Early game help

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Liberty Prime, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Liberty Prime

    Liberty Prime Chieftain

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    So I just bought the full game the other day and want to improve my early game. Right away I feel out of place coming out of Civ V which forced you to almost always go tall. From my understanding you can't seem to do that at all in VI. Right from turn 1 my plan was to spam settlers asap, then workers, then districts. Is this the correct mindset or should you take breaks between spamming settlers to build districts asap?

    Barbs slowed my 2nd city down by a few turns, but it's turn 50 and I feel like taking a break to build a 7 turn science district followed by a few workers. By the time I've finished upgrading all my tiles the hammer district should be researched.

    newb.png

    Feeling a bit squished, should I rush kill these city states or keep em alive and commit some Georgian genocide? The only other option I can think of is to settle some garbage cities by the ocean.

    Should I build an army after the hammer district or asap? What should I build?
     
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  2. tiamats4esgares

    tiamats4esgares Warlord

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    Yes it sucks that in Civ VI you can't really go tall (unless playing the Maya, and someone said maybe 1 other civ? IDK). I think if you're going for a PEACEFUL game, the best number of cities to shoot for is in the range of 8-12. You do still want quality over quantity. I think it's ok to settle 8-10 cities early, and then after they're developed, go and settle a couple more in bad places just to hit 12. The nice thing about 12 is that going any more than that will require more luxury resources, as they can only go to 4 cities each. So having 13 cities you'll need as many luxuries as 16 cities, assuming the cities all reach a decent size (cities need amenities starting at size 3, except your capital (I believe it starts at 5), and then every 2 population after so it REALLY adds up).

    What you build and in what order will depend largely on your civilization, map type, and just how the game is going in general, but an overall good strategy is to START with a slinger (I don't know why so many people suggest starting scout; yes, they can explore better, but a slinger will help more against the barbarians, which WILL be a problem as you saw). You do NOT want to start with a builder because there will unlikely be much they can do early. In fact, I hardly EVER build builders. Why? I buy them with gold. Just every time I get enough gold, buy a builder in the town that most needs it. Other than that focus on other things in my cities as I go.

    One way to help you get more gold is to settle on a luxury resource, if you can, but don't go too much out of the way to do it if there's a prime option elsewhere. Also, a lot of times you can buy a builder, have them get a luxury resource, and then sell the luxury resource to basically make your money back (or a good chunk of it). In emergencies you can use gold to buy units too, and you'll always spend some on buying tiles. But the majority I use on builders in the early game.

    Anyway, after I build the first slinger in a town you should be around population 2 by then. So I build a settler as my second thing. It's usually safe to do so, but keep barbarians in mind. While you're doing all of this, you should be going down the civic tree trying to get Early Empire ASAP. Hopefully you'll get the civic boost by discovering another continent -- it's your discretion whether you want to keep going down that route if not or swap to the other one until you do -- but the 6 total population won't be hard to do with the 2 early cities.

    I would always use the policy slot that gives you +1 production in every city, unless you get a boost of faith somewhere then swap to the +1 faith one. If you're lucky enough to found a pantheon early enough to grab the free settler, I would do so; otherwise, just keep 2 cities until you research Early Empire.

    The 2nd city (and 3rd, if you build it in time) I would have start off with a granary, ESPECIALLY if they're not on a river or lake. (If you can't build a city on a river, oasis, or lake, try to at least build it on the coast.) It looks like you built both Athens and Argos not on a river/lake/oasis........that's bad. It's not worth it. You lose FOUR housing by doing that, it's just not worth it. Aqueducts aren't worth building, and regardless, you can't even build them in the early game. Just don't do it...

    If you built your 2nd city on a river a granary is less important for the housing, but the growth it provides is usually still worth building it.

    Your capital I would have build other things; perhaps a wonder if you think you can swing it, an early Holy Site to found a religion, or an early Campus and Library for a science boost.

    Once you research Early Empire, I would have BOTH your 1st and 2nd cities spamming settlers as much as possible until you reach that goal of 8-12 that I mentioned earlier. If your 2nd city is much slower than your capital at doing this, you might only have them make 1 or 2.

    As for districts: You want to think about what your overall plan is, and then decide what district you want in each city. You want every city to have an Industrial Zone, Harbor or Market, and one other district depending on your planned victory type. Big cities will get at least one extra district on to this to specialize them in things you are not specialized in. But this does not mean Aqueduct. In most cases you will NOT BUILD AQUEDUCTS unless it is absolutely necessary. DO NOT PLAN your cities with an aqueduct in mind unless there was no better option. Just don't do it!

