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Critics required for an Emperor level game

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Makaz, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Makaz

    Makaz Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
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    Hi all,

    I am currently struggling with the 2nd phase of the game in my Emperor tryouts on Pangea. I usually tend to have the beginning right, with that strategy:

    + BO: scout, worker, stonehedge (religion+ge), worker, archers
    + tech path: calendar, mining (for tree cutting sh rush), luxury, composite bowman
    + policy: tradition

    I usually trade off my lux to rush buy 2 settlers to secure 3 good spot cities (+1 lux and some growth capability) before my comp bowmen capture a 4th (cap) for me which I in time annex to make my 4 powerhouses.

    At turn 100 I m usually sitting on 4 nice cities, national college built and a force of 4-7 comp bowmen that will take me through any war and 2nd religion in game.


    ....


    And then I mess up apparently - as I don t feel I m going anywhere. My usual path is to go education, build my road network, lots of buildings and backfill land with additionnal good cities while my early ones rocket up. I usually end up tech lead but AI has a carpet of doom of lower level unit such as a mowak which single out renaissance units with ease (have I ever mention how unbalanced is that unit) which lead to thousand of year never finishing wars. My religion gets extinguished by another and I lose any wonder race (see attached game for example where I feel like I have been in the same unmoving situation for 50+ turns without much progress, just killing units in a continous never ending stream)

    View attachment Harun al-Rashid_0188 AD-1280.Civ5Save

    So would be very grateful for:
    + any critic on things I have done wrong or should have done differntly in that game (city placement, building choices, etc...)
    + advice on how to continue this coming game through to a domination victory with the early goals of taking lake simoe (which slipped through for some reason), razing buffalo, then extinguishing the holy city of Edinburgh which overcomes islam in a way I still don t understand7


    Many thanks in advance for your advice. understand my request is quite selfish as I just basically ask for help but I m getting frustrated of wasting so many games middle way.

    Cheers
     
  2. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    Just as a general guideline, it helps to post a few screenshots... Although I like the game, it is a hassle to load a saved game just to provide feedback.

    A pieve of advice I can give is to watch video's by MadDjinn and other YouTubers. They have some very good videos with commentary. I learned so much from those that I was able to beat Immortal, just by paying attention to MadDjinn and studying his games.
     
  3. Makaz

    Makaz Warlord

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    Sure ! Although sometimes I feel hard to depict a whole situation with a couple of screenshots, here is what it looks like:

    The whole Arabian empire


    The capital


    Economy slide


    The religion


    The killer of my religion (celtic at peace with me) and main war front with Hiwatha of Damascus (there is another war going between Japan+china+celts VS cathi)


    2nd front of the war against Hiwatha and the half of the army I sent to conquer Lake Simcoe, invincible 3 pop town with a wall and a single treb in defense which held vs 4 longsword and an arbalest
     
  4. wloff

    wloff Chieftain

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    Dec 18, 2011
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    I took a look at your save. Just a few thoughts:

    - Sell your excess luxuries! I quickly went through all the other civs and pushed the gold stack to 800g and 56gpt just by selling any excess luxuries out.

    - You're a little behind in tech. In the big cities where the population can support it (10+ pop cities for sure), it's a good idea to put specialists in universities; this will both give you a nice science boost and also eventually generate some Great Scientists which are always nice.

    - You have a lot of excess happiness -- did you recently finish Notre Dame or something? Either way, there's a lot of decent empty terrain between your cities and you can afford the happiness: expand! Push out a couple new cities and they'll become useful still before the end of the game. Or just capture a bunch of cities, I guess, which reminds me-

    - If you're planning to go Domination, you need to push out a lot more units. Where are all your Camel Archers? Why are all your cities building banks when they should be building more units? Your gold income is fine (great if you sell your luxes), what you need is more military power so you can beat up your neighbors!

    All in all: looks like a nice position by the start of medieval, then you've gotten sidetracked building all kinds of fun stuff instead of focusing what's important, science and military. :) Your position is far from bad though, so you should definitely be able to win this one!
     
