1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Does anybody go "wide" on higher difficulties?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Keirador, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,078
    So I typically play Standard-sized maps, because my computer and my patience have a hard time with anything much bigger.

    I've almost always played "Tall" (1 - 6 large, built-up, highly-advanced cities), sometimes with as many puppet cities as my Happiness and Science can afford. Every time I try to play "Wide" (lots of smaller, less productive cities) on Immortal or Deity, I run into big, early problems. I have to expand very quickly, because if I don't the AI will have taken up all the territory around me and I don't have the space for 12 cities.

    But expanding quickly does a couple bad things. First, I'm forced to build more settlers and fewer military units. Second, the AI gets super pissed because:
    1) they covet lands I own
    2) they demand that I not settle near their lands, upon which in order to continue going wide I have to
    2a) make a promise to stop expanding near them and break it or
    2b) ignore their request
    3) they believe I am building new cities too aggressively

    Eventually, the AI declares war (often in large groups), and while I can successfully defend a compact empire of 1 - 6 cities, there ain't no way I can defend 12.

    Combine this with the fact that if you're trying to build 12 cities on Immortal, you need good relations with the AI to trade for luxuries, cuz there ain't no way you're keeping 12 cities happy with just the luxuries in your border.


    All told, it drives me to perpetually play Tall, even when I set out to play Wide. Are there any Immortal/Deity players who play Wide? Or is Tall just the superior strategy?
     
  2. MarshalN

    MarshalN Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    366
    I think you can realistically only pump out about five cities initially before happiness stalls out, unless you get really lucky with lux. Then you have yo consolidate for quite a while before further expansion makes sense
     
  3. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Messages:
    5,020
    I go wider than in G&K, mostly because city connections are a more important source of cash, but I rarely expand that early - unless I'm faced with particularly aggressive city-spammers such as Polynesia or Iroquois I usually have room to expand. In my last full game I had 8-9 cities by the end (although only four I actually settled - the rest were married city states and one conquest).
     
  4. Cyssero

    Cyssero Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Playing on standard sized maps I don't think you can realistically go that tall by settling your own cities. The only way to make it work is to get your 4-5 cities up on your own, and then make your empire wider via military conquest. Trying to build 12 cities right out of the gate is surely going to lead to multiple DoWs and even if you manage to survive with most of your cities, you'll be way too behind to recover.
     
  5. SolDelta

    SolDelta Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    To be honest, you're always going to need to adjust your playstyle depending on circumstances, but with that in mind, wide is still viable. Just use terrain to your advantage where you can, mountain ranges make fantastic border limits, effectively eliminating possibility of invasion from that front if you settle in chokes and fortify. As long as you don't let your population growth get away from you before you can handle it, you should be alright. Id reccomend The Maya if you want to have some training wheels, their wide empires can go on forever without sacrificing science, and if you try for it you can probably get a decent religion to boot.
     
  6. Aaron90495

    Aaron90495 King

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Messages:
    926
    Location:
    'Murica
    It's definitely still possible (albeit more difficult than in G&K), but you need the right civ and a few other things. If you can get a good religion going, you'll probably be able to pull it off, but without religion, it becomes nigh-impossible to go wide without conquest. Thus, the religious civs are generally much better at going wide (Maya being the best of them, IMO), although Egypt is fantastic as well. Put 2 policies into Piety as Egypt, pick the +2 happiness from Temples belief (Religious Centers, IIRC), and you can pump out +4 happiness, 3 faith, half-cost, maintenance-free temples in any cities following your religion.

    So, long story short, going wide - even ICS - is still possible, and it can definitely be more effective than going tall in the right circumstances. It's just tougher and slightly more circumstantial than it used to be.
     
  7. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    Brazil
    I play almost exclusively on Immortal opening with Liberty. I think that first of all, 12 cities as a first expansion is downright silly. This number is not possible without specific map tweaks for more space or an insane amount of luck with starting location. A goal of 5~7 cities as a first expansion is much more realistic. Second, there is no way to prevent the AI from hating you if you quickly pump out 4 settlers after Collective Rule, so you will just have to think about your growth plan disregarding trade partners. Growing counting on happiness provided by trade partners is a rubbish strategy in any scenario anyway, because you really don't want to have an instant -10 happiness (and -20% combat strength) when that partner backstab you midgame. That said, what you can do to be able to get a quicker initial expansion is settling on top of luxury, so lack of workers is not a bottleneck. This works better if you can grab mining luxuries on hills, because settling on hills is always better and you will build basic infrastructure like Monuments and Libraries faster. Settling on top of a lux that is trapped beneath jungle is not bad as well, saves a lot of time, but don't count on that city to do anything useful in the next 50 turns, because flatland settling with jungle nearby = no production.

