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Civ recommendations for balanced playstyle

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Strategy & Tips' started by keepthebeat929, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. keepthebeat929

    keepthebeat929 Chieftain

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    Hi, folks. I popped in about a year ago and I'm back again.

    TLDR: Looking for recommendations on a civ to play with a balanced playstyle between warmonger/builder. I have tried all the Civs, am familiar with traits and UU's and have read all the Civ reviews, just want to see if there is an angle I haven't considered for what would suit me best.

    I wanted to see if anyone has any thoughts as to what civ would best suit me, based on my playstyle which I'll describe below. I play much more casually than I'm sure most of the people here do, but I'd love to get better.

    What I prefer to do is to take out the closest opponent as quickly as I can, to give myself that much more elbow room to expand. But then, somewhere between late MA / early IA, sit back and build towards Cultural or Space Race Victory (Domination, or what I call "Diet Conquest", is turned off, as well as Diplomatic). So I tend to place a higher value on early UU's and GA's than what appears to be consensus.

    Being a straight-up warmonger is not for me. I just don't want to spend the entire game grinding out wars. Which is why, as much as I'm in love with the Aztecs' quick growth and their Super-Scout UU (and taking a super aggressive Civ out of the AI's control), I feel forced to choose between playing a style I don't like or wasting their natural strengths.

    The problem is, even if you're not looking for war, sometimes war comes looking for you. So as a straight up builder like India, I feel I'm leaving myself vulnerable to being run over by an aggressive neighbor before I can get to my UU. So that's where I tend to use the Mil trait as a crutch, even if I don't want to be a purely warlike player.

    Who do you recommend I give another look to? Should I lean into a Civ like Greece and trust the Hoplites to keep us safe, and use SGL's to hurry SoZ/KT to supplement the war effort while I chase down a Space victory? Is Germany a better choice, with the head start on tech having the side benefit of keeping an advanced military, even if I don't get the optimal utility from the UU?
     
  2. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    The Iroquois have a strong early UU. With agri you get cheap aqueducts and therefore a better handle on unit support which is critical as an early repulic. Commercial gives yu a long term boost which helps with research. So this will suit you for the space victory.

    The Celts would be an option for the cultural victory, as is Sumeria.
     
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  3. keepthebeat929

    keepthebeat929 Chieftain

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    Just got around to starting up a game as the Celts last night, and I'm floored by how comparatively easier to play they feel compared to others I've played recently. I don't know if I just caught some bad RNG and/or mishandled them when I tried them before, but I wish I had given them a fresh look sooner.

    Agri/Rel for pop growth & culture building is primo, I'm growing super fast. I picked up an Ottoman city by culture flip somewhere around 0 AD. That's the earliest I can ever remember getting that done. And man are those Gallics lethal for those early expansion wars I love so much.

    And, as the cherry on top, there's the unique sea green color to make sure I'm never confused for any other civ.

    Thanks for the tip. I'll run it with Sumeria soon as well.
     
  4. Spoonwood

    Spoonwood Grand Philosopher

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    What level do you have AI aggression set at? If you play with the AI aggression level at least aggressive, and keep the AIs in a good mood (Polite or better), you might be surprised at how often they will remain at peace with you.
     
  5. keepthebeat929

    keepthebeat929 Chieftain

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    Whatever the default is. Only things I edit are victory conditions and the number of turns.

    I probably implied that it happens more often than it really does. But every now and then you get one that actually attacks you if you don't give in to a tribute demand (I tell them to kick rocks every time, just on principle).

    For example, I had a Rome game recently where I had taken out Persia really early and the Aztecs and Mayans were my next closest neighbors. Montezuma, aggressive stinker that he is, demanded tribute, I told him to pound sand, and not only did he come after me but got the Mayans in on it on the next turn. My Legionaries turned them both away and grabbed a couple Aztec cities to boot.

    I'm sure I'm making more of it than it really is. Learning as I go.
     
  6. need my speed

    need my speed Rex Omnium Imperarium

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    I mean, obviously? You say that you are not looking for war - then pay the tribute. Otherwise, what is the point of making demands, if no AI will ever follow up on them?
     
  7. jarred!

    jarred! Prince

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    It's just another setting to change, and you're changing other settings. I also think there are times when giving in to AI demands is a good idea, like when you're India and want to be a peaceful builder. Also keep in mind that if you have a smaller treasury you'll get fewer tribute demands, and, if alliances are unlocked, use them against your enemies before they use them against you! Don't be the victim of the dogpile.
     
