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Difficulty with wonders, maintainance cost, and technology.

Discussion in 'Civ3 Strategy Articles' started by Rawrzxor, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Rawrzxor

    Rawrzxor Chieftain

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    I've just started playing Civ III, and I'm getting uberboned. I'm always behind in technology; building a great wonder is impossible since the AI is always about 15 turns ahead of me; and, around early to mid middle ages, I start racking up HUGE maintenance costs--these are about equal to what I spend on science. Corruption is pretty bad, too, even with full courthouses; though, those help a bit.

    I can't seem to make good enough money to boost my income far enough to get above 50-60% tech. Even with full markets, full roads, and almost full banks.

    I've tried switching to Republic, but I basically can't even have 1 warrior in it because of the unit costs. Is it because I'm switching to Republic before I'm done expanding? I just thought about that this morning. But, if I switch to Republic war is basically completely off the table, right?

    I've searched all over, but I haven't found answers to these questions.

    Also, it seems like all the AIs develop their countries directly towards me. I'm playing on huge, and they all make it to surround my territory as fast as possible--instead of branching out wherever. -_-

    Also, how many improvements should I be building in each city? I know this is where my maintenance costs are coming from, but it's like I can hardly build what I need without going into the red. I've been trying to keep corruption down and make everyone happy, but that requires a lot of maintenance. :(

    Can anyone help me, please?
     
  2. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    There are lots of full responses to this issue, but probably not in the last few years. Republic can easily wage war on emperor level, but you have to use the lux slider and or get 3 - 4 lux. Early wars should be shorts, prior to having the lux and markets.

    Your maint issues are normal for newer players. The games seems to be more fun, building everything as soon as you learn it. Making wonders as soon as you can.

    This is usually the road to defeat or hard struggles for new players. Two issues that help the most imo.

    1) workers- it is typical to not have enough workers. Strive to have enough to improve tiles that are being worked. If you fall a little short, that is fine. What I have seen in games over the years is that many will have the same lack of roads and mines as the AI does. Thus losing shields and gold.

    2) building everything as soon as you learn it in all towns, will kill the empire. Unless it is low level and you are very experienced at the game.

    A third issue is wonders, take care in going for them and get them, if you do. This is done by prepping for it. You want to get your best shield town up to size 12 asap and mine as many tiles as you can and still feed them. At Sid I will add workers in an attempt to get the Great Lib.

    Back to point 2. The way to approach structures is to means test them. Do I need it in this town and do I need it now? Take a barracks. If you are going to only make units in a few places, they are the only ones that need a barrack, except for war front towns. The war front one can be sold, when they are no longer on the front.

    Libs and Temples are the main culprits. If you have a town with little food and lots of corruption do not build structures or at least wait till it is larger. A lib in town with a net of 1 beaker is not a good way to spend resources. A temple is not really needed in most case on low level maps, put them in larger cities.

    Again, a structure may be useful, but maybe not right now. Size 1 towns do not need temples and libs and can build them faster once they are larger.

    Growth is your friend.

    Consider corrupt towns may make more sense to not stick structures in them, but make the pop specialist like scientist and get more breakers and less maint cost.
     
  3. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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  4. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    Yes it is/was very useful, still remember when it was posted.
     
  5. Rawrzxor

    Rawrzxor Chieftain

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    Sweet. Thanks guys. :D I noticed the main issue was that I hadn't turned off the governors. This has made the game much, much easier. I can actually complete great wonders before the AI, now; however, once I switch to Republic, everything is nuked. That link was really helpful, btw.

    Thanks. :D

    However, I've noticed everyone saying that Republic is probably the best government type; however, when I switch to Republic from Depotism, I get a womping 60-80 gold unit cost. My free unit support goes from 60 to 18. This is huge. I can't do anything with this, and I don't understand how anyone can. 18 troops isn't even enough for me to maintain order in my cities, let alone have some military defense, and let alone research--I have to turn scientific research down to 30% in order to start making a profit, again. It's bonkers. If someone attacks me, I'm a helpless fish on fire; my scientific research is slowed to a snails pace; my cities lose happiness due to the lack of units; and, I have tremendous costs meaning I'm bleeding gold.
     
