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Civ illustrated: New series of Strategy Articles under construction

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Seraiel, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    Hi :)

    I'll keep this short, because I'm busy atm.

    What I'm busy with, is: I'm trying to combine the efforts of various high-lvl players so that new, better, easier understandable, better illustrated Strategy Articles will be written.

    For this effort, I've created a new Usergroup having the name "Civ illustrated" . The Strategy Articles will be like a magazine covering Civ, it'll have many pictures, it'll have multiple issues covering different topics in each, it'll shall be so easy to understand that low-lvl-players can read it, but have such a high quality that even IMM+ players learn something.

    Pro's of this:

    Great (better players will emerge, new Civ-players might come, knowledge will be easily accessable, a "rejuvenation" of the forum might occur, greater fun because of more participants etc. )

    Contra's:

    Well, it's a lot of work, but that work, we're willing to put up.

    What we need from you:

    • Input on what is needed the most / what is your greatest interest (what are your greatest problems when playing Civ, what would you like to know about the game, etc. ) .
    • If you're playing consistently on IMM+, we're very interested in you working together with us. You'll get to know very detailed info about Civilization IV, what we expect is that you read the usergroup's discussions, if you contribute to the discussions, you'll be given Credits in the Strategy Guide following.
    • If you don't play on IMM+ but feel you can offer something (i. e. proof-readers or if you're good with graphics...) , let us know here.

    Current Members of the Usergroup are:

    T-hawk, Tachywaxon, shakabrade, DMOC, WastinTime, coanda, Zx Zero Zx, Habitus, vranasm, kossin, Revent, Silverbow, choggy and me.

    The usergroup is invite only, answer in this thread or via PN to me.

    Tia, Seraiel

    P.S.: The topic of the 1st issue will probably be "Know your enemy" , covering AI's and their behavior, ways to deal with AIs, ways to exploit them, ways to understand why AI X is doing what.
     
  2. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Chieftain

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    Well I can say that I have one thing that I could add to your first article that not many people know anything about or even realize exists. But it is very hurtful that you haven't invited me. :'(

    Congrats on being an epic spam noob with your posts allowing you to get 1337 posts though!
     
  3. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    :lol:

    I haven't invited you because of your last post, saying you couldn't read what I write because your head would protect you from doing so :D .

    Invitation sent.

    Sera
     
  4. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Chieftain

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    The pictures make the posts loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong, so I skim read, and tell myself to come back, and read the rest but I forgets. But it is mainly the pictures fault I swear!
     
  5. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

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    Mind if I give some insight on my play since I joined the forums? :)
     
  6. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

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    How do you plan to make this work for both lower level players and immortal plus? Oh and best thing to do I think is show realistic examples from games. It really illustrates everything really well (although not from your super Civ games Sera ;) )

    I think the lower level problem is that people think they HAVE to do something when it isn't needed. I've had Civ IV since BtS came out and for years before this forum, I would never go higher than Chieftain with Settler being the most common game I would play.

    I had this mental block which made me think that the slider HAD to be at 100% no matter what. So in the games, I would try to set up every religion, build all their shrines, and only build another city if I had a positive income at 100%. Epic fail. Now, I go back and laugh as I use Lib to bulb Future Tech on Warlord. (Haven't tried it at Noble yet)

    On Noble, I first started trying for Aesthetics before Alphabet before I finally realised how pathetic and hopeless it was because the AI just don't research as fast you. Monarch/Emperor and above tricks don't work on lower levels.

    On Monarch, I finally realised that I don't have to research every tech myself. At this point in time, the AI even start helping with the tech so diplomacy starts to matter. The biggest thing to remember is all of the AI will start out teching faster than you. So if you want to get ahead, early on, you have to learn to trade properly and manage your diplomacy. You don't need to tech everything, so it's fine to skip stuff like Priesthood and have Civil Service and not have fishing, etc... General rule of thumb that's worked for me is Worker Techs->Aesthetics->Currency->(Monarchy or Calendar)->Civil Service->Liberalism. A big portion of the rest that you research are the prequisites for these techs. Monarchy or Calendar are only needed if you lack happiness. The rest of the techs, you should trade it all. Helps having Mansa on the map ;) I've managed to win games with a virtually non existent military until Liberalism. ie, just some chariots and axes in all of my cities. That would be pretty much all my army until I had a significant lead that I could easily take out a whole civ very quickly if I wanted to (drafting rifles like no tomorrow or whipping Curs like crazy, ie getting 14 pop cities down to size 3 just by whipping curs non stop).