  8. Fergei

    Fergei Chieftain

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    If you dont want to pay tribute on principle or adjust AI aggression then your other option is to maintain a large cheap army of low cost units. I believe number of units is understandably a factor in whether an AI will try to push you around. Obviously you'll have to pay maintenance - but every option has its price, that's why its such a good game.

    In terms of Civs that might match your play style Greece (which you highlighted with the hoplite) is a great option for a more defensive game. Carthaginians with the more expensive Numidian mercenary are another. For me though my favourites are the dutch, with their swiss mercenaries instead of pikemen. You will feel impregnable if you can survive until Feudalism.

    Something to consider is map size. The AI seems to go very aggressive when all available land mass is taken up. So if playing on small or normal maps you might need to go for the early boost of Greece. If you are going for a larger map then the Dutch might be a better bet as the AI might stay passive for longer.

    I'd avoid Scientific Civs as it sounds like you are liable to be threatened for any tech lead you build up. If you can stay poor and have 0 techs over a rival, then it seems very rare that they will declare war and they can be satisfied with tiny tributes, like 2 gold! Turning that situation into a victory might prove challenging though.
     
  9. Chicken Pizza

    Chicken Pizza Chieftain

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    I play that way too. The expansion phase, then the build phase.

    War is a mess, and I think that the game could give you more value for it later in the game, when expanding isn't that important because of corruption.

    I sometimes go for colony towns at all eight luxuries = 20 happy faces with marketplace, but you can trade that, maybe too easily, maybe you shouldn't be able to trade luxuries and resources at all.

    Capturing some of the more important wonders may also be worth it gold and shield wise, but it's a big investment and possibly a long journey.

    And unfortunately, you often have to take out two/three adjacent cities and/or buy a library to protect it from a cultural flip. A rather stupid and unrealistic game rule, or at least too crude, flipping single citizens would've been better.

    I suppose you can turn off cultural flip in the rules and use it only as a way of spotting and hindering enemies, besides being able to work more tiles.

    More difference in AI civilizations behaviour, not just the traits, would've be nice. For example a civilization that favours early attacking rather than expanding, or another one that defends itself poorly but is a good trader.

    The best civ starting advances and traits depends very much on the world, your starting position etc.

    I shared a large island with Persia and had about six towns before they managed to get their second, probably because of raging barbarians, I didn't get to see the action though.

    The start of the game is exciting and important, when every decision means a lot. Later on not so much, it's mostly building routine, with the exception of chasing your unique unit and producing it in large numbers.

    PTW is more fun. You get two rings, have to find suitable land to place them, military leaders can be used to rush wonders (or make an army) and uphold cost in republic is 1 gold/unit.
     
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  10. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    If you get too much value for unlimited expansion, then the expansion phase does hardly ever stop and it is just exponential growth.

    I consider the given corruption concept a good solution. You can still get more than 30% out of a corrupt city, but for that you need courthouse and police station. That will cost quite something.
     
  11. Chicken Pizza

    Chicken Pizza Chieftain

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    Absolutely, well formulated and thanks for the answer.

    I don't mind getting +1 damage on my missiles in Super Metroid (though a new type of a missile once in a while sometimes is more fun), or even pumping points into Blizzard in Diablo 2.

    But plain diminishing returns, percentually, are just boring. Especially when the game is gonna end in about 200 turns and you're not gonna get your investment back before that.
     
  12. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    Check out the tip in this thread https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...disorder-automation-fix.658077/#post-15785007

    As you conquer AI cities, you go into the city screen to set what it will try to build as it comes out of resistance. For that city only, click on the button to contact the city governor and tell him/her to "Manage Moods" The main effect will be to ensure that the city doesn't go into disorder from unhappiness after the resistance ends.

    A pleasant side effect is that the flip risk is reduced somewhat. Resisting and unhappy citizens increase the flip risk; using manage moods will keep them content, or turn them into clowns. You may or may not want to buy a temple/library in the conquered city to increase the local culture. Buying a cultural building will pay off to pop the borders in 10 turns, but won't do much to reduce your flip risk in those 10 turns. Taking out additional cities will reduce the tiles under foreign control for your newly conquered city, and that indeed does reduce the flip risk.

    I enjoy using this tip so that I can concentrate on the war, and not keep going back to adjust citizens placement to avoid a revolt.
     
