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Cultural Victory

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by pi73r, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. pi73r

    pi73r Chieftain

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    Hello, I'm pretty new when it comes to tryhardin in Civilization 4(although I'm fast learner and competitive gamer by nature).
    As I've got bored pretty fast with 90% my wins being space race and went for a cultural victory.
    I've actually managed to do it once because map was really favorable and anyway it was in 2k AD so I wasn't very satisfied. Obviously I've read some guides but I still would like to see some practical tips from the players(especially that I can't imagine how people from HoF got their times at cultural victory, there even been scores with finish BC). Thank you for help
     
  2. rah

    rah Chieftain

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  3. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! Hall of Fame Staff

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    Jesusin's article above is the best. Here are some quick pointers, assuming trying for early culture dates:

    1) You can win with just 3 cities, but 9 cities are ideal. The reason is to build the religious wonders in all 3 cities. In order to do that you need 9 cities to all build temples for each religion you have.

    2) For Legendary cities, I generally go with a mix of 1 or 2 super cottage cities and a GP farm. The GP farm usually lags behind but you will use Great Artists great works to bump the culture.

    3) Cottages are ultimately king. Try to roll starts with good Bureau type cap locations...lots of riverside green or flood plains and enough food and hammers to grow and build culture buildings. You simply can't beat the massive amount of culture per turn you will get in each cottaged city once you switch to Free Speech and have the culture multipliers in place.

    4) Beeline Music for religious wonders and Sistine

    5) Try to keep your high Food GP farm pristine as far as Great Artist GPP. Good thing is National Epic gives great artist points. You can build Great Artist wonders here as well or in your cap. At some point you will run Caste and Pac to pump Great Artists out the wazoo.

    6) Often your Capital is the best cottaged city. Make sure all religious wonders are built there asap as well as Hermitage. This city should hit L fairly quickly on its own merit. This allows you to dump Great Artists in the slower cities to keep pace. Try to balance the Great Artist missions so that all cities hit L within a few turns off each other. If City 1 and 2 are hitting L around the same time but City 3 his hitting L 20 turns or more later then you are doing something wrong. The victory screen is an easy way to keep track of the progress of each L city. (Important: Note the difference between Total Culture in each city vs. Turns to Legendary. Just because City 2 has more culture currently than City 3 doesn't mean it will hit L faster. This is important for determining which cities to hit with Great Artists to balance completion dates)

    7) The 3 to 6 cities other than your 3 L cities are basically what I call "helper cities". That is, there only purpose is to help you win culture so you can abuse them. First and foremost, you want to settle the helper cities in such a way that they overlap the cottaged L cities so they can help work cottages for the L cities while those cities grow or whip in culture buildings. This ensures that your cottages mature nicely by the time you hit Liberalism and run Free Speech. It's not farfetched to get between 500 and 1000 cpt in the cottaged L cities if you do this. (Don't overexpand/conquer. 9 cities is usually more than sufficient if you place them correctly. However, 1 or 2 more cites may be ok to make sure cottages are constantly worked or to grab that marble off in the wilderness. Too many cities can hurt your economy in the timeframe of a culture game and prevent you from keeping your slider at 100%)

    Next, the helper cities should have plenty of food on tiles that aren't overlapped to cottage tiles. The reason: so they can a) whip stuff like temples and missionaries like crazy b) later you will starve out Great Artists in as many cities as possible. The GP farm will pump a lot, but there is no reason not to be able to get more GAs in helper cities. Really 1 or 2 of these helper cities should whip out temples and mishes like mad. You wont have to worry about stacked unhappiness later when you go culture mode.

    8) Great People: You might pump out a first Great Scientists or two from your cap or other city for an academy to boost your way to Lib or a Philo bulb. Otherwise, you want Great Artists exclusively.

