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Cultural Victory on the Higher Levels

Discussion in 'Civ4 Strategy Articles' started by jesusin, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. EGJ

    EGJ Chieftain

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    Great article. Only skimmed through it; intend to go back and read more closely.

    Agree with WastinTime that the best strategy on quick speed is bombing the heck out of your cities with Great Artists. You can get by with as few as three cities and only your capital really needs to worry about building culture; you're going to bomb cities 2 and 3 up to legendary.

    I haven't played cultural for a while, but as I recall my builds were something like this:

    City #1 (capital): Parthenon, temples, monasteries, cathedral(s), Hermitage, etc.
    City #2 (GA farm): granary, library, temples, National Epic
    City #3: Oracle, temples

    One counterintuitive tip is to not switch to caste system/pacifism right away. I'd run slavery mainly to be able to whip out the needed buildings in the GA farm. After I built the National Epic in the GA farm only then would I switch to caste system/pacifism.

    As usual, you tech to liberalism, and then switch to Free Speech/100% culture.

    To give credit where credit is due: I got this strategy from copying Justjohn's HOF entry for settler/quick (and other people's games as well).
     
  2. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Chieftain Supporter

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    See Lexad's recent (today) 1070 AD game:

    http://hof.civfanatics.net/civ4/game_info.php?entryID=14114

    I'm not sure whether Lexad used Sushi or not. I thought not, but now I'm not so sure. I didn't take Killercane's ideas seriously, since I don't think he conclusively proved it could be done with appropriate settings.

    ShannonCT, since your 1180 AD game used the Sushi strategy advocated by Killercane, it really must work as well as Killercane explained it.

    Thanks,

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  3. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    It's odd that game made the HOF. It seems to have an illegal # of opponents. I'm sure he could do it again, looks like a standard Inca/marathon rush. Or am I confused?

    EDIT: I was confused. I never allow vassals in my games. That's where those extras came from.
     
  4. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Chieftain Supporter

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    Thank you very much for writing this guide!

    These two paragraphs appear to be in conflict regarding speed. The first paragraph indicates most of your experience is with Quick speed, but the second paragraph says you will normally be talking about Normal Speed. Perhaps, you meant Quick speed, since GAs are far more powerful in Quick games than any other speed?

    Drama is required to use the Culture Slider. Music is required to build Culture.

    The game already uses the generic term Cathedral to refer to each Religion's most powerful building. Only in reference to a specific Religion does the game call a Cathedral by its Religion specific name. There is no need to explain the generic term Cathedral in your guide.

    You can chop several buildings and world wonders with enough Workers and Forests.

    In regard to numbers of WW that can be built, see Bram's 1230 AD win. He built a total of seven World Wonders and the Culture they generated can't be ignored.

    Getting to Liberalism at 500AD is much later than ideal. In Lexad's recent 1070 AD win, he got to Liberalism in 420 BC. It was a Marathon game and I'm not sure that 400 BC is possible at Normal speed. However, 0 AD - 400 AD for Liberalism may be a better date range to aim for at Normal speed.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  5. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Chieftain Supporter

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    I would agree that using Inca's Quechua unit is the only thing that is unfairly exploitative about the Sushi strategy. Perhaps one could substitute an Axeman, Immortal or War Chariot rush for the Quechua rush to make the Sushi strategy totally non-exploitative.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  6. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    Marathon is equally bad, if not worse. Inca isn't that great on regular speed.
     
  7. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Chieftain Supporter

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    Marathon is just the slowest speed. There's nothing inherently exploitative about any particular speed. Some things can be done easier at a fast speed and others can be done easier at a slow speed. Still others can be done easier at one of the two intermediate speeds.

    What is bad or exploitative about Marathon speed itself?

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  8. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    Actually, no. Name one.

    (I could name dozens of advantages on marathon. I'm a bit surprised you aren't aware of them. You are an experienced player.)
     
  9. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    I agree. My GPFarm normally does Granary-Library-NE-then temples in order to go to Pacifism as soon as possible but not before the GPFarm is properly set up.

    When you are Spiritual you can enjoy 5 turns of slavery at around Liberalism time in order to whip half your cathedrals. Sometimes it is even worth it not being Spiritual, trying to synchronize the change with another one. BTS opens up this possiblity even more by allowing anarchy-less revolts.
     
  10. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    Thanks for your comments.