    The thing is, early expansion should be 1 lux = 1 city, otherwise you hit the happiness cap way too soon and will be crippled in tech and military production.

    Now, after you put your initial 5~7 cities expansion, it is still possible to get your true wide empire. But you will need to conquer it. The AI will already have settled nearby, and will hate you anyway. If you were able to get hill spots to settle, your new cities can start mass producing Archers/Composites and you can swallow a nearby AI, after you built Colosseums and roads everywhere to have some happiness to "spend". At this stage you should also be able to settle 1~3 new cities if you find some new luxury in an island or something like that.

    Also, don't be afraid to settle past turn 100. It was a horrible idea in G&K, but internal trade routes make it much more viable. Sometimes you have that awesome location in the middle of your lands, with a bunch of stone and cattle, but with no luxury. You can settle it midgame, when happiness sources like religion and Circus Maximus are kicking in, and then grow it fast with internal trade routes.

    Apart from the obvious choices like Maya and Egypt, another three civs that I like a lot for this opening are Inca, Carthage and China. Inca and Carthage benefit from cheap/free city connections, giving you earlier happiness from Liberty without draining all your gold. With China, you can give #1 priority to the Paper Maker at new cities and build it before Monuments/Shrines. You get your science running early, build your NC early (something wide empires struggle with) and instead of getting your gpt drained, you get extra gold to pay for a nice army.

    On a last note, I think Egypt is the only civ with which it is viable to go a little over with the number of cities (I was able to manage 7~9 before turn 100), sustain unhappiness for a while in early game, while mass building Shrines and Burial Tombs with the help of Piety. When your tombs are finished, you get so much happiness that you will actually be able to grow taller on that many cities and have an overwhelming empire. The UU really helps in this approach, letting you defend yourself nicely against an early DoW without having to detour all the way to Construction (you should beeline Philosophy obviously).
     
  8. kingofsealand

    kingofsealand Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2013
    Messages:
    279
    A bunch of the last post is relevant

    Focus on that first expansion being 5-7 but as others have said, dont be afraid to capture/settle the rest. Settle as late as you want if it will bring you some advantage (rare strategic resources possibly)

    And as he stated when it comes to your first 5-7 cities do NOT settle them if there are 0 luxuries around them which you dont already own. The presence of a new luxury is half of the incentive to go wide, you can nab almost all available luxuries and trade for what you dont have sending your nation into a perpetual cycle of we love the king festivals

    No one else mentioned this as a legitimate choice so ill put it out there. .... indonesia. Yes the UU is a crapshoot but the first 3 cities you found are going to net you a new unique luxury resource in addition to any actually around them. Furthermore you get two copies of each of the three which you can then trade for more resources you dont have. and your UB will help drive religious influence in your cities through the roof. Take the bonus for happiness to cities on rivers and every city guaranteed a candi is guaranteed that bonus, certainly synergistic.

    I feel that post BNW a delayed-wide play style works best, featuring a focus on the "core cities" in the first 100 turns and the establishment of no more than 7 cities, followed by an additional wave of colonization as suited.
     
  9. MarshalN

    MarshalN Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    366
    And internal trade routes are definitely the way to go to power those late cities - I brought a city up from 1 to 10 pop within a few dozen turns (marathon) with two trade routes going in. It was popped a new citizen every 4-5 turns or so and it's amazing to see it sprout like that. Rinse and repeat, so long as your happiness can take the hit.
     
