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Crush after early growth. what to do?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Voodopizzaman, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Voodopizzaman

    Voodopizzaman Chieftain

    Dec 14, 2013
    I usually play the vanilla version on monarch with Mansa.
    I start off with an early growth, founding 3 cities in a row by chopping.
    Of course my economy turns whack, so that I research around 60%.
    Then I spawn cottages all around , which brings my economy back to 90%.
    From this point my cities thrive, and after a few turns I would find myself at the top of all the rankings. Now I start a war against my most dangerous neighbour, to get me a fifth and a sixth city. Often I start these wars, because I have realized that AIs can keep up with me. After having won a war I struggle hard: Although I have more cities than most of the AIs, I can no longer keep up with my opponents. Sometimes I can snatch a away a diplomatic victory, but usually I do not.

    What can I do to reward myself for a good early game?
  2. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

    Jan 15, 2009
    Bristol, England
    Not enough info there to tell exactly what your doing ealy game, but wat you have said does flag up some warning signs. Posting a save would help but being vanilla I expect the responses may be relatively slow.
    Are you building workers in there? as they are critical, you need improvements up as fast as possible.
    This is a misunderstanding of whats important, one thats pretty common. Running at 60% is far from "whack" and running at 90% without it being run from a defecit is usually a big mistake (a sign of massive underexpansion!). Whats important isn't what percentage of your commerce goes to :science:, but how much :commerce: and :science: you actually produce. While BTS is a little different its not uncommon to see people run losses at 0% while carrying out early war and expansion.
    If you go to war, then more than nince times out of ten you don't want to do it to just grab a city or two, you want to do it to grab all of their cities. Don't force early wars either, they are not always best, sometimes its better to just expand peacefully if you ca grab 6-10 sites by 1AD.

    A general start would be worker first while researching the techs needed to improve nearby resources (food has priority), Warriors to find and guard new city spots till you can work your strongest tiles (size 3 typically), then settlers and workers.
    After resource techs your going to want Bronze Working, Wheel, Writing, Currency and Monarchy to build up your economy.
    You should aim to have eough workers to prevent cities working unimproved tiles, and don't forget to build a Library in a city with food early on (around/before 1000BC) to run 2 scientist specialists to start Great Person production.
  3. Kjotleik

    Kjotleik Kjotleik

    Feb 22, 2010
    Hello, and welcome :goodjob: to the wonderful world of Civilization IV.

    A science-slider at 60% (wealth=40%) is actually not particularly low... a science-slider at 0% and running a deficit (losing money) - now THAT is low... (but not impossible to counter a little later on).

    Fast expansion (REX) to three cities is adviseable in many circumstances - so that's a good start, for the most part.

    Building cottages to increase commerce is also a good strategy/tactic in many (most) games.

    Taking out (killing) a close neighbour is also a good move that I can recommend most of the time.

    Some tips I can give is as follows:

    {} ) Before you start playing: Upgrade to BTS 3.19! (Beyond the Sword 3.19). It is better than vanilla (in my opinion, at least) in every possible way. It has been so long since I played vanille, my tips down below may be uncompatible with that version of the game on some points.

    A) Move your mouse to hover over your own name in the rankings-list to the bottom right corner of the screen. Click once - to minimize the list. Do not open until you have learned to ignore your own position <- This IS important, the list is just confusing - it has nothing to do with how well you are doing, really...(at least not until you have learned enough to understand what makes up the numbers used to make it)

    B) Understand that "economy" has nothing to do with your slider-percentage going towards either Research, Espionage, Culture or Wealth. 100% of 10 = 10, and 10% of 100 = 10. It is the total sum of the whole cake that is important here. Economy is not just the surplus/deficit of money going into/out of your treasury each turn. It is all your commerce (that you send towards Research/Wealth/Espionage/Culture via the slider), all your food (growing your cities, whipping them down via Slavery) and all your production (producing units/buildings (and later on Wealth/Research/Culture)).

    C) Learn how to make money early (commerce-slider to Wealth). Then learn how to make money later (set your production-cities(!) to produce Wealth).

