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Early game: scouting and worker steals?

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

  1. CraigMak

    CraigMak The Borg

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    It is almost always a good idea to open up with scout scout. Yes, these scouts find ruins and snatch up workers like a charm. The thing is that the higher the difficulty setting the earlier workers appear for the stealing. So this strategy is more effective at higher difficulties.

    Stealing workers from the AI is very easy and they are often willing to make peace quite soon after.

    Once I have obtained a couple of workers and done some preliminary exploring I tend to go back home to protect the workers and improvements from barbs.

    2 scouts and a warrior can keep those barbs at bay quite well. The Shoshone do pose a problem in that you can only make one pathfinder but they are stronger so they tend to fend off the barbs just as well.

    They just can't get the scouting and worker stealing done quite as easily.
     
  2. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    It sounds like I will benefit from stealing more workers. Any tips? I guess just try to nab him when he has a clear path or the enemy warrior will be slowed by terrain? I assume you're not actually fighting the AI, just taking the worker and running?

    I've only tried stealing from civ a few times, and I think I've only succeeded once. I often steal one from the CS or liberate one from barbs, usually returning the latter for influence or diplo bump unless I really need him.

    Usually I steal the worker and am killed by a pursuing warrior or one that snuck up behind as I attacked.

    So you use scouts (just one, or both?) for defense? I usually buy an early Archer for this, plus my warrior when he returns.
     
  3. Liegence

    Liegence Warlord

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    Tips:

    1. The sooner the better. At higher diff the AI starts with at least one worker so when you find a close neighbor head to his lands and scout.

    2. Usually if you hit an AI once you can hit him again. This is the preferred method; AI's can pop out workers like they're nothing. Best if you can take a nearby hill to survey the area.

    3. You can pillage his terrain and they will guaranteed send a worker to fix it soon. This works on city states, too, but response time is slower.

    4. A warrior can take a hit from the city and another early game unit and live to scurry off with the worker.

    5. If you manage a few steals the AI may never come back. And they'll be so weak they can't retaliate. You can sometimes even sue for peace.
     
  4. Handsome_Champ

    Handsome_Champ Chieftain

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    Thank you, I think pillaging might really help. They'll even send a worker out while I'm still at war with them and in view of their borders? Or is two tiles (ie one between me and their border) outside of their visibility?
     
  5. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

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    No, ai won't send workers out there to fix if you have military units near their plundered tiles. You have to wait and watch the plundered tiles and then the AI will send a worker to try to fix. That's when you try to steal the AI's worker as long as you don't get caught by letting the AI hide its workers.
     
  6. BruinBound

    BruinBound Warlord

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    Absolutely you will benefit, the differences are night and day. I suggest doing a few practice games to get a feel for the best way to steal them and escape safely. There is always the option of watching Let's Plays. I'm pretty sure I have stolen workers in all my games except for those I was isolated or decided not to. When I first watched Peddroelm doing it in his Dutch game I was shocked how many civs he declared on and how many workers he took. Absolutely no retaliation from the AI. After you run off about four tiles, they will return to their lands to play defense and wait for peace ASAP (rare exception being Shaka/ Boudicca and a few of those types that will delay the peace deal). For those AI's ready to make peace, know you can run in there and grab a worker and make peace on the same turn.

    About the number of workers per city, the general rule of thumb is 1 per city and 2 for the capital. At a minimum. It's the only way you will be able to get out a 3 or 4 city empire in decent timing while still staying happy and growing as fast as possible. With fewer workers than cities either the cities are coming out way too late or they are not growing properly. The goal is to work as few unimproved tiles as possible, and hook up luxuries/ resources as fast as possible to sell.
     
  7. Peter Sagan

    Peter Sagan Warlord

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    For me, it would be impossible to stay happy when I ain't got a stolen worker arriving in my lands at turn 30/35, since it cripples you too much to produce a worker that fast and wasting hammers. At turn 30/35, my second city is settled and my happiness is dropped to 1 or 0, so I really need to improve a luxury resource. That's also why I hate it when my capital has let's say Ivory and forrested Silk.. Need to go Calendar/Mining or Trapping so I can't build archers to keep those damned barbs out.

    I basically steal one from a nearby CS, make peace asap and then hang around the land of my closest neighbour and snatch a worker when I see an opportunity. I do this for a couple of times and then he will always come with a peace treaty. You also won't get a big diplo hit, not even with the civ you've stolen from.