    On Emperor, don't build cities super far away. Maintenance is quite a big problem compared to other lower levels. Barbs for the first time can be a threat so some smart spawn busting is required. Can't say much as I've only won one game on emperor, but yeah :p

    Overall, I think the key is to learn that you don't need to do everything. Let the AI do stuff for you. I've seen so many guides saying let the AI build the wonders and shrines for you and you can take it from them. But the thing is, it is very well possible to win a game without having self researched a lot of techs in the beginning. Key thing is to get around 6-8 strong cities up by around 1AD and from there, because the AI have all of the bonuses, etc..you let them improve the mines, chop down the jungles, let them develop towns and villages for you. Let them build the cities. Then get a military advantage and shoot them down and take everything.

    Once you get a tech lead, make the use of it. Tech trading is so powerful and is probably the only reason I win on higher levels. Imagine you're behind, missing so many critical tech and you've met all of the other AI and suddenly, you notice you were working scientists in your city and you get a GS. You could settle the GS to get x beakers a turn for the rest of the game, overall, if the game lasts until 2050, the beaker value will probably be more than if you just bulb a tech. Mathematically, it makes sense, long term gets you more beakers from that individual isolated event. But imagine if you bulb Philosophy and discover Taoism. No one has it so you can trade it to one AI for all of their basic tech, trade to another for theirs, trade to another until you've backfilled everything. Trade it to some of the AI for gold to put your slider up for a bit, even gift it to some guy who's at cautious with you to get diplo points. :p


    That's all for me. Got home late and been up all night as well so really tired. ;) Hope this gives some sort of insight to the lower level players. Within 2 months (including an exam period of around a month) of doing what I did above, I jumped up from Settler/Chieftain/Losing Warlord all the way to the immortal game I'm currently playing. :) so not ALL of it is gibberish due to lack of sleep
     
  7. WelshGandalf

    WelshGandalf Chieftain

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    I have a great article on trade routes 80% written... maybe that could be incorporated?
     
  8. Choggy

    Choggy Chieftain

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    Well done to Seraiel for making this happen, and to the other guys for offering their time to contribute. I think it's a great idea.

    I think Revent's made an excellent point here. He's right, with the AI getting noticeable bonuses from Monarch upwards there is one way of playing this game which works up to Noble/Prince, and a completely different way of playing it at Monarch/Emperor (no idea of higher levels than that, maybe Imm+ is completely different again?). Perhaps Civ Illustrated should be split along these lines, with part of it dealing with lower-level strategy and separate parts that deal with strategies at higher levels and what strategies you need to change to move from lower to higher levels?

    One other suggestion I'd like to make is for some of these articles to include a savegame so you can play through the strategy article in question - reading about how to do an early rush is one thing, actually being able to play the strategy out in a controlled scenario would really add value I think.

    Anyway, I'd be more than happy to proof-read anything or do any play-testing of strategy articles written by you guys.
     
  9. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Chieftain

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    Yes the strategy for below Emp is a very different strategy that is called kill everyone on your land mass with Horse Archers. I doubt any amount of stupidity could lose a game below Emp when you have 30+ cities.
     
  10. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

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    30+ cities with appalling management=units on strike=no army=easy loss when someone declares war on you :p And below emp may be simple for you, but not for everyone :)
     
  11. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Chieftain

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    Who's going to declare on you when you killed off everyone else on your continent. :o Also all those extra units would go away, and their economy would eventually recover.
     
  12. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

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    Touche :lol: I guess the hard part though is getting the 30+ cities though. But definitely true, very hard to lose like that. Go pure specialist if the economy sucks. 30 cities farmed to no end, under caste, lots of scientists, even on strike, I think you'd be flying through the techs pretty fast and make an easy way to space. :p
     
  13. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    I think I have to write about the project again, so that it's better understandable:

    • Contributors are heartly welcomed, anyhow, the "Magazine" has a target group, and those are the aspiring medium to high lvl players. Giving valuable information to them is what what we try to achieve, we won't report on tactics that only work on Settler because Settler can be won on auto-navigation. Our aim is to give players willing to make an effort what they need to advance to IMM or even Deity. Yet though:
    • As I said, information will be kept simple, well illustrated and readable for any lvl. This does not mean that a Settler player will understand everything we write about 100%, it only means that he's getting the basic idea of what we are talking about, maybe evoking interest in him to learn a few things about game mechanics and read some more, or to ask questions.
    • Players wanting to get very specific information like specific values of an AI in a certain case i. e. will be handed links with the best we could find (this might even be raw code) , aquiring that kind of knowledge is only needed for one difficulty lvl, and that is Deity, and Deity is best learned by watching videos, reading writeups, talking to players who play Deity, that's a whole different approach than reading a Magazine is. Advice to those players is given in this forum i. e. by playing Tachywaxon's or shakabrade's Deity series.
    • So, although the Magazine is designed for IMM and IMM+, there are basically chances for everyone to get a part of the team, if they're willing to invest work and if they're honest about their current lvl. Members have to accept that our aim is to work on high quality standards, i. e. that we want to write on strategies that work on the highest lvls. We'll discuss information as a group to prevent the spreading of false information.
    WelshGandalf as an IMM player wanting to contribute has been invited, Revent's post I find very interesting and I know that he also plays on IMM currently, but I don't find him clearly saying he wants to join the project, his post sounds like it on the one side (basically giving us his Civ-vita and giving impulses) , but I don't see a clear intention, therefor, Revent, if you want to join, write me a PN.

