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Conquering Emperor: Tactics, Tricks, and Lessons

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by feralminded, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    This article is really a combination of lessons I learned on my road to Emperor as well as general tricks and tactics that the community has contributed along the way. The explicit goal is to avoid anything overly strategy specific and instead stick to solid tactics that ring true under most circumstances. I was going for the 80/20 rule, hoping to find tactics that apply to 80% of situations knowing full well that Civ is such a complicated game even that is an ambitious figure. Regardless many of these have already been through something of a community review but I aim to continue to edit and update the list as time goes by. Some of these are even a notably basic but for the sake of clarity I went into extra depth, specifically when regarding improvements. If you find anything missing or inaccurate or confusing I welcome feedback.

    Table of Contents
    City Placement/Resources/Rexxing
    Building/City Layout
    Warmongering/Defense
    Technology
    Wonders
    General Tips

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to the previous thread.
     
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  2. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    City placement/Resources/Rexxing
    1. Food Resources: The major ones are Wheat, Rice, Corn, Bananas, Pigs, Sheep, Fish, Crabs, and Clams. The minor ones are Sugar, Deer, Spices, Cows, Whale, Floodplains, Green Wine, Oasis, and inland lakes next to a city with a lighthouse. Farmed grasslands are an absolute last resort pre-biology. Anything that doesn't produce 3 :food: or more isn't a food resource. Note that Calendar resources (bananas/sugar/spices) can and should be farmed if possible before you tech Calendar.
    2. City Placement: Every city needs a major early food resource of some kind and ideally would have a minor one or a second major one. Unless there's a resource you truly need there or you really feel it's critically imperative to cut off the AI with that city it's generally not worth building there. If you have to wait for Biology to feed a city you're wasting your settler and hurting your empire through extra maintenance costs. Your goal is to have at least 4 extra food early to either work specialists or production tiles. Obviously more is better but don't kill yourself trying to get 5 food resources in your BFC. Often times it is simply better to spawn two smaller cities than one mega city.
    3. Inner City Ring: If you must have a resource for a city to grow then you should put it in one of the 8 tiles adjacent to the city unless you're CRE. If you can manage to get your critical resources in the 8 ring of your first 3 expansion cities then you can avoid teching Mysticism until later which is a nice boost.
    4. River Tiles: Improve river tiles first when there's a choice. Why put a mine on a hill out in no-man's land when you can improve the hill next to that river. Every :commerce: counts.
    5. Gold/Gems: An early (first couple of cities) Gold or Gems resource is the sign of an incredibly powerful start. Not only are they very easy to improve but they more or less double your early tech rate once improved.
    6. Connecting Resources: Only military resources NEED to be hooked up by roads immediately and you only need one of each until you are looking to trade. Happiness resources come next. Food/Health resources are usually last. Unless you are at or near health cap don't waste time building a road to some Corn when you could be building a cottage or a mine or improving a resource of any kind or connecting your cities.
    7. Chopping Strategy: Chopping forests is a key speed boost in your early cities to get out critical infrastructure, wonders, workers, and settlers. That said don't chop foolishly or else you may be giving up a some free health bonuses and what will eventually become a production resource on par with mines/workshops. If you need to mass produce units for a meaningful rush or chop out a wonder certainly don't hesitate. Otherwise its generally wise to avoid chopping a forest in a mature city until you need to develop the tile.
    8. Mines: These are the most basic :hammers: improvement in the game. They add +2 :hammers: and add an additional :hammers: when you build a railroad over them. Additionally every turn they are worked there is a very small % chance they will randomly spawn a new mine based resource.
    9. Lumbermills: These are on par with mines when you get them (replaceable parts) except instead of being able to pop a random resource you get .5 :health: from the forest and can be built anywhere there's a forest. This makes them a suitable replacement for a mine on any forest hills you have left by the time you can build them. Lumbermills also allow a forest tile to yield +1 :commerce: if it is riverside (normally they don't do this) meaning a lumbermill on a hill next to a river actually has better yields than a mine on the same hill. Don't use this as an excuse to avoid mining those hills if you need them earlier that Replaceable parts, but it is nice to know.
    10. Workshops: These are often misused or misunderstood. They trade one :food: for one :hammers:. There are four bonuses to workshops available. Guilds, Chemistry, and Caste system add +1 :hammers: each. State Property adds +1 :food:. Once you've secured two of these bonuses workshops become useful and should be considered based on the city's needs. If you have three or all four they are very powerful. Workshops are generally not very useful if you have 0 or only 1 of those bonuses ... that's the key to using them well.
    11. Windmills: These add one :food: and one :commerce: to a hill tile. They have 3 possible bonuses. Replaceable Parts adds 1 :hammers: to a windmill. Electricity adds 1 :commerce: to a windmill. Environmentalism adds 2 :commerce: to a windmill. Windmills are clearly worse than mines until Replaceable Parts unless you really need the food. Then windmills have a slight advantage (trade 1 :hammers: for 1 :food: and 1 :commerce: until Railroads when Mines take it back (2 :hammers: > 1 :food: and 1 :commerce). Finally at electricity windmills again take a minor lead unless you specifically need the production of the mine. If under Environmentalism windmills have clearly incredible yields overall. Generally speaking if you need the :hammers: it's safe to keep a mine on a hill until electricity. After that its usually better just to go with windmills in non-production cities. Production cities should probably be left mined up though since they get multiplicative yields out of the mines' base :hammers:.
    12. Watermills: These add 1 :hammers: to a riverside tile. With replaceable parts they add another :hammers:. Electricity gives them 2 :commerce: (in addition to the 1 for riverside they already had). State Property adds 1 :food: to their yield. Because riverside tiles are so valuable generally you won't find watermills very useful (at least on grassland) until both Replaceable Parts and Electricity are discovered. Under State Property they should be considered nearly everywhere they can go as their yields are extremely high. They turn riverside plains tiles into 2:food:, 3:hammers:, 3:commerce: super tiles. Under SP they can also make riverside desert and ice/tundra tiles fairly productive.
    13. Unimproved Tiles: Generally if any city has the population to work an unimproved tile then that city has the population to whip out a building or maybe a worker to improve those tiles instead. Working unimproved tiles is a sign that you either don't have enough workers or need to be whipping out units or infrastructure.
    14. Overlapping BFC: Generally this is not as bad an idea as it seems for certain strategies. Again as long as you can guarantee each city has enough food you can use weaker neighbor cities to grow cottages for your larger more important cities. Even once past that phase the weaker city can still serve as a functional source of EPs and Gold. Late game trade routes easily pay for a moderate sized city's maintenance and then some and EPs are a direct function of your quantity of cities.
    15. Overexpansion: It's OK to over expand if you are getting quality land. An early territory lead can easily be turned into a game dominating lead later on. There's really no threat from falling behind in the early game since even archers/spears/axes will successfully defend your cities for a long time.
    16. Trade Network: Whenever possible have new cities connected to your trade network before founding them. This gets their trade routes up immediately which mitigates some of the financial strain pre-courthouse.
    17. Seaside Cities: Unless you have a special sea-based Unique Building or Wonder, need a production port for a naval war, or if there's a food resource it's not always the best idea to settle on the ocean, at least not early. Coast and Ocean tiles are average at best even with a lighthouse. Later cities are less sensitive to this since there are more Trade Routes available and Harbors and Customs Houses can add a large amount of commerce.
     