    D) Learn what costs you money (units, cities, civics). Cities cost more in maintenance the bigger they are and the further from the capitol they are founded. In fact; each city also costs you more in maintenance the higher number of cities you have in total. Units have a set limit of "free" ones. Past that number, units also cost you "unit maintenance." Civics will over time start to cost maintenance as well.

    E) Learn that more important than all the above is: Diplomacy! Decide for yourself who is going to be your friends, and who is going to be your enemies. Give in to demands from friends (ALL the time, with some exceptions (there are ALWAYS exceptions to rules)) and spit in the face of your weaker enemies. BUT: Do give in to demands from stronger enemies to (temporarily) remove the danger of a declaration of war against you.

    F) Trade resources/technologies with both friends and enemies (but don't give away feudalism to an enemy you are about to attack - use your own judgment in these matters).

    G) Learn how to exploit open borders agreements. Open borders with your friends to make more commerce (trade). Open borders with your enemies to scout their lands with your chariots before an invasion (you can also use spies to do this - but they risk detection (death) inside enemy (and friendly) territories.

    // When you know enough of the game to tell WHEN these tips are good - and WHEN these should not be followed - then you know how to play the game //

    Just remember: There are NO rules without exceptions. Never! :D

    Yours Sincerely
    Kjotleik of Norway :)
  4. elitetroops

    elitetroops Deity

    Dec 23, 2012
    I agree with the others, you have to get this thinking out of your head. Slider position is not an indicator of how well your economy is doing.

    Every city you have produces commerce by working commerce tiles and through trade routes. In addition they might produce extra beakers or gold with specialists. Every city also costs something in maintenance, the amount increases the more cities you have. In a one city challenge, the maintenance costs are so low that you can usually easily keep the slider at 100% science an entire game. When the amount of cities increases, maintenance costs also go up and you can't maintain 100% science anymore. However, if the added cities on average produce more commerce than they cost, then they are still a net gain to your economy, even if you have to lower the slider a lot. A large empire that produces 200:science:/turn with slider at 50% has a much stronger economy than a smaller empire that produces 100:science:/turn with slider at 90%.

    Early on, especially before you get currency, most new cities will be a drain on your economy as they cost more maintenance than they produce commerce. However, they still produce hammers and can be a net gain in this way. In the early expansion phase it's very common that the slider drops all the way to the bottom, and this is okay if you learn how to get it up from there. Before currency you are a bit limited in your options, but you can get failgold or just get gold from conquering cities. Once currency is in you get more traderoutes, you can trade resources for gold and you can build wealth. Usually your cottages should also be growing by then and your economy should quickly recover.

    If the AI is ahead of you in tech, then trading is your friend. Reasearch or bulb a monopoly tech and trade it to everyone else for half a dozen more techs. At the higher levels it's very important to know which techs are prioritized by the AI so that you don't waste beakers researching them yourself. Instead research the stuff that they usually don't grab early, then you can trade it for a ton of other techs.
  5. crazyotto65

    crazyotto65 Chieftain

    Oct 29, 2009
    New Jersey
    Don't be afraid to raze enemy cities during war. Not all enemy cities are WORTH keeping. Only keep the good ones! - Good location, good potential, already developed, wonders, etc. Raze the worthless ones.
  6. dohh

    dohh Warlord

    Sep 18, 2013
    that will depend on level tho... on top levels You have to keep almost all cities and look how to make most out of them...
  7. Seraiel

    Seraiel If you want anything from I please ask in German

    Sep 6, 2011
    Also regarding higher difficulties (not that Monarch is one of them, but just to say... ) :

    Being a good tech-trader is the most valuable trait you can develop. Falling behind in tech on Deity i. e. is completely normal, but those trades where you get 5 techs for 1 because you just again researched into the gap are the ones that keep you in the game for until Paper.

    Afterwards, you should usually have a large enough empire that can generate enough research to always research 1-4 key-techs before the AI gets them, and get all other techs via trade again. If exceeding 1-4 techs, good players even "feed" the AIs techs, to speed up their own teching-speed.

    Biggest error of new players regarding economical fails is usually that they build too many city-garrisons. Don't forget that (almost) every unit costs you 1 :gold: / turn, so try to do with either 1 or even 0 garrisons and have all your forces on the attack.
    Peace comes by diplomacy. The peaceful AIs aren't able to attack you when being at pleased and above, warmongers cannot if they're on friendly stance (exception Catherine) , share religion with most of your neighbours to get those stances, and attack towards the side where the non-believers are and you're safe.
  8. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

    Apr 29, 2006
    berkshire, england
    Voodopizzaman: welcome to the forum :).