    9) Tech path: Obviously the usual stuff early - worker techs/strat techs. Then bee-line Music, although Great Library is not really necessary. Then simply head straight for Liberalism and take Nationalism for The Taj (golden age boost for more GPPs and it gives great artist points, plus golden age boost commerce which boosts culture) and The Hermitage. Using Oracle for Code of Laws and Conf is always a good play.

    When you hit Lib, you should be at a point where most culture mulitpliers are in. Switch to Free Speech and Caste, if you are not already in it. Pacifism if you are actually running a religion (usually one that spread to you for diplo reasons) Merc is not bad if you have banking for more artists and, ofc, Rep if you built the Mids, but you would already be in Rep.

    At this point you are ready to basically turn-off research and run your culture slider as high as possible. 100% culture is ideal, but sometimes you have money issues. Build wealth in as many cities as possible to boost the culture slider. Trade techs and/or beg for gold from the AIs and sell resources for gold. With culture slider high you won't need any happy resources, so trade them for gold or health, if you need it.

    Your cottaged L cities should have grown to about max now and are working all mature cottaged tiles. Helper cities are building wealth or starving out Great Artists.

    The GP farm L city can also starve out great artist, it's getting a lot of culture from Sistine artists anyway.

    10) Wars: You generally want to avoid war altogether, so diplo is very important. If I switch to a religion (which is good for OR and Pac), I wait for them to spread from the AIs and then spread them around. You usually want at least 3 different religions in your cities - the more the merrier. I usually only found Conf and/or Pac, possibly Theo depending on an early GP pop from Oracle.

    However, you may want to war early to grab an AI capital or two, which often make good L cities. Probably a good idea to kill these AIs off since it can come back to haunt you later when you are weak. Only keep other AI cities if they can contribute nicely as helper cities (overlap, food, key resources.

    You may get weaker later once you turn off tech, so you want to ally up to a group of AIs and possible start fake wars to keep villains off your back. Only do so if necessary though. You want to have some defense, but you want to get away with as little military as possible so you have more gold for the culture slider.

    11) Marble is the obvious resource of choice for culture. So many helpful wonders for culture use it. Stone less so and Mids is not vital. In fact, I would only consider Mids if I had stone and a way to get it up quickly. Early Rep is always a boost, but you get engineer points. A GE could be used on Sistine or Taj though. Also, Stone and Copper boost some of the religious wonders.

    12) Lastly, as mentioned, Lib/Nat is generally where you turn tech off and run culture. However, if you are still in the process of getting in all the culture multipliers, there are other techs that are useful. First, Printing Press is really something you should get asap as it boosts the cottages. Constitution is nice if you aren't in Rep. Biology is great for the food boost. Otherwise, once you flip the switch it's should be a quick race to hit Legendary in all 3 cities.

    Later game culture wins would focus on things like Sushi and Eiffel tower.
     
  4. rah

    rah Chieftain

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    Gee if you had posted this the day before you could have saved me reading 5 pages of posts. ;)

    Nice summary.
     
  5. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    Early and late cultural victories are very different. For an early one, you may intend to get to Liberalism quickly, then channel most of your economy into culture (possibly with a split economy - e.g. towns on culture in your to-be-legendary cities and assorted specialists with a focus on spies elsewhere).
    You don't need more cities than required for national wonders but on the higher levels you need a good understanding of how diplomacy works.

    For a late cultural victory, you don't need to make major concessions. Entertainment wonders and corporations provide a lot of culture, winning this way is usually quicker and more expedient than space unless you favour very lean (immediate returns, little infrastructure/wonders) economies.
     
  6. capnvonbaron

    capnvonbaron Democratia gladii

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    Or, yknow, go for a rofl-stomp conquest victory sometime. Those are the most fun IMO :D
     
  7. pi73r

    pi73r Chieftain

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    Will do
    2 days ago I went for domination victory on continents. Conquered my continent, went 70% population but just felt like diplo will be faster so I beelined UN and just made sure the weaker AI(2 were still alive) will like me more. Got the highest score so far(although I could do it like 100-200 years earlier if I had a clue how to finish earlier).
    Domination seems like a good choice since you can easily go for diplomatic if it suits you better at the moment. And here's my chance for some good prince scores.
     