    Unless you're playing as Germany (which gets an extra district per city) you get a district at size 1, 4, 7, 10, etc. (every 3 pop). One neat trick you can do is place a district as soon as your city hits that next size threshold, but then go back to building whatever you were before. The reason for this is that districts get more expensive as the game goes on, but the price is locked in place once you place it. You could safe dozens of hammers and shave off a few turns building by placing your district before you're ready to build it.

    So again, every city gets an Industrial Zone -- just too important not to. And every one gets a Harbor OR Market but NOT both (they don't stack trade route capacities). Harbors are generally better, especially if the city is on the coast, but if it's 2-3 tiles away then Markets are probably better (or of course more than 3, you can't build a Harbor!). After that, you want Theatre Squares if going for Culture (or Diplomacy*), Holy Sites if going for Religion, or Campuses if going for Science or late-game Domination victory. For ealry-game Domination, I'd focus on Encampments or Stables, but then start building Campuses if you failed your Domination efforts early. AFTER You have those 3 base districts in each city (Industrial, Harbor/Market, and specialized) then your cities that hit size 10 can start building the other districts. A centralized city or 2 will want an Entertainment Complex, a Government Plaza needs to be somewhere, a few Campuses could help for any victory type, a Holy Site early even if you don't want Religious victory doesn't hurt, and a Theater Square or 2 even if not going for Culture just to help with the civic tree and prevent opponents from winning Culture.

    When should you build an army? When you feel threatened. Try to do it BEFORE someone prevents war on you, but if it doesn't seem like they will, no need for an army yet. As your capital is cranking out cities, you could have another high production city focus on military OR buy them with gold. Districts are kind of just what you build when you are more settled (have your cities and your army), but certain strategies might have you needing to build some earlier. Also, there's no shame in building an early Encampment or Stable, but try to make sure it's in a city that will hit population 10 so they can get the important districts later.

    Do you conquer neighboring city-states or no? Well, if you have an army it's easier but you'll make other civs angry. It's up to you, but usually I don't do this. The penalties for taking a city-state outweigh the pros, IMO.
     
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  3. Deadly Dog

    Deadly Dog Prince

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    Sounds like you've got your head around the biggest differences from civ5 but as for when to build settlers/builders/army/districts, it depends on your map, the city states you get early envoys with, and your policy card use. I often build at least one builder and settler before I unlock the policy cards that discount their production, but after that my builds are almost always discounted by policy cards.
     
  4. Liberty Prime

    Liberty Prime Chieftain

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    eh, no. My first city without freshwater would be my fourth which hasn't settled yet within the snapshot, and I plan on using an aqueduct to connect the freshwater source. I'm using maptacks to mark locations I plan to build what districts and where. This might be easier to see: newb.png

    Yikes. There really doesn't seem like a good place to settle my fourth.

    Yup, the plan is to buy the tile marked to the south in Athens next to the two mountains and building the campus within 7 turns starting this turn.

    This is exactly what I needed to know. :D I planned on building BOTH a campus and an industrial zone, but based on what you're suggesting I don't need to go too crazy with science districts as I do with production/hammers/cogs. I am playing as Greece, so I do intend to build the culture districts in every city possible after those initial bases are covered.

    I found barb camp spawns to be a huge pain to deal with. Would it be wrong to spam slingshots, then archers until I learn Early Empire to protect my settlers? It's probably the number one thing that slows me down.

    So, the reason why I'd even consider going to war is when I feel like I have no room to expand. I feel cornered at the moment with ocean to the south and east (more visible on the minimap), a city state to the west and northeast, and more ocean to the north. the only opening is directly north where I'm about to settle my fourth city (the first city freshwater, but an aqueduct in its future) and an early war to take out Georgia. If I'm gonna still sprawl right after my first library, I could expand below Akkad and southeast of Mexico City to start. I didn't explore enough in those directions to properly plan out those districts just yet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  5. tiamats4esgares

    tiamats4esgares Warlord

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    Yeah, it was hard to see at first. My bad.

    You can build aqueducts in some extreme cases like if there's an amazing place for a city or it's the only place you CAN build but it doesn't have fresh water. However, I highly recommend against and best just to try not to.


    If you're having THAT much trouble against barbarians, then yeah, you can. Each game is different and sometimes barbs are just super aggressive and everywhere. It happens sometimes.

    From what I can tell it looks like you have plenty of room for 8-12 cities but maybe I'm wrong. The ideal tile distance between two cities is 7, but sometimes 4 is OK if that's the best you can do. I wouldn't do more than 7 though, as this leaves holes. I don't know if you were planning on doing that or what. It looks like you can put at least 1 city south of Athens, 1 south-southwest of Argos, and then a ton to your east, surrounding Mexico City. Looks like you have plenty of room there unless I'm missing something.

