[GS] Deity Advice - Abraham Lincoln (Real Strategy+Late Game AI), Standard Speed, Pangaea+, Small


Feb 21, 2023
Looking for some specific advice for Honest Abe. I've incorporated what I could find from searching here and sparing what time I could to watch Potato McWhiskey's videos (the man does a great job of trimming the fat but it's still a slow process to watch someone else play Civ.) It's taken my play ahead by leaps and bounds, and finding the incredibly valuable Industrial Zone guide here was a huge help to me, especially with helping me decide where to settle. I'm still finding myself struggling a bit, so I'm hoping I can get a little more information to help me secure that win. I am using a small number of gameplay-affecting mods, of which Better Balanced Start, infixo's Real Strategy, and Phyrax's Late Game AI are the most relevant. There are no mods that make sweeping changes to civs, leaders, or major gameplay elements. I use Late Game AI's "no starting warriors" option, which removes the AI's free starting warriors in favor of tapered bonuses to yields. I found this made for a more balanced and interesting early game - they still have their bonus settlers and scouts and builders, but the risk of a turn 20 invasion is nil unless it's a warmonger like Alexander or I completely ignore military (and being punished for that feels appropriate.) Or it's Cleo, since even if I have 20 more military score she still thinks I'm weak...

My general strategy so far has been to open with Scout-Slinger-Slinger and a second Scout afterwards if I still haven't found an ideal settling location (or didn't get a free scout from a goody hut.) I try to find a barb camp with the warrior or scout and get my Archery eureka that way. I usually use the slingers and warrior to scout in a circle around my capital while my scout(s) ranger farther and try to find CSes and civs. Due to the ease of the aqueduct diamond, I usually try to settle near/on rivers or conveniently placed mountains. I do try to find at least one location nearby that can get me a +3 or better campus, though a +2 that later becomes +3 when other districts are placed is fine. I play with abundant natural wonders, but will typically not forward-settle onto one unless it's one of the very strong ones like Patiti. And even then, only if I can reasonably settle the in-between area as well.

I'm not sure how best to go about settling my area. Going greedy and trying to do a Magnus opener with the "settlers do not cost pop" promotion usually doesn't work out because it's simply too long before I'm getting my 3rd+ settlers out. I will always at least begin working on a settler after my 2nd or 3rd slinger (if I don't see an immediate need for the 2nd slinger/scout I'll switch to a settler) and settle nearby, ideally in position to setup an aqueduct diamond with the capital. But I'm struggling on knowing when to really start pumping settlers to try and take over my area. I know this will somewhat depend on how aggressive/close my neighbors are, but even if I spawn on an island by myelf (when I try using continents instead of pangaea), I still feel like I'm struggling to identify exactly when/how to expand versus develop. Should I wait until I get my first campus/commercial hub online before going for those 4th or 5th cities, or is it best to just pump settlers in one big chain and then swap back to infrastructure?

Potato McWhiskey seems to heavily endorse a Pingala opener in most games, but if I'm constantly bleeding a pop from my capital, is that really worth it? Maybe it would be better to open with a Liang so that I can get the extra builder charge and bonus to district production when I switch from settlers to infrastructure? If I'm on continents and I'm alone on an island, would that be a case to go for a Magnus opener and spam out settlers to cover the island and go full greed? That seems to be like the play, but the few times I've had that, it always seems like there's some absolute juggernaut on the other continent pumping 200+ culture or science when everyone else is below 100 and that just seems insurmountable since I'm probably not in a position to threaten them. I know other threads say to not worry about huge discrepancies like that, but in my experience with the AI mods, the AI doesn't completely fall apart past Industrial age. They won't outperform a skilled player, but I'm not exactly a skilled player! Yet...

Specific for Abe:

How do you determine when you should be making that infantry push? There are three timings that I see talked about - medieval era with MaA's (with a possible continuation into Musketmen), industrial with Line Infantry, or modern with Infantry. MaA's works, but can be awkward because you probably also need to deviate to Machinery for siege towers and trebuchets and unless you have roads everywhere, melee units are cumbersome to move out en masse. Line Infantry seems a little questionable to me, since a lot of the techs take you away from other paths you might want that enable infrastructure and access to Flight for mustangs and bombers. Regular Infantry is something you will probably get on your way to oil and aircraft anyway, so I feel like it's more of a consolation prize and/or something to support your air fleet than anything else.

The most recent game I played had me trying to invade Dido with a Line Infantry timing, but even though I'd pre-built several bombards, the damned things barely scratched her walls. The stats listed the cities as 300/200 strength so I'm assuming that meant renaissance walls? Even a mid-sized city had an effective combat strength into the 90's, so I'm guessing she'd advanced to field cannons, though I never saw one when I was fighting her. It seems like the infantry rush would be best against a weaker neighbor so that you can get some "free" cities and their yields, but it's the one or two that are running away with culture/science that concern me. I'm not sure I can afford to wait until I'm able to bomb them into submission.

I've been largely going for a production/science focus since war doesn't mesh well with diplomacy, I don't build holy sites at all because I can't afford to delay my progression (and don't have any benefits whatsoever towards religions), and I'm not chasing GW/GA/GMs so if I make any film studios, it's going to be the cities that have great works I captured.

Is it worth it to beeline straight to Apprenticeship to get the MaA factories going ASAP? Should I deviate to get aqueducts first since it's easy to get the eurekas for that line? What civics would be complimentary to the infantry rush? I will typically go Oligarchy, and I tend to eye Merchant Republic afterwards, as Divine Right takes me through a completely different side of the tree (and Theocracy obviously has few benefits to an atheist civ.) Afterwards I try to beeline Nationalism so I can start turning my infantry spam into corps for more effective pushes.
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