DoC 1.16 [America UHV] Strategy


May 16, 2015
So, I admit that I feel a bit stumped.

The first two UHV goals were straightforward:

UHV1: Away with Europeans in North America: solved this by settling the Carribean islands (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bridgetown) first, attacking the French/English colonies once they seceded from their mainlands, wait for Mexico and then subjugate them asap. Done quickly and ruthlessly.

UHV2: Build all the wonders. I actually built a lot more than just those few. I built practically all of them, and I thought I could be fancy with building them each in the right place.

Now here's my problem:

I didn't meddle much in international politics in order to not desturb the world too much, I allied with four big powers at a moment when they would still have me (Netherlands, England, Italy, Osmans). France and Russia had disappeared for all of the 20th century, and Russia couldn't even be raised via the UN (no surprise when Poland, Italy, Greece and Osmans are all settled in the Russian core). France resubmerged but was week. Spain, China, Sweden and Brazil always refused to ally with me. While it should theoretically be possible to gain more allies, they "have nothing to gain" by doing so. In hindsight, I would de-friend NL and go for Brazil as the forth ally... if they were available for that, which they are not.

UHV3: Control 75% of military and economy on Earth. Okay, with all the groundwork I've done, I thought this should be straightforward: I went and conquered some independent parts of the globe on a whim once I had Mexico done: West Africa first, then the nice resources in South Africa, next the Tamil homelands and dormant Japan. When the superstable Morokko (and their vassals Portugal and Canada) declared World War One, I gladly took Canada, Egypt, Lisbon and Sefadu as well and vassalized Morocco.

When I vanquished Morocco in the late 1950ies, I decided to finally ramp up my plentiful but outdated military because my control was only 60% of the economy and less than 40% of the military of the world. Up to the 1970ies, I ramped up my production meticulously and switched between civics frequently to get the production/development boosts of each: communism, nationalism, secularism, individualism, capitalism and welfare state each. But even with spamming Drones, Guided Missiles, Tanks and Capital Ships: My military is stuck at some point above 50% and increases only by 0.5% each turn. Military buildings (bunkers, barracks) are of no value. Nukes are, but not that much more than conventional military, it seems. In my current situation, 10 ICBMs = 10 Main Battle Tank = 0.85% of world power. Reasonably, I should "simply" build 260 more MBTs which is certainly possible in between 1970 and 1990 - except that all other nations are also enlarging and modernizing their armies.

Is the only way to finish UHV3 by decimating all non-allies in a devastating, nuclear World War Two?

Or did I start this wrong: Should America violently take control of all the large production cores first (Spain, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, China) instead of building up peacefully in Africa?

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Like you said, decimating is the way to go. 75% means that you'll need to have triple the amount your opponents have - combined. This cannot be achieved by increasing your share alone, you also need to actively decrease everyone else's share. Or, even better, take their share. I think the top 4 civs that score highest in the GDP graph should be your allies (I'm not completely sure the wonder that should allow this figure to increase by 2 works as intended?), all the others are enemies that should and can be eliminated. In my game, England, Portugal, Turkey and France were vassals, leaving Germany and Russia to be defeated. The pretty thing about Europe is that it is reachable with a stack of Transports in only 2 turns and borders are so close that almost every civ has a coastal city that can be blitzed the first turn of war, even considering the enemy territory entry penalty. Once you have enough Mobile Artilleries and Tanks accross the ocean (and the occasional Cavalry doctor), grabbing cities becomes a piece of cake, helped by the fact that you can use airports to transfer your units even faster.

Three more things to remember. First: your economic stability is awesome, no need to ever worry about your expansion stability or respawns. If taking Amsterdam means the Dutch may collapse and lose a few colonies on the way, don't hesitate to do so. Second, conventional wisdom says you should never have multiple war fronts. False. Once Europe is finished (either ally or yours), nobody can stop you. Go for all civs that have fertile soil, like Brazil, China, Japan and India, preferably at the same time. Nobody can stop your military anyway. And third, counter intuitive as it may sound, the final few percent are in fact the easiest. It adds up pretty quickly in the end since you have enough power to destroy enemy units at will. Going from 40% to 50% took a long time, but going from 60% to 70% (commerce 83% even) took about 10 years.

Truth be told, my game was on Epic game speed. On normal game speed things are quite a lot harder, because about the only thing that does not scale with game speed is the unit movement rate. I think it should be doable to beeline Synthetics and start the war before 1930, but it requires much more planning than on slower game speeds.
I have done this UHV the way that Wessel V1 described, but lately I've been using an early conquest approach. I usually play on Monarch/Normal, but I have had some success with the below approach on Emperor/Normal (I goofed around and lost UHV2 on Emperor to Russia). I usually complete the UHV in the early 1960's, which could likely be pushed to the late 1940's or earlier with better play.

