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Comprehensive Leader Guide: Pacal

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Molybdeus, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe I committed the faux pas.

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    I just started a game on Monarch with Pacal to see what I could make of him. I'm currently building Cuirassiers and warring with Charlie and Mansa and we'll see how the game plays out.

    I unfortunately didn't find a use for the Holkan but that's because I didn't try to use them. In hindsight, I could have used them with three close neighbours to stunt them. I really should have done that as I ended up getting more boxed in and they were teching quite well.

    I don't think the early religion route is a good one with Pacal. It's far too easy to get beaten to them and I see the Mysticism starting tech as moving me closer to the Oracle. There are more necessary food and military techs that need to be addressed before going down that route.

    The expansive trait and the ballcourt make for a whipping fiesta though. I had food heavy cities on grasslands that were able to knock out the necessary buildings and create an army quickly, which was useful for the warring I was doing to keep Hannibal and Napoleon happy.

    With Pacal as an AI, he seems pretty easy. He demands a lot but is not overly aggressive in my experience. He will tech away quickly though so that makes him either a good friend to have or a rival to eliminate quickly.
     
  2. InvisibleStalke

    InvisibleStalke Emperor

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    The perfect opening for Pacal is beeline pottery. Then bronze/hunting. Then head to construction.

    It all falls into place.

    He's not a religious leader - hes financial. Build cottages. Lots of them. Get the research as high as you can.

    Pottery first is a gamble for other financial leaders. If you then don't find bronze you may not have enough time to research archery or animal husbandry before the barbarians come knocking. But its not a gamble for Pacal. We have a resourceless unit that can slaughter barbarian archers which we can comfortably reach after getting cottages in play first - which is a big starting advantage if you have rivers.

    To me the Holkan is perfect barb defense - allowing you to concentrate on playing the best cottage builder in the game. You have more workers and a higher health cap and once you get ballcourts, a higher happy cap to match. So faster cottages, more of them worked, 1 more commerce per cottage... whats not to like?

    Stonehenge is a worthwhile build if it can be chopped with your worker army. Culture is a problem for this strategy because you aren't hungry for religions (don't need them and it takes away from cottage building) and you want to be working cottages as fast as possible not whipping population off farms to build libraries.

    Oracle is a possible detour. You have a high tech rate with pottery first and financial - so getting Oracle is easy if you want it. I'd probably only go for it with marble though - you are teching fast enough as it is with a financial leader and your hammers (which will mostly come from chopping) are probably needed to build more settlers.

    Other wonders aren't important. Expanding into more territory and building more cottages is. Hopefully you can find iron or copper and strengthen your defenses before you close on the AI, since Holkan's alone aren't going to hold back axes or swords.
     
  3. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Pacal can be a real monster if you can get enough good land. His UU is a quick antibarb tool ( and prevents some nasty early rushes ( P.S Looks good for a early rush too: cheap and resourceless ) ) and his UB can resolve a lot of happiness problems. A real nice leader if you're gunning for Space.

    P.S It is self-promotion :blush: , but there was a recent SG that played with him with the restraint of not doing and scientist specialist providers or :science: enhacers ( no GL, no Oxford, no univs, labs, libraries, ... ) with space as only victory enabled, the AZ-04: It's the Stupid Economy . Good for taking ideas, IMHO ( it was a pure cottage power game )
     
  4. slobberinbear

    slobberinbear Ursine Skald

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    OP: I like the idea of a leader guide. Thanks for putting in the thought and time to write it.

    As you can see, reasonable minds can disagree. When writing a guide, try to give choices and alternatives, the pros and cons of various strategies. Some leaders (like Pacal, apparently) can go in many different directions.
     
