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Deity Isolation Workshop (Stan/Norm/Fractal/NH/NE)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Lain, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Pedro78 Not sure if you are around, you seem to come and go abit sporadically. :)
    But your post helped me alot. And I think this is kind of a nice practice map for others who want to take on deity isolation.

    Spoiler :


    I played it blind first, then compared to your result and the differance was staggering, your T54 position is impressive.
    I didn't lag behind much more from that point on, but the early gains seem to have snowballed.

    When I replayed and tried to mimic (almost) what you did up to that point I got way better results.
    I did do a small alteration from there though, going for sailing before writing, and settled 6 cities instead of 5, (with one offshore island the 6th city is less expensive).
    I'm more behind in GPgeneration but tried to prioritize maturing the capitals cottages instead.
    Settled second scientist and thats likely a mistake but I thought I had time to get more in time being Phi.
    Oh, and I'm behind two turns on optics too.

    Civ4ScreenShot0014.JPG

    I see that you write later on that this must be one of the easiest iso maps in this thread. Now I haven't played them all, but I found the rest here kind of tricky, but that might have been in just my game...
    The entire mainland got into a hindu lovefest with isolated pacal grabbing all religions for himself. Sury running away in tech with his overpowered shrine, and Hannibal had Toku as a peace vassal and had alot of land.
    Even pacal blazed away quite abit as he had so much land (and he is usually a good techer).
    Only Mehmed was a juicy target really when I was ready to DoW.
    With his land and a large army I think it would be very much winable from that point on, but I'm not sure it would be easy. :)

    Do you (or anyone else?) see some glaring errors in my play from T118 to T187 in the military buildup that could be improved on significantly?
     

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  2. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    Hi Krikav,
    Don't have Civ installed right now (will get back to it soon enough), so can't look at the save, but a few comments:
    Spoiler :

    I remember this game (though not in great detail). Looking at the T118 screenshots, I don't really like either of our positions. Should probably have the mids; 9-10 cities and close to 70pop at this point (and a bit behind in tech of course, but at 250bpt it doesn't matter). But back when I played this map, I was focused on winning in the worst possible conditions (which was a bit laughable with this type of land).

    Not sure where you're at regarding GP generation, but on this map I had enough GS to bulb GP + 2*Chem, which is a huge deal on the way to Steel. Should have led to a pre-160 DoW if I could trade for Guilds & Engi (which seems very likely looking at your description of the tech situation). Not sure what you did wrong there (I'll try to look into it when I reinstall Civ), but T187 seems horribly late, even if you had Rifles by then.

    Also, even though my posts in this thread are a good reflection of my learning process, they contain a lot of inaccurate stuff after T50, partly because I had the bad habit of trying to find general rules for everything.

    If you're looking for games to play that will provide a good learning experience, I'd suggest you dig through some older threads by Rusten & Shakabrade (was pretty insightful for me back then).
     
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  3. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Pedro78

    mids, 9 cities and 70pop? Thats a tall order! :D

    Spoiler Pyramids + Development try :


    I'm not 100% sure that pyramids are the right way to go on this map. I know @Rusten chipped in and thought it was obvious.
    But there was a Stalin map with faraway stone too, and I think pyramids made more sense on that map tbh.
    Here with alex there is no shame crusing with pop6+pop5 cities (health cap is crippling anyway) since we can run phi-scientists.
    But anyway... I did a pyramids try.
    Grew to pop5 with capital first and settled a close by helper to hold the food while capital built stuff.
    Had 5 workers here and the sixth is whipped in Corinth in time to improve pigs after borderpop.
    Civ4ScreenShot0000.JPG
    AH->min->BW->TW->Myst->Mason->Agri->Pot->Sail->Writing.
    Agri before pot because to grow cities fast enough (makes sense with the worker army from pyramids chopping, can afford to farm and replace with cottages).
    Sail before writing because with that offshore island sailing is almost as good as currency and there isn't much production to spare for libraries due to pyramids and the rapid expansion.
    Pyramids, 9 cities, 53 pop but no 250 bpt, also GPGeneration is completely off, having settled one GEng already and have not spawned any GSci.
    Civ4ScreenShot0001.JPG

    Maybe this approach is better, but it isn't at all obvious to me.
    And also I'm quite sure I have screwed up alot of micro and made some faulty priorities.