    One thing I advise for sure is not to conquer Mexico City. They are a production city-state and that's super important. Akkad is less important, but there's no reason to conquer them; they are providing a nice semi-barrier between you and civs that may be to the southwest. It's hard to tell if there's more land down that way or not so it's safe to just assume so. Could be that an aggressive civ in that directions takes a liking to Akkad and that prevents them from aggroing in your direction.

    I see you're playing as Pericles. He's a very peaceful ruler. You seem like an aggressive player. Maybe you should go with Gorgo next time instead.
     
  6. Liberty Prime

    Liberty Prime Chieftain

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    newb.png ok, put that last game on hold for later because because I loved that opener, and should really get some quick experience. :D Can't be afraid to fail if I want to learn.
    Chose the same leader but followed your advice from turn 1. The first 3 cities were founded as fast as I could, and all by rivers. After building a few granaries and water mills I spammed those settlers to grab whatever land I possibly could. Norway and the city state blocked me off at the bottom, and there's a wall of mountains to the east. Going around them and past Bologna I found a nice river but a new civ with loyalty penalties right next to it.

    It seems I should've researched how to explore the ocean much quicker to send out settlers to the next continent over (playing continents on standard size and speed). Many cities I grabbed were out of desperation and aren't nearly as good as my first few.
    I feel I found more science cities than normal, which isn't a bad thing in my mind. Production will be an issue; I should probably start a new run and just focus on spamming cities with great Industrial districts.

    Yeah, conquering city states seems like a bad idea; they provide amazing essential bonuses. I may try out a few warmongering Civs so I can always ensure I can go wide. On continents it may even be optimal to conquer the entire starting continent then peacefully grow for the rest of the game.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
  7. tiamats4esgares

    tiamats4esgares Warlord

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    Seems you got the short end of the stick with all that tundra and snow. But you can probably expand east of Bologna safely. That area surrounded by mountains is kind of interesting. Any cities in there would be easy to defend from invasion. Eventually you can build tunnels to go through mountains too.
     
  8. Liberty Prime

    Liberty Prime Chieftain

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    newb.png New game, turn 16 and probably the hardest part of the game for me. We get the very normal land lock that seems to happen just about every time. Spent the first 2 turns moving our settler over so we start with freshwater and high yield tiles within the first ring around the city. Build order was a scout with a slinger on the way. To the north we cannot easily settle because of the city state, the east is ocean locked, west is desert, and north/south a barb encampment. I think the best idea is to settle on top of the Cocoa next to the lake and pray we can quickly build workshops with at least a few adjacency bonuses. I don't see a good spot for a third city, but I may scout further south. I'd like to build archers asap to get these barbs out of the way.

    ...oooor maybe just build 2 settlers right now protected by a warrior and settle the first two cities to the right and south of the city state? Just ignore the barb encampment and build walls?

    newb.png turn 50. Warrior and Scout quickly died, but we recovered. Grabbing all the freshwater I can. Next settler will be next to the city state.
    I'm not happy with how little progress was made in 50 turns, considering how most game should end in under 300 on deity. No workers or buildings have been built.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    newb.png ok, so here's an interesting scenario. Chose Gilg for the war-carts, but they weren't necessary as I didn't get sandwiched this time. There's plenty of room to expand and we have a third settler built before turn 30. I've met Alex to the east, Montezuma to the south east, and australia exists somewhere. Normally I would just spread aggressively but those are two (2) warmongers right next door. I feel like I have a window of opportunity to kill one with war-carts...
    newb.png 6 cities by turn 62 and an Alex is dead. It cost me 4 war-carts which could've been settlers and Australia hates my guts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
  9. tiamats4esgares

    tiamats4esgares Warlord

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    See, this is why I don't build scouts. If you'd built two slingers instead of just one, you'd probably have an easier time with the barbs.

    As for where to settle your second city, the cocoa is an OK choice but two tiles to the west of it might be better; it's hard to tell since you haven't scouted there yet. It also depends on how much you think you'll be able to spread out your cities.

    The desert does suck, but it also provides a natural barrier between you and the nearest AI. They aren't going to want to settle there, either, and thus your cities nearby won't look like juicy targets to them. The barbarian encampments are only temporary setbacks; you'll eventually be able to build cities there. Remember like I said, I only build 1 settler before Early Empire anyway. So between that settler and Early Empire, you can be building up a military with which to fight the barbs. What I'd do, personally, is try to get 2 slingers before you research Archery, THEN try to buy their upgrade to archers. Also build an extra warrior, or a spearman. Only after having that base army would I consider getting a scout.