  6. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    Well Republic is a strong gov as it can handle wars for a time and forever with 4 luxs and the slider.

    Most likely you do not have enough towns and you need to get towns to city size quickly. The free support is a bit of a pain early, but Rep will generate more gold and pay for the troops better. You just need some size and city count.

    If you beelined for Rep and revolt soon after you get it, you should not need 18 troops. An empire of 10 towns at levels like Monarchy does not need defense. Makes some warriors to scout and MP I despotism.

    Rep does not use MP's, so no need for troops in towns that are safe. Build only vets and swords as soon as you get Ironworking. No spears or no more than a couple should be needed below Emperor.

    As you get larger and start to get into land crowding, you will then build up for wars. Mostly offensive units and bombardment.

    If you make nearly only offensive units, they will not be attacking you early. That comes when there is no room to grow, then you will have already started your build up.

    Of course some maps will require a deviation from the norm. Say you are crowed very early by someone like Khan or Montie.
     
  7. Rawrzxor

    Rawrzxor Chieftain

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    Aaahhh. I see. I'd read somewhere that you should have archer, sword, warr in each town, so that was taking up a lot of my unit counts. So, I only have to watch out for barbarians, early. Cool. I feel dumb. xD Thanks.

    How many cities should I try to get? By the time I get to 10-15, the other AI have already closed me in on all sides. :(
     
  8. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    10-15 sounds ok. (In my current Demigod game I got fenced in much earlier...)
    Question is: are they turned into size-12 production powerhouses fast enough, or are they idling around at size 1-3 forever? There is one War Academy Article that I would recommend to you at this point: The Case For Food It's an excellent source for beginners who are struggling with their empire's growth. I learned a lot from it, when I first read it.

    Most of your current problems will go away, once you learn to expand quickly enough (and here "expand" does not necessarily mean "more cities", it can also mean "bigger cities", so when you are hemmed in, you just expand "vertically" instead of "horizontally"). For example, I also see the effect in my games, that when I switch from Despo to Republic my unit maintenance doubles or triples. But it doesn't matter much, because my income also doubles. So even though I may have to reduce science spending from 90% to 50% for a while when going from Despo to Republic, my research is even faster than it was in Despo...! (Some early libraries in big cities are important here.)

    I always try to go into Republic as fast as possible, usually around 1500 BC. The extra food, shields and commerce completely outweigh the short period where you are paying immense unit upkeep.
     
  9. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    Well I am a bad one to ask on cities as I say all of them. However, just fill all the land you can till you have to take it from someone to expand.

    Get one or two towns that have a food bonus, if you can, put in a granary in those towns. Let them grow to where they can pop out a settler at a decent pace. Some will be at size 4, but 6 is better. They grow and pop out the settler and are back to 4 or 6 and do it again.

    May need to squeeze out workers now and then to keep it running smooth. I like to get a worker out of each new town for a long time.

    Well the crowding is a function of map size, difficulty level and amount of water. The smaller the map and the higher the level the faster it occurs. Should not be an issue on std Monarch or less.

    Likely in that case, you need to work on the settler pumps. Get workers to improve tiles so you have some shields and lots of food.

    I see no value in three units in a town, unless war is coming. Archers are for AW games, else I will not build them. Exception exist of course, like I see a capitol close and decide to take them out right away.
     
  10. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Actually, I just realize: this is not exactly a "Strategy Article", is it... ;) It's a request for help and tricks, so it should be moved up into the "Strategy & Tips" forum! Can a mod please do this?
     
  11. Dell19

    Dell19 Take a break

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    Does keeping so few troops increase the likelihood of the AI declaring war or making demands? Also what do you do if war does break out do you then build more units or just play defensively with the existing offensive units? Finally do you leave lots of cities undefended?

    I'm curious as I find usually one of my neighbours will declare war on me which has a side effect of making me build more units pre emptively. I guess this is why I still usually play on Monarch difficulty.
     
  12. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Yes.