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  13. justanick

    justanick Emperor

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    It is 10 culture for the first cultural expansion, but only in a mobilized war economy you get only 1 culture per turn. Normally you get 2 culture per turn from a temple and 3 from a library. So it is only 5 or 4 turns till culture expands.
     
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  14. Chicken Pizza

    Chicken Pizza Chieftain

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    Exponential without opponents, but the AI is pretty good at settling all over the world.

    When you favour military units, settlers and/or workers, instead of libraries and growing/developing your existing core, you'll fall behind in the tech race, have to pay more upkeep and you start losing more units.

    With 0% corruption, I'm free to decide if i want to populate a nice 14 tile jungle island without skirmish, or fight the russians for some of their land. The reward is the same: fresh towns.

    You can even divide your empire into two or more parts, all worth the same, and long expeditions become more interesting.
     
  15. keepthebeat929

    keepthebeat929 Chieftain

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    Yeah, I guess my "war finds you" thing was really just a function of my own lack of diplomatic machinations and military preparedness.

    Working on trying to graduate from Chieftain difficulty (don't laugh), so I've played a few on Warlord, with different stage UU's to give some variety. Germany first to explore their trait duality which I happen to find fascinating. Was going really well until it wasn't. Got behind on tech but beat a few out of the Inca to catch up and eliminated them soon after. I recognized the Iroquois as the obvious superpower based on their quick expansion and all the Mounted Warriors I could see milling about, so I made nice with them and got them to join me in beating up on Russia. We cleaned them out save for one city on an island. Culture flipped a couple Dutch cities, had resources, luxuries, a few "We Love the Chancellor" days going, had a slight lead on tech, one MGL which turned into a Medieval Infantry army and one SGL which I forget the wonder that I hurried, and I had just gotten Knights Templar and was beginning to spread Crusaders out to my cities when I saw a bunch of purple military units moving to the border. I even had an *active* trade agreement with the Iroquois when they broke it to start the war with me. After losing 3 cities plus them taking back the one I claimed from them, I retired out of frustration.

    I realized after that my mistakes were 1) chasing libraries and universities instead of building a better garrison first, and 2) instead of helping the Iroquois get even stronger, I should have recruited Russia and the Dutch to help me break them down.

    Games as Greece, Arabia, and the Mongols didn't really go anywhere.

    Started one as Russia and corrected my earlier mistakes, enough to basically stalemate with that game's superpower, Portugal. Picked up one of their cities which was originally a Dutch intercontinental expansion city but that was it. Steam ended up crashing when I hadn't saved in a while, so rather than replay it I just moved on.

    Enter the Ottomans as a wild card choice. Easy early game, big lead on tech, slapped around the Hittites a little so I could expand. Ended up with the Space Race victory due to some lucky resource placement, but not without a lot of diplomatic tightrope walking and feeling like I was at war constantly. Was definitely not the superpower of the world, as I was behind the Inca (same continent) and Sumeria (other continent) though Istanbul was the top city in culture. Basically had to bribe the Inca with an MPP + tech to get them to not keep attacking me. Fortunately did not lose any of my own original cities. Lost the Hittite ones I picked up in the early game but gained them back by culture flip later on.

    Now I'm in a Rome game which so far is playing like a Chieftain game. Already have 3 MGL's at mid-MA and just got done building Knights Templar. Love me some Legionary. Looks great, their unique sound effects are candidates for the "oddly satisfying" hall of fame, and he sure as heck does his job. I drew the "3" this time in a 3-5 continental split. Eliminated France who tried to start mess with me by sending only two warriors. They're gone and my only other neighbor is Sumeria. Korea, Carthage, Persia, the Aztecs, and Egypt (the latter whom I've yet to meet) make up the other continent. We'll see how it goes.

    Just wanted to get all that out of my system. Thanks for indulging my story time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020 at 8:57 AM
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  16. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    @keepthebeat929 Some key lessons I learned at Warlord, moving to Regent:
    - Keep troops on the border, or on the coast. Other interior cities don't get a garrison.
    If an AI could reach a city on the first turn of war, it gets a garrison unit.
    - Build lots of roads, so that troops can move from city to city quickly.
    - Use the army as a guard for your cats/trebs when you move up to bombard a city.
    - The AI loves to pick off my straggler units. Keep the fast-movers in a stack, and the slow movers in a stack
    - In my experience at Warlord/Regent, the AI invasion force is pretty much a one-shot deal.
    If you can survive the invasion, your ability to build reinforcements and deploy them should be better than the AI.
    Bring in your stack and make them pay for invading you.
    - I run Republic with the lux slider at 10% in peacetime. Boosting it to 20% during war, with Marketplaces built, usually keeps war weariness in check until my stack can turn the war to my favor.
     