    I am worried. You are not the first one to misunderstand the goal of this thread. Is it because you already know me from the HOF threads where I was aiming at the perfect game? Or is there something misleading in the text of this thread?

    This thread is not for the perfect game. This thread just tries to rise the level of play for cultural games. It is intended to be useful for anyone, pleying any cultural game in a high difficulty level. Did you pick Montezuma in an ice, island map, Epic speed? Don't worry! Follow the advise on this thread and you'll get better off than before! You got beaten to Liberalism at 1000AD? Don't worry, you'll win the game anyway with your earlier date ever.



    I'll fix the mistakes as soon as I get some free time.
     
  11. jesusin

    jesusin Ant GOTM Staff

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    I would differenciate the Sushi strategy from the rush strategy. Killercane just happened to use both in his game. Lexad got some impressive results at the time by rushing early and then using a "standard" cultural strategy. I am curious about a peaceful sushi strategy.

    Or maybe I am just trying to fool myself. I won't play Marathon games. Too cheesy and too slow for my taste. I hope the perfect game will always be a peaceful one. The day it becomes clear a warmonger game is best for culture, I will stop playing Civ, I'll shave my head and I'll enter a monastery. :eek:
     
  12. killercane

    killercane Chieftain

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    Monkusin? :lol:. You can do the Sushi thing peacefully for sure. You just need the religious multipliers and resources to trade; the easiest way is to get those from peacenik ghandi-types through war. If you do peaceful, you leave it to the RNG for those to spread and you have more left to luck in terms of resources.

    Sushi essentially doubles your commerce in all your legendary cities assuming you have a base of 100-130, 10 towns per city (or really less with trade routes and whatnot). So it emphasizes the benefits of the multipliers and backloads your culture so that you are making up to 2000 cpt. Sushi gives 1/3 of your base (in the game I played it was worth 96 cpt base, more than all the commerce, and more than buildings in 2 out of the 3 cities, but not more than commerce+artists). I also didnt have enough resources in that game.
     
  13. troytheface

    troytheface Chieftain

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    "Actually, no. Name one. "

    Unanswered because marathon is three thousand four hundred ninety two times easier.
    If one is concerned about "victory" then it is a simple matter. Turn of tech trading, play a map and civ that compliment one another, take a financial civ, turn on raging barbs and build the Great Wall, ect.
     
  14. ShannonCT

    ShannonCT Chieftain

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    Culture victory on Quick has the obvious "exploit" that the culture requirement for a legendary city is incorrectly scaled to game speed and culture bomb value (should be 33500, not 25000). It's no coincidence that almost all of the top non-Inca games in the HoF are on Quick.
     
  15. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Kind of like marathon and war games.

    Normal is of course assumed the "balanced" standard, but is that really right?

    Epic is scaled much better to normal than either of the other two speeds, but is still not perfectly scaled, and that's BEFORE you consider troop movement vs passage of time/tech.

    But why play against what the speed favors, unless you're looking for a challenge? Culture is clearly best served by quick. You wouldn't pick quick for a huge deity conquest or something, would you?

    Edit: Defensive wars are MUCH easier on quick. You can, for example, often build enough longbows in a OCC to defend yourself from a medieval DoW without dying, even if you have ONE warrior upon declaration and nothing else. By the time the stack plods into your territory and bombards the defenses down, you have 10+ defenders!

    As he mentioned, culture is also improperly scaled and far more dangerous on quick.

    It's terrible for early finish dates but very easy to win peacefully on that speed...and extremely difficult to win war victories.
     
  16. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    Nice try, but this is not an advantage. It's just balancing to give quick a chance. This appears to be the only attempt to balance the game speeds, and was still not enough. How can you say quick/culture is and exploit when it is easily beatable on all other game speeds? You'll notice that even under the constraints of a gauntlet, on normal speed, 1230 AD beat quick. Epic and marathon blow quick away. The HOF is only mostly quick/culture because no one has had the patience to play marathon games at each map size. Inca is not even required.
     
  17. ShannonCT

    ShannonCT Chieftain

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    Quick culture is not easily beatable under all other game speeds. In the Deity/Normal/Small culture gauntlet, you had dozens of people playing multiple games and 1 of those games was able to beat the top quick games. In the context of a very popular gauntlet, that was a pretty weak challenge to the existing top spots. And that was with the advantages that BtS now confers: stronger Sistine, the new MoM wonder, better Golden Ages. With all due respect to Bram and his great game, the only reason Bram's game is the best non-Inca game at that speed is that there hasn't been a Deity/Quick/Small culture gauntlet.