     
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  4. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    @krikav
    Spoiler :

    Nice experimentation, you really put in the effort (and you seem to have made a lot of progress in the past couple of years).

    I hadn't taken the health cap into account when I stated 70pop. The ideal pop count by 1AD should be around 60.

    Still don't have Civ installed, so can't open your saves and see exactly how you played, but here are a few things I had in mind for this map:

    • Build mids, then settle 10 cities & grow to health cap right away. Not sure about the timeline here, but 10 cities + mids by T90 seems reasonable.
    • Stay in slavery throughout, don't bother with CoL, just library + 2 scientists everywhere
    • 1 settled GS / GE + Academy in Athens (if GP #2 is also a GE, then settle him too, with PHI it's no big deal)
    • Go for Alpha right after Sailing, then IW-Compass (Harbor in Athens will pay off nicely). Then MC-Mach-Optics.
    • There's plenty of good tiles available + rep scientists + build research
    With the right priorities and good micro, ~230bpt at 0% slider (with some commerce to spare) around T115-120 doesn't seem unrealistic. And that's a really strong setup for the post-Optics phase.

    But the main thing really is to expand like crazy as soons as the Mids are secure (you should probably have 10 cities before the first library). With all these good tiles, a few cottages should allow you to break even at 0%.

    By the way I like the fact that you had 5 workers fairly early (on this kind of map, you can hardly overbuild workers), and I don't like Corinth's placement (if you're not gonna get the pigs, why not settle on the stone?)

    Maybe I'm a bit optimistic and what I describe as T115-120 is more like T125. Either way it's probably an ideal setup for this map, gives you a lot more flexibility than skipping the mids and getting 1AD Optics.
     
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  5. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Thanks for feedback @Pedro78

    Spoiler :


    I really like the approach to just expand like crazy. New cities cost ofcourse, but if they have a return on investment 30 turns after settlement, it makes sense to settle them as quickly as possible.
    Was really impressed by what Rusten showed on that imfamous Mao-map, and that "I don't care what the AIs are doing, I'm just going to develop here." attitude I start to suspect can be expanded into quite a few more maps really.

    Regarding Corinth, yes I thought abit about that.
    I grew to pop5 quickly because I thought that was reasonable as there would not be time to grow for a long time after the first growth spurt.
    Sparta was settled first to not let all the good growth potential from pigs/clam go to waste while Athens built settlers/workers.
    Then there was time to claim stone. And since T68 pyramids are also quite risky there was simply no time for workers to improve a pig by then. Just quarry and then back to chop. The monument was easily done as workers chopped in during transit time (moving to stone, and then moving back to Athens for chops).
    One could absolutely argue for settlement on stone as that saves a truckload of workerturns early on, but settlement this way gives me 4 cities with freshwater and Corinth is one of the "big five" from rep.

    I reckon that you approve of teching agriculture before pottery, and sailing before writing to, from your statement.
    "But the main thing really is to expand like crazy as soon as the Mids are secure (you should probably have 10 cities before the first library).".

     
  6. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    @krikav
    Spoiler :

    Sailing before writing: absolutely, libraries will come quite late anyway.

    Agriculture before Pottery? No way. On this map, agriculture would probably come after Optics. No time for farms on a map like this, and Agriculture will delay Writing / Sailing / Alpha.
     
  7. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @Pedro78
    Spoiler :

    You think?
    I imagine that it makes a whole lot of sense to farm almost everything and replace with cottages only when population is saturated (and likely only capital tiles then too.)
    It helps grow and expand much faster, recovering from whips easier.

    I guess you have to install civ and show how it's done. ;)

    Will make another attempt where I ignore teching for longer and continue to expand instead myself.
     
  8. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    @krikav
    Spoiler :

    With infinite worker turns, this is the optimal strategy. But on this map worker turns are limited and the benefit from farms is not that great.

    I probably won't replay this exact map (I don't have as much time as I used to, so I'd rather play something new), but if you have another one in the same lines (or not) I'll try and give it a go sometime soon.
     
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  9. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    I played on from an earlier save about right before starting pyramids, to save the bother of different barb spawnings and such.
    Now I went sailing before pottery and settled the island quicker.
    Spoiler :


    Micro was perhaps a tiny bit more sloppy this time around (even I have troubles keeping up motivation when replaying multiple times. :) )
    I settled most of the cities a tiny bit quicker, and GPgeneration is slightly less off. But when it comes to tech I'm abit more behind here.
    That whale city I think was not good at all this close to optics but what suprises me more is that the other cities are not yet at health/happy cap either.