    Cya, Sera
     
  14. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    This sounds like you havn't understood how economy works.

    Strongest form of economy is the hybrid economy, neither the Specialist Economy, nor the Cottage Economy, nor the Hammer Economy, but the combination of all three together. Hybrid economy means you have Hammer-cities that can be set to build Wealth, that you have Cottage-cities that produce :commerce: which can be converted to :gold: via the slider, and that you work Specialists in cities having a lot of :food: on plus. Those Food-cities might have Cottages or Workshops as improvements, the Specialists are there to prevent cities having a lot of :food: from growing into :mad: .

    Farming a lot has great synergy with war though as it boosts Slavery -> Unit production, that would be called a :food: economy, again being a specific case for a specific victory type, regarding pure :gold: , Food-Economy is extremely weak.

    That's how I understand economy, maybe someone can explain it better.

    Sera
     
  15. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    Didn't see this post.

    I'm against promoting strategies for lower-lvls that won't work on higher-lvls, except, if Zero and me are having fun or I'm short on time (i. e. giving advice like "Warrior-Rush everyone up until Prince" :D ) .

    The idea of savegames is great, anyhow, how-to's on rushs are available en masse by AbsoluteZero, the basic tactic is very simple, don't build many buildings, don't settle too many cities, reach key-tech early, build units, chop units, whip units. I'll keep the idea in mind, attaching something like a scenario might add to the value of the articles.

    Have invited you as a proof-reader :) .

    Regards, Sera
     
  16. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    First of all, I think this is a marvellous idea and will be a goldmine to the community, not least players (like myself) trying to step up from Noble to Emperor and hopefully Immortal one day. It's a real tribute to the top-level players that they're willing to share of their wealth of knowledge like this :thup:

    There was a post either in Replay 4 or some other thread where Seraiel posted pictures of some of his most important cities, and how they developed over time (think it went backwards through time). Thought that was an excellent idea, and it would work very well in a City Specialisation article. Think I've read all articles on that, and they are good but rather general. Being more specific with specific examples, going step by step, will be fantastic I think. It's one area many players struggle with, and it's crucial to get right to be able to step up.

    Furthermore, articles on diplomacy and typical AI behaviour will be great. For the really top end maybe there could be an article about score maximation too, micro, that type of thing.

    Throughout, maybe comparisons would be a good spice to add. Looking at how cities develop if you did this instead of that, or if you trade X with AI 1 instead of AI 2, or something like that. Some of the trades in the Replays were great, so more insight into that too would be beneficial for would-be high level players.

    Personally, I've just stepped up to Emperor so would probably not be able to contribute much since this is aimed at high levels. But I can always do some proofreading, if you need more people for that.
     
  17. Marvinlegend

    Marvinlegend Chieftain

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    Would love to contribute, but I'm only a Monarch player, so there wouldn't be much I could do in terms of content. If there's any interest in doing so, I could make German translations.
     
  18. Seraiel

    Seraiel Chieftain

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    @ Pangaea, you have already an invitation as you did some code-reading lately.

    @ Marvinlegend: Write me a PN about how active you are on the forums and how much time you'd invest, possible chance to join as a Monarch player would be reading the articles, and giving feedback on it, "what did you not understand" , "what isn't well covered" , "what has to be improved" etc.

    1st post updated as new users have joined.

    Sera
     
  19. Choggy

    Choggy Chieftain

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    Tried it...I can now win at Settler! :clap:

    I don't think I explained myself very well about the savegame scenario idea - the early rush was just an example of how it could help. Maybe a better example would be a Corporation rush on a watery map without crashing your economy like you did in Replay #5 - basically, scenarios you don't encounter every game but are good to know about in advance so if you do encounter it you know what to do, rather than ruin a game you've been playing for 20-30 odd hours by trying something out for the first time and getting it wrong.

    Thx for the invite btw :)

    Tried it...I can now win on Chieftain! :clap:
     
  20. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Cheers and thanks. Wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't told me here.
     

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