  3. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Building/City Layout
    1. Critical Infrastructure: The important early infrastructure for a city are Monument (non CRE), Granary, Forge, and Courthouse (only optional under communism, but still valuable). Border cities should probably build Libraries early and Theatres late as well. Ideally for every city you'll whip/chop out that monument (if not CRE), then Granary, then Forge, then Courthouse. Until those are in place your city isn't really a city, it's an economic sinkhole. Of course that's the ideal situation and there's plenty of times you won't have that luxury and will find yourself building other kinds of buildings or units to keep your city viable.
    2. Barracks/Walls: You don't need a barracks or wall in every city. In fact unless you are Celtic its fairly safe to never build a wall until necessary (SoD approaching, just whip it out as they're super cheap). Only build Barracks in cities that will be producing units much of the game unless you're Aggressive and/or are looking at Nationhood.
    3. Factory/Coal Plant: Any city that gets a factory should get an immediate coal plant or hydro plant if you have plastics and a river. I know the TGD is appealing but its MANY MANY turns after you could have had that coal plant operational and not worth the wait. Never, ever, consider Nuclear power as that "very low" chance for meltdown seems to happen all too often.
    4. Apostolic Palace: Once the AP goes down get those temples and monasteries up. Each building is like employing an engineer except with all of the other benefits and no food requirement.
    5. Super Cities: The only three cities that are always worth planning for long-term are the Super Science City (Oxford city), Financial Capital (Stock market city, Corporate home, and ideally home of a religion but not strictly necessary), and Military city (Heroic epic). Of course if you have the opportunity to build an independent GP farm go for it but in a pinch the Financial or Science city can serve as a ghetto GP farm.
     
