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Critique my Game

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Wrathful, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Wrathful

    Wrathful Chieftain

    Oct 7, 2016
    Hello everyone. I am currently playing a game with Charlemagne (best leader ever) and am hoping to get some advice.

    Settings? Standard fractal.

    Here's the starting screen if you want to play on your own. The save is attached.
    Spoiler Start :

    Charlie Start.png

    I have played to Turn 75 and am not sure how to continue.
    Spoiler My game :

    I'll start with a rundown of my game. I settled in place. Capital seemed pretty good: good food and loads of forests. Techpath went Agri > Mining > BW > Wheel > AH > Fishing > Pottery > Writing. I was pleasantly surprised to find copper on the grass hill.

    Second city claimed a gold and shared one of the capital's corns. Figured I would use that city to tech while my capital pumped out settlers and workers. IMP did a lot for me in this game...this map is well-suited for it. Got 30 failgold or so from Stonehenge too.

    Even with copper in capital, I had barb troubles. The thing is, as you all know, Charlie's starting techs are pretty awful. I needed three techs to hook up the copper (and obviously needed to tech Agri before all that.) So copper came pretty late, around T40 if I am not mistaken. In the meantime, I lost two warriors to barb archers on the same jungled hill. On the other hand, my scout defeated a barbarian archer at a 2% chance!

    Long story short, my third city (Vienne) was delayed a few turns.

    That brings us to T75. Not much else to say, really. The quality of land seems poor in general. Lots of jungle and desert. Yeah, yeah, there's three golds, but you can't tech that far with just gold. (Right?) I've explored a good deal of the map and have found exactly ONE riverside tile. And there's a barb city on top of it.

    So commerce seems to be the issue here. I could expand to 8 cities or so, but none of them really bring a lot of commerce.

    No good trading partners. Sury is the best techer among them I guess. Toku is Toku. Hope Kublai doesn't attack me.

    Don't know what to tech next.

    What to do?

    Attached Files:

    krikav likes this.
  2. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

    Aug 25, 2011
    I started to play this, but got really tired and have to call it a day early, might revisit the game tomorrow, but here is some feedback in the meantime.

    You can trade away your fish to toku, and then give copper for khans fish instead, would increase diplo with both while retaining health. (Khan already has swordsmans which he boast about in your save, so he has iron.)

    Perhaps the cold-city would have been better 1W, that way that city would hold both golds, and delay the need for the clam city?
    I think I would want to focus expanding inland toward the AIs longer, I think I would ignore seafood for a long while.

    I did a short play up to T25-30 or something, just to get a feel for the land.
    Did the same opening as you did, although I had no problems at all with barbs, lions seemed to live forever and was then promptly replaced with warriors, Haven't seen an archer yet.

    Met Khan at T4, and sent scout to his direction and:
    Spoiler Spoiler about Khans capital surroundings :
    Capital is flatland.

    First thing that came to my mind was an axerush. Insane ammouns of forests and easily accessable copper (think you could have settled city#2 on top of the southern copper to avoid waiting for TW, for maximum speed.)
    Imp is a very nice trait for axerush as the first general can be used to turbocharge 10 axes.

    No rivers, but there is alot of flatland, not as juicy as cottaging rivers, but it gets the job done.
    Something I have started to appreciate is to cottage 1-2 tiles in all cities, even future production centers, that way I can more effectively focus what my emprie is doing.
    Wrathful likes this.
  3. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup A Shadow for the Warrior

    Feb 9, 2010
    Cantaloupe Island
    Your cities are fine but
    Spoiler :
    you took some enormous maintenance hits to set them up.
    You can still backfill some spaces (especially in the SE) to share some specials and improve your regular tiles faster.
    You also lost a whole lot of worker turns to road accross the land (you should count how many). Meaning you lost production and commerce in your core cities.
    From where you are : probably you cottage the most of it and bite the maintenance. Two things you need : workers and population. You don't need infrastructure so much. A Library to bulb, more than to research.
    A scout past the AIs you've met, maybe ? Are there other neighbours ?

    For before :
    You did recognize the lack of commerce but didn't really react to it. It's not clear to me you recognized how much production you actually have at hand.
    During the early phases of the game, when you decide about your tech path, you can check the wonder and religion screens. Gives you intel about how reasonable gambits are.
    1440 BC : Judaism was founded and The Great Wall was built. That's extremely late. Before that, only Stonehenge.
    What I'm getting at is : Great Lighthouse. Is a game changer, here.
    You have the production. 2 of your known neighbours won't build any wonders. And the map is slow towards them. Doesn't even matter if you only get Masonry in 1600 BC.

