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Comprehensive UB Guide

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by WilliamOfOrange, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. drkodos

    drkodos Chieftain

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    I don't think I posted in this thread previously; I was waiting for the right moment (and to be unbanned).

    Chuck needed a vacation. And since we are getting ready to head into the Holiday season, and no one says Season Greetings like Heino, I thought I would show him some love. Heino represents my new attitude of tolerance and acceptance toward those people that think __________ is a worthy __________.


    Either way, I think this is a great thread and you have done yeoman's work in putting it together in such fine fashion. I have even pulled it out and printed it hard copy to keep as reference, so thank you!
     
  2. bovinespy

    bovinespy Chieftain

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    I just checked back into this thread for the first time in a few days and am delighted to see all the additional work that WilliamOfOrange has put into it. (Plus, thanks for throwing me a little recignition on behalf of my tireless pimping of the Incan Terrace ;) :D .) I would definitely nominate this thread for inclusion in the Strategy Articles section.

    I don't mind that grades aren't included, but maybe you might think about having a system of tiers, kind of like good ol' Ision (and Zaardnar IIRC) did for the tribes in Civ3.

    Oh, and thanks for asking drkodos about his avatar change - I was wondering that myself. Heino? You learn something new every day... Cool pic, though.
     
  3. WilliamOfOrange

    WilliamOfOrange Chieftain

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    Thanks a lot for your input. You reckon I should go and do some sort of ranking in a tier system. Is there a limit to the number of UBs in one tier? I recall reading the CIV3 cis ratings and liked that. So, tier 1, 2 and 3. Only three levels is good right?

    Oh, and how would I go about publishing this in the War Academy? I think I would like to wait a bit for some input from others before I do though.
     
  4. bovinespy

    bovinespy Chieftain

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    I think if you could get the UBs into three roughly equally numbered tiers, that would be helpful. However, you can't force it - if there's only a handful of really good or really crappy UBs, you shouldn't group other UBs with them just to make the groups 'even'. Plus, even more helpful is if you could break it down by builder/warmonger and land map/water map, as well as overall.

    For example*, maybe something like:

    Carthaginian Cothon - 2nd tier for warmonger, 1st tier for builder, 3rd tier on land maps, 1st tier on water maps - overall = high 2nd tier

    *(This is just for the sake of an example - you classify as you will.)

    I know aelf doesn't like the idea of grades/rankings because it's not objective enough, but I think that by assigning rankings, you'll draw out enough different opinions as people argue for/against particular UBs, so that the discussion itself will help to refine your rankings.

    Anyway, whatever you do - keep up the good work! :goodjob:
     
  5. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    I do think so, but ultimately it depends on why you write the guide. My UU guide is written to help people understand the different UUs better and not totally neglect certain types because they think those are useless. If you want to write a walkthrough kind of guide, I can see why you might want to include rankings/grades.
     
  6. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    I already said so, but I don't think grade are of any use.

    There aree 2 different times when this guide could be useful, and none requires ranking :
    1- before starting a game, and choosing a leader for a specific kind of game
    2- at the beginning of a game with a specific leader, and looking for what to do to make the best out of what your dealt

    For 2, your guide is quite useful, although the summary are a little lacking useful hints IMHO.
    For 1, your guide is no good. Because the summary doesn't say for which kind of game the UB is useful.
    So, my advice would be to add in the summary a notion of victory condition.
    For example mall is useful for time, space and possibly late domination. It's no use for cultural, conquest, diplomacy (except diplomacy via bigger cities, aka diplomation), or early domination.
    SO I'd add the following sentence to the summary of the mall:
    useful for time, space and possibly late domination/diplomacy.

    It's a way to give an entry for 1).

    The hints could be "the benefits are worth a beeline towards pottery tech" or "Useful in military production only"...
    You see my point, hopefully.
     
  7. bovinespy

    bovinespy Chieftain

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    Hi aelf. I wasn't trying to be snarky to you or anything, as I generally enjoy reading your posts/threads (though that Emperor's #3 is getting a little long in the tooth ;) ), I was just pointing out that I think some rough kind of ranking might be helpful, both in generating discussion to flesh out the guide, and also as a finished 'product'.