  4. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Warmongering/Defense
    1. The Rush: The rush is no longer a guaranteed strategy. If you have a close neighbor and you have a very powerful early UU suitable for rushing then perhaps it should be considered. That said if your only rush option is the huge pile of axes then you really need to make sure that's your best option.
    2. Adjacent Forests/Jungles: You should always chop down all forests and jungles adjacent to border cities. Don't give enemy SOD any help.
    3. Defending Barbarians: You need to have either Archers, Metal, or Horses by 2000BC, 1500BC the latest, or else you are rolling the dice against the Barbarians. They will have archers around 2500BC and they will cross your borders around 1500BC (anyone know the exact dates for Emperor?)
    4. Defending Seafood: If you have seafood you need to be ready to deal with Barbarian Galleys by 500BC. Either have galleys of your own ready or have the coast completely covered so none can spawn.
    5. Escorts: You cannot safely send blind settlers anywhere outside of your borders. You either need a full time escort or a fogbusting strategy that will protect them while they get to their destination.
    6. Military Advantage: The earliest you can expect a military technological advantage (without a UU) is typically Cuirassers. If you cannot win a war at equal or lower level technology then this is the soonest you should plan on conquest.
    7. Choice of Advantages: For Renaissance era military advantage you have three basic options: Cuirassers + spies (eventually becoming Calvary + Rifles), Cannons + muskets/maces/pikes (eventually becoming Cannons + Rifles), or just Rifles (eventually becoming Cannons + rifles). You decide what suits you but the Cuirassers are the fastest followed closely by the cannons with rifles being the slowest. Pick what path you are going to go for early so you can prepare (Cuirassers need a ton of spies and EPs for your target but can very quickly conquer all backwards AIs, Rifles need a serious investment in research but can give you an unbreakable military advantage if you quickly draft up your army as soon as you pop this tech, Cannons require a standard army SoD before you get them but will handily dominate all AI's until they get Rifling).
    8. Stack Defense: This becomes important and specific counters are very important. Don't send out a stack of doom filled with CR3 Maces and nothing else if the enemy has knights or crossbows. Elephants or Pikes/spearmen promoted to formation, Maces/axes or Crossbows with Shock, and Archers/Longbows with Guerilla are all very strong stack defenders. When stack defending against equal or stronger units you absolutely require specialization.
    9. Terrain Use: I know it seems obvious but so many people fail to move effectively with their units. If an enemy SoD is coming at one of your cities with a hill next to it park a couple of guerilla longbows on that hill if you can spare them. The AI will either sacrifice 5+ units taking the hill which is a net gain for you or just avoid the hill and take the low ground opening them up for savage counterattacks. Your offensive stacks should always be moving through forests or jungles or hills and whenever possible exposing themselves only across rivers.
    10. Fight Dirty: If you're in an early war sacrifice a fast unit to deny the enemy their Copper ... game over. If you have a UU like a Keshik or Impi you should almost never have to buy a worker. If you can't take an enemy city but they have a hill or forested hill next to them its still worth DoWing on them and parking some archers and a spear on that hill.
    11. Upgrading Units: Outdated units are rarely worth upgrading. Unless they have several promotions they are better served in one of three positions: Serving garrison duty in the interior, as sacrificial units in your SoD (assuming they're technology is still relevant), or helping your happiness cap if you are running Hereditary Rule. If a unit cannot fill one of those three roles its usually best just to "retire" them.
    12. The War Elephant: This is in a way an extra Unique Unit (unless you're unfortunate enough to be Khmer). If you have the very rare Ivory it is possible to leverage that into a very strong military advantage. If you are lucky enough to find it then it's usually worth leveraging through a construction beeline. A shock elephant will literally run over anything in its path until Feudalism ... you won't even need catapults. If you have slightly backwards neighbor you can make a big land grab with even just a handful of these supported by some city defenders and a medic.
     