  10. Makavcio

    Makavcio Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Messages:
    534
    This thread does not really agree with what I usually get in my games.
    In my initial games I was going tall for it was my favorite way to play the game in GnK. I had to lower
    my difficulty to king to survive... The problems were as follows:

    1) if you are not playing a civ with easy early religion, AI will almost always beat you to the most useful religious beliefs leaving you without decent religious income and cultural growth;
    2) lack of gold from rivers makes early connections between cities very controversial;
    3) one city per one unique luxury resource is a nice idea, though with the increased clustering of resources it's really hard to get more than 4-5 of them without leaving your tiny cities stranded in the middle of other civilizations;
    4) powerful capital with NC is a must for science and an industrious huge city (capital or not) is a must if you want any wonders at all;
    5) low happiness, unavoidable in this approach, will ruin you when ideologies kick in and you do not follow the right one;
    6) puny amphitheaters do not allow any catching up in terms of culture with other civs.

    These issues come from all aspects of the game and most of them are interconnected. Low culture forces you to buy many tiles which you cannot afford because of low land income (no river bonus). Your low culture makes you vulnerable to enemy tourism and deprives you of political bonuses. Furthermore, you need larger army to defend your territory and it costs gold which you do not have. And worst of all, your wide empire is not wide only by name, but it's scattered all around the map if you want your cities to be of any use.

    So far I was able to pull off only one wide game on emperor but I had all the favorable circumstances. Got a desert start with religious ruins nearby, was able to clear my continent before meeting other civs and had an abundance of cultural and mercantile city states which had only me to work with. I think that with that start I would be able to win also on immortal, but wide empires are extremely luck-related now.
     
  11. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    Brazil
    1) If you don't have a unique faith bonus, you should only dream of getting the first or second religion if you have a terrain suitable for one of the faith-generating pantheons. It is very possible to play without a religion.
    2) Early game you really should use external routes, more because of the extra science than because of the gold, but it helps with the gold. I only switch to internal when they stop giving me more than 2 science/route.
    3) This one is true; one of the most solid arguments pro-Tradition is that Liberty is too map-dependent. But if there is no other way, conquering neighbours for more breathing space is a last resort. Specially in Continent maps, if you conquer a neighbour early game, the civs in the other continents may hate you for being a warmonger, but they usually can't do much about it, apart from not trading with you.
    4) The same as religion: you don't need wonders to play. Having a huge tall city to make the most out of the National College is true, though. But having a wide empire can be an advantage here, as past medieval when you get more than 3 trade route slots, you can still keep directing all of them to send food to your capital, something a tall 4-city empire can't do.
    5) and 6) If you have low happiness that far in the game, you are doing it very wrong. Wide empires can have a higher happiness limit than tall empires in the long run, because of multiple Colosseums/Circus. Even more if you manage to get any happiness from religion. If you get Order (and you should), +2 happiness from every Monument is crazy, I never know what to do with that much happiness. And you should be able to defend yourself better against other ideologies and not suffer any unhappiness anyway, because in the ideological offensive/defense battle, the number of cities is not calculated for anything (as far I know, correct me please if I am wrong here), so the guy with 10+ Monuments and many times more land for Landmarks can be just as culturally sturdy as the guy with a bunch of wonders.
     
  12. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,720
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Going wide is mostly map and neighbour dependant. Very viable, less common. Then again, I play on small maps so going wide is often actually 4 cities :D
     
  13. kaltorak

    kaltorak Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,520
    Location:
    Madrid
    I rarely don't go tradition. I think the problem is going wide doesn't mean building that many more cities. And tradition boosts your 4 first cities. So the difference is 1-2 cities in most cases.

    I've always thought that tradition should only give monument and aqueduct to 3 cities. And that would be a nerf to the branch I always take, so it's not a complaint ^^ I just think it would be more balanced and maybe I would go liberty more often. Same as I play PIG Mod in civ4, even tho it nerfs Incas, which I play the most
     
  14. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    3,264
    I'm beginning to think that the "no growth" option in the city management window is something I need to use more aggressively. Maybe even delete some aqueducts once a city reaches a certain size.
     
  15. Resipsa

    Resipsa King

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    998
    Going wide is mostly a map and neighbor dependant strategy
     
  16. Blitz Spearman

    Blitz Spearman Warlord

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    Brazil
    I agree with you, in standard-size maps there is never enough space to make Liberty REALLY different from Tradition. Making Tradition bonus 3-cities instead of 4 could be a nice balancing.

