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civ ranking at sid level?

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Heroes, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    Many excellent players tried to rank civs, and admitted that it depends on difficulty level, map setting, play style, etc. Yes, so how about becoming concrete, and just ranking them at Sid, the hardest level?

    I think there is a big leap even from deity to sid. Even if you could manage to expand as much as the AIs at deity, it is almost impossible to achieve at sid (even if you are Maya, the strongest one in early land grab). So the strategy of sid is much different from others, and it is worth to have a ranking only at sid.

    IMHO, Sid difficulty makes these factors better:

    1. start with alphabet, otherwise it's very hard to get GL;

    2. a post-ancient age UU, because in most cases you cannot afford any war in ancite age, unless in the very begging you can intentionally defend using spears against warriors;

    3. religious, if you can make a large empire and revolt to communism, which becomes overwhelmingly strong;

    And makes these factors less good:

    1. ancient age UU, even immortals, unless you really like a despotic GA;

    2. UU with extra movement, since it's too tough to charge and die (to next generation defenders), and you have to go with artillery. This hurts e.g. rider, ansar, but not much to panzer, because panzer can blitz anyway, so it's not too bad to follow the artillery group;

    3. expansionist, since you cannot get settler or tech from goody huts!

    4. scientific, since you are not going to do research at least for a long time. But the free techs are more useful, hard to evaluate overall ...

    So could some good players try this ranking? Thank you!
     
  2. Tomoyo

    Tomoyo Fate

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    Most people view Religious as a bad trait on Sid because you will most likely only want to revolt once or twice, and temples/cathedrals are not as important (if at all).

    I'd say that Byzantines/Dutch seem to be the most often tried, on archipelago maps.
     
  3. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    Fully agree, dromon is super power in arch maps (can afford AW at sid), and Dutch is the first civ succeeded at sid (the "scouting sid" SG)! How about viking? Isn't berserk incredibly strong even for non-arch maps?

    Continent maps? Does Persia and China lose some power at sid? And the poor Arabs ...

    Sid maginifies weakness in early expansion, and the only 2 traits physically contribute to early expansion is agr (way too strong!) and ind. That's why many think Maya is a super power and deserves a crappy UU for balance. Seafaring indirectly contributes to early expansion thru fast contacts by curraghs. If a civ's 2 traits both belong to the other 5 ones, it's a slow starter and will have a long hard time. Among these 5, com at least provides alphabet for tech exchange, so is the least bad.

    For scientific: how about starting a war at the very beginning and defend using spears? I see people use this strategy successfully: kill many warriors, and then sign peace pact getting city, tech, worker, money, etc. Is this method viable in general?
     
  4. killercane

    killercane Chieftain

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    The early DOW is a pretty nice strategy with Persia on a pangea in that you wont get a golden age defending with spears, you're close to iron working, you will very likely get a leader, the AI wont have warriors to upgrade to swords, and they are very likely to bring you to tech parity/give you a city after all 24 warriors are destroyed. A hilltop river capital works wonders.

    At most you can only do it to two AIs however before archers come swarming at you. Its a slow moving game after a while, but it can put you in a better position with some starting locations than you otherwise would have by merely expanding as much as possible.
     
  5. Tribute

    Tribute Not Sarcastic

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    But the declare war strategy excludes the fact that the AI will expand and the cities will contribute maybe not units but tip the balance of power in the AI's favor. Thus, the peace treaty will be tilted despite the high kill ratio.

    But if you are up to it, the Greeks could do that....

    Also, agricultural is even more powerful considering that it is about the only one that can ensure a 5 turn settler factory (unless you get a non-agricultural floodplain wheat start or multiple food bonuses)
     
  6. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    For an early war, peace treaty can be tilted to player if most of AI troops are destroyed, and/or you have troops in AI's territory. Certainly Greek hoplite is the best to do this, considering that Greece is a slow starter by self expansion.
     
  7. Arathorn

    Arathorn Catan player

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    Iroquois have to at least be mentioned. Agricultural for the start. Commercial for the catch-up value and Alphabet. MW for the timed GA or the desperate defense. Sir_Pleb's HoF game and write-up justify it pretty well.

    Top 3 -- Dutch, Byzantines, Iroquois (in some order)

    Harder to know where to go from there -- Agr civs, let-you-survive civs, etc. I'd probably put expansionist and religious civs near the bottom.

    Arathorn
     
  8. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    It's a pleasure to have Arathorn's reply :)

    I guess it makes sense to point out a civ's favorite settings. For example, Dutch for arch map is flawless, Byzantine can block AI completely in arch always war, and Iroquois is excellent for any map and in any field.