    But there are counter-measures, which I usually deploy until I'm ready for war:
    • Make an embassy asap. (Makes AI happy)
    • Sign a ROP
    • Try to trade often.
    • If all else fails, gift a handful of coins here and there.

    And mind you: it is also possible to play military games with huge armies in Republic. A size-7 city supports 3 free units in Republic, compared to 4 free units in Monarchy -- that's not so big a difference!
    Here is a turn-by-turn walk-through of a military game of mine, where I conquered the world by 50 AD on Emperor level, standard continents map. Key for this strategy was the Republic to get enough cash to do a massive Warrior -> Gallic Swordsman upgrade:
    Asterix the Gaul
    Startsave is attached to post #30, and there is another save file every 10 turns, so you can play along as you read the instructions.
     
  13. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    I would not be in favor of RoP's and they are not available at the stage of the game I was talking about. Need Map Making, a low priority in most games for me.

    I have used RoP's in rare cases fairly early on demi god and above. The reason is and the timing is when I was in the way of two civs at war. I gave an RoP after their war ended with the victor as I wanted them to be able to leave asap.

    Otherwise they would take longer to vacate and may decide along the way I was ripe for picking. As a rule I dislike having an AI in my lands, especially with parts have not been claimed. I do not want them to know the path to open spots, they will send settlers if they have that knowledge.

    The AI is seldom going to try to extort me early in the game at low levels as I will be ahead in all things, other than military. I will be able to out produce them in case of war and out play them, so I have little fear that they will do much.

    They are going to respect your swords a great deal more than they do those spears that most players make. 8 swords look much better and are much better than 12 spears. Again the AI is normally busy trying to explore and expand.

    If they DoW, you have time to gear up, before they arrive and they will come in low numbers for a time.
     
  14. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Of course we are not talking about the low levels here. Here the AI is not a threat, so it's not that important to keep them happy. And on Demigod and above, the following arguments appear plausible to me:


    On high difficulty levels the AI is usually quick to research Map Making and I usually get it for free, when I trade Republic around. (You almost always want to trade/gift Republic away asap anyway:
    • in a military game you don't want the AI to be able to pop-rush all their towns down to size 1 as you'll have to fight much more units that way, and when you finally beat down all these pop-rushed units, you aren't even able to capture their town, because it auto-razes...
    • in a science game you want them to get out of Despotism asap, as otherwise these duffers won't be able to help you with research...
    )

    The AI knows the entire map anyway and will send these settlers anyway. It may just take them longer to get there. And what's so bad about them filling the gaps? It's a free town for you and one settler less that you have to build yourself... :mischief:

    In my opinion the advantages of having RoPs in place clearly outweigh the little risk involved and the iron nerves that you sometimes need... (Just never leave a core city undefended as to not tempt them into sneak-attacking you... If they sneak-attack you, it better be a worthless outer town. Then you get free war happiness for a small price.)
     
  15. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    We are not talking about a high level games. The AI does not know the map, they know tiles. Have you never observed the ai not sending settler combos to your back area, until they explore or you give maps?

    IOW the know tile x has a given makeup, but they do not know how to get to that tile, until they explore or get a map. I have seen it countless times. I make towns in a line and cut off an area behind it.

    If the AI has not managed to get a warrior back there, they send no settlers. The minute I trade a map, the spear/settlers come straight for the land behind my border that has not been filled.
     
  16. vmxa

    vmxa Chieftain

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    Seriously, if the OP is talking about playing DG or better, then ignore anything I said. One should not need help, if they are playing those levels. Given his comments and responses I would be very surprised, if it is even Monarch.

    I do not give RoP at any level as a rule.
     
  17. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    You are right, dell19 (post #11, which I was replying to) was talking about Monarch level games.
    But in any case, I guess it's a matter of playing style and preference, whether you like RoPs or not. I do not see them as bad as you do, and use them quite often in my games with good results. I'm more careful with mutual protection pacts, though, as these can really back-fire quite badly... :D
     
  18. Dell19

    Dell19 Take a break

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    Thanks am in the process of reading through it. Never really bothered micro managing my cities before.
     

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