    So after Bronze, going Sailing is probably very good. (Point taken about warrior losses against barbs, that's a deterrent for sure and makes things complicated.)
    Even without trying to go for the GLH, Sailing vs The Wheel can be defended. The gain in worker turns is real. It comes down to that :
    Chop at home vs road in the jungle.
    If you're going to chop at home on a commerce poor map, you might as well chop into a wonder. Rushing expansion will only bankrupt you. (Could go Oracle -> CoL, too, but the GLH is much stronger.)
    And if you're going to road into the jungle, first you should do is : chop an extra worker to stay at home. You can do that : chop your settler and then chop another worker instead of sending the worker along.

    So : the 8 forests in your capital are a problem. The 4 workers you have are a problem, relative to how you chose to settle.
    Those forests could be more workers to support your city configuration, or they could be a wonder, give or take another city.
    This is a build order thing.
    You could have 3 more workers and nothing less than forests but also more cottages already.

    Wrathful, Zavior and krikav like this.
  4. Wrathful

    Wrathful Chieftain

    Oct 7, 2016
    Thanks for the feedback guys!

    Spoiler Feedback + Introspection :

    I never considered an axe rush. I didn't scout Kublai early on. If I recall correctly, I sent the scout east early on, met Kublai on T5 or so, then moved NW. I ended up fortifying near my second city spot. Now that I think about it, I should have explored Kublai's land. Maybe he has a river. Might have been a good target early on.

    Scouts should...scout. I went on about this in the Japan thread, but in this game my scout just sat in place for a long time. Should have used him to check out Kublai's land. Maybe meet the other AIs earlier. In my defense, I've seen Lain fortify his scout in place in some of his videos. But here, units aren't very precious because we have so much production. Or am I wrong?

    I did have an axeman near Toku's borders for a little while. I was waiting to get Writing so I could open borders with Japan and explore further. Then I remembered, "oh yeah, he won't open borders, let's just delete this guy; he's costing me gold." I should have just sent the axe into Kublai's territory to begin with. He got writing a few turns before me as a matter of fact.

    RE resource trades: I did check if Kublai had copper several times. He bragged about his Chariot for quite some time. I think the last time I checked was T70 or so. So he wouldn't have had metal if I had axe rushed early on.

    It seems my worker management is the biggest problem in this game. I didn't build enough workers, and I managed the ones I had poorly. BiC is right about the roads. I spent forever roading in the jungle to get a measly 1 commerce from the connection with 3rd city. It would have been better to chop forest in the capital and lay down grassland cottages. It's T75 and I don't have a single cottage. Not good. Too busy building roads.

    Don't build too many roads! That piece of advice should be displayed every time you load a game. I have this strange need to connect all my cities in a happy little trade network. To qualify my statement: I think it's good to connect the first two cities, because the first connection gives +2 commerce and your second city is probably close to your capital (so it doesn't cost many worker turns). But every connection after that is greatly diminished in value.

    Unit maintenance was a problem. There was a good deal of land to fogbust, so I needed lots of units. Actually, I think that's why I didn't build enough workers - I was already paying for units. How do I balance that? And unit maintenance is even worse on Deity if I am not mistaken...

    Great Lighthouse. I never even thought of this. But you make a great point about the wonder dates. This is something I need to think about more. Right now I really only know what to do if I have a river to cottage.

    So I think my troubles in this game can be summarized as follows: bad leader; bad land; somewhat bad luck with the barbs; bad worker management; and not thinking about alternative ways to generate commerce.

    I might restart from T0, but I might actually continue from my current position. It's not that bad (but nowhere near optimal). Will post an update later today.
  5. Wrathful

    Wrathful Chieftain

    Oct 7, 2016
    Alright, I am continuing from my T75 save. Let's see if we can clean up this mess.

    Spoiler To T100 :

    Ugh. I really spread myself thin here. I think if you place your cities close together you can afford to have fewer workers, because they won't have to travel far to reach anything. Also, tile sharing is a big deal. A single improvement can be utilized by multiple cities.

    On this map, my cities are spread out. Combine that with the eons I spent roading, and I can see why my land is underdeveloped.

    So, Aachen will whip a worker next turn. That worker will chop out another worker. Then I can start cottaging.

    Techwise, I went for Sailing first. I don't want to trade for cheap stuff with this crowd. Not sure if I'll try for GLH.

    I sent an axeman into Kublai's land. I analyzed the everyone's spypoints and wasn't sure what to make of it. I'm not sure if anyone else is out there, but I still want to scout Kublai.

    Found his iron.
    Kublai Iron.png

    Note that Toku just converted to Judaism. He was in Hinduism before. He also got Temple of Artemis. What the heck is going on in this map!?

    I gave Toku my other copper. I need a warrior in my capital for happiness. Hope this wasn't a mistake. But surely he has iron anyway.

    So I finished Sailing and thought for awhile about what to do next. My economy has improved a bit but it's still not good.