  5. Makaz

    Makaz Warlord

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    Thanks for the nice feedback already.

    May the bottom of the problem lie in the fact that I only tend to settle down spots that are truly awesome which leaves my towns too far from each other ? In this game is ok cause I can compensate the road network loss by bazar double luxury sales but before I start my road network I was at almost 45 GPT - now done to 25... However you can see hiwatha trying to sneak a settler in between my cities which highly depresses me. When seejong starts to do the same, I will have a nightmare to manage and a new enemy !

    I am also not consistent as I kept tikal whilst it was not in a good position at all :s and yes I picked Narjan very late with an aim to make it a tradepost in jungle science city to the long term and a hope to bridge a distance to lake simcoe which I was 2 turns too late in settling.

    Are my cities too wide apart ?


    The 2 other questions:
    + why is my religion being so beaten up I don t see at all. I have shrines and temples everywhere?
    + I usually tend to have a warfare classic with comp bowmen but then a peacefull consolidation medieval to renaissance before restarting the war machine once cannons and riflemen come in play ? Is that a bad strategy ? I tend to have little faith in trebs - is that a mistake ?


    Thanks again for the good comments
     
  6. Dogmouth

    Dogmouth King

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    My impression from your screenshots is that you're unecessarily stifling population growth. You have 12 extra happiness, salt, an oasis, several unworked waterside farms, and only 15 pop in your capital by turn 188. Also, you're running tradition and you're experiencing We Love the King Day! What gives? Have you been consistently working mines instead of farms? Keep in mind that those dinky little waterside farms generate more than 3 effective food because of your growth bonuses and aquaduct. Work them!

    Don't waste happiness. If you've got it, burn it on population growth or conquest.
     
  7. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    All good advice.

    Also, your cities too far apart to spread or defend your religion adequately. The Celts haven't even enhanced their religion and they are spreading better than your religion (because they started early, I would guess). Gandhi has itinerant preachers, but is on the other side of the Celts and not a religious threat right now.

    Remember that pressure has nothing to do with shrines and temples (one exception is your Grand Temple, which does double the Holy City's pressure from (in your case) 8 to 16). You need to abandon quaint notions of what makes a good city site. Drop a city at the road intersection (between the sheep and deer) at the center of the triangle formed by Baghdad, Damascus and Buffalo. Drop another on the hill next to the oasis between Mecca and Medina, another on the hill causeway between Mecca and Tikal, and two more in the no-man's triangle between Baghdad, Narjan and Tikal (one on the forest tile next to the sheep and 2 fish and the other somewhere in the middle -- yes, there are no luxuries there, but you can spare the happiness. Those cities will actually boost your trade route income (fewer road segments connecting individual cities) and help you defend your religion by creating superior pressure.

    As you pump out some settlers, save your faith for a 500-faith Great Prophet. When you are ready to settle your new cities, use the GP to convert Damascus, Baghdad, Buffalo Creek (ignore Buffalo for now), and Lhasa, to establish a perimeter. Your newly founded cities should quickly adopt your religion (within 4-8 turns) and significantly boost your pressure.
     
  8. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    If you are truly going for Domination, why care about how far cities are apart or religion? And as wloff said, what you are building only makes such a victory that much harder. You have a good base to work from (esp. happiness and gold), now put your focus into winning (tech superiority and lots of units) and not waste time on irrelevant elements. At turn 188, you should have 10-12 camels with half them at max promotions (double shots) by now, along with Cannons and Gunpowder units for support.
     
  9. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

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    Game looks, for the most part, decent to me. The one obvious weak point is keeping up science pace between universities and public schools. Focus more on working great scientist specialist slots and population to help bridge the gap.

    I'd also not worry too much about religion. It is a nice bonus when available, but the effort gone into trying to beat Boudicca in faith (who is getting massive pressure bonus potential from Hiawatha's city spam) you could have popped out a few more military units and puppeted half of Hiawatha's empire. Which would 1. Boost your science and 2. Drop his. In case you didn't already look, you were tied for second with science; the only one ahead of you was Hiawatha. Taking him down would have been game finisher and cruise control from there on out to whatever vict. condition you want.
     
