Crushing Louis XIV in the early game (Noble)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by AndyRookie, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. AndyRookie

    AndyRookie Chieftain

    Apr 11, 2009
    Civilisation: German, Leader: Bismarck

    As you will see from the attached save, my primary aim so far has been to thwart any territorial expansion of Louis XIV towards my heartland. With one of the settlers currently "under construction", I'd hence like to close the gap that still exists to the far "west" of my map and gain access to a new sea or continental water. The second settler I would probably use in my heartland proper to build another city that can hopefully grow without enemy interference, excluding harassment by barbarians.

    I suspect that the former will provoke an attack from Louis XIV whom I have previously tried to appease by giving him a crab (out of 3). In fact, I'd like to launch an attack myself, and before he has catapults and walls around most of his cities, for that matter. I do not have and do not intend to have an open border policy in place at this stage, so I have next to no clue about the enemy's strength. The obvious choice is to raze his only city visible to me, on the bank of the river on my right hand frontier. Four axemen and two pikemen should do for this task.
    In order to inflict severe damage, I need to more and destroy at least one, if not two more of his cities. For that purpose I would require at least double if not thrice the number of units earmarked for the elimination of the first city next to river. The thought I dread is that those unknown targets will be located quite a fair bit inland and that on my way towards those cities, my units will be cut to pieces by the enemies' mounted units. Despite having explored a sizeable patch of land, so far, I do not have horses and mounted units. All together, I reckon to require a force comprising at least 9 axemen and 6 spearmen for the task outlined.

    From a more general point of view, I am under no illusion that my empire runs the risk of overstretching to the right, lacking "strategic depth". If any intruder appeared from the north unexpectedly, he could easily cut disrupt communications. One of Saladin's woking boats appeared in the vicinity of Berlin a few turns ago and my nightmare scenario would be that whilst I am battling it out with Louis XIV in the west, Saladin would quitly send his settlers across the strait to the north of my map, consolidate a bridghead and then march towards my capital. As much as I direct my energies against Louis XIV I must not loose sight of what is happening to the north of my heartland.

    On the cultural front, I managed to set up an oracle in Berlin and realised with some surprise that this immediately earned me the institution monarchy which I would else have had to toil to achieve for the lenght of many turns. Currently, I am hoping to complete the Maori statues rather soon, even though I am not quite familiar as to the significance of this achievement for the future growth of my civilisation. I admit to have never been particularly interested in the cultural aspects of the game, but I am beginning to understand that without paying attention to the cultural realm, one will likely not get very far.
    The population of Berlin looks unhappy and unhealthy, and I plan to establish a second winery to address this problem :)

    These are my thoughts for the moment. Any suggestions and criticism are welcome.

    Best regards

    PS: Before I forget it - when it says "cottage must work to become city" (or some similar phrase), what are the practical implications of this? What do I need to do? Build a road, convert the cottage into a farm before re-establishing a cottage or whatever? Thanks for your help

    Attached Files:

  2. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

    Jan 15, 2009
    Bristol, England
    I can only go off what I saw in the save you provided.

    Each citezen in a city can either work a tile, or be a specialist. For a cottage to grow into a hamlet, village and later a town a citezen must work it.

    Only the first of a particular resource will affect happiness, so the first wine did, the second one won't.
    The unhappiness in Berlin is huge, 4 unhappy citezens is very bad (unhappy citezens don't work tiles and waste food). To solve this build more archers to put in Berlin, the Hereditary Rule civic your running will give +1 :) per unit in the city.

    You don't need spears at all, Louis doesn't have horses. Also Researching Horseback Riding was a waste of time and :science: as you didn't have any horses!

    He has no horses, and you can sign an Open Borders agreement with him and explore his land yourself :p

    It will increase Berlin's production a little (+1 :hammers: in every water tile!), not really the best place to put it.

    At noble culture stuff is very easy, simply build a monument or library (preferably library) in every city to expand the city limits one (forms the Big Fat Cross or BFC) Build some more things as the game progreesses in border cities, don't worry about it too much.

    In the case of Cologne the culture could be an issue, this is because Louis has the Creative trait, this gives him +2 :culture: per city. Building a library and monument in Cologne should fix this.

    Culture only affects the city a building is placed, in so those wonders in Berlin won't help Cologne. Some wonders can affect culture outside the city it's in but they are special cases.
    For the most part building wonders purely for culture is only worthwhile if your trying for a cultural victory.
  3. BakingTheArt

    BakingTheArt His Evening Coat

    Jun 9, 2008
    A two-story box
    The Maorioaorioari Statues?
  4. Fleme

    Fleme Obey the Kitty!

    Oct 15, 2003
    For some reason "Moai" seems to be the hardest word for people around here.
  5. AndyRookie

    AndyRookie Chieftain

    Apr 11, 2009
    Thanks for your assessement and tipps.
  6. SlipperyJim

    SlipperyJim Prince

    Jan 10, 2006
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I'm at work right now, so I can't load your save. Nonetheless, I'll see what advice I can offer....

    Firstly, read Ghpstage's comments ... especially about working cottages. It's a bit counter-intuitive, because many experienced players' advice to newbies is simply: "Build cottages!" However, a cottage that you just built is really an inferior tile improvement. Nearly any improvement is better than a just-built cottage!

    However, as your citizens work the cottages, they will steadily improve. Cottages turn into Hamlets, then into Villages, and finally into Towns. Each level of improvement is worth another +1 :commerce: for the tile. Also, certain technologies (Printing Press) and civics will make your villages and/or towns even better. However, none of those things will happen until you actually work those cottages!

    Also, don't build your cottages on the frontier if you can avoid doing so. It takes a very long time to grow a cottage into a town, and all of that growth can be easily undone by a little bit of pillaging. Also, pillaging towns/villages/hamlets is worth quite a lot of gold for the attacker, so there's a strong incentive to pillage them. Combine those two points, and you'll really want to keep your cottages in the well-defended core of your empire.

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