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Early game: scouting and worker steals?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Handsome_Champ, May 27, 2015.

  1. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    These two suggestions have raised some questions. I've won a few Immortal games and have been trying to win Deity and failing so far, but getting much better.

    Scouting:

    why is this so important? Maybe it's just that I play civs that mitigate the need for it so I don't see it . I usually play Shoshone, and even on Standard map (I usually play small, sometimes standard. Also either quick or standard pace, turn off time and diplo vc) I might find one or maybe a lucky two or three ruins with the second pathfinder. Usually zero or one, since he takes so long to build.

    I'd usually rather have a monument (if liberty) or a worker (if tradition) early than an extra ruin since they have much greater long term benefits and don't leave me with a pathfinder who quickly becomes useless (I always choose to upgrade my initial pathfinder with the second ruin, first one I pick culture.) Then I usually build pyramids ASAP and then build settlers.

    What's the main benefits on the second scout/pathfinder? Do you guys just send him off to explore forever to ensure you meet all the city States and grab the gold bonus? Do the faith and culture from doing so actually amount to much? I usually can't do their missions anyway if they're far away so I don't feel like I miss out by never meeting them. I'm probably wrong.

    Worker steals: do you guys successfully steal from AI on Deity? I always fail when I try, but occasionally nab one from a CS. I hear it's better to steal from AI, to gimp them, but this seems difficult unless I've built an early army which I basically never do.

    Please, educate this reclusive leader.
     
  2. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    Follow up; am I crazy for going worker or monument and then immediately Pyramids then settlers? I do monument if liberty to get the free worker faster, and build the worker if going tradition, only opening liberty for the pyramids.

    Having three speedy workers that early seems really helpful to me--I get farms up and all resources improved super quickly, and depending on the civ, usually pop a fairly early engineer just with the one gpp, maybe a few turns working the workshop and use that for my second wonder, essentially getting two wonders for the price of one or just build a manufactory.
     
  3. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Prince

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    Which tree are you trying to complete and/or focus on? If you're opening Liberty just for Pyramids, I would consider that a huge waste. I consider the Pyramids to be a bad choice for harder difficulties even if you're going full-on Liberty route.

    The thing about exploring is not just about what stuff you find (City-States, ruins, etc) but WHEN you find it. City states give you twice as much gold if you're the first to find to find them, and twice as much faith (if they're faith CS) than if you weren't the first. If you get 8 faith from a city-state instead of 4 faith, for example, that can be the difference between founding the first pantheon vs. not founding one at all.


    Of course if you're the Shoshone, exploration is going to be quite different with them than with other civs. Their pathfinder is more expensive than a warrior, correct? Even though it might be stronger than a scout and have ruin-picking, you also have to spend approximately twice the number of turns building it than you would a regular scout.

    Keep in mind that a lot of the general advice on exploration applies to other civs where scouts are used as explorers, not pathfinders.
     
  4. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    Yeah, they cost almost double a normal scout. I also often play Inca which have fast movement and kind of negates the point of a scout.

    Even when I build a scout, I rarely meet more than one or two extra city States first, and a few more not-first. I'm not sure that's really worth building just to fine a hundred gold or so and maybe some faith/culture. I find it hard to justify vs a monument or worker to get through the first tree or get improvements up.

    I usually fill out tradition but I plan to try more liberty games now that I'm getting more comfortable with 4+ cities. With the early ruin for tradition opener, the liberty opener second for pyramids comes in very few turns. I feel like a wonder that basically provides three workers, a culture point, and an earlyish GE is pretty damn valuable, but I'm not expert. Since I've been getting pyramids lately, I like it a lot, anyway.
     
  5. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Prince

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    Well on quick speed, a scout only takes 4 turns to build usually (6 turns on Standard I guess) if you build it first. So what harm is really going to come from delaying a monument 4-6 turns? To me, the benefits from early scouting are much more time-contingent than the culture from a monument is. Especially if you're the Shoshone, you can compensate for the monument delay by choosing a culture ruin.

    Also it probably helps just to take into account the surrounding terrain. If you're surrounded by forest hills for example, your warrior is going to have a hard time exploring and it might be best to get a scout.

    If you are surrounded by open terrain, you might be less inclined to make a scout first.

    Either way I think it's usually optimal to build a scout first before the monument. The monument can wait.
     
  6. BruinBound

    BruinBound Warlord

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    If you go tradition, you can get the free monument at legalism pretty quickly especially as you already stated you always take culture from a ruin first. You don't need to build an early worker if you are comfortable stealing them. It takes a bit of practice to make sure you have an escape route and won't get attacked more than once by a city and a warrior. Once you have it down, it's pretty reliable and frees up the early game for a shrine/ granary/ headstart on settlers.
     
  7. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Prince

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    You're talking about worker steal from an AI, and not a city-state, correct?

    Because you can make peace with a CS the same turn you declare war.

    Don't understand why people would rather steal worker from an AI than a CS.
     
  8. BruinBound

    BruinBound Warlord

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    I usually build 3 or 4 cities which means I need to get 5 or 6 workers. I won't be happy building more than one. Stealing 4 or 5 can't be done with a city state alone. If you declare war on them more than once you get a diplomatic hit. Best case is to try to keep the war with them open and get two workers from the same CS. But for the others you will need to take from an AI. I almost always get two workers from one AI in one way or another. And you get then quicker from an AI, which is very important!
     