    In situations like that, it's also really funny to see that you've plundered a TR without you even knowing it was there :goodjob:
     
  8. predcole

    predcole Chieftain

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    Yea I think that on higher difficulties, like deity and immortal, its not the best opener. The benefits do not outweigh the cost and time it takes. If you steal too many workers than you develop too many warmonger points. And I know on deity that this is practically suicide since usually the AI has a much larger and more advanced army than you early on. Also Tradition's benefits are just too good to pass up and continue to improve late into the game. I would recommend starting scout, monument (until finishing pottery), then switch to shrine, finish monument then choose between worker or granary. One scout is enough and most of the ruins are gone by the time u build a second scout, especially when the AI starts with a scout and 2 warriors. But make sure you build a monument because then you get a free amphitheater in your capital with tradition. But always steal from CS because you can peace out immediately after. You don't need more than one worker per city early on to maximize tile construction. Only steal one because once you go to war with more CS, especially those protected by other AI's, then you will become a warmonger. Scouting is always important because finding AIs early will decrease the price of techs they've already discovered and allow you to trade. Plus you need to find out where you are planning to expand.
     
  9. Chunkook

    Chunkook Chieftain

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    You can watch BruinBound's America LP where he snatches some 3-4 workers to see how it's done AND some really funny worker tag games where they run and he tries to catch them :D

    I like your strategy btw, it's not what you see everyday, which I'm fond of.

    If playing as the Shoshone, focusing a hill tile with your 1 pop will build you second pathfinder much faster, making him worthwhile, and with him you cat get a pop ruin to compensate.
    (No need to do so with the other civs; I see how a scout with the Incas can be a waste, I'd build a second warrior)

    Imho you don't need the monument that fast (First building), since social policies' costs increase drastically:
    At 1 cities they go as follow: 25-45-90-160-245-345-...
    At 4 cities they go as follow: 45-85-175-305-465-660-...
    And what I'm trying to say is that with a monument first you might go through your first tree a bit faster, but essentially that could mean you'd have to take an unnecessary policy if you haven't reached the wanted era for the one you actually want/need.

    I'm highly against taking both Trad and Liberty, for me it's either one or the other, since you need a certain "specialty" social tree for each VC:
    DomV - Honor
    DiploV - Patronage
    CV - Aesthetics
    SV - Rationalism
    Time - ...
    *Rationalism - almost always no matter the VC
    *Commerce - Luxury, helps every VC
    *Exploration - Water maps obviously
    *Piety - Religion obviously

    You could try going Scout - Monument - Worker - Settler - Pyramids, I think you'd get them.

    Anyways, I actually hope you stick to your own playstyle, Civ doesn't have a formula, so if it works for you and it's fun, do it. I'm sure you'll win soon enough with some practice. :)
     
  10. cazaderonus

    cazaderonus Actual Dad.

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    Pyramids imply a liberty start. Which is okay for the shoshone but still not optimal imho if you dont consider going to war early.

    As for the pathfinder, i always build 2 extras as they are way too good to not be used. I always tend to focus on hammers to get them out quickly, and use the first ruin for an extra pop if natural growth is too long due to prod focus (>6-7 turn, i go for pop). Otherwise, i go for culture, then free tech, then enhanced pathfinder (future CB with enhanced movement, yummy), and rince\repeat.

    Getting 7/8 huts isnt difficult with 3 pathfinder though on a small map it may be tough to achieve (i dont ever do small).

    As i'm sure i'll get culture quite fast, i pretty much dont build monument with shoshone and focus on shrine\granary, leaving rather fast 3rd tradition build it for me. Oh and when i reach 3 pop, i go settler instantly. The ability to mass grab land with shoshone is just too good to wait. 3 good dirt cities, tradition and a solid hut hunting start is imo a guaranteed win with shoshone on deity.


    As for more general scouting. I noticed that to find hut, the best way is to explore in circle around the capital. Going on a straight line is the best way to miss a lot of them as according to experience there are pretty much alway 2/3 huts in near distance from your starting point. So with a regular civ, i dont send the warrior too far, staying in a 6/8 tile radius around my capital until the area is cleared. It's fast, and it avoids taking forever to go back to the capital in case of a barb emergency. Also, warriors are better at worker stealing than scouts and you always want to steal workers from close civs\CS. Stealing a worker and having him workin on your tiles at turn 20 is imo mandatory for a solid deity start. In case of a CS, staying near and at war with vision on the CS lux tile is guaranteed to provide you with 2/3 workers for free under 50/60 turn. If it's an enemy civ, even better as you weaken it.

    As for scouts, getting a view of the entire map and AI capital locations is obviously mandatory for picking city locations, meeting CSs for gold and quests, and Natural wonders for happiness. Also, it's the best way to plan an early war according to waht the terrain looks like. A capital in an open field ? Piece of cake with 3/4 Composite bows and 2 spears. A goddamn forest/mountain one ? forget it and play nice for a artillery backstab later on. (though still doable but with greater focus\forces)

    Back a year or two i was also underestimating scouting and early opportunities. Now i find starting with less than 2 scouts awfull lol.

    here were my 2 cents
     
  11. cazaderonus

    cazaderonus Actual Dad.