    The turn 50 screenshot tells a different story. You were able to settle 2 more cities, which is good. You still haven't scouted more, so there may be other places nearby to settle. You don't know yet. You took care of a big chunk of barbs to your south and that encampment is gone, so that's all progress. Don't worry about what you *think* turn 50 should look like on deity. Every game is different. A small setback isn't going to lose you the whole game if you play well. Keep in mind, the AI have to deal with barbs too.

    The biggest problem I see in your turn 50 screenshot is this: You have lots of gold! Why!?!? Spend it! That's your biggest problem! You're complaining you've got no builders, yet you're sitting on 2 builders' worth of gold! That's also enough gold for 2 archers, 3 slingers, or 3 scouts. There's lots of stuff you can do with the gold...so do it! You've also met Mansa Musa, so you could sell him your cocoa (maybe you already have). But use some of your gold to buy a builder and a couple tiles, and you could get Turtles or Dyes, and sell THOSE to Mansa Musa to make your money back!...to buy another builder with and 2 more tiles to get the other. There's also horses there, and while they might not give IMMEDIATE gold, they will certainly give you plenty over time.

    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Taking cities from Alex and eliminating him is worth losing the War Carts. Sounds like you did good. I'm sorry that Austrailia hates you, but they are pretty peaceful and will hopefully get over it in time. Warmonger penalties in the early game aren't as bad as in the later game. Seems like this game is going good. You can probably expand some more and I doubt Montezuma will bother you since you probably have a decent army and a larger civ but if he does? Punish him too.
     
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  10. montalaar

    montalaar Chieftain

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    i dont want read all texts above.
    just my few cents on the opening.
    first build, while your first city is at pop 1, is either scout, builder or slinger. my approach is this - if i have instant tiles around to improve with animal husbandry(foxes, beehives, good deer tiles), i go builder and research AH, if nearly are diamonds or amber, its builder and mining. if nothing to improve, then slinger or scout and in by far most cases, as soon as i hit capital pop 2 its settler. while settler moving to position, capital finish builder or next slinger if nothing to upgrade in instant reach of capital. then NEXT SETTLER right away. its critical to get out those first settlers. i never build any early wonders to pump out my settlers. even seemingly crappy positions for first cities can be very important when distrits are finally out in those crappy towns. important is to explore to block AI from forward settling to you.
    AGOGE is a MUST at some early point to fend off bad ideas in AI heads about attacking me. it is outmost important in the beggining especially, to operate with right policy cards, when you build what. so you not build military in capital, while you do not have agoge. and you put settler 50% card always, while you expand(what in huge maps stops quite late).

    well, right opening is everything. there are maps, where only right opening is to pump out military only. when AI capital is right next to you, like russia. you simply should stop anything else, until you kill russia. georgia is also very forward settling civ and they are very aggressive. it is pointless to befriend civ what takes all living space from you. only war. and if i do war, its until i erase that civ away. but other approaches are valid.
    wrong opening kills many games. say, player starts to build fancy wonder with single city, not impoving tiles, no military when situation screams "war is near" etc.

    and you CAN play tall in civ 6. just expansion is easier. problem is districts. even 2 pop city can have one damn good district - +3campus, +4 harbor even in ice sometimes(later it can bring in oil or trader may seem nothing much, but lets say you have kumasi city state and that trader last game supplied trade rout with 14gold, 9 culture, 2 science, 2 production, 2food - ONE TRADER, thats how valuable can be seemingly crappy town on ice with one harbor, when i redirect that trader to my capital), holy site in right place in otherwise unhabitable desert. expansion has too much to offer. but it is valid approach to go tall if one knows what he is doing. especially with new civ - mayans.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  11. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    Going tall and going wide are not mutually exclusive. That's just a thinking error many people commit to. You can definitely go tall and wide in Civ 6 and make some 20+ pop cities. There is no global happiness anymore, amenities work differently. They are also super easy to come by. Nothing is stopping you from growing your cities really tall aside from the fact that growing past 16 pop yields close to no benefits.

    In fact district specialization is a powerful mechanic and often underrated. You still want farms in all of your core cities just like Civ 5. Actually, food management is even more advanced than in Civ 5, because now you have to decide whether housing is worth it or whether you just want to chop a city to 10/13/16 pop. I do end up building a Granary, an Aqueduct (as Rome) and a Sewer in pretty much all of my core cities while focussing on pure yields in my satellite cities (culture, science, gold, faith).