    Up to deity expansionist could still be as good as any trait, but at Sid without settler and tech poping, it becomes a shame. So the worst civ at sid is surely America, having only 1 trait (ind), and no UU!

    Persia and China are top warmongers up to deity, but I'm not sure how do they survive at sid in the first place. Peasia could do an early defensive war, using spears and wall to kill AI warriors. What to do with China? Archer rush?
     
  9. Vol

    Vol Sophist

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    The Commercial trait has been growing on me more and more. But clearly Expansionist, Religious, and Industrious aren't worth much on high levels.
     
  10. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    Why industrious not good? It benefits from turn 1 to the last, and fewer workers = more population, masonry is a high value tech to trade, aren't these not enough?
     
  11. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    Let's give it a try:

    1st:
    Clearly: Byzantines, Iroquois, Dutch in no particular order, depending on the map form.
    Candidates:
    France - Masonry+Alpha, great UU (hope for Saltpetre), good trait combo
    England - Pot+Alpha, usefull UU, phantastic trait combo
    India - extremely useful UU on Sid, but REL isn't great
    Carthage - see France, UU can be nice if you lack Iron
    Vikings - Berserks. But, the trait combo wastes half a trait (discount for Harbors).

    2nd:
    All the weaker COM or SEA Civs. And yes, that includes Portugal and Hittites - starting with Pottery is extremely helpful.
    Persia and Ottomans for their UU. The better AGR Civs (Maya, Sumeria, Celts).
    I'd rate e.g. Rome pretty high here (try continents, and hope for a neighbor without iron), and Spain, Hittites or Portugal at the bottom. The AGR ones somewhere in the middle.

    3rd:
    I for one would rate some of the MIL Civs on top here; with Germany especially you can try a "2 cities+2 Barracks" start. Japan has the Wheel, Aztecs grow faster, China chops faster.
    Bottom are such Civs as Russia or America, with a bad UU (yes, the Cossack sucks here, at 80spt!) and no really strong trait. Arabs or Mongols somewhere in the middle, due to their UUs.

    4th:
    For me, Babylon. The 2 cheapest and least useful starting techs, a horrible UU, bad Sid traits.
     
  12. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    However bad rel is, it is still much more useful than exp. Without goody hut settler and tech, exp is purely a shame at sid ...

    Yeah, it's an overkill for half price harbor. But berserk is great: no resource, kill musket confidently, and even act as marine! Probably I would like to list a UU rank for sid:

    1st (Super): higher attack than next generation defender's defense, i.e., immortal, war elephant (additional HP almost means attack 5 and defense 4, and even no resource, nearly too good to be true), berserk, sipahi, hussar (a 7/3/3 cavalry for Austria, the hidden civ), and amazingly, hwach'a (bombard 8 is equal to sipahi's attack, and that's even before cavalry); and panzer, for 3 times blitz, although it's very late, it still could be game breaker, not like great F-15!

    2nd (A): higher attack but not too high, mounted warrior (it can still deal with pike well); move faster, gallic swords, rider, ansar warrior, they are superb at lower levels, but at sid they may well face muskets, then have to wait for artillery; higher defense, Enkidu warrior, hoplite, swiss mercenary, muskteer, they become A class only at sid level.

    3rd (B): bonus in the wrong place, legion, samurai (inferior to war elephant to every respect, what a shame), keshik (Mongolian rider is slower than Chinese rider? What a joke), cossack (blitz is nice, but it's used to generate armies, and when army is there, you will regret the 10 more shields), numidian mercenary (too bad there is legion, only useful if no iron).

    4th (C): just weak, war chariot, javelin thrower (isn't it a luxury to build it rather than sword?), bowman, conquistador (pillaging is not all that useful, after all you want that improvement when you occupy it, don't you?), impi (but very annoying to deal with, for their fast pillaging and capturing workers, and even retreat)

    5th (D): even less useful than the normal unit or just a joke, chasqui scout, carrack, 3-man chariot, and no need to say, the most advanced F-15!

    Navy UUs (dromon and O-Man-War) are interesting. They could be extremely useful, or extremely worthless. And I'm not sure with jaguar warrior, is it B or C?

     
  13. Doc Tsiolkovski

    Doc Tsiolkovski Deity

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    Yes. For Sid only, of course.
    Starting without Alpha is bad enough, but what really matters is the lack of a food or commerce bonus from the city tile (the IND shield bonus only matters late in the game).
    On Sid, you need to life with very limited territory usually. AGR allows to work low food/high comerce tiles (gold mountains, for example). SEA/COM boni kick in early, so you're essentially getting more out of your cities.
     
