I found bulbing less effective than normal. The beaker costs seemed to scale with having a team but the bulbing value did not. For example one scientist suddenly could not bulb philo.

    Teams of different sizes changes the value of techs so that can really alter tech trading. For example a team of three A.I's will over value a tech compared to a solo player since it takes 3x as many beakers to tech something compared to the solo player. If using different size teams a no tech trading rule may make sense.

    I also recommend trying to setup enemy AI's that make sense together to allow them some synergy. For example if Shaka ends up with Pericles; shaka builds units and starts a war while Pericles tries for culture and together they stink. If Shaka instead gets paired with Ragnar they conquer their continent.
     
  7. NetGear

    NetGear King

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    How does culture work on gifting cities. Does it retain its border status when its not forcibly taken?

    Hmm if so cathy's imp/creative might not be a bad choice as the designated settling civ.

    also I was thinking of being ghandi for the fast worker, but im not sure if im disallowed to improve his territory as in solo play.
     
  8. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse King

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    You can indeed improve his lands. Or just give him the worker. I'm pretty sure it'll still be a fast worker.

    I'm not sure about how city gifting works, tbh. What did you mean by border status, though?

    Oh, I just thought of something. Trade routes between team members count as domestic. That makes the Great Lighthouse and a few island cities better than ever since you're not giving up as much in expansion, relatively speaking.
     
  9. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse King

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    I hope nobody minds this bit of necro, but I just noticed something: tech trading seems to be harder/ more expensive. No wonder espionage seemed stronger!

    I was playing co-op where we were both playing Deity level (no barbs, though). I convinced my partner to go for Aesthetics and we managed to get it first (as far as we can see, anyway). But we had to research half of Alphabet before anybody was willing to trade even though Alpha was not a monopoly tech.

    Now, it could be that the civs thought that they held monopolies, right? But we had the same problem with getting ironworking, etc.

    Hey, maybe this will make it more interesting for people, knowing that one of the most broken mechanics in the game is nerfed this way ;)
     
  10. NetGear

    NetGear King

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    So not only do you have to put in more beakers than others but you get less beaker value in trading?

    Oh and what I meant by border status was if I settled a city and I gift my city after border pop, does that city retain that border pop.

    And while we're at it... how does border work agst teammate? Can I choke my own teammate with culture???
     
  11. Um the Muse

    Um the Muse King

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    I'm not sure about the gifting thing. Never tried it.

    You do indeed "fight" culturally when your borders overlap, though. In other words, you can't tile swap between your culture and theirs.
     
  12. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    I experimented with gifting cities containing culture to my teammate. Sometimes all culture was lost, sometimes half the culture was retained, or more precisely was converted to my teammate's culture. E.g. I had 20:culture: and the teammate received a city with 10:culture: and therefore the desired borderpop. In one case I had a city that could be swapped back and forth repeatedly with no loss of culture.

    What seemed to make the main difference was whether the city was "liberated" (50% culture stuck) or just gifted (no culture). The availability of the "liberate" option depends largely on how close to the teammate the city is. No doubt these mechanics are documented on this site somewhere.

    So a creative civ can help their non-creative teammate like this at the cost of 10 turns increased city upkeep from distance each time, and several turns marching the first settler over there. (After the first one the non-creative can gift settlers into the nearby creative city during the 10 turns it is growing its 20 culture).

    More complex stuff with gifting cities back and forth such as to get cheap granaries if the non-creative was expansive might run into problems though if a city can only swap sides once without losing all its culture.
     

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