  5. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Technology
    1. Worker Techs: At the beginning of the game you ideally need to be able to work a tile immediately when your worker pops out. This means you may need to research Agriculture, Hunting, Fishing, or Animal Husbandry out the door.
    2. Bronze Working: Once you have your food (and your starting techs may do this for you) the typical goal is Bronze Working so that you can chop your way out of the hole you start in.
    3. Early Tech Strategy: Unless you have a very specific strategy in mind the early tech strategy is get the worker techs you need (this is based on the resources immediately available), get archery if you have no metal or horses, maybe get mysticism if you feel you really need it, and then head to Writing. If you want The Great Lighthouse you may need to get Sailing/Masonry before you go Writing. If you are CE you need Pottery before writing as well. Regardless of what you do you need either Pottery or Animal Husbandry to tech Writing.
    4. Aethetics or Alphabet: Once you go Writing you can choose either Aethetics or Alphabet and aggressively trade from there. If you go Aesthetics you will need to trade for Alphabet at some point although on higher levels often most if not all of the AI's will have Alphabet so you can always trade with them. Remember as long as one party has Alphabet you can tech trade. On Emperor its really a toss up because slower teching AI's will usually not hit Alphabet before you and if you don't care about Parthenon you might want to trade with them ASAP. On Immortal+ the majority of the AI's will have alphabet before you could get there so Aesthetics is the clearly better choice.
    5. Skippable Techs: For early techs you usually don't need Meditation for some time (you only need it when you are ready to bulb philosophy). You can often skip Hunting/Archery entirely if you have metal and don't have deer/fur/elephants. Its even possible to delay Alphabet for quite some time if all the AI's have it already (it's not strictly necessary until printing press).
    6. Over Trading: Do NOT trade for techs you will not use or trade away. There is a diplomacy hit from being too advanced in some AI's eyes as well as a hit trading with people's worst enemies. Techs like Hunting, Archery, Monotheism, Theology, Drama, Music, Divine Right, Aesthetics, Literature, and Military Science/Tradition are all sometimes optional. Even if you wind up needing one of these techs much later its usually so fast to tech or so cheap to trade for its not a big deal.
    7. Bulbing Education: Any way you slice it you want to have a Great Scientist to tech most of Education for you. If you are Phi you can stop reading now. For everyone else if you land the Great Library this can usually be your second or third scientist. If you don't then odds are you may need to run some Caste System and/or Pacifism to get the scientist as desired or simply save your first scientist. Ideally you will pop a scientist to build an academy/settle, then a scientist to bulb philosophy, then a scientist to bulb education. Non-phi, non-parth leaders can and usually should aim for that.
    8. Bulbing Anything: Do not be afraid to bulb with your GPs, even the late ones. If they can get you even halfway to a decent tech its usually worth it. If they can't get you a decent tech then either they can help you get a decent tech later or can make you a very useful Golden Age.
    9. Critical Techs For CE: Civil Service for Bureaucracy, Liberalism for Free Speech (although don't immediately jump unless you have a lot of towns outside of your Capital), Printing Press for the big commerce jump, and Democracy for Emancipation/Universal Sufferage.
    10. Critical Techs For SE: Writing (for library), Literature (for the Great Library), and Biology (only if you are planning to run late game SE ... hybrids don't care as much).
    11. Liberalism: As discussed in the Warmongering section once you win the Liberalism race you have the opportunity to achieve a military technological advantage. If you want Cuirassers you will need to have traded for music and will take Nationalism with Liberalism. From there you need Military Tradition and Gunpowder (which you can sometimes trade for). If you want Cannons you need to trade for engineering and ideally tech or trade for Gunpowder so you can pop Chemistry with Liberalism and Steel is next. If not you may need to use liberalism on gunpowder and then tech your way through Chemistry manually. In any case Steel is next after Chemistry. To get rifling you use Liberalism to get Printing Press and then manually tech Replaceable parts (requires Banking which can be hard to trade for) and trade for Gunpowder if possible. If you don't desire a military advantage you can choose to go Printing Press (or chemistry if there) to try and beeline your way up through Scientific Method (usually for early Biology in an SE) or Nationalism to beeline up to Democracy (you now need Printing Press and Constitution to get there).
     