    I agree with you that are no 'useless' UBs (as there are also no useless UUs). However, depending on which leader/map/difficulty/overall goal you go with, a given UB may form an essential, somewhat important, or largely irrelevant part of your total strategy.

    For example:
    Say that I wanted to go for a Domination victory on an Archipelago map with Ragnar. In that case, the Trading Post would be a key element in my strategy, and knowing how to successfully use it would be very helpful. However, say I wanted to go for a Cultural victory on a Highlands map with Ragnar (don't ask why :crazyeye: ). In that case, whether or not I knew the ins and outs of building Trading Posts would be largely irrelevant.

    I guess what I was trying to get at when I floated the idea of tiers was something along the lines of:

    1st Tier - The correct use of this UB will be indispensable in attaining victory.
    2nd Tier - The correct use of this UB will be very helpful in attaining victory, but not essential.
    3rd Tier - The use of this UB will be largely irrelevant in attaining victory.

    Obviously, there would then have to be breakdowns depending on what kind of map you're on, what victory you're going for, etc., so that an overall ranking is actually the least important of them. Far more helpful would be knowing how useful a given UB is in a given situation (again much like the excellent work that Ision/Zaardnar et al did on the nation guides for Civ3).
     
  8. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    I didn't take any offense whatsoever. All I'm saying is it depends on the purpose. It's really OP's decision to make.

    Anyway, your idea is actually somewhat similar to Cabert's and does not really need a ranking system.
     
  9. Syndrome Zed

    Syndrome Zed Wanna see my quad laser?

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    William - great guide!

    As for the players who think the Mall comes too late, I just finished a game playing as Washington on a fractal map, but going for a culture vic rather than warmongering. Standard speed, prince level. The Mall's extra $$$ was the difference in my winning the culture victory and losing to an Indian space race vic. I had 6 cities, built malls in the 4 that had grocers, and was able to rush Hollywood with the extra cash. The culture boost was enough to kick my 3rd city to Legendary in two more turns, and as I found out by playing out the next couple turns, Gandhi was headed to Alpha Centauri just one turn after that. So add to that tale the usual disclaimers about "I don't know how this would have played out on Immortal" and "I know it's just one particular sitch", etc., but they sure bailed me out in that game. :)
     
  10. WilliamOfOrange

    WilliamOfOrange Chieftain

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    Thanks everyone. It's exciting to see people enjoying your work and adding their input. That was the idea. Right now I am putting together a spreadsheet with Tier rankings. I am trying to but objective, and not take into account too much which civ can build it, because I suppose that some people play with random traits and so synergy with leader traits should not be a basis for rankings. What do you think about rankings? There are two choices.

    1. Rate only the "unique" part of the building, what separates it from the building that it replaces and you would otherwise build.

    2. Rate the whole package, what the building does normally and it's special abilities.
     
  11. Mr. Civtastic

    Mr. Civtastic Chieftain

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    Rate the whole package, but I think you also have to rate the ub as related to...

    1. The synergy between the ub and the leader. Louis XIV likes the extra artist for cultural wins, but Napoleon is rarely going to find himself going for cultural wins and might find the ga clogging up his ge or gs production. Another example being Stalin mostly used for war probably wont need his ub and could very easily skip it, with Peter going for the space race would build one in every city. I recently finished a game with Gandhi, I didnt build one mausoleum because playing to his peaceful playstyle I had no happiness problems, while gp farming with philosophical meant I founded four religions...plenty of cheap temples (spiritual) to build if happiness every became a problem.

    2. When it becomes available. Most of the more popular ubs come very early (hammam,ikhanda, terrace, obelisk) and replace buildings that were already useful, while some of the less popular ones (and all my least favorites) like the mall, institute, assembly plant, and shale plant come fairly late. Besides the cultural aspect for being gunning for culture wins (culture doubling after a long period of time) I'll always find buildings that I have and build my entire civ career much more valuable then buildings I use over last 50-100 turns.

    3. Another thing for me is...would I build that building anyways? Examples being the stable, supermarket,laboratory, jail, coal plant. With those examples, I wont build any coal plants, jails, or supermarkets. I'll build laboratories only if Im going for space race, otherwise no. The stable I'll build in only a city or two if I do unless my uu is mounted, but otherwise I dont find myself building that many considering how strong anti-horse units are. On the other hand, Montezuma's warring and city capturing means I would definately be building courthouses, so the sacrificial altar is great, especially considering its cheaper and I always whip captured cities.
     