  5. Hawe Hawe

    Hawe Hawe Warlord

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    I played Pacal three times on noble and would really suggest a Holkan rush, but only if your enemy is very near. Even if you need one more tech than for an axemen rush you don't need a second city, assuming you don't have copper in your capital. Grow your city to the max and pump out mass-Holkans, this is enough for a enemy capital nearby.
    It didn't work in one attempt when it was to far away and the 2 archer defense was up. In this case I had to quit.
    As peaceful alternative the combo of financial cottage cities with cheap granaries from expansive is perfect. Cottaged cities don't grow fast, but with an early granary this is less of a problem. I loved Victoria in vanilla for that and the same with Pacal now.
    Together with his UB he is a very strong civ.
     
  6. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

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    I'm playing as Pacal just now and his trait/UB synergy is great. I have large cities surrounded by cottages = money!! Great leader but I haven't really incorporated Holkans into my strategy either .. I think they could be effective but my closest neighbor was quite a distance away.
     
  7. Molybdeus

    Molybdeus Prince

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    Dankok: Thanks.

    I'm not sure what the Civfanatics rules are on threat necro'ing, but in retrospect I wish I had more experience playing on Emperor before I wrote this thing. I've edited the initial tech paths to reflect the difficulty of researching early religions on Monarch+.

    I still think leader guides are a great idea, and wish better players than myself would write them.
     
  8. The Rook

    The Rook King

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    Just thought I would offer some input having just finished a game with Pacal, this was my first attempt with him, I played Emperor (default settings with Continents). I think he is probably somewhat underrated. His traits, UU and UB are very well suited to a rexing strategy. He starts with Mysticism, so Stonehenge is a useful build, chop it if necessary. The fact that he is Expansive means that if you chop 4 extra forests in a city you are at health parity with a non-Expansive civ. Financial will fund your fast expansion, and the Ball Court + Expansive helps your cities grow. The Holkan's great strength is in the fact that it requires no resources. No need to worry about Barbarians, no need to settle early by that tundra copper. Also, if you happen to have a neighbour too near by, the Holkan rush is very viable. The fact that it costs 35 hammers makes the 2 pop whip possible, so you can have a little army together in no time.

    In my recent game the Holkan turned out to be pivotal to my success. The starting position was poor. No copper, no horses. To the north there was masses of jungle (with one sugar resource), followed by De Gaulle, to the east there was ocean, to the west there were mountains and lakes, and immediately to the south there was Gilgamesh! To add further insult, his start was ideal for cottage spam (flood plains). So I needed to rush him, and the Holkan was the only unit I had available. I built a Barracks, then quickly whipped/chopped 8 Holkans. Gilgamesh is probably about the worst player to rush, with his protective trait, and expanding borders. But his Archers couldn't match the number of my Holkans, so his capital fell, and not long later his empire was no more.

    After that, there seemed to be wave upon wave of Barbarians, they really didn't like me in this game, and I had two Barbarian Invasions as well. The Holkans really held my empire together until I FINALLY connected copper, but no horses, in the end I controlled the largest land mass on the planet, but still no horses! Once these early difficulties were resolved, I aimed to grab COL, as it was clear that De Gaulle had no religion, and I was semi-isolated with him. Almost completed Oracle, but missed it :(, then used the sheer power of Financial (combined with a couple of Scientists) to get there the hard way. With us sharing the same religion, De Gaulle's attitude flipped to Pleased, so I was 100% safe. The main problem now was research, he wouldn't trade techs with me until I made contact with other AIs. Financial probably kept me in the game, I managed to win the race to Liberalism before making a single tech trade with the AI. Eventually the other AIs came to me, a right dodgy bunch of warmongering backstabbers too (Ragnar, Catherine, Isabella). Asoka was the only nice guy, but he was weak and insignificant. The leading AIs were so far ahead of me tech wise, and stronger militarily, I ended up turtling to a late cultural win (1913). Had to fight a couple of defensive wars first though. I laughed as Isabella ploughed 6 transports full of Cavalry and Artillery into one of my coastal cities full of Infantry (those Airships are great for reconnaissance ;)). Then I cried as she built the Manhattan Project a couple of turns later. Thankfully she was dumb enough to accept a peace treaty, and before she could break it, the game would be over.:D

    Anyway, I like Pacal. He isn't the flashiest leader, but his traits UB/UU are useful in a wide variety of situations, if you are prepared to play a poor start. His strategy doesn't revolve around any wonders/resources, he can normally adapt to the circumstances that come up. I'd rate him as Huayna Capac lite. ;)
     
  9. cracked

    cracked Wierdo.