  10. Makaz

    Makaz Warlord

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    Thanks a lot.

    I think I constantly worry about having an AI spawn city behind or around me so I tend to consolidate / grow my cities in an attempt to prevent agressive landgrab rather than just going all out on neighbours and maxing units. Also some bad experience with pre canon/artillery and post composite wars and a constant hesitation between going education or gunpowder so i end up doing both which serves nothing.
     
  11. Fluffball

    Fluffball Warlord

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    This did stick out a lot. Using only a single ranged unit means the defending city will tend to rip you a new one, especially with any defenses like walls and a ranged unit inside it.

    For a city like that i would bring a minimum of 5 ranged units and two melee units.

    Line your units up out of range of the city then turn 1. Move the melee next to the city, placed next to each other.
    Move your ranged into the tiles 2 tiles away from the city in a line from the gold to the iron. If you have siege then place them on the hills as they will not be able to fire that turn anyway and make sure any archers/crossbowmen are on the flat land so they can move into position that turn and fire.
    If your units can embark and they have no navy in the area i would consider 7 ranged and embark them to place on the desert + stone to the south as well. You could even place an extra ranged unit in the 3rd tile next to the city as there is no chance of a melee attack due to you having the city completely surrounded.

    The city and it's treb will do some damage in its turn so you will need to assess the damage done and decide if to pull out any damaged units.
    Fortify your melee and attack with all your [remaining] ranged units.

    It is unlikely you would do enough damage in a single turn to take the city so in the 3rd turn bombard with all your ranged, including your damaged units (if crossbows were damaged in the first volley and you pulled them out to 3 tiles away then move them back in to fire for this last volley.
    By this time the city should be defenseless or at worst require you to attack with both melee to take it.
     
  12. smallfish

    smallfish Immortal

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    Where are the Camel Archers ???

    Even 4 Camel Archers would do MASSIVE wonders against your hostile neighbors Celts and Hiawatha
     
  13. cmorganuk

    cmorganuk Chieftain

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    A few quick things just looking at the screen shot and on top of the good things others have said.

    Why isn’t Damascus next to the mountain? Same goes for Najran. Why isn’t there a city next to the mountain south East of Mecca? How did you let Hiawatha settle a city for the pearls down south?

    If you aren’t an experienced domination player at this level I’d suggest a science victory would be very do able with all the mountains and easily defendable positions you have. Get uni’s, observatories where poss and public schools everywhere, work the slots and the games a gimmie.

    To play domination, generically you’ll need 6-7 composite bow men rolling by turn 60, squash a couple of AI’s, grab education, then back down to pick up cross bows, cannons and all that fun stuff. Playing Arabia, as others have said, beeline Camel archers and get a dozen of them rolling. I’m not familiar playing G&K’s as Arabia, but I guess the aim would be to get them going around turn 90 on standard speed, is that do able?

    One of the hardest things I found about moving up to the higher levels (I’d say I’m comfortable on Immortal and I like to play domination), is first dragging myself away from wonders, quickly followed by dragging myself away from wanting to build every building in every city. Can’t emphasis enough about science and getting lots of early units (more economical to upgrade early units than try to hard build the later ones). These two things are key. Gold is just about selling luxuries and keeping a positive gpt. Culture and faith are very much side shows in this style of game.

    You seem to have a good grasp of the mechanics, now its just about focusing in on your VC more.
     
  14. Meanness

    Meanness Chieftain

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    Your economy is fine. Could it be improved? Sure. Cities should be 3-5 hexes apart to prevent opponents from filling in the gaps, your pop isn't big enough, more science specialists, sell more luxes, blah blah blah. But you're still in a good enough position to win.