    The biggest advantage to playing Marathon is that the slower game speed makes rushing easier. If you're playing Liz or Sally or Ghandi for a culture game, you aren't going to rushing. Yeah, there are some other advantages like worker movement and better timing for whips, but those don't make up for the discount in LC culture on Quick.

    And don't tell me that the reason Quick games dominate the HoF because people don't have the patience to play Normal speed.
     
  18. WastinTime

    WastinTime Chieftain Supporter

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    There has been much more effort put into quick/culture over YEARS because of it's perceived advantage (jesusin alone has done 1000), but normal beat it in a couple weeks once someone actually tried. Imagine once the normal speed game is optimized. And we're not really talking about the advantages of normal speed. For culture, normal and quick are in great balance--about the best you can hope for. Epic/Marathon however... KC admits his 1070 AD game was sub-optimal. 9xx AD is just around the corner. Quick will never get finish dates like that.

    Yes, speed advantages obviously do make up for the discount on quick. You can see the discount is already balanced out with just the small advantage normal speed has.

    I said most people don't have the patience for marathon. I know I don't, and jesusin said the same thing.

    So to get back on the original topic. There are specific strategies that work only for Inca, and some that work only on marathon, possibly epic. This discussion is about general strategies for high difficulty culture wins. Military rushes, Sushi, etc. are wonderful discussions for another thread.
     
  19. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Chieftain Supporter

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    0) Quick speed will be easier simply because the game must be shorter by definition. :) Actually, I'm not joking. Most players will play at Quick speed if the other speeds offer no commanding advantage, because it is less tedious and one could play several Quick speed games in the time it would take to play a single Marathon game. This is just one reason why Quick speed is often easier ...

    1) Time Victory: It isn't clear from the HOF table that Quick is the best speed here due to lack of data with Ancient starts. Due to new HOF rules, I suspect that most new games will be Ancient starts and Marathon will probably be too long and tedious for most Players to use for a Time Victory. I suspect that the new dominant speed for Ancient starts will be Quick speed (300 BTS turns). Maybe Normal speed (500 BTS turns). Epic speed (750 BTS turns) seems less likely. I'm frankly not sure anyone would have the angelic patience to milk a score via BTS' Corporations and other means for all 1500 turns of a BTS Marathon Time game. Time will tell. :)

    2a) Generate enough GAs to bomb a City to Legendary.

    2b) Cultural Victory

    3) Beat an aggressor by simply researching Military Technologies very fast and upgrading defenders such that the aggressor has no chance of defeating them. (Can you even do that at Marathon speed?)

    4) Diplomatic Victory is not dominated by either Quick or Marathon, but Quick speed does hold the top spot for Large and Huge maps (your games).

    5-6) Space Colony and Space Race do not seem to favor Quick speed, but there is at least one top Quick speed entry (yours again). Neither is dominated by Marathon as there are about as many Normal and Epic games in these two tables.

    Check the HOF tables for each Victory condition with Speed=any. Marathon speed doesn't dominate every table, though it clearly dominates some. If Marathon speed were a true exploit, it would probably dominate all HOF tables.

    Note: If every one _thinks_ Marathon speed is more advantageous for a particular Victory Condition and therefore exclusively plays it and it thus dominates a specific table, a truly more advantageous speed may simply be overlooked. For Marathon to be "proven" to be clearly advantageous, expert players must also seriously try all other speeds and fall short of the results achieved via Marathon.

    There's nothing wrong with using the advantages inherent in the game in a synergistic manner to achieve an early (Deity) win. That's what all good players do when they want an early (Deity) win. An advantage is not necessarily an exploit. An exploit is usually the result of a bug or a seriously unbalanced game element.

    Marathon speed may be a great advantage in achieving an early win for several Victory Conditions, but that doesn't make it an exploit.

    To be clear, an advantage is a legal means to winning a game. An exploit is an overpowering advantage that should be made illegal or has been made illegal, and furthermore, made impossible to do in the next Patch of the game. Many past exploits have been handled in this manner.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  20. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Chieftain Supporter

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    Perhaps, you mean research Constitution which allows Representation?

    Sun Tzu Wu
     

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