  6. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Wonders
    1. Stonehenge: This is usually not worth it unless you start with Mysticism and/or you're Industrious and/or you have a Monument UB and/or you're Charismatic. Ok so there's plenty of times it's worth it, but not necessarily ALWAYS. The early Prophet is nice but Mysticism is a tech that is fairly easy to delay with forethought so be certain you NEED this wonder when investing for it.
    2. Oracle: This is only useful for very specific slingshots. That said to get it you are giving up any chance at a power-rexx or early rush campaign. Sometimes it's still worth it but under most circumstances you're better off heading to writing.
    3. The Great Wall: This is most useful if you are interested in an EE or are playing on large maps and/or marathon pace. The early Great Spy this can spawn has many uses. The AI doesn't necessarily rush this one so if you're IND and have stone you may be able to pick it up really cheap (its like a chop away) but otherwise the hammers are probably better spent on settlers/workers/units.
    4. Building Early Wonders: If you want to build cheap early wonders like Stonehenge, Oracle, Great Wall, you should beeline right from the start and use forests chops/mines to build them. Delaying to get unnecessary techs or connect that quarry might cost you the wonder on Emperor.
    5. The Pyramids: These are only useful if you are going for an SE. Even then on Emperor you better have stone and/or be IND. Otherwise those hammers make a whole lot of settlers/workers/units. It takes 500 hammers to build this wonder. A whip is 30 and a chop is 20. Its not pretty without stone and/or IND.
    6. The Great Lighthouse: This might just be the most powerful early wonder as it allows you to Rexx well beyond normal financial limits. That said you have to go early Sailing/Masonry and have to build most of your cities on the coast to get use out of it and if you aren't IND its a very slow wonder to produce. Regardless this is the only wonder that's strong in virtually any economy.
    7. The Great Library: It is almost always worth going for this but its not the end of the world if you miss it. On Emperor you really can't screw around if you want it. Sometimes you can get away with teching through Civil Service before going Literature but to be safe it's not a horrible idea to get Code of Laws and switch immediately for it or even sooner (1AD is a "safe" Glib build date). Even so if you are not IND and don't have a GE and don't have Marble this is a very expensive wonder. Without any of those it's still possible and usually profitable, just save 2-3 forests specifically for it.
    8. Taj Mahal: If you aren't spiritual or SE then the Taj Mahal is a very nice way to make the big civic switch over that usually comes around that time (Free Speech, Universal Sufferage, Emancipation, Free Religion). However don't run out and tech nationalism just to get the Taj ... it's nice but not that nice and the AI almost always goes for Nationalism early so its easy to trade for if you need it later.
    9. Other Wonders: Most other wonders are fairly optional and thus only build them IF they are cheap for you (IND/resource) OR your strategy requires them.
     
  7. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    General Tips
    1. Workers: Most players do not build enough workers. Getting cities online faster is turns saved in the long run and nothing helps that like tile improvements. You should never have to work an unimproved tile except perhaps when a city is first starting up.
    2. Wasting Worker Turns: Some players over-improve land. Generally speaking you only need a tile or two more improved than the size of the city. A size 6 city does not need 15 improved tiles.
    3. Land: Repeat this mantra: Land is Power. Land is Power. Land is Power.
    4. Religion: Repeat this mantra: I do not need to found a religion. I do not need to found a religion. I do not need to found a religion.
    5. Slavery: It's the best thing to ever happen to humanity (at least in civilization). Unless you're Phi or Spi it's probably the only Labor civic you need to run until you have to go Emancipation. Don't ignore Caste system if you have the opportunity as you can really crank out Great People, but for at least the early part of the game it's all about killing population to produce anything you need ASAP. Oh and Serfdom is a cruel joke ... run it if the AI is too easy for you.
    6. Early Scientist: Generally speaking as soon as you build your first library (presumably in your SSC/captial), you will want to start working 2 scientists ... under virtually any economy. Great Scientists are just critically important.
    7. Hereditary Rule: Unless you are going Rep via Pyramids Hereditary Rule is a very powerful civic. Early game happiness is a far larger concern than health, specially with how much whipping you will need to be doing. HR puts those early units to good use and facilitates nearly unlimited whipping and warmongering. Do not let a happy cap keep a city down, specially if its your SSC or Financial city where more population is almost always equal to more research or money.
    8. Over Paving: Whenever possible avoid putting a road on an unimproved tile next to a forest. Roads halve the chance a forest will grow onto an unimproved tile and growing a forest there can be looked at as free :health: or :hammers: depending on your needs.
    9. Focus: As cliche as it sounds focus is key. If any action you are taking does not further your current cause then it's wasted turns/hammers.
     
