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Darius Rush on Emperor

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by colonization, May 7, 2012.

  1. colonization

    colonization Chieftain

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    K, so I'm a bit late to the party, but I just started play BtS. Been a vanilla player since it came out and loved it. I played Emperor/Standard with anyone, Washington being my favorite (Fin/Org). So, obviously I gravitated towards Darius in BtS (yup, Fin/Org).

    I looked into the forums to see how to best take advantage of the Immortal rush on Emperor/Epic. It seems the old strategies of stealing workers to help the rush no longer work after the final patch, so I found it to be exceedingly difficult to rush even one AI on emperor and above (I play large maps, no barbs, i think it's even harder with barbs as they only serve to beef up the archers). I could whip/chop up 8 immortals, and by the time I got there, either:

    1) they already had iron working and had bronze/iron hooked up, or
    2) I could beeline straight for the capital, and if it took more than two turns from DoW to reaching the capitol, 8 immortals faced about a 50/50 chance of getting totally slaughtered by fortified archers.

    Tech: mining -> BW -> AH -> wheel -> whatever, prob beeline to CoL, with mysticism/fishing somewhere in there.

    Production:

    1) Worker -> settler -> worker -> rax -> immortals, , and second city rax -> immortals or
    2) boats -> worker -> settler -> rax -> immortals

    What made emperor a world apart from monarch was that the AI was able to crank out one archer per turn during war in any city size 3 and above it saw me targeting. If there was a crop of forests in the way (very often), then the capitol had 4-5 archers defending it when I got there, even if my scouting revealed only two right before DoW.

    Or, worse, they got bronze or iron hooked up, and got out a spear before I could unhook it. One spear = 3-4 archers in effectiveness in defending a city. I could get lucky and lure him out, but every turn spent on tactics even on epic speed meant one extra turn of crippling my economy, and one more turn of the AI cranking out more archers. I could wait for another 4-5 immortals to support the original 8, but that meant facing 6+ archers in the capitol. Usually by this time I am out of forests to chop and my cities are deep red in revolt.

    I've only succeeded once with the immortal rush on emperor - I was on a medium sized island with hattie and suleiman. Sul had bronze hooked up and iron in one of the city tiles - he got out one swordsman (whew) before I razed it. I was able to unhook the bronze on the same turn I DoW, and before he got anything out (which was the only way I found out he had iron below one of his cities). Hattie had a hill capitol that was defended by war chariots. Basically, I got real lucky.

    Every other time, it was a mixture of protective leaders, a hill capitol with archers, or two spears. Two spears completely shuts down an immortal rush - best case is that you delay your research by several turns (maybe 10-20 turns) as you maneuver your forces to compensate - it makes the war uneconomical even if you win. You will be lucky to take out just this one civ.

    All of this assumes that horses are either in my BFC or in my 2nd city. If not, all this is moot.

    Anyone else experiencing this with Darius?
     
  2. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    Yeah I just played a game with Persia and ran into this problem. It's the math. The 50% bonus is enough to overrun archers in a brand new city, with little cultural defence and no walls. If you're attacking the capital, however, with walls and, say, 40-60% cultural defence the immortals will get slaughtered. Basically I see it like this - an immortal rush to completely snuff out a rival, taking all their cities, will work in those starts where your neighbour's capital is just a few tiles away from yours (and you get horses very early). Otherwise I'd say immortals should be used to take as many cities as you can but don't suicide them on the capital. Think of it as a limited war.
     
  3. iggymnrr

    iggymnrr Deity

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    Offhand: rax? I've used immortals on both monarch and emperor and skip raxes. Depending on food a third city may be used. In general, I think CW is to use 1 rax at most for a rush.

    Edit: I know that at standard speed, immortals might net 3 civs conquered without too much fuss.
     
  4. colonization

    colonization Chieftain

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    This depends on size of map. On a large map, meeting 3 civs, finding where they are, and sending immortals all over the place is very time consuming. On emperor in a large map, usually the first civ you attack will already have bronze hooked up and will have iron working researched and possibly hooked up. On a standard/small map, I can see this as being easily doable.

    Re - second city rax, I found the second city production to usually be marginal. Its usually there to just hook up the horses. Of course this is assuming there are any horses nearby to hook up. I tried rex to 3rd city, but found that in almost every game if there was metal for the AI, not only was it hooked up, there were already several axes and possible some spears before I even DoW.

    Oh, and BTW, on my one successful go at the immortal rush, I was on an island yes, but there were 4-6 other civs I hadn't even met yet. If any of them were peacemongers, I was probably looking at a very bad tech situation. I was also right next to Sul and luckily he only had one sword when I DoW him - he had both bronze and iron hooked up - i think he was still researching iron when I DoW. After taking Sul and Hattie I had great land yes, but it does not take a lot of land on emperor for an AI to get cultural or mech inf at ungodly speeds. Again, on standard/small maps this may be less of a problem, but on large maps on emperor i've found that I don't lose to any of the warmongers, but to Gandhi getting 50K culture before 1800.(???) I didn't play this one out - I was just surprised that the immortal rush actually worked. I was very lucky that Hattie left her capitol guarded with war chariots, and that I was able to unhook Sul's bronze before he got a spear out.