    The big problem is you are bad at war. You should be building troops instead of shrines, banks, and universities. When I see 25gpt, I think "Not enough troops." And you should be building ranged troops instead of longswords. For Arabia, if you have an attacking force of 6-8 camel archers and 2 knights, you generally win. For other civs, use crossbows (promote to GGs). Whenever you think you have enough troops, build a few more.

    Finally, if someone is beating you with religion, don't try to compete: just kill them.
     
  15. Makaz

    Makaz Warlord

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    Thanks good good good feedback.

    I just really suck at the medieval / renaissance age. Before or after is usually pie. Lots of tips up there - settle next to mountain ... I forgot... Camel archer - well i tend to build a strat not relying on uu at this stage - I should try them some day although i m not for mounted units at all. Good advice to use more food to grow or strengthen religion, or taking lake simcoe.

    I would appreciate if some exp player would kindly indicate where and in what order would he have settled the land, and when to stop to start pumping units and go war for domination.

    Also is buying units from religion a worthy choice ? Rather than tithe?
     
  16. wloff

    wloff Chieftain

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    Growing your cities rather than expanding / conquering rapidly is fine, but then you need to really GROW those cities :) Work good food tiles constantly, get granaries / water mills / other food improvements up as fast as you can, maybe even get some maritime CS allies.

    You can "spend" your happiness either on having lots of medium-sized cities or a few really big cities - but you have to do at least one of these two or you're just going to fall behind.
     
  17. Meanness

    Meanness Chieftain

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    I want to emphasize this again - working to improve your economy is useful, but you cannot wage war this way. That city would NEVER hold against 4 xbows and a knight, or 4 camel archers and a knight. Move your ranged units into position and fire on the first turn (3 could fire on first turn, last would be on hill.) Keep your knight 3 tiles away. You may lose a ranged unit, but in two turns that city is down to nothing and your knight swoops in to finish it off. This city is also a perfect candidate for naval bombardment.

    Slow-moving ground troops are largely useless. If I use them, it's usually late game for opponents with bad terrain (where I'm moving 1 hex/turn anyway, so I need to absorb damage.)

    Not trying to pick on you - it's great that you are seeking advice on the forums, and I hope you continue. But to be successful, you'll have to forget the classic mindset of infantry + siege for taking cities. If you ignore UUs for the moment (although you shouldn't, because camel archers are a great advantage), you can win most emperor games with 8 archers and 2 horsemen, promoted through the eras and replaced as necessary. They have the added bonus of being excellent defensive troops as well.
     
  18. cmorganuk

    cmorganuk Chieftain

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    All civs have their own unique advantages. Personally I always play each civ as to try and maximise their advantages, whether it be a unit or a building. At the higher levels you have to be a really really good player to win just playing generically, say trying a cultural win with England, or city spam with a civ that doesn't give happiness bonuses.

    To play as Arbia and not use camel archers is almost like capping yourself in the knee. A camel archer on its own, you might think meh, I can pass that up. But its all about sometime down the road having 8 camel archers with tripple barrage, logistics and range. Now those bad boys can smash down some pretty big doors for you.

    Early city placement should be based on luxeries as you don't want to go unhappy. Fill in cities later I guess it doesn't really matter on the order. Whilst your 2nd, 3rd even 4th cities are building libraries is a good time to crank out units in your capital whilst waiting to build NC.

    Remember an archer is less than half the hammers of a composite bow. An easy mistake to make is to think I'll build a water mill and a work shop first, wait till I have another couple of pop and then build composite bows. But its a false ecconomy, even with the extra production it still take longer to build because of the extra hammers cost. You've also potentially lost 10-15 turns worth of experiance points for those units.
     
  19. Makaz

    Makaz Warlord

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    Noted ! Less infantry - more archers.
    More units, less buildings except growth related and science related which are top priority VS temple, banks, workshops & forge.

    First 2-3 cities on lux, then small ones to bridge the gaps
     
  20. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    Believe it or not, camels are among the very best units in the game, esp if you can get them early enough and get them promoted. If you want to do domination - start over. Otherwise, you are too late and you wasted time by not focusing on it.
     

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