  12. WilliamOfOrange

    WilliamOfOrange Chieftain

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    Well, I worked hard all day and night yesterday to have something of substance for my 200th post, but now it seems I already have 200. :confused:

    Anyway, here is the spreadsheet that I have come up with. I think it's pretty cool. I learnt alot about Conditional Formatting and Lookups and all that stuff. I have been working on some other CIV related sheets lately, so it's been a great learning experience.

    As for this UB spreadsheet, I still have to work out some kinks, but just thought some input from people would help finalize it.

    Enjoy :goodjob:

    EDIT: the new and improved version is found at this thread
     
  13. Ljdjr

    Ljdjr Chieftain

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    That spreasheet is very cool WilliamOfOrange!

    My personal opinion is that when a UB is selected it would be nice to have a box where there is a brief description of the UB?

    One other small thing is in the Spanish Citadel portion of the original list you state that Warlord attached units get free promotions when I believe you meant free upgrades?

    Great thread!
     
  14. WilliamOfOrange

    WilliamOfOrange Chieftain

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    I was just about to post the final sheet with some corrections, but I think I could whip up what you are talking about. I love working with Excel. It can be quite fun :crazyeye: :mischief: I corrected the mistake you mentioned about the promotions instead of upgraded. Thanks for that.
     
  15. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    one thing you need to improve in your spreadsheet is "a back to 0" button somewhere.
    + selecting the leader didn't select the traits and unique building for me (in the blue box), it's not really a problem but it's confusing
     
  16. Reprisal

    Reprisal Chieftain

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    Well done! This is a good mix of introduction and deeper inquiry that will serve the new and experienced alike. Thanks for posting it.
     
  17. Phrederick

    Phrederick Chieftain

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    One thing worth noting is that I think the Cothon makes the Great Lighthouse less attractive: trade routes are not all equal, and any after a certain number get diminishing returns. The first couple will be the highest, and after that the rest are more likely to be domestic and only give 1-2 gold. Therefore, if I played as Hannibal, I wouldn't try to get the GL. The Cothon makes it less beneficial.
     
  18. WilliamOfOrange

    WilliamOfOrange Chieftain

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    That is an important point. There are some UB benefits which are synergistic to a point of almost devaluing either another building or wonder or leader trait or the UB itself. Another example is the Persian Apothecracy giving the +2 health, in addition to what the resources give, but Cyrus is Expansionist, so what is the point?

    I think it lies in the situation. Do the Persians have those resources? is there many FP but know forests? How big is the city and how much pollution? For the Cothon, if you had many other civs on a large water map, your last route or two wouldn't be that bad. Gives another reason to avoid Mercantilism, but again would depend on many other things. Give your largest rivals the Currency tech for example.

    Higher levels is makes a difference I bet, but I haven't played higher than Prince.
     
  19. Thyrwyn

    Thyrwyn Guardian at the Gate

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    Regarding the Cothon and the Great Lighthouse: it depends on your map and your diplomatic relations. I am playing Hannibal on a Large map with 13 other civs, I built Temple of Artemis in my capitol and the Great Lighthouse elsewhere. After Currency and Civil Service, the income in my capitol is wonderful :)

    It is true that all trade routes are not created equal, but then again not all of your coastal cities are going to be commerce cities - so don't build Cothon's in those cities. Your best trade routes will be concentrate in your biggest cities, which are most likely going to be where you are building Markets and Libraries to best take advantage of the extra commerce anyway.
     
  20. WilliamOfOrange

    WilliamOfOrange Chieftain

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    Sorry I haven't been around much, but between it being the end of the school year, going on a week long camping trip in the Brazilian mountains with the 4th Form and now traveling Australia for a month, I have not had a lot of time. I have attached an updated Spreadsheet and hope people can try it out over the holidays. Any critiques I will incorporate into the final version in the New Year. I hope any discussions about the UBs and the rankings I gave them in the Spreadsheet will continue to be posted here so I may use that in the final version as well.

    Happy holidays :cheers:
     

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