    I didn't have any of these issues on emperor on vanilla, so I'm guessing that the BtS patch really beefed up the AI. Gandhi was cranking out nearly 1k culture per turn in his 3rd highest city about 10 turns after getting Radio and building the Eiffel tower. That really caught me by surprise. I don't think the AI is programmed for cultural in vanilla.
     
  5. colonization

    colonization Chieftain

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    This has been my experience as well. On the large maps I play, I've ended up using immortals defensively, if at all, unless there were some unique opportunities (like Gandhi with no hill capitol). It's made me gravitate towards using Hannibal. I think given the map size I'm using, someone with a later unit that is still crazy good is probably worth a go.
     
  6. iggymnrr

    iggymnrr Deity

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    Ah so there is a distance thing at work. There are tactics to use. Avoid positioning a stack until the last possible second to strike. The AI is not likely to whip unless threatened: a stack of 3 or so might trigger a whip if it can attack a city. Wait until whole stack is there before positioning to minimize whips. I'm sometimes torn between pillaging metal or not. A spear can be lured out by a lone immortal and the AI sometimes whips an axe instead of an archer or spear. (I figure 2 out of 3 whip cases favor me. Optimist!) If there seems to be a lot of work to do, metal gets pillaged. Seems like I never let the AI get to IW so at epic speed it seems like the rushes mentioned are slow if iron is in play. (You did not mention seeing swords however.)
     
  7. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    ^
    The best way is send one persian immortal to each target. Verify before the bragging function in diplo table if archers are best units.
    Then DoW and explore the lands asap.
    At last, observe all their tile outputs: the weird outputs like a bare grass tile with one hammer or a bare grass hill with 2 hammers are sign of hidden resources seens by the AI which can be deduced because you see them. Then roam around those tiles at a distance of 2 tiles if reachable within one turn (otherwise workers will swarm to improve).

    Meanwhile you send more backup immortals to take care of other sources of strat. resources within one of the main target civs.

    BTW, all these tips are said without knowing content of other comments.
     
  8. Htadus

    Htadus A and L's dad

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    Couple of years ago there was a Diety Persian xOTM were a player did a conquest with immortals against Augustus, Alexander, Shaka, Saladin, Hanibal and two other. He explored explosively and sent 1 or 2 immortal to each AI and just pillaged and stole workers. Closest AI did not even get a second city.

    I can not remember which leader it was. I too were able to kill Alex(capital only), Shaka(2 cities), Sal (2 cities) and Augustus (3 cities) but having kept all the cities I quit the game when my units were going into strike. Noob mistake.

    When I attacked Hannibals capital I did lost about 8-10 units taking it but he had all kinds of wonders in that city. I never built a rax in the captal until captured cities were buiding Immortals and then cycled cities building rax.

    Your build order hinders the growth of the capital and tech order is not progressive either. BW will let you chop but delays locating Horse. What good is the second settler if you do not know where the horses are at?

    The wheel and Animal husbandary should be your priorities. If you have horses than forget about the seconsd city(settler). Build anotehr worker in it s place if needed. You can have the worker improve the horses if within BFC or start roading toward horses. When BW is in, you are ready to start chopping/whipping.

    BTW what do you mean by that you can not use worker steals to do an Immortal rush?
     
  9. goldys_lackey

    goldys_lackey Hitler

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    I think you need to match up 4 vs 1 in # of cities, to get enough production against an Immortal AI. That is 4 cities sending all their immortals to one AI city. Cut the inlet road to stop it getting bronze/iron. Build up 2.5 immortals / archer, attack. Rinse and repeat. You can cottage your capital as the 5th city comes online to keep from striking.
     
  10. colonization

    colonization Chieftain

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    Thanks for the play by play. I did variations of this, but couldn't spell it out clearly.



    Interesting. So you can see hammer bonuses from resources that your tech is not able to discover yet, as long as the AI has discovered the tech?

    1) Build/tech order seems to be fine. If I don't go for BW first, then the first worker typically has very little to do (starting tech is ag/hunting) outside of maybe a farm here or a mine there (mining is done while building first worker). While chopping for first settler, I can usually get AH research done, so what you state is not a problem.

    2) Most of the worker steal quotes I've read are indeed dated to a couple years ago, apparently before the 3.17 patch came out. I knew it worked wonders in civ 3 but never tried it in civ 4 - was always afraid of the diplo penalties which I wasn't familiar with. Well, what do you know, apparently the 3.17 patch augmented the AI so that it guards workers when it can. In Emperor and above, workers are almost always guarded by archers, so steals with a warrior are not possible (at least not for me).
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    If you're going to play large maps on normal speed without increasing the # of opposing civs beyond standard, then you're just asking to struggle when rushing. Unless they happen to be close your conquests will be further away than usual and you'll probably be bypassing a lot of sights you could have had more cheaply.

    On epic, however, it should be doable to mop at least 2 civs as long as they're within 20 tiles or so of you.
     