    Civ4ScreenShot0001.JPG


    @Pedro78
    Is there any map in this thread that you recommend in perticular...? I saw that there was a Kublai map but it had low sea level and that I find tricky.
     

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  10. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    The Boudica map is definitely a benchmark. Not a very hard one when you know what you're doing but both Lain and I broke our teeth when we first played it (while Rusten got a pretty convincing win). It's also a map that I've replayed multiple times.
     
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  11. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    The boudica map, T135 optics
    Spoiler :

    I recall that I at least started this map way back, and I did glance abit at the discussion in the thread as I played along.
    I did fall into the "Dry rice" trap though, and I probably was abit too ambitious in settling cities quickly.

    Had the settler for Isca done waaay to early, but didn't settle untill I was sure it wouldn't interfere with optics date and for the cash needed to upgrade that trireme.

    Had 4 cities and 3 libraries up T79, and somewhere around there I got very confused about how I would be able to expand more (wanted more cities), and also get existing cities large enough while also getting 3 GSci in time.
    Then I read up on the thread and saw that the consensus was that probably skipping academy was wise.

    I'm not sure that it was best, capital did get alot of commerce with all those wines improved and a academy might pay of in the long run.
    But it was very comfortable not having to streach everything to the limit getting those 3 scientists out and instead just comfortable producing two while growing and expanding.

    Civ4ScreenShot0005.JPG


    Now I'm entering the really interesting part, where possibilities to screw up are much larger. :)
    I'll whip 3 caravels so I can go W, SW, SE and E at the same time as tundra indicate I'm way up north.
    Some lovely fish island in the south too that trireme+scout will check out first.

    Wonders seem to go pretty fast. I know Joao is in the game (Saw his name in the thread) and I also think Ragnar but I can have mixed that up.


     

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  12. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Anyone else playing abit of ISO fun? :)
    Spoiler Up at T146 :


    Saw two islands when moving southeast, one has double fish but in second ring. Moving down to settle those two now.
    I love to go and settle some astro-land, getting some domestic offshore islands are nice for when most AIs go merc, and more cities are more cities...
    Sometimes I think that I go abit overboard with this though, and that I delay other ventures that could be more fruitfull.

    It feels like a somewhat safe way to play though, if I can't manage to steal someone elses land at last I have more myself.

    Civ4ScreenShot0019.JPG
    Got a whole lot of trades before breaking monopoly on astro.
    First AI I met was Sury in his caravel and that made me abit sad, But then I stumbled on gilgamesh who was lacking compass.
    Then Saladin who was lacking compass+metalcasting.
    Delayed astro-bulb for a turn or two to set up some bartering between them and Joao, (got feud+currency from saladin/gilga which I in turn sold to Joao as he was lacking them.
    Also got a map from some of them and saw China culture, but I avoided meeting them before finishing these trades so save abit WFYABTA with him.
    Met Ragnar last with a scout.

    Traded away astro with gilga for cs+engineering, thought about getting philo to broker that to the ones who where lacking it, but I don't have much use for philo and I wanted to swap civics to bur asap and start some cs-farming.
    Guilds got up for trade just this turn when I almst had given up hope so I have just traded astro for guilds with Qin.
    Civ4ScreenShot0020.JPG
    Religious divides are complete, I don't think I have ever seen something like this.
    Civ4ScreenShot0021.JPG
    Ragnar doing his usual thing... Major risk if he goes on a rampage.
    Civ4ScreenShot0022.JPG


    Getting a GSci out pretty soon, not sure whats the best use though.
    Likely bulb chemistry..? But I think a GA would be very nice too as I need to swap to vass/slavery pretty soon.
     