  8. capnvonbaron

    capnvonbaron Democratia gladii

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    Yeah dom/conquest oft lead to the highest scores. Choose a pangea, a lakes/inland sea, or a terra map where all the civs start in the old world for the best score. That way you don't have to worry about building boats to conquer everyone. Its also the easiest if you start on one end and just steamroll across the place.

    My highest scores, around the 250K mark (Monarch marathon, usually), typically start with me axe rushing a close neighbor, followed by a cat/HA war to dominate the next target, and then usually I turtle and tech until I have rifles or cuirs, at which point everyone else dies.
     
  9. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera Chieftain

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    lymond's post is very good, nice work. One other point that comes to mind is the usefulness of Universal Sufferage to rush buy buildings and missionaries. You should have enough cottages, hence wealth, to purchase your temples and cathedrals and missionaries faster than you can build them. Whipping in the 3 culture cities is also not generally what you want to be doing, but if you use lymond's setup of overlapping fat crosses it may not be a problem, I have never done it that way. Now, if you end up with the Kremlin, all the better. But that does mean teching to Communism.

    I have come to enjoy the mix of efforts required for a cultural victory. Begin with a little war. Move to a diplomatic focus to ensure you won't be stomped while painting, writing, and singing your way to victory. Finally, try to figure out the quickest, most efficient way to get three cities to Legendary status. It offers a variety in thinking and approaches in one game rather than war, war, war.

    One other trick, if you don't have sufficient religions try settling some cities on one tile islands or other undesirable spots, wait for a new religion to spread to you, send it on over to your core cities and gift the otherwise useless city to someone for a diplomatic bonus.
     
  10. capnvonbaron

    capnvonbaron Democratia gladii

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    Quoted for truth. In fact, one of the best ways to get an early Holy City is this. Ghandi/Izzy/Pacal are great targets for this, and sometimes even Ragnar or Monty snag one of the early ones -- and if they're your neighbor you DEFINITELY want to make them dead before you go for culture.

    Also a great plan. :hatsoff:

    Also, if the UN gets built, make sure to defy any "emancipation adoption" votes. Caste is king. Emancipation and/or villian unhappiness won't be an issue since you should be running culture at or near 100%.
     
  11. tdy99

    tdy99 Chieftain

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    For some reason I find culture the most enjoyable kind of victory. It doesn't become tedious like military victories, and it doesn't feel like you just kind of won by default the way space often does. It's a challenge without being un-fun in later stages.
     
  12. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera Chieftain

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    Very good point. I do enjoy that about going culture, it turns your problems on their head. Things you normally struggle with simply fade away. Happiness is no longer an issue, culture border wars are a thing of the past. There is a whole slew of new problems to solve, but that is the challenge. A culture game now and then is very refreshing.
     
  13. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! Hall of Fame Staff

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    well, Cap, you should generally win culture long before UN comes into play, but yeah, if it is a late game culture push emanc must be defied.
     
  14. Timo33

    Timo33 Chieftain

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    Thx a lot lymond, after reading your post i wanted to try a cultural game and i ended 200 years earlier than usually =)
     
  15. Mec AntiKythera

    Mec AntiKythera Chieftain

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    Makes me want to see if I can finish a game 200 years ago.
     
  16. capnvonbaron

    capnvonbaron Democratia gladii

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    Yeah I've had a few isolated starts where I fared decently by myself, but when I found the rest of the world they were all teching like mad and I didn't really have much of an option besides culture. In those cases, UN usually gets built a good bit before victory, and the AI always loves to bring forth the emancipation vote for whatever stupid reason.

    But you're right, with a dedicated culture push, the AI should never have the UN up on Monarch and below before you win.
     

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