  12. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    Yes. Bragging function+yield tiles deduction is the strongest combo for early rushes.
    It reduces significantly the random aspect of early game.
     
  13. colonization

    colonization Chieftain

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    I'm not following this strategy. Usually just one production city is enough - the capitol - maybe a food city to whip more as needed; still, the second city is almost exclusively used to hook up horses, not to whip for more immortals (although it can certainly do this). Regardless, spending the time to build any more than one settler is almost guaranteeing the AI will have IW and a couple spears before you DoW, and this is on emperor level.
     
  14. colonization

    colonization Chieftain

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    Yeah, k. Nice reality check. :)

    Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. On monarch I was able to consistently do this on large maps, but I found on emperor the AI got a crop of advantages that made this very difficult.
     
  15. Htadus

    Htadus A and L's dad

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  16. colonization

    colonization Chieftain

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    It's k, I think the comments here gave me what I needed. Here's the save of my one successful attempt, got two civs down before turn 150 on epic. I'm guessing from the comments I can probably speed it up if I don't wait for a stack of death before going in.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. cbucks

    cbucks Warlord

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    Attack should be arouNd 1600bc, 5 immortals for first city should be enough. Only use 2 cities
     
  18. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    worker/settler/worker start is way, way too slow. Try building a worker, improve food tiles, then grow to size 4, then get a second worker and settler to claim horses. Your capital will then produce immortals lightning quickly (with chops and a couple whips, you can easily have 8-10 immortals before an AI hooks up metal.

    Also, using a worker to start roading to your target is good, and scouting around their land as well - in the off chance they do hook up metal, you can kill it in the first turn or two of the war, before they have a chance to build anything of consequence. But your build order is likely slowing things down meaningfully for you - immortal rush on emperor should easily claim one nearby target unless you're awfully unlucky.
     
  19. colonization

    colonization Chieftain

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    Not sure I follow this. If you are beelining to BW first, then your first worker, after building a farm and maybe a mine, will begin chopping. In the time it takes to grow your no-granary capital to size 4, you will already have the worker-settler-worker. Then, while growing your city to size 4, it is building a rax and immortals via chopping. Building anything without chopping is not lightning-quick. Chopping is what makes it fast, IMHO. You need workers to do that. Two workers every 3 turns will give your city 40 production on standard. THAT is lightning quick. Also, it limits problems with unhappiness cap.

    Running the numbers, on epic, it should take 20 turns for the first worker, then another 30 turns to grow the city to size 4 while in general idling your first worker, or maybe he is chopping down a rax and warrior garrison. Another 20 to chop/make a worker and settler. THEN, at turn 70, you are beginning to crank out immortals.

    If you just do worker/settler/worker, you get 20 turns for the first worker, another 20 for the settler (you are chopping now), and 10 more for the second worker. For the next 20 turns, you are chopping a rax and making immortals, all the while 2 cities are growing. I think this way is a bit faster.

    I think the main impediment to claiming cities fast is the game settings I am using, large fractal, sometimes I play with only 4-5 AI. That adds another 10-20 turns to the rush in most cases I think.

    Re scouting, you have a scout, and the worker needs to chop.
     
  20. michmbk

    michmbk Emperor

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    The point is how long it takes to build your second worker & settler. At size 1, building a worker & settler is much, much slower than size 4 - if you're chopping here, you're missing out on growth (production) and the trees that could later be used to pull an immortal army together in about 10 turns are wasted on the second worker/settler. This doesn't even take into account the maintenance penalty of a new city before having any growth, and how that negatively impacts your tech rate.

    This debate comes up every now & then and it's always been shown that your start is much slower if you don't wait for some growth in between. You can tech AH/Wheel and then head to BW (I wouldn't beeline BW if immortals are my UU - would rather get AH first) while building the first worker & growing...the first worker improves special food tiles and then can either help chop the second worker/settler once you're size 4 or road between the capital and the second city (which presumably claims horse).

    If you run the same start and compare the first 50 or so turns building worker/settler/worker vs. worker/warriors to size 4 then settler/worker, the latter start will be ahead overall. It takes 15 turns to build a worker on normal speed at size 1, whereas at size 4, it's more like 4-5 turns - the worker & settler come out faster at size 4 than just the worker at size 1, and you still have your trees to quickly chop out an army. The warriors you build in between help with scouting and military protection. You have two workers and two cities either way, but you'll be ahead in overall production (and I'll bet tech) because you produced the second worker & settler after growth.

    I agree that the large size map is making it tougher to pull off the rush as well, but I'm willing to bet you're meaningfully slowing things down with starting builds as well. I know this has been hashed out a bunch before on this forum - tried to search to find one of the threads, but it's tough to find the right search terms to locate one of those threads. Here was the best I could find on worker-worker start:

    Worker worker

    Here's another one on worker-settler start:

    Worker settler

    In both threads, you have really good players adamantly opposed to the concept of stagnating growth early on. Easiest way for you to compare is to do the first 50 turns using both methods - I think you'll see growing before the second city is advantageous.
     

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