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  13. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    T161 Boudica game
    Spoiler Questions and thoughts regarding trading away monopoly techs, and fleet buildup in relation to steel (drydock) :


    I did end up putting a bulb into chemistry, and swapped back to vass/slavery after I had borderpop in the double-fish island.
    I'm making my way to steel now and building some random units. Should probably start to count how many I have of each. :)
    Did get a dun in capital so the muskets I build there start with guerilla (Want them as stack protectors and try to find landingspots on hills).
    (Think this is a trick I read off you somewhere @Pedro78) Civ4ScreenShot0009.JPG

    The problem lies in that cash is running dry. I'm almost out of black areas to scout and my map trades are getting down to 5-10 if that.
    The last turn or so, Ragnar and Gilga put up PP for trade. Did check last turn and this turn and noone of them seem to be going chemistry.
    Feels like it would be almost insanity to give away chemistry then, as I could hold monopoly on it for a long time if I don't.
    But with 12 villages and 12 towns, PP would be pretty neat to get as I'm trying to go to steel asap.

    I don't know who would be best to hit yet, but I'm thinking that it would be really nice to go for Qin, his best cities are pretty nearby and he is strong.
    Gilgamesh looks nice too and has built alot of wonders.
    I have tried to refrain from trading with Joao to try keep him behind, thinking that I can take him next if I lose steam against my first target.
    Civ4ScreenShot0008.JPG


    Bonus question...
    How do you manage the fleet-buildup?
    With agg leaders, I often find myself being a cheapscate and building just so few galleons that I can possibly get away with first, and then try to rush forth a few more after steel so I can get them with drydock bonus.
    Often this results in my army standing on my continent eager to fight and looking with disbelief at my incompetence.
     
  14. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup Agent of Chaos

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    @ Krikav :
    Spoiler :
    I don't have much experience with these games but, from your position :
    Getting the production is going to be hard, it will take time. Therefore, I think you should wait on Steel to build your navy. Drydocks pay off extremely fast.
    Focus on your land count before then.
    The land you have is really bad. No food for Slavery. Workshopping is an option but even that doesn't look great.
    Drafting would save you a lot of population. So, I'd mostly do Trebuchets, if I were you, and keep a look for a favourable trade for Nationalism. Pikes and swords will obsolete really fast. Except for Trebs, I'm not sure the units you're building are worth the switch in Vassalage. Muskets, maybe. Even them are bad. You'll really want Rifles/Grenadiers.

    So... navy : ship 'em all on the first go (10 Galleons or so ?), then set up a chain.

    I agree that Qin or Sury should be targetted, first. Have you considered Sury ? I'd consider Sury.

    Maybe you should spread Hindu.

    Looking back :
    I might have gone towards Rifling, rather than Steel (mostly because drafting). From your Optics position, I might have tried for Liberalism. It's not sure you could Lib a good target, though, depends on trades. Steel is an easier beeline than Rifling.
    I don't know about trading Astronomy, in this setup. Maybe keeping the monopoly is wiser : it delays you some but it also delays them some.
     
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  15. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    @BornInCantaloup Thanks for the feedback! Good points!

    Spoiler :

    I have played on abit longer, and have mostly done what you adviced. :)
    Phased out building of maces/pikes and only building trebs now, some coastal cities have started building wealth (rolling onwards overflow for drydocks).
    Have started some workshopping, perhaps a swap to nationhood/caste later on could be good. Ships get their two promotions from drydocks anyway.
    The land is food deprived, especially now since I crammed in more filler cities. Just having food enough to support drafting might be difficult.

    Have only breifly considered Sury, he is so far away! :D Will consider him more.
    At T169, still noone is going chemistry and I have monopoly. Did not do a trade for PP.

    Noone is plotting still, but Ragnar looks so dangerous... I'm trying to tell Sury&Qin to build more units but they do not listen. :(

     
  16. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    T187, I got a foothold on the main continent. Keeping Joao behind, but things are somewhat messy.
    Spoiler :


    I did build 6 galleons prior to drydocks, just to be able to take a quick bite.
    Stod safely on this hill and shot down his reinfocements for a few turns.
    I did scout him quite abit but he didn't have much units at all.
    After this though, I had a hell on the sea as I got my hands on economics and swapped to free market+caste and didn't whip, so I had way to few frigates and got my seafood on the frontier island pillaged. >_<
    Civ4ScreenShot0026.JPG

    Ofcourse Qin pulls rifling out of thin air and ruins all fun. >_<
    Ceasefire after this, not sure how to make more progress. Have some friendly AIs and have waited a long time for some yummy trade, but that doesn't seem to like it want to happen.
    Civ4ScreenShot0031.JPG
    Civ4ScreenShot0032.JPG

