Good to see you back here.
Here is a question for you, regarding Tech paths in an Honor opening. Do you think it is a good idea to beeline to get Comp Bows, or would you delay? I find that Archers are very fragile, and I find it very difficult to farm XP with them, unless the terrain for it is really good. If I hang on to the Archers, I usually find I am getting to Machinery with Comp Bows that are not well promoted, so my Crossbows are not as effective, and take a long time to get to Logistics. I don't know if there have been adjustments made to the game since @peddroelm
was making his videos, but I've rarely been able to make his Honor-Commerce-Autocracy work.
Hi, thanks for the welcome.
Assuming Immortal and above, I've come to the conclusion in the last couple of weeks that everything about the strategy for the early game depends on 3 things:
- The first victim
- Whether Liberty or Honor is more viable
- The viability of keeping 1/2 DoFs until the endgame
Starting with the last, it's SO important not to be universally hated from like T60 to the end. I wouldn't know how to calculate how much gold it's worth, but it's at least in the middle 5 figures. Recently I had a game where I kept my last 2 victims sweet until T250-ish, winning with XCOMs cuz the tech pace forced me there.
So if I'm unlucky to get grumpy, non-DoF-offering AIs in the distance, I will delay war. Delaying war means Honor becomes exponentially less viable. I play with Policy Saving so that I don't have to commit, or it makes switching easier. e.g. Last game, I opened Trad, then waited, decided on liberty as there was decent space for 6 city NC spread. Having this option also means you can open Trad and then go full Honor.
Not everyone wants to play with Policy saving, so setting that aside...
The first victim.
Here's a rough, quickly-cobbled-together tier list of what I think are the best victims
1. Warmongers with horsehockey UUs. Assyria, Rome, Huns. These people will spam their Catapult/Spearmen replacements and since they can't attack units, your Archers are safe. You can swarm them and just take your time. Balllistas CAN attack, but they have to set up first, so if you stay 1 tile outside their range, then move in, and shoot them with like 3 archers and 1 melee (at most), they will perish.
2. Warmongers who don't care about their cities. You bribe Genghis to go bully Santa, and while his army is away, you swoop in and take Karakorum in 2 turns because there are no units present and he hasn't reached Cavalry yet. Obviously this depends partially on which policy trees the AI has chosen, more than the precise civ, but it's always worth checking T20ish which choices they've all made. Piety is the most vulnerable, Tradition is the hardest challenge.
3. Peaceful civs when they are outnumbered. Your land is not the only one the AI covets. If you think you can, and have the money, get a dogpile going so that diplo penalties will be minimal. N.B. it's NOT good if they actually DO join in thw ar, because there is a risk they can capture the capitals you're after. There is a whole special strategy for dealing with these cases, but it's a pain in the butt so best avoided.
TLDR: I play Honor less often these days, but occasionally I'll get the sense that the terrain. barb camps, civ I'm playing with, neighbours and trading partners make it scream out for it. There's certainly nothing like it in the endgame in terms of gold, which is fun.
PS> STILL the most important part of any early game should be CS alliances. Not sure from memory how much that's mentioned in my guide, but getting 1/2 Cultural, 1 Military, 1 Maritime and maybe a Mercantile will give you more of an edge than many points of pop growth. science, hammers, or anything else.