  8. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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  9. FlyinJohnnyL

    FlyinJohnnyL You need more workers....

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    Very nice article. Hopefully after a couple more strong Monarch wins, I'll be giving emperor a try, and I'll be using this guide to help me out!

    One question-you say to try to have your new cities already hooked up to the trade network, which makes sense. Do you send a worker out there ahead of time to road to it then? I guess I've never really thought about doing that before...should an escort come along as well (in case of panthers), or does the movement of the road usually keep the worker safe?
     
  10. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Well that tip is really concerning later in the Rexx when you probably have a fog bust setup and its not animals anymore but archers and whatnot out there. Early when you are founding cities 2-4 your workers will almost universally be tied up chopping or improving your capital and #2 city. But yeah you don't want to ever risk a worker since they're so damned expensive. A worker on a road is fairly safe from most barbs but yeah ... wolves and panthers are big risks early ... far scarier than barb warriors.
     
  11. QuixotesGhost

    QuixotesGhost Warlord

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    One important aspect of going early Alphabet that many guides neglect to mention is that not only does Alphabet enable tech trading, it enables tech bribes. Some careful bribes done this early can potentially effect the diplomatic landscape for millennia. With the more warlike leaders, bribing them to declare is often not required; bribe them to close borders instead and often the diplomatic relationship between the two will deteriorate to the point where war breaks out of its own accord. I think the capability to do this is an important factor in deciding if early alphabet is the right play.

    Also why no discussion of mathematics (your other choice against alpha or aesthetics)?
     
  12. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    You can still bribe them as long as they have alphabet which is usually the case on Emperor (and universally the case on Immortal) ... its still only required by one party. I've played games where I didn't pick up alphabet until after liberalism when I started looking at printing press (can anyone tell me what kind of literature we've got without alphabet and of what use is paper?) As for Mathematics what are you after? Is it for a construction beeline if you have ivory? Mathematics is one of those techs I rarely ever consider getting on my own since the AI almost always beats me to it and is almost always willing to backfill for me ... but that doesn't mean its a bad idea ... I am by no means the strongest Emperor player.
     
  13. QuixotesGhost

    QuixotesGhost Warlord

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    Now don't get me wrong, I've held off on Alphabet myself until Printing Press as well some games. However, generally the type of AIs you want to bribe are not the type of AIs that tend get Alphabet early. If I have Ragnar in my backyard and war isn't an option; then I want to tech Alpha ASAP to get him to friendly with trades, and to sic him on another AI.

    The decision to grab early Alpha yourself is very much about wanting to play an early diplomatic game, and sometimes waiting for an AI to tech it can cost you a DoW. Holding a monopoly on alphabet (however brief) means that you are the only person who can actually improve relations through tech trade. If you wait for another AI to tech it, that means that you can be trying to bribe an AI to declare against a third party at pleased; if you're first to it then you're trying to get them to declare at cautious - big difference.

    I think my most evil application was during a Lan game with my roommate. I was first to Alpha and traded around for Horseback Riding. Then I called Genghis up and traded him Horseback Riding in exchange for closing borders with my roommate. Like clockwork 25 turns later, Genghis DoWs on him with Keshiks. *Insert Spy vs. Spy laugh here*


    On Mathematics, it goes really well with the 'mids. Not only you can often get it soon enough to help you chop out the last half of the 'mids, but it opens up The Hanging Gardens. The Hanging Gardens produces GE points as well, raises your health cap to go with your higher representation happy-cap, and also requires stone.