  9. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    I'd be delaying or risk not getting the pyramids by building a scout, or forgoing the worker or monument I build prior to starting pyramids. The monument is really nice if going liberty. If built before the pyramids, it adds up to a lot of culture, either netting you an early free worker or hammer and an early settler (really it just pushes you through the tree quicker, getting your cities set up and improved faster.) The worker is nice since he helps you chop the pyramids and set up improvements to hustle out the settlers right after and then be ready to go and improve the next cities immediately. This strategy results in basically never working an unimproved tile.

    Yeah, I'm probably getting too ambitious and inflexible in my strategy by taking pyramids, especially if not going tradition. I don't know, I like only having to build one worker, and the free GE is very nice.

    I basically only explore a ring around my capital to scope out sites to settle and meet the nearby city States, then defend the homeland/do CS barb killing quests locally.
     
  10. Liegence

    Liegence Warlord

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    Scouting is very important for meeting all City States (free gold and access to quests with even higher potential rewards), meeting Civs (potential trading partners and usually more gold from embassy trade), and identifying all of the viable settle spots. On Pangaea you typically cannot do this timely with one scout. Additional scouting rewards could be barb camps and/or possible barb workers, worker steals, and more goody huts.

    There are definitely maps where a second worker has less utility, but your standard Pangaea is optimally explored by 2-3.
     
  11. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Prince

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    That's crazy that you steal that many workers. If you declare war on 2 city-states, they start to become worried. Also you might develop a warmonger reputation just because you wanted to steal workers.

    In my opinion you don't need 5-6 workers for 3-4 cities. I might have 3 workers for 4 cities. If you use your workers efficiently you shouldn't need that many. If you improve 10 tiles in your capital while it has 6 pop, for example, you can send that worker to another city and not come back for awhile.
     
  12. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    I guess I think the gold from city States is too small to justify building a scout in so early. I'm either just flatly wrong because I rarely try it, or because I usually play small or if standard, continents rather than pangea. I can probably accomplish more quests than I think I can. I'll give it a shot. I do build an atlatlist first when playing Maya and it's fine (though I should probably skip pyramids since I'll never pop a GE with the point.)
     
  13. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Prince

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    Is that what you're doing with the Pyramids, trying to pop a GE? I hardly ever find the Pyramids to be optimal. Maybe you're not open to suggestions in this area, but I humbly recommend trying to pass over the Pyramids and build other things instead and see how that works.
     
  14. Liegence

    Liegence Warlord

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    You should go for as many scouts as you need to explore the area before you get locked out by cultural borders. Don't take my word for it, just watch any Diety level player for 15-20 minutes and see how they develop their early game.
     
  15. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    I'm not comfortable at all stealing them from AI, hence the question in OP ;)

    I usually end up lose my unit, at best I can steal one and flee in the hopes they don't follow me and attack my capital. Still, building a worker first (or getting it quick from monument and tradition, perhaps with a culture ruin) is probably as fast as you can steal one and bring him home, no?
     
  16. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    That's not what I'm trying to do, it's just a nice bonus. The workers and increased speed of them are the primary goal.

    I've only later been building the pyramids, but I have liked them and now am getting used to the build order. I should just cut it out, it seems.

    Thanks!
     
  17. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Prince

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    What I wonder is how you seem to consistently build the pyramids on harder difficulties? My assumption was that you were building them pretty early. Because on the harder difficulties they tend to go pretty quickly.

    Overall, it's just my opinion but I think you and BruinBound use too many workers. I use 1 worker for 2 cities and 2 workers for 3 cities. I just may go 3 workers for 4 cities but that would not be typical of me.


    I find that (at least in early game) my workers can improve the surrounding terrain quite faster than my cities can grow. There's no use in having 2 workers improve 15 tiles in one city when that city only has 7 pop. It's entirely sufficient IMO to have one worker improve 10 tiles in a 6-pop city for instance, and move on to another city for awhile.
     
  18. Athenaeum

    Athenaeum Prince

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    This would especially hold true if you were filling out the Liberty tree, because your cities would grow slower and workers would build improvements faster. If you're filling out Tradition instead, adopting Liberty just for Pyramids seems like a waste in my opinion.
     
  19. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    I haven't missed the pyramids except in on game as Maya where iirc I built their UB and a monument prior. If I make my second build the pyramid, I always get them (often I'll put in a few turns into something else and switch to pyramid once I get masonry, usually only a turn or two into that build. I finish by turn 27, if not earlier, on quick. Idk what turn on standard but I still almost always get them.

    I may use too many workers, I certainly won't claim to be "right". But I'll explain.

    I usually go with three workers for four cities, with tradition plus pyramids (so no worker speed bonus from liberty tree) maybe four especially if I steal one or capture from barbs.

    This allows me to get all my resources very soon, and sell them if I don't need the happiness, in time for the deal to end by the time I do. Then I can build farms and work them, grow, and shift to a resource here and there, but prioritizing early growth for a bit. Also I can connect as soon as the city reaches six pop.

    It really doesn't seem like overdoing it. If I'm not working an improved tile, I'm still using or selling the resource.
     
  20. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    It probably helps that i use Shoshone or build the monument or adopt liberty early to expand my borders. The resources get in my borders quickly and I want to improve them.
     

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