Discussion on what makes levels easier

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Cabledawg, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Cabledawg

    Cabledawg King

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    Id like to see how others cope with making the level transitions harder or easier. I am an Emperor player and can win virtually all of those games simply by never choosing a religion, giving in to most demands, and teching to Rifles while the AI seems to head straight for Sci Method trying to find out where their oil is only to see my army of Rifles and Trebs take out their cities. Im like the Patrick Swayze character in the movie Road House when he says "Be Nice.....until its time to not be nice".

    Lately though Ive been playing all Immortal games with a few caveats. I play with advanced start and reduce the number of points. I get enough points for a couple of workers and maybe a tech. With this setup, Im able to win most Immortal games.

    If we can put a number value on the levels...ie....
    Deity.........10
    Immortal...9
    Emperor....8
    Monarch....7
    Then my above Immortal advanced start plays at an 8.5. It might even play at an 8 if I turn on "No tech Brokering".

    What Id like to kmow from the civvers out there is what you are doing to make a level harder or easier? Give me your examples on what youre changing in your game and what number value you believe it is.

    It could be as simple as an Emperor game with Huayna Capac on a tiny Pangea map with more opponents plays at a 7.

    Are there map types, certain leaders......or certain leaders on certain map types that can make a level easier or harder?

    Did your friendly neighbor just build the mids?... and now you assume the game is easier as you most certainly will be taking that away from him.

    The last GOTM featured you on an island with Mansa. Once I discovered that, I knew that he trades more easily than anyone else. So, leaving him to tech peacefully was the right move....until Rifles. (Patrick Swayze would be proud). The very second I knew I was stranded with Mansa....the game was instantly easier.

    Are there circumstances that make a game harder or easier?
     
  2. Winston Hughes

    Winston Hughes Wrathful Warlock Retired Moderator

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    If you have any idea what you're doing, then it's more like a 3. Maybe less.
     
  3. ANewGuy

    ANewGuy OCC Specialist

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    OCC - +1 (For me at least)
     
  4. oyzar

    oyzar Have quit civ/forums

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    smaller maps than standard makes it easier. Playing for with peacefull opponents(mansa, darius, willem, ghandi etc) makes it easier. Playing with any of the romans, persians or with incans also make the game easier on alot of maps...
     
  5. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Czar

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    Is it the immortal that puts the Persians up there for you? Cyrus's traits just seem above average.

    I usually use Hannibal when I move up a level, although my newfound love for spiritual might convince me to use Mansa when I eventually move up to emperor, only problem is I won't be able to trade with him. Actually at one point I did intentionally add Mansa to a game intending to make it a little easier.

    I put in extra AIs because I think it makes the game more fun, is having more AIs considered to make the game easier?
     
  6. Cabledawg

    Cabledawg King

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    I think so. It certainly means less land for each AI.
     
  7. ANewGuy

    ANewGuy OCC Specialist

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    Hm.

    But it also means more (Pre-WFYABTA) tech trading opportunities amoung the AI, especially if the great techers like Mansa are involved, so that kinda balences out.

    In the end, it makes it a bit easier, but it wouldn't make up a whole level.
     
  8. Levgre

    Levgre King

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    I'd say more AI's are at least half a difficulty, although it depends on settings.

    1. AIs big advantage on harder levels is they can spam cities effortlessly while you can't.

    2. A small AI is exponentially easier to conquer than a larger one, since there is never any coherent coordination between civs, but a single larger civ is somewhat coordinated. I'd rather fight 6 smaller AIs with more land. than 4 bigger ones with less land.

    3. You mention that the civs have more tech trade partners, but the key to winning on higher difficulties is YOU being the tech whore. The AI doesn't trade techs as much, nor does it prioritize techs that no one else has. The human can do this, which makes tech trading hugely in the human's favor. The more partners, the better.
     
  9. ANewGuy

    ANewGuy OCC Specialist

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    Eh.

    I'm no good at Diplomacy and Tech-Trading compared to everybody else. So I guess you got me there.
     