  14. Gogf

    Gogf Indescribable

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    War Elephant is not like a 5.4.2. The Civ3 combat system does not work that way. I agree though, it's a great, usually under-rated UU.

    I haven't played Sid, but I'm guessing you're undervalueing the Javelin Thrower. Lots of no-maitnance workers that are almost as effecient as normal workers due to the industrious bonus is not bad.

    As well, being near AI on Sid is most likely not great, but the Dutch function better on continents than archipeligo on Deity.
     
  15. Own

    Own Grasshoppah

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    Early war can be afforded at sid, you just need a civ with no iron in the middle ages. Also, if you have writing and can get an alliance that helps a ton.
     
  16. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    But isn't faster worker useful? Quicker roads and more shields in the beginning could make big difference, plus their (actually, "my") mil trait, maybe an early war is the best strategy. But the problem is, of course, how to get bronze working ...
     
  17. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    Regarding WE's winning probability vs. pike and musket and knights etc., it is comparable to 5/4/2. What do you mean by "The Civ3 combat system does not work that way"?

    First captured workers don't enjoy ind bonus ... And the main problem is there is hardly any low defense (<=2) unit to be picked! Any war is bound to be hard, so why spend 30 shield for a javelin thrower rather than a sword?

    This is an interesting observation ... Why is that?
     
  18. Gogf

    Gogf Indescribable

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    Agricultural has more of an impact when you can settle fully before Map Making.

    Javelin Throwers are 30 shields? I admit I haven't played as Maya in a while.

    I would much rather attack with a longow than four infantry. When a unit with a higher attack attacks, it has less change of losing each hitpoint. The entire additional combat point you implied a WE has would be worth more than one hitpoint. I don't have a combat calculator at hand, but I'd guess it's somewhere around two hitpoints.
     
  19. Own

    Own Grasshoppah

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    Contacting the other continent is a HUGE bonus. On sid, they leave you in the dust very quickly, so it's useless except for decreasing tech costs.
     
  20. Heroes

    Heroes Heroes of Might and Magic

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    Interesting ... Let's try some comparsion using a combat calculator. First see attack value, assuming defender's HP is 4 (veteran).

    Attack 4 vs. effective defense 3.3 (pike on flate lands):
    attacker HP 4, attacker wins 60.4%; 5, 73.65%; 6, 83.2%.

    Attack 5 vs. effective defense 3.3:
    HP 4, 71.55%; 5, 83.1%.

    One more HP for attack 4 is roughly equal to attack 5.

    Attack 4 vs. effective defense 5.55 (pike in a city or town with wall, flat land, fortified):
    HP 4, 32.6%; 5, 45%; 6, 56.5%.

    Attack 5 vs. effective defense 5.55:
    HP 4, 44.25%; 5, 57.8%.

    Attack 4 vs. effective defense 7.4 (musket in a city or town with wall, flat land, fortified):
    HP 4, 20.05% (knight charge is over when meeting musket ...); 5, 29.55%; 6, 39.4%.

    Attack 5 vs. effective defense 7.4:
    HP 4, 29.6%; 5, 41.4%.

    All in all, when facing pike and musket, war elephant is almost as good as crusader, or even better for chance of retreat.

    Then let's see WE's defense value. Assume attacker's HP is 4.

    Being on flat lands and not fortified, WE's effective defense is 3.3, musket's is 4.4.

    Attack 4 vs. WE: defender HP 4, defender wins 39.6%; 5, 52.8%; 6, 64.35%.

    Attack 4 vs. musket: HP 4, 55.2%; 5, 68.75%.

    Being fortified in a city or town with wall, flat land, WE's effective defense is 5.55, and mustket's is 7.4.

    Attack 4 vs. WE: HP 4, 67.4%, 5, 79.65%; 6, 87.9%.

    Attack 4 vs. musket: HP 4, 79.95%; 5, 89.35%.

    Attack 6 vs. WE: HP 4, 45.75%; 5, 59.3%; 6, 70.6%.

    Attack 6 vs. musket: HP 4, 61.25%; 5, 74.35%.

    So defensively, WE is a little inferior to musket, but very close. The biggest difference comes from being attacked by cavalry (still only 3 or 4 percent), but how often could this happen?

    Conclusion: war elephant's additional HP is basically one more attack and a little less than one more defense. For good reason (balance), there is no 5/3/2 knight UU, but now there is a even stronger one! This is especially a shame to samurai, because in C3C it finds itself to be less good than WE in both attack and resource requirement, and even cannot brag for its defense any more! :D
     

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