    I would never, ever do that. Even with Liberty and a wide empire, I believe that that old saying still holds itself true: "growth is science and science is winning". Only time when I'd avoid growth is in Classical Era, while still building Libraries in the new cities, if there is a hill tile nearby I'd work it and remain stagnated for a while. Otherwise, I would try to sacrifice anything else to get the happiness needed to grow more pop. Getting a strong grip of influence with one or two of those jewels/porcelain CS is something that can really skyrocket you ability to grow. Having more cities per se does not give as much advantages as a large pop. One of the main goals when going wide is to try to get a total population at least as large as a tall empire, and this is very possible if you grab the right tools during your play.
     
  17. JustinianIV

    JustinianIV Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    245
    I've struggled with going wide on Immortal. My best plays have been with 4-5 cities. Whenever I tried to do more it took ages to get national wonders up. Plus happiness was always around 0. I think I need to look at a guide or something.
     
  18. nimzo28

    nimzo28 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    31
    At Immortal, I build 3, maybe sometime 4 cities, during the first 125 turn of the game.

    I don't like having cities at 5-7-9 population, I prefer less cities, but bigger. It also accelerate the production of all National Wonder - most of them are better than World Wonder.

    It's possible to build a little bit more cities at this level if you have a good Civ for that, and/or a good religion.

    Unless some ressources near my capital "ask" me to chose some Pantheon (like God of the Open Sky = +1 Culture from Pastures), I like Goddness of Love (+1 Happiness from cities with population of 6+) if I'm late in the Religion race.

    If I'm sure to obtain a religion, I chose Fertility Rites (10% faster Growth Rate) or Mother Goddess (+1 Food for Shrine and Temple) and then Religious Center (Temples provide +2 Happiness in cities with 5 followers) for my first Beliefs. So I save time and Faith point by not spending those point on religious building like Pagode.

    I think Happiness is the key at higher level.

    My favorite Civ at Immortal/Deity: India
    Less attractive Civ at Immortal/Deity: Babylon, where both UB and UU are unnecessary (since G&K and Composite Archer, UU needs bonus promotion, not only better stats), and UA is half useful (Receive free Great Scientist when you discover Writing) but other part (Earn Great Scientists 50% faster) don't change the course of the game without the Great Library (nearly impossible to build, because it seems to be the favorite classical WW of AI in Brave New World)
     
  19. Scott Jegg

    Scott Jegg Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    267
    I've changed tack for culture victories recently and started with liberty to get 4 cities out asap before the AI gobbles all the land on standard size map. Working well so far, and something I could not manage with tradition. I don't want more cities till later on so that I can get my natural wonders out. Pyramids are easy to get ion immortal, which gives me a free GE round about the time I should be hitting printing press (turns 150-160) if I biuld directly after first settler, which I will have started as soon as I hit 3 pop in capital. Pyramids makes a world of difference getting all 4 cities land improved. I dont complete liberty until later, so that I dont ruin the GE count from pyramids. Going back to tradition gets me 4 free opera houses as long as I got those ampitheatres built, and the free cash and happines from monarchy is a bonus. liberty should get finished once acoustics/architecture is available for another free wonder. Lots of beakers coming from trade routes early on, meaning its not so important to get those libraries/NC out so early (that strat is thanks to someone else I can't remember). Still a bit slower in tech than a pure tradition tall opening, but not having to hard build those first culture wonders means you can arrive at renaissance about 10 turns later than usual and still get them with the GE.

    Later in the game I will go proper wide once cities get puppeted and new cities needed for antiquity sites. Its really helpful to get a religion and take the buildings (I dont bother with piety at all till later, so that reformation belief that gives tourism is of no interest) that give happiness. I always beeline for a faith natural wonder and take the +4f pantheon, or hopefully get some other faith boosting pantheon, otherwise I find religion a pain to get into.
     
  20. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Messages:
    3,078
    Thanks for the responses all, particularly Blitz Spearman.

    It seems like the consensus is that going "Wide" the way I was defining it (6 - 12 settled cities fairly early on) is actually not done on Standard maps at higher difficulties. Particularly if you're looking to get the NC early, it seems like "tall" and "wide" games pretty much start the same way, but once a productive core is up and running, the "tall" guy turns inwards and starts pumping out buildings, wonders, and a defensive military and the "wide" guy looks outwards and starts pumping out settlers, workers, and an offensive military.

    Put that way, I guess I play wide plenty of times.
     

Share This Page