    I assume you do the basics like city specialisation (at least one production city for building troops). Another basic one is to expand towards your opponents leaving spaces to backfill a couple more cities, you can also overlap cities to fit more in.

    Monarch is also a level where bulbing and beelining start to become useful because the AIs will have techs to trade for.
  9. Ringo Kid

    Ringo Kid Prince

    Oct 20, 2004
    I like the Holy Roman for rapid expansion, because their Unique Building allows a larger early empire, sort of a super courthouse, and they can build setters quick.

    Build 2 workers first while researching bronze working - use them to chop out 1 or 2 settlers. Then research Animal Husbandry - acquire horses- build horse archers. Chop and whip horse archers while researching towards currency for wealth building and Code of Laws for courthouses. Eliminate as many enemies as you can , whipping and chopping horse archers as fast as possible.

    When you have the courthouse tech -declare peace and build courthouses in every city.

    If you can, conquer your whole continent - then you can build in peace until astronomy safe from attack. You should end up with a tech lead from sheer number of cities rather than from a high science slider. Plus plenty of happiness resources so you have bigger cities too.
  10. ThatOne

    ThatOne Chieftain

    Feb 19, 2014
    Vanilla doesn't have HRE.

    ^ in most cases it is waste to chop 2 workers and 2 settlers before working food. If op is still around post a save or even a screenshot. Also Vanilla GNP graph shows how much gold you produce above 0%, so you can see how you compare to the ai's. Even if you drop down to 50%, you can generally see how you are comparing to the ai's on the graph, just note that extra beakers from scientists/libraries' 25% aren't shown in this figure.
  11. blunderwonder

    blunderwonder Prince

    Oct 24, 2012
    It might be a better idea to play a NC game, or an IU game, and post some of the troubles/saves you have with each game here, or there, and maybe get someone to play the same amount of turns, and post a save or two for you to view.. I only say this because you're asking for general advice, and im sure you'll get alot of it, but you could have 200 problems. Everything from trade, to diplomacy, to where/HOW you settle you cities, and deal with workers and improvements.

    From what you said though, i can say this. Teching BW, and chopping out workers/settlers, Im sure you read somewhere that thats quickest way to get cities, and the most production by a certain time, but what if those cities your settling wont be productive till you get another tech, or those forest could have been HA's, or Mids, etc, then its pointless to burn forest for a crappy city early, especially at the expense of your economy, if you have lots of settlers but no workers to mine the gold, whats the point. This isnt civ3, you cant just spam settlers, and suck up as much map as you can. The idea is expansion WITHOUT killing your economy. The endgame is domination, and you cant dominate without some sort of military edge. That said, 60% is probably fine. Though you might think about running the slider at 0%, and 100%. It saves some .5 beakers, which is sort of pointless, but if you're researching techs that other people have already finished, you get a bonus. So you might 20-30% gold per tech, if you wait to research it, im sure you can find better info on teching and tech trading. Like i said though, the game is about expanding, bulbing/trading and getting some kind of tech lead, so that you can crush everyone on the map. Imm difficulty is a slave to cuir rushes, HA rushes, and cannons. You should get familiar with bulbing your way to those techs, and whipping/chopping for huge armies quickly. You should always check for trades, hit f4, look at resources and techs, and do it EVERY turn. Im sure theres more to be said but without seeing a save, its hard to know.
  12. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

    Jul 17, 2007
    in a Gadda Da Vida
    If I'm running 60% science I know I haven't built enough cities.
  13. guspasho

    guspasho Prince

    Apr 5, 2005
    Why do you want to eliminate everyone on your continent? I've seen that advice a lot recently. Doesn't that deprive you of trading partners?
  14. Lennier

    Lennier Emperor

    Mar 10, 2013
    Orange County, NY
    They'll still be your trading partners if they're your vassals.

    But eliminating them means you get to keep all the benefits of their cities, and the intercontinental trade routes with the other continent (after Astronomy) will make up for not having foreign ones from your own continent.

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