First, for the start (assuming 1700AD scenario), hope that you get a British DOW (for bonus army) and flips on some Steamships (or Galleons) waiting in the NA cities. Then ferry over the starting+bonus army to Europe, first laying over the navy in the Azores, and then dumping them all on Bordeaux/Brest with a DOW on France. The European powers leave their cores relatively undefended around this time (particularly France) and in this way you can readily knock out one of your main economic competitors and acquire a strong economic asset in France's heavily cottaged core.

After France, you just hop over to the Netherlands and Britain and take their equally undefended cores. Collapsing France + Britain + Netherlands wipes out most of the colonies, and Spain usually collapses naturally so you don't have to island-hop the Caribbean. I usually do this strategy now because it consumes less units (as you can't use siege against most of the Caribbean cities) and gives you better cities. I then leave the Caribbean independent because the cities suck.

This opener essentially secures UHV 1 and UHV 2 by eliminating the Western European powers, who are both your colonial and tech competitors. Mexico is an easy conquest by rushing Mexico City ASAP.

For UHV 3, the easy option is a Defensive Pact with Russia. Russia is the only great power left and the two of you will easily reach ~60% of commerce/army without much effort. You can almost always secure a Defensive Pact with them upon initial contact, and once established, it basically never dies (give small GPT if Russia breaks it; as long as the option remains white this is viable). Then just build up North America (have your cities 50/50 on buildings and units) and 'liberate' some other countries to eliminate rivals and avoid boredom. Also Defensive Pact with some middling powers to accelerate the victory (e.g. China, Japan, Prussia, Turkey).

The other approach is the one you've already identified and which Wessel V1 excellently described: build up and then conquer everything. This is doable as early as the mid 1800's to early 1900's, when Russia is still struggling and the European powers are over-extended colonially -- just carpet over Europe with everything you have, seeing as North America is never in danger. Asian powers are very weak in the 1700 AD start and will usually not be an issue. However, Japan is an attractive early conquest with your starting army, if you don't want to agitate the Europeans.

Lastly, for stability, I usually have a core of Washington, New York, Rochester (2 NW of NYC), Boston, Grand Rapids (1 W/NW of Michigan Pig), Chicago, and St Louis. Essentially, just putting as many cities at the edge of the core as possible, and then using those to work tiles otherwise accessible usually only to historical cities. As Wessel V1 notes, economic stability is never an issue.

TL;DR: You can either do the UHV by building up first and then conquering, or conquering and then building up. I find the latter option faster.
Thanks for confirming that my previous strategy (peaceful buildup) was dangerously wrong.

As mentioned before, Russia collapsed in the early half of the 20th century, and never woke up since their occupiers (Greece, Italy and Osmans) were stable.

I challenged myself and used my 1960 save, and then went full Rambo.
  • Since there were no other options, my Allies remained: England, Osmans and Italy. Addition: China. The Vassals remained Mexiko and Morocco (all other enemies would NEVER capitulate, because I had "become too powerful" for them to capitulate against me.
  • I started with surgically letting one of my allies declare war on France (master of Netherlands, ally of Poland) right before they killed off Germany. That way, all four of them were dealt with.
  • Next I surgically declared war of Sweden (allied with India, Mughals and Thailand). That way I decimated these three as well.
  • Ethiopia and Austria collapsed on their own, while Arabia pulled off a resurrection.
  • To avoid hitting the 25% threshold (domination victory) that always loomed over my head, I creatively liberated my Canadian cities to the Independents, gave all the polish cities to Italy and Osmans, South Africa and all the Indian cities to the English, and arranged for the Chinese forces to liberate Indian Korea.
  • Buildup of my military was done with shifting civics once per turn (Nationalism to draft 3 free units; Citizenship to Buy Units; Welfare State for Production/Trade/Gold bonus and Buying Buildings. Always going with corresponding civics, of course).
  • I was prepared to start nuking Spain and whoever else remained in the last turn, but actually made the UHV by 1982!
Word to the wise who reads up on the good strategy before making a run: Avoid hitting the Domination threshold. To do that...
  • Don't settle or vassalize unoccupied or unstable regions (like Africa or the Middle East). If these areas are independent, that's good for you.
  • Have large, stable land Empires as your allies. Like China, Russia, Brazil, Osmans, India, Vikings. (Britain IF they can hold Australia or India. Which they usually can't. On the other hand, you can conquer them some colonies, easily.)
  • Go directly against Europe where the largest non-ally powers are sitting and take their cores. Avoid taking independents if there are any.
  • Go for the pacific islands, they are a nice bonus to your trade without occupying any landmass.
  • Avoid gobbling up any Tundra regions in Canada or Alasca, they count as landmass and are money sinks.

Spoiler And here are some pictures. :
Cleaning up the rabble, the civilization numbers are quickly going down:

Here's my Military report after the victory, with every unit pulled back into the cities.
The output of 60 cities all over the world seems extremely small in retrospect. Those are "just" 473 units. However, the Infantry and Tanks alone are representing 66.465 hammers.