  10. Levgre

    Levgre King

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    I wasn't that good either. It is pretty easy to catch on to though, you just have to know what techs the AI tends to go for, bulb/beeline certain techs, and check the tech adviser quite often...
     
  11. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Czar

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    Just tried my first game as Darius, conquered Japan in 2075 BC. I stand informed.
     
  12. cabert

    cabert Big mouth

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    Other caveats :
    - checking permanent alliances is at least worth 2 levels above emperor. With this on, I can win deity easily.
    - If you carefully select your opponents, it's a whole level easier still.
    - Selecting maps favouring your civilzation is worth half or more levels. For example playing ragnar on a watery map is worth at least a level less. This is even bigger if you select opponent whose traits / UB /UU aren't worth anything on your map, but it's not always easy.
    - selecting speed according to your target victory condition also helps (slow games for warmongering, fast games for no warmongering)
     
  13. Jerrymander

    Jerrymander Epistemologist

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    What about regenerating maps and playing with Random Seed on Reload?
     
  14. Guardian_PL

    Guardian_PL Emperor

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    Regeneration can't be helped, there's some magic in those 10-12 visible tiles and the rest of the world covered in primeval darkness :D
    I usually regenerate map 3-4 times, and that's enough for me find a suitable start (a suitable start, not an easy start mind you).

    Random seed reloading? Well, reload is a crime to me aside from few silly trips like loosing two turns due to wrong click or say on the same turn I want to declare on AI I'm asking him for money :hammer2:

    So no random seed for me.
     
  15. Bostock

    Bostock King

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    Archipelago - -1
    PlanetGenerator - -1
    Tectonics - -1
     
  16. Julian Delphiki

    Julian Delphiki Anton's key

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    Archivepelago + Willem -- 3.
     
  17. Dirk1302

    Dirk1302 Deity

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    I'd rate the levels more like

    Deity 10
    immortal 8
    Emperor 7 etc...

    Some estimations about things that make it easier,

    -Great lighthouse on archipelago or other coastal like start while being able to reach all neighbours and with some room to expand to 6+ cities is at least a level easier.

    -The difference between Lizzy (one of the best) and Toku (clearly the worst) ~ 0.5 level

    -each early goldmine ~ 0.25

    -Floodplains start ~ 0.5 other things being equal.

    Seems about right to me, i think playing Liz with floodplains on immortal is comparable (if different) to Toku on emperor on a average start.
     
  18. mirthadir

    mirthadir Emperor

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    I'd say having early transoceonic trade is about .25-.5 depending on the situation.

    Regenerating to get synergistic resources in the BFC (marble or stone for industrious, ivory for financial, horses/copper/iron for the war mongers). Likely around a .5.

    Having an AI without metal (no iron or copper) on your border (excluding the resourceless UUs, barring the holkan) - 1; non-protective not on hills - 1.5 (cumulative); and the above, no religion -1.75 (though an easy holy city is comparable).
     
  19. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

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    For me it's imposing idiot rules, see my RPC games!

    Seriously, I have found the leaders themselves enough of a game challenge, particularly starting techs and traits.

    Examples for myself at Emperor

    Justinian who is Imperialistic/Spiritual, starts with mysticism/wheel, and has later middle Age UU/UB

    Compared

    Hannibal who is Charismatic/financial, starts with mining/fishing, and has late classic age UU/UB.

    Hannibal can get off to a BLAZING start leaving AIs in the tech dust by teching BW right away while harvesting seafood (on most starts).

    Justinian is tough as getting an early religion at emperor is chancey. He starts with NO food techs (can't eat the wheel), and needs 2 techs for any military (AH/Wheel, hunting/archery, mining/BW/wheel).
     
  20. Bleys

    Bleys Deity

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    Good thread, I have always said that "true difficulty" is a mixture of many game factors, which include difficulty level, play speed, leader traits, map, etc.

    Of course, individual play preferences also play a role. Speaking for myself, I do better on watery maps where I can build the GLH and REX to reasonable islands and lots of coastal sites on the main land mass. I do less well on Pangaea type maps with lots of AIs right in my face.
     

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