    Have 4 privateers at Joaos place making things sour for him. Killed 14 carracks so far and likely got 200 plunder gold. But now I have to circle the island staying clear of two of Ragnars frigates. :<
    But Joao is abit behind.
    Have gotten some diplo hits and w/o religion I think I can only have ragnar friendly, Noone seem to have any beakers into steel yet.
    I did give Gilga steel in hope that I could get some bunnyjumping trades through, but got stuck after I got nationalism, constitution, lib, economics.
    Noone is giving me replacable parts or military science. :(
    Rangar have been plotting for a while, and I forsee a future where he makes vassals of his entire continent.
    Sally is likely to roll over Gilga soon too, but Gilga has cannons and cuirs and I have been holding of peacemaking there in the hope that they will trade armies with each other.
    Civ4ScreenShot0034.JPG


    @BornInCantaloup
    I really feel the lack of production. I kind of want to just swap to slavery again but not sure that would help. (A momentary bliss but then darkness I would assume.)

    Kind of thinking that it was too ambitious to try to take on any of the big AIs and that I should just have gone for Joao.

    I think that in the situation I now find myself in, I should just continue to build the best units I can, and stock up in my foothold and wait for Ragnar to drop his hammer and see if I can piggyback and get myself some fragsteals.



    Taking a break here now, want to check out the new NC227 Stalin game. :)
     

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  17. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    I would go for Grens (self-tech), with Boudi they should also be good enuf on defense.
    Qin has no hill cities, just need something better than Muskies.

    Also no more hammers into Frigates, more Cannons & Maces (for upgrades),
    you can transport everything while at peace :)
    Plundering everything around Nanjing (only corn for Bactrian) for more gold is good too.

    Ofc you could also switch targets, Qin doable but all depends on Rags i guess.
     
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  18. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Thanks for advice @Fippy!
    It feels like it takes so long time though! Think it was 9 turns for mil/sci at 100% research, and I can likely afford only 6-7 turns or so.
    But you are likely spot on with boats.
    I likely would have continued to build way more boats, as I felt good claiming superiority at sea, harassing Joao with privateers (so fun that he is absolutely commited to not getting chemistry).
    That I have allready gotten some drydocks also makes it easy to fall into a trap. "Oh, this city has a drydock, I should build boats so I don't lose the bonus."
    Building boats that you don't need... well thats really losing hammers.
     
  19. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    7 turns, could be worse ~~
    Frigates are good units, but feels like you have enuf (or will after completing those started) to protect those short sea ways, not like Qin has many coastal cities left.
     
  20. Pedro78

    Pedro78 King

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    That's a fun detail, assuming every musket comes from your capital. Depending on the timing it might have been superior to spread confu and switch to theocracy.

    A couple of quick comments on your game:
    Spoiler :

    I think there is a lot of room for improvement in your pre-Optics play. Some detailed insights on how you handled the first 80 turns or so would probably help. On this map, Optics can be reached around 300AD with 6 developed cities, an Academy and possibly a 4th GS on the way (gives a lot of flexibility in the middle game). It's all about having a structured early game with good micro. I know this sounds like harsh criticism, so if you post a few early saves I'll have a look at them and give you some feedback.
    (The mistakes virtually everyone makes are: not enough workers early on, not enough chopping, bad writing-timing, bad monarchy-timing.)

    From the very quick look I've had at your middle-game write-up, a few general notes:

    • The ideal war-prep timing goes like this: you get 10 cannons out on the turn you reach Steel (pre-whipped trebs), load them up in your navy along with your other troops and launch the attack immediately. This means everything should be ready on the turn you reach Steel. Reaching such a situation might take a bit of seemingly counter-intuitive play, but it'll allow you to attack sooner on most maps. Emphasizing production is A LOT more efficient than emphasizing research, so production should almost never be a bottleneck. The "let's build one pike here, one treb there and I'll count units once I reach Steel" *strategy* only works if you already have a winning position. (To be fair, you're still playing a lot better than I did when I first played this map)
    • Maybe it's been covered before and I missed it, but not going for Joao first seems weird. He's just so weak!
    • Did you make several switches in and out of Caste? It seems pretty bad unless you combine it with workshops + drafted rifles which are not a good idea on this map.
    I like this idea. In general, finding sensible uses for dubious builds such as Duns or Privateers tends to make the game more fun.

    Anyways, enough ramble for tonight ;)
     
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