    I decided to try for GLH. Wonders are going super late (Mids in 800 BC or so). Some micro ensued. Here you see me chopping a forest into the lighthouse. Will 2-whip into the GLH next turn. Masonry will be finished then.
    GLH Micro.png
    Met Qin on T86.

    Kublai settled a city in my face. He's also expanding into the jungle wasteland. You do you, my friend. I have more pressing matters to attend to...great matters, you might say.
    Got the GLH.png

    While the Holy Romans are celebrating the completion of the wonder and preparing to settle two new cities (cow and fish/sheep), evil Kublai starts plotting. It's almost certainly me. I'm a land target (right? not sure about this) and I don't think anyone else is.

    So I spend a turn researching Archery and start building PRO archers. I'll get some use out of the trait after all! I can even build walls if things look bad.

    After getting Archery I went for Aesthetics. I will trade that for Alphabet with my dear friend Kublai. Then I can get all the other stuff. I plan to get some failgold from Shwedagon Paya (AKA Shwegadie Pegadie).

    Yes sir, I do find that offer tempting! Don't look so smug, do you really think Keshiks can defeat fortified CGII archers on a hill? With Walls?
    Alphabet Trade.png

    Next turn I made this nice trade with the "tech leader":
    Iron Working Trade.png

    He only has Currency because he Oracled it by the way.

    Now I'll get Meditation and start building Shwedagon for failgold. I can also build Statue of Zeus. Without Ivory, it's not quite as lucrative though.

    And that brings us to T100. I'd like to go full failgold mode, but I still need a few more defenders. Keshiks are pretty tough and Kublai will build a lot of them.

    Techwise, I'm torn between Currency and Monarchy. Both would be really good.

    Long-term plans? Don't know. I have no iron. I could definitely tech to Cuirs. Don't think any sort of Construction war would be a smart move. It's a bit late for that.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  6. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

    Aug 25, 2011
    Not looked at your T100 situation yet, scarse time right now. :(
    You can connect city#3 to city#4 and gain +2 commerce that way too.

    In capitals with good production (especially with agg) I often just go for a barracks and produce warriors when I need them. In pairs they do good up until spears given the right terrain. So I wouldn't mind scouting excessivly.
    But I do have a nasty habit of being abit too reckless with my starting unit. :)

    There is absolutely no need to fogbust everything when you have copper though.
    Simply fogbust locations where you would hate to get a barb city, and just defend with a couple of axes.

    "bad leader; bad land; somewhat bad luck with the barbs; bad worker management; and not thinking about alternative ways to generate commerce."
    I don't think the land is bad! So much green!
    I would place the main focus on the habit of roading, and not cottaging the grassland.
    Wrathful likes this.
  7. Wrathful

    Wrathful Chieftain

    Oct 7, 2016
    Good point. My city order didn't allow for that though.

    Either way I would have had to pay for units I think. Empire was so spread out. Good point on barracks however.

    I agree. Barb defense is something else I have to work on. I think I overestimate Immortal barbs, but I also want to be able to beat Deity someday.

    Well, decent land I guess. There is a lot of jungle and desert. No river. But you are right that I should have emphasized the last point.
  8. Wrathful

    Wrathful Chieftain

    Oct 7, 2016
    Update to T115:

    Spoiler To T115 :

    Looks like the world is not very advanced since Sury is on top.
    Most Advanced Civs.png

    Kublai is definitely forming a stack near near by borders. Would love to start building research in Vienne, but I don't feel safe enough.
    Kublai Stack.png

    Made this trade with Sury. He appears to be going for Aesthetics so I cash in while I can.
    Monarchy Trade.png

    Now we're going straight for Currency.

    Qin converted to Buddhism. So there must be another AI on this continent. I had recalled my scout Axeman to help defend Vienna, but now I'm reconsidering. I really want to meet the Buddhist founder.

    If Kublai declares on me while my axeman is in his territory the axe will probably die. So I'll just send him through Toku's land instead. Just opened borders with him this turn (he's pleased now).

    A few turns later, Kublai destroyed my corn farm in Vienna via espionage. Oh, you'll pay for that one...

    And then he poisons my water!

    But what's this? His stack moved away.
    Stack Moved.png
    Well, I'm keeping the archers there anyway. Maybe he's trying to surprise me. Maybe he wasn't even plotting on me in the first place.

    Just finished CoL, going CS next. Actually, I'm going Math next because I never got a trade for that.

    Attached Files:

  9. ArchGhost

    ArchGhost Chieftain

    Aug 2, 2016
    Heads up, an AI that is not Asoka/Sitting Bull actually running esp missions (not just EP focus) on you is indeed a red flag. They tend to only run missions on those they really hate...a good way to tell who among the pack of annoyed faces they actually despise the most.

    It doesn't strictly mean he's targeting you, but it means you are a fully valid target and isn't scared of pulling that trigger. Best bet is to just keep eyes on that stack.

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