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    Well that depends, if you get a nice hut rush you can end up with a Composite bowman pathfinder before turn 30. That makes early harassing quite effective
     
  12. BruinBound

    BruinBound Warlord

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    There seems to be some misconception about worker stealing from the AI in this thread. The early war declarations do not have any noticeable impact. On many occasions I get friendship 5 turns after I make peace with one of them. You can safely declare war on one city state and at least two AIs in the early game for workers and not have any issues. Not at all suicide on deity, as that's how I always play and it's quite successful.
     
  13. cazaderonus

    cazaderonus Actual Dad.

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    Yup, pretty hilarious to sign a DOF right after a white peace when stealing 2/3 workers or even a settler from an AI is in fact a way more agressive and hurting action than taking just a city later in the game.
     
  14. Mesix

    Mesix One of Porg

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    I almost always build scouts first. The reason is that finding more ruins can be game changing. This is especially true if you are playing with the Pathfinder UU since you can choose what bonus each ruin provides.

    One early culture ruin is better than an early monument. I typically play a Tradition opener in my games, so an early culture ruin will open Tradition with gives +3 :c5culture: per turn.

    With Pathfinders, I would recommend getting a free Tech first (because the options change each time). Then I would get the culture (and never repeat culture since it is only +20 each time). When free techs are not available, I would recommend alternating +1 population and then bonus gold. The free tech should be available about every 3-4 ruins (so typically you only get 2 but sometimes 3 free techs).

    I would also recommend stealing workers on all difficulty levels. This is more valuable on higher levels, because they are available earlier and the opportunity cost of building a worker is greater. I generally steal my first worker from a CS and then take more workers later on from AI players (often along with their cities).

    My opening build order in a typical game is:

    scout
    scout
    (perhaps a third scout if there is a lot of land...i.e. Pangaea or large continent type)
    shrine
    granary
    library (GL wonder if playing King or below)
     
  15. cazaderonus

    cazaderonus Actual Dad.

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    If i recall alright, every hut bonuses (pathfinder or not) can be taken every 3 huts. Meaning that if you get a free tech in hut number 1, you will only be able to pick that option or randomly get it with hut number 4.

    So with pathfinder, the best course of action is probably to start with free tech so you need only a 4th hut to get a second free tech. Culture being the obvious second choice, free pop then. In case of a very close neighboor, going for upgraded weapons twice with the same pathfinder gives a pretty OP Compo Bow early.

    Another nice trick is to save a hut for turn 30+ (not sure about that specifically) so you can pick a faith boost. This, with free tech, is probably the best thing you can get as it pretty much allows to pick whatever pantheon you want. After getting the pantheon, you can also get a +80 faith from a hut i believe.

    So yeah, shoshone and finding a lucky 7/8 hut is enough to guarantee a win. Though sometimes lady luck is a B. i remember a damn fractal map where i managed to find one hut before finding out i was actually locked in my starting area by a civ who settled its cap and 2nd cities on the narrow path to the main land. Couldnt even hope to get across with a DOW. Sucked :lol:
     
  16. Mesix

    Mesix One of Porg

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    You can only get one upgraded weapon per unit. Once you upgrade a unit, this option is no longer available. When playing the Shoshone, I generally leave weapons upgrades until I scout out small island ruins later in the game. This approach also allows me to get 2-3 coveted scout type promotions before becoming an archery unit. The bonus sight is an obvious benefit to finding more ruins. It can also help to hit targets from further away once +1 range is available.

    A note on the free techs. You can only get ancient and classical era techs from ruins. Once you have all the classical era techs, this option also disappears from the list available from a ruin.

    You can generally count on getting 3-5 huts early on in most games. This should be good for 2 free techs, early culture boost to open a policy tree, and +1 to +2 population. If you get 6 huts, perhaps gold or religion would be a good choice with the 7th being a 3rd free tech (and well on your way to the victory of your choice).
     
  17. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Even without worker stealing and with ruins disabled I build two scouts first (assuming Pangaea or continents). What no one has said so far is that meeting all the CS as soon as you can is extremely valuable. Being first is not important, the point is to unlock EZ quest opportunities.

    I am also a little AR about wanting to unfog all the land. I can’t rationalize that as easily, but seeing cities come and go, and where wonders are getting built, is one of the pleasures I get from the game.
     
  18. LordBalkoth

    LordBalkoth Prince

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    Yes, it's completely ridiculous and broken. If the AI finds out that you steal one tech from them you get a permanent negative modifier for the rest of the game. But if you steal a worker or two at the start (which is like 10 times worse than the tech steal) they just don't care. There should be a permanent penalty for that as well and they shouldn't be looking to sign a DoF with you.
     
  19. Peter Sagan

    Peter Sagan Warlord

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    T20 even! I do this all the time with Shoshone. With another civ it's really nice though, stumbling on a faith ruin when you least expect it. You'll hate yourself for wasting hammers on that shrine though :goodjob:
     

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