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  17. Chicken Pizza

    Chicken Pizza Chieftain

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    No laugh and no advice, I actually love how everyone plays Civilization in their own way <random tom petty song here>. It's a new feeling for me.

    But I've been instructing my mom on how to watch a YouTube-video, while she was enjoying my assistance but did not listen to a word I said.

    Then she f-d me in the a, so feel that I'm entitled to give some advice. Not on your behalf, of course, and probably not the right advice anyway.

    So I would pass if I had anything more important to do. I don't. vorlon_me gave some good advice, and I'm not going to try to copy it or dispute it, just write my own thing.

    So I'm just trying to put myself in the situation of someone playing warlord, which means casual play, maybe even unplanned play.

    And I can't do it. I wouldn't say that's bad. On the contrary it's a sign of a healthy mind.
     
  18. keepthebeat929

    keepthebeat929 Chieftain

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    It is infinitely casual compared to the expertise thrown around here that goes way over my head, but it's still a fun and fascinating game after all this time.

    The Rome game went swimmingly, just to put a button on that. The only other war I was involved in besides the aforementioned France beatdown was a quick one just to pick up the Carthaginian cities from when they tried to expand to our continent.
     
  19. Chicken Pizza

    Chicken Pizza Chieftain

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    About building, this is how I try to think:

    A normal irrigated grassland or mined plain has two food, one shield and one gold. The person working it eats the food and needs the gold to stay content, so you're making one shield per turn from that tile.

    This is the abundance that you have available to grow your empire in a peaceful or not so peaceful way. Imagine if you could double it. Well, you can.

    In regent, three people are already content, two plus the automatic centre, and in despotism you get four military upkeep per town. That's seven gold just for settling a new city.

    Develop and work bonus tiles, any tile where the sum of food and shields are more than three. A bonus grassland is worth double as much as a normal one. But an irrigated wheat flood plain coupled with two mined hills or plains, also.

    In regent, with two tile workers already content, perhaps one luxury connected and one spearman to feel safe, irrigate and mine to get growth to zero when you're at... I'm to drunk to count now, five population? The point where you still don't need entertainers or the luxury slider.

    Have in mind that the spearman gives you one more shield per turn (not more because you've probably used up all bonus tiles already). Could he be used more effeciently, perhaps as an archer or even better a horseman?

    What could possibly be worth sending a unit out of town and basically paying a shield a turn for him? Chasing barbarian camps for 25 gold and elite possibility? Killing russians?
     
  20. Chicken Pizza

    Chicken Pizza Chieftain

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    About military:

    Having catapults to bring regular spearmen or swordmen to 2 hit points instead of 3, can probably half your losses of attackers, worth 30 shields a piece.
     
  21. patinthedesert

    patinthedesert Chieftain

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    Kepthebeat, Enjoyed hearing your account about struggling to improve. Keep going, just enjoy the journey. A couple of tips from one who is good at regent but struggles at the next level.
    Which government are you using? getting to Republic is a good idea. you get bonuses from improved tiles and you don't need to garrison units for happiness. When you go to war, the war weariness is not too bad but you don't want to drag it out as your citizens go negative after a while. And you can stay at Republic for a long time and avoid the change government anarchy penalty.
    Build roads to connect cities and bonus resources. Very important. In the early game you need about one worker per city.
    Strategic resources. You want to gain and control as many of these as possible. First iron and then saltpeter are almost a requirement to win as it enables better military units. And you only have to have one of each. More than one is a luxury but you may be able to use for trades.
    Luxury resources. Might seem like just a nice thing to have. But your cities get one more happy citizen for each luxury resource they can connect to. So when you have like 5 lux resources your cities are a lot happier, and more productive. When I learned this I got a lot better at Regent. Luxury resources are worth trading for.
     
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  22. keepthebeat929

    keepthebeat929 Chieftain

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    Thanks, I have been getting better with worker management, connecting the resources ASAP etc.

    As far as government, it depends on what civ I'm playing as. More military-oriented civs I go to Monarchy first and stay with that until if and when we get Communism... sometimes I never move from it. Science/culture-oriented I go Republic, then Democracy if I'm reasonably confident that I won't need to instigate a war. When in doubt I'll run Republic. Feudalism as far as I can tell seems to have next to no utility.
     

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