    Personally I would kill Georgia to have more room.
     
  12. tiamats4esgares

    tiamats4esgares Warlord

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    Note that aqueducts are better for Rome fab either civs.
     
  13. Liberty Prime

    Liberty Prime Chieftain

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    Thanks for all the replies! I tend to agree how aqueducts are generally not a good use of districts as they are finite per city and cost a potential tile with decent yields. I tend to build cities based on potential district yields; Production -> Science/Culture -> Gold/Harbors -> Amenities.

    This is a wonderful trick! I'll definitely value civs that can claim tiles quickly.
    From my experience, the game seems to be over if you have enough cities and districts built. Civs that provide bonuses to this phase of the game are the most important.

    I haven't taken a look at every civ, but a few bonuses caught my eye to help us propel out of the early game as fast as possible:

    -I tend to favor Gilgamesh quite a bit as war-carts are great scouts while also being able to handle barbs or a close warmongering neighbor early game. Very reliable.
    -Cyrus's surprise war is an excellent way to steal workers from city states/civs like in Civ V. City loyalty makes it easier to forward settle, and the extra gold seems like a great bonus to propel worker spam.
    -Amanitore looks great with a production boost to slingers/archers and all districts in desert cities.
    -I haven't tried Peter or Poundmaker yet, but I like the idea of extra territory as it reminds me of the Shoshone from Civ V. It's crazy good if it works the way I think it does.

    EDIT- Cyrus's movement bonus works on ALL units! :D So basically I can declare war on someone I have no intentions on attacking just to give extra movement to my settlers and workers! So if I can get a boat to explore across the planet as soon as possible, I can declare war on someone too far away to retaliate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  14. tiamats4esgares

    tiamats4esgares Warlord

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    Aminitore's bonuses are really nice.

    China's builders get an extra build charge, and can be used to build early wonders. They also get 50% eureka and inspiration boost as opposed to the normal 40%. That means that for them, 50% science/culture counts for 60% -- a 20% boost for any civ or tech you get the eureka/inspiration for.

    The Maori's land units move faster in water even than early boats, and can go not only in coast but even in ocean from the beginning of the game. This lets you meet other civs faster, and get goody huts that a lot of people won't get (like near the north and south of the map, as well as on islands), even in maps not dominated by water. They also get 2 free techs to start the game with, which will just help your overall early game, they start with a free builder which obviously helps (I would have the Builder explore the ocean while it's relatively safe early game since it's unlikely you'll be able to use all 3 of his builds yet), and their fishing boats act as culture bombs which helps them get territory faster, albeit not much (as it's often useless coast that you get). Perhaps their biggest boost is there fishing boats give more food, and their woods and jungle give more production. Unimproved woods and jungles ALSO give 1 culture and 1 faith to any city with an amphitheater; this is unclear from reading the bonus, but trust me, it's true (Also applies to geothermal fissures, coral reefs, traversable natural wonders, and tiles hit by volcanic eruptions and floods). Sorry if I went too in-depth here on their bonuses, but the Maori are my favorite civ, which I think I already mentioned. XD Hehe.
     
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  15. montalaar

    montalaar Chieftain

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    there is another gem of civ - kristina. auto theming of great works for someone may seem not much, but its huge thing. open air museums are almost op. add to that biblioteque.
    i had fastest victories ever with kristina. and its almost all about districts. you want culture district in all cities, spam cities, have commercial hubs and some holy sites. add here and there industrial zone. commercial hubs let buy archeologists, so you want to have 3-4 to 1 archeological museums vs art museum. fill in with artifacsts, buy needed artworks/writings, pop open air museums in every town. get 100%+ geart works>tourism card, pingala with curator perk in city with biblioteque. and you are set to CV in no time. of course, have open borders, trade roads to all civs, alliances.

    other thing is to buy great engineers who build wonders and build wonders with them. you need(may want) only few, certain wonders for CV to advance faster. my wanted wonders are somewhat not favored by many, but in kristina case they are forbidden palace, hermitage, bolshoi theatre, oxford, petra if possible, maussoleum and kilwa. its nearly impossbile to get all i want, so i try aim for what is possible. hermitage almost always avialable. aim is to have as much as possible great work slots.

    not rarely can win CV without singe rock band ever. without sea resorts or national parks. but it depends - difficulty: higher it is, more certain end game features like resorts, parks and bands are needed.
    but for me, CV is most entertaining victory path.
    SV is a time slog, as well as religious or warpath are so tedious with all that unit moving all over the map, so it can become very boring at some point. diplo victory is also quite entertaining.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020

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