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    I would agree that expansive is largely underated. Also, that I wouldn't play him as a religious leader.

    A good tactic on some maps would be to go for the great lighthouse, as expansive also allows for cheap harbours. Use the great merchant from the lighthouse to bulb metal casting and knock out the colosses. Should your capital be on a coastal spot with lots of fish mao statues there is ideal (very strong with bureaucracy). If you can then get the great library in a city, use the great scientists to build acadamies. It will depend on how quickly you can do this, most times it may be better to research maths then bulb currency with a great merchant. Maths is also on the way to construction, which unlocks your UB.

    Manufacturing isn't too much of an issue because your traits and Ub make running slavery ideal to develop your cities.

    In some ways, expansive jars with financial in the late game: Expansive makes it pretty easy to run state property or free market if you gain some corps, but financial makes environmentalism more profitable than both.
     
  10. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    3 years! :eek:

    FWIW over the last 3 years I've come to like playing Pacal for his early game REXability. Expansive of course, and financial so you can pay for it. Not creative but you get mysticism which is the next best thing.

    The big problem is if the capital only has livestock, in which case there is a lot of early tech required if we want to feed the people and build the excellent holkans too. So I think Pacal is probably the non-industrious leader I'm most likely to build Stonehenge with, as there is a good chance of getting it even without stone, and it's something to do while the first few techs come in.

    Edit: or maybe Gandhi :)
     
  11. cracked

    cracked Wierdo.

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    Tell me about it.
     
  12. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    They should put a warning on the box saying how many hours of our life we could waste if we installed it.
     
  13. Fluroscent

    Fluroscent Emperor

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    Other posters have given some useful critique. I am mostly concerned about how a civ/leader performs on higher levels.
    How you handle your marginal UU, your starting techs and traits on prince and lower is much less important than getting more basic concepts right.
    On higher levels, assuming you can easily handle lower levels, you can benefit greatly from subtle changes in your opening play by leveraging your civ/leaders strengths.

    Pacal, being EXP foremost, needs to take advantage of it's power. The main power of EXP is not in faster workers (though it is a great bonus, though remember you need four base hammers for it to do anything), but the discount on the granary. And in particular how this discount allows you to whip a granary at size 2, rather than size 4 (with only one hammer). This is a huge bonus in early development.
    So obviously, you need pottery and bronze working quickly. However, as always, you must work with your given land. Agriculture/fishing/animal husbandry are usually needed quickly. And you need hunting too, unless you foresee no barb problems.
    The less than optimal Mysticism is something that also does synergize with a REX opening, since you will need monuments for culture.
    Getting cities running with granary and monument in place faster than most civs is the main thing you can take advantage of when playing Pacal.
    Now, there are other things to worry about when REXing. Economy for one, and FIN certainly is a nice combo trait that will usually allow more expansion before crashing. And early pottery is obviously good to get cottages going earlier to recover the economy.

    Then there are the barbs. Usually requiring you to either: 1. spam a great amount of warriors to fogbust or 2. hook up a strategic resource quickly, often delaying a more important city site. Not so for Pacal, since he has Holkans.
    Holkans are not a unit that will do much if you are concerned with AI conflict. However, they are amazingly useful as barb control units. Resourceless is a great advantage when copper is awkwardly located for the capital and the best 2nd city site, which is the most common scenario.
    So really, any strategy advice on Pacal and holkans is severely lacking without mentioning their greatest use.