And this is one turn before the VICTORY:

Edit: As a side note, the vassals of my Allies don't count towards the Strength of my Allies. I whipped up my calculator and checked. However, Greece was a very wimpy vassal of Italy in my case, so it wasn't a problem at all that the combined power of Athens and Caricyn wasn't counted into the balance.

And another Edit:
If you can't hit the TRADE threshold: Cancel all remaining trade agreements with non-allies, and NEVER enact the "trade with all cities" UN declaration.
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Which civics do you think are best for America?

In America game I played (Regent/ Epic), I didn't want to move away from Democracy, Constitution, Individualism and Free Enterprise- combo because of American unique power. Does anyone know if I switch one of those civics, do I lose entire 8 happiness or just 2 happiness. I think Egalitarianism might have been better for my science.

In religion category I think it's best to stick with Tolerance until Secularism is unlocked, then switch ASAP. Tolerance as civic feels like just ''Ignore religion stability penalties until you can switch to Secularism''. I guess there are some civs like Argentina that can really benefit from extra culture in capital.

Territory civic was one I found hardest to choose. I switched from Isolationism to Colonialism in the first turn. Main benefit I was after was ability to get foreign trade routes, but ability to capture Native units as slaves was also bonus. (I was also going for Orbii's invade Britain and France strategy.) After Brazil was willing to trade Nationalism to me, I switched to Nationhood. Ability to draft Minutemen/Riflemen was very useful for war against Mexico because it allowed my production cities focus on Siege units and Grenadiers. I also liked Nationhood's +1 :hammers: from Towns in combination with Individualism. After I got Globalism I still stuck with Nationhood. Multilateralism would probably have been better for my economy, but I was worried about extra war weariness.
Does anyone know if I switch one of those civics, do I lose entire 8 happiness or just 2 happiness. I think Egalitarianism might have been better for my science.
Each of those civics provide 2 :) for America. So switching only one of those civics will only lose you two :), not eight.

I have had some trouble with the second goal of America (Monarch/Normal). On a few different playthroughs, I was 2-4 technologies short by the time 1950 rolled around, and couldn't even begin construction. Even though I had a few great engineers saved up to rush out the wonders, I just couldn't seem to research fast enough. I'll typically switch to Slavery in the beginning, as my workers aren't busy making cottages, they're usually busy making mines and plantations. Also, the ability to capture natives and sell them is nice. I'll also adopt either Clergy or Monasticism, as all of the eastern seaboard cities are only protestant, and Tolerance is very underpowered (IMO). I think sticking with Isolationism is good until Multilateralism, as the free specialist syncs very well with Democracy. Also, it's very likely that achieving the first historical goal will lead to a ton of wars with the west, and your foreign trade routes will be mostly crappy anyways.

I have yet to try the "invade Europe" strategy, as it just felt weird to do that in the 19th century, but looking at some of the wonders I could get access to by invading Europe (Oxford University), as well as avoiding the "suicide Grenadiers" strategy in the Caribbean, I think I will have to try that for my next playthrough.

Anyone else have trouble teching fast enough to build the wonders?
Conquering early worked very good in my game. Played on marathon and the default difficulty setting, went immediately with starting + bonus army to England and then France. From the start almost all my workers focused on developing my core to increase core pop (towns within core, farms just outside). After I got the two European cores + Mexico I focused on building development. When I was super stable (economy +32) and had the military advantage (infantries) I switched production in my cities between units and building 50/50. For war I went to Canada, Iberia and India. With two good vassals (Germany and Turkey) and some key defensive pacts (mainly Russia who had a higher military score for the whole game than me), I was already around 65-70% in both commerce and power. After invading Amsterdam, which caused the Dutch to collapse, I got the 75% victory secured first :p. By chance, I had the last wonder in 1900 which caused UHV 1 and 2 to be completed at the same time.

I might have used quicksave a few times in close situations though...



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Is it actually possible to complete the UHV without conquering that much territory? Through defensive pacts/vassal states/etc?
Is it actually possible to complete the UHV without conquering that much territory? Through defensive pacts/vassal states/etc?

If you conquer all of North America (wiping out Mexico and Canada), vassalizing Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, and getting a defensive pact with Russia and a well expanded England it may be doable I would think. Also many collapsed nations help your cause (China, India, Middle East etc.)
Conquering European cores has multiple advantages. Some that I could think of:
  • France, England and Spain usually have colonies in North America. If they collapse due to you taking their core, the colonies become independent and are no longer considered European. You can take the good ones and leave the bad ones independent (like the island in Central America)
  • France, England and Netherlands also compete in the Wonders race. If they are dead you don't have to worry about it very much
  • Their cities are awesome! Londen is a moneymaking machine with good production, Edinburgh has awesome production. European cities are located in top tier land which is also heavily developed. They boost your economy and research
By not conquering European cores, you don't have these advantages. Which means you will have to conquer even more land to reach the UHV. I would say, by conquering Europe, you have to conquer less land in total and achieve your victory sooner.
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