    You build the Gardens alongside the 'mids and you often pop a GE right around the time you finish Aesthetics which you can either use to rush the Parth or GLibrary. (Generally I'll rush the Parth and chop the GLib)

    Since it's time-sensitive, and you really want to get that GE out as soon as possible (so you can run other specialists with rep). I'd rather tech math myself instead of waiting around for an AI to back-fill it for me. Plus the 'mid and Garden city is generally good for another GE over the course of the game.

    On the construction bee-line, the appearance of longbows fairly early on Emp often make it too risky unless you have ivory.
     
  14. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    This is a nice sum-up guide for advanced players in general, but in my opinion everything in this game breaks down into how you manage the stuff that your land is trying to give you. If you listen to what your land has to say, you win. If you don't, you loose. :)

    This game is really about playing on weaknesses of the enemy: build stuff what your enemies can't counter easily. Out-tech the warmonger, conquer the culturemonger, and steal from the techmonger. How you acually do it, what techs, buildings, wonders, or units you build is just cosmetics depending on the land you get. I never make plans before I see what I work with. Everything in this game gets built... somewhere. There's no reason for the city that built it to remain in the hands of the original owner. :D
     
  15. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    feralminded thanks for the nice guide. I'm still reading it, but could you please add to this point that using the Sea Patrol mission means you can defend your seafood without having to attack the barbs or sit on the tile. Using this, you can defend ocean tiles from coast tiles (thus with extra 10% defense) and you can defend more than one seafood tile if they are close by (eg. 2 seafood in capital). The sea patrol I think is an often overlooked feature so it might go well in this guide.

    Cheers
     
  16. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    The sea patrol mission I do not believe will affect barb pops. Ultimately at the end of every turn a barbarian has a chance to pop in any tile that is gray. The only way to be certain there's no barb pops is to have all the fog busted ... which is usually accomplished with a combination of sea units (can even be fishing boats if you like) and cheap units along the coast covering what your coastal units can't see.
     
  17. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Hmm ... I've done things like this on monarch and whatnot. Heck on prince I thought I hit gold when I combined 'mids/gardens/hagia in the same city ... I also dropped the ironworks in the same city and ended up with like 4 engineers over the course of the game. Obviously that didn't work out at emperor quite as well.

    Regardless I'm going to hold off on mentioning mathematics because its a very specific strategy (you will want at least stone and probably IND and be playing SE). The goal of the guide is to provide tactics that are applicable 80% of the time and I think Aes/Alpha cover that easily (I'd say 90-95%)
     
  18. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    I think you misunderstood my post.

    The Sea Patrol mission is a specific order that units like galleys and triremes can be given, just like Blockade or Sentry.

    When a unit is on Sea Patrol, it sits on the one tile, and automatically defends any improvements adjacent to it from pillaging. If I have a trireme on Sea Patrol on a tile adjacent to two fishing nets, then if a barb galley came along and tried to pillage the fishing nets (or attack the trireme), the trireme would automatically defend the nets engaging in combat with the galley but not having to leave its tile. In this way, you still gain the benefit of the +10% defense if you sit it on a coast tile.

    The Sea Patrol mission is not supposed to have anything to do with preventing barbs from 'popping', just making it easier to prevent the barbs from killing your ships or pillaging your resources once they do wander into your territory.

    On water heavy maps, mastering the use of Sea Patrol is almost essential in my opinion, particularly before you can build triremes and you are still using galleys for resource defense.
     
  19. feralminded

    feralminded Obsessive Number Cruncher

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    Fair point, I'll see about making a note of the sea patrol mission for defending coast. Ultimately I was hoping to cover it mostly just by making that the best counter barb strategy is a fog bust but on larger maps or with lots of islands this is obviously impossible.
     
  20. champ82

    champ82 Immortal Ruler

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    Feralminded, thanks. I started an emperor game after reading this article. It's probably my 8th or 9th attempt. I'm at 1800 and not everything's gravy but I feel like I have a fighting chance - which is the first time I can say that about Emperor. I found the city placement guide and the advice not to farm regular grasslands most helpful.

    Thinking a culture victory might be possible.
     

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