    All the stuff about war is pretty basic. Elephants and catapults are great for almost all civs. Only some have more incentive to wait a bit longer if their UU comes later but not too late.
    Getting a strong position early on by powerful and safe REX is Pacal's greatest asset. How you play from there has little to do with who you are playing, though you obviously will be tempted to build more cottages with the FIN trait.

    You can also consider a bit further and see where you might choose some things differently with Pacal. He will obsolete warriors quickly, which means early monarchy for hereditary rule may be a poor move. Instead, heavy use of the whip and settling more cities, the synergy with FIN and coast, means you may consider GLH with more priority, and the UB can compensate for lack of happiness otherwise while you whip out infrastructure everywhere, or whip out a catapult based army for an attack.
     
  14. enKage

    enKage Follower of Zoamelgustar

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    I finished my last game (Emp, Cultural) with Pacal and it was only 2nd time I played pacal. I constructed only 2 farms on wheat for the whole game :)

    I admire Exp a lot, mainly because +2health, but I used to play different civs til now (Joao, Mehmed mainly)
    Holkan as a rush unit? No way - especially when the enemy city is built on hills - and AI likes to build cities on hills even if it is not the best spot available. In practice it hardly ever allows to conquer all enemy cities, and if - only one nearby civilisation.
    For me Holkan is great as a fogbusting unit Monarch and higher - works great against archers, later even can counter axes, if placed on forested hill. And this is their only use for me.
    The problem with them is - if you research Hunting and has acces to Bronze - you cannot built any more Wariors. That's why I will never say Spear UU are nice UU (ok, except Impi). The solution is - do not connect bronze to your cities - mine it, but don't connect to trade route. You will be able to build either Holkans or Warriors. In case of emergency connect Bronze to built Axes.

    Greater power of Maya is on Rainforest / all kind of tropical maps - beeline IW and the world is yours. If you can grab Pyramids as well - even better. Rather early Universal Suffrage on this kind of map - and take benefits of developed cottages. Slavery and plenty of food (usually - pigs on rainforest = 6F) allows to whip without the risk of not working all cottages for too many turns. Exp + BallCourt help to work more tiles = cottages.
     
  15. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    QFT. This is indeed huge, and the cheap workers synergize with it beautifully to keep your uber fast growing cities working improved tiles. To me, EXP should be in the same category as CRE, ORG, and FIN as an elite trait.
     
  16. markiz

    markiz Chieftain

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    What does "REXing" and "beeline" mean?
    I'm a noob..
     
  17. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Odd this thread isn't in the sub-forum

    Anyway:

    "Rexing" is short for "Rapid EXpansion" or fast settling of early cities. Usually means expanding until you nearly go broke and then recovering.

    "beeline" is basically a term meaning "the most direct path between 2 points" or a "straight course". It is used often in this forum in terms of Research. That is, "beeline" a technology such as...say...Alphabet or Currency. It can be somewhat figurative in that sense or you can literally go to the tech screen and click on Alphabet and it will tech every prerequisite tech and Alphabet, thus "beelining" it.
     
  18. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    ^ Thanks for the clarification. Recently, some people seems to confuse REX with fast expansion along some early city conquest.

    Or does conquering early cities (in the BC period) count as REXing?
     
  19. vranasm

    vranasm Deity

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    imo it shouldn't i took the posts in zulu grab thread which refer to impis as a way of rexing more ironic then serious...

    at least my post was meant as ironic.
     
  20. Htadus

    Htadus A and L's dad

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    Current BOTM's leader is Pacal and this is my second game with him.

    I like him for the simple fact that he give me two imortant building from techs I would go after in any game. Pottary for cheap granary (and cottages) and construction for Ball Courts (and cats).

    For those who does not think he is a religious leader, i say he is as long as it is confusionism via CoL.

    As for early rushes with Pacal, I treat Holkans as a slow chariot with CR promotions available and can be done with just the capital as long as the AI is nearby. If AI get copper and axes show up, there is no hope for Holkens. including the damn barb axes in raging barb. grrr
     

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